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Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Speedmaster 38 Co-Axial

Jason Pitsch

Similar to the Speedmaster Racing that Omega debuted in 2012, the new Speedmaster 38 Co-Axial is powered by in-house caliber 3300 and offered a price point under five thousand dollars. Distinguished by horizontal oval subdials and a vertical oval date display, the dial takes inspiration from several De Ville timepieces. The steel case measures 38 mm in diameter, with an 18 mm lug width, and features a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces. A box-type sapphire crystal protects the dial and is surrounded by a fixed tachymeter bezel. A seahorse medallion is stamped on the screw-in solid steel caseback. Water-resistance is 100 meters. Inside, is Omega’s entry-level in-house automatic, caliber 3300 which beats at 4Hz and features a Si14 silicon balance spring, free sprung balance wheel, a column wheel, and NIVACHOC shock absorber. The 31 jewels Co-Axial movement has a

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Jason Pitsch

Heritage Black Bay 41

Jason Pitsch

The new Heritage Black Bay 41 comes with a slimmer middle case and fixed polished steel bezel for a more dressy look than the standard Black Bay collection. As with all Black Bay watches, this is inspired by past divers’ watches from the 1950s and 1960s. A black lacquer dial with applied rhodium plated luminous indexes, and rhodium plated luminous hands, including the signature snowflake hand. This is a no-date model, and unlike the rest of the Black Bay collection, which is currently powered by manufacture movements, this model has been equipped with a more budget friendly ETA 2824 caliber that is good for 38-hours. To keep the lines clean and maintain the elegant look, the sapphire crystal is flush with the bezel, which along with the thinner case making it easy to slide this watch under a shirt cuff.

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Jason Pitsch

Mirrored Force Resonance Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Independent Swiss watch manufacture Armin Strom debuted one of the most interesting timepieces of 2016, distinguished by its unique dual regulation system that increases precision through “resonance.” Resonance was studied in the context of watchmaking as early as the 17th century, when Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695), inventor of the pendulum clock, first discovered that two separate pendulum clocks, when hung from a common beam, synchronized, thanks to resonance (two oscillating bodies in close proximity influence each other and eventually synchronize). Abraham-Louis Breguet later also explored resonance and subsequently created a double pendulum resonance clock. According to Armin Strom, there are three main benefits of resonance. First, it creates a stabilizing effect on timekeeping which improves accuracy. Second, it conserves energy. Third, it reduces the negative effects of timekeeping accuracy due to outside disturbances, such as shock to the balance staff, which

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Jason Pitsch

Tudor Black Bay Chronograph Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

After setting the stage for the past five years with annual debuts of new variations to the three-hand Black Bay collection, which you can see in our archives, this year, Tudor, dropped their first Black Bay Chronograph. Presented in the same size case, that measures 41 mm in diameter, and is available in stainless steel, the new Chronograph has a thinner fixed bezel, as opposed to the standard Black Bay line which is thicker and rotates unidirectionally. Plus, it is steel, which apart from the new Black Bay Steel, is completely different from all existing Black Bay models which are steel with a colored aluminum insert. One design feature I personally like the most is the engraved tachymeter scale, which is reminiscent of a Rolex Daytona or 1970s Tudor Monte Carlo. The design feature I like the least is the

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Jason Pitsch

Girard-Perregaux Laureato Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Girard-Perregaux first produced a luxury sports watch with octagonal bezel and integrated bracelet in 1975, during an era known for iconic watch designs. Just last year they relaunched the Laureato, inspired by that 70s model, with a “Clous de Paris” dial, that is akin to the Royal Oak’s “Grand Tapisserie” dial, at Baselworld 2016, in one size. For 2017, Girard-Perregaux followed that one timepiece up with an onslaught Laureato timepieces, in 4 sizes: 34 mm, 38 mm, 42 mm, 45 mm. The 34, 38, and 42 mm models are all basic three-handers with a plethora of variations within each size. The 34 mm model is targeted towards women and comes with strap or bracelet, in steel, two-tone, or rose gold, most of which come with diamonds. Next size up is a 38 mm diameter, targeted at both men and women,

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Jason Pitsch

L.U.C. Lunar One and Perpetual Chrono Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

