During the last three or four years, Tissot has introduced several great classic-styled timekeepers in their Heritage line. Among others, the collection included the stunning 2013 Heritage Navigator 160th Anniversary that still stays in production. For this year, the entry-luxury brand adds an even more impressive (although deceptively simple) hand-wound Heritage 1936 (ref. T104.405.16.012.00). Staying true to the collection’s concept, the model combines deliciously vintage appearance with a time-proven hand-wound caliber and more than attractive price. What else would you want for Christmas?
First presented at the Baselworld 2016, the limited-edition IWC Ingenieur Chronograph “W 125” (ref. IW380701) comes in a nice -if somewhat bulky due to its 42 mm wide to 15 mm high proportions- titanium case. Like a true luxury piece, the case features an appealing combination of mirror-polished front surfaces that are lovely accented by deliberately roughly brushed sides. Set to go on sale in just three or four months (they mention the “autumn” in the press release), the new member of the legendary Ingenieur family will be offered at a competitive -I mean, um, all things considered- price of just over $7000 USD.
The 2016 Alpina Seastrong Diver Heritage (refs. AL-525S4H6 & AL-525G4H6) collection of dressy divers is a clear reference to the brand’s so-called “days of independence” when, back in the late 1950s and throughout all the 1960s, the company introduced one beautiful model after another. Although I can’t call it a real “homage” (and I actually like that it is not,) this new pair of timepieces does a good job at recreating the spirit of the days long gone. Perhaps, the only thing that somehow devalues these gorgeous retro-styled models -besides the fact that, differing so much from other members of the Seastrong family, it needed to become a foundation of a completely new collection- is the simple mass-produced mechanism: each of these beauties just screams for a hand-wound NOS job!
Officially revealed at the SIHH 2016 show, the IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph (ref. IW389002) brings everything you loved about the original Miramar collection, albeit in a smaller package. With a touch oversized case crafted from dark grey scratch-resistant ceramic and a high-contrast, yet discreet dial layout, this new model looks like an interesting choice for a person who always wanted a dressy “aviator”, but wasn’t quite satisfied with earlier models and their Gargantuan proportions.
Presented at the Baselworld 2016 trade show, the Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph Master Chronometer (ref. 304.33.44.52.03.001) is one of the most attractive takes on Omega’s constantly growing collection of the legendary “moon watches.” Combining striking exterior with an advanced, anti-magnetically shielded movement, the device tries really hard to be worth every single dollar that the Swiss watchmaker wants you to spend on it.
During the 26th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH 2016,) the Italian brand has presented a number of new collections. Among them was this gorgeous (but in a very modest way) Panerai Radiomir 1940 3Days GMT Acciaio (ref. PAM 627) that features their brand new Caliber P.4001 movement with a micro-rotor design. Although the watchmaker didn’t dare to step too far away from the time-proven design that the Radiomir collection is known for, the PAM 627 still looks fresh and attractive thanks to the waffle-style dial finish that they, unfortunately, use only on a very limited number of models.
The 2016 Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic Cal. 4069 is equipped with the new Caliber 4069 automatic movement and is offered both in relatively inexpensive steel and much more impressively priced gold version. At this time, this is one of the most interesting choices when it comes to “dressy” chronographs with “character” currently offered by the brand.
Just in time for the St. Valentine’s Day, Blancpain has presented the limited edition Ladybird Ultraplate Saint-Valentin 2016 (Ref. 0063F-1954-63A). Featuring an in-house automatic movement with an exterior design done by something that looks like a team of real professionals, this one may be a little expensive for most of us, but it still is worth every penny.
Marketed as a sort of accessory for the 2016 Ducati XDiavel power cruiser that was presented at the 2015 EICMA international motorcycle show in Milan, Italy, the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield Ducati (ref. 42000CN) is as sporty and laconic as the Italian sports bike. While some may find its look a bit dated (while others may call it ‘classic’,) the choice of material for its chunky case easily compensates for its apparent lack of originality making it a nice choice for a person willing to spend close to $5000 for a Swiss-made chronograph that, while looking plain, offers you the same level of quality and functionality that we expect from a timekeeper in this price range.
Based on one of their earlier Supersports models, the 2016 Breitling for Bentley GT3 (ref. V273655S/BE14/233S/V20DSA.2) delivers the traditional mix of daring exterior styling and a fairly impressive price tag. The only thing that it lacks is an in-house caliber, but for those not interested in the model’s guts and more concerned about looks and brand value its modified ETA movement may even be a better choice.