We like the AP Royal Oak of course, who wouldn’t? Classic design and it rivals the Rolex GMT II in terms of collector/investor appeal, especially a model like this with its camo style strap. Gives the watch a younger, fresher feel we reckon. Bidding is already over 10K by the way. Yeah. Better investment than Bitcoin some might say..here’s the word from the Watch Collecting auction site;
Introduced in 2019, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm Camouflage Collection reveals the historic watchmaker in playful mode. Produced in brown, green, and blue camo patterns, the blue is the most vibrant and has proved the most popular with collectors. Keeping the classic Mega Tapisserie chequerboard guilloche dial, in the same cobalt blue as the ceramic bezel, the hands are given a lift with red to the 6 and 9 o’clock and to the tip of the chronograph seconds. Crown and pushers are also colour coded in ceramic.
Inside is the cal. 3126/3840, which is AP’s in-house automatic cal. 3120 topped with a Dubois-Depraz chronograph module. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The strap is closed with a substantial steel pin buckle and for days when a more consistent colour scheme is required, a plain blue rubber strap is also included. Bought in its launch year of 2019, the watch is still covered by its purchase warranty which can be extended by a further three years via the Audemars Piguet website. The box, papers and additional strap are complete and in immaculate condition.
The vintage Seiko Alpinist has risen in value over the last few years. Collectors are loving its quiet brilliance and so it’s no surprise that Seiko are reviving this model with some modern watch tech built-in. It is a classic tool watch and you can depend on this one keeping most of its RRP value, plus keeping great time. Here’s the word from Seiko;
Born in 1959 as the Seiko Laurel Alpinist, this watch was a new departure for Seiko and marked its entry into the sports watch arena. It had a screw-back case to prevent dust or sand particles from entering the case. It had a sturdy leather cuff band to protect the watch from perspiration. The indexes and the hour and minute hands all had luminous inserts ensuring high legibility in the dark, and the name Alpinist was evoked in the mountain-shaped markers at the three, six, nine, and twelve o’clock positions. These four clearly differentiated markers represented the four main points on a compass and, with the specially designed marker at twelve o’clock, allowed the time to be read safely and correctly at any angle. This was a feature that became central to the design of many subsequent Seiko sports watches and remains so still today.
The re-creation brings the 1959 Alpinist back to life in every detail. The generously sized markers are, as before, set against a black gloss dial. White minute markers form an inner ring on the dial base, just as on the original. Of course, the indexes and the hour and minute hands are coated with Lumibrite for legibility in the dark. The glass is a box-shaped sapphire crystal that re-creates the gentle feel of the original watch’s characteristic domed glass. The watch is presented on a leather strap that has the same jagged stitch design as its predecessor.
A slimmer profile and upgraded specifications
While the re-creation is faithful to the original design, it has been brought right up to date in technology and has the high specifications and functionality for which Prospex is renowned. It now incorporates a date window between four and five o’clock and is water resistant to 10 bar. The box-shaped sapphire crystal is treated with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface, delivering high legibility. The watch is powered by the slimline Caliber 6L35 which has a power reserve of 45 hours. Despite the addition of a date and the enhanced performance, the case is just 1.0mm thicker.
The re-creation will be available as a limited edition of 1,959 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in August 2021.
The limited edition retails at just under $3000, which is pretty steep. However, there is a cooking version with more water resistance, details below;
PROSPEX PLOT TWIST
Then Seiko thought, let’s merge the Alpinist looks with the Prospex dive vibe. Smart move.
In addition to the limited edition, three other new watches pay homage to the 1959 Alpinist. They are inspired by the original watch’s distinctive design but are modern in their execution and, of course, up to date in technology, form and function. Lumibrite is applied to all three hands and the indexes that rest on silver bases to create a multi-dimensional effect. The cases are polished to creating a modern look, especially when combined with the gently rounded contour of the dial and case.
