Bamford London keep coming up with custom variants on Rolex and other Swiss watch brands. This reworking of a Zenith is pretty out there. No price on the website, you have to email an equiry.
In collaboration with Black Badger, this Zenith Pilot Chrono TIPO CP-2 features a unique Fordite dial.
Fordite is the commonly used term to describe the collected overspray that builds up in the industrial paint bays of car factories over many, many years. The Fordite material used in this collaboration has come from the Ford factories in Michigan, USA, from the 1970-1990s era. This material forms entirely unique patterns which has been made into a special dial.
Inside the case you have the famous El Prmero chrono movement. Those yellow tipped hands are an extra jazzy touch as well.
More here if you want to get some Austin Powers vibe on your wrist.
Ball Watch are always creating variations on their chronograph theme, so here is the latest Roadmaster Rescue.
Whether by air, land or sea, every rescue mission is unique. But there’s one common truth: timing is everything. A purpose-built tool for critical search and rescue situations, the new Roadmaster Rescue Chronograph delivers extreme accuracy, easy readability and high functionality. Engineered with a patented pusher locking system, the chronograph function works in unison with the pulsometer scale to measure heart rate, while two illuminated sub-dial counters track elapsed time. And for countdowns at all hours, the ceramic diving bezel features a bold micro gas tube inset. Vital functionality and versatile form that’s ready to venture wherever necessary.
The new Roadmaster Rescue Chronograph with blue ceramic bezel insert is limited to 1,000 pieces each. Now available for pre-order until 2 June 2021 at an exclusive price. Constructed from a titanium-steel combination, the 41mm case affords high impact strength, lightweight wearing comfort and trusted durability – even at extreme temperatures. And with a case thickness of just 14.8mm, the tool watch fits securely with diverse types of gear. Atop the robust case, the steel bezel features a virtually scratchproof ceramic ring with countdown markings. And in the center of the triangular marking, a micro gas tube inset ensures an instantly bright glow in darkness, allowing the uni-directional rotating bezel to be used for countdowns at all hours.
Colour options include all blue, white dial and a black dial/bezel combo. Price is £1590 on the pre-order deal.
There are some interesitng new variations from Tudor at Watches & Wonders this month. We are big fans of the Black Bay 58 as you’re getting Rolex level quality for less money. Let’s not debate the idea that Tudor is a poor man’s Rolex, because the latest watches prove that notion is plain wrong. Like Rolex, Tudor is a brand that holds a decent percentage of its initial purchase price as well, which makes them generally better investments than say Baume & Mercier, Rado, Oris, Bell + Ross, Maurice Lacroix or a Hamilton. They’re all excellent watch brands, but fashion is a fickle thing, just saying.
OK let’s feast on those new Black Bay models;
The motorsport themed Black Bay Chronograph is our pick of the bunch with a new 41mm case, beautiful white or black dial options, plus a COSC grade calibre inside. 200m depth rating is respectable, likewise a 70 hour power reserve is Rolex standard and then there’s the 5 year guarantee. The cheapest way into the new Black Bay Chrono family is the fabric strap variant at £3360, but we say splash the cash for the steel bracelet model at £3900, in white with black sub-dials. It just looks right, a classic right out of the box.
Yes, we like a Rolex Sub Hulk, as geniuses choose green and all that jive. But the Black Bay 58 in 18ct matte effect gold really hits the spot. Again 200m depth, a nice 39mm case size that suits many a wrist and that chuncky solid gold winding crown too. This is luxury that doesn’t shout Kardashian bling in your face, and we think it’s all the better for that restraint. Just over £12,600 for this one.
Now you don’t see many sterling silver wristwatches for men, except vintage pocket watches of course. Vive le difference we say and good to see taupe make a comeback as a colour after that 1980s wallpaper craze, remember dado rails anyone? It’s a laidback looker this one, with the same 200m, 39mm case and 5 year guarantee spec you know and love. COSC movement naturally. Choice of straps in leather or fabric. £3230 for the fabric option model.
