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EdgyGuyJide

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  1. DOUBLE IMPACT Switch to color and make a statement! That is the suggestion of this fully independent brand with its new series of chronographs in sharp lines. The Abyss collection has taken us to a sporty, technological and masculine realm since 2005. In 2014, hints of color gave the timepieces an extra splurge of dynamism. Continuing this contemporary approach, Hysek is enhancing its catalog with two new versions of its Abyss 44 mm Chronograph. The first combines a predominantly black color scheme with hints of yellow on the chronograph and small second counters. Its strap bears a double colored line with calf leather inlay in a sports car inspired color scheme. The same solar shades are used in the inner bezel to illuminate the center of the dial. The second version offers a completely different color scheme in predominantly purple. This style gives the watch an elegant yet quirky charm. Like the collection’s previous creations, the hour circle contains four Arabic numerals covered in luminescent material. The two models also have a bezel encrusted with a sapphire disc. The 44 mm titanium case houses a self-winding movement comprising 170 components. Once wound, this caliber regulated to vibrate at a frequency of 28 800 oscillations per hour displays the time, date and a short timer with a power reserve of 42 hours. To guarantee uncompromising comfort to the wearer, the rotating lugs mold to the wrist perfectly. The alligator strap is fastened with a folding buckle. Price: CHF 8,185 (black – yellow) – CHF 8,725 (purple) hysek.com
  2. A MUSICAL SCORE IN MAJOR MODE From the SIHH in Geneva until October, a 25-piece limited edition is being unveiled on the 24th of every month to celebrate a quarter of a century of manufacture. A philharmonic orchestra cannot function without talented musicians and a strict conductor who can lead them to perfection. Since 24 October 1994, the official date of its renaissance with the launch of the Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne has performed this role by using a collection of mechanical features to set the benchmark in fine watchmaking. To mark a quarter of a century, the German company is unveiling various limited edition models this year. One of these is the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” topped with a solid silver dial. Like the original 2012 model, the time information, which is blue in this model, is displayed off center. This unique layout ensures optimum readability combined with an outsize date, the mechanical and stylistic signature feature of the manufacturer. It also conveniently tells the months on the rotating outer ring of the dial and the day of the week with a retrograde marker at 10 o’clock. A small window at 6 o’clock provides leap year information. The moon phases are displayed at 7 o’clock with precision for 122.6 years. This arrangement is masterfully directed by the L08.01 caliber (with a power reserve of 50 hours). The complex self-winding movement comprising 624 components uniquely incorporates a tourbillon visible through the sapphire case back of the 41.9 mm white gold case. Turning the watch over, the owner also discovers the oscillating gold rotor. Each piece is numbered and engraved from 01/25 to 25/25 and comes with a blue alligator strap with a folding buckle. Price: EUR 324,500
  3. Z IS FOR ZAGATO With this limited edition, Chopard is celebrating 100 years of one of the most creative designers of race cars to win the legendary Mille Miglia rally between Brescia and Rome. To mark Zagato’s centenary, Chopard is paying vibrant homage to this family business which also shares a passion for cars. This takes the shape of a 100-piece limited edition with curves and finery as elegant as those designed by the legendary Italian coachbuilder. The Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph 100th Anniversary Edition comes with an intense red lacquered dial, the signature color of the Milan-based studio, covered with a design using the Z of the company logo. The time information components are laid out in the traditional manner inherent to the collection’s timepieces. The faceted, rhodium-plated, baton-shaped hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova® and point to the markers arranged on the outer ring. Two counters, together with the red-tipped central second hand provide an easy-to-read short timer. A small second at 3 o’clock and a date window at 4:30 complete the set. A tachymeter scale adds a vintage touch to the creation. The 42 mm steel case contains a self-winding movement equipped with a stop-second function. The caliber is regulated to vibrate at a frequency of 28 000 oscillations per hour and offers a power reserve of 42 hours. As with all the watches in production, its chronometer is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Another interesting feature is the cuff strap in black calf leather. Price: EUR 6,330 chopard.com
  4. While this is a watch that you almost certainly didn't expect to see from Laurent Ferrier, the Tourbillon Grand Sport is all about celebrating a trio of anniversaries that are integral to the creation and perspective of the brand. So forget what you know about LF – this watch is LF through and through. The three crucial events this piece celebrates are the 1979 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which Laurent Ferrier and brand co-founder François Servanin placed third overall; the 2009 founding of Laurent Ferrier as a brand; and the 2009 conception of the brand's first tourbillon, which has become its calling card. Yeah, there's a lot wrapped up in this one. The watch itself is a 44mm stainless steel number with a new case shape that sits somewhere between tonneau and cushion, still with LF's signature curves and onion crown. In case you weren't sure about the "sport" in the name, it's mounted on a rubber strap and it has a dial punctuated by bright flashes of orange Super-LumiNova, so you can read it in any conditions. The dial is a smoked brown color that fades from almost silver at the center, to a dark warm brown at the edges. Turning the watch over, you'll find a caliber LF 619.01 finished in a striking ruthenium color (similar to a certain other Laurent Ferrier LE...) and with the brand's double spiral tourbillon mechanism down at the bottom. It's totally superlative and a nice balance between traditional watchmaking and modern aesthetics. The Tourbillon Grand Sport is a limited edition of just 12 pieces and the brand is saying that they won't be making anything