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EdgyGuyJide

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  1. After a week of announcements regarding the latest and greatest in the world of modern haute horology from SIHH 2019, it’s time to flip through the back catalog once again and take solace in some classics. We’re covering all ends of the spectrum this week, with accessible, versatile picks like a timeless ref. 1601 Datejust from Rolex, a spartan Zenith chronograph, and the nicest early Heuer chronograph on the web for my money. For those in search of what they haven’t seen before, fear not, there’s an early Rolex GMT-Master II on the coolest bracelet you’ll see all week, and an alarm-equipped piece connected to a great American luxury retailer. Let's do this. Rolex Datejust Ref. 1601 I’ve long considered the ref. 1601 and ref. 1603 from Rolex to be two of the best buys in watch collecting. With that said, I personally sway towards the 1601, as the fluted bezel is an objectively cleaner design and a more iconic component within the history of the Rolex brand. As other references of the same vintage have steadily climbed upwards in price, such Datejusts have remained relatively reasonable, with minimal market development over the last five or so years. During a late night eBay hunt, I came across this example of the aforementioned reference that stood out, hence its inclusion in this week’s roundup. Despite the fact that countless examples of this reference were indeed produced (along with most other standard fare from Rolex), this is a rather uncommon one, with a seldom-seen matte grey dial, complete with all its custard colored luminous plots still intact and matching the rest of the luminous compound seen on the watch. At the end of the day, there’s very little to not like in a quality example of the ref. 1601. It’s an accessibly priced piece that can be worn with ease in just about every setting, cased within what many consider to be the ultimate form of the Oyster at 36mm across. While this piece might shortly go out of stock, I can guarantee with absolute certainty that it won’t be going out of style any time soon. An eBay seller based out of Atlanta has this example of the r ef. 1601 listed for $4,150. 1969 Zenith Ref. A273 Chronograph Zenith’s early chronographs are a study in perfect proportions and aesthetic restraint. This watch wholly embodies the notion that less is more, and it shows. Just look at it – not a single element of its design seems unnecessary or out of place, and branding has been kept to a minimum, with just the word "Zenith" and a small applied star falling below the 12 o’clock position. This is what’s known as the ref. A273, and if you weren’t already familiar with this reference, allow me to acquaint you. Beneath its caseback, you’ll find the caliber 146HP column-wheel chronograph, which is based upon the Universal Genève cal. 285 produced by Martel. Visually it’s not dissimilar to most other column-wheel chronographs of this era, but it's still a sight to behold in the eyes of any true watch collector. This particular piece is being offered in top shape, with a case that looks to have been minimally polished, and a near flawless dial. It also has the original crown which you’ll often find to be replaced on other examples, and it has been serviced within the last year, ensuring easy ownership from the get go. An Italian collector has this piece listed for sale on Chronotrader, and is asking €4,500. Rolex GMT-Master II Ref. 16718 With A Chrome Hearts Bracelet Five-digit GMT-Master references have shot up in value over the last 12 months, though it's largely those produced in steel that have skyrocketed, and for obvious reasons. Need me to spell it out? P-E-P-S-I. While it may be an unquestionably genius aesthetic – a notion which many are more than aware of – I’ve always had a bit of a thing for full gold GMT-Masters and Subs alike, as the contrast of the rich gold and deep black accents affords these watches a bit more edge in comparison to the borderline preppy Pepsi. Upon seeing this watch pop up for sale, it practically demanded to be included. It’s a standard Ref. 16718, but fitted on an anything but standard bracelet, produced in vibrant 22K yellow gold by the jewelry brand Chrome Hearts. Known best for their oversized accessories emblazoned with gothic text and ornate detailing, the brand has a particularly loyal following in both Los Angeles (its place of origin) and overseas in Japan, where American styles of eras past have long been embraced and celebrated. While no Chrome Hearts produced watch bracelet is a common sight, they’ve historically been produced in larger numbers in sterling silver, making examples in gold far more sought after. It’s not a look that’s for everyone, and does require a bit of pizzazz to pull off, but if a Rolex with some unique flair is what you’re after, this might just be the watch for you. The Los Angeles dealer Wanna Buy A Watch has this boldly equipped GMT listed on their site for $40,000. Heuer Salmon 'Pre-Carrera' Ref. 2443 As mentioned in previous installments of this column, the recent dip in Heuer pricing has made for a solid opportunity to acquire what are nothing short of incredible chronographs at a now-reduced rate. Though many would be inclined to sprint straight towards the sports offerings of the '60s and '70s, I’ve always found the earlier pieces to be more interesting, simply because they’re often more elaborately