Tag Archives: timepiece

Review: Breitling Navitimer 01 Watch

The Navitimer is the granddaddy of pilot’s chronographs and not just a field watch that pilots took into their cockpits. When it was first introduced in the early 1950s, it bagged a first by featuring a circular slide rule actuated by its rotating bezel, specially intended for pilots (another Breitling, the Chronomat, was earlier with a circular slide rule by a decade, but it was purposed for mathematics and engineering).

In an era before the calculator and other electronic/satellite aids, a few twirls of the Navitimer’s bezel allowed pilots to make quick calculations relating to speed, distance, fuel consumption, and unit conversions that gave them critical information about where they were, and how long more the plane would keep flying. Student pilots today are still taught to use the E6B slide rule. For the rest of us with our feet on the ground, the slide rule is perfect for currency conversions while shopping overseas.

And it’s a testament to its design longevity that the 60-year-old Navitimer looks as suave today as it did, at birth. Also, Breitling has not been slack in keeping this precious piece of its heritage current. In 2010, the Navitimer 01 was launched with Breitling’s first manufacture movement: the calibre B01 that it had debuted the year before. Having a manufacture movement is not just about prestige, it also gives the company the opportunity to specify and engineer higher technical parameters, especially considering that the standard ETA chronograph movement still used by a great number of brands across all price segments dates back to the 1970s.

For Breitling, the B01 is designed for large-scale production as well as easy regulation and maintenance. Already, it has formed the foundation stone for two more of Breitling’s manufacture movements, the B04 (with GMT) and B05 (world time). For the wearer, the Navitimer can now be had with a modern, robust chronograph movement with column wheel and vertical clutch, that’s a COSC-certified chronometer with a substantial power reserve of 70 hours.

Navitimer 01 Limited Edition

This latest iteration is the same watch in a different color combination, shedding black dial and silvered counters for dark gray dial and black counters. It’s a delicious match-up that is darkly glamorous, while giving no quarter to purpose and legibility. In a limited edition of 1,000 pieces.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 43mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 70 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding calibre B01 chronograph
    Material: Steel
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
    Strap: Black calf leather with steel deployant buckle

This article was originally published in World of Watches magazine

Bell & Ross Enters Into Automobiles With AeroGT

It may seem quite surprising to see the highly esteemed watch company Bell & Ross take a sudden dip into the automobile world with their crazily designed half-aeroplane half-car AeroGT. Still, this isn’t the first time they’ve done that. They came up with the B-Rocket motorbike back in 2014 and this one, even earlier. Combined with the creation of this concept, the company is also releasing a pair of timepieces merges its watchmaking skills with motoring inspirations.

You can check out more on Men’s Folio.

Fortis Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph Ceramic

Fortis has been the Russian space program’s watch partner for more than 20 years, and seen its watches involved in over 50 missions. This year, the brand has taken the Official Cosmonauts watch and given it a jolt by using ceramic for its bezel. The result is the Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph Ceramic, with the “p.m.” version shown here. This isn’t just a classier and more understated reference, it also echoes the darkness associated with deep space.

The Classic Cosmonauts Chronograph Ceramic p.m. speaks a design language that is familiar to fans of the brand, including a no-frills stainless steel case and a highly legible dial with raised hour indexes coated with Super-LumiNova. The Valjoux 7750 chronograph caliber, which has proven its reliability in zero gravity, is used here to measure elapsed times of up to 12 hours. The pushers here have been improved over previous versions of the watch – they are now of the screw-down variety.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours. minutes, small seconds, chronograph, day, date
  • Power Reserve: 44 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding chronograph ETA Valjoux 7750
    Material: Stainless steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
    Strap: Black leather with pin buckle

 

This article was originally published in World of Watches Magazine

Porsche, Chopard Honor Le Mans With Limited Editions

The Le Mans 24-hour race is possibly the ultimate on-track test for drivers out there – forcing them to undergo intense non-stop racing in order to challenge the endurance of both man and machine. Speaking on non-stop, Porsche has been enjoying a non-stop winning spree here for a long time already, enjoying a record-breaking 18th victory at this year’s race. Coupled with that win, though, Porsche and their official timing partner Chopard are announcing limited editions inspired by endurance racing. One of this is the limited edition called the Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition, and the other is the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

The Porsche 911 Endurance Racing Edition

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Since 1964, the Porsche 911 has always kept its basic outline and engine position, proving that it maintained an enduring appeal and stature from the very start. Even then, the special exclusive arm of Porsche aimed to create a model that can enjoy the best possible track performance on the road. In other words, the goal was always to create a race car that was also road-legal. A sneak peek was offered at Le Mans but it will be properly showcased at next weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Taking the Carrera S as a starting point for further modification, it keeps the stock 3-liter flat-six twin turbo powerplant. This gives it 420hp as well as a 191mph top speed; power and the acceleration are improved via a revised chassis.

The model rides 20mm lower than standard, and comes with the Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control and Active Suspension Management systems. With this, power is always going to the wheel with the most traction, and wheels can be pushed up or down to either ensure contact with the road, or cancel out excessive force. It also introduces rear-wheel steering as standard. This provides quite a bit of flexibility in the various scenarios encountered on the road.

There’s also the Sports Chrono package, allowing the owner to time laps, perform racing starts, and even have a ‘boost function’ at their command. This function is entitled the “Sports Response” and will push out everything the engine’s got in one 20-second blast upon activation.

The interior will be fitted with black leather and subtle red accents, as well as carbon fiber. For the sake of the driver, there are quite a few comforts such as a sliding sunroof and parking sensors. Even more of a joy for serious drivers though, is the inclusion of seven-speed manual transmission as standard.

The Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition

Superfast Chrono Porsche Motorsport 919 Black Edition - 1 - Black - 168535-3005

As the official timing partner for Porsche, Chopard aims to celebrate their legacy of speed with their own Superfast watch collection. The Black Edition is a 100-piece limited series exclusively available at their boutiques. It combines the aesthetic codes of the new Porsche prototype with the special precision for which the watch company is well known.

Sketch - 1 - Superfast - Case 1

A sleek 45mm diameter case made of titanium houses the Chopard Calibre 03.05M. This mechanism was desgined like an authentic engine and features a self-winding chronograph movement delivering a substantial 60-hour power reserve. It also features a flyback function. To further improve on its endurance, the case has also been bead-blasted and blackened by a DLC (diamond-like carbon) treatment – ensuring scratch-resistance. It is water resistant to 100 meters so you can go swimming with it quite safely.

This standout chronograph is designed mainly for the passionate racer in mind, even coming with a black rubber strap inspired by slick competition racing tires. No doubt Chopard Co-President Karl-Frederich Scheufele’s own love of racing played a part in the development of the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition.

Here’s a video that describes the relationship.

Twins Effect: Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 7

Just when you thought it wouldn’t be possible for jeweler and watchmaker Harry Winston to surpass its previous tourbillon wristwatches, the American house continues to push – and break – the limits of traditional watchmaking theory with its seventh edition: the Histoire de Tourbillon 7. The Swatch Group-owned brand drew a lot of attention with this timepiece at BaselWorld 2016 and we definitely think it is one of the star pieces of the year.

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The Histoire de Tourbillon model – as the name suggests – is a timepiece series focused on tourbillons. Harry Winston has explored several variations on this theme; last year’s iteration saw a tri-axial tourbillon and previously, a double tourbillon. This year, the watchmaker explores the bi-axial tourbillon – with a twist in that there’s now two, both identical. Since the bi-axial tourbillons are both identical, let’s look at how one works. First of all, the term bi-axial tourbillon simply means that there are two cages here instead of the usual one and that both rotate on different axes. There is still just one balance, hairspring, pallet fork and escape wheel.

In the case of the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 7, the cage that houses the balance wheel – angled at 30 degrees – completes a rotation in 45 seconds. This assembly is in turn housed in a second cage that completes a rotation in 75 seconds. The two identical bi-axial tourbillons are then regulated by a spherical differential to create an average. Theoretically, if two tourbillons are better than one, the differential would result in the averaging out of two exceptional time keeping mechanisms working double-time to eliminate errors of rate. At the bottom of the dial, a power reserve indicator in roll form fills the little gap left by the dual tourbillons and hour and minute section.

HW_Histoire_de_Tourbillon_7_Red_face_blackBG_HD - Copy

Facade-wise, the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 7’s 18k white gold case houses a rectangular dial with an anodized aluminum design. Its 50mm diameter and 17mm thickness means this watch is a big fella but that is the trade-off for having angled bi-axial tourbillons in action. The horological masterpiece requires hundreds of hours of delicate artisanal expertise of hundreds of hours. In a limited edition of 20, the watch is available in either a red or anthracite version.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 50mm
  • Functions: Off-center hours and minutes, display of power reserve on roll
  • Power Reserve: 55 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding calibre HW4502, bottom plate in satin-finish and stippled titanium, bridges in titanium, double Côtes de Genève, tourbillon bridges polished and beveled by hand
  • Material: 18K white gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Alligator leather

High Times: Rolex Air-King Watch

Swiss watchmaker Rolex made waves this year at BaselWorld 2016 with the Cosmograph Daytona but we will not be letting the Rolex Air-King slip by without a discussion. On the face of it – and what a face it is – the Air-King is deceptively humdrum. The watch doesn’t have use any special materials and it is not using the siloxi hairspring here. Nevertheless, the Air-King is notable for its sensory-overload dial, which might be the busiest the brand has ever introduced.

As usual, the devil is in the details for Rolex so even such matters as the fonts and hands used are worth scrutinizing. The new Oyster Perpetual Air-King comes with a black dial as standard, a surprise for fans of this model which typically was available with a choice of white or black dials. The action on this standard dial is thick, with a Chromalight triangle marker at 12 o’clock, white gold applied Arabic numerals at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. The rest of the markers are in a graduated 5-minute scale, from 5 minutes to 55 minutes, making for a hodgepodge of numeral styles. Finally, the text Rolex Oyster Perpetual Air-King Superlative Chronometer Officially Certified is spelled out on the dial, as you can see above.

Other very obvious changes include a new size, with the 2016 model coming in at 40mm. Considering that the older models were a mere 34mm, this change is immediately obvious, even if it might get lost amidst all the upsizing ongoing in many of the models. Instead of the old baton hands, Rolex introduces white gold so-called Mercedes hands to aesthetic changes are meant to more closely evoke Rolex’s aviation heritage, which of course is reflected in the GMT Master series too. For the Air-King, the inspiration comes from the watches supplied to the aviators on the first flight above Mount Everest in the 1930s and the first London-Melbourne flight. In other words, that luminous triangle at 12 o’clock is not merely a casual link to the world of aviation of some Johnny-come-lately watch firm. Now, the first Rolex Air-King watches appeared in the 1950s, with the distinctive “Air-King” lettering still displayed on the dial so don’t get confused about the specific heritage of this model.

Air-King-featured-2

As always with aviation-minded watches, the movement is impervious to magnetic perturbations…well the automatic calibre 3131 (common to the Milgauss) uses the parachrom hairspring which is antimagnetic, to be a little clearer. The new Air-King joins all current models in being exceedingly precise, to the tune of +2/-2 seconds per day, a performance that is guaranteed by Rolex for five years. Finally, the solid links in the Oyster bracelet all sport a uniform brushed finish for a proper tool watch look. The old Rolex Air-King, you might recall, had polished bits in the bracelet.

