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Jason Pitsch

Interview with Ralph Simons, CEO of Chopard USA

Jason Pitsch

1- Jason Pitsch: Since your move from the President of Frederique Constant/Alpina USA to CEO of Chopard USA Ltd. in 2015 what have you done to improve the business at your new company? Ralph Simons: Well, we’ve done a lot. It has been a very interesting period since then. The main point of focus has been to simplify the assortment of products along with its communication to the market. When I arrived at Chopard we utilized a large selection of different advertising visuals, and one level up from that, in terms of product, at the time we also offered a broad range of references. This made it harder for our final clients and our authorized retailers to capture a consistent and recognizable brand message. The Chopard Core Collection for North America launched at Baselworld 2015 now serves as a foundation.

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Chopard Mille Miglia 2016 XL Race Edition Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

Overview Chopard has a long history of associating with automobiles and racing, dating back to 1988, which is when the company became the official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia race in Italy. The ties with the automotive world began before 1988, though, as the owners of Chopard, Karl-Friedrich, and Karl Scheufele – who own collectible vintage and classic cars – were already participating in the Mille Miglia in the 1980s. Interestingly, according to Ralph Simons, the CEO of Chopard USA, the initial intention was not to create a commercially successful timepiece collection – it was instead developed with the idea of making a watch for the Mille Miglia participants. It did become of commercial success, of course, and Chopard has been the official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia ever since. The strong automobile and racing association continues to this day.

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Jason Pitsch

Three new Rolex Yacht-Masters

Jason Pitsch

The highlight of the Yacht-Master collection at Rolex this year was the new 40 mm steel and Everose gold model, with a “Rolesor” case, which simply means a combination of 904L steel and 18K Everose gold. With that said, Rolex also quietly introduced a new dial on the steel and platinum (Rolesium) Yacht-Master as well. The new dial is dark rhodium (gray) and includes an aqua-blue lacquered seconds hand and printed text that reads “Yacht-Master” in the same shade of blue, which is notably similar to the color scheme of this new Oyster Perpetual that debuted at Baselworld 2015. Also, worth noting is that this gray dial platinum and steel Yacht-Master comes in both 40 mm and 37 mm variants. Despite the fact that the new steel and rose-gold Yacht-Master with the chocolate dial (Ref. 116621) has received the most

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Breitling Avenger Blackbird

With an aggressive blackened titanium case measuring 48 mm x 14.40 mm – and with a depth rating of 300 meters – the new Breitling Avenger Blackbird is essentially a larger, more robust version of the Avenger Blackbird 44. Both the 48 and 44 mm versions share the same design, same dial, and same automatic caliber 17 (ETA 2824) movement. The differences are in the case dimensions, weight, and water-resistance rating. The 48 mm model is 4 mm larger in diameter and 1.70 mm thicker, while weight has increased by 17.50 grams. With the additional size and weight, the Avenger Blackbird gains an additional 100 meters (or 328 feet) of water-resistance. The Avenger Blackbird, which we previously talked about here, comes with a sturdy military-type Teflon-coated black textile strap. (Ref. V1731010.BD12.100W) The retail price is $5105.

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Jason Pitsch

Girard-Perregaux Titanium Tourbillon Minute Repeater Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Girard-Perregaux released an interesting, ultra-light minute repeater at Baselworld 2016; the Limited Edition Titanium Tourbillon Minute Repeater. Its titanium case measures (45 mm x 9.35 mm), and is not only significantly lighter than the 18K gold version, it also has better sound resonance – thanks to the use of titanium – which is crucial to any minute repeater. Further, a unique, open-worked dial and mainplate, offer an incredible view into the Tourbillon Minute Repeater movement, without needing to turn the watch over. Of course, the back is a site to be seen as well. The hours and minutes are indicated on the titanium outer ring, marked with pink gold indexes for the hours, which contrasts nicely with the matte titanium finish, and dots for the minutes. The hour and minute hands are in pink gold as well and have been

