Tag Archives: flight

Bell+Ross Red Radar. It’s Very Red.

There is a place in watch collecting for timepieces that look like jet fighter dials. Suzuki did it over 40 years ago with their famous GS750/1000 clocks display and it’s been a popular styling detail ever since. Love that night mode red glow!

Now Bell + Ross has the revived Red Radar model for 2021, with some aviation goodness. Maybe it’s just too much like a radar screen to actaully let you know the time in a hurry? Anyway here’s the press info;

This year, Bell & Ross is back with a new Red Radar, the spectacular BR 03-92 Red Radar Ceramic. This avant-garde timepiece is also
inspired by a radar screen and brings its own innovative reinterpretation to the watch display.

It forms part of Bell & Ross’ iconic Flight Instruments collection which brings together exclusive timepieces, inspired by instruments
on board jet planes. It is available in a limited edition of 999 pieces.  Its design – very similar to an aircraft radar – was surprising and spectacular in equal measure.

Its graphics reproduced the scanning motion of the light beam on a radar screen with stunning realism. The bright red crystal topping the dial is reminiscent of the flight control instrument. The time can be read via a system of rotating discs, combined with an analogue hand. The dial is topped with a red sapphire crystal.

The system comprises two concentric discs which fuse with the dial. Its playful design is reminiscent of a stylised toy. These elements replace the hour and minute hands. In a major new feature, the discs move two tiny screenprinted planes, giving the impression that these are flying over the dial.

The hour scale is screen-printed on the inside (back) of the sapphire crystal, and so is well protected from impacts and abrasions.
For this innovative display, two ultra-light discs had to be designed to preserve the power reserve. These very robust discs will not deform and they maintain a constant parallelism.

Our watchmakers worked hard to ensure that the precision of the watch movement was not altered by friction. The assembly of each of these components was fine-tuned to the nearest micron. Guaranteeing such precision required all our in-house engineers to pool their expertise.

The newcomer adopts the BR 03 case, which is 42 mm in diameter. In constant pursuit of innovation and performance, on this occasion Bell & Ross has chosen to use ceramic. This high-tech material is scratch-resistant, yet soft to the touch.

UK price is £3600.

Pottery Throwdown? No, This IWC is Tough Stuff

IWC have a strong reputation when it comes to pilots watches, in fact some might say they are the go-to choice. Others would perhaps choose a Breitling, or maybe a Bell & Ross. So a new variation – and a revival of a cult classic – of the familiar Pilot Chronograph is always interesting. Here’s the press release from IWC;

With the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705”, IWC Schaffhausen travels back in time to honour the legendary Ceramic Fliegerchronograph (ref. 3705) from 1994. After fading into obscurity for almost a quarter of a century, it became a cult classic and is now considered one of the most sought-after models from IWC’s recent history. The new tribute edition faithfully replicates the original’s dial design. Instead of using ceramic, however, it features a case made of Ceratanium®, a groundbreaking new material developed by IWC. Powered by the in-house 69380 calibre and fitted on a black calfskin strap, this special edition is limited to 1000 watches and sold exclusively on IWC.com.

Now we are no fans of watches or bracelets made from pottery here at The Northern Watch Co, because they shatter like a kid’s toy on Boxing Day. So this is good news, but there’s more;

Throughout its 152-year history, IWC has created modern icons such as the Big Pilot or the Portugieser Chronograph. But tucked away in the archives, there are also hidden gems; timepieces that are overlooked before they shoot to unexpected fame. One such model is the “IWC Fliegerchronograph Keramik” from 1994, which was IWC’s first Pilot’s Watch with a case made of black zirconium oxide ceramic. Despite its use of this highly innovative material and its purist instrument design, the chronograph enjoyed little success. After only about a thousand pieces, production was discontinued a few years later.

Very spartan, functional and matt black.

FROM OBSCURITY TO A CULT CLASSIC

The ref. 3705 did not become famous until about a quarter of a century later. Following various articles on specialised blogs, the “Black Flieger” caught the attention of a growing number of watch enthusiasts. With luminous indices and hands, which had aged over time to a warm orange, the once-forgotten chronograph was winning collector’s hearts with its distinct neovintage charm. One piece from the personal collection of former IWC director Günter Blümlein was auctioned for a staggering 53,750 US dollars. But the ref. 3705 does not only embody IWC’s heritage as a manufacturer of professional instrument watches for aviators. With its black ceramic case, the model is also an early testimony to the extensive materials expertise that IWC has acquired since the 1980s; a quality that still distinguishes the company as a modern watchmaker today.

FROM ZIRCONIUM OXIDE CERAMIC TO CERATANIUM®

The newly released Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” (Ref. 387905) pays homage to this exceptional timepiece and is limited to 1000 pieces. The dial is a replica of the original from the 1990s. Two totalizers at 9 and 12 o’clock display stop times of up to 12 hours, the small second is located at 6 o’clock. Another feature is the day and date display at 3 o’clock. The ref. 3705 was pioneering in the use of black ceramic, and the tribute edition likewise features a recent innovation from IWC’s material scientists: the case, chronograph pushers and pin buckle are made of Ceratanium®, an IWC-developed material that is light and robust like titanium, but also similarly hard and scratch-resistant like ceramic. In the first step, the case components are machined from a special titanium alloy. Afterwards, the parts are treated in a furnace firing process, during which a phase transformation takes place, and the surface of the material assumes properties similar to ceramic.

It has the edge over the Omega Speedmaster in terms of easy-to-read dial markers n hands, would you agree?

POWERED BY THE IN-HOUSE 69 CALIBRE

While the original ref. 3705 was powered by the Valjoux calibre 7750, the new Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” boasts sophisticated movement technology from Schaffhausen. Inside the 41-millimetre case, the in-house 69380 calibre is at work. This robust and precise chronograph movement in classic column wheel design is one of the latest developments from IWC’s engineers. A bi-directional pawl winding system reliably builds up a power reserve of 46 hours. The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Tribute to 3705” is available exclusively through IWC.com, wechat, YNAP, and official flagship store on Tmall as a limited edition of 1000 pieces.

Battle of Britain Duo From Bremont -Exclusive Ltd Edition Watches

As a tribute to the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, Bremont has created a rather special limited run of 80 box sets containing two timepieces in its honour, the Hurricane and Spitfire models.

The limited run of box sets each comprises a pair of watches inspired by the two iconic aircraft that defended the nation, the Spitfire and the Hurricane – with the overlooked Hurricane pilots doing much of the hard work in the summer of 1940 when the Luftwaffe flew over, attempting to dominate Britain’s skies and try to force a truce, or surrender. Some guy called Churchill stepped up, spoke out for freedom and democracy, and inspired the entire country, but we mustn’t mention him anymore apparently.

Included with each box set is an incredible opportunity for the customer to fly in a Spitfire which fought in the crucial air campaign in 1940. Having being at the controls of a Tiger Moth for just a few seconds many years ago, your Northern Watch Co author highly recommends any historic flight experience!

bremont hurricane watch

The two watches together cost just under £15,000, which is a hefty amount. What do you get for that cash? The BOB Spitfire model features a modified BE54 Cal movement, 25 jewels, 42 hour reserve, Bremont decorated winding rotor. The 43mm case has a DLC coating, which is diamond-like carbon, so it helps scratch resistance.

The BOB Hurricane has a 21 jewel BE92 Cal movement, 38 hour reserve and a smaller 40mm case diameter. The Hurricane has a more conventional steel case, plus we think the Spitfire looks more dramatic in black – just saying. Both watches feature a metal dial plates and vintage style leather straps.