TAG Heuer this week expands its offerings within the Carrera Heuer 02T collection with a new limited edition cased in polished titanium and sporting a blue sunray dial.
Where previous Carrera Heuer 02T models feature darkened, skeletonized dials, sometimes with gold accents, this latest design is lighter-toned and with a sportier solid dial and – for the first time – a titanium bracelet.
You may recall that five years ago TAG Heuer launched the flying tourbillon chronograph movement inside this watch as the brand’s serialized ‘affordable’ tourbillon chronograph watch, priced around $16,000.
Now powering this newest watch, the Caliber Heuer 02T is still TAG Heuer’s primary tourbillon caliber and retains all its high-end technical features, notably an ultra-light carbon and titanium tourbillon cage and integration with a column-wheel chronograph. TAG Heuer is likely the sole Swiss watchmaker to offer this combination of chronograph, flying tourbillon and COSC-chronometer precision within the full collection’s price range, now starting at around $17,000.
Here TAG Heuer has blued not only the full dial, but also the bridges of the tourbillon cage, the rubber that protects the crown and the pushers. Even the ceramic tachymeter bezel and the rotor (visible from the back of the case) are finished in blue.
With this watch TAG Heuer for the first time connects one of its Caliber 02T models to a bracelet. Where earlier models sported rubber straps or alligator sewn on black rubber, the new Carrera Heuer 02T features the watchmaker’s own titanium H-shape bracelet with a steel/titanium safety clasp.
Price: $21,500 and limited to 250 examples.
Specifications: TAG Heuer Carrera Caliber Heuer 02T COSC
Movement: Caliber Heuer 02T COSC with carbon and titanium tourbillon cage, column-wheel chronograph.
Case: 45mm polished and brushed titanium, ceramic blue polished tachymeter fixed bezel, domed, beveled sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment, water resistant to 100 meters. Crown with blue rubber and titanium, titanium pushers, titanium screwed sapphire case back with special engraving, limited numbered xxx/250.
Dial: Blue sunray brushed with three rhodium-plated and polished counters, white SuperLuminova Rhodium-plated polished hour and minute hands.
Strap: Titanium grade 2 H-shape bracelet, titanium and steel folding clasp with double safety push buttons; TAG Heuer shield.
With this week’s debut, the DB28XP Meteorite, De Bethune has underscored its fascination – and expertise – at using material hewn from meteorites as watch dials.
The independent watchmaker has placed the extraterrestrial material into several of its watches over the years, including as the dial material for the brand’s Dream Watch 5 Meteorite and on the DB28 Kind of Blue Tourbillon Meteorite. This latest example highlights the eye-catching dial by framing it with the well-known ‘floating lug’ De Bethune DB28 case, now dramatically finished in matte black zirconium.
De Bethune differentiates its meteorite dials from others by heating the space-borne slice, a process that results in a spectacular blue shade while also enhancing the material’s random geometrical crosshatched patterns.
As the newest example of this technique, the dial on the new DB28XP Meteorite mimics its own celestial origins, complete with varying shades of blue, black and even purple. De Bethune takes full advantage of the scene by adding small white gold pins that appear as stars and planets amid the celestial void.
With this ‘sky map’ in mind, De Bethune will allow each DB28XP Meteorite owner to choose to have the brand customize their watch’s dial by specifying a constellation at a specific date, time and place.
Each customized dial will be placed within the DB28XP case, which here remains 43mm in diameter with its familiar round, ultra-thin crown at 12 o’clock, its hunter-type back and, of course, those dramatic architectural lugs.
The dial’s hour circle echoes the darkened case and is topped by an almost hidden De Bethune signature at 12 o’clock. The watch’s pink gold hands are identical to those on the De Bethune DB28XP Starry Sky dial.
With distinctively terrestrial origins, De Bethune’s own Caliber DB2115v7 represents its own mechanical universe. The manual-wind caliber, with its balance visible at the 6 o’clock position, is built with De Bethune’s well-known, award-winning technical proficiency.
Among those proprietary techniques: the use of a titanium balance with white gold weights placed around the rim, a silicon balance wheel, an in-house balance spring with a flat terminal curve and self-regulating twin barrels that ensure six days of power reserve.
