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.
The brand has fairly recently updated its Linea line with the beautiful Linea Collection (refs. 10070 & 10090) that featured a nicely finished stainless steel case and a mother-of-pearl dial. Yet, the guys at B&M apparently decided that the watches were too popular among the target audience not to introduce yet another iteration that would be able to grab the attention of those looking for something even more upscale. Now presented in another, even more expensive combination of materials, the updated Baume & Mercier Two-Tone Linea Automatic (Ref. 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. Although 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, you may still want to consider acting fast, if you are interested in this gadget: wristwatches powered by self-winding movements 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.
The limited-edition Hublot Classic Fusion Yacht Club de Monaco (ref. 501.PM.1680.RX.YCM09) is offered to you in a generously sized 45-millimeter case in a somewhat strange combination of yellow gold and solid titanium case back with black PVD coating.