Tag

Swiss made

Browsing

Alpina this week revives a regulator dial design with the new Alpiner Regulator Automatic, a successor to the Geneva-based watchmaker’s Avalanche Regulator, which debuted in 2003.

The new Alpiner Regulator Automatic, from Alpina.

As is the case with all regulator dials, the hands rotate within separate subdials, all dominated by the central minutes hand. Alpina echoes its first regulator watch from by setting the subdials amid vertical Côtes de Genève stripes. However, Alpina has replaced the original’s baton hour markers with triangle-tipped markers lined with luminescent material.

Alpina’s choice of dial décor is meant to enhance the dial’s visibility.  Traditionally, watchmakers apply a Côtes de Genève (Geneva Stripes) finish not to dials, but to movement bridges and rotors. The stripes distribute reflected light from the dial, which reduces reflections.

Now in a round 45mm steel case, the new Alpiner Regulator Automatic sets its hour subdial at 10 o’clock and its seconds subdial at the 6 o’clock position.

Modern look

While Alpina offers a broad range of vintage-styled watches, here the watchmaker offers a contemporary look to what is a classical regulator dial layout.

For the United States, collection includes two models with blue dials, which are available on a brown calfskin strap or a steel bracelet. A third model, offered as a limited series of 883 pieces, features a blue dial on a black calfskin strap with red stitching (pictured above).

Alpina has placed its ETA-based AL-650 automatic movement inside the new Alpiner Regulator Automatic. This differs from Alpina’s earlier regulator watches, many of which were powered by manual-wind movements. And unlike many of those earlier models, the new Alpiner Regulator Automatic features a close, engraved caseback rather than a clear sapphire back.  

The watch, available on us.alpinawatches.com, is nicely priced at $1,895 to $1,995, depending on the version.

With this launch, Alpina continues its support of the National Park Foundation as an official partner. For every Alpiner Regulator Automatic purchased through the United States website, Alpina will donate $100 to the parks.

 

Bell & Ross last week debuted the first chronograph within its retro-classic BR 05 collection.

The new Bell & Ross BR 05 Chronograph, which debuts with a choice of blue or black dial and steel bracelet or rubber strap.

You might recall that the BR 05 collection, which debuted in 2019, signaled the brand’s entry into the expanding field of Swiss-made 1970s-style steel watches with integrated bracelets.  

Directly referencing the groundbreaking integrated steel watches of the 1970s, Bell & Ross’s BR 05 design essentially is an evolution of its cockpit-inspired BR 03. With the first time-only BR 05 collection, Bell & Ross placed its very identifiable 12-6-9 numerals and four bezel screws exactly where you’d expect them on a Bell & Ross aviation watch, and framed them with curved, polished bezel and case edges that nicely meld into a new steel bracelet.

Now with a chronograph option, the BR 05 retains the solidly integrated case and bracelet but adds a familiar chronograph dial layout. The watch’s retro-shaped snailed counters (chronograph minute counter at 9 o’clock and small seconds at 3 o’clock) between the 12 and 6 on the dial echo the BR 05’s case, which now measures 42mm in diameter, up from the 40mm of the debut collection. 

Designing the chronograph challenged Bell & Ross to add pushers to a case it built to present fluid lines and curves. By flattening the pushers, smoothing their edges and essentially incorporating them within the case, Bell & Ross handily met that challenge.

Bell & Ross finishes the new BR 05 chronograph with flat satin-polished surfaces and polished bevels. The effect is more dressy than sporty, though the optional blue or black rubber strap might tilt that view just a bit. The watch’s 100-meter water resistance and robust ETA-based automatic chronograph movement (Bell & Ross Cal. 301) allow for wear most anywhere but deep dives. Luminous markers and hands keep the time visible in dim light.

Bell & Ross offers the new, quite nicely executed BR 05 chronograph with either a blue or black sunray dial and with a choice of integrated steel bracelet ($6,400) or blue or black rubber strap.  ($5,900).

Just ahead of the Mille Miglia classic car competition, now underway in Italy, Chopard unveiled its latest Mille Miglia watch, an annual debut for the watchmaker/jeweler ever since it partnered with the race’s organizers in 1988.