Price: $138,000. De Bethune will make ten examples of the new DB28XP Meteorite.
Among Seiko’s wide-ranging 2021 debuts, two new Prospex models stand out for near-perfect fidelity to the original Seiko watches that inspired their re-interpretation. One, the Seiko Prospex Alpinist, revisits a Seiko sport model from 1959, while a second, the new Seiko Prospex Naomi Uemura 80th Anniversary Limited Edition, revisits a historic dive watch Seiko made in 1970.
What makes both these debuts even more vital for Seiko collectors, and sports watch enthusiasts in general, are the updated collections based on these historic designs.
As worn by Japanese adventurer Naomi Uemura in the mid-1970s when he completed a 12,500-kilometer solo dog-sled run from Greenland to Alaska, a 1970 Seiko dive watch offered both reliability and protection. The watch was also notable for its unusual asymmetrical extension that protected the crown at the four o’clock position.
Revisiting that 1970 design, Seiko in 2021 offers two new 44mm steel models. One (Reference SLA049) is a limited edition of 1,200 watches that echo the case’s original shape, high-visibility and three-hand dial, but now offer a special ‘mountain-pattern’ blue dial and blue bezel, said to recall the “blue tones of the earth’s upper atmospheric layers.”
Seiko of course has modernized the tribute watch in several ways, primarily with the updated movement. Inside you’ll find Seiko’s dive-centric Caliber 8L35, made at the Seiko Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan.
The dial is also extra luminous, with all hands and all hour markers coated generously with Lumibrite. Seiko has also coated the case with a protective, anti-scratch layer, and has placed an anti-reflective coating on the dual-curved sapphire crystal.
Finally, Seiko has increased the watch’s water resistance, now rated to 200 meters. For this limited model, Seiko includes a blue silicone strap that has the same train-track pattern as the original model.
In addition to the blue-dialed limited edition that commemorates the 80th anniversary of Naomi Uemura’s birth, Seiko adds a gray dialed version to the Prospex collection. The watch shares the same textured pattern dial as the limited edition but is in a charcoal gray color that is similar to the 1970 original. It shares the same case design, features and specifications as the commemorative watch and will also be available at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in July 2021.
Seiko introduced its first watch made for mountain climbers in 1959. Called the Seiko Laurel Alpinist, it marked the start of Seiko’s march into the much broader sports watch market. Seiko followed that debut model with a series of watches specifically tailored for sports, including stopwatches and diver’s watches.
For 2021 Seiko revives that debut 1959 design with two odes to the original. One, the Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-creation, is a 36.6mm limited edition that retains the original’s dial markings and its sporty leather cuff. A second model, the Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation, is slightly larger, at 38mm, is fitted with a different movement and is offered on steel bracelet (and two dial options) and on a leather strap.
Seiko Prospex 1959 Alpinist Re-creation
The re-creation brings back the black dial and large markers found on the original, but now adds a date window and stronger water resistant (to 100 meters). In addition, its box-shaped sapphire crystal is now treated with an anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. Finally, the movement is updated with Seiko’s thin automatic Caliber 6L35, which has a power reserve of 45 hours. Despite the addition of a date and the new automatic caliber, the case is just 1.0mm thicker (11.1mm) than the original model. And of course, Seiko has faithfully reproduced the leather strap and cuff, using the same jagged stitch design as its predecessor.
The re-creation will be available as a limited edition of 1,959 at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in August. Price: $2,900.
Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation (below)
The three other new watches that pay homage to the 1959 Alpinist sport a more contemporary dial treatment and offer a choice among two steel bracelet models and one attached to a leather strap. This collection of three models is one of Seiko’s best values among all its 2021 debuts.
Their slightly larger (38mm) polished cases are notably more modern than the Re-creation, and the Caliber 6R35 offers a stronger power reserve, at 70 hours. In addition, the water resistance is to 200 meters, twice the rating of the Re-creation. Two watches (cream-colored dial and black dial) are offered on stainless steel bracelets while the green dial version comes with a leather strap.
