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Grand Seiko debuts Spring Drive SLGA021, a new model in its fairly new (2020) nature-inspired Evolution 9 collection. 

The 40mm steel watch features a blue dial created to echo the ‘gently lapping waters’ of Lake Suwa near the Shinshu Watch Studio, where the watchmaker builds Spring Drive watches.

The new Grand Seiko Spring Drive SLGA021.

Not only does the dial appear to mimic waves, its color changes depending on the angle and amount of nearby lights, also echoing the experience of gazing into a lake.

As on its Evolution 9 brethren, the dial here is eminently readable. Grand Seiko cuts the hour hand at the tip and extends the minute hand right to the minute track so that the hands are more clearly differentiated than is typical on many other watches. For the same reason, Grand Seiko makes the 12 o’clock index especially wide for instant identification regardless on viewing angle.

Grand Seiko fits the watch with its excellent Caliber 9RA2 Spring Drive movement, which boasts a long power reserve of five days, or about 120 hours.

All Caliber 9RA2 Spring Drive movements are protected from magnetic fields up to an enhanced 4,800 A/m.

Price: $9,100.

Specifications: Grand Seiko Spring Drive SLGA021

Dial: Blue, cut with gentle-wave-shaped surface. Time and date displays. 

Case: 40mm by 11.8mm steel, screw-down crown, box-shaped sapphire crystal, sapphire caseback. Water Resistance to 100 meters and magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m.

Movement: Spring Drive Caliber 9RA2, 5-day power reserve, automatic winding. Accuracy is ±0.5 second per day / ±10 seconds per month (average). power reserve Indicator on movement side.

Bracelet: Stainless steel, three-fold clasp.

Price: $9,100.

Porsche Design launches a new flyback chronograph for buyers of the new Porsche 911 Dakar, a specially designed 911 named after the famed Dakar auto rally.

The new Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar.

For these owners, Porsche design offers its new Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar and a variation, the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition (with an additional dial graphic). Both watches are cased in a new titanium alloy called titanium carbide.

The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition, with added Dakar graphic.

The new material represents a continuation of Porsche Design’s long history as an innovator of titanium watch cases, which were introduced into watchmaking forty years ago by Porsche Design in tandem with IWC. 

The newest titanium alloy is highly scratch resistant, according to the watchmaker, which says that the “smallest scratches caused by fine sand, for example, are now a thing of the past.” In addition, titanium carbide is not subject to any visible aging process, is hypoallergenic, and is lighter than traditional case-grade titanium.

Porsche Design is understandably quite proud of its new metal and even calls it out in red at the top of the new watch’s dial with a new abbreviation “TiC” (titanium carbide). 

While Porsche Design still makes the crown and pushers on the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar with standard titanium, the entire 42.7mm case for the watch is made using the new material, which the company spent years developing.

Porsche Design explains that the material is created by first compressing titanium carbide granules under several tons of pressure, and then sintering them at over 2,000 degrees Celsius. “This condenses the granules and irreversibly turns them into a homogeneous compound.”

The watchmaker explains that the case blank is then milled and honed into shape.

The dial

Porsche Design ensures a quick reading the dial of the new chronographs with a highly visible red 60 in the minute scale. This perfectly matches with the red color of the chronograph stop hands as well as the word ‘flyback.’ In addition, the watchmaker’s designers have widened the markings of the small hour display for whole hours as compared to the half-hour markings.

The Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design differs from the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar only with the colorful graphic within the running seconds aperture at 9 o’clock. Its white, blue, gold, and red lines represent the colors on the modified Porsche 953 that won the Rallye in 1984.

Porsche Design designed the watch’s rotor to match the Porsche 911 Dakar rims, and makes them available for the watch in either black satin or solid white. For the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar, the winding rotor is also available in Vesuvius gray.

Porsche Design fits its COSC-certified Porsche Design WERK 01.240 movement into the watch. This excellent in-house caliber features a flyback function that combines starting, stopping, and resetting in a single operation. The movement is visible through a titanium caseback and clear sapphire crystal. Each watch will bear an engraved limitation number on the caseback to match the number on the owner’s automobile.

As on all Porsche Design watches, th new chronograph allows straps to be changed without the use of tools. Porsche Design makes the watch’s handsome strap of black leather with contrast stitching in Shadegreen, the same hue found on the seat middle of the Porsche 911 Dakar. For the Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition the stitching is  made of Race-Tex in Shark Blue.

The Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar and Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition can be ordered only by buyers of the new Porsche 911 Dakar and 911 Dakar Rallye Design automobiles at authorized local Porsche dealers.  The watches in both liveries are limited to a total of 2,500 pieces, each priced at $14,500.

 

Specifications: Porsche Design Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar and Chronograph 1 – 911 Dakar Rallye Design Edition

Movement: Caliber Porsche Design Caliber WERK 01.240, chronograph with flyback function, day and date display in German and English, COSC certified Rotor 360° rotor in wheel design in White, Black or Vesuvius Grey with Porsche Crest. Decorative features include matte black color with chrome-plated bridges, plates and polished screws, engraved Porsche Design icon. Power reserve is 48 hours and its frequency is 28,800 semi-oscillations per hour [4Hz].

Case: 42.7mm by 15.5mm titanium carbide with glass bead blasted finish.  Crown and pushers in titanium, Sapphire crystal with hard coating, scratch-resistant and with sevenfold anti-glare properties on both sides. Caseback in black titanium with sapphire crystal. Water resistant to 100 meters. 

