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As its first 2021 debut, Zenith launches Chronomaster Sport, an evolution of the bedrock Chronomaster, the Le Locle watchmaker’s most direct link to its historic El Primero automatic chronograph, which debuted in 1969.

The new Zenith Chronomaster Sport.

Already sporty in its historical guise, the new 41mm steel Zenith Chronomaster Sport more directly –and boldly – displays its split-second timing abilities with the added utility of a wide black ceramic bezel etched with 1/10-of-a-second measurement marks.

The new bezel enhances the visibility of the timing function, linked to the El Primero’s 36,000 vph frequency, beyond even the clean black ceramic bezels found on the existing Zenith Chronomaster 2 limited edition references. As far as we’re aware, the new Chronomaster Sport is the only production sport watch that offers a 1/10-of-a-second timing scale linked to its central chronograph hand. When activated, the hand rotates once around the dial in ten seconds.

 

To underscore the robust nature of the new Chronomaster Sport, Zenith here uses the El Primero 3600, the movement Zenith debuted in that earlier Chronomaster 2. The caliber, with a newly blued column wheel and “new architecture,” is more efficient than earlier El Primeros, according to Zenith, and offers a higher power reserve, now rated to sixty hours. Zenith has affixed a new skeletonized rotor to the movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback.

The new El Primero 3600 caliber offers a 1/10th of second display from the 5 Hz (36,000 VpH) escapement, as well as an extended power reserve of 60 hours.

The new dial

In addition to adding a wide ceramic bezel with 1/10-of-a-second scale to the front side of the new Chronomaster Sport, Zenith has also enhanced the collection’s dial and bracelet to differentiate it from previous Chronomaster offerings.

Both dial options, matte white and black, appear to contrast more starkly with the three subdials. The steel case, with familiar pump-style pushers, now links to an integrated steel bracelet similar to those conceived by Gay Frères, which has historically supplied many of Zenith’s metal bracelets. Zenith also offers a sharp-looking blue or black rubber strap option with a steel deployant buckle.

As noted, Zenith is offering the Chronomaster Sport with either a white dial or black dial in two references.  Whether the black or matte white dial, both with signature El Primero tri-color chronograph registers are blue, anthracite and light grey, each graduated to sixty.

Price: $10,000 (steel bracelet) and $9,500 (strap)

Specifications: Zenith Chronomaster Sport

Movement: Zenith El Primero 3600 automatic, frequency: 36,000 vph (5 Hz), power-reserve of 60 hours.  Functions: Hours and minutes in the center. Small seconds at 9 o’clock, 1/10th of a second Chronograph. Central chronograph hand that makes one turn in 10 seconds, 60-minute counter at 6 o’clock, 60-second counter at 3 o’clock.

Case: 41 mm stainless steel with black ceramic bezel, water-resistance to 100 meters.

Dial: White or black matte dial with three different applied colored counters, hour-markers and hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLumiNova

Bracelet: Steel, blue or black rubber bracelet. Double folding clasp with security mechanism. 

Price: $10,000 (steel bracelet) and $9,500 (strap)

 

Panerai underscores its deep connection with divers of all types this week as it introduces the Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122).

Inspired by free diver and brand ambassador Guillaume Néry, Panerai has outfitted the new dive watch with a 44mm titanium case produced using Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology, which shapes titanium using a 3D printing process.

The new Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122),

Referencing Néry’s deep-dives, Panerai is also adding sporty touches such as a rubberized coating on the bezel, crown and bridge lever, a convex crystal and a dial with an eye-catching dégradé effect that Panerai says emulates “the shades produced as sunlight filters through the depths of the sea.”

Water resistant to 300 meters, the Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition is powered by Panerai’s own Caliber P.9010, a fairly thin automatic movement equipped with two barrels for a three-day power reserve. Panerai built a quick-change feature into this movement that allows the wearer to easily adjust the time and date with in one-hour increments, with the hour hand connected to the date indicator.

 

In addition, Panerai has equipped the watch with an especially sporty strap made from black recycled PET material with white stitching and a trapezoidal pin buckle.

