The great thing about the New Watch Alert: there’s always something new to contemplate. Great because the temporal torrent reminds me that watches are like cabs. If you miss one, another one will be along presently. I take solace in the fact that this endless procession of timepieces is the same as it ever was. And, despite the rise and rise of the Apple Watch, always will be. Let the games begin! I mean, continue . . .
Konstantin Chaykin’s Mouse King
Konstantin Chaykin’s “Mouse King” watch is like one of those joke T-shirts. After you get the joke . . . it’s still there. The rodent-themed watches is based on the Nutcracker’s Mouse King, aimed at China’s Year of the Rat watch celebrants.
Now that China’s luxury watch market is on hold, the Russian horologist may have some trouble unloading his $25k seven-piece limited edition collection. Then again, the 42mm titanium-cased cartoon creation – powered by an ultra-thin Vaucher 3002 calibre – isn’t on his website. Sold out? The cat’s got his tongue.
Bell & Ross BRV2-94 Aerovondale Bronze
Bell & Ross’s Aerovondale (far right) is the Junior Birdman member of their new vintage air, land and sea threesome. Most notably and noticeably, the Aerovondale is another B&R watch (not a dog breed) for the current horological bronze age. Oh wait. B&R fashioned the Aerovondale from CuAl7Si2 bronze – a”stabilized” alloy used for marine applications. No
soup faded patina for you!
While B&R’s pilots’ watch lacks the OMEGA Speedmaster Moonwatch‘s third subdial, it shares that watch’s thick minute and seconds hands. Legibility may be an issue, as well as the non-rotating bezel. (Fooled ya!) Your $5,200 buys you a French wristwatch equipped with le BR-CAL.301 movement. Or an IWC MKXVIII and lots of change.
IWC Portugieser Chronograph (In-House Caliber 69355)
New watch alert? Kinda. Design-wise, the new IWC Portugieser chronograph (above) is the exact same watch the Swiss brand launched in the 90’s. The only change: IWC fitted the jumbo timepiece (41mm) with their home-grown caliber 69355 movement, replacing modded Valjoux and Sellita engines.
If you’re a watch nerd, that’s excellent news – in-house calibers give watch flexers bragging rights (and a bill for OEM servicing). Everyone else will be delighted by the model’s precipitous price drop, from $12,100 to $7950 (as shown). Buying the old watch would be like comprar gato por lebre (buying a cat thinking it was a rabbit).
G-SHOCK DW-5610, DW-5610SU, DW-5610SUS (Coming Soon)
People who collect G-SHOCK watches are different from you and me (but not Jack Baruth). They’re into details which neophytes can’t see, never mind appreciate. Our new watch alert gives G-men (and women) a heads-up on the square brand’s new model line offering a layered, double-molded resin structure. Hence the two-tone look.
g-central.com reports that the new colorways were “inspired by military and service colors.” There’s no beige quite like government beige. If running that up the flagpole makes you want to salute it, the [currently JDM-only watches] make landfall in The Land of Free later this month. Or you can hit eBay and pick one up for about a buck sixty.
Yema Superman Heritage GMT Limited (pre-order)
I denied the Yema Navygraf Heritage a five-star rating by dint of its nasty bracelet clasp. Their new Superman Heritage GMT watches are affixed by the same stamped steel attachment, but you can get the most excellent French timepiece in your choice of 39mm or 41mm on a BCBG rubber strap.
The models with a Rolexian bi-colored bezel are sold out – which suits me fine. Imitation is the sincerest form of laziness. Basic black is the bomb. You can use the rotating bezel to keep track of three time zones. Or two, and the progress of your boiled egg. Yema’s horological caped crusade is kinda like a Tudor Black Bay with an ETA 2893-2 movement and a $1500 price tag. Vive la difference!
Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon AeroGMT II USA Edition (pre-order)
From a bargain basement Black Bay wanna be to a Rolex GMT-a-like, complete with Rollie’s legendary “Pepsi” color scheme. Within that ring the BEHAGMTIIUSA’s dial is almost as busy as its name, or the other funky AF watches in Ball’s Hydrocarbon line (check out the Moon Navigator). Never mind. When the light go down . . .
It’s a show stopper! Who doesn’t love a tritium tube-illuminated bezel on a 42mm 100m dive watch with three sets of numeric indices, a date window, a steel gate over the crown and a lyre at the end of the second hand? An enigmatic choice, but at least it’s expensive ($3,449.)
“The aim of the Piccard was to create a watch that had a distinct point of view.” That’s Spinnaker’s new watch alert: this isn’t your father’s pie pan OMEGA. Or any other watch your old man slipped under a shirt cuff. Not that you could follow suit – the Piccard is a 47mm around and 25mm tall. And get this (metaphorically): it’s another Rolex homage.
“The lens references the Rolex test watch that accompanied the Bathyscape Trieste to the extreme depths of the Mariana Trench.” While the Piccard’s 1000m water resistance is deeply impressive, it’s a full 9,984m short of the MT’s bottom. Props to Spinnaker for offering something so dopey for $950 (albeit equipped with an unspecified Swiss movement). Jean-Luc would be bemused.
Bravur BW003 Gold
Oris recently revealed their first-ever gold watch: the 43.5mm Carysfort. Meanwhile, a watchmaker from The Land of Ikea offers horophiles a golden opportunity to wear the precious metal in timepiece that’s smaller (39mm) and a LOT more subtle. The BW003 dress watch speaks for itself, so I’ll just wait here while you listen.
Another micro-brand repackaging a Sellita SW300-1 movement, you say? Yes but – any watchmaker who bothers to add snail and perlage decoration on that workhorse movement’s bridges, etch a “signature pattern” on its ditchwater dull rotor and call the result beautiful is paying attention to the details. Either that or trying to cope with seasonally adjusted depression.
Mr. Jones Watches Ascendant (limited edition)
Mr. Jones is an English concern pushing the boundaries of art and time-telling. In terms of art, “I designed this watch to be a hopeful visual invitation to look forward. Explore, discover, climb, travel: experience the world around you. Never look down, the only way is up and the journey is fulfilling.”
In terms of time telling, the hours are in the tree. The minutes are represented by groups of stars. A small gold star represents 5 minutes; a large gold star represents 10 minutes; a large silver star represents 30 minutes and the moon represents 0 minutes past. OK, then. The Chinese-made auto movement is majorly meh, but that’s besides the point. Right?
Swatch X 007 capsule
On February 20, Swatch is
exploiting celebrating the 428th film in the Bond Series by dropping six new collectible timepieces. Each plastic fantastic timepiece is based on one of the franchise’s iconic films. As sure as a Bond movie has some horrible pun, these will sell out.
I stopped caring about the fictional British spy when Roger Moore’s 007 whipped up a soufflé wearing an apron. So I can’t tell you which watch goes with which movie. The comment section awaits!
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Good lord, look at the crown on that Spinnaker! Who is that thing for?