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One of Chopard’s most impressive debuts from its wide-ranging late 2021 roster is the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF, a limited-edition titanium watch tricked out with Chopard’s own ultra-high frequency escapement.

The Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF.

Operating twice as fast as a conventional escapement, Chopard’s L.U.C 8HF in 2012 was among the very first such calibers with an ultra-high speed escapements to be serialized into production. The escapement, which Chopard builds with lubrication-free silicon components, vibrates at 57,600 (8 Hz), and keeps the Caliber 01.12-C in this new model operating at a higher rate of precision over a longer period of time than traditional calibers.

Because the movement’s escapement is faster than usual, each vibration has statistically less impact on the timekeeping rate. In addition, the high frequency allows for a steadier beat and quicker rate recovery from any shocks.

The Automatic Chopard 01.12-C boasts a frequency of 57,600 vph (8 Hz).

And with a smaller balance wheel, which requires less energy, the new caliber maintains the same sixty-hour power reserve found in the standard-frequency calibers throughout Chopard’s sporty Alpine Eagle collection. Not surprisingly the watch holds chronometer certification as issued by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).

The watch’s caliber features a lubrication-free silicon silicon impulse-pin, pallet-lever and escape-wheel.

Titanium case, bracelet

At first glance, Chopard’s Alpine Eagle Cadence 8 HF looks outwardly similar to its Alpine Eagle brethren, all of which share the same fully integrated metal bracelet design. Its 41mm diameter echoes watches already in the collection.

But Chopard cases the new watch in titanium, a first for the Alpine Eagle collection. Chopard until this model has cased all its Alpine Eagle models from the custom Lucent Steel A223, in ethical gold, or in a combination of both metals.

The dial here also differs from those found in the existing collection.

While the new watch dial also features the Alpine Eagle’s “eagle iris” sunburst pattern, here it displays a hand-colored dial in a slightly darker hue than we’ve seen in the collection. Chopard reports that grey quartzite roof tiles found in the Swiss village of Vals inspired its artisans to create the dial finish.

In addition, Chopard has simplified the dial iconography, which has been very sensibly minimized to simple baton-type hour markers at 3, 6 and 9. The dial maintains the same Roman numeral 12 seen throughout the collection, but here joined by the logo atop ‘8 HZ Chronometer’ and the cool retro-style arrow logo found on all Chopard high frequency watches.

Chopard will make 250 numbered examples of the Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF. Price: $19,000.

 

Specifications: Chopard Alpine Eagle Cadence 8HF

(250-piece limited edition, Ref. 298600-3005)

Case: 41mm by 9.75mm grade 5 titanium, water resistance to 100 meters, steel screw-down crown with compass rose, vertical satin-brushed bezel with eight indexed screws, sapphire crystal, sapphire crystal exhibition case-back with the words “Cadence 8HF.”

Movement: Automatic Chopard 01.12-C with a frequency of 57,600 vph (8 Hz), power reserve of 60 hours, annual balance-spring with flat terminal curve, patented high-frequency regulating organ, silicon impulse-pin, pallet-lever and escape-wheel, chronometer-certified (COSC).

Dial: Brass stamped with a sunburst pattern in a patinated Vals grey. Rhodium-plated applied hour-markers and numerals, painted with Grade X1 SuperLumiNova, rhodium-plated baton-type hours and minutes hands painted with Grade X1 SuperLumiNova. Rhodium-plated arrow-type seconds hand with eagle feather counterweight.

Bracelet: Tapering in grade 5 titanium, wide links with satin-brushed sides and polished central cap, triple folding clasp in grade 5 titanium with steel blades.

Price: $19,000.

 

By Steve Huyton

A few years ago I featured a very special watch called the Crazy Wheel by Franck Dubarry in my “Independent Watchmakers” book. This watch was really a last-minute inclusion because at the time I wasn’t that familiar with the brand.

The original 43mm Franck Dubarry Crazy Wheel, made using titanium, forged carbon and Kevlar.

