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  1. Yesterday

    The Zenith star is back at its zenith! The Pilot Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback combines the attractions of a legendary model with a mechanism featuring very up-to-date performances. Developed in the 1960s for the Italian army, the 2,500 CP-2 Cairelli chronographs are now highly sought after by collectors of military watches and fans of the brand with the star logo. Encouraged by the enthusiasm for a model that has become the symbol of an era, Zenith has designed a new version named Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback and in the same spirit as the original model. On the dial, there is the ultra-readable display. The hour and minute hands, coated in Super-LumiNova®, make their way around Arabic numerals with the same luminescent material. Split-time measurements are now taken care of by the calibre El Primero 405B (50 hours of power reserve) with results that can be read with the central second hand and the 30-minute totaliser at 3 o’clock. To maintain a harmonious arrangement of the time information, there is a small second hand at 9 o’clock. The manufacture had the good idea not to add a date counter, which would have overloaded a perfectly symmetrical design. The self-winding movement comes with a flyback function that can be reset to zero and instantly relaunch the chronograph with a single press. The Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Flyback watch comes in two versions with a vintage look. While the case still has its original width of 43mm, it now comes in a choice of two materials. Aged bronze or steel are combined respectively with a grained brown or slate grey dial and a brown or green nubuck strap. Price: 7,900 CHF zenith.com
  3. Great vintage watch homages have come to be one of the expected highlights of my trip to the Longines booth at Baselworld each year, and 2018 was not a disappointment in this regard. In addition to the wonderful Longines Heritage Military Watch with its faux-patinated dial, and new ladies’ sizing (and dials) for the Heritage Legend Diver, we were also treated to the great-looking Heritage Skin Diver. And it's that last watch we’re going hands-on with today. The 2018 Longines Heritage Skin Diver I was shown this watch during a meeting with Longines executives and told that it would not officially launch with the first wave of 2018 products. It would become available in late 2018, they said. As you can see, it's a really great-looking tribute to a historically important Longines, the Longines Nautilus Skin Diver – the first dive watch from Longines, in fact. It's a watch that I'd personally like to spend some more time with in the future outside of the less than ideal context of a trade show booth. It seems pretty obvious, but one of aspect of this watch’s design that should not be overlooked is its size. This is a large timepiece, and it feels large on the wrist. This is, in and of itself, not a bad thing. Wrist presence is a quality one tends to expect and even want from tool watches in general. But, on trying it on in Basel, the Skin Diver felt large for its 42mm diameter and 13.75mm height. I chalk this up to the way the lugs extend a good distance from the case, causing it to float somewhat uneasily on my seven-inch wrist. (The lug-to-lug length is 52.55mm.) I think that this design would have benefitted from a smaller diameter. An incremental reduction to 40mm diameter would have been great. (Incidentally, 40mm was the size of the original Nautilus Skin Diver.) A vintage Longines Nautilus Skin Diver. (Photo: Courtesy Phillips) On the back, you'll see an embossed image of a diver with a spear with the words "The Longines Skin Diver Watch." The unidirectional bezel is very easy to turn thanks to the deep crenelations along its edge. This bezel is made of PVD-coated steel that has been executed to recall the original plastic one found on the late '50s original. The watch's profile shows off the case geometry and bezel. The Skin Diver's water resistance is an estimable 300 meters, thanks in part to a crown that screws down. Ever since I heard dive watch expert and HODINKEE contributor Jason Heaton observe that a screw-down crown really is one of the most important features for a dive watch, it's been something I've kept in the back of my mind when evaluating purpose-built timepieces for diving. Sure, with proper gaskets and tolerances, the screw down function isn't necessary for water resistance per se, but it certainly cannot hurt. After all, if the crown is screwed in, there's zero chance of it catching on the fabric of your wet suit or other gear and flooding the case. Even if the vast majority of consumers will stop short of testing the limits of this watch's max depth rating, there is a comfort in knowing that a watch exceeds the ISO standard for diving. The Skin Diver is a great looking watch on the wrist, though its lugs do feel large in proportion to the 42mm case, which itself is indeed not small. The Skin Diver’s dial is one place where it really excels. Look at the pillowy lume plots for the cardinal hours and hour markers. It conveys all the richness of a well kept vintage watch from the late-'50s to early '60s. A similarly thick application of faux-aged lume fills the arrow-shaped hour and minute hands, which traverse a dial that has a course, anti-reflective property to it. This is one of the darker applications of faux-aged lume that I have seen on a model that nods to a brand's heritage, Longines or otherwise. The Longines logo is at 12 o’clock, and the world “Automatic” is spelled out in script text at the six o’clock position. The movement inside is the L888. From this movement, the Skin Diver derives displays for the hours, for the minutes, and for the seconds, with an impressive power reserve of 65 hours. The movement runs at the somewhat unusual rate of 25,200 vph (or 3.5 Hz). And then there are the three strap and bracelet options: a plain brown leather strap, a black tropic rubber strap, and a mesh steel bracelet. And while each has its own appeal, I think that two of them (the tropic strap and the bracelet) are the winners, with the nice mesh bracelet option taking the slight edge when you consider that each option will set you back the same amount of money, $2,600. Overall, the Longines Heritage Skin Diver is a great-looking contemporary dive watch with more than ample water resistance that revives an important design from from the Longines archives. It manages to do this while incorporating enough modern features to excite watch collectors and SCUBA enthusiasts of today.
  4. While the last decade and a half have seen a slow and inexorable upward creep of the cost of luxury watches, there have also been, more recently, some rather disruptive pricing strategies as well. Montblanc, for instance, introduced a steel perpetual calendar in 2014 which is just $12,800 (of course "just" is relative, thirteen grand is indisputably a lot of simoleons for us working stiffs, but you know, still). This year, Longines fielded an annual calendar for under $3,000. And in 2016, TAG Heuer introduced the Carrera Heuer 02T – a tourbillon chronograph priced at $15,950, about which Patek Philippe's Thierry Stern said, very bluntly, "(it's) nearly a joke to me...if they're willing to try to kill the quality of the Swiss product, I think they're on a very good track." As much as it might have aroused ire in some quarters, however, the race to bring in traditionally very expensive complications at lower and lower prices does make an interesting point, which is that given sufficient economies of scale, and with modern manufacturing techniques, it is possible to produce working, reliable versions of traditionally extremely expensive complications at surprisingly – even shockingly – low prices. You give up things like time-consuming hand finishing, of course, and you have lower expectations in terms of things like case complexity and dial quality, but at the current prices for a well-finished perpetual (for example) from one of the Big Three (or Four, if you want Lange in as well) this alternative approach means an awful lot of people can get into high complications today, who couldn't have five years ago. In any event, the Tourbillon Chronograph 02T seems to be here to stay (although the price has oonched up to $17,000, I notice; still a Low! Low! Price! by the standards of modern quote fine watchmaking unquote). As a way of sweetening the pot, this year TAG Heuer has released a new version of the watch, which is a certified chronometer. And it's not just any ole' run of the mill COSC cert; instead, the watches will be certified by the observatory at Besançon, France – not far from the northern border of the Swiss Jura. The observatory at Besançon (Photo: Wikipedia) Besançon at one time had a thriving watch industry which, at its peak, employed over 20,000 workers; now only about 1,500 people work in the watch industry there, which collapsed thanks to the Quartz Crisis – most markedly with the closing of Lip, in 1975. The observatory there was, like the observatories at Kew in England, and Geneva, engaged in the certification of chronometers and it still occasionally does so today. The specific mark of certification by the Besançon observatory was, and still is, the so-called Tête de Vipère – the Viper's Head. Besançon certified its first chronometer – a marine chronometer – in 1897, but got out of the business in the 1970s; in 2006, however, it began accepting watches for certification again, and since then about 500 watches have received its approval as chronometers. The Tête de Vipère is visible at about 7:00 through the caseback. If you weren't a fan of the original design in 2016 – however much you may be wowed by the price – the Tête de Vipère is not likely to change your mind; an open dial, ceramic bezel-and-case sports chronograph with tourbillon (and of course, a somewhat inside-baseball chronometer certification) doth not scream Everyman watchmaking from the rooftops. I am bound to say, however, that in-the-ceramic, I was pretty impressed with the execution – the case is razor sharp and the dial, though the design may raise your hackles, is clean as a whistle. It looks pretty jazzy on the wrist, too; not the kind of watch towards which I'd normally gravitate but as with another of TAG Heuer's releases this year – the much-argued-over Bamford Monaco – I surprised myself by liking the cut of its jib much more than I'd have thought possible, and I do think the Besançon association is kinda neat. The testing procedures sound more or less identical to COSC; 16 days at Besançon and 15 at COSC (a chronometer is a chronometer is a chronometer) but why not have a little terroir avec votre chronomètre, n'est-ce pas? As we noted in our Introducing post, this is a limited edition of 155 pieces and the price is $20,400, which, everything else aside, is still a great deal for this combination of features and complications. And of course, you can have a closer look at it at at TAGHeuer.com.
