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By Gary Girdvainis

Under a domed crystal, a visible bubble quickly separates a U-Boat watch from most other watches. As this bubble dances over the dial, it actually serves the purpose of accommodating temperature variations that might otherwise damage the watch with the expansion of the limpid liquid within.

The U-Boat Darkmoon is available in a variety of colorful dial options.

The effect of the dance is amazing as the colorful U-Boat dials seems to leap out of the watch and project themselves onto the domed crystal, while the refraction effect mitigates any need for an anti-reflective coating.

The U-Boat Darkmoon is a full-sized watch with a crown-left position on its 44mm stainless steel and sapphire case. Inside is a Ronda 712.3 quartz movement powered by a quick-change battery that overcomes the problem of needing special equipment to change the power supply.

Water resistant to 50 meters, the U-Boat Darkmoon is available in a colorful array of dial options. Price: $1,420.

One caveat on owning this very cool quartz watch is that you do need to take care not to leave it in excessive heat or sunlight for too long as this may damage the watch – but that is sound advice for almost any watch.

Citizen launches a new limited edition pilot’s watch this week in conjunction with 1% for the Planet and Everybody Solar, two energy conservation organizations.

The watch, which joins the Promaster series, is an Eco-Drive (light- powered) Limited Edition Navihawk. The 48mm black ion-plated steel watch boasts a cobalt blue dial with pilot-friendly orange accents.

The new Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Limited Edition Navihawk.

The watch includes not only fully synchronized radio-controlled timekeeping technology (which will update time automatically in twenty-six time zones) but also a chronograph, a complete perpetual calendar, 12/24-hour time options, a power reserve indicator and day/date display.

Citizen’s Eco-Drive technology, demonstrated here, powers the watch using only light.

Sales of the watch will benefit the two conservation organizations and Citizen’s new “Purposeful Power” ad campaign. For every #mylight moment shared to @citizenwatchesus, Citizen will donate $5 to Everybody Solar towards the goal of 100% funding of a solar installation project next Spring. This would be the second joint project  between Citizen and Everybody Solar. In recent months, Citizen’s donations helped complete the new 35 kilowatt (kW) array at Glacier National Park’s headquarters.

“Our message of Purposeful Power is aspirational so as to reflect the desire of both the Citizen brand and our consumers to treat the planet, and those around us, with respect and to make a positive contribution to the world,” says Jeffrey Cohen, President of Citizen Watch America.

Citizen includes a matching Citizen clock with each watch.

Citizen is limiting production of the watch to 1,500 pieces worldwide. As an added bonus, Citizen is also including a matching Citizen clock with each watch. Price: $850.

 

American-based Waldan has added a trio of eye-catching pastel-dialed models to its Heritage Professional series of dressy, 40mm quartz-powered steel watches.

Offered as limited edition of 100 pieces in each of three colors, the new Waldan Bright Pastel series retains the high-value allure of the Heritage Professional line, but now adds a colorful twist with a choice of pink, yellow or light blue dials.

The three Waldan Heritage Professional Bright Pastel models.

The new series also underscores its fashionable mission with the advent of interchangeable contrast-stitched Elbamatt leather straps, now with quick release spring bars.

Each strap is equipped with a quick-release spring bar for easy mix and match options. Additional straps are $30.

Hand crafted in Italy, these straps add a matching finish to any watch in the series, and present the wearer with the option of purchasing additional straps to mix and match as desired. The straps are $30 and available from the Waldan website.

Waldan continues to power each watch in the series with an all-metal American- made Ameriquartz Caliber 70200 movement. Fine Timepiece Solutions, the Arizona-based manufacturer of the Ameriquartz movements, guarantees that its all-metal calibers are defect-free for a full five years. Price: $299.

 

Specifications: Waldan Heritage Professional Bright Pastel

(Three colors, each limited to 100 pieces)

Movement: American-made Ameriquartz caliber 70200 quartz movement, all metal, hand made, assembled and tested individually in the United States. Fully serviceable and warrantied for five years.

Dial: Canary Yellow, Sky Blue or Blush Pink with white applied Arabic numerals, steel hands, white outer dial rim with applied SuperLuminova plots. Sunken and diamond-cut subdial above 6pm for sub-seconds register with small red hand. Signed ‘Waldan, New York,’ ‘AMERIQUARTZ’ and ‘USA MOVT’.

Case: 316L stainless steel, two-piece, double stepped case with screw down back and Anti-Reflective treated flat sapphire crystal. 40mm diameter x 8.6mm thickness x 20mm lug width. Mixed finish with polished case and brushed lugs. Knurled crown signed “W” with multi gasket system for 5ATM water resistance. Case back signed.

