Tag Archives: prices

Swatch Group Pulls Off a Marketing Masterstroke

The new Swatch + Omega collab models are a very clever bit of marketing and destined to be a sell-out we think.

Some watch fans online have already stated they think it devalues the Omega brand name somewhat, but you know what, Skoda was supposed to be a failure for VW-Audi Group and yeah, it worked out pretty good.

Actually the beige one looks good.

We think these planet themed Swatch homages to the famous Moonwatch allow us mortals to buy into that Omega mystique and still aspire to owning a `real’ Moonwatch one day.

Plus this range, launching on Sat 26th March, lets Omega test the water as regards new dials colours for the Speedmaster Moonwatch. Let’s be honest, black & white TV vanished in the 70s so maybe the monochome Moonwatch needs to take retirement now?

Here’s the word from Swatch;

These playful tributes to the planets celebrate the collaboration between the plucky company that saved the Swiss Watchmaking industry and the iconic maker of the Speedmaster Moonwatch.

Mars red & white combo looks sharp

What takes this collection into orbit is the fusion of the most innovative Swatch BIOCERAMIC material with the key Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch design elements. There’s the asymmetrical case, the iconic ‘dot over ninety’ on the tachymeter scale and the distinctive Speedmaster subdials.

All dials feature the OMEGA X SWATCH branding, the iconic Speedmaster logo and the new MoonSwatch logo. A closer look at the glass construction reveals the “hidden” ‘S’ integrated in the centre of the crystal.

The circular pattern on the dial’s outer ring and subdials brings a refined touch to the design, complementing the sharp and smooth lugs construction. The hours, minutes, chronograph seconds hands and hour markers sport Super-LumiNova for a perfect glow in the dark.

Burgundy model

The caseback on each BIOCERAMIC MOONSWATCH is printed with the mission text and features intergated wording sure to inspire. “DREAM BIG – FLY HIGH – EXPLORE THE UNIVERSE – REACH FOR THE PLANETS.”

Every battery cover on the back has an image of the planetary body that inspires the design.

Collectors will be restricted to buying just two examples each, and initial sales will be in selected Swatch stores. But they will go online soon, inevitable due to demand.

We love the deep blue, burgundy and red models the best. Price is £207 each. More here.

New Omega Models Show Willingness to Change

You have to admire Omega for taking the plunge in 2022 by revamping and re-imagining, some long-in-the-tooth designs, plus adding some bold – and gold – colour options too.

Take the Speedmaster for example, which some might say needs to move on beyond its trad black & white dial design.

Few people alive now can recall where they were when man first landed on the moon in 1969. That’s a fact, it’s history. So we say, keep the monochrome variant as a Speedmaster Heritage, but let’s see some real innovative takes on this classic chrono design instead.

GOLDFINGER

The new 18K moonshine gold material is a neat piece of marketing, but at heart, this is about taking the Speedmaster to the AP Royal Oak price level. At £22,000 for the green dial and £32,000 for the gold dial model, these are expensive watches for those who have the confidence to wear them openly in today’s crime-ridden UK.

It looks fabulous of course, with a co-axial movement inside and wonderful detailing onthe case too. But one minor quibble; should a watch retailing at £32,700 have the same 50M depth resistance as a £50 Sekonda?

Let’s move on.

TALKING OF ROLEX, CHECK OUT THE AQUA OYSTER

No, it isn’t called an Aqua Oyster, but the 38mm Seamaster Co-Axial Master Chronometer (quite a title there) Aqua Terra does have the same clean, minimalist lines of that famous Rolex.

Also interesting that the 2022 Omega Aqua T Chronometers mostly have kind of pastel, almost faded dial colours too.

But there is a strong, bold red, which Omega describe as terracotta, which is our fave of the sunray dial selection. Inside this watch is the Cal 8800 movement, which is anti-magnetic, with co-axial escapement and a silicon balance spring. Built to last we reckon, and there are 34mm versions for ladies, or just those who want an old school 70s diameter watch.

The 38mm Aqua T Chronometer range retails from £5420.

ULTRA DEEP & OTHER DELIGHTS

We covered the Ultra Deep earlier in the year and again, this watch looks striking different from other conventional dive watches in the Omega range. Had to really, or the case would have fractured at 1000m…

But before we move on let’s have a shout out for the Constellation in its new burgundy colours, which we shall dub the `Root Beer.’ Yeah, not original but it works for us.

This has a real Odeon cinema, 1940s elegance about it, like the plush deep seats you once got in the Circle part of the huge UK picture houses of old. Splash of Sedna gold here n there, 41mm case size, ceramic bezel and a see-thru caseback. Classic we reckon, retails at £7840.

