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Jason Pitsch

Bell & Ross BR-X1 Hyperstellar

Jason Pitsch

Earlier this year Bell & Ross launched a limited edition version of their BR-X1 timepiece called the Hyperstellar. The BR-X1 line is inspired by aviation, and the “X1” designation is in reference to famous test pilot Chuck Yeager, who was the first to break the speed of sound, reaching Mach 1 in a Bell X-1 experimental rocket plane. The Hyperstellar takes the aviation theme of the BR-X1 collection a step further, by marketing it as “An Innovative Chronograph Designed to Conquer Space.” However, the watch has not been in space and is not designed for real astronauts. Although, features such as the large “rocket pushers” would allow for an astronaut to activate the chronograph, even with gloves on. And the large 45 mm diameter square case, with a highly legible circular dial consisting of prominent luminescent hour, minute, and second

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Jason Pitsch

Armin Strom Tourbillon Skeleton Air Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

One of my favorite timepieces from Swiss-based watchmaker, Armin Strom, is their Tourbillon Skeleton Air which comes in a matte gray titanium case, and normally includes a gray (shown below) or white alligator horn-back strap as well as an additional gray or white rubber strap. However, this particular piece is (shown above) with a brown horn-back alligator strap, which is a stunning combo. And which emphasizes how a simple strap change can significantly alter the appearance of the watch. The Tourbillon Skeleton Air case measures a very wearable 43.4 mm x 13 mm, which is a good size for a wide variety of wrists. It is not a 38 mm dress watch for sure but it is also not a 48 mm Panerai. With a non-locking crown and 50 meter water resistance, it is not really a sports watch, nor

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Girard-Perregaux Heritage 1957

Jason Pitsch

Girard-Perregaux’s Gyromatic timepiece came out in 1957 and offered improved automatic winding by way of a two Gyroton wheels, with 7 jewels each to reduce friction. The result, at the time, was faster and more reliable winding. By the 1960s, GP introduced the Gyromatic in a high frequency version (5hz/ 36,000 mph), up from the earlier (2.5Hz/18,000 vph and 3Hz/21,600 vph) models. This year, Girard-Perregaux introduced the Heritage 1957, that has neither the Gyromatic winding system nor the high-frequency movement. What is does share with the Gyromatic, however, is a similar aesthetic. Vintage 1960s Girard-Perregaux Gyromatic At 40 mm x 9.45 mm, and in a steel case no less, the Heritage 1957 pays homage to the company’s rich past and will surely please purists. The dial has a beautiful champagne color with a sunburst effect, punctuated with polished and applied

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Jason Pitsch

Breitling Chronoworks Performance Labs

Jason Pitsch

Chronoworks Performance Labs refers to the advanced research and development department at Breitling’s headquarters in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. Simply put, the team develops and tests new technologies that can be utilized to enhance series-production watches. The Superocean Heritage Chronoworks is the first timepiece to utilize the chronometric enhancements developed by Chronoworks. These enhancements represent five key areas that start with the existing caliber B01 – Breitling’s first in-house mechanical movement – and result in a reworked caliber that outperforms the existing movement in many ways. Breitling caliber B01 Chronoworks Silicon wheels A watch movement is at halt 95% of the time, and each time it restarts there is a loss of energy. To offset this, the movement’s center wheel, third wheel, and fourth wheel have been manufactured with silicon which reduces weight by about half – making the restarting, and

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Piaget Polo S

Jason Pitsch

Sharing the iconic cushion-shape inspired design of the Emperador collection blended with the round look of the existing Polo collection, Piaget has unveiled an all-new model called the Piaget Polo S. The Swiss-based watchmaker refers to the design as a round case and bezel, “juxtaposed with a cushion-shaped face.” Designed and manufactured exclusively by Piaget, the new Polo S is offered in either an automatic, utilizing the new Piaget 1110P movement, or a chronograph equipped with the new Piaget 1160P movement. The new collection consists of five total references. The Polo S Automatic with a blue, gray, or white dial for $9350. And the Polo S Chronograph with a white or blue dial that retails for $12,400. Water-resistance is 100 meters. The Automatic version measures a sleek 9.4 mm, with the Chronograph measuring 11.2 mm in thickness. The dials all