Strap: Genuine Ambra Elbamatt leather with quick release spring bars, stainless steel buckle.

Price: $299

By Gary Girdvainis

When Eone watches first launched the Bradley edition, the design created by the recent MIT graduate Hyunsoo Kim was a modern quartz watch that made it easy for a sightless person to read the time. Kim developed a tactile system that allowed the wearer to relate the position of two mobile steel balls with fixed tactile points around the dial.

While this honorable cause may have birthed the design, the idea of a watch that could relay the time via touchpoints on the case is certainly not new. Notably, Breguet had created watches that could indicate the time via touch with his Tact watch, sold starting in 1799. In this pocket watch original the function was more for discretion while checking the time than servicing the blind.

An example of an early Breguet ‘montre à tact’ cylinder watch.

For Eone, success came quickly. A Kickstarter campaign in 2014 funded Eone to more than half a million dollars. With rave reviews by the watch and popular press, Eone firmly established itself in the watch world. Clearly the watch designed with a cause had found a much wider audience, and during the years after its launch the company developed variations on the theme that could be appreciated by both the sighted, and the sightless alike.

The new Eone Switch, with a replaceable ring on the top of the watch that allows you to change the look of the watch in seconds.

The Switch

Since 2014 Eone has refined the functionality of the original Bradley design with subtle changes like opening the groove on the perimeter for easier visual and tactile access to the hour ball.

Beyond the refinements, Eone has most recently developed its new Switch model that features a removeable/replaceable ring on the top of the watch that allows you to change the look of the watch in seconds. While the rings do need to retain the tactile hour markers for time reference, the potential for changing the look of the watch with a quick twist of your fingers has major appeal.

Eone sells the new Switch with two rings that you can easily interchange (without any tools). You can also buy them separately if you want to add new variations to your collection and transform your one cool watch into many.

Extra rings available for the Eone Switch.

Prices: $360 including two rings. Extra rings are available at $40 per and the entire Eone line ranges from $260 to $360.   Read more about Switch here.

 

 

Accutron has teamed with Vermont-based Stave Puzzles to create The Accutron Challenge, a hand-cut wood jigsaw puzzle inspired by the 2020 launch of new Accutron Spaceview.

The Accutron Challenge wood jigsaw puzzle, made by Vermont-based Stave Puzzles.

The puzzle offers seven separate challenges, including a “Beat the Clock” multiple design puzzle, with the final products creating seven different colored Accutron timepieces.

Accutron launched a new series of Spaceview watches last year to commemorate the original 1960 tuning-fork-powered Spaceview,  the first electrically powered wristwatch. The new Accutron Spaceview is powered in part using electrostatic generators.

The Accutron Spaceview 2020.

Accutron adds Stave Puzzles to its expanding list of U.S.-based collaborations, which also includes Hudson Whiskey, La Palina Cigars, and Esterbrook Pens.

The Accutron Challenge is priced at $745 and can be purchased from Accutron’s website.

 

Grand Seiko’s latest additions to its Elegance Collection include these two unisex 34mm models (SBGX347 and SBGX349). Each watch sports this brand’s characteristic and highly light-reflective diamond-cut markers and hands. Grand Seiko sets a white or a royal blue dial within the slim (10.7mm) steel case with a thin bezel and boxed, retro-inspired sapphire crystal.

The watch’s straight-forward design belies a great deal of technical detail, including the use of Caliber 9F61, Grand Seiko’s famed high-end (and hand-assembled) quartz caliber with an ultra-precise accuracy of +/-10 seconds a year.

Grand Seiko caliber 9F61.

And Grand Seiko protects this movement against potentially destabilizing magnetic influences to an especially strong level of 4,800 A/m, not typical protection among watches in this price range.

 

Both Grand Seiko Elegance debuts are priced at $3,300.      

 

Specifications: Grand Seiko Elegance

 

Case: 34mm by 10.7mm steel, box-shaped sapphire crystal, 4,800 A/m magnetic resistance, 30 meters of water resistance, screw caseback with lion emblem.

Dial: Royal blue or white.

Movement: Quartz Caliber 9F61, hand-assembled, high-torque.

Strap: Crocodile leather with buckle.

Price: $3,300.

 

Rado’s high-tech ceramic True Thinline Collection, first seen in 2011, this month debuts the Great Gardens of the World collection with three models featuring dial designs meant to recall natural beauty.

