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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Royal Oak Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

This year at SIHH, Audemars Piguet launched an entire refresh of their existing Royal Oak Chronograph line that includes new two-tone dials, inside the 41 mm diameter case. In total, there are eight new styles. Three stainless steel with steel bracelets, with a black on white, white and black and silver/gray on blue, four pink gold with either blue or brown dial on either gold bracelet or leather strap, and one titanium and platinum model with a blue on a gray dial. A Frederic Piguet 1185 caliber, referred to as AP caliber 2385 powers the line, as was the case in the past. The movement is an integrated vertical clutch actuated column wheel chronograph but it is made by Audemars Piguet’s Vallée de Joux neighbor, Frederic Piguet (which Blancpain bought out) because the phenomenal caliber 3120 with a chronograph module

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Kari Voutilainen Vingt-8 ISO

Jason Pitsch

Kari Voutilainen is a highly respected Finnish-born master watchmaker who has a small workshop in Môtiers, Switzerland that produces between 25 to 50 timepieces per year. From the beautiful guilloché dials to the three-part open-tipped hands, that Voutilainen is famous for, to the movement plate and bridges, all finishing is done by hand. Components such as jewels, mainsprings, sapphire crystals, and cases are outsourced, but most parts are made in-house, including the Voutilainen direct impulse escapement with two escape wheels, made of steel (for strength). The ingenious design provides a net energy gain of about 30% power in comparison to a traditional lever escapement, and so the power reserve is 65-hours instead of 50. The look of Voutilainen’s German silver three-quarter main plate and bridges – which are hand-finished to the highest haute horology standard – is arguably one of

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Longines Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary Limited Edition

This week, Longines announced a vintage-inspired timepiece called the Flagship Heritage 60th Anniversary Limited Edition that is based on the 1957s model called the “Flagship.” The case measures 38.5 mm, which is larger than the original 1957 model, but this is a perfect size for 2017, unlike the 2014 re-release of the Conquest, that is arguably a bit too small for modern tastes at 35 mm. Three metals are available: stainless steel (Ref. L4.817.4.76.2), limited to 1957 pieces, as well as 18K yellow (Ref. L4.817.6.76.2) and pink gold (Ref. L4.817.8.76.2) variants that are limited to 60 each. All three models have a silver dial, with a smooth center, and brushed, sloped, outer section, giving it a two-tone appearance. The Arabic numerals (at 12, 3, 6, and 9) and indexes are rose gold plated on the steel and pink gold watches,

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Panerai LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days

Jason Pitsch

Created by Panerai’s Laboratorio di Idee, the LAB-ID Luminor 1950 Carbotech 3 Days features a carbon fiber composite case, a completely new deep black dial, and a movement needing no lubrication for 50 years. The 49 mm carbon fiber case, referred to as Carbotech, has already been in use on previous models, such as the Luminor Submersible 1959 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic that we reviewed in 2015. The 49 mm Luminor 1950 case has the same dense, uneven black surface, which is composed of very thin sheets of carbon fibre are pressed together at a controlled temperature under very high pressure. What is all new, is the dial which is covered in carbon nanotubes, and the movement which works perfectly without any lubrication for 50 years, according to Panerai. The dial has Panerai’s the classic sandwich construction, with a generous

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Royal Oak Perpetual Calendar in Ceramic

Jason Pitsch

Thomas Mudge produced the oldest known perpetual calendar in 1762. Patek Philippe followed in 1925 with a perpetual calendar wristwatch based on a ladies’ pendant watch. Breguet created the first perpetual watch with a true wristwatch movement in 1929. However, it was not until 1955 that the leap year indication was brought to a wristwatch by Audemars Piguet in the reference 5516. Prior to that, all perpetual calendar mechanical wristwatches had the day, date, and month indications – not the leap year. Having said that, Audemars Piguet is clearly recognized as a leader and innovator in the Perpetual Chronograph field, however, it is not the perpetual calendar equipped caliber 5134 movement that is new. Although, it was in 2015, when the larger 41 mm perpetual calendars in steel and pink gold models were introduced, with the enlarged movement (based on