The Air-King of 2016 will have a long climb ahead of it to reach the heights some other watchmaking brands occupy. Looking at the unusual aesthetic choices Rolex has made here, adopting both the vintage look of tool watches of the past and the busy style popularized more recently, it may be that the brand is looking at a totally different audience segment. We think though that the aesthetics will see refinements in the years to come so try to remember all the details in this starter model because the clock has well and truly been reset for the Rolex Air-King.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 40mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, central seconds
  • Power Reserve: 48 hours
  • Movement: Automatic Rolex calibre 3131
  • Material: 904L steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Oyster bracelet, flat three-piece links

 

Harry Winston Countdown to a Cure Midnight amfAR

american jeweler and watchmaker Harry Winston collaborates with amfAR for a good cause yet again, this time with a limited edition timepiece – the Harry Winston Countdown to a Cure Midnight amfAR.

Available in a limited edition of 20 each for men and women, the watch made an appearance at Seventh Annual Inspiration Gala in New York as part of the brand’s well-loved Midnight Collection. The men’s version, a 42mm 18k white gold watch sees a multi-hued seconds track running around a navy blue dial. The women gets a more souped up variation, with an arc of diamonds and precious gems – sapphires, garnets and rubies – lining the same blue dial from 12 o’clock to 3 o’clock. Brilliant-cut diamonds also mark the watch’s 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions, giving the 32mm gold timepiece a grand total of 12 diamonds and 19 gemstones.

Harry-Winston-Countdown-to-a-Cure-Timepiece-Mens-1200x1697

“We are proud to introduce the new Countdown to a Cure Timepiece and further strengthen our commitment to amfAR. It is our hope that through our continued partnership, amfAR will be able to advance its efforts to end the global HIV/AIDS epidemic, giving millions of individuals around the world a more brilliant and healthy future,” Nayla Hayek, CEO of Harry Winston, Inc. commented.

The black tie gala also featured a menswear fashion show, with celebrities such as Naomi Campbell, Zayn Malik and Victoria Justice in attendance.

Specs:

  • Dimensions: 42mm, 32mm (women’s)
  • Functions: Hours, minutes and seconds, date at 6 o’clock; hours, minutes (women’s)
  • Movement: Automatic, Caliber HW2003; Quartz, Caliber HW 1042 (women’s)
  • Material: 18k white gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Blue alligator leather

 

Ladies First: Breguet Tradition Dame 7038

Fine watches aren’t just reserved for gentlemen. Swiss watchmaker Breguet thought so too and hence created the Breguet Tradition Dame 7038. Like many of its other watches in the Tradition series, this watch is a horological masterpiece both technically and aesthetically.

Breguet knows that it is the littlest things that count. With the movement components arranged symmetrically on either side of the mainplate, this ultra-modern watch is a graphic work of art. The watch features a central barrel, which powers the hands of the dial at 12 o’clock, as well as a barrel wheel and intermediate wheels that form a delicate arc from 4 to 8 o’clock. Breguet might have a tradition of more than two centuries but it is a pioneer of horological technology. The Swiss company applies the hand-chamfered pare-chute to the bridge of the Tradition Dame 7038, a feature designed by Breguet himself in the 1790s to protect the delicate balance pivots in case of impact. At 10 o’clock, a discreet retrograde seconds is engraved upon the frosted finishing of the movement. Powered by the numbered and signed movement calibre 505SR (visible through the sapphire-crystal caseback), the watch shares the same movement as its older brother, the Tradition 7097.

And because it’s a timepiece for the most discerning of ladies, its bezel is encrusted with lots of brilliant-cut diamonds – all 68 of them, to be precise. Housed in a 37mm 18-carat white gold case, the watch sits elegantly on most women’s wrists, the Tahitian mother of pearl dial furthers this aesthetic, lending visual interest to the otherwise metallic face. On the barrel, an exquisite floral engraving completes the dial.

Specs:

Dimensions: 37mm

Functions: Hours, Minutes, Retrograde second

Power Reserve: 50 hours

Movement: Self-winding movement, numbered and signed movement, calibre 505SR.

Material: 18-carat white gold with delicately fluted case band. Bezel set with 68 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.895 carats).

Water Resistance: 30 meters

Strap: leather

Blackwater: HYT H2 Alinghi Watch

Hot on the heels of the HYT H4 Alinghi wristwatch, the H2 Alinghi sees the Swiss watchmaking company and sailing syndicate work together to create yet another horological masterpiece. For those who don’t recognize Alinghi as the champion sailors in this equation, HYT is the Swiss watchmaker. Just saying.

This is a watch of many firsts, like the HYT H2 Tradition. Unlike that watch, the central seconds hand function is no different to the standard H2 model (it jumps slightly at the 30 minute mark, as you can guess from the image above and below). Aesthetics-wise, the H2 Alinghi also retains its distinctive HYT flavor, including the oversized 48.8mm case diameter but goes through many upgrades. The watch now boasts a full untreated titanium case (HYT calls it as-cast titanium), giving it a sporty feel that’s only appropriate for a collaboration with a professional sports team. As the only watchmaking brand that integrates a liquid module into its mechanical movement, the new watch will feature a new black liquid.

Fans of the brand will be familiar with its development process – every colored formulation is painstakingly derived after years of research and the current shade was only revealed to the world earlier this year. The bezel rider tab is now also an elegant rounded shape (HYT says this is to better integrate the Alinghi logo), and succeeds in making the design ‘pop’ when on the wrist (as seen below). Lastly, HYT makes its hour markers stand out more by applying a twin satin/blasted effect on its flange. If you’re familiar with HYT, we think you’ll agree this is the clearest the hour markers have ever been. Mounted on the new ultra-resistant technical strap, the watch embodies both house’s codes of combining modernity with technology.