quite like this in the future, so it's truly limited. Initial Thoughts All right, let's get this out of the way up front: Yes, the Tourbillon Grand Sport does have a bit of a Nautilus/Aquanaut look to it, but can you really be all that surprised that the man who spent more than 35 years in product develop at Patek Philippe would gravitate towards these kinds of shapes when making his first sport watch? If that bothers you, there's not really any way to argue, but I personally don't think that's a disqualifying factor for this watch. The shape of the case, in fact, is what I find most striking about the Tourbillon Grand Sport. The shape is kind of beguiling. It's not round, it's not square, it's not a pure cushion – it's something all its own. LF is a brand that tends to get the details right and I like the way the sharp edges of the lugs contrast with the smooth curves of the bezel, especially up around the corners. The balance is on-point. Likewise, the gradient of the dial and the way the color plays off the rubber strap is extremely elegant. I might have opted for a less dominating color for the lume, given my druthers, but that's very much a personal choice. At 44mm this guy is large, and I'd also have loved to see it closer to 40mm, but it wears rather well and much more like a 42mm watch than a typical 44mm round watch. My favorite thing though? The pure "eff you" quotient that you get by putting a superlatively finished, tourbillon-equipped movement like this in a sport watch. The obvious way to go would be the typical automatic micro-rotor caliber, but no, LF went all-out here in a way that I can fully get behind. The Basics Brand: Laurent Ferrier Model: Tourbillon Grand Sport Reference Number: LCF041 Diameter: 44mm Case Material: Stainless steel Dial Color: Brown gradient with nickel opaline finish at the center Indexes: Applied white gold daggers Lume: Yes, orange Super-LumiNova on hands and hour markers Water Resistance: 100 meters Strap/Bracelet: Taupe rubber strap with stainless steel folding clasp The Movement Caliber: LF 619.01 Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, double-spiral tourbillon Diameter: 31.6mm Thickness: 5.57mm Power Reserve: 80 hours Winding: Manually wound Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph) Jewels: 23 Total Components: 188 Chronometer Certified at the Besançon Observatory Additional Details: Special ruthenium treatment to plates and bridges Pricing & Availability Price: $185,000 Availability: From June 2019 Limited Edition: 12 numbered pieces
  5. Originally previewed earlier this year (hence the snow in a few of the photos), Oris has announced the official launch of the first non-limited Divers Sixty-Five chronograph. Essentially a mix of the format previously established by the bronze Carl Brashear chronograph of 2018 crossed with the general look and feel of the 40mm steel and bronze Diver Sixty-Five, the new Diver Sixty-Five Chronograph is 43mm in steel with bronze and rose gold accents. The Brashear limited editions (one chronograph, one time/date diver) have proven to be hot tickets within the Oris mind share so it was really just a matter of time until the brand decided to offer a non-limited expression of the design. Following closely to the bronze/steel three-hand Divers Sixty-Five, the Chrono has a bronze bezel with a black aluminum insert surrounding a no-date two-register chronograph layout. With a gilt application over a black dial, the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph is legible and offers 100m water resistance (the same as the original Divers Sixty-Five, which I have personally used while diving). Initial Thoughts Thanks to its twin register layout and lack of the date display, the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph is nicely balanced and home to a large handset, lumed markers, and even lume-tipped sub-dial hands (not common). While 43mm is quite an increase in size over the proportion of the standard Divers Sixty-Five, the larger dial leaves room for the chronograph display and I found the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph to sit nicely on wrist and feel sporty without being overstated, especially with the added bubble effect of that very domed crystal. Available on the leather strap (as seen in the photos) or on Oris' easy-wearing rivet-style steel bracelet, the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph starts at $4,000 and uses a Sellita-sourced Swiss automatic chronograph movement. As the latest entry to the Divers Sixty-Five line up (and the first series-produced chronograph) this new Chronograph is a handsome, nicely made, and a strong take on the format previously established by the Brashear LE. The Basics Brand: Oris Model: Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph Reference Number: 01 771 7744 4354 Diameter: 43mm Case Material: Steel with a bronze bezel Dial Color: Black Indexes: Applied, rose gold PVD Lume: Super-LumiNova on hands and markers Water Resistance: 100 meters Strap/Bracelet: Brown leather strap or steel bracelet The Movement Caliber: Oris 771 (Sellita 510 base) Functions: Hours, minutes, sub-seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30-minute chronograph totalizer Diameter: 30mm Power Reserve: 48 hours Winding: Automatic Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph) Jewels: 27 Pricing & Availability Price: $4,000 (leather strap), $4,250 (steel bracelet) Availability: May 2019
  6. A MIX & MATCH EXPLOSION Watchmaker Hublot and artist Marc Ferrero have joined forces for a new artistic endeavor: telling a story on a watch dial. A fusion between two worlds giving rise to two very colorful limited editions. When two talented masters of the art of fusion in their respective fields collide, it cannot fail to be astounding, explosive and, above all, a great success, as is the case with this pair of Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero designs from Hublot. The French artist who skillfully combines different techniques and artistic trends for the storytelling art movement which he created, has left his creative stamp on the dials of two watches decorated with bright graphics. Launched at the start of the year, both series are limited to 50 pieces and come in two different shades: pink red and turquoise blue. The black lacquered dials tell a story interpreted by a piece by Marc Ferrero, Lipstick. Dominating the dial is the face of a woman, eyes hidden behind large sunglasses, a lipstick placed against her mouth as if the act of painting her lips is frozen in time. Surrounding this, there are different depictions of emotions experienced by a woman throughout her day according to the role that she plays: mother, wife, friend, business woman, etc. Three rhodium-plated hands display the hours, minutes and seconds. The timekeeping is regulated by the HUB1710 caliber which offers a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. The automatic-winding movement is housed in a 39 mm steel case and topped with a bezel decorated with 42 blue topazes or red spinels, depending on the version. The Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero comes with two easy-to-change straps matching the dial: one made of rubber covered with calf leather cut to form patterns and the other made of alligator with tonal stitching. Price: 16,400 CHF www.hublot.com
