New Watch Alert 1/31/20


Blancpain Ode to Love 2020

My Apple Watch vibrates my wrist when it’s time to move around, lest I turn into Jabba the Horological Hutt. It’s an important feature – I lose track of time when I write. But I don’t lose track of watches for our New Watch Alert. Which is just as well. Each week brings a flood of new releases, of which I’ll share with you. Just remember: get up, stand up and stretch when you’re done. Otherwise, time will catch up with you . . .

Hermès Arceau Squelette

Hermès Arceau Squelette – $7k

Make no bones about it: the forthcoming Hermès Arceau Squelette is one funky watch. The 40mm timepiece combines the model’s trademark “galloping” numerals with a transparent crystal that seems intent on playing “smoke gets in your eyes.” It offers a good look at a modified Sellita SW300 movement.

Le Hermes Arceau Squelette movement

There’s your trouble. Hermès unnamed supplier dolled-up the movement, adding some circular graining to the mainplate and bridges. But it’s still a chi-chi Big Bold Jellyfish. The $3150 white faced quartz model with Hermès’ logo on the caseback is the one to have – if only for that gorgeous natural barenia calfskin strap.

Vague Diver's watch

Vague Diver’s Watch – $250

You gotta have chutzpah to name your watch company Vague. Or maybe a sense of irony. The Japanese-made dive watch’s design is vaguely similar to TAG Heuer’s Formula 1 from Victoria Principal’s heyday, complete with a cathedral-style hour hand. As it’s a 36mm timepiece, I’m thinking the Vague Diver’s retro -TAG vibe isn’t a coincidence.

Copy that. The watchmaker’s previous products are more than vaguely reminiscent of  the original 1953 Rolex Submariner (admittedly so). I sorta like the VD – another unfortunate moniker – although you can buy an actual vintage TAG Formula 1 for roughly the same money. So there is that.

Helmstedt x Skagen Aaren Three-Hand Strawberry Print White Silicone 36mm Watch

Helmstedt x SKAGEN

Emilie Helmstedt is a Danish clothing who believes “quality, comfort and colors come first.” After that, money! To generate said revenue, Ms. Helmstedt teamed-up with Denmark’s SKAGEN watch brand to make a series of five bold silicone-banded quartz timepieces, priced at a buck-and-a-quarter.

Helmstedt x Skagen Aaren Three-Hand Strawberry Print White Silicone 36mm Watch in box

There’s not a whole lot else to say for this new watch alert – other than the Helmstedt x Skagen Aaren Three-Hand Strawberry Print White Silicone 36mm Watch could be more collectible than one of the SWATCH watches from which it takes its cue. Or it could be nothing more than an adorable gift for Valentine’s Day. Either way, Lilly Pulitzer is on notice.

Cartier Santos Chronograph on rubber

Cartier Santos Chronograph

Cartier upsized of their legendary scratch magnet – the Cartier Santos – to the point where the French luxury group’s horologists could [just about] squeeze a chronograph onto the Santos’ formerly fabulous face. Hodinkee reckons the stopwatch function “Makes This Already-Great Watch Even Better.” I reckon the Santos Chronograph’s dial is as crowded as a Japanese subway car, running roughshod over the Santos’ classical design.

Cartier Santos Chronograph on steel

“The Santos Chronograph is one of those watches that I think you have to put on your wrist to fully understand,” Hodinkee prevaricates. It’s “the best-executed version of an iconic, non-round Cartier case shape in chronograph form.” Sorta like the world’s most fire retardant paper hat, then. The steel ($8,950) and ADLC ($13,500) versions come with a rubber strap. The rose gold ($13,500) does not. Ripoff!

G-SHOCK GM6900G-9 

G-SHOCK GM6900G-9 

Fancy spending less than 14 large for a gold watch? G-SHOCK’s got you covered! In case you’re thinking the steel case looks more like plastic than precious metal, G-SHOCK created a splashy video. Their ad copy assures us this round square will “fit right in with both high-elegance luxury fashions and modern street fashions.” Let’s have a look, courtesy @gshock_us.

G-SHOCK GM6900G-9 on wrist

I’m not seeing this particular timepiece paired with a high-elegance Armani suit, but rules were meant to be broken. Assuming the GM6900G-9 doesn’t sell out and ascend the eBay price ladder, the golden G-SHOCK won’t break the bank. It’s priced at $230. U.S. sales start on Valentine’s Day. Awwww.


Straton threesome

Straton Tourer Three Hand/GMT/Triple C

How deep is your love? More specifically, how deep is your watch dial? If you like 3D dials, new watch alert! The Stator Tourer is your jam. Their three-hander and GMT are available in 40mm and 43mm sizes; the Triple C (Calendar) in 43mm only. The larger pieces offer enough interior volume for a small aquarium.

Straton Watch Co GMT

A Miyota 9015 movement (a microbrand’s best friend) beats inside the Tourer’s 13.4mm cushion case. It’ll keep on keeping time down to 200 feet and up to 42 hours of alone time. All three models are on pre-order for $299. For that price, the rubber strap is the safer choice. There’s nothing cheaper than a cheap metal bracelet. Just sayin’.

Junghans max bill Chrono standing proud

Junghans max bill Chronoscope

Junghans latest max “no capital letters” bill watch is the world’s most legible monochromatic day date stopwatch – other than the non-gray toned monochromatic day date max bill stopwatches. I really appreciate the dial’s subtle gray-dient and the little “m” for minute and “h” for hours on the subdials. (We’ve had issues.)

