A mechanical chronograph has long ceased to be a “tool of choice” for an astronaut: there are specialized electronic devices for that that are just better. The 2022 Fortis Official Cosmonauts Chrono AMADEE-20 Edition acknowledges the fact with a brief nod and instead delivers what a modern customer really wants: megatons of style and charisma at an *ahem* relatively affordable price of $3900 and some change.
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 2016 Alpina Startimer Pilot chronograph (refs. AL-725B4S6, AL-725GR4S6 & AL-725N4S6) is available in three colors of its laconic, extremely sober dial and two colors of the genuine (*sigh*) leather strap. It is a bit expensive, many people may (and probably will) call it boring, and it is not a match to majors like IWC and Omega in terms of mojo and perceived value, yet the combination of a highly ergonomic design, reliable mechanism, and an acceptable price make it a nice everyday watch for a person who can afford one.
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.
The iconic TAG Heuer Aquaracer family finally gets a handful of new members that have their stainless steel bezels replaced with ceramic ones. Available in black and blue, with plain or blacked-out steel bodies, and featuring a nice choice of available straps, they are still relatively affordable if you take into account a nice combination of attractive styling, reliability and a bullet-proof automatic movement to finish the picture.
The 2014 Porsche Design Chronograph Titanium Limited Edition is yet another masterpiece of German design. Delivering just the right combination of manliness and reserved elegance that could only be compared to that of a Porsche 911 Carrera sports car, it is issued as a limited edition of just 500 pieces, which is a pity: collectibility or not, the world, which is dominated by tasteless, soulless objects of industrial design, needs more beautiful things like this one.
The new Fortis Blue Horizon features an appealing color scheme with its bronze-toned dial (that the brand actually prefers to call “Metallic Brown”) nicely matched by a cognac-brown leather strap. Although the blue accents on the timekeeper’s face look a bit ahem controversial, I must admit that this is one of the dressiest “pilot’s chronographs” that the Swiss brand has ever produced. Just don’t forget to get yourself a complementary set of good brown shoes.
Chopard is known for its endless love for all things automotive. During the last two or three years, they have introduced several beautiful sporty timekeepers, and it doesn’t look like they are going to stop churning out new racing-inspired chronographs and three-handers any time soon.
Coming in a flashy black-and-yellow (a color scheme, which is often associated with Chevrolet’s Corvette Racing team, although I am not sure whether the similarity is intentional or purely coincidental), the Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Chrono 2014 (ref. 168570-3001) will not go unnoticed even if you plan to wear it with a Hawaiian shirt.