Panerai is also enhancing the package of the boutique-only watch with its first white rubber strap emblazoned with ‘Officine Panerai.’ In each gift box buyers will find a screwdriver that will assist the owner when removing the buckle to swap straps.

The caseback includes an engraving depicting the silhouette of the freediver and Panerai Ambassador Guillaume Néry.

Panerai will make the new watch available in its own boutiques as a limited edition of seventy, each of which will be covered by a new seventy-year warranty.  Price: $18,900.  

 

Specifications: Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122—limited edition of 70 pieces, boutique edition).  

Movement: Automatic Caliber P.9010, 6mm thick, 28,800 vph, two barrels, three-day power reserve.

Panerai’s own caliber P.9010, with two barrels and supplying a three-day power reserve.

Case: 44mm by 16.2mm sandblasted DMLS titanium, safety lock crown protection device (protected by trademark) in sandblasted titanium, titanium bezel, crown and bridge lever with rubberized coating, sapphire crystal, twelve-sided screwed caseback, sandblasted titanium with DLC coating, engraved with the “70 Years Warranty” logo, water resistant to 300 meters.

Dial: Black with dégradé effect, sandwich structure with Arabic numerals and indexes 
in white SuperLuminova with green luminescence. Seconds at 9 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock.

Strap: Recycled PET, black with white stitching
 and trapezoidal pin buckle in titanium with DLC coating. Additional white rubber strap with luminescent
 “Officine Panerai” personalization.

Price: $18,900. 

The watchmaker’s new Queen of Naples Coeur 9825 is a rose gold valentine to love.

Breguet enhances the technicality of its annual ode to Valentine’s Day with a new invention that mimics a beating heart. The luxury watchmaker’s 2021 Reine de Naples watch, released in time for the lover’s holiday on February 14, features a minute hand in the shape of a heart that slowly expands or contracts as it makes its way around the elongated oval dial.

The new Breguet Reine de Naples Cœur.

The hand on this Breguet Reine de Naples Cœur (Heart) edition is centered at the 6 o’clock position. Mimicking a beating heart, the hand stretches as it moves across the top half of the dial, and become more rounded as the hand reaches the lower part of the dial.

To propel the unusual minute hand, Breguet devised an oval-shaped cam (shaped to mirror the case) located under the dial. The cam controls two independent arms that together make up the hand. Each rotating arm moves at a different speed, creating the illusion of a beating heart.

The red heart-tipped hour hand points to minutes along the hours indicators, which are set with small hearts every five minutes. The watch dial itself is sapphire and finished with translucent white lacquer. The hour is indicated by a dot of purple lacquer within a window just above the minute hand.

The Breguet Reine de Naples Cœur 9825, showing how the hour hand expands and contracts as it rounds the dial.

Breguet enhances the romance here with a generous use of rose gold for the 36.5mm by 28.45mm oval case and sets diamonds along the bezel and again around the dial just beneath the crystal. The sapphire-crystal caseback allows a view of the new automatic caliber 78A0 that features an in-line escapement with a silicon escape wheel and balance spring. Though we were not provided with pictures of the movement, Breguet has undoubtedly finished the caliber to its usual superlative level.

The brand notes that the Reine de Naples, one of the brand’s most successful collections, is inspired by Breguet model no. 2639 made in 1810 for Caroline Murat, Queen of Naples, who commissioned it.

Breguet will make twenty-eight Reine de Naples Coeur watches and will offer them at its own brand boutiques. Look for each watch to be presented in an envelope clutch bag finished in grained calfskin leather and dyed vermilion red to match the strap. Price: $46,100.

 

Originally launched as a quartz watch, Maurice Lacroix’s archetypal Aikon series’ latest edition features an option with 
an automatic Swiss movement inside. The Aikon Venturer truly allows its wearer to venture because it is built rock-solid and is anti-magnetic, shock resistant and rated water resistant to an impressive three hundred meters.

The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer

The watch’s sporty look and diver-style overtones instill the robust feeling of a tool watch, but with style enough to wear anytime. At 43mm in diameter, the sapphire-capped stainless-steel case is full-figured but not huge, and actually quite comfortable on the wrist with either the solid-link bracelet or natural rubber strap.

