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Jason Pitsch

Breitling majority stake acquired by private equity firm

Jason Pitsch

Today, following widespread speculation that Breitling SA was for sale, beginning in November of last year, we now know the rumors were true and an agreement to sell an 80% majority stake in Breitling – to CVC, one of the world’s leading private equity firms – has been made. CVC Capital Partners specializes in this type of acquisition, although a cursory check of their current portfolio shows that they have no current investments that compare to this one, as the watch industry is a very particular, and is facing a very tough business climate right now. Nevertheless, Theodore Schneider, the current majority owner of Breitling will reportedly still maintain a 20% share of the company, so at least there will be some continuity. “I am convinced CVC is the right partner to elevate Breitling to the next level,” said Théodore

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Jason Pitsch

LM1 Final Edition Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Six years after the launch of the Legacy Machine N°1 (LM1), MB&F has announced the LM1 Final Edition. Consisting of round cases, white lacquer dials, Roman numerals, and traditional finishing – the Legacy Machines contrast the signature eccentric designs of MB&F’s Horological Machines. The LM1, produced with the help of Jean-François Mojon and Kari Voutilainen, represented three world firsts: a suspended flying balance wheel, fully independent dual time displays, and a vertical power reserve indicator, according to MB&F. Over the six years since the initial LM1, approximately 435 LM1s have been manufactured, in gold, platinum, and titanium; with dials in blue, gray, and green. And now, MB&F presents the final LM1 in stainless steel, a first (and last) for the LM1. Additionally, the dial color, brown, is new. Moreover, the LM1 Final Edition has a new balance bridge, cambered and

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Jason Pitsch

Bao Dai: The Most Expensive Rolex Ever?

Jason Pitsch

Next month – at the Geneva Watch Auction: Five – one watch is poised to break the all-time high Rolex auction record. The Bao Dai, otherwise known as reference 6062, has a presale estimate set by Phillips Auction house at $1.5 million. This Rolex triple display calendar with moonphase is one of only three yellow gold with black dial versions with diamond markers known to exist. Moreover, of the three, the Bao Dai, is the only example to feature diamond markers at the even hours. The provenance is, of course, further enhanced by having belonged to His Majesty Bao Dai, the last emperor of Vietnam. “Born Nguyễn Phúc Vĩnh Thụy, His Majesty Bao Dai was the 13th and last emperor of the Nguyễn Dynasty, and it was not until he ascended the throne in 1925 at age 12 that he

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Big Bang Unico Depeche Mode

Hublot and Depeche Mode have been partners since 2010 and have supported charity: water on three other occasions since 2013. In 2017, ahead of their upcoming Global Spirit Tour, Hublot has created a 250 piece limited edition watch to celebrate the band’s new album Spirit. The sale of the watch will raise funds for charity: water, a non-profit organization whose mission is to bring clean and safe drinking water to people in developing countries. The new Big Bang Unico Depeche Mode is presented in a 45 mm x 16.30 mm knurled and polished black ceramic case, with a knurled and polished black ceramic bezel, knurled black-plated titanium crown and pushers, and a polished black ceramic sapphire crystal caseback. The watch features a matte black skeleton Unico automatic caliber HUB1242 movement that beats at 4Hz, has 330 parts, 38 jewels, a

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Jason Pitsch

Another Ulysse Nardin that does not resemble the Nebuchadnezzar

Jason Pitsch

Named after Ulysse Nardin’s son, Paul David, who took control of the company after his death in 1876, the new Classico Paul David Nardin is based on a 1945 timepiece from the company’s archives. Fittingly, it measures 39 mm in diameter, is made of stainless steel, has baton hands, Arabic numerals, along with a small seconds display at 6 o’clock. All specifications that give it a classic appearance. In fact, the design is akin to the 1964 retro Ulysse Nardin timepiece that we covered last week. It even has the same automatic caliber UN-320 in-house movement and the logo featuring the brand name in flat black print with a raised, silvered anchor motif applied directly to the dial. Most importantly, it does not look like the Nebuchadnezzar spaceship from the movie the Matrix. Why is that important? Well, considering how

