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Benrus re-launches the Type II dive watch, one of the historic American brand’s best-known military watches.

The Benrus Type II dive watch.

Echoing the earlier Benrus Type I, the new retro-inspired model retains the original’s no-logo dial that focuses the eye only toward its strictly functional 12/24-hour ring with its ultra-clear numerals, markers and hands, all of which are highly infused with SuperLumiNova. The bi-directional rotating 12-hour bezel and double-domed sapphire crystal underscore the dive watch’s primary function, which is also aided with a 300-meter water resistance rating.

Benrus originally produced the Type I and Type II as U.S.-military-specified dive watches between 1972 and 1980 with no changes to the design. Benrus notes that approximately 16,000 Type I and II watches were produced and issued to the Elite Forces from the Vietnam War through the 1980s, but were never made available to the public.

“Since the release of the Type I, we have made it our mission to retell the significance Benrus had in watchmaking history with the U.S. military,” says Michael Goeller, COO of Benrus.

As with the earlier release of the Type I, Benrus says this newest reissue “faithfully follows original design details with improvements for everyday use and to meet and/or exceed the original military specifications.”

The watch’s engraved caseback features original markings.

The new watch is a 42.5mm steel model fit with a Soprod P024 automatic movement with 38-hour power reserve. Benrus will make 500 individually numbered Type II watches with an engraved caseback featuring original markings. Each will be supplied with a black two-piece nylon seatbelt NATO strap with quick release functionality. Price: $1,495.

 

TAG Heuer revisits a 1969 original with the new TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition, which combines historical Monaco detailing with a new hue that echoes aged blue metallic dials.

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition.

The new watch plays on how aging and light has altered many original blue dials found on decades-old collector favorites, including Heuer Monaco references 1113B, the Heuer Chronomatic and the later 1533 Caliber 15.

At the time, Heuer used a metallic blue paint over the dial’s brass plate. As the brass patinated on these original Monaco watches, their dial color frequently changed from metallic blue to a dégradé purple color, which many collectors today find pleasing.

TAG Heuer skips that aging process entirely with this new watch, launching a limited edition Monaco in its original 39mm case size and with a gradient purple dial that darkens at its edges—echoing the vintage Monaco survivors.

On this modernized model, TAG Heuer infuses the dial with rhodium-plated indexes, adds white SuperLuminova to the hands and markers and enhances the two black sub-counters with a bit of smokiness.

TAG Heuer fits the watch with its excellent in-house chronograph movement, Calibre Heuer 02, 
 which boasts a full eighty hours of power reserve and is visible through the sapphire caseback. The movement itself is also decorated with a custom rotor and column wheel that feature engravings with purple details.

Need more purple? TAG Heuer has you covered as the Le Locle watchmaker also lines its black alligator strap with purple on the inside.

TAG Heuer offer its Monaco Purple Dial Limited Edition exclusively in TAG Heuer boutiques. Price: $7,150.

 

Louis Moinet pays tribute to the red planet and all who ache to explore it with Mars Mission, a lively 45.4mm steel watch with a copper dial that displays a genuine fragment of the red planet.

The Louis Moinet Mars Mission, with a genuine fragment from Mars on the dial.

Sculpted by Daniel Haas, the fragment is visible at the 3 o’clock position suspended above the movement and framed by a red anodized aluminum capsule with a shiny black base.

The fragment lies amid a hand-hammered copper dial finished to mimic the contrasts and patterns of the Martian surface. The dial’s light and dark tones occur from the natural light black patina achieved after the dial is copper-plated.

All this covers about three-quarters of the Mars Mission dial, with the remaining area (between 8 o’clock and 12 o’clock) exposing Louis Moinet’s automatic caliber LM45 and an off-center seconds sub-dial.

In addition to the Mars fragment on the dial here, the three-facet hour markers are also eye-catching components of this multi-level dial.

Artisans at the Swiss watchmaker cut three variously shaped facets that are then combined into each marker. Each flank features a diamond and satin-finished part, which maximizes light reflection across the dial. Each is then filled with white lacquer, placed within a black PVD base, and connected to all the other markers with two bezel rings.

Louis Moinet finishes its LM 45 movement with diamond-polished chamfers, circular satin-finished wheels and circular graining.

Louis Moinet fits the Mars Mission with a Louisiana alligator leather hand-sewn strap with folding clasp finished in black steel PVD. The clasp is adorned with a curved Fleur de Lys.

Price: $22,500.

 

Bell & Ross dresses up its BR 05 with 1930s-era industrial design accents to create the new BR 05 Artline, a limited edition of 250 pieces.

