Girard-Perregaux Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock LE – $16,900
Nope. Not “rock” as in crystal meth. And not actual rock either. New watch alert! The Laureato Absolute Crystal Rock’s case is made from carbon glass which is, you guessed it, a mixture of carbon fiber and fiberglass. The resulting striations – grey in the upper layer and black underneath – are unique to each piece. And light AF – just 94 grams. Worth $7,520 on the street. You know, if it was meth. Which it isn’t. It’s a 44mm GP chronograph . . .
The Rock’s powered by GP’s calibre GP03300-1058, a 419-part engine boasting a 46-hour power reserve. It’s the same engine beavering away in the Laureato Absolute Passion, a far more reserved and desirable timepiece (IMHO). But if you want rectangular push-pieces with rounded corners – unlike the Passion’s piston-shaped pushers – well, here we are. Bonus! The material obscures the Royal Oak wannabe octagonal bezel. How great is that?
Delma Oceanmaster Tide Automatic – $1200
“Embrace the tide, master the ocean.” Yoda couldn’t have said it better. That said, surfers, fisherman, oil rig workers, submarine captains, coastal environmentalists, clammers and anyone who can’t get Blondie’s The Tide is High out of their head should be pleased with Delma’s 44mm tidy timekeeper. Professional scuba dudes too, what with the OTA’s 500m water resistance and helium escape valve (assuming they want a back-up to their dive computer). As for how to actually use the thing . . .
“The bezel is set by the user according to the local tide table, beginning with aligning the next high or low tide indicator to the position of when it will occur in their specific location. Once set, the streamlined high and low tide indicators help to approximate the tide schedule based on the Lunar Day to forecast the next tidal occurrence.” Or you could buy a G-SHOCK GFW-A1000 Ana-Frog or smartwatch with a tidal app and call it good.
Montblanc 1858 Geosphere Messner LE – $6500
“Perhaps not the most radical of limited editions,” ablogtowatch.com’s Sean Lorentzen opines, trying to stay awake as well as new watch alert. The horological tribute to mountaineer Reinhold Messner introduces a new yellowish bronze colorway to the standard 1858 line with teeny tiny little dots on the globes marking the main man’s peak experiences (above 26,200 ft). The caseback features Mont Blanc – no surprise there – a list of the Seven Summits, a compass and two crossed ice pick-axes. Mr. Lorentzen may not have been impressed but all but three examples are sold (as of this writing).
No doubt Mr. Messner’s meisterwerks were snapped up by altitude-loving lumatics; the 1858 puts on quite a low-light show. The glow-in-the-dark hands are motivated by Montblanc’s MB 29.25 caliber (base Sellita SW300), good for a 42 hour power reserve and unspecified accuracy. The watch would have been way cooler if Mr. Messner had worn one on top of Everest, like Sir Edmund Hillary did with his Smiths (not Rolex). Still, toxic masculinity never looked so good.
Stefano Ricci has emulated Giorgio Armani as an “it” Italian designer. Although there’s no telling if Ricci’s 60 monobrand stores will survive Coronageddon, they sell (sold?) everything from ties to furniture to wine. New watch alert! Ricci’s expanded his eponymous brand into high horology with a design inspired by Florence’s Baptistry, the cupola of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Tribune of the Uffizi. Either that or the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak. An American stop sign? Money? Something.
The not-entirely-elegant 45.5mm X 14.8mm white gold chrono locks down 8.25 carats worth of princess cut diamonds, with Parmigiana Fleurier’s in-house PF333 caliber movement lingering underneath a hand-engraved dust cover. Interesting fact: Stefano Ricci destroys unsold merchandise to avoid discounting and maintain exclusivity. Wait. Would they? Nah. But it would make one hell of a YouTube video.
The things you learn by staying new watch alert . . . I’d never heard of Naruto Uzumaki, a fictional ninja who aspires to become his village’s Hokage. And yet the guy is worldwide; the Naruto manga has sold over 250m copies in 46 countries. His travails are immortalized in 220 anime episodes. And now Naruto’s a global citizen in more ways than one. Unlike most Citizen watches, the Naruto chrono is a low-key legible timekeeper, announcing its affiliation through the character’s logo, the watch’s color scheme and its screwdown caseback . . .
There’s not a lot of info on the Naruto – aside from the fact that it’s a solar-powered Eco-Drive timepiece “without radio wave reception function.” At that price, with only 710 examples, it’ll be on eBay faster than you can say “what about Sasuke, Kakashi and Sakura?” Yeah, they’ve got watches too. Are you too late? Remember, anzuru yori umu ga yasashii – “giving birth to a baby is easier than worrying about it.” Or, as Google translate puts it, “Umu is easier than apricots.” Go figure.
“Designed in Austria, Swiss made.” That’s Porsche Design’s timepiece product page promise. This one not so much. It’s easy to understand why PD’s first smartwatch isn’t joining its analogue cousins at porsche-design.com. Huawei is something of an international pariah these days, accused of using its communications technology to spy on all y’all (as they say in Beijing), furthering the People’s Republic of China’s plan for world domination. (Yes Pinky!) Nice to see Porsche Design lending its name to the effort on a new smartwatch.
