Chopard was founded back in 1860 as an independent Manufacture. Now, the brand works under the umbrella of the Fleurier Quality Foundation (a joint project of Chopard, Parmigiani Fleurier, and Bovet Fleurier) and has access to the most advanced machinery and manufacturing processes. In 2009, it has presented the gorgeous L.U.C Lunar Big Date automatic chronometer with a brilliantly executed moon-phase display.
Stepping on the heels of Ulysse Nardin’s Maxi Marine Diver Titanium chronometer, Perrelet reveals its new masterpiece: the self-winding Tourbillon (ref. A3021/1). What is the connection between the two? Both are made of titanium and polished gold: a combination that was unthinkable for mainstream watchmaking brands only a couple of years ago.
With its 42.5mm case machined out of 316L low-carbon stainless steel and a Rolex-like unidirectional rotating bezel, this quartz-powered 2009 Certina DS Action Chrono is available both on a sexy black rubber strap (ref. C013.417.27.057.00, pictured) and a more practical stainless steel bracelet (ref. C013.417.11.057.00.)
In March 2009, during the annual Baselworld international trade show in Basel, Switzerland, Cimier has presented its Retrograde Automatic (ref. 5104-SS021) collection. The new line featured a complex-looking dial with retrograde annual calendar and power reserve indicators complementing the usual “three-hander” layout of the base caliber ETA 2892.
The 2009 Frederique Constant Maxime Manufacture Collection (refs. FC-700MS5MZ9 and FC-700MS5M6) is the second lot of manufacture-grade timepieces from the independent brand. Unlike the numerous competitors, it is equipped not with a mass-produced ETA blanc caliber but features FC’s own in-house movement.
Crafted from high-grade titanium alloy, the new Archimede Pilot T tries to solve the usual problem of an oversized timekeeper: excessive weight that sometimes makes wearing a “sporty” wristwatch an ordeal if it spends on your wrist more than the usual ten or twelve hours. Tipping the scales at just 65 grams (approximately 11 grams or about 17 percent less than its stainless steel sibling from the same collection,) this laconic “pilot” seems to be a lot more comfortable to wear while not putting an unbearable burden on your wallet.
The new Archimede Pilot H automatic pilot’s watch features an anonymous black and white dial and is equipped with an inexpensive, but extremely reliable and fairly accurate ETA 2824 automatic movement.
Based on the slim COSC-certified ETA 2836-2 movement, the new Mido Baroncelli Chronometer Jubilee is just another proof that classic is always cool. Also, it tries to tell you that you don’t need to be a millionaire to afford a dressy watch.
The Italian-based fashion and jewelry brand Bvlgari keeps adding new exclusive models to its elegant Diagono collection. Trying to keep their accessories as upscale as practically possible, the brand issues this Diagono Retrograde Moonphase (ref. DGP42BGLDMP) in an almost prohibitively priced massive rose gold case that features their own self-winding movement. Coming as a -relatively- limited-edition model and featuring their traditional exaggerated design, it will possibly sell off fast thanks to its brief, but dramatic cameo on Robert Downey Jr’s wrist at the latest Iron Man blockbuster.
With its signature styling and a well-chosen automatic movement that keeps it ticking, new Bvlgari Diagono Calibro 303 Chronograph looks like a nice choice for a person in search for a sportier kind of a reliable timekeeper that doesn’t try to look like your average run-off-the-mill Omega or Breitling.