Revealed at Baselworld 2015, the Alpina Alpiner 4 Manufacture Flyback Chronograph (ref. AL-760SB5AQ6) is not just another handsome wristwatch from just another second-tier brand. Besides featuring a distinct and interesting exterior, it is also one of the few relatively affordable chronographs that is powered by an in-house caliber. Developed by the brand's parent company Frederique Constant, it sports an unusual design feature: instead of the tried and true cam-and-lever or a more precise column-wheel, its chronograph module has a star-shaped gear that makes it easier to produce on an industrial scale without sacrificing much in the precision department.
The 2015 Breitling Galactic Unitime SleekT 44 may be not as technically advanced as a GPS-capable Seiko Astron, yet it clearly has mojo similar to the Swiss brand's most iconic "aviators" issued in the 1950s. What is even more surprising is that all this mojo trickles out of this beautiful timekeeper in a subtle, deliciously refined way: something that we have rarely seen from Breitling during the last decade or two.
With its refreshed Breitling Colt 36 SuperQuartz model, the Swiss brand finally notices the demographics targeted by Dove's Real Beauty campaign that began more than a decade ago. Designed with slightly larger wrists in mind, the new Colt 36 may be a bit too large for a skinnier type of girls that French fashion houses seem to love so much, but, come on, let's celebrate some diversity here!
Designed for persons leading an active lifestyle, the 2015 Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar (ref. T091.420.46.041.00) is a mild face-lift of the 2014 model. The refreshed exterior is more convincing. The list of functions is more or less the same. It's awesome in its simplicity, yet not rugged enough to compete with a G-Shock. While the piece's altimeter is good for 4478 meters, you probably don't want to take it mountain-climbing.
Already available for pre-order with the first bunch of them expected to be delivered mid-March 2015, the new Chr.Ward C9 Jumping Hour MKIII features a refreshingly new design, which is not just clean and easy to read, but is also extremely refined. It looks like the guys that designed this beautiful timekeeper were in the proverbial "zone": they did everything right.
The Ball Engineer II Magneto S Automatic (ref. NM3022C-N1CJ-BK) is a fascinating timekeeper. It features an interesting combination of sporty -albeit a bit deceptive- exterior with a reliable -even if a bit too standard- mechanism. It is the way the shielding system works that makes this new gadget stand out from the ranks of other magnetically shielded wristwatches.
The new Breitling Transocean Chronograph 1915 (ref. AB141112/G799-154A) is an interesting beast. It nicely mixes its modern design language with visual elements from models dating back to as many as hundred years ago. Some of these elements -or rather the way Breitling combined them together- look controversial. Some of them -like the choice of caliber- are cheap. Yet, this new variety is a great offer for a person who finds their signature Navitimer and Chronomat models too arrogant for a person of good taste.
With their 39mm JeanRichard Terrascope (ref. 60510D56A602-11A) model, the brand tries to kill two birds with one stone. First, it is the first unisex member of the Terrascope collection. Second, it is the first Terrascope that is less than 40 millimeters without crown. You don't have to be a huge guy to wear one of these with pride: you can be a skinny girl, too.
Steinhart celebrates its tenth year in business with this limited edition 2014 Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition (Ref. L0810) that deserves some attention. First, the German brand normally uses standard Swiss-made calibers to power its timekeepers. For a change, the ST10 is powered by a neatly decorated hand-wound movement from Unitas. Second, it comes with an unusual dial layout, although some may find it a bit, well, too unusual. Third, even as bulky as it is, the gadget is still compact enough for a sporty daily beater. Perhaps, the only thing that may turn some people off is the price: €1290 seems *ahem* a bit too steep for a Steinhart.
What is a dress watch? For many, it requires a compact body and an enameled or engine-turned dial with classic hands. You know, the usual stuff. The 2014 Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite (refs. Q1558421 & Q1552540) features the classic dial layout spiced with a dial plate cut from a real meteorite. The material is not terribly rare: eBay is teeming with all sorts of celestial stones ready to mail. Yet, it usually takes a skilled artisan to cut the stone (or a slug) at a particular angle that allows it to truly shine. Jaeger-LeCoultre designed this gorgeous new model with nerds in mind. It targets high-school dropouts who made their fortune offering the world software or services that makes our life a lot easier.