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Porsche Design echoes its dashboard clock with a set of chronometers.

To complement the Sport Chrono Porsche Design clock designed for Porsche Panarama and the Porsche Taycan car interior, Porsche Design in the past year introduced a matching the Sport Chrono wristwatch collection.

The line, while not brand new, is impressive. It includes three models that closely match the automotive clock, complete with a small seconds subdial (above), plus one additional model boasting a flyback chronograph.

As with the clock, the operative word is chrono – for chronometer. While only one of the two models is a chronograph, both are officially certified COSC chronometers, with all the enhanced precision that certificate confers.

With its small seconds subdial at six o’clock as on the dashboard timer, the three-hand Sport Chrono Subsecond is 42mm titanium watch offered with either a black, blue or brown dial. Each dial comes with a color-matched rubber strap.

Inside these watches Porsche Design fits its estimable in-house developed Porsche Design caliber WERK 03.200.

The chronograph

While the Sub Second chronometer models feature closed case backs, the chronograph model boasts a clear sapphire case back. This wise choice offers a clear view of Porsche Design’s eye-catching caliber WERK 01.100, with its Porsche-centric P-Icon design.

Other classic Porsche Design features include an anti-reflective sapphire crystal, a leather strap made from Porsche interior leather and a titanium folding clasp with safety push buttons.

Prices: $4,750 (Sport Chrono Subsecond) and $6,150 (automatic chronograph). 

 

By Steve Huyton

Over the years I have written about many brands that sadly haven’t stayed the course. The watch industry is a very competitive environment and only the fittest survive. By that, I mean having a good marketing strategy and supply chain is a prerequisite.

So many watchmakers I’ve featured have exceptionally high manufacturing costs and pedestrian designs. Certainly, in these extraordinary times, buyers want something extra special at a very competitive price.

One of my recommendations would be to take a closer look at Swiss brand Bomberg.

I first became familiar with Bomberg in 2012 when the company was first established. Originally, the company marketed itself as a unique, ultra-creative lifestyle brand with flair. At that stage, they released three exciting quartz models called the Maven, Semper and 1968. Over the years I have followed the progress of the company and I’m delighted they are still buoyant. In fact, they are now producing some pretty decent Swiss mechanical timepieces, including the BB-01 Automatic Mariachi Red Limited Edition.

The Bomberg BB-01 Automatic Mariachi Red Skull Limited Edition.

Mexico-inspired

Interestingly, a brand based in Neuchâtel, Switzerland, has drawn inspiration from Mexico for their latest watch. However, Mexico is one of the company’s largest markets, and the brand offers several models with historical Mexican designs.    

I spoke with Bomberg Marketing Director Frédéric Layani about the conception of the BB-01 Automatic Mariachi Red Skull Limited Edition. He informed me that Bomberg wanted to create the essence of Mariachi, which is far more than just a genre of Mexican regional music. The brand’s interpretation embodies the notion of celebration.

Certainly, wearing this flamboyant timepiece would give you a sense of exaltation.

Aesthetically the BB-01 Automatic Mariachi Red Skull Limited Edition has a really strong visual identity. I love the vibrant red multi-layered skull shape dial that makes this timepiece really distinctive. Other refined features include flower-shaped eyes, a cross on the forehead and a central hoop.

There is also engraved detailing on the 43mm stainless steel case and “glass-box” anti-reflective sapphire crystal, which is a really classy touch. Overall the composition has been well executed and the finishing is superlative.

At the heart of the watch is a high-quality movement from Swiss manufacturer Sellita. Functionally, the BB-01 Automatic Mariachi Red Skull Limited Edition features hours, minutes, seconds and a date indication at 6 o’clock. The watch also has a power reserve of thirty-eight hours and is water-resistant to a depth of fifty meters. To complete the picture the timepiece is presented on a black silicone strap with a deployant buckle.

With a suggested retail of CHF 1,775 (approximately $1,900), the BB-01 Automatic Mariachi Red Skull Limited Edition is very competitively priced. (Note that Bomberg also offers a brown-dialed version of this model at the same price.)

Bomberg also offers a brown-dialed version of this model.

Steve Huyton is an industrial designer, illustrator and author who publishes Total Design Reviews.

 

Among the four summer A. Lange & Söhne debuts launched last week, the German watchmaker’s new Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst certainly stirred the most interest.