  7. W atches have long served as gifts given to mark important occasions. In the past it was standard practice to inscribe the caseback with a name or even a short note. From parents to children, wives to husbands, watches made a great gift because they were both personal and essential. Folks needed a watch to stay on time, and what better way to remember an occasion than to actually use the object tied to it? But in the early days of WWII, a batch of American watches were given as gifts to Soviet soldiers for a different sort of occasion: to help win a war. On December 14, 1941 former ambassador to the Soviet Union Joseph E. Davies proclaimed to a crowded Boston Arena, “We must never forget that we have been the beneficiaries of their agonies. When they fight for their homes they fight for ours.” Mr. Davies was referring to the immense suffering Soviet troops faced as they fought off an encroaching Nazi army. For some context, this was just seven days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, which marked the entry of the United States into World War II. A letter to NYC governor Herbert H. Lehman from Allen Wardwell of the Russian War Relief. Roughly six months earlier, three million German troops marched into the Soviet Union with the support of 3,000 tanks on the ground and the Luftwaffe in the air. The front spanned nearly 2,000 miles from the North Cape all the way to the Black Sea. The Soviet Invasion is widely accepted as Hitler’s most significant blunder, as its failure caused Germany to fight a two-front war. While the Germans grossly underestimated Soviet forces, Operation Barbarossa inflicted incredible damage to the Soviet Union. Perhaps the greatest ally to the Soviet Forces was the extremely harsh Russian winter, as the German troops found it absolutely debilitating. But it wasn’t just the cold that came to the Soviet Union’s aid. In the United States, a New York-based foundation bolstered the efforts of the unflinching Soviets. Known as the Russian War Relief, the organization was set up in July 1941 (before the U.S. entered the war) and officially incorporated in September. Their mission was to supply Soviet troops with every bit of equipment possible in order to help them in the fight against the Nazis. They raised funding from New York’s business elite, they recruited new members from Ivy League campuses, and they ran a sizable PR campaign to drum up support. And the Russian War Relief even custom-ordered watches to keep Soviet forces on time from a crop of America’s prominent watchmakers, Waltham, Elgin, and Hamilton. These special-purpose watches were built to the U.S. Army Ordnance Department’s general specifications, meaning they were rated to be used for basic timekeeping in military functions, although not necessarily combat. Watches carrying the A-11 specification are a cut above the Russian War Relief–ordered watches. The watches are inscribed with an encouraging note to Soviet soldiers: "To the Heroic People of the USSR – Russian War Relief USA,” with the latter half of the inscription being a transliteration into Cyrillic characters from English. There was a healthy amount of skepticism from the Western Allies towards the Stalin-led Soviet Union at the time, but the need to work together became obvious as Hitler’s Germany grew more powerful. American policymakers handled Soviet cooperation with a sort of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" approach. It wasn’t necessarily an alliance formed from shared values, brotherhood, or kinship, but rather it was an alliance born out of sheer necessity. The only way to stop Germany was to band together. Winston Churchill shared the sentiment with typical English wit: "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favorable reference to the Devil in the House of Commons." The Lend-Lease act, passed in March 1941, was purportedly the legislative vehicle that allowed the Russian War Relief organization to deliver these watches to the Soviet troops. It was a legislative instrument that allowed the United States to remain distant from the combat side of war while still taking a stance through supplying fighting forces with equipment. Of course there was a fair amount of opposition to the bill, with some senators noting that it would allow the President to carry out proxy wars all over the world without ever putting men in the trenches. It’s possible that the Russian War Relief simply organized the delivery of the watches to troops outside the lend-lease act. While a production order for the watches does exist, there is no mention of the lend-lease act. After the war was over, it was actively discouraged in Russia to discuss the aid the U.S. had given to the Soviet forces, so there's no documentation on that side to help. With that in mind, it raises the question of whether or not the Soviet forces were allowed to keep these watches or if it was considered taboo to own a watch honoring a partnership that was forbidden to discuss. The particular example you see here is incredibly weathered, and the inscription on the caseback has been significantly worn down, potentially hinting at a lifetime of use. After all, it may have gone through the war strapped to the wrist of a soldier on the Eastern front. The war ended with the defeat of the Nazis, and the Russian War Relief dissolved as America entered peacetime. Pins, posters, and records at the New York Public Library are all that's left of the organization, but every now and then a confusing watch pops up from an American watchmaker with Cyrillic writing on the back. The relationship that developed between Russia and America in the post-war years is another chapter in history entirely, but the watch serves as a reminder of the time our nations came together to fight a greater evil. The Russian War Relief gave the Soviet soldiers a vital timekeeping tool for warfare; the Soviet soldiers gave all they could in the fight against the Nazis.
