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Patek Philippe this week introduces new versions of three existing chronographs, including one (Reference 5905) with an olive-green dial set into a steel case with an Aquanaut-inspired steel bracelet.

The other two debuts, new versions of Reference 5204 (a split-second chronograph with perpetual calendar) and Reference 5930 (a world time flyback chronograph) each feature new case metal and/or a new dial color.

The new Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 is a flyback chronograph and annual calendar in a 42mm polished stainless steel case.

Reference 5905/1A-001
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Patek Philippe first launched this self-winding flyback chronograph with annual calendar in platinum in 2015 and then in rose gold in 2019. Now, the watch enters the market as a sporty 42mm steel watch, complete with an integrated steel bracelet inspired by the brand’s all-sporty Aquanaut (Reference 5167/1A).

And combined with a trendy sunburst olive green dial, this debut will likely become the latest Patek Philippe watch with demand far exceeding production. Patek Philippe rarely cases its watches in steel, and the metal’s use here will only amplify the already strong demand for the brand’s pioneering and highly legible annual calendar, especially as combined with a flyback chronograph.

Specifically, the dial offers a central chronograph hand, a large 60-minute subdial at 6 o’clock and three day/date/month apertures helpfully arranged along the top of the dial. For setting purposes, Patek Philippe includes a day/night indicator at 6 o’clock.

As seen through the clear sapphire caseback, Caliber CH 28-520 QA 24H shows Patek Philippe’s technical and artisanal mettle, with a vertical disk clutch column wheel. This means the central chronograph seconds hand can also be used as a permanent (running) seconds display.

The new watch will join existing references in platinum with a blue dial and in rose gold with a brown dial. Price: $59,140.

 

Reference 5204R-011
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Patek Philippe dresses up its classically styled split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar with a more contemporary sunburst slate grey dial and matching strap.

The new Patek Philippe 5204R-011 is a split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar in a 40mm rose gold case.

The 40mm watch’s highly desirable technical pairing, first offered in rose gold in 2016, is, like the annual calendar, notable for its legibility. It displays day and month in two apertures at 12 o’clock. Small seconds and the instantaneous 30-minute counter appear on two subdials at 9 and 3 o’clock, while two round apertures display the leap-year cycle between 4 and 5 o’clock. And helpfully, the date hand (at 6 o’clock) includes a moonphase display.

Through its clear sapphire caseback the Reference 5204R allows a view of the manual-wind Caliber CHR 29-535 PS Q, first introduced in 2012. This caliber, with two column wheels, a horizontal clutch and a split-seconds mechanism, is a recipient of seven patents.

The watch is available on a shiny slate gray calf leather strap with an embossed alligator pattern and a rose gold fold-over clasp. Available with interchangeable sapphire crystal and solid caseback, it is joining the two existing versions in rose gold. Price: $309,893.

 

Reference 5930P-001

This automatic World Time Flyback Chronograph is resplendent with its all-new 39.5mm platinum case, especially as it complements a sexy green dial and matching strap.

The new Patek Philippe 5930P-001 World Time Flyback Chronograph is set into a 39.5mm platinum case.

Not only are the green city names right on trend, they do so in a retro style particular to Patek Philippe: In 1940 the Geneva watchmaker actually placed a similar green dial on a one-off model of its famed world timer. Furthermore, the case features the wing-type lugs often seen on Patek Philippe world timers in the 1940s-1950s.

If the design here looks familiar from more a recent era, it’s because Patek Philippe debuted the 5930 in 2016 in a white gold version with a blue dial and matching strap. Here, the green dial center has been guillochéd by hand in a circular pattern while the hands and applied hour markers are coated with a generous application of luminescent coating.

Inside, Patek Philippe’s caliber CH 28-520 HU is equipped with a column wheel and a disk-type vertical clutch. This allows the central chronograph hand to be used as a permanent (running) seconds display without affecting accuracy or power reserve.

Patek Philippe offers the new Reference 5930P-001 on a shiny green alligator strap with a platinum fold-over clasp. It joins the collection alongside a white gold 5930G-010 version with blue dial and strap. Price: $100,538.