  5. Last week
  6. Alright, spoiler alert: I love this watch. When I settled down at the dramatically lit conference table somewhere deep inside Omega's booth at Baselworld a few weeks ago, I wasn't expecting to see this. However, once it was out, I had a hard time focusing on anything else. This version of the Seamaster Olympic Games is a reasonably sized watch, executed in a totally superlative way that is at once classic in its looks and extremely modern in its technology. It basically ticks all the boxes. The platinum case mixes brushed and polished finishes to create definition. Before I get too deep into this particular model, it's important to know that it comes as kind of the cherry on top of an already great collection of pieces that Omega released during the lead-up to the Winter Olympic Games, hosted at Pyeongchang, South Korea, back in February. First we were shown a quintet of sporty models that recalled the colors of the five Olympic rings. These were all steel and featured black and white dials with Arabic numerals and luminous hands. Adding to the lineup, Omega introduced three dressier versions in yellow, white, and rose gold, a reference to the gold, silver, and bronze medals that would be handed out at the Games. These have white enamel dials and subtle leaf hands to complement the more precious cases. The watch we have in front of us is basically one of those dressier versions of the Seamaster Olympic Games, just on steroids (though, like the Olympic Committee, we do not condone the use of performance enhancing drugs). The case is still a great size at 39.5mm across and 11.98mm thick, but it's rendered in solid 950 platinum instead of gold or steel. When you pick it up off a tray, there's no question this is platinum – the watch has some serious heft. The sides and fronts of the lugs are brushed, while the bezel and facets on the lugs are polished, so you get a good bit of contrast too. This black enamel dial is crazy. While I'm always a fan of platinum, I'm absolutely crazy about black enamel. The hard-fired black enamel dial on this watch is easily one of the best I've seen on a modern watch, full stop. Like, ever. The black is rich and glossy, looking almost wet as it catches the light, and the silvery white logos and minute markers can look either like they're fading into the background or jumping out at you, depending on the angle. Applied at the hours are traditional, arrow-shaped markers made of 18k white gold, and they help show off the dial's domed shape too. Naturally, the white gold hands are radiused to match the curvature of the dial. Fun note: The vintage style "Ω " above the Omega logo at 12 o'clock is actually made of platinum too and is transfer printed onto the dial. This is a totally unnecessary, indulgent detail, and a great synecdoche for this watch overall. The caliber 8807 is a thoroughly modern caliber from Omega. While so far everything feels pretty old-school about this watch (other than the modern size), the movement is state-of-the-art: the in-house Omega caliber 8807. This movement is automatic, utilizes a co-axial escapement, and is a METAS-certified Master Chronometer. It also runs at 3.5 Hz, in 35 jewels, and is resistant to up to 15,000 gauss of magnetism (in no small part due to the silicon balance spring). And as one last technical flourish, the balance is free sprung too. The finishing is exactly what you'd expect on one of Omega's movement. It's thorough, but not over-the-top. There are broad waves on the plates and bridges, blackened screws, barrel, and balance wheel, and both the balance bridge and winding rotor are 18k Sedna gold. The movement spacer is platinum and engraved with the names of Olympic host cities. I'm normally someone firmly entrenched in the "make the movement fit the case" camp, but I'm willing to make an exception here. The sapphire caseback does fill the rear of the watch and you'll notice that the spacer between the movement and the case's edges is engraved with "Official Timkeeper" and the names of all the Olympic host cities where Omega had this role. It is, of course, made of platinum too, and it seems to make sense in a watch like this. Lest your forget, this is an Olympics watch after all. While it looks good from a distance, this watch really shines up close and on the wrist. Putting this watch on my wrist was definitely a highlight of Baselworld 2018. It wears extremely well, even feeling smaller than the 39.5mm x 11.98mm dimensions would suggest. Sure, these are not quite vintage watch dimensions, but it's an easy to wear, moderate size that I think a lot of people would really enjoy. This is a watch that looks perfectly nice from a few feet away and will pair nicely with lots of different styles of clothes – however, it's when you get up close that it becomes a showstopper. The closer you look and the more you sort of play with the watch, the more you enjoy the way everything comes together in a cohesive way. Sure, each detail is good on its own, but it's the way they work together that leaves me wishing this was on my wrist many mornings. When Omega really flexes its muscles, you get results like this. To me, this watch represents the best of Omega past and present (in a way not dissimilar from that of its cousin the Seamaster 1948 watches). It isn't afraid to draw on the brand's rich past for styling cues, but it's also not a watch that's living in a prior decade. The movement inside offers customers a ton of value for money, even in a rather expensive Omega like this. The whole package is smart and works together to create something that really sings of connoisseurship all the way through. In platinum and enamel, this watch is indulgent, superlative, and just flat out awesome. The Omega Omega Seamaster Olympic Games in platinum with a black enamel dial is priced at $37,800 and is a limited edition of 100 pieces. It is available now. For more, visit Omega online.

    The brand from Le Locle takes inspiration from its long love story with the sky to design a big chronograph combining bronze and blue, and with the display driven by the legendary El Primero movement. Since it was founded, Zenith has celebrated the rise of aeronautics by creating measuring instruments specially designed for pilots. When the Frenchman Louis Blériot (1872-1936), on board his Blériot XI, completed the very first flight across the English Channel in 37 minutes on 25 July 1909, he was wearing a wrist watch made by the brand from Le Locle. This long love story between Zenith and aeroplanes is embodied in the Pilot collection, which has just been joined by the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Chronograph Bronze Blue Dial model, introduced this year at Baselworld. The big case on this new watch has been forged in bronze, a metal with gilded highlights and that takes on a verdigris patina over time. It is also very resistant to wear and tear and to magnetic fields. The case is 45mm wide and features a large fluted crown – a typical feature of pilot’s watches – and two notched monopushers, making them easier to use when wearing gloves. The titanium caseback displays an engraving of the famous plane flown by Louis Blériot over a century ago, as well as the Zenith logo. On the midnight blue matt dial, the time display is perfectly readable at a glance, with its large Arabic figures and the big cathedral-type hands coated in white Super-LumiNova® with green luminescence. The second scale runs discreetly round the outside of the dial. The hour and minute hands are in the centre and the running seconds in a counter at 9 o’clock. The chronograph seconds track the large central second hand and the minutes are counted up in a totaliser at 3 o’clock. The Type 20 Extra Special Chronograph Bronze Blue Dial is driven by a famous self-winding movement, the calibre El Primero 4069, which runs at 36,000 vibrations an hour (5Hz) and provides a power reserve of 50 hours. Price: 7,400 CHF zenith.com
  8. A. Lange & Söhne's Triple Split’s movement, calibre L132.1, consists of 567 parts, each one painstakingly hand-finished and arranged in a mechanism that resembles a dizzyingly complex, multitiered machine Lange's Triple Split sets the pace Up until this January, should you have asked a watch expert what the finest piece of chronograph watchmaking in the world was, it’s likely that their answer would have been the watch known simply as the Double Split. Made by Germany’s finest, A. Lange & Söhne, this is the only watch in the world to be able to give a split-time reading (known as a rattrapante function) for both seconds and minutes. Indeed, the Double Split’s dizzyingly complex movement for achieving this, visible through the back, is as celebrated as the watch itself, and arguably the definitive example of Lange artistry. However, despite the fact that no one has managed to match the double-split achievement since it was launched in 2004, the brand has this year gone one better. The exceptional movements A. Lange & Söhne’s new creation, the Triple Split, does what its name suggests: as well as seconds and minutes split times, it can give you a third split time for the hours, too. Quite what you’d need this for – perhaps for timing two marathon runners of vastly different abilities, meaning one finished an hour behind the other – is beside the point. “Because we could” is the only explanation Lange need offer, since no one else can. Impressively, Lange has managed to add an extra level of complexity to one of the most complex watches ever made, without adding space – the watch is the same size as the Double Split – though it has managed to increase the power reserve from 38 hours to 55. Which, quite frankly, is just showing off. Tim Barber The Kalpa Chronor Parmigiani Fleurier has the Midas touch The devil is definitely in the detail when it comes to watches, but few brands “sweat” that detail as much as Parmigiani Fleurier – as demonstrated in its new Kalpa Chronor. Most tonneau-shaped wristwatches contain conventional, round movements adapted to fit, but the Kalpa Chronor’s has been created from the ground up, specifically to nestle precisely within the contours of the 48mm by 41mm rose-gold case. Even more impressive is the fact that the large majority of the mechanism’s 348 components are hewn from 18ct gold, making the process of cutting, filing, bevelling and machining far more complex. This is because gold is sticky, soft and deforms easily, making it fiendishly difficult to work within the minuscule tolerances required. The intricate case back But that’s only half the story. Brand founder Michel Parmigiani’s background as a restorer of rare antique clocks and watches also comes into play, with his insistence that the solid-gold winding rotor, visible through the case back, must be meticulously hand-decorated, and the multi-layered dial finished with traditional guilloché and “snailing”. The Kalpa Chronor isn’t “all show and no go”, either. Its balance wheel oscillates at 36,000 vibrations per hour, making it one of only two mechanical chronographs (the other is the Zenith El Primero) that is capable of recording elapsed times down to a 10th of a second. Just 50 examples of the watch will be made, each costing £72,500.
