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Jason Pitsch

Two new Alpina Heritage timepieces, and the vintage watches that inspired them

Jason Pitsch

A trend in recent years has been for watchmakers to produce timepieces heavily inspired by past designs from within their archives. Longines has an entire collection of modern timepieces influenced by their past models, including, most recently, the Heritage Military COSD, and the Longines Heritage Diver 1967. Oris too, has started recreating past models, starting with the Sixty Five Diver, which looks practically the same as the original model from which is was designed, and it has been so success that they have already created additional variations, such as the Deauville blue version. Tudor, who has essentially relaunched their brand around the best selling Black Bay range, used inspiration from multiple past models to create a look the harkens back to models from the 1950s and 1960s. This year, Alpina has followed suit, starting with the launch of the Seastrong

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Omega Planet Ocean Deep Black collection

Jason Pitsch

In New York City on Monday, Omega unveiled an all new ceramic diver’s watch collection called the Planet Ocean Deep Black. Similar to the Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon, each of the four models features a black ceramic mono block case, bezel, and dial. The new ceramic watch case measures 45.5 mm in diameter by a thickness of 18.87 mm, which is understandably even larger than the Dark Side of the Moon, which measures 44.25 mm in diameter by 16 mm thick, as this is a professional diver’s watch. That said, if you are looking for a diver’s watch to wear with your suit, this is probably not the one to go with as it is quite large. But if you are looking for a highly water resistant sports watch to wear with short sleeves, this is a great

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Jason Pitsch

Chopard L.U.C. Perpetual Chrono Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

This year at Baselworld, Chopard introduced one of their most complicated timepieces ever. Produced in-house by their higher-end manufacture (L.U.C.), the L.U.C. Perpetual Chrono boasts a vertical coupling-clutch column-wheel flyback chronograph with a perpetual calendar, along with an impeccably finished haute horology dial, movement, and case. Intricate details of the dial include a gray ruthenium-toned sunburst satin-brushed and hand-guilloché gold dial, with beams radiating from the prominent twin-aperture date window at 12. White or rose gold rhodium plated Roman numerals (depending on the case material) are applied by hand to the dial, surrounded by a snailed silver-toned inner bezel ring – with red and black transfers. Rhodium plated Dauphine-shaped hands, in white or rose gold, are used to indicate hours, minutes, small seconds, day, month, chronograph (seconds, minutes, hours - designed with red tips), and phases of the moon. There

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Jason Pitsch

Vacheron Constantin Overseas World Time Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

After launching the all-new Overseas collection in January at SIHH, Vacheron Constantin recently unveiled the latest addition to the collection, the Overseas World Time. The new World Time is presented in a stainless steel case measuring 43.5 mm x 12.6 mm, equipped with a soft iron casing ring that protects against magnetic fields, and with a screwed-down crown, resulting in a sporty world time wristwatch that is water resistant to 150 meters. The exact same movement that powers the dressy Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle World Time (caliber 2460 WT), powers the new sports watch. A 22K gold oscillating weight – with wind rose, adorned with sandblasted, polished, and finely grained finishing – automatically winds the 4Hz caliber, up to a maximum 40-hour power reserve. The main plate features a perlage decoration, with Geneva strips on the bridges, as well as chamfered

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Jason Pitsch

H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Back in January, H. Moser & Cie received announced their Swiss mechanical watch that was inspired by the Apple Watch, which not surprisingly, received a lot of press. At the time, our Contributing Editor, Josh Shanks, wrote about it from the perspective of a tech guy and watch collector. In March, at Baselworld, Moser had a working prototype (pictured), which I got to see up close. The first thing I thought was that it does have the exact dimensions of an Apple Watch. However, after looking up the dimensions, the Moser watch is actually taller and wider than both the 38 mm and 42 mm Apple Watch. Interestingly, the Moser Swiss Alp watch is 2/10ths of a millimeter thinner, for those of you counting. So, it is not exactly the same dimensions, but overall, the look and proportions are very

