Seiko has recently presented the new Recraft line of affordable dress watches. The collection comes in different color variations and features stainless steel and gold-toned versions. The main selling point? The finely crafted, mildly oversized cases, of course! Also, the in-house Caliber 7S26 self-winding movement. It is the same inexpensive, bullet-proof mechanism that also animated their Seiko SKX781 Orange Monster diver.
The 2014 Bulgari Octo Maserati Limited Edition (ref. 920007208) celebrates a centenary of the Italian ultra-luxury car manufacturer. The Octo Maserati delivers the finest "sporty" design currently available on the market. It also comes powered by an impressive little "engine" that rivals the gorgeous V8 inside Maserati’s latest GranTurismo MC Stradale.
Inspired by a model that was commissioned by the US Air Force around 70 years ago, the Bulova AccuSwiss Type A-15 (ref. 63A119) can be a nice option for a person looking for a vintage-styled pilot's watch, but not willing to opt for a "standard" German Luftwaffe B-Uhr-style timekeeper. Some may find the combination of a black dial with bright orange luminous compound on hands with dirty lemon 24-hour numerals a bit, well, tasteless, but it is in fact how the original watch looked, so just get used to it.
Although the 2014 Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley Automatic Diver (Ref. PM2096B-S1J-BK) still features that "polarizing" patented crown guard system as previous iterations of the watch, it is still one of the most elegant members of the growing family. As refined as a diving tool can be, it is also not expensive sporting a price tag around $1000 lower than that of an IWC Aquatimer.
The Defakto Struktur features almost everything one might expect from an affordable dress watch. The dial sports a simple layout with an ultra-contrast color scheme and visually balanced elements; it comes in a body, which is made by Defakto's parent company Ickler GmbH: a brand that knows a thing or two about designing cases that are not only elegant, but also ergonomic, and well-built; and it features a price that would put to shame even the Japanese brands.
The German brand has recently updated its collection of dressy three-handers with a nice Archimede 1950's collection that pays homage to timekeepers that were produced by the local watchmakers after the end of the Great War. Although the Japanese movement that powers the device doesn't look nearly as impressive as NOS hand-wound Junghans calibers that they, for example, used for their Pilot OR2 limited edition watch, it is robust and reliable and looks like an adequate choice for the price.
The German watchmaker has just started taking orders for its new Stowa Seatime Black Forest Edition 1 automatic diver. Offered at a moderate price of just €1390 (including VAT), the new timekeeper is a wise choice for a person looking for a nice diving companion, but not willing to pay the premium for an Omega Seamaster or a Rolex Submariner. Reserved, but also handsome, this is so far one of the most attractive divers that money can buy.
The Chopard L.U.C 8HF Power Control (Ref. 168575-9001) not only features one of the best examples of the European industrial design, but also offers an unusual high-beating movement that, while being twice as fast as your average caliber, also manages to work for as long as 60 hours: a remarkable achievement in this extremely rarely populated class.
The 2014 Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition is yet another masterpiece of German design. Delivering just the right combination of manliness and reserved elegance that could only be compared to that of a Porsche 911 Carrera sports car, it is issued as a limited edition of just 500 pieces, which is a pity: collectibility or not, the world, which is dominated by tasteless, soulless objects of industrial design, needs more beautiful things like this one.
Delivered in the colors and textures that are often associated with those of Audi's own racing team, the 2014 Oris Audi Sport Chronograph (ref. 01 774 7661 7481-Set) isn't terribly original with its boring layout and the same design elements we have seen for the last couple of years. However, it is solidly built and I am sure that fans of the German team will definitely love it.