Zenith launches two jeweled versions of its blockbuster Chronomaster Original, the brand’s retro-inspired chronograph designed to commemorate the groundbreaking Zenith A386 steel El Primero from 1969.

The latest iteration offers the watch with either a multicolored mother-of-pearl dial or taupe tri-color dial, each set with fifty-six diamonds on the lugs. Both steel-cased watches remain 38mm in diameter, enhancing their unisex appeal.

The new Zenith Chronomaster Original, now available set with diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial.

The model with the tri-color dial exhibits its grey and blue hues rendered in mother-of-pearl. Zenith uses four different colors of mother-of-pearl, including a white mother-of-pearl for the dial, two shades of blue for the chronograph counters and grey mother-of-pearl for the ongoing seconds.

The second version of this latest Chronomaster Original offers three tones of brown in the same signature layout against a satin-white dial. Both dials are set with diamonds for the hour markers.

Zenith pairs both models with soft calfskin leather straps in either light blue or taupe with tone-on-tone stitching to matching the respective dials.

Inside Zenith retains the the El Primero 3600, the latest version of Zenith’s famed high-beat chronograph caliber with column wheel. While the new movement beats at the same high frequency of 5Hz (36,000 vph) as its predecessors, the new generation displays 1/10th of a second chronograph on the dial with the central chronograph hand rotating once every ten seconds. The caliber also now offers a full sixty hours of power reserve.

Prices: $12,800 (brown dial with taupe calfskin leather strap) and $13,000 (blue dial with light blue calfskin leather strap).

 

Hublot extends its partnership with men’s fashion house Berluti with the new Big Bang Unico Berluti Aluminio, a 44mm limited edition flyback chronograph that elegantly melds leather and titanium.

The new Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Aluminio.

Once again Hublot utilizes its Unico collection for this latest Berluti collaboration. The series has deftly displayed fine leather from the French menswear maker within the dressy Unico dials in a variety of imaginative and stylish configurations since the series launched in 2016.

For this latest edition, Hublot again sets Berluti leather between two sapphire glass pieces. The dial’s indexes and “Swiss Made” declaration are heat pressed (gauffered) directly on the leather’s surface.

This model, per its name, features Berluti’s signature Aluminio patina, which will wear to reflect light in varying light grey tones. The result creates a more monochrome appearance than we’ve seen in previous Hublot/Berluti collaborations.

Leather bezel

Berluti leather also highlights the bezel. Using a sticky resin, artisans attach a 1mm-thick piece of the Berluti leather onto the grey titanium bezel, which is then screwed onto the case. This means that, in time, the bezel will wear to create an individualized patina that will match the Berluti leather strap.

Hublot plans to offer the strap in two versions: one in burnished Aluminio Venezia leather; another in patinated Aluminio Venezia leather with the Scritto motif, exclusively for Japan.

Hublot says its titanium case and choice of case and movement materials on the new Big Bang Unico Berluti Aluminio are also meant to match the leather’s eventual patina. These materials include titanium for the case and the strap’s deployant clasp, resin for the central lug, tungsten for the oscillating weight, and satin-finished rhodium for the hands.

Hublot exposes its Unico movement through the dial, framing gears and wheels with the hand-cut Aluminio leather. This movement, Hublot’s MHUB1280, features a flyback function with column wheel and an impressive 72-hour power reserve.

Hublot will the deliver the 100-piece limited-edition Big Bang Unico Berluti Aluminio in a special case with a travel pouch and a shoehorn key ring with the Berluti logo. Price: $25,200.

Specifications: Hublot Big Bang Unico Berluti Aluminio

(Reference 421.NX.0500.VR.BER21, limited to 100 pieces)

Dial: Genuine patinated Venezia leather by Berluti with indices in relief and words Swiss Made.

Case: 44mm by 15.45mm satin-finished and polished titanium. Water resistance is 100 meters. On sapphire back: satin-finished titanium etched with LIMITED EDITION 100NUM and BERLUTI. Satin-finished and polished titanium bezel with a genuine patinated Venezia leather insert by Berluti.

