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REVIEWS

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

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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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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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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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Bovet Flying Tourbillon Ottantasei designed by Pininfarina

Jason Pitsch

Overview Dating back to 2010, with the launch of the Ottan Tourbillon, Bovet has partnered with famous Italian car design firm, Pininfarina S.p.A., to create a collection of timepieces called “Bovet by Pininfarina.” The most recent timepiece to be added to this prestigious line of watches is the Flying Tourbillon Ottantasei. Boasting a flying tourbillon, and sapphire crystals on the front, rear, and left and right case flanks, light pours in from all angles when viewing the timepiece. This, is, of course, exemplified by the completely skeletonized, three dimensional, hand decorated Swiss manufacture movement. The dial The dials of the Ottantasei, which are placed symmetrically at 10 and 2 o’clock, indicate the power reserve and hours/minutes, respectively. The chapter rings are thin, with a white lacquer surface, and stamped with blue numerals and graduations. The hands have been blued and

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Grand Seiko GMT

Jason Pitsch

Overview Dating back to 1881, Seiko is Japan’s oldest watchmaker. Grand Seiko, which was founded in 1960, is the company’s high-end watch line. There is even a higher line called Credor, but those pieces are significantly pricier and very rare. Grand Seiko is amongst a very elite group of mechanical watch manufactures (including Rolex) that can produce an entire mechanical timepiece – meaning the case, hands, dial, movement, fully in-house – from start to finish. And like the aforementioned brand, Grand Seiko is able to use their absolute control over production, as well as their watchmaking know-how, which dates back to the late 19th century, to produce superb timepieces. Every detail of a Grand Seiko exudes high-quality craftsmanship. The dial The dial of this Grand Seiko GMT (Ref. SBGM023) is silvered, but in certain light, it looks almost cream colored.

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 Automatic Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

Overview TAG Heuer debuted an interesting retro chronograph at Baselworld 2015, called the Carrera Calibre 18. Largely inspired by a historic “Heuer” model designed by Jack Heuer in the 1950s, it is sure to appeal to those looking for vintage styling in a modern timepiece. The dial The Carrera Calibre 18 has a silver sunburst dial with a dual register layout. On the left is a 30-minute chronograph counter, and on the right is a continuous small seconds display – both decorated with an anthracite azurage finish. The original dial was white with black counters, and the look is reminiscent. Although, the modern version has a convex surface, unlike the flat dial of its predecessor. A printed a telemeter scale on the outer chapter ring was included instead of a tachymeter. The telemeter scale allows the wearer to measure the

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Seiko Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time

Jason Pitsch

Overview Seiko’s GPS calibrated Astron collection was first launched in 2012, with the caliber 7X. Then in 2014 the second-generation, caliber 8X, which added a chronograph, was introduced. In 2015, the Astron line gained a third movement, caliber 8X53, which powers the new Astron Dual-Time timepiece we tested for this article. The Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time is designed for the frequent traveler, who constantly changes timezones, and doesn’t want the fuss of always having to manually reset their timepiece. The Dual-Time watch features atomic timekeeping precision, without the reliance on radio signals from one of the 6 international atomic clocks (which have a limited range of 2000 miles), and that fades the further you are from the radio tower. With the Astron, instead of radio waves, the atomic time is communicated via military-level GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) signals, just like

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Josh Shanks

REVIEW: Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time

Josh Shanks

Background This summer while vacationing in Turkey, I got the bug. Not just any bug, but the type where you get a watch stuck in your head and can’t move on with your life until you cure the fever. The watch in question was a world timer. While sailing on the Cunard Queen Victoria (which is a lovely experience), I sat on my balcony and dreamed of future travel. Southeast Asia, Egypt, Africa, or a world cruise? As a frequent traveler with a serious case of wanderlust, I wondered how I could find a way to travel continuously. Since I still have a full-time job outside of the watch industry, I settled on the next best thing. I would look into purchasing a world timer: a watch that displayed some of my favorite locales and dream vacation spots, and the

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Armin Strom Tourbillon Gravity Water

Jason Pitsch

Overview In 1967, after completing his watchmaking apprenticeship, Armin Strom opened his own shop in Altstadt (Old Town) area of Burgdorf. At first, he was selling and restoring watches, although he soon began working on producing his own timepieces. His first masterpiece was a gold pocket watch, with a hand-engraved dial in polished blue lapis lazuli. Strom’s manual dexterity and incredible attention to detail led him to hone his skills in skeletonizing and engraving. His desire to cut away all the non-essential parts of the bridges and plate (skeletonizing), allowed him to use his unique skill set to distinguish his timepieces. He started exhibiting his skeletonized creations at Baselworld in 1984, at which point he had already made a name for himself as a master skeletonizer and engraver. He even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records when

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