Boldr 40mm Freediver: Three New Colour Options

The latest from Boldr Supply, who have additions to their Freediver range;

Building on the Odyssey Freediver 40mm series, three brand new Freedivers have arrived in strikingly fresh colors as the world gets ready to return to pre-pandemic life. Available in Citrus Orange, Mint Green, and White Frost, these Freedivers are eye-catching & packed with dive-ready specifications. They are also lighter on the wrist and more affordable than existing Odyssey Freedivers thanks to new quick-release EPDM rubber straps.

The company created the three new variations to invoke a feeling of self-confidence and assuredness in its wearer. “That is the key factor we are going for in this new series – how wearing a Freediver makes our customers feel. By coupling a quality dive watch with a bold aesthetic, we’re telling our fans to wear it loud and wear it proud”, says Leon, founder of BOLDR.

The idea behind creating the Odyssey Freediver series stems from the discipline of freedivers who train exhaustively to enhance their breathing capabilities, eventually leading to a freedom & depth of character which carries over to their day-to-day lives. With three new colors in the mix, the Odyssey Freediver line-up is set to inspire its wearer while catering to varying tastes.

Each piece comes with a refined case detailed with a polished strip to accentuate its angular lugs. The dive-friendly unidirectional bezel is made from quality stainless steel, coupled with a durable EPDM rubber strap.

A faithful companion to those who take on deep blue adventures, the svelte 40mm case fits a wider range of wrists and is rated for 300m water resistance. The dial is designed to be highly legible underwater with clearly marked indexes and luminescent hands, shielded by a flat sapphire crystal lens.

The watches are available for immediate shipping only on BOLDR’s website.

The Baltic Aquascaphe Dual Crown is Back

The word from Baltic, who have revived the handsome dual crown Aquascaphe dive model. Fair play.

Our diving watch Aquascaphe Dual-Crown is back on our website.

It is with great pleasure that we can now announce the return of the Dual-Crown in our permanent catalog. It retails at £650 by the way which NWC mag thinks is very reasonable for a compressor dive watch made to this standard.

The high activity of the moment forced us to postpone the assembly of this model later than planned in order to meet the demand on our other ranges.

You can pre-order this model now to ensure and secure a delivery between December 13th and 17th.

Yep, the blue dial variant is the winner.

Sinn 717 Wins Design Excellence Award

Latest from Sinn in Germany, who have won a German design award.

The jury honours the conceptual design of the 717 with the award Excellent Product Design 2022 for “combining the past with the future in the most stylish way and perfectly embodying the brand DNA of Sinn Spezialuhren down to the last detail.”

“We are really pleased that the 717 received this award – it confirms our principle of developing and designing watches in strict conformity with the relevant requirements”, comments Lothar Schmidt, qualified engineer, owner of Sinn Spezialuhren.

Design quality unites both award-winning products

The German Design Award sets the highest standards for determining its award winners: during the course of an exacting nomination procedure, only those products with design qualities that demonstrably set them apart from their competition will be selected by the expert panels from the “Rat für Formgebung” (German Design Council) to participate in the competition.

More than 5,000 nominated products were submitted to the panel of judges. The international panel of judges is composed of design experts from industry, teaching and science as well as the design industry. All members of the panel of judges are recognised experts in their fields.

During a two-day assessment process, the panel makes a final, well-founded decision on the design quality of the presentations. As part of the evaluation process, the panel attaches great importance to criteria such as the degree of innovation, functionality and usability, technical quality and function, as well as durability and ergonomics.

Marloe Tap Into The Glorious British Jet Age

Marloe has a new model on the runway, it’s the Pacific automatic, inspired by the jet age that transformed Britain back in the 1950s.

The range stretches from the Pacific 52 to the 76 model and traces the rise and fall of the British commercial aviation industry, peaking with Concorde, the fabulous supersonic aircraft that upset Boeing so much, they tried every trick in the book to stop it from flying to the USA.

Inside there is a Swiss Sellita with a 40 hour reserve, sapphire crystal, steel case and they put a magnifying crystal on the see-thru caseback. That’s a clever touch for all those who love watch engineering.

We like the strap customiser on the website too.

