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Originally launched as a quartz watch, Maurice Lacroix’s archetypal Aikon series’ latest edition features an option with 
an automatic Swiss movement inside. The Aikon Venturer truly allows its wearer to venture because it is built rock-solid and is anti-magnetic, shock resistant and rated water resistant to an impressive three hundred meters.

The Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer

The watch’s sporty look and diver-style overtones instill the robust feeling of a tool watch, but with style enough to wear anytime. At 43mm in diameter, the sapphire-capped stainless-steel case is full-figured but not huge, and actually quite comfortable on the wrist with either the solid-link bracelet or natural rubber strap.

With the brand’s deep technical background as a case maker and private label supplier to other (famous) Swiss brands, you can be sure that the Aikon is built with all the fine details that define a high quality watch.

Close inspection under a loupe reveals the finite perfection of those details that the naked eye appreciates as a whole, but may not individually dissect at a glance. Markers and printing are precise, as is the fit and finish of the bezel, strap, and case back.

Maurice Lacroix smartly adds convenience to the Aikon’s stylish design with a strap fixed to the lugs by means of the brand’s own Easy Change system, which has two bars fitted with protruding prongs. These make it possible to remove the rubber strap in two steps and to replace it with the finely articulated five-link satin-finished steel bracelet we’ve seen in earlier Aikon models.

Priced at $1,890 on the rubber strap and $1,990 on the solid-link stainless steel bracelet, the Maurice Lacroix Aikon Venturer is pound for pound (or dollar for dollar) as good or better than certain Greek Alphabet watches costing more than triple the price.

 

Omega kicks off the New Year with a gift to legions of Speedmaster fans. The watchmaker this week releases a Speedmaster Moonwatch with a new caliber, new bracelet and clasp, a newly detailed minute track and a choice of Hesalite glass or sapphire crystal material (for new steel-cased models). 

The new Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch, now powered by co-axial Master Chronometer Caliber 3861.

Still very much the Speedmaster Moonwatch fans have come to revere since its qualification by NASA for manned space missions in 1965 and its trip to the moon in 1969, the new generation Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch is now equipped with co-axial, manual-wind caliber 3861. Omega has used the caliber previously only in a few limited edition Speedmasters.

First seen in 2019, the co-axial caliber 3861, with its silicon balance spring, will now protect the Moonwatch from extreme magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. This is a much higher level of protection than that offered by the caliber 1861 Omega utilized for decades to power its Speedmaster Moonwatches.

In addition, Omega now ensures that the entire watch is certified as a Master Chronometer, the brand’s own high-level specification that promises accuracy to five seconds per day.

Dial details

On this update, Speedmaster fans will recognize the historical Speedmaster’s asymmetrical case, stepped dial and double bevel caseback. Closer inspection reveals the dot over 90 and a dot diagonal to 70 on the anodized aluminum bezel ring, both details expected by Speedmaster purists. Fans will however note a difference within the minute track around the dial, which is now split by three divisions, as opposed to the five divisions used on previous models.

Around the wrist, Omega has added a new five-link brushed steel bracelet and a new Omega clasp (with new oval pusher) set with a polished brand logo on a satin-finished cover. You might have seen this bracelet previously on the recent Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition watch.

The 42mm watch is also available with a Sedna gold case and a Canopus white gold case with silver dial. Each is also sold with a leather strap.

In a 42mm steel case, Omega offers the new watch with either a Hesalite crystal ($5,950 for a strap and $6,300 on a bracelet) or with a sapphire crystal and clear caseback ($7,150 on a bracelet and $6,800 on a strap). A 42mm Sedna gold model ($34,800 on a gold bracelet and $24,600 on a strap) and a Canopus white gold model with silver dial ($45,300 on a bracelet and $30,400 on a strap) are also available.

 

The Glashütte-based maker of acclaimed pilot watches spreads its wings with new models that update its vintage-inspired Grand Flieger and M2 collections.

The town of Glashütte is renowned for its history
as the center of German watchmaking. While that history was interrupted for decades between and following two world wars, when the village’s deep horological knowledge base dispersed to points West – or to extinction – Glashütte has again become the focus of the region’s watchmaking activity.