However, my editor absolutely loved the aesthetic and felt it was a worthy addition. What makes this piece so special is the 360° in-house gravitational flying-hour module, which takes center place on the dial. This amazing mechanism was conceived by specialist watchmaker Dominique Renaud, renowned for his work with high-end brands like Audemars Piguet and Richard Mille.

The Crazy Wheel is available in many versions including a Maori Tattoo version, which is my personal favorite. If you like brands like Audemars Piguet, Hublot and Linde Werdelin, this watch will really hit the spot.

The newest Crazy Wheel Gemma models sport bright colors and gemstones.

Feminine models

Originally, Crazy Wheel was targeted at the masculine and potentially unisex market. However, recently, I received a press release from the brand unveiling a new feminine model called the Crazy Wheel Gemma.

The ‘Crazy Wheel Gemma’ adopts the same 43mm x 50mm geometric case as the original version. A few years ago it would have been inconceivable that a watch this size would appeal to the feminine market. However, times are changing and now certain ladies prefer bolder designs.

To create a softer façade, Franck Dubarry has added precious gems into the composition. There are three new Maori engraved versions (two with bronze cases) with pink sapphire, blue sapphire and green emerald encrusted bezels. These stone perfectly compliment the meticulously finished lacquered colors on the flying-hour module. Prices start at $19,800.

Steve Huyton is an industrial designer, illustrator and author who publishes Total Design Reviews.

 

 

 

 

Patek Philippe this week introduces new versions of three existing chronographs, including one (Reference 5905) with an olive-green dial set into a steel case with an Aquanaut-inspired steel bracelet.

The other two debuts, new versions of Reference 5204 (a split-second chronograph with perpetual calendar) and Reference 5930 (a world time flyback chronograph) each feature new case metal and/or a new dial color.

The new Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 is a flyback chronograph and annual calendar in a 42mm polished stainless steel case.

Reference 5905/1A-001
A

Patek Philippe first launched this self-winding flyback chronograph with annual calendar in platinum in 2015 and then in rose gold in 2019. Now, the watch enters the market as a sporty 42mm steel watch, complete with an integrated steel bracelet inspired by the brand’s all-sporty Aquanaut (Reference 5167/1A).

And combined with a trendy sunburst olive green dial, this debut will likely become the latest Patek Philippe watch with demand far exceeding production. Patek Philippe rarely cases its watches in steel, and the metal’s use here will only amplify the already strong demand for the brand’s pioneering and highly legible annual calendar, especially as combined with a flyback chronograph.

Specifically, the dial offers a central chronograph hand, a large 60-minute subdial at 6 o’clock and three day/date/month apertures helpfully arranged along the top of the dial. For setting purposes, Patek Philippe includes a day/night indicator at 6 o’clock.

As seen through the clear sapphire caseback, Caliber CH 28-520 QA 24H shows Patek Philippe’s technical and artisanal mettle, with a vertical disk clutch column wheel. This means the central chronograph seconds hand can also be used as a permanent (running) seconds display.

The new watch will join existing references in platinum with a blue dial and in rose gold with a brown dial. Price: $59,140.

 

Reference 5204R-011
A

Patek Philippe dresses up its classically styled split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar with a more contemporary sunburst slate grey dial and matching strap.

The new Patek Philippe 5204R-011 is a split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar in a 40mm rose gold case.

The 40mm watch’s highly desirable technical pairing, first offered in rose gold in 2016, is, like the annual calendar, notable for its legibility. It displays day and month in two apertures at 12 o’clock. Small seconds and the instantaneous 30-minute counter appear on two subdials at 9 and 3 o’clock, while two round apertures display the leap-year cycle between 4 and 5 o’clock. And helpfully, the date hand (at 6 o’clock) includes a moonphase display.

Through its clear sapphire caseback the Reference 5204R allows a view of the manual-wind Caliber CHR 29-535 PS Q, first introduced in 2012. This caliber, with two column wheels, a horizontal clutch and a split-seconds mechanism, is a recipient of seven patents.

