Latest from Sinn in Germany, who have won a German design award.
The jury honours the conceptual design of the 717 with the award Excellent Product Design 2022 for “combining the past with the future in the most stylish way and perfectly embodying the brand DNA of Sinn Spezialuhren down to the last detail.”
“We are really pleased that the 717 received this award – it confirms our principle of developing and designing watches in strict conformity with the relevant requirements”, comments Lothar Schmidt, qualified engineer, owner of Sinn Spezialuhren.
Design quality unites both award-winning products
The German Design Award sets the highest standards for determining its award winners: during the course of an exacting nomination procedure, only those products with design qualities that demonstrably set them apart from their competition will be selected by the expert panels from the “Rat für Formgebung” (German Design Council) to participate in the competition.
More than 5,000 nominated products were submitted to the panel of judges. The international panel of judges is composed of design experts from industry, teaching and science as well as the design industry. All members of the panel of judges are recognised experts in their fields.
During a two-day assessment process, the panel makes a final, well-founded decision on the design quality of the presentations. As part of the evaluation process, the panel attaches great importance to criteria such as the degree of innovation, functionality and usability, technical quality and function, as well as durability and ergonomics.
Hamilton’s new Khaki Pilot Mechanical channels the spirit of the 19th century pocket watch, but in the altogether handier wristwatch format. Of course, you could buy a vintage pocket watch that’s been re-cased for wristwatch duties, often called a marriage watch.
But this is brand new, not a century old or more, so you get a guarantee and that H31 movement, which powers so many of the Hamilton range. Nice view of it through the caseback as well, which always adds some interest for an owner.
Here’s the word from Hamilton;
Inspired by the Model 23, a cutting-edge pocket watch used by U.S. soldiers during WWII, the Khaki Pilot Pioneer’s distinctive design is a tribute to Hamilton’s aviation and military heritage.
The sporty yet refined pilot watch retains an indisputably technical feel with its handwinding mechanical movement, bi-directional rotating bezel and prominent winding crown. Available with a sleek stainless steel or unique bronze case, this 43mm timepiece is ready to fly.
Prices are just over £1000 for the steel case and £1300 for the bronze, which we reckon has that more authentic vintage feel. It will, like fine wine, age nicely too.
That is still a fair chunk to pay for a Hamilton, but you get that Swiss cachet which you don’t have with a homage broanze watch from an Indie maker. The only question mark is that big ol onion crown, which isn’t everyone’s cuppa tea we think.
Here’s the latest from IWC and yep, we love that matt black, stealth fighter look.
IWC Schaffhausen is adding two Ceratanium® models to its TOP GUN Pilot’s Watch range. Engineered in Schaffhausen, this innovative new material combines the structural integrity of titanium with a scratch resistance similar to that of ceramic and features a striking matte black color.
The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar TOP GUN Ceratanium is the first watch from IWC with a Ceratanium® bracelet, which is lighter than steel and very comfortable to wear. Just 150 pieces of this model will be produced each year, says IWC.
The Pilot’s Watch Timezoner TOP GUN (pictured above) will be produced in 500 pieces per year. (Dear watch brands, you don’t have to keep using CAPITALS for every model name, it just looks like you’re SHOUTING. )
WHO NEEDS A GMT HOUR HAND?
Ceratanium is the first TOP GUN model with a Timezoner® complication, allowing the wearer to change between different time zones effortlessly. Both novelties are powered by IWC-manufactured movements from the 52000 and 82000 calibre families.
The watch can be set to a different time zone by simply pressing down and rotating the bezel. The hour hand, the 24-hour display and the date will move forwards or backwards in one-hour steps. This also works across the dateline and without losing a single second.
CERAMICS & TITANIUM
Advanced performance materials such as ceramics, titanium and Ceratanium® are a signature feature of IWC’s TOP GUN pilot’s watches. They take their name from the legendary Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Program, a rigorous course used by the US Navy to train its elite pilots in flying and tactical skills.
After pioneering the use of ceramics and titanium for wristwatches during the 1980s, IWC’s material engineers have now succeeded in combining the unique strengths of these two in a single, ground-breaking material. Developed over five years, Ceratanium® combines the lightness and structural integrity of titanium with a hardness and scratch-resistance similar to ceramic. In addition, Ceratanium® is also skin-friendly and highly resistant to corrosion.
WHAT IS THIS MITHRAL OF WHICH YOU SPEAK?
Yes, a Lord of The Rings watch made from mithral would be something, but in the meantime, we have Ceratanium from IWC. What is this magic metal then?
Ceratanium® is based on a special titanium alloy that is forged to IWC’s specifications.
The case components are machined from bars to minimal tolerances using computer-controlled turning and milling centers and are then elaborately finished by hand. Afterwards, the components are fired in a kiln at high temperatures. During this firing process, a phase transformation occurs. As a result, the surface of the material not only obtains properties similar to ceramics, such as hardness and scratchresistance, but also its striking matte black finish.