  9. To indulge in a feeble joke, making watches based on instruments that were used by belligerents in a major war is always going to be something of a minefield. War is something everyone deplores (well, mostly everyone) and yet not only do we seem to keep getting into them, we also celebrate many aspects of war; it brings out both the very best and the very worst in human nature. Watches and clocks are as essential to the waging of war as they are to making peacetime a well-regulated and profitable enterprise, and participate in the dual character of military conflict. Such instruments, made for war, make it much easier for us to do each other in efficiently, which is rather ghastly, but as is so often the case with precision instruments made to serve a specific, critical purpose, they also, you know, look cool. The Breitling Navitimer Super 8, titanium version with green dial. Which brings us to the Breitling Navitimer Super 8. The raison d'être of this watch is to pay homage to a Breitling timing device made for the purpose of raining down death from above upon one's foes: the ref. 637 stopwatch. This particular reference was made in several different versions, and specifically for bombardiers – as the advert says, "stopwatch for bombardment planes." 1941 advertisement for ref. 637. You'll notice that the advertisement also mentions "with backwards running," and according to Breitling: The Book (from which the illustration comes) these stopwatches could be used for either elapsed interval timing, or as countdown stopwatches. The latter was essential for accurate bombing runs. Precision high altitude bombing was a critical competency for both sides during World War II and enormous effort went into developing bombsights capable of a high degree of accuracy, against both stationary and moving targets. Many bombsights required the bombardier to look up the time it would take for a bomb to fall to earth from a given altitude, input the time into the stopwatch, and when the timer – used in conjunction with a bombsight – ran out, the bombsight's crosshairs would be placed at the correct "range angle" which was used to determine how far away from the target the bombs needed to be dropped. Later in the war, bombsights like America's top-secret, gyro-stabilized Norden would completely computerize the process, making lookup tables and the use of countdown stopwatches unnecessary. The Super 8 is, of course, not a stopwatch (neither countdown nor conventional) but it does duplicate the size, placement of the crown, and bezel of the ref. 637 and you can use the red triangle (also a feature of the original) for elapsed timing purposes. It's a behemoth – the bezel is 50mm, edge to edge, which is pretty close to the distance across my entire wrist. I've always felt that if you're a potential customer for this kind of watch, you know it, and if you're not, well by golly you know that too. This is not a mass-appeal timepiece, nor is it meant to be; complaining that it's impractically large is sort of like being upset with a Mercedes G-Wagon SUV for not being a Prius. Sure, it's lighter on the wrist than you'd expect from its appearance – the case for the green dial version is titanium (there is a black-dialed version as well, with a steel case) – but that's almost irrelevant; this watch is all about duplicating the almost brutalist heft and stolidly purpose-driven design of the original, not providing slip-under-the-cuff, pairs-with-a-suit-or-jeans versatility. Another version of the ref. 637 (this specific model was the inspiration for the Super 8). In terms of fidelity to the original, one quite nice feature of the Super 8 is the seconds hand, which duplicates the anachronistically ornate center hand of one of the original 637 models. The ref. 637 was one of those mechanical devices that inherited a design language that didn't necessarily see ornamentation and precision as mutually exclusive (combining the two is a very old habit in watchmaking – the movement of John Harrison's H4 marine chronometer is awash in foliate extravagance) and I'd actually have loved to see the font of the numerals on the original reproduced as well. However, it's probably insufficiently hairy-chested for modern tastes and the dial design in the Super 8 does connect with the rest of the new Navitimer collection. If you're wondering how it pairs with a jacket and button-down shirt, it doesn't. However, rules were made to be broken – if you're one of the Gianni Agnellis of the world (the late Fiat boss was famous for wearing his watches on the outside of his shirt cuff) maybe you can get away with it. It takes a certain confident disregard for other people's opinions to pull off that degree of transgressiveness, but as Melville wrote, "everyone knows that in most people’s estimation, to do anything coolly is to do it genteelly." Jump into your favorite Charvet shirt and Rubinacci blazer (and maybe a pair of monogrammed velvet slippers for good measure) strap on this Jolly Green Giant, and go paint the town pink – if you can. Full specs are in our Introducing story right here (including info on the chronometer-certified caliber B-20) and you can check out more info on the Super 8 by visiting Breitling online.
  10. The two major watch shows of the year – SIHH and Baselworld – are now both firmly behind us, which means that we know most of the new watches that are going to be making their ways into boutique cases and onto wrists in 2018. We've told you about the watches we'd wear everyday, the watches that haunt our dreams, and even the things that caught us off-guard. We thought it would be worthwhile though to circle back, with this little bit of additional perspective, and to think about what watch we're recommend to someone looking to pick up his or her first fine timepiece. Luckily, this year we're spoiled for choice. Cara Barrett – Tudor Black Bay 32 It's not often that I have the opportunity to suggest an actual ladies' watch for one of these round-ups, but I am thrilled to say that things are different this year. With the rise in dedicated tool watches in smaller sizes, I can honestly say that the Tudor Black Bay 32 is a great starter watch for the slight of wrist and can be yours for $2,750 on a bracelet and $2,425 on one of Tudor's awesome fabric straps. This watch is exactly the same as the Black Bay 36 released two years ago (and last year's BB41) but in a smaller 32mm case size. It offers versatility, an automatic movement, and a price point that doesn't suffer from the pink tax. Jon Bues – Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic In the 12 years or so that I've been writing about watches, the Clifton Baumatic might be the most exciting timepiece to come from Baume & Mercier. Among the Baumatic’s many desirable features are its lengthy power reserve (120 hours), its antimagnetic movement (to 1,500 gauss), its chronometer rating (to within -4/+6 seconds per day), and its extended service cycle, which Baume & Mercier says is greater than five years. All of these are attributes that watch collectors have been conditioned to expect from watches costing much more than the Clifton Baumatic, which sits at $2,990. The movement at the heart of the Clifton Baumatic is the caliber BM12-1975A, a movement whose base was developed by Richemont at the group level for use in a range of the group’s marques. Jack Forster – Seiko Presage SJE073 Limited Edition The Seiko Presage SJE073 is the Presage that Presage fans have been waiting for. The only downside to the Presage models in general is that they’ve been a bit on the thick side, and for the SJE073, Seiko has introduced a new, slimmer movement that brings the case thickness down to just 9.8mm. It’s a little more expensive than usual for Presage, however, you get Grand Seiko level “Zaratsu” case polishing and a gorgeous dial and handset, and it’s a first watch that could be, as a first watch should be, the last watch you’d ever need as well. The only potential gotcha is that it’s a limited edition, but again, as a first time owner, that just makes it more special. James Stacey – Certina DS PH200M While this is one I didn't get to see for myself at Baselworld, if it's good enough for Jason Heaton, you had best believe it's good enough for me. For anyone with a taste for classic dive watch design, the Certina DS PH200M would make an excellent starter watch. 42.8 mm wide in steel with a date at three, 200 meters water resistance, and a vintage-effect acrylic crystal, the DS PH200M rocks the Swatch Group's Powermatic 80 movement (the one with an 80-hour power reserve). Priced at an all-too-reasonable CHF 695, Certina even throws in a NATO for days at the beach and a Pelican-style hard case for storage. As Certina is not sold in America, those stateside should consider calling the old country, making use of any duty-free opportunities, or, you know, trying the internet. Stephen Pulvirent – Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze Bezel It's hard for me to call this a "new" watch, since it's really a variation on something well-know, and generally, well-loved, but I'm doing it anyway. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bronze Bezel is, surprise, exactly what it sounds like: the Divers Sixty-Five dive watch with a bezel made of bronze. The two-tone look is super subtle though, and I actually think it adds a great extra touch to an already outstanding watch. To me, the 36mm version of this watch on a steel bracelet is one of the best buys in all of watchmaking at just a hair over $2,000, and if you want to forgo the bracelet you can get that a hair under $2,000. This is a go-anywhere, do-anything watch that you know you'll be able to be proud of even if your collection grows into the stratosphere.
  11. I' ve seen a lot of watches this week. I've seen the Lange Triple Split, the Van Cleef Lady Planétarium, the Piaget Ultimate Concept Watch, and the Audemars Piguet RD#2. They're all impressive in their own right and technologically advanced in one way or another. But there was one watch from SIHH 2018 that made me go "WHOA!" the moment I saw it (no really, I literally exclaimed "Whoa!" in the the middle of the otherwise genteel meeting), and that honor goes to the Cartier Révélation d'Une Panthère. This watch comes in a 37mm pink gold case with a diamond-set bezel, and there are three different dial colors to choose from (red, green, and black). The red and the green are each limited to 100 pieces, while the black dial is unlimited. The watch is powered by the manually-wound caliber 430, which is great but not the main focus of this watch. This one is all about what's happening on the dial side. When you hold the watch upright, over 900 gold balls tumble across the dial to fill out a Panthére pattern that appears to float above the dial itself. And boy is it magic. It took five years (yes, five years!) to develop this watch, and Cartier holds two patents related to it too – one for the liquid used to suspend the tiny balls and the other for the type of glass used to encase the liquid and beads. The liquid had to be exactly the right viscosity and also temperature resistant so it wouldn't freeze when you step outside during a frigid New York City winter day (and we've had a lot of those lately). Additionally, the liquid couldn't damage the gold, as they're in constant contact and this watch has to last the long haul. The Cartier Révélation d'Une Panthère retails for $106,000 and is just an insane watch. Even if you're not going to add one to your collection, you should definitely try to at least get a look for yourself in the metal.