While all the previous six deeply artisanal Handwerkskunst models are horological works of both art and technique, this latest example may be the first to also revive (if only for this debut) a retired collection, the rectangular-cased Cabaret.

The new A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, cased in platinum.

The limited-edition (of thirty pieces) watch is a special, possibly one-off version of a Cabaret that, in 2008, was the first mechanical wristwatch with tourbillon stop seconds.

The new Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst re-introduces (with updates) the still unusual rectangular-shaped movement A. Lange & Söhne used in earlier Cabaret Tourbillon models. But in addition to that already intriguing launch, the debut heightens the watch’s eye-appeal with an impressive applied enamel lozenge-patterned dial.

The watch features a hand-engraved dial in the ‘lozenge’ design style.
In comparison with the 2008 Cabaret tourbillon caliber, this version (Cal. L042.1, seen from the back) has a new indexless oscillation system with a Lange balance spring.

Each section of the dial has been separated with a decorated thin line, which also creates a dramatic three-dimensional aspect. Then A. Lange & Söhne coats the dial with a semi-transparent enamel layer that adds even more depth and showcases the dial’s metallic shades of grey. Price: 315,000 euros.

 

Here are the other debuts from A. Lange & Söhne for Summer 2021.

The newest Langematik Perpetual is available with a blue dial and in two limited editions, one in pink gold and one in white gold.

Langematik Perpetual

A.Lange & Söhne celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its famed Langematik Perpetual with two models, both with a blue dial. Look for it in both pink gold and white gold.

This is the watchmaker’s first self-winding watch with a perpetual calendar and the Lange outsize date. It features a zero reset mechanism and a primary corrector that simultaneously advances all calendar displays. Both models are made as limited editions of fifty pieces. Price: $91,800.

The newest A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Thin is cased in pink gold in a limited edition of 50 watches. On the solid-silver dial coated with blue gold flux, tiny copper-colored particles create sparkling highlights.

Saxonia Thin

The fourth debut is a newly gold-cased Saxonia Thin with an arresting gold-flux-coated blue dial. The glittering manual-wind watch, a favorite (at least at iW) since its debut several years ago in white gold, measures 40mm by 6.2mm and really sparkles in any light to emulate a starry night sky. The secret: Thousands of copper oxide crystals embedded in the deep blue dial. In its all-new pink gold case, the watch comes in a limited edition of fifty watches. Technically, the watch offers the Cal. L093.1 movement with a superior 72 hours of power reserve. Price: $27,100.

 

Specifications: The A. Lange & Söhne Cabaret Tourbillon Handwerkskunst (Limited Edition of 30)

 

Case: 29.5mm × 39.2mm × 10.3mm
 platinum

Dial: 18-karat white gold, grey with hand-engraved lozenge pattern, semi-transparent enameling.

Functions: Time indicated in hours, minutes, and subsidiary seconds; one-minute tourbillon with stop seconds; Up/Down power-reserve indicator; large date.

Movement:  Lange manufacture Caliber L042.1, manually wound, decorated and assembled twice by hand; precision-adjusted in five positions; three-quarter plate made of untreated German silver; tourbillon and intermediate wheel cocks engraved by hand.

Strap: Hand-stitched black leather with grey seam, deployant buckle in 950 platinum.

Price: 315,000 euros.

Urwerk has teamed with Collective Horology and the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum to create a special edition Urwerk UR-100 that pays tribute to Space Shuttle Enterprise on the 40th anniversary of the first Space Shuttle program.

The new Urwerk 100V P.02 allows the viewer to track typical Space Shuttle launch and landing sequences.

The pioneering independent watchmaker has re-designed its existing UR-100 to incorporate color-coded indicators designed to give the viewer the ability to track the Space Shuttle program’s typical launch and landing sequences. These are visible through apertures that also show the approximate location of the Shuttle at each phase of launch and landing.

Thus, on the new titanium and steel-cased Urwerk 100V P.02, green represents the shuttle on Earth. Blue indicates the shuttle traveling through the Earth’s sky or lower atmosphere. Red represents the upper atmosphere and black indicates time in low earth orbit.

Where the standard Urwerk UR-100V tracks the kilometers traveled on the equator in twenty minutes, and the kilometers the earth covered around the sun in the same period, the new edition takes a different approach. It re-configures the dial’s two lateral apertures to track the process and timing of the Space Shuttle’s launch and landing.