Movement: Hublot MHUB1280
Self-winding UNICO Manufacture chronograph flyback movement with column wheel. Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 A/h), power reserve is 72 hours.

Strap: Black rubber and genuine patinated Venezia leather by Berluti,, titanium deployant buckle.

Price: $25,200

 

We continue to highlight a few of our favorite watches from among the more than fifty watchmakers that have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which commences Saturday, November 6, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these inspired designed again just ahead of the event.

Click here for details about the Only Watch world tour, which begins September 22.

Today, we highlight the offering from Zenith, which has teamed with artist Felipe Pantone for a spectacular special edition of its Defy 21 Double Tourbillon, which here is cased entirely of transparent sapphire crystal ­– a first for any watch in the Zenith Defy collection.

This watch, based on one of Zenith’s most complicated chronographs, is regulated by two independent tourbillons. They operate at five hertz (for the timekeeping function) and fifty hertz (for the 1/100th of a second chronograph). Pantone has transferred his own style to Zenith’s movement’s decoration and the open dial.

As Zenith explains, it has coated the bridges to reflect a gradient of metallic rainbow tones, marking the first time we’ve seen three-dimensional PVD with silicon particles as a surface treatment on a tourbillon chronograph movement. This produces an-eye-catching spectrum of colors. Zenith then fixes its movement within a case given the same rainbow effect. The caseback sports a similar rainbow PVD coating on the bridges, where “Unique Piece” is engraved on one of them under the blackened star-shaped winding rotor.

Pantone then distorts the central hour and minute hands to resemble lightning bolts. Echoing the movement, Zenith applies a rainbow gradient of colors in PVD to the hands, while each of the applied hour markers is filled with a different color. Zenith and Pantone create a crazy moiré optical effect on the dial, produced by thin alternating white and black using fine laser-engraving and precise lacquering techniques.

Finally, Zenith will package the watch in a special box resembling an art book and add an original signed artwork by Felipe Pantone.

Only Watch auction estimate: CHF 180,000 – 220,000.

We continue to highlight a few of our favorite watches from among the more than fifty watchmakers that have created timepieces for the Only Watch charity auction, which commences Saturday, November 6, in Geneva. Christie’s will auction these incredible watches to raise funds that benefit research in the battle against Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

While you may have seen a few of the watches set for auction earlier this year when Only Watch announced them, we thought you’d enjoy seeing many of these inspired designed again just ahead of the event.

The watches will tour the globe starting September 22 in Monaco, and can then be seen in exhibitions in Dubai (September 30 to October 3), Tokyo (October 8 to 10), Singapore (October 15 to 20), Hong Kong (October 25 to 27), Macau (October 28) and finally back in Geneva on November 4-6. Click here for details about the Only Watch world tour.

Today, we highlight the offering from TAG Heuer, which has created the Only Watch Carbon Monaco made with echoes of the highly collectible black-PVD-cased Monaco Reference 74033N, known by aficionados as the “Dark Lord”. TAG Heuer made the original watch in limited quantities in the mid-1970s, and it never appeared in a Heuer catalog.

This one-of-a-kind edition is cased in carbon fiber and features the brand’s largest-ever sapphire crystal caseback, which TAG Heuer’s engineers designed to give the watch’s future owner a clear view into its bespoke movement. The watch’s skeletonized dial is worked from a single piece of carbon fiber.

Sitting on top of the carbon dial are three black galvanized brass plates. These form the watch’s chronograph and small-seconds subdials. Those orange hands echo the Only Watch’s 2021 color palette.

The movement here, while technically a TAG Heuer in-house Heuer 02 automatic chronograph, has been decorated by hand especially for this watch.

The movement is endowed with an unique rotor in the form of a hand-finished TAG Heuer shield, which  is also decorated with a gradient orange to yellow color of Only Watch 2021. The seamless transition from orange to yellow was achieved by hand, painted by the master dial artist and micro-painter André Martinez from Le Locle.