  12. Before the doors had even opened on the first day of Baselworld 2018, we got word that Patek Philippe would be adding a new model to the existing collection of ref. 5270 perpetual calendar chronographs: a 5270P with a salmon dial. Ben told you all about the watch as soon as we had the details and even gave some context for the particular dial tint. But at the time, we hadn't yet seen the watch in the metal, so with that in mind and with a few weeks of perspective, I thought I'd share some additional thoughts on one of the most-talked-about watches of this year's show. As far as the basics are concerned, this is still the 5270 we're talking about. The watch is 41mm across and 12.4mm thick, and for this model the case is rendered in brightly polished platinum. Everything about the case feels very traditional (except maybe the size) and the lugs have a distinctive faceted motif that I quite like. The watch comes on a brown alligator strap with a platinum Patek-branded folding buckle. So far, nothing too shocking. The movement is also probably familiar to you by now. It's the caliber CH 29-535 PS Q, which combines a chronograph with a perpetual calendar featuring a day/night indicator, leap year indicator, and moonphase display. The finish is excellent and very traditional in nature. It might not be quite as immediately eye-catching as what you'd see on a Datograph, but it's elegant and impeccable. One of my favorite things about this movement (the first such caliber that's truly in-house from Patek) is the use of two windows to show day/night and the leap year, instead of extra hands nested inside the chronograph registers. Sure, that solution makes for a slightly cleaner dial but it impedes legibility in a way I find off-putting. This is the first time the 5270 is being made in platinum, but it's really the dial that is the star here. It's a slightly metallic salmon color, and there are old-school Arabic numerals from 10 to 2, and applied markers at the other hours. All of the hour markers are a soft black color, with the hands matching too. This last bit is one of my favorite touches on this watch. It makes the whole package feel extremely contemporary, despite the vintage inspiration and precedent. You'll also notice that there is no "chin" down at the bottom of the dial, with the tachymeter track bending around the date numerals. Instead, the numerals just cut into the track as they did on the ref. 5970. Ben noted in his original story that the 5270 has been made with a salmon dial before, but this was the white gold model (the 5270G) and it was made in very limited quantities in 2015, to celebrate Patek's Grand Exhibition in London – you can see it in Talking Watches With Ahmed Rahman. Also, that dial featured stick markers and white gold hands instead of the black Arabic numerals and black hands seen here. As an aside, there is another new 5270, the 5270/1R, which is rose gold with a black dial and matching rose gold bracelet. It appears that these are the only two models still being produced, with the others now discontinued (white gold, and a non-bracelet rose gold option with a light dial). On the wrist, I've got to admit that the 5270 wears extremely well for its size. This is a big watch for Patek Philippe, no doubt, but those curved lugs are spot on, and the way the case sits on the wrist is thoughtfully considered. I always expect the 5270 to feel clunky when I see it off the wrist, but then the moment the strap is closed I remember why so many people love this watch. It's still too big for me as a daily wearer, but that's just a question of personal taste. The contrast between the platinum case and the salmon dial is even stronger once you put the watch on though, and I'm really into it. Now, to be totally honest, I'm not typically a big fan of the 5270. There, I said it. To me, it just doesn't hold a candle to the Patek perpetual calendar chronographs of yesteryear. And I'm not on some weird nostalgia kick here, either. I just don't think the design is as tight, the increased size seems undisciplined, and the details can read as unwieldy. Thank goodness the "chin" is gone on this model or I wouldn't even be writing this story. All of that said, this is my favorite version of the 5270 by a long shot. The dial color is spot on and the choice of black Arabic numerals and black hands takes things to the next level. While I'll always wish this watch was a little more like the ref. 3970, overall Patek Philippe has done a great job making an existing watch feel new and special again. The Patek Philippe ref. 5270P with a salmon dial is not a limited edition, though we do expect it to be tough to get. It is priced at $187,110 and will be available later this year. For more, visit Patek Philippe online.
  13. Vacheron Constantin has been flexing much of its creative muscle in its Overseas collection lately, and we've seen not only a revamp of the entire Overseas design in general, but also the introduction of client-friendly elements such as the quick-change bracelet/strap system that rolled out at SIHH 2016, as well as the introduction of a new series of movements (the 5xxx series). The Overseas Chronograph has been available in several solid-color versions (white, blue, and brown) and there is also a rather fetching stainless steel model with a pink gold bezel that has a very pleasant, 222 throwback vibe, if you like that sort of thing. However, the monotone dial treatments do make the Overseas Chronograph fall slightly on the elegant side of the sport-elegant divide, and this new version is noticeably racier. The Overseas Chronograph stands out from the rest of the collection, thanks to its size; it's a large watch, at 42.5mm x 13.7mm, with screw-down chronograph pushers. This reverse panda version also stands out from the other Overseas watches, but it stands out from the other Overseas chronographs as well – with this dial treatment, it becomes a far more different watch than you'd expect from a relatively straightforward cosmetic change, and seems very assertive in its identity as both a sophisticated design object, and a piece of modern technical watchmaking. As with pretty much everything we get from Vacheron, execution is impeccable. There's a particular kind of quality Vacheron watches have – or, I should say, more precisely, that the kind of quality they have says something about the firm. With companies that produce high grade watches, once you get past the "wow, that's good" phase, you start to notice how the quality of the watch expresses a kind of company philosophy; with Lange, for instance, you get a sense of absolute correctness to form and enormous, pervasive dignity; with Rolex, you get a sense of fanatically ubiquitous precision that can seem almost intimidating. Vacheron's stock-in-trade when it comes to quality is a slightly less immediately apparent approach; at its best, the company seems to be after a certain kind of understatement, rather than a knock-your-socks-off immediacy. The degree of attention to detail you want from an haute horlogerie product is there, of course (and in spades) but it's very characteristically Genevan – an expression of sincerity in craft, rather than a desire to draw attention per se. The Overseas collection as it currently stands, is built around three calibers. These are the ultra-thin caliber 1120 (which is used in the Ultra-Thin Perpetual, as well as the Overseas Ultra-Thin) the selfwinding caliber 2460 (which is based on the 2007 caliber 2450, which, at the time it was introduced in 2007, was Vacheron's second in-house automatic movement, after the 2005 caliber 2457) and finally, the caliber 5000 series of movements, which launched along with the new Overseas collection in 2016. The caliber 5000 series includes a time-and-date variant, a dual time variant, and of course, the self-winding chronograph caliber 5200, which was rolled out in 2016 along with the rest of the revamped Overseas watches. Generally speaking, modern self-winding chronograph movements don't give an impression of fineness, which is scarcely surprising when you consider that by and large, they are built for durability and dependability first, as they're going to go into watches that are expected to be able to take a little rough-and-tumble wrist time. Practically speaking as well, it's pretty difficult to slim down an automatic chronograph. They're generally built on three levels: there's the mainplate, which carries the basic timekeeping train; above that, there are the chronograph works; above that, there's the automatic winding system. This is probably a major part of the reason that, while there is something of an arms race going on in extra-flat watchmaking, extra-flat chronograph design has been essentially static for many years. F. Piguet (now Manufacture Blancpain) came out with the caliber 1185 and its automatic counterpart, the 1186, in 1987 and at 25.6mm x 5.5mm, the 1186 has been the thinnest full-rotor chronograph movement ever since. (Vacheron at one time used their version of the 1186 in the Overseas line, as the Vacheron caliber 1137, but has discontinued its use). Vacheron's caliber 5200 is a column wheel, vertical clutch design, 30.60mm x 6.60mm (for comparison, the battle-tested, scarred-but-unbroken stalwart known as the Valjoux/ETA 7750 is 30mm x 7.9mm). As is inevitably the case with automatic movements in general, and automatic chronograph movements in particular, there is a little bit less scope for the expression of the movement finisher's art than you would find in a hand-wound movement, but there are, nonetheless, in the caliber 5200, a number of delightful details. One of these, of course, is the presence of the famous Poinçon de Geneva, or Geneva Hallmark, which in one form or another has been an important standard of quality for watches made in the City and Canton of Geneva, ever since the first enabling statute, which authorized inspection for compliance by the Geneva Watchmaking School, in 1886. The stipulations for the Hallmark have undergone a number of changes over the years (for one thing, inspection is now under the authority of a different entity, known as Timelab) but thanks to its longevity, it still carries a lot of emotional weight and historical resonance, and it's lovely to see some of the very traditional features of Genevan watchmaking in this movement, like the beautifully formed and finished balance spring stud carrier. One of the most charming details is the column wheel, with the central Maltese cross inside the pillars. On closer examination you can see that all edges of the tops of the pillars, as well as the edges of the Maltese Cross, have been beveled and polished; totally unnecessary from a functional perspective, and, because of that, all the more pleasant to see. One feature of the Overseas Chronograph is that, like some other Overseas models, there is some degree of antimagnetic shielding, in the form of a soft iron ring; the antimagnetic rating is a very respectable 25,000 A/m (amperes per meter). While the level of protection is not what you'd get with a soft iron dial and full enclosure, the latter are not necessary to achieve a lesser level of still-useful shielding – soft iron (also known as mu metal) is a nickel-iron alloy that works by providing a preferred pathway for magnetic field lines, so the movement ring will tend to direct a magnetic field away from susceptible movement parts. (The international standard for antimagnetic watches, ISO 764, specifies a minimum of 4,800 A/m). A lot of how you respond to the Overseas depends, I think, on how comfortable you are with the use of the Maltese cross as a design motif; you see it reflected in the bezel, and the movement, and of course in the bracelet. I've always found it acceptable; I think it works in the bracelet very well as an abstract design element and in any case, I don't think it particularly reads as a Maltese cross. The Overseas Chronograph has the same quick-change strap/bracelet system as we've seen in the rest of the 2016 refresh to the line. The bracelet is very well made, but it's nice to have the option to easily switch it for the very comfortable rubber strap as well, which you can do in seconds, and without any special tools. The only downside to the system is that you're pretty much restricted to OEM straps, and the bracelet – however, given the fact that this is a watch where aesthetic continuity between the watch itself, and the bracelet or strap, is so much a part of the design, I don't see that as a great handicap. Lume on the hands and dials of Vacheron Constantin watches is a bit unusual – you find it in the Quai de L'Ile, Fifty Six, and Overseas collections only – but of course, it's perfectly logical in a sports chronograph, and, with the Overseas Chronograph, you get to have the somewhat rare experience of seeing a Vacheron Constantin watch with glow-in-the-dark dial markers and hands. There are a plethora of automatic chronograph watches (thank you, Valjoux 7750) but there are not terribly many automatic chronographs from haute horlogerie end of the spectrum. Over at Patek Philippe, we have the ref. 5968A Aquanaut Chronograph, at $43,770; Audemars Piguet has the Royal Oak Chronograph at $24,300 in steel, which uses the AP caliber 2385 (F. Piguet 1185 base) and A. Lange & Söhne maintains an Augustan aloofness from the whole automatic chronograph genre altogether. There are a few automatic chronographs from other higher end firms, including Bregeut, Blancpain, and Jaeger LeCoultre, but in terms of in-house, self-winding chronographs with haut de gamme finish, it's not a crowded field. The Overseas Chronograph is a great looking watch and on the wrist it has real visual punch. The only potential downside is the size – but I should qualify that by saying that it gives the impression of being bigger than it should be, not in absolute terms, but rather, in the context of Vacheron in particular. At 42.5mm x 13.70mm, it's not excessively large at all by comparison with most self-winding sports chronographs; I just have a sense with Vacheron that overall (high complications and grand comps aside) that their watches seem more Vacheron when they're more thin than not. However once you wear the Overseas Chronograph for a while, you sort of forget about that and just enjoy the watch for what it is – a very refined, but still visually dynamic, example of the art of the automatic chronograph. In steel, the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph is $30,300, with Vacheron's in-house caliber 5200; in case you're wondering, with a gold bezel and steel case the price is the same; in full gold, on a strap, we go up to $46,600. Take a gander at the entire Overseas Collection at Vacheron-Constantin.com.