After being founded in Glashütte in 1927, Tutima re-joined the former East German town in 2011, fully sixty-five years after it was forced to move away. During those years away, Tutima intensely developed a focus on pilot’s watches, starting with the now-famed 1941 pilot’s chronographs known for their fluted steel case, large crown, red reference marker and, most critically, their flyback function, an unusual feature at the time.

Tutima returned to Glashütte in 2011 after 65 years away. The company was founded here in 1927.

It was that wartime aviation design that propelled Tutima to fame among aviators and, eventually, pilot watch enthusiasts. Tutima’s Grand Flieger collection today directly references that 1941 design.

Much later, in 1985, Tutima received a contract from the German army to build a new military watch with particularly stringent specifications for accuracy, shock resistance, pressure resistance and legibility. Answering that request, Tutima developed the Military Chronograph 798, known as the NATO Chronograph, which in its modern guise within the current Tutima M2 collection remains standard equipment for German military pilots.

This original Tutima 1941 pilot watch inspires the current Grand Flieger collection.

GRAND FLIEGER AIRPORT

Today, Tutima references the milestone pilot watch from 1941 within its Grand Flieger collection. The line now includes three-hand models as well as more traditional chronographs. The Tutima Grand Flieger Classic, for example, sports its vintage look with military inspired styling, including the historical fluted bezel. Tutima has modernized the pilot watches to perform according to current, more stringent, technical standards. These models at 43mm in diameter are larger than the original Flieger deigns from the 1940s, and their updated automatic movements are now fully visible through the transparent caseback.

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph.

Within its Grand Flieger collection, the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport is a dressier option that maintains the line’s overall aviation feel, but with a smooth rotating bezel with 60-minute markers rather than a fluted bezel. The crown remains of the screw-in variety, and all timepieces in the Grand Flieger line are water-resistant to 200 meters.

Just a few months ago, Tutima expanded the Grand Flieger Airport collection with a new chronograph and a new three-handed model, both sporting an eye-catching new ceramic bezel. Tutima has now added a contemporary touch to the collection by incorporating an ultra-hard scratch-resistant ceramic bezel that is colored to match the dial.

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport with ceramic bezel in Classic Blue with grey Cordura strap.

To launch the newer look, Tutima offers a dégradé ‘military’ green dial and a classic blue hue, both color-coordinated with the dial and strap. 
While black dials are traditional for pilot watch purists, these newer Grand Flieger Airport debuts offer a contemporary option for pilot watch enthusiasts.

“Tutima, a brand with a strong historic background creating true pilots’ watches, is a purist in regard to the design of these watches. Our goal is to deliver some of the most beautiful yet highly legible dials in this segment of the market,” explains Tutima USA President Gustavo Calzadilla. “The use of green and blue dials in the new Grand Flieger Airport Chronograph and Automatic models challenged us to introduce color options that are fun and contemporary but still respect the legibility needs and aesthetics traditions of a true pilot’s watch.”

The Tutima Grand Flieger Airport, with day-date automatic movement.

The strap’s design extends those options. It’s made from grey Cordura textile and secured by a stainless steel deployant clasp. Both models, cased in 43mm steel, are also 
available with a steel bracelet.

Inside each three-hand watch Tutima fits its reliable ETA-based automatic Caliber 330, with a gold seal on its rotor. Within the Tutima Grand Flieger Airport chronograph, the ETA-Valjoux-based Caliber 310 powers the counters
 (12 elapsed hours, 60 elapsed seconds and 30 elapsed minutes) plus the day/date display. The chronograph’s hour display is particularly easy to read with red numerals circling the subdial. Prices: Chronograph: $3,900 (on a strap) and $4,300 (on steel bracelet). Three-hand: $2,500 (on strap) and $2,900 (on steel bracelet.)

M2 COASTLINE

As the heir to the NATO Chronograph favored by German military pilots since its debut in 1984, the Tutima M2 collection emphasizes strong legibility, reliability, enhanced water resistance, pressure-resistance for use to 15,000 meters above sea level, and shock resistance rated to protect its movement from acceleration up to 7G in all directions.

The Tutima NATO Military Chronograph, circa 1984, is the inspiration for the current Tutima M2 collection.

The M2 Coastline Chronograph, the newest watch within Tutima’s M2 collection, echoes the curved case of the famed 1980s NATO models. Its large push buttons are integrated into the rounded case, which Tutima pressure tests to 200 meters of water resistance. In line with the entire M2 collection, the M2 Coastline Chronograph case is made of satin- brushed, ultra-light titanium with a screwed back, which is decorated with a wind rose. The titanium push buttons are additionally black PVD coated and finished with a non-slip surface.