Indeed, TAG Heuer utilizes specialists Artime SA to create a high-level of finish throughout the movement. And finally, TAG Heuer has created a new leather strap that looks like a metal bracelet. All new for TAG Heuer, the process starts as silicon is injected into the sole of the leather. This is then heat-stamped with a mold in the shape of a metal link bracelet, creating the three- dimensional effect. Very cool, and impressive.

Only Watch auction estimate: CHF 50,000 to CHF 100,000.

Maurice Lacroix expands its Aikon series with a model sporting the collection’s first-ever matte-black DLC case. The case, in combination with a new light blue strap (made of wear-resistant rubber) and a truly eye-catching sunray brushed gunmetal dial with embossed square pattern, creates one of this popular collection’s freshest looks since its debut in 2016.

The new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Chronograph Sprint.

Despite the new livery, the new 44mm Aikon Automatic Chronograph Sprint retains the collection’s distinctive six ‘arms’ across its bezel and an M-logo on its strap. But here Maurice Lacroix has delivered those arms in a polished gunmetal finish, adding dimension to the bezel while also matching the dial.

The watchmaker combines snailing and a slight opaline finish to the darkened subdials at 6 and 12 o’clock and then colors the small seconds indicator in a shade of blue matching the strap. That same blue hue also livens the central chronograph seconds hand.

Maurice Lacroix is offering the new Aikon Automatic Chronograph Sprint as a limited edition of 500 watches. Price: $3,300.

Parmigiani Fleurier updates its Tonda collection with a cleaner, pared-down sub-collection dubbed Tonda PF. The new line exhibits a less ornamented Tonda dial design, which the watchmaker attributes to a carefully considered ‘sartorial’ approach to the update.

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF collection includes a chronograph, a split-seconds chronograph, an annual calendar and a two-hand, time and date model. With the exception of the split-seconds edition, the three new Tonda PF debuts are all available in steel with a platinum hand-knurled bezel or in a rose gold case.

It’s not just the wide-open dials that characterize the new Tonda PF. The newly designed, extra-long openwork hands are now made of solid gold. The new bezel echoes many of the brand’s original Tonda designs, but adds a subtle knurling that, surprise, is made by hand in luxurious platinum.

The bezel on each steel Tonda PF is hand-cut in platinum.

This rare combination speaks volumes about the details Parmigiani Fleurier has built into this handsome new collection. Ever modest, the watchmaker claims the platinum flourish is “Not for the sake of exclusivity, but because it provides a better, shinier play with light and a more artisanal feeling once polished by hand.”

In my mind the platinum bezel is a hidden treasure – not unlike Parmigiani Fleurier itself.

And finally, Parmigiani Fleurier has updated the bracelet for the new collection. Now wider near the bezel and narrower along the length, the bracelet exudes a tailored approach to watchmaking and likely feels slimmer when worn. The horizontal-satin-finished surface here perfectly echoes the upper surface of the lugs.

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor.

Tonda PF Micro-Rotor

This slim 40mm by 7.8mm two-hander underscores its name with a luxurious platinum micro-rotor to echo the bezel (on the steel model).

The precious oscillating weight (pictured above) powers the latest iteration of Parmigiani Fleurier’s caliber PF703. The dressy date/time display offers a date disc colored to exactly matches the minute track, all placed within a matte guilloché dial, and cut to a turn. Prices: $22,900 (steel) and $53,900 (rose gold).

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Micro-Rotor, in rose gold case and bracelet.

The Tonda PF Chronograph

With its integrated high-frequency (5 Hz, or 36,000 vph) Caliber PF070 movement, this 42mm model retains a clean two-register chronograph layout alongside a small seconds subdial. The new lightly guillochéd dial design extends to its bezel with a sandblasted minute track and counter edges.

The Tonda PF Chronograph

The case is dressy, with subtle teardrop pushers, and when turned over reveals a beautifully finished openwork rose gold rotor with a PF logo (pictured below). Prices: $31,000 (steel) and $69,700 (rose gold).

The Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda PF Chronograph, in rose gold.

