Here’s a custom watch house we just discovered, but they have been around for about ten years; Titan Black has been producing amazing Rolex, AP, Patek and other luxury watches that are true one-off models. Famously, they designed the Chronolight Rolex for a Sheikh which has his name in illuminated script on the dial.
Illuminated, not Illuminati. Important to note that.
We also love their skeleton dial Rolex Daytona in rose gold. There are designs in vintage sepia, teal – all kinds of options.
OK, you might not be in charge of assets from London to Lahore, but if you can afford a Rolex Sub or Daytona and want something unique, there is a dashboard at Titan Black where you can customise it your way, and get a quote. It isn’t gonna be cheap, but then again, nothing Rolex related that’s really executed to a superlative standard is.
Do you need a watch that tells the time on Earth and Mars? Maybe so if Elon Musk has his way and we establish a Tesla factory there. So yes, this latest Russian watch could be just the thing to check if your Jonny Cab is ready for you at the Doug Quaid Memorial Uber taxi rank when you dock at the Red Planet for your vacation in 2055.
Here’s the press release.
The prospect of flying to Mars has never been closer. Konstantin Chaykin is certain that the conquest of Mars necessitates the thinking over of many different aspects in advance, including the development of a specialised mechanical watch that is reliable and capable of functioning autonomously both in space and on Mars. That’s why in 2017 this expert watchmaker and inventor launched his own Mars programme – “Mars Time”.
The new “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” watch points to the future – hence its futuristic design, seasoned with a clearly tangible militaristic touch. The terrestrial time is supplemented in this watch by the 24-hour time zone indicator hand, while the Konstantin Chaykin-invented “Martian” wheel movement provides the precise indication of Martian time.
A functional module entirely created in Russia by Konstantin Chaykin Manufactory. The complexities of the watch mechanics of the “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” are shown by the fact that the functional module is made up of 125 separate parts, each meticulously processed and finished by hand in full accordance with the traditions of haute horlogerie.
The first Martian aviator watch in history
The “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” watch looks to the future, which is why one can find in its design the futuristic forms of the Martian space fleet as imagined and designed by Konstantin Chaykin. In the brutal yet at the same time ergonomic case of a dynamic, trapezoidal design, which is dominated by triangular edges, there is a bezel fixed to the case by 24 functional screws, resembling the mooring lock of a spacecraft docking system.
Watches of the first edition are made of titanium, traditionally perceived as an aircraft and space material, which is in the best way consistent with the purpose and functionality of the new watch. Only 8 pieces will be released.
The “Mars Conqueror Mark3 Fighter” watch is equipped with automatic caliber K.15-0 with indicator of local Earth time; second time zone (UTC) indicator with central 24-hour hand; Mars time (MCT); mode indicator of the functional (winding) crown. There are two vertical crowns with unique functionality set on the titanium case invented by Konstantin Chaykin, with genuine black leather strap with orange stitching and orange lining.
There’s no word on pricing yet, but the Chaykin watches currently online here, start at about £23,000.
Here’s the word from H Moser, who have created something kinda mind blowing in partnership with MB&F. A cylinder shaped tourbillon is a real masterpiece of engineering in miniature – hypnotic we think;
H. Moser & Cie. has borrowed from MB&F the concept of three-dimensional movements, a strong element of the Geneva Maison’s identity, protected by a sapphire dome and featuring a one-minute flying tourbillon that rises above the main dial through a ventricular opening appearing at 12 o’clock.
Benefiting from the expertise of its sister company Precision Engineering AG, H. Moser & Cie. has equipped its tourbillon with a cylindrical balance spring, the same as that developed by Precision Engineering AG for MB&F’s LM Thunderdome. Invented in the 18th century, the cylindrical balance spring is reminiscent of a worm- or corkscrew, rising perpendicularly around the upper rod of the balance staff. Commonly used in historical marine chronometers at the time, it offers the advantage of developing concentrically, and therefore geometrically, since it works perfectly along the axis of its pivots.
This gives it a significant advantage over the flat balance spring, whose opposite ends tend to exert forces on the pivots, despite the Philips or Breguet terminal curves which were specifically developed to partially correct the non-concentric opening of the balance spring.