Raven watches sent us a heads-up on their Airfield Pilot/Field model. This 40mm wide watch is easy-to-read, comes with a white, green or black dial and has a sapphire crystal too. Inside you will find the workhorse Seiko NH35 automatic movement, so you have no worries there.
Beautiful polished steel bracelet on this one, retails at $590 and it has the day wheel in English and German, just to be different. Makes a change from French, why not?
Alpina has launched two new heritage models, capturing the looks of the past, but featuring modern technology. Here’s the word from Alpina;
Nothing could better describe the Heritage designs by Alpina, the Swiss manufacture founded in 1883 that has built its reputation on creating watches that are water-resistant, shock-resistant, anti-magnetic and rust-proof. It is this pioneering vision put forward some 138 years ago that still enables Alpina to be the benchmark for the “tool watch”, designed for explorers of the deep sea and the skies.
Going back in time
For divers, Alpina can now unveil a reinterpretation of its famous Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic. The fifth timepiece from this successful line rightly recalls that being passionate about the sea requires efficient, accurate, legible and robust instruments.
Water-resistant to 300 metres, this new 42 mm design with steel case has no room for novelty or unnecessary complications, but the moving inner flange lets you measure your immersion time in hours, minutes and seconds. Practical and timeless, its black lacquered sunray-brushed dial features gold plated luminescent hands, creating the contrast required to make it easy to read, even in the low light of the deep sea.
As with any authentic diver’s watch, and in order to ensure it is waster-resistant to 300 metres, the two push-buttons (movement winding and time setting at 4 o’clock, adjustment of the movable flange at 2 o’clock) are screwed in. The Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic’s engraved case back also reaffirms its nautical vocation.
As an update this vintage look, Alpina has equipped its creation with the AL-520 movement, a modern automatic calibre with 38 hours power reserve. Similarly, the traditional hesalite glass has been replaced with an anti-scratch sapphire glass, meaning that the Seastrong Diver 300 Heritage Automatic is now as at home in the sea as it is in the urban jungle. To this end, the Alpina timepiece also comes with two straps, one in brown calfskin leather and the other in beige topstitched rubber.
Queen of the skies
As far as flying is concerned, Alpina has also expanded its Heritage designs with the new Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic. The piece was modelled on original creations from the 20s. This new variation adds to the existing collection with blue and beige tones that evoke the sky and the historical counters used by aviation pioneers. Inside the 44 mm diameter case beats an automatic movement with 38 hours power reserve, driving three hands and the date at 3 o’clock.
Alpina has kept the original look of its Twenties timepieces by sticking with the same Arabic numerals and luminescent beige hands as the dials from the era. Their generous proportions help make them easy to read, even when flying.
For long-haul pilots, Alpina has also given the watch a 24 hour dial. At 12 o’clock, as well as at the tip of the seconds hand, you can find the manufacture’s symbolic triangle, representing the Alpine peaks. The final finishing touch is provided by an “onion” crown, the standard in the last century, designed for optimum grip, even with flying gloves on.
Discerning collectors will also have spotted the push-button at 4 o’clock. The latter opens the Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic’s steel back. Known as the “officer’s case back”, the system allows the AL-525 automatic movement to be admired through the transparent case back for the exclusive enjoyment of the owners – a personal pleasure typical of the 20s and 30s, but not available to all; this Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic with blue calfskin leather strap will be limited to 288 pieces.
Sinn has sent us info on their limited edition 103 chronograph. Just 600 pieces will be produced, classic Sinn styling, perfect if you are a fan of the Pilot watch look. Here’s the press kit word;
The 103 is more closely connected to our company than just about any other series. After all, it was these timepieces that acquainted pilots, in particular, with the name Sinn Spezialuhren once the company was founded. We’ve also continuously expanded the series, adding, for example, the latest SINN technologies and other
Classic in every sense of the word, this pilot chronograph is the perfect celebration of our company’s 60th anniversary – in the form of a special edition limited to 600 pieces. The 103 Classic 12 lives up to its reputation as a classic timepiece, but also boasts a modern interpretation, as demonstrated, for example, by the bezel insert made from ceramic – a material which appears for the first time on the 103 and is characterised by its outstanding hardness and the resulting exceptional scratch resistance.
The captive bezel features a twelve-hour scale to display a second time zone. The engraved numerals on the bezel are the colour of chamois, which is reflected in the three counters, all the printed elements and the luminous colour. The attached appliqués
are rhodium-plated and luminous, as are the hour, minute and stopwatch second hand.
Even the place of origin of the watch is mentioned by name. The ‘Sinn Frankfurt am Main’ lettering thus adorns the glossy black dial with decorative sunburst to mark the anniversary. To mark the special occasion, the edge of the transparent back features
the limited-edition number as well as the engravings ‘1961-2021’ and ‘60 Jahre’.
Torgoen has revived its T21 Flight GMT watch, which has a slide rule function. Not our thing, but if you love GMT watches then it’s worth a look.
RRP is £217 and there are cream, blue and black dial options.