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Unfortunately, not all HYT fans will get their hands on this horological feat, which is only to be expected. Only 25 of what looks to be HYT’s most legible timepiece will be produced, so you’ll have to hurry to get your hands on (and in) it. The watch will be available from June 2016.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 48.8mm
  • Functions: Retrograde hours, minutes, power reserve indicator, thermal indicator, crown position indicator
  • Power Reserve: 192 hours (eight days)
  • Movement: Manual-winding HYT calibre with liquid module
  • Material: Titanium with polished, micro blasted and satin finishes
  • Water Resistance: 50 meters
  • Strap: dark charcoal grey fabric with a black stitching, titanium deployant buckle.

Mobile Charm: Chopard Happy Diamonds Turns 40

Forty years ago, watchmaker and jeweler Chopard debuted its first Happy Diamonds timepiece, creating what would become an icon in the world of watch and jewelry. The word ‘icon’ is frequently abused but even rival jewelers will agree that the Happy Diamonds concept was a game-changer. The original design, created for men and later introduced for women, won the coveted Golden Rose of Baden-Baden back in 1976 and featured diamonds that moved freely. Today, the Happy Diamonds series is immediately recognizable as a Chopard innovation.

Inspired be the sparkle of water droplets as they burst from a waterfall in the famed German Black Forest, Chopard designer Ronald Kurowski came up with a design that allowed the diamonds to whirl above the dial and recreate that magical effect he saw. His realization that “Diamonds are happier when they’re free”, has allowed the brand to create a range of watches, necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings over the years.

The original Happy Diamonds timepieces by Chopard in 1976.

The original Happy Diamonds timepieces by Chopard in 1976.

Using the original cushion shape, the contemporary Happy Diamonds watch is a ladies’ timepiece that is sure to sparkle in any watch collection. Similar to the original timepiece, the updated design features 15 mobile prong-set diamonds, which in all honesty are the stars of the show here, that come in two different sizes.The diamonds are kept away from the hour and minute hands, thanks to two central rings that are (surprise, surprise) set with diamonds.

While the original design featured a black dial, the revisited Happy Diamonds watch boasts a white mother-of-pearl backdrop. Like the original, the timepiece uses a 18k white gold case but now adds a bezel that features prong-set diamonds accentuating the curves of the watch. More diamonds are featured on the crown, because, well, why not. The final element that allows the timepiece to sit comfortably on your wrist, is the black brushed canvas trap, ensuring that the Happy Diamonds can spread the joy, day or night.

The cushion-shaped Happy Diamonds timepiece is limited to 150 pieces and is sold exclusively at Chopard boutiques.

Monaco Grand Prix on Chinese Time with TAG Heuer

As if it wasn’t a star-studded enough event, TAG Heuer invited two Chinese superstars, rock-pop singer G.E.M. and actor Li Yifeng, to attend the prestigious Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix this year.

Both personalities boast millions of followers in their home country, and accompanied by the Chinese media, had the privilege of not only watching the race, but also to be greeted by the Ambassador of Monaco to China, Catherine Fautrier at the Prince’s Palace of Monaco for a private tour.

Monaco Formula One Grand Prix

As the world’s second largest economy, China passed the symbolic threshold of 300 billionaires this year, the average wealth of the 1,000 richest Chinese starting at $1.04 billion. Monaco has been keen on strengthening diplomatic relations, as seen from the appointment of ambassadors from both sides in 2006 and the construction of a Monaco pavilion within the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai. Earlier this year, Monaco reciprocated with the first-ever Chinese Festival in Monaco.

TAG Heuer and the F1 Grand Prix have had a long history, and great success. Stellar drivers such as Kimi Räikkönen, Fernando Alonso, and Lewis Hamilton are but a few TAG Heuer ambassadors who have taken the chequered flag. This year, the Swiss watch firm continues its legacy with Formula 1 by unveiling three new TAG Heuer watches at a world-exclusive launch in Monaco:

Red Bull Watch

CAZ1018.FC8213 THF1 SPECIAL EDITION RED BULL TEXTILE STRAP - PACKSHOT 2016

Bearing the team’s colors – midnight blue and red – the steel quartz chronograph reflects the DNA of TAG Heuer’s association with Formula 1 with a bezel sporting a tachymeter scale in matte blue aluminum. The special edition is available in two versions: a stainless steel bracelet or textile strap with red stitching, inspired by the racing car’s seat belts. Like every motor racing watch worth its salt, the quartz chronograph movement is accurate to a tenth of a second, and is displayed on the counter at 6 o’clock. Meanwhile, the symbolic black and white chequered flag of Formula 1 is engraved at the back of the case, together with the prestigious Red Bull Racing Team logo.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 43 mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, date, 1/10 second counter, chronograph hour counter, chronograph minute counter, running seconds counter
  • Movement: Ronda 5040D – Quartz chronograph
  • Water resistance: 200 meters
  • Strap: Triple-row brushed steel bracelet with brushed steel clasp, dual safety mechanism and extension for the motor races, or blue strap made from technical textile with red stitching.
Tag Heuer Connected in 18K Rose Gold

Barenia brun - or rose - chrono noir

Bearing the name of a luxury watchmaker with more than a century of history while innovating with smartwatches is no easy feat, but you’d be hard pressed to find fault with the latest upgrade for this smartwatch offering. For this special edition, Tag Heuer swapped the usual titanium for a more luxurious rose gold one. The latest lithium battery powers the water-resistant device and a sapphire crystal touchscreen ensures it stays scratch-free. While the watch comes with the same two-year standard warranty TAG Heuer offers its usual Connected Watches, customers have the option of exchanging the smartwatch for a mechanical watch should they decide to go old school.