The watch is available on a shiny slate gray calf leather strap with an embossed alligator pattern and a rose gold fold-over clasp. Available with interchangeable sapphire crystal and solid caseback, it is joining the two existing versions in rose gold. Price: $309,893.

 

Reference 5930P-001

This automatic World Time Flyback Chronograph is resplendent with its all-new 39.5mm platinum case, especially as it complements a sexy green dial and matching strap.

The new Patek Philippe 5930P-001 World Time Flyback Chronograph is set into a 39.5mm platinum case.

Not only are the green city names right on trend, they do so in a retro style particular to Patek Philippe: In 1940 the Geneva watchmaker actually placed a similar green dial on a one-off model of its famed world timer. Furthermore, the case features the wing-type lugs often seen on Patek Philippe world timers in the 1940s-1950s.

If the design here looks familiar from more a recent era, it’s because Patek Philippe debuted the 5930 in 2016 in a white gold version with a blue dial and matching strap. Here, the green dial center has been guillochéd by hand in a circular pattern while the hands and applied hour markers are coated with a generous application of luminescent coating.

Inside, Patek Philippe’s caliber CH 28-520 HU is equipped with a column wheel and a disk-type vertical clutch. This allows the central chronograph hand to be used as a permanent (running) seconds display without affecting accuracy or power reserve.

Patek Philippe offers the new Reference 5930P-001 on a shiny green alligator strap with a platinum fold-over clasp. It joins the collection alongside a white gold 5930G-010 version with blue dial and strap. Price: $100,538.

As football season continues, Accutron reminds collectors that the inspiration watches for two of its new Legacy models drew catchy gridiron nicknames in the 1960s.

The two models, the Accutron 565 and 203, were both initially launched in 1966 and were notable for their distinctive asymmetrical case designs, which accounted in part for their football-related nicknames.

The new Accutron Legacy 565. The original model 565 was known as the ‘Football Cross Hatch’ watch.

One watch, model 565, was known as the ‘Football Cross Hatch’ watch thanks the spiral pattern on its bezel. Likewise, fans called the 203 model the ‘Football Gold Relief’ watch primarily because of its case shape, which somewhat echoes that of the pigskin.

The new Accutron Legacy 203.

Accutron’s Legacy collection, first seen in late 2020, includes newly re-imagined versions of those original watches plus many others from the 1960s and 1970s. For these models (and the full Legacy collection) Accutron wisely resists the modern tendency by watchmakers to upscale retro editions by housing them in larger cases.

New versions

Accutron today adds the distinctive bezel cross hatch pattern to the crown (at 4 o’clock) on the new Legacy 565 ($1,390). This model is 34mm in diameter and features a silver-tone stainless steel case with a three-hand silver white dial, large hour markers and an outer minutes ring.

The new Accutron Legacy 203 ($1,450) offers the same 34mm size case, but with two-tone finish, a three-hand champagne-colored dial, Arabic numerals and thin markers on the outer ring. It’s sold with a brown croco-embossed leather strap with a double-press clasp.

The full Accutron Legacy collection is available online and in select stores with each design limited to 600 watches. All models feature sapphire crystals, a Sellita-based automatic movement and are water resistant to 30 meters.

All Accutron Legacy watches are priced at less than $1,500. Most retain what are now called unisex sizes, from 34mm to 38.5mm in diameter, and almost all are sold in both silver-tone steel and gold-tone steel cases. While several offer steel or gold-tone bracelets, most echo the era and come with croco-embossed or retro-style leather straps.

 

The patterned white dial on the latest model within Grand Seiko’s Elegance Collection is meant to evoke the beauty of freshly fallen winter snow outside its watchmaking studios in the wooded Shinshu region of central Japan. That particular scene is known as Shizuri-yuki, which refers to the moment when snow spills down from the branches of trees to create a shimmering cascade of light.

The new Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY008.

The new Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY008 could be considered the next in a series of Spring Drive debuts with dials meant to evoke the beauty of winter just outside the Grand Seiko studio.