The New Chopard Mille Miglia Race Edition 2020, with DLC-treated case.

This year Chopard commemorates the race with the Mille Miglia 2020 Race Edition, a watch offered in two versions. For one version, the 42mm chronograph is cased in bead-blasted, DLC-treated stainless steel similar to the satin black and gunmetal finishes of vintage cars.  This handsome, sporty all-black model is a 1,000-piece limited series. Price: $6,700.

The new Chopard Mille Miglia Race Edition 2020, with ethically sourced 18- karat gold bezel.

The second edition is a 250-piece limited edition made with bezels created using bead-blasted ethically sourced rose gold ($8,400).

 An ETA-based, chronometer-certified automatic movement with 42-hour power reserve powers both new Chopard Mille Miglia Race Edition 2020 watches. And both models boast a sapphire crystal case-back bordered by the 1000 Miglia logo and the edition number of each piece. Chopard pairs each model with a black, perforated leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching and a rubber lining designed to mimic a pattern based on a 1960s Dunlop racing tire.

Concept model

In addition, Chopard will make a futuristic cushion-shaped concept watch, a 20-piece limited edition called Mille Miglia Lab One, featuring Chopard’s first non-round self-winding tourbillon movement (Chopard 04.03-M.)

The new Chopard Mille Miglia Lab One.

The contemporary styled Lab One is made with a blackened titanium cushion-shaped 48.6mm by 46mm case framing an openwork dial that looks like a racecar grille. Additional racing references include a movement that echoes a racing cylinder head and a gas-gauge-like power reserve display.

Caliber Chopard 04.03-M

Another function, the tourbillon stop, is inspired by a disc-brake system. The tourbillon carriage is brought to a halt by axially mounted levers that are activated as soon as the crown is pulled out. Racecar material like carbon fiber and rubber continue the references. The Mille Miglia Lab One will be sold only at Chopard boutiques. Price: Upon request.

 

Armin Strom this week introduces Lady Beat, the independent Swiss watchmaker’s first watch designed with feminine customers in mind. And while the new collection aesthetically echoes Armin Strom’s existing Gravity Equal Force collection, with its open-dial three-bridge design, Armin Strom has built an all-new, less-complicated caliber and has placed it within a fairly thin new 38mm case, a first for the brand.

The 38mm case diameter of Lady Beat is a first for Armin Strom.

Armin Strom explains that the Lady Beat was designed in concert with female design consultants, who sought to answer the question: “What does a woman desire on her wrist?”

Thus, the new Lady Beat features an off-center dial that displays only a minute and hour hand with no markers except the company logo at 12 o’clock. This contrasts with the classic three-hand display with small seconds found on the Gravity Equal Force.

Armin Strom’s new Lady Beat is characterized by soft, moon-like shapes.

And, instead of powering the watch with a visible micro rotor (as on the Gravity Equal Force) Armin Strom has developed a full-sized central rotor and placed it on the back of the new Caliber ALA20.

And while the wearer can still eye the movement’s vibrating balance directly on the front of the Lady Beat, Armin Strom has removed the stop-works declutch system and novel ‘equal force’ motor barrel from the new caliber. This allowed Armin Strom to create a caliber for Lady Beat that is thinner than the movement inside the existing Gravity Equal Force.

Also contributing to the Lady Beat’s “soft shapes” design brief, Armin Strom replaced classic lugs in favor of an integrated strap. Circles and semi-circles replaced the earlier design’s angular shapes throughout.

“These soft, moon-like shapes fill the optics of this watch,” explains Armin Strom co-founder Claude Greisler. “Look closely and you will see a half-moon-shaped plate sharing the watch’s lower level with the mechanical elements, while a full moon-shaped subdial sits atop it.”

The back of the Armin Strom ALA20 shows the new full-size, decorated rotor.

Conclusion: Armin Strom succeeds on its own terms with its first feminine watch as it avoids the all-too common watch design trap of simply adding gemstones to a smaller version of an existing model.

Armin Strom offers two Lady Beat models. One with a white dial and the other with a black dial.

