Brutal, yet well-proportioned, the Breitling Cockpit B50 (ref. VB501022/BD41-155S) (especially the variation in plain machine-brushed titanium) somehow reminds me of a USAF’s F22 air superiority fighter jet: everything is in its place; everything is completely functional, yet extremely sexy. The only thing that makes the new B50 model different is the price. While still deliciously expensive, it won’t make you sell your house to get one.
Amazingly stylish and surprisingly elegant, the new Orient Dyno Alarm (Refs. FTD09004B and FTD09005W) collection of inexpensive quartz chronographs makes it possible to look smart and cool without breaking the bank. It is almost like if your Toyota Prius was designed by Bertone.
Although not as technologically advanced as the stunning Astron GPS Stratosphere, the 2014 Seiko Prospex Solar Quartz Chronograph (Ref. SSC279) is also about five times less expensive. Offered at MSRP of just $450 (and you can find one on eBay at less than USD $350), it looks cool for a daily beater, and its built-in solar charger makes the gadget a must-have for a person that spends more time outdoors than inside an air-conditioned office. Just don’t forget to swap the brown leather strap for something more practical, like a solid steel bracelet or a hypoallergenic silicon band.
Unlike the much-awaited Apple iWatch (we will see it in a matter of hours), the 2014 Breitling Colt Caliber 73 SuperQuartz Chronograph doesn’t even try to destroy the competition. With its classic massive body, easy-to-grip unidirectional rotating bezel and traditional high-contrast dial, the new timepiece simply delivers in a single, relatively affordable package everything you ever wanted from a Breitling but never were quite ready to pull the trigger on their more expensive models. Powered by a COSC-certified version of a well-known quartz mechanism, the device won’t stun you with the same level of craftsmanship as an automatic mechanism decorated by a skilled hand of an artisan but instead will offer you an almost unrivaled level of precision and dependability.
With its exaggerated styling, the new Saint Honore Euphoria Quartz (Ref. 721108 6AYDR) may scare away a lot of women looking for a subtle, inconspicuous timekeeper. However, if you are not afraid of getting your fair share of the limelight, this eclectic but beautiful accessory may be a nice choice.
The limited-edition 2014 Chr. Ward C70 3527 GT (ref. C70-3527GT-SRK) was inspired (and also heavily influenced) by chronographs from the 1960s and, perhaps, 1970s. Cheerful (and even playful), it features the signature exaggerated minute track designed to look like gauges on a sports car’s instrument panel, and a contrast color scheme for its busy dial, but sports a way more precise thermo-compensated quartz movement made by ETA. The ETA 251.233 Thermoline surpasses any “normal” quartz caliber by an order of magnitude when it comes to the tiny amount of time it gains or loses during a whole year of operation.
The limited edition Breitling S3 ZeroG SuperQuartz Chronograph was introduced to celebrate the partnership between the watchmaking brand and a young Swiss-based company S3 (Swiss Space Systems). The black-and-grey watch not only looks great for a luxury tactical timekeeper, but also serves as a boarding pass for those few wealthy customers around the world that are ready to pay a sizeable chunk of money for a pleasure of floating in zero gravity environment for just about 300 seconds more or less evenly spaced by 15 sections of 20 or even 25 seconds long.
Re-designed in a smaller size and better proportions specifically for women, the Marvin Malton Mini-Cushion Moonphase (Ref. M022.12.39.12) is even more laconic, compact, and features an attractive design for a piece that costs less than €600.
If you plan to spend the holidays at a sea resort, there is good news for you from the American brand Deep Blue Watches. As prolific as they are (well, in a good meaning of the adjective), the guys have recently introduced an affordable Deep Blue Sea Ram 500 diver that combines an impressive water resistance rating with a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel: a rare mix in its price range.
Can you imagine a shoe polish company turning into a watchmaker that sells its “Built in Detroit” quartz-powered watches for $500-$1000? Well, Shinola, previously a maker of “America’s Largest-Selling Shoe Polish”, is just that company. After their brand was acquired by an investment group, the famous trademark suddenly appeared not only on watches but also on bikes, all sort of premium-priced leather goods, and even soft drinks. With this limited edition Shinola Wright Brothers (ref. S0100052), the Detroit-based brand starts a whole series of timekeepers paying homage to famous Americans who gave humanity the wings to fly.
Powered by an inexpensive Ronda 5030 D quartz movement, the new Versace Mystique Sport Chronograph (Ref. VFG01 0013) has little value as a collectible item, but it still looks like a nice fashion accessory for those preferring sportier style in their everyday life.
Presented in a compact, cushion-shaped body, the 2013 Certina DS Podium Shape (ref. C025.510.16.033.00) is an affordable unisex watch that looks surprisingly refined for a timekeeper that is offered at a price well below the $1000 mark.
Today, when a last year’s smartphone, which is not even considered a flagship anymore, sports more firepower than a top-of-the-line laptop PC from the early 2000s, it is extremely difficult to impress someone with a simple electronic watch. There are devices that act as your personal running coach and there are wrist computers that could guide you to the nearest landing field if your plane’s engine suddenly dies on you. I am not even talking about the latest batch of “smart” watches that were designed to communicate with your tablet-size phones that are now just too large to handle. So, how does the Swiss brand plans to surprise us with its new Breitling Aerospace Evo (ref. E7936310/BC27-152E)?
Equipped with Seiko’s own solar-powered Caliber V157 movement that harnesses solar energy in order to constantly recharge its onboard battery, the updated Seiko Prospex Solar Diver (Ref. SBDJ007) will run out of juice long after your kids get tired with it and sell it on Craigslist.
This one is good news for numerous fans of the Alien franchise that are also into the watch-collecting business. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of their partnership with the Italian industrial designer Giorgetto Giugiaro (this gentleman of many virtues is also responsible for such works of art as the iconic DeLorean DMC-12, BMW Nazca C2, and 1972 Maserati Merak), the watchmaking branch of the Japanese brand Seiko has introduced a limited edition Seiko 30th Anniversary Speedmaster Chronograph JDM (Ref. SCED003) that looks almost like a re-issue of the famous “Bishop watch” from 1986 Aliens blockbuster.