The new Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 (ref. AB141112/G799-154A) is an interesting beast. It nicely mixes its modern design language with visual elements from models dating back to as many as hundred years ago. Some of these elements -or rather the way Breitling combined them together- look controversial. Some of them -like the choice of caliber- are cheap. Yet, this new variety is a great offer for a person who finds their signature Navitimer and Chronomat models too arrogant for a person of good taste.
With their 39mm JeanRichard Terrascope (ref. 60510D56A602-11A), the brand tries to kill two birds with one stone. First, it is the first unisex member of the Terrascope collection. Second, it is the first Terrascope that is less than 40 millimeters without the crown. Finally, you don’t have to be a huge guy to wear one of these with pride: you can be a skinny girl, too.
What is a dress watch? For many, it requires a compact body and an enameled or engine-turned dial with classic hands. You know, the usual stuff. The 2014 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite (refs. Q1558421 & Q1552540) features the classic dial layout spiced with a dial plate cut from a real meteorite. The material is not terribly rare: eBay is teeming with all sorts of celestial stones ready to mail. Yet, it usually takes a skilled artisan to cut the stone (or a slug) at a particular angle that allows it to truly shine. Jaeger-LeCoultre designed this gorgeous new model with nerds in mind. It targets high-school dropouts who made their fortune offering the world software or services that makes our life a lot easier.
Inspired by a model that was commissioned by the US Air Force around 70 years ago, the Bulova AccuSwiss Type A-15 (ref. 63A119) can be a nice option for a person looking for a vintage-styled “aviator” but not willing to opt for a “standard” German Luftwaffe B-Uhr-style timekeeper. Some may find the combination of a black dial with bright orange luminous compound on hands with dirty lemon 24-hour numerals a bit, well, tasteless, but it is in fact how the original watch looked, so just get used to it.
Although the 2014 Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley Automatic Diver (Ref. PM2096B-S1J-BK) still features that “polarizing” patented crown guard system as previous iterations of the watch, it is still one of the most elegant members of the growing family. As refined as a diving tool can be, it is also not expensive sporting a price tag around $1000 lower than that of an IWC Aquatimer.
Delivered in the colors and textures that are often associated with those of Audi’s own racing team, the 2014 Oris Audi Sport Chronograph (ref. 01 774 7661 7481-Set) isn’t terribly original with its boring layout and the same design elements we have seen for the last couple of years. However, it features solid quality and a nice price. Also, fans of the German team will love it.
The Breitling Chronospace Military (ref. M7836622.BD39.100W.M20BASA.1) chronograph delivers the usual combination of a high-grade SuperQuartz mechanism, a highly legible dial with the signature analog-digital display and packs it all in a blacked-out steel body.
With its Comtesse (refs. AL-525APWD3CD3B and AL-525APW3CD6B) series, Alpina targets a wide array of customers, both in terms of exterior styling and price. While some may find this “one for everyone” concept too undiscriminating, the logic behind it is undeniable. After all, Alpina is here for the money and there seems to be nothing more cost-effective than offering a model that, as generic as it is, allows the brand to make so many nice variations without investing too much money designing the new collection.
The Pierre DeRoche GrandCliff Milady Chrono delivers that winning combination of features that you will rarely see when it comes to wristwatches designed for ladies. It somehow manages to combine an “exclusive” caliber made by its parent company Dubois-Depraz, and a brilliantly decorated dial. There is also a finely sculpted body and just the right number of precious stones in a unique package that makes this timepiece immediately adorable and extremely desirable. Frankly, I wasn’t able to find a single flaw with this beautiful device.
Believe it or not, but, contrary to popular beliefs, not all Breitlings do look the same. This new Breitling Galactic 44 (the ref. A45320B9/BD42-101W reviewed here and other models), for example, features an unusual (for the brand) combination of an elegantly sculpted body that looks more slender than it actually is, a remarkable set of crown-guards, and a relatively thin bezel that still displays all the relevant information for either an amateur diver or a professional pilot. Perhaps, the only thing that it needs is the usual notches that were apparently dropped here in order for its polished surface to better match that of the case. Well, nothing is perfect.
Presented in a traditional for the brand cold, technocratic style, the new Armin Strom Skeleton Pure is offered in four versions, each corresponding to certain key elements of nature. Namely: Water, Air, Earth & Fire with the “Air” being a model in lightweight titanium and the “Earth” featuring black PVD-coated stainless steel. All of them look absolutely fabulous.
When it comes to wristwatches, a name says it all. I mean, what part of Girard-Perregaux Traveller Large Date, Moon Phases & GMT a person with an IQ just slightly above that of an average bath rug wouldn’t understand? However, when it comes to timekeepers issued by GP, there is much more to them than just a list of features. What you get, is an extremely finely crafted accessory that features a level of refinement that you will rarely meet even in its price range.
The new Fortis Blue Horizon features an appealing color scheme with its bronze-toned dial (that the brand actually prefers to call “Metallic Brown”) nicely matched by a cognac-brown leather strap. Although the blue accents on the timekeeper’s face look a bit ahem controversial, I must admit that this is one of the dressiest “pilot’s chronographs” that the Swiss brand has ever produced. Just don’t forget to get yourself a complementary set of good brown shoes.
Featuring a sexy combination of deep matte black and bright, almost electric, orange, the Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven Caliber 01 (ref. MB0111C2/BD07-153S) is so far one of the most attractive members of the family. Add to this the same COSC-certified Caliber B01 automatic movement built in their own manufacturing facility, as well as an extremely legible layout of the dial, and you get yourself a winner. The only thing that spoils the fun a little is, as usual for Breitling, the price.
While the new Fortis VP-40 “Laging Handa” Patrol Squadron Forty doesn’t even try to look different from dozens of other Fortis aviation-inspired chronographs, it still offers a nice combination of a solid-built body with pleasantly massive push-pieces and setting crown, and a dial that, although looking a bit cluttered, is nevertheless easy enough to read (only if you don’t try to use the standard tachymeter scale on the bezel flange).