10 Important Chronograph Watches Launched in 2019

As we approach the end of 2019 and prepare for 2020 — surely destined to be another interesting year in the world of watches — we take a look back at some of the most noteworthy timepieces that came out this year, in various popular categories. Today, we look at 10 chronograph watches released in 2019 that stood out from the pack.

Despite the industry-wide focus on its much-discussed new Code 11:59 collection, Audemars Piguet actually did launch several other notable new timepieces in 2019, including new models from the Royal Oak Offshore series with colorful ceramic case elements and color-coordinated camouflage-motif rubber straps. The Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronographs for 2019 use colored, high-tech ceramic for the bezel, chronograph pushers, and screw-locked crown. The colors of the bezels are echoed in the watches’ dials, which feature the “Mega Tapisserie” motif emblematic of the Offshore models, and in the integrated camo pattern straps, which are made of rubber. Inside, beneath a clear sapphire caseback, beats Audemars Piguet’s manufacture Caliber 3126/3840, a self-winding, chronograph-equipped movement with 59 jewels, a 21,600-vph frequency, and a minimum 50-hour power reserve. The tricompax dial layout offers subdials at 12, 9, and 6 o’clock and a round date window at 3 o’clock. Click here for more info and additional versions.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph - Green camo
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Chronograph

Bulgari just keeps on breaking thinness records in the watch world, and its latest impressive effort was revealed to admiring eyes at Baselworld 2019. The Octo Finissimo GMT Chronograph boasts the current record for thinnest automatic chronograph movement, at just 3.3 mm thick. Like the record-breaker that preceded it in 2018, the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, it is fitted with a new in-house caliber (dubbed the BVL 318, with a 55-hour power reserve) that performs its automatic winding with a peripheral oscillating weight positioned on the back of the movement. The sandblasted titanium case is itself wafer-thin, its 42-mm diameter rising just 6.9mm above the wrist despite being water resistant up to 30 meters. In addition to the stopwatch, the watch hosts a GMT function that allows the wearer to easily advance the hour hand with a push-button. More details, and close-up photos taken at Baselworld, can be found here.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo GMT Chronograph

Directly inspired by a 34-mm bicompax chronograph from 1956 that was discovered in the Lucerne-based brand’s archives, the Carl F. Bucherer Bicompax Annual combines an annual calendar with a chronograph, in a 41-mm case available in either stainless steel, with a silver dial and a black-and-white “panda”-style dial orientation, or in two-tone rose gold with a rose-and-champagne dial. The annual calendar indicator consists of a big date indicator in the upper half of the dial and a month aperture tilted between 4 and 5 o’clock. The dial’s historically inspired details include syringe-shaped hands filled with Super-LumiNova, vintage-style Arabic numerals, elongated chronograph pushers, a box-style sapphire crystal, and the usage of a black rubber strap for the panda dial and a cognac brown calfskin strap for the champagne-dialed, two-tone model. Ticking inside is automatic Caliber CFB 1972 (an ETA base movement with a Dubois Dépraz module), which stores a 42-hour power reserve. Each version is limited to 888 pieces, in homage to Bucherer’s founding date of 1888.

Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual
Carl F. Bucherer Heritage Bicompax Annual

Many luxury watch brands have partnered with automobile brands, but one of these partnerships that is little known in the United States is that between two Japanese marques: Grand Seiko and Nissan. The watchmaker has produced a handful of special-edition timepieces inspired by and paired with the automaker’s iconic Nissan GT-R racing cars, but up until this year, those watches were only sold in Japan. The Grand Seiko Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, released in concert with the 2020 Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Edition car, is limited to 200 pieces and commemorates dual anniversaries: 50 years of the Nissan GT-R and 20 years of the Seiko Spring Drive caliber. The watch uses “Bayside Blue,” famously introduced in the livery of the 1969 GT-R automobile, for several elements on the case, dial, and strap. The 46.4 mm-diameter case is made of high-intensity titanium and the Nissan racing livery, with its familiar white racing stripe, finds homage in the silvery-white dial with stacked chronograph subdials and the shiny white strap. The movement is Seiko’s Spring Drive Caliber 9R96, which achieves its high level of accuracy through its combination of a balance wheel, electromagnetic energy, and a quartz oscillator instead of a traditional escapement. More details and images here.

Grand Seiko Nissan GT-R Limited Edition - angle
Grand Seiko Nissan GT-R 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

The Hublot Classic Fusion Chronograph Orlinksi Red Ceramic, limited to 200 pieces, is distinguished by the red ceramic used for its 45-mm case and sharply edged, angular bezel, for which Hublot’s research-and-development team needed four years to take from concept to industrialization, using a special process that fuses pressure and heat to sinter the ceramic without burning the pigment. The totally in-house process resulted in a secret, patent-protected formula, whose end result is a ceramic that not only achieves the extremely difficult red coloring but also a greater hardness than previous ceramics (1,500 HV1 vs. 1,200 HV2). The red coloring and geometrical angled lines of the case evoke the sculpture Born Wild Crocodile, from the oeuvre of French artist Richard Orlinski, which established the use of powerful shades of red as part of his Pop Art-style repertoire. The polished crimson case houses Hublot’s self-winding Caliber HUB1155, a skeletonized chronograph movement with a 42-hour power reserve and a 28,800-vph (4 Hz) frequency. The subdial at 9 o’clock tallies 30 elapsed minutes, while the hour and minute are displayed on red-lacquered hands and the small seconds tick away on the subdial at 3 o’clock.

Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Red Ceramic - front
Hublot Classic Fusion Orlinski Red Ceramic

Montblanc’s modern timepiece collection derives much of its aesthetic character from the historical watches of Minerva, a heralded Swiss producer of chronographs whose ancestral atelier was acquired by Richemont in 2006 and revived as the Montblanc Manufacture. The 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 re-envisions the Minerva military watches of the 1930s in a luxurious contemporary vein. The watch has a 44-mm case made of full-satinated bronze and a black lacquered dial with rose-gold-colored details that echo the look of the case. Based on a legendary Minerva chronograph watch, the dial is defined by two classically designed scales on its periphery: a telemeter scale, used to measure distance based on visible and audible phenomena — i.e. the time between a flash of lightning and the first rumble of thunder — and a snail-shaped tachymeter scale in the dial’s center for measuring the speed of a moving object over a known distance. Both scales employ the watch’s monopusher rattrapante chronograph to measure intermediate times without interrupting the measurement of a longer interval. The integrated chronograph movement is the manually wound Montblanc Caliber MB M16.31, equipped with two column wheels, one driving the chronograph, the other controlling the split-seconds function. More details here.

Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100 - angle
Montblanc 1858 Split Second Chronograph Limited Edition 100

It was a big year for Omega, which celebrated its historical milestone as maker of the first watch worn on the moon with the release of several special editions of its Speedmaster Professional “Moonwatch,” which accompanied the astronauts of Apollo 11 onto the lunar surface in 1969. It’s difficult to focus on just one, but we’re going with the Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition in Omega’s new “Moonshine gold” alloy. It’s a modern re-creation of a now-rare watch, with a yellow-gold case and burgundy bezel, given out at an “Astronauts Appreciation Dinner” in Houston in 1969 to celebrate the moon landing. Paler in hue than the 18k yellow gold used for the original model, Moonshine gold — composed of gold, silver, and palladium — has a high resistance to fading of color and luster over time. It’s used here not only for the case but also the dial, hands, and bracelet. The burgundy-colored tachymeter bezel, aluminum on the historical model, is in ceramic on the re-creation. Inside is Omega’s Master Chronometer Caliber 3861, which is manual wound like the original model’s Caliber 861, but includes a host of contemporary Omega elements like a co-axial escapement and a silicon balance spring, in addition to being enhanced for this special edition with a gold-plated mainplate and bridges. Lots more details on the watch, and its gala launch event at Cape Canaveral, can be found here.

