Presented in two colors of its laconic, easy to read dial, Alpina Alpiner Manufacture makes the time-proven Caliber AL-710 in-house automatic movement its selling point. The “Manufacture” mechanism slowly replaces third-party mechanisms from their relatively inexpensive lines. Accurate and reliable, the AL-710 greatly increases the timekeeper’s collectability while still making it a nice daily wearer
Certina has officially presented the Chronographe DS-8 Phase de Lune during the Baselworld 2015 show.
With its 2014 self-winding Alpina Alpiner chronograph, the Swiss-based brand finally offers an interesting timekeeper. Interesting for the kind of customers that are tired of numerous recreations and reissues and just want a watch that would look cool in a room filled with 85-inch 4K TV sets, smart coffeemakers, and modern furniture made of shiny steel and expensive leather. Although in its finish I see numerous references to products made by other watchmakers (like, for example, this 2010 Chronoswiss Pacific Collection), I must admit that all in all the device looks refined and well-balanced. It is one of their collections that Alpina will never be ashamed with.
Breitling, the company that likes to be associated with anything that has an even passing relationship with the sky, greatly appreciates its long-standing partnership with Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force aerobatics team. It was less than 18 months ago that the brand has introduced the limited-edition Chronomat Frecce Tricolori 44: a member of the family that differed from its siblings only with the team’s logo printed on its black dial. This year, they introduce their 2014 Chronomat Airborne 30th Anniversary: another limited edition that, as the name implies, celebrates the 30th anniversary of their relationship. Available both in a compact 41 mm body and in a more impressive 44 mm case, the chronograph looks a lot more original, comes with two colors of its dial, and is equipped with a high-grade, in-house chronograph movement.
For the year 2014, the Italian fashion brand has updated its Octo family with a beautiful Bvlgari Octo Chronograph.
A. Lange & Sohne, an elite German watchmaker as well as a jewel in the crown of the Richemont Group (just for context, their portfolio also includes such gems as IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, and Panerai,) has recently launched its new masterpiece. The A. Lange & Sohne Grand Lange 1 Moon Phase (Ref. 139.032) features a familiar design of its face with lots of off-centered sub-dials and the signature big date indicator, which is now powered by a new version of their gorgeous Caliber L095 hand-wound movement.
DuBois et fills, a French watchmaker that currently tries to reinvent itself, has offered a new DBF001 collection of automatic chronographs. Delivering a surprisingly satisfying mixture of sportiness and elegance, this may be their first step towards real success.
Vacheron Constantin just never fails to deliver one masterpiece after another. The 2013 Patrimony Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater (Ref. 30110/000R-9793) is not only a perfect dress watch for the extremely wealthy watch lovers. It also sports a wonderful hand-wound caliber that is claimed to be the thinnest minute repeater mechanism in the industry.
The limited-edition Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Captain Poindexter still makes quite an impression with its massive body and a bold face with broad, pointy hands that look like they were inspired by some super-sword from one of those Final Fantasy series of videogames.
Omega Speedmaster, the legendary “space” chronograph that is never getting old, has recently been reintroduced as a “two-tone” model and also slightly refreshed. Available with at least two dials and two colors of 18-karat gold alloy, the 2013 Omega Speedmaster 57 (ref. 3184.108.40.206.01.001) is more in line with their current product range.
I don’t know whether it is the postmodern lack of new ideas or an attempt to return to the brand’s roots, but, during the recent years, Longines shows a great interest in its past. There were dozens of vintage-styled models paying homage to the period starting in the 1910s and going all the way to the 1970s. This new Longines Avigation Oversize Crown GMT (Ref. L2.778.4.53) takes the “homage” idea a step or two further offering a well-balanced compilation of its 1920s trench watches.
The new Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Relief Season collection delivers such a high degree of refinement and elegance that one usually expects only from a piece unique hand-made for a special event. Jaquet Droz, however, plans to make whole 176 of them!
The recently presented Tissot Luxury Automatic watch sports a more refined version of the new Powermatic 80 (aka ETA CO7.111) self-winding caliber that also happens to power the gorgeous Certina DS Powermatic 80 Limited Edition that we have already reviewed briefly last week. Still, this particular iteration of the movement is not only better decorated, but is also much more precise, since it is built with more carefully selected parts and is better adjusted.
Available both in glossy stainless steel (ref. 886020 1NRFN) and in dressier rose gold PVD (ref. 886020 8ARF) versions, any member of this new Saint Honore Trocadero Chronograph collection could be a timepiece of choice for a person searching for a classic-styled “Swiss made” chronograph on a (very) tight budget. And never mind the purists: after all, you are buying a watch for yourself, not for a bunch of snobs who believe that anything below an Omega or a Rolex is not even worth considering.