New Watch Alert: 8/28/2020

Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series – $1000

New watch alert! Seiko Presage Sharp Edge series

New watch alert! Seiko’s moving up in the world – away from the smartwatches eating their lunch at the bottom of the market. To that end, the Japanese watchmaker’s pumping up the volume on their Presage line. The Sharp Edged Series ditches the [non-diving] watches’ stubby lugs and meh cases for a  case design that looks very Grand Seiko . . .

Seiko Sharp Edged Series brown

The new Presages sport a waffle dial. (Dude! It’s a “hemp leaf” pattern!) There are three colors – metallic cobalt blue, iridescent white and verdant green – a choice of a leather strap or steel bracelet, and a gold case option. It’s powered by Seiko’s 6R35 automatic movement, beating at 21,600 bph, delivering a 70-hour power reserve. If you like the look and can’t swing the extra grand-and-a-half for the GS, save up for it anyway.

Ulysse Nardin Blast – $54,000

Ulysse Nardin Blast - new watch alert

“New technological prowess made with rock-star and edgy lines,” Ulysse Nardin’s webpage blasts, missing the obvious irony of promoting rock-star lines. The Blast is “for Explorers above and beyond the pale.” I don’t think that expression means what they want it to mean. Anyway, X marks the spot for UN’s first skeletonized automatic tourbillon. I was wondering when they’d get around to it . . .

“This atomic bomb of a watch is powered by the recently fashioned UN-172 movement and have a three-day power reserve.” Props for UN’s metaphorical firepower (if not their grammar). And this is a 45mm watch with a tourbillon, aerodynamic horns and a self-deploying buckle that’s “like a couple sharing a dynamic and erotic tango dance.” New watch alert! Too late! BOOM!

Sternglas Chrono – $315

Sternglas Chrono

From the ridiculous to the sublime: a black-on-black bi-compax chrono, from bauhaus to your haus. Condescendingly enough, HoDinkee’s Rob Nudds calls the Chrono “a value proposition for the neophyte collector.” Correction: you don’t have to be a newbie to appreciate the 43mm Chrono’s minimalist beauty, legibility and utility – priapic pushers and all.

Sternglas Chrono caseback

As you can guess from the price, it holsters a quartz movement: the Miyota 0S21. The accuracy’s more-than-merely-adequate  (+/-20 seconds per month), there’s lume in them thar indices and the date window’s done right. New watch alert! The Chrono doesn’t like water (5ATM); hand washing good, swimming pools bad. An everyday everywhere timepiece (interchangeable straps) that’s as light on the wrist (2.2 ounces) as it is on the wallet.

Traser P67 SuperSub T100 – $650

New watch alert - Traser P67 SuperSub T100

If you want a good quality, value priced dive watch for swimming in Maine’s shark-infested waters, buy a Seiko Prospex. If you want a dive watch for Nessie hunting, the Traser is your huckleberry. It’s not ISO-rated for scuba, but the little 500m on the dial is a Prospex-killer. As is the SuperSub’s ceramic bezel and helium escape valve (#freethehelium). And the fact that it’s not a Seiko.

SuperSub lume

Kill the lights and the P67 SuperSub T100’s tritium tubes light up like a labrador retriever catching first sight of a tennis ball. Unlike Ball watches’ tritium tubes – arranged like matchsticks to form numbers – the Traser’s tubes are buried in the indices. BIG INDICES. On a big watch: 46mm. It’s available on steel, but the rubber strapped variant is the real steal.

Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert Solo – $1195

Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert Solo

The Swiss need an answer to the Apple Watch, which now accounts for half of all the watches worn in the United States. Tissot’s T-Touch is yet another ana-digi hybrid trying to claw back sales from Cupertino’s mavens. “Powered by solar energy with 20 features including weather forecasting, altimeter, second time zone and a compass it is the perfect travel companion.” Hello? Who’s traveling these days?

New watch alert - Tissot T-Touch Solar Expert functions

The T-Touch still needs recharging if you use its most energy-intensive functions in a closet – none of which include heart rate monitoring, social media alerts or sleep tracking. On the positive side, Tissot is promising software updates, the titanium behemoth (45mm) is light, the bezel is ceramic and the watch is swimmable. But it’s not cheap. Wrong answer.

Maurice LaCroix Pontos Chrono LE  – $4600

Maurice LaCroix Pontos Chrono

New watch alert! Geneva Watch Days saw a flurry of new models, including this black stopwatch. While I do love me some monopusher, especially in a bi-compax format, the decision to put a never-used blue tachymeter and red telemeter scale in the middle of the gray-to-black dial watch is a curious one. In other words, huh.

“Nothing about the PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher is truly classic,” ML avers. At 41mm, they ain’t just whistling Dixie. The Pontos is motivated by their ML166 caliber (Sellita SW-500 base), with a 58-hour power reserve. The oscillating weight (rotor to you and me) is sunray-brushed with Côtes de Genève, visible through a transparent caseback (pic not available). It’s a move away from the Pontos line’s vintage vibe, and a lot more expensive. So there is that.