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary LE - reclining
Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

Patek Philippe introduced the first chronograph in its sportiest and perhaps most accessible family, the Aquanaut, in 2019.  The steel case of the Aquanaut Chronograph (Ref. 5968A-001), with its hallmark gently-rounded octagonal bezel, measures 42.2 mm in diameter and 11.9 mm thick and features alternating satin and polished finishing on its surfaces and flanks. The screw-down crown is embedded between the shoulders of a curving crown protector, which in turn is bordered on each side by two elongated chronograph pushers. The graduated light-to-dark gray dial sports the familiar embossed pattern of the Aquanaut range, with applied white-gold numerals and indices, a large, 60-minute chronograph-counter subdial at 6 o’clock subtly shaped to echo the curved octagonal shape of the bezel, and orange highlights to identify the chronograph indications. Patek Philippe’s automatic manufacture Caliber CH 28-520 C controls the watch’s integrated flyback chronograph function, which combines a classic column-wheel control with a modern vertical disk clutch. The latter device is designed to prevent the chrono hands from bouncing and rebounding when the stopwatch is started and, as an added bonus, allows the center-mounted sweep chronograph seconds hand to also be used as a continually running seconds hand due to its nearly friction-free design. This model also marks the debut of a new, cleverly designed foldover clasp with four independent catches for enhanced functionality in opening and closing. Click here for more details and photos.

Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph - reclining
Patek Philippe Aquanaut Chronograph

It wouldn’t be a complete roundup of the year’s chronograph highlights without a mention of another 50-year anniversary, this one for TAG Heuer’s iconic Monaco model, which was fêted with five new limited editions, each inspired by the original and representing one decade of the Monaco’s existence. We’ll go with the first-issued and funkiest-looking of the quintet, the Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition, whose dial was designed to channel the shapes and colors of the 1970s — dark green with brown and yellow details on the indices and hands, with grayish “sunray black” for the emblematic, softly squared subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock. The addition of an elegant côtes de Genève finish to the dial of this famously sporty model also identifies it as special and collectible. The square 39-mm steel case has its chronograph pushers positioned at 2 and 4 o’clock on the right side, and the unconventionally placed at 9 o’clock on the left side, an arrangement pioneered by the original Monaco. Inside is the contemporary version of the famous Caliber 11, with automatic winding, a rapid date correction and a 40-hour power reserve. For more on the colorful history of the Monaco, click here.

TAG Heuer Monaco 1969-1979 LE - soldier
TAG Heuer Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition

Zenith, in the (you guessed it) 50th anniversary year of its heralded El Primero chronograph caliber, also offered a challenge as to which new watch to spotlight. We went with the most buzz-worthy piece among collectors and vintage-watch freaks, the El Primero A384 Revival, an almost note-for-note reproduction of the first wristwatch to house the El Primero, with a black-and-white “panda” subdial design. Zenith used a “reverse engineering” approach to create the watch, digitizing each component of the 1969 original to reproduce all elements as precisely as possible. The most major of these include the 37-mm-diameter, faceted, stainless steel case; the black-and-white lacquered dial with its surrounding tachymeter scale; and the mushroom-style chronograph pushers at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock. The manufacture took a more modern approach to the caseback, which was solid steel in the original but on this new model features a clear sapphire window to display the El Primero 400 caliber, the most up-to-date version of the classical movement, honed and fine-tuned over the course of a half century since its ancestor debuted. For those seeking out the most historically accurate version of the watch, Zenith will offer it on an integrated “ladder” steel bracelet of the type that graced the 1969 watch, as well as the black alligator strap shown here. Click here for more.

Zenith El Primero A384 Revival

Essence of Emerald: 15 Green-Dial Watches On Sale Now

It doesn’t get any greener in today’s watch world. Or does it? There have never been as many green watches as there are today, and in this feature from our 2019 Special Design Issue, on sale now, we explore the emergence of the trend and showcase 15 currently available emerald-hued timepieces.

Although blue has been the most prominent trendy color for watches for the past several years, green is gaining in popularity. Blue has enjoyed such strong success that blue dials and straps have become a part of the standard col-lections of many brands. But the market constantly demands new attractions, so more than a few manufacturers have introduced new models in green. Is green the new blue?

The answer is, “No.” There will never be as many green watches as blue ones. A green watch evokes entirely different emotions than a blue one does. This reason alone makes it impossible to compare the two colors. Blue pleases everybody, but green sparks differences of opinion. From a fashion perspective, blue plays a transitional role between classic “non-colors” (black, gray and white) and “real” colors like red, yellow, orange and green. Dark blue business suits, pastel blue dress shirts and blue denim jeans are seen so frequently that we don’t really notice that they are any color. But a green shirt, sport jacket or pair of pants attracts attention – and not always in a good way. Wearing clothes in green hues is a no-go in some situations.

The contrast isn’t quite so extreme for watches, but green polarizes opinions here, too. Although green evokes many positive associations, such as nature and youth, green is also the complementary color of the red of our blood and represents the opposite of rosy good health. When people don’t feel well, their complexion may get a greenish tinge. Poisons are often green. Monsters are often depicted with green skin. Verdigris is poisonous. And moldy bread has a greenish hue.

When green is worn on the wrist, it’s a color for individualists. Wearing a green watch makes a statement. It seems to proclaim, “I’m free to do as I please.” Green has many nuances and everyone has his own idea of what a “typical” green is.

The watches pictured here conjure up widely diverse associations. The palette ranges from subdued dark green, through fashionable pastel green, to green with a blue or a yellow tinge. Green can refer to the military, to hunting or to nature. And, of course, there’s also the color known as British Racing Green.

Green won’t become the new blue. But it nonetheless offers the option of expressing self-confidence and joie de vivre by wearing a color that’s likely to attract other people’s gazes – or to simply delight its wearers, who have chosen to put their favorite color on their wrists.

H. MOSER & CIE. SWISS ALP WATCH CONCEPT COSMIC GREEN

Moser Swiss Alp Watch Cosmic Green
Moser Swiss Alp Watch Concept Cosmic Green

Fumé dials with a fluent transition between black and a “real” color have become the trademark of H. Moser & Cie. Now the version in Cosmic Green adorns the Swiss Alp Watch, with a case design that Jony Ive and Apple have generously overlooked. White gold, 38.2 mm by 44 mm, manufacture Caliber HMC 324, hand-wound, 20 pieces, $26,900.

AUDEMARS PIGUET ROYAL OAK OFFSHORE DIVER

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver

AP continues to rely on “funky colors” in this divers’ watch, which stays watertight to 300 meters. After bright yellow, orange and bright green, one of the newcomers in 2018 comes with a dial and rubber wristband in military khaki green. Stainless steel, 42 mm, manufacture Caliber AP 3120, automatic, $19,900.

HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION GREEN

Hublot Classic Fusion Green
Hublot Classic Fusion Green

Considering the variety of colors that Hublot boasts, green simply couldn’t be missing from the spectrum. For the olive-green Classic Fusion, this brand is prioritizing the theme of unisex, as the 38-mm case suggests. Titanium, Sellita SW300, automatic, $6,600.

OMEGA SEAMASTER 300 MALACHITE

A dial made from South African malachite gives a noble aura to the Seamaster. The combination of a green mineral for the face and yellow gold for the case and bracelet ($56,250) seems more appropriate for another brand, so we prefer the platinum version, which is unfortunately much more costly ($88,500). 41 mm, Master Chronometer Caliber 8913, automatic.

RADO TRUE THINLINE NATURE

Rado True Thinline
Rado True Thinline Nature

Despite their hue, green watches seldom conjure up visions of verdant foliage. But this Rado watch is an exception: the mother-of-pearl dial with leafy structure distinguishes the look of the True Thinline, which has a case and bracelet made of high-tech ceramic. The design results from a partnership between Rado and the Grandi Giardini Italiani organization. 39 mm by 43 mm, quartz movement, $2,100.

BULGARI OCTO FINISSIMO

Bulgari Octo Green
Bulgari Octo Finissimo

The super-flat Octo Finissimo is a mere 5.15 mm thick. It encases 2.23-mm-slim manufacture Caliber BVL 138 with a platinum microrotor. Only 10 timepieces exist in this green version; they’re available at Harrods in London. Titanium, 40 mm, £12,000.

MB&F HOROLOGICAL MACHINE NO. 7 AQUAPOD

MB&F HM7 Aquapod - Green
MB&F HM7 Aquapod

The previous Aquapod with its luminous blue rotatable diving bezel was already an eye-catcher, but now it’s impossible to take one’s eyes off this new green jellyfish wristwatch. MB&F stays loyal to its concept of putting the utmost in the watchmaker’s art – here, a flying tourbillon – into playfully and provocatively shaped watches, thus transforming craftsmanship into fine art. Titanium, 53.8 mm by 21.3 mm, manufacture caliber, automatic, limited edition of 50 pieces, $108,000.