  8. It’s been a good week in the world of vintage watches (if I do say so myself), and I think you’ll agree. eBay proved to be a great source over the past few days, with finds including a top quality Gallet Multichron and a Multi-Centerchrono from Mido. As you’d expect from eBay, the photos are hilariously bad, but the watches certainly are not. In addition, we’ve got an accessibly priced piece from Doxa featuring a striking set of lugs, and a top tier Rolex Explorer, complete with a gilt, chapter-ring dial. If conventional watchmaking isn’t exactly your bag, then direct your attention towards the Swatch that resembles a pepper. Long story. You’ll find out below. Let’s get down to it, shall we? Gallet Multichron 30M It wouldn’t be Bring A Loupe without some ultra-low-quality eBay listing photos, and if that’s what does it for you, you’re in luck. While doing my usual scour of the auction site, I came across a seller with luck as good as their inability to take a half-decent photo. According to the listing, this watch was purchased in an estate sale with two others, one of which you’ll hear about later. I have no idea what was paid for these watches, but my guess is the seller in question got quite a deal. Should you not be sure of what you’re looking at, allow me to fill you in. This is a Gallet Multichron 30M, which as Gallet fanatics will be quick to inform, was regarded as the first waterproof chronograph, with its “clamshell” compression case construction. This design was patented by Schmitz Freres & Co in 1936, and acquired by Gallet just one year later. With that said, other brands aside from Gallet did implement the clamshell case design. As one would expect, the gilt dial variants of this watch intended for military use are among the most desirable, though this example is certainly no slouch by any stretch. The main attraction here is the two-tone dial you’ll find fitted beneath the crystal, which looks to be perfect. This is another one of those instances in which one must look past the cracked crystal, and analyze the dial from all of the seller’s provided angles. Look closely, and you’ll notice that what might appear to be flaws on the dial are actually the shadows of flaws in the crystal, which could and should be replaced upon taking delivery of the watch. Another thing you’ll likely want to replace is the crown, which is not original to the watch. Finding a suitable replacement shouldn’t be too hard. An eBay seller based out of Summerfield, Florida, has this Gallet listed in an auction that ends on Sunday evening. At the time of publishing, the high bid stands at $2,175 Click here for the full listing. Doxa Anti-Magnetic I’ve got a theory that life’s too short for new cars in boring colors. With well preserved classics, I’ll give you a pass, but when it comes to the latest and greatest, live it up a little, spec your ride in speeding ticket red, and thank me later. This same anti-dullness manifesto can be applied to watch collecting, but with respect to case design. Iconic Oysters are great, and they're iconic for a very good reason, but every now and then you need a little something something to spice things up. This is where the oddities, anomalies, and curiosities enter the picture. Best of all, such watches are typically rather affordable, given their often limited appeal. While browsing the website of a Los Angeles dealer, I came across a Doxa fitted inside an attractively unconventional case, that won’t entirely break the bank. Usually, this tier of vintage Doxa is admittedly rather uninteresting, and not something I’d bat an eye at, but this example is the exception to the rule. The “fancy” style lugs on its 34mm stainless steel case elevate it to another level of interesting, and while I haven’t had this watch on my wrist, I’d wager that the lugs make it feel a tad larger than your average 34mm timepiece. You can never go wrong with a great time-only watch, and with these lugs, at this price point, there’s a lot to get behind here. Swap out the strap with something a little more exciting, and you’ll have a seriously cool piece on your hands. Wanna Buy a Watch has this Doxa listed on their site for $1,500. Get the full scoop here. Mido Multi-Centerchrono Just like in the world of fashion, vintage watches seem to become popular in waves, with flocks of collectors acquiring specific models en masse. Similarly, after the greatest though perhaps not latest has been decided upon, tastes seemingly shift elsewhere. This is a trend I’ve watched come and go with a number of models, though was perhaps most short lived in the case of the Mido Multi-Centerchrono. Just a few years back, after a few noteworthy collectors began posting photos online of the central chronograph, I witnessed an influx of examples hit the market. In 2019, they’re not discussed as much as they might’ve been just three years ago, for reasons I’m not entirely sure of. It’s still an absolute knockout of a watch, and one to get familiar with if you’re not already. What initially attracted me to the Multi-Centerchrono are three things which likely sold the rest on this mildly deceptive chronograph. This includes the fact that elapsed minutes are tracked centrally, eliminating the need for a separate subdial, in addition to the multi-scale dial, and François Borgel case. Patek savvy readers might recognize the engraved pushers on this watch, as they are the same as what you’ll find on the far more costly ref. 1463 chronographs which Patek Philippe produced way back when. Pretty neat, huh? Upon seeing the aforementioned wave of Multi-Centerchronos hit the market, many were found in less than stellar condition, though that’s not how I’d describe this eBay find. Despite the seller’s genuinely awful photos — which I strangely get a kick out of after finding many of my best eBay scores listed with photos I’d bet were taken on a Motorola Razr — it would appear that the dial remains untouched and in great shape. Note the red, 24-hour indicators found at the centre of the dial. It’s pretty common to see that these have faded away, but that’s far from the case with this one. The scales that surround the dial are prone to smudging while being worked on, as well, but as the photos would indicate, they’re still clearly visible. All in all, a top quality example. The previously mentioned eBay seller has this Mido listed in an auction that also ends on Sunday evening. The high bid currently stands at $1,802. Find the full listing here. Swatch “One More Time” Trio by Alfred Hofkunst My guess is that when you clicked on this article, you expected to see many things, but a set of food-inspired Swatch watches was by no means one of them. Well, guess what? We’re about to break down a trio of pieces from Swatch that resemble a cucumber, a red bell pepper, and a sunny side up egg with a side of bacon. In the eternal words of one Homer J. Simpson – “Mmm…bacon.” Before I get carried away with too many references, let’s take a closer look at what this set is all about. Swatch has put out some decently out-there limited edition pieces over the years, but this 1991 release might just outdo the rest. Titled “One More Time,” this set was designed by the Austrian-Swiss painter, set designer, and graphic artist Alfred Hofkunst, best known for his drawings, paintings, and lithographs depicting greenery, water, and landscape abstractions. Each piece is fitted with a uniquely shaped leather strap, and has its own title. These include Guhrke, the cucumber, Verduhra, the red bell pepper, and Bonjuhr, the egg and bacon combo. This is likely the first and last time you’ll see words “egg and bacon combo” appear on HODINKEE, so take note. My favorite of the bunch is