With the brand’s deep technical background as a case maker and private label supplier to other (famous) Swiss brands, you can be sure that the Aikon is built with all the fine details that define a high quality watch.

Close inspection under a loupe reveals the finite perfection of those details that the naked eye appreciates as a whole, but may not individually dissect at a glance. Markers and printing are precise, as is the fit and finish of the bezel, strap, and case back.

Maurice Lacroix smartly adds convenience to the Aikon’s stylish design with a strap fixed to the lugs by means of the brand’s own Easy Change system, which has two bars fitted with protruding prongs. These make it possible to remove the rubber strap in two steps and to replace it with the finely articulated five-link satin-finished steel bracelet we’ve seen in earlier Aikon models.

Priced at $1,890 on the rubber strap and $1,990 on the solid-link stainless steel bracelet, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is pound for pound (or dollar for dollar) as good or better than certain Greek Alphabet watches costing more than triple the price.

 

If the design of this watch feels somehow familiar, you won’t be surprised to learn that Detroit Watch co-designers Patrick and Amy Ayoub have once again applied their classical blueprint to their American-based brand.

The Pontchartrain Louis XIV model from the Detroit Watch Pontchartrain collection. A version with a moonphase display is also available.

Two variations of the brand’s new stand-alone Pontchartrain collection are housed in an elegantly stepped 42mm stainless steel case. Both feature automatic ETA Swiss-made movements, one with a sub-second and the other with a choice of silver or gold moon-phase complication.

All the qualities you’d expect in a high-quality, high-value watch are here, including sapphire crystal, exhibition back, superior decoration on the Swiss movement and a calfskin strap, which all come together to make a fine watch. Under the loupe the hands are as superb as the dials, and even the crown looks, feels and functions beautifully.

Those outside the Detroit area might ask why “Pontchartrain” for a Detroit-based brand? The Ayoubs chose this name to recall the historic fort that was built in 1701 and actually ended up applying its name to the city. France’s King Louis XIV commissioned Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit as the first permanent French settlement in the area and as a center for the fur trade and French military power in 1701.

Built along the Detroit River in order to protect the French trade from the British, the fort was named in honor of Louis XIV’s minister of marine and colonies, Louis Phélypeaux de Pontchartrain. Le Detroit, French for ‘the strait’ eventually came to identify Fort Pontchartrain du Détroit and the surrounding area and after 1751, was known simply as Fort Detroit.

The Ponchartrain limited edition Louis XlV.

A nice watch – and a history lesson.

Price: $1,295, available at www.detroitwatchco.com.

The Glashütte-based maker of acclaimed pilot watches spreads its wings with new models that update its vintage-inspired Grand Flieger and M2 collections.

The town of Glashütte is renowned for its history
as the center of German watchmaking. While that history was interrupted for decades between and following two world wars, when the village’s deep horological knowledge base dispersed to points West – or to extinction – Glashütte has again become the focus of the region’s watchmaking activity.

After being founded in Glashütte in 1927, Tutima re-joined the former East German town in 2011, fully sixty-five years after it was forced to move away. During those years away, Tutima intensely developed a focus on pilot’s watches, starting with the now-famed 1941 pilot’s chronographs known for their fluted steel case, large crown, red reference marker and, most critically, their flyback function, an unusual feature at the time.

Tutima returned to Glashütte in 2011 after 65 years away. The company was founded here in 1927.

It was that wartime aviation design that propelled Tutima to fame among aviators and, eventually, pilot watch enthusiasts. Tutima’s Grand Flieger collection today directly references that 1941 design.

Much later, in 1985, Tutima received a contract from the German army to build a new military watch with particularly stringent specifications for accuracy, shock resistance, pressure resistance and legibility. Answering that request, Tutima developed the Military Chronograph 798, known as the NATO Chronograph, which in its modern guise within the current Tutima M2 collection remains standard equipment for German military pilots.

This original Tutima 1941 pilot watch inspires the current Grand Flieger collection.

