In 2017, Doxa has released several “anniversary” timekeepers that celebrate the brand’s first semicentennial in the business of making professional diving tools. While the blackfaced Sharkhunter and the silver-faced Searambler attracted their fair share of attention from collectors and, um, more normal enthusiasts alike, it was the Sub 300 “Black Lung” Limited-Edition automatic diver that broke the brand’s own sales record with the whole bunch being pre-ordered during the first 24 hours after registration officially commenced.
Introduced to celebrate the brand’s tenth anniversary, the 2016 Deep Blue Master 2000 10 Year Anniversary collection is currently offered in a choice of three color schemes including two versions in black and blue that feature a combination of white and orange accents. The version in black and orange (ref. M2KILBLKORGBLKORG,) which is reviewed in this article, is the most interesting -or at least the most striking- among them. Delivering an impressive level of legibility in all lighting scenarios that I can imagine and combining good build quality of the case and bracelet with the dependability of a time-proven Swiss-made movement, it may be a bit expensive compared to their earlier models of similar design, but still offers good value for money if you can afford one.
The 2016 Eberhard & Co. Scafograf 300 (ref. 41034) looks like a faithful recreation of the classic Scafograf from the 1950s. Offering you a nice combination of a robust Swiss-made movement, adequate water resistance rating of 300 meters, and an elegant exterior, it is mildly overpriced but will probably be successful in the long run when all sorts of discounts and rebates kick in.
The upcoming premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens is just a couple of months away and Nixon has already unveiled a sort of “official” Star Wars-themed collection. Besides the inevitable “Stormtroopers”, and “Imperial Pilots”, there is also a full-black limited-edition Nixon 51-30 Darth Vader that pays homage to the most iconic character of the series. And, yes: all three models are dedicated to agents of the dark side of the Force. Ah, that irresistible attractiveness of Evil!
The new Breitling Superocean II 36 Diver sports the usual styling that the series is known for. Basically offering the same unisex model in a slightly smaller size, the timekeeper won’t surprise you with new ideas, but will rather deliver the usual blend of sportiness, good build quality and a bullet-proof (albeit, mass produced) mechanism that will keep time as you would expect from a COSC-certified movement. What else there is to want?
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. 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.
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.
The Ball Engineer II Magneto S Automatic (ref. NM3022C-N1CJ-BK) is a fascinating timekeeper. It features an interesting combination of sporty -albeit a bit deceptive- exterior with a reliable -even if a bit too standard- mechanism. It is the way the shielding system works that makes this new gadget stand out from the ranks of other magnetically shielded wristwatches.
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 arrives 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.
While the original Glycine F104 (ref. 3933) that was delivered back in April 2014 looked absolutely killer with its clean, vintage-inspired design, somebody at the company’s HQ has probably decided that sales are not quite satisfactory. Enters the Glycine F104 v.2, which is now available in a choice of four or five dials, and even includes a version with a steel black PVD bezel with 46 diamonds (1.80 carats, yuck!)
Based on one of their models from 1950s, the 2014 limited edition Longines Conquest Heritage 1954-2014 comes in a compact 35-millimeter case which is available not only in an expensive rose or yellow gold but also in a lot more affordable stainless steel. Combine it with a nice business dress and you have a clear winner.
Mean and cool, huge but comfortable, the Breitling Avenger Blackbird limited edition “tactical” three-hander offers you a COSC-certified version of a mass-produced automatic movement packed into a feather-light titanium body with its machine-brushed surface blacked with a special carbonization technique. What more can one desire from such a manly time measuring device?
The 2014 Ball Engineer II Pioneer Chronometer (ref. NM2026C-L4CAJ-BK) delivers all the usual treats from the watchmaker that was founded in America, but later moved to Switzerland. The compact, deliberately simple body would look good on almost any wrist, its dial is high-contrast and easily readable even to older persons with poor sight. However, if your idea of a dress watch doesn’t include more than two dozen glass micro-tubes filled with a mildly radioactive, self-glowing gas, you may find this timekeeper slightly difficult to adapt to.
Commemorating the Swiss brand’s 100th Anniversary, the automatic Glycine F104 Pilot (Ref. 3932.146AT.LB7R) delivers that great mix of a clean, easy to read dial with an easy to recognize pre-WWII styling, and deliberately oversized body: something that you rarely see when it comes to pilot’s watches designed during the last decade or two. Although, like a number of recently introduced timekeepers that try to strike your imagination with monsters that look ridiculous on almost any wrist of a man of a normal stature, this one will not look that great if you decide to wear it with formal suit, it is still an interesting collectible item that one can even wear from time to time. Perhaps, combine it with an equally expensive winter bomber jacket that would be able to somehow hid the gadget’s overall bulkiness?
For a business entity, which is essentially a one-man show, Steinhart is surprisingly prolific. Although most of their watches are so-called “homages” and “tributes”, there is a lot of them. Starting from “divers” to “pilots” and going all the way to sporty chronographs, the brand offers you plenty to choose from. This self-winding Ocean One Vintage, for example, is designed for the kind of people that are longing for a historic Rolex (or, perhaps, even a re-issue of a historic Tudor,) but either can’t afford one or plain don’t want to bother sifting through the thousands of “pre-loved” models with a questionable history.