All three watches are powered by Caliber 6R35 which delivers a power reserve of 70 hours. The glass is a curved sapphire crystal that is resistant to scratches and the watches are all water resistant to 20 bar. Two watches are offered on stainless steel bracelets while the green dial version comes with a leather strap.
All three watches take their place in the mainstream Prospex collection and will be available at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in August 2021. These retail at a more affordable £730-ish.
There is something to be said for the classic, minimalist timekeeper. A watch that just has bold hands and markers, maybe a sub-second dial, and does the job. No fancy bezels, no chrono pushers. Just a 1960s gents watch, utilitarian and elegant at the same time. Versatile even. At the same time, enthusiasts want a watch that can last a lifetime, made to high standards with accuracy as the foundation stone. Nomos Glashutte are on the case, here’s the word from their press office;
Distinctively fine watches have been produced in Glashütte for 175 years—an anniversary the watchmaking company NOMOS Glashütte celebrated with the release of two special limited-edition models.
And now the third is here: Club by NOMOS Glashütte comes in three new colorways, each limited to 175 pieces. The three names: Club automatic onyx, Club automatic navy, Club automatic olive. This popular model with domed sapphire crystal glass is available in beautiful shades of green, blue, and black (galvanized).
Within these timepieces, the NOMOS movement DUW 5001 is at work—the first self-winding caliber from the watchmaking company, introduced in 2005. The diameter measures 40 millimeters. All three watches are also easily legible at night. NOMOS Glashütte has crafted these long-lasting timepieces with the next generation of watch owners in mind. People, in other words, who will need a good watch on the wrist for decades to come.
First, there was Ludwig – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, which celebrated the town’s heritage as the center of German watchmaking. Then came Lambda – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, which represented the very best of Glashütte handcraft. And now there is an entirely different watch: An automatic model with an in-house built caliber and the proprietary NOMOS swing system adjusted according to chronometer standards. Available for an entry-level price which many people will find attractive: “A group of customers that has always been of great importance to us,” says NOMOS CEO Uwe Ahrendt.
Each of these watches comes with its own beautiful accessory: The elegant and complementary strap—a light gray and blue-black textile strap for the olive green and navy models respectively, and the NOMOS Sport bracelet for the onyx version. These watches are available from March in select retailers and online in the NOMOS Store, starting from 1960 GBP.
OK, it’s not even February yet but Blancpain are in the mood for love and have launched a new heart-themed ladies watch. It’s a limited edition of just 28 pieces, priced at just over 21,000 euros, so yeah, pretty rare. Here’s the word from Blancpain;
Just as it has been each year since 2001, February 14th is the perfect occasion for a special encounter between Blancpain and women. For its 21st Valentine’s Day special
series, the Manufacture thus offers a heavenly interpretation of its Villeret Women Date model in a 28-piece limited edition. Dedicated to celebrating lovers, this new model is all about airy lightness. The white mother-of-pearl dial is an invitation to soar above the clouds, where Cupid playfully hides from the gaze of those he has struck with his arrow. The source of every desire is symbolised by the seconds hand, sweeping a crimson-red heart matching the watch’s alligator leather strap along in its dance. The open worked hour and minute hands accentuate the refinement of this timepiece, enhanced by the precious touches of a diamond-set chapter ring and bezel.
Blancpain sees women as both muses and captains. The Manufacture draws inspiration from their inherent delicacy to compose soft and sparkling creations, piloted by mechanisms reflecting the boldness of their nature. The very soul of this lyrical watch, housed in a 33.2mm red gold case, resides in a self-winding Haute Horlogerie movement: Blancpain calibre 1151. Derived from the famous 1150, it is endowed with a silicon balance-spring and a four day power reserve, as well as a date display. Because beauty is first and foremost an inner quality, a sapphire caseback reveals the finely decorated intricate workings that voluptuously mark off time.
