New watch alert! The Swiss watch industry is in deep denial about the state of the world economy and the rise of the smartwatch. Given the number of new watches hitting the market, you’d be forgiven for adopting the same What Me Worry? attitude. Don’t. The wristwatch’s second golden age is coming to an end. Enjoy the variety while you can . . .
Santos de Cartier ADLC – $7650
The Santos was the first ever pilot’s watch. By Cartier’s own admission the original “inspired countless reinterpretations.” The new ADLC celebrates the Alberta Distance Learning Center. JK. The Cartier watch’s amorphous diamond-like carbon case is as tough as it sounds and fingerprint-proof besides. There’s a Quick-Switch black leather strap, but the all-steel look is da bomb.
The 39.8mm ADLC is powered by Cartier’s in-house caliber 1847 MC. The movement debuted in 2015, upgraded with a soft iron “cage” and nickel phosphorus escapement components to resist magnetism. It beats at a smooth-sweeping 28800 vph with a 42-hour power reserve. If you want a mucho macho Santos, the ADLC is just the ticket.
Wempe Iron Walker Automatic Diver – $2,050
Wempe is a retailer. No doubt their sales data indicated a gap in the market for a reasonably priced “luxury” steel sports watch with an integrated steel bracelet. Sixteen of them, in fact, including a cheaper quartz option. The white faced 40mm auto is the pick of the litter. Its screw-down caseback is dopey, but the classically-styled watch is good to tend bar. I mean water resistant to 10 BAR.
The Iron Walker AD’s motivated by the slim ETA 2892-A movement, enabling a case height of just 9.75 mm. The engine qualifies as an “officially tested chronometer,” with a 50-hour power reserve. It’s an elegant look at an excellent price. New watch alert: the IWAD’s desirability depends on the bracelet’s quality. It’s made by Glashütte, so there is that.
Deitrich Perception – $26k
There’s something you don’t see every day. And if you order a Deitrich Perception, you won’t see it for seven months. Worth the wait? Worth the freight? aBlogtoWatch says “Give[n] the smaller size of the hour window, the time isn’t super-legible, but it is clear, assuming your eyesight is sharp enough.” In other words, it’s more-or-less illegible.
I wonder how long it would take Deitrich to service the watch. Meanwhile, let it be known that the hour complication runs 24 hours and Deitrich describe the seconds hand as “relative.” My relatives would wonder about my sanity if I bought this watch, but it does have an in-house movement. Obviously. Perceptibly? That too.
TRIWA’s Time for Oceans – $129
TRIWA stands for Transforming the Industry of Watches. The Stockholm-based watchmaker is as PC as you wanna be. (If you’re pro-2A you might want to give them a miss.) New watch alert! The Time for Oceans watch and strap are made from ocean-dumped recycled plastic.
In case you missed it, “This [100 meters water resistant] watch is made for the ocean lovers, from the ocean, for the ocean.” Not made for you then. I reckon the new watch alert amongst us can still buy the 37mm Miyota-driven timepiece and enjoy the dial’s three dimensional waves and Jumbotron indices. Also available in Seaweed. The color, not the plant.
Parmigiani Tonda Tondagraphe LE – $199k
Expensive much? Then you get a lot for your money. The 43mm Tondagraphe has a slim tourbillon, a chronograph (counter at the 3 o’clock), small seconds (subdial at the 9 o’clock) and a power reserve indicator (at the top of the dial). The skeletonized hands give you a 50 – 50 shot of telling the time at a glance.
The Tondagraph runs on Parmigiani’s PF354 Rube Goldbergian manual wind caliber with a 65 hour power reserve. I reckon this is one of those watches best worn upside down – unless you like watching the world’s most useless complication at work. Parmigiana’s paired the TG with a Hermès Havana alligator strap with rose gold pin buckle. Of course.
REC 910 RWB Rotana LE – $1795
“The 901 RWB ROTANA contains a piece of metal from the RWB Rotana Porsche – the personal and extreme race car of Mr. Akira Nakai – founder of RWB.” Which I had to post below – thank you speedhunters.com. If you like that wing, you’ll like the busy-as-a-buzzy-bee 44mm REC. If not, not.
wreck REC runs on a Miyota CAL. 9100 movement, delivering a measly -10 ~ +30 seconds per day accuracy. Just so you know, Porsche Design is back to making their own super-sleek albeit expensive watches. Not to repeat myself, this ain’t that.