Price: 16,900 CHF (about $18,600)

 

Specifications: Armin Strom Lady Beat

Movement: Automatic caliber ALA20, high-quality décor, 25,200 vph, seventy-hours of power reserve.

Case: 38mm by 11.65mm steel, sapphire crystal and case back with anti-reflective treatment. Water-resistance to 30 meters.

Dial: Offset in white or black with hand-finished steel hands.

Strap: Delivered with a bi-material rubber and Alcantara in satin white or black, and double-fold clasp in stainless steel.

Price: Starting at 16,900 CHF (about $18,600)

Zenith again taps into its past as it today debuts a special Chronomaster Revival watch, which the Le Locle manufacturer is releasing as a special North American edition.

The new Zenith Chronomaster Revival Liberty.

The new Zenith Chronomaster Revival Liberty, a red, white and blue limited edition of 150 pieces, echoes earlier Zenith Revival pieces with a design firmly rooted in the brand’s 1969 El Primero A384 automatic chronograph tonneau-cased debuts. As a reminder, it was in 1969 that Zenith debuted its El Primero caliber, the world’s first high-frequency automatic chronograph movement.

Domed sapphire

The latest edition, like recent Zenith Chronomaster Revival models, retains the 37mm case size of the original models and features Zenith’s modern El Primero 400 automatic movement with a 50-hour power reserve. Also echoing the vintage look are the tachymeter scale and the original chronograph hand design called “Barley Sugar Cane.”

Zenith says it consulted original blueprints and production plans from five decades ago to recreate the case. In this new version Zenith caps the dial with a newly domed sapphire crystal and adds a modern clear sapphire caseback. Also new is the model’s blue rubberized cordura strap, complete with a single red stitch on each side.

Zenith creates the model’s Liberty theme with a matte blue gradient dial paired with white chronograph counters. In greater detail, Zenith has painted red and white stripes on the central chronograph second hand. Furthermore, Zenith colors the numerals on the white date wheel in red.

Zenith if offering the new Chronomaster Revival Liberty as a limited edition of 150 pieces exclusively in the United States and Canada and on Zenith’s American online boutique. Price: $8,700

Specifications: Zenith Chronomaster Revival “Liberty”

(Reference: 03.US384.400/57.C823, Limited Edition for North America.)

Movement: Automatic El Primero 400 column-wheel chronograph, frequency of 36,000 VpH (5 Hz), 50-hour power reserve. Functions: Hours and minutes in the center. Small seconds at nine o’clock. 
Chronograph (central chronograph hand, 12-hour counter at six o’clock, 
30-minute counter at three o’clock), tachymetric scale, date indication.

Case: 37mm stainless steel, water resistant to 50 meters.

Dial: Blue gradient with white counters and tachymeter scale
, markers and hands are rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with Super
Luminova.

Bracelet: Blue cordura-style strap and red stitching, stainless steel pin buckle.

Price: $8,700

Parmigiani Fleurier earlier this year underscored its technical mettle by adding the Tondagraph GT to its Tonda GT collection. That limited-edition chronograph features a large date display and, unusually, an annual calendar, all placed into a case inspired by the highly acclaimed Tonda Chronor Anniversaire watch, for which the Manufacture received the Chronograph Watch Prize from the GPHG in 2017.

For Fall 2020 Parmigiani Fleurier revisits that same fluted-bezel case, but makes it in rose gold and fits it with an impressive integrated chronograph built on the foundation of that award-winning Chronor Anniversaire.

The new Parmigiani Fleurier Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue.

The brand’s new Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue, houses Parmigiani Fleurier’s new PF071 movement, a COSC-certified, automatic chronograph with large date, that boasts all the specifications you’d expect from a high-end in-house integrated chronograph – the brand’s third – with such pedigree.

Thus, the new high-frequency (36,000 bph) caliber is built with a column wheel instead of a cam, utilizes a vertical clutch instead of the more common horizontal clutch, and secures its balance using a double-attached cross-through bridge rather than a single-point bridge.

Parmigiani Fleurier explains that this type of bridge attachment “minimizes the effect of impacts to the balance with gold inertia blocks and has been designed so that its height can be adjusted and adapted precisely to the rest of the movement.”