You might recall the Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY007 we showed you earlier this year, with its hammered ice-blue dial that beautifully mimics a nearby frozen lake, a phenomenon called Omiwatari.

Grand Seiko cases this latest Elegance watch in a 38.5mm rose gold frame dotted along its sides with fifty-three hand set diamonds. Artisans nicely arranged the gems so that they gradually decrease in size from the center of the case to the end of the lugs, which appears to flow along the side of the case. This quite effectively generates the namesake Shizuri-yuki sparkle.

Grand Seiko then continues to evoke the winter scene on the dial with a wind-blown snow pattern. The scene is broken only by the very smooth Spring Drive seconds hand, and much more slowly as hour and minutes pass as indicated by matching, perfectly faceted gold hands.

The see-through sapphire crystal case back reveals the Spring Drive movement.

This is a fairly thin watch, measuring 10.2mm in depth, thank to Grand Seiko’s own Spring Drive manual-wind caliber winding Caliber 9R31, which offers an impressive 72 hours. As a Spring Drive caliber, it also provides incredible precision with accuracy rated to ±1 second per day.

The Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY008 is sold on a brown leather strap and comes with an additional satin gold-colored leather strap (above). The watch will be available as a limited edition of sixty at Grand Seiko Boutiques and selected Grand Seiko retailers worldwide in January 2022, just as winter peaks in the northern hemisphere. Price: $38,000.

Specifications: Grand Seiko Spring Drive SBGY008

(Limited edition of 60)

Movement: Grand Seiko Spring Drive Caliber 9R31 Driving system, manual-winding, 72-hour power reserve, accuracy of ± 1 second per day (± 15 seconds per month), dual spring barrel.

Dial: White ‘snow’ pattern.

Case: 38.5mm by 10.2mm rose-gold case and clasp with 53 diamonds (.38 carat), dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, see-through screw case back, water resistance to 30 meters, magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m.

Strap: Crocodile with three-fold clasp with push-button release. Additional satin gold-colored leather strap.

Price: $38,000

 

Frederique Constant adds a tourbillon to its perpetual calendar to create the new Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, a handsome 41mm complication available in a steel case or a rose gold case. And to underscore the Geneva-based watchmaker’s long-held mission to offer affordably priced fine Swiss watches, the steel model is priced just under $23,000.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, in steel.

For years Frederique Constant’s complicated watches, such as its flyback chronograph, in-house perpetual calendar and its manufacture tourbillon, have attracted collectors in search of affordably priced, classically styled Swiss watchmaking. Few (if any) Swiss in-house manufacturing watchmakers can boast a collection with a comparable set of complicated watches at the same price levels.

The new Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture, with gold case.

The new Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture combines the brand’s existing know-how as found in its own manufacture tourbillon and stand-alone perpetual calendar. The new watch displays the date, day and month in three subdials along the top of the dial, echoing the existing Highlife Perpetual Calendar.

Frederique Constant replaces that model’s moonphase indicator with its manufacture tourbillon at the subdial located at 6 o’clock. I especially like the subdial at 12 o’clock that displays the month with the large hand and the leap year indication with a smaller hand. To balance this somewhat top-heavy design, Frederique Constant deftly places its own tourbillon with silicon escapement (the escape wheel and the lever) to add symmetry to the dial. The tourbillon displays seconds with its central hand.

Frederique Constant offers two blue-accented versions of the new watch, one more luxurious in a rose gold case and the other framed in steel. Both allow the wearer to enjoy a view into the FC-975 Manufacture caliber and its blued screws, perlage and Côtes de Genève finishes. If you look closer at the dial on either watch, you’ll see another nicely executed design detail: anti-reflective recessed perpetual calendar displays that ensure a quicker, more enjoyable read.

Frederique Constant notes that it offers collectors options to customize the individually numbered steel and rose gold editions of the new watch. Each one comes with two interchangeable straps. The rose gold version comes with a topstitched alligator leather strap and a second rubber strap. The same rubber strap also comes with the steel watch, which arrives on a bracelet with a three-link design and a folding buckle.

