OK, we are in two minds about the latest Rolex Explorer with two-tone bracelet. Yes, it adds a kinda executive touch to a watch that has looked a little bit dated for a few decades. But 18ct gold centre links? Hmm, yeah it’s a bit Swiss Tony. Plus a 36mm case size is too small for much of the 50-60-something, male dominated market that Rolex enjoys. The watch collector market has got used to 40mm being the default size for a statement watch on the wrist. That’s all we are saying Rolex, so get that 39/41mm case option prototype tested and in production for September.
Here’s the press blurb from Rolex;
Rolex is presenting its new-generation Oyster Perpetual Explorer. At 36 mm, it returns to the size of the original model launched in 1953 following the first ascent to the summit of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on 29 May that year.
The new-generation Explorer is notably released in a yellow Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold). The black dial, now lacquered, bears the index hour markers and emblematic 3, 6 and 9 numerals that are the cornerstones of the model’s personality, evoking the determination and spirit of adventure that give rise to great achievements.
The new-generation Explorer’s Chromalight display is particularly impressive. In dark conditions, the intensity of the blue glow emitted by the hour markers and hands now lasts longer thanks to the innovative and exclusive luminescent material with which they are filled or coated. In daylight, these display elements also have a brighter white hue.
The new-generation Explorer is equipped with calibre 3230, a movement at the forefront of watchmaking technology. Like all Rolex watches, the Oyster Perpetual Explorer carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance on the wrist.
AN EXPLORATION TOOL
Presented in 1953, the Explorer is emblematic of the close ties between Rolex and exploration. In the 1930s, the brand began to equip numerous Himalayan expeditions with Oyster watches. Among these was the group that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were part of when they became the first to reach the summit of Mount Everest, at 8,848 metres (29,028 feet).
This pioneering move illustrated the company’s ambition to use the world as a laboratory, testing its watches in real conditions in order to continually improve them. The feedback that Rolex received from the members of these different expeditions therefore had a direct influence on the evolution of its watches, making them more precise and robust.
GOLD CENTRE LINKS
Rolesor, the combination of 18 ct gold and Oystersteel on a Rolex watch, has been a signature feature of the brand since 1933, when the name was registered. It is a meeting of two metals: one, noble and precious, attractive for its lustre and stability; the other, highly resistant to corrosion, assuring strength and reliability. All of these qualities mirror the elegance and performance that come together in a Rolex watch.
On the yellow Rolesor version of the new-generation Explorer, the bezel, winding crown and centre links of the bracelet are in 18 ct yellow gold, while the case and outer links of the bracelet are in Oystersteel.
100m WATER RESISTANCE
The new-generation Explorer’s 36 mm Oyster case is guaranteed waterproof to a depth of 100 metres (330 feet). Its middle case is crafted from a solid block of Oystersteel, a particularly corrosion-resistant alloy. The case back, edged with fine fluting, is hermetically screwed down with a special tool that allows only Rolex watchmakers to access the movement. The Twinlock winding crown, fitted with a double waterproofness system, screws down securely against the case. The crystal is made of virtually scratchproof sapphire. The waterproof Oyster case provides optimum protection for the watch’s movement.
MODERN MOVEMENT, PLENTY OF RESERVE
The new-generation Explorer is equipped with calibre 3230, a movement entirely developed and manufactured by Rolex that was released in 2020. At the forefront of watchmaking technology, this self-winding mechanical movement led to the filing of several patents, and offers outstanding performance in terms of precision, power reserve, resistance to shocks and magnetic fields, convenience and reliability.
Calibre 3230 incorporates the Chronergy escapement patented by Rolex, which combines high energy efficiency with great dependability. Made of nickel-phosphorus, it is also insensitive to magnetic fields. The movement is fitted with an optimized blue Parachrom hairspring, manufactured by Rolex in a paramagnetic alloy that makes it up to 10 times more precise than a traditional hairspring in case of shocks. The blue Parachrom hairspring is equipped with a Rolex overcoil, ensuring the calibre’s regularity in any position. The oscillator is fitted on the Rolex-designed and -patented high-performance Paraflex shock absorbers, increasing the movement’s shock resistance.