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Jason Pitsch

Manero Flyback Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

The Manero Chronograph Flyback is one of the first new watches to receive the designation “Lucerne 1888” added below the logo on the dial, along with the new Manero Peripheral, which we wrote earlier this year. However, while that watch has an in-house made mechanical movement inside – with the company’s patented peripheral rotor technology – the Manero Flyback does not. Instead, it has a basic modular 4Hz chronograph movement, with a complicated flyback function that allows you to instantly stop-start and restart the chronograph with just one push. The mainplate and bridges have a circular graining decorating and the rotor has the company logo engraved on it. No chamfered edges or higher level finishing like the aforementioned, patented peripheral rotor model, though. The Manero comes in a 43 mm x 14.45 mm case that alternating polished and satin-brushed case,

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Jason Pitsch

Is the Breguet No. 5 Pocket Watch worth its asking price?

Jason Pitsch

You may have already read about the famous Breguet Marie-Antoinette pocket watch No. 160 (which was ordered in 1783 and completed in 1827). Or the Grand Complication pocket watch No. 1160 (essentially an exact replica of the original pocket watch, commissioned by the late Nicolas G. Hayek in 2005 and completed in 2009). However, around the same period (1794), another important Breguet pocket watch was also produced: Breguet No. 5. And so, like the Marie-Antoinette, Breguet recreated this pocket watch as well. Although, instead of a one-off replica, like the Marie-Antoinette, Breguet produced six pieces. And while the original No. 5 is part of Breguet’s museum collection (as is should be), and the first five replicas have already been purchased, there is still one No. 5 Pocket watch available for sale. Interestingly, I first saw the No. 5 replica in

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Jason Pitsch

Frederique Constant launches Runabout watches, in downtown Manhattan, at the North Cove Marina

Jason Pitsch

Last month, Frederique Constant celebrated its continued partnership with the Riva Historical Society (which started in 2009), with the unveiling of two new limited edition Runabout watches, at the North Cove Marina, at Brookfield Place in Manhattan. The Riva Historical Society is a non-profit organization that was founded by architect Piero Maria Gibellini along with the engineer Carlo Riva and a group of friends with the goal of preserving Riva boats (which date back to as early at the 1920s). As part of this annual partnership, Frederique Constant annually promotes and commemorates the runabout boats with a nautical-inspired limited edition watch. The Runabout collection of watches, according to the manufacture, “fuse the best of classic Italian style with the latest technical innovation.” Both versions of the Runabout watches come in a 43 mm diameter case made of either stainless steel

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Jason Pitsch

TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M with steel bezel Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M comes in 41 mm and 43 mm diameter automatic models (in steel or titanium) – with either a ceramic or steel bezel. New for 2016, are two 43 mm diameter stainless steel Aquaracers (black or blue dial), with stainless steel bezels. We checked out the blue dial version, close-up, back in March, at Baselworld. The dial features what TAG Heuer calls a “horizontal streak effect.” It has prominent hand-applied polished and facetted indexes that mark the hours, including a luminescent treatment for low-light visibility. Big baton-shaped, polished and facetted, luminescent hands indicate the hours and minutes. A polished seconds hand, with a yellow tip with lume, continuously sweeps the dial. The outer chapter ring has white printed graduations that indicate seconds/minutes in conjunction with the seconds and minutes hands, respectively. An angled date aperture with

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Alpina Alpiner 4 Chronoflyback

Jason Pitsch

Overview After three years of development, last year, Alpina unveiled an in-house chronograph based on their base caliber AL-710. A serious feat for any watch manufacture. Parmigiani Fleurier, for example, who has been in business for roughly two decades, just like the Frederique Constant group (which owns Alpina), introduced their first in-house chronograph this year. Notably, the Alpina chronograph has been added to an existing movement as a module, as opposed to being integrated directly caliber design from the start, however, it does have one proprietary feature that sets it apart from other chronographs: patented direct flyback technology. This allows for Alpina to produce a fairly complicated chronograph, for a relatively low price. The dial Legibility is the key to a good watch dial. I mean who says, “I want a watch with a busy dial that is difficult to

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