Delivered in the colors and textures that are often associated with those of Audi’s own racing team, the 2014 Oris Audi Sport Chronograph (ref. 01 774 7661 7481-Set) isn’t terribly original with its boring layout and the same design elements we have seen for the last couple of years. However, it features solid quality and a nice price. Also, fans of the German team will love it.
Available in two finishes and sporting a fairly impressive size of whole 45 millimeters in diameter, the new Zenith El Primero Stratos Spindrift Racing Special Edition (refs. 75.2060.4061/21.R573 & 86.2060.4061/21.R573) tries to mix into a single convincing package such iconic elements of their design as the signature rotating bezel, the cloverleaf-style dial cutout that shows the timekeeper’s inner workings, as well as an El Primero movement. What’s surprising here is that the final product doesn’t look too eclectic: while standing a bit dangerously to the ‘love it or hate it’ category, it is, in fact, an organic-looking piece that will find a niche of its own.
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.
Brutal, yet well-proportioned, the Breitling Cockpit B50 (ref. VB501022/BD41-155S) (especially the variation in plain machine-brushed titanium) somehow reminds me of a USAF’s F22 air superiority fighter jet: everything is in its place; everything is completely functional, yet extremely sexy. The only thing that makes the new B50 model different is the price. While still deliciously expensive, it won’t make you sell your house to get one.
Unveiled at SIHH 2014, the IWC Aquatimer Deep Three Titanium (Ref. IW355701) is perhaps the first “tool” diver that actually looks great. Its lightweight titanium case is meticulously crafted and features a much elaborated high-tech finish. With its easy-grip rotating bezel and crisp (although a bit busy thanks to its mechanical depth gauge display) dial, the wristwatch would look organic in a sci-fi movie like Oblivion or maybe even Prometheus.
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. 3126.96.36.199.06.001) 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.
Unlike your normal quartz-powered luxury watch that rarely needs anything more than a refreshed dial and/or bezel to be called “a new model,” the 2014 Breitling Emergency II SuperQuartz Chronometer offers a major upgrade to one of its key sub-systems that actually increase your chances of survival in case it all goes sideways and things get real for a change.
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?
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.
The limited edition Breitling S3 ZeroG SuperQuartz Chronograph was introduced to celebrate the partnership between the watchmaking brand and a young Swiss-based company S3 (Swiss Space Systems). The black-and-grey watch not only looks great for a luxury tactical timekeeper, but also serves as a boarding pass for those few wealthy customers around the world that are ready to pay a sizeable chunk of money for a pleasure of floating in zero gravity environment for just about 300 seconds more or less evenly spaced by 15 sections of 20 or even 25 seconds long.