decorated. This example of a so-called “Pre-Carrera” likely dating back to 1940s is chock-full of appealing details, including not only luminous Roman numeral indices, but matching syringe style hands and a stunning salmon dial with sunburst finished sub-dials too. Though the vintage style bracelet that’s currently fitted is not original, I think it looks quite sharp, making this ready to wear by all means. Though early Heuer chronographs are around, it's genuinely rare to find one in the same condition as the one in question. Its case is unpolished, the radium luminous applications are original, and the dial is largely blemish free. Can’t ask for much more in a watch that’s pushing seven decades. As the old ancient proverb goes, get it while the getting's good. Miami’s Menta Watches has this early Heuer chronograph listed reasonably at $7,000. Tiffany & Co. Alarm Watch Once in a while you can see the the light in the strangest of places if you look just right. As a bit of a photography nut, vintage optics often factor into my daily check-ins on eBay, and while hunting down a certain lens from the 50s earlier this week, I chanced upon something truly unusual being offered by an individual specializing in old photo gear. In an age where information is so easily accessible, it's becoming increasingly tougher to find a watch you've never seen before, especially if you’re constantly searching, but I found just that this week, and am now excited to share it with you. Alarm-equipped mechanical watches really don’t get enough love, and at the prices they typically trade at, it’s hard to not see a considerable amount of value for your dollar. They’re functional, amusing to see in action, and offer an accessible entry point into the world of chiming and sound generating mechanical timepieces. This piece is no exception, but is perhaps more interesting than most alarm watches I’ve seen in a while, with Tiffany & Co. branding and an idiosyncratic dial orientation, similar to that of many watches designed with professional drivers in mind. At 33mm across, it is indeed on the smaller side, but this is one of those instances where I’d still advise pulling the trigger. It's just such a compelling watch, with all sorts of curious details, like the squiggly alarm hand, luminous indices, and 24-hour track that traces the outermost edge of the dial. I'd be lying if I said I fully understood who or what this watch was originally intended for, but I can say with full confidence that it’s unbelievably cool, and would make a killer addition any collection of horological oddities or pieces linked to Tiffany. An individual in Ardmore, PA, has this piece listed on eBay with both a starting bid of $995, and a Buy It Now option at $1,395.
  2. EdgyGuyJide

    BIG BANG MECA-10 NICKY JAM HUBLOT

    SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW Combining the rhythms of a drum machine and the tempo of a watch mechanism, the brand from Nyon has created an extravagant world with limited editions designed with Nicky Jam. Are you familiar with reggaeton? In case you don’t know, this is an urban music style that is spreading its high-tempo rhythms all over the American continent. Among the stars of the genre is Nicky Jam, whose success caught the eye of Hublot. He has been the brand’s ambassador since June 2018. And now three watches that are as colourful as the singer’s hit records have just been unveiled. The Big Bang Meca-10 Nicky Jam models are available in three different versions, all designed around a 45mm-wide case. The first is limited to 100 pieces and is made of black ceramic. The second comes in 30 copies and is designed in King Gold, an alloy combining gold with copper and platinum. The bezel and the dial are also set with precious stones, namely, yellow, orange and green sapphires. The colours borrow from the colours featured in the video for Nicky Jam’s song “X“, seen over 1.4 billion times on YouTube. The third specially made watch shines as brightly as the spotlights when the singer is onstage. This piece of luxury jewellery combines King Gold with 367 diamonds for a total of 19.54 carats. The hands move around the open-work architecture of the dials with the help of a skeletoned hand-wound movement. The calibre HUB1201 gives them enough energy to last for 10 days before they need to be rewound. All the Big Bang Meca-10 Nicky Jam feature the singer’s signature on the crystal caseback and come with a pair of straps featuring a folding clasp made of black alcantara or red, yellow and green alligator leather. Price on request www.hublot.com
  3. For the 2019 SIHH trade show in Geneva, Montblanc has enriched its collection with a sports-style chronograph displaying a “reverse panda” dial. It all began in the late 1960s. Black sub-dials were added to a white dial on a famous chronograph. The ultra-readable dial recalled the face of the charming giant panda and turned out to be a big hit. Since then, all sports-style watches with this design are named after the cuddly herbivore. Montblanc has already released watches of this kind in the past. This year, the brand has introduced a model called the TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph with a “reverse panda” dial. Unlike the classic tricompax or bicompax designs, the chronograph’s totalisers here are white and placed on a vertical axis. The seconds sub-dial is discreetly located at 9 o’clock, providing a visual and symmetrical reply to the date counter at 3 o’clock. Otherwise, the watch has all the regular aesthetic features of the collection. The dauphine-style hour and minute hands move around an hour rim made up of generously proportioned indices and numerals. The central second hand still has a tip with a Minerva arrow, while a fixed, ceramic bezel with a tachymetric scale encircles the dial. The time information and split-time measurements are driven by the calibre MB 25.07 (46 hours of power reserve), an automatic movement housed in a 41mm-wide steel case. And to round off the racing vintage spirit, the TimeWalker Automatic Chronograph comes with a perforated black rubber strap. Price: 4,000 EUR