The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph.

“The Tutima M2 is the new generation of our original NATO Chronograph, and is considered the most rugged, utilitarian professional chronograph in the market,” adds Calzadilla. “The new M2 Coastline Chronograph introduces a new alternative within this collection, a smaller case diameter with a new movement at a price point not available before in the M2 lineup. All without sacrificing the Tutima’s high-quality standards.”

Inside this newest member of the M2 family Tutima places the ETA-based automatic Tutima Caliber 310 with 48-hour power reserve, date display, hour-, minute- and small seconds hand. The chronograph tallies up to sixty elapsed seconds, thirty elapsed minutes and twelve elapsed hours.

The Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph with blue dial and rubber/leather strap with titanium folding clasp.

The M2 Coastal Chronograph is available with titanium bracelet or, optionally with a strap of leather, rubber/leather or rubber/Cordura.

Tutima also makes a three-hand, day-date version of the M2 Coastal Chronograph.

The Tutima M2 Coastline, with blue dial and steel bracelet.

Like the chronograph, this watch also measures 43mm in diameter and is cased in brushed titanium. Inside Tutima places automatic caliber T330, an ETA-based automatic movement upgraded by Tutima.

Because the bracelet version is also fitted with the same handsome titanium linked bracelet, the all-titanium option for this watch wears lighter than the chronograph, but offers a similar easy-to-read dial and clear link to its historical predecessors. As Tutima professes: “Nothing detracts from this watch’s operational readiness. Protruding parts have been deliberately avoided – another time-honored trait of the high- performance M2 line.”

Prices for the Tutima M2 Coastline Chronograph collection start at $3,300 for the blue-dialed model with a leather strap. The three-hand Tutima M2 Coastline with day-date indicator is priced at $1,950 for the titanium-bracelet model and $1,850 for the leather-strapped editions.

Tutima designs and produces several of its own calibers in house.

Calzadilla notes that since its origins in 1927, Tutima’s philosophy has been to produce high quality timepieces of great value.

Inside Tutima headquarters in Glashütte.

“While in recent years the brand has embarked on manufacturing in-house movements, we have kept our promise and commitment to always providing options with a strong value driven proposition. With timepieces starting at $1,600 today, newcomers to the brand can access a beautiful timepiece with German engineering from a company with tradition, expertise and an outstanding track record for designing and manufacturing trusted professional watches.”

This article also appears in the Winter 2021 issue of About Time.

 

Omega supports the Orbis eye-hospital charity with a new steel-cased DeVille Trésor, available with or without a diamond bezel.

The new steel-cased Omega DeVille Trésor, available with or without a diamond bezel. Sales support Orbis.

The 40mm watch sports a domed gradient blue dial, polished hands and applied 18-karat gold indexes that are also domed to match the dial.

Orbis Bears

To clearly reference Orbis directly on the watch, Omega has replaced the number 8 on the date indicator (at 6 o’clock) with an Orbis Teddy Bear.  A second reference to the mascot can be seen on the seconds hand, colored to match the Teddy Bear.

Sales of either the diamond-set or polished bezel version of the new watch benefits Orbis, an international non-profit NGO committed to preventing avoidable blindness in the world’s poorest regions. Purchasing one of the new Omega Trésor watches funds the Orbis Flying Eye Hospital and its team of medical professionals.

Omega has placed a luxury version of its Calibre 8511 with 60-hours of power reserve inside each watch. The caliber is the manual-wind version of Omega’s in-house ‘Master Co-Axial’ movement. It features a the Omega Co-Axial escapement, strong anti-magnetic properties, a free-sprung balance with silicon balance spring and two barrels mounted in series. The luxury designation means the movement features an 18-karat red gold balance bridge.

Visible through the casback is Cal. 8511, the manual-wind version of Omega’s in-house ‘Master Co-Axial’ movement.

Both watches have a blue leather strap with polished buckle. As an added bonus, Omega has created a presentation box and a Teddy Bear key holder that will arrive with the watch.

Omega has been supporting Orbis since 2011.

Prices:  $6,500 (polished bezel) and $11,800 (diamond-set bezel).