The new Bell & Ross BR 05 Artline.

The Franco-Swiss watchmaker introduced the “round within a square” BR 05 design with integrated bracelet in 2019 and it quickly became a best seller. Now, Bell & Ross adds new artistic style to underscore the fluid lines of the collection.

Called Artline, the new décor accents the case and bracelet of the watch with distinctive aerodynamic lines.

“This name indicates that it incorporates an artistic dimension (art) in its design (line). When you look at it, you immediately think of the American style of the Stream-Line,” explains Bruno Belamich, co-founder of Bell & Ross. The new finish appears on the one-piece bezel, which is fixed to the case with four screws, and on the central bracelet links, uniting the overall style.

Belamich, who is also creative director for the brand, explains that the somewhat ornate BR 05 Artline design was inspired by air travel and architecture.

The folded metal, he explains, recalls the first transport planes of the 1940s, which were known for their corrugated aluminum fuselage. The technique instilled lightness and resistance to deformation to the airplane.

The BR 05 Artline’s architectural inspirations can also be seen in the aluminum facades of buildings and on avant-garde lighting and furnishings.

The new watch also utilizes a new dial color for Bell & Ross: sunburst ruthenium grey. The result of metallization process, the dial nicely complements the steel case, especially with its generous use of Superluminova on the hands and markers.

Bell & Ross powers the BR 05 Artline with its Sellita-based automatic BR-CAL 321 caliber, which is visible through a sapphire caseback. The movement’s rotor is designed to echo the look of a sports car rim.

The new BR 05 Artline is a limited edition of 250 pieces and is on sale online in Bell & Ross boutiques. Price: $5,500.

Frederique Constant helps celebrate this July 4th with a red, white and blue U.S.-exclusive limited edition worldtimer. The Geneva-based watchmaker issues its 42mm steel-cased Classics Worldtimer Manufacture: Summer of 76 as a limited edition of seventy-six pieces to commemorate U.S. Independence Day.

The new Frederique Constant Classic Worldtimer Manufacture: Summer of 76.

With a red seconds hand and date accent, blue hands, blue dial and an appropriately hued trio of straps, the new watch clearly favors the colors of the American flag. And to underscore its American tribute, each watch will be sold with a red alligator leather strap with off-white stitching, a white alligator leather strap and a blue rubber strap.

Not enough July 4 references? Check out the red star that replaces the 4 in the date display and the American flag amid the U.S. cities listed on the 24-hour time flange.

 

 

 

 

 

Ten-year anniversary

First seen ten years ago, the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture has been one of the watchmaker’s best sellers, combining classical world time functionality with a contemporary display ­– and a surprisingly affordable price tag. Collectors have also been drawn to its in-house traditional world time movement (the FC-718 automatic caliber), a rare feature in a watch priced less than $5,000.

Like its pricier counterparts, this worldtimer allows its wearer to read the time in the twenty-four cities that represent the global time zones of reference, all with immediate indication of daytime or nighttime. And all Classics Worldtimer indications are set with the crown. This means that a traveler need not worry about changing the time as he or she enters another time zone. The local time (by central hands) and the domestic time (by the moving disk) are automatically synchronized with each other.

This latest worldtimer is the third made by Frederique Constant to celebrate the watch’s tenth anniversary. The watchmaker says that this U.S. exclusive edition shows “the importance of the U.S. market for the brand.”

Frederique Constant will offer the Classics Worldtimer Manufacture: Summer of 76 as a limited edition of seventy-six, with pre-ordering now for delivery in November.

Price: $4,795.

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Classics Worldtimer Manufacture: Summer of 76

(FC-718USWM4H6, limited edition of 76)

Movement: Automatic FC-718 in-house caliber with all functions adjustable by the crown. 
Perlage & circular Côtes de Genève decorations
, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 alt/h.

Case: Polished 42mm by 12.1mm stainless steel three-part. Scratch-resistant and anti-reflective convex sapphire crystal, see-through caseback, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Light blue and silver with globe decoration, black pearl color applied indexes filled with white luminous treatment, 
24H disc with day (white) & night (blue) indication,
 white city disc with 24 cities and U.S. flag. 
Hand-polished blue color hour and minute hands Hand-polished red color second hand. Light blue date counter at 6 o’clock with sunray guilloché decoration in the center, hand-polished silver color hand and a red star replacing the number 4.

Strap: Red alligator leather with off-white stitching. 
Includes an additional white alligator leather strap and a blue rubber strap.

Price: $4,795. Limited to 76 pieces.