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).
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.
Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.
By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle
In this Part III of our recently expanded four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight TAG Heuer.
Historically rooted in motorsports, TAG Heuer has worked with many car companies, starting with Scuderia Ferrari, but also McLaren, Mercedes, Audi and, more recently, Aston Martin.
As one of the most highly-anticipated watch/car partnerships with authentic motor racing heritage and on-track success, the friendship between TAG Heuer and Porsche has existed for decades and is now transformed into a strategic partnership ranging from sports competition to product development.
Racing fans and watch fans will know that the Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico gave its name to creations from both brands. Porsche named its most powerful engine the Carrera after its class win in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, and Edouard Heuer’s great-grandson, Jack Heuer, conceived the first Heuer Carrera chronograph in 1963.
Thereafter, Jack Heuer struck a sponsorship arrangement with Jo Siffert at the wheel of various Porsches with the Heuer logo on his car and suit. Siffert was the Swiss racing driver on which Steve McQueen had based his character during the filming of Le Mans in 1970 in which he drove a Porsche 917.
In the 1980s, TAG Heuer and Porsche developed the TAG-Turbo engine that led the McLaren team to three consecutive F1 world titles. Porsche also created its own Formula E team with TAG Heuer as title and timing partner in 2019, the Swiss watchmaker being a founding partner of the electric racing championship.
And there is more. The two brands will be collaborating in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup worldwide one-make cup series. For their first joint timepiece, they produced the 44-mm TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, powered by the in-house Caliber Heuer 02 with 80-hour power reserve.
In the Porsche colors of red, black and gray recalling historic Heuer models, the watch features a rotor in the shape of Porsche’s trademark steering wheel. Arabic numerals suggesting the numbers on Porsche dashboards are set against an asphalt-effect dial.
“Time is at the very core of racing. Without its mastery, there is no competition, no progress,” says Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer CEO.
“From its early years, Heuer made it its specialty to develop tools like chronographs, stopwatches and dashboard timers, which helped drivers, teams and race organizers keep time in increasingly accurate ways,” Arnault continues. “The company served a very tangible purpose in motor racing from the start; it was in its DNA. Later, it was Jack Heuer who saw the natural connection from a branding perspective, and we became the first non-automotive brand to sponsor a F1 team. We started with Carrera as it’s an iconic name we share, but that was just the first step.”
Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.
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.
Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. In this four-part series, we review a few of the most prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.
By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle
For many connoisseurs, the love for watches and cars often go hand in hand. The similarities are endless: Performance, precision, complex engines, material innovation, new technologies, stunning design and the pursuit of excellence. Horological brands are rarely without a carmaker or racing team by their side.
This is not a new phenomenon. The watch and automobile industries have a long history of collaboration.
Starting out of necessity, watchmakers began working with car manufacturers to supply dashboard clocks. Horological brands then started partnering with motor racing teams as official timekeepers, from recording lap times to race times, and automotive timepieces have become an accepted part of watch companies’ marketing strategies.
Today, watchmakers are creating timepieces to pay tribute to a specific car model, race, racing driver or event. In this special three-part series, we’ll take a closer look at the automotive alliances forged by Bell & Ross, B.R.M Chronographes, Casio, Ernst Benz, Girard-Perregaux, Richard Mille and TAG Heuer.
This week, we highlight Bell & Ross and B.R.M Chronographes.
Bell & Ross
Since 2016, Bell & Ross has partnered with the Renault F1 Team – rebranded the Alpine F1 Team after the famous racing cars. This year Bell & Ross has become its official timekeeper, releasing ultra-sporty watches every racing season.
Launching the Alpine F1 Team collection this year, Bell & Ross welcomes a sixth generation of Renault timepieces. The three A521 chronographs – referencing the current Alpine A521 single-seater – echo Alpine’s visual identity, especially the constructor’s blue, black and white color codes and the advanced materials tested on F1 cars.
Common features may be found on the vintage round BR V3-94 and the square BR 03-94 timekeepers, both in steel: two stopwatch counters reflect the racing car’s wheel rims, the counterweight of the central second hand adopts Alpine’s stylized “A” and a tiny red, white and blue flag at six o’clock recalls Alpine’s French origins.
In a limited edition of fifty pieces, the more sophisticated BR-X1 in titanium, ceramic and rubber showcases ergonomic toggle push-buttons reminiscent of the paddles on a F1 racing car steering wheel, while a rubber shell protects the case from impacts. The open-worked dial offers a glimpse inside the skeleton mechanism that features a symbolic X-shaped central bridge. Alpine F1 Team members will wear these watches throughout 2021.
Last November, Bell & Ross initiated a collaboration with Bollinger Motors, an American electric vehicle maker founded in 2014 by Robert Bollinger. Bell & Ross paired the BR 03-92 Black Matte timepiece with the off-road Bollinger B1 SUV, both taking the square shape, functionality and minimalism to the extreme.
“If the BR 03 were a car, it would be this one,” says Bruno Belamich, Bell & Ross creative director and co-founder. “The Bollinger B1 is to the automobile what the BR 03 is to watchmaking: a 100% utility object designed by engineers for extreme thrill-seekers.”
