With its Comtesse (refs. AL-525APWD3CD3B and AL-525APW3CD6B) series, Alpina targets a wide array of customers, both in terms of exterior styling and price. While some may find this “one for everyone” concept too undiscriminating, the logic behind it is undeniable. After all, Alpina is here for the money and there seems to be nothing more cost-effective than offering a model that, as generic as it is, allows the brand to make so many nice variations without investing too much money designing the new collection.
30 mm - 35 mm
As the name implies, the limited-edition Nomos Orion 1989 Fall of the Berlin Wall celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the wall that not only led to the reunification of Germany after more than four decades of Soviet occupation but actually marked the end of the communist era in Eastern and Central Europe.
With its exaggerated styling, the new Saint Honore Euphoria Quartz (Ref. 721108 6AYDR) may scare away a lot of women looking for a subtle, inconspicuous timekeeper. However, if you are not afraid of getting your fair share of the limelight, this eclectic but beautiful accessory may be a nice choice.
The Breguet Reine De Naples Princesse 8968 (Refs. 8968BR/11/986 0D0D & 8968BR/X1/986 0D0D) delivers a blend of a classic-looking ovoid body with all the usual stuff that we expect from the collection. The list includes a notched side strip and crown, which is ergonomically placed at 4 o’clock, and a decisively modern off-centered dial with stylized numerals and a slight variation of the traditional “Breguet” hands that so many -ahem- other watchmakers love so much.
The 2014 Jaquet Droz Lady 8 Ceramic Collection (refs. J014500240 and J014500241) somehow manages to combine a clean, uncluttered layout of a classic two-hander with their trademark figure-eight shape.
Based on one of their models from 1950s, the 2014 limited edition Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 comes in a compact 35-millimeter case which is available not only in an expensive rose or yellow gold but also in a lot more affordable stainless steel. Combine it with a nice business dress and you have a clear winner.
Blancpain has a long tradition of offering limited editions for St. Valentine’s Day. The year 2014 is not an exception. Their automatic Blancpain Saint Valentin 2014 (Ref. 6604-4654-55B) is designed for ladies who have good taste when it comes to luxury items and is based on their 2013 Saint-Valentin.
Re-designed in a smaller size and better proportions specifically for women, the Marvin Malton Mini-Cushion Moonphase (Ref. M022.12.39.12) is even more laconic, compact, and features an attractive design for a piece that costs less than €600.
This new Longines Heritage 1968 Square doesn’t look like a re-issue of a certain model that was released by the Swiss brand back in the 1960s. However, it looks more than a curt nod to the period when the Western civilization was reaching its peak giving a pretty good idea of how Longines watches of the time could have looked like if watchmakers of that time have had technologies of the XXI century.
After a somewhat controversial Saratoga Alarm Chronograph (0320219) that was released about two months ago during the last Baselworld 2013 show, Concord has issued yet another quartz-powered timekeeper. The new Concord Saratoga Lady White (ref. SKU 0320214), too, pays homage to the legendary Saratoga Race Course, a thoroughbred horse racing track which is located in Saratoga Springs, New York, United States.
Bulgari is known for its extensive collection of snake-style “bracelet watches.” Usually comprising no less than two “coils” that gently embrace a lady’s petit wrist, the bracelets are crowned with a snakehead-shaped case that usually houses a compact quartz movement. This new Bvlgari Catene (refs. 102038 BBCP31WGGD1.2T/12 & 102052 BBCP31WGG.2T/12) (“catene” means “a chain” in Italian, if I understand it correctly), however, features a slightly less radical styling that may be especially appreciated by persons suffering from ophidiophobia: an irrational fear of snakes.
The new version of the elegant Ebel X-1 (ref. 1216156) comes in the same glossy black ceramic body as previous iterations, but now features whole 71 diamonds adorning its bezel, the setting crown and, of course, the signature galvanic black dial. Almost twice as expensive as the version that is not decorated with precious stones, the new X1 is worth every extra penny that the Swiss-based brand asks for it.
Inspired by their 2011 Coloseo Flower model, the Saint-Honore Trocadero Lady «Magic Flower» takes the idea on a completely new level by offering a degree of refinement that I never expected from the Swiss-based brand. I can only admire this beautiful timekeeper: even despite the fact that it is powered by an anonymous Swiss quartz movement (like many other “fashion-oriented” watchmaking brands, Saint-Honore doesn’t bother about specifying names of the calibers that they use,) this new wristwatch doesn’t look like yet another fashion accessory that will be forgotten by next Christmas.
Frederique Constant has reissued for this year the 2011 Amour Heart Beat model as a limited-edition series. Renamed as Frederique Constant Amour Pavee Heart Beat (refs. FC-310SQPV2PD6 and FC-310SQPV2PD4), the collection features more than a hundred diamonds adorning its bezel and the mother-of-pearl dial.
Browsing Seiko’s Japan site, I stumbled upon this beautiful Credor Node J (Ref. GTWE896). Although powered by a quartz movement (albeit a very good one) and possibly offered only as a JDM model, the new timepiece teaches the major Swiss-based watchmakers a lesson or two about creating a watch, which is both elegant and discrete.