If the all-red G-Shock Full Metal (GMWB5000RD-4) watch G-Shock debuted in January was too showy for your wrist, perhaps you’ll prefer this slightly cooler, newly released luxurious rose-gold-plated edition of the classic square.
Like that watch, the new GMWB5000GD-4 carries on the look and feel of the original G-Shock DW-5000C with its classic square case shape and digital display. Now, G-Shock coats the solid stainless-steel case with a high-end rose gold IP finish, secured with a screw-on back.
G-Shock lets the wearer rest assured that the Full Metal watch’s fashionable good looks are accompanied with G-Shock technical features, including Bluetooth Connectivity via the G-Shock Connected app, and Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping for self-adjusting hour and date display virtually anywhere on earth.
The GMWB5000GD-4 also boasts an STN-LCD digital display that allows the wearer to easily read the dial from any angle. Casio’s Tough Solar Technology means the watch will charge itself even with low light exposure.
Additional technical specifications include: shock resistance, 200-meters of water resistance, Super Illuminator LED light, world time in 39 cities, stopwatch, daily alarms, countdown timer, 12/24-hour. formats and a full automatic calendar. The watch measures 49.3mm x 43.2mm x 13.0mm and weighs 167 grams.
The G-Shock GMWB5000GD-4 is priced at $600 and is available at select jewelers, the G-Shock Soho Store and gshock.com.
After updating its world timer and its Highlife collections in recent months, Geneva-based Frederique Constant now refreshes three models with the most basic time displays within its Classics collection.
Specifically, Frederique Constant has updated its Classics Index Automatic, Classics Quartz GMT and Classics Quartz, expanding these collections with eleven newly detailed models.
Classics Index Automatic
This collection now includes five new models. Frederique Constant has replaced two-part guilloché dials with cleaner, matte-finished blue, white or black dials. Instead of Roman numerals you’ll see applied hour markers, all of which have been bevelled and tinted with luminescent material. Formerly thin hands are now sword-shaped in an attempt to portray a geometric purity on the dial.
Four of the 40mm Classic Index Automatic models are cased in steel while one is made with rose-gold-plated steel (and a blued steel seconds hand). Frederique Constant powers all these new models with an automatic Sellita-based FC-303 caliber offering a power reserve of 38 hours. While one full-steel model features a blue dial and steel bracelet, the remaining watches are fit with a nubuck-finish leather strap in brown, black or blue. Prices start at 850 euros, or about $1,100.
Classics Quartz GMT
These travel-ready GMT models retain their easy-to-read dual-time dials. Three new 40mm steel-cased models now include a sunray-brushed dial and the required three hands for the hours, minutes and centrally set GMT hand. That second time zone indicator is tipped with a red arrow and points to the second time zone at a glance, calibrated to a 24-hour marker track encircling the dial.
These watches also make it easy to adjust both the local time and the second timezone. The wearer simply turns the activated crown in one direction to adjust the time zone and in the other direction to adjust the date.
Frederique Constant offers three new Classic Quartz GMT models: one with a gray dial and a brown nubuck-finish calfskin strap, another with a blue dial and a blue strap and a third, sportier variation with a black dial on a steel bracelet. Prices start at 695 euros, or about $830.
Finally, Frederique Constant now offers its most basic 40mm two-hand watch, with date, in a new blue or black dial model. Except for the lack of a seconds hands, these watches echo the look and finish of firm’s mechanical models with a sunray-brushed dial, polished case, applied hour markers doubled at 12 o’clock and nubuck-finish leather strap or three-link steel bracelet. Prices start at 595 euros, or about $700.
The new Luminox Bear Grylls Air watch, reviewed and approved by its adventurous namesake, is a tough 45mm steel aviation-style model with quartz-powered world time indications. And like Grylls, the watch is built to travel anywhere, through all extreme conditions, and remain highly reliable, precise and legible.
Luminox is well known for placing self-illuminated hands and bezel markers on its watches. The illumination, which emanates from micro gas tubes, remains bright for up to twenty-five years. Here, the primary hour markers, hands, and 12, 3, 6 and 9 numerals are illuminated.
As a world timer, the new watch displays twenty-four time zones, all indicated by cities named around the dial. Luminox tips the GMT hand with orange to more easily indicate a second time zone in any one of those cities. The 24-hour inner GMT ring is particularly tough, comprised of a hard carbon material (Carbonex) with an aluminum ring inlay.
And finally, Luminox equips the watch’s screw-down crown with an orange rubber ring for easier gripping. The same orange tone is evident all over the watch, notably on the dial logos, the GMT hand and even on the back of the watch. Water-resistance is suitably strong, rated to 200 meters.