All three of these Prospex 1959 Alpinist Modern Re-interpretation watches will be available at the Seiko Boutiques and selected retail partners worldwide in August. Prices: $750 and $725 (leather strap).
After updating its world timer and its Highlife collections in recent months, Geneva-based Frederique Constant now refreshes three models with the most basic time displays within its Classics collection.
Specifically, Frederique Constant has updated its Classics Index Automatic, Classics Quartz GMT and Classics Quartz, expanding these collections with eleven newly detailed models.
Classics Index Automatic
This collection now includes five new models. Frederique Constant has replaced two-part guilloché dials with cleaner, matte-finished blue, white or black dials. Instead of Roman numerals you’ll see applied hour markers, all of which have been bevelled and tinted with luminescent material. Formerly thin hands are now sword-shaped in an attempt to portray a geometric purity on the dial.
Four of the 40mm Classic Index Automatic models are cased in steel while one is made with rose-gold-plated steel (and a blued steel seconds hand). Frederique Constant powers all these new models with an automatic Sellita-based FC-303 caliber offering a power reserve of 38 hours. While one full-steel model features a blue dial and steel bracelet, the remaining watches are fit with a nubuck-finish leather strap in brown, black or blue. Prices start at 850 euros, or about $1,100.
Classics Quartz GMT
These travel-ready GMT models retain their easy-to-read dual-time dials. Three new 40mm steel-cased models now include a sunray-brushed dial and the required three hands for the hours, minutes and centrally set GMT hand. That second time zone indicator is tipped with a red arrow and points to the second time zone at a glance, calibrated to a 24-hour marker track encircling the dial.
These watches also make it easy to adjust both the local time and the second timezone. The wearer simply turns the activated crown in one direction to adjust the time zone and in the other direction to adjust the date.
Frederique Constant offers three new Classic Quartz GMT models: one with a gray dial and a brown nubuck-finish calfskin strap, another with a blue dial and a blue strap and a third, sportier variation with a black dial on a steel bracelet. Prices start at 695 euros, or about $830.
Finally, Frederique Constant now offers its most basic 40mm two-hand watch, with date, in a new blue or black dial model. Except for the lack of a seconds hands, these watches echo the look and finish of firm’s mechanical models with a sunray-brushed dial, polished case, applied hour markers doubled at 12 o’clock and nubuck-finish leather strap or three-link steel bracelet. Prices start at 595 euros, or about $700.
Citizen this week launches The Citizen, a new automatic watch powered by Caliber 0200, the manufacturer’s first new mechanical movement since 2010.
The new movement was developed at Citizen headquarters in Japan with technical and finishing input from Manufacture La Joux-Perret, a Citizen-owned Swiss movement company.
Caliber 0200, which features a free-sprung balance, chronometer-level accuracy and sixty hours of power reserve, will make its debut inside The Citizen, a 40mm steel watch characterized by a new, integrated (lug-free) steel bracelet and a subtly sparkling, electroformed black dial depicting a ‘rippled sand’ effect.
Citizen says the new watch’s design was inspired by a 1924 pocket watch made by Citizen’s predecessor, the Shokosha Watch Research Institute. That 1924 design, which was named ‘Citizen,’ also displays a small seconds hand at 6 o’clock.
Caliber 0200 is designed to exceed the Chronometer standard (ISO 3159) benchmark for accuracy. Citizen says the movement achieves an average daily accuracy of -3 to +5 seconds. By utilizing a free-sprung balance wheel, Citizen has also created a highly shock resistant caliber since watches with free-sprung balance wheels are known for their ability to maintain stability of rate over time. Citizen utilized the LIGA fabrication process (photolithography) to enhance the precision of escape wheel and the pallet fork.
For Citizen, the look of the movement was as important as the technical aspects.
“We made countless layouts of the gears – the barrel, the balance wheel, the escapement – to create a beautiful movement,” according to Taro Nakagawa, who works in Citizen’s mechanical watch element development department. “Eventually we arrived at a layout that shows off the balance wheel, with its beautifully finished overlapping gears, to maximum advantage.”
The results of this aesthetic focus are clearly visible through the clear sapphire caseback. From the back the viewer can see polished gears and decorative finishing of all gear train components, including the rotor, the main plate and the bridges, which are satin-finished and feature diamond-cut edges.
