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Hands-On

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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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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Jason Pitsch

Parmigiani Fleurier Tondagraphe Tourbillon Chronograph Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

We recently sat down with Parmigiani Fleurier, for a hands-on look at their incredible Tondagraphe Tourbillon Chronograph. Initially launched in 2009, this updated 2013 model’s dial features some aesthetic upgrades, and the case now has pump pushers instead of the standard pushers from the previous version. Underneath the dial, the hand-wound tourbillon chronograph movement, caliber PF 354, has stayed the same. Beating at 3Hz (21,600 vph), the movement has 295 components, 29 jewels, and a 72-hour power reserve. Every component is hand finished to perfection, from the hand bevelled and polished main plate and bridges, to the blackened screws, the polished tourbillon bridges. Function include hours, minutes, small seconds (at 9 o’clock), a crescent-shaped power reserve indicator (at 12 o’clock), and a 1/4 second chronograph (large central seconds, 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock). The rose gold case measures 43 mm

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Josh Shanks

A day on the water with Bremont watches

Josh Shanks

Overview The Americas Cup sailing yacht race came to NYC earlier this month and I had the privilege of attending the race on a sunny Sunday afternoon. The New York event was a qualifying race in a series of preliminary events, collectively known as the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series. These preliminary races are part of the 2015-16 America’s Cup season. America’s Cup is running these qualifying races throughout the world. Events in Portsmouth, Sweden, Bermuda, and Oman have already occurred. Races in Chicago, Portsmouth and Toulon will occur later this year. The final race for the America’s Cup trophy will take place in the summer of 2017 in Bermuda. History (portions via americascup.com) For those of you unaware of the history of the Americas Cup, let’s take a quick look back to 1851 when a schooner sailed past

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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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