As a French watch brand with multiple motorsports collaborations, B.R.M keeps strengthening its competitive pedigree and producing timepieces fully embracing the racing spirit so dear to its founder and CEO Bernard Richards. He notes that even during the past year B.R.M hadn’t ceased developing new collaborations and exclusive models.
This year, B.R.M. is still signing partnerships while gradually finding its way back to racetracks and a full calendar of events worldwide. This is an encouraging signal for the future of the independent, family-run manufacture.
Perhaps the most significant news this year for B.R.M. is official timing partnership with DS Techeetah, the most successful Formula E team. For the deal, B.R.M has created a three-hand watch and a chronograph in the colors of the Chinese racing team, each limited to twenty-one pieces.
In North America, B.R.M’s involvement in racing started in 2009 as official timekeeper of the Atlantic Championship. Since then it has participated in pretty much every series in the United States. B.R.M is present at IndyCar with Colton Herta and Steinbrenner Racing, and in Nascar with Santino Ferrucci.
IndyCar driver James Hinchcliffe signed on with B.R.M. this year, as did Nascar driver Corey LaJoie. Both drivers co-designed and now wear a special B.R.M watch.
B.R.M also joined forces with Derek DeBoer of the TRG team in SRO GT racing and just released a new watch collection with the Skip Barber Racing School, America’s premier racing school. DeBoer is a brand ambassador for the school.
B.R.M has also collaborated with Corvette and Corvette Racing since 2015, launching multiple timepieces. For the Historic Sportscar Racing series, with which it has partnered since 2014, B.R.M sponsors the Endurance Challenge.
And finally, since 2017, B.R.M has produced numerous models with Martini Racing, whose dials are adorned with the Italian brand’s famous blue and red stripes, matched with B.R.M’s trademark drilled holes on the hands, crown, pushers and strap.
Next Week: Casio and Ernst Benz
Y-Jean Mun-DelSalleis a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.
Zenith began celebrating El Primero’s fiftieth anniversary in 2019 with a series of Revival models. These have included the El Primero A386, A384 and A385 Revival models, among others, up to the most recent Chronomaster Revival Safari. With all these releases, the Le Locle-based watchmaker has kept the Revival series dial and case designs largely true to their historic proportions and, often, their original hues.
But as Zenith admits, none of these Revival models filled a void within its collections for a ongoing, steel-cased Chronomaster El Primero A386 model. Remember that the first A386 Revival from 2019 was cased in gold. And while the hot steel-cased Chronomaster Sport Zenith debuted early in 2021 has seemingly met the demand for a new, sportier Chronomaster El Primero chronograph, customers in search of a steel-cased, dressier El Primero A386 have been waiting since 2019.
Zenith this week launches the Chronomaster Original to fill that void. The five watches in the new collection (four are steel-cased, one is cased in gold) retain the most identifiable aspects of the much-loved El Primero A386 from 1969, including a 38mm round and bezel-free steel case with a domed crystal, pump-style chronograph pushers, faceted lugs, and brushed and polished surfaces.
Zenith however updates several key elements of the now familiar Chronomaster Revival profile. First, Zenith replaces the retro 1960s ladder bracelet found on the recent Revival models with a new, richly-finished solid-link bracelet.
More notably however Zenith updates the tachymeter scale, replacing the original 1/100th-of-an-hour calculation scale with a 1/10-of-a-second chronograph scale. This allows instantaneous reading of a 10th of a second using the chronograph seconds hand.
Within the case Zenith fits the primary reason for this change of tachymetric scale : the latest version of the El Primero caliber, dubbed the El Primero 3600. Also found powering the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport (and originally seen in an earlier, very limited Chronomaster 2), the caliber of course retains the El Primero’s signature high frequency of 5 Hz (36,000 VpH).
Thus, with a central chronograph seconds hand that rotates once around the dial in exactly ten seconds, the movement offers a true 1/10th-of-second indication in conjunction with the new scale. And now that the scale frames the dials of both the Chronomaster Sport and this new Chronomaster Original design, Zenith now offers two ongoing collections with this most practical utililization of its high-speed El Primero caliber.
In addition to its new application, the new El Primero 3600 features a newly blued column wheel and “new architecture” that Zenith says is more efficient than earlier El Primeros. The new efficiency also influences the caliber’s power reserve, which is now rated to sixty hours.
Zenith is offering the new Chronomaster Original in three models. One model, sold on a steel bracelet or a blue calfskin strap, features the well-known Chronomaster tri-color dial configuration. Another model features a so-called ‘reverse panda’ black dial with silver chronograph registers and is sold on a steel bracelet or a beige calfskin strap. Intrestingly, these two models use a rhodium-plated central seconds hand rather than the red central seconds hand found on the tri-color dial versions. The third model is cased in gold and features the tri-color dial design. The logo on each new model has been updated to the Zenith’s more contemporary script.
Both steel-bracelet models are priced at $9,000 while both strap models are priced at $8,400. The third model ($19,100), cased in rose gold with a silvered dial and tri-color subdials, is offered on a brown calfskin strap.