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SIHH 2017: Audemars Piguet Diamond Outrage

As the third and final part of the Audemars Piguet Haute Joaillerie ladies’ cuff timepiece trilogy – which started with the Dimond Punk in 2015, followed by the Dimond Fury in 2016 – the Diamond Outrage debuts today at SIHH in Geneva. The Diamond Outrage is available in two different one-of-kind pieces that are crafted in 18K white gold and include prominent spikes set with either diamonds or blue sapphires. Aptly described by Audemars Piguet, the “Diamond Outrage becomes an explosion of stalactites on the wrist.” The sparkling spikes vary in size from 29.30 mm to 40 mm in length, and are produced using the so-called “snow setting” technique, where the diamonds are set so close together that the jewel’s white gold frame appears almost invisible. The invisible setting, another rare technique, is used for each of the three distinctive

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600

Jason Pitsch

After launching the most complicated pocket watch ever made in 2015, Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin is at it again. Well, in this case, they have been at it for the past five years, which is the amount of time it took to develop their most complicated wristwatch ever – the Les Cabinotiers Celestia Astronomical Grand Complication 3600 – that debuted today at SIHH. Incredibly, the renowned Swiss manufacture was able to fit 23 functions inside a 36 mm x 8.7 mm movement, ultimately resulting in a case measuring just 45 mm x 13.6 mm. And best of all, thanks to the unique twin-dial configuration, where the front and back both act as dials, the legibility of all the distinctive functions is quite good. Furthermore, to put it in context, caliber 3600 has 514 total components, 64 jewels, 6 power barrels,

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Zenith Heritage 146

Jason Pitsch

Today, Zenith introduced the Heritage 146, which is essentially the same watch they made for Hodinkee earlier this year, with a 38 mm diameter steel case (which is the same size as the case we selected in a comparison of the 42 mm vs. 38 mm El Primeros in 2014), an El Primero Caliber 4069 chronograph movement, no date function, and a retro design theme. What is different is that these are regular production models, with the option of a tropical brown or blue, sunray pattern dial (not gray), the movements are not COSC chronometer certified and so there is no “CHRONOMETER CERTIFIED” text on the dial at 6 o’clock, the crown is also different as it is now deeper and less wide whereas the Hodinkee version’s crown is wide and very flat. The 5-second graduations for the crosshair small

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Jason Pitsch

I.N.O.X. Carbon

Jason Pitsch

The Victorinox Swiss Army I.N.O.X. watch collection – which is designed to withstand serious abuse – was originally introduced at Baselworld in 2014 in a 43 mm stainless steel case, powered by a Swiss made Ronda 715 quartz movement. For 2017, Victorinox has announced a new version with the same basic specs, including a 43 mm diameter case, a flat triple glare-proofed sapphire crystal that sits just below the bezel (armored), a locking crown, 200 meter water resistance, and so on. What’s new is the carbon composite case. Which, in my opinion, looks particularly badass, even if there is a battery inside. Additionally, the dial now features “Explorer” style numerals at 3, 6, and 9. And instead of printing the military chapter ring in red on the flange, it is now superimposed on the sapphire glass itself, which both looks

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Jason Pitsch

Royal Oak Extra-Thin in yellow gold

Jason Pitsch

The famous Royal Oak timepiece was first introduced by Audemars Piguet in 1972, exclusively in stainless steel. Following the now legendary model’s success, the first yellow gold version of the Royal Oak was produced in 1977. That model came in the same 39 mm “Jumbo” case as the original stainless steel reference 5402 “A series,” with the same Jaeger-LeCoultre 920 based automatic caliber 2121 movement inside. And like the stainless steel model is highly sought after on the vintage market. Fast forward to 2017, after a long hiatus – the classic yellow gold Royal Oak “Jumbo” has returned. And to mark the 40th Anniversary of the first precious metal version of Audemars Piguet’s most famous watch, the Le Brassus manufacture has created a new series of Royal Oak Extra-Thins in yellow gold. The 18K yellow gold “Jumbo” is available with

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