GRAND FLIEGER AIRPORT

Today, Tutima references the milestone pilot watch from 1941 within its Grand Flieger collection. The line now includes three-hand models as well as more traditional chronographs. The Tutima Grand Flieger Classic, for example, sports its vintage look with military inspired styling, including the historical fluted bezel. Tutima has modernized the pilot watches to perform according to current, more stringent, technical standards. These models at 43mm in diameter are larger than the original Flieger deigns from the 1940s, and their updated automatic movements are now fully visible through the transparent caseback.

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph.

Within its Grand Flieger collection, the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport is a dressier option that maintains the line’s overall aviation feel, but with a smooth rotating bezel with 60-minute markers rather than a fluted bezel. The crown remains of the screw-in variety, and all timepieces in the Grand Flieger line are water-resistant to 200 meters.

Just a few months ago, Tutima expanded the Grand Flieger Airport collection with a new chronograph and a new three-handed model, both sporting an eye-catching new ceramic bezel. Tutima has now added a contemporary touch to the collection by incorporating an ultra-hard scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that is colored to match the dial.

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport with ceramic bezel in Classic Blue with grey Cordura strap.

To launch the newer look, Tutima offers a dégradé ‘military’ green dial and a classic blue hue, both color-coordinated with the dial and strap. 
While black dials are traditional for pilot watch purists, these newer Grand Flieger Airport debuts offer a contemporary option for pilot watch enthusiasts.

“Tutima, a brand with a strong historic background creating true pilots’ watches, is a purist in regard to the design of these watches. Our goal is to deliver some of the most beautiful yet highly legible dials in this segment of the market,” explains Tutima USA President Gustavo Calzadilla. “The use of green and blue dials in the new Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph and Automatic models challenged us to introduce color options that are fun and contemporary but still respect the legibility needs and aesthetics traditions of a true pilot’s watch.”

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport, with day-date automatic movement.

The strap’s design extends those options. It’s made from grey Cordura textile and secured by a stainless steel deployant clasp. Both models, cased in 43mm steel, are also 
available with a steel bracelet.

Inside each three-hand watch Tutima fits its reliable ETA-based automatic Caliber 330, with a gold seal on its rotor. Within the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport chronograph, the ETA-Valjoux-based Caliber 310 powers the counters
 (12 elapsed hours, 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes) plus the day/date display. The chronograph’s hour display is particularly easy to read with red numerals circling the subdial. Prices: Chronograph: $3,900 (on a strap) and $4,300 (on steel bracelet). Three-hand: $2,500 (on strap) and $2,900 (on steel bracelet.)

M2 COASTLINE

As the heir to the NATO Chronograph favored by German military pilots since its debut in 1984, the Tutima M2 collection emphasizes strong legibility, reliability, enhanced water resistance, pressure-resistance for use to 15,000 meters above sea level, and shock resistance rated to protect its movement from acceleration up to 7G in all directions.

The Tutima NATO Military Chronograph, circa 1984, is the inspiration for the current Tutima M2 collection.

The M2 Coastline Chronograph, the newest watch within Tutima’s M2 collection, echoes the curved case of the famed 1980s NATO models. Its large push buttons are integrated into the rounded case, which Tutima pressure tests to 200 meters of water resistance. In line with the entire M2 collection, the M2 Coastline Chronograph case is made of satin- brushed, ultra-light titanium with a screwed back, which is decorated with a wind rose. The titanium push buttons are additionally black PVD coated and finished with a non-slip surface.

The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph.

“The Tutima M2 is the new generation of our original NATO Chronograph, and is considered the most rugged, utilitarian professional chronograph in the market,” adds Calzadilla. “The new M2 Coastline Chronograph introduces a new alternative within this collection, a smaller case diameter with a new movement at a price point not available before in the M2 lineup. All without sacrificing the Tutima’s high-quality standards.”

Inside this newest member of the M2 family Tutima places the ETA-based automatic Tutima Caliber 310 with 48-hour power reserve, date display, hour-, minute- and small seconds hand. The chronograph tallies up to sixty elapsed seconds, thirty elapsed minutes and twelve elapsed hours.

The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph with blue dial and rubber/leather strap with titanium folding clasp.

