Bell & Ross just gave one of its most popular Vintage models a full-dial luminescent treatment. The brand’s new Vintage BR V2-94 Full LUM glows with a full base dial of pale green SuperLuminova, assuring full visibility in low light or total darkness.
But Bell & Ross didn’t stop with the green base-dial lume. In addition, the watchmaker has placed a second SuperLuminova color, a metallized pale yellow, on the dial’s skeletonized numerals, indices and primary hands. At the same time, and with clear definition, the 30-minute counter and chronograph seconds hand turn fluorescent blue.
This three-hue lume effectively creates an unusually high level of clarity in low light environments for the retro-styled aviation automatic chronograph. The watch’s luminous trifecta very effectively enhances visibility, in large part due to the strong contrast between the luminescent colors and the black contours of the numerals, indices, hands, and counters.
The watch is the latest in an expanding collection of Bell & Ross LUM models, all of which feature fully luminous dials.
Befitting the retro tag, the Vintage BR V2-94 Full LUM’s 41mm steel case is topped with a domed glass-box sapphire crystal. And the bezel, composed of black anodized aluminum, offers a fixed 60-minute scale. Finally, the watch’s nicely proportioned chronograph pushers are screwed down.
Bell & Ross will make 250 examples of the Vintage BR V2-94 Full LUM, which will be supplied with a strap made from woven black rubber that provides the final vintage touch to the watch. Price: $5,100 (rubber strap model). A steel bracelet to fit the watch (see below) can be ordered separately for $520.
Specifications: Bell & Ross Vintage BR V2-94 Full LUM
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 3 o’clock and date. Chronograph: 30-minute counter at 9 o’clock, central chronograph seconds.
Case: 41 mm in diameter. Satin-finished and polished steel. Fixed bezel with anodized black aluminum ring and 60-minute scale. Screw-down crown and pushers. Steel and sapphire case-back. Crystal is domed sapphire with anti-reflective coating. Water-resistance to 100 meters.
Dial: Bi-compax-style chronograph layout with luminescent green painted in SuperLuminova. Numerals and indices coated in SuperLuminova. Metal skeletonized yellow SuperLuminova-filled hour, minute and seconds hands.
Strap: Black rubber with pin buckle in satin-finished and polished steel. Also supplied with a steel bracelet.
Price: $5,100. A steel bracelet to fit the watch can be ordered separately for $520.
Bulgari launches the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar, extending its string of record-breaking ultra-thin watch debuts to seven since 2014. With a micro-rotor powering the watchmaker’s 2.75mm thin Caliber BVL 305, the new watch displays the time of day plus most the traditional perpetual calendar functions in a decidedly un-traditional ultra-thin 5.80mm-thick case.
The new perpetual calendar debuted last week during Watches and Wonders 2021 alongside other Bulgari collection updates. These include a new Serpenti high-jewelry model, four new gem-encrusted Divissima and Astrale cocktail watches and a special Octo Finissimo limited edition timer-only model designed by Japanese artist Tadao Ando.
We’ll detail these watches in upcoming posts. Below, let’s take a closer look at the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar.
It’s not just the size of the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar case that underscores Bulgari’s technical acumen. The watchmaker’s own history with retrograde displays, fueled in part by years of experience with this long-time Gerald Genta specialty (Bulgari purchased Gerald Genta in 2000), is front and center on the Octo Finissimo Perpetual Calendar.
The dial’s headliner is a retrograde date display, commanding the top and center of the dial, while a retrograde-display leap years indicator sits patiently at 6 o’clock. Radial, hand-indicated day and month displays fill the remainder of the octagon-framed dial.
And if this dial seems a bit spare for a perpetual calendar, that’s because there’s no moonphase display. Bulgari deems the lunar subdial, frequently found on traditional perpetual calendars, as too classical to contribute to the contemporary style of the Octo Finissimo collection.
The watch’s displays are adjusted by means of three correctors: one for the date at 2 pm, another for the month at 4 pm and a third for the day between 8 and 9 o’clock.