Other than price, the new watch’s branded bezel and titanium bracelet are the only differentiators between the normal 46.7mm Huawei smartwatch and the Porsche Design version. It’s got the same bracelet design as Porsche Design’s world first all-titanium watch (reviewed here). Only this one can be adjusted – link on, link off – without [capitalist] tools. Meanwhile, the Huawei GT 2 does everything a smartwatch does save link to any Apple devices or protect your data. So there is that.
We featured the automatic Timex Marlin mit Snoopy in our article Traditional Watch – Last Hurrah? It’s a pretty lacklustre affair (the watch, not the article). The new 40mm quartz-powered Times Standard X Peanuts series is a more suitably inexpensive and colorful offering, with watches celebrating the turn of the seasons and major holidays (no Snoopy Kwanza watch yet). The Halloween model – featuring a zombie Snoopy and Woodstock dressed as mummies – is a bit creepy. This one is delightful.
Timex’s Indiglo face – the whole dial glows – adds a bit of spizzarkle to the timepiece. As one reviewer put it “the background color, brown straps and the comic itself strike a perfect balance between ‘metallic and formal’ and ‘Comic and casual’.” In other words, the new Standard versions have the joie de vivre that’s made the world’s most famous beagle and his avian associate so endlessly endearing. Timex’s $125 Snoop Dog ode to the OMEGA Speedmaster (the Timex x Space Snoopy above) is positively psychedelic, in a Peter Max kinda way.
Brew Retromatic – $425
Brew’s assumed a
lower smaller profile with their new Retromatic: 36mm X 39.5mm. While its diminutive size makes the watch a unisex option, it goes against the prevailing trend for 40mm-and-up timepieces. The Retromatic’s “vented” crown and perforated drip dial certainly jibes with the brand’s coffee-centric theme. If the 20mm brushed stainless steel bracelet keeps you up at night, the quick release attachment opens the possibility of swapping it out for a coffee colored strap.
Available in burgundy and blue, the Retromatic runs off a Diashock-protected Seiko NH35A automatic, offering a not insubstantial 40 hours power reserve. Visible through a cutout in the 306L steel case (screw alignment isn’t a thing at this price point), the not terribly attractive Japanese movement is accurate to -20~+40 seconds per day seconds per day “under normal conditions.” Drink enough coffee and you won’t give a damn.
Victorinox I.N.O.X. (Personalization) – $490 Steel – $555 Titanium – $690 Carbon
My review of the steel I.N.O.X. gave it three out of five stars and called it “a stunt watch that can double as a deadly weapon.” This not-new watch for the new watch alert joins the “mass customization” online ordering trend. You choose the case material and the dial, strap and bumper color. I’m really digging the tri-color demo watch, but of course you can’t order it that way. My personal preference: steel case, orange dial, orange strap. Unfortunately, there’s no orange leather, paracord or bumper option.
Another downside: you can find a “pre-made” I.N.O.X. for less money all over the net. You gotta pay full whack for the privilege of creating a watch that’s not all that unique, but you do get a “free” Swiss Army pen knife. I bet I.N.O.X. personalization follows the same 80 – 20 rule that applies to potato chips: 80 percent of buyers buy the standard item, 20 percent wear the horological equivalent of roast chicken-flavored crisps. Guilty as charged.
Ressence 5X LE – $34,391
I’ve long bemoaned the inclusion of a bezel-mounted tachymeter. Created to time progress over a measured mile, it’s a throwback to the days when cars didn’t have reliable speedometers, never mind digital onboard lap timers. Ressence take that lack of utility to another level with a watch measuring time for one vehicle: the $350k Lancia Delta Futurista resto-mod. What do those marking mean? O.K., Oscar go!
“The bezel is divided into two distinct parts,” the website explains. “The first one is dedicated to the warmup of the engine (15min) – the S stands for Start, D for Drive and R for Race – while the other one is dedicated to the cooling of the Turbos (10 min).” Question: why is Ressence making 40 of these 46mm titanium oil-filled timepieces when the total run of LDFs is just 20 vehicles? Because $1,375,6450!
Christopher Ward C65 Chronograph – $1,935
“It’s 1969,” Christopher Ward’s website lies. “The yacht club is presenting you with the ‘best sailor of the year’ award. Your prize is a watch – the C65 Chronograph – which combines a pop-art aesthetic with stopwatch functions. And while you appreciate its timing options (and water-resistance to 150m), it’s the dial that draws you back. The ’70s are coming: here’s what you’ll wear for the next decade.” CW’s strange WASPy retro fantasy only takes us to 1979. And guys, that watch is NOT pop art (that was a late ’50’s thing riffing on commercial images).
New watch alert! If the new C65 is anything like the Christopher Ward watches we’ve reviewed (C65 Trident Diver and C1 Moonglow) it’s an immaculately constructed 41mm chrono that passes the value-for-money test with flying colors. This one’s powered by the Sellita SW510 BHa (base Valjoux 7750). Better yet, the bi-compax arrangement forces CW to put their logo at the 12, instead of stacking it at the 3. As for the ’50’s shtick, Zazzle’s $32.75 POW! watch has it going on. The Ward watch? Non-ironic horophiles need apply.