Tag

mechanical watches

Browsing

By Laurent Martinez

Over the years, I have noticed a recurring pattern with collectors that are new to the vintage watch market. There seems to be a tendency to compulsively buy too many watches at once without clear motivation as to why.

However, it appears that many new collectors who have taken this approach are ready to part with at least half of their new collection only a few months after building it. Perhaps they were attracted to a certain style. Maybe they enjoyed the mystery of discovering something special.

Or maybe they purchased a watch thinking they got a good bargain despite never having seen or heard of the watch before.

I remember meeting a young collector in Paris who wanted to sell his watches. He came to me with bags of timepieces, but he did not really know what he had.

I unfortunately had to let him know that most of his watches were worthless. Out of the one hundred or so timepieces, he only had a few interesting pieces from Croton and Lip.

Of course, this type of collecting can have a serious impact on your wallet. Buying a watch without knowing much about its value ends up being a waste of time and money. It may end up costing you more to fix the watch than it is actually worth. You may not be able to resell the watch for the price you paid for it or worse; you may be unable to sell it at all—even at a loss.

Do your homework

So, how do you start a vintage watch collection? The most important thing to do is to do your homework to build some guidelines. This does not necessarily mean having to spend hundreds of hours researching watches, but at the very least you should invest time into setting some parameters.

For example, define your preferred style. Dressy or sporty? Simple three-handed dial or a more complex chronograph? Stainless steel or gold? Civilian watches or military-issued timepieces? While you may like all of the above, it is always better to start with some restrictions in mind to avoid getting carried away. This approach will narrow your options and give you more focus.

After you have thoughtfully acquired some pieces that fit your initial criteria, then you can expand the parameters.

 

Estimate value

In terms of estimating the value of a watch, you can always visit websites like eBay and Chrono24 for well-known brands to see what people are asking for. Yet, keep in mind that there is a difference between asking price and market price. Listed prices on eBay are a reflection of what people want to sell the watch for and not necessarily what buyers are willing to pay.

You can choose the “Sold Items” filter to see how much a watch was purchased for. What’s more, you have to also consider commission fees, state taxes, and other dues.

If possible, I always recommend going to flea markets, local watch shows or auction events to have the watch in hand before buying. This approach allows you to inspect the details of the watch and speak to the dealer to ask any questions you may have.

Talking to the seller face-to-face will give you a better sense of how accurately priced the watch is. You learn a lot this way, and most importantly doing this can give you a better feeling of what watches you actually like “in the metal.”

Be wary

Buying online can be trickier since some websites are full of retouched images and incorrect information. However, if you have no choice but to buy online, then my advice is to only purchase from a domestic seller. Buying internationally is always riskier whether its complications with shipping and customs or sourcing from regions that are known to be flooded with counterfeit products.

I would also advise purchasing watches that are priced at the lower end of the market rather than the higher end. It is easier to come to terms with making a mistake that costs a few hundred dollars over one that costs a few thousand.

Quartz or automatic?

As always, it is all about the details. For instance, new or vintage quartz watches rarely hold their value as well as mechanical watches. There is hardly any interest in quartz watches in the secondary market. You would fare better with a hand-wound or automatic watch. If you purchase a lower-priced quartz watch, the financial loss would not be too great.

Yet, remember that high-end brands like Breitling and Omega sell quartz watches and these battery-operated timepieces lose tremendous value in the pre-owned market.

Even in the mid-range market, you would be better off buying an automatic Invicta watch instead of a quartz one. I have a friend who collects mid-range priced watches and he is very successful. There is a flourishing market for mid-priced watches and they sell quickly. He is well versed in these particular watches and understands their specifications and how they differ from high-end timepieces. As such, I always try to pick his brain and ask his advice when I am about to get one of them.

Online queries

Another great tool to gain watch knowledge is checking watch forums. There are some very knowledgeable people there that are especially focused on the technical aspects of watchmaking, which can be very helpful. The great thing is that forum members are usually very helpful and willing to share information. Always cross-reference your information with several sources to make sure it is accurate.

When looking at a watch, always start with the basics. I recently saw a watch with chronograph pushers, but the watch had a calendar dial! Obviously, it was a fake.