Citizen explains that its manufacturing facility tested the cased movement for a full seventeen days, under various conditions, and in six positions at three different temperature levels, before its watchmakers manually attach each The Citizen bracelet.
As noted, that bracelet is decidedly contemporary and fully integrated into the steel case of The Citizen. Technicians complete the bracelet and case by applying hairline and mirror-finishes, meant to capture the light at varying degrees as the watch sits on the wrist. Similarly, the sand-ripple-pattern electroformed black dial is also designed to reflect light in novel patterns.
At first look, finishing on the dial, movement and bracelet are exciting, and likely superior to Citizen’s previous mechanical models. As sample models become available, we’ll offer an ‘on the wrist’ assessment of The Citizen’s finish and fit.
Finally, Citizen adds a stylized eagle icon, with wings spread, to the top of The Citizen’s dial. The symbol marks The Citizen collection for the brand and is meant to depict “foresight and action based on a clear vision of the future.”
With the enhanced mechanical focus represented by the new Caliber 0200, and this eye-catching debut watch, Citizen seems well prepared for that future.
Price: $6,000, available in September.
Specifications: Citizen “The Citizen” (Model NC0200-90E)
Case: 40mm by 10.9mm steel, sapphire caseback and crystal with anti-reflective coating, water resistance to 50 meters.
Movement: Automatic Caliber 0200, accuracy of average -3 to +5 seconds per day, running time of approx. 60 hours when fully wound, 28,800 vph, Certificate of Compliance included.
Dial: Electroformed black to create sand-ripple pattern, hour, minute and small seconds indications.
Chronoswiss refreshes the skeletonized Opus Chronograph, one of the Lucerne-based watchmaker’s best-known watches, with new colors and finishes. The new version, dubbed Opus Chronograph Flag due to its red, white and blue colors, spotlights recent technical upgrades that include stronger water resistance, shorter lugs and superior anti-glare treatment.
First seen in 1995, the Opus Chronograph quickly became a favorite of skeleton watch fans. Chronoswiss notes that it was among the first watchmakers to utilize the then-new pantograph technique for cutting skeleton components when it created the watch’s signature mix of finely cut, filigreed bridges topped with clearly marked subdial perimeters.
The pantograph technique requires the manufacturer to create an oversized depiction of the movement. Then, computer–assisted machinery follows a steel finger along the pattern while a mechanical arm guides the tool that mills the movement’s components, essentially skeletonizing them.
Underneath the newest Opus Chronograph’s blue and white subdial perimeters you’ll see the eye-catching blackened, galvanic-finished bridges of the Chronoswiss Caliber C.741S movement, which Chronoswiss creates using an ETA Valjoux 7750 base. The chronograph hands (center seconds, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter) are red.
As noted, this newest Opus, which initially debuted last year, allows the wearer to view the skeletonizing clearer than before now that the watch’s curved sapphire crystal is treated with anti-reflection treatment on both sides.
Chronoswiss finishes with watch with a satin-brushed case band, polished lugs and the knurled bezel and large onion crown well known to the brand’s fans. Water resistance has also been improved, and now protects to 100 meters. Price: $11,400.
Movement: Automatic Chronoswiss Caliber C.741S from ETA Valjoux 7750 base, skeletonized and CVD-plated blue rotor with Côtes de Genève, ball bearings; polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws, 28,800 vph, 46-hour power reserve, skeletonized bridges and base plate with perlage, galvanic black color.
Dial: Skeletonized, galvanic blue and silver, sweep hours and minutes, seconds, analogue date, red sweep chronograph seconds, 30-minute counter and 12-hour counter. Hands are lacquered and curved with minute hand bent by hand.
Case: 41mm by 14.8mm 23-piece solid-stainless steel with satin finish and polished, bezel with partial knurling and curved, double coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance to 100 meters, screw-in lugs with patented Autobloc system.
Bracelet:Louisiana alligator leather, hand-sewn with folding clasp.
Nomos Glashütte previews its spring releases by debuting three limited-edition 40mm Club automatic models with three new dial colors: olive green, onyx black and blue.