SINN HUNTER CHRONOGRAPH 3006

SINN Hunter Green
SINN Hunter Chronograph 3006

Sinn presents a watch designed expressly for hunters. A shade of green with a distinctly yellow tinge was chosen for the dial and the silicone strap. Along with the camouflage effect, this watch offers a second useful feature for hunters: a little moon appears above the T-shaped mark at the bottom of the dial to indicate that ambient lighting is bright enough for a hunt after sunset. Hardened stainless steel, 44 mm, ETA Valjoux 7751, $3,970.

CERTINA DS ACTION DIVER

Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic
Certina DS Action Diver Powermatic

Certina’s new divers’ watch isn’t only watertight to 300 meters, but is also equipped with self-winding Caliber Powermatic 80, which amasses an 80-hour power reserve. Connoisseurs who prefer a more subdued color scheme can opt for the same model with a black dial, rotatable bezel and green seconds hand. Stainless steel, 43 mm,

CHOPARD MILLE MIGLIA CLASSIC CHRONOGRAPH RACING COLORS

Chopard Mille Miglia Green
Chopard Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph

To celebrate its 30 years of partnership with the Mille Miglia rally for classic motorcars, Chopard presents five chronographs in the colors of historic race cars. This color scheme was devised approximately 100 years ago for drivers from different countries. British Racing Green was assigned to the drivers from England. This dark and subdued shade of green contrasts elegantly with bright yellow, red, silver or blue. Stainless steel, 42 mm, Caliber ETA 2894, automatic, chronometer, $6,080.

SEIKO 1968 AUTOMATIC COMMEMORATIVE LIMITED EDITION

Seiko Diver SLA019
Seiko Prospex Ref. SLA019

The Swiss aren’t the only ones who know that green also looks good on a divers’ watch. Seiko offers 1,968 pieces of the Prospex Reference SLA019, which is watertight to 300 meters, equipped with a rotatable ceramic bezel and delivered with an additional silicone wristband. Stainless steel, 44.3 mm, manufacture Caliber 8L35, automatic, $3,250.

GLASHÜTTE ORIGINAL SIXTIES PANORAMA DATE

Glashuette Original Sixties Panorama Date
Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date

The green version of the Sixties not only has a terrific color, but also fascinates with a sunburst of lacquer particles that look as though they’re exploding from the dial’s center and spreading out across the entire face like a supernova. Just how is this “dégradé” effect achieved? The experts at Glashütte Original’s dial factory keep the answer a closely guarded secret. Stainless steel, 42 mm, manufacture Caliber 39-47, automatic, $9,300.

HERMÈS ARCEAU CASAQUE

Hermes Arceau Casaque
Hermès Arceau Casaque

It’s not surprising that Hermès has adorned the dial of this watch with a stylized horse’s head because this brand has its roots in the saddler’s craft. The Arceau Casaque also alludes to a French board game in which little horses move across the playing board. The watch comes in the four basic colors used in the game: red, yellow, blue and this trendy green. Stainless steel, lacquered enamel dial, quartz movement, $3,400.

ORIS AQUIS DATE

Oris Aquis Date
Oris Aquis Date

The Aquis is a wonderful “no-nonsense” watch. It costs astonishingly little, but it offers surprisingly a lot: watertightness to 300 meters, a ceramic bezel, a stainless-steel bracelet and a fold-and-slide clasp with built-in extension piece. The version with a steel bracelet ($2,000) goes most handsomely with the green bezel and dial, although a variation with a brown leather strap is also available ($1,850). Stainless steel, 43.5 mm, Sellita SW200, automatic.

MONTBLANC 1858 MONOPUSHER CHRONOGRAPH LIMITED EDITION 100

Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph LE - flat
Montblanc 1858 Monopusher Chronograph

The technology and the dial arrangement of this handsome chronograph refer to a monopusher version that Minerva built in the 1920s. The green color gives a certain vintage character to this watch, which is actually a state-of-the-art timepiece. Stainless steel, 40 mm, manufacture Caliber MB M13.21, hand-wound, limited series of 100 watches, $30,000.

Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy: Méraud Bonaire

Neo-vintage dive watches are incredibly popular right now, both among major brands like Longines, Rolex, and Seiko, and among many smaller start-ups such as Evant, Baltic, and MAEN. One of the newest to the scene is Belgium-based Méraud with their 1960s-inspired Bonaire, a cool steel diver with an impressive value proposition. The watch originally came to the scene as a Kickstarter campaign in October 2018, and through this effort Méraud was able to fully fund the project with the first orders to reach collectors this month.

The new Bonaire uses a 39-mm brushed steel case with a 12.5-mm thickness, giving it a vintage impression on the wrist with an added feeling of sturdiness. The case also features impressively faceted lugs for a Kickstarter brand’s first model, and a slightly domed screw-down crown adding to its 200-m water resistance. Encircling the face is a unidirectional diving bezel with a curved and raised insert, made unique with its small triangle at its top and interesting font for its numerals at each of the quarter positions.

The dial matches the bezel in color and is available in either gloss black, sunburst blue, or sunburst gray, with the two sunburst models using white Super-LumiNova accents for its markers and the gloss black channeling a more vintage styling in using faux-patina coloration. On the dial’s outer edge is a simple minute ring, with applied triangular hour markers for each of the quarter hours besides midnight which uses Arabic numerals, and circular markers filling in the remaining positions. Towards the bottom of the dial is a subtle Bonaire script, while towards the top is Méraud’s slightly tapered logo, and sweeping over them both are two sword hands for the hour and minute and a diamond-tipped seconds indicator.

Inside the new watch is a no-date modified STP1-11 automatic caliber, capable of a 44-hour power reserve and protected by an engraved and numbered case back featuring the image of a vintage scuba diver complete with a harpoon in hand. The Bonaire is available on either a high-quality textured leather strap or a metal riveted bracelet, with each model coming with a complementary NATO-style strap, rubber tropic strap, and strap tool. While the presale with its reduced pricing is now over, the Bonaire is available for purchase through Méraud’s website for 849 euros (859 euros with quick release spring bars), or about $950 and $960 USD, respectively.

While through its construction and design features the watch is easy to identify as a modern creation, the piece clearly has vintage influences, some of which aren’t easily identifiable. At first glance, I immediately saw the allusion to vintage Blancpain watches like the Fifty Fathoms with the raised bezel insert, hands, and hour markers. But in talking with founder Stijn Busschaer, where he acknowledged the Blancpain influence on the design, he further referenced the Rolex 5512, dive watches from Gruen, the Benrus Ultra Deep, the Bulova Devil Diver, and the Zenith S58. Together, these influences tie the watch to a larger 1960s-inspired design, which was Busschaert’s goal as a primarily vintage watch collector himself looking to create something that other vintage-minded collectors would appreciate.

Overall, the piece is produced at an incredibly high quality for its price, especially in the context of it being the brand’s first watch in production. The attention to detail I experienced while handling it is obvious, and Busschaert was keen to point out the extra effort in manufacturing. Through the attractiveness of the various dial colorways, to the high-grade faceting on the lugs, to the curving on the bezel insert — it is quite impressive to see the work the start-up brand was able to foster in the Bonaire. The effort is even seen in the straps of the different models like the rivet-style bracelet, an authentic and comfortable tropic strap, and the high-quality saddle stitched leather straps — together contradicting the trend of straps as an afterthought in a market ripe with aftermarket straps.

With Méraud Watch Co. making such a splash with their first neo-vintage piece, it should come as no surprise the brand is planning more watches in the future. And as the new Bonaire pieces begin to make their ways to buyers in the coming weeks, Méraud is already finalizing the design for their second model describing it as “something special [and] unseen within the microbrand world,” as well as beginning to draft designs for a third piece.

For the most recent article in the “Vintage Eye” series, in which we go hands-on with the Longines Heritage Military Watch and compare it to its historical predecessor, click here.

Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.

Seven Intriguing Chronographs You’ll Discover at WatchTime L.A.

WatchTime Los Angeles kicks off this Friday, May 3, with 27 sponsoring watch brands and a host of watch-industry VIPs. Among the brands’ new products on display will be, of course, some new chronograph models making their U.S. debut after being introduced at Baselworld or SIHH. Here are seven that are worthy of a closer look.

The Bremont Arrow is an aviator-style chronograph hailing from Bremont’s new Armed Forces Collection, a trilogy of new models developed in partnership with the British Ministry of Defence that take their inspiration from the famous “Dirty Dozen,” a series of watches commissioned by the British Army during World War II. Housed in a two-part 42-mm case made of hardened steel and powered by the chronometer-rated, automatic BE-51AE movement, the watch features a chronograph operated by a monopusher at 2 o’clock, with readouts indicated by a central red-arrow-tipped chronograph seconds hand, and subdials at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock for 30 elapsed chronograph minutes and for running seconds, respectively. The matte black dial, which also has a date window at 6 o’clock, has mint-colored Super-LumiNova details. The caseback, like those of all the Armed Forces models, bears the heraldic badges of all three of Britain’s military services, the Army, Royal Navy, and Royal Air Force (RAF); the watch’s strap is in RAF-style blue sailcloth.