Bulgari notes that it met the challenge of devising a perpetual calendar within a slender case by effectively reassessing how a movement is configured spatially.
Previous Octo Finissimo models, such as the Chronograph GMT Automatic (2019) and the Tourbillon Automatic (2018), employ a peripheral rotor to free space within the movement. However, here Bulgari opted to re-format most of the perpetual calendar’s 408 components on one level around an efficient new micro-rotor. This freed enough space to allow Bulgari to retain many components at full size – and optimal efficiency – despite the caliber’s 2.75mm limiting thinness.
Bulgari will debut the new perpetual calendar with the same architecturally stepped 40mm sandblasted titanium case we’ve seen on previous record-breaking ultra-thin Octo Finissimo models, consistent with the collection’s modern style.
Bulgari is also simultaneously creating a platinum-cased, blue-dialed example. However, this models’ platinum case (a first for this collection) is not fully polished, as is often the case with the luxurious metal. Bulgari will finish this premiere piece with a clearly contemporary satin brushing mixed with polished accents.
Movement: Automatic Manufacture movement, Caliber BVL 305, measuring 2.75mm thick, with indication of hours, minutes, retrograde date, day, month and retrograde leap year; 60-hour power reserve.
Case and dial: Sandblasted 40mm titanium, 5.80mm thick, sandblasted titanium crown with ceramic insert, transparent caseback; water-resistant to 30 meters. Dial is sandblasted titanium dial, 0.3 mm thick.
Bracelet: Sandblasted titanium with folding clasp.
Platinum model (Ref. 103463)
Movement: Automatic Manufacture movement, Caliber BVL 305, measuring 2.75mm thick, with indication of hours, minutes, retrograde date, day, month and retrograde leap year; 60-hour power reserve.
Case and dial: Satin-brushed/polished platinum case, 40mm diameter, 5.80mm thick, white gold crown, transparent caseback; water-resistant to 30 meters. Dial is lacquered blue.
Bracelet: Alligator leather strap with platinum pin clasp.
Zenith reinforces its Defy to create Defy Extreme, a new three-model collection that boasts an arsenal of components aimed at protecting the watch’s unusual dual-escapement El Primero 9004 movement from shock and moisture.
The new Defy Extreme extends the ongoing theme of the Defy El Primero 21 collection, a series of skeletonized, often colorful, high-speed (36,000 vph) timekeepers paired with an extra-fast (360,000 vph) chronographs, cased together in highly technical ceramic, titanium, carbon or steel dress.
With the new collection, Zenith has a true high-impact sport option for Defy fans wary that the existing Defy 21’s two escapements and its contemporary open work design leaves it vulnerable to physical stress and extreme elements.
Essentially, Zenith has toughened Defy’s specifications, starting with the case.
Defy Extreme’s 46mm case size is larger than the 44mm case Zenith uses within the existing Defy El Primero 21 collection. Zenith has reinforced the new case by adding extended pusher protection and a screw-down crown that, when combined with a thicker clear sapphire caseback, doubles the water resistance from the existing Defy rating of 100 meters to 200 meters for the new collection.
The new case is also rife with new angles, edges and lines. Even between the two crystals you’ll find elements that, as Zenith puts it, exude “robustness.”
Most notably, Zenith has a placed a twelve-sided ring just underneath the bezel and on the twelve-sided caseback. The architectural ring nicely frames the dial while also adding another layer of shock protection to the movement. It serves to remind the wearer that Zenith has built an extra level of security into the Defy Extreme.
Zenith is making three Defy Extreme models, all cased in micro-blasted titanium. Two matte-finished titanium models (both $18,000) differ with a blue or black-colored mainplate and pusher protectors with matching rotor finishes, while the third model ($22,000) glows with rose gold bezel ring and pusher protectors on the titanium case and rose-gold-hued main plate and accents.
Zenith is supplying each watch with three different straps with quick strap-change mechanisms: A micro-blasted or polished and satin-brushed titanium bracelet, a rubber strap with a folding buckle matching the case and, in a first for Zenith, a Velcro strap that can be easily adjusted.