And sometimes people pretend to know more than they do. A lady contacted me to appraise a watch she bought at a tag sale. Five of her friends told her it was a real Audemars Piguet with a tourbillon.

I had to regretfully inform her that it was not a tourbillon at 6 o’clock, but in fact, a running seconds subdial.

Take your time

In short, educate yourself, ask questions, and take your time. Do not buy on impulse and set a budget for yourself. If you can, see the watch in real life instead of just photos, but if this is not possible, do not be shy to ask for more pictures.

Most importantly, listen to your gut. Keep these tips in mind when building a watch collection and things should go relatively smoothly. Good luck!

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

 

With multiple debuts during the past year, Franck Muller has shifted its skills at fashioning dynamic openwork movements into overdrive.

The Franck Muller Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton

Most recently, the independent Geneva-based watchmaker debuted a stunning Vanguard Revolution 3 Skeleton triple-axis tourbillon, the first time we’ve seen this mesmerizing movement inside the best-selling tonneau-shaped Vanguard case. (We’ll have details on this ultra-complicated watch in an upcoming post).

The Franck Muller Vanguard Skeleton-Swiss Limited Edition

In early July, Franck Muller debuted the red and white Vanguard Skeleton Swiss Limited Edition, dedicated to the brand’s home country.

Racing Skeleton

This spring in a more broad-based debut Franck Muller updated its Vanguard Racing Skeleton with a lighter, more open-worked movement and more intense use of titanium, carbon fiber and aluminum.

The new Franck Muller Vanguard Racing Skeleton, here with a carbon fiber case.

With a new, heavily skeletonized movement, you’ll see more hints of a racecar engine within the movement’s structure.

Perhaps the most noticeable nod to automotive timing is the seconds indicator. Here, you read seconds starting from the lower portion of the dial (at 6 o’clock) instead of the top. This echoes most automobile rev counters. With two red tips, the hand also shows the wearer an ongoing seconds display from both ends of the hand.

Furthermore, the white hand with red tip and the bicolor second indications track reinforce the idea of a rev counter. Even without a gas pedal, the owner might possibly want to push the hand into the red zone. Of course, as this is not a chronograph, any ‘racing’ will not technically include a timing element. The watch displays only hours, minutes, seconds and date.

Ultra-visible

To further accentuate the skeleton design, the date numbers have been fully skeletonized. The central seconds counter, thanks to a smoked sapphire glass, provides a full display while allowing complete movement visibility.

For a closer fit, Franck Muller has subtly integrated the strap into the case with the help of two unseen screws instead of the regular spring-bar technique.

And finally, the rubber inside the strap shapes more easily to the wrist, while the Alcantara suede layer recalls a sports car cockpit.

Franck Muller makes the Vanguard Racing Skeleton line in 44mm by 53.7mm rose gold, stainless steel, titanium and carbon case options. Prices upon request.

 

Chronoswiss whets a chocolate-lover’s appetite with the latest edition of its Open Gear ReSec, a watch that boasts an interesting retrograde seconds display within an already unusual skeletonized regulator dial layout.

The new Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec Chocolate

Not only does the Lucerne-based watchmaker dip the watch’s 44mm steel case in a chocolate-colored PVD coating, but it then sprinkles the ‘dial’ with a chili-colored textured red varnish – enhancing its attraction to the horological taste buds.   

Unlike previous iterations of this Chronoswiss best seller, the new Open Gear ReSec Chocolate minimizes distractions with only a very small set of numbers on the dial at the retrograde seconds display. Hours and minutes are displayed more simply with (luminous) markers.

As Maik Panziera, Chronoswiss head of design, explains, the tasty chili and cranberry red dial is actually the watch’s mainplate. “The fine-grained, powdery appearance is achieved by sandblasting a red varnish mixed with a see-through pigment.”

Retrograde display

Named for its premier function (ReSec stands for Retrograde Seconds), the watch’s jumping seconds hand operates in a half-circle, leaping from the thirty seconds position back to start its arc to complete counting each minute.

