Designed for a person who thought that Ulysse Nardin’s earlier Diver Chronometer 44 was too pricey, too big, and too cluttered for a diver (or, perhaps, for a person who is happy with the watch and wanted to augment their collection with a simpler version,) the 2018 Diver 42 automatic three-hander offers a beautiful, clean exterior, superior build quality, and a mechanism that, alas, is a bit too simple for the price that the brand asks for this thing.
Whole 46 millimeters in diameter, the Edox Geoscope GMT (ref. 07002 3 C1) is designed with heroically proportioned people in mind. On the other hand (no pun intended), the timekeeper doesn’t make an impression of a watch whose single purpose is to look big. In fact, its massiveness stems from its function: there is a dial that needs to be large to ensure adequate legibility and so there is a large case to house it. That’s probably the main reason why it doesn’t look stupid: its form follows function.
Mostly known for its prolific AquaScope family of cushion-shaped divers that offer a nice alternative to impressive, but heavily overpriced Panerai timekeepers, the Swiss-based manufacturer has recently added a nice “aviator” to its model range. Presented back in May during Baselworld 2013 show in titanium (ref. 60650-21G211-FK2A) and black DLC titanium (ref. 60650-21H612-21A), the JeanRichard AeroScope Automatic combines the same rugged, cushion-shaped body with a finely crafted dial of a tri-compax chronograph.
While this Chopard Happy Sport Medium (ref. 278559-3001) doesn’t introduce anything new in terms the shape of its bulky-looking body or dial layout, the new member of the family marks the dawn of a new era for the Swiss watchmaker (or, at least, for the HS model range): it is in fact the first Happy Sport that swaps a simple and not particularly inspiring quartz movement for a more stimulating self-winding caliber.
Now presented in another, even more expensive combination of materials, the updated Baume & Mercier Two-Tone Linea 10073 combines solid 18-karat rose gold and high-grade stainless steel.
At the Baselworld 2011 trade show Hublot, a brand that is known for its radical approach to conspicuous consumption, has presented a somewhat unexpected take on the concept of invisible opulence. I am talking about the ultra-luxury Hublot Big Bang Black Caviar (Ref. 346.CX.1800.BR): a high-jewelry piece that has every square millimeter of its surface paved with glossy black ceramic blocks.
This is certainly going to be a great year for the refreshed Portofino range of entry-luxury watches. Besides the dressy Portofino Dual Time and the elegant Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days, IWC has also presented a face-lifted Portofino Automatic (Ref. 3565): a modern-classic three-hander with a simple calendar.
Hublot has recently presented a new Big Bang 38 mm collection equipped with a Sellita SW300-based HUB 1110 automatic movement. There is also a more practical -albeit not as *ahem* classy- “Swiss Made” quartz caliber. The HUB 1110 is a very basic mechanism that is only slightly refinished and fine-tuned above the basic specs to meet stricter standards of the ultra-luxury segment. Yet, you may still want to consider acting fast if you are interested in this gadget. Luxury wristwatches featuring self-winding movements (instead of, you know, quartz) are rare species in this niche and, something tells me, the collection won’t stay in production for long.
Hublot and a four-time world champion alpine ski racer Bode Miller have unveiled a new limited-edition Bode Bang (Ref. 301.CI.2010.RX.BDM09) Chronograph. While not terribly original and looking like just any other model in the series, just with a new color scheme, the timekeeper may still be worth your attention thanks to its winning combination of an extremely high-contrast dial, elegant design, and an impressive level of ergonomics.