Earlier this year, Steinhart has issued their new take on the concept of a “vintage-modern pilot”. Successfully blending vintage exterior with a classic caliber and modern CNC machinery, the 2018 Nav.B-Chrono 47 Baumuster B Grey Edition (ref. 106-0877) offers, perhaps, the best “value for money” ratio for those interested in buying a relatively affordable brand new “aviator”.
The 2017 Broadway Day Date Automatic (refs. H43515735 & H43515135), Hamilton’s recent attempt at grabbing their share of the growing “affordable dress watch” market, offers a nice blend of the interesting exterior, good build quality, and one of the best “long-play” mass-produced automatic movements that you can get in the sub-$1k price range.
The 2016 limited-edition Frederique Constant Peking to Paris (ref. FC-303WBRP5B6) may not be revolutionary or groundbreaking in any meaning of the words, but it is still an interesting (albeit a tad overpriced) timekeeper for a person interested in a nice three-hander with a just a grain of sportiness to it. While the “limited edition” part may be a bit gimmicky (in a sense that you can’t seriously expect a piece limited to almost 2900 units to become a rarity in any foreseeable future,) all the rest is legit: it is an expertly designed, solidly built piece that is powered by a robust mechanism.
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.
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?
The 2016 Zenith Elite Chronograph Classic Cal. 4069 is equipped with the new Caliber 4069 automatic movement and is offered both in relatively inexpensive steel and much more impressively priced gold version. At this time, this is one of the most interesting choices when it comes to “dressy” chronographs with “character” currently offered by the brand.
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 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.
Presented in two colors of its laconic, easy to read dial, Alpina Alpiner Manufacture makes the time-proven Caliber AL-710 in-house automatic movement its selling point. The “Manufacture” mechanism slowly replaces third-party mechanisms from their relatively inexpensive lines. Accurate and reliable, the AL-710 greatly increases the timekeeper’s collectability while still making it a nice daily wearer
Once a maker of all sorts of “homages”, Christopher Ward puts a lot of effort into becoming a serious brand. This new, dressy Chr. Ward C9 Moonphase is a step in the right direction for the relatively young watchmaker.
The 2015 Fortis Terrestis Hedonist delivers a winning combination of elegant styling, and robust movement offered at a fairly affordable price. This can be the watch of choice for a person who always thought about adding a Fortis to his collection but wasn’t ready to get himself an “aviator” because of their massive cases, cluttered dials, and, often, just way too many colors for them to look good with business attire. Now, you finally have no excuses to backpedal on this purchase, have you?
Despite its excessively (well, to my taste) long name, the Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey collection makes an impression of a well-designed accessory. While I wouldn’t call it ‘revolutionary’ or ‘groundbreaking’, this homage to the legendary Austin-Healey 3000 successfully combines standard elements of design into an attractive time measuring device. Purists would probably wince a little at the way they use gold-plating to make a stainless steel body look dressier, but I find nothing wrong with it: for those on a tight budget, a gold-plated watch is an excellent choice.
The self-winding Perrelet First Class Double Rotor Skeleton 20th Anniversary pays tribute to the Dipteros 1777 model that the brand issued back in 1995.
Already available for pre-order with the first bunch of them expected to be delivered mid-March 2015, the new Chr.Ward C9 Jumping Hour MKIII features a refreshingly new design, which is not just clean and easy to read, but is also extremely refined. It looks like the guys that designed this beautiful timekeeper were in the proverbial “zone”: they did everything right.
Steinhart celebrates its tenth year in business with this limited edition 2014 Steinhart ST 10 Anniversary Edition (Ref. L0810) that deserves some attention. First, the German brand normally uses standard Swiss-made calibers to power its timekeepers. For a change, the ST10 is powered by a neatly decorated hand-wound movement from Unitas. Second, it comes with an unusual dial layout, even though some may find it a bit, well, too unusual. Third, even as bulky as it is, the gadget is still compact enough for a sporty daily beater. Perhaps, the only thing that may turn some people off is the price: €1290 seems *ahem* a bit too steep for a Steinhart.