The idea for the collection took root in 2017 when Rado partnered with Grandi Giardini Italiani, an association of 300 Italian and Maltese gardens. At that time Rado debuted a trio of True Thinline quartz watches with beautifully colored and patterned dials meant to represent earth, water and leaves.

Rado True Thinline Great Gardens of the World, Chapter 1.

Rado now extends that idea with three more of the sleek 40mm ceramic and titanium watches, each sporting an artisanal dial and powered by an automatic movement.

One model, called Chapter 1, sports a turquoise-colored ceramic case and bracelet and offers a matching mother-of-pearl dial. Rado decorates the dial with filigree and cloisonné-style organic elements and nature-inspired themes, including jasmine flowers. Diamonds mark each hour, while on the back you’ll find the phrase “Great Gardens of the World,” printed on a smoky sapphire and titanium caseback.

Rado True Thinline Great Gardens of the World, Chapter 2.

The second model, called Chapter 2, offers a similar pattern but on a black ceramic case with a dark, matching mother-of-pearl dial. Again, diamonds mark the hours.

Rado True Thinline Great Gardens of the World, Chapter 3.

The Chapter 3 watch presents a more sophisticated small central dial framed by an engraved oak leaf pattern in its mother-of-pearl and a ring of additional diamonds.

All this natural beauty arrives alongside Rado’s pioneering mastery of the ceramic case and bracelet technology, here all sporting richly colored and polished high-tech finishes. Rado builds each watch with a ceramic case, ceramic bracelet and crown, a titanium caseback (framing a sapphire center) and a titanium tri-fold clasp.

Each watch offers a titanium case back with black smoked sapphire and a printed phrase.

As noted, these Rado True Thinline models sport automatic movements. Inside Rado places the ETA-based Rado caliber R763 automatic movement with an impressive 80-hour power reserve and an anti-magnetic Nivachron hairspring, which Rado says exceeds standard test requirements from three to five positions.

Prices: $2,450 (Chapters 1 and 2), and $2,660 (Chapter 3).

To emphasize its broad collection of adventure watches, Luminox launches the Bear Grylls Limited Edition Rule of 3 Sea Series watch (333 pieces for the world) that includes a special removable sleeve on the strap with the ‘Rule of 3’ emblazoned on it.

The new Luminox Bear Grylls Limited Edition Rule of 3 Sea.

For the uninitiated, the Rule of 3 states that an adventurer can not survive without air for 3 minutes, shelter for 3 hours, water for 3 days and food for 3 weeks. This accounts for the extra-large numeral 3 on the dial in its appropriate position.  

The new watch joins others in the Luminox Bear Grylls collection. However, unlike the existing models in this collection designed for the Luminox Land and Air series, this new model is the first in the collection designed with nautical (Sea) wear in mind.

Luminox cases the watch in a carbon composite called Carbonox and features a uni-directional bezel set with a blue, orange and white dive-timing sector. The watch is water resistant to 200 meters.

Of course, the watch is also set with luminous materials called Luminox Light Technology designed to be visible in low or no light conditions. Each timepiece is individually numbered, and a special certificate comes with each watch. Price: $545.

 

Specifications: Luminox Bear Grylls Limited Edition Rule of 3 Sea Series 

Case: 42mm by 14mm Carbonox with crown protection, uni-directional turning bezel, steel screw-in caseback, hardened mineral crystal. Weight: 76 grams. Water resistant to 200 meters.

Dial: Black with orange and white hands and luminous material; date.

Movement: Ronda quartz 515 HF 6 with 50-month battery life.

Strap: Black genuine rubber w/ stainless steel buckle.

Price: $545.

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this Part II of our four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight Casio and Ernst Benz.

Casio

Casio has been partnering with the AlphaTauri Racing Team since September 2020 and launched the second Edifice x AlphaTauri model last March.

Casio Edifice has been an Official Partner of the Scuderia AlphaTauri team since 2016.

Designed together with the F1 team around the theme of “speed and intelligence”, the super-sporty ECB-10AT in signature Scuderia AlphaTauri navy blue features a dial made of 6K carbon – a material used in racing car wings and floors – with the team’s logo engraved on the dial, caseback and band loop.

The super-sporty Casio Edifice ECB-10AT in signature Scuderia AlphaTauri navy blue.

For men on the move, the timepiece includes a schedule timer function that syncs with a smartphone’s calendar app and also sets the watch to local time automatically.