The M2 Coastal Chronograph is available with titanium bracelet or, optionally with a strap of leather, rubber/leather or rubber/Cordura.

Tutima also makes a three-hand, day-date version of the M2 Coastal Chronograph.

The Tutima M2 Coastline, with blue dial and steel bracelet.

Like the chronograph, this watch also measures 43mm in diameter and is cased in brushed titanium. Inside Tutima places automatic caliber T330, an ETA-based automatic movement upgraded by Tutima.

Because the bracelet version is also fitted with the same handsome titanium linked bracelet, the all-titanium option for this watch wears lighter than the chronograph, but offers a similar easy-to-read dial and clear link to its historical predecessors. As Tutima professes: “Nothing detracts from this watch’s operational readiness. Protruding parts have been deliberately avoided – another time-honored trait of the high- performance M2 line.”

Prices for the Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph collection start at $3,300 for the blue-dialed model with a leather strap. The three-hand Tutima M2 Coastline with day-date indicator is priced at $1,950 for the titanium-bracelet model and $1,850 for the leather-strapped editions.

Tutima designs and produces several of its own calibers in house.

Calzadilla notes that since its origins in 1927, Tutima’s philosophy has been to produce high quality timepieces of great value.

Inside Tutima headquarters in Glashütte.

“While in recent years the brand has embarked on manufacturing in-house movements, we have kept our promise and commitment to always providing options with a strong value driven proposition. With timepieces starting at $1,600 today, newcomers to the brand can access a beautiful timepiece with German engineering from a company with tradition, expertise and an outstanding track record for designing and manufacturing trusted professional watches.”

This article also appears in the Winter 2021 issue of About Time.

 

The new Junghans Meister Worldtimer offers a clear, affordable timekeeping option for travellers ­– whenever crossing time zones and lines of longitude again becomes commonplace.

This storied German watchmaker nicely combines a clear dial design with useful functionality with this elegant 40mm model, the brand’s first non-quartz worldtimer.

The new Junghans Meister Worldtimer.

The watchmaker presents a fairly classical world time dial layout, with its gray hour disc rotating underneath a radial dial opening that displays the hour in twenty-four different time zones simultaneously.

Junghans designers have echoed traditional worldtimer designs by allocating a specific city to every hour of the day in its respective time zone. To account for the nighttime hours at far-flung destinations, the times between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m. are represented in black.

Junghans has placed all the primary indicators in a convex arrangement around the center. The three dauphin-shaped hands provide the local time while the hour disc offers quick location of the hours in other time zones. The clear glass back of the case provides a view into the ETA-based self-winding movement.

Prices: $1,745 (blue dial) and $2,045 (all others).

 

Specifications: Junghans Meister Worldtimer

Movement: Self-winding ETA-based J820.5 with 24-hour display and power reserve of up to 42 hours.

Case: 40.4mm by 10.4mm steel, five-screw caseback with mineral crystal. These models are available with optional hard Plexiglass with coating for enhanced scratch resistance, or domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coating on both sides.

Dial: Matte silver-plated, galvanic anthracite or blue with sunray brush.  Two city rings around the 24-hour disc 
with SuperLuminova luminous substance on hands.

Strap: Calf leather (in brown or blue) or horse leather (in black) with stainless steel or PVD-coated buckle
 stainless steel bracelet with folding clasp
.

Water-resistance: Up to 30 meters 
with hard Plexiglass and with sapphire crystal up to 50 meters.

Prices: $1,945 (blue dial) and $2,045 (all others).

 

 

 

Porsche Design applies the principles behind the Porsche car configurator to its wristwatches.

Few topics rev up collectors as much as watches and automobiles. Porsche Design has known this ever since Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed the first Porsche Chronograph 1 in 1972. It was the first-ever all-matte-black watch, and it set the stage for five decades of cutting-edge wristwatch creativity from his then-new studio, Porsche Design.

This year, Porsche Design has launched a program meant to inspire budding F. A. Porsches who, like Professor Porsche, want to design and wear a wristwatch inspired by –and infused with – Porsche’s automotive legacy.