The Luminox Bear Grylls Air joins the expanding Bear Grylls Survival collection, already feauring models within ‘sea,’ ‘land’ and ‘master’ categories. The newest offering can be purchased on either a Cordura strap or a Milanese mesh bracelet.
Prices:$695 (fabric strap) and $795 (steel mesh bracelet).
Patek Philippe this week enhances dial color options and adds metal choices within its feminine Twenty-4 collection. Three new Twenty-4 models, one a quartz-powered cuff model and two round-cased automatic editions, now offer new dial colors within the collection’s steel and rose gold offerings.
The manchette, or cuff-style Twenty-4 with a Patek Philippe quartz movement, which last year was updated with Arabic numerals, now includes a new version in rose gold with a chocolate-brown sunburst dial. The watch, Ref. 4910/1201R-001, has two rows of diamonds, applied Arabic 12, 6 and trapeze-shaped markers, and a hand-polished rose gold bracelet. Price: $44,947.
And within the Twenty-4 Automatic collection, Patek Philippe now offers two new 36mm round models, one in steel set with an olive-green sunburst dial (Ref. 7300/1200A-011) and the other in rose gold with a rose-gold sunburst dial (Ref. 7300/1200R-011).
Both dials are notably vibrant. The olive-green edition is particularly eye-catching, especially as framed by the two rows of diamonds. The olive-green dial Twenty-4 Automatic joins existing steel models set with gray sunburst and blue sunburst dials.
Patek Philippe fits both these Twenty-4 Automatic watches with its top-notch automatic caliber 324 SC, visible through a sapphire caseback and offering up to forty-five hours of power reserve.
If these dials look particularly luxurious, I commend your perception. Patek Philippe uses gold to build the Arabic numerals or markers on all the Twenty-4 models. The numerals and markers are then filled with a luminescent material. The date frames on the automatic models are also made from white gold.
The new watches join the other rose-gold Twenty-4 models (with two-rows of diamonds) with a chocolate-brown sunburst dial or a linen pattern dial.
Like the rectangular Twenty-4 watches, the round automatic models are fit with hand-polished bracelets in the same metal as the case. And both include Patek Philippe’s simple, secure (and patented) fold-over clasp, which is built with four independent catches. Price: $27,796 (steel) and $48,495 (rose gold).
Torgoen extends its adventure-watch focus from the skies to the sea with the new nautically based T43 Diver watch collection.
U.S.-based Torgoen, known for its extensive line of high-value adventure and aviation-themed quartz and automatic watches, combines many of the features found in its existing lines into the new dive watch collection. These features include bold, luminous markers, wide ratcheting bezels, solid steel bracelets, 200-meters of water resistance and sapphire crystals.
Torgoen offers five 44mm watches within the collection. They are marked with a choice among three bezel colors (black, red or navy bezel) and two dial hues (black or blue). And unlike many sport-watch vendors, Torgeon doesn’t make the choice between a steel bracelet and a silicone strap difficult because the price difference is only $10 ($285 for steel bracelet models and $275 for silicone strap models).
Even at this price, Torgoen is still able to provide small details on the watches you might not expect. These touches include an etched Torgoen logo on the inner case wall, a screw-down crown for extra water protection, and a custom two-layer dial.
Inside, Torgoen fits the well-known Ronda 515S quartz movement, which is built to handle the torque required to move the large hands of the T43 Collection. In addition, the Ronda caliber offers a power-saving mechanism whereby a pulled-out stem will reduce power consumption by approximately seventy percent, extending the watch’s battery life to a full two years.
Purchases of the T43 Diver Collection will be included in Torgoen’s partnership with Miracle Flights, the nation’s leading medical flight charity, which provides flights to families with children in need of life-changing medical care. A portion of proceeds from every watch sold on the brand’s site is donated to the non-profit organization.
To celebrate the 2020 Latin Grammy awards, Bulova unveils the Latin Grammy Gemini, a new tonneau-shaped quartz watch with an asymmetrical rose gold-tone stainless steel case, made in two sizes. Each watch showcases a curved black metallic crystal with a black dial and rose gold-tone accents.
The overall black hue of the new model continues from the dial into the black rubber strap. To emphasize the ongoing partnership between the Latin Grammys and Bulova, the watchmaker has emblazoned the Grammy gramophone logo on the front side of the strap, as well as on the caseback.
Bulova’s Latin Grammy Gemini is a three-hand quartz watch offered in two sizes, 40.5mm and 30.5mm. Both models sport a deployant buckle with water resistance to thirty meters. Price: $495.
History of Firsts
In addition to launching the Latin Grammy Gemini, Bulova is sponsoring an online series, via The Latin Recording Academy social media platforms, spotlighting the Latin Grammy ‘Best New Artist’ nominees. In addition to bios and a history of the artists, the series will feature special Bulova cameos such as the unboxing of a Bulova Latin Grammy watch.
