The devilishly handsome JLC Polaris dive watch has a reworked Cal 956 movement. The Swiss brand says the alarm movement, which is visible via a see-thru caseback, has been slimmed down – in fact, it’s 15% slimmer than previous iterations.
That gives the JLC a rare look amongst dive watches, in truth you could argue it’s more of a dress watch, especially with the unique bell-like alarm and 42mm case – which is fairly modest compare to big-ass 45mm-50mm dive watches.
At 15K retail you could also say it’s kinda pricey for a dive watch that can manage 300m. Many an Indie brand watch can match that spec for £500. Many Swiss watches can offer 300m diving for under £1500.
Yes, there is that JLC cachet, the aura of a truly ancient house of horology behind the brand name. We aren’t knocking that heritage, or in-house expertise when it comes to servicing and the longevity of a 28,800vph auto movement can be measured in decades. Yep, you can pass this onto your grandchildren, or the cats’ home, whatever. The Polaris Mariner has alot going for it as a grail watch.
Your NWC mag scribe would love a JLC – Reverso maybe, or a classic bumper automatic. As slick as this reworking of the Polaris Mariner is, it is simply too expensive for what it does. The fascination for me with JLC is that vintage, 30s mix of art deco retro and complication for its own sake.
Torgoen are well known for making stand out designs and the new Lazuli GMT is in that ballpark. Big numbers on the dial, vivid colours, decent price. It’s all you could want in a fashion quartz watch and you have the bonus of a mineral crystal, Swiss Ronda movement plus a good choice of Italian leather straps too.
At £146 it’s in the same price bracket as many Indie meca-quartz GMT watches, or some entry level Citizen, Seiko or Armani/Boss brands. Worth a look we think.
Yep, this old school Swiss watch brands is still going. Mido, often overlooked, is still making watches as part of the mighty Swatch Group and the Ocean Star GMT is quite a decent looker, at a not too scary price.
For 1130 CHF, or about £890 you get a steel cased dive watch that can handle 200m depth and has the useful GMT hand for international travel. There’s a neat worldtimer graphic etched onto the caseback as well, featuring all those cities you are free to visit as part of your UEFA duties.
Inside there’s an ETA derived automatic movement, with some 80 hours of power reserve, just like the Tissot Powermatic models. Sapphire crystal and a 44mm case width, so it has some presence on the wrist.
Nope, you won’t impress anyone at the golf club with a Mido. Or a Tissot for that matter. But the fact that Swatch still produces these entry level brands is to be admired, because it would be easy for Swatch to just bin them off and concentrate on Breguet, Omega, Harry Winston and Longines, maybe some Blancpain divers on the side.
So check out Mido, they make some decent looking alternatives to a budget TAG, Raymond Weil, Lacroix and others.
Maybe it’s just me, but the whole Japanese Anime thing passes me by, in fact it’s a bit Jeffrey Epstein in many ways.
Anyhoo, Seiko has a new Presage watch out now, which celebrates a famous 1980s Anime movie. Here’s the press info;
Today, Seiko introduces into the Presage collection a creation inspired by the now-classic fantasy-adventure Japanese animation film “Castle In The Sky.” This is the first animation feature from the world-renowned Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli, whose works have won the favour of animation fans worldwide for their imaginative, other-worldly settings, distinctive visuals and masterful storytelling.
The watch is powered by a new version of Seiko’s high-performance 6R35 movement, Caliber 6R31. Like Caliber 6R35, the movement delivers a power reserve of 70 hours and shares the same performance attributes, but without a date window.
Every aspect of the watch reflects the care and craftsmanship for which Presage is renowned. The crystal glass is a dual-curved sapphire and is treated with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface that delivers high legibility from any angle. The exhibition case back reveals the fine finishing of the movement, and the watch is 10 bar water resistant.
The watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,200 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide in July 2021.
There are retro/recreation style watches all over the internet right now, from brands like Timex, Zenith, Casio, Tissot, Longines and many more. You can’t blame watch brands for making the most of their heritage and remixing it DJ style for the 21st century.
So as a fan of the Seiko Presage models, I approve of everything to do with the Style 60’s range – except the incorrect use of the apostrophe. Nothing belongs to the number 60. It should be 60s plural, denoting the decade of style, OK?