  4. EdgyGuyJide

    HM6 FINAL EDITION MB&F

    EPILOGUE TO A JOURNEY THROUGH TIME After the Space Pirate, the Sapphire Vision and the Alien Nation, Maximilian Büsser and friends have unveiled the last model in their watchmaking UFO, bringing the HM6 series to a majestic conclusion! In 2014, MB&F released a watch with a very original design. With its atypical curves, the Horological Machine n°6 transported us to a biomorphic world inspired by the spaceship belonging to a Japanese cartoon hero from the 1970s and 1980s, Captain Flam. Since then, a range of different versions have featured varied materials and colours, resulting in 92 very attractive watches that are perfect for pulling away from the gravity of our everyday world. With the last eight watches in the collection, baptised HM6 Final Edition, the adventure is majestically completed with an impressive fluted steel case alternating polished notches and satin surfaces (49.5 x 52.3 x 20.4mm). Unlike the previous versions, here the hours and minutes are displayed in white on deep blue globes. The numerals are coated in Super-LumiNova® and take on a light blue colour when plunged into darkness. The colour is also a link with the mechanism since blue is used on the platinum rotor, which has been given a Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD). At the top of the case is an impressive sapphire glass dome equipped with a retractable shield protecting the 60-second flying tourbillon. This ingenious hand-wound movement and its 475 components once again provide 72 hours of power reserve. The limited edition HM6 Final Edition comes with an alligator leather strap and a folding clasp. Price: 210,000 CHF mb&f.com
  5. EYE OF THE TIGER Just a few weeks away from the SIHH, the Geneva watchmakers have released a series of unique pieces, including an exceptional watch depicting a tiger hidden in a bamboo forest. In the run up to the 2019 Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH), taking place in mid-January in Geneva, Vacheron Constantin is releasing a series of five unique pieces grouped together in the Les Cabinotiers “Mécaniques Sauvages” collection. Included in this watchmaking bestiary with some powerfully symbolic wild animals is a watch showing a big cat with a striped coat: Les Cabinotiers Mysterious Animals Tiger. This outstanding watch deploys all the craftsmanship of the Geneva-based brand and represents a dazzling work of engraving cut into the surface using the intaglio technique. The result brings the animal to life, as it peers out of a gold bamboo forest. The finesse of the craftsmanship brings out numerous details, such as the veins on the leaves, the horizontal lines on the stalks and the animal’s thick coat. The tiger’s yellow eyes seem to be watching for a virtual prey with a determined look. Four discreet counters fan out to display the hours (at 10.30), the minutes (at 1.30), the date (at 4.30) and the day of the week (at 7.30), with white figures and letters against a black background. The watch is powered by the calibre 2460 G4, an automatic movement made in-house by Vacheron Constantin and providing a power reserve of around 40 hours. It is housed in a platinum 950 case with a diameter of 40mm. Les Cabinotiers Animals Mysterious Tiger is worn with a black alligator leather strap with large scales and a tang buckle made of platinum 950.
  6. Boasting a unique mechanism and design, this limited series will delight anyone looking for more than just a simple watch. We made contact with the new watchmaking racer designed by Roger Dubuis. At the 2018 SIHH trade show, Roger Dubuis announced the launch of a partnership with the Lamborghini sports car department. The partnership soon produced the Excalibur Aventador S, a watch with a surprising calibre, featuring double sprung balances linked with a differential at an angle of 90°. The movement’s architecture recalled the V12 made by the Italian carmakers. For SIHH 2019, the brand will be introducing the press to a new episode in the collaboration, the Excalibur Huracan Performante. Once again, innovation is the watchword with a brand-new self-winding movement, the RD630, which stands out with a 12° angle balance escapement. The inclusion of a double barrel provides a power reserve of 60 hours. The technical components are housed in a 45-mm-wide titanium case. Many of them play a role in the watch’s design, too. The bridges are faceted like a strut bar in the V10 engine of a Lamborghini super car, while the rotor is shaped like a car rim. A honeycomb-style design recalls the radiator grill on a racing car. The 88 pieces in this limited edition come with a strap combining alcantara and rubber. And for perfect grip, the inside pattern borrows from the P Zero Trofeo R tyre developed by Pirelli, another one of Roger Dubuis’ partners.
