Presented in a traditional for the brand cold, technocratic style, the new Armin Strom Skeleton Pure is offered in four versions, each corresponding to certain key elements of nature. Namely: Water, Air, Earth & Fire with the “Air” being a model in lightweight titanium and the “Earth” featuring black PVD-coated stainless steel. All of them look absolutely fabulous.
Owned by Ickler GmbH, a German company that makes its own high-quality watch cases and also happens to own a bit more “premium” brand Limes, the watchmaking specialist has released its new Archimede Klassik 42 Bicolor. The timekeeper is offered in six variations with all sorts of available customizations that you can possibly imagine. Although not as refined as similarly (base price plus essential options included) priced models from competitors, the Klassik 42 Bicolor is worth a look, especially if you are into that sort of rugged beauty that Archimede is known for.
Offering an outrageous blend of materials and textures, the Dior Chiffre Rouge C03 (ref. CD084C11A003) is inspired by an eclectic fashion collection. The polished gold of the indicators and hour markers (well, actually the elements are gold-plated), the slate gray of the dial and body create a watch that looks like an ultimate fashion accessory that may get you in trouble with your parents if they are of a more traditional kind. If only it wasn’t so small!
The Eberhard & Co. Traversetolo Ambri Piotta (Ref. 21016) is a classic hand-wound three-hander that features a surprisingly easy-to-read dial and is powered by the legendary Unitas 6498 caliber.
Available in two versions, each of them limited to 2888 pieces, the new collection of Frederique Constant Runabout automatic chronographs (Refs. FC-393RM5B4 and FC-393RM5B6) is an example of good industrial design with its large, clean dial both easily readable and pleasant to look at. Although its functionality (more on that later, you are going to raise at least one eyebrow) is somewhat limited compared to the previous Runabout Chrono, this model still makes a strong impression.
Although there is a feeling of something not being “right” when you look at a luxury watch, which is supposed to be a sort of homage to the timekeeper Neil Armstrong has worn when setting his foot at Moon’s dusty surface, the new limited edition Omega Speedmaster Professional Apollo 11 (Ref. 3188.8.131.52.06.001) looks absolutely stunning with its chocolate-colored nylon strap matching the color of the dial. The latter, by the way, looks especially grand thanks to its rose gold hour markers and hands that provide the timekeeper with an even better sense of depth and dimension.
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.
With its 2014 self-winding Alpina Alpiner chronograph, the Swiss-based brand finally offers an interesting timekeeper. Interesting for the kind of customers that are tired of numerous recreations and reissues and just want a watch that would look cool in a room filled with 85-inch 4K TV sets, smart coffeemakers, and modern furniture made of shiny steel and expensive leather. Although in its finish I see numerous references to products made by other watchmakers (like, for example, this 2010 Chronoswiss Pacific Collection), I must admit that all in all the device looks refined and well-balanced. It is one of their collections that Alpina will never be ashamed with.
As usual for the French brand, the Hermes Dressage L’Heure Masque offers a compelling mixture of an innovative movement, fine design, and a good taste. Although some purists may still sneer at their timepieces, there are in fact very few ‘fashion’ watches that can rival its refinement and ingenuity of its design.
So far, the beautiful 2014 Baume & Mercier Clifton Retrograde Date Automatic, a new addition to the growing Clifton collection, looks like the most advanced member of the family. Although the mechanism that powers it is just a usual ETA 2892-2 with a complication module sitting atop of it, it is still elegant and refined and, if you are not obsessed with technical features, could become a nice companion if you plan to wear it with a business suit.