Among the watches Junghans debuted this year to celebrate its 160th anniversary is this set of three 38mm Max Bill minimalist-style watches.
Each of the three steel-cased timepieces – a Max Bill Automatic, a Max Bill MEGA Kleine Sekunde (small second) and a Max Bill Regulator – come in their own case and are also housed in a special edition box. Each watch presents the time in its own manner, as delineated by each individual name.
A Junghans ETA-based automatic movement powers two models while the third, the small seconds model, is powered by a Junghans-built multi-frequency, radio-controlled movement. The small seconds model is essentially a perpetual calendar with time-setting precise to a second. Junghans offers an app to control the watch’s settings.
As a reminder, Junghans released its Max Bill models in 1956, five years after the German-based watchmaker’s collaboration with the minimalist Bauhaus artist.
All three models sport a similar color scheme: anthracite, beige gray and orange.Junghans places luminous material at the top of each dial within the 12 o’clock index as well as on the hands and the interior lining of the orange strap. The case and the edging of the calf leather strap match in the dark steely anthracite, though the outer strap is beige.
The Max Bill Bauhaus minimalist style is evident on the dial of each watch. Luminous twin dots at 12 o’clock integrate in the number 60 while thin hands, markers and font characterize the design over the white dial. Additionally, a special edition engraving is featured on the case back of each watch. Limited to 1,060 pieces worldwide
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.
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).
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.
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.)
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
(Editor note: Benrus has discontinued selling this watch. “Unfortunately there was a question around the movement and its authenticity,” according to a Benrus publicist. “Out of an abundance of caution Benrus has removed this product and is conducting further research.”)
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.
(Please see note at the top of this story regarding the availability of this watch.)
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.
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.
Grand Seiko 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.
At the top end of G-Shock’s already premium MR-G series, the new G-ShockMRGB2000BS3A 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.
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.
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.
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.