Fitted with a Breguet overcoil at both attachment points, the cylindrical balance spring reduces pivot friction and greatly improves isochronism. Due to its specific shape, the cylindrical balance spring is far more difficult to produce and takes ten times longer to make than a traditional balance spring.
Another reference to MB&F’s identity lies in the tilted dials, which H. Moser & Cie. has adopted for its hour and minute subdial. This is inclined at 40° so that the owner of the watch is the only one to whom it reveals the secret of time, and mounted on a conical gear train ensuring optimal torque transmission from one plane to the other. As Edouard Meylan explains:
“We have Moserized the MB&F universe by developing a sapphire subdial, which melts into the background so as to highlight the beauty of our fumé dials. And to preserve the purity and elegance of this true work of horological art, we have inscribed our logo like a watermark on the sapphire subdial, thereby underlining the personal character and intimate relationship binding it to its owner”.
Available in five different versions, the Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser x MB&F model comes in a steel case topped by Funky Blue, Cosmic Green, Burgundy, Off-White or Ice Blue dials, all of the fumé variety.
One thing we love here is a unique in-house movement, because so many watches – even some that cost £20,000 or more – use a bought-in movement, with a few bells and whistles grafted on top. So take a look at the limited edition Czapek Antarctique, which the bespoke brand says is the next chapter in the history of Czapek & Cie.
Here’s the press kit info;
It combines sophisticated style and look with a genuine in-house power movement. The name was inspired by the trip to Antartica of one of the company historical shareholders and raises a host of associations, from intrepid explorers to the sheer breath-taking beauty of Nature. The Sixth Continent is also a symbol of the need for humans to preserve the planet and represents Czapek’s commitment to doing its part, using recycled gold but also safeguarding many Swiss watchmaking artisans.
The Terre Adélie is a tribute to the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville who named a slice of Antarctica after his wife, Adèle, during his daring expedition to the continent in 1840.
Watch the Czapek promo video here;
There’s more to haute horlogerie than virtuosic complications. Movement design, rare and fine finishing, select materials or intricate case surfaces, and attention to detail, are all key factors that increase a timepiece’s value. The Antarctique’s dial was designed and manufactured by Czapek’s partner Metalem using a unique handmade lamé technique, invented by them 30 years ago and revamped today for this project. This technique consists in creating a series of traits on the dial with a comb. These characteristic striations give the colours more depth and starker reflections.
On the dial, the date window is positioned at 6 o’clock to maintain the Czapek aesthetics based on vertical symmetry. The hands design is reminiscent of a sword, sporty and easy-to-read, as well as the three-dimensional indexes. The 40.5mm stainless steel case is integrated with an original double ‘trompe l’oeil’ curve, another unconventional design choice making this timepiece unique and exclusive.
Shades of Buren In That Micro Rotor
The SXH5.01 automatic calibre is the first to be entirely conceived in-house by Czapek from a blank page. Every part of it has been made with care to detail and with the help of the top Swiss manufacturing partners and craftsmen.
The microrotor, made of fully recycled 18-kt gold, is placed off-centre to allow a plunging view into the mechanism and its exceptional architecture. (We love a microrotor watch, it’s always a triumph of progress over manufacturing convenience – Ed)
A free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold masselotte weights enables the highest level of precision tuning. The gear train is held in place by a series of seven handsome skeletonized bridges. Their original shape is reminiscent of lace, inspired on one side by XIX century pocket watches, and by the very modern Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph’s rotor.
The movement has superlative finishing with six hand chamfered inward angles and drawing of the flanks. The SXH5 caliber has a significantly longer autonomy than the average of high-end sports watches (typically between 40-45 hours), of 56 hours practical (and 70 theoretical hours). This movement proves that stringent watchmaking craftsmanship can be further enhanced with a hint of free-floating creativity, as if form were an equal party to function.
The price is 18,000CHF, which is around £15,200 and there are seven dial colours/designs to choose from, including deep blue, grey and a burgundy red. You can buy direct from the Czapek website too.