There is a sharp blue/white Constellation which is about two grand less by the way, well worth thinking about if you’re a fan of the sub-brand. For us, a vintage 60s Constellation in 9ct gold, pie-pan dial, remains a true collectors piece that will never date.

Be interesting to see if Omega could remix that pie-pan vibe with a Constellation heritage model, that takes the existing Globemaster model, drops the month script and has a sharp mix of gold and champagne dial retro appeal. Just an idea.

You can register your inetrest in the latest Omega models at their website.

Motorsports Watches: Axion Racing Commander

Love motorsports watches? Check out Axion’s Racing Commander, a British designed, Swiss powered chrono that makes a left field choice compared to a Sinn, LIV, Certina DS, Tissot PRS, Steinhart, Limes etc.

Yeah, there are still lots of watch brands utilising the venerable Valjoux/ETA 7750 movement and who can blame them? It is one of the great engines of watchmaking over the last 30 years.

The Axion features a blue dial with three sub-sec dials and some dashes of red to act as a contrast. It’s aneat design. The see-thru caseback has a Axion decorated rotor, which looks OK, but not as bespoke as say a Bremont – you aren’t paying Bremont prices of course.

It’s in a 42mm steel case, plain bezel and tachymetre scale on the inner chapter ring. Steel bracelet too. Priced at £1850 it isn’t cheap and isn’t expensive like say a Chopard Monaco or Mille Miglia, which also uses the 7750 movement.

The Axion has a retro vibe which is classic, little bit understated too, although it lacks the visual punch of say a Breitling Triumph edition, a Tissot 1973 or a LIV GX-AX, which is the cheaper option – also has a bigger case diameter.

More info at Axion’s website here.

Orient Launches New Vintage Diver Duo

The word from Orient today, who have two dive models available, with a vintage feel. They also have a limited edition Star Diver 1964, with 200m resistance and a 40mm case width, pictured here;

The two dive watches announced today have more colourful dials and one is limited to 2800 pieces. The blue dial L version gets a bit of gold paint on the bezel, plus engraving on the caseback and a serial number. Both are 41.8mm let’s say 42mm across by the way.

No word on prices but we are guessing at £180-£200 online, plus taxes for UK buyers as Seiko don’t officially import the brand to the UK for whatever reason.

ORIENT is launching two new models to its vintage-inspired diver design watch models.

Diver design models are an important part of ORIENT’s 70-plus year history, representing everything that is ORIENT (sorry about the silly upper case brand name – Ed) since they were first launched in the 1960s.

The new models offer casual and fashionable designs that can be worn for any occasion, with the same basic specifications as the current range, such as sapphire crystal, enhanced water resistance to 20 bar, and ORIENT’s automatic movement that provides stable high accuracy and reliability.

These models feature the distinctive bi-colour rotating bezel and ORIENT’s signature colour gradation dials. There are two dial colours to choose from: burgundy gradation and a limited edition blue gradation of just 2,800 pieces.

The limited edition model is complemented by gold coloured hands. On the aluminum plate of the bezel, two different colours share borders separated at the triangular and 15-minute markers: burgundy and brown for the regular model, and blue and black with a gold fringe for the limited edition.

The Luminous Light with a sepiatoned vintage effect on the hands and dot indices provides the well-worn look of a watch that has been used and loved for many years. These details, together with colour gradation dials create an eye-catching vintage look.

Leica Pushes The Button on High End Watches

Known by photo aficianados for decades as one of the premier league camera makers, Leica is branching out into watchmaking. As you’d expect this is a high quality product, designed like an Audi racing car and reassuringly expensive at euro;13,500 for the range topper L2 version. Yeah they just went straight in there at Rolex levels.

One USP on the Leica L1 and L2 is the crown; no winding, instead you push it in. Why? Here’s what Leica says;

Designed to make a point. The patented “red-dot” push-crown is a unique combination of form and function. Inspired by the shutter release button of a camera, the Leica watch push-crown is pressed, not pulled.

Pressing the crown of the Leica L1 and Leica L2 triggers the second-hand reset and the status display on the dial switches from white to red.

This mechanism can also be used to set the date with another date button, while pressing the crown again re-engages the movement. The Leica L2 also features a GMT-crown that can display both time zones with a single hand.

To complement the sophisticated technology, the “red dot”-design is as simple as it is iconic, establishing the push-crown is not only an attractive but also a very practical feature.

