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By Steve Huyton 

Over the last decade, I’ve dealt with many talented craftsmen worldwide. Mostly, fine watchmaking is associated with Switzerland. However, I recently connected with a gentleman named Andrey Shishov who is located in Riga, Latvia. His brand Enera is very popular on social media watch forums, and I was intrigued to discover what motivated Andrey to establish a cool micro-brand.

The Enera Marine Bronze.

Very kindly he agreed to unpack his back story, which is absolutely fascinating. 

Shishov is a certified bodyguard and shooting instructor. He is also a member of the EBSA which is an organization for security professionals. This experience inspired the conception of many of Enera’s models.

The Enera Desert Rose.

Since 2018 Enera has released six models: the Marine, Bodyguard, Pilot, Asymmetrix, Samurai and Desert Rose. All of these timepieces have oversized cases and are designed for people who like to make a bold statement.

An Enera Bodyguard model, with green dial.

Enera also offers a ten-year guarantee on all their watches. Additionally, any damage to the case (including crown and glass) incurred during the warranty period is repaired free of charge. This is a pledge unheard of in the industry and it certainly illustrates how confident Shishov is about the overall quality of his watches. 

Another notable point is each timepiece is assembled by hand in Riga from components entirely sourced in Europe. 

Custom work

When I initially spoke to Shishov, he explained his individual approach for each of his customers. 

Effectively clients can choose dial color, strap (from handmade collection) and even personalized engraving. This gave me the idea to create a particular unique watch with Enera called the ‘Purple Skull’.

The Enera Purple Skull, a custom example within the Bodyguard collection.

For this collaboration, we decided to use Enera’s Bodyguard model as it is synonymous with the brand. The initial concept of the Bodyguard is inspired by the design of armored vehicles. This is reflected in the brutish geometric angular 48mm 316L stainless steel case. 

To accentuate the industrial façade I felt a gothic purple dial with an engraved skull would be highly effective. On the case side is a bronze plate with the initials of my brand Paolo Mathai Horology in Malayalam script.

Powering the watch is an ETA Swiss automatic movement, Caliber 2824-1, with 25 jewels, which oscillates at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour. The caliber is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition case back.

Functionally the Purple Skull features hours, minutes, seconds and a date indication (located at 3 o’clock). The watch also has a power reserve of 40 hours and is water resistant to 100 meters. As a perfect finale, the Purple Skull is presented on an exquisite handcrafted grey leather strap (plus an additional NATO strap) with a complimentary engraved stainless steel buckle.

Enera’s Bodyguard series is priced starting at about $1,685.  

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

Bell & Ross’s newest collection, the BR-X5, offers a more technical version of its hot BR-05 collection, emphasizing a new multi-layer case, a new custom movement and a redesigned dial.

The black-dial version of the new Bell & Ross BR-X5.

The BR-X5 retains the BR-05’s round dial within a gently rounded square case and its integrated bracelet/strap, but extends the architectural appeal of the design with eye-catching multi-level case construction. The dial also underscores the technical focus of the new collection with its prominent power reserve indicator and an extra large aviation-style date aperture.

At 41mm in diameter, one millimeter larger than its forebear, the new BR-X5 case displays a hollowed-out central layer flanked by the watch’s square bezel and its caseback, both fixed to the two steel plates that form the top and bottom of the case.

Between the caseback and dial Bell & Ross fits a customized automatic Calibre BR-CAL.323 movement made by Kenissi. The Swiss movement maker was founded to create calibers for Tudor and, since 2016, has also supplied movements to Chanel, Breitling and others.

A chronometer 

The new movement is a COSC-certified chronometer that offers an impressive 70-hour power reserve. Also notable is the movement’s rapid date correction device, which allows for a quick date adjustment. Bell & Ross highlights the new movement’s long power reserve with a large power reserve indicator on the dial.

Look for two dial options, black and ice blue, for the steel-cased BR-X5. A third model, the BR-X5 Carbon Orange, is the sportiest of the new collection with its carbon fiber case that holds its automatic movement within a DLC titanium block.

The BR-X5 Carbon Orange is a limited edition of 500.

Bell & Ross has equipped all three models with a rotor designed to recall the shape of a race car wheel rim. The rotor is visible through clear sapphire on the steel BR-X5 and through a smoky sapphire glass on the BR-05 Carbon Orange.

To emphasize the new debut’s technical reliability, Bell & Ross is supporting the entire BR-X5 collection with a five-year warranty, which exceeding the previous Bell & Ross standard warranty of two years.

Prices: $7,400 (with steel bracelet) and $6,900 (rubber strap); $11,800 (BR-05 Carbon Orange, a limited edition of 500.) 

TAG Heuer and Porsche this week celebrate the 50th anniversary of the 1972 Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7 with two new watches that highlight that famed sports car’s colors and features.

The Red Edition TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 chronograph.

The new Blue Edition and Red Edition TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 chronographs represent the fourth watch design to debut as a result of the partnership between TAG Heuer and Porsche, which commenced officially in 2021.

The Blue Edition TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 chronograph.

These two new limited edition models pay tribute to the first 911 to bear the Carrera name: the Porsche 911 Carrera RS 2.7. 

Designed for racing, the Carrera RS was the first Porsche 911 dedicated to motorsports and was nicknamed “Carrera.” This name inspired Jack Heuer when he prepared to design the 1963 watch destined to become the Heuer Carrera.