Prices: $39,995 (rose gold case) and $22,995 (steel case and bracelet).

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Steel-cased model, reference FC-975N4NH6B, limited to 88 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: FC-975 caliber, automatic, tourbillon, perpetual calendar perlage, drafted marks and Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph, silicon escapement wheel and anchor.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished stainless steel 3-part. Front convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Skeleton with
Navy blue outer ring with white printed second markers.
Hand-polished silvered color with white luminous treatment hour and minute hands.
Navy blue day counter at 9 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hand. Navy blue month and year counter at 12 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hands.
Navy blue date counter at 3 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color hand. Open tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock with hand-polished silvered color second hand.

Strap: Brushed and polished stainless steel 3-link bracelet including an additional navy blue rubber strap.

Price: $22,995

 

Specifications: Frederique Constant Highlife Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Manufacture

(Rose gold edition, reference FC-975N4NH9, limited to 30 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, day, month, leap year.

Movement: FC-975 caliber, automatic, tourbillon, perpetual calendar perlage, drafted marks and Côtes de Genève decorations, 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph, silicon escapement wheel and anchor.

Case: 41mm by 12.65mm brushed and polished rose gold three-part. Front convex sapphire crystal, see-through case back, water-resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Skeleton with Navy blue outer ring with white printed second markers.
Hand-polished rose gold-plated with white luminous treatment hour and minute hands.
Navy blue day counter at 9 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hand. Navy blue month and year counter at 12 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hands. Navy blue date counter at 3 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated hand. Open tourbillon’s cage at 6 o’clock with hand-polished rose gold-plated seconds hand.

Strap: Navy blue alligator leather strap with nubuck finishing including an additional navy blue rubber strap

Price: $39,995

 

Franck Muller now offers metal bracelet options for the first time for its top-selling Vanguard collection.

The tonneau-shaped Vanguard collection, which includes a wide range of the Geneva watchmaker’s primarily sporty models on leather or textile straps, can now be attached to the wrist with a bracelet composed and finished with either brushed steel, polished steel, brushed titanium and black brushed titanium.

Franck Muller will make the polished and brushed link bracelets to fit into the two different Vanguard case sizes, 41 mm and 45mm.

The firm’s technicians have also developed a fine adjustment system that allow the bracelet to be sized to fit proportionally and ‘perfectly’ on the wrist, according to Franck Muller. Links can be quickly removed or added to lengthen or shorten the bracelet.

Zenith launches two jeweled versions of its blockbuster Chronomaster Original, the brand’s retro-inspired chronograph designed to commemorate the groundbreaking Zenith A386 steel El Primero from 1969.

The latest iteration offers the watch with either a multicolored mother-of-pearl dial or taupe tri-color dial, each set with fifty-six diamonds on the lugs. Both steel-cased watches remain 38mm in diameter, enhancing their unisex appeal.

The new Zenith Chronomaster Original, now available set with diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial.

The model with the tri-color dial exhibits its grey and blue hues rendered in mother-of-pearl. Zenith uses four different colors of mother-of-pearl, including a white mother-of-pearl for the dial, two shades of blue for the chronograph counters and grey mother-of-pearl for the ongoing seconds.

The second version of this latest Chronomaster Original offers three tones of brown in the same signature layout against a satin-white dial. Both dials are set with diamonds for the hour markers.

Zenith pairs both models with soft calfskin leather straps in either light blue or taupe with tone-on-tone stitching to matching the respective dials.

Inside Zenith retains the the El Primero 3600, the latest version of Zenith’s famed high-beat chronograph caliber with column wheel. While the new movement beats at the same high frequency of 5Hz (36,000 vph) as its predecessors, the new generation displays 1/10th of a second chronograph on the dial with the central chronograph hand rotating once every ten seconds. The caliber also now offers a full sixty hours of power reserve.

Prices: $12,800 (brown dial with taupe calfskin leather strap) and $13,000 (blue dial with light blue calfskin leather strap).

 

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.