Watch collectors and Porsche owners can now create a customized Porsche Design chronograph that perfectly matches the Porsche 992 or Porsche 911 of their dreams – or the one in their garage.

Porsche Design offers twenty-one different dial ring colors deriving from Porsche 911 lacquering.

With the new Porsche Design Custom Built Timepieces program, fans can combine an almost endless array of colors, materials, fonts and displays using the new Porsche Design online watch configurator. The configurator, found directly on the Porsche Design website, offers options and operations far exceeding any other online watch customization program, effectively placing the Porsche enthusiast directly behind the leather-covered wheel, with a clear roadmap toward designing a truly individualized watch.

The Process

Porsche Design released the streamlined online configurator this September after six years of development. The process itself echoes the customization process that Porsche has offered buyers of its famed 911 for years, but expands the type and breadth of options from which a buyer can choose when creating a dream chronograph.

For more than thirty years, Porsche customers have been able to enhance their personal dream car with many individual details through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, even to the point of designing a one-off vehicle.

This experience has now been expanded with the ability to design a Porsche Design chronograph based on an individual’s personal taste or Porsche 992 vehicle configurations. It’s an experience that ultimately ends with the customer taking ownership of a Porsche they designed themselves.

A total of six rotors are available, including the Porsche Design Icon rotor in black or five sporty alloy wheel designs of the current 911. Choose from up to 21 different colors for the rim.

“As with the online car-design process, the watch is digitally visualized down to the smallest details and customizations are shown to the customer in real time. The customer begins by selecting the case of the watch and then continues choosing from more than 1.5 million configuration possibilities,” explains Gerhard J. Novak, General Manager Timepieces, Porsche Design Group.

“Once the customer has finished designing the chronograph, an individualized configuration code is created, and from there it is sent, or brought in, to any authorized U.S. Porsche dealer where the order is placed. Delivery takes between eight to twelve weeks.”

The rendering of the watch is based on CAD data from the designers at Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria, and the Porsche Design engineers in Solothurn, Switzerland.

“It quickly became clear that these custom components had to be interchangeable without the need to develop a new watch each time,” explains Rolf Bergmann, Managing Director, Porsche Design Timepieces AG. “Offering a wide range of options while manufacturing small quantities of custom-built timepieces is possible thanks to the sequential production process transferred from Porsche sports car production. The principle of zero-defect tolerance was a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of a watch concept like this.”

Inside Porsche Design places an all-new Porsche Design WERK 01.100 – a COSC-certified chronograph caliber.

A New Engine 


Key among the components of the customer-designed watch is an entirely new engine.

Porsche Design developed a new movement to serve as the engine for the online-designed timepiece. The new Caliber WERK 01.100 is a COSC- certified chronograph movement that now enters serial production for the program.

But the WERK 01.100 offers Porsche Design customers more than simply its novelty.

“For the first time customers can individualize a part of a Porsche Design COSC-certified movement by choosing the winding rotor that features the various wheel designs of the latest-generation Porsche 911,” Bergmann says. “The color on the rotor edge can also be customized to match the color on the outer edge of the wheels of the 992,” he adds.

Porsche Design tests its new COSC-certified movement in accordance with the Chronofiable standards.

Customers select their choice of rotor design after choosing which case to place it into. Porsche Design offers a 42mm case based on the one it used in Chronotimer Series 1. The user can opt for a glass-bead blasted natural titanium or a black titanium case coated in titanium carbide via a PVD-process.

Porsche Design offers fourteen different color options for the strap. It can also be accentuated with decorative stitching made with genuine Porsche car yarn available in nineteen colors.

The Straps

Next, the customer chooses his or her strap.

Bands can be titanium or leather and are offered in three sizes with up to 300 different configurations. All leather straps (with butterfly clasp) are crafted from the same hides Porsche uses for its car interiors and come
in the fourteen official interior colors of the current Porsche 911 series. Leather wristband stitching is offered in the nineteen different colors of genuine Porsche yarn.

Porsche Design has created dial options for the program that start with the matte black look of the current Chronotimer Series 1, with its minutes counter at the top of the dial, hour counter at the 6 o’clock position and running seconds at 9 o’clock.