Moving on, let’s look at these models which are arriving in June at Seiko dealers. The SRPGO models have blue, black, champagne or green dials and a 41mm case, featuring the 4R35 movement. Yep, you can wind it – no shaking required.
It has a more sporty feel than some existing Presage models, mainly due to the dive style bezel and more utilitarian crown. The cocktail time watches have the onion shaped crown. It looks like a scuba ready watch, but it really isn’t a dive piece though at 5atm rated.
Got some nice lume on there, plus a retro hardlex box crystal for that 60s vibe. Nice touch, but many buyers will still be slightly miffed that they are paying decent money for an acrylic crystal watch. That’s Seiko for you – they don’t have to change their philosophy for you, me or anyone else.
Some variants have a vintage, faded type lume on the indices for that extra retro flavour.
Prices start at £440 for the black model with a NATO strap and rise to £530 for the open heart dial option. Seiko are deifinitely `price-walking’ their fanbase up to entry level Swiss stuff, but then you could argue that a Seiko Presage is on par with a basic Hamilton, Tissot or Longines.
Except for the plastic crystal. Oh and the poor packaging with that kinda cheap ol’ 90s white box. OK yeah, they are getting cheeky on prices.
The range is inspired by the Crown Chrono model from 1964, but the modern days Style 60’s models lack the stopwatch button at the 2pm position. Maybe that tribute watch is in the pipeline for the Christmas selling season?
Breitling has a new Super Chronomat model in its line-up and it’s the usual big n bold affair, with a beefy 44mm case diameter and a handy – some might say overdue – ceramic bezel upgrade. Yeah, we kinda like the brown dial version with the gold case. Just watching us like a 1970s Rover 3500 V8, with velour interior.
The brown/gold Super Chronomat has a classic feel which the blue and black models don’t have for us, bit too Statement Watch Here Guys vibe from those two. Maybe you disagree? Post an angry comment below, start a Twitter pile up or whatever..
Here’s the press info from Breitling;
The Super Chronomat, Breitling’s boldest Chronomat to date, is the ultimate choice for those who want a timepiece mastering the balance between sturdy and stylish.
Inspired by the Frecce Tricolori watch that Breitling created for the hotshots of the Italian Air Force’s aerobatic fleet in 1983, the Super Chronomat is a supercharged, all-purpose sports watch that’s elegant enough for the evening as well.
“This is a watch you’ll get noticed in without having to worry about it,” says Breitling CEO Georges Kern. “This watch is tough enough for every pursuit, but it won’t get in the way of your sense of style.”
True to the original Chronomat, the rider tabs protect the sapphire crystal. The ones at 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock are interchangeable, so the wearer can use them for countdowns as well as countups. With a case measuring 44 millimeters, the Super Chronomat collection is the boldest of its kind.
Key new features include a stainless-steel bezel with a ceramic insert – a first on a Chronomat – plus the choice of a Rouleaux-inspired rubber strap or our iconic metal one with a butterfly clasp. The new rubber strap is created with state-of-the-art injection molding techniques. Its three distinct textures – matte, slick, and woven-looking – give it remarkable depth.
THREE COLOUR SCHEMES
The Super Chronomat B01 44 comes in three versions. Two are encased in stainless steel with blue or black dial-and-bezel combinations. The third is a rich brown dial-and-bezel combination with a case in 18 k red gold.
All feature contrasting silver chronograph counters powered by the COSC-certified Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, which provides about 70 hours of power reserve. This Super Chronomat is water-resistant up to 200 meters.
For those wanting something extra special, there’s a black dial version with a UTC-module embedded in a Rouleaux bracelet. Referring to Universal Time Coordinated, this provides a way to keep track of a second time zone and is a quirky Breitling feature dating back to the 1980s.
ONCE EVERY LEAP YEAR
As its name implies, the Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar has a semi-perpetual calendar mechanism that needs adjusting just once every leap year – or every 1461 days. It comes in two versions: black dial with tone-on-tone chronograph counters, a stainless-steel bezel with a black ceramic bezel insert, and 18 k red gold elements, or blue dial featuring tone-on-tone chronograph counters and a bezel in 18 k red gold with a blue ceramic insert. Water-resistant up to 100 meters, this timepiece is powered by the Breitling Caliber 19, a COSC-certified chronograph movement with a semi-perpetual calendar with day, date, month, and moon phase indicators.