Ulysse Nardin updates its already extensive dive watch collection with three dive models that add rose gold to existing favorites. Two of the updates include a new rose gold bezel atop a steel or a titanium case.A third debut includes diamonds set in a rose gold bezel atop a 39mm rose gold case.
Diver 42mm Grey and Rose Gold
This latest 42mm steel-cased PVD-satin-finished ‘shark grey’ dive model boasts a 42mm case with nicely contrasting rose gold and gray rubberized, unidirectional rotating, concave bezel.
Beneath the clearly domed sapphire crystal Ulysse Nardin offers a dial with a contemporary sandblasted finish. Ulysse Nardin has engraved its logo on the solid grey PVD back.
Inside you’ll find a Sellita-based automatic UN-816 movement (outfitted with a silicon escapement wheel and anchor) protected down to 300 meters under water. Finally, Ulysse Nardin secures the watch’s gray alligator strap with a stainless steel grey PVD buckle. Price: $10,400.
Diver Chronometer 44mm
With a larger (44mm) case, the Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer 44mm, with a classic ocean blue dial and blue PVD-coated titanium case, offers a more feature-filled option for nautical adventurers.
Its rose gold unidirectional bezel is appropriately easy to read with gold markers and luminous 0 at the top to mark dive time. The dial, itself well lit with SuperLuminova ands and markers, displays a power reserve indicator at 12 o’clock and a substantial small seconds hand in a subdial at 6 o’clock.
Inside, Ulysse Nardin fits its own Caliber UN-118, which boasts a Diamonsil (a diamond-silicon alloy) escapement wheel and anchor and a silicon balance spring, much of which is visible through a see-through sapphire caseback.
And despite the clear back, Ulysse Nardin assures us that the Ulysse Nardin Diver Chronometer 44mm, like the full Diver Chronometer 44mm collection, is built to withstand up to 300 meters of water pressure. Price: $13,300.
Lady Diver Rose Gold
Set with forty diamonds, this glittering 39mm watch may be a fashion-forward mother-of-pearl dial watch, but inside it’s all business.
Within the full rose gold case Ulysse Nardin fits its automatic UN-816 movement, the same one powering the Diver 42mm Grey and Rose Gold described above. That sharp-looking dial glows with eleven diamonds; the white alligator strap is held in place by a rose gold buckle. If you’re sporty, opt for the model with the white rubber strap. Price: $25,800.
MB&F expands its award-winning Legacy Machine FlyingT collection with a new model boasting a vivid green malachite dial plate. You might recall that the independent watchmaker launched the LM FlyingT in 2019 in three white gold diamond-set editions.
The 38.5mm watch was MB&F’s first venture into feminine-focused design, and it was quite a success. Customers clamored for it, and much of the industry awarded it the prize for Best Ladies’ Complication at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.
Just last year MB&F added a limited edition guilloché-dialed series cased in red gold and platinum. More recently, the watchmaker launched an eye-catching Lapis Lazuli LM FlyingT model, accompanied by an explanation that the brand expected to announce at least one new gemstone-set edition annually.
As on the earlier LM Flying T editions, the new watch’s 18-karat white gold case, set with diamonds, frames the malachite dial plate and, at 7 o’clock, the angled (at 50 degrees) time display, also set with malachite. A dramatic 60-second flying tourbillon emerges from the center of the malachite plate anchored at the top by a cantilevered double-arch upper bridge. Turn the watch over to enjoy the three-dimensional red gold sun rotor with sculpted rays.
MB&F explains that malachite varies in color, veering from light green to dark green. Historically malachite has been associated with omens of good health, including protection from lightning. No word on whether MB&F is offering similar such protections, but we can safely assure anyone wearing the new MB&F LM FlyingT Malachite full protection from a dull wrist. Price: $145,000.
As summer ramps up, Tutima Glashütte launches two brightly colored versions of its appealing M2 Seven Seas titanium dive watch series. The 44mm series now includes a model with a bright orange dial and one with a yellow dial. Both colors are familiar to dive watch enthusiasts, though Tutima seems to utilize somewhat brighter examples of these two high-visibility hues to draw attention to the dials on the new pair.
Also new here is a special two-component strap made of dial-color-matching rubber inside and black Kevlar exterior lined with yellow or orange stitching. Tutima also offers both watches with its excellent titanium bracelet (priced with a very fair $400 premium).
These new models are the first additions to the German-based Tutima’s M2 Seven Seas collection since 2015, and as such they retain the collection’s full array of dive-ready specifications, including a screwed crown, a threaded caseback and, critically, an extra-thick (three-mm) pane of sapphire crystal protecting the dial.
As is required on a dive watch, the hands and markers here wide and exceptionally easy to read. Tutima enhances that visibility by placing a generous coat of SuperLuminova on the markers, hands and the dot at the 12 o’clock position on the unidirectional rotating bezel.
Tutima’s use of both a screw-in caseback and an extra-thick crystal contribute to the very strong 500-meter water resistance rating for the M2 Seven Seas series. Inside the M2 Seven Seas Tutima places its automatic ETA-based Caliber 330 that exhibits a standard 38-hour power reserve when fully wound. Prices: $1,900 (strap model) and $2,300 (titanium bracelet model).