Calibre 3230 is equipped with a self-winding module via a Perpetual rotor. Thanks to its barrel architecture and the escapement’s superior efficiency, the power reserve of calibre 3230 extends to approximately 70 hours.
LIV have just launched a new variation on their GX range, with a Type-D quartz alarm model, in orange, grey, black or blue.
As you would expect they are striking, vivid designs with a big crown and another decent sized button activating the alarm function. At 43mm wide the case is chunky and a range of sporty synthetic straps are available too. Water resistant to 200m, with a sapphire crystal they are a cut above many other fashion watches that feature a dive ability, plus you get the alarm as a bonus feature.
Do you like that twin date window detail? We reckon it adds a little touch extra and overall LIV are producing modern watches that really stand out from so many other Indie brands – you kind of recognise a LIV watch even without the logo, if you catch our drift. That’s a good thing.
Swiss Ronda quartz movements and you get a 5 year guarantee too by the way.
Price is £321, more details at the LIV website.
We reckon it was. Seen on rally cars like the insane Porsche 911, the Le Mans racers of the famed 24 hour endurance events, US sports cars, or the amazing Honda V4 race bikes – and a few road bikes – the Rothmans red/white/blue combo just defined that era. Which some today even cite as the greates decade in motorsports of all time.
Yes, we just started a pub debate and the pubs aren’t even open. But look at the evidence; Doohan vs Rainey and Schwantz in 500 GPs, the Audi Quattro and Group B in Rallying. Then there’s the battles between Piquet, Prost and Senna in F1, plus the bonkers turbo cars of the time. World Superbikes also started in the late 80s. I rest my case, and my can of Kestrel lager.
So this Omologato Heritage watch, with a Seiko quartz movement inside its 42mm steel case, chrono functions, plus natty Italian leather strap is a vintage delight. Reliable and decent value at £370. That’s all, it just does exactly what a retro watch should do – looks like a million dollars standing still.
Viqueria are one of our fave brands, with typically Italian flair oozing from every part of their top value watches. They have a new project on Kickstarter, which shares a name with the classic Aprilia hooligan all-rounder sportbike, the Tuono. Here’s the spec;
The list of features includes a unidirectional 120-click rotatable matte ceramic bezel bearing a minute scale enriched with BGW9 SuperLume. The VIQUERIA TUONO timepiece are assembled in Italy with passion and are shipped with a 24 months international warranty. All VIQUERIA TUONO are shipped with a matching MADE IN ITALY leather strap. As optional you could add a JUBILEE solid links Stainless Steel bracelet and a Made in Italy rubber strap with a nice Vanilla scent. (Not sure why they keep shouting in CAPITAL letters, but y’know…brand power n all that. – Ed)
- Mechanical Automatic Movement: Miyota 9130 with Power Reserve complication;
- Water Resistance: 200 meters / 660 feet / 20 ATM;
- Sapphire Crystal with Anti-Reflective Coating;
- 120 click Ceramic Bezel with BGW9 Lume;
- 3 Sunray Dials: Thunder Gray – Ocean Blue – Coffee Brown;
- 1 Full Lume Dial: Crystal White;
- 316L Stainless Steel Case with Sapphire Transparent Caseback;
- Crown: Screw-In with engraved Viqueria logo;
- Case Diameter: 41mm;
- Thickness: 13.5mm;
- Lug Width: 20mm;
- Lug to Lug: 48mm;
- Straps: Made in Italy Leather Strap;
- Bracelet: Solid Links Jubilee Bracelet (optional);
- Rubber: Made in Italy Rubber Strap (optional) with Vanilla scent;
- Assembled in Italy. Each piece is individually numbered.
- 2 Years International Warranty.
Prices start at £307 on the early bird deal which is competitive we reckon. Delivery expected in July this year. More info here.
We know from our WordPress stats that you love Zelos watches and who can blame you? Great value dive watches, superb looks too. Plus they seem to hold their value well as regards resale online, which is handy.