  14. The Longines Master Collection launched in 2005, and it's essentially the modern counterpart to the company's very successful Heritage Collection: a wide range of traditionally styled (but not vintage inspired, except incidentally) watches with a variety of complications. Complications in the Master Collection thus far have included automatic chronographs, power reserve displays, complete calendar chronographs with moonphase, and even a watch with a double retrograde date and second time zone display, with retrograde small seconds, day/night display, and moonphase, believe it or not. The new annual calendar is a first for Longines, and it's also an extremely affordable foray from the company into the world of more sophisticated calendar complications. Initial Thoughts This was quite a surprise; an annual calendar from Longines represents a new level of technical sophistication for the brand, and at $2425, it's the most affordable annual calendar on the market by a very respectable margin. At launch, there will be several different variations available. Three will have a stamped "barleycorn" pattern dial – one is black with Roman numerals and the other two are white, with either Arabic numerals or diamond indexes. The fourth will be a model with a sunray blue dial. Hands are either blued steel, or rhodium plated. We were immediately impressed by the simplicity and clarity of the design. The annual calendar display is straightforward: the month, and the day of the week are shown in two windows at 3:00, with no attempt made to do anything more than provide information in a clear and straightforward fashion. You could if you wanted, take exception to the rather diffident legend "Annual Calendar" at the bottom of the dial, but the watch (and its price) are such a big accomplishment for Longines, I really don't have it in me to complain. The movement is Longines caliber L897.2, which is based on the ETA A31.L81 (this in turn is a variation on the venerable 2892-A2). The L897.2 runs at a rather unusual frequency: 25,200 vph, or 3.5 Hz. The annual calendar complication of course sits between a standard calendar and the perpetual calendar, and will correctly display the first of the month, after last day of any month with either 30 or 31 days. Manual correction is necessary only once per year, at the end of February. The annual calendar in wristwatches is a surprisingly recent development; they did not appear until Patek introduced the reference 5035, in 1996 and needless to say, that was not what you'd call a democratically priced wristwatch (and ironically, it actually had a higher parts count than Patek's contemporary perpetual calendar movements). The current version of the 5035 is the reference 5146G, which is a $41,390 wristwatch. While the movement of the Longines Annual Calendar isn't adorned with fine hand finishing (and of course, it's vastly different from the Patek in many other respects as well) one should not expect that in a complicated, sub $3K watch in any case and c'mon, it's a freakin' $2,425 annual calendar. At this price, and with its emphasis on classic design cues and proportions, this ought to be a big commercial hit for Longines and as well, it injects an extra shot in the arm of horological street cred into the Master Collection, which has been a bit eclipsed lately by Longines' very successful Heritage lineup. A great way to get into a technically and historically meaningful complication without breaking the bank. The Basics Brand: Longines Model: Master Collection Annual Calendar Diameter: 40mm Case Material: Stainless steel Dial Color: Black or white stamped barleycorn pattern or sunray blue Lume: None Water Resistance: 30 meters Strap/Bracelet: Black, brown, or blue alligator; also available with stainless steel bracelet The Movement Caliber: L897.2 Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, month, date (annual calendar) Diameter: 11 1/2''' Power Reserve: 64 hours Winding: Automatic with manual winding Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph) Jewels: 21 Pricing & Availability Price: $2,425 Availability: Fall 2018
  15. Rado True Thinline Nature The biggest news to come out of Baselworld 2018 is… green. Yes, a colour. It speaks volumes about an industry still treading carefully around major technical developments, breaking ranks or launching anything drastically different, product-wise. And so moss, olive, khaki, leaf, emerald, lime et al. played a major part. Green, diving watches and the retrograde complication. That’s Baselworld in a nutshell; and here are my top five highlights for women. Rado True Thinline Nature Rado’s True Thinline collection is one of the most elegant, affordable watches out there. With a quartz movement that’s only 1mm thick, its fairly large 39mm case is only 4.9mm – a mere whisper on the wrist. Rado True Thinline Nature in green mother-of-pearl with green ceramic case and strap, £1,585 A trio of new models form a capsule collection entitled True Thinline Nature: the brown dial is Earth, the blue is Water and the green is Nature. Ignore the names and opt (of course) for the latter, in a particularly beautiful green-coloured mother-of-pearl – both darkly rich and softly iridescent, all encased in Rado’s signature high-tech ceramic. Patek Philippe Aquanaut Patek Philippe doesn’t take any notice of colour trends, but that’s not to say the brand doesn’t have a finely tuned eye on the palette of its watches. One only has to remember the 2017 Ladies World Time ref 7130 (a dusky denim blue) to realise Patek’s ability to nail a colour you didn’t even know you loved. Patek Phillipe Ladies Aquanaut watch in stainless steel, with blue-grey embossed dial, diamond-set bezel and gold applied numerals, £12,420 This year the brand has ‘blued’ its ladies’ Aquanaut (brown, black and white versions already exist), thereby creating the ultimate summer timepiece. With a rubber strap and a bezel dotted with 46 diamonds, it’s perfect from pool to party and back again. Tudor Black Bay 32 There is often a lot of eye-rolling around the idea that a man’s watch can be shrunk for a woman. Let the eye-rolling stop because sometimes it’s the best scenario, and not just by way of compromise; more often than not, traditional men’s watch brands don’t know how to design for women, so why should they hog all the design brilliance? Tudor Black Bay 32, £1,740 CREDIT: MARIAN GERARD Well rejoice, because now the iconic Tudor Black Bay comes in a wearable 32mm case size, with nothing lost from its big brothers (41mm and 36mm) in the shrinkage. The hand-wound mechanical movement, luminescent hour markers and flat lacquered dial all remain. Opt for the new blue dial, deliciously midnight in hue on a fabric strap and you have a great, hard-working timepiece. Bulgari Lucea skeleton Bulgari is on fire – horologically, of course. With a slew of novelties and smashed records it’s hard to pick a stand-out, so I will settle for the Lucea Skeleton. Bulgari Lucea Skeleton, £6,150 Bulgari describes it as “the only skeletonised watch on the market made expressly for women”, which I find hard to believe. The other claim - that it’s the only watch to make its logo integral to the design of the skeletonisation - is totally believable and equally brilliant. Look beyond the ‘BVLGARI’ emblazoned across the dial and admire the in-house automatic movement beneath. Harry Winston Ultimate Marble Marquetry If you’ve ever stepped inside a Harry Winston store, chances are you’ve been mesmerised by the showcases rather than looked down at the geometric black and white marble floor. Now this very design, specifically the starburst tile arrangement in the flagship NY store, has inspired a high jewellery watch that’s a total sensation. Sketch of the Ultimate Marble Marquetry by Harry Winston, in platinum with sapphires and diamonds Fifty-two pear-cut Ceylon sapphires radiate from the dial and stretch around the wrist, amounting to over 23 carats. A smaller, repeatable version also exists: a perfect Art Deco expression of cocktail watch loveliness. Thankfully, some brands eschew any thoughts of trends, and sensibly look inwards for their inspiration.
  16. Longines has released a host of historically inspired pieces from its Heritage Collection over the past few years (I’m wearing the Avigation Type A-7 1935 for an upcoming wrist review as I type this), but the most recent, unveiled to the press at Baselworld 2018, has a decidedly modern twist: a black-PVD-coated version of the Swiss brand’s popular Legend Diver watch. The Longines Legend Diver in black PVD (Ref. L3.774.2.50.9) Like its steel-cased predecessors, the first of which launched in 2007, the new Longines Legend Diver is a contemporary version of a dive watch that Longines first produced in 1960. In this execution, however, the watch’s 42-mm stainless steel case, which faithfully reproduces the sporty silhouette of the original, is coated with a black PVD coating for a sleek, modern look. The watch’s rubber strap replicates the steel bracelet on its predecessor. Also aping the 1960s model, this watch has two crowns — one for winding the watch, the other for operating the internal rotating divers’ bezel, a feature that evokes the technical limitations of the original’s era. Both the crowns and the caseback are screwed, helping to ensure a professional-grade water resistance level of 300 meters. The inner rotating bezel, which serves as the flange of the watch, can also be locked in place by its dedicated crown, ensuring that a diver wearing it knows exactly how long he has been underwater. The black lacquered dial is punctuated by indices, numerals, and hands coated with Super-LumiNova; the 12, 6, and 9 Arabic numerals are executed in clean, extra-legible typography, while a date window marks the 3 o’clock position. The polished, rhodium-plated hands are also treated with the luminous substance. A live shot of the Longines Legend Diver taken at Baselworld 2018 There is a substantial upgrade from the previous Legend Divers inside the watch, under a solid caseback with an engraving of a diver: Longines’s automatic Caliber L888.2 (a modified ETA A31.L01), with a 64-hour power reserve, replaces the L633 Caliber, whose power reserve was 38 hours. This Longines-exclusive movement also features 21 jewels and a balance frequency of 25,200 vph. The black rubber strap is also intriguing, as it replicates the look and texture of the steel Milanese mesh bracelet introduced on the most recent Legend Diver models. It has a double security folding clasp made of titanium, with an integrated divers’ extension. The Longines Legend Diver will retail for $2,700.
