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With the new Aluminum Chronograph Ducati Special Edition, Bulgari combines its sporty aluminum-cased chronograph design with Ducati’s racing-infused motorbike colors and typography. The watch’s conspicuous use of materials such as titanium (caseback, crown and pushers) and rubber (bezel) also match Ducati’s high-performance image in this colorful iteration of the original Bulgari Aluminum watch first seen in 1998.

Bulgari Aluminum Chronograph Ducati Special Edition.

In its premiere co-design with Ducati, Bulgari’s new 40mm, 1,000-piece limited edition features three dark subdials set within a dial colored with the same deep red hue used throughout historic Bologna-based factories. And more specific to Ducati, the dial’s 10, 11 and 12 o’clock numerals echo the same layout found on the dashboards of famed Italian motorbikes.

As Bulgari’s sportiest design, the Bvlgari Aluminum series has long been one of the Italian-Swiss watchmaker and jeweler’s most successful collections, with its lightweight case and bold Bvlgari Bvlgari-branded black (and sometimes blue) rubber bezel.

Bulgari originally fit its Aluminum series with a mechatronic-quartz movement but updated the collection in 2020. Here, Bulgari fits the latest in the series with its automatic BVL 130 caliber.

Bulgari offers the watch with its own aluminum and rubber presentation box bearing the logos of both the Italian brands. Price: $5,000.

Specifications: Bulgari Aluminum Chronograph Ducati Special Edition

(1,000-piece limited edition)

Movement: Automatic Caliber BVL 130 with chronograph and date, 42-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph (4 Hz) frequency.

Case: 40mm aluminum, titanium caseback with DLC coating and engraved Ducati logo; rubber bezel, crown and pushers in DLC-coated titanium. Water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Red Ducati-color, hour-markers and hours and minutes hands filled with SuperLuminova, three black counters with red hands; date window.

Bracelet: Rubber strap with aluminum links, aluminum pin buckle.

Price: $5,000.

Porsche Design revisits its Chronograph 1 – 1972 Limited Edition from earlier this year with the new Chronograph 1 All Black Numbered edition, an all-black titanium version of the historic design, to be issued as an individually numbered limited edition of 1,000.

Porsche Design’s new Chronograph 1—1972 All Black Numbered Edition

Like the previous model, which sold out quickly in early 2022, the new 40.8mm matte black titanium edition also echoes the original 1972 model’s size and design.

For both watches Porsche Design references its Chronograph 1, long considered the first all-black watch. The company’s use of black PVD on steel (as well as employing the then-new Valjoux 7750 automatic movement) set an example emulated for decades afterwards by sports watchmakers across the globe. Early examples of the pioneering Porsche Design automatic chronograph are highly collectible.

This newest version differs from the earlier model not only due to its individual number, but also because it features a clear sapphire caseback. That’s where you’ll see the watch’s number and a clear view of the Porsche Design WERK 01.140 caliber with COSC certification and the Porsche Design Icon winding rotor.

From the back you’ll see the watch’s number and a clear view of the Porsche Design WERK 01.140 caliber with COSC certification and the Porsche Design Icon winding rotor.

The remaining specifications echo the earlier edition, notably the highly legible dial inspired by the dashboard in the Porsche 911. Its tachymeter and the day/date display use the current Porsche font while the minute hand revisits F. A. Porsche’s own tapered design.

Porsche Design will make the watch’s 40.8mm case and bracelet with the same high performance titanium it uses in nearly all Porsche Design timepieces today. And new SuperLuminova will enhance the watch’s visibility in the dark. All Porsche Design Timepieces are produced in-house at Porsche Design Timepieces AG, the brand’s own timepiece-manufacturing facility in Solothurn, Switzerland.

Each watch arrives on a black titanium detachable bracelet with minutely adjustable folding clasp.

Porsche Design’s new Chronograph 1—1972 All Black Numbered Edition is set for release later in 2022 but can now be pre-ordered on the Porsche Design site as well as in Porsche Design Stores and from selected watch retailers. Price: $10,500.

The new Porsche Design Chronograph 911 Sport Classic, available to Porsche owners.

New 911 Sport

Porsche Design has also launched a new retro-inspired model, the Chronograph 911 Sport Classic, to owners of the recently released Porsche 911 Sport Classic.