Space Base

The partnership is Urwerk’s first collaboration with an organization or individual other than a watchmaker (and one whiskey maker). The joint effort was spurred by life-long admiration for the Space Shuttle and space travel by Urwerk co-founders Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner, and by Asher Rapkin and Gabe Reilly, founders of Collective Horology, a California-based collector group.

“We loved URWERK’s use of orbiting satellite hours and minute hands for the UR-100 SpaceTime launched in 2019, but we saw an opportunity to tell a different story,” says Reilly. He adds that he imagined how Urwerk might create a watch that was a tribute to the Space Shuttle prototype Enterprise.

Collective Horology and Florida-based Goldsmith & Complications, the watch’s official authorized dealer, will donate $50,000 dollars from the proceeds of this project to the Intrepid Museum in New York City.

The new Urwerk UR-100V P.02 is available to existing and new Collective Horology members. This will be a limited edition of twenty pieces. Price: $62,500.

Specifications: Urwerk UR-100V P.02

Movement: Self-winding UR 12.02 movement with the winding rotor governed by a Windfänger airscrew. Materials include satellite hours on beryllium-bronze Geneva crosses; aluminum carousel; carousel and triple baseplates in ARCAP alloy. Forty-eight hour power reserve. Finishing: Circular graining and sanding, shot peening; chamfered screw heads; hours and minutes painted in SuperLumiNova.

Displays: Satellite hours and minutes; space shuttle sequence of events indications.

Case: 41mm by 49.7mm by 14mm titanium and stainless steel with a gun metal PVD finish. Sapphire crystal and thirty meters of water resistance.

Price: $62,500.

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this Part III of our recently expanded four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight TAG Heuer.

TAG Heuer

Historically rooted in motorsports, TAG Heuer has worked with many car companies, starting with Scuderia Ferrari, but also McLaren, Mercedes, Audi and, more recently, Aston Martin.

As one of the most highly-anticipated watch/car partnerships with authentic motor racing heritage and on-track success, the friendship between TAG Heuer and Porsche has existed for decades and is now transformed into a strategic partnership ranging from sports competition to product development.

From a 1959 Ralley.

Racing fans and watch fans will know that the Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico gave its name to creations from both brands. Porsche named its most powerful engine the Carrera after its class win in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, and Edouard Heuer’s great-grandson, Jack Heuer, conceived the first Heuer Carrera chronograph in 1963.

Jo Siffert, wearing Heuer.

Thereafter, Jack Heuer struck a sponsorship arrangement with Jo Siffert at the wheel of various Porsches with the Heuer logo on his car and suit. Siffert was the Swiss racing driver on which Steve McQueen had based his character during the filming of Le Mans in 1970 in which he drove a Porsche 917.

The Porsche 911 Carrera, from 1972.

In the 1980s, TAG Heuer and Porsche developed the TAG-Turbo engine that led the McLaren team to three consecutive F1 world titles. Porsche also created its own Formula E team with TAG Heuer as title and timing partner in 2019, the Swiss watchmaker being a founding partner of the electric racing championship.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team tackles its second season running the Porsche 99X Electric race car in 2021.

And there is more. The two brands will be collaborating in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup worldwide one-make cup series. For their first joint timepiece, they produced the 44-mm TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, powered by the in-house Caliber Heuer 02 with 80-hour power reserve.

In the Porsche colors of red, black and gray recalling historic Heuer models, the watch features a rotor in the shape of Porsche’s trademark steering wheel. Arabic numerals suggesting the numbers on Porsche dashboards are set against an asphalt-effect dial.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition.

“Time is at the very core of racing. Without its mastery, there is no competition, no progress,” says Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer CEO.

Back view of the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition, showing the Caliber Heuer 02.

“From its early years, Heuer made it its specialty to develop tools like chronographs, stopwatches and dashboard timers, which helped drivers, teams and race organizers keep time in increasingly accurate ways,” Arnault continues. “The company served a very tangible purpose in motor racing from the start; it was in its DNA. Later, it was Jack Heuer who saw the natural connection from a branding perspective, and we became the first non-automotive brand to sponsor a F1 team. We started with Carrera as it’s an iconic name we share, but that was just the first step.”

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

 

Mechanical alarm watches combine a truly useful timekeeping function with the collector’s love of automatic or manual-wind movements. This week the recently revived watchmaker Benrus, founded in New York in 1921, debuts a superb retro-inspired alarm watch that offers these enticements, but also adds another compelling component: a vintage movement. 

