Maurice Lacroix has worked with movement specialist Sellita to create a new skeletonized version of the watchmaker’s best-selling Aikon. And unlike most of the watchmaker’s existing skeletonized watches, this new model, the Aikon Automatic Skeleton 39mm, with its namesake 39mm diameter case size, is the smallest –and first unisex – open-worked watch within the full Maurice Lacroix collection.
Collectors familiar with Maurice Lacroix know that it has a long history of making skeleton watches. Especially within its Masterpiece collection, this contemporary manufacture has long offered alluring open-worked dials alongside a host of interesting models with multi-hand retrograde functions.
Noting that it wanted to create an affordable skeleton watch with the brand’s existing high quality-price ratio, Maurice Lacroix aimed to work with Sellita to “apply its expertise to the creation of a new, contemporary model with smaller case dimensions.”
With this new Aikon Automatic Skeleton 39mm, the company adds to existing work with the movement specialist to create Automatic ML115 (base SW200). With considerable transparency, circular grained finishing and combined sun-brushed and sandblasted décor, the new watch successfully says ‘contemporary’ within an often very classic mechanical watch category.
Thus, instead of delicate filigree we see curved, matte-finished bridges that nicely expose the movement’s gearing and escapement while maintaining the torsional strength needed in a casually sporty watch.
Maurice Lacroix also fits the Aikon Automatic Skeleton 39mm with the brand’s Easy Strap Exchange system which allows the wearer to swap the bracelet for one of the leather or rubber strap options without using any tools.
Scottish watchmaker AnOrdain expands its Model 2 field watch with a slightly larger case size, new typography and a new slate of dial colors inspired by nature.
Initially launched in 2019 with a 36mm case, the AnOrdain Model 2 is the watchmaker’s classic field watch that emphasizes its highly visible dial and rigorous case.
In addition to the larger case option, this latest generation of the Model 2 also features a few small design upgrades, in part made to meet customer suggestions.
Notably, you’ll see a new minute track and a seconds hand, both of which upgrade the watch’s basic functionality. And the typography here differs from the earlier edition with the introduction of a font inspired by 1950s industrial equipment (including a laboratory clock belonging to AnOrdain founder Lewis Heath’s scientist grandfather).
Even while scaling the design to 39.5mm in diameter, AnOrdain retains the Model 2’s look with its characteristic rounded lugs, large crown protectors and broad, curving bezel curved to seamlessly mesh into the double-domed sapphire crystal.
As with all of this independent watchmaker’s designs, the Model 2 also features a customized hand design and a stunning hand-wrought dial. First, let’s take a look at the hands.
Called ‘syringe-style’, the watch’s in-house-designed hands are unusual. Each hand is characterized by a tapered void with a luminous tip that projects outward. It appears to form the shape of a hand holding a fountain pen.
“The hands were prototyped in-house before the final design was sent to a hand manufacturer in the Swiss watchmaking town of La Chaux- de-Fonds, where the blanks are made,” explains AnOrdain in its press material. “The hands are sent back in raw steel form and are heat-treated in-house to protect from rust and tarnish.”
The hands’ luminous paint, hand-applied to each tip, is another unusual feature and one rarely seen on blued steel.
While much of AnOrdain’s early buzz among collectors focused, at least in part, on its eye-catching handmade fume dials, the watchmaker’s enamel dials are also notably rich for such an affordably priced collection.
Each of the Model 2’s dials is made individually by a single master enameller and can take several days to complete. And, to further differentiate AnOrdain designs from those of other watchmakers, AnOrdain says that it purposefully veered from making a traditional white enamel color for the collection, opting for a more opaque white dial.
The new collection will also be available with new colors, including the previously mentioned opaque white, racing green, grey haar and flax (above). A haar, in case you’re not familiar with the modifier, refers to a grey fog settling off the Scottish coast and is a term particularly suitable to the Glasgow-based AnOrdain.
AnOrdain continues to fit an automatic Sellita SW210 movement into the watch, regardless of case diameter. AnOrdain will make about 200 Model 2 watches per year. Prices: £1,700 (about $2,217) for the 36mm model and £1,800 (about $2,350) for the 39.5mm model.
Specifications: AnOrdain Model 2
Dial: Vitreous enamel on copper or silver. Custom-made, heat-treated hands finished with SuperLuminova tips.
Movement: Automatic Sellita SW-210-1 with Incabloc shock protection.
Case: 36mm or 39.5mm steel with brushed or polished finish. Sapphire crystal with 6 layers of anti-reflective coating. Solid screw-in caseback with optional engraving. Fifty meters of water resistance.
Like that now highly collectible Doxa Army watch, the re-edition is also finished in matte black, which recalls the original model’s role as a watch designed to reduce glare during active military duty.