The watch features a two-tone titanium and black case while the dial, white hands, green digits, and scale markings are inspired by the automaker’s Heritage Design tachometer. The design of the 360-degree winding rotor is based on the wheel options available for the 911 Sport Classic. And for the first time, Porsche Design is offering a range of different dials for the timepiece. Price: 12,500 euros.

 

 

 

Echoing power meters typical found on hi-fi amplifiers, the dial of the new Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph displays not only an unusual bi-retrograde seconds/date display, but also the Franco-Swiss watchmaker’s debut chronograph.

The Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph is the watchmaker’s first chronograph and the its first time display with hour and minute hands.

Reservoir teams with Swiss custom movement maker La Joux-Perret to create the new 43mm steel watch’s movement, new automatic caliber RSV-Bi120, a manufacture bi-retrograde chronograph with column wheel.

Well-known for its dashboard-inspired jump-hour watches, Reservoir veers from that digital-hour formula on the Sonomaster Chronograph with another first for the brand: a traditional two-hand hour and minutes display.

And underneath those two hands (and a red-tipped chronograph seconds hand) you’ll find the two other displays not found on other Reservoir watches: traditional 30-minute and 12-hour chronograph counters.

Still, it’s the unusually large fan-shaped indicators that set this watch apart from other retrograde models. The wearer will check the dial on the left to eye retrograde seconds with a scale marked 0-30. The thin hand flies back every half-minute. The date display on the right is marked 0-31, with a retrograde fly-back return at the end of the month.

Thin lines

While the Sonomaster Chronograph directly references the VU meters found throughout the broadcast industry, Reservoir notes that the form, a slim needle pivoting against a scale drawn in an arc or a straight line, is also reminiscent of horizontal speedometers found in American cars of the 1950s and 1960s.

Both types of meters included a so-called ‘red line’ that warned of high levels of decibels or watts or a dangerously high RPM on a dashboard.

On the Sonomaster Chronograph, Reservoir further references broadcast instruments with a brushed finish crown inspired by amplifier control buttons. The pusher shapes are inspired by bass and treble buttons.

Reservoir treats all the watch’s hands with SuperLuminova and also opening the caseback to reveal the automatic movement with column wheel.

Price: $6,100.

 

Specifications: Reservoir Sonomaster Chronograph

(Ref. RSV04.SN/136.BL (Black & Beige)

Case: 43mm stainless steel with brushed finish, domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Water-resistant to 50 meters, clear case-back,

Dial: Black & beige, hands with SuperLuminova, tachymeter bezel.

Movement: Caliber RSV-Bi120 manufacture bi-retrograde chronograph movement, automatic mechanical winding and column wheel (base LJP-L1C0), 60 hours power reserve, 28,800 vph frequency.

Displays: Chronograph (central second, 30-minute counter at 12, hour counter at 6), bi-retrograde date and seconds (120°), hour, minute hands.

Bracelet: Black leather strap with white stitching, steel butterfly clasp. Price: $6,100.

 

All week we’re reviewing 2022 debuts presented during Watches and Wonders 2022 that, perhaps, you didn’t read too much about in the first wave of online reporting.

 

One of the more impressive new chronographs debuted earlier this month in Geneva, the Angelus Chronodate is this watchmaker’s tribute to a chronograph it made eighty years ago in 1942.

The Angelus Chronodate Red Gold

True to the common bi-compax layout of many chronographs of that era, the retro update at 42.5mm is larger than the original Angelus Chronodate. It remains highly legible with similar big sub-dials and red-tinted chronograph hands. That very cool bi-compax layout is encircled by a peripheral date, which Angelus notes is also a direct reference to the original model.

The Angelus Chronodate Titanium.

Most effectively, Angelus has placed the watch’s counters and applied Arabic numerals on matte dials, like frosted glass, which provides a winning sporty effect and sets this series apart from so many other retro chronographs.

Angelus powers the watch with its own Caliber A-500, which is a 4 Hz chronograph with a column wheel and horizontal coupling. An historical Angelus logo graces the rotor.