TAG Heuer has updated its Aquaracer with the Aquaracer Professional 300, a collection that reshapes the brand’s dive watch with thinner cases, wider hour hands, shorter lugs and newly fluted ceramic bezels.
And look for seven full-line references in two sizes (43mm and 36mm) in the new collection. All but one of the new Aquaracer 300 Professional models will be cased in steel (with blue, black or silver dials) while one collection (with a green-dial) will be made using a titanium case.
All told, four of the new references will have a 43mm case diameter, and three will feature a case measuring 36mm, with one of the smaller size models sporting diamond hour markers. An eight model is a titanium-cased limited edition celebrating the 1978 watch that led to the Aquaracer collection.
TAG Heuer has updated nearly all the characteristics that TAG Heuer has deemed essential for every Aquaracer since 1983. Since that year watches in the collection have included a unidirectional rotating bezel, a screw-down crown, water resistance to at least 200 meters, luminous markings, a sapphire glass and a double safety clasp.
For the new models, TAG Heuer started its update by adjusting Aquaracer’s twelve-sided bezel.
In addition to adding scratch-resistant ceramic inserts in the bezel, as noted above, TAG Heuer has fluted the bezel’s trademark twelve facets for a quicker grip when the bezel needs to be turned. When turning the bezel, the user might note smoother action because TAG Heuer has also re-engineered the bezel’s internal teeth so they mesh with less resistance. Also note the new engraved minutes scale just inside the bezel.
Also new is an integrated magnifier, now positioned into the underside of the glass, over the date at 6 o’clock. Not only does the new position maintain an uninterrupted, flat sapphire crystal, but it also makes the date easier to read from wider angles.
TAG Heuer has also taken the shape of the bezel directly onto the dial. All eight hour markers are now actually lume-filled octagons. Similarly, a new twelve-sided crown has been added, matching the twelve-sided bezel. This helps maintain a design consistency, and confers a pleasing symmetry to the new Aquaracer.
But TAG Heuer didn’t stop at the markers. Note that the hour hand is wider with a more distinctive sword shape. Longtime fans might recognize it from the last of the TAG Heuer 2000 Series from 2004. However, TAG Heuer has narrowed, very slightly, the width of the minute hand to create a clearer distinction between the two hands.
The hands are further differentiated by luminosity hue, with green SuperLumiNova on the hour hand (and hour markers) and blue SuperLumiNova for the minute and seconds hands. The crown protection has been re-made as well. It’s now more rounded, echoing that first Ref. 844 from 1978.
If the central section of the dial looks familiar, it is. But it’s also different. TAG Heuer has kept Aquaracer’s familiar engraved dials with horizontal lines, but on the 43mm models those lines are set a bit further apart. The blue 36 mm model also has eight diamond hour markers and polished central bracelet links
Finally, as noted earlier, TAG Heuer has slimmed the case, bezel and metal bracelet, and shortened the lugs, without affecting the watch’s essential utility and performance. All models will maintain their full 300 meters of water resistance.
On the back of the new Aquaracer Professional 300 TAG Heuer again portrays an image of the same diving suit that first appeared on the Aquaracer caseback in 2004, but with a slight update. The helmet is more angular on the new collection, and the faceplate is twelve-sided, echoing the watch’s bezel shape.
Finally, each new reference features a new integrated metal bracelet equipped with a newer fine adjustment system that can extend or reduce the bracelet length by up to 1.5 centimeters.
Prices for the new Aquaracer Professional 300 start at $2,800 (36mm with black or white dial) and rise to $4,200 (43mm titanium model with green dial).
In addition to launching seven new ongoing models within the Aquaracer Professional 300 collection, TAG Heuer is adding a limited edition titanium-cased watch in tribute to the Heuer Ref. 844, a diver’s watch released in 1978 that presaged the Aquaracer collection.
That watch featured a dial design with a red 24-hour scale, prominent lume-filled hour markers and a rotating divers’ bezel with a minutes scale. The new tribute, called the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844, is cased in Grade 5 titanium with visual elements from the archive piece. These include a flat black dial and a red 24-hour scale, originally intended as a quick conversion chart for divers.