The steel Club Automatic watches, limited to 175 pieces in each color, feature in-house automatic caliber DUW 5001 built with Nomos’ own ‘Swing System’ escapement and adjusted to chronometer standards.
Water resistant to 200 meters and sporty in nature, the Club automatic model is one of Nomos’ most casual designs, with two models (olive green and blue) offered on fabric straps and one, the black (onyx) model, on the brand’s relatively new steel bracelet.
All three watches also exhibit their sportiness with a generous application of luminous material on markers and hands. The dial is highly legible even if it is a bit idiosyncratic with its mix of both Arabic hour markers and ‘sticks’ around the dial, interrupted only at 6 o’clock by the small seconds subdial.
The new limited edition selection follows two previous collections, within the firm’s higher-priced Lambda and Ludwig lines, that celebrate 175 years of watchmaking in Glashütte, the center of German watchmaking.
Greubel Forsey now offers its GMT Quadruple Tourbillon with a titanium case and adds eye-catching new blue hues to the dial of the highly complicated 46.5mm watch.
With its new case, the watch is one-third lighter than the original white gold model, which Greubel Forsey debuted in 2019. To complement that lightness, the watchmaker attaches a new rubber strap, which quite effectively enhances the modern profile of the watch, adding a touch of sportiness. (An alligator strap is also available.)
As noted, the new dial treatment maintains that message, with an electric-blue-hued hour ring and power reserve indicator.Previously all black, the circular-grained hour ring retains its polished bevels, echoing the mainplate, which Greubel Forsey has made more contemporary with its own gray frosted and spotted finishing. The plate boasts a full complement of polished bevels and countersinks.
Greubel Forsey has also re-faced one of the watch’s many technical highlights: its titanium GMT globe. This miniature planet Earth, which Greubel Forsey debuted in 2011, now displays the continents amid newly bright blue seas, a livelier depiction than the globe rotating within the white gold GMT Quadruple Tourbillon two years ago. The new ocean color nicely matches the new blue finish of the power reserve, hour circle and strap.
These cosmetic changes haven’t altered the globe’s dramatic time display. The Earth is surrounded by a fixed 24 hours ring around the Equator. This ring displays local time for all the longitudes and takes into account the day/night with an indicator. A peek through the side of the case, through a sapphire window adjacent to the globe, reveals a clear view of the Equator and the southern hemisphere.
Beyond the new livery, the latest Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon remains a feast for the eyes. The multi-level, three-dimensional dial offers the main hours and minutes subdial at the highest point (between 1 o’clock and 2 o’clock), with the coaxial small seconds and second time zone at 4 o’clock forming the second highest point.
You may recall that each Double Tourbillon 30° features a first cage rotating in one minute and angled at 30°, fitted inside a second upright cage that rotates once in four minutes. Greubel Forsey explains that the combination of the inner cage inclination and the different rotational speeds of the two cages cancel any timing variations. A spherical differential transmits the average timing rate of all four of the tourbillon cages, improving their chronometric performance.
The back of the watch also delivers both awe and information. Universal time can be spied, with a fixed 24-hour scale showing day and night zones and a disk with abbreviations of twenty-four cities. The same disk also distinguishes between the time zones that utilize Daylight Saving Time and those that don’t.
Greubel Forsey plans to make eleven examples of this new titanium-cased GMT Quadruple Tourbillon, each priced at 760,000 Swiss francs. The watch will be made, eventually, as an edition of sixty-six examples.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Quadruple Tourbillon, in titanium
Movement: Manual-wind, olive-domed jewels in gold chatons, three series-coupled fast-rotating barrels, 21,600 vph, inner tourbillons inclined at a 30° angle w/1 rotation per minute. Outer tourbillons: 1 rotation in four minutes.
Functions and displays: GMT, 2nd time zone, rotating globe with universal time and day-and-night, universal time on 24 time zones, cities observing summer time, lateral window showing the equator and southern hemisphere, GMT pusher, quadruple tourbillon, hours and minutes, small seconds, power-reserve (72 hours).
