The Swiss Manufacture has recently revealed their dressy 1681 Collection. While the version in 18-karat rose gold with central seconds hand is sort of underwhelming, the JeanRichard 1681 Ronde Small Seconds makes a strong impression, even despite its “plebeian” stainless steel body.
The automatic Louis Erard Grey Heritage Chronograph (ref. 78 269 AA 03) leaves dubious impression. The mechanism that powers it has successfully passed the test of time in terms of reliability and accuracy, but is also as common as Bic ballpoint pens. The design of its dial is familiar to everyone and is easy to read, but is also as uninspiring as a phony Gibson. Well, it is a matter of personal preferences, as usual.
The dressy Girard-Perregaux 1966 (ref. 49527-52-131-BK6A) three-hander brings you the easily recognizable minimalistic styling of the 1966 Collection that is supposed to only be worn with formal attire. Sporting a traditional medium-sized body and featuring one of their highly reliable automatic movements with increased power reserve, the watch may become an instant win if the price is right. Compared to the previously available ref. 49525-52-131-BK6A model, the 1966 Automatic is not only 10 percent larger and thicker, but also offers eight more hours of guaranteed power reserve.
Although different alloys of silver are popular among jewelers all over the world, serious watchmakers aren’t especially fond of the metal. However, Bell & Ross has fairly recently updated its vintage-styled WW1 collection with the new Bell & Ross WW1 Argentium model. As the name implies, the watch uses their proprietary “argentium” alloy of silver and some other, unspecified metals.
The self-winding Longines Tachymeter chronograph (Ref. L2.781.4.13) is essentially a redecorated version of the elegant 2012 Telemeter chronograph (Ref. L2.780.4.18). Boasting the same movement sitting inside the same medium-sized case, this one differs from its sibling only with a pair of tachymeter scales printed on its snow-white dial.
Breitling has recently presented yet another “limited edition” version of its flagship Chronomat 41 automatic chronograph. As it is usual for the industry’s big names, the guys at Breitling didn’t bother employing new materials or trying some face-lifting here and there. To an untrained eye, the new edition looks almost identical to any other Chronomat that sports a steel body matched with an onyx black dial. However, there are some minor enhancements that make this model worth a second look if you don’t already happen to own one of its numerous older siblings.
Playing in many different segments and delivering all kinds of styles, starting with the elegant and dressy La Grande Classique, sporty Conquest and finishing the picture with nicely executed (and also quite affordable) HydroConquest divers, the Swatch Group’s brand darling does an especially good job when it comes to vintage-styled timekeepers. Their recent run of 1940’s-inspired limited edition models is already in short supply, so, if you crave for a similarly styled model, the new Longines Telemeter Automatic Chronograph (Ref. L2.780.4.18) may be just what the doctor ordered.
Known for its iconic “Swiss railway clock” design that the watchmaker has licensed from Swiss Federal Railway (SBB) company around 26 years ago, the group has recently started selling yet another version of the legendary watch. Powered by a cheap, but dependable hand-wound movement, the new Mondaine Vintage is offered in a compact and slim stainless steel body and offers you all that you can expect from the brand: a simple and clear, easy to read design.
Claimed to be inspired by the famous district in the center of Paris near the Eiffel Tower, the new Saint Honore Trocadero Automatic Open Dial (ref. 880020 1NRN) is a nicely decorated, yet somewhat understated timekeeper that, while being powered by a completely unimpressive, mass-produced movement and featuring limited functionality, still brings you an interesting, even pleasant to look at design of its open-worked dial.
With parts of its body borrowed from vintage models that were in production fifty or even seventy years ago, the new Tudor Heritage Black Bay automatic diver looks not like a tribute to classic “Rolex’s smaller brothers”, but rather like a Frankenstein’s monster of a watch. A very handsome-looking Frankenstein’s monster, for that matter. Perhaps, not even a monster at all.
Each limited edition Aerowatch Les Grandes Classiques Venus 203 (Ref. A 93955 AA01) is powered by one of a few remaining hand-wound Venus 203 calibers that were produced more than sixty years ago in the 1950s. Founded in 1923 by P. Berret, J.B. Berret and O. Schmitz in a Swiss town of Moutier, the ebauche maker Fabrique d’Ebauches Venus S.A. seized to exist 43 years later in 1966. Although the brand was mostly known for their chronograph calibers (some of them were even supplied to Jaeger-LeCoultre and Breitling,) the caliber Venus 203 that combines moonphase complication with a full calendar has also become a highly sought-after item among serious collectors.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the legendary franchise, the Swiss watchmaker has released its new Omega Seamaster 300M James Bond 007 50th Anniversary Collector’s Piece diver. Sporting numerous references to the immortal franchise, the device may be of great interest to the huge crowd of fans. As one might have expected, the new timepiece was presented by Mr. Daniel Craig himself.
MKII, a fairly young privately owned U.S.-based brand, has recently announced that its popular Paradive diving watch will soon be available with a trendy sapphire bezel with a luminous diving scale that is supposed to greatly enhance the timekeeper’s nighttime legibility. It will complement a slightly less expensive model with an anodized aluminum bezel and will be sold as MKII Paradive Type 1B.
The 2011 Omega Hour Vision Co-Axial Skeleton Platinum (ref. 4188.8.131.52.64.001) has the usual solid dial swapped for a sapphire one that offers a super view at its skeletonized co-axial movement.
The new Longines Column-Wheel Chronograph Record (Ref. L4.754.4.52/72.X) comes equipped with a strange-looking direct-drive second hand with a vernier scale that mimics the same device installed on a historic 1966 Longines chronograph.