Here’s the word on the blue dial Pacific 76;

The dial of the Pacific 76 has a pillow cross-section – it rises up from the edge of the dial to a central plateau – which makes the dial jump out from the confines of the case. The applied indices raise up from the dial surface but, in a unique departure from the norm, the blocks are entirely machined from Superluminova C3. Not only is this a beautifully three-dimensional application of the numerals, but due to the whole block being of luminous compound, it glows with an unmatched intensity.

A classic British colourway adorns the 76 with a glossy white railroad track outer ring surrounding the central blue plateau and white numerals, whilst the subtle radial sub-dial sits in contrast to the little flash of red of the sub-seconds hand. It’s refined, modern and elegant. Much like the people who travelled on the supersonic white dart.

Ming 37.05 Is Just Pure Stealth Technology

Here’s the latest watch from Ming, who have created a minimalist watch with some interesting features. What we love about this moonphase is the dedication to being differnt, creating something unique and understated, that marries old school tech with an almost smartwatch dial.

Here’s the press kit blurb;

A moon-phase is an old complication, and perhaps one of the least useful for modern life, yet one that still holds a special place in the hearts of collectors for reasons we’re not quite sure of ourselves, despite owning several. A date is at least a bit more useful. We opted to combine the two and keep the old-school whimsy going by opting for a manual wind movement – once again, offering the enthusiast more opportunities to interact with their watch.

Love that sliver of light moonphase detail.

NOT YOUR NORMAL MOONPHASE WINDOW

Our continuing use of multi-layered sapphire dials offered a solution: the apertures for date and moon lie in the lower layer dial, which is metal, textured and carries a midnight blue to black
gradient reminiscent of the night sky, with a seamless sapphire dial above that carries the hour indices (laser etched, and filled with HyCeram) and a central mask for the moon to mirror our peripheral ring forms.

A full moon thus forms a complete ring, which is luminous, with partial phases being portions thereof.

The date window preserves symmetry at 6 o’clock, and is as subtle as possible with a background color-matched to the dial, and our usual font in light grey. The net result can be seen in the accompanying images and is one of the most dynamic dials we have ever created: it inverts completely from a seamless silver mirror to a solid blue-black
with moon and date displays. The transition is gradual and most of the time, the watch presents a bit of both: a calm, reflective serenity above and a lot more visual texture below.

We knew we didn’t want the semicircle moon aperture, but what we had in mind would require a centrally-driven moon disc to offer a sufficiently large display to allow the ring display to work. Only a custom module or the Sellita SW288 offered this possibility, and
selection of the latter allowed us to improve overall accessibility of the watchl.

But to make it worthy of a display back, it was then further reworked in a similar style to the 7001.M1 as used in the 27.01 and 27.02; it is skeletonized, matte-blasted and anthracite coated, with a
contrasting portion on the main train bridge in circular-brushed rhodium.

Creating the next generation

The 37-series case family will form one of our core product lines, spanning from entry level to Special Projects and everything in between. It has a flexible architecture that can accept a wide range of movements, is scalable to thickness, and can be produced in a wide range of materials.

At the same time, it is a highly refined case design that has complex compound curves – such as the line from case side to lug tip – and multiple finishes. We have also increased the visual presence of the case with a significantly larger dial opening than the 17- series and domed front and rear crystals. However, wearability and comfort for a wide variety of wrist sizes is maintained with the same 38mm maximum diameter and 20mm lug width.

In short: it looks bigger than a 17-series, but feels the same on the wrist. We of course continue our partnerships with Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne for construction, production and assembly; Jean Rousseau Paris for straps, and Studio Koji Sato for the pouches.

Can lugs be sculpture? Yes they can.

One last thing: no more keepers. The 37.05 will be one of our first watches to be offered on a keeperless buckle system that tucks the unused hole portion of the strap underneath the opposite end. By doing this, a given strap length works for a wider range of sizes because the unused portion effectively increases the diameter of smaller wrists. We find the overall configuration to be neater,
more comfortable, more secure and more visually harmonious.

Finally, the buckle also has built in microadjustment simply by moving the middle springbar.

Pricing and deliveries

The MING 37.05 is priced at CHF 4,950 and will be available exclusively at www.ming.watch. Existing customers will be allotted preferential access to 150 pieces at 1PM GMT on 25 November 2021, with the balance of 350 pieces available to the general public at 1PM GMT on 26 November 2021. A 50% deposit is due at the time of order, with the balance on delivery – expected to begin July 2022.

