Seiko Presage Sharp Edged Series – $1000
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 . . .
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
“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
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.
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
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.
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
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?
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
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.
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.
“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.