But the user can add color using one of many colorful inlaid ring options, with colors based on those used on the current Porsche 911, to frame
 the black dial to either complement or contrast the choice of strap.

More dramatically, the watch collector then opts for either a brushed bezel or a black tachymeter bezel set with minute markers in the style of the design-defining classic speedometer developed by F. A. Porsche.

The rotor design echoes the Porsche 911 wheel. The wearer can add a personal note with laser engraving.

Each custom-built timepiece can be further individualized with a laser engraving on the back of the case as well as on the exclusive watch box, according to Bergmann.

“If desired, the corresponding car visuals, a graphic logo or the fonts and lettering featured on the rear of the customer’s car can also be applied to the watch box,” he adds.

Porsche and Porsche Design

While watch collectors have long heard about buying “a racecar for
the wrist,” from makers of auto-influenced watches, Porsche Design is confident that its new online configurator comes closest to the truth of that metaphor.

“Customers who order their own custom-built Porsche Design chronograph will take a piece of the Porsche sports car lifestyle with them when not behind the wheel,” notes Novak.

The direct relationship between the watch and the car is undeniable, he adds.

“The experience of designing a Porsche Design masterpiece based on the current 992 generation is one-of-a-kind – from the rotor and bezel to the genuine Porsche leather straps,” he adds. The program will be expanded to include additional Porsche models in the near future.

The six-year project required a deep restructuring of Porsche Design watchmaking and development, he explains.

“The greatest challenges certainly were in regards to the order and production processes; after all, this had never been done before. The idea of a “sports car on the wrist” was different for every customer, and
it required us to rethink our entire process. Everything from engineering, sourcing and production had to be adjusted. To do so we tapped into the brand’s heritage and pulled key learnings from Porsche’s unique automotive production expertise.”

North American Launch

Thus far, with only a few months of processing orders, Porsche Design says reactions to the program have been very positive.

“The very first order we received after the program launched in the United States was actually from a Canadian customer,” Novak reports. “He had heard about the custom-built timepieces program and reached out to see if he could design a watch to match his 992 and place an order in the U.S. He will actually be picking up his “sports car for the wrist” at an East Coast dealership in the coming days.”

“We are looking forward to continuing to introduce the program to new Porsche Design and Porsche customers alike,” says Novak.

Indeed, customization has been a buzzword among high-end watchmaking for the past few years, and several watchmakers have embraced the possibilities of made-to-order watches, mostly with very limited color or material options.

Novak points out that as Porsche itself has enjoyed a positive customer experience with personalized automobiles, Porsche Design’s careful development of the process with timepieces makes perfect sense. “Introducing this unprecedented level of personalization in the luxury watch segment was a natural next step for us,” he says.

“The timepieces business unit is extremely important for Porsche Design globally and in the United States, and we believe we are keeping pace with the general desire for more individualization in watches.”

Porsche Design manufactures its watches in its Swiss factory.

For Porsche, that customization perfectly unites its automotive realm with the burgeoning watch division of Porsche Design, as supported by its German engineering and Swiss manufacturing facilities.

“Not only does the program highlight the connection between Porsche sports cars and Porsche Design timepieces,” says Novak, “it embodies the premium aesthetic, attention to detail and optimal performance expected of all things associated with the name Porsche.”

Porsche Design Custom-built timepieces are priced starting at $5,150 and, depending on the selections made, can range up to $11,600.

Franck Muller’s new Vanguard Line Cut emphasizes lightness and curves with a micro-blasted matte gray titanium case, dial and bracelet.

The new Franck Muller Vanguard Line Cut.

As the latest model within Franck Muller’s winning Vanguard collection, the Line Cut offers collectors a matte-finished contemporary option within Vanguard, known for its wrist-hugging tonneau-shape and trademark elongated numerals.

The new collection broadens the appeal of Vanguard, which Franck Muller has expanded considerably in recent years with racing designs, skeleton models, gem-set editions and several seriously complicated calibers.

Time-only

Franck Muller equips the new Vanguard Line Cut with a simple two-hand time-telling function, which serves to emphasize the sleek, curved matte gray case and its curved black ‘line cut” along the sides.

