Autodromo have revived their Group B model, with dial colours in black, orange, blue or green. The motorsport themed watches feature a Night Stage variant with the red dial and markers that’s very 1970s dashboard clocks, remember all those red glowing cockpit displays, even the Suzuki GS750/1000 motorcycles had red tinted clocks?
Inside the 39mm titanium case there is a Miyota automatic movement. The Group B has 50m water resistance, a steel, push-button release bracelet, aluminium collectors box and is limited to 200 pieces. Price is $975 excluding VAT and UK custom duties. You get a sapphire crystal on this one too.
This one has a real retro feel and is perfect for motorsport fans, but it is expensive compared to something like a Tissot V8 quartz chronograph, or perhaps a Tissot T-Race automatic, which we spotted at £850 online.
Here’s one we missed from January, Anonimo’s WRC limited edition chronograph. We are motorsport fans here at NWC, so always keen to showcase stuff like this. Here’s the press info from Anonimo and apologies in advance for the annoying use of capitals – all brands are doing it now, kinda boring;
To mark the first rally of the 2020 season in Monte Carlo, ANONIMO, Official Timekeeper of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), presents a new version of its MILITARE chronograph bearing the newly unveiled championship colours.
Oliver Ciesla, managing director of WRC Promoter, said: ““The excitement in WRC revolves around battles fought against the clock for vital tenths of a second. We are delighted that ANONIMO has chosen to launch its new special edition, the MILITARE Chrono WRC, at the opening of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season in Monte-Carlo and that the WRC holds such a high-profile in the portfolio of such a prestigious Swiss watch brand as ANONIMO”.
On the new piece, orange replaces the green that has up to now been the WRC’s official signature colour. Subtle touches of the colour appear on the chronograph hand, the minute track on the flange, the 30-minute counter hand and indices, the chronograph start push-button and the strap stitching.
This MILITARE is easily recognisable thanks to its hand-brushed grey dial, its stainless steel case with PVD & DLC coating and its crown at 12 o’clock. The patented articulation system that protects the crown guarantees comfort and makes the piece water resistant. This Swiss Made watch is equipped with a Sellita SW 300 self-winding movement with an additional bi-compax DD2035M chronograph module developed exclusively for ANONIMO. In tribute to this partnership, the dial bears the WRC logo and the glass back is adorned with a special engraved design.
CW Sellors have it on sale in the UK at £4590.
Verdict; Expensive for a watch powered by a Sellita SW300 and the depreciation is likely to be much higher than say a Breitling, Rolex, Omega or IWC at this price level.
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.
Yes we love Kickstarter watches here, and who can argue when you can buy a Swiss made, STP movement mechanical watch for £550 or so? That’s the deal if you sign up early with Alexander Venacci, who have a nice range of sunburst dial models in blue and green available to order. There’s also a genuine meterorite dial for another 100 euros if you love the space rock vibe. The project has just gone live, but has already attracted quite a bit of cash towards its funding target.
The steel case has a brushed effect finish, and is octagonal in its design. Did anyone thing AP Royal Oak when they glanced at the header image? OK, that’s cool, everyone in watchmaking is getting inspiration from the classics. Inside the STP 4-13 movement has a decorated rotor and see-thru caseback. The movement is derived from the ETA 2824, one of the VW 2.0 diesel engines of watch manufacturing of the last twenty years. The STP version has an upgraded mainspring, so there’s 44 hours of power reserve on a full wind.
We love the steel bracelets, with their unique diamond shaped joining links, definitely an extra touch. The Venacci auto has a 40mm case, sapphire crystal, plus superlume on the hands and markers. Definitely great value, witha two year warranty and delivery is expected next June. More details here.
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.
French brand Yema is appealing to collectors with a new Loyalty Program scheme.
Basically the benefits increase in value as you move up their tiers with no minimum expenditure obligation.
With the new program once you achieve a tier, you enjoy unlimited access to your tier benefits during 2 years. Every time you make a purchase your tier benefits are automatically extended for another 2 years.
Each euro spent earns on Tier point, so you will start off getting discounts on spare straps, but if you love Yema and buy a watch then you’ll earn perhaps 300 points, which would get you 12 percent off the next one.
Better still if you post an online review you can get another 200 points, and there’s a healthy 500 points for a successful referral if you can persuade your mates to buy a Yema. Check the latest Yema watches here.
Dyers used to work with plant extracts to create the color blue. After the dye bath the fabrics had to be left in the sun to dry: allowing time for the dyers to relax. Whether or not the term “blue Monday” finds its roots in the textile industry of yesteryear is up for debate.
It is, however, of no interest to this watch, since it loves the office as much as the weekend, and just gets on with doing its job—whatever day it is. Producing and adjusting the indefatigable in-house built movement requires considerably more time than it takes to dye fabrics blue.
This special edition watch from Glashütte features a dial in sumptuous dark blue, with golden numerals, and the hands and case in stainless steel. This elegant tricolor combination pairs perfectly with jewelry: gold and silver work particularly well. As does the name of this watch: “Fidelio.”
The watch features the Alpha in-house movement, which is super slim at just 2.6mm in height. The Tetra Fidelio is just 30mm across in case size, making this a traditional dress watch for those who love a square design.
This new Glashutte model is available now at select retailers for £1660.
We love orange watches in a heatwave, because it just says sizzling BBQ, cold beers and lazy days at the beach. Which is pretty much how most of the UK is feeling right now.
We spotted two GMT models on the Bamford site, one is a blue/orange combo with echoes of Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean, and the other a more flaming orange. Not brand new models, just different.
You can also customise the Bamford Myfair quartz models, so you can add an orange dial and orange stitched leather strap for £475. Bit pricey yes, but you’re building your own design and most watch brands don’t let you do much of that.
Swiss SW200 movements inside the GMT 44mm case, designed in London, sapphire crystal of course. The Bamford GMT is kinda expensive for a Sellita powered watch at £1100 and rivals include models like the Farer Titanium cased Leven model at £995, which offers an impressive 300m depth rating. Or you could choose an SW200 powered LIV GX-1 model, which is carbon black with some nice orange accents. A bargain at £474 plus import duties we reckon, although it is a sports watch, rather than an everyday dress watch like the Bamford GMT.
Bronze case watches, especially dive models, are right on trend now as they say on TV shopping channels, and there’s a great deal to be said for the wonderful ageing process that bronze offers as a material. Your watch tells a story of the key moments in your lifetime, so the colours and hues of bronze are a kind of family shield in some ways. Cool.
What’s cooler is that Florida based Aragon have some discounted prices on their Parma II Bronze model, which features an ETA 2824 Swiss automatic movement, see-thru caseback, depth rating of 200m and comes in 50mm man-sized caseback, or a more everyday 45mm.
The 50mm Meteorite dial model is now $645, although you will have to add some imprt duties and shipping charges on top if you are a UK buyer. The 45mm model is $595, or about £473.
There’s a mother-of-pearl dial option on the Parma, and the Parma Damascus model features a kind of ridged sand pattern on the dial, as if you were viewing the seabed via scuba type goggles.
Great value watches, and Aragon are also on Kickstarter if you want to take advantage of early bird discounts when new projects are announced.