The tribute watch also features vintage-hued luminescent material on its dial and arrives with a black perforated rubber strap that echoes the strap sold on the original. But here, TAG Heuer has made the perforations octagonal to maintain the new Aquaracer design code.
Only 844 examples of the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 will be made. TAG Heuer’s ETA-based (or Sellita-based) Caliber 5 automatic movement powers all eight references in the new Aquaracer Professional 300 collection. Price of the tribute model: $4,350.
Hermès adds ultra-light graphene to one version of its all-new H08, a cushion-shaped debut that could become a flagship model of the brand’s contemporary watch collection.
The 39mm H08 will debut with two titanium-cased models and one created using a novel graphene-filled composite case, topped by a brushed and polished ceramic bezel.
This darker graphene version also offers a black gold-coated dial, distinctive Arabic numerals and black nickel-coated hands. The two other H08 debuts are titanium-cased, with one in matte black DLC-coated titanium and the second in satin-brushed titanium. These arrive with a black nickel-coated dial and can be matched with a blue or black fabric strap or a black or orange rubber strap.
As is typical from with Hermès watches, the dial font and the case’s pleasing geometric lines complement each other perfectly.
In fact, with H08 Hermès utilizes a dial font that specifically mimics the cushion shape of the case. Note how the namesake 8 and the 0, are especially evocative, with perfectly proportioned shapes that could also be called cushion-shaped.
The H can be seen in the link shape of the new titanium bracelet used on the brushed titanium model, as well as on the visible movement bridges and rotor.
Inside each watch Hermès places its own H1837 automatic movement, visible through the sapphire caseback.
Prices: $5,500 (titanium on rubber strap or webbed fabric); $5,700 (titanium with DLC coating on rubber strap or webbed fabric); $6,050 (titanium on titanium bracelet) and $8,900 (graphene on rubber strap).
Alongside a new dive watch (Diver X Skeleton) and a new chiming watch (the Blast Hourstriker), Ulysse Nardin just ahead of Watches & Wonders 2021 debuts UFO, a table clock that literally rocks as it displays time on three dials, all under a glass dome.
We’ll provide details about the watches in upcoming posts. Below we help you identify the new Ulysse Nardin UFO.
Teaming with Swiss clockmaker Maison L’Epée, well known in recent years for its whimsical collaborations with pioneering independent watchmaker MB&F, Ulysse Nardin has constructed UFO, a sixteen-pound, 10.3-inch tall aluminum and glass clock built with a rounded base that allows the clock to swing from side to side like mechanical waves around its axis. The UFO swings up to 60° from its axis – an amplitude of 120 degrees, with no affect on its precision.
The UFO, or unidentified floating object, is the futuristic interpretation of what Ulysse Nardin’s designers, engineers, and watchmakers think a marine chronometer should look like in 175 years, according to Ulysse Nardin CEO Patrick Pruniaux. “We always look ahead,” he says. “We wondered what a marine chronometer designed in 2196 would be like.”
The clock’s imbalance and swinging motion is meant to conjure images of the perpetual movement of the ocean. Ulysse Nardin’s 175-year history, which this clock honors, includes more than a century of making award-winning marine chronometers.
Glass and dials
The clock’s ‘imbalance’ starts with a blue half-spherical aluminum base fitted with a tungsten mass. The base and glass bell are connected to a bayonet mounting system, which echoes marine chronometer construction where the top glass could be unscrewed.
Romain Montero, a 26-year-old artisan glass blower who works for the Swiss-based Verre et Quartz, a technical glass-blowing workshop near Lake Neuchâtel, creates each glass cover by hand. The process is labor-intensive, and for each cover finished, two others were attempted without success, according to Ulysse Nardin.
L’Epée requires 663 components, and plenty of time, to build each UFO, with the three trapezoidal dials being among the clock’s most complex components to construct. According to the manufacturer it takes twenty-eight hours to manufacture eight of the dials. Three are placed into the UFO, which allows the owner to display three different time zones at once, each seen from a different angle.
