If Tudor wants to get rid of its image of a ‘poor man’s Rolex’, this new flagship North Flag model is a step in the right direction. At least, the combination of an in-house mechanism, a cleverly designed case, an elegantly simple dial, and the famous Tudor Rose right below the Arabic numeral “12” make a strong impression. Whatever the next model be, the brand doesn’t plan to dwell on its past forever.
Known for its love for music (among others, their limited editions include homages to such legends as Frank Sinatra, John Coltrane, and Dexter Gordon) Oris has recently introduced its limited edition Thelonious Monk (ref. 733 7712 4085). Although in certain respects this new model may look unfamiliar to a person who usually associates the brand with their gorgeous chronographs and bulky divers, it is, in fact, deeply rooted into the manufacture’s philosophy of industrial design. As the legendary sculptor of the past, they took a piece of metal and removed everything that didn’t belong there leaving only the essential elements that make an ordinary accessory a masterpiece.
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 are 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 has a 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.
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.
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), 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 the crown. Finally, you don’t have to be a huge guy to wear one of these with pride: you can be a skinny girl, too.
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 2015 Chopard L.U.C 8HF Power Control (Ref. 168575-9001) features one of the best examples of the European industrial design. It 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.