Here’s the latest info from Zelos into our Inbox;
The SF40 was one of our hottest launches of 2020 and its back with the same great design and amazing value. This batch of Swordfish 40s feature all new dials including unique materials such as a dark blue Mother of Pearl dial and blue Meteorite. Stock is limited for this batch so do act quick! The Teal dial model at $269 is a fave of ours, although don’t forget to add on UK customs duty and VAT to the price – which could be another £100 or so, we cannot get a clear answer on any UK Gov website.
I’m also proud to launch 2 limited editions of the SF40. A full Tantalum case and bezel is rarely used in watches due to its difficulty and cost to machine, but its hefty feel and unique blueish grey hue sets it apart from any other material.
The ‘Space Coral’ carbon fiber dial features copper additives to form a unique wood grain pattern.
For lovers of bronze, we will be launching a bronze SF40 in 1-2 weeks time so do stay tuned!
Torgeon has updated its T25 GMT model with three new dial colours, gunmetal, maroon and green. Lots of watch enthusiasts like a dial with bold colours and big numbers, and why not? The T25 has a kind of aircraft instruments vibe that is sporty and looks modern, plus the new dial colours offer more choice for your festive shopping budget.
There’s a 20% off deal right now, so the handsome green dial model with a Ronda quartz movement inside is £215. Not bad and we reckon this is a better spec watch than many fashion brand watches, that have a humble Miyota movement inside the case, plus a large plastic spacer. No names mentioned.
More info here.
Remember the Mini Moke? Maybe not, as you’d have to be aged 50 plus most likely to recall the days when the Moke could be seen buzzing about British holiday resorts, or in re-runs of cult TV show The Prisoner. But if you love the Moke’s 60s vibe, then good news – MOKE International Limited announces the return of one of Britain’s great automotive icons. Here’s the press info and we look forward to the official Bremont, Tribus, Newmark or Christopher Ward watch!
From today, UK customers will be able to order one of 56 limited edition MOKEs, an allocation selected to signify the number of years since the Mini MOKE first appeared in Britain in 1964. Order books also open for MOKEs in standard configuration, conforiming the permanent return of the brand.
MOKE International revives a quintessentially British design that has charmed for more than half a century. Brigitte Bardot epitomised Riviera chic in her MOKE. The brand has since been enjoyed and championed by fun-seekers including Kate Moss and DJ Khalid. To date the car has also appeared in four James Bond films.
The original MOKE was designed in the 1960s by Sir Alec Issigonis, the architect of the Austin Mini. It was first specified as a military vehicle engineered to be robust enough for deployment behind enemy lines by aeroplane. The original shared components including suspension and chassis with the Mini. The MOKE soon became one of the best-loved symbols of the 1960s. Becoming the mode of travel for the inhabitants of the most exclusive coastal resorts in Europe, the Caribbean, US and Asia. To this day it remains the beachhouse-to-waterfront shuttle of choice.
56 CARS FOR 56 YEARS
MOKE will mark its homecoming with a strictly limited run of 56 cars, built for sale exclusively in the United Kingdom. Each is available in 14 colour options and the Limited Edition ‘MOKE 56’ comes with chrome front grille and windscreen rails, a discrete union jack badge and a numbered plaque on the bonnet.
Waiting lists are filling fast with resorts and private buyers in English coastal hotspots taking particular interest.
REDESIGNED AND REBORN
The original MOKE trademark was acquired in 2015 and is now owned by MOKE International Limited. The initial focus has been on meeting demand in the Caribbean market where MOKE is popular with both private buyers and luxury resorts and hotels. Following UK regulatory approval, MOKEs are now available to purchase across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Additional models will be launched across Europe, the USA and beyond in 2021.
In reviving the brand, MOKE International has gathered a team from some of the most celebrated names in the industry. Isobel Dando, leads the board of management with an automotive career that spans two decades. This includes senior commercial and product leadership roles at Jaguar Land Rover and the BMW Group.
ENGINEERING AND PERFORMANCE
MOKE International will stay true to its British and Continental roots through its strategic approach to manufacturing and engineering. All MOKE bodies will be engineered and sub-assembled in the centre of Britain’s globally renowned specialist automotive manufacturing industry in the Midlands before being shipped to Cerizay, France for final assembly.