The original model was one of the very first watches to use a coating process (oxidation) that at the time was relatively new to the watchmaking industry.
Doxa also echoes the sand-beige dial of the original model on this re-issue, framing it with a matte black diving bezel that matches the 42.5mm by 44.5mm case. Inside Doxa fits a COSC-certified automatic Sellita movement.
Doxa is also packaging the watch with box sporting the original camouflage pattern used by the Swiss Army at the time the watch debuted. The box includes two straps: one made from black FKM rubber and one NATO strap with a camouflage pattern.
We expect this nicely considered homage to Doxa’s rich military-watch history to sell very quickly, especially in light of the always active Doxa collector community.
Specifications: Doxa Army Watches of Switzerland Edition
Case: 42.5mm x 44.5mm x 11.95mm matte black ceramic, titanium chamber for the movement, sapphire crystal, unidirectional matte ceramic rotating bezel, screw-down titanium crown, threaded titanium case back, water resistance to 300 meters.
Dial: Beige with orange hour and minute hands, coated with SuperLuminova, painted outside minute track, white numerals and dot at 12 o’clock coated with SuperLuminova.
Strap: Black FKM rubber, color-matched with the case, folding clasp, black PVD coating, featuring Doxa fish symbol and adjustable wetsuit extension. Additional NATO camouflage strap included in the box.
Louis Erard adds a new model, the Enamel Grand Feu II, to its Excellence series of limited edition watches created with hand-made grand feu enamel dials.
The latest model, with a dial that echoes a slightly larger version released last year, is a steel-cased 39mm time-only watch with a white dial that features the existing design’s blue markers, but adds a red XII and a few red lines of the small seconds display at six o’clock.
The watch’s rich dial and its deep colors are the result of a firing process in a kiln set at more than 800°C. The colors result from deposits of small layers of silica, oxides and potassium that, after firing, are fixed forever and permanently bonded to their metal base.
This grand feu technique is usually utilized for watches priced higher than those offered by this small independent watchmaker. However Louis Erard has found success offering a series of moderately priced limited editions that boast partnerships with watchmakers (including Vianney Halter and Alain Silberstein), notable designers and with small-batch grand feu dials.
With this strategy, the Le Noirmont watchmaker continues to raise its profile among collectors in search of relatively affordable watches with truly original, eye-catching designs.
The dials are made by Donzé Cadran, an art enameller based in Le Locle and purchased in 2011 by Ulysse Nardin. Inside Louis Erard places a Sellita automatic movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback.
The watch boasts the brand’s signature ‘fir tree’ hands in blued steel and comes on an brilliant red grained calf leather strap with blue stitching and lined in Louis Erard’s signature blue grained calf leather.
Bell & Ross expands its BR 03-92 bronze dive watch collection with a new model that matches a brown dial, bezel and strap to the brand’s well-known rounded square bronze case.
The new Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Diver Brown Bronze joins existing red, blue and green-dialed models in the 42mm collection. And, with a matte brown leather strap with beige top-stitching, the watch carries on the retro, nautical vibe of the full collection.
Indeed, the collection benefits from Bell & Ross’s inspired bronze alloy, which uses a mix of 92% copper and 8% tin, giving the metal its rosy glow. As with most bronze alloys, the wearer of this model will over time note a patina unique to his or her watch. This means each of the 999 examples Bell & Ross makes will take on a slightly different appearance.
Bell & Ross caps the bronze case with a hypoallergenic stainless steel back and anodized aluminum unidirectional bezel. The back is stamped with a diver’s helmet symbolizing scuba diving.
To fully equip the watch for underwater or at-sea escapades, Bell & Ross equips its BR 03-92 Diver Brown Bronze with 300 meters of water resistance and a second strap, made of black braided rubber.
Inside Bell & Ross fits the watch with its Sellita-based BR-CAL 302 automatic caliber powering hour, minute and seconds functions, as well as the date. Not surprisingly, the crown is screwed down and includes an extra rubber insert to ensure the watch’s impressive 300 meters of water resistance.
Specifications: Bell & Ross BR 03 92 Diver Brown Bronze
(Limited Edition of 999 pieces)
Movement: Automatic Sellita-based BR-CAL.302.
Case: 42mm by 12.05mm satin-finished and polished CuSn8 bronze. Unidirectional rotating solid bronze bezel with 60-minute scale and brown anodized aluminum ring. Screw-down crown, crown guard and steel case-back. Water resistant to 300 meters.
Dial: Brown with rose gold-plated applique indices with SuperLuminova inserts. Gold-plated metal skeletonized SuperLuminova-filled hour, minute and seconds hands.
Strap: Brown calfskin leather and woven black rubber Buckle: pin. Satin-finished and polished bronze.