Aquaracer 300M

WAY201A.BA0927 AQRC CALIBRE 5 BLACK CERAMIC - PR VIEW 2016

A sports chronograph first designed to meet the extreme requirements of professional water sportsmen, the Aquaracer is now an icon of TAG Heuer’s and has been reiterated countless times, each looking to better its predecessor. Aesthetic changes include engraved silver lacquer numerals on the ceramic bezel, as well as a bigger case, enlarged from 41mm to 43mm. Inside, the Calibre 5 automatic mechanical movement powers the timepiece with the promise of accuracy and reliability, and coupled with its 300m water-resistance, makes this robust timepiece the perfect companion for all kinds of extreme conditions.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 43 mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date
  • Movement: TAG Heuer Automatic Calibre 5
  • Power Reserve: 38 hours
  • Water resistance: 300 meters
  • Strap: 3-row polished and satin-finished steel, with polished steel deployant buckle, safety push-buttons and diving extension

 

 

Cuba Libre: Zenith Chronomaster Cohiba Edition

What do Cuban cigar producer Cohiba and Swiss watchmaker Zenith have in common, you may ask. For one, both have hundreds of years of expertise, collectively, in the delicate art of crafting beautiful objects by hand. Obviously, both brands have a long history of providing exclusive products for those seeking only the best. The timing of this release is indeed fortuitous given the historic recent reversal in the long-standing deep freeze in US-Cuba relations. Regardless, this might be just the ticker to celebrate this moment in time.

While Zenith has over 150 years under its belt, it is Cohiba that is celebrating a milestone. For half a century the cigar producer has been providing cigar connoisseurs with the finest that Cuba has to offer (well, not cigar aficionados in the USA, unless they were buying the Dominican variant, which is no relation to the real deal). To commemorate the occasion, Cohiba has teamed up with Zenith for a limited edition timepiece. The exclusive “anniversary” El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Cohiba Edition is an ode to the ultimate cigar with its dial and motifs. Like the cigar, the timepiece is fitted with a Havana brown dial that also has two vertical lines running across the middle. One is a bright yellow and another with the distinctive Cohiba emblem.Zenith-Cohiba-red-steel

The dial also features the logos of both Zenith and Cohiba while the profile of famous aboriginal Taino chief — Cohiba’s emblem and the original inhabitants of Cuba — sits between the two. The dial also boasts something inimitably Zenith, especially in the contemporary era of the brand. The heart of timepiece’s El Primero 4061 chronograph movement, is visible at the 11 o’clock position, thanks to the signature dial cut-out. At 36,000 vibrations per hour, it allows for a 1/10th of a second display while also housing a COSC precision-certified chronometer and integrated column-wheel construction. The 282-part movement is completed by a silicon lever and escape wheel, which you can admire dial-side (look for the purple elements).

On the case is a fluted crown and two round push-pieces (for the chronograph function) while the time is indicated by luminescent hands. Only 50 pieces are available in rose gold while 500 pieces are available in steel. Each timepiece is presented in a wooden box, colored like the legendary Habanos cigar.Zenith-Cohiba-Box

  • Specs
  • Dimensions: 42 mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, chronograph
  • Power Reserve: 50 hours
  • Movement: Automatic El Primero 4061 movement; integrated chronograph with
  • Material: Red Gold, Stainless Steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters
  • Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

 

Rough Stuff: 3 Watches for Paintball

Some families do it as a bonding exercise, but paintball is really naked, armed combat, without the live ammo. For the white-collar urbanite, that could mean a near lifetime’s worth of knocks and tumbles, compressed within the time slot printed on the receipt. Not just gamers are put through the wringer, the watch too has to stand up to like abuse; noodle-necks need not apply.

Luminox Navy SEAL Colormark Nova

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There are watches engineered to resist hellish environments, and there’s the Luminox that offers this with outstanding dial legibility under all lighting conditions, courtesy of the tritium gas vials on the hands and markers. Luminous paint glows for hours after exposure to light; tritium gas doesn’t stop glowing for around 25 years. Even harder to resist is that Luminox now makes the Colormark Nova in five colors.

Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT SUN049

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Seiko’s Kinetic movement unites many advantages of mechanical and quartz movement – powered by a rotor like an automatic, it has a six-month power reserve, with quartz-watch precision of around 15 seconds’ deviation in a month. And the Prospex Kinetic GMT is the kinetic that Seiko has specifically created for land sports.

Tudor North FlagWOW160126(Character)-015

In terms of design, performance, and price, this is an utterly sensible timepiece from Tudor that has been solidifying its own niche as maker of very sound, tool watches. The North Flag offers everything one needs to know, clearly displayed, including power reserve, in a hardy steel case with steel-ceramic bezel, and a manufacture movement with a 70-hour power reserve.

Story Credits

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Focus: Freywille 65th Anniversary

Celebrations are a big deal for Viennese label Freywille. Its trademark fire-enamel jewelry – which take more than 100 stages and up to two years to hand-make – is not just about paying homage to an age-old decorative technique, but the acclaimed artists and cities that have shaped the course of both art and design. Previous collections have been dedicated to late French, Austrian and Czech painters – Claude Monet, Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha, respectively – and also embraced the vibrant cultures of Africa and Russia.

It comes as no surprise, then, that for Freywille’s 65th anniversary this year, the brand would cast the spotlight on yet another famed art practitioner or popular destination. It chose the latter and delved this time into the tombs of the pharaoh Tutankhamun and the 12th-dynasty Egyptian princess Chnumet for inspiration. The pieces look anything but, pardon the pun, grave. Beautiful, unique treasures recovered from these tombs, which include an enamel diadem – the oldest of its kind – and semi-precious trinkets embellished with turquoise, lapis lazuli and carnelian, are reinterpreted as miniature paintings on a slick range of gold bangles, earrings, rings and even a timepiece.