By Laurent Martinez

For most collectors, there’s always one coveted piece that stands above the rest—the so-called grail, if you will. And in the world of vintage watches, most would agree that the Patek Philippe Reference 2499 holds that honor.

Widely regarded as one of the greatest timepieces designed by the renowned Swiss watchmaker, Reference 2499, a manual-winding Perpetual Calendar Chronograph with Moonphase produced in very low quantities, is the quintessential Patek.

When a Patek Philippe ref. 2499, comes to the auction block, the vintage watch world pays attention.

Few have had the privilege to see a Reference 2499 in real life, let alone touch one. Watch experts recognize this very special timepiece as one that perfectly combines incredible exterior design with a masterful internal movement.

Given the rarity and collective fascination with the Patek Philippe ref. 2499, when one comes up to the auction block, the vintage watch world pays attention. Collectors won’t want to miss the chance to see it, study it, and most importantly, share a room with other fellow enthusiasts whilst witnessing the inevitable bidding battle that will ensue to claim this watch as his or her own.  

Sotheby’s New York on December 15th will be hosting a holiday season watch auction with a magnificent example of the revered Patek Philippe Reference 2499 as the star of the event.

Few were made

Succeeding Reference 1518 and preceding Reference 3970, Patek Philippe produced Reference 2499 from 1950 until 1985. Despite only 349 pieces ever made, there are four distinct series of the ref. 2499 to note.

The first series was in production from 1950 until the mid-1950s and features square chronograph pushers, applied Arabic numerals, and a tachymeter scale on the dial. There are less than four-dozen of these ref. 2499 watches in existence. The second series, manufactured from 1955 until 1966, include round chronograph pushers, applied baton or Arabic numerals, and a tachymeter scale on the dial.

Next in line was the third series, made from 1960 until 1978, with round chronograph pushers, applied baton indexes, and no tachymeter scale on the dial.

Finally, the fourth and last series of the Reference 2499 is dated from 1978 to 1985 (with later examples taking on the reference 2499/100) and the watches have round chronograph pushers, applied baton numerals, no tachymeter scale, and sapphire crystals shielding the dials.

Fourth series star

The Patek Philippe Reference 2499/100 coming up for sale on December 15 in New York at Sotheby’s belongs to the fourth series family. And it is simply a magnificent piece manufactured in 1981. While the creamy dial is in very good condition it is not perfect.

A closer look at the dial reveals the coveted “Tiffany” branding, which makes this example of the Reference 2499 even more exceptional.

The dial does have some discoloration owing to the humid conditions of the Southern United States, where its owner resides. The customary applied gold batons mark out the hours while the three subsidiary dials for minutes, date/moonphase, and running seconds sit at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock, respectively. The double windows displaying the day and month are placed at 12 o’clock while the gold hands at the center are in the “Dauphine” style.

Tiffany branding

A closer look at the dial reveals the coveted “Tiffany” branding, which makes this example of the Reference 2499 even more exceptional and rare. Sotheby’s consulted with Patek Philippe to see how many Tiffany marked examples were made but there are no records in-house.

The winding crown is furnished with the Patek Philippe logo and of course, the chronograph pushers are round in shape. The interior of the yellow gold case back is engraved with Patek Philippe Co – Genève – Swiss – 2499 – 100 – 2.779.174.” Housed inside the yellow gold case is the manual-winding Caliber 13-130, featuring 23 jewels and numbered 869.425. Potential bidders will be happy to know that the watch keeps very good time.

Housed inside the yellow gold case is the manual-winding Caliber 13-130, featuring 23 jewels and numbered 869.425.

This Patek 2499 is fitted with a brown lizard Patek Philippe strap with a gold Patek Philippe buckle. The width in between the lugs is 20mm and 14mm at the buckle end. The interior of the buckle is engraved with “To AIL – Love – BKL – 7-5-96” and both the case and buckle include all the required poinçons or hallmarks. 

Under the sofa 

The watch was first appraised 20 years ago but it was lost for some time inside the estate. After a long period of searching, this superb Patek Philippe 2499 was finally found inside the house, underneath the sofa. No one knows quite how long it had been lying there, hidden from the world.

As a one-owner Patek Philippe Reference 2499, this is the first time this watch comes to auction. The estimated price is between $500,000 and $800,000, even though I think it is a conservative figure.

