The limited edition 2014 Chr. Ward C70 3527 GT (ref. C70-3527GT-SRK) was inspired (and also heavily influenced) by chronographs that were selling back in the 1960s and, perhaps, 1970s. Cheerful (and even playful), it features the signature exaggerated minute track designed to look like gauges on a sports car’s instrument panel, and a contrast color scheme for its busy dial, but is powered by a way more precise thermo-compensated quartz movement. Designed and manufactured by ETA, it surpasses any “normal” quartz caliber by an order of magnitude when it comes to the tiny amount of time it gains or loses during a whole year of operation.
Unveiled at SIHH 2014, the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three Titanium (Ref. IW355701) is perhaps the first “tool” diver that actually looks great. Its lightweight titanium case is meticulously crafted and features a much elaborated high-tech finish. With its easy-grip rotating bezel and crisp (although a bit busy thanks to its mechanical depth gauge display) dial, the wristwatch would look organic in a sci-fi movie like Oblivion or maybe even Prometheus.
Available in two versions, each of them limited to 2888 pieces, the new collection of Frederique Constant Runabout automatic chronographs (Refs. FC-393RM5B4 and FC-393RM5B6) is an example of good industrial design with its large, clean dial both easily readable and pleasant to look at. Although its functionality (more on that later, you are going to raise at least one eyebrow) is somewhat limited compared to the previous Runabout Chrono, this model still makes a strong impression.
The 2014 dressy A. Lange & Sohne 1815 collection brings to the table the usual mix of craftsmanship and technical ingenuity that the German brand is associated with. Combining a painstakingly decorated hand-wound caliber with a compact body, which is now available in three colors of 18-karat gold, and a laconic solid silver dial the new members of the collection easily become dress watches of choice for men who don’t limit their options only to timepieces bearing the usual “Swiss Made” inscription on their faces.
Although there is a feeling of something not being “right” when you look at a luxury watch, which is supposed to be a sort of homage to the timekeeper Neil Armstrong has worn when setting his foot at Moon’s dusty surface, the new limited edition Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 (Ref. 3184.108.40.206.06.001) looks absolutely stunning with its chocolate-colored nylon strap matching the color of the dial. The latter, by the way, looks especially grand thanks to its rose gold hour markers and hands that provide the timekeeper with an even better sense of depth and dimension.
The 2014 Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Ceramic Collection (refs. J014500240 and J014500241) somehow manages to combine a clean, uncluttered layout of a classic two-hander with their trademark figure eight shape. Migrating from the dial, which is now available in whole three radically different finishes, to the body and bezel, the Arabic numeral makes this watch (and probably its owner) look especially memorable. While not as flashy as the last month’s Chanel J12-365, the Jaquet Droz model runs circles -figuratively speaking- around the aforementioned model in terms of originality and overall elegance.
Based on one of their models from 1950s, the 2014 limited edition Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 comes in a compact 35-millimeter case which is available not only in an expensive rose or yellow gold but also in a lot more affordable stainless steel. Combine it with a nice business dress and you have a clear winner.
Unlike your normal quartz-powered luxury watch that rarely needs anything more than a refreshed dial and/or bezel to be called “a new model,” the 2014 Breitling Emergency II SuperQuartz Chronometer offers a major upgrade to one of its key sub-systems that actually increase your chances of survival in case it all goes sideways and things get real for a change.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date (ref. 01 752 7698 4164-07 5 22 17FC) combines a vintage modern (I hope, Marshall Amps won’t mind me using the combination of words) design of its moderately oversized stainless steel body with an inexpensive self-winding movement with day/date display that they outsource from Sellita. Easily readable and comfortable thanks to its ergonomically shaped case and a nicely designed folding clasp, the watch is priced at just over €1300, but delivers a lot more value than most similarly priced timekeepers with the same functionality.
The stately Chopard L.U.C Lunar Big Date, one of the most striking models in their whole collection, has been slightly face-lifted in early 2014. Although the redesigned model doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking in terms of exterior finish or movement design, it now looks a lot more up-to-date and, well, relevant to the current design trends. Still a tiny bit too big for a modern dress watch, the new accessory nevertheless delivers you an extremely well-balanced combination of functionality and ease of use.