  7. EdgyGuyJide

    Hands-On The Ressence Type 3W

    I've said it before and I'm far from alone in the opinion, but no one makes a watch like Ressence. No one. I will always remember the first time I saw a Ressence in person at my second-ever Baselworld. For lack of a better term, Ressence is a game changer, with avant-garde technology perfectly matched by a thoughtful new-age design language that is both remarkably legible and entirely beautiful. Among a series of new releases for SIHH 2019, I couldn't help but be instantly drawn to the new Type 3W, with its bright silvery-white dial and grey textile strap. Originally launched at Baselworld in 2013, the Type 3 has evolved into the format and functionality offered the current generation, including this lovely Type 3W. For those unsure of what they are looking at, the Type 3 shows hours (on the sub-dial with the 12 hour makers), minutes (using the large central "hand"), seconds (on the smallest display), day (on the seven segment circular display with two orange segments), oil temperature (on the remaining blue/orange display), and finally date on a ring surrounding the dial. All of the displays function as independently rotating discs, so there are no hands and none of the measures ever overlap. Once you know what you're looking for, it is remarkably legible. `2 The standard model uses a starkly modern black dial that hides the seams between each of the magnetically controlled rotating discs which are connected to a customized example of ETA's 2824 mechanical movement (seriously, read Jack's piece for more details, linked above). While the original black dial model has a specific charm that is both impactful and mysterious, this new model employs a bright silver-toned dial (not quite white) that presents the exact same functionality in a more industrial and futuristic execution. While the Type 3W measures 44mm across, it doesn't feel nearly that large on wrist. Likewise, I wouldn't have guessed its 15mm thickness. Both dimensions are somewhat lessened by the expansive dial design and the concave domed shape of the watch. Essentially a pair of domed sapphire crystals mated to a titanium chassis that also forms the lugs, the total weight is 79 grams and the Type 3W feels great on wrist, with the lighter tone of this variation lending a certain airiness to its charm. Priced at CHF 36,500, as much as I like the look of the black dial Type 3, this brighter dial option really hits home for me. The silvery white of the dial feels like a better match for both the styling and the use of the lightly desaturated oranges and blues. Paired with a grey textile strap, the Type 3W has a low-key casual feel that I really enjoy about white dials on a broader level. There is something so stoic about a black dial watch, and the Type 3W presents a gorgeous, easy-wearing, and uniquely appealing presentation of the ingenious engineering and design experience that makes Ressence one of the most exciting small brands on the scene today.
  8. When Gérald Genta and Daniel Roth were both still active and independent companies, I was just starting to take an interest in fine watchmaking, and there were active (and independent-minded) collectors of both Roth and Genta watches pretty much everywhere watches and watch collecting were seriously pursued. Roth was the high-minded advocate of very traditional but still instantly recognizable classicism, while Genta was the renegade – the perennial bad-boy who had outraged the staid standards of the watch industry by having the audacity to introduce, at one point, a Mickey Mouse watch, and other Disney character watches (which are still, by the way, the subject of one very focused collector's sustained and obsessive interest). The acquisition of both companies by Singapore's The Hour Glass, and the subsequent sale of both to Bulgari, occasioned a lot of hand-wringing, but there was as it turns out a silver lining. Though neither brand survives today as an independent company, much of the movement and design expertise that they represented is alive and well at Bulgari's manufacturing center in the Vallée de Joux, in Le Sentier. There, a building which first housed Daniel Roth, and subsequently, both Roth and Genta, is now where the watchmaking craft and design language both represent is not only being kept alive, but is essential in the strongest sense of the word, to Bulgari's many advances in fine watchmaking. Applying perlage to a movement plate by hand. However avant-garde some of Bulgari's watchmaking may be, the small manufacturing center where the Bulgari in-house Finissimo calibers are made, as well as where their high watchmaking efforts unfold (up to and including their repeaters and grand sonneries, both of which use movements derived from mechanisms design by constructors for the original Gérald Genta firm) has a surprisingly artisanal feel given the impression one gets from Bulgari as a powerhouse presence in fine watchmaking these days. There are rooms devoted to the standard armamentarium of modern watchmaking, including computer guided lathes, CNC machines, and wire erosion machines which can produce parts to micron tolerances, but there are also many folks who execute the same manual adjustment, assembly and movement decoration techniques that have been practiced in the Vallée de Joux for generations (and probably by the parents, and grandparents, and great-grandparents of the craftsmen working there). One of the more problematic aspect of much of modern watchmaking is that there is a tendency to forget the past very quickly, and for individuals to be kept out of the limelight in the name of encouraging the consumer to identify with the brand, rather than with the people who make the brands what they are. In a refreshing contrast to this general practice, and as a gesture of respect and admiration to the man who laid the foundations for much of its most interesting watchmaking today, Bulgari's made a watch to honor the 50th anniversary of the founding of Gérald Genta in 1969: the Gérald Genta 50th Anniversary Watch. The Gérald Genta 50th Anniversary Watch is an eye-catching piece of work straight out of the gate – the most noticeable initial element is the deep cerulean blue of