OK, so we got that bit. And you know what, it is a technical achievement that’s always ready to spark a conversation. But on the downside, they went for a small sub-seconds dial and I have to tell you that in the watch market that is a roadblock when it comes to reselling this watch. Any modern watch with a sub dial at 6 o’clock looks dated, too much like a 1950s watch. I don’t make these rules, the market does.

The Leica L2 model has a turning bezel as well as the GMT function, so that’s the one to have – top spec or nothing we say.  On the upside this watch has some unique components, genuinely made in Germany just for Leica, which is why you pay that premium.

But it has a depth resistance of 50m – yep, same as a £40 Sekonda. Plus no automatic movement, you have to wind it. Again demerit marks for that. Even at euro9500 for the L1 buyers deserve more than this in terms of spec.

One last point, why call it Wetzlar? Yes, you have a Leica factory there, but come on, that is a dull name for watch that strives to project a sense of excellence.  You make cameras called LUX, why not put Luxe, Monochrom, or LUX RED on the dial?

Just an idea.  Plus when you get aorund to making an automatic watch please call it Leicamatic. It just makes sense.

 

 

Seiko: The King Has Not Left The Building

Latest news release from Seiko, the revived King Seiko will retail at around 1700 euros;

The 1960s was a decade of unprecedented advances for Seiko, both in terms of technical development and design creativity.

Alongside Grand Seiko, one other series demonstrated the company’s ability to create beautifully designed and finished mechanical watches with high accuracy. It was called King Seiko. In addition to its precision, it offered a powerful yet graceful design that symbolized the high quality of its construction.

Today, after more than half a century, the King Seiko collection is back with timepieces that showcase the lasting quality of Seiko’s mechanical watchmaking. The first collection comprises five new timepieces, all of which will be available from February 2022 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retailers worldwide.

The lasting design values of 1965. The technology and engineering of today.

The 1965 KSK, the design that defined King Seiko.

The five new watches share a distinctively sharp and angular design that is inspired by the 1965 King Seiko KSK, which was the second series to be created and the one that defined the character of King Seiko. The combination of a flat dial with faceted indexes and broad, razor-edged hands gives the watch a refined and striking presence. The bold, faceted lugs have sharp angles and wide flat surfaces that feature both mirror and hairline finishing, creating a sense of precision. The twelve o’clock index is more than twice the width of the others and has a patterned texture specially crafted to ensure high legibility and to give the dial a bright sparkle that invites the eye.

The new creations present a classic yet modern profile inspired by the 1965 KSK.

The case is constructed so that, combined with the boxed-shaped sapphire crystal, it gives each watch a slim and elegant feel. An anti-reflective coating on the inner surface of the crystal delivers high legibility from any angle.

The bracelet pays homage to the design of the original King Seiko series and its many bevelled surfaces reflect the light in a way that is dynamic and ever-changing. Powered by Caliber 6R31, the watch delivers a power reserve of 70 hours and is water resistant to 100 meters.

The crown and case back bear the new King Seiko emblem whose design was inspired by that of the 1965 KSK.

Five watches, five dial colors and a range of straps.

The new collection contains five watches, each with the same case but a different dial color. One is in the original silver tone of the 1965 KSK, and versions in lightgray, charcoal gray, brown and red complete the range. The lightgray dial has a delicate hairline pattern, while the other four have a beautiful sunray finish that gives the watches a special warmth and depth.

 

Five alternative leather straps specially designed for the new collection will be introduced. To see what each combination of strap and watch looks like, please click here:
www.seikowatches.com/global-en/products/kingseiko/special/simulator/

Vacheron’s Traditionnelle: Dark Side of The Moonphase

OK, here’s the word from Vacheron Constantin on their new Traditionelle complications watch. It’s very trick as you’d expect, with see-thru sections, plus that kinda fade-to-grey moonphase feature. Very understated for a luxury watch in some ways, but the gold adds a touch of bling for your $47,000 plus tax.

Classically inspired with its round case featuring a fluted back, its railway minute-track and its Dauphine-type hands, the Traditionnelle complete calendar openface model adopts an avant-garde profile with these two distinctive versions. The openworked sapphire dial reveals Calibre 2460 QCL/2, whose mainplate and bridges are highlighted by anthracite NAC treatment. The triple calendar display, complemented by a precision moon phase, gains in depth through its functional and contemporary style.

Revisiting the fine historical traditions of Geneva watchmaking

Vacheron Constantin’s Traditionnelle collection, which perpetuates the spirit of Geneva’s watchmakers during the Age of Enlightenment, adopts a highly sophisticated style with two new models equipped with a complete calendar.