Bremont MoD Arrow - Front
Bremont Arrow

Chronoswiss’s navy-dialed Sirius Chronograph Moon Phase combines a stopwatch with a moon-phase and analog date indicator. Its 41-mm steel case is stylized with partially knurled edges, polished and brushed finishing, unusual tipped chronograph pushers, and a large onion crown. It is secured to the wrist with a blue Louisiana alligator strap using long, straight lugs. Surrounding the blue, partially guilloché-decorated dial is an outer analog date window, with a red-tipped crescent-moon indicator hand sweeping over its face, and a chronograph minutes counter with applied Breguet hour markers between the quarter hour positions. The chronograph’s 30-minute counter is at 12 o’clock, the running seconds at 9 o’clock, and the 12-hour chronograph counter at 6 o’clock. At 3 o’clock you’ll find a moon-phase display accented with a zero-to-29.5 scale representing the length of a typical lunar cycle. Lacquered white “Breguet Losange” hands point to the hour and minute, while a simple pointer indicates the chronograph seconds, white raindrop-style hands sweep the chronograph subdials, and a simple pointer tallies the running seconds. The multi-complication ensemble is powered by the automatic Chronoswiss Caliber C.755, which is based on the ETA 7750 and visible through a sapphire caseback.

Chronoswiss Sirius Chronograph Moon Phase

François Czapek was the original partner of Antoine Norbert de Patek (of Patek Philippe) before leaving the nascent brand to form his own watchmaking atelier, Czapek & Cie, in 1845. A Polish immigrant in Geneva, he is credited with opening what is considered the first watch boutique on the Place Vendôme in Paris and served as the official watchmaker to Napoleon III. Today’s Czapek brand, revived in 2015, named its first chronograph, the Faubourg de Cracovie Dioné & Rhea, after the location of one of its namesake’s watch Polish watch boutiques. This year’s new Faubourg de Cracovie Tao is a new take on that watch, with a black-on-white “panda” dial replacing the white-on-black “reverse panda” look of its predecessor. The steel 41.5-mm case has deeply engraved sides and an uncommon integration between its seamless, elongated chronograph pushers and signed crown. On the white grand feu enamel dial are Roman numerals for the hour markers, with a bright red accent to denote 12 o’clock; two contrasting black subdials and a subtle white register indicating the chronograph minutes, hours, and small seconds; and a small date indicator at the 6 o‘clock position. Sweeping over the face are two rhodium-plated “Fleur de Lys” hands and a simple counter for the chronograph seconds. The piece is powered by the automatic Caliber SXH3, with a 65-hour power reserve and a golden rotor visible through a sapphire caseback.

Czapek Faubourg Cracovie Tao

The De Bethune DB21 Maxichrono Réédition is a modern re-issue of the independent brand’s first chronograph, originally released in 2006. The 2019 version is a limited edition of only 10 pieces. The original Maxichrono was notable for its avant-garde design — with five centrally-located hands (two for hours and minutes; three for chronographic functions) and a distinct lack of subdials. This minimalist construction requires an extremely complex movement, with several interdependent column wheels embedded into one another yet still needing to operate independently. In the Maxichrono, each can be zero-reset on demand and can autonomously restart through the use of a single pusher located at 6 o’clock. The benefit of this pared-down design not only increases legibility at a glance but also offers the ability to measure longer times, up to 24 hours in a row, rather than the more common limits of 9 or 12 hours, with 1/10th of a second accuracy. Inside the new Maxichrono is the DB2030 manufacture caliber, fitted with the De Bethune Absolute Clutch and boasting a five-day power reserve.

De Bethune DB21 Maxichrono Reedition
De Bethune DB21 Maxichrono Reedition

Grand Seiko is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its Spring Drive movement this year with, among other new models, a new rose-gold-cased version of the Spring Drive Chronograph GMT 9R96 (ref. SBGC230). The 44.5-mm case has a faceted design, specially finished with the brand’s Zaratsu-style polishing, with two prominent chronograph pushers and a LumiBrite-accented black GMT bezel. Beneath the dual-curved sapphire glass is a deep red dial, matching the color of the crocodile leather strap. It has a racing-style racing minute track on the flange, along with large, applied indices, a 3 o’clock date window, a power reserve indicator, and three sub-dials for running seconds, 30 chronograph minutes, and 12 chronograph hours. Passing over the dial are two diamond-cut hands typical of the Grand Seiko Sports line and a simple pointer for the chronograph seconds. Powering the watch is the automatic Spring Drive Caliber 9R96, capable of a 72-hour power reserve and accurate to +/- 0.5 seconds per day, whose gold lion-embossed rotor is on display through a clear sapphire case back. For more detail on how Seiko’s Spring Drive system works, click here.

Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT
Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph GMT

The Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition features a specially designed chronograph complication that was once used by doctors to measure a patient’s resting heart rate. The stainless-steel case measures 40 mm in diameter and contains the Montblanc Manufacture monopusher chronograph Caliber MB M13.21, which is visible through an exhibition caseback. The slightly domed dial features an attractive salmon color and has several design elements that call back to Minerva timepieces from the 1940s and ’50s (Minerva being the legendary chronograph producer that became part of Montblanc after it was acquired by parent company Richemont on 2006). The dial has two different finishes; anthracite applied Arabic numerals and dots for indexes; dauphine hour and minute hands treated with Super-LumiNova; and blued baton hands for the chronograph registers. Another notable retro-style detail: old-school payphone indications at the 3-, 6-, and 9-minute marks on the chronograph’s minute counter that would let payphone users know when to add a coin for more time. Limited to 100 pieces, the watch comes on a color-coordinated, anthracite-colored Sfumato alligator leather strap.

Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition
Montblanc Heritage Pulsograph Limited Edition

The Zenith El Primero A386 Revival is, as its name implies, a faithful re-creation of the original El Primero watch from 1969, which famously featured the first self-winding chronograph movement to offer a high balance frequency of 36,000 vph, meaning times could be measured to the nearest 1/10 second, along with both an integrated column-wheel construction and a then-unprecedented 50-hour power reserve. The stainless steel case measures a now-modest 38 mm, the same size as the original’s, with a curved, magnifying sapphire crystal. The vintage-look dial offers the same tricolored subdials (light gray for running seconds, blue for elapsed minutes, anthracite for elapsed hours), tachymeter scale, hand shapes and hour markers as the original. The lugs and mushroom-style chrono pushers are also direct descendants of the vintage model’s. Only the caseback, which features a sapphire viewing window while its predecessor was solid, is a nod to modern tastes, and the movement visible through that window is the most up-to-date, contemporary version, the El Primero Caliber 400, with the same 36,600-vph frequency and 50-hour minimum power reserve that wowed the watch community a half-century ago.

Zenith El Primero 50th Anniversary Set - watch-reclining
Zenith El Primero A386 Revival

There are still tickets available for WatchTime Los Angeles, taking place on May 3-4 at Downtown L.A.’s Hudson Loft. Click here for more info and tickets!

Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy: Nezumi Corbeau

This week, we’ll be taking a look at Swedish brand Nezumi Studios’s fourth release, the 1960s and 70s inspired Corbeau. Nezumi isn’t a new name to the Vintage Eye series, with us previously taking a look at their popular vintage racing chronograph inspired Voiture model back in 2016, and its follow-up in the Baleine which took its influences from an eclectic group of historical divers and sports watches. The Corbeau continues to follow this thread in the brand’s growing collections by drawing its influences from some of the most renowned utilitarian chronographs of the past half century, and by effectively remixing these elements with some other historical flairs and new traits to create a watch that is unmistakably its own.

The new Corbeau is available in three different colorway options: the most modern is the Corbeau 1 which uses a brushed steel case and a gray dial with white and black accents. Then there’s the Corbeau 2, also with a brushed steel case, but now using a black dial with faux patina and white accents most of all recalling the new series’ vintage influences. The last colorway is the tactical PVD Corbeau 3, which differentiates itself foremost in the case and bezel coloration, but also through its use of an all-black dial with patina accents. Each of the watches comes equipped on a choice of three different NATO-style nylon straps to further add to its mil-spec aviation chronograph aesthetic.