Dial: Black/white minute and hour hands with SuperLumiNova, seconds hand in white; chronograph hand in neon orange; day and date display in German and English at 3 o’clock; red TiC graphic between 1 and 2 o’clock; chronograph second; 30-minute display at 12 o’clock, 12-hour display at 6 o’clock; small seconds at 9 o’clock. 

Strap: Perforated leather strap made of genuine Porsche vehicle leather in black with backing in Race-Tex in Shade Green and decorative stitching in genuine Porsche vehicle thread in Shade Green or Shark Blue. Black titanium folding clasp with pushers. 

Price: $14,500. 

Hublot launches its fourth ode to the Swiss ski resort town of Zermatt and the nearby Matterhorn with the new Big Bang Zermatt. The debut is actually two watches, each with a stone-like dial that features an engraved depiction of the Matterhorn.

Both watches are cased in steel and each features a sunray finished dial that Hublot says will reflect light onto the depiction of the Alp “like the faces of the Matterhorn under the continuously shifting sun.”

For the larger (44mm) watch of the duo, Hublot places the Matterhorn at the 9 o’clock position. Hublot shifts the Alp to the 3 o’clock position on the smaller (41mm) model, which also boasts a diamond bezel that might be said to mimic ice on the mountain. The smaller model also includes diamond markers.

Hublot carefully polishes each watch’s steel case with alternating polished and satin-finished surfaces in order to echo the look of schist, the stone similar to slate that forms a large part of the Matterhorn.

Both Big Bang Zermatt watches are powered by a Hublot automatic chronograph movement. The larger model ($15,100) is fit with Caliber HUB 4100 while the smaller, diamond-set edition ($19,100) is powered by HUB4300.

Both watches are water resistant to 100 meters. Hublot provides two nubuck straps: the first in slate grey, the second in snow white, in a tribute to the winter colors of Zermatt. 

Ulysse Nardin extends its X-themed skeleton dive watch collection with the new Diver X Skeleton White, a 44mm titanium-cased model with an openwork dial and concave, rubberized white bezel.

The new Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton White.

As the latest X-series model thus far in the watchmaker’s dive watch collection, the watch underscores its white theme with white markers, a white crown protector and a white rubber strap. Under and around the large polished and satin-finished X-shaped dial bridge Ulysse Nardin sensibly offers clear view of the UN-372 automatic caliber.

As with the existing Diver X models, the movement is also quite visible from its clear sapphire back, which exposes the movement’s silicon escapement wheel, pallet and balance-spring. Also on display is the logo-marked rotor, gearing and barrel cover.

Ulysse Nardin insures that the polished and satin-finished titanium case is water-resistant to 200 meters. The watchmaker attaches the case to your wrist with a white rubber strap complete with ‘Ulysse Nardin’ element and titanium folding clasp, or with a white woven strap.

Ulysse Nardin’s Caliber UN-372.

Price: $26,400.

 

Specifications: Ulysse Nardin Diver X Skeleton White 

 

Movement: Manufacture caliber UN-372 skeleton automatic. Oversized oscillator in silicon, escapement wheel, anchor & balance spring in silicon. Frequency 3 Hz (21,600 vph).

Case: 44mm titanium polished & satin-finished, concave rubberized unidirectional rotating bezel, titanium open sapphire case back, Water resistance to 200 meters.

Dial: Skeleton X shape polished and satin-finished grey, grey indexes and hands with Superluminova.

Strap: White rubber with UN titanium element with titanium deployant buckle and

white fabric strap with scratch closing. Compatible with R-STRAP.

Price: $26,400

Zenith unveils the second model in its collection of faithfully reproduced early Defy models with the Defy Revival A3691, a sharp-looking 37mm steel watch with a glossy red gradient dial that echoes the original from 1971.

The new Zenith Defy Revival A3691.

You might recall the first revival of the historic Defy series a few years ago when Zenith launched the Defy A3642. That debut recalled the original 1969 Zenith debut watch fans quickly dubbed the “bank vault” due to its thick 37mm octagonal case and fourteen-sided bezel.

This newest addition to the revival series retains the Defy fourteen-sided bezel set in an octagonal case. Zenith launched the original Defy A3691 model two years after the original ‘Bank Vault’ edition and with it introduced new colorful dials with a vignette or gradient effect that darkens towards the edges. 

Like the original, the new Revival A3691 also features unusual applied square hour markers with horizontal grooves and the Gay Frères steel ladder bracelet. Zenith says the bracelet has been updated with a more modern and ergonomic folding clasp.

The differences between the original model and the new revival are largely technical. The  new edition now utilizes a sapphire crystal, SuperLuminova-coated hands and a new Zenith Elite 670 automatic movement, which boasts a fifty-hour power reserve. 

Also new is the sapphire caseback, which allows a view of the movement and its four-point Zenith star rotor. And, despite the new clear back, Zenith has retained the watch’s healthy 300-meter water resistance rating.

Zenith adds the new Defy Revival A3691 to the ongoing Defy collection. Price: $6,900.

 

Specifications: Zenith Defy Revival A3691

Movement: Zenith Elite 670 automatic, 4 Hz frequency, power reserve of 50 hours. Star-shaped rotor with satin finish.

Case: 37mm steel, 300-meters of water resistance.

Dial: Ruby color gradient with rhodium-plated and faceted hour markers and hands, hands coated with SuperLuminova. 

Bracelet: Gay Frères ladder-style with updated folding clasp.

Price: $6,900.