Inside the Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild manual-wind movement from the 1970s.

Thus, inside the new Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild 1931 manual-wind movement from the 1970s. Benrus is utilizing movements that were never used and have been carefully disassembled and fully serviced in Switzerland to assure they are operating as if they were new. More than 330,000 original AS 1931 movements were sold between 1970 and 1974, according to Benrus, which offers more details about the history of the original movement on its website.

The new 38mm steel Benrus Wrist Alarm allows the wearer to set the alarm hand as desired using the crown at the 2 o’clock position. After winding the alarm with the same crown, the user can expect a fairly loud buzz for about ten seconds at the chosen time.

The watch itself echoes the look of a Benrus alarm watch circa 1956. Within its steel case you’ll see an off-white linen patterned dial, applied polished stainless steel numerals and markers and domed sapphire crystal.

Benrus sets the Wrist Alarm with a dark blue genuine leather strap with deployant buckle. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and has an enhanced 50-hour power reserve. Benrus will make 500 Wrist Alarms. Price: $1,295.

 

The new Franck Muller Skafander integrates a diving theme with a tonneau-shaped case – a combination rarely seen among marine-focused watch designs. Because divers require a unidirectional rotating bezel to assess correct dive time, watches for divers typically utilize a round case built with a round bezel.

Two examples of the new Franck Muller Skafander.

Here, Franck Muller has devised a functional round diver’s bezel, but has placed it inside the Skafander’s large tonneau case, a shape deeply familiar to aficionados of this iconoclastic independent watchmaker. Once set and locked, the Skafander’s dive time is secured with a clearly labeled lock, which insures that the bezel won’t be accidently altered.

While not an officially certified dive watch, the Skafander will retain its water resistance to 100 meters, which allows wearers full, worry-free use while at the beach, boating – or in the pool.

Franck Muller offers the Skafander in a range of case metals, including titanium, steel and rose gold, all with a semi-skeletonized dial that allows a view into the automatic movement below.

Skippers might prefer the highly visible titanium-cased models with blue or yellow accents, or even the blue-accented watch cased in steel. We suspect the boat’s owner, however, might opt to the ritzier rose gold model.  

Price:  CHF 14,800 (about $16,100, for titanium models only).

 

Specifications: Franck Muller Skafander (titanium case edition)

Case: 46mm x 57mm x 15.60mm titanium with black PVD treatment. Water resistant to 100 meters.

Movement: Automatic, offering 42 hours power reserve.

Dial: Unidirectional internal rotating bezel indicating the diving time. Half-openwork movement in the center.

Strap: Blue rubber. More colors available with steel and gold models.

 

The watchmakers at Grand Seiko’s Micro Artists Studio once again display their technical and artistic expertise with a new platinum-cased Spring Drive masterpiece.

The new Masterpiece Collection
 Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition is a beautiful example of the brand’s nature-based aesthetic with a dial and engraved case meant to recall the night skies above Achi, a Japanese mountain village famous for its both its remoteness and its clean air.

Grand Seiko’s new Masterpiece Collection Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition.

Grand Seiko artisans use a variety of manufacturing and finishing techniques to create the dial, including stamping, plating and hand painting.  

Artisans use a variety of manufacturing and finishing techniques to create the dial, including stamping, plating and hand painting.

Named to celebrate Seiko’s 140th anniversary, the watch’s stunning and highly engraved 38.5mm platinum case also expresses the natural clarity of Achi’s night skies. Pleasing groups of leaf-like patterns cover the entire case, repeated in varying directions to capture “the exquisite order and ever-changing aspect of Achi’s starry skies,” according to Grand Seiko.

Inside Grand Seiko fits it superb Spring Drive manual-winding caliber 9R02, a movement first seen in 2019 when it marked the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive.  

The movement itself continues Grand Seiko’s ode to natural beauty. For example, the barrel is shaped to echo the bellflower that is the symbol of the Shiojiri region, home to the Micro Artists Studio. Next to the barrel is the power reserve indicator.

The power reserve here is an impressive eighty-four hours, largely thanks to the Caliber 9R02’s Dual Spring Barrel. Not surprisingly, Grand Seiko expertly hand polishes the rims of all the bridges, the holes for the rubies and the screws.

