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. 77126.96.36.1992 & 77188.8.131.528) 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 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 a number of new collections. Among them was this gorgeous (but in a very modest way) Panerai Radiomir 1940 3Days GMT Acciaio (ref. 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 that the Radiomir collection is known for, the PAM 627 still looks fresh and attractive thanks to the waffle-style dial finish that they, unfortunately, use only on a very 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 that 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 ref. 168535-3002. 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 was originally designed to celebrate 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.
Designed for persons leading an active lifestyle, the 2015 Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar (ref. T091.420.46.041.00) is a mild face-lift of the 2014 model. The refreshed exterior is more convincing. The list of functions is more or less the same. It’s awesome in its simplicity, yet not rugged enough to compete with a G-Shock. While the piece’s altimeter is good for 4478 meters, you probably don’t want to take it mountain-climbing.
Available in two finishes and sporting a fairly impressive size of whole 45 millimeters in diameter, the new Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Racing Special Edition (refs. 75.2060.4061/21.R573 & 86.2060.4061/21.R573) tries to mix into a single convincing package such iconic elements of their design as the signature rotating bezel, the cloverleaf-style dial cutout that shows the timekeeper’s inner workings, as well as an El Primero movement. What’s surprising here is that the final product doesn’t look too eclectic: while standing a bit dangerously to the ‘love it or hate it’ category, it is, in fact, an organic-looking piece that will find a niche of its own.
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 the Swiss brand’s 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.