New Watch Alert: 5/1/2020

New watch alert! Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept

“As serviceable as they are beautiful.” When was that a selling point? For watches I mean. New watch alert! SWATCH’s Sistem51 automatics are sealed – they can’t be serviced. I wonder if anyone could service a Bulova American Clipper. At $425 list, I’m thinking there’s no point. None of this week’s new watches are as disposable, but all require disposable income. Hide your plastic and let’s get stuck in . . .

New watch alert! Kurono Chronograph 1

Kurono Chronograph 1 LE – $3,680

For its new 38mm bi-compax stopwatch, Kurono turned to Japanese watch designer Hajime Asaoka. I’m not a fan of anyone whose website assaults my eyes with white text on a black background. But the guy did hand build Japan’s first tourbillon. So there is that.

Seiko NE86 caliber

And there’s this: a chrono with polished steel studs (the perfect name for a male stripper), a pinstripe dial and a high-polished subhand in the shape of a Japanese kyudo arrow. The KC1’s powered by Seiko’s smooth-pushing column-wheel chronograph caliber NE86 – the same 34-jewel movement found in the retro-tastic $1500 Yema Speedygraf. Just sayin’.

New watch alert - Sinn U50 dive watch

Sinn U50 S – $2810

Before now, Sinn’s submarine steel watches clocked in at a Paneristi-pleasing 44mm. The German watchmaker’s new U50 S walks it down to a less mucho macho 41mm. Three large buys you the same surgical implant-quality tegimented submarine steel case and bezel and slightly less dive capability (pressure-resistant to 500m vs. 1000m) in a smaller, lighter package (2.61 ounces).

Sinn U50 caseback

The rubber strap U50’s are the ones to have – the steel bracelet model looks like it has a dust ruffle. A relatively slim, thoroughly reliable and accurate enough Selita SW300-1 motivates all three. As with most new watches marketed in the midst of Coronageddon, expect a months-out delivery. Our experience of Sinn’s U.S. distributor watchbuys.com has been nothing but positive (no commission on link).

new watch alert - SWATCH #IAMWONDERMOM

SWATCH #IAMWONDERMOM – $90

Mother’s Day falls on Sunday, May 10. Order this not-so-subtle SWATCH by May 3 and you’ll have it in time for the breakfast-in-bed-what’s-this? routine. I know: it’s tacky. #momsaremawkish. But the kids will love, love, LOVE giving it to She Who Must Be Obeyed.

New watch alert - SWATCH #IAMWONDERMOM presentation box

New watch alert bonus! The young ‘uns will force Mom to wear the SWATCH, saving you (or her) from buying an[other] daily wear timepiece. All you need to know about the horological bonbon: it’s a plastic-fantastic Mom-friendly 34mm SWATCH that comes with a pair of bright AF socks and tocks loudly enough to calm a sleeping puppy. Awww puppies! Cute! 

Doxa SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Sharkhunter LE

Doxa SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Sharkhunter LE – $4790

That’s a lot of money for a Doxa SUB, especially when a garden variety steel SUB 300 in original orange lists at $1890. “Forged carbon gives the SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers an urban camouflage vibe. The ultra-lightweight high-tech material of the case and dial has a matte, raw look and feel that accentuates a sense of vibrant energy and toughness of purpose.”

Doxa SUB 300 Carbon Aqua Lung US Divers Sharkhunter LE caseback

Urban camo. Dive tanks on the dial. Gotcha. Anyway, the 42.5mm Doxa dive watch comes complete with a movement-protecting pressure-resistant titanium chamber, good to 300m. Orange you glad it holsters a chronometer-certified ETA 2824. As for the four chapter rings (including the rotating bezel), I would have preferred one ring to rule them all.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD -$3,990

Bell & Ross made a great landing at the wrong airport with their not-a-Nautilus BR 05. New watch alert! The French brand goes back to flight school with their stepped dial 03-92 HUD. Not Housing and Urban Development. Heads-Up Display. I reckon this one’s a hit – even though you have to look at your wrist to tell the time.

Bell & Ross BR 03-92 HUD lume shot

Props (afterburners?) to B&R for that glorious logo-inclusive lume. The BR 03-92 HUD is powered by a Honeywell APU. Just kidding. It’s the ubiquitous BR-CAL.302 (base Sellita SW 300-1). Nestled in its 42mm in ceramic case, the movement’s water-resistant to 100m, shockproof and anti-magnetic. The BR 03-92 HUD is a bit pricey, but at least the screws are aligned.

New watch alert! Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic 10547

Baume & Mercier Clifton Baumatic 10547 – $12,200

In their new watch alert, the perpetually Pollyanna IW Magazine reckons the new B&M is a “great value.” Yes, well, you can buy a new-in-box $4,450 limited edition Clifton Club Shelby Cobra 10342 for $1995.) The latest B&M candidate for massive depreciation: the 10547, an 18k pink gold moonphase day date timekeeper attached to a blue alligator strap (how cold was that ‘gator?).