without question Verduhra, as it’s in my opinion the most outrageous of the bunch, and about as close as you can get to wearing sculptural pop art without securing a Koons ballon dog with bungee cords to your wrist. I wouldn’t be surprised if the next owner of this set chooses to keep the watches in their sealed protective plastics, but I’d encourage wearing them, largely because I’d like to know that there’s someone out there telling the time with a pepper. The full set of three pieces is being offered by 1000 Objekte, a Zürich-based, independent auction house that exclusively sells the collection of Peter Grünbaum. Bidding starts at CHF 350. Check it out right here. 1960 Rolex Explorer Ref. 1016 With Gilt Dial It’s noticeably easier to track down a standard, matte dial sports Oyster versus an older gilt variant for a number of reasons. First off, such dials have stood the test of time far better than their older, glossy gilt cousins, simply because of the increased proneness of gilt dials to crazing, spotting, and surface wear. With that said, finding the gilt dial that suits your tastes is akin to finding a glass slipper that fits just right. You might remember that just last week, I took the opportunity to share with you what a fake Explorer dial looks like, and the cautionary “tells” to look out for while on the hunt. Having gotten that one out of the way, I thought we’d turn the page, so to speak, and highlight what a truly outstanding, and unquestionably genuine gilt Explorer dial looks like. There are few notable gilt dial Explorers which are publicly listed on the market right now, and this is likely the best one online. What makes this particular example special is the chapter ring which traces the perimeter of its dial, and from which the minute marking hashes stem. As far as I’m concerned, this detail should be an absolute must if in search of a gilt dial Explorer, but that’s just my opinion. I can live with or without the presence of an “exclamation point,” but the chapter ring really does add an extra level of dimension that you won’t find on later watches. Though the case on this piece has been polished in the past, its lugs remain thick and even, indicating it was polished with care. The dial itself is in great shape too, with its glossy surface maintained, and evenly aged applications of luminous compound. A gilt Explorer is about as good as it gets in the realm of vintage Rolex understated cool, and with an example this, there’s little to not like. Michael Morgan of Iconic Watch Company has this example of the famed Explorer listed for $29,900. More details and photos can be found here. Buyer Beware: Breguet Chronograph I don’t like to see anyone get scammed, especially when it’s for a handsome sum to the tune of $36,000. That’s why I’d like to take this opportunity to point out an outright fake currently listed online, which a friend (and HODINKEE contributor) by the name of PH Zhou was kind enough to bring to my attention. If Breguet chronographs are works of Old Masters art, this is a candy-fueled child’s crayon drawing. No offense to your kids or my toddler readers. This isn’t a Breguet in any sense. This is a basic, low grade vintage chronograph, that someone refinished with Breguet branding, did a cheap laser engraving job on the caseback and bridge, and listed online for thirty six thousand dollars. If this was $360.
  9. THE DIVING TURTLE As the watchmaker gets ready to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its DS concept, it is re-releasing a model inspired by a piece from the end of the 1960s regulated by the powerful Powermatic 80 caliber In just a few months, it will be 60 years since Certina adopted the turtle, a symbol of robustness and longevity, as its emblem in 1959, the same year it developed the famous DS concept (standing for Double Security) which guarantees the superior shock resistance and water resistance up to 200 meters of its automatic watches. These two key strengths still stand today as demonstrated by the new DS PH200M model inspired by a piece from 1967. This re-release is based on the esthetic codes of its predecessor such as the design of the dial. Protected by a domed hesalite crystal and coated with a scratchguard treatment, the dial is matte black, a deep stealthy shade which makes the thin red cross connecting the compass points stand out as well as the white luminescent markers. In the center, two dagger-shaped hands coated with Super-LumiNova® display the hours and minutes. These are accompanied by a glossy red second hand with a phosphorescent arrow on the tip. The date is displayed in black on a white background in a window at 3 o’clock. The polished steel case of this Certina measures almost 43 mm in diameter. It is equipped with a unidirectional rotating bezel and a black aluminum ring featuring a triangular marker and a minute counter composed of figures and markers. Both the case back, engraved with the turtle logo, and the crown are screw-in. The metal case houses the robust Powermatic 80 caliber developed by ETA, a mechanical automatic-winding movement which powers the timekeeping functions and offers, as its name suggests, a power reserve of 80 hours. The DS PH200M model comes with two easy-to-change straps without the need for any tools: a steel mesh bracelet or a petroleum blue NATO which emphasizes the vintage appeal of the watch. Price: 745 CHF
  10. STYLE AND GOOD TASTE With the second version of the Vintage, Anonimo reminds us that a watch can be both a useful tool and an essential wardrobe accessory. First unveiled shortly before Baselworld 2019 with a seductive blue sunray dial, the Nautilo Vintage diver’s watch by Anonimo is available with a chocolate-colored casing. A subtle smoky gradient gives the dial a character which is at once retro and elegant. The watch hands, coated with Super-Luminova®, point to a precision minute track set with index markers likewise painted with this luminescent material. A date window nested at 6 o’clock displays the calendar’s numbers. This very subdued composition is framed by a one-way rotating graduated bezel fitted with a ceramic insert in the same color as the dial. The 42 mm cushion-shaped satin-finish steel case makes the timepiece sophisticated enough to be worn both on land and in the water. The case, waterproof to a depth of 200 m, perfectly protects the Swiss Made automatic mechanical movement, especially with its screw-back and screw-down crown. The Sellita SW 200-1 caliber ensures that the time is shown for at least 38 hours after rewinding. To ensure comfort for the wearer in all circumstances, the Nautilo Vintage Chocolat is paired with a leather watch band with an Ardillon buckle. A practical system provides the option of easily swapping the connection. With personalization in mind, a deployment clasp can also be fitted by request. Price: EUR 2,190 www.anonimo.com