Demonstrating its dedication to motorsports, Casio Edifice has also teamed with Honda Racing for the past three years, resulting in five Edifice x Honda Racing models, with the latest released last September.

The Casio Edifice EFS-560HR-1A, with the Honda Racing logo.

That watch (EFS560HR-1A) sports a black Cordura strap with red accents to match the team’s emblematic colors, while its carbon-fiber dial mirrors the appearance of an asphalt racetrack and displays the Honda Racing logo, along with gold Edifice lettering to mark the model’s 20th anniversary.

 

Ernst Benz 

Inspired by 1940s and 1950s aviator watches and the cockpit gauges that pilot, engineer and inventor Ernst Benz himself produced in the 1960s and ’70s, the brand is known for its timepieces that attest to its slogan: “Precision Instruments for Timekeeping”.

Ernst Benz and its affiliation with the world of motorsports evolved naturally from the field of aviation, according to Leonid Khankin, CEO of Ernst Benz. Both fields require accuracy, durability and performance.

“There is a natural connection between automotive timing and wristwatches, as wristwatches and chronographs were developed especially for aviators and timing cars,” Khankin notes. Both fields require accuracy, durability and performance and often share instruments. Benz was a gauge and instrument manufacture for two decades before creating his first wristwatch. 

The Ernst Benz Coca Cola ChronoLunar

As the official timekeeper of the Nascar Coca-Cola 600 race, held last May at the Charlotte Motor Speedway, Ernst Benz presented the winner, Kyle Larson of Hendrick Racing, with a special edition of the Ernst Benz ChronoLunar Officer tool watch commemorating a decade since the ChronoLunar’s first release. Since it debuted, the ChronoLunar has become the best-known Ernst Benz collection, with the Officer being the most recent interpretation.

Larson’s prize ChronoLunar has been customized with Coca-Cola red details, a brushed stainless steel case, black dial and alligator strap with red top-stitching. It pairs a chronograph with calendar functions, while its 47-mm diameter size optimizes legibility.

Mario Andretti wears his Ernst Benz ChronoScope at the ROVAL 400.

Ernst Benz has also served as the official timekeeper of the Nascar AAA 500 at the Texas Motor Speedway, as well as the Nascar All-Star Race and the Roval 400 in Charlotte, for which it will renew its participation in October 2021.

Personal approach

“We take a personal approach when we partner with motorsports brands,” explains Khankin. “ We look at each race on a case-by-case basis to create watches directly themed to the particular event.”  That approach, he adds, is recognized by the racers and the fans as more heartfelt and generates a strong bond between Ernst Benz and its partners.

“I’m extra proud that car guys love our watches,” Khankin adds.

The Ernst Benz Chronoscope Camaro Fifty, with 47mm DLC brushed steel case.

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

 

At the top end of G-Shock’s already premium MR-G series, the new G-Shock  MRGB2000BS3A is a limited-edition ode to a samurai commander spirit known as Hana-Basara. Working from this theme, G-Shock combines a series of ultra-strong materials with hand-worked techniques to create the new titanium-cased MR-G watch.

The new G-Shock  MRGB2000BS3A.

For example, G-Shock uses a titanium alloy called Cobarion to make the bezel on the new watch. The material, which G-Shock says is four-times harder than pure titanium, also features a facet-cutting technique as applied by polishing artisan Kazuhito Komatsu. He polishes the facets with varying angles, leaving a bright finish. His work frames curved indices meant to echo the curvature of a Japanese sword.

Likewise, G-Shock has forged the watch’s titanium case from DAT55G titanium, which is said to be three times harder than pure titanium. On the side of the case you’ll find a brown arc-ion-plated ring set with a commemorative plate engraved with “25th LIMITED” to mark the 25th anniversary of the MR-G line.

Brown arc ion plating is applied to the case along with this commemorative plate.

Samurai colors

The coloring across the watch’s dial and bezel also pay homage to the Hana-Basara. For example, G-Shock echoes the traditional Japanese hue kurogane-iro, or iron color, on the watch’s titanium band and screw-lock case back, paired with a newly developed, dark green DLC finish. G-Shock says that the color resembles the ironclad helmet and armor worn by Basara samurai commanders.

As expected with all MR-G models, G-Shock equips the new MRGB2000BS3A limited edition with its own Tough Solar Power, Super LED Light, Multiband 6 technology and Bluetooth connectivity (via the MR-G Connected app). This connection enables automatic time adjustment, world time displays and many other premium functions.

The new G-Shock MRGB2000BS3A (offered as a limited edition of 400 watches) is priced at $8,000.