Recently bought by a Chinese investment holding company, Eterna keeps on churning out great (while a bit overpriced) time measuring devices that also happen to be elegant accessories. Far from being “groundbreaking,” their 2016 Super Kontiki Chronograph (refs. 77188.8.131.522 & 77184.108.40.2068) collection is now available not only in the brand’s numerous stores around the world but also at some online retailers albeit at very small discounts.
Presented at Baselworld 2016, the new Victorinox Swiss Army Airboss Mach 9 Automatic Limited Edition (ref. 241732) somehow manages to combine more or less adequate pricing (especially after all the usual discounts that the Swiss-based brand is known for) with a fairly small lot of pieces destined to be manufactured and sent to select stores around the world.
During the last three or four years, Tissot has introduced several great classic-styled timekeepers in their Heritage line. Among others, the collection included the stunning 2013 Heritage Navigator 160th Anniversary that still stays in production. For this year, the entry-luxury brand adds an even more impressive (although deceptively simple) hand-wound Heritage 1936 (ref. T104.405.16.012.00). Staying true to the collection’s concept, the model combines a deliciously vintage appearance with a time-proven hand-wound caliber and more than attractive price. What else would you want for Christmas?
During the 26th Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH 2016,) the Italian brand has presented several new collections. Among them was this gorgeous (but in a modest way) Panerai Radiomir 1940 3Days GMT Acciaio PAM 627 that features their brand new Caliber P.4001 movement with a micro-rotor design. Although the watchmaker didn’t dare to step too far away from the time-proven design of the Radiomir collection, the PAM 627 still looks fresh and attractive thanks to the waffle-style dial finish that they, unfortunately, use only on a limited number of models.
The 2015 Bell & Ross WW1-97 Heritage (ref. BRWW197-HER-ST/SCR) delivers the familiar mix of a well-calculated design, which is both elegant and masculine, and a bullet-proof mechanism, which is both reliable and accurate. All of them are offered at a relatively affordable price which makes this new creation one of the best choices in the “Value for Money” category.
The Chopard 24 Hours of Le Mans 2015 Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Jacky Ickx Edition (Ref. 168535-3003) (wow, that’s a long name) is, for all practical purposes, simply a new iteration of the last year’s Superfast Chrono Porsche 919. The only thing that makes it visually different is a set of new color accents on the dial and bezel flange. Now also proudly wearing Jacky Ickx‘s signature on its engraved case back cover, the watch celebrates the long-standing partnership between the two high-end brands, but, it so happened that it also praises Porsche’s decisive victory at 2015 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Day Date (ref. 01 752 7698 4164-07 5 22 17FC) combines a vintage-modern (I hope, Marshall Amps won’t mind me using the combination of words) design of its moderately oversized stainless steel body with an inexpensive self-winding movement with day/date display that they outsource from Sellita. Easily readable and comfortable thanks to its ergonomically shaped case and a nicely designed folding clasp, the watch is priced at just over €1300 but delivers a lot more value than most similarly priced timekeepers with the same functionality.
This Hublot Classic Fusion Bol d’Or Mirabaud (Ref. 521.NQ.1717.QR.BOM14) is a nice take on their iconic Classis Fusion collection. While the differences with other models in the range are only cosmetic, the choice of materials and the way they are put together make a strong impression. As usual, Hublot will severely limit its total production volume in order to make it a ‘real’ rarity.
Like almost all their recent models belonging to the Sporting collection, the Ralph Lauren Sporting Classic Chronometer features all the familiar design elements that some people would call “easily recognizable”, while others would probably refer to as “tiresome”. Well, at least the American fashion house has found a design language of its own and is ready to stick to it at all costs.
A. Lange & Sohne has presented whole seven new models at the SIHH 2014 event, yet it is the gorgeous Richard Lange Perpetual Calendar “Terraluna” that will possibly get the most attention from both journalists and connoisseurs alike.
If you plan to spend the holidays at a sea resort, there is good news for you from the American brand Deep Blue Watches. As prolific as they are (well, in a good meaning of the adjective), the guys have recently introduced an affordable Deep Blue Sea Ram 500 diver that combines an impressive water resistance rating with a scratch-resistant ceramic bezel: a rare mix in its price range.
Available at MSRP of $499 -and currently offered on their official website at just $400- this new Deep Blue Master Diver 1000 automatic diving tool doesn’t look particularly flashy. On the contrary, the new Master Diver is deliberately dull, almost as dull as a wrench or a hammer can be. With every brushed surface, with every massive part, it declares: “Look at me! I am a professional instrument! I am a beater that you can take every place you go to!” Well, it looks like it tells the truth.
While not terribly original, the automatic Cimier Time Square Chronograph (refs. 5106-SS011 in steel and 5106-BP021 in black PVD) delivers a nice combination of sportiness and elegance that makes it versatile if you don’t plan to wear it to a pool party or on a hiking trip.
IWC has revealed a nice addition to its splendid Portofino range of oversized timekeepers. Always conservative in its approach, extremely reluctant when it comes to evolving its design language, the Swiss watchmaker again brings us a watch that features all the elements that we love so much with only a small change: the IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Big Date Boutique Edition (Refs. IW516102 / IW516101) has the original simple calendar display replaced with a lot more appealing Big Date indicator.
The limited-edition Oris WilliamsF1 Team (Ref. 01 773 7685 4184-Set RS) may not only be an ultimate present for just about any F1 fan around the world. Yet, it is a nice choice if you simply look for a sporty chronograph with a modern design that doesn’t look like yet another Omega Speedmaster or a Rolex Daytona “homage”.