Chronoswiss places blackened bridges on the dial around the namesake retrograde seconds display. These bridges, which stand out clearly amid the chili red color, support the automatic Chronoswiss caliber C. 301 skeletonized open gear train wheels, which power the regulator hands. In regulator style (where minutes are the focus) the large minute hand circumnavigates the dial while the smaller hour hand is positioned at the 12 o’clock position.

In addition to the regulator layout, the Open Gear ReSec Chocolate features all the expected Chronoswiss design codes, including a three-dimensional dial, onion crown and fluted bezel.

The caseback dispays the Chronoswiss Caliber C.301 automatic movement with skeletonized black rotor with Côtes de Genève finish.

For collectors not sold on this latest horological nugget from Chronoswiss, the watchmaker adds another tasty bonus: Every customer who buys this watch, and also registers for the Chronoswiss three-year international warranty, will also receive a one-year (quarterly) chocolate subscription from Max Chocolatier, the Lucerne shop that inspired the watchmaker’s latest design. Price: $9,900.

 

Specifications: Chronoswiss Open Gear ReSec  Chocolate

Case: 44mm x 13.35mm 17-piece stainless steel case with brown PVD coating and satin finish. Bezel sand-blasted matte with partial knurling and curved, double-coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screw-down case back with satin finish and sapphire crystal, onion crown, water resistance up to 100 meters, strap holders screwed down with patented Autobloc system.

Movement: Chronoswiss caliber C. 301, automatic, with stop seconds, skeletonized and galvanic-black-plated with Côtes de Genève and ball bearing, polished pallet lever, escape wheel and screws; bridges and plates with perlage.

Dial: Elaborate 42-part construction on two levels: bottom level red varnish, upper level featuring screwed-on skeletonized train wheel bridges and funnel-like construction for hour display, as well as a retrograde seconds display and cylinder-shaped SuperLuminova indexes. Off-center hours at 12, central minutes, retrograde seconds at 6.

Strap: Calf leather, hand-sewn.

The Open Gear ReSec Chocolate is limited to fifty timepieces. Price: $9,900.

Well known for dials illuminated by H3 gas-filled microtubes within markers and hands, Ball Watch has begun to expand its use of the microtubes by placing them underneath the dials of select new watches.  

This placement results in a more intensely luminous dial and also gives Ball Watch a bit more design flexibility. With more open space on the dial, Ball Watch can create a more traditional sporty layout. Ball Watch demonstrated this first with its Engineer Hydrocarbon Original Fifteenth Anniversary model, which debuted earlier this year.

The Ball Watch Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer, available in two case sizes and three dial colors.

Now Ball Watch expands this treatment on the new Ball Watch Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer, which features the Ball Watch H3 gas tubes not only on the hands and primary markers, but also underneath all the dot-shaped seconds/minute markers. With H3 tubes on each hand, the time is always visible down to the second – and in the dark.

And for this debut, the lights are not only extra-brilliant, but on one model are unusually colorful. The ‘Caring Edition’ of the Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer will be sold with a rainbow-inspired dial, and sales of the watch will benefit the Salvation Army.

The Ball Watch Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer Caring Edition
The dial on the Ball Watch Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer Caring Edition.

Extra protection

Ball is offering the steel-cased Engineer III Marvelight in two sizes: 40mm and 43mm, both with a steel bracelet. Inside is the automatic COSC-certified chronometer, the ETA-based caliber BALL RR1103-C, protected by a screw-down crown to 100 meters of water resistance.

 

The watchmaker utilizes a surprising number of proprietary technologies to protect and enhance the precision of its calibers, including its Amortiser anti-shock system and a mu-metal anti-magnetic shield, both of which are in-force within the new watch.

While enhanced anti-shock systems are found in other Swiss-made sports watches, superior anti-magnetic protection is relatively rare, particularly among watches that, like Ball Watch, sell models with ‘affordable’ price tags. Indeed, Ball’s mu-metal protects the mechanical watch against magnetic fields that measure to the high intensity of 80,000A/m.

The Ball Watch Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer, also sold with a silver or black dial.

Ball’s new Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer is a limited edition of 1,000 in each dial color (black, blue or silver) and in each size. The Caring Edition offers a black dial with the multi-colored markers.

 

Ball Watch notes that the watch is available at a special pre-order price (before July 31) of $1,849 on shop.ballwatch.ch. Delivery is scheduled between November and December 2020. Regular price will be $2,199.

