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.
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.
German / Quartz
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 2014 Girard-Perregaux Dual Time, which is delivered in a rose gold body with a choice of two dials in vintage 'Off-White' (ref. 49544-52-131-BBB0) and more modern 'Anthracite Gray' (ref. 49544-52-231-BB60) colors, offers that killer combination of great, well-designed exterior and reliable, time-proven automatic movement that only brands of this caliber can achieve. Although the complication itself is not rare (and I am putting it mildly), and its realization is not terribly innovative, the final product still makes a strong impression.
While the original Glycine F104 (ref. 3933) that was delivered back in April 2014 looked absolutely killer with its clean, vintage-inspired design, somebody at the company's HQ has probably decided that sales are not quite satisfactory. Enters the Glycine F104 v.2, which is now available in a choice of four or five dials, and even includes a version with a steel black PVD bezel with 46 diamonds (1.80 carats, yuck!)
Like many wristwatches that were introduced recently by Swiss-based and German majors, the Glashutte Original Seventies Chronograph Panorama Date is strongly inspired by models from the 1970s. Simple and elegant, the timepiece (especially the versions with ruthenium grey and galvanized blue dials) offers superb legibility and is powered by a hand-decorated Caliber 37-02 self-winding movement with 70 hours of power reserve and one of the most refined oscillating weight that money can buy.
The 2014 Ball Engineer II Pioneer Chronometer (ref. NM2026C-L4CAJ-BK) delivers all the usual treats from the watchmaker that was founded in America, but later moved to Switzerland. The compact, deliberately simple body would look good on almost any wrist, its dial is high-contrast and easily readable even to older persons with poor sight. However, if your idea of a dress watch doesn't include more than two dozen glass micro-tubes filled with a mildly radioactive, self-glowing gas, you may find this timekeeper slightly difficult to adapt to.
Commemorating the Swiss brand's 100th Anniversary, the automatic Glycine F104 Pilot (Ref. 3932.146AT.LB7R) delivers that great mix of a clean, easy to read dial with an easy to recognize pre-WWII styling, and deliberately oversized body: something that you rarely see when it comes to pilot's watches designed during the last decade or two. Although, like a number of recently introduced timekeepers that try to strike your imagination with monsters that look ridiculous on almost any wrist of a man of a normal stature, this one will not look that great if you decide to wear it with formal suit, it is still an interesting collectible item that one can even wear from time to time. Perhaps, combine it with an equally expensive winter bomber jacket that would be able to somehow hid the gadget's overall bulkiness?
Fashion / Swiss
As usual for the French brand, the Hermes Dressage L'Heure Masque offers a compelling mixture of an innovative movement, fine design, and a good taste. Although some purists may still sneer at their timepieces, there are in fact very few 'fashion' watches that can rival its refinement and ingenuity of its design.
Based on their limited edition F.P. Journe Special 30th Anniversary Tourbillon that was released in October 2013, the 2014 F.P. Journe 10th Anniversary Tourbillon was produced to celebrate two landmark events in its short biography: the 10th anniversary of their first boutique in Tokyo, Japan and the opening of the tenth F.P. Journe boutique in Beirut, Lebanon. Predictably, the timekeeper's total production was limited to just ten pieces, with only one of them going to each of their shops around the world.