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Norqain adds a blue dial limited edition model to its 40mm Freedom 60 GMT collection, one of the independent Swiss watchmaker’s most popular designs.

The Norqain Freedom 60 GMT 40mm Limited Edition

With its 1960s-style domed dial and an easy-to-read GMT scale in the center of the dial, the watch has serious vintage appeal. Norqain seals the appeal when it applies Old Radium SuperLuminova to the bronze hands, and frames it all with a bronze case.

Norqain underscores all this retro eye-candy with appropriately modern technology, most critically the use of its chronometer-precise, in-house-designed Caliber NN20/2, an automatic movement (below) produced together with movement-maker Kenissi.

The movement boasts a jumping hour to easily set the time and date forward or backward. Its long power reserve of seventy hours is among the most impressive we’ve seen at this price point.

Also very up-to-date is Norqain’s decision to offer only non-leather straps or metal bracelets for all its watches. For this new model Norqain offers three different bracelet options, including a vegan-certified Perlon blue rubber strap with a pin clasp that matches the case. The watch is also available with Norqain’s own Nortide strap and an Alcantara strap, both of which include stitches that resemble mountaintops near the lugs.

The Norqain Freedom 60 GMT 40mm Limited Edition (of 300 pieces) is priced at $3,990 to $4,150.

Franck Muller is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary with a diamond-flecked nod on the dial of a new Crazy Hours 30th Anniversary, a series of glittery Crazy Hours watches.

As one of the Geneva-based watchmaker’s best-known designs, Crazy Hours features dials with numeral markers set in a clearly untraditional order around the dial.

Muller’s genius was to create a jump-hour movement that has the hour hand jump from one hour to the next in the correct numerical order while the minute hand moves around the dial in its traditional manner. Reading the minute hand, and ignoring the hour hand’s placement on the dial, the wearer sees the correct time.

For this thirtieth anniversary set, Franck Muller combines its own collection of Art Deco-styled dial numerals, set off-center amid another set of decorative ‘hologram’ numerals stamped into a guilloché sun pattern dial. The dial seems effervescent thanks to the twenty layers of translucent lacquer.

Franck Muller specifically celebrates its three decades with a diamond-set ‘30th’ at the top left side of the dial, impishly combining the 3 o’clock marker and the zero from 10 o’clock marker.

All this is set within Franck Muller’s best-known case, its Cintrée Curvex, an extended tonneau design. Franck Muller’s own finely finished MVD FM 2800-CHR
automatic movement with a bi-directional rotor powers the collection.

Franck Muller offers the Crazy Hours 30th in three size options in rose gold, white gold or steel cases with a royal blue dial or the deep burgundy dial. Also look for a white-dialed Crazy Color Dreams version with colorful numerals and a white or red leather strap. All are available with or without a diamond-set bezel.

Ulysse Nardin this week debuts the Ocean Race Diver, a commercial version of its environmentally friendly Diver Net concept watch launched in 2020.

The new Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver might be the greenest luxury watch available.

With a strap created entirely from recycled fishing nets and a case and caseback made using recycled steel, a carbon composite called Carbonium and more recycled fishing nets, the new Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver might be the greenest luxury watch available. Ulysse Nardin teamed with French recycling experts Fil&Fab to source and develop the recycled material for the new collection.

Ulysse Nardin wants to raise awareness to protect the oceans by creating “new from old and regenerating materials, especially plastic.” The watchmaker co-branded the watch with its partner, the around-the-globe Ocean Race, for which Ulysse Nardin is official timer.

On the case back, the sapphire crystal is embellished with a white transfer of the logo of the brand’s partner, The Ocean Race.

As a 44mm dive watch, the Ocean Race Diver is water-resistant to 300 meters and features a high-visibility, green-accented unidirectional bezel made using Carbonium, the same fibers that are used for the fuselage and wings of the latest-generation aircrafts. The manufacture of Carbonium has a 40% lower environmental impact than other carbon composites, since it makes use of the offcuts of aircraft parts, according to Ulysse Nardin.

Ulysse Nardin taps an automotive industry steel recycling channel for the 44mm case, which is 80% to 85% recycled.

Ulysse Nardin teamed with Fil & Fab to make the strap and other components using recycled fishing nets.

Diver X

The watch’s dial echoes the watchmaker’s Diver X series with a double X signature on the dial, a power reserve indicator at the top and a small seconds hand at 6 o’clock. The dial, toned down when compared to the concept version, is composed of neutral textured anthracite (ruthenium) surface treatment.

Like the brand’s X-Skeleton series, you’ll also find the Ulysse Nardin logo etched into the crown and a visible crown protector.