The TorgoenT21 Flight GMT is a one-of-a-kind timepiece that incorporates a functional E6B analog flight computer. Developed by US naval pilots in the late 1930’s, the E6B is a circular slide rule used during flight planning to calculate fuel burn, wind correction, time en route and other stats.
Although modern aircrafts now use electronic systems to make these calculations, the E6B is still used in flight training to teach pilots how to manually compute these important factors.
Complete with GMT function, the T21 Flight GMT is the ultimate watch for pilots and aviation enthusiasts alike.
You can pay a great deal of cash for a watch featuring the Valjoux 7750 movement, or slight variations on that base ebauche engine.
That’s why NWC mag has a lot of time for the LIV P-51 pilot watch. It’s got that Valjoux touch of class for £1095, plus VAT and UK import duty. Go figure say 30% on top.
That’s still way cheaper than say a Bremont ALT-1 for £5000, which features a tweaked 7750 movement. Or how about paying £7300 to IWC for a Portugieser with a green dial, which is also powered by a modded variant of the 7750? Yes, prestige brands are watch modders too.
You see why we mention this Swiss MOD watch angle right?
The same work that is kinda sneered at by certain watch blogs, magazines and experts as being `Frankenwatch’ is just the same process as factories carry out to Valjoux 7750 movements. Blue screws, decorated rotors, slightly different pushers.
So we say, check out thios LIV take on the Valjoux movement, because it has that sporty Top Gun vibe, day/ date window, sapphire crystal, a huge 46mm case if you are a fan of Breitling plus size cases, and a riveted tan strap that really sets off the black theme nicely.
Nope, we aren’t on commission, we just like spotting great value.
IWC Schaffhausen has launched a special Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition, branded “AMG”. The famous AMG initials denote high performance for every Merc fan so here’s the word from IWC on this new watch;
The first IWC Pilot’s Watch Chronograph in titanium is powered by the IWC-manufactured 69385 calibre movement and features a carbon fibre dial. IWC unveiled the new edition during a webcast conversation with IWC CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, Mercedes-AMG CEO Philipp Schiemer and shared brand ambassador and racing driver Maro Engel.
The long-standing collaboration between the Swiss luxury watchmaker and the performance and sports car brand Mercedes-AMG, is grounded in many common values, including the pursuit of technical perfection and uncompromising quality.
“The partnership between Mercedes-AMG and IWC has all the components that are needed for a successful and long-lasting collaboration. It’s very rare to come across a company and people with so many common interests and values.” said Philipp Schiemer, CEO of Mercedes-AMG.
Crafted from automotive engineering materials, the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” (Ref. IW377903) is IWC‘s first 43mm Pilot‘s Watch Chronograph featuring the IWC-manufactured 69385 calibre, as well as the first Pilot‘s Watch Chronograph with a case made of extremely light and scratch-resistant titanium. The Grade 5 titanium finish gives the watch its matte grey appearance, inspired by AMG‘s signature Selenite Grey Magno paint finish.
The dial features precisely woven carbon fibre, a material directly derived from AMG‘s aero components. These parts are produced in a complex process involving heat and pressure and are known for their remarkable lightness and rigidity. The raw material is continuous carbon fibres, which are processed on weaving machines into textile structures, giving the end product its characteristic woven “carbon look”.
The black carbon dial provides the perfect contrast to the silver chronograph sub-dials, reminiscent of motorsport instruments.
The all-around performance watch is powered by the IWC-manufactured calibre 69385, a robust and precise chronograph movement that enables stop time measurements of up to 12 hours. The chronograph function is controlled by a column wheel, an intricate component with two functional levels. The Mercedes-AMG logo is emblazoned on the tinted sapphire crystal case back. The timepiece is fitted with a black embossed calf leather strap with contrast stitching and folding clasp.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” was unveiled at a webcast hosted by Philipp Schiemer and Christoph Grainger-Herr. Both elaborated on their passion for racing, the values both brands share, and the sustainable future of watchmaking and mobility. They were joined by Maro Engel, brand ambassador of both brands, who brought in the perspective of a professional racing driver. The webcast can be watched via https://watches.iwc.com/amgwebcast.
The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “AMG” will be available for pre-order from 21st May online at IWC.com, through IWC boutiques and authorised retail partners. The timepiece is eligible for registration under the My IWC care program and thus benefits from a 6-year extension to the standard 2-year International Limited Warranty.
Czech watch manufacturer Prim has a new Pilot S E model, which is available in a variety of striking dial designs and colours. The Miyota movement powered watch has a 42mm case, 22mm lug width and retails at 635 euros.
Dial designs include brown with a yellow second hand, and our fave is the blue dial with red second hand, which looks the biz. A traditional Pilot style black dial with bold white numbers is also in the line-up. You will have to pay import duty and VAT if buying in the UK, which is probably about 25% in total – we still cannot get a straight answer on the charges, which vary according to the value of the watches and the delivery service used. Yes, the delivery companies are charging new paperwork fees on EU imports too.