The magical ties between Blancpain and women have been faithfully woven since 1930, when the Maison created the first self-winding ladies’ wristwatch. This fusional relationship was further consolidated three years later when a woman, Betty Fiechter, took the helm of the company, thus becoming the first to head a watchmaking Manufacture. The ensuing years saw a succession of feminine horological creations representing open declarations of Blancpain’s love for women. The “Valentine’s Day 2021” watch is a new token of eternity. The understated elegance of its design, reflecting the very essence of Blancpain style, ensures that this gem-set timepiece joins the ranks of truly ageless models. The temptation to offer such a priceless gift to the love of your life is all the greater in that this model comes in a limited edition of just 28.
The latest from Zenith, who have a special edition of the Defy model, aimed at the potentially lucrative Middle East watch buyer market;
Over the years, the emirate of Dubai has become a global hub for fine watchmaking. Steeped in tradition yet unrelentingly reaching towards the future, Dubai and Zenith are a perfect match. Located in Dubai Mall, the booming emirate’s largest and most luxurious shopping destination, the Zenith boutique in Dubai hosts the entire Zenith collection in a prime location.
And as of November, the Dubai Mall boutique becomes the first stop in a traveling pop-up exhibition that brings together a selection of current Haute Horlogerie pieces as well as a selection of rare and sought-after pieces from the past decade, some of which have never been presented in Dubai until now. Coinciding with this special exhibition, the Zenith Dubai Mall boutique is launching its own exclusive DEFY El Primero 21 edition.
For this special boutique edition of the DEFY El Primero 21, Zenith opted for tones of green – inside and out. Across the Middle East, green is the colour of, luck, fertility and wealth.
Crafted in a light and robust titanium case, the DEFY 21 Dubai Mall edition features a green dial with white, red and black accents. The 1/100th of second automatic chronograph movement, visible through the partially open dial, is also finished in a metallic green tone – a first for Zenith. Unlike the regular DEFY 21 that has open chronograph counters, the DEFY 21 Dubai Mall edition mixes tradition and modernity with closed counters, appearing as if floating above the open dial and movement. Completing the green theme of this special DEFY 21 is a khaki green cordura-effect rubber strap. The watch also comes with a textured black rubber strap.
There is something impresive about a microrotor automatic watch. Perhaps it’s the Airfix model maker in me, but I love engineering in miniature. Think about how watches evolved, from a sort of pocket clock, complete with a pendulum in the 17th century, to the quartz, or even liquid powered watches of today. Getting power from a rotor to wind the mainspring is no easy task, and so I say big respect to Ming who have a wonderful, superbly detailed movement inside the 19.05 model – just released.
Look at the engraving on the rotor. That matte rose gold colour of the bridgework is pure Omega homage circa 1960 – which was a very good year for Omegas as it goes – and the dial is made from a slice of sapphire. Skeleton parts and beautiful, big synthetic jewels help make this Etienne-Schwarz movement a work of art that is worth viewing through the case back. Titanium case, and the bezel has slots cut into it, so that the superlume shines through.
This 39mm case sized watch is a high quality project made by people who love the obsessive details that underpin watchmaking. The dial is a super clean design, reminding me of the classic Movado Museum with its black face and minimal markings. One dial option on the Ming has little separate sections, rather like the outer Eco driving lights on a Mercedes dashboard, set around the chapter ring. It’s another understated touch on a watch that is all abot the craft, the tech, the excellence for its own sake.
You get a beautiful Jean Rousseau leather strap, or titanium bracelet option – 20mm lugs.
At about £8500 this isn’t an entry level watch. That is proper Rolex money and some may feel a twinge of panic if they spend that sum on a watch called Ming. It isn’t a cool name, sorry but there it is – has to be said. On the upside Ming are only creating 15 examples of this watch so it is going to be rare, but this is one you have to buy with your heart, simply because you admire the intricate beauty of the piece. Some watches are born to be investments, some are born to dare. This is one of the latter and hats off to anyone with the cojones to put a watch like this out there. Amazing.
