O Sancta simplicitas (but in a good way!) These are the first words that come to mind when I see the new MM series (refs. MM 101 & MM 102) from a.b.art. The Swiss company built its reputation on creating minimalist, easy-to-read timekeepers with the Bauhaus movement being their most important source of inspiration. The new MM series, however, is simplicity in its purest form. And I must admit that we here at WorldWatchReview.com are extremely delighted to see this beautiful timekeeper. While some may find its exterior oversimplified, I would argue that this is one of the most refined “simple” dressy watches currently available in this price range.
Alfex mostly specializes in “fashion” products but also has a (relatively) long history of making refined “classic” timekeepers. Their 2008 Big Adventure is one of their latest efforts in this crowded niches. Featuring a “Swiss quartz” movement sourced from Ronda, the collection’s main selling point is the sporty and energetic (alas, inexpensive) exterior with an unorthodox open-calendar layout and an off-centered small-seconds counter at 7 o’clock.
Just like Aston Martin does it with their luxury grand tourers, Jaeger-LeCoultre offers you a breathtaking combination of ingenious engineering and beautiful exterior with their latest AMVOX 3 Tourbillon GMT Aston Martin (Ref. 193 C4 50). The outstanding Calibre 988c is full of technological innovations and is as complex as a modern mechanical movement can be. The body is meticulously crafted and the open-working dial somehow manages to be extremely legible while putting on display the timekeeper’s inner workings. Although the Ref. 193 C4 50 lacks the usual transponder chip that would allow you to open and start the sports car, it is still worth every single penny that Jaeger-LeCoultre plans to charge for it.
The idea of creating a watch with a rotating internal bezel that could be operated by an external unit is not terribly new. However, it is this new Oris BC4 Flight Timer (Ref. 690 7615 41 54 LS) that the Swiss-based brand presented at Baselworld 2008 show that puts the whole concept on its head.
Has it ever occurred to you that two counters are enough for a normal chronograph, that three is okay and even four is nothing but tolerable (and only look good on certain watches like this Eberhard & Co. Chrono4 BADBOY)? Well, some people at Omega consider five counters just right for the official timekeeper of the Olympic Games since 1932. Positioned like the famous five Olympic Rings, but apparently not sized as evenly, the counters add a “days of the week” indicator and a 7-day chronograph display to the usual hours, minutes, and small second sub-dials. Meet the Omega Speedmaster Five Counter Olympic Beijing automatic chronograph!
Here comes the big one. With its 45mm Speed Command Chronograph (ref. 5785F-11D03-63), Blancpain has introduced its sportiest model so far. Although the exterior defies the recent trend of making rugged-looking devices (inspired by real tools, they often come with lots of angles, lots of machine-brushed surfaces and feature deliberately rudimentary, even crude look to their components), the new Speed Command makes a strong impression thanks to its glossy black sapphire bezel and scratch-resistant body of the same color.
With this limited edition Hublot Big Bang Bullet Bang, the relatively young brand keeps experimenting with materials. While not particularly unfamiliar to those designing jet engines, electronic components, and Formula One cars, they are extremely rarely employed by the local watch-builders: the industry is traditionally quite conservative when it comes to materials. This new member of the highly popular Big Bang family uses a highly scratch-resistant (and also quite dressy if you use it to make an expensive watch) Cermet ceramic material.
Chopard has unveiled the Mille Miglia GT XL Chrono Speed Black (Ref. 168459-3008) chronometer back in January 2008. Visually, it differs from the previous iterations only with the color of its massive case. However, while the original GT XL Chrono featured an unremarkable stainless steel body, this one uses a relatively new (well, at least it is new for the watchmaking industry) technology that allows the case to maintain its finish for the virtually whole lifespan of the device. User discretion is advised, but it is one of the most durable coatings available at today’s level of technology.
DeWitt delivers the stately Academia Night Chronograph (Ref. AC.6005.53.M255) in a massive 18-karat rose gold body of three different varieties that are inspired by long-gone days of the Golden Age that preceded the Great Depression of the 1930s. The collection’s main point of attraction is the unusual gear-shaped bezel that is matched by similarly styled sides of the massive case. Although to some the device may look a bit too extreme, it will find its share of customers even despite its obscenely high MSRP.
The recently unveiled SUB 5000T Seaconqueror has been officially promoted to the flagship status. Featuring all the usual design traits from DOXA, the device is offered in a deliberately aggressive-looking design with lots of protruding parts that may make you hurt somebody if not used with care.