During the campaign, customers can select their limited edition number and can add a free-of-charge engraving on the caseback. Ball’s Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer – Caring Edition is priced at $2,199. Ball will donate $300 to The Salvation Army for every piece sold during the pre-order period.

Specifications: Ball Watch Engineer III Marvelight Chronometer

Movement: Automatic ETA-based caliber BALL RR1103-C, Amortiser patented anti-shock system, COSC chronometer-certified.

Dial: Blue, silver or black with 27 micro gas tubes on hour, minute and second hands and underneath dial for night reading capability, hours, minutes, seconds and magnified date. Special Caring Edition with black dial and colorful hour and minutes markers.

Case: 40mm or 43mm by 13.6mm stainless steel, anti-reflective sapphire crystal, screwed-in crown, water resistant to 100 meters, anti-magnetic to 80,000A/m.

Bracelet: Stainless steel bracelet with folding buckle

Limited Edition: 1,000 pieces of each color and size.

 

The new Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi is a beautiful reminder that this Swiss watchmaker with English roots can create stunning artistic dials on demand. This bespoke watchmaking service supplements Arnold & Son’s ongoing offerings, which include iW favorites like the Perpetual Moon, the Globetrotter and Nebula collections, all of which offer technically edgy watchmaking with distinctive designs.

The Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi

Arnold & Son says customers can work with its watchmakers and artisans to make a bespoke watchcase, within which the customer can then request any movement or dial using engraving, gem setting, miniature painting or sculpted elements.

This latest one-off, the Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi, highlights Arnold & Son’s already interesting Ultrathin Tourbillon. The watch is particularly suited for personalized activity in part because of its off-center dial at 12 o’clock, which provides an empty canvas of sorts for Arnold & Son’s artisans.

The Koi

In this example, Arnold & Son artists started with a mother-of-pearl dial and created a hand-painted carp, adding sculpted lotuses around the thin flying tourbillon. Two carp can be seen swimming between lotus blossoms. One type, the Tancho carp (with its red mark on its head) swims on the right while the other swims along the left side.

Arnold & son explains that the three lotus blossoms feature petals cut from silver that has been shaped, engraved, polished and painted in white lacquer. The artist makes the each flower’s pistil in the same manner.

Then the artisan paints the carp and lotus leaves by hand, using thin brushes, depicting scales and striped fins.

Ultra-thin

Technically, the Arnold & Son Caliber A&S8200 is exceedingly thin (a mere 2.97 mm), creating a workspace not too much thicker than a traditional canvas. The caliber’s flying tourbillon (with only a lower carriage bridge) allows unfettered views of the mechanism. Additionally, the balance bridge is domed and extends slightly from the dial, which makes the tourbillon’s rotation even more interesting to watch.

Finally, note the skeletonized tourbillon main plate. With this nearly transparent component, Arnold & Son retains the piece’s overall fine attributes, or its lightness.

But don’t let that thin, airy appearance fool you to think that the caliber itself is also a lightweight. If the flying tourbillon doesn’t convince you of the high technical level at which Arnold & Son operates here, consider that this ultra-thin manual-wind movement boasts an extremely impressive ninety-hour power reserve.

None of this high-end artistic and technical work comes at a bargain however, but given the bespoke nature of the final product, its $96,700 price tag is comparable to other high-end Swiss works ­– and many of those are far from unique.

 

Specifications: Arnold & Son Ultrathin Tourbillon Koi (Unique piece Ref. 1UTAR.M99A.)

Movement: Caliber A&S8200, one-minute flying tourbillon, manual winding, 2.97mm thick, 90-hour power reserve, frequency of 3 Hz (21,600 vph). Finishes are as follows:

Mainplate: Côtes de Genève stripes radiating from the center and hand-engraved tourbillon bridge,

Bridges: polished and chamfered by hand,

Wheels: circular satin-finished,

Screws: blued and chamfered, mirror-polished heads,

Tourbillon carriage: satin-finished, polished and chamfered.

Dial: Miniature painting on black mother-of-pearl, silver lotus flowers, engraved and painted by hand.

Case: 42mm x 12.23 5N gold, domed sapphire crystal, water resistant to 100 feet.