Christmas is almost here again, and this year there are two special gifts from the watchmaking company NOMOS Glashütte. These two new versions of the classic Ludwig: one larger and highly elegant (Ludwig 38 enamel white at 38 millimeters in diameter), the other in a smaller size (Ludwig 33 duo enamel white at 33 millimeter in diameter).
Both watches feature Roman numerals, fine indexes, and railroad minute markers—also known in French as chemin de fer. A slender pocket watch-style case is the perfect finishing touch, since Ludwig by NOMOS is a timepiece for traditionalists. Just like the Glashütte watchmakers who began honing their craft in the small town in Saxony, eastern Germany 175 years ago.
These may be atypical design elements for NOMOS Glashütte, yet they serve to make these models all the more classic. To mark the anniversary, both timepieces come with glossy enamel-white dials reminiscent of early pocket watches. Thanks to modern technology they are robust and made to last, and as such they are especially beautiful. The hands are tempered blue.
Both models are powered by Alpha—the caliber that ticks in more watches from NOMOS Glashütte than any other. Three-quarter plate, tempered blue screws, and Glashütte ribbing are all beautifully on show through the sapphire crystal glass. The smaller, women’s version is a two-hand model and therefore belongs to the “duo” series, since it tells time in minutes and hours only.
To make these watches an even more attractive gift for someone special, NOMOS Glashütte has considered their prices carefully: The exquisite enamel-white dial, itself a tribute to the 175th anniversary of Glashütte watchmaking, can be thought of as a Christmas gift from the company—and so the smaller version, Ludwig duo, is available from 1,060 GBP; the larger version from 1,580 GBP.
Ball watches are marking the 110th birthday of Lt Richard Best, who sunk two Japanese aircraft carriers at the battle of Midway. The battle was regarded as a crucial turning point in the Pacific theatre and Best’s part in sinking two out of the three carriers that the Japanese placed in the battle has been well documented.
Here’s the word from Ball;
BALL presents the Engineer Best series – a trio of vintage military inspired timepieces. The Engineer M Best Bronze model is fortified by a bronze case and powered by the Caliber RRM 7309-C, while two stainless steel models run on COSC precision. With creative engineering, all three models feature micro gas tubes integrated above and below the dial – illuminating all 60 minutes.
The automatic delivers certified COSC precision with an 80-hour power reserve that still beats at 28,800 bph. It’s housed inside an aluminum bronze alloy case that offers incredible impact strength and superior corrosion resistance. The bronze patina will age beautifully based on your experiences – resulting in its own unique story to tell.
Limited to 1,000 pieces each. The Engineer Best is an online exclusive series and is now available for pre-order until 18 November 2020 at an exclusive price.
The latest news from the Frederique Constant press office;
Frederique Constant is excited to announce two limited-edition timepieces made in collaboration with international watch collective, RedBar Group. Following the recent launch of the Highlife 2020 Collection, Frederique Constant is releasing two additional models; the Highlife Automatic COSC and the Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture – specially designed by RedBar Group.
The RedBar Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture features the FC-775 manufacture caliber movement with a perpetual calendar and a circular Côtes de Genève decoration. The automatic watch has a power reserve of 38 hours and vibrates at 28,800 alt/h. The case is 41mm in diameter, which will be a perfect size for many watch fans, and is made from polished stainless steel.
The dark grey dial includes a globe motif, plus hand-polished silver hands with white luminous coating. White counter hands, and a bold red-coloured moonphase give it a distinctive visual appeal. This an exclusive watch, as The RedBar Highlife Perpetual Calendar Manufacture is limited to just 10 pieces.
Both models are presented in a leather-bound collectors case with the original integrated steel bracelet. There’s also an alternate grey leather strap with red stitching, allowing wearers to choose a classic or sporty look.
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.