This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Ballroom Watch: Dior VIII Grand Bal

The Dior VIII Grand Bal wristwatch evokes the allure of the French house in more ways than one. For starters, the timepiece is named after Monsieur Christian Dior’s favorite number, eight. Then comes the unrivalled attention to artistic detail which the ticker is given (it has been painstakingly decorated in remarkable marquetries of vibrant-coloured feathers, mother-of-pearl and gems, for instance). And, finally, if you still can’t picture it, just know that the Swiss-made watch, like many of Dior’s creations, is one of luxury’s most captivating and memorable.

But the beauty of the Dior VIII Grand Bal is rather unusual. While most automatic watches are equipped with a rotor – a heavy, semi-circular metal disc which swivels freely with movements of the arm to wind the calibre – at the back, Dior has cleverly adapted the moving part as a decorative yet fully-functioning element on the timepiece’s dial. And as the oscillating weight rotates, it recalls the dramatic twirls of an elegant ball gown.

Not just any ball gown, though, but pleated petticoats and a dress from Dior’s Spring/Summer 2015 haute couture collection. The former is exquisitely translated as rotors in lacquered pink or yellow gold with white mother-of-pearl and diamond accents, while the single rotor in the latter, in white gold, is gently applied with soft feathers and finished with tsavorite garnets and sapphires. In a first for Dior, these precious mechanical rotors now come housed in steel models of the Dior VIII Grand Bal which are more accessible than its predecessors in gold, but no less brilliant in appearance.

This story was first published in L’Officiel Singapore.

Longines Conquest 1/100th Celebrates Tennis

Ever a fan of tennis, the writer David Foster Wallace once characterized the sport as a “game of micrometers” in his essay on tennis player Roger Federer. It is in keeping with this line of thought that the Longines Conquest 1/100th Roland Garros was developed. As the official timekeeper and partner of the French Open at Roland-Garros since 2007, their whole thrust was to deliver the high precision timing needed for the high-speed high-impact sport, all the way down to one hundredth of a second. Deliver they did, reaching an extreme level of precision in the Conquest thanks to its unique (quartz, because it gets the job done) movement and a whole array of other innovations.

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Longines Tournament in Singapore

Other than the L440 movement, this new model will have a microcontroller with flash memory that allows for instant resetting, while tracking down the intermediary timings as well. The steel model includes an anthracite dial that displays all of its timekeeping functions, with a hand in orange pointing to those one-hundredth of a second spots. The dial features the logo for Longines as well, with its trademark winged hourglass – ever the representative for tradition, performance, and timelessness.

Beyond representing the French Open in this aspect, Longines is also hosting their own Future Tennis Aces tournament in Paris. They’re inviting 16 promising young tennis players under the age of 13 to showcase their talent in competition. Right here in Singapore, the trial was conducting by the Singapore Tennis Association at Tanglin Academy in April, where Alexis Tan (aged 12) was chosen to represent Singapore in Paris.

Alexis Lynn Tan in Action

Alexis Lynn Tan in Action

Longines has had generations of experience as an official timekeeper for world championships and partnerships with other sports federations. With consistent elegance, they’ve fulfilled their duties countless times already. Their contribution to the clay courts will definitely be of great value.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 41mm
    Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds and date
    Chronograph Functions: Central second hand, central 1/100th of second hand (in orange), 30-minute counter at 2 o’clock, 12-hour counter at 10 o’clock.
    Calibre: Quartz chronograph movement L440
    Material: Stainless steel case and bracelet with triple safety folding clasp and push-piece opening mechanism; anthracite dial with 1 applied Arabic numeral and 11 applied indices with Super-LumiNova; Sapphire crystal glass with anti-reflective coating
    Water Resistant: 300 meters

Dive into Time: 11 New Panerai Watches

Last week, watchmaker Officine Panerai took us on a dive into time to discover the past, present and future of the Italian company. At the Marino Marini Museum in Florence, the firm presented the new Luminor Due case, a new Luminor Marina collection (featuring the calibre P.9010, as shown below) and, of course, the Panerai Minute Repeater. The exhibition space was impressive at 1,000 square meters but even such a large area can barely contain the notions of time and timekeeping that collector-favorite Panerai (which is Florentine by heritage but its watchmaking is done in Neuchatel, Switzerland) was playing with. Indeed, it succeeds in showing how difficult it is to communicate the depth of skills, vision and heritage present in every Panerai watch. Certainly, our little story here will barely scratch the surface so we will attempt to focus our efforts a little.PAM01312-P9010

We have already brought you news on the PAM 600 Minute Repeater so do check that out for the details on what we can only reiterate here is a momentous timepiece. That leaves us the less daunting task of telling you about the Luminor Due, the Luminor Marina and the Radiomir Firenze in a few hundred words, while also succinctly delivering the goods on the exhibition itself. We’ll begin with the future, meaning the 11 new watches on display in Florence. Now we really do mean the “future” when we mention these new watches because they are only expected in store by September this year (depending on where you are in the world).PAM00675-profile

To begin with, these new watches did not show at the SIHH earlier this year, making their appearance now something of a surprise. True, the minute repeater was long-expected but having 11 watches following on from this tent pole release is like Marvel releasing 11 Marvel Universe movies at the same time it opened Avengers Age of Ultron. If we can liken a watchmaking event to a cultural one, that is how big this Florentine reveal is. It left us swooning and we only just recovered enough to write this up.PAM00674---Detail--2

Panerai Luminor Due

Ok seriously, the Panerai Luminor Due is basically the firm’s version of the ultra-thin watch, which never previously featured in its collections. To understand the slimness here, just take a look at the two images above, both of which are automatic Luminor Due models. There are actually four models here ranging from 10.5mm thick (manual-winding) to 10.7mm thick (automatic). The manual versions are the Luminor Due (PAM676) 3 Days 42mm (in steel) and the Luminor Due (PAM677) 3 Days 42mm (in red gold). The automatic versions are the Luminor Due (PAM 674) Automatic 45mm (in steel) and Luminor Due (PAM 675) Automatic 45mm. Specs for each are below.

