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Baselworld

Jason Pitsch

Frederique Constant Slimline Manufacture Perpetual Calendar

Jason Pitsch

Earlier this year, at Baselworld 2016, Frederique Constant unveiled a new in-house manufactured perpetual calendar timepiece, created by Manuel Da Silva Matos (R&D director) and Pim Koeslag (Technical director). Coming from a brand known for accessibility, it should be no surprise that this is one of the most affordable mechanical perpetual calendar timepieces on the market. The Slimline Manufacture Perpetual Calendar is powered by the new 4Hz (28,800 kph) automatic movement (caliber FC-775), which drives hours, minutes, moonphase, and perpetual calendar functions. The movement measures just 6.7 mm thick, and the components are rhodium plated, with chamfered edges. The main bridge features circular Geneva stripes, and the mainplate has a perlage decoration. Furthermore, the rotor is gold plated, with a straight grained finish, and a relief engraving. In total, the movement consists of 191 components, 78 of which are for

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Jason Pitsch

Omega Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition

Jason Pitsch

One of the most interesting debuts from Omega in 2016 was the Speedmaster CK2998 Limited Edition, a throwback to their original reference 2998-1 from 1959. Omega designers borrowed some key design cues from the past, mixed with modern elements, to create a contemporary version of the 2998. The Lance-shaped hands (Omega calls them “Alpha-shaped”) for the hours, minutes, and all three subdials, are from the original. Straight-lugs (versus twisted-lugs) also pay homage to the past model. Just as seen on the re-edition Speedmaster from 2013. Not to mention, there are no crown guards – another nod to the past models. A few more noteworthy retro features are the “lollipop” seconds hand, and the “BASE 1000” writing on the bezel. Having said that, the bezel is made of ceramic, unlike previous models that featured a black insert. Surely appealing to collector

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Jason Pitsch

Ludwig Neomatik Champagner Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

After launching the Neomatik line last year, in 2016, NOMOS Glashutte introduced a series of twelve watches with the new DUW 3001 movement, which is now equipped with the new in-house regulation system. The models included are the Minimatik, Tangente, Metro, Orion, and Ludwig, which continue to be available with white silver-plated or champagne-colored dials. Also, the Tetra line is now available with an automatic movement. The Neomatik series (which is the brand’s automatic collection of watches) is powered by the 3.2 mm thick DUW 3001, which allows for slim, elegant timepieces. Despite the thinness, each movement is capable of achieving chronometer accuracy. According to the manufacture, “This high rate accuracy can now be achieved more simply and quickly in DUW 3001, as this caliber is equipped with NOMOS’ own DUW regulatory system. It replaces the Triovis system and allows

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Jason Pitsch

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Like the Bathyscaphe Chronograph Flyback Ocean Commitment that debuted in 2014, this year Blancpain launched a plasma grey ceramic version of the three-hand Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, with the same deep blue dial and bezel. Distinguished by the matte grey plasma ceramic case – that measures 43.60 mm x 13.83 mm – the new Bathyscaphe is a truly contemporary dive watch, despite its rich diving heritage dating back to the 1950s. Like the case, the unidirectional rotating dive bezel is crafted in matte grey ceramic, that has been satin-brushed, along with a polished blue ceramic insert, dive scale, and a single lume-filled Liquidmetal marker at 12 o’clock. Matching the bezel is a stunning, deep blue sunburst pattern dial, punctuated by polished Liquidmetal hour makers, and rectangular-shaped grey hour and minute hands, along with a baton-shaped central seconds sweep hand with a

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Jason Pitsch

Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Previously only offered in precious metal, the Blancpain Villeret Quantième Annuel GMT is now available in stainless steel. The new steel model measures 40 mm x 11.04 mm, same dimensions as before. The case is fully polished, along with the crown, which features the company logo engraved in relief. Instead of an intricate sunray guilloche pattern, as seen on previous models, the dial has a smooth matte white surface. The dial layout stayed the same. An annual calendar with individual rectangle apertures, one after the other, displays the day, date, and month – with ease. Long, skeletonized leaf-shaped hands, crafted from stainless steel, and polished, indicate hours and minutes. The hour indices are marked with hand applied, polished stainless steel Roman numerals. For seconds, there is a centrally mounted baton-shaped hand, in polished steel, with a logo motif counterweight that