For any inquiries about the watch, please contact Richard Lopez, SVP, Senior Specialist, and Head of Online Sales at Sotheby’s at [ Richard.Lopez@sothebys.com ]

The Patek Philippe Reference 2499/100 will draw bids at the December 15 Sotheby’s auction in New York.

Wishing you a safe, happy, and joyful season.

Laurent Martinez is the proprietor of Laurent Fine Watches, Greenwich, Connecticut. Read more by him at blog.laurentfinewatches.com or visit his store’s site at www.laurentfinewatches.com

Corum pays tribute to its Golden Bridge with two new limited edition models, each celebrating the watch’s 40th anniversary. Corum has frequently revisited the Golden Bridge in the forty years since the watchmaker debuted its first watch with the linear-gear movement.

The first Golden Bridge,designed by Vincent Calebrese and launched by Corum in 1980.

The architecturally sublime caliber, initially designed by Vincent Calabrese, was re-engineered by Corum in 2011 and has been variously offered since then with manual winding or automatic winding.  While Corum usually places the in-line movement in a rectangular or tonneau case, Corum began offering the movement within round cases for the first time in 2016 with precious metal and gem-settings.

With these two anniversary Golden Bridge models, Corum returns to the original manual-wind caliber designs. In the Caliber CO113, the viewer’s eyes are drawn along the path following the movement’s energy transfer, starting at the spring barrel at 6 o’clock up to the escapement at 12 o’clock.

The new Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary in 18-karat white gold.

White gold or rose gold

With this commemorative offering, Corum emphasizes the Golden Bridge’s original rectangular case. Two 29.5mm by 42.2mm models, one in white gold and one with a rose gold case, celebrate not only the Golden Bridge’s anniversary, but also an aspect of Corum’s own history as a new watchmaking company, founded in 1955.

On the white gold Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th anniversary model, Corum hand-engraves flowers onto the case in reference to its ongoing collection of Haute Horlogerie models. The depictions of the acanthus and fern plants are a nod to a style created in Corum’s home of La Chaux-de-Fonds. These are the same engravings Corum has placed on all Golden Bridge baguette movements since the timepiece was launched in 1980.

The white gold Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary is limited to three pieces honoring Corum’s three co-founders.

The new Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary in 18-karat rose gold.

With the rose gold edition of the Golden Bridge Rectangle 40th Anniversary watch, Corum is also celebrating its own sixty-fifth birthday. This 18-karat rose gold version will be made as a limited edition of forty pieces, each engraved “Limited Edition 1 0f 40” inside the case at 3 o’clock. In addition, you’ll find the Corum key logo metallized in an eye-catching, light-diffusing pattern on a sapphire crystal caseback.

Prices: $39,800 (rose gold, limited edition of forty pieces), $42,800 (white gold, limited edition of three pieces).

With Anywhere, the second debut from independent Swiss watchmaker Krayon, the wearer can see sunset and sunrise times for any single location indicated on the dial.

The watch, with its all-new C030 manual-wind caliber, streamlines the functions of the earlier Krayon Everywhere, on which (you guessed it) the wearer can see sunset and sunrise times across the globe. That watch was awarded the Innovation Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) in 2018.

The back of the Krayon Anywhere, showing Manual-winding Cal. C030. The bridge edges echo the shape of one of the rivers that empties into Lake Neuchâtel.

Like the dial, the back of the newer celestial complication is also less encumbered, with large, expertly polished plates that hide the gears below. Watch engineer Rémi Maillat, who worked on so many of Cartier’s superb, complicated calibers prior to founding Krayon in 2017, places the hours, minutes and seconds beneath this larger plate.

A portion of the sunset and sunrise complication dominates the lower section of the movement. Framing a threaded and adjustable transverse screw is a dramatic two-level cam that rotates, pushing two racks to continuously transmit the information required to activate the dial’s sunset and sunrise displays.

Krayon will adjust two screws (visible within a set of rubies at each side of the visible cam) to account for longitudinal differences in sunset and sunrise.

The cam, which the watchmaker can customize according to the owner’s chosen latitude, rotates fully once each year. Krayon will adjust two screws (visible within a set of rubies at each side of the cam) to account for longitudinal differences in sunset (left side) and sunrise (right side).

PERSONAL DÉCOR

A close-up of the back of the Krayon Anywhere, showing the movement’s expert hand-polished beveling.