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Acciaio PAM676Panerai-PAM676

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, seconds reset
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Manual winding, calibre P1000
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Acciaio PAM677Panerai-PAM677

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, seconds reset
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Manual winding, calibre P1000/10
  • Material: 18k polished red gold; anthracite dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic PAM 674Panerai-PAM674

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic, calibre P4000
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters

Panerai Luminor Due 3 Days Automatic Oro Rosso PAM 675Panerai-PAM675

  • Dimensions: 45mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic, calibre P4000/10
  • Material: 18k polished red gold; anthracite dial, Arabic numerals, hour markers
  • Water Resistance:  30 meters
Panerai Luminor Marina 1950

The story with the six watches of the Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 is the movement and the case are new but it is still the same fan-favorite Luminor 1950 (signature crown protector, dial features, hands and so on). All six watches share the same automatic calibre P.9010; two of the watches share a diameter of 42mm while four more measure 44mm in diameter.PAM00661---Detail-1

What’s significant to collectors then is that the old Luminor models with calibre P.9000 will be phased out. Check out the PAM numbers in the specs list below and you can figure it out. The one exception is the Carbotech model (PAM661) as it is an entirely new variant.

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1523Panerai-PAM1523

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; white dial, Arabic numerals and dot indices
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1392Panerai-PAM1392

  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals and markers
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1499Panerai-PAM1499

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; white dial, Arabic numerals and dot indices
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1312Panerai-PAM1312

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial, Arabic numerals
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Automatic Acciaio PAM1359Panerai-PAM1359

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: AISI 316L polished steel; black dial with Arabic numerals and markers
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters

Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic PAM661Panerai-PAM661

  • Dimensions: 44mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Automatic calibre P.9010
  • Material: Carbotech; black dial with Arabic numerals and dot markers
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters
Radiomir Firenze 3 Days

This is a new version of last year’s Firenze model, a boutique exclusive at the Officine Panerai historic store in Florence. The new Panerai Radiomir Firenze 3 Days Acciaio (PAM672) features a hand-engraved case as usual but also an engraved manual-winding calibre P.3000. Visitors to the exhibition would have actually gotten the chance to see the watchmaker working the engraving. This is one seriously limited proposition, with just 99 pieces for 2016. Considering the handwork involved, this is hardly surprising.

SpecsPanerai-PAM672

  • Dimensions: 47mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 72 hours
  • Movement: Manual-winding calibre P.3000/F
  • Material: AISI 316L brushed steel
  • Water Resistance: 100 meters

Finally, just over a thousand words later, we’re all done with the 11 new watches from the Dive into Time exhibition. We went above our promised word count so we apologize for that. If you’re still with us (congratulations!), you must be looking for information on the exhibition itself. We close our story with just a paragraph here on this event, which our friends at World of Watches were invited to. Did we mention that it was held in an ancient crypt of the former church of San Pancrazio in Florence? Well it was and, here in the dim confines, Panerai drew back the veil on previously unseen historical gems, including the first instruments (read: not watches) made by the Panerai family. Of course, watches from the current era (since luxury group Richemont acquired it in the late 1990s) and from the famous wartime past were on display.

4 Aviation Watches to Take Flight With

By flying, we will include sitting in an airplane. That said, aviation watches are among the most beloved of collectors because of the particular fine qualities they are imbued with, in standing up to the operational demands of flight. Reliable, accurate, with clear, easy-to-read displays, they’re tops at balancing elegance, performance, and practicality.

Bell & Ross BR 03 Rafale

Bell & Ross

The Rafale is a beautifully shaped jet, and for folks that appreciate fighter planes, it is among the most advanced and lethal of combat planes being flown today. The Bell & Ross BR 03 Rafale in ceramic incorporates the cool grey colour and the typography of the plane onto the dial for a most fetching tribute. Limited to 500 pieces.

Perrelet Turbine Pilot

Perrelet Turbine Pilot
The company started producing watches sporting dual rotors from 2009, including one on the dial side. Most recently, it has extended the same concept to its take on the pilot’s watch. Aesthetically, the dial-side rotor sets itself apart from most others; it also looks like the spinning turbines of a jet engine. But time display is clear enough, and the slide rule bezel is handy for quick calculations (currency conversions, price of groceries by weight, etc.) and is quite readable, courtesy of the large case size.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524

patek phillipe calatrava pilot
A dramatic departure from Patek Philippe’s usual dress watch or high complication, Ref. 5524 in white gold is as luxurious as a pilot’s watch can be, while remaining eminently sensible. Twin pushers allow quick adjustment of local time, while a skeletonised hand indicates home time, with day/night indicators for home/local time, and date in a sub-dial at six o’clock.

Breguet Type XXI 3810

WOW160126(Character)-006

Descended from the Type 20 aviator’s chronograph that was supplied to the French defence ministry in the 1950s, the titanium XXI 3810 is not only dressier than many pilot’s watches, with fine decorative detail including a fluted case band, it also includes the convenience of a flyback chronograph, with great ease of use by utilising a central hand to point out elapsed minutes.

This story was first published in World of Watches.

