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.
Believe it or not, but, contrary to popular beliefs, not all Breitlings do look the same. This new Breitling Galactic 44 (the ref. A45320B9/BD42-101W reviewed here and other models), for example, features an unusual (for the brand) combination of an elegantly sculpted body that looks more slender than it actually is, a remarkable set of crown-guards, and a relatively thin bezel that still displays all the relevant information for either an amateur diver or a professional pilot. Perhaps, the only thing that it needs is the usual notches that were apparently dropped here in order for its polished surface to better match that of the case. Well, nothing is perfect.
The 2014 Casio G-Shock GravityMaster GPW 1000 delivers inside its defiantly oversized body an extremely small GPS receiver, a state of the art solar-powered quartz movement, as well as their signature Multi-Band 6 technology that allows the device to automatically receive standard time-calibration signal from atomic clocks. What else would you probably ask from this little monster? Make you breakfast?
The new Fortis Blue Horizon features an appealing color scheme with its bronze-toned dial (that the brand actually prefers to call “Metallic Brown”) nicely matched by a cognac-brown leather strap. Although the blue accents on the timekeeper’s face look a bit ahem controversial, I must admit that this is one of the dressiest “pilot’s chronographs” that the Swiss brand has ever produced. Just don’t forget to get yourself a complementary set of good brown shoes.
Featuring a sexy combination of deep matte black and bright, almost electric, orange, the Breitling Chronomat 44 Raven Caliber 01 (ref. MB0111C2/BD07-153S) is so far one of the most attractive members of the family. Add to this the same COSC-certified Caliber B01 automatic movement built in their own manufacturing facility, as well as an extremely legible layout of the dial, and you get yourself a winner. The only thing that spoils the fun a little is, as usual for Breitling, the price.
While the new Fortis VP-40 “Laging Handa” Patrol Squadron Forty doesn’t even try to look different from dozens of other Fortis aviation-inspired chronographs, it still offers a nice combination of a solid-built body with pleasantly massive push-pieces and setting crown, and a dial that, although looking a bit cluttered, is nevertheless easy enough to read (only if you don’t try to use the standard tachymeter scale on the bezel flange).
Unlike the much-awaited Apple iWatch (we will see it in a matter of hours), the 2014 Breitling Colt Caliber 73 SuperQuartz Chronograph doesn’t even try to destroy the competition. With its classic massive body, easy-to-grip unidirectional rotating bezel and traditional high-contrast dial, the new timepiece simply delivers in a single, relatively affordable package everything you ever wanted from a Breitling but never were quite ready to pull the trigger on their more expensive models. Powered by a COSC-certified version of a well-known quartz mechanism, the device won’t stun you with the same level of craftsmanship as an automatic mechanism decorated by a skilled hand of an artisan but instead will offer you an almost unrivaled level of precision and dependability.
Whole 46 millimeters in diameter, the Edox Geoscope GMT (ref. 07002 3 C1) is designed with heroically proportioned people in mind. On the other hand (no pun intended), the timekeeper doesn’t make an impression of a watch whose single purpose is to look big. In fact, its massiveness stems from its function: there is a dial that needs to be large to ensure adequate legibility and so there is a large case to house it. That’s probably the main reason why it doesn’t look stupid: its form follows function.
With its 2014 collection, Maurice Lacroix tries to play against the current “downsizing” trend. While even “sporty” and “bold” chronographs either lose weight or burn their excessive muscle tissue, the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Supercharged brings you the good old 2013 Pontos S diver in an even bigger body. 48 millimeters in diameter, the diving tool is designed for a bodybuilder or a football player, not some sort of a skinny hipster.
While Mido is good at producing watches that look anonymous at best, this new stainless steel Mido Multifort Two Crowns (Ref. M005.930.11.060.00) actually looks nice and even recognizable, although even this design always leaves you scratching your head trying to remember if you have already seen this gadget before.