There’s an enormous selection of watches available for your dining and dancing pleasure. Thousands. New watch alert! As the Coronageddon lockdown and recession continues, as smartwatch sales gather steam (14m sold during the first quarter, up 20 percent), there’s no question that some traditional watch brands are going to bite the dust. You wouldn’t know it from the number of trad watches flooding market, but there it is. And here they are . . .
Ball Roadmaster TMT – $1,949
“The Apple Watch is designed to work best in ambient temperatures between 32° to 95°F, and should be stored between ambient temperatures of -4° and 113°F,” Cupertino’s lawyers advise. Ha! The new Ball watch functions in more extreme temperatures and you don’t need cell phone coverage. Check it: the TMT’s thermometer operates between -31°F and 113°F with 99 percent accuracy. And beyond! Less accurately but anyway . . .
Who needs a 43mm tough-as-nails tool watch with a thermometer? Outdoorsmen and large-wristed outdoorswomen. If either wants the temp readout in Celsius, they’re stuck with the 40mm version. Not sure of the logic there, but take that Euro-weenies! Available on a pre-order discount, the TMT watch is on the ball – well, except for the date wart at the 1 o’clock.
Hublot’s new Golf Green Carbon is another shot across the bow of the smartwatch juggernaut. This big ass mechanical watch tees-up one useful “app” – keeping track of your golf score – and does it really well. If you’re thinking “why so freaking green?” you’ve never chased a ball with a WASP. Hideously bright colors are their “having fun golfing” clothing option.
I’m not sure the Golf Green variant will bring new sales to this model. Then again, after looking at the silver Unico Golf, I’m thinking go neon or go home. The 45mm timepiece is powered by Hublot’s HUB1580 automatic movement, boasting a 72-hour power reserve. The important question: how do you use the watch to cheat?
Timex Q Falcon Eye – $179
Although I’m loathe to give the oxygen of publicity to Chinese-made watches, I gotta say Timex’s design and marketing mavens have it goin’ on. The two-tone Q Falcon Eye is an excellent mod squad choice for re-issue. Unlike AP’s recent remake, the new Q is identical to its forebearer, complete with woven steel bracelet, battery hatch, luminescent paint, acrylic lens and a striated electric-blue dial.
Is there a market for a 38mm “diver inspired” watch that’s water resistant to 50mm? Sure! Can that watch be made in the United States and sold for $179 at a profit? No. (Two words: American Documents.) At least the Q admits its Chinese provenance on the caseback. And let’s face it: this one’s a gas – as its cartoonist illustrates perfectly.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra Thin -$60k and POR
When did buying a Royal Oak become like ordering at Starbucks? I’d like a Jumbo extra thin Royal Oak with a black onyx dial set with 11 brilliant-cut white diamonds and luminescent hands. Platinum or Rose Gold? Do you have any steel? Sorry, we’re permanently out-of-stock.
How is a 38mm Royal Oak considered Jumbo? Never mind. Flipping the watch over reveals a movement so flat and GD beautiful it deserves a case thinner than 8.1mm. I’m sure AP will sell all 70 of the POR platinum and more than a few $60k gold Royal Oaks. Stay new watch alert – you may see some plain Jane steel models hitting cash-strapped dealers soon . . .
Louis Moinet Spirit of Jules Verne LE – $29,826.18
The Spirit of Jules Verne isn’t new and it isn’t on Louis Moinet’s website, but it’s new to me and it’s newly discounted. You can buy this not-steampunk but not-not-steampunk watch on Chrono24 for $21,882. Just goes to show you . . . something. And this watch really IS something. A dreamy creation wandering on the border between fantasmagorical and a co-candidate for The Tacky Watch Hall of Fame.
The 46mm maniacal monopusher’s fashioned from grade 5 titanium. It’s powered by Concepto’s automatic calibre LM30, delivering a 42-hour power reserve. Louis’ mob ships the SoJV with an all-the-rage blue alligator strap, but there’s a quick release system should you want to swap it out for something more ethereal. Mega-props for the date supercool window.
