The Swatch group spent a good part of this week shuffling execs. Certina, Hamilton, Longines, Rado, Tissot and Union all got new CEO’s. After reading Retro Watches – The Industry’s Last Gasp? you might be tempted to trot out the old “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic” metaphor. I’m too busy trying to keep up with the new watch alert tsunami. Let’s get wet! . . .
Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 LE – $5200
Oris’ Hölstein Edition has no tangible connection to the piebald four-legged milk machine that made the name Hölstein famous. It’s a dive watch – from a landlocked country. The world’s first watch on a bronze bracelet. With a Teddy Bear engraved on the caseback. Weird enough? If not, check out the music video by Oris x James Gruntz: From Hölstein, with love.
I wonder what that bracelet will look like when it gets its patina on. It’ll be a 43mm watch Jim, but not as we know it. The Hölstein’s self-winding Oris 771 movement (base SW 510) should still be humming away at 28’800 A/h. Assuming you don’t waterski like the lady in the video above – the Oris is only water resistant to 10 bar. Don’t have a cow man! It’s a statement piece, recht?
Patek Philippe Calatrava – $28,351
You may recall that Patek Philippe decided to pull in its proverbial horns during Coronageddon, postponing any new watch alert until 2021. Last month they changed their mind. This brash gray-blue checkerboard model – the only Calatrava with guilloché – celebrates the opening of their authorized dealers and their new $600m production facilities. And how . . .
Yes, that’s a sticker on the back of a Patek Philippe, obscuring the caliber 324 S C movement and the gold rotor. How jejeune. How déclassé. How Breitling Norton. #patekaholics will know if this is the first Patek to induce [this new kind of] sticker shock. Let’s just hope it’s the last.
Urwerk UR-210 Final Edition – $143,907
“Let me tell you about the very rich,” F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in The Rich Boy. “They are different from you and me.” True story! They may someday hear the words, “Sorry old Bean! I prefer my UR-210 CP.” Well the steel and titanium matte black DLC-coated Final Edition’s case on a black alligator strap does seem a bit blah in comparison.
Then again, maybe that’s because I’m red – green color blind (I can’t see fluorescence). The Final Edition is the last variation of a watch famous for its movement’s typewriter-style second hand/pointer. And a patented “winding efficiency indicator” that “calculates the difference between energy consumed and energy created over the last two hours.” If only it could do the same for wealthy owners’ money.
How ironic is that? Hamilton is putting out a new watch alert for a timepiece tied to a movie about reversing time before the movie’s released. It’s the same deal as the Murph – a big ass movie prop watch (46mm) in a limited number of special boxes before general release. Only this time “limited” means a palindromic 888 pieces of both the red and blue second hand versions.
The Tenet on sale is the exact same 1,000m helium escape valve dive watch as the standard Hamilton Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO, save the aforementioned colored second hand. Driven by the same self-winding Hamilton H-10 mechanical movement motivating dozens of their other timepieces. It’s a shame Hamilton couldn’t incorporate the special doo-hickeys of the movie watch. Back to future eh?
Panerai Luminor Marina PAM01314 – $7700
The 70th Anniversary Panerai PAM01314 isn’t on their website yet. There’s not a lot we know. There’s not a lot we need to know. It’s a 44m Panerai Luminor.
The unique selling point: it’s the Swiss brand’s first white sandwich dial. The first Panerai with gray indices that light up green at night. There’s a blue dial version (PAM01313) on a blue alligator strap with white Super-LuminNova that glows green in the dark. Just so you know, dealers are dealin’.
Back in the day, I reviewed cars and boats for The Robb Report (fired for taking a Porsche Cayenne off-road). If ever there was a watch that appeals to RR’s nouveau riche petrolhead readers, this is it. Twin turbos? Twin tourbillons! Bugatti bodywork? Forged carbon and black titanium case! Here’s the other “bad ass” bits courtesy Victoria Gemelsky’s new watch alert . . .
It’s a decimal repeater, “chiming the number of 10-minute intervals after the last hour followed by the minutes.”. A “monopusher chronograph with a ‘reference time’ indicator showing the difference in seconds in comparison to a reference time—an homage to the pit boards in motor racing.” Ugly, needlessly overcomplicated and hideously expensive, as The Robb Report would never say.
It’s hard to believe but you could buy 15 of these 7137’s for the price of the Jacob & Co. watch. That’s slightly less than six of each six variations. Or you could buy the new-for-2020 blue dial Breguet and a small house. Not that anyone’s going to make that calculation. Me, I’m thinking that the power reserve indicator makes this watch best for well-heeled Freemasons.