Delma Cayman World Timer – $2190
Thank God for Nouméa. If the tiny Pacific island didn’t exist there’d be an gap in the Delma Cayman World Timer’s bezel. As it is, there’s a $1090 gap between the base retro Cayman dive watch and its “add a couple of complications” sequel. An extra grand buys you a 24-hour GMT hand and ye olde world timer bezel. You can pony up another $100 for a more aquatic Milanese-style steel bracelet.
An ETA 2893 with a Delma custom rotor struts its stuff beneath a transparent caseback. As the company doesn’t deem the caseback worthy of your consideration, here’s a picture of the empty presentation box. And as ETA no longer sells the 2893 outside the Swatch Group, consider it the horological equivalent of the last of the V8 Interceptors.
Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph Titanium – $3600
The German-built Tutima M2 is Crusaders-level funky. Rubberized pushers activate a 60-second counter, a 60-minute counter, a 12-hour counter and sweep second and minute counters. The 24-hour display doesn’t forget the date, either. Tutima’s new automatic calibre 310 (base ETA/Valjoux 7750) makes all that happen.
The movement nestles inside a soft iron cage to protect against magnetic interference. The silky smooth pearl-blasted titanium case and bracelet are a not-so-weighty choice for a 46mm watch. New watch alert: Russian hackers deleted the caseback photo of a NATO star . Apparently.
Jacob & Co. Scarface Opera – $360k
The only thing tackier than a Jacob & Co. “Grand Complication Masterpiece” is a velvet Elvis. In fact, I’m surprised J&Co haven’t made a horological tribute to The King. Yet. Meanwhile, I get the music box on the Godfather watch – great tune – but wouldn’t the sound of a full auto Colt AR-15 been the perfect choice here? The Bolivia Theme? Puh-lease. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.
Fortis Aeromaster PC-7 Team Edition Chronograph LE – $4674
If you need a laugh head over to ablogtowatch.com and read Ariel Adams trying to give this brute a good review. “The Aeromaster is not perfect, but it does have a lot of personality.” Sounds like thinly disguised fat shaming to me. Well, she is a full-figured girl: 42mm in diameter and a hair under 17mm thick.
That said, the Fortis PC-7 has to carry nine Swiss aerobatic planes on its otherwise unmarked subdial. And we can take comfort in the website’s bizarre disclaimer: “unless your wrist stayed the same since you were 10 years old, you’ll be just fine with rocking a 47mm watch.” If that’s not strange enough, the PR pic is set to Friday the 13th. What’s that all about?
Krayon Anywhere – $120,340
Hey Krayon! Make a quartz version of the Anywhere. I’m smitten with the 39mm watch’s stunning minimalist design – and around $100k short. I don’t care that the sunrise/sunset times are set to a one specific, customer-specified geographic location. Or that it’s not a perpetual calendar. Or that the sun doesn’t turn into a moon at night. It’s beautiful.
The caseback, not so much. Call me excessively new watch alert – and I totally appreciate the mad skillz needed to make this 432-component caliber do its thing – but it looks like some horrible undersea creature blowing bubbles as it’s about to be eviscerated by a circular saw. Either that or I picked the wrong week to quit smoking.
Veldt LUXTURE AARDE – $650
At first I thought this “smartwatch” was a dumb idea: a smartphone that flashes various lights for different smartphone alerts. And when I read that the you-light-up-my-life watch includes a Climate Action Reminder, I thought it dumb and dumber. But get this: it’s got a sunrise/sunset setting that adjusts the light along the rehaut. How Krayon Anywhere is that?
It also offers a surf notification with an ocean blue light cascading up and down the AARDE’s outer edge, matching the size of the swell. (Assuming it works.) You can also create your own light show with Veldt’s app. I’m thinking a new watch alert alert. Brave new smartwatch world indeed.
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I love the look of Krayon Anywhere but the price tag is way way way beyond my paygrade. It has indeed a minimalistic design and a vintage aesthetic and I love vintage wrist watches.
As I said, we need a quartz version!