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Jason Pitsch

Seiko recreates their first diver's watch

Jason Pitsch

Seiko is a name that has been synonymous with diving watches, ever since they produced their first diver’s watch – the 62MAS – in 1965. Water-resistant watches were not abundant in the 1960s the way they are today, and so the 150 meters water-resistant 62MAS (pictured above), which was also Japan’s first diver’s watch, made a significant impact that is still apparent today. “The watch was designed for maximum reliability and legibility in the harshest conditions and was used by the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition from 1966 to 1969,” according to Seiko. And this, of course, led to a numerous diver’s watches, including the Turtle, Tuna, Monster, and others. Seiko 2017 62MAS re-edition (Ref. SLA017) The new Seiko 62MAS Prospex re-edition is aesthetically faithful to the original (39.9 mm x 14.1 mm). For instance, the case is virtually identical, with

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Alex Lee

The Surprise of the Show

Alex Lee

With all the news circulating over the past couple of years regarding the weakness of the watch industry, there were certainly many doubts going into this Baselworld 2017. In true form, the “big-box” brands like Rolex, Omega, Breitling and more still managed to woo quite the audience with their new watches of 2017, but even more impressive and surprising at the same time were this year’s independents. One in particular that caught my undivided attention was H. Moser & Cie. Ever since their revival many years ago by the Meylan family, H. Moser & Cie under the direction of outspoken maverick CEO Edouard Meylan (one of the youngest CEOs in the industry) has impressed many watch collectors of all types with their perfectly understated watches that do not reveal too much unless you look close enough. To be fair, I

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Instagram Highlights #5

Greetings, #WatchFam! This week, I have the great pleasure of partnering with the @6wismen renegades to host the #6WMShootout challenge. Our theme: "Four-Finger Shot!" Stay close to the theme or stray wildly and come up with a whole new interpretation; the sky is the limit! ☁️ 🙌 ☁️ Be as creative as you can be, please use the hashtags #6WMShootout and #TW4Fingers, and tag myself as well as the six wismen: @mr.benzo07 @wballball @travelhomedad @emos7 @erwinstev and @fazwrist. I'm kicking things off with the Grand Seiko SBGJ019 in full form! We look forward to seeing what you guys will come up with! Current sountrack: Ed Sheeran's "Photograph." 🎧 Thank you so much for participating! 🙏👊🙏 A post shared by The Watcherist (@thewatcherist) on Apr 19, 2017 at 8:53am PDT It may take a long time, but when it happens,

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Jason Pitsch

Diver Le Locle

Jason Pitsch

In a departure from the unconventional or “freakish” modern watch designs that have been coming from Ulysse Nardin for as long as I can remember, as of late, the Le Locle manufacture has released numerous vintage inspired timepieces. And the Diver Le Locle may be their best yet. Originally released in 1964 – in a 38 mm case – the new version is 42 mm and features modern in-house automatic caliber UN-320, which is equipped with a silicon escapement and hairspring, and a 48-hour power reserve. The dial is matte black with large round and rectangular luminescent (tan) indexes and large baton-shaped luminescent hour and minute hands. Small seconds are displayed in the subdial at 6 o’clock, which has a cross hair marking and an Alpha shaped luminescent hand. A magnified date display, that can be quickly set both forwards

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Jason Pitsch

TAG Heuer Autavia Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

You have probably already read about the new Autavia, which is part of TAG Heuer Heritage collection. Following the 2016 introduction of the Monza, and the Carrera Calibre 18 the previous year, the Autavia is the timepiece that carries the coveted “Heuer” throwback logo for 2017. Compared to the original 1966 Heuer Autavia Ref. 2446 Mark 3 Rindt that this modern re-edition Autavia is very closely based on, the case has grown from 39 mm to 42 mm, and it is thicker as well, which many vintage collectors may not like, however, those looking for a modern version of the Autavia, and that don’t get too hung up on a few millimeters, this is a great choice. Instead of a Valjoux 72, the watch is powered by TAG Heuer’s latest manufacture chronograph, boasting a column wheel and vertical clutch for

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