Rado Coupole: Classic Auto, With Reserve Indicator

You know what? There’s something reassuringly old school, about a power reserve indicator on a watch dial. It goes all the way back to the 1940s bumper automatics from Omega and JLC we reckon, just knowing that your watch had some charge..or needed a shakedown.

So this Rado Coupole, despite its slightly pretentious name, wins an upvote from us at NWC mag. It has that classic car dashboard feel and the fume brown dial is arguably the best of the four different dial colourways.

Plus, it isn’t ceramic pottery, which is a bonus. Price of replacing those broken links, eh Rado fans?

At 41mm across it’s a nice compromise size, you get a sapphire crystal naturally and a big crown too. Inside you’ll find the same ETA derived automatic movement that powers other watches across the Swatch empire, so you have a reliable unit.

The only downside is the RRP of £1550 which is steep for something that shares a movement, give or take a few tweaks, with a Hamilton that retails for 1100 quid less.

More here.

Watch Trends: Is 38mm The New 42mm, Just Asking?

There are more 38mm watches breaking cover right now than we can keep up with, so let’s have a look at some we missed over 2021. By the way is 38mm your preferred case diameter, or are still on the 2020 42mm wavelength?

Maybe both? Whatever, your preference post a comment if you like. Here are three random 38mm case watches we spotted online and you know what, they have a symmetry, a balance, that every watch fan can enjoy for years.

MAEN GREENWICH 38

The Swedish brand have a handsome 38mm watch called the Greenwich, which is let’s face it, the perfect name for a wristwatch. Or a clock.

“The Greenwich is the perfect travel watch with its GMT function and comfortable rubber Tropic strap. A custom integrated rubber strap is also available,” says Maen.

This model has superluminova and an oversized crown too, which is handy on a smaller watch.

ZENITH CHRONOMASTER 38

For us, the black/white Chronomaster 38mm is the pick of the bunch, as we find the green Poker thingie too gaudy and the blue/silver variations are kinda samey. Zenith have been mining their El Primero heritage far too long in our view, but this punchy, classic monochrome contrast dial ticks the right vintage boxes.

It just looks right, bit like the original El Primero. Not too pricey at £7100 compared to other special editions at 10K or more.

OMEGA SPEEDMASTER 38 ORBIS EDITION

This is a stand-out model in the 38mm Speedmaster range we think. The beige/brown models are kinda wishy-washy for us and the green/gold editions are a sort of 1970s throwback in the same way a green dralon settee is; fun for five minutes and then you wish you hadn’t wasted your money.

But this deep, rich blue dial watch, with its date window and 6pm looking like a card sharp shuffling the deck, and that wonderful poker style second hand – yeah, the business. It’s a mere trifle at £4,360 which is way cheaper than many other Speedmaster watches in the Omega Pantheon – can we say it’s a Pantheon? Probably.

 

 

 

Tribute Fest at Advisor, As Protege Breaks Cover

Ladies would you like a Cartier Santos watch? Yes, we thought so. But that means forking out a huge amount of cash, plus the risk of being mugged in the street when daring to wear it.

The alternative could be a Protege watch, from Advisor. Here’s the word;

The full steel Protégé timepiece pays tribute to one of the greatest designer in watch history of the 70s. With the squared octagonal shape of its bezel, the angular case integrates seamlessly with the bracelet creates distinction of Protégé’s visual identity.

Its dial appearance is further enhanced with the use of modern material; forged carbon, creating a marble-like surface, making each dial unique in its own way.

This model is on pre-order right now, starting at $370. Here’s the tech specs;

Specification

  • Case Design: Squared Octagon Shape (Custom-Made)

  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Stain

  • Case Back: Screwed In, Open Case Back

  • Diameter: 37.5mm

  • Height: 10.5mm

  • Lug Width: 22.5mm

  • Lug to Lug: 46mm

  • Dial: Forged Carbon Dial

  • Date: Date Function at 6

  • Index & Hands: Applied Index

  • Luminous: Swiss Super-LumiNova (C3)

  • Crystal: Sapphire Crystal

  • Movement: Premium Japan-Made Miyota, 9015 Automatic, 28,800 vibrations per hour (VPH)

  • Water Resistance: 100m / 10ATM

  • Straps: Stainless Steel Bracelet + Croc Leather Straps with Links

Reviewed: Ailang Twin Tourbillion, Rose Gold Edition

We love to review watches here at NWC magazine, so let’s take a look at this twin-tourbillon Ailang, which we bought on Ali Express recently.

