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Baselworld

Jason Pitsch

Pre-Baselworld: Zenith Pilot Extra Special Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

At Baselworld 2017, which takes place next month, Zenith will debut a new version of their Heritage Pilot Chronograph. We covered the launch of the Heritage Pilot Cafe Racer last year, and this is fundamentally the same watch but in a bronze case instead of stainless steel. The Pilot Extra Special Chronograph bronze-alloy case measures 45 mm x 14.25 mm, with a domed sapphire crystal, oversized onion-shaped ridged screwed-down crown, with flat ridged pushers, both designed to be used while wearing gloves. The solid caseback is titanium (which is hypo-allergenic), with an engraved Zenith flying instruments logo. Water-resistance is 100 meters. The dial has a frosted gray finish with two snailed counters and large gold-plated, facetted, luminous coated hands. Right below the Zenith logo “MONTRE D’AERONEF,” which was not on last year’s version. Naturally, the watch is powered by the

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Jason Pitsch

Pre-Baselworld: BR03-92 Horograph and Horolum

Jason Pitsch

Bell & Ross has made a name for themselves not by selling watchmaking expertise, or a historic brand name, or innovating in any way. They don’t even come up with compelling names for their different models. The Horograph and Horolum names, for example, according to Bell & Ross, were derived from the common root “Horo”, from the Latin “Hora” (hour), followed by “Graph” (graphics) or “Lum”, from the Latin “Lumen” (light). Who the hell came up with these names? One is said to be based on airport terminal clocks, and the other on runaways. And you can see the airport terminal clock aesthetic in the design of the so-called “Horograph,” but I fail to see how the luminous material on the “Horolum” is related to the runway at an airport, at least without laughing. My point is basically when you

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Pre-Baseworld: Avenue Classic Cherry Blossom

Ahead of Baselworld 2017, which takes place next month in Basel, Switzerland, Harry Winston has previewed a new diamond studded rectangular-shaped ladies’ timepiece called the Avenue Classic Cherry Blossom. Inspired by the architecture Harry Winston’s Fifth Avenue Flagship Salon in New York the case is set with 29 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 2.21 carats). The push-in crown is also set with a diamond. The case measures 21.15 mm x 36.1 mm x 6.68 mm and is water-resistant to 30 meters. The green mother-of-pearl dial features 29 white gold applied brilliant cut pink sapphires (approx. 0.04 carats) and 39 brilliant-cut diamonds (approx. 0.08 carats). The symbolic branches of a cherry blossom tree are crafted in white gold and hand-applied to the to dial. Placed on the dial at 12 o’clock, the letters HW are housed in an octagonal frame, a shape inspired

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Jason Pitsch

The Seiko Presage Enamel Collection

Jason Pitsch

After the successful debut of the limited edition Presage Chronograph collection – with the option of a white or black enamel dial – last year at Baselworld, Japanese watchmaker Seiko has announced a new collection of four enamel dial Presage timepieces. The Seiko Presage Multi-Hand Automatic, Chronograph, and Automatics (one in a circular-shaped case and the other in Tonneau-shaped case). Each variant comes in a stainless steel case with a white enamel dial with black transferred markings, blued leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, a blued crescent seconds hand, a curved sapphire crystal, a crocodile strap with a three-fold clasp with push button release, and is water-resistant to 100 meters. Seiko Presage Multi-Hand Automatic (ref. SPB045) The Seiko Presage Multi-hand Automatic comes in a 40.5 mm x 12.8 mm case and is powered by a caliber 6R27, which is an automatic

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Jason Pitsch

Pre-Baselworld: Chanel Monsieur de Chanel Limited Edition

Jason Pitsch

Last year, Chanel released their first watch with a proprietary movement, the Monsieur de Chanel, in a 40 mm diameter 18K white or so-called “beige” gold case, with ivory opaline dials, and retrograde minutes and jumping hours displays. The timepiece is a departure from previous Chanel watches because it is both aesthetically different and technically more complicated than past Chanel watches which were strictly luxury fashion watches up until Baselworld 2016 when the original watch debuted. The movement, Chanel caliber 1, was developed mostly in-house, according to Chanel, although it is known that they also used high-end watchmaker Romain Gauthier was contracted to develop some of the components. The manually wound caliber has 30 jewels and a power reserve of 72-hours. The balance wheel bridge is connected at two points which are more robust and will make the watch more