Longines Heritage Military Marine Nationale – $2150

Longines Heritage Military Marine National - new watch alert

Do the liver spots on Longines’ new watch fool anyone into thinking the Military is a vintage piece? Upsized from the original’s 33.5mm to a still diminutive 38.5mm, it’s still small and minimalist enough to convince the uninitiated that the watch is a blast from the past. Is that important? As ablogtowatch.com points out (in their own sycophantic way), the watch has another issue: it’s Marine by name, not by nature.

Longines on wrist

“In the modern world of 100 meter rated dress watches . . . the 30 meters of water resistance for the Heritage Military Marine Nationale feels more than a touch underwhelming.” Blame parent Swatch’s boffins; they made the hydro-averse Longines L888.5 movement. Which offers a 64 hour power reserve, chugging along at a 25,200 bph. The strap goes with anything, as long as it’s a brown leather jacket.

Bvlgari Aluminum – $2,950

Bvlgari Aluminum - new watch alert

Beautiful watch! Wonderful design, innovative materials, proper automatic movement. Lousy idea. Don’t get me wrong: Bvlgari will sell as many of these $3k timepieces as they can make. Millennials will be drawn to the watch like Swatch collectors to Keith Haring models. And the Aluminum Bvgaris will erode the unattainability factor that maintains the brand’s magnificent margins. Again.

Pair of Bvlgari Aluminum watches

Bvlgari sold this watch twenty years ago. You can pick up a brand new  “vintage” 38mm Bvlgari aluminum for $1200. The improvements to the original – better metal and rubber and perfect size (41mm) – make it worth leveling-up to the new old watch. But again, does the buyer of an $14k Octo Finissimo want to see “his” brand on the wrist of a 20-something sociology major? We report, you decide.

OMEGA Seamaster Diver 300M Nekton Edition – $5,850

OMEGA Nektor - new watch alert

You could buy this watch to aid OMEGA’s [unspecified] contribution to Nekton, a UK charity dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans and the creatures within. If not that, it’s all about the bass bezel. Fashioned from Grade-5 titanium, it’s Georges St. Pierre tough, laughs at seawater and withstands temperatures up to an oops-I-dropped-into-the-pasta-water 800°F.

OMEGA bezel

Behold! A sandblasted-style silver bezel with a laser-ablated diving scale in positive relief. Other than the passenger-less underwater-thingy engraved on the caseback, it’s the current gen 42mm OMEGA Diver 300M you know and love: water resistant to 300m, chronometer certified, anti-magnetic, screw-down crown and an ever-so-useful helium escape valve. Some might say the bezel overwhelms the design but I couldn’t possibly comment.

Czapek & Cie Place Vendôme Tourbillon: Dark Matter – $100k

Czapek & Cie Dark Matter

A symmetrical tourbillon watch! I’m a little cash-strapped at the moment, but I can understand why a well-heeled collector would want to add this black beauty to their collection: it’s subtle in a way that so many other tourbillon timepieces most definitely are not. Especially considering the trend to present high end watches in skeletonized form. Here’s the Dark Matter in action.

The DM’s 43.5mm case is made of Grade-5 titanium, darkened with ADLC coating. The watch moves its bits (the bottom right sub-dial’s a second time zone indicator) thanks to two movements: a “proprietary, [60-hour] manually wound movement beating at 21,600 vph (3 Hz)” and a second caliber developed by Czapek with Chronode, the Le Locle-based company of Jean-François Mojon.” So now you know.

Breitling Endurance Pro – $3,000

Breitling Endurance Pro - new watch alert

I’d have given my left testicle to listen in on Breitling’s product planning meeting for the EP. “According to focus group research, we need a Crayola crayon bright $3000 44mm COSC-certified quartz-powered chronometer with a dial that’s more crowded than a [pre-COVID] Japanese subway car at rush hour for athletes who forgot to charge their smartwatch.”

Breitling Endurance Pro caseback

The Endurance Pro Series watches – available in yellow, blue, orange and red – are built on a Breitlight® case. The material’s 3.3 times lighter than titanium, 5.8 times lighter than stainless steel, non-magnetic, thermally stable, hypoallergenic and “highly resistant” to scratches, traction and corrosion. Now how much would you pay? Wait a couple of years . . .

Seiko Sport Street SRPE74 – $375

Gold Seiko 5

Back to Seiko for our new watch alert finale, and I bet you think I’m going to piss on this watch from a great height. Au contraire mon frère! I remember when a watch like this was the horological apple of my eye. I was five at the time, but who cares? Chef don’t judge. As a [non-drinking] champagne capitalist, I approve of unabashed kitsch in all its forms. If not for me, then for watch lovers with a childlike love of glittery sh*t.

Seiko 5 gold! - new watch alert

I don’t know the name of the typeface on the rotating bezel, but it’s wonderfully runic. LumBrite hands revolves around LumeBrite indices courtesy Seiko’s automatic Caliber 4R36, beating six times a second (21,600 beats per hour) with a 40 hour of power reserve. It’s accurate to +45/-35 seconds per day. More importantly, it’s gold! Take that Mr. Rolex President!

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The Truth About Watches is an independent watch website – we don’t receive commissions on links.  Check back every Friday for more timely horological snark and attaboys in our weekly New Watch Alert.

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