Furthermore, Franck Muller then matches the cut to the black outline of each of the dial’s long, hand-applied numerals.  Ironically, while the dial projects depth, the case remains relatively thin, here measuring only 9.8mm from front to back. By Franck Muller standards, that’s ultra-thin.

Franck Muller watchmakers have fit the new watch (which is still in limited release) with an extra-flat automatic movement.

 

Specifications: Franck Muller Vanguard Line Cut

Reference: V 41 S AT REL LINE CUT FM 708

Movement: Franck Muller Automatic, 21,600 vibrations hour, 
42 hours power reserve, 
Côtes de Genève, circular graining, rhodium plating.

Case: 41mm by 50mm by 9.10mm micro-blasted grade 5 titanium, water resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Gray titanium PVD, matte gray hand-applied numerals with black contours.

Bracelet and buckle: Micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.

Price: 9,820 Euros, or about $11,920.

 

Two brand-new releases from Seiko Prospex recall historic diver’s models from 1968 while a third new diver’s watch, offered on a silicone strap or a titanium bracelet, features a lighter titanium dial and a bracelet built with references to a Shogun’s helmet and armor.

The Seiko Prospex SPB189 ‘Shogun’ features a titanium bracelet with super-hard coating and tri-fold push button release clasp with secure lock and extender.

The movement

Seiko has updated both models with the solid 6R35 automatic mechanical movement, which is appreciated for both its robust nature as well as its 70-hour power reserve.

Bi-directional winding via the magic finger system adds power to the movement while wearing the watch, but you can also manually wind it as well. Also, for all the watch “hacks” out there fixated on stopping the second hand in order to coordinate their next mission, the 6R35 does in-fact offer this over-appreciated feature.

While critics may search for other depredations in the fact that the frequency of the caliber 6R35 at 21,600 vph is a bit slower than other Japanese options, accuracy is the same or similar to those slightly faster mechanical heartbeats. One wonders if the internet’s instant experts have considered that putting less stress on a system that will inevitably need service and/or repair down the road might actually be a benefit rather than a detriment.

The Seiko Prospex SPB191 ‘Shogun’ ($1,350 on silicone strap).

Shogun debuts

Seiko fits this movement into its Propex “Shogun” series (SPB189 and SPB191) are crafted in a 43.5 mm hardened titanium case rated to 200 meters of water resistance with the crown at the traditional 3 o’clock position. A super-huge date display is made even larger by a magnifying cyclops window, with a uni-directional diver’s bezel atop. The sapphire crystal over the dial will be difficult to mar or scratch unless you shatter it entirely.

Side view of the Seiko Prospex SPB191 ‘Shogun.’

Like its sister dive models, the Seiko Prospex ‘Shogun’ could not be any easier to read; Broad hands coated in a thick layer of LumiBrite glow brightly – just like the hour markers. Time is clearly of the essence with these masterful classics. Offered with a choice of a silicone strap at $1,350, or a titanium bracelet for an extra $200, the Shogun will be a fan favorite for both real and “desk” divers.

Side view of the SPB189 Seiko Prospex ‘Shogun.’

For Japanese warrior fans, Seiko says the triangular notches in the rotating bezel on this model resemble the ornaments of a traditional Shogun helmet. The yabane or “arrow feather” link shape of the bracelet version, according to the brand, calls to mind weapons and armor.

The Seiko Prospex SPB185 is a contemporary interpretation of Seiko’s famous Diver from 1968.

Steel Sixties

Bringing us back to 1968, the Seiko Prospex Diver SPB185 and SPB187 are slightly smaller at 42mm, slightly heavier as they are cast in steel, and slightly less expensive due to the aforementioned reasons.

The new Seiko Prospex SPD187 is a new interpretation of Seiko’s famous Diver from 1968.

Broader shoulders separate the sister-types, as does a crown migrated slightly south to the 4 o’clock position. Other nuances of design define each as the hands, markers, and bezel are endemic to each design. Otherwise these are very similar in the chassis build quality. Available only on a solid link steel bracelet, the 185 and 187 retail for $1,200.