There are many details on the watch which will be recognizable to those familiar with the brand, beginning with the outer aspects in the 40-mm steel case. With its pump pushers, signed crown, and slightly twisted lugs, the case not only recalls the popular lug style seen in the Omega Speedmaster, but also the brand’s original Voiture through its same construction. Topping the steel shell is the unidirectional bezel (the same design as the Baleine diver), that sets the tone for the model’s vintage military style as we go deeper into its design features. Beneath the acrylic-alluding domed sapphire crystal is the aviation influenced dial with an outer minute ring, printed Arabic numerals, and three sunken sub-dials for a 24-hour counter, running seconds, and hour chronograph timer at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions, respectively.

A small Nezumi logo lands right above the center of the dial with a Corbeau script balancing it above the bottom sub-dial, while two syringe hands sweep over the dial alongside a simple pointer chronograph seconds counter. The watch uses the Seiko VK63 Mecha-Quartz movement, which uses a base quartz movement with an additional mechanical chronograph component. Currently, the Corbeau is available for $345 in the American market, and $400 including VAT for EU residents.

Like each of the previous watches produced by the studio, the Corbeau hosts an array of vintage designs within the modern format. Its foremost influences are seen from 1960s Heuer Autavias (like as this re-edition by TAG Heuer from 2017, the mid-century Heuer-developed Bundeswehr 1550 SG, the early ‘70s Lemania “Viggen” (picture below via Sotheby’s), and 1970s Porsche Design chronographs.

From the Autavia, you’ll notice a similar overall style in the combination of the dive bezel with the triple sub-dials; while the Bundeswehr’s influence is seen not only in the bezel and chronograph combination but also in the minute ring and Arabic numerals. From the “Viggen” (which we covered a modern re-issue of by Siduna last August), we again see a similar configuration between the bezel, chronograph, and hour markers, but now with an additional military tightness not seen on the clunkier Heuer models. Finally, we see the influence of other watches like the iconic Porsche Design chronographs in smaller details such as the matte PVD design found on the Corbeau 3, or a Jaeger-LeCoultre Diver in the syringe hands, or an Omega Speedmaster in the curvature of the lugs.

What’s unique about the Corbeau is how the brand brings all of these elements together in a single model to create a modernized military style watch like few others on the market today, especially in this price point. Between the combination of colors, faux patinas, hands, numerals, and the steel case housing it all, the Corbeau is offering a memorable take on a traditional mil-spec style watch. This is all done in combination with a few extra details that are becoming hallmarks of the Nezumi brand, like in the style of the bezel, the thick hands of the sub-dials, the Mecha-Quartz movement, the various color options, and the case with its lugs and engraved case back. I might have included the Speedmaster-style seconds counter with the brand’s logo used as a counterweight, like that seen on the Voiture, to add to the unique style of the company, but I suppose the plain pointer is more honest to the Corbeau’s vintage influences.

The reason a lot of writers and enthusiasts like Nezumi is foremost because the young brand’s ability to remix an era of watch genre — mil-spec aviation watches in the case of the Corbeau — with modern technology and unique, brand-specific designs. On top of this, the brand is beginning to become consistent in some of the pieces it uses in its watches, like the style of the sub-dials, hands, and caseback, or even less noticeably in the hybrid Seiko movement, which cuts the price of the model considerably, making it more accessible overall.

For the most recent article in the “Vintage Eye” series, in which we compare the DOXA SUB Searambler “Silver Lung” to its historical counterparts, click here.

Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.

Vintage Eye for the Modern Guy: IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Ref. IW377724

About a month ago, via the Instagram of its CEO, Christophe Grainger-Herr, IWC Schaffhausen casually released the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Ref. IW377724 to the market. This new watch is a conglomeration of historical designs by the brand, taking its foremost influences from the legendary WWII-era Mark 11 military watch, the early-1990s IWC Doppelchronograph reference 3711; the Mark 11-influenced 1994 Fliegerchronograph Reference 3705/6; and also from more modern styles developed by the brand, most notably in the contemporary Mark XVIII and the accompanying “Tribute to Mark XI” watches released last year. This might all seem a bit complicated, so to break it down, it’s basically a modern re-creation of a 1990s derivation of a 1990s watch inspired by the vintage Mark 11— simple, right?IWC Pilots Chronograph - front

To offer you a brief history on each of these historical watches, let’s begin with the vintage model (pictured below). The original Mark 11 was a utilitarian pilot’s watch first developed for the German military in the late 1930s, but then brought into the fold by British military in the early 1940s. It was easy to read and quick to produce, it could take a beating like few other pieces of the time, and — like so many other watches that have clung to soldiers’ wrists and changed the world — it has since been repackaged and re-imagined with luxury finishing for the modern market.

IWC Mark 11 - vintage

The original Doppelchronograph Ref. 3711 (“Double Chronograph” in English; pictured below via Christie’s) was not a military timepiece, but rather an innovative split-seconds chronograph designed by Richard Habring in 1993, able to time multiple events or multiple splits of one event at once. The double-chronograph mechanism (sometimes known as a “rattrapante,” from the French rattraper, for the act of recovering and recapturing) wasn’t innovative because it was a new innovation for the time — having first been created in the 1830s and first brought into a wristwatch by Patek Philippe as early as 1923— but because Habring was able to redevelop the complication through a complex series of modifications on a common Valjoux 7750 movement.

 IWC Doppelchronograph 3711

Finally, the 1994 Fliegerchronograph for which the newest Pilot’s Watch draws its most direct inspiration (pictured below, in ceramic), it was a watch almost identical in style to the Doppelchrono, yet critically differed in its lack of a double-chronograph mechanism in favor of the humble single chronograph. In the series’ run, it spanned two references (3705 and 3706) and alongside the Doppelchrono was a foundational model in the IWC Pilot’s Chronograph line.

IWC Pilots Chronograph - Ceramic - 1994
Heinz-Ruedi Rohrer, Zurich

 

The new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Ref. IW377724 has elements of each of these watches in its design, alongside a number of modern liberties more common in the brand’s repertoire today. The 43-mm flieger-style case, with its use of brushed steel, has a clear military aesthetic with an unadorned, solid caseback, the familiar Pilot’s Watch Chronograph pushers, and a dark green canvas strap. The black dial of the watch clearly distinguishes it from its IWC boutique counterparts, with its subtle outer minute ring reminiscent of a tachymetric scale, faux-patina-accented quarter-hour markers, and thinned Arabic numerals for the rest of the timing positions. Toward each quarter-hour is a different display, with a 30-minute counter at midnight; the day, date, and corporate logo toward 3 o’clock; 12-hour counter at the bottom of the dial; and running seconds at the 6 o’clock position. Displaying the time are Mark 11-inspired and faux patina-filled hour and minute hands, with a simple white pointer used as the chronograph seconds counter.

 IWC Pilots Chronograph - angle

Inside the IW377724 is the automatic IWC Caliber 79320, capable of a 44-hour power reserve, which— like its ‘90s predecessors — uses a Valjoux 7750 base movement. Accompanying its unorthodox arrival to the market is its an equally unusual limitation: the watch will not be made in a limited-edition quantity, but rather will only be available for a limited period of time (until October 2018) through IWC’s online boutique.

 IWC Pilots Chronograph - back - strap

This isn’t the first time we’ve covered the Mark 11 and its modern derivations for “Vintage Eye” (you can check out our first coverage of the Mark XVII from 2015, here), but this is the first time we’re seeing a watch not labeled as a “Mark” watch explicitly take on its vintage influences. More commonly, modern pilot watches with clear World War II vintage-style attributes are credited to the B-Uhr style like that seen in IWC’s Big Pilot series, which itself heavily influenced the development of the historical Mark series in the late 1930s. Nonetheless, in the style of hands, quarter-hour markers, Arabic numerals, and in nods to both utility and history via an undecorated caseback and faux patina, the influences of the Mark 11 are obvious on this modern watch.

However, it would be an overstatement to call the IW377724 a direct descendant of the vintage model, as it is much more the “re-creation of a 1990s derivation of a 1990s inspiration,” as stated prior. In comparison to the Doppelchrono and Fliegerchrono — two watches similar in all attributes but complications and size — the newest Pilot’s Watch Chronograph shares most of their traits. Between the flieger-style case, with its trademark pushers, and the dial configuration, with its hour markers, Mark 11 hands, and vertical subdials, the modern watch’s retro design distinguishes it from all its contemporaries in the series.