Tonda PF Annual Calendar

In its 42mm case, Parmigiani Fleurier’s Caliber PF339 powers the Annual Calendar, which displays a retrograde date, day, month and a moon phase aperture, showing both hemispheres.

The new Tonda PF Annual Calendar.

New here is Parmigiani Fleurier’s placement of the date onto the minute track and a careful addition of subtle subdial outlines to a grey guilloché dial. The dial font is ultra clean and the moon phase indicators seem to glow against the dial. Prices: $38,700 (steel) and $77,500 (rose gold).

The new Tonda PF Annual Calendar, rose gold edition.

The Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph

At the top of the collection’s price range, this complicated model is offered as a limited series of twenty-five, meant to celebrate the brand’s twenty-fifth birthday.

The watch offers a dial, case and bracelet made of platinum and a stunningly beautiful high frequency, open-worked movement built from gold. The watch’s integrated split-seconds chronograph allows the user to time two events starting at the same time, down to the tenth of a second.

The Tonda PF Split Seconds Chronograph.

If a gold movement and platinum case aren’t luxurious enough, add on the platinum bracelet to match the case and you have a genuine high-end offering in every sense of the word.

The Caliber PF361 inside the watch is a new version of Parmigiani Fleurier’s most high-end caliber, namely the inspired and GPHG-award winning ChronOr. In addition to a solid rose gold mainplate we see extensively open-worked, satin-finished and beveled bridges. Exquisite. $171,600.

Ulysse Nardin focuses on its rich history as a premier manufacturer of marine chronometers as it debuts seven new models within its Marine Torpilleur chronometer collection.

All of the debuts feature in-house calibers with silicon balance spring, and most also feature the brand’s Diamonsil (a silicon and diamond mix) escapement wheel and anchor. Among the offerings are two new movements, and all seven models are offered as numbered and limited editions.

Ulysse Nardin chronometers, new and old.

To signify the LeLocle watchmaker’s 175th anniversary, each model will feature “Chronometry since 1846” printed at 6 o’clock on the small seconds counter.

Marine Torpilleur Panda

For Panda dial enthusiasts Ulysse Nardin adds this variation of its Marine Torpilleur sporting two small dark blue dials. One at the top of the dial displays the power reserve indicator and the other shows the second hand and date. ) The watch is Ulysse Nardin’s first panda-style display.

The new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Panda.

So-called ‘panda’ displays, which feature solid-colored subdials placed amid a light-colored primary dial, were given their moniker decades ago when early dials with the design were said to recall the face of a panda bear.

Inside Ulysse Nardin fits its own UN-118 movement, a solid caliber made even more precise and efficient with silicon and Diamonsil components. Limited to 300 pieces, the 42mm diameter steel-cased Marine Torpilleur Panda comes with a choice of either a brown or blue leather alligator strap, metal bracelet, a rubber strap or a R-Strap. Price: $8,200.

The new Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph.

Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph

With a dial design inspired by Ulysse Nardin pocket watch chronometers produced from 1936 to 1980, this eye-catching two-register 44mm steel chronograph also features a second useful function: annual calendar.

Ulysse Nardin is widely known for its mastery of the annual calendar, a function Ludwig Oechslin brought to the brand’s wristwatches within his perpetual calendar from 1996. With all settings adjustable both forward and backward by using the crown, the Ulysse Nardin annual calendar offered easy time-setting capability. This feature, initially found on very few wristwatches, remains a strong selling point throughout Ulysse Nardin’s collections.

Up close on the dial of the Marine Torpilleur Annual Chronograph.

The newest inclusion of that function in this Torpilleur Annual Chronograph finds the date at 6 o’clock with months indicated at 9 o’clock. Powered by the UN-153, an evolution of the earlier UN-150 movement, the debut offers a varnished white or a matte blue dial. Three hundred pieces will be made. Price: $12,100.

The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Moonphase with a Grand Complication Pocket Watch from 1920.