Ulysse Nardin’s own dial maker stamps its double X on the dial with its half-matte, half-satin finish.

Even the movement, Ulysse Nardin’s own UN-118, is made with materials 95% sourced within a 30 km radius of the Manufacture, half of them coming from recycling channels (recycled steel and brass). All Ulysse Nardin movements utilize recycled brass.

The watch will be sold in a water-resistant pouch slipped into a dry bag recycled from the sea by Helly Hansen, a brand that is also a partner of the round-the-world Ocean Race.

Ulysse Nardin will offer the watch as a limited edition of 200 pieces starting in June. Price: $11,500.

 

Specifications: Ulysse Nardin Ocean Race Diver

Reference: (1183-170LE-1A-TOR/0A
UN-118)

Movement: Caliber UN 118 manufacture, 
Silicium & DiamonSil escapement technology. Power reserve is 60 hours.

Case: 
44mm steel with unidirectional concave rotating bezel, bezel decoration 100% Carbonium, sapphire crystal, 300 meters of water resistance.

  • Side-case and case-back 40% Carbonium and 60% recycled fishing nets.
  • Stainless steel case at least 80% recycled from automotive industry.

Dial: 
Green Super-LumiNova markers, 
 anthracite (ruthenium) surface treatment 
Double X
, The Ocean Race logo (white transfer), power reserve indicator.

Strap: Recycled from fishing nets, gray with green and white stitches, scratch closing.

Price: $11,500.

Parmigiani Fleurier adds diamonds to a time-only Tonda Automatic to create the glitteriest model within the watchmaker’s recently updated Tonda collection.

While not specifically an extension of the new, widely acclaimed Tonda PF collection, the new offerings do enhance the broader Tonda collection by debuting its first fully gem-set models.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Automatic Rose Gold.

Focusing on the watchmaker’s trademark barleycorn-pattern dial, each watch dial on this new model is fully set with diamonds that follow the distinctive lines of the pattern, which really sets this jeweled series apart from other glittering updates we’ve seen recently.

At 36mm by 3.9mm and cased in either a rose gold or white gold, the new watches are meant to be a “refined tribute to feminine elegance,” according to Parmigiani Fleurier. The watchmaker explains that its artisans have set more than a thousand high-quality diamonds of varying sizes on the dial, case and bezel. And unusually, each dial displays gems specifically set to generate light-reflecting sparkle within the signature barleycorn pattern, known as a Grain d’Orge motif.

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda Automatic White Gold.

The setting process involved highlighting the Grain d’Orge pattern with a diamond “snow” setting that uses diamonds of seven different diameters, set in a very limited space on the finely patterned gold dial, according to Parmigiani Fleurier.

On each dial you’ll see light reflected and refracted from 979 brilliant-cut diamonds. The bezel and the lugs are also set with an additional seventy brilliant-cut diamonds. The artisans didn’t forget the crown, which is adorned with a cabochon in either blue sapphire on the white gold model, or white opal on the rose gold model.

Inside, Parmigiani Fleurier fits its PF310 caliber that boasts a 50-hour power reserve and an oscillating weight in 22-karat rose gold and engraved with the same Tonda signature Grain d’Orge guilloché pattern. Hermès makes alligator leather strap for the watches, with a blue strap on the Tonda Automatic White Gold and a brown/grey strap for the Tonda Automatic Rose Gold. Price: CHF 59,000.

 

Bulova expands its vintage-inspired collection of military watches with the new Avigation Hack A-11, an updated version of the WWII-era Bulova A-11 watch.

Bulova’s new Avigation A-11 Hack watch.

The original Bulova Avigation Hack A-11 watch was issued to U.S. soldiers during WWII and was one of the first watches of its kind. Its dial was highly legible with luminescent numerals, hands and markers while its large crown and solid one or two-piece straps were ideal for constant wear.

The watch and many others like it were known as ‘hacking’ watches because soldiers could pull out the crown and stop, or ‘hack’, the seconds hand at the 12 o’clock position to synchronize their watches. With a now-small 32mm case, the original A-11 was specially made for navigation.

The new model retains the original’s clean dial and distinctive coin edge case while expanding its color options and, literally, its case size (now at 37mm). Bulova is purposefully differentiating the new Avigation A-11 Hack watch from the many other military watches in its collection with a more contemporary color combination, namely a blue dial with red accents on a brown NATO strap.

Bulova stamps the back of the new watch with the same Military Spec information seen on the original A-11. Inside the new Avigation Hack A-11 you’ll find a reliable automatic movement (Miyota 82S0 3-hand movement with hack feature) boasting a 42-hour power reserve. Price: $450.