the dial. The watch takes as its point of departure a family of watches that to this day remain strongly identified with the original Gérald Genta firm, and with the design work he did to satisfy his own aspirations and tastes, rather than that of another client watchmaking brand. This are his retrograde watches, which include the double retrogade, date-and-time Biretro watches. (Bulgari has made retrograde watches prior to the Anniversary piece, but these are in Octo rather than Arena cases.) Genta also used retrograde displays in his Disney character watches, of which the most memorable to me are the Mickey Mouse designs. I have a rather helpless love of Mickey Mouse watches (which I occasionally take a stab at collecting, in a desultory and un-systematic way) and his high-end takes on what are usually the proletarian pleasures of character watches have always tickled my funny bone. The 50th Anniversary watch is a bit more sober, but not much – there is still a slightly goofy (see what I did there?) sense of fun in them, which Bulgari has captured to a T in this bright, sprightly, and thoroughly good-natured watch. The Biretro watches were built around what Genta called the Arena case, for its supposed resemblance to the structure of the same name, and the 50th Anniversary Model brings the Arena case back into production – this time in platinum. Gérald Genta, despite the clarity of some of his contract work for clients like IWC and Audemars Piguet, found in himself and in his own design work a little bit of a taste for the baroque and especially in his more complicated watchmaking, the level of decorative detail could sometimes become downright florid. This has been somewhat slightly toned down for the Anniversary piece, but the design, which retains among other details Genta's signature crown design, is still instantly recognizable as a Biretro design and an Arena case, by any Genta enthusiast. Although both the dial and the case are somewhat less over-the-top in terms of details than Genta's work with the Biretro was (and to be fair, they were compared to some of the other timepieces he made under his own brand, relatively restrained designs) there is still a preservation of many key elements – there's that crown, of course, and the general configuration of the Arena case, and much of the essentials of the dial in terms of core design language is still present as well, including the typefaces used. The sharp-eyed among us will notice that the Gérald Genta logo has been slightly tweaked – the letters G have been elongated, amont other things, giving a more contemporary feel – but if you had a chance back in the 1990s to see any of Genta's work, there is nothing in the Anniversary watch that would stop it from fitting right in with his other Biretro timepieces. The caliber BVL300 The movement is the in-house automatic Bulgari caliber BVL 300. This is a quite modern movement, running at the now fairly standard 28,800 vph; the rotor winds in both directions, and there's a 42 hour power reserve. The calibre BVL 300 is based on the BVL 191, also known as the "Solotempo" movement, with the addition of a jumping hour, retrograde minutes, and retrograde date. The general impression given by the finish is largely the same one made by the dial and case – clean and elegant, with a few strong lines giving an immediate sense of the visual clarity for which Bulgari generally strives. This is a tribute watch and in many respects, one very faithful to the aspirations and vision of the man who inspired it – it's not hard to imagine that Gérald Genta, maybe on a day when he felt like creating something slightly more crisply austere than some of his other Biretro watches, might have designed it himself. It's equally fitting, however, that this is also very much a Bulgari watch – this is partly owing to the use of platinum, which gives it a heft and gravitas suitable to its role as a commemorative piece, but it's also thanks to the very Bulgari refinement of Genta's original general design language for the Biretro family. Homage pieces can sometimes feel rather superficial – nothing more than a few cursory details added to an existing model, which at best feel a bit arbitrary and which at worst can actually wreck an otherwise successful design. In this instance, however, Bulgari has made something which sensitively probes the boundaries of Genta's work, while at the same time remaining very true to its own vision of the values a watch should express.
  9. You may recall that back in December we introduced Jaeger-LeCoultre's Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel, a limited-edition white gold dress watch that came with a beautiful blue guilloché enamel dial and a souped-up version of the already extant caliber 925 that saw an increase from about 40 hours of power reserve to 70 hours. Now that we're at SIHH, a larger picture is becoming clear, and we see that that release is actually a part of a trilogy that highlights hits from the Master Ultra Thin series by casing each in white gold and using a blue enamel guilloché dial. Each also features a movement that has improvements over what currently exists in the Master Ultra Thin range. Taken together with the latest Gyrotourbillon that also dropped this week, these three complicated Master Ultra Thins serve as nice reminders that there isn't really anything beyond JLC's watchmaking chops, and that they're called the Grande Maison for good reason. And JLC isn't new to the game with these kinds of watches. They were doing it way back when plenty of big names in horology were outsourcing their complications. Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel The Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel is a limited edition of 50 watches with indications for the time and date. The movement in this watch is the Caliber 978, which has been reconceived technically and aesthetically. The back of the new caliber 978F movement has a new sunray finishing effect emanating from the area of the tourbillon cage that makes for what I would argue is more aesthetically interesting caliber than the standard caliber 978. At 48 hours, it also has 10 more hours of power reserve than the standard 978's 38. Ten hours may not seem like a huge difference, but the increase accounts for a more than 25-percent longer power reserve. This watch measures 40mm x 12.13mm thick, not quite as thin as some of the other tourbillons we have seen hit the market in recent years, but definitely within the range of what I would consider "thin" for a full-rotor automatic tourbillon with an artisan guilloche enamel dial with plenty of depth and texture. I love how the numbers on the date subidal here rise up in relief against a frosted finish. The dauphin hands and applied numerals, likewise, look nice and sharp. As you can see in the caseback photo above, it comes with a nicely decorated movement, and the gold rotor's cutouts let you admire the movement all the more. Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel Next we have the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel. This watch is powered by an updated version of the JLC 868 movement, the JLC 868A/2. If you compare this watch to the previous generation of the Master Ultra Thin Perpetual, which comes with the 868/1 movement, you can see that most of the indications appear to have rotated 180 degrees. The moon phase is now at the bottom of the dial, and a hand has been added to the moon phase so that the position of the moon can be read in either hemisphere. Moreover, the year is now read via two windows inside a sub-dial that shows the months. The older edition indicated the years in a single window between seven and eight o'clock. I think that while both look great, the newer version wins points for being more symmetrical. Like the older version, this new one comes in a comfortable 39mm case, though the thickness has increased slightly from 9.2mm to 10.44mm. Of course, the new watch benefits from a more complex enamel dial, and I think the minor increase is acceptable given what you get in terms of the beauty of the dial. The watch also sees a near doubling of the power reserve from about 38 hours to 70 hours. The Master Ultra Thin Perpetual Enamel is limited to 100 pieces. The new Master Ultra Thin Perpetual released at SIHH 2019. The Master Ultra Thin Perpetual with black dial, which was released at SIHH 2016. Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel And finally, we've got the Master Ultra Thin Moon Enamel. Like the other two watches in this series of limited enamel-dialed watches in the Master line, it has a case in white gold and a dial in guilloché enamel. As I mentioned earlier, this model comes with a rejiggered in-house caliber 925, the 925/2, with a longer power reserve despite running on a single barrel and maintaining a standard frequency of 28,800 vph. This means that you could in theory make this your daily wearer during the work week, switch to something a bit sportier on the weekend, and come back to a watch that would be ready to go and not require any resetting of the time, the date, or the moon phase on Monday morning. This limited edition of 100 pieces measures 39mm in diameter and just a hair over a centimeter thick, at 10.04mm. Like the tourbillon and the perpetual, it comes on a blue alligator strap. The moon phase version is priced at $35,800, the perpetual is $55,000, and the tourbillon is $88,500.
  10. While everyone's been fixated on the first day of the 2019 SIHH, TAG Heuer has gone and quietly released a technologically incredible chronograph that utilizes a totally new hairspring made of carbon composite. They developed this new technology themselves and hold the patent for it too. The watch is all about showing off and celebrating that new technology in a watch that also pays homage to TAG Heuer's history via the Carrera case and name. This watch is very much an evolution of the Carrera Heuer 02T, a watch that shook up the industry in 2016 by offering a Swiss tourbillon chronograph at a never-before-heard-of price. Building off the foundation of that watch's 45mm case (rendered here in blacked-out titanium with a carbon bezel), TAG Heuer has pushed basically every aspect of the movement to the next level. The entire thing is decorated with hexagon motifs, a reference to the nanoscopic hexagonal structure of the carbon used in the hairspring, the dial and rotor have both been openworked to let you see more of the movement, and the aluminum balance wheel is set with both white gold weights and white Super-LumiNova so you can see it beating away in the dark. Neon green accents add further drama, adorning everything from the tourbillon cage to the column wheel. In theory though, the use of carbon here is all about performance. According to TAG Heuer, the carbon-composite hairspring is virtually unaffected by both gravitational effects and shocks, makes perfect concentric oscillations due to its geometry, thus offering better precision, is easier to assemble for their watchmakers, and has outstanding thermal behavior when paired with the aluminum alloy balance. I don't have a doctorate in materials science, but if this is as impactful as TAG Heuer suggests, we could be looking at the next generation of high-tech watchmaking right here. Initial Thoughts I feel like I have a pretty good handle on how to evaluate a watch by now. I've been doing this professionally for a few years and know what things I should look for, the questions people are going to ask, and how to figure out relatively complex mechanisms on short notice in order to then explain them to others. All of that said, I have basically none of the tools necessary to tell you whether this is a huge revolution in watchmaking (as suggested by the press release that arrived in my inbox) or simply a fun little experiment that has produced a horological curiosity. Either way, this looks like a super cool watch, and I'm very excited to see one up close soon enough. While a lot of mechanical watchmaking is about looking back, I always appreciate it when a manufacture decides to look into the future and bring it into focus themselves. The Basics Brand: TAG Heuer Model: Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph Reference Number: CAR5A8K.FT6172 Diameter: 45mm Case Material: Black PVD titanium case and lugs with carbon bezel Dial Color: Openworked with hexagon pattern and black flange Indexes: Rhodium-plated batons Lume: Yes, on hands and hour markers Water Resistance: 100 meters Strap/Bracelet: Black calfskin strap and rubber strap, carbon buckle with black PVD titanium folding clasp The Movement Caliber: In-House Heuer 02T Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, tourbillon Diameter: 31mm Power Reserve: 65 hours Winding: Automatic Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800vph) Jewels: 33 Chronometer Certified Additional Details: Contains a patented carbon composite hairspring invented and developed by TAG Heuer Pricing & Availability Price: $25,500 Availability: May, via TAG Heuer stores and on tagheuer.com