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Jason Pitsch

Ochs and Junior Annual Calendar LIGHT

Jason Pitsch

Lucerne-based watchmaker, Ochs and Junior, has unveiled a lighter version of their Annual Calendar. Significantly lighter. The new Annual Calendar LIGHT weighs just 39.97 grams for the 39 mm version and 42.94 grams for the 42 mm model. Compared to 61.99 grams and 70.83 grams, for the previous Annual Calendars, this represents a decrease of -43.2% and -42.02%, respectively. Like its predecessor, the case is still made in lightweight grade 5 titanium. The weight reduction was thus achieved, not by a new case material, but by three specific measures. 1- Every gram of material not necessary for the strength and stability of the case is milled away. 2- The dial, calendar function, and hands are manufactured out of the light-weight aluminum alloy Al Mg Si 1. 3- A newly-designed kevlar strap and carbon fiber buckle. The result is a watch

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Jason Pitsch

Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ceramic Bezel 116500LN Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

This year at Baselworld, by far, the most talked about watch release has been the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref 116500LN (which replaces Ref. 116520 that was first introduced in 2000). Over the 16 year period, a number of incremental changes have been made to the Daytona Chronograph. The caliber 4130 automatic movement was enhanced with a blue Parachrom hairspring, which improves rate accuracy thanks to its anti-magnetic properties. The previously green Superluminova material was changed to Rolex’s proprietary Chromalight material, which notably lights up blue. A modern spring loaded clasp was added along the way. While the original flange had no writing, the word “ROLEX” is repeated, as seen in all current Rolex timepieces. Also, the new outer chapter ring (for minutes and seconds), is now marked with 5 graduations in between each hour index as opposed to twenty-five. And

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Josh Shanks

A step inside of Audemars Piguet's US Service Center to see my Royal Oak receive a factory service (Part II)

Josh Shanks

Movement servicing The main watchmaking floor at AP Clearwater is a sight to be seen. Before entering, guests and employees are required to don shoe booties (to protect from dust and dirt). The watchmaking room resembles more of a clean room than a facility for repairing and servicing luxury timepieces. Each watchmaker has a state of the art workbench and all of the tools they need to do their jobs. The watchmakers are assigned their daily work by their manager and the workload is prioritized by challenge and complications to ensure the watchmaker has a wide variety of different pieces to work on throughout the week. The movement is disassembled to the main plate and parts are put into a carriage for cleaning My watchmaker, Billy Janshon, was assigned my piece earlier in the week. He has been with AP

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Josh Shanks

A step inside of Audemars Piguet's US Service Center to see my Royal Oak receive a factory service (Part I)

Josh Shanks

Intro Audemars Piguet’s legendary manufacture has been based at Le Brassus in the heart of the Vallée de Joux since 1875. They are one of the very few brands that have retained their independence from the larger conglomerates. An Audemars (Jasmine Audemars) and a Piguet (Olivier Audemars, great-grandson of co-founder Edward Auguste Piguet) still serve on the board of directors. The storied brand has a rich history of craftsmanship, ingenuity, and innovation. While AP’s main manufacture is based at Le Brassus, the brand has service centers throughout the world. These service centers provide after-sales service, accessories, and a place for owners to connect with the brand. The US service center is based in Clearwater, FL. For years, the concept of watch servicing has been a mysterious affair. Many choose to send their watches to a friend that “knows watches” or

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Le Garde Temps prototype timepiece sells for $1.46 million

On Monday, at Christie’s in Hong Kong, the prototype piece from “Le Garde Temps – Naissance D’Une Montre” sold for just over $1.46 million. This is an important step in the initiative that started ten years ago, called “Naissance d’une Montre - Le Garde Temps project” and validates the combined efforts of Robert Greubel, Stephen Forsey, Philippe Dufour, Vianney Halter and others to safeguard and transmit traditional watchmaking knowledge and skills. Back in 2006, the group selected Michel Boulanger, a young watchmaker, who was already a teacher at a watchmaking school in Paris, to transmit their knowledge to him, which in turn would help teach crucial watchmaking know-how to future generations. Michel Boulanger then began working with Phillippe Dufour, who showed him ancestral watchmaking techniques, including using and even producing traditional watchmaking tools. Over the next six years, Michel worked

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