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Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Chopard Grand Prix Monaco Historique Chrono

Jason Pitsch

Seen here on the wrist of the President of Chopard USA, is the Grand Prix Monaco Historique Chrono. The watch features a 44.50 mm x 14.10 mm case, constructed out of titanium for the case middle, pushers, and crown. With a stainless steel bezel and caseback. This timepiece was introduced in 2014 and pays homage to Chopard’s status as the official timekeeper on the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, dating back to 2002. Said to be inspired by the classic single-seaters sports cars from the 1970s, the Grand Prix Monaco Historique Chrono has a snailed gray dial and a yellow flange with graduations for the chronograph. Matching the ring are yellow chronograph hands for seconds (central hand), 30-minutes (12 o’clock), and 12-hours (6 o’clock). A small seconds subdial sits at 9 o’clock, and there is a date aperture at 3

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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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