  11. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Tourbillon Souverain, F.P. Journe has one-upped himself, launching a new tourbillon model that turns the regulator 90 degrees and doubles the rotating speed of the tourbillon for greater performance and visual effect. The aptly-named Tourbillon Souverain Vertical is a seriously complicated watch, so I figure we'll just walk through it bit by bit. First off, the watch starts with a 42mm case in platinum or red gold. From there, you'll notice that there's not a real "dial" so to speak. Instead, the red gold mainplate serves as the bulk of the dial, with a white enamel sub-dial set into the mainplate for the hours, minutes, and seconds. Above that is a power reserve indicator to count down the approximately 80 hours you'll get. To the left of the time is an aperture that lets you peek at the remontoire d'egalité mechanism in action, a testament to the watch's chronometric purposes. Then there's the tourbillon itself. It rotates once every 30 seconds and sits perpendicular to the shape of the case. To get even more visual depth out of it, there are mirrored rings flanking the aperture on both front and back, funneling more light toward the tourbillon cage itself. The cherry on top? The watch has a natural deadbeat seconds mechanism too, meaning you get a deadbeat seconds complication without compromising on precision (this was first introduced to the Tourbillon Souverain in 2003). If you want to learn more about the history of F.P. Journe tourbillons and how we got to the Tourbillon Souverain Vertical, this Reference Points story and video we did back in 2016 with Mr. Journe himself is a pretty great place to start. Initial Thoughts I'm not usually a tourbillon guy (I've gone on the record about it multiple times), but damn does this look awesome. I think Journe probably could have gotten away with a simple dial or case update to celebrate the Tourbillon Souverain's 20th anniversary and collectors would still have gone crazy for whatever limited edition was the result. However, it's not that kind of thinking or watchmaking that's made F.P. Journe the cult favorite that it is, and the Tourbillon Souveraine Vertical is the sort of unexpected, outside-the-box thinking that we've come to expect from one of today's greatest living watchmakers. In addition to my usual aversion to tourbillons, my first response to hearing about this vertical tourbillon was a simple "Why?" Would this really make any sort of meaningful difference or is it merely an aesthetic exercise? The explanation is shockingly obvious once you hear it: Some people wear their watches with deployant buckles and others prefer prong buckles. Depending on which you chose, your watch is oriented differently when you set it down. The position of the tourbillon in this watch ensures that you'll get the performance benefits either way. Consider me impressed. My one complaint? Do we really need "Tourbillon Remontoir d'Egalité Seconde Morte" spelled out at the bottom of the dial? I want to wear a watch on my wrist, not a short story. But I digress... The Basics Brand: F.P. Journe Model: Tourbillon Souveraine Vertical Diameter: 42mm Thickness: 13.6mm Case Material: Platinum or 18k 6N rose gold Dial Color: Clous de Paris red gold baseplate and white enamel sub-dial Indexes: Arabic numerals Lume: None Strap/Bracelet: Black alligator strap with deployant buckle or pin buckle The Movement Caliber: Caliber 1519 Functions: Hours, minutes, deadbeat seconds, power reserve indicator, 30-second vertical tourbillon, remontoire d'egalité Diameter: 34.6mm Thickness: 10.86mm Power Reserve: 80 hours +/- 2 hours Winding: Manually wound (29 turns of the crown to fully wind) Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph) Jewels: 32 Total Components: 230 (without dial) Additional Details: The small enamel hour dial is affixed directly to the 18k 4N rose gold mainplate, not a larger dial Pricing & Availability Price: CHF 244,500 (red gold); CHF 248,400 (platinum)
  12. EdgyGuyJide

    ALTIPLANO METEORITE PIAGET

    EXTRATERRESTRIAL ORIGIN Finding a meteorite is like looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s better when it falls into the right hands, like those of the craftsmen who have given life to this watch. Are you looking for an elegant watch with a unique dial? The Piaget Altiplano Meteorite will be officially launched at the next Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva in January 2019. It has all the attractions you could wish for. Its slim 40mm-wide gold case houses a surprising stone disc that fell out of the sky. That it to say, the dial is cut from a fragment of grey meteorite. The disc has an unusual texture, known as a Widmanstätten pattern, named after the Austrian scientist who identified it in the 19th century. The texture contains oblique stripes set close together and indicating a high amount of iron and nickel alloy that has been heated to extreme temperatures of over 1,000 C° and was then suddenly cooled down. It takes great dexterity to cut out the dials. The result is always highly individual, making each one of the 300 watches in this limited edition truly unique. In this decor of unvarnished elegance are placed some delicate gold indices, with slim hour and minute hands. Only a counter at 3 o’clock is cut into the surface of the piece of meteorite. The watch is powered by an extra-flat automatic movement. The calibre 1203P will keep the time information running for 44 hours, along with the date. The Piaget Altiplano Meteorite comes with a grey alligator leather strap equipped with a rose gold tang buckle.
