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Among its wide-ranging 2021 debuts, Bulgari adds three new models to its Octo Finissimo collection of record-breaking ultra-thin watches. New to the collection: an Octo Finissimo S in a new monochrome style, an Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT, and the Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium with a new dial and rubber strap.

Also new for Bulgari in 2021 are additions to its feminine Lvcea, Serpenti and Divas’ Dream collections, plus an impressive and highly complex Octo Roma Carillon Tourbillon. We’ll show you these new models in upcoming posts.

But first, below we introduce the new Bulgari Octo Finissimo watches.    

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo S, now available in a monochromatic style.

Octo Finissimo S

One of last year’s highlight debuts, the Bulgari Octo Finissimo S, introduced collectors to the brand’s first all-steel entry within the Octo Finissimo’s ultra-thin automatic range.

Until that launch, Bulgari had limited the Octo Finissimo collection of record-setting ultra-thin watches to designs with ceramic, precious metal or titanium cases and bracelets.

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo S is 6.4mm thin.

The premiere Octo Finissimo S with its all-steel case and bracelet, water resistance of 100 meters and case measuring 6.4mm thin, drew positive notices almost immediately, in part due to its entry level (for Octo Finissimo) $12,000 price point and broader appeal.

A year later, Bulgari adds an encore to the steel collection with a new monochrome Octo Finissimo S featuring a 40mm steel satin-polished case and a new silver vertical-brushed monochromatic dial. The watch, now the third in the steel collection (following the blue-dialed debut in mid-2020) retains the collection’s contemporary design, especially with its radially brushed bezel.

Back view of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo S, showing Caliber BVL 138 with micro-rotor.

The new watch is powered by automatic in-house ultra-thin caliber BVL 138 with micro-rotor. Echoing the entire steel collection, the watch is water-resistant to 100 meters, ensured by a polished steel screw-down crown set with ceramic.

Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT

The Bulgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT.

With the success of the time-only steel Octo Finissimo S line, Bulgari in 2021 adds a chronograph GMT model in steel. Creating a steel model means Bulgari can offer its record-breaking ultra-thin chronograph in a more conventional steel case (and bracelet), which both reduces the price while also attracting consumers who might prefer steel watches. The chronograph GMT offerings within the Octo Finissimo collection had, until now, been limited to titanium-cased models. 

Side view of the new The Bulgari Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT.

Called Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT, it features the existing Bulgari automatic in-house chronograph and GMT ultra-thin calibre BVL 318 with peripheral rotor.

The BVL 318 caliber., with peripheral rotor, is a mere 3.30mm thick.

Now offered with a satin-polished steel case and new blue dial, the watch also features silver (rather than black) counters, which Bulgari considers a “sport chic look.”

The new Octo Finissimo S Chronograph GMT joins the blue-dialed time-only Octo Finissimo S in Bulgari’s expanding ultra-thin steel collection.

On the dial you’ll find chronograph counters plus a GMT (second time zone) indicator. The watch’s 43mm diameter steel case measures 8.75mm thick, which is nicely integrated into the vertically brushed steel bracelet, accented with polished parts. And like the time-only steel model, the Octo Finissimo S Chronograph features a larger screw-down crown than the former sandblasted models. This ensures water resistance to 100 meters.

Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium

The new Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium, with new rubber strap and black dial, remains the thinnest automatic chronograph.

As the third new watch in the Octo Finissimo collection this year, this 42mm titanium model essentially echoes the 2019 titanium-cased edition that captured the 2019 GPHG award for best chronograph watch. This year, Bulgari adds a new, sportier black dial and an appropriate sporty rubber strap to what remains the thinnest automatic chronograph watch available.

Caseback view of the Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium, showing Caliber BVL318.

 

Specifications: Bulgari Octo Finissimo S

Movement: Mechanical Manufacture with automatic winding via a platinum micro-rotor, hours, minutes and small seconds indications. BVL138 Finissimo caliber (2.23mm thick) adorned with Côtes de Genève stripes, chamfered bridges and circular-grained baseplate, 60-hour power reserve, 21,600 vph.

Case: 40mm extra-thin satin-polished steel case (6.40mm thick) with transparent caseback; polished steel screw-down crown set with ceramic inlay.

Dial: Silvered vertical-brushed, water-resistant to 100 meters.

Bracelet: 
Integrated vertical brushed steel with polished parts and folding clasp.

Price: $12,000.  

 

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Steel

Movement: Mechanical manufacture chronograph and GMT with automatic winding (peripheral rotor) and small seconds – BVL 318 caliber (3.30mm thick). 55-hour power reserve; local timezone adjusted through the push button at 9 o’clock.


Case: 43mm extra-thin satin-polished steel (8.75mm thick) with transparent caseback; radial brushed bezel; polished steel screw-down crown set with ceramic inlay.

Dial: Blue sunray with silver GMT, chronograph and seconds counters; water-resistant to 100 meters.