Mark Truman leads MOKE’s engineering and production functions having held senior technical roles at Aston Martin, Ford and Jaguar Land Rover.
“My role at MOKE is to preserve the integrity and spirit of the original MOKE whilst incorporating the very best of today’s technologies that match the requirements of a new generation.”
Mark Truman, Engineering Lead comments;
Today’s MOKEs remain true to the look and feel of the original, with a particular focus on maintaining the sense of fun and freedom that has endeared the car to so many. Updates include a new 4 cylinder, fuel injection engine, uprated suspension, braking and the option for either automatic transmission or manual.
The vehicle is also slightly larger to provide more cabin space. Features previously viewed as a luxury like power steering and heated windscreen now, of course, come as standard.
From today, UK buyers will be invited to order either the limited edition ’MOKE 56’ or the standard MOKE Classic, full production of MOKEs in standard configuration also start today. Indicative pricing starts at £20,000 excluding local taxes and delivery.
Interested buyers should register interest at https://mokeinternational.com/customise
Rolex has launched the long awaited updated Submariner for 2020. The case size moves up slightly to 41mm, there’s a ceramic bezel insert and the bracelet also gets an upgrade. You can’t blame Rolex for not wanting to upset its loyal investors by changing a winning formula, so the look of the watch – date window, or no window – pretty much remains the same.
The big news is that the movement has been upgraded, so you now get a 70 hour power reserve, which is very useful. The bracelet gets the GlideLock system, so you have about 20mm of play that you as an owner can adjust, rather than take it to the dealership where you will be relieved of perhaps £65 for having a link removed.
There’s a new light blue, or teal coloured superlume on the markers too, which we think looks the business.
Prices start at just over £7600, but with extremely long waiting lists being fairly common at UK authorised dealers, the RRP is largely a minor detail when it comes to Submariners, especially green ones. Demand will exceed supply so expect to pay about nine or ten grand on the `flipper’ market – if you can find one.
Here’s some spec info from Rolex;
The Submariner’s rotatable bezel is a key functionality of the watch. Its engraved 60-minute graduations allow a diver to accurately and safely monitor diving time and decompression stops. Manufactured by Rolex from a hard, corrosion-resistant ceramic, the Cerachrom bezel insert is virtually scratchproof. A luminescent capsule on the zero marker ensures legibility, no matter how dark the environment. The bezel’s knurled edge is carefully designed to offer excellent grip under water, even with gloves.
A yellow Rolesor version (combining Oystersteel and 18 ct yellow gold) of the Submariner Date presents a royal blue dial with a rotatable bezel and a blue Cerachrom insert.
Two versions of the Submariner Date, one in Oystersteel and the other in 18ct white gold, bring original colour combinations, with the dial and Cerachrom insert in different hues. The first watch blends a black dial with a green bezel, while the second proposes a black dial and a blue bezel.
Maurice Lacroix watches are one of those middling Swiss brands that many collectors swerve, mainly due to the poor resale values. I’ve seen jewellers blow dust off a Lacroix watch in the Pre-Owned window for three Christmas seasons in a row before finally cutting 500 quid from the asking price to get rid of it.
That said, they are proper watches and the Pontos is a respctable auto model with top notch build quality. We love the bronze case model with the green dial, it’s a got a real symmetry and simplicity about it. Worth paying over £2500 for a 7750 or SW200 powered watch when there are plenty of 7750/200 engined cheaper rivals out there? Hmm, jury’s out on that point.
To celebrate 20 years of Pontos, ML have issued a special edition, plus a few upgrades to existing models. Here’s the word from their press office;
An alternating set of matte and shiny finishes highlights the profile of a case shared by the three models of the PONTOS collection. The first is the PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher, launched as a limited edition to celebrate the collection’s 20th anniversary. The second is a new version of the steel automatic chronograph, the PONTOS Chronograph. The third is a new extension of the Day-Date model, available as an exceptional bronze version with a green dial, or in steel with a silvered dial.