Framed by a 41 mm case in 18K white gold or 18K 5N pink gold, they appear in an openface version with a sapphire dial. This transparency brings out the details of Calibre 2460 QCL/2, which adopts a contrasting anthracite grey colour achieved by NAC galvanic surface treatment. This new interpretation combining contemporary design and watchmaking heritage, is reminiscent of the Traditionnelle Twin Beat perpetual calendar model presented in 2019.


Airy construction

The characteristic features of the Traditionnelle collection – including the stepped round case and lugs, the fluted caseback, the slim bezel, the railway minute-track, the bi-facetted Dauphine-type hands and the gold baton-style hour-markers – embed these two models firmly in the watchmaking heritage of the Maison.

The opening onto the movement structure – perfectly visible on both sides of the watch and featuring an anthracite grey colour achieved by NAC treatment – highlights its mechanical power. Surrounded by a slate grey opaline flange on which a central hand points to the date, the upper part of the sapphire crystal dial features a likewise slate grey guilloché segment as well as applied gold hour-markers.

The resulting three-part dial overlooks the sapphire discs providing an aperture-type display of the days and months. The moon-phase disc, with its two realistic transferred depictions of Earth’s satellite, is also covered by a translucent sapphire mask. This airy construction provides a chance to admire the various movement components, including the bridges and mainplate featuring an original vertical upright finish on the front.

The “openface” design highlights the technical nature of the Traditionnelle complete calendar openface watch. This complication, also known as the triple calendar, indicates the date, day and month, complemented on these models by a moon phase.

Calibre 2460 QCL/2

Beating at the heart of these two new timepieces is Calibre 2460 QCL/2 with its 312 components. This calibre is an evolution of the 2450, the first self-winding movement entirely designed and developed by Vacheron Constantin. Equipped with a stop-seconds mechanism, it beats at a rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour and is endowed with a 40-hour power reserve. In addition to its triple calendar indications, it provides a precision moon phase display requiring only one correction every 122 years.

The caseback reveals all the finishes one would expect from an Haute Horlogerie movement, with a circular-grained mainplate, chamfered bridges and Côtes de Genève motif. Water-resistant to 30 metres, these two Traditionnelle complete calendar openface models are fitted with a calfskin-lined grey alligator strap secured by a pink or white gold pin buckle.

Sum-up

The two new Traditionnelle complete calendar openface watches in white and pink gold combine the classic attributes of the collection with an avant-garde aesthetic approach. The dial is made of sapphire crystal opening onto the movement featuring an anthracite grey colour achieved by NAC galvanic treatment.

This total transparency on both sides of the watch highlights the technical nature of its horological complications.

Equipped with a self-winding Calibre 2460 QCL/2, these two 41 mm models provide a complete calendar display complemented by age of the moon and precision moon phase indications. The day and month are shown through central dial apertures below the 12 o’clock hour-marker, while the date is indicated on the periphery by a central hand.

Already available in rose and white gold in a more classic interpretation with a solid dial, the two new Traditionnelle complete calendar openface versions are paired with a grey alligator leather strap.

New Grand Seiko Hi-Beat GMT. Just Brilliant

The latest from Grand Seiko is a winner; typically, clean, understated yet brilliant design. An impressive 55 hours of power reserve too.

Here’s the word;

The 1967 44GS was the watch that first embodied the design code known as the “Grand Seiko Style”, the set of nine principles which gave Grand Seiko its distinctive look and which still inspires every new creation. Now, 55 years on from its first appearance, the 44GS is commemorated in a new Hi-Beat 36000 GMT watch with a titanium case.

A hi-beat GMT caliber and a high-intensity titanium case

Precision and clarity are evident in every detail of the dial.

The case and bracelet are in high-intensity titanium, a material that is about 30% lighter than stainless steel and highly resistant to both scratches and corrosion. The titanium has a bright aspect and the case is Zaratsu polished to give the distortion-free surfaces that are a defining characteristic of the Grand Seiko Style.

The caliber is the hi-beat 9S86. It offers 55 hours of power reserve and an accuracy rate of + 5 to –3 seconds a day. The GMT hand and the 24-hour inner bezel ring allow the time in a second time zone to be read with ease and the hour hand can be adjusted independently without compromising the precision of the watch. The white dial has a soft sheen against which the GS and GMT letters stand out in blue as clearly as the tempered blue GMT hand. The hour, minute and GMT hands carry Lumibrite and the dual-curved sapphire crystal has an anti-reflective coating on its inner surface.