Bulova will also gift this female 2020 Latin Grammy nominees one of its Rubaiyat watches during an even just prior to the awards ceremony, which is scheduled for November 19.
Citizen takes its light-powered, GPS-connected wristwatch technology underwater this week as the Japanese watchmaker debuts two Promaster dive watches set for the first time with the Citizen Cal. F158 Eco-Drive Satellite Wave GPS movement.
The new watches are being billed by Citizen as the first light-powered dive watch with GPS satellite capabilities. The newest Promasters are also fully compliant the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for dive watches and feature water resistance to 200 meters.
To use the new models beneath the waves, a diver first presses the push buttons at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock simultaneously, which sends the watch into Dive mode. All functions, except time display, will then stop in order to prevent erroneous user operations. It will not enter into Dive mode if the charged battery amount is insufficient.
Both watches are cased with Citizen’s proprietary Super Titanium, which Citizen then enhances with a surface-treatment hardening technology called Duratect MRK. While both models measure 47mm in diameter, the blue dialed option (model CC5006-06L) is finished in a glossy black hue using a DLC layering technique, which enhances scratch resistance.
Sea of features
These are professional-level dive watches, echoing much of the Promaster collection, which features a range of high-spec dive, aviation and racing watches. Citizen has ensured that each model boasts a unidirectional bezel with knurled notches, a screw lock crown, sapphire crystal, charge capacity display function and light-level indicator.
And, as is required for ISO compliance, the Eco-Drive Satellite Wave GPS Diver 200m dials are easy to read with large, luminous indexes and hands.
Citizen’s proprietary light-powered Eco-Drive Cal.F158 will operate for about seven years on a full charge – even without a light source. This insures that the various high-tech functions will operate uninterrupted.
Thus, the watches will continue to receive location and time information anywhere in the world using GPS satellite signals. This data will automatically correct the time and world calendar. Even without GPS satellite function, the watch is rated to an accuracy of ± five seconds per month. The wearer can also manually adjust the crown to change city and calendar, if desired.
For experienced or aspiring divers, Citizen has emblazoned the dial ring on both watches with the abbreviated names of eight famous diving locations, including Sharm El Sheikh, Maldives, Phuket, Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, Hawaii, Galapagos and Fernando de Noronha.
Citizen supplies each watch with a urethane band and an extension band for wet suit use.
Prices: $1,395 (Super Titanium case with black DLC coating and blue dial) and $1,350 (Super Titanium case and green dial).
Bulova is marking the tenth anniversary of its Precisionist collection of high-tech, 1/1,000-of-a-second quartz watches with the new Precisionist X Collection.
The new collection offers more luxurious examples of the large-cased, multi-level Precisionist. The collection features, for example, one model with karat gold accents and another utilizing the interesting patterns created by Damascus steel.
One model, the Precisionist X Limited Edition, is cased in stainless steel with an 18-karat yellow gold top ring insert. And befitting an anniversary celebration, the watch is limited to 100 pieces and is being offered by Bulova in a special gift box with a numbered serial card and a plaque ($3,950)
Alongside the limited edition, Bulova unveils two new Precisionist X Special Edition models that boast top ring inserts made of Damascus steel, which you can easily identify thanks to its wave pattern.
Those who also collect knives or swords are familiar with the process, which will actually harden the steel. Examples of the process date to the 4th century A.D. when the city of Damascus was then well known for its weapon-makers and metallurgical prowess.
Bulova will make the Precisionist X Special Edition ($1,295) with either a black IP case paired with a handsome new green leather strap or a rose gold IP case paired with a brown leather strap. Like the limited edition model, this unlimited anniversary watch will be sold with a special gift box.
Both watches retain the Precisionist’s distinctive octagonal 45mm x 47mm case shape with partially open dial design, primarily exposing the watch’s date ring and central quartz movement plate.
With its 1/1,000-of-a-second chronograph timing ability, you’ll find dial displays on the Precisionist that show tenths, hundredths and thousandths-of-a-second readings. Bulova caps the displays with a curved sapphire crystal.
Casio this week expands its Edifice collection with a new Honda Racing Collaboration Model (EFS560HR-1A).
Like previous Edifice Honda models, this latest solar-powered sporty chronograph watch is dressed with the colors of the Honda Racing team. The watch’s black Cordura band and red accents match the signature colors of the team.
In the same lane, the Edifice’s carbon fiber dial is meant to recall the look of an asphalt racetrack. The dial, resplendent with the Honda Racing logo, is also clearly marked with a gold reminder of the Edifice collection’s 20th anniversary.
In keeping with the Honda theme, the watch’s metal strap keeper and caseback are engraved with the Honda logo, where it joins the Edifice 20th anniversary logo.