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Jason Pitsch

Alpina unveils its first smartwatch rated for diving

Jason Pitsch

We’ve covered the relatively young smartwatch niche since 2013, and in that short amount of time, there have been some genuine innovations and developments. Although the technology is still very new and so far innovation has come mostly in the form of evolving features on existing models. In the case of Alpina, this is their second generation of smartwatch, and it’s capable of withstanding water down to 100 meters, which is on par with the deepest diving smartwatch to date, the Nixon Mission Smartwatch. However, there are a number of caveats. One, the watch, does not feature a touchscreen, just like first generation Alpina smartwatches. And two, the case is made of fiberglass and steel as opposed to steel. Fiberglass is essentially plastic, so this is a significant downgrade compared to the Apple Watch or the TAG Heuer Connected watch,

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Pre-Baselworld: Sixties Iconic Square Chronograph Collection

Glashütte Original will debut an all-new square-shaped cushion case watch collection at Baselworld next month called the Sixties Iconic Square Chronograph. Consisting of five variations, all housed in 41.35 x 41.35 mm (12.6 mm thick) stainless steel cases, the Sixties Iconic Square is similar to the round shaped, time-only Sixties Iconic collection that was launched in 2015, particularly in that both have funky colored dials. The watch is powered by an automatic caliber 39-34 which measures 31.15 mm x 7.2 mm, beats at 4Hz (28,800 vph), has 51 jewels, and a 40-hour power reserve. Visible through a clear caseback, the movement has a Glashütte three-quarter plate with Glashütte stripe decoration, along with bevelled edges, and a 21K gold oscillating weight. There are 5 dial colors as follows Graphite, Ocean, Forest, Fire, and Tangerine. And you can read about the manufacturing

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Jason Pitsch

Pre-Baselworld: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe 38 mm

Jason Pitsch

The modern Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe, which is based loosely on Fifty Fathoms models from the 1950s, was first presented in 2013, in a 43.60 mm diameter case, and available in stainless steel or ceramized titanium. Following that, the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe line was offered in a ceramic case, which we wrote about here and here. This year at Baselworld 2017, following the 38 mm diameter Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Revolution Special Edition that was presented last year in steel, Blancpain will further extend the line with a new three-hand 38 mm diameter brushed stainless steel model. It is worth noting that Blancpain has also previously produced a 38 mm diameter white Fifty Fathoms model for women that came out in 2013. This version is presumably marketed more towards men. And judging the from the feedback we have already read online,

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Jason Pitsch

Introducing the Omega Speedmaster Automatic with Master Chronometer certification

Jason Pitsch

This morning, after a very busy week for Omega, we received a preview of yet another new Speedmaster. Introducing the new Speedmaster Automatic with Master Chronometer certification. At first glance, you immediately notice the distinctive minute-track inspired by a 1968 Speedmaster model. The dial is matte black with orange marketing and bevelled 18K white gold arrowhead indexes that filled with white luminous material. The case is 44.25 mm in diameter, and according to Omega, thinner than previous versions – something we and others have been critical of in the past – thanks to work done on the sapphire crystal. The bezel is polished ceramic with a brushed Liquidmetal® tachymeter scale with orange text that reads “TACHYMETER” and that matches the color scheme which includes an orange varnished hour and minute hands, an orange tipped seconds hand, and orange squares marking

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Jason Pitsch

Hermès Slim d'Hermès Quantième Perpétuel in Platinum

Jason Pitsch

As a follow-up to the previously released rose gold case/silver dial version of the Hermès Slim d’Hermès Quantième Perpétuel, it will now be available in platinum with a metallic blue dial, following its official debut at Baselworld 2017 in March. Reading online you see a lot of talk about the typography used on the dial – that was created by Philippe Apeloig – because it is quite unique in an industry where duplicating other companies’ designs is more common than creating something original. That said, the movement inside, automatic caliber H1950, is manufactured by Vaucher for Hermès (Hermès has a 25% stake in Vaucher, which is majority owned by Parimigiani Fleurier). The perpetual calendar module is produced by Agenhor. While we have not seen this watch in person, in photos the new platinum model looks quite striking with its silvered

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