Maillat’s wavy bridge décor is not simply eye-catching. It’s also personal. The manually beveled edges of the larger bridge echo the shape of one of the rivers that empties into Lake Neuchâtel, near Maillat’s home in Switzerland. The bridge’s waves trace the position of the watch’s cam during a Neuchâtel sunset, according to Krayon. All the bridges, and even the cam, feature perfectly mirror-polished anglage.

Thanks to a thin (5mm) movement, Krayon has managed to maintain a 9mm thick case for the Anywhere despite all this complexity. And at only 39mm in diameter the Krayon Anywhere may be among the smaller high-end designs offering a sunrise/sunset display. And with the obvious attention paid to its back view, it is certainly among the most beautiful.

The dial side of the Krayon Anywhere in rose gold.

 

 

 

The Essentials

Movement: Manual-winding Cal. C030 showing (on dial) hours and minutes, sunrise and sunset times, 24-hour display, simple calendar, month. Wave-décor on bridges with hand-polished beveling throughout. and Power reserve is 86 hours, 3 Hz frequency,  55 jewels,432 components.

Case: 39mm by 9.5mm white gold or rose gold with alligator strap and matching gold buckle. Price: 116,000 Swiss Francs (about $127,000)

This article first appears in the Fall 2020 edition of International Watch.

Nomos celebrates Beethoven’s 250th birthday with a square-cased Tetra Divine Spark watch made with a copper-hued dial. The color is meant to elevate the wearer’s mood and to recall Schiller’s “Ode to Joy,” which Beethoven set to music in his 9th Symphony.

Tetra Divine Spark from Nomos Glashütte.

The watch is one of four Tetra designs within the Nomos Tetra Symphony collection. While another of the collection’s models is actually called the Tetra Ode to Joy, it’s this copper-dialed version that Nomos says will ignite a ‘spark to the wrist.”

The full Nomos Tetra Symphony series.

Nomos extends the Tetra Divine Spark’s upbeat metallic tone by utilizing three gold hands to indicate hours, minutes and seconds. All three play nicely with the 29.5mm by 29.5mm polished steel case.

Tetra has long been among Nomos’ most elegant offerings, whether with its original manual-wind Alpha caliber inside (like with this new model) or set with an automatic caliber. Note the perfectly executed overlapping lugs, slim dial font and, for this model, the subtle grey velour strap. All in all, a tuneful composition.

Price: $2,080.

 

Colorado-based Vortic Watch Company celebrates Veterans Day by releasing a fifty-piece collection of its Military Edition watches to benefit the Veterans Watchmakers Initiative (VWI) in Odessa, Delaware. 

Available today, the watches will be offered on the Vortic website only, with Vortic pledging to donate $500 from the sale of each watch to the VWI. The non-profit organization trains and educates disabled military veterans. 

“The volunteers with the VWI are teaching our war veterans the skills to restore and preserve historic watches while also providing a new purpose for our nation’s heroes,” says R.T. Custer, co-founder of Vortic Watch Company. “The increasing demand for vintage wrist watches and resurgence of American-made products has led to a skills gap in the trade of watchmaking. The VWI provides a valuable service to both our vets and the watch industry.”

Vortic Military Edition watches

Vortic’s Military Edition watches are created from antique pocket watches known as the “Navigator’s Watch.” Commissioned by the U.S Army Air Corps during World War II, the pocket watches were used by aviators to aid in navigation. Vortic makes the watches using original pocket watch movements restored by watchmakers from the VWI and other partners. The straps are made with vintage military canvas bags, classic black leather, or bomber jacket material.

“We sold out in one day last year and were able to donate $25,000 to the school. This year, we’re aiming higher with a goal to sell the watches and other items to raise $50,000,” says Custer. “We have 3,000 people on the waitlist for 65 watches. We’re all excited about the watches but everyone is thrilled to help our veterans and our future watchmakers.”

Check the Vortic website for details about the sale and to learn more about the Military Edition watches.

Patek Philippe this week launches a platinum-cased Grand Complication, the Ref. 6301P Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater with Jumping Seconds, the Geneva watchmaker’s primary technical watch debut for 2020.

Patek Philippe’s new platinum-cased Grand Complication, the Ref. 6301P Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater with Jumping Seconds.