The Marine Torpilleur Moonphase

As critical to sailors as a precise chronometer, a moonphase indicator can be found on late 19th century Ulysse Nardin timepieces. When used together with a sextant, the lunar indication allowed sailors to devise more detailed navigation. In more recent years, the watchmaker has launched numerous high-profile astronomic-centered watches, notably the Ludwig Oechslin-devised Trilogy of Time series in the 1990s.

While the new Marine Torpilleur Moonphase is hardly as complex as any of those specialty items, the moonphase display reminds collectors of this brand’s deep history of creating astronomical displays, which likely spurred the inclusion of a moonphase model within this 175th anniversary collection. When adding the moonphase function to this watch, Ulysse Nardin creates UN-119, a variation of its UN-118 movement.

This new 42mm steel-cased watch comes with either a blue or white dial and will be offered as a limited edition of 300. Price: $9,900.

Ulysse Nardin chronometers, like this one from 1919, could be found on U.S. Navy ships.
Ulysse Nardin sold deck chronometers until 1980.

Two additional debuts

We’ll feature the remaining two models in the new Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur collection in an upcoming post.

The two models each feature an enamel dial. One is a stunning blue-enamel-dial edition of the power reserve model with the panda dial (noted above) and the Marine Torpilleur Tourbillon Grand Feu. The latter, a rose-gold watch with a black enamel dial, is powered by caliber UN-128 Constant Manufacture with a flying tourbillon that features the technically advanced and patented Ulysse Nardin Escapement.

Tutima recently added a green dial to its M2 Chronograph Commando collection. When it debuted late last year, this watch was available only with a black dial.

The relatively new addition to this serious aviation chronograph collection veers from conventional pilot colors with a stylish yet still subtle green dégradé dial.

Around the dial however Tutima retains its solid 46mm cushion-shaped titanium case, sapphire crystal and Caliber Tutima 521, a highly customized ETA Valjoux 7750.

Tutima has re-engineered the sturdy caliber to track minutes and seconds via a large center sweep hand, and hours with a subdial. The modified dial train, a proprietary Tutima development, offers a cleaner alternative to more traditional two-subdial or three-subdial chronographs.

Even less conventional are the two chronograph pushers, which lie fairly hidden in their otherwise usual locations astride the crown. The design emphasizes its overall sleek profile. From a distance one might not identify the M2 Commando as a chronograph, a characteristic not lost on Tutima as it so successfully pairs real function with its own somewhat minimalist style.  

Prices: $4,900 on a Kevlar strap with titanium clasp; $5,300 on a solid titanium bracelet with folding clasp.

IWC expands its Portofino collection this week with the Portofino Chronograph 39 (Ref. IW3914), a new design debuting as a set of three 39mm steel-cased chronographs.

One of three 39mm steel-cased references in the new IWC Portofino Chronograph 39 collection.

The new, smaller-cased models complement IWC’s existing 42mm Portofino Chronograph. The new trio’s dial design emphasizes Portofino’s minimalistic layout with an even cleaner look than previous chronographs in the collection. With a smaller dial, the new models do not include the day/date display at 3 o’clock or the seconds subdial at 9 o’clock found on the larger chronographs.

The elegant Portofino often flies under the radar at IWC, which is best known for its technical focus (Ingenieur and Da Vinci), its range of larger aviation collections (Pilot and Big Pilot) and its nautical (Aquatimer and Portugieser) collections.

IWC has enriched Portofino in recent years to extend the collection’s unisex appeal, notably with an attractive series of Portofino Automatic models offered in 34mm, 37mm and 40mm cases. Throughout the Portofino collection IWC maintains a clean dial design characterized by the spare use of Roman numerals set between simple applied hour markers.

Here two totalizers (at 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock) balance the dial, each partially hiding the display’s only two Roman numerals. A very thin seconds track frames the dial’s primary elongated markers. Inside IWC fits its Caliber 79350, built by IWC from a very highly modified ETA Valjoux 7750.

IWC offers three steel-cased references in the new Portofino Chronograph 39 collection. Dial options are black, green or silver-plate. All models are fitted with top-notch alligator straps. Price: $5,900.