The three blue-hued dials face outward around the top the clockworks, which are fully visible. And among the many spectacular sights within the clock are the six massive barrels that confer an incredible year of power reserve when fully wound with forty turns of a key. Each dial has its wind-up notch, which is also used to the set the time (four notches in total, one for winding up and one for each time zone wound up using a single key).
At the top of the movement L’Epee and Ulysse Nardin have installed a dramatic slow-beat, large-diameter (49mm) brass balance wheel. The size and the leisurely 3,600 bph frequency (one per second) of the balance is meant to both soothe the viewer while also contributing to movement’s ultra-long power reserve. And to put a finer point on the clock’s meditative rate, you’ll find a dead-beat second indicator just below the balance.
Specifications: Ulysse Nardin UFO
Movement: UN-902 caliber table clock, manually wound movement displaying three time zones, hours, minutes, deadbeat second, 675 components, six barrels, extra-large oscillator (49mm),0.5 Hz /3,600 Alt/H, one-year power reserve.
Case: Aluminum and blown glass measuring 263mm (H) x 159mm. Weight: 15.8 pounds, 75 timepieces
Greubel Forsey debuts its first metal bracelet today as it adds contemporary updates to its titanium GMT Sport. The all-new, fully integrated titanium bracelet echoes the new look of the unusual elliptical bezel, complete with the high level of hand finishing you’d expect from Greubel Forsey.
You might recall that when this high-end watchmaker first showed the world the GMT Sport in 2019, the watch’s distinctive ovoid bezel attracted just as much attention as the watch’s new movement featuring such Greubel Forsey specialties as a Tourbillon 24 Seconds and eye-catching three-dimensional GMT globe.
Likewise, the new bracelet here might garner outsized attention given its premiere status for this brand. Greubel Forsey has devised a three-link bracelet finished with many of the same styles we see on the 45mm-by-15.7mm case and bezel, notably straight graining, frosting and top-tier hand-polished beveling.
Greubel Forsey notes that it opted to frost-finish the lugs to better emphasize how the case and bracelet link directly along an uninterrupted row. The somewhat darker frosting continues along both edges of the bracelet as well, underscoring the visual unity of the two components.
Functionally, the bracelet features a fine adjustment system that allows the wearer to quickly loosen or tighten the bracelet’s fit. The watch will also arrive with a blue rubber strap with text in relief and a titanium folding clasp with engraved logo.
While adding a bracelet to the GMT Sport, Greubel Forsey has also removed something: The GMT Sport’s wide, undulating bezel is now free of the raised engraved text espousing the brand’s values. Instead, the elliptical bezel, which curves gently at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock, is cleaner, sporting expert hand-finished horizontal straight graining on top and a hand-polished frame.
Thus, instead of reading words like ‘perfection’ and ‘harmonie’, the wearer can focus on the GMT Sport’s intricate, multi-dimensional dial components and displays amid the bright new blue and titanium color scheme.
Indeed, the new color scheme of this GMT Sport highlights a matte blue finish on the mainplate, bridges, globe, second time zone dial and 24-second indicator ring of the Tourbillon 24 Seconds. The color nicely contrasts with the polished components of the steel and titanium movement components.
In addition, to draw attention to new blue color scheme, Greubel Forsey has decided to skeletonize the highly visible central suspended arched bridge and the tourbillon bridge.
The blue color splashes across the multi-level dial plates, replacing the dark grey hue of the previous GMT Sport. Between the blue plates wearers can check the time via a central hours and minutes display while eyeing a second time zone at 10 o’clock, a power reserve indicator at 3 o’clock and the GMT rotating terrestrial globe at 8 o’clock.
The GMT globe, first seen in 2011 and used within the GMT Black in 2015, displays the second time zone (as seen on the auxiliary dial just above at 10 o’clock). When the wearer combines this with the globe’s universal time display, he or she can read the current time anywhere in the world. And of course a wearer can enjoy the whirling Tourbillon 24 Secondes, positioned between 12 o’clock and 2 o’clock, which contributes to the watch’s high level of precision.
