Hanhart Pioneer 1 Bronze LE – $1430
I recently highlighted the imminent arrival of OMEGA’s first ever bronze watch, pronouncing the Geneva watchmaker late to the horological bronze age. New watch alert! So is Hanhart, but they sure brought the noise. The Pioneer 1 Bronze is a stunning minimalist timepiece that trumps OMEGA with a bronze sliding bezel and a dateless retro dial. Hanhart’s [hidden] Sellita SW 200 engine is a far cry from OMEGA’s Co-Axial 8912, but Hanhart gives you twice as much style for $2720 less. If you ACT NOW . . .
And maybe not even then. Hanhart is only making 150 Pioneer 1 Bronze watches. That’s nuts. They could sell this piece until the Gütenbach cows come home. The watch is water resistant to 100m, enabling the immersion that aids the development of the variable green patina that makes the vintage style watch look increasingly vintage over time. (Collectors with OCD need not apply.) The Pioneer 1’s dark brown saddle leather strap enhances the impression of antique charm, although this is a 42mm watch. Going fast.
“At launch, this was billed as having ‘rock-hard, masculine lines’ and does, indeed, appear to be a ‘different’ kind of watch for the modern man,” gq-magazine.co.uk waffles. “But are you man enough for the latest addition to the Skeleton X range – the decidedly bold ‘Sparkling’, pictured here?” What the hell does that mean? Do you have to be a “real man” to wear a 42mm, forty-thousand-dollar, diamond-encrusted, illegible timepiece that looks half-finished? I’m thinking it would help if I made millions rapping. And ignored . . .
another previous post where I suggested that iced-out watches’ popularity may be waning. The Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Sparkling holsters 80 diamonds – and that’s just on the bezel. The dial sparkles with 60 more. If you can see past that, all hail the Sparkling’s in-house hand wound caliber UN371, delivering a mightily impressive 96 hours of power reserve. You’d think UN could do something a little less . . . obvious with their superb engine. But the brand decided that the bling’s the thing to capture the money of the king. And I’m man enough to admit they’re probably right.
Piaget Polo Skeleton – $28,500
If you can see through Ulysse Nardin’s marketing ploy (so to speak), why not save 10 grand and buy an even more amazing technological tour de force: Piaget’s skeletonized ultra thin Polo Skeleton? We’re talking about a 42mm stainless steel timepiece that’s only 6.5mm thick. OK it is a bit busy, in keeping with this now-you-see-it, now-you-see-it horological genre. But there’s more watch here. More finely crafted moving bits to delight the eye while you’re trying to figure out the time.
The metal bracelet and gray bridges version enhances the Polo Skeleton’s legibility – and brings the case’s similarity to 1950’s black-and-white TVs to the fore. Despite the stunning steel, the PPS’s limited sportiness remains the same. aBlogtoIgnore’s Sean Lorentzen kvetched about the Piaget Polo Skeleton’s 30m water resistance – as if anyone who owns a $30k timepiece as thin as vinyl flooring would be comfortable taking it for a dip in a swimming pool. I’m hoping the whole skeletonized trend takes a dip in popularity, but I understand the fascination. The question is: how long does it last?