IWC Pilots Chronograph - dial CU

Of course, there are some differences: notably, the Doppelchrono was 42 mm in diameter and the Fliegerchrono 39 mm, while the IW377724 is 43 mm. And while the two retro pieces are still appreciated today in collectors’ circles, the contemporary piece benefits quite a bit from the past 20-plus years of improvements in finishing; this likely owes more than a bit to the luxury status Richemont has sought to bring IWC since acquiring the brand in 2000. These two traits have led the dial and case to appear cleaner, with less wording and more prominent subdials, and have allowed the watch to stand well on its own not simply as a 1990s watch re-creation, but also as a Mark 11 homage and an interesting piece in its own right.

IWC Pilots Chronograph - buckle

The newest IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph is the kind of piece that vintage-watch writers love; a type that makes me feel like some sort of music guru, breaking down modern songs and pointing out that they’re little more than remixes of remixes of remixes. I would go so far as to say it’s the kind of piece, considering its unique features and unusual release strategy, that one would normally expect to see produced through some partnership between a brand and a specific boutique. (Or, as is becoming increasingly common these days, a partnership between the brand and a horological publication to create a limited run). However, and fortunately, it was released to the public directly by the brand for us to discuss; even more fortunately to some, it is priced the same as the non-limited, time-only Pilot’s Watch Chronographs at $4,950 — though who can say what its resell value might be come November? The limited-edition (and undoubtedly more significant)  Mark XVIII “Tribute to Mark XI” (below) is now sold out by the brand, and available secondhand for close to $2,000 above retail.

IWC Pilots Watch Tribute

For the most recent article in the “Vintage Eye” series, in which we compare the Seiko Prospex Diver 300m Hi-Beat SLA025 to its historical counterpart click here.

Caleb Anderson is a freelance writer with a primary focus on vintage watches. Since first discovering horology, he has garnered extensive knowledge in the field and spends much of his time sharing his opinions among other writers, collectors, and dealers. Currently located near New York City, he is a persistent student in all things historical, a writer on many topics, and a casual runner.

10 Green Watches to go with Your Pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day

Green watches are proving more and more popular these days, so what better holiday to highlight a few of our favorite viridescent watches than St. Patrick’s Day? We’ve collected a few of the more notable models, but with so many brands embracing the hue, we restricted it to timepieces released in the past two years. Unfortunately, that means that the Rolex Hulk (a Submariner with a green dial and bezel originally released in 2010) and the Kermit (a Submariner with a black dial and green bezel originally released in 2003), two of the most popular green watches, won’t be making an appearance this time.

The Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio PAM 736

Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio - 47 mm - reclining
Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio – 47 mm

Last fall, Panerai released three green-dialed watches. Our favorite was the PAM 739. Slightly larger than the rest, at 47 mm in diameter, the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio is constructed from a single block of AS 316L stainless steel and features integrated lugs. The dial has the large Arabic numerals and linear hour markers characteristic of Panerai, along with a date window at 3 o’clock and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. Powering the watch is the manufacture Caliber P.3000, with a three-day power reserve and large, brushed-finish bridges, including two bridges with twin supports for the massive 13.2-mm balance wheel. This manual-winding movement also features a quick-adjustment function for the hour hand. The price: $9,200. You can read more about the other models here.

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 3600 LE

 

 

Grand Seiko, fresh off rechristening itself as a separate brand at Baselworld 2017, kept the hits rolling last fall when it unveiled this distinctive take on the Hi-Beat 36000 GMT. The ornate dial pattern is meant to resemble a Peacock’s plumage, quickly earning this model the Peacock nom de guerre among Seiko-holics everywhere. Limited to 700 total pieces, the watch has quickly become a favorite among watch enthusiasts looking for a darker and less flashy green watch. At $6,500, it offers an excellent value proposition considering the Japanese brand’s world-class finishing.

The Hublot Classic Fusion in Green

If you’re looking for a watch that combines the viridescent dial of the Rolex Hulk but aren’t interested in picking up a diver, then this new line of Hublot Classic Fusions released during the LVMH Geneva Days show that runs concurrently with SIHH deserves a look. There are ten new watches featuring this specific dial color that, depending on the light, can transition from a bright, grassy green to an almost-black color. The watches come in four different sizes, 33  mm, 38 mm, 42 mm, and 45 mm, and the choice of a case made from Hublot’s proprietary King Gold or a satin-finished and polished titanium. Add in two chronograph options and you’ve got a collection that the whole family can break out during St. Patrick’s Day. Prices range from CHF 5,300 (approximately $5,560 USD at the time of publishing) for the 33 mm titanium model, to 29,300 CHF (approximately $30,750 USD at the time of publishing) for the King Gold Chronograph.

The MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual in Titanium

Back at the end of February, the good folks at MB&F released a new take on the GPHG award-winning and fan-favorite Legacy Machine Perpetual Calendar. The big news here? The watch appeared for the first time in titanium. While a pessimist might point out the blueish hints to the green that courses throughout the skeletonized dial, there’s easily enough to keep any drunken revelers from surprising you with a hard pinch. It’s limited to 50 total pieces and priced at $148,000.

The Rado True Thinline Leaf

 

Announced last month as a pre-Baselworld teaser, the Rado True Thinline Leaf embraces both the design panaché the brand is known for as well as the high-tech ceramic usage they popularized. While the green ceramic bracelet and case are attractive enough, it’s the dial that really steals the show. Inspired by nature, the green mother-of-pearl dial has a leaf pattern printed on its underside causing a dizzying effect when the light bounces on and off of it. It’s a unique piece that is worth seeing in person to fully appreciate the contrast between the detailed veins of a leaf and the classic mother-of-pearl sheen. It’s priced at $2,000 and will be available post-Baselworld. Check out Rado’s other pre-Baselworld 2018 novelty here.

The Sinn 3006 Hunter Chronograph

This Sinn model boasts a moon phase that is completely unnecessary in the United States but is totally awesome in its own right. The German federal hunting laws — also known as Bundesjagdgesetz —prohibits hunting with the aid of artificial light sources. In order to hunt game at night, there must be adequate natural lighting from the moon. To figure what night offers the legal amount of light, the crafty German manufactory designed this moon phase to show when the moonlight is bright enough. It’s priced at $3,970.

The H. Moser Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Cosmic GreenH. Moser & Cie Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Cosmic Green - lifestyle

As it did two years ago, H. Moser & Cie. introduced a special-edition piece in its “Concept” collection at SIHH 2017. The Endeavour Centre Seconds Concept Cosmic Green was limited to 20 pieces each in white and rose gold when it was first released. The green fumé dial is unblemished by subdials, windows, numerals, indices, not even a brand logo. It’s the first fumé dial — the brand’s specialty — that features the color green. Learn more here.

The MeisterSinger N.02MeisterSinger Green Dial

The German watch brand MeisterSinger introduced the green-dialed No.02 at Baselworld 2016. The watch is one of three pieces – the others are the Neo and the Pangaea – that featured this all-new color called “Rensing Green.” The color, which first appeared on the brand’s Salthora Meta jumping-hour in 2015, was created by Nico Rensing, a longtime member of MeisterSinger’s international sales team. More details about the No.02 and its green companions can be found in this article.

 

The Oris Diver Sixty-FiveOris Diver Sixty-Five - green dial

This dark-green-dial-version of the Divers Sixty-Five from Oris was added to the popular vintage-inspired dive watch collection in 2016. The hands and indices are filled with a type of colored Super-LumiNova called “Light Old Radium.” The watch is available with four different bracelet and strap options. More details can be found here.

The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture

Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture - green
Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture – green

The Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture, which debuted in a brown-and-rose-gold version last year, sports a new green-and-silver look in this pre-Baselworld 2018 incarnation. Like its predecessors, the watch has a three-part stainless steel case measuring 42 mm in diameter and a world-map dial swept over by hand-polished, luminous-treated hour and minute hands, and is powered by an in-house movement, Caliber FC-718. Composed of 139 parts, and visible through a sapphire caseback, it beats at a frequency of 28,800 vph, stores a power reserve of 42 hours, and features perlage and côtes de Genève finishing on its bridges and plates. The movement is notable for its world-time function, which is controlled entirely by the crown, with no additional push-buttons or correctors needed. The wearer can manually wind the watch by turning the crown upwards in its first position; set the date and city by turning it upward and downward, respectively, in its second position; and set the local time by turning it downward in its third, fully extracted position. The dial is surrounded by two disks, with a 24-hour day-night scale and a city indicator representing the 24 major world time zones. The dark green tint in the ocean areas of the world map, the date disk at 6 o’clock, and the world-time city disk is echoed by the dark green strap with white contrast stitching. You can learn more here.