THE NOBILITY OF A CLASSIC COMPLICATION
The PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher is a limited edition of 500 pieces and plays on impressions with initially unsuspected depth. Here, the ML166 automatic monopusher chronograph calibre is used as a historical reference to the development of complications as well as for its aesthetic benefits. Its single pusher creates asymmetry and breaks with common expectations of chronographs.
After all, nothing about the PONTOS Chronograph Monopusher is truly classic. Its dimensions of 41 mm are completely contemporary. The same goes for the treatment of the steel. Maurice Lacroix has coated it using PVD technology to make it totally black and durable, ensuring resistance to abrasion and scratches, but above all uncompromising aesthetics. A gradient stretches across the dial, with black at the edges that gradually grows lighter towards the centre, which is a mid-grey. Halfway across, the telemeter and tachymeter come into view, one red and the other blue.
These two scales cross paths with the chronograph’s minute counter and the small seconds, creating a complex design appreciated by fans of traditional watchmaking. They will also pick up on the circular-grained and Côtes de Genève finishes of the movement, and a sunray-brushed oscillating weight with Côtes de Genève, visible through a transparent sapphire case back.
THE MODERNITY OF A TIMELESS CHRONOGRAPH
Two versions of the PONTOS Chronograph have arrived, blending modernity and timeless style as always. Inside the PONTOS steel case with a larger diameter of 43 mm, the ML112 automatic chronograph calibre gives PONTOS a whole new dimension. The dial is available as a lacquered white or sunray-brushed grey version, where the hour markers take the form of applied Arabic numerals for the first time.
The PONTOS Chronograph pieces draw on an unusual colour balance that is actually a common Maurice Lacroix stylistic feature. The white dial therefore contrasts with a bright blue tint, while yellow gold appliqués stand out against the grey dial. These shades, textures and the soft, rounded font of the Arabic numerals create a powerful design dynamic and exude a contemporary, sport-chic style that lies at the heart of the PONTOS Chronograph identity.
These same shades are adopted by the partially skeletonised hands and the counters at 6 and 12 o’clock, which are used to read the chronograph indications. The PONTOS Chronograph pieces are available on a blue calfskin strap with Maurice Lacroix’s M logo, complemented by a three-link steel bracelet. This bracelet adopts the same alternating satin-finished and polished finishes of the case that accentuate its edges.
Last but not least, the PONTOS Chronograph case backs bear an engraving marking the 20th anniversary of the collection.
A DIAL WITH A WEALTH OF DETAILS
The PONTOS Day-Date – the first model from the PONTOS range to have been redesigned in 2017 – is joined by two new versions. Yet the design details of this 41 mm model remain unchanged, with triangular hour-markers, a sunken minute circle, cut-outs in the dial at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock that highlight the date and the day respectively, and slightly trapezoidal hands with a rigorous design.
The effect produced by these geometric elements and their clever positioning on flatteringly finished dials is the result of pertinent modernity. It makes the PONTOS Day-Date pieces truly timeless and capable of standing the test of time.
Maurice Lacroix has built on these foundations with a unlimited edition that presents a bronze case and a green dial. The tones of the rose gold PVD-treated hands and the bronze case are reflected in the rhodium-plated hour-markers, their facets changing colour with each movement. This mirror effect is further amplified by the bottle green shade of the dial, which bestows a vintage yet contemporary look on the model.
Alongside this, the PONTOS Day-Date welcomes an incredibly understated silvered sunray-brushed dial, warmed up by an appliqué logo, hands and hour-markers that are rose gold in colour. The full elegance of the PONTOS Day-Date is revealed thanks to a three-link steel bracelet or a matte black calfskin strap, all the while keeping its vigour and modern twist.
UP TO DATE
PONTOS is not afraid of paradoxes. Twenty years after its launch, the collection is more capable than ever of inspiring awe thanks to its details, quality of workmanship and contrasts. It also boasts a variety of models, movements and complications with plenty of potential remaining for the future. The renewed relevance of its design brings PONTOS up to date and ensures it will last. These assets are further emphasised by Maurice Lacroix’s desire to present these high-quality models at fair prices.