  11. WRIST FLOWER POWER This new and extremely colorful limited edition from the watchmaker based in La Chaux-de-Fonds pays homage to the sacred art of Grand Feu enamel enhancing its mechanical capabilities. It represents a supercharged watch which gives you the urge to live life to the full. As the popular saying goes, “everything comes in threes” and Schwarz Etienne follows this to the letter since its new watch named Ode to the 70’s is the third installment of the series which began in 2016. The first part, Ode à la semaine, paid homage to the stars, the second, Ode au printemps, released the following year, paid homage to nature, while this third creation is very different. And above all colorful. Very colorful. Just looking at it takes you straight back to the age of Flower Power, the famous hippie slogan from the 1960s and 1970s extolling a pacifist ideology. Ode to the 70’s is a delight for the eyes with its a brightly-colored face: yellow, orange, red, pink, green and blue. In addition to this color scheme, Schwarz Etienne wanted to showcase the sacred art of Grand Feu enameling and has done so using two techniques: cloisonné, where the contours of the pattern are traced with very thin gold wire, and champlevé, which involves carving out the cells. After that, in the style of coloring-in for children but on a much more complex and delicate scale, each section of the design is filled with colored enamel then kiln-fired several times. The only part not to be enameled is the micro-rotor in the shape of a Peace & Love symbol at 9 o’clock, which is lacquered instead. This vibrant work of art keeps the time with two luminescent delta-shaped hands showing the hours and minutes, a knurled wheel for winding (the ratchet) partially visible at 5 o’clock and, most importantly, the flying tourbillon at 1 o’clock. These functions are regulated by the self-winding TSE 121.000 caliber which offers a power reserve of 70 hours located at the heart of the 44 mm white gold case. This 23-piece limited edition is worn on a light blue denim strap decorated with small paint splatters in different colors lined with bright red alligator, which is fastened using a white gold folding buckle. Price: CHF 118,500 excluding VAT
  12. Whe Zeitwerk, in its varying incarnations seems so fundamental a part of the identity of A. Lange & Söhne that it's hard to believe that it was launched fairly recently, in 2009. The Zeitwerk is part of a quite small class of wristwatches which in addition to having a jumping hours display (which is already uncommon) also have a jumping minutes display as well, and which includes such timepieces as Vianny Halter's Opus 3 for Harry Winston, the IWC Pallweber (in both pocket and wristwatch incarnations) and F. P. Journe's Vagabondage, models II and III. The Zeitwerk has also been a platform for striking complications, up to and including the minute repeater, and has gotten the Handwerkskunst treatment as well. The newest Zeitwerk is relatively simple in comparison to the striking watches, at least at first glance – a date is a date is a date, one might say; a bit ho-hum for something as elevated as the Zeitwerk is, even by the standards of Lange's other watches. But there are several new and interesting features under the hood which make the latest Zeitwerk more than just the addition of a simple complication. When I first heard of the Zeitwerk date, I thought (as many did) that it might somehow include a jumping digital indication of the date – perhaps an addition of the big date function seen in the Lange 1 to the Zeitwerk's dial, but instead we got something a little more diffident, in the form of a frosted glass date-ring on the dial's circumference. The current date is highlighted in red, and the red color of the date is the first addition of color to the dial since the the Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst got some red in the power reserve indication (unless you want to count the gold dial bridge, in the Striking Time, and in the Decimal Strike Honeygold). Those two flashes of red stand out like a cardinal in a pine forest at dusk – a welcome chromatic flourish in what is otherwise a very monochromatic experience. The Zeitwerk Date, in addition to the date complication itself, has two pushers on the case – the one at 8:00 functions as a date corrector, and the one at 4:00 is for adjusting the hour display; the minutes are set by the crown. An interesting feature of the design is that the pushers trigger the display change in the date, and in the hour window, after they're fully depressed and then released – pressing the pushers all the way in arms the switching mechanism, which is then activated once you take pressure off the pusher. This has a couple of advantages – first, it means that you can't partly advance the date or hour by mistake, and in the case of the hour window, it means you don't have to advance the minutes indication one minute at a time to switch the hour, which would be extremely tedious (and probably wear-inducing to boot). Lange being Lange, the indications all switch quite smartly, and rapidly, at the top of each hour. This includes the date, by the way. I mostly know the Zeitwerk from pictures, but of course it's a watch whose main visual interest is kinetic, and it's a pleasure to see everything switch over at midnight – date included – with a very faintly audible mechanical snick. It all happens so smoothly that it's easy to forget how difficult it is to pull this sort of thing off reliably and smoothly – the wheels on which the numerals are printed represent considerably more inertia than a pair of hands, and powering the jump without negatively affecting balance amplitude – and therefore, accuracy and precision – is a real problem. Lange addresses this by use of a remontore d'egalite, which winds a secondary, smaller spring on the third wheel once per minute (a remontoir uses the energy of the mainspring to wind another spring, on one of the train wheel gears, in order to provide constant energy to the balance). In addition to providing unvarying torque, the remontoir also acts as a switching device, trigging the jump of the minute, hour, and date indications. The remontoir in this version of the Zeitwerk is situated more or less in the same position as in the original model, however in the Zeitwerk date, it's configured differently. In the original Zeitwerk, with a 36 hour power reserve, the central part of the bridge makes about a 45 degree turn before terminating near the mainspring barrel (which has a Maltese cross stopworks, intended to prevent the watch from running at such a low power reserve that the remontoir would no longer be able to wind the remontoir spring). The remontoir bridge of the original 2009 Zeitwerk, in Lange caliber L043.1 Lange caliber L043.8, in the Zeitwerk Date. In the Zeitwerk Date, the remontoir bridge is now laid out in a very elegant looking straight line, and the crosspiece no longer has the rather decorative, anchor-like configuration of the original movement. The Maltese cross stopworks have also been eliminated from the mainspring barrel. The overall look is clear and clean – less complex visually than the original Lange caliber, with a more modern, and a bit more of a pragmatic feel. Whether or not you prefer the aesthetics of the old or the new will probably depend on how you feel about the elements of Lange movement design which are deliberately slightly ornate and archaic. An interesting example of how Lange's movement design philosophy has evolved in the last decade can also be found in the Lange 1, whose movement layout saw a major update in 2015. Much of the movement was re-engineered and the result was a much cleaner design, but the nostalgist in me – for no particularly logical reason – misses the slight air of blinkered Teutonic fussiness that was part of the charm of the original Lange 1. On the one hand, the newer layout of the Zeitwerk has greater visual clarity and organization on its side; on the other hand, the older version has a certain baroque charm which the cleaner design sacrifices to some extent (I felt the same way about the original, and newer versions of the Datograph). In the hand and on the wrist, irrespective of variations in movement design and engineering, the Zeitwerk remains a Lange through and through. There's a quality of density to Lange watches – even the most simple – which doesn't have so much to do with actual mass as it does with the sense of being in the presence of a machine that elevates