 

7 Standout Dive Watches That Made a Splash at WatchTime New York 2017

If you missed last weekend’s WatchTime New York event, you missed an opportunity to get up close and hands-on with hundreds of new watches of various styles and types. Today, we take a look at the ever-popular divers’ watch category. Here are five that stood out at the show — all available at retail now.

Bell & Ross’s BR 03-92 Diver — designed with the consultation of experienced divers to be a professional-grade diving instrument meeting the strict ISO 6425 international standards — is the “ampersand brand’s” first dive watch in the square case shape for which it has become renowned. Its squared ergonomic case, made of satin-polished steel and measuring 42 mm in diameter, is water-resistant to 300 meters. It is equipped with a 60-minute unidirectional bezel with a luminescent dot at 12 o’clock for orientation. Its crown is protected by an impact-resistant guard and is fitted with a rubber insert for easy handling. Inside the case is an inner cage made of soft iron, which protects the movement from the effects of magnetic fields. The indices on the deep black dial are filled with white Super-LumiNova, which is also used on the minutes and seconds hands, and the hour hand is easily distinguished by its bright orange color. The insert on the unidirectional rotating bezel, upon whose scale the minute hand indicates the time spent underwater, is made of black anodized aluminum. The watch is packaged in a water-resistant box along with two changeable straps: one made of woven black rubber with a satin-polished steel pin buckle, the other in a resilient black synthetic fabric that can be adjusted to wear over a dive suit with a Velcro closure system.

Bell & Ross BR03 Diver
Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver

In the late 1950s, Jean-Jacques Fiechter, longtime Blancpain CEO and originator of the brand’s now-iconic Fifty Fathoms divers’ watch, introduced a new innovation that enabled that timepiece to meet the strict standards for U.S. military use. That feature — a circular water-tightness indicator on the dial, a large disk at 6 o’clock that changed its color from white to red if liquid leaked into the case — has been resurrected in the new Tribute to Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC, the latest vintage-inspired take on the Fifty Fathoms. This watch’s historical predecessor made its debut in 1957-58, and was designed specifically to pass a battery of tests conducted on a variety of watches by the United States Navy, which was seeking a timepiece for use on underwater missions. The modern re-interpretation of the MIL-SPEC is powered by a Blancpain in-house, automatic movement, Caliber 1151, which stores a lengthy four-day power reserve in its two series-coupled mainspring barrels. The black dial has large, luminous indices for legibility deep underwater, and a unidirectional rotating bezel covered in scratch-resistant sapphire — a Blancpain innovation that made its debut on the 50th Anniversary Fifty Fathoms models in 2003. Of course, the case boasts a level of water-resistance suitable for professional and military diving: 300 meters, an upgrade from the 91.45 meters (AKA 50 fathoms) of the original model.

Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec
Blancpain Tribute to Fifty Fathoms Mil-Spec

The Bremont Supermarine Type 300 is a new addition to the British brand’s range of vintage-aircraft inspired divers’ watches. The Type 300 derives its name from the historic “Type 300” prototype Spitfire aircraft developed by the Supermarine aircraft company in the 1930s. Its 40-mm stainless steel case is scaled down from those of its predecessors, the S500 and S2000, and also slimmer, at just 13 mm thick from crystal to caseback. Nevertheless, the new Supermarine case is professional-grade for diving, remaining water-resistant to 300 meters. Two dial variations are available, black and blue, with laser-engraved ceramic inserts for the unidirectional diving bezel in a matching color. The case is in stainless steel; like Bremont’s other three-part “Trip-Tick” cases, it has a scratch-resistant DLC-treated case barrel. The crown screws down securely, and the sapphire crystal is domed. The solid caseback is graced with an engraved illustration of the famous Spitfire plane.The watch is powered by the automatic, chronometer-certified Bremont Caliber BE-92AE. (For divers who want both a smaller case and a more vintage look, Bremont also offers the Type 301, which has Super-LumiNova-filled hour indices instead of Arabic numerals on its matte black dial.)

Bremont Supermarine Type 300 - blue dial, strap
Bremont Supermarine Type 300

Lucerne-based Carl F. Bucherer launched the latest version of its Patravi ScubaTec, with an 18k rose gold case and a new dial in what the brand calls “Lucerne blue,” an exclusive shade inspired by the color of Lake Lucerne on a bright summer day. Like previous models in the collection, the watch has a 44.6-mm diameter case boasting a water-resistance of 500 meters, with a notched, unidirectional rotating bezel highlighted with a blue ceramic insert that indicates the first 15 minutes of dive time. The watch’s crown is decorated with the brand’s emblem, screws down securely and the sapphire crystal is nearly 4 mm thick. There is also an automatic helium valve in the side of the case, made of blackened titanium, which protects the watch from damage from pressure changes when it is worn by a diver ascending and descending in a diving bell. The dial has a wave-like pattern, a date window at 3 o’clock, and large hands and prominent hour markers coated with Super-LumiNova. The movement is Bucherer’s in-house Caliber CFB 1950.1, a self-winder that has been certified by COSC as a chronometer and holds a power reserve of 38 hours.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec - rose-gold
Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec

Grand Seiko — which this year became independent of the larger Seiko brand – showcased the new Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Professional 600m Diver’s — the first-ever mechanical Grand Seiko dive watch. The watch’s case, made of high-intensity titanium, measures 46.9 mm in diameter and 17 mm thick. Designed with saturation diving in mind, it features the valve-free helium-resistance technology pioneered by Seiko in some of its earliest divers’ watches, which uses an exceptionally heavy-duty case construction and an L-shaped gasket. Both the case and the titanium bracelet boast clean, mirrored edges thanks to Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing technique. The dial is made of a type of iron that Seiko says protects the movement, Seiko’s Hi-Beat Caliber 9585, from the effects of magnetism, imparting to the watch a stout 16,000 A/m of magnetic resistance. The self-winding movement boasts a frequency of 36,000 vph (10 beats per second), which contributes to the watch’s outstanding precision of -3 to +5 seconds per day, the necessary benchmark for all Grand Seiko movements.The movement has 37 jewels and a power reserve of 55 hours.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Divers LE
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Divers

The latest piece from Longines’s vintage-inspired Heritage collection, the new version of the Longines Legend Diver, sports a steel Milanese mesh bracelet. A modern re-issue of a divers’ watch Longines produced in 1960, its 42-mm stainless steel case replicates the lines of the original and features a pair of crowns — one for winding the watch, the other for operating the internal rotating divers’ bezel, another feature of the original model. Both the crowns and the caseback are screwed, helping to ensure a professional-grade water resistance level of 300 meters. The inner rotating bezel, which serves as the flange of the watch, can also be locked in place by its dedicated crown, thus ensuring that a diver wearing it knows exactly how long he has been underwater. The black lacquered dial is punctuated by indices, numerals, and hands coated with Super-LumiNova. Under a solid caseback, engraved with the image of a diver, ticks the movement, Longines’s automatic Caliber L633, with a power reserve of 38 hours. In addition to the Milanese bracelet, the Legend Diver is also available on a matte black, textured, cowhide leather strap with a buckle or black rubber strap with a double security clasp with divers’ extension.

Longines Legend Diver - Milanese bracelet - angle
Longines Legend Diver

The new Wempe Zeitmeister Sport Diver’s Chronograph Bronze is distinguished from previous models in the collection by its bronze case, measuring 45 mm in diameter and featuring a rotating divers’ bezel also made of bronze, a material long associated with seafaring and the maritime industry. The brown dial is accentuated by gold-plated hour markers and hands, and complemented by a color-coordinated brown alligator leather strap. The dial’s tricompax design features a 30-minute chronograph subdial at 12 o’clock, a 12-hour chrono subdial at 6 o’clock, and a small seconds subdial at 9 o’clock. The case, which is water-resistant to 300 meters, has a screwed-in titanium caseback with a high-relief engraving of the Glashütte observatory, where all Wempe watches undergoes official chronometer testing.