  17. If recent Baselworlds have taught us anything, it’s that anniversaries have become a fertile ground from which many watch brands’ headliner products spring. And the iconic Omega Seamaster can claim two of them in 2018: 70 years since the release of the original Seamaster in 1948, and 25 years since the launch of the Seamaster Professional Diver 300M model in 1993. In honor of this august dual milestone, Omega is offering three commemorative limited editions — two retro-look models of the postwar Seamaster gents’ watch, and one Diver 300M in tantalum, the material it introduced to the watch world back in ’93 — in addition to revamping the core Seamaster collection. Omega Seamaster 1948 Limited Editions To start from, literally, the beginning: the Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds and Seamaster 1948 Central Second — both limited to 1,948 pieces in honor of their inaugural year — are about as close as one could come in this modern era to the design of the original Seamaster. Released to the market in the wake of World War II, the Seamaster made its mark in watch history by incorporating the water-resistant technology Omega used in the military watches it provided during the war years for the British Royal Air Force and others — including the innovative rubber O-ring gasket — into an everyday dress watch. (It wasn’t until 1957 — with the launch of the Seamaster 300, an anniversary commemorated last year — that the Seamaster transitioned fully into a sports watch.) The contemporary models are in modest, period-appropriate 38-mm stainless steel cases, fronted by opaline silvery domed dials with hands, applied numerals and indices, and a vintage-style Omega logo (aka the Greek letter Omega) in 18k white gold. Omega Seamaster 1948 Central Seconds The watches differ from each other somewhat subtly in their details. Obviously, one has a center-mounted hand for the running seconds while the other has this function on a subdial at 6 o’clock. Looking more closely, one will note that the hands on the Central Second model are Dauphine-style, with a slight dome to both the minute hand and seconds hand, while the hands on the Small Seconds are leaf-shaped, with only the minute hand domed. The Small Seconds watch comes on a brown leather strap, while the Central Seconds is on a blue-gray leather strap; both close with a steel buckle shaped like a vintage Omega logo. Omega Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds The movement in these historically derived pieces, of course, is thoroughly modern: Omega’s Co-Axial Master Chronometer Caliber 8804 (Small Seconds)/8806 (Central Second), of which we have written at length previously (notably here and here). In short, it’s self-winding, magnetic-resistant to 15,000 Gauss, high-frequency (25,200 vph), decorated to exacting haute horlogerie standards, and possessed of a hefty 60-hour power reserve. It is also visible through a flat, sapphire caseback that is itself somewhat special, laser-engraved and hand-lacquered with a 70th Anniversary logo and the images of a Chris-Craft boat and Gloster Meteor plane, visual tributes to the RAF and its historic usage of Omega’s earliest water-resistant watches. The steel frame around the sapphire window is engraved with “NAIAD LOCK,” ‘SEAMASTER LIMITED EDITION” and the limited edition number. Both 1948 Editions come in a special collectors’ box, which also includes a spare NATO strap in Admiralty gray, a spare leather strap, and a strap-changing tool. Omega’s Master Co-Axial Caliber 8804 is on display through the decorated caseback. The Seamaster 1948 Small Seconds will be priced at $6,700, the Central Second at $6,150. Here’s a few shots of the 1948 Small Seconds from Baselworld. Fast-forward to 1993, and the debut of the Seamaster Professional Diver 300M, a watch that “signaled Omega’s return to the world of diving watches,” according to the brand, as well as becoming the model that sparked its ongoing partnership with cinematic superspy James Bond. That first Seamaster Diver 300M introduced a robust, blue-gray, corrosion-resistant metal called tantalum to the world of watches — interestingly, a material still used only sparingly throughout the horological world by a relative handful of brands due to its density and high melting point. Headlining the 14 new Seamaster Diver 300M models that Omega introduced this week at Baselworld is a limited-edition that blends tantalum with both titanium and Omega’s proprietary Sedna gold. The Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M Titanium Tantalum is limited to 2,500 pieces. The watch bears all the hallmarks of the Seamaster Diver’s 25th-anniversary “facelift” that debuted at Baselworld this week: a larger case size of 42 mm; polished ceramic dial with a new laser-engraved execution of the wave motif that debuted on the original model; the same wave motif on the edge of the caseback and sapphire crystal of the exhibition caseback; a new, patented conical helium-release valve; and an integrated bracelet. (Stay tuned to WatchTime.com for a full report on the revamped Seamaster Diver 300M collection.) But whereas the models in the main collection use ceramics for their rotating divers’s-scale bezels, the Seamaster Diver 300M Titanium Tantalum Limited Edition uses a tantalum base holding a Sedna gold bezel ring (for more on that proprietary alloy, click here). Grade 2 titanium serves as the metal for the main case and bracelet, with tantalum, its unique blue-gray tones providing a subtle contrast, making another appearance as the bracelet’s middle links. Other touches of Sedna gold round out the picture, drawing pleasant attention to the crown, helium release valve, and borders of the middle bracelet links, as well as the framework of the luminescent-coated hour and minute hands and hour indices. Omega’s proprietary Sedna gold joins titanium and tantalum on the watch’s case and dial. On the reverse side of the 300-meter water-resistant case you’ll find another sapphire caseback, with another special image, namely the iconic Seahorse medallion that has long been a symbol of Seamaster watches. Through this embellished pane, you can see another Co-Axial Master Chronometer movement — actually, Caliber 8806, the same one used in the 1948 Central Seconds model described above; the rest of the models in the newly released, revamped Seamaster Diver series, which are in either all-steel or two-tone steel-and-gold cases, use the base Caliber 8800, which includes a date window at 6 o’clock. The Omega Seamaster Professional Diver 300M is limited to 2,500 pieces (that would be 1,000 per each year of the model’s existence). Like all contemporary Omega watches, it comes with the four-year warranty. The dial’s wave pattern appeared on the very first Seamaster Diver 300M model. The Omega Seamaster Diver 300M Titanium Tantalum Limited Edition will retail for $13,000. Below are a few close-up shots from Baselworld.
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  19. Sporting RL67 Camouflage Chronomètre

    Camouflage may originally have been used primarily in the military but it’s now essential to any style soldier’s wardrobe. Designers such as Yves Saint Laurent (Saharienne in 1967) and Ralph Lauren (Safari collection in 1984) have paid tribute to the neutral khaki, olive, sand, camel or grey hues. The prince of preppy fashion has brought back these natural colours in a watch. The result is a dark varnished camouflage dial bearing Arabic numerals and a minute track coated in beige Super-LumiNova®. Two spear-shaped beige hands glide above the time alongside a varnished orange baton-shaped central seconds hand. The time functions are brought to life by a self-winding COSC-certified chronometer housed in the vintage black 45mm case. The movement provides a 42-hour power reserve. Price: 3’540 CHF

    MECHANISM AND PRECIOUS WOOD UNVEILED IN MID-FEBRUARY, THE NEW AUTOMOTIVE SKELETON BY RALPH LAUREN REVEALS A MANUAL-WINDING OPEN-WORK MECHANISM ENCIRCLED BY AN AMBOYNA BURL WOOD BEZEL. This year, Ralph Lauren Watch and Jewelry, part of the empire of the same name, is celebrating its tenth anniversary. It was set up in 2008, in partnership with the Richemont group, a collaboration that gave rise, among others, to the first Automotive Skeleton model in 2015. As its name suggest, the new version of the Automotive Skeleton, launched in mid-February, is strongly influenced by car design – the designer Ralph Lauren is himself a big collector of cars and owns over 70 of them – and especially vintage sports cars. But here, there’s no hood – and no dial either! The open-work calibre RL1967, based on an F.A. Jones design customised by Val Fleurier, unveils its workings and a delicately brushed silver plate. This manual-wound movement runs at a gentle frequency of 18,000 vibrations an hour (or 2.5Hz), providing the watch with an autonomy of 45 hours. The calibre drives the hours and minutes in the centre, where two blackened sword-type hands stand out, while the seconds have been offset at 6 o’clock in a blued sub-dial with hour markers and Arabic numerals. The RL logo can be seen at 12 o’clock on a disc also featuring circular grooves. But what first attracts the eye is the bezel crowning the 44.8mm steel case. It is made of amboyna burl, a rare wood to be found on Ambon Island in the Maluku archipelago in Indonesia, and which is sometimes used for steering wheels and dashboards on luxury cars. The bezel is fixed to the case with six round-headed screws. The Automotive Skeleton is worn with a three-link steel or havana-coloured alligator leather strap matching the chocolate tone of the bezel. Price: 31,000 CHF