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Jason Pitsch

Tudor Black Bay Dark Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

The Heritage Black Bay, first launched in 2012, is Tudor’s best-selling collection. Based on the first 1954 Tudor Submariner (Ref. 7922), along with design elements borrowed from multiple subsequent Submariners, the Black Bay is not a re-edition, instead, it is a contemporary re-interpretation of the original. Building on the success of the core model, last month a day before Press Day at Baselworld, in addition to debuting the Black Bay Bronze, Tudor launched the Black Bay Dark, which like the Bronze, is somewhat of a departure from the rest of the Black Bay collection. Scenes from the launch which took place just ahead of Baselworld 2016 Unlike the larger 43 mm diameter bronze-alloy case from the Bronze model, the Black Bay Dark is in stainless steel and has the same dimensions (41 mm x 12.75 mm) as the Black Bay

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Jason Pitsch

Mille Miglia GTS Automatic Speed Black Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Since 1988, Chopard has been the official timekeeper of the famous Mille Miglia endurance race – which features more than 400 classic cars competing on a thousand-mile course between Brescia and Rome. Referred to by Enzo Ferrari as the “world’s most beautiful race”, it inspired an eponymous watch collection created by Chopard, which as of last year are now equipped with manufacture movements. Following the launch of the Mille Miglia GTS collection in 2015, at Baselworld 2016 Chopard debuted the Mille Miglia GTS Automatic Speed Black. Presented in a 43 mm x 11.43 mm matte black DLC-treated steel case, the watch features bold red “Rossa Corsa” accents and oversized numerals recalling 1950’s dashboards. Additionally, it has engine-style finishing and a strap with a vintage 1960s Dunlop racing tire tread motif. The dial is matte black, with a red lacquered sweep

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Jason Pitsch

Breguet Type XXI 3817 Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Abraham-Louis Breguet is well known for inventing the tourbillon, amongst many other watchmaking technologies. Less known, however, is that his great-great grandson, Louis Charles Breguet, carried on his family’s history of innovation, in not just watchmaking, but also in aviation. Louis Charles Breguet developed the gyroplane, the forerunner of the helicopter. He also developed the Breguet XIV plane in 1916. And according to Breguet, “between 1917 and 1926, around 8,000 of these legendary aircraft were acquired by an estimated fifteen countries. Other models followed, such as the Breguet 19, and later the Breguet Deux-Ponts (Double Deck).” In conjunction with the activities of Louis Charles Breguet and his aeronautical firm, the Breguet watch company developed chronograph mechanisms fitted on cockpit instrument panels and later began producing pilot’s watches. In 1935, Breguet developed their first wrist chronographs. By 1954, Breguet launched the

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Jason Pitsch

Carl F. Bucher Manero Peripheral Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

At Baselworld last month, Swiss watchmaker, Carl F. Bucherer, which is owned by the Lucerne-based retailer, Bucherer, launched a timepiece that effectively changes the direction of the company in a few ways. First, the dial now reads “Lucerne 1888,” which I am told is part of a new re-branding strategy that focuses on the roots of the company. Second, the manufacture has added a few conservatively sized, retro-style watch collections to their line-up. With plans for more in the future, presumably. Basically, with the Manero Peripheral, they have created a new version of their awesome in-house made peripheral rotor movement and built it into a simple, classic timepiece. Clearly a departure from recent designs, drawing on their rich origins. The new caliber CFB A2050, features a patented peripheral rotor, that as the name suggests, sits on the peripheral area of

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Jason Pitsch

The new Rolex Explorer Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

For years, Rolex has been known to primarily introduce updates to existing watch models at Baselworld, as opposed to focusing on brand new models. And this year was no different. Today, we’ll cover the newly updated Explorer (Ref. 214270), which it is worth noting, carries the same reference number as the model it replaces. Ever since 2010, the Rolex Explorer has featured a larger 39 mm case (up from 36 mm prior to that). That modern design stays mostly the same. In fact, the case is identical, the caliber 3132 movement is identical, and at first glance, even the dial appears to be the same. However, it is the dial, which differentiates the new Explorer from the previous version. First, the hour and minute hands are broader and have been lengthened for better legibility. The material, white gold, stays the

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