  13. EdgyGuyJide

    BIG BANG ZERMATT HUBLOT

    UP TO THE SUMMITS The watchmakers specialised in combining often surprising materials have launched three limited edition watches paying homage to one of Switzerland’s most famous symbols: the Matterhorn The Matterhorn is one of Switzerland’s most striking landmarks. Rising to an altitude of 4,478m, it can be seen on the famous triangular box of chocolates made by Toblerone. It is the 12th highest peak in the Alps. The world-famous mountain with its distinctive shape stands out against the sky on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Hublot has paid homage to the mountain by including it in three Big Bang Zermatt chronographs made of rose gold, steel or jewelled steel. Like a window opening onto the world, the Alpine peak is engraved on the small seconds counter, at 9 o’clock for the 44mm-wide versions and at 3 o’clock for the 41mm-wide model. The Matterhorn’s pyramid shape stands on a base made of schist, a metamorphic rock with a foliated appearance, and more commonly known as slate. This mineral with a very fine grain is made up of fine layers and is mainly used as roofing material, especially because of its high resistance. But Hublot has put the material to a different use, decorating the bezel on two of the pieces in the Big Bang Zermatt trio with a mixture of natural slate and carbon fibre, interspersed with the brand’s famous flat-headed screws. The bezel on the 3rd version is covered with 36 brilliant-cut diamonds. The slate-blue dial with a sunburst finish features wide, open-work baton hands for the hours and minutes. The chronograph elements include seconds in the centre, minutes at 3 o’clock and hours at 6. Along with the date at 4.30, the features are driven by the HUB4100 calibre, a self-winding movement providing 42 hours of power reserve. Price: 30,900 CHF (rose gold) – 17,700 CHF (steel with diamonds) – 14,900 CHF (steel) www.hublot.com
  14. CARTE BLANCHE FOR STREETWEAR When TAG Heuer calls in an influencer in contemporary pop fashion, the vintage spirit blends with a touch of originality for an overall result that is beautifully simple. What do Nike, Louis Vuitton, Beats and Starbucks have in common? All these brands have worked with the man hiding behind the company Fragment, Hiroshi Fujiwara. This is a creative artist with more than one string to his bow. He is a famous musician and renowned for his designs in streetwear fashion. At this year’s end, the Japanese designer, through his company, has helped to create a limited edition Carrera Heuer 02 for TAG Heuer. Like his previous artistic contributions, the model combines the sophistication of luxury goods and the cool inspiration of pop culture. A dive into the brand’s rich past has unearthed some of the style specifics of models from the 1960s. On the jet black dial, a 1/5 of a second scale surrounds the chronograph counters and the sub-second dial. The discreet, uncluttered and very clear layout is joined by two slender hour and minute hands coated in beige Super-LumiNova®. Hiroshi Fujiwara has also opted for two original straps, one leather cuff strap and one black and grey NATO strap, enhancing the watches’ personality. The collection’s own automatic calibre is housed in the 39mm-wide steel case, generating a power reserve of at least 80 hours. The TAG Heuer Carrera Heuer 02 by Fragment Hiroshi Fujiwara comes in just 500 pieces. The number is engraved on the sapphire caseback. The watches are only available in the brand’s boutiques and website. Price: 7,900 CHF tagheuer.com
  15. EdgyGuyJide

    SW CHRONO JAQUET DROZ

    BEEFING UP TIME A first! Jaquet Droz brings us their alternative take on sports watches. On the programme: top-quality materials and a case with a powerful design. At Jaquet Droz, the elegant Grande Seconde and Petite Heure Minute collections, like the Automates, are often in the spotlight, and rightly so. But there is another collection that is worthy of all our attention. The SW Chrono models released at the end of the year are a chance for us to take a closer look at the collection. These sports-style watches feature a real alternative design. Alongside the central second hand, the dial has two totalisers, one for the minutes at 3 o’clock and the other for the hours at 9 o’clock. There are no sub-seconds, but split-time measurements are given pride of place. The hour and minute hands are open-worked for greater clarity. The monopushers come with rubber sheathes for guaranteed ease of use. Rounding off the time information, the chronographs have a large date counter at 12 o’clock. And to highlight the chic and elegant look, two dial is designed in contemporary colours, midnight blue and anthracite grey. The texture with vertical strokes reinforces their modern personality. The 45mm-wide steel cases house an automatic movement with 40 hours of power reserve. The surface finishes – with a polished, matt and satin effect – play with the light to offer a rich range of contrasts and reflections. With their two protections, the crown and watch case are shock-resistant. For daily comfort, the SW Chrono watches come with material straps matching the dial colours and a folding clasp. Price: 17,700 EUR jaquet-droz.com
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