With its high frequency chronograph caliber, which is accurate to the nearest 10th of a second, Parmigiani Fleurier has added two additional markers and hands within the subdial at 6 o’clock for the tenths-of-a-second timing display.

Parmigiani Fleurier has also integrated the big date aperture directly into the movement rather than adding it as a module, which the brand says enhances its reliability.

Parmigiani Fleurier has integrated the big date aperture directly into the movement.
The clear sapphire on the back exposes a sunray satin pattern, a 22-karat gold oscillating weight.

On the dial the watchmaker blues its traditional hobnail-style “clou triangulaire” guilloche, while the back reveals the high-end finish it applies throughout the new caliber PF071. The clear sapphire on the back exposes the movement’s sunray satin pattern finish and the 22-karat gold oscillating weight with eye-catching “angel wing” bridges.

Parmigiani Fleurier is making the Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Blue as a limited edition of twenty-five pieces each on a blue rubber strap ($41,000) and also on a gold bracelet ($65,500).

 

Hermès this week adds sixteen pieces to its artistic moonphase watch collection with the launch of the new Arceau L’heure de la Lune New York Meteorite Dial limited edition.

In the style of existing models in the Arceau L’heure de la Lune collection, Hermès highlights the watch with a light brown quilted-pattern dial created using a thin slice of meteorite discovered by fisherman and sold in New York in 1965. The new models will be cased in platinum.

Known as siderite, the meteor-sourced dial’s material appears metallic brown, which signifies that it comes from the center of an asteroid. Owners of the Arceau L’heure de la Lune New York Meteorite Dial limited edition, which will be exclusively sold in the United States, will also be able to claim possession of a section of the only meteorite legally bearing the name New York.

You may recall that in 2019 Hermes wowed observers at that year’s SIHH when it debuted the first models in the 43mm gold-cased Arceau de la Lune collection with stone dials and at least one model crafted with a dial made of lunar meteorite. Earlier this year Hermès added several new models to the collection with dials of celestial origin, including one fashioned from a piece of Martian meteorite.

Quirky displays

The 43mm platinum-cased model, a high-end alternative to the classic moonphase watch, offers a simultaneous display of moon phases in both northern and southern hemispheres. Two discs, one indicating the date and one showing the hour and minute, rotate around the dial. As they do, their position above two mother-of-pearl moon discs syncs exactly with the moon’s phase at the time and date indicated. Blued hands contrast nicely to display both time and date on white lacquered discs.

In a quirky Hermès touch, the southern hemisphere’s moon is displayed at the top of the dial while the moon as seen in the northern hemisphere rests at the 6 o’clock position.

Jean-Francois Mojon (who has worked with MB&F and Harry Winston, among others) created the dial’s 59-day lunar dance for Hermès by developing a patent-pending module linked to the Hermès H1837 automatic caliber.

Each Hermès Arceau L’heure de la Lune New York Meteorite Dial is priced at $69,950.

MB&F wants you to wear its new Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO anywhere you go.

The new watch, which MB&F debuts today, is an exuberant, ultra-tough version of its innovative and GPHG-award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual (from 2015) that MB&F has now dressed in a new case and outfitted with enhanced shock resistance and increased water resistance.

The new MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO.

Cased in lightweight zirconium, an extremely durable silvery-grey metal frequently used by medical instrument makers, the new watch immediately differentiates itself from the earlier LM Perpetual by displaying no bezel. Instead, MB&F has fused the watch’s domed sapphire crystal directly to the 44mm case.

This re-configured case/crystal configuration opens up the wearer’s view of the watch’s eye-catching, hovering balance wheel, a signature MB&F design element. But more than that, the new design also decreases the watch’s overall height-to-diameter ratio, which can reduce the chances of accidental impact to the crystal.

Zirconium, while difficult to machine, makes for a particularly lightweight case; it also features enhanced hypoallergenic and anti-microbial properties.  MB&F has only used zirconium to case two previous watches, the HM3 Frog and HM5.