Baumatic BM14-1975A C2 caseback

Duelling moons aside, the in-house Baumatic BM14-1975A C2 is the star of the show. Richemont’s ValFleurier blessed Baume with a movement featuring a two-layer silicon TwinSpir balance spring and a silicon Powerscape escapement. Et voilà! Five-day power reserve and five-year service interval. Now how much would you pay?

Cartier Pasha gold

Cartier Pasha de Cartier Skeleton – $25,300 

According to Cartier, their re-re-born Pasha collection is “classic yet contemporary and remains as edgy as ever” – covering every possibility. (I’m guessing the date window hanging on by its fingernails is the edgy bit.) The new new Pasha strikes me as the Zooey Deschanel of watches. I can’t decide if its sexy, kooky, both or neither. Saying that . . .

Cartier Pasha skeleton

The skeletonized Pasha’s got some major whaaaaat? goin’ on – and I mean that in a good way. Clock those numbers acting as the bridges. The white gold timepiece’s self-winding Caliber 1847 MC has a 40-hour power reserve and enough anti-magnetic stuff to withstand an MRI. Regardless, this baby scans!

New watch alert! Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept

Piaget Altiplano Ultimate Concept – $424,228.64

It’s only a matter of time before someone uses nanotechnology to build a mechanical watch thinner than a human hair. Our New Watch Alert will be there! Meanwhile, Piaget offers the stupidly rich this insanely thin Altiplano Ultimate Concept. It’s 2mm – .05mm thicker than a nickel – with a claimed 10k possible customer-ordered permutations. Operators standing by.

Piaget Antiplano Concept side

Creating the watch required five patents – well, Piaget’s lawyers did – and a whole new way of screwing a watch together. Actually, glueing. Ball bearings play a big – I mean a small part of their engineering tour de force. The main downside: you need a small winding tool to make it run. Hint: the butler did it.

Panerai Mike Horn

Officine Panerai Submersible EcoPangaea Tourbillon GMT – 50mm Mike Horn Edition – $189k

Before walking to the North Pole, “extreme adventurer” Mike Horn studied Human Movement Science at Stellenbosch University. So it’s weird that our man Mike put his name to a 50mm dive watch housing a tourbillon – a relatively fragile watch that’s been linked to tennis elbow. Something to do with money? $190k buys you a trip to the North Pole with Mr Horn – Panerai throws the watch in for free.

Panerai lume

Also strange: Mr. Horn’s North Pole props have a lot to do with the fact that he strolled to the Pole in the dark. So why did the Bear Grylls wannabe put his name to a watch with such feeble lume? Something to do with money? Panerai saved some green by building the MHE’s case out of “recycled material” from Horn’s sailing boat. How great is that?

New watch alert! Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire dial

Christopher Ward C60 Sapphire – $920

What is a micro-brand really? A company that designs a watch, has someone build it for relative peanuts and then markets the f out of it. Christopher Ward does it better than most, as the new C60 Sapphire proves. Well, its video – their “first ever TV ad” – does.

Credit where credit’s due: a sapphire dial is a neat idea. More to my style than, say, the “supercar on your wrist” sapphire-cased Aventi or the oft jarring skeletonized watches that are all the rage. “Come for the looks: stay for the build quality and peerless accuracy.” These guys know who they are, although calling the Sellita SW200-1 “peerless” is a bit of a stretch, mate.

Casio DW5600NASA20

Casio G-Shock DW5600 NASA Limited Edition – $130

At first I thought this was a really dull watch, suitable only for space nerds longing for the days when similarly afflicted baby boomers snorted TANG. Then I read HoDinkee’s scholarly analysis of the origins of NASA’s “worm logo,” woke-up refreshed and thought the DW5600 is cool – in an arched eyebrow post-modern skinny jeans ironic kinda way. And then I saw this . . .

I love a good parody as much as the next guy. This humorless rip-off of Stanley Kubrick’s legendary opening sequence to 2001 A Space Odyssey is just plain lazy. Besides, white watches went out with The Tiger King. Although I have seen totally tanned wealthy white guys wearing white patent leather shoes in Florida for the last thirty years. Now there’s something that deserves a takeoff.

New watch alert! A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater – $491,354.80

You may have noticed I’ve been focusing on prices more than usual in our May Day! May Day! New Watch Alert. Something to do with personal circumstances? Perhaps. But sometimes a watch’s price tag draws attention to itself, forcing me to comment. As it does here, as I declare f*ck me! Half-a-million dollars? For a watch that’s one of thirty? Don’t get me wrong . . .

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater caseback

ALS deserves its $14,740,644 payday for creating such a handsome if slightly dour Germanic beast. The Zeitwerk is also a towering technical achievement, what with synchronized swimmers jumping seconds and minute counters, internal gongs and such. But it begs a critical question: what’s it cost to service this thing?

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