machine-ness to an aesthetic virtue. One of the big joys of owning a mechanical watch – or at least, one of the potential joys – is the sense of physical connection it's possible to feel with the mechanism. There's a kind of kinesthetic identification with a mechanism of gears and oscillators that, in a Lange, is really dialed up thanks to the overbuilt feel of, well, everything – the case, the movement, and especially how every interaction with the watch gives the impression of having been extremely carefully thought through in order to produce an optimum, and very sensually satisfying, experience for the user. One of the criticisms sometimes leveled against Lange is that their watches can seem austere to the point of sterility. Like just about everything having to do with watches at this level, this is to some extent a matter of personal taste (one man's forbidding austerity is another man's bracing clarity). The Zeitwerk, however, offers a wonderful balance – it's got all the almost humorlessly obsessive quality we love in much of Lange's watchmaking, but against that is set the uncomplicated, child-like, almost goofy pleasure of watching the indications switch. The best part is seeing the date switch over at midnight along with the hour and minutes – not only do you have the fun of seeing all four indications switch simultaneously, you get the added frisson of having stayed up past your bedtime.
  13. While we've seen the concept of an auction catalog "cover lot" upended a bit over the last few years as online catalogs have supplanted the physical paper tomes for many collectors, we still see the big players each make a seasonal push to have one major talking point heading into each auction. For the upcoming Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Nine, that watch is undoubtedly the Vacheron Constantin that you see here. So what is it exactly that you're looking at right now? The answer's complicated. It was a little over a month ago that Phillips announced it would be selling this watch and I gave you a pretty in-depth report on the background, context, and watch then. However, since then, I've had a chance to chat with the folks at Phillips and see the watch in the metal, giving me a slightly better understanding of what this watch is, why it's meaningful, and how it came to be up for public auction. The short version of the story is this: In 1935, a collector named Francisco Martinez Llano ordered a custom minute repeater with retrograde calendar complication from Vacheron Constantin through Madrid retailer Brooking. In early 1940 the watch was delivered to him in South America and it remained with the family ever since. The only outside evidence of this watch was a lone black-and-white photograph found in a book published in 1992. Last year, Phillips Watches' Aurel Bacs found the watch and worked with Vacheron Constantin to have it brought back to working order and properly documented. Now it's hitting the auction block. (If you want to know more, check out that original story liked to above.) Seeing this watch in the metal was like stepping into a horological time machine. Everything about this watch screams of days long forgotten. The shape of the case, the claw-shaped lugs, the crown set at 12 o'clock, and the charming mix of fonts and numeral styles on the dial – they all speak to a particular and idiosyncratic way of making watches by hand that would be hard to replicate today (and that assumes any watchmaker, let alone one of Vacheron's stature, would want to replicate them too). As Phillips noted in the original press release, the condition of the case is unreal too. Everything is crisp, original finishes appear to be intact, and there aren't really any visible traces of a polishing wheel. From the monogram on the back to the shape of the repeater slide, everything looks just like it probably did in January 1940 when Llano took delivery of the extremely unusual keeper. Now, you're probably wondering why a watch in "original" condition has such a bright, clean dial. That's because the dial currently mounted on the watch is a replacement created by Vacheron Constantin to the original spec during the restoration process. The original radium dial is also included, and looking at it you can probably guess why Phillips and Vacheron would want to fit it with something a little more pristine before showing off their find. One additional thing to note here is that the lone black-and-white photo of this watch actually shows it with a different dial and handset. According to VC's records, the watch was delivered with two options, the dressier version with pomme-style hands and no lume seen in the photo and this slightly sportier version with large luminous numerals and ladder-style hands. Now, I'll admit, this is kind of a weird scenario. Typically, we here at HODINKEE wouldn't be too keen on highlighting watches with replacement dials, unusual provenance, and not-so-straightforward documentation. However, considering that Vacheron themselves are involved and have the paper trail on their end to confirm things like the two-dial delivery, the retailer signature, and more, I think any potential buyers can feel extremely secure when it comes time to raise their paddles. But now for the important part: wearing this watch. On the wrist, this thing is a dream. The tonneau case works particularly well with a crown at 12 o'clock; without the crown protruding from the right side of the case, you can really appreciate the streamlined, somewhat Deco lines. The slide does stick out a bit, but it's very subtle and doesn't affect comfort or the overall look of the watch, in my opinion. It's sort of the ultimate stealth signifier too. If you know, you know, and seeing a slide tells you that someone has something pretty darn serious on. Legibility is great, and despite the relatively densely packed text on the dial (the retailer signature, long brand signature, and retrograde numerals do take up quite a bit of space) the watch doesn't look cluttered or clumsy. I seriously hope that whoever buys this watch wears it. It would be a real shame to let something like this spend another few decades in a safe. Ultimately, with a watch like this, there are two ways things could have shaken out: The watch could have turned out to be a once-in-a-lifetime find that represents a very unique period in watchmaking history or ended up a strange curiosity with a questionable history that should best be approached with caution. And, while it would be totally fair to see it as some combination of the two, it looks like Vacheron Constantin has the paperwork to back things up, having dotted all their i's and crossed all their t's. I think the sort of collector who is going to be raising his or her paddle for this in Geneva next month is part of a self-selecting group. You need to be pretty astute to understand why this watch is special and you need to have already experienced quite a number of things to arrive at this point of interest in the first place. And, if you're there, then you have to ask yourself which boxes are checked and which are left with question marks. Mileage on that last part could vary person-to-person, but I don't see any indicatoon I'm extremely curious to see what kind of interest is generated in this watch and what the fervor is like come auction weekend. I'm sure we'll get the usual bit of theatrics and spectacle that we're used to from Phillips, and it's bound to make for a very interesting final outcome when the hammer drops. Phillips Geneva Watch Auction: Nine is taking place in Geneva on Saturday, May 11, 2019. This Vacheron Constantin is lot 109 and it carries an estimate of CHF 400,000 to 800,000.