With its black grand feu enamel dial, slanted Breguet numerals and relatively unadorned time and power reserve indications, the new watch understates its impressive and complex chiming mechanism. While eyeing a classically presented time display, a wearer can also place an ear to the 44.8mm case and enjoy a rarely orchestrated symphony of three gongs: a grande sonnerie (full strike), petite sonnerie (small strike) and an on-demand minute repeater.

Patek Philippe has also added an unexpected layer of complexity to the new watch by incorporating a jumping seconds indicator, prominently displayed at the 6 o’clock position on the dial. Patek Philippe looked to its Reference 5275 from 2014 for inspiration on this complication, as that chiming model boasted jumping hours, minutes and seconds.

Patek Philippe opted to place the strike mode selector at 6 o’clock on the case.

New slide

Patek Philippe watchmakers, well-versed in designing and building the brand’s highly regarded and extensive range of chiming watches, developed the new caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM movement directly inspired by Caliber 300 used in the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 from 2014.  

Unlike most chiming watches from Patek Philippe and elsewhere, the new watch’s chime control center is located below the 6 o’clock position rather than on the left side of the case. On this watch, the selector can be adjusted to petite sonnerie mode (left side), grande sonnerie (center) and silence (right). The user activates the minute repeater on request with the pusher in the winding crown.

Because Patek Philippe opted to place that strike mode selector at 6 o’clock on the case, the watchmaker needed to move its traditional small-diamond platinum case indicator to the side of the case at the 12 o’clock position.

The diamond, here at 12 o’clock, indicates that the case is platinum.

Two barrels

Two series-connected twin mainspring barrels power the new caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM movement. One assures a power reserve of 24 hours for the striking mechanism while the second ensures a 72-hour power reserve for the movement.

New the new caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM is inspired by Caliber 300 used in the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 6300 from 2014.

All this chiming and timing occurs within a platinum case that may look familiar. Inspired by the Ref. 5370 split-seconds chronograph Patek Philippe presented in 2015, the case features rounded contours, a concave bezel and a slightly cambered sapphire crystal.

Details of the striking mechanism with three gongs.

In summary, the new Patek Philippe Ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie includes these six complications:

  1. Grande sonnerie
  2. Petite sonnerie
  3. Minute repeater
  4. Movement power-reserve indicator
  5. Strikework power-reserve indicator
  6. Jumping seconds

In addition, the new watch offers unique technical achievements that have resulted in the Geneva watchmaker earning three patents, which Patek Philippe describes below:

  • Isolation of the grande sonnerie in the silence mode (Patent CH 704 950 B1). In the silence mode, this mechanism totally isolates the grande sonnerie from the power flow and eliminates energy consumption.
  • Selection of the strike work mode (Patent CH 706 080 B1). This mechanism enables the selection of the strike work mode (petite sonnerie, grande sonnerie, silence) with a single lever and a single slide switch. Two slide switches were formerly required for this operation.
  • Jumping display with a jumping seconds wheel (Patent CH 707 181 A2). This innovative mechanism for jumping displays does not require springs and levers but instead uses wheels and a release lever that instantaneously unblocks the wheel train every second, and features a coiled return spring as the only power element. The advantage of this system is that it makes energy consumption easier to regulate and control.

Patek Philippe will offer the new Ref. 6301P Grande Sonnerie  on a shiny black, hand-stitched alligator leather strap with square scales, secured with a fold-over clasp. The price for the limited production watch is available upon request.

 

Specifications: Patek Philippe Ref. 6310P Grande and Petite Sonnerie, Minute Repeater with Jumping Seconds

Movement: Patek Philippe Caliber GS 36-750 PS IRM, manual winding, minute repeater with 3 classic gongs, grande sonnerie, petite sonnerie, jumping small seconds at 6 o’clock, power reserve indicators for the movement 
(72h) and for the strike work (24h), frequency of 25,200 bph 
(3.5 Hz), power reserve of 72 hours, strike work power reserve of 24 hours.

Dial: Grand Feu black enamel with glazed finish, gold applied Breguet numerals, 18-karat gold dial plate, white gold leaf-shaped hands 
with luminescent coating.

Case: 44.8 mm
 by 12mm platinum, humidity-and dust-protected only 
(not water-resistant), interchangeable solid and sapphire crystal 
case backs.

Strap: Alligator leather with square scales, hand-stitched, shiny black, fold-over clasp.