At around £67 (inc postage) this is a typical budget watch, although there are a few extras included in the deal. For example, you get a proper box complete with outer sleeve, VIP warranty card, handbook – English as well as Mandarin – swing tag and protective covers on the crystal, caseback and clasp.

There is also a spare conventional leather strap, plus a wristband, kinda Harry Styles leather thing, with what looks a bit like an Iron Cross in the centre. Useful if you’re in the Vaccine Enforcement Stormtrooper Squad in Vienna I guess.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

This watch measures 41mm across – excluding crown – and some 13mm high. It does feel chunky on my slim wrists, but not too wide, in fact 40-42mm across suits me fine. You won’t fit this watch under a fitted evening or office shirt, but maybe that’s a good thing, as it is a conversation piece.

The watch was packed nicely with protective tape and padded box, bubble wrap etc for shipping.

The dial has a classic  tourbillon face with those twin barrrels standing out, then a small time telling dial above, almost like an old fashioned mantel clock; black chapter ring, silver Roman markers. The tourbillion wheels are held in place by two steel triangles, which are exact replicas of the rotor on the movement, but segmented – like a slice of rotor pie.

CAGE NOT FITTED CORRECTLY

The sad thing is this watch is not quite right. If you look closely the tourbillon cage on the right isn’t in situ. Hard to believe it slipped out of alignment during transit but it’s possible.

More likely it’s poor quality control at the factory.

The tourbillion cages hide most of the balance wheel spinning action, with the second wheel kicking in as I shook the watch after winding the crown to get wheel number one started.

Quite impressed it ran OK given the manufacturing fault. But so far it’s still ticking and telling the right time. However it will be returned for a refund.

It is visually very striking, hypnotic and apart from an uber-thin second hand, which looks quite fragile, the dial is impressive.

An AR coated sapphire crystal sits slightly proud of the bezel, which is rose gold tone, just like the case and crown.

Skeleton rotor is a nice touch.

TESTING

I wound this one for about ten turns, then shook it for ten seconds. After a day wearing it doing office stuff and one short walk to the shops it ran until 5.23am the following morning. Not bad. Most automatics I test from China tend to conk out in the early hours and I also own a vintage Lanco and Accurist which do the same thing.

By the way the one vintage watch I own which DOES continue to run through the night is a 20 year old Seiko 6309 basic gents automatic, which will run on the bedside cabinet for about 12-15 hours after being worn the day before.

One thing that does stand out is that changing the strap will not be easy. There’s no quick release slider on the pins and the strap is fitted very flush to the lugs, which means there is a risk of damaging the rose gold finish when you prise in a pin removal tool, to free the pin from the lugs.

On the upside the foldover steel clasp is well made and fastens with a reassuring, solid click, on both sides. The push button release works smoothly too. Many Chinese watches have less than perfect machining on clasps and retaining bands, but this leather deployment feels just as good as Rotary or Tissot in my experience.

VERDICT

This model comes with a silver tone case as well, plus blue, white or black dial options.

You know just 5 years ago I told people in the shop that I couldn’t try to repair Chinese watches as they were so hit & miss as regards build quality. Sad to say this is still the case, as the damaged tourbillon shows.

Very disappointed with this watch.

More here at the YJwatch store.

 

 

Aragon’s Divemaster II Says Go Big, or Go Home

Indie watch brand Aragon has launched its Divemaster II model just a few days ago. This model features some very tasty superlume on the dial, plus a wide range of dial colours; blue, orange, white, asa well as abalone and meteorite designs.

With a 200m depth rating, steel case, heat-treated K1 crystal and a supersize 45mm or humungous 50mm case diameter for those really big wrists, this watch makes quite a statement. Especially as we spotted it online for just $129, plus shipping. I mean, how is that possible?

Yep, it’s that Black Friday discount thing, so don’t fight it.

More here.