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Five images of Big Ben Clocktower from five different photographers

London’s “Elizabeth Tower” is the most famous clocktower in the world. Inside, it houses the clock mechanism for four clock faces and five chiming bells. An interesting fact that most people do not know is that technically it is the largest bell, not the tower itself, that is called “Big Ben.” However, more commonly, the entire tower, clock mechanism, and bells are referred to as Big Ben. Learn more about its history HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. We have previously shown the clocktower being cleaned and reported that it will begin being renovated in 2017. In the meantime, please enjoy these five images of the famous clocktower taken by five independent photographers. Photo (top): Tamara Menzi Photo: Ming Jun Tan Photo: Samuel Zeller Photo: Jethro Stebbings Photo: Sapan Patel

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Seiko Prospex SRP775 Diver

Jason Pitsch

Seiko is not only the oldest Japanese watch manufacture – with horological expertise dating to 1892 – they also have an incredibly strong diving heritage. In 1965, Seiko released their first dive watch, the 150 meter water-resistant reference 62MAS-010. Many dive watch models followed over the years. And not much has changed in that regard, as Seiko continues to make numerous dive watch models across a broad range of price points. For this article, we will focus on the modern SRP775 Prospex Diver, based on vintage reference 6309 that was produced from 1976-1988. Introduced at Baselworld 2015, the Prospex SRP775 Diver, nicknamed the “Turtle,” shares the original 6309’s cushion-shaped case design and has approximately the same dimensions. In fact, the hands, bezel, crown – and even the embossed logo on the back – are virtually the same. There are, of

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Five important watch manufactures we've toured

The crème de la crème watchmakers, whether they are Swiss, German, or Japenese, have their own factories, often referred to in the industry by the French usage manufacture, which is a noun that basically means a manufacturer or factory that can produce at least one full mechanical watch movement completely inside their own factory. And below are four of the best in the world, which we have toured and photographed, just click the link for each to visit the original article. Located in Le Sentier, in the famed Vallée de Joux, a valley located in the Jura Mountains, is Jaeger-LeCoultre, which we toured in 2010 (pictured at top). In between the Jura mountains and the Alps, in Geneva, in the Roger Dubuis manufacture, which we toured in 2010. Piaget has two manufactures, their historical home in La Côte-aux-Fées (pictured above)

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Jason Pitsch

Photo Report: Oris at the beach

Jason Pitsch

An Oris Divers 65 is my go to watch for wearing with short sleeves, going to pool parties or the beach. I really like vintage Tudor and Rolex Submariners but with old watches, you always worry about water entering the case. Not to mention, they are often in need of costly overhauls and repairs and are really not optimal in regards to durability like a modern Tudor or Rolex. Plus, they cost quite a bit more, especially in good condition. The Oris 65 solves the problem with modern wearability, durability, and they are more affordable to own (retail with the rubber strap is $1850). I continue to put the Oris through the paces. While I am not a diver, I do like to swim with my watch on, play football at the beach with the watch on my wrist, and

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Jason Pitsch

Visconti Abyssus Scuba Urban Camo Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Since 1988, Florence-based penmaker Visconti has been producing high-quality writing instruments. And after over 25 years crafting writing instruments in Florence, at Baselworld 2014, the company launched a timepiece collection to complement their assortment of fountain pens, rollers, and ball-pens. The Abyssus professional dive watch collection was the first collection, and according to the company they have, “won the approval of such professional experts as the CNS, Italy’s National Diver Centre, forging close professional ties with the centre in the development of its monobloc Scuba Abissus 3.000 mt. watch, with two patents currently pending.” We visited Visconti’s at Baselworld 2016 for the first time, and from a technical perspective, their 3000 meter dive watches were the most interesting. The Abyssus Scuba Urban Camo collection, in particular, stood out due to its rugged military aesthetic, and unique professional locking dive crown

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