Greubel Forsey will make the new GMT Sport with the new titanium bracelet in a limited edition of thirty-three units. The price has not yet been announced, though the previous GMT Sport was priced at $500,000.
Specifications: Greubel Forsey GMT Sport
Features: In titanium, blue movement, limited edition hand-wound movement with three patents, GMT, 2nd time zone indication, rotating globe with universal time and day-and-night, universal time on 24 time zones, summer and wintertime indication, cities observing summer time, 24-second tourbillon, hours and minutes, small seconds, power-reserve indictor.
Movement: Greubel Forsey manual-wind caliber with 63 domed jewels in gold chatons, Tourbillon inclined at a 25° angle 1 rotation in 24 seconds, 72-hour power reserve, 21,600 bph,
Case: 45mm (with bezel) by 17.8mm (with crystals) titanium with curved synthetic sapphire crystal, three-dimensional, variable geometry-shaped bezel, hand-polished with hand-finished straight graining, 100-meter water resistance. O back is a sapphire disc displaying city names surrounded by 2 rings
Bracelet: New three-row metal bracelet in titanium, folding clasp with integrated fine adjustment, engraved GF logo. Also: rubber with text in relief, titanium folding clasp, engraved GF logo.
Citizen has updated and expanded its Series 8 collection, a popularly priced set of sporty steel watches previously sold only in Japan, and will offer them in the U.S. market.
With two models soon to be available in North America, Series 8 watches boast 40mm steel cases, strong anti-magnetic properties, three-hands with date and updated automatic movements. Alongside The Citizen, a 40mm steel watch set with Citizen’s impressive new automatic Caliber 0200, the Series 8 marks Citizen’s strongest entry into the U.S. mechanical sport watch market in many years.
While Citizen has a long history as a manufacturer of mechanical movements, the company in recent years has focused much of its marketing and distribution efforts on its light-powered Eco-Drive technology. For U.S. buyers, Citizen’s Miyota mechanical movements are more likely found powering watches made elsewhere than within Citizen’s current U.S. lineup. For instance, Bulova, owned by Citizen, and many independent bands utilize Citizen-manufactured automatic movements.
Look for Citizen to draw new attention to its own extensive history as a manufacturer of mechanical watches as it launches Series 8 and The Citizen within the United States.
Citizen will offer two models within Series 8 this fall. One, the 870 Mechanical, is a sporty round watch with a two-part bezel, which sets it apart from the second model, the 831 Mechanical, which features an octagonal case and one-piece bezel.
The 870’s case is finished using both hairline and mirror finishes, and its dial is set with larger hands and markers than the 831 models. As a result, it’s the cleanest of the new Series 8 designs, with a focus on high visibility and casual sportiness, especially with its steel bracelet integrated directly into the steel case.
The automatic Citizen Caliber 0950 that powers this model offers the stronger specifications of the two Series 8 movements. It is rated to -5 /+10 seconds per day, and will operate for fifty hours on a full wind. Look for the 870 with either a black or a white dial.
The 831 Mechanical offers a somewhat thinner octagonal case with crown protector, and a blue-dialed option.
The latter, in a gold-tone steel case, arrives on a more leisurely blue calf leather strap. The automatic Citizen Caliber 9051 that powers this model is rated to -10 /+20 seconds per day, and will operate for forty-two hours on a full wind. Both watches are rated water resistant to 100 meters.
The 830 Mechanical
A third Series 8 model, the 830 Mechanical, is not scheduled to be offered by Citizen in the United States. This model adds a more complex dial to the same octagonal case used by the 831. It features a new sandwich-style dial with mother-of-pearl, mesh and metal layers.
If the 830 appeals to your sense of style, you’ll have to search your overseas sources to purchase one. Thus far, the Citizen’s U.S. division has announced that it will only bring the Model 831 and 870 to the domestic U.S. market.