FlexRing

Perhaps the most critical addition to the original perpetual calendar’s movement design is a one-piece stainless steel dampener called the FlexRing. MB&F fits this new round component between the watch’s case and movement to enhance shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes.

MB&F designed a new shock-resistant component called FlexRing for the new movement.

According to MB&F, the new component “makes for the most robust Machine ever to emerge from MB&F.”

In addition to these adjustments, MB&F has transformed the watch’s pushers, which are larger and oblong instead of small and round, and has enhanced the water resistance of the crown (which is now screw-down) on this updated perpetual calendar. The sleeker pushers in particular signal the EVO’s sportiness.

To increase the watch’s water resistance to 80-meters MB&F has connected the crown to a new type of winding stem that disengages the crown from the winding mechanism when it is pushed in and tightened. This also prevents the wearer from over winding the mainspring barrel.

The movement

As a reminder, Stephen McDonnell effectively redesigned the traditional perpetual calendar when he first devised the LM Perpetual for MB&F five years ago.

McDonnell built the LM Perpetual with a “mechanical processor” (a series of superimposed disks) that takes the default number of days in the month at 28 and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month. This removes the chance that the date will jump incorrectly. He also built in a safety feature that disconnects the pushers during the date changeover to eliminate any risk of damage to the movement when the date is changed.

One of three plate color options, dubbed Atomic Orange, is new for MB&F.

New colors

In addition to bolstering the shock and water resistance of its perpetual calendar, MB&F is also emphasizing the LM Perpetual’s EVO’s sporty nature with new movement plate PVD or CVD colors and a rubber strap that fits snugly between two polished lugs.

One of three plate color options, dubbed Atomic Orange, is new for MB&F. The watchmaker says it has devised a new coating material and CVD coating technique that allowed it to add this sporty hue to its component color options.

The clear caseback reveals superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style with internal bevel angles and hand-polished bevels.

MB&F is offering two other dial-plate colors, PVD black and CVD blue, for the LM Perpetual EVO and is producing each of the three shades in a limited series of fifteen pieces (in celebration of the brand’s 15th anniversary). Strap colors are white, grey and black. Price: $167,000.

 

Specifications:  MB&F Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO

Movement: Fully integrated perpetual calendar developed for MB&F by Stephen McDonnell, featuring dial-side complication and mechanical processor system architecture with inbuilt safety mechanism. Manual winding with double mainspring barrels, bespoke 14mm balance wheel with traditional regulating screws visible on top of the movement. Superlative hand finishing throughout respecting 19th century style; internal bevel angles, polished bevels, Geneva waves, hand-made engravings. A FlexRing, an annular dampener fitted between case and movement, provides shock protection along the vertical and lateral axes, screw-down crown, 72-hour power reserve, 18,000 bph balance frequency (2.5Hz).

Functions/indications: Galvanic black dials with both SLN numerals and hands (except for the leap year and power reserve). Hours, minutes, day, date, month, retrograde leap year and power reserve indicators.

Case: 44mm by 17.5 mm zirconium, water resistance to 80 meters, sapphire crystals on top and display back treated with anti-reflective coating on both faces

Strap: Rubber strap with titanium folding buckle.

Price: $167,000.

TAG Heuer answered collector requests for a new black-dialed Monaco last week when it debuted the Monaco Chronograph 39 Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic, the first new black-dialed Monaco in a decade. And to enhance the offering, which also includes a new blue-dialed model, the watchmaker builds the newest Monaco with its in-house Caliber Heuer 02 automatic movement and pairs both with an all-new steel bracelet.

The newest Monaco, the TAG HeuerMonaco Chronograph 39 Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic.

These two new Monacos, with the same black-dialed model also matched to a new black alligator leather strap, are meant to continue the brand’s 50th anniversary celebration of the Monaco, which began in 2019.

The new blue and black watches feature dials that have been sunray brushed and configured with a familiar three-register layout with square, silvered hour and minute chronograph subdials. On both models, the running seconds indicator is marked by a simple crosshair pattern.