AN ICON OF ITS ERA
When Breitling introduced its Chronomat in 1984, it signified the comeback of mechanical Swiss timepieces after quartz watches had dominated the market throughout the 1970s.
The impressive new mechanical watch proved to be a winner – challenging its skinny quartz rivals with its bold proportions and becoming an icon of its era.
The Chronomat also helped Breitling celebrate its centenary in style, marking the return of the mechanical chronograph on which the brand had built its global reputation. This technical legacy, combined with particularly stylish design codes, made the Chronomat the ultimate sport-chic watch of its time. Today, it’s doing it again for everyday superheroes in pursuit of the next great adventure.
More here; at Breitling’s website. The gold case model retails in the UK for £19,200.
Grand Seiko has a new 9F86 quartz GMT creation that adds a new dimension, so the Japanese watchmaker says, with three variants available in June. Prices start at 4450 euros – ouch.
Maybe invest in a pre-owned Grand Seiko automatic instead? Prices are rising rapidly on the pre-owned market and we think they will go higher as more collectors fall out of love with Rolex waiting lists.
Anyway, here is the word from GS on their new model;
The case is simple in design but, with its muscular shape and sharp, Zaratsu polished surfaces, it presents a powerful sports aspect. The dial has gold color details and it is offered as a limited edition of 2,021 to mark the 140th anniversary of Seiko’s foundation. Two other versions with red and blue accents join the main Grand Seiko collection.
A design perfect for both sport and daily use.
All three new creations are all quintessentially Grand Seiko in every way, combining the highest level of precision and durability with supreme legibility and the quiet yet instantly recognizable brilliance that is the Grand Seiko hallmark.
The case ridges are sharp and crisp. The bezels are ceramic and so are almost impervious to scratches. Every detail is fashioned to enhance the legibility of the time and the precision that Caliber 9F86 delivers.
The two-tone dial ring allows the night and day hours indicated by the GMT hand of matching color to be read instantly. Legibility at night is ensured by the use of two colors of LumiBrite: green for the hour hand, minute hand and indexes, and blue for the GMT hand. The ceramic bezel allows the time to be read instantly and accurately in the GMT 24 hour format.
The hour hand is independently adjustable so that the precision is maintained even when adjusting the time to a second time zone. A date with an instant change mechanism, a sapphire crystal, 20 bar water resistance and magnetic resistance of 16,000 A/m complete the specifications. Even with this high functionality, the case diameter is a modest 40mm, making the watch perfect for sport and daily use.
The blue creation features a deep blue dial and bezel to match the bright blue color accents of the dial. All three watches will be available in June 2021 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retail stores worldwide.
Bell + Ross has sent us some info on their latest model, which has MASH army green vibe going on.
Bell & Ross’ diving watches offer a professional solution
to an environment that is as fascinating as it is dangerous.
Its HYDROMAX® model held the world record for water
resistance up to 11,100 m deep in 1997.
Released in 2017, the brand’s first square diving watch became a collection in its own right and pursued its expansion ever since.
Since its origins, Bell & Ross has built a strong history in
the underwater exploration, and now extends its DIVER
collection with a new model that reflects its core DNA and
reaffirms the brand’s functional approach.
Based on the brand’s principle that the superfluous should
never shadow the essentials, the Bell & Ross’ engineers
have designed a utilitarian diving watch perfectly suitable
for professional use, the BR 03-92 DIVER MILITARY.
Made entirely from ceramic, the BR 03-92 DIVER MILITARY
is lightweight, high-performance and virtually, unscratchable.
Reminiscent of the anti-reflective finish used on aircraft
instrument panels, this new model is perfectly in tune with the
aeronautical codes so crucial to the Bell & Ross philosophy.
By releasing a high-tech material in the professional underwater
instruments, Bell & Ross has created a new must-have tool and
reinterprets the original values of the iconic BR 01.
The UK price is £3990 and the edition is limited to 999 pieces.
Verdict; Expensive dive option compared to many Indie brand 300m rated watches. The ceramic case is a unique feature, but the trouble with pottery is that it breaks easily. On the upside the straps are silicon or fabric, so you don’t have that broken Rado link problem to worry about.
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.