Strap: Hand-stitched alligator leather with gold pin buckle.

Price: $96,700

  

Nomos celebrates 175 years of watchmaking in its hometown of Glashütte, Germany, with three classically styled Nomos Ludwig watches, each offered as a limited edition.

The Nomos Ludwig, a 35mm model powered by the Alpha manual-wind caliber, in its new 175th anniversary celebratory dress.

The watches, each limited to 175 examples, include one 35mm Ludwig with a manual-wind Alpha caliber inside, one Ludwig neomatik 39 with an automatic Caliber DUW 3001 inside, and a Ludwig neomatik Date 41 powered by the automatic Caliber DUW 6101. All these calibers are designed and built by Nomos.

The Nomos Ludwig neomatik 39 175.

Nomos is dressing each celebratory watch in historical Glashütte watchmaking details, which means each features a white enamel dial with Roman numerals separated by slim markers, a small seconds display, and railroad minute markers.

The date model even sports a classical Roman numeral date indicator—a first for Nomos.

The Nomos Ludwig neomatik Date 175, showing thin profile.

These are thin watches (the manual-wind model measures a wispy 6.8mm thick) with classic leaf-shaped tempered blue hands, per Glashütte tradition. All watches announce their reason for being with a sapphire crystal glass back that shows ‘limited-edition’ and “175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte” engravings.

The back view of the 41mm Nomos Ludwig neomatik date 175, showing Caliber DUW 6101.
Detail on Nomos caliber DUW 3001.

Many of the typical Glashütte features Nomos builds into its movements can be seen through the sapphire crystal caseback on each watch. These features include a three-quarter plate, tempered blue screws, ribbed polishing, and Nomos-designed ‘swing system’ escapement.

With only 175 examples of each watch being made, and with offerings at very competitive prices, we expect strong demand for these Nomos debuts.

Prices: $2,260 (Ludwig manual-wind), $3,800 (Ludwig neomatik 39); and $4,200 (Ludwig neomatik 41 Date)

 

Among the three watches Patek Philippe unveiled this week, this Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon is possibly the most distinctive, in part because the watch is the newest, most contemporary design among the debuts.

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5303 is the first Patek Philippe Grand Complication with a minute repeater visible on the dial side. Note the clear view of the hammers and gongs.

While the other two debuts, Reference 5270J-001 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph
 and Reference 5370P-011 Split-Seconds Chronograph, represent line extensions for classically designed watches available since, respectively, 2018 and 2015, the new Ref. 5303R-001 modifies a newer design debuted last year as a limited edition of twelve watches during Patek Philippe’s ‘grand exhibition’ in Singapore.

Where that Ref. 5303 appeared accented in red to commemorate the Singapore flag, this new version offers the same open, dial-free architecture but with a black minutes track and a gold seconds hand.

Open architecture

Here, Patek Philippe again reworks the manual-wind R TO 27 PS minute repeater caliber to emphasize its chiming operation. As a result, the repeater is fully visible on the watch’s dial side, where Patek Philippe has repositioned the caliber’s gong and hammers.

This allows the wearer to both hear and see the repeater mechanism’s hammers and gongs as they chime the time without taking the watch off the wrist – a first for any Patek Philippe grand complication.

Patek Philippe has skeletonized the caliber and then carefully hand-finished all its remaining bridges and surfaces. The Geneva brand’s finishers have decorated the movement’s plate with Genevan circular graining, applied a perlage to the recesses and decorated the hammers with a circular satin finish.The tourbillon

The tourbillon is even more transparent than the minute repeater as it’s visible from the front and the back of the watch.

The tourbillon at 6 o’clock is visible through the small seconds counter and can also be seen from the back.

From the back, the viewer can eye the back of the tourbillon case, exactly opposite the dial-side seconds subdial at 6 o’clock. Patek Philippe finishers have filigreed the tourbillon’s steel components until they sparkle – a nice contrast to the rose gold back plate.

The case

The watch’s 42mm rose-gold case notably features a wide polished bezel framing a black-lacquered sapphire-crystal rim. Patek Philippe has also placed leaf-shaped white-gold inlays along the watch’s the sides (including the repeater slide) and the sides of the lugs.