Note the 18-karat yellow gold plaque on the lower bridge. While it is marked with the engraved words “Micro Artist,” Grand Seiko allows the owner of the watch the option to replace these words with a phrase of his or her choice.  Available starting in August, the watch is a limited edition of fifty. Price: $79,000.

Specifications: Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection 
Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition (Limited edition of 50)

Movement: Caliber 9R02 manual-winding Spring Drive with power reserve of 84 hours. Accuracy: ± 1 second per day (± 15 seconds per month). Dual-Spring Barrel and torque return system, 
power reserve indicator.

Case: 38.5mm by 9.8mm
platinum with clasp, hand-engraved, dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, see-through screw case back. 
Water resistance: 30 meters. Magnetic resistance: 4,800 A/m.

Dial: Blue with sparkles made with stamping, plating and hand painting.

Strap: Crocodile strap with three-fold clasp with push button release.

Price: $79,000.

 

At the top end of G-Shock’s already premium MR-G series, the new G-Shock  MRGB2000BS3A is a limited-edition ode to a samurai commander spirit known as Hana-Basara. Working from this theme, G-Shock combines a series of ultra-strong materials with hand-worked techniques to create the new titanium-cased MR-G watch.

The new G-Shock  MRGB2000BS3A.

For example, G-Shock uses a titanium alloy called Cobarion to make the bezel on the new watch. The material, which G-Shock says is four-times harder than pure titanium, also features a facet-cutting technique as applied by polishing artisan Kazuhito Komatsu. He polishes the facets with varying angles, leaving a bright finish. His work frames curved indices meant to echo the curvature of a Japanese sword.

Likewise, G-Shock has forged the watch’s titanium case from DAT55G titanium, which is said to be three times harder than pure titanium. On the side of the case you’ll find a brown arc-ion-plated ring set with a commemorative plate engraved with “25th LIMITED” to mark the 25th anniversary of the MR-G line.

Brown arc ion plating is applied to the case along with this commemorative plate.

Samurai colors

The coloring across the watch’s dial and bezel also pay homage to the Hana-Basara. For example, G-Shock echoes the traditional Japanese hue kurogane-iro, or iron color, on the watch’s titanium band and screw-lock case back, paired with a newly developed, dark green DLC finish. G-Shock says that the color resembles the ironclad helmet and armor worn by Basara samurai commanders.

As expected with all MR-G models, G-Shock equips the new MRGB2000BS3A limited edition with its own Tough Solar Power, Super LED Light, Multiband 6 technology and Bluetooth connectivity (via the MR-G Connected app). This connection enables automatic time adjustment, world time displays and many other premium functions.

The new G-Shock MRGB2000BS3A (offered as a limited edition of 400 watches) is priced at $8,000.

 

Arnold & Son has dressed one of its most impressive watches, the Globetrotter, in red gold, to create the Globetrotter Gold, effectively underscoring the luxury of this model’s world-time functionality.

The new Arnold & Son Globetrotter Gold.

Previously available cased in steel, the 45mm Globetrotter takes on a new golden glow, especially with its massive openworked bridge now so richly polished in the same gold used to case the watch.

That arched bridge does more that catch the eye. It holds a functional ruby atop the domed Northern Hemisphere dial. Reading world times starts at the ruby, where the eye imagines the start of a longitude line that extends to the 24-hour sapphire ring that surrounds the dial. The wearer identifies local time simply by reading the red hands pointing to the gold indexes.

With this Globetrotter Gold, Arnold & Son enhanced the elegance of the Globetrotter with new accents of both gold and deep blue. The dial’s appliqué indexes are faceted in red gold (and also painted in SuperLuminova). Artisans have also painted the oceans with several coats of blue-pigmented lacquer enriched with pearlescent powder, which means their glow is richer than you might expect for such a small detail. Also, note that Arnold & Son has lightened the coastlines, adding more SuperLuminova to enhance their visiblity in the dark. In contrast, all the mountain ranges are matte finished.

Look for equally fine finishing on the in-house automatic caliber A&S6022, which is visible through the sapphire back. The movement’s 22-karat gold oscillating weight is skeletonized and features the Clou de Paris guilloché pattern. For an added touch of elegance, the brand’s finishers have matched the high-quality anthracite movement plating to the red gold case.

Arnold & Son will make twenty-eight editions of the Globetrotter Gold. Price: CHF 41,900, or about $45,800.