  21. The HydroConquest is Longines's contemporary dive watch offering, and while it's nothing revolutionary, it is solidly built and affordable. Prices start at around $1,275, and for that you get a 300-meter water resistant case, a sapphire crystal with multiple layers of antireflective coating, the obligatory ISO 6425 compliant unidirectional rotating bezel, and a very nice double folding clasp bracelet with diver's extension. There's been a general update to HydroConquest this year (accompanied by a slight price bump). This fresh-from-Baselworld limited edition is the U.S. market only version of the refresh. Initial Thoughts The HydroConquest watches were introduced by Longines all the way back in 2007, as part of a larger rollout of the Sport Collection, which at the time consisted of four families. We had the Conquest and HydroConquest, which are both still with us, and there were also two other families: Grand Vitesse, and Admiral, both of which are no longer in Longines's catalog. (My impression back then was that the company was evaluating the market for contemporary-styled Longines sports watches. You might say they were, you know...testing the waters.) The big news for this year's update is the addition of a ceramic bezel, as well as the introduction of new dial colors and new NATO-style rubber straps. The USA-centric elements are fairly restrained – the numeral 50 on the ceramic bezel is in Super-LumiNova (in honor of the 50 states) and there's a small "USA" between the four and five o'clock hour markers. There's also an "Exclusive Edition USA" engraving on the caseback. All watches come with the standard HydroConquest stainless steel bracelet, and the aforementioned NATO straps (in blue, grey, or black). The movement is the Longines caliber L888.2, which is a re-tuned version of the ETA 2892 – the ETA A31.L01. While the stock 2892 is a 28,800 vph caliber with a 42 hour power reserve, caliber A31.L01 runs at a slightly slower rate of 25,200 vph and has a longer power reserve of 65 hours. Prices start at $1,800 for the blue bezel and dial model, and $2,100 for the grey or black PVD models. The Basics Brand: Longines Model: HydroConquest Diameter: 41mm Case Material: Stainless steel/steel with grey or black PVD Dial Color: Sunburst black, grey, or blue Indexes: Arabic numerals and dot hour markers Lume: Copious amounts of Super-LumiNova Water Resistance: 300m Strap/Bracelet: Steel bracelet with double folding clasp and integrated diver's extension; black, grey and blue rubber NATO straps The Movement Caliber: Longines L888.2 (ETA A31.L01, base 2892) Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date Diameter: 25.94mm (11.5 lignes) Power Reserve: 64 hours Winding: Automatic and manual Frequency: 3.5 Hz (25,200 vph) Jewels: 21 Pricing & Availability Price: $1,800 to $2,100 Availability: Summer 2018 Limited Edition: 1000 pieces

    “Form” watches have an instant impact – and you either fall in love at once or you move on to a “democratic” timepiece. Whatever the case, they produce an instantaneous reaction. The L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru stands out in the Chopard collections through its shape, midway between the round and the rectangular. It owes its existence to one man, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the brand’s co-president. A lover of good wines, he designed the watch like a grand cru, “bottled” in a barrel-shaped case. The movement is certified as a chronometer by the COSC, and the Geneva Seal makes it even more precious. While the pink-gold model from 2017 made a big impression, the version presented at Baselworld in March is truly breathtaking. The contrast between the deep black and the immaculate white, between the brilliance of the lacquer and the dazzling diamonds, is truly striking. It will be love at first sight! The black-lacquered dial hosts an hour rim made up of white Roman numerals with their bases set on a chemin de fer minute scale. In the centre, two silvered dauphine-style “fusée” (rocket-shaped) hands display the hours and minutes. The seconds are offset in a blue sub-dial at 6 o’clock, just above the the date counter. The curves of the white-gold case, measuring 38.5×38.8mm, are highlighted by a bezel set with 40 baguette diamonds with a total of 3.05 carats. While the angular shape of the gem has often been reserved for men’s wrists, the dimensions of the L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru mean it can be worn by both men and women. The sapphire caseback on this bejewelled display reveals an automatic movement, the calibre L.U.C 97.01-L, running at 28,800 vibrations an hour and equipped with the Twin (double barrel) technology, providing a power reserve of 65 hours. Price: 41,500 CHF chopard.com

    True sagas never die but expand over time. This is perhaps the case for the Black Bay range, which is both a commercial success and an easily identifiable collection. To the already existing watches has been added the Black Bay Fifty-Eight model presented by Tudor at BaselWorld 2018. Slimmer and smaller than its predecessors, this watch is inspired by the reference 7924, also known as the “Big Crown”, the first diver’s watch that was watertight down to 200m. Launched by Tudor in 1958, it was produced in small numbers, so that today it is highly sought after by collectors (prices range from $40,000 to $60,000). From this famous diver’s watch, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight has taken a few aesthetic features – the geometric shapes of the indices on the black curved dial, the red triangular and luminescent mark on the revolving steel bezel, with an aluminium ring made of anodised matt aluminium, and the gilded touches here and there, especially on the minute scale around the edge of the dial. The “snowflake” hour, minute and second hands are a variation on the square-shaped hands that were first introduced in 1969. The steel case of this Tudor measures 39mm and is watertight down to 200m (of course!). It houses a new automatic movement, the calibre MT5402, specially designed for medium-sized watches. The mechanism is equipped with a silicon spiral and is certified as a chronometer by the COSC – a guarantee of precision, reliability and robustness – and provides a power reserve of 70 hours. Price: 3,100 CHF (with leather or fabric) – 3,400 CHF (steel)
  24. Now a third year into the Sixties series of watches — one that started with a limited production of five colourways of the watch seen here in 2016, and a similar set of colours in a square chronograph for 2017 — Glashütte Original have opted to cut choice out of the equation for Baselworld 2018. A beautifully textured green dial, stamped using vintage dies from the brand’s archives, will be available from boutiques and retailers for a one-year period (rather than being limited to a specific volume of watches). We’ve been seeing green making the rounds of luxury watch brands for a good couple of years now, but with the combination of colour choice, unique texture, and the generally funky ’60s-era vibe to this piece, I can’t help but lock it in as my favourite green dial to date. Now I know a lot of you will want to have my head for not picking the new green-dialled H. Moser Pioneer, but rest assured, it’s a mighty tight race between the two. Vital statistics Depending on the variant, as the new Sixties model is available as either a no-date or Panorama Date configuration, buyers have the option of either a svelte 39mm case or a slightly more contemporary 42. This way, neither those with larger wrists, nor those who cannot stand dress watches that crack the 40mm threshold, are left out in the cold. Both models are powered by in-house manufacture calibers from Glashütte Original, and (of course) the new dials are produced in-house at the brand’s dial-making facility in Pforzheim. GO have been using the same dial manufacturer dating back to the Spezimatic days for some pieces, and in 2006 the Swatch Group (GO’s parent company) acquired the dial manufacture and has been building on its successes ever since. If you look at it closely, you’ll notice the hour indices other than 3, 6, 9, and 12 are actually cut into the dial rather than being printed or applied. On the wrist Personally, I have to side with the 39mm no-date version on the wrist, as I find the case proportions just sing “perfect dress watch”. This version measures 9.4mm thick, though given the arc of its domed crystal and curvature of its case it tends to feel a touch more compact on the wrist. A supple black calfskin strap completes the package on both models. Who’s it for? On one hand, the vintage-obsessed, the Mad Men watchers, and generally those with an appreciation for all things funky will have no problem getting down with Glashütte on this one. Further to this, any self-respecting watch lover who appreciates a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail will be equally impressed. Any surprises? The fact that the piece isn’t limited to a set production volume is a bit of a surprise, as well as the fact that only a single colour was released for 2018. Thankfully, it’s a good one, and entirely “on-trend”. Glashütte Original Vintage Sixties Australian pricing Glashütte Original Vintage Sixties Automatic, $9650, Sixties Panorama Date, $11,900.