Still, there’s no faulting Breguet’s quality, both of the new guilloché patterns and the watchmaker’s 502.3 DR1 self-winding movement. In case you didn’t know, the dial’s based on the Breguet 1794 Perpetuelle N°5 pocket watch, the replica of which was offered for sale in 2016 at $1.9m. So there is that.
Bell & Ross BR 05 Black Steel & Gold – $10,900
New watch alert readers will know we weren’t blown away by Bell & Ross’ move into the steel luxury sports watch arena. We called it a bad copy of both the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus. The new satin-polished black steel and 18k gold model adds a welcome touch of bling to the thing. A watch whose brick shit house construction extends to its beautifully made steel bracelet (leave the rubber version for fetishists).
As long as I’m praising it, 40mm is the right size and Bell & Ross’ calibre BR-CAL.321 is a time tested workhorse. The watch is also water resistant to 100m for wearers looking to go twisting by the pool. The applied numbers lume AF and the caseback’s symmetry have their own appeal. In short, this one not the others, but not necessarily any.
Casio G-SHOCK GM6900G-9 – $230
In 1995, Casio released ye olde DW6900. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Casio’s gone full metal jacket. Yes metal, not plastic. Even so, fake gold always looks cheap. And this is, at $230. G-SHOCK assures us that the GM6900G-9 “fits both high-elegance luxury fashions and modern street fashions.” Translation: it’s ideal for cash-strapped poseurs who don’t know the meaning of the word ostentatious.
That said, the GM6900G-9 retains all the virtues of the DW6900: legibility, utility, submersibility (200m) and indestructibility. And who doesn’t need a stopwatch with 1/100-second stopwatch capability (for the first 60 minutes)? It might have collectibility as well. The good news: you don’t have to wear it to own it.
Issey Miyake ROKU – $330 – $380 (silver)
Like designers stretching back to Pierre Cardin, Japanese fashion superstar Issey Miyake puts his name on a huge range of products. His new ROKU watch is a collaboration with vowel-deficient German industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, who reveals that “the ROKU draws upon the correlation between two geometries: a hexagon and a circle.” Atsächlich?
“Two strong shapes in harmony with each other while keeping certain tension between them. Just like the notion of time: the continuous passing of time on the one hand, the punctuation of certain events on the other.” Yes, well, new watch alert! The ROKU is an analogue Seiko quartz, suitably sized for his female followers (39.7mm x 41.7mm, thickness: 8.9 mm). Not a smartwatch, but a smart watch dahling.
KLOKERS KLOK 01 – $639
Recognize the design inspiration? Hint: it’s the same diabolical device that informs the indecipherable Breitling Navitimer. “The adventure begins in 1630,” KLOKERS’ website reveals, “with the invention of the circular slide rule.” I’m thinking the design choice accounted for the brands’ disappearance. And now they’re back causing shudders among arithmophobics.
The limited edition version is a 44mm stainless steel behemoth with a magnifying glass over the central readout and an anthracite dial, sitting on on a 22mm grey Alcantara strap. But not forever! The Rhonda quartz-powered timepiece detaches from its patented strap release button (at the 8 o’clock) to become . . . a pocket watch! Best place for it?
TAG Heuer makes watches. Hiroshi Fujiwara’s Fragment Design makes streetwear. And I wish I’d been in the room when Mr. Fujiwara convinced TAG’s suits to put his logo above theirs. Which totally unbalances what could have have been a minimalist masterpiece.
The watch’s flip side isn’t this week’s worst example of caseback stickeritis (Patek Philippe scoops those honors), but I wonder which three-D glasses maker stepped up. The fine-polished and brushed five-row steel bracelet is sexy AF and the in-house Heuer 02 automatic column-wheel chronograph movement is a superstar. But this one is less likely to date well than your humble correspondent. Know what I mean?
Dietrich TC Pure LE – $2k
“aBlogtoWatch and Dietrich have a commercial relationship regarding the sale of TC Pure watches. Sales of Dietrich TC Pure watches will lead to some revenue-sharing for aBlogtoWatch, an important piece of information transparency the audience is entitled to.” If you thought that was long-winded, check out the “sponsored post.”
I’m not entirely captivated by this six-sided design but I’m not put off by it either. It looks like one of those watches you have to see in the flesh to appreciate. But I don’t appreciate so-called journalists jumping into bed with watchmakers to make a buck. But I do like keeping you new watch alert. Until next week . . .