This somewhat surprising naturalistic design element –also seen shaping the white gold, black-lacquered hands ­– nicely balances the watch’s contemporary skeleton caliber.

The watch’s white gold minute repeater slide is engraved with a leaf-shaped pattern.

The Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon emphasizes both Patek Philippe’s mastery of the minute repeater and the depth of its artisanal arsenal.

Full view of the back of the watch.

Now available in limited production (though not as a limited edition) without the initial model’s red-tinted accents, this chiming watch will undoubtedly attract serious collectors who seek both Patek Philippe’s technical acumen as well as its contemporary aesthetic combined into one highly complicated watch.

Price: Upon request.

 

Specifications: Patek Philippe Ref. 5303R-001 Minute Repeater Tourbillon

Movement: Manual-wind 
Caliber R TO 27 PS minute repeater with classic gongs, tourbillon, small seconds, 365 parts, golden plate decorated with circular Geneva striping. Frequency: 21,600 semi-oscillations/hour 
(3 Hz) with a power reserve of 48 hours maximum.

Dial: Transparent sapphire, black hour circle with minute markers printed in white and golden powdered dots, pierced black lacquered leaf-shaped hands in white gold.

Case: 42mm by 12.13mm rose gold, white gold decorative inserts, humidity- and dust-protected only 
(not water-resistant), sapphire crystal case back, UV-protected sapphire crystal glass.

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

Price: Upon request.

 

Watches of Switzerland and Grand Seiko invite collectors to check out, online or in-person, the largest collection of Grand Seiko timepieces in the world at an exhibition space on Spring Steet in New York’s Soho neighborhood, just a few blocks from the Watches of Switzerland Soho boutique.

The watchmaker and the watch retailer have teamed up to launch the Nature of Time Experience, a gallery style display of new and rarely seen Grand Seiko watches alongside eight immersive and educational areas where guests (online and in-person) can learn about Grand Seiko craftsmanship.

The gallery, at 119 Spring Street, displays all Grand Seiko boutique collections, including the recently released Watches of Switzerland exclusive Toge Special Edition GMT, the complete Grand Seiko Nature of Time Collection, limited edition sixtieth anniversary pieces, and – in a U.S. exclusive ­– rare Grand Seiko watches made exclusively for the Japan market. All watches showcased at The Nature of Time Experience are available for purchase.

The Grand Seiko Watches of Switzerland exclusive Toge Special Edition GMT.

With special high-tech exhibits, the Nature of Time Experience will offer visitors the chance to learn how Grand Seiko designs and manufactures its mechanical, quartz, and Spring Drive movements.

Four ‘seasons’ from of the Grand Seiko Heritage collection.

“We’re extremely proud to open The Nature of Time Experience for Grand Seiko clients and all watch enthusiasts in the heart of New York City,” says Brice Le Troadec, president of Grand Seiko Corporation of America. “We are passionate about ‘redefining retail’ by creating this immersive, personalized, and safe experience for the watch collecting community.”

Grand Seiko explains that it designed the Nature of Time Experience to recall “the fleeting beauty of the “sakura” cherry blossoms. Based on the ancient Japanese philosophy of mono no aware – appreciate the beauty of ephemeral things – sakura season inspires celebration as well as contemplation.“

The exhibit’s Takumi Lounge, open later this summer.

Later this summer visitors will also be able to visit a bar at the exhibit called the Takumi Lounge, which Grand Seiko designed in true Ginza-style.

The gallery is at 119 Spring Steet and now displays all Grand Seiko boutique collections,and much more.

The exhibit space is located at 119 Spring Street in SoHo and is open through the end of September. The Nature of Time Experience is open to walk-in visitors, but reservations are highly encouraged due to limited capacity. Masks and social distancing will be required.