There are new Black Bay 32 and 36 models too, which offer a relatively low cost price point at just under two grand for the fabric strap 36. There is also a retro 1926 model with a 41mm case size, and brown leather strap that we reckon offers a restrained take on those classic 1950s waffle dial gents watches of old. Calibre T601 inside the case and just £1780 RRP. Hard to fault even though that is a jazzed up ETA 2824 engine in there.
Ball watches has released a classic black dial, black bezel Roadmaster GMT, making it ideal for post-pandemic jet-setters, influencers and international business travellers. The Marine GMT is already available with blue, white and green dial/bezel options, plus a Pepsi bezel by the way. The day/date option also adds a certain businesslike function to this model – this is a watch for someone who wants to know the exact time, and demands Swiss build quality without a prestige brand price tage. It’s COSC certified, just like class-leading Omega, Rolex or AP models, but you pay less to get the same job done. Just saying.
Here’s the word from Ball;
Innovation for fearless exploration, a belief that’s not only held dearly in the BALL Watch family, but also fostered the creation of the Roadmaster Marine GMT series. Engineered to the specifications of a 35-year Navy Mariner veteran, it’s the world’s first GMT timepiece with day and date functions, delivering utmost functionality. The pioneering quick-set GMT push buttons revolutionize the way GMT hand is adjusted with its ease-of-use. The tough titanium material and COSC certified mechanical movement guarantee perfect performance in the most imperfect situations. Topping off with the darkness-conquering luminosity of the micro gas tube. The watch that once ran America’s railroads now empowers world explorers to live freely and fearlessly.
Our specially-made GMT movement module allows for three time zones to be tracked simultaneously. Simply by turning and pressing either one of the patented quick-set buttons, the GMT hand can be easily set instead of turning the main crown. The button at 8 o’clock moves the GMT hand backward, while the 10 o’clock button moves it forward. When travelling, the GMT hand reveals the local time in conjunction with the bi-directional bezel whereas the main hour hand shows the home time.
The classic black bezel version marks the latest addition to the signature Roadmaster Marine GMT ceramic series, a statement piece that fits for all occasions. Limited to 1,000 pieces each. The Roadmaster Marine GMT Black bezel is now available for pre-order until 12 May 2021 at an exclusive price, which is £2110. More info at the Ball website.
Bremont have just opened a new factory in the UK and you have to say hats off to them, because most brands would have simply designed their watches here in Britain, and had production outsourced to Singapore, possibly Switzerland on the more expensive models. But no, British-made watches (yeah Swiss movements we know, but give them a chance) and what’s more, the new Supermarine chronograph is probably going to be a hot seller, even at £5400 or so.
Let’s start with the dial which is a classic three sub-dial, reversed white on black affair. It’s punchy, tool watch functional, a classic mix of GMT and lumed hands. Set inside the 43mm case is a Bremont BE54 movement, with a stunning rotor that’s embossed with the Bremont name and a series of paddle shaped cut-outs. Little SBS/Commando detail that we love. The BE54 is based on the reliable Valjoux 7750 so you won’t have much trouble getting this serviced by an independent watchmaker when you need to – handy.
The bezel is ceramic, bi-directional and its rated at 200m so you can scuba dive on holiday – if you’re allowed abroad of course. I love the pushers and crown details on this model, they remind me of Thunderbird 3 and yeah, I think that’s a good thing.
The blue dial version looks pretty spectacular as well, and you can choose silicone strap or steel bracelet. The see-thru caseback is sapphire of course, and shows off that modified 7750 movement plus the Bremont rotor perfectly. This watch will delight the eye for decades and you have to admit, the same could not be said about some previous Bremont efforts.
This brand is turning things around now and if they can add a calculator on import duties in key markets to their online checkout then they have got it made. That’s a tall order I know, but you have to admit that the EU is making life hard for the UK and will continue to do so because…well mafia innit?
So if customers in China, Aus, USA, EU and Japan can all see exactly what the total cost of the watch is, then I think they may be tempted. This is a worthy rival to a TAG Autavia Heritage, an Omega Planet Ocean or Breitling Chronomat and although it is uinlikely to hold its resale value quite so well as those three watches, it’s definitely a watch you could pass down the family 30 years on – it has all the right elements, tough spec and plenty of visual appeal. Good work Bremont.