And while the dial and layout are historically inspired, the Chronodate case is decidedly modern. Its modular frame protects the movement within a container made of carbon composite. Indeed, the chronograph’s push-pieces, the ring inserted between the case middle and the 12-notch bezel are also cut from this matte black material.

Angelus is making its Chronodate is available in three limited series’ of twenty-five pieces each. The red gold Chronodate features a blue PVD dial while the titanium versions are available in two color schemes, opaline white or blue PVD.

Prices: $23,100 (titanium) and $43,300 (red gold).

 

At Watches & Wonders 2022 earlier this month, Grand Seiko introduced five sport models in its Evolution 9 collection. And echoing many of the other high-end watchmakers at the show, Grand Seiko also focused its debuts on titanium-cased designs.

(Grand Seiko also debuted its first mechanical complication watch, the Kodo Constant-force Tourbillon, which we’ll discuss in a future post).

But unlike all other watchmakers, Grand Seiko is able to offer a level of precision rare for any pure mechanical offering thanks to its proprietary Spring Drive movement, a mechanical-electronic hybrid built and finished to high watchmaking standards.

One of two new Spring Drive GMT models (SBGE285).

Within its relatively new Evolution 9 collection, Grand Seiko adds two GMT models (SBGE283 and SBGE285), two Chronograph GMT models (SBGC249, a blue-dialed 15th Anniversary Limited Edition, and SBGC251), and a 200-meter dive watch with caliber 9RA5 (SLGA015), a movement with an impressive five-day power reserve. All these titanium-cased watches offer screw-down crowns and a strong anti-magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m.

For the debuts, Grand Seiko has refined its cases as well as various dial details. All the new models benefit from wider lugs and thicker bracelets. Also note the collection’s bolder hands that point to a new font along the bezel, notably on the GMT models. In addition, Grand Seiko now coats all its hands and indexes with more Lumibrite than we’ve seen previously. In addition, crown guards are somewhat smoother than on earlier sports models.

New Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT (SBGE283).
Up close on the dial of Spring Drive GMT SBGE285.

Spring Drive GMT

These two 41mm debuts (above) feature highly textured pattern dials in either black (SBGE283) or light gray (SBGE285). Both offer a box-shaped sapphire crystal, a 72-hour power reserve and are powered by Spring Drive Caliber 9R66, which offers incredible precision of plus or minus one second per day. Price: $8,400, and available in August.

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph 15th anniversary edition (SBGC249).

Two chronographs

The first of the two new 45.3mm Evolution 9 chronographs features a blue dial and offers a higher rate of accuracy than the already phenomenal one-second per day. This Grand Seiko Spring Drive Chronograph 15th anniversary edition (SBGC249, above) is adjusted to achieve an enhanced accuracy rate of just half-a-second per day, (or plus or minus 10 seconds per month) and is offered as a limited edition of 700. In addition to the
 12-hour chronograph, the watch also features a rotating bezel and a GMT hand. Price: $12,400.

The black-dialed version (SBGC251, below) delivers the standard high accuracy of 1-second per day (±15 seconds per month) and otherwise offers the same design and specifications as the limited edition. Price: $11,400.

The SBGC251, one of two new new 45.3mm Evolution 9 chronographs.

Dark Dive Watch

Finally, Grand Seiko adds an impressive new 200m diver’s watch (SLGA015) to the Evolution 9 collection. As is often the case at Grand Seiko, the watch’s textured black dial arrives on your wrist already wrapped up with an inspiring origin story.

Grand Seiko’s impressive new 200m Black Stream diver’s watch (SLGA015).

Inspired by the Kuroshio Current, also known as the Black Stream, the dial echoes the darkness visible in the waters that flow northwards past Japan towards the North Pacific. The Black Stream’s darkness inspired Grand Seiko’s artisans to create the new watch’s particularly evocative dial.

Powered by Spring Drive Caliber 9RA5, the new 43.8mm by 13.8mm titanium Black Stream dive watch offers an accuracy rate of ±10 seconds per month and a five-day power reserve.

The diver’s hands are among the boldest we’ve seen on a Grand Seiko dial, and this bezel among the most robust. In fact, Grand Seiko has forged the bezel’s inside from ceramic to reduce the possibility of scratching. Price: $11,600 and available in August.