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Jason Pitsch

Jason Pitsch

Why "The Wristwatch Handbook" Succeeds?

Jason Pitsch

When Ryan Schmidt first started promoting his book The Wristwatch Handbook A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches on social media before it hit shelves last year, I noticed and it really piqued my interest. I wondered if it would be a true “Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches.” And now that I have read it cover-to-cover, I can undoubtedly say that it is. I love watches and have always enjoyed breaking down basic movements and putting them back together, as well as completing a number of watchmaking workshops, but I don’t purport to be a watchmaker. In a similar context, this book is written by an excellent writer, but not a watchmaker. He clearly worked with many watchmakers, though, in creating the 470 pages of images, illustrations, and encyclopedia style explanations of the complex inner workings of mechanical watches. Ultimately, unlike

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Jason Pitsch

In The Metal: Patek Philippe Calatrava Pilot

Jason Pitsch

Patek Philippe’s new three-hand Calatrava Pilot Ref. 5522 is garnering more buzz than any watch release the Swiss watchmaker has made since the original Calatrava Pilot 5524 in 2015. And while that watch was received with mixed reviews – yet is still on back order according to the company’s US Press Manager – this release has been met with much more positive feedback. 1936 Patek Philippe (Ref. P0844) 56 mm oversize hour angle aviator wristwatch (siderometer) Why? It’s more simplistic, with just three-hands and no date function, which purists love. It’s in stainless steel. It costs less than half the price of the 5524. And of course, most importantly, it’s downright gorgeous in the metal. As you can see in the photos, at one angle the dial is a dark smooth blue (top), and at another angle (below) you can

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Jason Pitsch

Should the Rolex "Bakelite" GMT-Master be resurrected?

Jason Pitsch

In the past, Tempus Machina has taken new Rolex Submariners, HERE and HERE, and modded them to look like vintage models. And now, they’re doing the same thing with the new Rolex GMT-Master II (Ref. 116710) and made it look similar to the original GMT – which is highly collectible and very rare – the “Bakelite” Ref. 6542. The original Rolex GMT-Master 6542, one of the first “Professional Watches,” designed specifically for pilots flying commercial airlines internationally, has already been recreated to some extent by the true watchmakers at Rolex in white gold with a Pepsi Bezel. And while it is not available in steel, with a gilt dial, or with the extra beveling to the lugs, that you see on the so-called 711Z GMT Master, would you really want to buy such a watch? Especially considering the lofty price

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Jason Pitsch

Calatrava Pilot Ref. 5522 New York Special Edition

Jason Pitsch

Following up the Calatrava Pilot Travel Time Ref. 5524 that was released in 2015, Patek Philippe has introduced a simple three-hand version within the same collection. The Calatrava Pilot Ref. 5522 New York Special Edition is presented in the same size case, but with less going on it seems to work much better visually. The fact that it is being offered in stainless steel makes it more of a true sports watch, not to mention, more accessibly priced. This is great, especially considering we asked for this in 2015 when the original 5524 came out, “Steel would have been ideal for this watch. Especially, if it is being marketed to attract a newer, younger consumer.” The case measures 42 mm in diameter (45.5 mm including the crown) by 50.25 mm in length by 8.78 mm in thickness, and with a

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Jason Pitsch

Romain Gauthier Logical One Black Titanium Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Vallée de Joux watchmaker Romain Gauthier’s Logical One timepiece was awarded the well-deserved Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve men’s complicated prize in 2013. Since then, the namesake company that Gauthier founded, has introduced a number of variations to that model, which currently include natural titanium, white gold, and black titanium versions (red gold and platinum 20 piece editions are sold out), as well as a new matte variant called the Logical One Enraged, that was introduced last year. Today, we have some hands-on shots of the black titanium version, which like the rest of the Logcial One collection, measures 43 mm x 14.2 mm, with a slightly domed sapphire crystal, and a sapphire caseback. A unique feature of this haute horology masterpiece is the friction-minimizing ruby-link chain, with snail cam and sapphire-lined mainspring barrel which is wound by pushing the

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Jason Pitsch

Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Introduced in 2014, the Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time features a unique dual time function as well as an interchangeable tourbillon module, presented in a 41.5 mm x 14.3 mm case crafted from either 18K white or red gold. There are five variations in total (red gold/gold dial, red gold/silver dial, white gold/gray dial, white gold/blue dial, white gold/white dial). The version pictured comes in white gold with a white lacquered dial, black transferred Roman numeral indexes, blued leaf-shaped hour and minute hands, and a red leaf-shaped second-time zone hand (which can be concealed by setting it to the same time as the home time hand). Uniquely, at the bottom of the dial is a one-minute tourbillon that is visible through a circular aperture, and that features an open-worked bridge, offering an impressive view of the free-sprung balance wheel, tourbillon cage,

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Jason Pitsch

IWC Tribute to Mark XI

Jason Pitsch

Following the launch of the redesigned Mark XVIII collection last year at SIHH 2016, this year, IWC has released a follow-up to that collection in the form of a Tribute to the Mark XI, based on the company’s famous Pilot’s watch the debuted in 1948 (which was also produced by Jaeger-LeCoultre). The original Mark 11s, which comes in a 36 mm case, can still be found, and based on a cursory search the prices are around $6000-$8000. Originally designated for military use in the late 1940s, the Mark XI is arguably IWC’s most collectible timepiece. As with many of the classic watches from the 1940s to 1970s, the current trend is to remake these models so modern day collectors and enthusiasts can enjoy the timeless designs that still have appeal today. Like the Mark XVIII collection launched last year, this

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Jason Pitsch

The Colt Skyracer in "Breitlight" Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Breitling introduced their ultra-light proprietary Breitlight® case at Baselworld 2016 in the Avenger Hurricane. The case material is a high-tech polymer alloy that has an appearance similar to forged carbon and that is 3.3 times lighter than titanium and 5.8 times lighter than steel. Not to mention, it is said to have an exceptional resistance to scratches, traction, and corrosion. Plus, it’s non-magnetic and non-allergenic. While the first watch introduced in Breitlight® was an automatic, the second model that was introduced at Baselworld 2017, the Colt Skyracer, is powered by a quartz. And while a mechanical is has more of an emotional appeal, if you are going to do wear a watch with a battery, one of the best quartz movements you could have is Breitling’s thermo-compensated SuperQuartz™ (Breitling caliber 74), which is ten times more accurate than a standard

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Jason Pitsch

Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra "Railmaster" Hands-On

Jason Pitsch

Alongside the debut of the 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions, at Baselworld 2017 – including a 38 mm Railmaster model – Omega also launched the all-new Seamaster Aqua Terra Railmaster collection. The Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra “Railmaster” Co-Axial Master Chronometer comes in a stainless steel case measuring 40 mm x 12.65 mm with symmetrical brushing, brushed bezel, and sandblasted crown with embossed Omega horseshoe emblem. A domed sapphire crystal protects the dial. The caseback is solid and features a special (patent pending “NAIAD LOCK” manufacturing technique the keeps the back oriented, which in this instance means the embossed Seahorse medallion stays upright everytime it is screwed-in. Water-resistance is 150 meters. Available in either black or stainless steel, each dial is vertically brushed and features recessed hour markers filled with “vintage” luminous material with blue emission. The hands are in brushed stainless

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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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