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.
The new Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Racing Special Edition (refs. 75.2060.4061/21.R573 & 86.2060.4061/21.R573) tries to mix into a single convincing package such iconic elements of their design as the signature rotating bezel, the cloverleaf-style dial cutout that shows the timekeeper’s inner workings, as well as an El Primero movement.
The 2014 Chopard Mille Miglia for the Porsche Club of America (PCA) will never become a highly sought-after collector’s item. Still, all sixty-six examples will find their owners. Not just because the brand is so strongly associated with Porsche and their entire legacy. After all, offered in precious yellow gold, as well as in a less expensive (but still impressive) stainless steel body, the new accessory looks spectacular and gives a standard-issue Mille Miglia chronograph a run for its money.
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).
Offering an outrageous blend of materials and textures, the Dior Chiffre Rouge C03 (ref. CD084C11A003) is inspired by an eclectic fashion collection. The polished gold of the indicators and hour markers (well, actually the elements are gold-plated), the slate gray of the dial and body create a watch that looks like an ultimate fashion accessory that may get you in trouble with your parents if they are of a more traditional kind. If only it wasn’t so small!
The 2014 Girard-Perregaux Dual Time, which is delivered in a rose gold body with a choice of two dials in vintage ‘Off-White’ (ref. 49544-52-131-BBB0) and more modern ‘Anthracite Gray’ (ref. 49544-52-231-BB60) colors, offers that killer combination of great, well-designed exterior and reliable, time-proven automatic movement that only brands of this caliber can achieve. Although the complication itself is not rare (and I am putting it mildly), and its realization is not terribly innovative, the final product still makes a strong impression.