This year at the Baselworld fair in March, Chopard debuted two limited edition versions of their flagship L.U.C. Perpetual timepieces cased in platinum with deep blue sunray dials. L.U.C Lunar One Originally produced in 2005, the Lunar One comes in a 43 mm x 11.47 mm case finished with vertical satin-brushed sides along with a polished bezel and lugs. Large applied Roman numerals are mirror-polished give the watch an unmistakable look while enhancing legibility. The moon phase indicator at 6 o’clock is not simply disc rotating beneath the dial but a number of components indicating the exact appearance and position of the moon as it orbits, with 122-year accuracy. Underneath the dial is automatic caliber L.U.C 96.13-L which features a 22K microtor that winds the watch up to its maximum 65-hour power reserve. Each movement is hand finished with beveled

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Jason Pitsch

Patek Philippe debuts two new Aquanauts for 20th Anniversary

Jason Pitsch

This year marks the 20th anniversary of Patek Philippe’s other sports watch – not to be confused with the Nautilus – the Aquanaut. As a tribute, Patek Philippe released two new versions at Baselworld, that will go on sale later this year. One represents the first men’s Aquanaut to be offered in white gold. The other is Advanced Research model that features some of the manufacture’s most advanced horological innovations. Aquanaut Ref. 5168G 20th Anniversary Edition A 42.2 mm diameter white gold case, with a night blue colored dial (constructed of brass and PVD coated with blue to black hue towards the perimeter), gives new appeal to the Aquanaut line. Patek’s caliber 324 S C movement, which is a mere 3.3 mm in height, allows for a watch that is just 8.25 mm in thickness. With a tested deviation of

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Jason Pitsch

Alpina Startimer Pilot Automatic Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Swiss watchmaker, Alpina, introduced four new timepieces within their highly affordable Startimer Automatic collection this year at Baselworld. The Startimer collection is made of basic time and date watches, chronographs, and even a manufacture worldtimer. Some of the mechanical collection are powered by in-house movements and others by Sellita movements. The timepieces we are discussing here are all powered by the latter, which crucially, is how the price is kept under $1000. Since 2011, when the entry-level Startimer Pilot Automatic collection was introduced, not a lot has changed. The dial received a slight makeover, with new steel hands (in place of white coated steel hands) and the case is still 44 mm in diameter, however, the thickness has gone from 10.2 mm to 10.7 mm. The automatic movement runs at 4Hz and has 38-hour power reserve. Water-resistance, thanks in part

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Jason Pitsch

Patek Philippe Calatrava Squelette Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Patek Philippe’s automatic caliber 240 is 40 years old this year, and to celebrate, a new skeletonized version of the movement has been created. Already offered in skeletonized variations since 2008, a special new version of the Patek Philippe Calatrava “Squelette” was introduced at Baselworld 2017, back in March. The new timepiece features a 39 mm x 7 mm rose gold case, which is 45.8 mm long and has a 20 mm lug width. In addition, the bracelet and movement are also crafted from solid 18K rose gold. The micro-rotor, however, is made of 22K gold as an oscillating weight that is so small needs to be heavy in order to generate enough power to wind the watch. Skeletonization that leaves so little remaining is extremely difficult to produce. According to Patek “Its plate and bridges are pierced to the

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Jason Pitsch

Bréguet Classique 7147 Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Long renowned for producing luxurious, elegant, and highly complicated timepieces, particularly tourbillons, which the eponymous company founder, Abraham-Louis Breguet, invented – the manufacture Breguet is also very capable of producing uncomplicated masterpieces. Introducing the Bréguet Classique 7147, a simplistic, time-only, wristwatch, with a “Grand Feu” enamel dial that is essentially a complication in itself. Moreover, this enamel dial is especially unique because it has an offset “dimple” that delineates the small seconds from the main display, without any marking on the dial, whatsoever. In regards to producing the “Grand Feu” dial, here is what the Breguet says about the process, “It is based on a colorless vitreous mixture – called flux – composed of silicic acid, sodium borate, nitre, and minium. The flamboyant and ageless colors of enamel are achieved by adding metallic oxides to this combination. The result is

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