Porsche produced the car in white with twenty-seven color accent options and in a two-tone design with a solid color line along the side. TAG Heuer chose two of the most popular colors to enliven its new watch while retaining the two-tone design of the cars.

Thus, the dial on each model is white, with a blue or red accent the on the dial, flange, case side, and strap. On both watches, the right sub-counter design echoes the look of the car’s rims.

Based on the existing 42mm TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph with tri-compax layout, (namely, the  minutes and hour chronograph counters at 3 and 9 o’clock), the new watch is powered by in-house manufactured automatic Caliber Heuer 02 with its superior eighty-hour power reserve.

The Carrera two-tone coloring also appears on the back of the watch. TAG Heuer has customized the rotor to echo the look of the Porsche three-spoke steering wheel. The rotor also hosts both the TAG Heuer and Porsche name.

TAG Heuer is offering the Blue Edition as a steel-cased limited edition of 500 pieces. Here, TAG Heuer has placed blue lacquer on the chronograph and central hands, the push buttons and shield logo on the crown.

The Blue edition TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 will arrive with both a sporty fabric strap with the Porsche logo and Carrera markings and a steel bracelet with H-shaped links.

Red Edition 

The more luxurious Red Edition TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche RS 2.7 chronograph is cased in polished rose gold and limited to 250 pieces. Its white dial is framed with a red circular line and features rose-gold-colored applied indexes, permanent second indicator, and hour and minute hands.

Like the Blue Edition, the Red Edition also features engraved caseback and rotor. Here, however, the strap is more luxurious, offered in red alligator with a solid rose gold pin buckle.

Both watches are being shipped with co-branded TAG Heuer × Porsche packaging with  colorful inserts. Prices: $7,750 (steel with blue accents) an $23,550 (rose gold with red accents).

Bell & Ross adds a fourth dial color, copper brown, to the BR 05 collection, the watchmaker’s series of round-corner square-case watches with round dials and integrated bracelets.

The new Bell & Ross BR 05 Copper Brown.

The new BR 05 Copper Brown watch joins existing models in the collection with black, silver grey and navy blue dials. 

“You have to breathe life into a range”, explains Bruno Belamich, creative director and co-founder of Bell & Ross. “It can be achieved through technique (movement), materials, or details. For the BR 05 Copper Brown, we chose the color,” he adds.

Bell & Ross introduced the BR 05 in 2019 as a contemporary version of its well-known square-cased BR 03 collection. BR 05 signaled the brand’s entry into the expanding field of Swiss-made 1970s-style steel watches with integrated bracelets.

The new watch’s golden-brown dial is finished with a sunburst pattern. Made specifically for the new model, the dial finish and color requires Bell & Ross artisans to micro-engrave the metal plate of the dial in a circular pattern. Then, technicians add several coats of transparent brown varnish to the metal plate, creating a sense of depth.

Bell & Ross then adds the same metallic color to the indexes, which creates “the effect of a block of metal simply adorned by its sunburst brown dial,” according to Bell & Ross. The dial’s hands, indexes and numerals are coated with SuperLuminova.

The watchmaker will offer the BR 05 Copper Brown with either an integrated polished and satin-finished steel bracelet or on a sporty brown rubber strap.

Bell & Ross powers the watch with its Sellita-based BR-CAL 321 automatic movement. With the watch’s sapphire case-back the owner can view the caliber’s oscillating weight with sports-car-rim-inspired design.

Prices: $4,600 on rubber strap and $5,100 on a steel bracelet.

Hermès celebrates the reopening of its Madison Avenue store in New York with two special edition watches.

The new Hermès H08 Madison.

One, the H08 Madison, includes a refashioned dial of the acclaimed cushion-shaped Hermès H08. On this special edition Hermès replaces the traditional 12 at the top of the dial with a 0 and also colors the numbers 6, 7 and 0 in yellow to form the address of the new Hermès boutique at 706 Madison Avenue. The same hue is echoed by the crystal seal, the minutes track and the varnished seconds hand. Hermès explains that it chose the yellow color to pay tribute to New York ‘yellow’ cabs.

The Hermès H08, you may recall, was designed in 2021 by Philippe Delhotal, creative director of Hermès Horloger, with a 39mm by 39mm cushion-shaped case, round dial and a contemporary time/date dial display.

For this model, Hermès uses the satin-brushed titanium case edition of the H08, topped by a black ceramic bezel and secured with a screw-lock crown. Inside you’ll find the Manufacture Hermès H1837 mechanical self-winding movement.

Hermès will deliver the new watch, a 185-piece limited edition, on a yellow or grey rubber strap.  Price: $7,450. 

Gene Kelly

The second celebratory model is the Gene Kelly, a 38mm rose gold, round-cased Arceau model with an unusual leather marquetry dial decorated with jazz dancers in action, a theme based on the Hermès ‘Tribute to Gene Kelly’ silk scarf designed by Canadian artist Geoff McFetridge.

The new Hermès Gene Kelly.

The rare leather dial is composed using micro-leather leather marquetry. As Hermès explains, its artisans select a dozen colorful full-grain calf leathers that are then trimmed to a thickness of 0.5 mm. 

The artisans then cut out the design elements and remove the leather fragments and assemble the scene on the dial. The design references Gene Kelly, a Hollywood musical legend, using bright colors, nine letters of his name, and dancers in moccasins and white socks.

Finally, Hermès sets eighty-two diamonds into the bezel and powers the hands with the automatic Manufacture Hermès H1912 movement.

Only twelve watches will be made, each fitted with a white Hermès calfskin strap. Price: $35,000.