Wempe Zeitmeister Diver Chrono Bronze
Wempe Zeitmeister Diver Chrono Bronze

 

WatchTime’s July-August Issue Features Baselworld 2017 Special Report, TAG Heuer’s Autavia

The July-August 2017 issue of WatchTime is on newsstands now (and also available in our online shop), highlighted by a huge special section covering the new watches and industry news from Baselworld 2017, a review of the TAG Heuer Autavia, tests of new models from IWC and Chopard, and more. Read on for highlights from the issue…

WatchTime August 2017 Issue
  • In a massive, 31-page special section, the editors of WatchTime bring you the highlights of the 2017 Baselworld watch fair, including new products from brands large and small, plus a sidebar on Seiko’s new Grand Seiko brand strategy, including an interview with Seiko CEO Shinji Hattori; and editor-at-large Joe Thompson’s in-depth analysis of the state of the watch industry in 2017.
  • Fifty-five years ago, Heuer (predecessor of today’s TAG Heuer) first introduced its Autavia cockpit stopwatch in chronograph form. This year, TAG Heuer has reissued the legendary model, now equipped with an in-house movement. Gisbert L. Brunner examines the new Autavia — and provides a brief history — in “The Legend Returns.”
  • Last April, 12 WatchTime readers from five countries travelled to Switzerland to visit eight watch brands — a trip that turned out to be a “lifetime experience” for some of the participants. Editor-in-chief (and tour guide) Roger Ruegger documents the trip, with a slew of on-site photos, in “Tour de Suisse.”
  • Following the Caliber 110, launched for its 110th anniversary, Oris has introduced Caliber 111, a limited, mostly hand-made movement that debuted in a model with the same name. In “Long-Term Effect,” contributor Martina Richter puts both watch and movement to the test. (Original photos by OK-Photography.)
  • In “Classic Racer,” veteran watch reviewer Jens Koch goes under the hood of the IWC Ingenieur Chronograph Edition “Rudolf Caracciola,” a new model with an elegant retro look and a completely redesigned movement. How did it perform in this in-depth test?

Plus: a visit to Carl F. Bucherer’s new production site in Lengnau, Switzerland; a close-up of the Glashütte Original Senator Excellence; tests of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XLRace Edition Chronograph, Sinn EZM 12, and Longines Heritage Military; the winning watches of the 2017 Red Dot Product Design Awards; and more.

Download your issue here.

5 Notable Divers’ Watches from Baselworld 2017

This week, just in time for last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas for the dads in your life, we are showcasing notable watches in five categories that debuted at Baselworld 2017. Today, we turn our focus to five new divers’ watches that particularly caught our eye.

To commemorate the 70th anniversary of Thor Heyerdahl’s historic KonTiki expedition — which inspired the watch of the same name — Eterna has introduced the KonTiki Bronze Manufacture, the brand’s first bronze-cased timepiece. Limited to 300 pieces, the watch’s 44-mm case is made of brushed bronze, a metal alloy that has long played a role in nautical history due to its extreme resistance to rust and corrosion, and has become prized by watch lovers for its ability to develop a distinct patina over time, making each watch unique to its owner. (Dive-watch producers such as Panerai and Tudor have previously released models with bronze cases.) The unidirectional bezel, made of black ceramic, is different than most: rather than the traditional 60-minute dive-time scale, it features a “no decompression limits” scale that indicates the amount of time a diver can spend at a particular depth before he or she will need to decompress. The matte black dial has a granite-pattern finish and features the triangular, luminescent hour indices typical of Eterna KonTiki  models. A durable, dark brown, water-resistant leather strap fastens the watch to the wrist with a bronze pin buckle. The Eterna KonTiki Bronze Manufacture (it gets the manufacture designation because of its in-house movement, Eterna’s self-winding Caliber 3902A, with 65-hour power reserve) is priced at $2,950.

Eterna KonTiki Bronze
Eterna KonTiki Bronze

Seiko’s Grand Seiko family debuted as its own independent brand at Baselworld 2017, where it also introduced the first-ever mechanical Grand Seiko timepiece for divers, the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 3600 Divers. The watch’s high-intensity titanium case measures 46.9 mm in diameter and 17 mm thick. Designed with saturation diving in mind, it features the valve-free helium-resistance technology pioneered by Seiko in some of its earliest divers’ watches, which uses a heavy-duty case construction and an L-shaped gasket. The extended grooves on the unidirectional rotating bezel make them easy to use, even by a diver wearing thick gloves. The case and bracelet boast clean, mirrored edges thanks to Seiko’s Zaratsu polishing technique. The dial is made of a type of iron that protects the movement, Seiko’s Hi-Beat Caliber 9585 — with a 36,600-vph frequency and 55-hour power reserve — from the effects of magnetism. The bracelet adds an extra level of underwater functionality with its secure-locking, sliding extension that can change the bracelet size with the pressure changes. For more info including pricing, click here.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Divers - blue dial - angle
Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 Divers

Inspired by the success its Planet Ocean “Deep Black” editions, the first ceramic-cased divers’ watches built to be water-resistant to 600 meters. The Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean “Deep Blue” is a GMT-equipped divers’ watch with a case milled from a single block of blue ceramic, and the first Omega watch with a case, and a dial, made entirely of blue ceramic. The 45.5-mm ceramic case is pressed into shape from a special zirconium-based powder, with the blue pigmentation added at this early stage. Afterward it is heated to temperatures reaching 1,400º Celsius in a sintering process, making it extra hard and scratch-resistant, then subjected to a three-hour plasma treatment in a 20,000º C furnace that prepares it for the final laser engraving.  The resulting case is six times harder than steel and never scratches, discolors, or fades. A contrasting orange highlight color is used for the GMT scale and hand, and on the edges and stitching on the blue rubber strap, and LiquidMetal is used for the diving scale numerals. The movement is Omega’s Master Chronometer Caliber 8906, with automatic winding and a 60-hour power reserve. Click here for more info, photos, and pricing.

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue - reclining
Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Big Blue

 

Rolex celebrated 50 years of its its extreme divers’ watch, the Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller, by launching an all-new model, with a larger case and modern caliber, at Baselworld 2017. The steel case, which is water-resistant to 1,220 meters, is 43 mm in diameter, 3 mm larger than its 40-mm predecessor. The scratch-resistant sapphire crystal over the deep black dial is equipped, for the first time on this model, with a Cyclops lens over the date window at 3 o’clock, enhancing its legibility. The text “Sea-Dweller” appears on the dial in red, echoing the look of the original 1967 model. Finally, the watch is equipped with the new Rolex Caliber 3235, a self-winding movement boasting a number of innovative technical details, some of them patented. Its unidirectional, rotating divers’ bezel is fitted with a patented black Cerachrom bezel insert, in a virtually scratchproof ceramic whose color is unaffected by ultraviolet rays. The dial’s large hour markers are filled with Chromalight, a Rolex-developed luminescent material that emits a long-lasting blue glow in low-light conditions. The screw-down crown uses Rolex’s Triplock triple waterproofness system, which ensures secure waterproofness for the watch’s interior in the same manner as a submarine’s hatch. The movement powering the watch is in-house Caliber 3235, with Rolex’s new Chronenergy escapement and a 70-hour power reserve. Like all modern Rolex watches, this Sea-Dweller carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, instituted by Rolex in 2015, which ensures a high level of precision and timekeeping performance (-2/+2 seconds per day). Read our full report on the new Sea-Dweller for additional info, details, pictures and prices.

Rolex Sea-Dweller - front
Rolex Sea-Dweller
TAG Heuer founder Edouard Heuer filed the first patent for a watertight watch case in 1892, and the TAG Heuer Aquaracer collection of sporty divers’ watches has grown and evolved since its inception in 2003. This year’s Baselworld saw the debut of the Aquaracer Camouflage, a khaki-clad dive watch that combines military style with underwater functionality. The watch’s 43-mm case is made of sandblasted grade 2 titanium, with matte-black PVD treatment to reduce glare and reflections, and resists water pressure down to 300 meters, or 1,000 feet. The unidirectional diving bezel is made of scratch-resistant black ceramic and has graduations for the first 15 minutes of dive time. The opaline blue dial has an “Arctic” camouflage pattern that TAG Heuer says is inspired by the Siberian tundra, with faceted indices and faceted, lacquered blue hands, both treated with anthracite-colored Super-LumiNova. Inside the watch, and behind the solid black-PVD titanium caseback, beats TAG Heuer’s automatic Caliber 5, which powers the timekeeping and the date display, which appears in a window at 3 o’clock under a magnifying lens. The custom-made camouflage pattern on the NATO strap matches the Arctic camo look of the dial. The new Aquaracer retails for $2,800.

TAG Heuer Aquaracer Arctic Khaki - reclining

Tomorrow: we showcase important chronographs introduced at Baselworld.