The strap itself is covered with Cordura fabric with Kevlar fiber inserts.
As with all recent Edifice light-powered watches, this model’s solar charging system generates power using the light that enters through the inset dial openings. The watch will operate for up to six months of operation without exposure to light on a full charge.
Look for the Honda Racing Collaboration Model (EFS560HR-1A) in October at select retailers nationwide, as well as Casio.com. Price: $400.
Specifications: Casio Edifice Honda Racing Limited Edition
Case: 50.2mm x 45.4m x 10.3m mm steel with black ion plated bezel, sapphire crystal with non-reflective coating,
100-meter water resistance
Movement: Light powered Edifice quartz chronograph with elapsed time and 1st and 2nd place time displays, accurate to 20-seconds per month.Operating time from full charge until hands stop is approximately six months.
Dial: Carbon fiber, two hands (hour, minute), three chrono subdials (seconds, stopwatch minutes, stopwatch seconds), battery-level indicator.
Mention watches and traditional watchmaking, and you’d be forgiven for thinking of Switzerland, Germany or even Japan. But France, and more specifically Besançon, has perhaps one of the strongest histories of traditional watchmaking in the world. And when you think of French watches, the one brand that stands out above all others is Lip.
Lip is indelibly linked to the French psyche much like Timex has been to those of us who grew up in the United States.
Lip has become something of a cult brand, even in the U.S. And for good reason. The Lip Mach 2000 is something of an anomaly among watch fans. If we are honest about it, in its current format it is essentially a quartz chronograph, and Lip has made few cosmetic changes to it.
More than a watch
But this is a watch that demonstrates that a watch is far more than the sum of its parts. Think I’m kidding?
While in France I received a Facebook message from a fellow watch journalist stateside asking me to pick one up while I was there and bring it back for him. There are certain watches out there that hit visceral nerves, and for me Lip has a few models that speak to me on levels I can’t really quantify. They are emotional as much as pragmatic. Lip, at its very heart, is as much a feeling as it is a brand.
Lip is well known throughout the Francophone world, and famous with hard-core watch and design fans ache for the Mach 2000, as well as the now iconic Nautic Ski.
And the Nautic Ski is enjoying a best “second life” ever, with the return of smaller watches on the radar of most watch fans. When I visited Lip four years ago, the brand had been living sort of a diluted life, really treated by the (then) owners as only a brand label for watches and not the watch brand that Lip truly is.
Enter the Berards
At the time of my visit, the Berard family was producing Lip under a license, but had not yet fully taken formal control.
The Berards, Philippe and his son Pierre-Alain, have now taken full ownership of Lip – and have reinvigorated it. I am not here to criticize the previous owners. I am, however, here to applaud the Berards, and the entire team at Lip.
How do you manage a legend? Curious to relate, Lip stirs a lot of emotions in not only watch fans, but in the French consciousness. But prior to the Berard’s, that emotional connection was more of a sense of nostalgia. But have no doubts as to how serious they are taking their stewardship of Lip.
The latest Lip release, for example, underscores their commitment with a reissue of the Rallye Chronograph.Recently only available as a quartz piece, this new limited edition is much closer to the original with an automatic movement.
The watch was announced recently as a pre-order item, and by all accounts it has been a pretty hot item.
In the years before the Berards, Lip was really not what it once was, or even what it could be.Since the Berards? I hate hyperbole, but walking around the streets of Besançon, Paris, and the offices and workshop at Lip, I really felt a new sense of energy and the passion. I really felt why Lipconnects on the level that it does with fans and the public at large.
It would be easy to do a Blancpain and “start from year zero,” but the team at Lip live in the real world, one where you don’t manufacture history. To that end, they have a rather unusual (in today’s watch world) department that handles vintage Lip questions, assessments, and if I understood correctly, possible restoration.
And while it would be easy for the Berards to simply have bought the name and turn to a white label company for everything, it was very clear to me that Lip clearly represents something special to them, and I got that same feeling touring around the new facilities that they have installed for the watchmakers working on more complicated and vintage pieces.
It is not enormous, but it is not insignificant either. And I think what is encouraging about it to me is that it represents the first step forward.
While it would be easy for Lip recreate itself as a reborn pricey brand, which is something it is not and never was, Lip has held the line on pricing. In a world where brands both big and small jack-up their prices only to jettison their unwanted stock to the grey market where it is discounted down to the bare bones, Lip offers something novel – a great watch at a fair price.
Now I realize that everyone wants to go to Switzerland to visit the historic Maisons, and that’s fair enough. But if you are really a fan of watches, history and culture I urge you to get yourself to Besançon and soak up all of the history and charm that this wonderful city has to offer.
James Henderson pens the Tempus Fugit website, where this article first appeared.