Superwatch: Panerai PAM 600 Minute Repeater

When we say that this is Officine Panerai’s most complicated watch, we aren’t exaggerating. The Panerai PAM 600 Radiomir 1940 Minute Repeater Carillon Tourbillon GMT brings together a menage-a-trois of complications: the tourbillon regulator, the GMT function and a double minute repeater mechanism (simply put, it is able to inform you of the time in two time zones by chiming either the local or home time zones, on-demand). We think it qualifies as a supercomplication or a superwatch, if you will (the watch equivalent of the supercar).

To get right into it, the Minute Repeater Carillon sounds out time with the help of its three hammers and three gongs. This enables three different sounds to be combined to produce a melody resembling that of, well, bells. To activate the striking mechanism, one uses the push-button at the 8 o’clock position (see below). As expected, the first gong identifies the hours and produces the lowest chime while the final gong produces the highest chime, indicating the minutes. The middle gong delivers an intermediate chime because of course it does! The press release provides the following helpful example: should your home time be 10.28, there would 10 chimes for the hour; two triple chimes at for the two 10 minute intervals; and eight single chimes.
Panerai-Minute-Repeater-Carillon-gong

With its long power reserve of 90 hours, and a carillon minute repeater mechanism, the watch is a surprisingly sturdy work of art (being water resistant and boasting a safety feature that prevents you, the owner, from inadvertently damaging the striking mechanism). As collectors will already know, PAM 600 boasts a hand-wound P.2005 calibre as its base, which the company first began developing back in 2005 — hence its name — at Panerai’s Neuchâtel manufacture. The tourbillon cage rotates on an axis perpendicular to the balance. The rotation also occurs once every 30 seconds instead of the usual 60.

The timepiece bears the instantly recognizable and historic Radiomir 1940 case and solid lugs. As you can see from the images, the timepiece has a skeletonized movement so it is beautiful both to the eye and to the ear. Measuring 49mm and bearing markers and figures coated in Super-LumiNova, the Minute Repeater Carillon comes in a case made of 18K red gold. Since this is a made-to-order timepiece, customers can also personalize it by changing the case to a material other than red gold — of course, it also explains why the watch carries a $400,000 price tag. As enthusiasts of striking watches will know, changing the material of the case will alter the quality of the notes the repeater makes so go in with your ears open…

To help you with that part, here is a video illustrating the dulcet tones of this most complicated timepiece from Panerai. When you are done with that, if you’re still hungry for Panerai news, check out our post on the other 11 watches they premiered at the recent Dive into Time exhibition

  • Specs
  • Dimensions: 49 mm
  • Functions:Hours, minutes, small seconds, GMT 12/24 h; Power reserve indicator on the back; Local time and home time; Minute Repeater for hours, 10 minutes and minutes; Rapid adjustment of local time
  • Power Reserve: 90 hours
  • Movement: Hand-wound P.2005/MR Calibre with 30 seconds tourbillon
  • Material: 18K Red Gold
  • Water resistance: 30 meters

Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique

A thousand flowers from Mexico – one could easily imagine this to be the title of a follow-up book to Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years Of Solitude, but it is the name of a new Hermès timepiece dedicated to the natural beauty of Mexico, the country in which Márquez lived until he passed away in 2014. Away from the sleek, fashion-forward streets of Paris, Hermès ventured into the lush forests of Mexico to find the inspiration for this dial, housed in the recently introduced Slim d’Hermès case.

Hermès Carré scarf

Hermès Carré scarf

The French maison, however, didn’t do it alone; it had the help of Mexican graphic designer Laetitia Bianchi, who had earlier created a design for an Hermès Carré scarf. Bianchi’s design embraced the Mexican tradition of using bright bold colours to form a tapestry of leaves and flowers reminiscent of the 15th and 16th century artistic style, hence the name Mille Fleurs.Slim-d-Hermes-mxique-article

Of course, as a nod to Hermès’s equestrian heritage, the designer made sure to feature amid the rich foliage, a horse – most probably an Azteca horse, which is a breed that’s indigenous to Mexico. But no one except Bianchi knows for sure because the original artwork is skewed a little more towards the abstract rather than figurative. What is certain is that it is made up of a profusion of feathers, flowers, leaves, and animals native to the land, transforming and disappearing or appearing depending on one’s perspective. With the Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique, the scene had been miniaturised and replicated on a mother-of-pearl dial by an enamellist.Slim-d-Hermes-mxique-article-2

Work on this six-piece limited edition timepiece begins when the enamellist creates a sketch of Bianchi’s artwork on the natural mother-of-pearl dial. He then etches more vividly the lines that define the scene and prepares the colours required to fill them. Using extremely fine paintbrushes, some as fine as a strand of hair, he applies the colours to the dial in layers as many as 20, each of which is followed by a round of firing in the oven at 90 degrees Celsius. The enamellist’s proficiency is apparent in how he manages to balance the precision of each stroke with variations in colour tonality, emphasising the handcraftsmanship behind the artwork. The selection of colours, as well, was tastefully put together to coax the eye towards the prancing horse without taking attention away from the dazzling verdure.

Paired with a posh forest-green alligator strap, which needless to say was handcrafted at the Hermès leather workshop, the Slim d’Hermès Mille Fleurs du Mexique adds a bright blast of colour to any ensemble. And collectors with a penchant for abstract art might be tempted to express their artistic inclinations with this vivacious timepiece.

Specs

  • Dimensions: 39.5mm
  • Functions: Hours, minutes
  • Power Reserve: 42 hours
  • Movement: Self-winding Calibre H1950
  • Material: 39.5mm in white gold
  • Water Resistance: 30 meters
  • Strap: Smooth green alligator leather with white gold pin buckle

Story Credits

Text by Celine Yap

This story was first published in World of Watches.