MeisterSinger Urban Day-Date Edition 75 Jaar Vrijheid – $1166.20
The last thing I’d expect from a German watchmaker: a timepiece celebrating Bevrijdingsdag, the day Nazi occupation of the Netherlands ended. “In the last decades, the focus has shifted more towards freedom in general,” monochrome.com avers. Sure. The “day” display rotates between Vrijheid [freedom], Democratie [democracy], Je Maintiendrai [I shall maintain”], Privilege, Soevereiniteit [sovereignty], Onafhankelijkheid [independence] and Dankbaarheid [gratitude].
This is MeisterSinger’s first and only quartz watch. Ironically, it’s powered by a Japanese Miyota 8285. Even more ironically, MS is holding off delivery until 15 August – the day Japan surrendered to the Allies. I reckon it’s an interesting and relatively inexpensive collector’s piece. Is there a reason the 75 Jaar Vrijheid isn’t on MeisterSinger’s website?
“Use this wearable device to decipher Superman’s messages with his home planet Krypton.,” undone.com advises. “With a twist of the bezel, one can easily compose and decode secret messages written in Kryptonian–whether you’re out reporting about the end of the world or busy saving it!”
Undone’s homage to The Man of Steel sports a sandblasted + PVD coated gunmetal case (for the Kryptonian Battle Armor look) and a faux meteorite style dial. It runs on a Seiko NH35A automatic movement. New watch alert: if you buy this watch and you’re older than 12, sell those comic books, change your look and start dating.
That Superman stuff is juvenile. Grown-ups are Star Wars nerds. The kind who recognize a T-65B X-Wing and knows that the lines falling off the fighter’s wings represents the muck that surrounded Luke Skywalker’s ship when he raised it from the swamp using the Force. On the planet Dagobah. Watched by a wise old muppet.
The watch is a standard issue 42mm green dialed Citizen Eco-Drive blessed with an ion-plated grey stainless steel case and a Star Wars 40th anniversary engraving. Never needs a battery. Tough as the Millennium Falcon (Corellian YT-1300f light freighter). Tells the time. Sold out.
Speake Marin One&Two Openworked Flying Tourbillon – $56,650.22
There it is: the world’s only tourbillon watch with the flying gizmo positioned at the 1:30 position. Is it the only watch with a hand shaped like the Ace of Spades? Not sure I care. The One&Two is the one for people like me who lust after an open worked watch that’s legible, entrancing and minimalist.
The SM’s “new” generation Piccadilly titanium case has a black micro-blasted mat finish and black plated bridge flanks. The SMA05 Calibre engine within is a technological wonder: a micro-rotor-actuated self-winding movement with a 60 second Flying Tourbillon. If ever there was a $60k skeletonized watch that looks like it’s worth the freight, this is it.
SWATCH BLACKINJELLY and WHITEINJELLY – $110
Our look at the SWATCH Big Bold Jellyfish proved popular with web surfers. Thank God the model wasn’t a Portuguese man o’ war. I’m going to assume the new ALL CAPS MODELS are equally non-poisonous, but that black one has a distinctly arachnidan look to it. Not that spiders are dangerous per se, but still.
The BIG INDICES on the BIG WATCH (47mm) obscure the quartz movement, invalidating the model family’s raison d’être. NEW WATCH ALERT! Despite the unavoidable plasticity of the BLACKINJELLEY and its politically incorrect twin, water resistance is listed as “water resistance.” They can withstand OCD COVID-19 hand washing and a Clorox wipe down. So there is that.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Quantième 41mm – $10,039.02
According to the usual suspects, the new Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde’s 41mm case size is the big news. Either that or the new red gold cases with grand feu enamel dials. As the French say, pah! New watch alert: it’s the new grey/blue color combo that takes the GSQ to another level. Take a closer look.
That be a grey sandblasted titanium dial with blued steel hands and 18-karat white gold indices. The hands are motivated by Jaquet Droz’s magnificent 2660Q2 movement, a silver treasure displayed under the exhibition caseback. I guess you could say I like it.
One of these things is not like the others. If your eyes aren’t immediately drawn to the 42mm watch on the right you’re not my friend and you can’t come to my party. The Mystery Skeleton is Cartier’s Fine Watchmaking Collection at its best: striking, classical and technically advanced.
The mystery: how the manual caliber 9983 MC movement moves the hands. The answer: they sit on discs driven by teeth hidden in the chapter ring. The other mystery: how much? If you have to ask, you can’t afford it. If you can, do and let us know. Meanwhile, it’s safe to say Cartier will survive Coronageddon. New watch alert! The best always do.