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.
With its extremely clean, visually lightweight dial and a nicely proportioned (as well as elegantly decorated) stainless steel body, this beautiful Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronograph "Race for Water" Limited Edition (ref. AL-860AD5AQ6) has only one major flaw: its total production run will be restricted to just 400 pieces, which, I am afraid, will not be enough to justify demand from the general public. Well, at least there is a chance that the resale value will not plunge as swiftly as it is often the case with products delivered by second-tier brands.
Earlier this month, Jaquet Droz has presented its piece unique: the Museum Pocket Watch. It was literally built around a time-worn 18th-century movement that was lovingly (and also painstakingly) restored to its present glory in JD own workshops. Originally missing certain vital parts, the restored mechanism, as archaic as it is, looks magnificent and stately inside its massive 18-karat red gold body.
While the original Glycine F104 (ref. 3933) that was delivered back in April 2014 looked absolutely killer with its clean, vintage-inspired design, somebody at the company's HQ has probably decided that sales are not quite satisfactory. Enters the Glycine F104 v.2, which is now available in a choice of four or five dials, and even includes a version with a steel black PVD bezel with 46 diamonds (1.80 carats, yuck!)
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 stainless steel body deliberately oversized to remind you of those gigantic pilot's watches of the pre-WWII era, and a modern self-winding movement with column-wheel chronograph system, this Longines Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph (ref. L2.7188.8.131.52) delivers a strong blend of masculine presence, clever industrial design and technical ingenuity. However, the price that Longines wants you to pay for the piece is steep putting it into the same category with such established (but, thankfully, too common) monsters as Tag Heuer Carrera, Omega Speedmaster and, of course, IWC Portofino: a pocket watch-based enfant terrible that started it all. Will the vintage-style design save this beautiful specimen? Well, time will certainly tell.
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 Breguet Reine De Naples Princesse 8968 (Refs. 8968BR/11/986 0D0D & 8968BR/X1/986 0D0D) delivers a blend of a classic-looking ovoid body with all the usual stuff that we expect from the collection. The list includes a notched side strip and crown, which is ergonomically placed at 4 o'clock, and a decisively modern off-centered dial with stylized numerals and a slight variation of the traditional "Breguet" hands that so many -ahem- other watchmakers love so much.
The Eberhard & Co. Traversetolo Ambri Piotta (Ref. 21016) is a classic hand-wound three-hander that features a surprisingly easy to read dial and is powered by the legendary Unitas 6498 caliber. Initially designed for pocket watches, the huge mechanism looks perfectly at home in this mildly oversized timepiece.