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June 2016

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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Extract: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Survivor

Originally introduced in November 2008 (circa 2008), the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Survivor" has an unmistakable design with its super aggressive crown and pusher guards and all black color scheme. It comes in a 42 mm x 15.65 mm black titanium case, which is not huge until you add the guards. The Survivor came at a time when big bold timepieces were in style. Inside, is self-winding in-house chronograph caliber 3126/3840 which has 59 jewels, 365 parts, a frequency of 21,600 vph (3Hz) and a power reserve of 60 hours. The 3126 uses a variable-inertia balance with eight inertia-blocks and a flat-spring. All parts are have been decorated, including rhodium-plating on the manipulate and bridges, beveled edges on the bridge, perlage on the mainplate, and bridges adorned with "Cotes De Geneve" motif. Functions include hours, minutes, small seconds and

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Breitling for Bentley B06 Midnight Carbon

This is the new Breitling Bentley B06 Midnight Carbon, a watch that is technically distinguished technically by its B06 manufacture chronograph inside, and visually by its aggressive oversized 49 mm diameter all black steel case, and an unusual dark blue mother-of-pearl dial. Underneath the dial is a COSC-certified chronometer movement, as seen in all Breitling watches, however, this is, of course, an in-house manufactured caliber. Most worth noting is the unique “30-second chronograph” configuration that was inspired by a Breitling patent dating back to 1926. It is distinguished by a central chrono hand (red tipped and with a Breitling emblem counterweight), that fully sweeps the dial in 30 seconds, as opposed the typical 60 seconds sweep, thus providing 1/8th of second elapsed time accuracy (as opposed to the more common 1/4th of a second accuracy with many 60-second chronograph indications).

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Extract: Breitling Pult 'Bullhead' from 1974

The is a reference 7101 Breitling Pult Chronograph from 1974, powered by a Valjoux caliber 7740. There is another Breitling Pult, reference 2117, that is powered by caliber 11, and notably has the crown located at 6 o’clock. Whereas the watch (shown), reference 7101, has a Valjoux 7740 powering it, and the crown is located at 12 o’clock. A 42 mm diameter asymmetrical stainless steel case, as well as six different colors (orange, turquoise, red, gray, white, blue) on the dial, give this “bullhead” watch an unmistakable look. Plexiglass crystal. Solid caseback. The case has a brushed finish with polished pushers and crown. Crown is signed with Breitling emblem. The watch features a rotating bezel, a pulsation scale and tachymeter on the inner chapter ring. There is also a chocolate-colored version that was produced in the 1970s.

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Josh Shanks

Zenith takes Indy for the first Brickyard Invitational

Josh Shanks

Last weekend, Zenith Watches, along with event sponsor SVRA took over the Indianapolis Motor Speedway (IMS) for a weekend of vintage car racing. Professional Watches was fortunate enough to get an invite to the festivities. The weekend began with a dinner and cocktail reception with Zenith. On Saturday, we headed to the track for a full day of festivities. When we arrived at the Zenith suite, we watched the first few circuit races and had lunch. Afterward, we took a tour of gasoline alley and the pits to get an idea of what cars we’d see on the circuit. I was shocked to see such a wide range of vehicles. From a vintage 1911 car driven at Indy, a vintage 1988 Oldsmobile Skoal NASCAR, a 1960s Indycar, and all the way up to modern muscle cars. The SVRA was well

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Jason Pitsch

FTC finally tells Shinola to stop deceiving consumers

Jason Pitsch

Better late than never. As you may recall, we ran an editorial calling out Shinola’s deceptive marketing practices in August of 2013, titled “Will The Real ‘Shinola’ Please Stand Up.” In the editorial, we precisely detailed how virtually all of the components of the watches are produced in Switzerland or China. However, what Shinola has lead everyone to believe is that the watches are built from scratch in the US, despite the fact that everything except the straps are imported. Assembly of the watch movements, casing up, assembly of the watches, and quality control is all done in Detroit. And that is a good thing as it has created US jobs in a city that desperately needs new jobs. The problem is if Shinola markets the watches as “American Made” – it is an outright lie. And they know what

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Jason Pitsch

Hautlence Vortex Bronze Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Already available in titanium, blackened titanium, and red gold – the unusually shaped Hautlence Vortex, is now available in bronze. Bronze is a unique alloy that consists primarily of copper and is traditionally combined with metals such as tin, aluminum, and zinc. It is a very hard metal and can gain a unique patina over time as it oxidizes. In watches, this patina, arguably, is the desired effect. The introduction of the Vortex Bronze is in-line with some other timepieces that were introduced this year, such as the Black Bay Bronze from Tudor, or the Carl Brashear Limited Edition from Oris. The Vortex has an unmistakable case shape that is neither a cushion, rectangle, or square. Looking at the face of the watch, the sides are wider at the bottom and taper towards the top. A section of the strap

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Jason Pitsch

Max Chilton Edition Edge Double Barrel launched at Firestone 600

Jason Pitsch

Independent Swiss watchmaker Armin Strom has partnered this year with up-and-coming IndyCar driver Max Chilton to create a timepiece that pays homage to the racer and his team (Chip Ganassi Racing). Launched at the Firestone 600, which was held a few weeks ago, in Fort Worth, Texas – the new Max Chilton Edition Edge Double Barrel was designed with input from Chilton. “I love a heavier and larger watch on my wrist that still has a sporty feel to it,” says Chilton. Chilton’s number “8” appears on the dial in the small seconds display and the blue on his turbocharged Chevrolet racecar matches the hour numerals on the dial. The limited edition piece is, of course, appealing to a fan. And watching Max race in person, would have been nice. But unfortunately the rainy conditions earlier in the day could

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Ralph Lauren Automotive Skeleton

Jason Pitsch

Overview Launched in 2015, and inspired by Ralph Lauren’s own 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe, the Ralph Lauren Automotive Skeleton is the flagship of the collection and the company’s first open-worked timepiece. Automotive details extend throughout the timepiece, from the amboyna burl wood bezel to the black alligator strap that is reminiscent of the rich interior of Mr. Lauren’s Bugatti. Even the Arabic numerals emulate those found on the car’s iconic gauges. Dial Prominently located at 12 o’clock is a matte black galvanized subdial, with an azurage patten with a luminescent RL logo, stamped on top. At six o’clock is a decentralized seconds subdial with white Arabic numerals and an azurage pattern. Hours and minutes are indicated by matte black oxidized sword-shaped hands, which are coated with a beige luminescent treatment for increased low-light visibility. Underneath the dial, the

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Introducing the Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition

Geneva-based watch manufacturer, Chopard, has been the official timing partner of Porsche Motorsport since their return to the “24 Hours of Le Mans” in 2014. After winning a first and second place at last year – Porsche Motorsport is naturally one of the favorites for 2016. On the occasion of the 84th edition of the famous Le Mans endurance race (which started this morning at 9 am EST and tomorrow), Chopard has aptly unveiled a new timepiece inspired by the new 2016 Porsche 919 Hybrid racecar. Introducing the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Black Edition. The 100 piece limited series is presented in a 45 mm x 15.15 mm blackened titanium case that features designed cues taken directly from the renowned Porsche Motorsport 919 Hybrid race car (pictured below), and a sporty red, white and black color scheme. Equipped with

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