In a matter of days, the Japanese conglomerate Seiko will start selling the hybrid-powered Grand Seiko Sport Collection Spring Drive GMT Limited Edition (Ref. SBGE245G). With the luxury gadget being limited to the Japanese domestic market, it will be a bit difficult to come by if you happen to live on the other side of the globe. Yet, the device is so beautiful, so impressive that it will be absolutely worth going into all the trouble to get one.
Japanese / Quartz
Already released as the Japanese Domestic Market (ah, that legendary 'JDM' abbreviation that's been rice-rocket freaks' and watch aficionados' darling for so many decades!) models, the 2017 limited-edition Seiko Prospex Diver Scuba Giugiaro Design (available at the time of writing as refs. SBEE001 & SBEE002) is an almost perfect re-issue of the model from the 1980s that had a great potential, but for some reason failed to become an icon of industrial design. I can only welcome the Japanese brand's decision to give the collection a second chance, even as only a limited-edition model.
The 2016 Alpina Startimer Pilot automatic chronograph (refs. AL-725B4S6, AL-725GR4S6 & AL-725N4S6) is available in three colors of its laconic, extremely sober dial and in two colors of the genuine leather strap. It is a bit expensive, many people may (and probably will) call it boring, and it is not a match to majors like IWC and Omega in terms of mojo and perceived value, yet the combination of a highly ergonomic design, reliable mechanism, and an acceptable price make it a nice everyday watch for a person who can afford one.
In less than two months, Christopher Ward will start selling the 2016 C8 UTC Worldtimer. Styled as an "aviator" and featuring an appealing combination of a robust Swiss-made movement with their new distinctive approach to design, the new timekeeper is well worth the serious chunk of cash that the watchmaker plans to charge for it.
Officially revealed at the SIHH 2016 show, the IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph (ref. IW389002) brings everything you loved about the original Miramar collection, albeit in a smaller package. With a touch oversized case crafted from dark grey scratch-resistant ceramic and a high-contrast, yet discreet dial layout, this new model looks like an interesting choice for a person who always wanted a dressy "aviator", but wasn't quite satisfied with earlier models and their Gargantuan proportions.
Presented at the Baselworld 2016 trade show, the Speedmaster Moonphase Chronograph Master Chronometer (ref. 304.33.44.52.03.001) is one of the most attractive takes on Omega's constantly growing collection of the legendary "moon watches." Combining striking exterior with an advanced, anti-magnetically shielded movement, the device tries really hard to be worth every single dollar that the Swiss watchmaker wants you to spend on it.
The Glashutte Original Senator Observer (ref. 100-14-07-02-30) brings you an impressive mix of a perfect self-winding mechanism, a dial that is easy to read in any circumstances, and a nicely sculpted case inherited from an earlier iteration, all seasoned with that attention to even most minuscule details that only German watchmakers exhibit regardless of the price tag that comes with their timekeepers.
The new Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111 (ref. 01 111 7711 4163-Set 5 22 14FC) is powered by the new Caliber 111 hand-wound movement. Developed and built on their own premises, the beautiful mechanism not only makes this new timekeeper even more exclusive but also shows clearly that Oris has enough resources to make a wonderful caliber. Their new Cal. 111 is an in-house mechanism that, at least in terms of functionality and efficiency, rivals those recently introduced by a lot more established watchmaking houses.
Quartz / Swiss
The 2015 Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 Chronograph Big Date expands the brand's line of affordable diving companions with yet another product. Featuring a reliable and accurate quartz mechanism packed into a visually attractive, nicely sculpted stainless steel body, the timepiece looks like a perfect "first real Swiss watch" choice for a young customer who still can't afford to buy "a real thing" be it a member of the same collection powered by a more expensive mechanical movement or something of an entirely different league like, say, an Omega Seamaster or a Breitling Superocean.
As defiantly eclectic as it is, the Cuervo y Sobrinos Historiador Vuelo still makes a strong impression with its deliberately oversized stainless steel body and a dial that could make your eyes bleed if only it wasn't matched so convincingly well to the energetic shape of the case. Clearly not designed according to the book that most Swiss-based watchmakers live by, this new Historiador may be a timekeeper of choice for a person who looks for something entirely new.