New bracelet

For many, the new bracelet will likely be as welcomed as the new black dial. Monaco hasn’t seen a fully new steel bracelet update in two decades. The new bracelet, which echoes the design of the H-shaped bracelet Heuer used on the Monaco in the early 1970s, features wider lugs than the earlier models and tapers a bit more around the wrist. It’s held with a new butterfly clasp.

“The bracelet is particularly important for any wristwatch – without a good bracelet, the timepiece lacks desirability,” says TAG Heuer’s Heritage Director, Catherine Eberlé-Devaux. “For the new Monaco timepieces, we have alluded to its brilliant past with a familiar design and color while reinforcing that the collection is moving forward with innovative new technology.”

TAG Heuer fits all three new editions with the excellent in-house manufacture Caliber Heuer 02, an automatic movement with a vertical clutch, column wheel and an impressive eighty-hour power reserve.

With a few exceptions, regular collection Monaco chronographs in recent years had been set with ETA-based Caliber 12 or Sellita-based Caliber 11.   

Prices: $6,750 (on steel bracelet) and $6,350 (on leather strap).

Specifications:
TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph 39mm Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic (bracelet model)

(Reference CBL2113.BA0644 and reference CBL2111.BA0644, blue dial available January 2021)

Movement: Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic with vertical clutch, column wheel, 80-hour power reserve.

Case: 39 mm polished and fine-brushed stainless-steel, bevelled, domed sapphire crystal
Sapphire caseback, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Blue or Black sunray brushed, rhodium-plated indexes, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova, red lacquered central hand, white TAG HEUER printed logo, angled date display at 6 o’clock

–3 counters:
– 3 o’clock: silver minute chronograph counter
– 6 o’clock: black or blue permanent second indicator
– 9 o’clock: silver hour chronograph counter.
Bracelet: Alternating, three-row stainless steel with stainless-steel butterfly folding clasp with double safety push button.

Price: $6,750.00

 

TAG Heuer Monaco Chronograph 39 mm Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic (alligator leather strap)(Reference CBL2113.FC6177)

Movement: Caliber Heuer 02 Automatic with vertical clutch, column wheel, 80-hour power reserve.

Case: 39 mm polished and fine-brushed stainless-steel, bevelled, domed sapphire crystal
Sapphire caseback, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Dial: Black Sunray-brushed, rhodium-plated indexes, rhodium-plated hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova, red lacquered central hand, white TAG HEUER printed logo, angled date display at 6 o’clock

Three counters:
– 3 o’clock: silver minute chronograph counter
– 6 o’clock: black permanent second indicator
– 9 o’clock: silver hour chronograph counter
Strap: Black alligator leather, stainless-steel folding clasp with double safety push buttons

Price: $6,350

 

Alpina revives the hunter-style flip-open caseback with its new limited edition Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic. The new model, which features a vintage-style dial and a new case, includes the hunter design, in part to reference an earlier Startimer Pilot watch from 2015 that also featured the retro style.

The new Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic.

This latest addition to the pilot series is built with a 44 mm steel case that frames a matte black dial displaying luminescent beige hour, minute and 24-hour markers that nicely replicate a typical shade used on pilot watches starting in the 1930s and 1940s.

Additional vintage details include the triangular Alpina logo on the dial, which utilizes the original font used by Alpina during the peak of the manufacturer’s mid-century pilot watch production. The logo, which differs from the logo Alpina places on its contemporary pilot models, also serves a practical purpose by separating the 11 o’clock and 1 o’clock markers. A colorful red counterbalance on the seconds hand accents the all-business dial, which includes a date indicator.

Alpina decorates the outside of the revived hunter caseback with a fine perlage pattern. When clicked open by pressing the button at 4 o’clock, the back exposes a Sellita-based AL-525 automatic movement sporting a darkened rotor, and otherwise basic finishing.

The crown and the strap also echo the vintage pilot design. The former is large and grooved while the latter is brown and calfskin, accented with beige topstitching.

With this launch, Alpina continues its support of the National Park Foundation as an official partner. For every Startimer Pilot Automatic 40mm purchased through the brand’s U.S. website, Alpina will donate $100 to the parks.

Limited to 1,883 pieces, the new Alpina Startimer Pilot Heritage Automatic is priced at $1,295.