Citizen notes that both the movements in the Series 8 offerings have been upgraded recently to provide enhanced magnetic resistance, and both are significantly thinner than earlier versions, even with the anti-magnetic upgrade.
Citizen explains “the watches also have enhanced magnetic resistance essential for our modern digital lives by providing protection against magnetic fields generated by smartphones, tablets, and other devices that can affect the accuracy of the watch.”
Prices: $1,500 (870 Mechanical), $1,000 (831 Mechanical) and $950 (831 Mechanical, with gold-tone case and blue leather strap). Citizen will make the Series 8 models available this fall.
I have noticed that enthusiasts, whatever their domain, generally become passionate about a subject from an early age. For Steven Posner, it started with an interest in food, then cars, and later on, watches. As a youngster, Posner wanted to become financially independent, so he worked part-time as a busboy at the fast-food joint, Nathan’s. From the front of the house he eventually moved into the kitchen where he learned how to cook, then he worked his way up to take a position at the counter where he honed his customer service skills.
After graduating from high school, Posner took a job as a driver for a Long Island car leasing company but shortly moved to work for a competitor—first as a driver then as a salesman. He continued to pursue his sales career across several leasing companies throughout the 1980s.
However, he soon realized that he wanted to venture out on his own and become a business owner. It was clear that exotic cars were Steven’s forte, so he founded Putnam Leasing and brought in Cyndi and Richard Koppelman, owner of Greenwich-based Miller Motorcars, as a partner. Today, Putnam Leasing is the leader in exotic and collector car leasing, offering cars like Ferrari, Aston Martin, Bentley, and Lamborghini, just to name a few.
Posner’s appreciation for design, beauty, and mechanics when describing cars is palatable. He waxes poetic about older cars being handmade and exalts their use of metal over plastic, genuine leather instead of leatherette, and so on. He also emphasizes that these types of cars hold their value.
He has the same type of passion for watches too, as illustrated when he spoke about his first Seiko chronograph.
Posner’s appetite for fine watches began when he was in his late-20s. He purchased a 1963 gold Rolex Oyster with a black dial for $1,600. After six years of wearing the watch daily, he got $3,000 for it. Steven realized that just like old cars, old watches could gain value as well—as long as you pick the right ones.
As his Rolex and Patek Philippe watch collection grew, so too did his appreciation for vintage watches. While new models are certainly beautiful, vintage pieces are what capture his attention. He diligently checks the Instagram accounts of his preferred dealers every morning to see what they have available. He understands that developing genuine relationships with key dealers is how he can get his hands on exceptional timepieces.
Considerations before buying
Posner approaches buying watches much the same way he examines cars, which is to say he considers condition, price, rarity, and design. He doesn’t believe in buying a watch “at a good deal” if it needs too much work to get it right.
Whether cars or watches, his mantra is to always buy the best you can find, even if that means paying a higher price now because, in the end, these examples will always be worth more when reselling.
As a long-time collector, Posner always advises new collectors with limited budgets to stick to popular brands. He asserts that brands like Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, F.P. Journe, and A. Lange & Söhne are generally sound acquisitions as there will always be a market for them. He also adds that it’s important to buy something you will enjoy wearing instead of a watch that will stay in the safe.
When I asked him what cars, watches, food, and wine have in common, he pointed out that wearing a nice watch, driving a nice car, or sharing a meal with friends and family in a nice restaurant can make us feel good. These are ways to enjoy the finer things in life.
Demand will remain
Even if the world is changing, Posner believes that the world of antique cars, watches, and wine will remain largely the same in twenty years. People will continue to pay attention to status. He also believes that fine machinery, whether a car or watch, will be worth even more in twenty to thirty years than they are now.
The big brands have created the market, and demand will always be there, he says. Of course, some companies are stronger than others and Posner thinks that a brand has to offer something special to last. There will always be enthusiasts that appreciate the smells and sounds of vintage cars or the beauty of a grand complication.
(The full interview with Steven Posner and his analysis of the exotic car market and vintage watches is available here and at blog.laurentfinewatches.com.)
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.
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.