  14. Among the many complexities and contractions that reside within my soul, witness my extreme fondness for De Bethune. While I will always extol the endearing nature of a simple steel sport watch or the usefulness and relatively good value of a 12-hour bezel, there is something about this brand that really gets me excited. With many of their designs being about the jaw-dropping experience of interacting with the actual watch in person, I'm not sure why I was so surprised when, at Baselworld earlier this year, I was handed the DB28GS Grand Bleu, the latest in water-resistant sport watch design from De Bethune. The DB28GS Grand Bleu on my 7-inch wrist. As mentioned here in our look at the original DB28GS, the "GS" stands for "Grand Sport" and the 45mm wide DB28GS Grand Bleu is made of titanium and offers both 100 meters of water resistance and unidirectional dive bezel. Slated as the brand's first true sport watch, the DB28GS Grand Bleu also offers two special features for the luminous aspect of the display. First is what De Bethune calls "manual dial lighting" which uses a dynamo along with energy stored in the power reserve to illuminate the dial when a pusher at six is depressed. The "manual dial lighting" system activated by a button at 6 on the case. See the 15-minute marker for evidence of the glow (photo taken in a very bright room). This functionality works in a manner similar to those old school bike lights that were powered by the rotation of the wheel, so there's no battery. Shown active in the above photo, the illumination is stronger than you might expect (that photo was shot in a very bright room, look at the 15-minute marker on the dial) and you can feel the mechanical process at play within the lightweight confines of the DB28GS Grand Bleu's titanium case. The 45mm DB28GS Grand Bleu on Cara's wrist. The second glowing talking point for this hilarious and awesome watch is the application of a new luminous material developed with James Thompson of Black Badger. Black Badger has worked on other watches in the past and De Bethune wanted to develop a special material that appeared blue in daylight while still offering enough glow for a sport watch. The result is an exclusive material called "Blue Moon" which was created by Black Badger in collaboration with Swiss Super-LumiNova. While the DB28SG Grand Bleu prototype that was shown at Baselworld was finished before Blue Moon could be applied, you can see many literally glowing examples of Black Badger's work here. The button to activate the "manual dial lighting" on the DB28GS Grand Bleu. Lume on lume – I love it. The DB28GS Grand Bleu is powered by De Bethune's DB2080 hand-wound movement. Offering time, a power reserve (dial edge between nine and 10), and that manual dial lighting system, the 4 Hz DB2080 has over 400 pieces and a power reserve of five days. On wrist, the DB28GS Grand Bleu wear like any other DB28 I've ever tried on. Visually it is large, but the centrally hinged and spring mounted lug design ensures that it sits flat and, at only 12.8mm thick, the Grand Bleu is entirely wearable. Nothing wears like a De Bethune, even when they go extra sporty. The centrally spring lugs of De Bethune's DB28 design ensure a comfortable and flexible fit, even for a large watch. Positioned in the overlap between avant-garde watchmaking and neo-futurist design that feels born of an era that predicted flying cars by the turn of the millennia, De Bethune is precisely modern, but with a specific blend of whimsical sci-fi appeal. So why not make a dive watch? Priced from $93,500 including both a textile strap (as photographed) and a rubber strap, the DB28GS Grand Bleu is De Bethune's appeal bent towards the format of a dive watch. Is it practical? No. Is it a good value? Hardly. But just as the five-year-old in me will always love supercars, I can't help but love this haute horology sport watch and its glowing personality.
  15. A CREATIVE FORCE New technology, modern elegance. A featherlight case and cutting-edge engineering are united in the first model of the series, which integrates an innovative monolithic oscillator. At Zenith, the future is now! The manufacturer continues to write its story in the latest chapter, which began in 2017 with the Defy Lab. On the agenda: a star-shaped ajoure dial, high-tech materials and a revolutionary oscillator! The Defy Inventor combines all of these features. Its 44 mm diameter titanium case is paired with a bezel made of Aeronith, an ultra-lightweight aluminum composite material. The monochromatic case helps set the scene for the components of the caliber, including a regulating organ machined in silicon which replaces the traditional spiral balance spring. This technical part, just 0.5 mm thick, oscillates at a frequency of 4Hz, or 128,600 alternations per hour. Thanks to this modern architecture, the case and the components of the caliber add to the esthetic appeal of the watch. The automatic movement is equipped with a stop-seconds function for precisely setting the time. Furthermore, it has a 50-hour power reserve. Its oscillating mass, embellished with Geneva Stripes, is visible through the sapphire crystal case back. The Defy Inventor has been granted three certifications. It’s anti-magnetic and resistant to temperature variations in accordance with the ISO-764 and ISO-3159 standards, respectively. Its 9100 caliber is chronometer certified by TimeLab and the Fondation du Laboratoire d’Horlogerie et Microtechnique of Geneva. The timepiece comes with a black rubber bracelet covered with blue alligator leather and is equipped with a titanium folding clasp which combines comfort for the wearer and security. Price: CHF 17,900
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