Case: 46.50mm by 17.45mm titanium with asymmetrical convex synthetic sapphire crystal.
Dial: Multi-level in gold, anthracite color, gold hour-ring, colored blue, and blued power reserve with gold hour markers.
Strap: Rubber or hand-sewn alligator, titanium folding clasp, engraved with the GF logo.
Collectors already know the German-based Meistersinger for its unusual focus on one-handed time displays. But quite frequently the company underscores its rebellious nature with displays and dials that delight the eye with edgy contemporary designs, bold indicators and bright colors.
One such design, the Meistersinger Astroscope, indicates the weekdays quite unlike any other watch. Rather than highlighting each day within a traditional aperture or around the dial in their expected calendar order, the Astroscope denotes the days with a series of bright white dots next to both the abbreviation and celestial symbol. Even more unusually, the days are arranged in an apparently random pattern across the dial, from the 9 o’clock position to the 3 o’clock position.
This week, Meistersinger launches a new limited edition Astroscope, now offered with a bright orange strap that matches newly orange, luminous markers.
Myths and planets
Meistersinger explains that the Astroscope’s weekday celestial symbols are derived from ancient mythology, which don’t follow the current calendar.
The method most likely dates back to the Babylonians, who connected the days to seven celestial bodies: The Sun, the Moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus, and Saturn.
Meistersinger spreads the days across the dial as if along the horizon, with Monday at the top of the sky. Meistersinger then displays the appropriate celestial bodies and classical symbols next to the day, all of which seem to wander to and fro. The daily dots, imprinted on a rotating disc below the dial, ‘jump’ across the dial rather than appear in traditional calendar order.
Thus, the week’s displays begin on Monday with a white dot at 12 o’clock (next to the moon symbol), followed the next day just to the left at the Mars symbol. On Wednesday the day dot appears next to Mercury near 9 o’clock. And so on.
Apparently there is a pattern here, according to the brand. It has placed the seven day apertures in a layout that mimics a constellation only seen every ten to twelve years in the southern night sky of the northern hemisphere. Meistersinger doesn’t name the constellation.
The unusual day display, as well as the single-hand time indicator and the date display, are powered by an automatic Sellita movement, which Meistersinger displays through a sapphire caseback.
Meistersinger debuted the 40mm steel-cased Astroscope last year with a black or blue dial and white luminous markers. As noted, this newest edition, limited to 100 units, glows with orange markers and symbols atop a dégradé black dial. Even the calfskin strap is orange, nicely matching the dial accents.
A re-made Accutron 521 was among the many eye-catching designs Accutron included in its premiere Legacy collection debuts last September. For Elvis Presley fans however, the retro design was a particularly notable revival since the original asymmetric-cased gold model 521, from 1960, was known to be one of Presley’s favorite watches.
For others, the debut also resonated because of its attention to the original’s perfectly designed proportions. For its Legacy collection, Accutron wisely resisted the modern tendency by watchmakers to upscale retro editions by housing them in larger cases.
Thus, the new Accutron Legacy 521 retains the same ‘TV-shaped’ design framed by the same incredible Space Age lugs as the original, complete with the modest 32.8mm x 32.5mm case dimension, silver-white dial and stylized double-stick hour markers. And while Bulova’s Accutron division in 1960 cased the original in fourteen-karat gold, Accutron has created its new Legacy 521 with a gold-plated steel case.
The original Accutron 521 was unique among the era’s debuts in that it was the only model in the series topped by a mineral glass crystal and a snap-on case back. Accutron today replaces the mineral glass with sapphire and clears a partial view of its movement via a clear sapphire caseback.
And while the original Accutron 521 was among the first designs to house the groundbreaking Accutron electronic tuning fork movement, this new edition will be powered by a modern Sellita automatic caliber.
Accutron also fully embraces the new watch’s 1960s vibe by attaching the 521 case to a gold-hued steel bracelet patterned to echo the mesh-style bracelet popular during the era, with double-press deployant clasp. Alternatively, Accutron offers a version with a brown lizard-embossed leather strap. The new 521 is limited to 600 pieces in each bracelet option.
Prices: $1,550 (mesh-style bracelet) or $1,450 (leather strap).