Junghans max bill Chronoscope

The JmbC’s powered by a modified automatic Sellita SW-500. Like the Wicked Witch of the West, the movement doesn’t like water. Cows died for the Chronoscope’s strap, but the $2095 stopwatch’s hands are treated with “environmentally-friendly Superluminova.” I convinced the nice woman at Junghans’ U.S. distributor to add the model to the American website for pre-order, looking at March delivery. Y’all are welcome.

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black

Carl F. Bucherer Patravi ScubaTec Black

Big watches often fall prey to content vomit. Not Carl F. Bucherer’s. Unless they do. New watch alert! This one doesn’t. Mssr. Bucherer’s 44.6mm Patravi ScubaTec Black is a massive marvel of minimalist moxie. Check out that badass bezel with its numbers. And who doesn’t want an Amazon phallic minute hand? Or an anti-skid dial texture?

ScubaTec Black caseback

This thing is out there. And will be for a while – the Patravi ScubaTee Black has yet to swim into U.S. retail channels. When it does, expect to pay seven grand for the privilege of out-macho-ing Paneristi and Rolex Submariners. Mantaman for the win!

Christoper Ward titanium dive watch

Christopher Ward C60 Elite 1000

Titanium’s come a long way baby. From a terribly expensive, difficult material to a $3 titanium nipple ring. Back in the day, who would have thought you could buy a 133 gram dive watch with a COSC-certified Sellita SW220 movement under an exhibition caseback with a  helium release valve that’s water resistant to 1000 meters/3280 feet for $1680? As Mr. Obama pronounced (on less interesting topics) yes you can!

Christopher Ward titanium dive watch close up

The Christoper Ward C60 Elite comes in two dial colors (black and blue) with a choice of five strap options, including a 77 gram titanium bracelet (hence 133 grams). They’re all lumed with Super-LumiNova’s brightest: Grade X1 GL C1. Each model’s limited to 300 pieces. The previous titanium pieces sold fast, especially for the blue dial/titanium bracelet combo. (TTAW does not receive a commission on links.)

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition

Hublot Spirit of Big Bang Rockies Limited Edition writer Zach Pina penned a gushing, glowing review of Hublot’s new watch – and all he got was an all-expenses paid ski trip to Aspen, Colorado. And it goes a little something like this: “The new Rockies edition only measures 42mm across, making it wholly wearable on a wide range of wrist sizes, despite the fact that it’s obviously not for everyone (though that’s hardly the point).”

Hublot Big Bang Aspen style

I think we know the point here. More objective observers might notice a certain similarity between this and a certain tonneau-cased timepiece. If you’re a fan of Richard Mille’s aesthetic abominations but find them a tad pricey, the $26,700 Hublot might be mighty tempting. Kinda like a free junket to the world’s most expensive ski resort.

Timex M79

Timex M79 Automatic

Naming a watch after a grenade launcher is sound marketing. Making it in China, not so much. But that’s how today’s Timex rolls (American Documents excepted). All we know about this new watch alert at this point: the M79 looks like a Rolex and it’s probably no different inside than all the other new Timex automatics. If so, it’ll be powered by an unnamed (for obvious reasons) movement and water resistant to all of 100 feet.


Our man Lucas revealed Seiko is going upmarket to cope with the Smart Watch Crisis; Timex is obviously following suit. Timex’s autos are priced at around $270 – save the $450 Georgia Galli S1 Automatic above. I reckon the M79 will be a hit – assuming the coronavirus outbreak doesn’t kill the American-based company’s supply chain.

Grand Seiko accurate quartz

Grand Seiko Heritage Collection Quartz Limited Edition SBGP007

Before now, the +/- 5 seconds-a-year Longines Conquest V.H.P. was the world’s second most accurate watch that doesn’t rely on an external signal for time setting, right behind the +/- 1 second-a-year Citizen Eco-Drive One (sold out). There’s a new kid in town! The 60th Anniversary Caliber 9F85-drive Grand Seiko Heritage is another five-second watch, quietly proclaimed by a gold star above the 6 ‘o clock  index.

Grand Seiko SBGP007

Unlike the relatively pedestrian $1350 V.H.P., the $3800 Grand Seiko has, well, Grand Seiko-ness: the kind of attention to detail that Rolex wearers will never understand. Or receive. In this 40mm zaratsu case, you get a thin bezel, a more sharply creased bezel, a 20th anniversary texture and a red second hand. New watch alert! This model’s limited to 2500 pieces worldwide.

Blancpain Valentine's Day 2020

Blancpain Valentine’s Day 2020

We’ve already clued-you-in on the Best Valentine’s Day Watches Under $600. The Blancpain’s ode to love is a tad pricier, stickering at, uh, price-on-request. It’s gonna be a lot. Blancpain’s watches cost more than a week at the Wynn Las Vegas (don’t ask me how I know), and this is the legendary Swiss watchmaker’s first square movement (seen at the top of this post).

Blancpain Valentine's Day 2020 caseback

“Its rectangular white gold Art Deco style case is set with 84 diamonds, sometimes in superposed rows, including two generous marquise-cut gems; while its mother-of-pearl dial, inlaid with two hearts, is adorned with two brilliant-cut diamonds and two precious butterflies made of diamond and ruby hearts.” Just remember to get off your butt and check your pre-nup before responding to this particular new watch alert.

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