The new Chopard 24 Hours of Le Mans 2015 Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Jacky Ickx Edition (Ref. 168535-3003) (wow, that’s a really long name indeed) is, for all practical purposes, simply a new iteration of last year’s Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 ref. 168535-3002 model. The only thing that makes it visually different is a set of new color accents on the dial and bezel flange. Now also proudly wearing Jacky Ickx’s signature on its engraved case back cover, the watch was originally designed to celebrate long standing partnership between the two high-end brands, but, it so happened that it also praises Porsche’s decisive victory at 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The 2015 Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Chronograph Big Date expands the brand’s line of affordable diving companions with yet another product. Featuring a reliable and accurate quartz mechanism packed into a visually attractive, nicely sculpted stainless steel body, the timepiece looks like a perfect “first real Swiss watch” choice for a young customer who still can’t afford to buy “a real thing” be it a member of the same collection powered by a more expensive mechanical movement or something of an entirely different league like, say, an Omega Seamaster or a Breitling Superocean.
The new Breitling Superocean II 36 Diver sports the usual styling that the series is known for. Basically offering the same unisex model in a slightly smaller size, the timekeeper won’t surprise you with new ideas, but will rather deliver the usual blend of sportiness, good build quality and a bullet-proof (albeit, mass produced) mechanism that will keep time as you would expect from a COSC-certified movement. What else there is to want?
As defiantly eclectic as it is, the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Vuelo still makes a strong impression with its deliberately oversized stainless steel body and a dial that could make your eyes bleed if only it wasn’t matched so convincingly well to the energetic shape of the case. Clearly not designed according to the book that most Swiss-based watchmakers live by, this new Historiador may be a timekeeper of choice for a person who looks for something entirely new.
Officially presented during the Baselworld 2015, the Certina Chronographe DS-8 Phase de Lune is a perfect example of a dressy “complication” watch that somehow manages to combine into a single package an almost stunning exterior, a reliable quartz chronograph movement that, for all things practical, blows out of the water almost all advanced electric mechanisms currently available on the market, while spicing all up with a very affordable price. What more do you expect? A free Porsche?
While, at a recommended street price of approximately $5300, I have an impression that a normal guitarist would rather get him- or herself a vintage Gibson SG from the 1960s in a mint condition, there is still a good chance that the whole bunch of 200 pieces of the new Raymond Weil Nabucco Gibson Limited Edition chronographs will be sold quite quickly: guitarists have moms, dads, and spouses and this sort of people love to spoil their loved ones with nice gadgets. And this is a nice gadget indeed.
If Tudor wants to get rid of its image of a ‘poor man’s Rolex’, this new flagship North Flag model is a step in the right direction. At least, the combination of an in-house mechanism, a cleverly designed case, an elegantly simple dial, and the famous Tudor Rose right below the Arabic numeral “12” make a strong impression. Whatever the next model be, the brand doesn’t plan to dwell on its past forever.
The 2015 Slim d’Hermes targets those iconic Piaget ultra-thin wristwatches that the competing brand is so proud of. Yet, the thinness is not the timekeeper’s main selling point. The device also offers a well-balanced, solid design that is a serious improvement on their previous attempts, as well as a new self-winding mechanism with micro-rotor design that could technically even be called ‘in-house’.
The self-winding Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot Travel Time (ref. 5524) was first unveiled during the Baselworld 2015 show. Combining in the same package a ‘historic’ dial layout of a 1930s pilot’s watch with a meticulously sculpted white gold body and an in-house self-winding movement that makes one drown in his own saliva, this is one of the most notable timekeepers presented at the trade fair.
The 2015 Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase Manufacture Ladies (ref. FC-703VD3SD4) is one of the finest timekeepers introduced by the brand so far. It is also one of their (still precious few) models that are powered not by a slightly redecorated version of a run-off-the-mill blank movement made either by ETA or Sellita, but by a new caliber that was developed and built by Frederique Constant on their own production facilities. That says something, right?