  25. In 2018, Favre-Leuba celebrates its 281st anniversary, a remarkable milestone in the illustrious history of Switzerland’s second-oldest watch brand. With a successful history marked by uncompromising courage, a pioneering spirit, the enduring refusal to accept boundaries, and the drive to grasp opportunities and achieve the extraordinary – the brand has set new standards in the watch industry time and again due to its ingenuity, exceptional engineering, and precise, perfectly functioning timepieces. At the 2018 Baselworld, the company has unveiled three new additions to the ever-expanding award-winning Favre-Leuba Raider family of functional, stylish, time-keeping masterpieces: Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth The Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth is the only mechanical wristwatch capable of measuring and displaying depth to 120m. The 48 mm titanium case houses a special membrane, which compresses with the changing depth and water pressure. This membrane is hermetically sealed from the movement, to ensure that even if the diver dives below 120m, there is no damage to the watch. 2018 marks the 50thanniversary of the legendary Bathy launched in 1968, and the brand celebrates this occasion with the launch of the Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth, which paying homage to its namesake, surpasses the technical brilliance and capabilities of the original dive tool. The case back of the new watch features an aperture in the form of the brand logo, through which water enters the watch. A mechanical contact sensor reacts to the variation of the water pressure experienced by the membrane that is then relayed on to the dial via the blue dive hands. The central blue hand displays the current dive depth. The scale for the first 30 m is finer, while thereon it is marked with 10m intervals. Two red indicators between 3 m and 6 m and between 9 m and 12 m markings highlight the depth where decompression stops may be necessary. The Raider Bathy 120 MemoDepth also features a mechanical depth memory (MemoDepth), which stores the maximum depth reached during a dive. The depth gauge at 3 o’clock reliably displays this max depth value until it is reset via the screw-in pusher at 4 o’clock – a feature that typically appears on professional dive watches.The retro-futuristic case design that combines the vintage look with the contemporary is based on the principle form follows function. The bold, functional colors; striking, easy-to-read hands, and the blue emission Super-Luminova, all guarantee perfect readability no matter the surrounding light conditions. This future-ready dive companion is quite a complete piece for all diving adventures. More information about the MemoDepth Raider Sea King Favre-Leuba Raider Sea King and Sea Bird The latest addition to the Raider line, the Raider Sea King, is reflective of precision mechanics, great style, and performance. Inspired by the brands’ legendary watches that broke new barriers in time-keeping instruments, Favre-Leuba’s design DNA is evident on the new model with the signature tetradecagon bezel and rectangular indices featured on the vintage Deep Blue watch, and the striking hands seen on Favre-Leuba’s Bathy. The new Raider Sea King is however not limited to the design of the past but is skillfully reimagined creating a charismatic, contemporary look for today’s explorers. This amalgamation of the past, transitions into the bold look of the future with its sharp lines and modernistic arcs, creating a retro-futuristic design philosophy unique to Favre-Leuba. The multi-layered case resulting from these fixed and functional bezels, along with their interplay of polished and satin-brushed surfaces enables a creative contrast, in-turn producing an emboldened style for the business casual look. True as a companion, the individuality of the time-keeper is a vital component in the design elements of the Sea King. Three different dial colors can be chosen to reflect the spirit of the wearer: an understated yet discerning slate gray hue, discreet yet stylish midnight black, or a deep royal blue. The flat sapphire crystal used on the Sea King is finished with a dual side anti-reflective coating ensuring clear visibility of time under all conditions. The 100 m water resistant watch is held snuggly onto the wrist due to its comfortable lug drop. A sporty, stainless steel bracelet features an end piece to attach to the stylish case. A soft antelope leather strap option is also available. What is more, this watch pairs perfectly with the Raider Sea Bird, making it a great duo set for gifting. More about the Sea King Raider Deep Blue The Raider Deep Blue was launched in 2016 and has been recognized for its unique design, with the multiple layered case. In 2018, the brand introduces a 41mm case size version of this highly demanded timepiece. The identifiable, retro-futuristic design DNA of Favre-Leuba is carried on to this watch, making it a great hit with the visitors at Baselworld this year, especially with those who like a tool watch but prefer a smaller size. With a water-resistant capability of 30 bar or 300m, this multi-functional dive timepiece features either a black or a blue dial with raised luminous (blue emission) index marks, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides, and a unidirectional rotating bezel with a 20-minute marking on the anodized aluminum. The hour and minute hands, as well as the sweep seconds function control disc feature Super-Luminova, thus making the time perfectly visible even in the dark. Paired with a rubber strap makes this Raider Deep Blue watch good for swimming or diving, while when purchased with a thick calf leather strap that has contrast stitching, it becomes a great piece for the everyday sharp dressing. One can also buy the watch with a stainless-steel bracelet that is multi-purpose, for wearing on land as well as in the water. The Raider Deep Blue houses an ETA automatic movement, ensuring reliability. The always aligned case-back is a feature one may consider small to being with but exemplifies the brand’s outlook for perfection and engineering excellence. More about the Deep Blue Video Interview with CEO Thomas Morf:
  26. I'm not entirely sure why there wasn't more of a hullabaloo about this movement – maybe it's because it wasn't shown during editorial meetings, but rather, placed outside Citizen's booth, where it was easy to miss if you happened to be just walking by, or rushing from one appointment to the next. However, it's easily one of the most remarkable developments of the show and certainly, one of the top technical watchmaking stories of the year: Citizen has developed a light-powered, Eco-Drive movement accurate to just ±1 second per year. The movement is cased in a pocket watch, but Citizen says that this not-for-sale prototype is a harbinger of things to come and that we can expect to see the technology in regular production watches in 2019. The pocket watch is pretty compelling though – the case is synthetic sapphire, and the DLC-treated movement is visible through the transparent back. Honestly, I'd give my eyeteeth to own it as is, although I suppose a solar-powered pocket watch might not be the hottest idea. However, it might actually be ok in this instance – Citizen says the watch can run for up to six months in total darkness, so having it live in your pocket some of the time might not be as problematic as it sounds. There are several key design points. The first, and one of the most important, is the frequency – a typical quartz watch runs at 32,768 Hz, but caliber 0100 – the name refers to Citizen's 100th anniversary, which is this year – runs at a much higher frequency: 8.4 Mhz, or more precisely, 8,388,608 Hz (vibrations per second). That's considerably faster than the Omega Marine Chronometer from the 1970s, which had a special lens-shaped crystal, and vibrated at 2.4 Mhz (one of these is in the personal collection of Roger Smith, which he shared with us in Talking Watches). Citizen's own Crystron Mega, from 1975, was rated to ±3 seconds per year, at 4.19 Mhz. Bulova's Precisionist quartz movement runs at 262 KHz, or 262,144 Hz (interestingly, Bulova is owned by Citizen, and the company obviously sees a future, smart watches be damned, in autonomously accurate high frequency quartz watches). From what I've read you can get off-the-shelf quartz oscillators with frequencies in outlandishly high ranges – 300 Mhz, anyone? – but I suspect such high frequencies would badly tax current battery technology. Citizen caliber C 0100. The second is the cut of the crystal; rather than the usual tuning fork configuration, Citzen is using at AT-cut crystal, which is cut from the larger crystal to a different orientation than conventional tuning fork crystals. The orientation of the cut produces a better resistance to temperature variations (the main cause of inaccuracy in quartz oscillators) and as the vibrations are smaller in amplitude than in a tuning fork crystal, there's less variation in rate due to physical shocks and changes in position as well. There seems to be some sort of software adjustment for temperature rate as well, although the press release is a little less specific on this point. I mean I know it's coming out in wristwatches next year but frankly I'm more than fine with it just like this. In any case, when this tech becomes commercially available, all and any of us whose hearts thrill to the notion of autonomous – not GPS connected, not radio controlled – high-precision timekeeping technology ought to be happy as a clam (which is an expression I've never understood, as every clam I've ever seen has looked morose at best, but you get the idea). I've never in my life stood in line for any new tech product but by gum, I think I'd stand in line for this one. Visit Citizenwatch.com for a wider look at their work, and scratch your head, as I did, to find out that this achievement isn't more prominent on their website; if I were them, I'd have laser etched the press release in incandescent letters 10 kilometers across on the surface of the Moon. See you in a year. The caliber 0100 is 33.3mm x 2.92mm; the prototype, in a sapphire case, is not, alas, for sale.
  27. The 2018 Winter Olympic Games might already feel like something in the distant past, but it was only a little over six weeks ago that the closing ceremony was held in PyeongChang, South Korea. Amidst the myriad great story lines, from a recently converted snowboarder beating the field in downhill skiing to a long-awaited gold medal for the U.S. women's hockey team, one sport caught everyone by surprise: curling. I'll admit it – I was totally obsessed. When the U.S. men's team took gold, I may or may not have done some neighbor-disrupting screaming at my television. To commemorate this monumental win, the five-man squad wanted to do something special for their coach, Phill Drobnick, and media-favorite Matt Hamilton reached out to Oak & Oscar to see if the Chicago-based watchmaker could do something for them. Founder Chase Fancher was happy to oblige, taking things further than a simple caseback engraving. The result is this special, one-of-a-kind Jackson chronograph. The basics of the watch haven't changed at all. It's the Jackson through and through. This means the watch has a 40mm stainless steel case that is 14.5mm thick and a manually wound flyback chronograph movement (Eterna Caliber 3916M) with a column wheel and a stacked totalizer register at three o'clock. This special watch uses the grey dial as a base, though the Jackson is also available with a blue dial. If you need a further refresher on the Jackson, check out our initial story about it here. So what was Fancher able to do to make this watch special? First off, he put a curling stone right on the dial, just above the "Oak & Oscar" signature at 12 o'clock. It's extremely subtle and unless you look very closely you wouldn't assume it was anything other than the brand's logo. Also, below that signature, sit the words "Gold 2018," just in case there was any doubt as to what this watch is commemorating. If you turn the watch over you'll see a caseback engraving that reads "2/24/2018" – the date of that fateful gold medal match against Sweden. Finishing things off, Oak & Oscar has worked with its leathergoods suppliers (also U.S.-based) to create a special red, white, and blue Horween leather strap as well as a custom-stamped watch wallet that reiterated the "Gold 2018" motif. While Hamilton and his teammates could easily have walked into any watch boutique, picked something out of a glass case, and had it engraved for their coach (and I'm sure one Olympics-sponsoring brand would have been happy to oblige here), it's cool to see them go a different route. To have a young, American watch brand create something unique to mark this occasion feels like a perfect fit.
  28. their successful relaunch of the Lebois & Co company and Avantgarde watches in 2014, the current founders feel it is time to take the next step: asking you to become a shareholder. With three produced models, mainly based on crowdfunding, there are three new models under development and Lebois & Co wants you as a shareholder. It is a clear sign that things become more serious at Lebois & Co. Moving into the direction of having shareholders on board, Lebois & Co also allow us to have peak into their future plans. Three new watches are being developed right now, a new Avantgarde Date, a vintage chronograph re-issue and a new chronometer certified watch. The chronograph model is what makes us curious of course, as the old Lebois & Co, founded by Dodane in 1934 had some pretty neat models at the time. It will for certain be a bi-compax chronograph and the retail price has already been set at €3700. In their new business plan for Lebois & Co, you will find that they aim at 12 variations in total based on the three new models. That they will have an innovative click-and-mortar concept when it comes to sales and marketing and that the introduction of new models will happen off- and on-line. Targeting the male watch enthusiast, with an eye for detail and who appreciates tradition, heritage, high quality and precision, Lebois & Co forecasts a profitable running operation in 2021. A maximum of 16250 shares are being offered, with a share price of €40 each. The capital will be used for product design and development, marketing efforts, to attract new authorized dealers and to adjust their website to support an omnichannel sales strategy. More details for future shareholders can be found here. In the past, we’ve been reviewing Lebois & Co watches and covered their previous steps. Why? There have been no commercial reasons whatsoever, we just liked the ideas that Tom van Wijlick shared with us and are impressed by the build quality and details of their Avantgarde watches. Sometimes you just closely follow the brands you like because of the watches and the people behind them. Lebois & Co is a sympathetic brand with great ideas and based on passion for watches. From an early point on, it was clear to me that Lebois & Co wanted to become more than just another micro brand. They wanted to (re)build the brand, with solid plans and good watches as a basis. We will keep on following them during their next steps and will happily report about the progress they make. Find our Lebois & Co Avantgarde review here. An interview with co-founder Tom van Wijlick can be read here.
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