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Jason Pitsch

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

The Lange 31 with Anthracite Gray Dial in White Gold

Jason Pitsch

The Lange 31 was launched in 2007 and was the first mechanical watch with a power reserve of 31 days (744-hours), a feat that might not appear that impressive, especially when you see the fairly simple dial. However, in reality developing a mechanical wristwatch with a month-long power reserve, and delivering the power uniformly over the entire period, was extremely complicated, and accordingly, the cost of a Lange 31 is over six-figures. Moreover, only a few other watch companies have been able to achieve such a feat. The Rebellion Prometheus with a 1000-hour power reserve and the Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari with a 1200-hour power reserve come to mind. Technically speaking, nothing has changed with the Lange 31 since its initial introduction in 2007. The Lange caliber L034.1, which uses a key to wind the mechanism on the caseback of the

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: TAG Heuer Carrera Mikrograph 100th Anniversary Special Edition

Jason Pitsch

The first watch capable of measuring 1/100th of a second Invented by Charles-Auguste Heuer in 1916, the Mikrograph stopwatch (not designed to tell the time) was the first watch to measure elapsed time with 1/100th of a second precision, thanks to a chronograph mechanism that beats at 360,000 vibrations per hour (50Hz). Almost 90 years later, the modern version of the legendary Mikrograph was resurrected by TAG Heuer, based on the same idea of using a 360,000 vph chronograph mechanism, but this time combined with the ability to indicate the time as well. This represented the first of the 1/100th of second chronographs to use the dual balance movement design which separates the timekeeping regulation (28,8000 vph - 4Hz), power, and transmission – from the chronograph regulation (360,000 vph - 50Hz), mainspring, and transmission. And in 2005, when the Carrera

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Jason Pitsch

SIHH 2017: Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda 1950 in stainless steel

Jason Pitsch

The world’s second largest annual watch trade show, SIHH (Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie Genève), took place last week in Geneva following a very tough year for the watch business in 2016. And so, not surprisingly, the watch introductions during the one week show were more conservative compared to recent years. There were more line updates and extensions, as opposed to all-new watches. More watches in stainless steel, as opposed to precious metals, than I can ever recall at this show. This is a good thing, as the two concerns we hear most often in the online community are related to price and case metal. Collectors want stainless steel watches and more reasonable pricing. The watch landscape (the way that watches are marketed from the products being made to how they are being communicated to the consumer), has changed

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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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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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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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