 

Overview: Grand Seiko Nature of Time Experience

Dates: Now through September 30, 2020

Hours: Monday – Saturday 11 am – 7 pm; Sunday Noon – 6 pm

Address: 119 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012

Organizer: Grand Seiko Corporation of America

Partner: Watches of Switzerland

Website: https://grandseikonatureoftime.com

Phone Number: +1 646-693-0893

In its annual ode to the Italian boat maker Riva, and its sporty wood Runabout, Frederique Constant this year re-introduces a chronograph to the collection. The new Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic celebrates the partnership between Riva and Frederique Constant and will be made as two limited series each composed of 2,888 pieces. The limited editions will feature a tri-compax chronograph dial layout (12 o’clock – 6 o’clock – 9 o’clock) powered by Geneva watchmaker’s ETA Valjoux-based automatic FC-392 chronograph caliber.

Two new 42mm steel-cased Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic models will share all their specifications internally, but will differ by dial hue, seconds hand coloring and a matching strap.

One model will offer a guilloché anthracite grey dial with grey strap while the second model will feature silvered guilloché dial and blue strap. Similarly, the grey-dialed model will sport a large central seconds hand in light blue steel while the silvered dial model will offer a seconds hand in dark blue.

 

Specials markings

Frederique Constant has always been careful to treat its limited editions with traditional   markings expected by collectors. That’s why it marks each case with its individual serial as well as the total production number (2,888).

But in addition to these markings, collectors will find original imprint representing the official Riva Historical Society flag on the sapphire crystal of the watch.

The Geneva-based watchmaker says that the choice to revisit the chronograph with this year’s special edition Riva collaboration is meant to echo that fact that starting in 1962 Riva produced certain boats with a powerful dual-motor (2 x 185 bhp) outfitted to enjoy water sports on Lake Iseo, birthplace of the Riva.

Frederique Constant will present each watch in a special case with a miniature replica of the legendary Riva moored alongside it.

Price: $2,895. 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Runabout RHS Chronograph Automatic

Movement: ETA Valjoux–based FC-392 caliber, automatic with chronograph, 46-hour power reserve, 28,800 bph

Case: 42mm polished stainless steel two-part, convex sapphire crystal, see-through case-back exposing gold-colored oscillating weight, water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Grey dial with silver color applied indexes with luminous hand-polished silver color hours and minutes hands with luminous and light blue seconds hand OR:

Silver color dial with silver applied indexes with luminous hand-polished silver color hours and minutes hands with luminous and dark blue seconds hand

Strap: Dark grey calf leather strap OR Navy calf leather strap

Limited edition: 2,888 pieces in each version.

 

After Zenith successfully launched its website and e-commerce platform in Europe in May, the Le Locle watchmaker this week unwraps its online sales platform for the United States.

To start its online sales with a bang, Zenith creates a special limited edition (of 250) U.S. edition of its black ceramic Defy 21 El Primero. In addition to the dark 44mm ceramic case, the watch’s U.S. edition features new color visible through its open dial. The new model exposes the 1/100th-of-a-second El Primero chronograph movement with a special ‘electric blue’ color.

There’s more. Zenith is also including three matching straps with the watch. One strap is black alligator with a rubber backing and blue stitching, the second is made of black rubber with a “cordura” effect and blue stitching and the third is textured blue rubber.

The Zenith Defy 21 El Primero Black Ceramic watch is priced at $13,600.

 

Specifications: DEFY EL PRIMERO 21 BOUTIQUE EDITION (Limited Edition of 250)

Reference: 49.9001.9004/78.R916

Movement: Zenith El Primero 9004 automatic, 1/100th of a second chronograph movement, one rotation per second, one escapement for the Watch (36,000 VpH) and one escapement for the Chronograph (360,000 VpH ), TIME LAB-Chronometer certified, black movement finish, power reserve min. 50 hours, Blue mainplate on movement plus blue oscillating weight with satin finish

Functions: 1/100th of a second chronograph functions, chronograph power-reserve indication at 12 o’clock, hours and minutes in center, small seconds at 9 o’clock, central chronograph hand that makes one turn each second,  30-minute counter at 3 o’clock,  60-second counter at 6 o’clock

Case: 44 mm by 14.5mm black ceramic, domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides, transparent sapphire crystal case back, water resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Black open worked with two different-colored counters. Hour markers: Ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with black SuperLuminova, hands are ruthenium-plated, faceted and coated with black SuperLuminova

STRAPS: Three included: Black Rubber Strap with “cordura” effect, black alligator with a rubber backing and blue stitching, and textured blue rubber