In 2014, a watch with this same caliber won the “Petite Aiguille” prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, bringing it and the Grand Seiko Style to a wider than ever audience.

The oscillating weight features the Grand Seiko lion emblem and is in a gold tone that is achieved through an anodic oxidation process in which the titanium is subjected to electrolysis so as to generate an oxide film. The color is determined according to the light refraction index by adjusting the thickness of the oxide film.

The titanium oscillating weight carries the Grand Seiko lion emblem.

The watch will be available as a limited edition of 1,200 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in January 2022.

The Grand Seiko Style. An expression of the traditional Japanese sense of beauty.

The Grand Seiko Style reflects a subtle and restrained sense of beauty that is essentially Japanese. It is, however, also highly distinctive and instantly recognizable, just as the creator of the 1967 44GS intended when he established the principles that define every Grand Seiko watch.

The Grand Seiko Style is a design language of simplicity, purity and practicality and reflects exactly the essential characteristics of Grand Seiko: precision, legibility, beauty and ease of use so that form follows function with a special harmony.

Another central characteristic of the Grand Seiko Style is the subtle use of light, reflection and shadow, which is such a cherished feature of many traditional Japanese art forms. The case facets are Zaratsu-polished by hand to create distortion-free surfaces, enabling the case ridges to be crisp and sharp.

The hands and indexes are diamond-cut so that they offer high legibility even in low ambient light. The dials are clear and easy to read. Because of these characteristics, each and every Grand Seiko has a special “sparkle of quality” and, together, these design principles create a clear, unique and visually attractive aesthetic that says: “This is Grand Seiko.”

Retail price is about $8500, which is roughly £6,425, depending on the exchange rate when it arrives in GS stores.

For more information about the Grand Seiko Style, please visit https://www.grand-seiko.com/global-en/about/design

Hey Bargain Hunters, What’s New At Sekonda UK?

You know it’s been ages since we checked in with Sekonda which is one of the big selling budget brands across the UK. Why? Simple really, reliable, decent lookers and low prices.

It isn’t a Russian brand anymore by the way, basically made in the Far East for a British based distributor called Time Products who also run Accurist and Limit in the UK.

LADIES FIRST

Let’s begin with the Seksy by Sekonda watches for women, or guys that are now women – let’s not label anybody and get cancelled by the Woke Police.

We love this red edition of the Swarovski sparkle strap range, it really has that Christmas feel and there is a green one too if you want that holly n the ivy thing in your life. You cannot adjust the strap by much on this model, it just has a couple of removable links for slimmer wrists. Big arms? Sorry this won’t fit, you can’t buy extra links to gain an extra inch on the clasp area.

Bit pricey at £100 but ladies do seem to love these watches, they have a luxury feel compared to many lower priced Sekondas.

SMART WATCHES

Yes, Sekonda now make a range of Smart watches, which have the usual fitness tracker features.  Here’s the spec on the roase gold model pictured below;

Featuring a rose gold coloured alloy case with a 1.1 inch, round, interactive dial. Features include step/distance/calorie tracker, sleep monitor, blood pressure/oxygen measurement, notifications and more.

The watch is fastened with a rose gold coloured stainless steel mesh strap and has a water resistance rating of IP67, meaning it has a water resistance of 1m for 30 minutes.

It retails at 80 quid, which is reasonable compared to so many fancy pants smartwatch brands.

VINTAGE STYLE

We love this tribute to the Russian Sekonda automatics of the 1970s. A lovely range of dial colours, with the green and cream/beige catching our eye. Got a day/date window and a domed crystal. Just looks great and £70 RRP isn’t too painful.

Do you fancy a Mondaine watch without the pain of paying over £250 for a quartz watch? OK then, Sekonda have a white dial, red second hand model that should give you that Swiss railway vibe for just £50. Nice twin date window feature too.

Loads more new models and we say watch out for the Boxing Day Sale, as there are bound to be some half price models up for grabs.

More here. 

Aragon’s Divemaster II Says Go Big, or Go Home

Indie watch brand Aragon has launched its Divemaster II model just a few days ago. This model features some very tasty superlume on the dial, plus a wide range of dial colours; blue, orange, white, asa well as abalone and meteorite designs.

With a 200m depth rating, steel case, heat-treated K1 crystal and a supersize 45mm or humungous 50mm case diameter for those really big wrists, this watch makes quite a statement. Especially as we spotted it online for just $129, plus shipping. I mean, how is that possible?

Yep, it’s that Black Friday discount thing, so don’t fight it.

More here.