Christopher Ward has launched the C60 Sapphire Black. Like the original C60 Sapphire, the dial is made from ultra-thin, scratch-resistant sapphire. However, here, the sapphire has been ‘smoked’ – something that’s achieved through a complex process called physical vapour deposition (PVD). This involves placing the sapphire in a vacuum chamber filled with a vapour of silver and carbon graphite – heated to 400°C – for three hours. It’s then put in another chamber, this time filled with silicon oxide vapour, which adds protection.
The result is a subtly tinted transparent dial, says CW, that allows you to see deep into the Sellita SW200-1 movement. And with a compressive strength of 2,000 megapascals, it’s not just beautiful but incredibly tough, too. The dial is only part of the story. Turn the watch over and you can see the movement from behind thanks to the sapphire caseback, while the Light-catcher™ case is not only graceful but thin enough to slip under a shirt cuff. And at 40mm in diameter, pretty much suits every wrist.
Engineered to the requirements of a professional diving instrument, the watch is water-resistant to 600m, while the unidirectional bezel allows you to time your ascents – a vital safety tool for divers. Finally, power comes from the highly regarded Sellita SW200-1 movement, which delivers accuracy under the most testing of conditions. It’s on pre-order right now priced at £795.
There’s a blue version too, which is the same price.
Verdict: Great value automatics at this price are rare, you’re getting Swiss movement quality for about £500 less than entry level prestige brands that also use Sellita engines. Hard to fault CW as a value choice and this model has that Meccano fascination with the movement gears and jewels on show.
The old Army advert used to read, Be All You Can Be and modern fitness gurus are are all over the internet encouraging people to stay fit – especially as Covid lockdowns can really get you down mentally, as well as physically. So can the Skagen Jorn hybrid watch offer the right blend of health features, and convntional timekeeping?
Yes, probably. It looks the part, with moody black case and strap, so very milspec. Then there’s the chrono function buttons, which actually change the smartwatch functions. You can count steps, check heart rate, track your sleep pattern and set notifications too. It syncs via Bluetooth and has GPS, plus accelerometer, for those cycle rides or long distance hikes. You can set workout routes and then set PBs once we are allowed out properly. All good.
Syncs to Android or iPhones too, so you can link notifications and data sharing.
You can change the straps, plus it mild water resistance at 30m, not bad for the occasional dip in a hotel pool although we wouldn’t go wild swimming with Bear Grylls with this Skagen. Actually, wouldn’t dare try to keep up with Bear anywhere, except on a Ducati track day.
This 42mm watch costs £189 on the Skagen website and it needs charinging about once a fortnight, depending on use. Charging time is around 60-80 mins.
French watch brand Yema have some punchy, striking designs and they also have a Black Friday event on. Can’t fault that. With 30 percent off the Mecaquartz Rallygraf model retro 70s fans will be tempted to splash out. It’s a cool looking watch that captures the glam era of motorsport, and there are Panda and reverse Panda dial options available for under 300 euros.
Likewise, the Superman 2020 model with 30 percent off is another sweet deal, as Yema clear stock ready for next year’s watches. There are deals across the range and you can find out more here.
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.
The TAG Monaco has been a popular watch with collectors for decades. The square case, chrono functions, plus some marketing magic from the late Steve McQueen has helped this watch stand out from the crowd. For years, the movement inside was nothing special frankly, but now fitted with the in-house Cal 02 movement it has a bit more appeal for aficianados.
It has 80 hours of power reserve and features a clutch mechanism, so that when the chronograph functions are being used the watch keeps ticking, meaning no loss of timekeeping accuracy. The 02 series is a bit slimmer than the 01, so the Monaco has a less chunky appearance on the wrist than its predecessors.
Now fitted with a steel bracelet, the Monaco still has a mix of motorsport looks and dressier style, so it looks sharp with a suit. Maybe it always did? The bracelet is a homage to the original one fitted to the Monaco way back in the 80s and features a tapered link design, plus butterfly clasp.
At 39mm wide, the Monaco isn’t too big and there are black and blue dial colours. You can get the black dial model with a leather strap too. Price is expected to be around £5100 in the UK.