Bracelet: Integrated vertical brushed steel with folding clasp.

Price: $16,500.

The Bulgari BVL 318 caliber.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Titanium

Movement: Mechanical manufacture chronograph and GMT with automatic winding (peripheral rotor) and small seconds – BVL 318 caliber (3.30mm thick). 55-hour power reserve; local timezone adjusted through the push button at 9 o’clock.

Case: 42 mm extra-thin sandblasted titanium (6.90 mm thick) with transparent case back; sandblasted titanium crown set with ceramic; black opaline dial; water-resistant to 30 meters.

Bracelet: 
Black rubber with sandblasted titanium pin buckle.

Price: $17,200.

De Bethune last week launched the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon, a two-sided watch with a contemporary tourbillon dial that the wearer can flip to show a classical time-only dial.

Like other two-sided watches, the new De Bethune watch means the wearer can choose to expose one of two different dials on his or her wrist.

The contemporary side of the De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon.

One side of the 42.8mm titanium watch displays the contemporary design with multi-level elements and delta-shaped bridge for which De Bethune is identified. This dial features the brand’s distinctive central hours and minutes hands and its high-speed tourbillon and a thirty-second indication. Here however, De Bethune altered its deltoid-shaped bridge just a bit to make it perfectly symmetrical, a design meant to create a stark sense of harmony.

The classic side of the De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon.

Classic side

On the other side of the DB Kind of Two De Bethune offers a more classical three-hand, time-only hand-guilloché dial, complete with Arabic numerals collectors might recognize from the brand’s DB8 and DB10. Note that the seconds indication on this side is centrally based, unlike the tourbillon-based seconds indication at the 6 o’clock position on the other side.

De Bethune notes that two-dial watches and clocks have a long history, starting with multi-face tower clocks and extending to similarly equipped table clocks. More recently, we’re familiar with the famed dual-dial Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso.  Serious collectors also wear certain two-faced watches from Bovet, Cartier and others.

To devise the new dual-dial watch, De Bethune had to re-design its famed floating lug case to allow the flip-over case to pivot easily, rotate on its central axis and then to click into place securely. This operation is a simple one because the brand equipped each side of the case with a clever rotating mechanism made up of twenty-eight steel and titanium components.

Equally important is the case’s middle section, which swivels naturally and frames the case and the crown. That crown lands gracefully at either 6 o’clock or 12 o’clock, depending on which side of the DB Kind of Two Tourbillon the wearer chooses to view.

Inside the watch De Bethune’s Caliber DB2579 features patented technical flourishes well known to De Bethune devotees. These include a titanium balance with white gold inserts (optimized for temperature differences and air penetration) and a self-regulating twin barrel. For the tourbillon, De Bethune utilizes the ultra-light, 30-second titanium design it first debuted in 2008.

Price: $250,000.

Specifications: De Bethune DB Kind of Two Tourbillon

Movement: Manual-wind Caliber DB2579 with five-day power reserve, self-regulating twin barrel (De Bethune Innovation, 2004), titanium balance wheel with white gold inserts, optimized for temperature differences and air penetration
(De Bethune Patent, 2016), balance-spring with flat terminal curve (De Bethune Patent, 2006), silicon escape wheel, and ultra-light tourbillon in titanium. 36,000 vibrations per hour. Finishing includes polished and chamfered barrel bridge with shot-blasted stages, polished and chamfered titanium minute bridge with microlight decoration and hand-snailed barrels.

Contemporary single-sided display: hand-polished and blued titanium for hours and minutes with polished inserts, ultra-light De Bethune 30’’ tourbillon in titanium. Hour ring and 30” polished titanium dial with shot-blasted stages, blued polished titanium hour-markers, silvered and relief minute dial.

Classic reverse side display: Hand-polished and blued titanium for hours, minutes and seconds. Dial silvered and relief, with convex levels and guilloché central part.

Case: 42.8mm by 9.5mm titanium with crown at noon on the front, at 6 o’clock on the back, and integrated into the case. Polished grade 5 titanium floating lugs (De Bethune Patent, 2006). Case turning mechanism that can be clearly positioned on the front or back. 
Water resistance to 30 meters.

Strap: Alligator leather, alligator lining. 
Pin buckle in polished grade 5 titanium.

Price: $250,000.

Citizen’s new Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Model, a 550-piece limited edition we first told you about in June, is now available on the Citizen website.

Citizen’s new Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Model, now available.

The watch was launched by Citizen to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of the Citizen X-8 Chronometer, the world’s first titanium watch.

Building on Citizen’s Satellite Wave technology, which assures highly accurate GPS-based timekeeping anywhere on earth, the newest model combines Citizen’s newest version of that GPS satellite technology inside with a decidedly luxurious multi-layered case nicely integrated with an angular-link bracelet.

Citizen outfits the new watch with its own Duratect 2 DLC surface hardening that protects the 47.5mm case. The luxury accent here is an inner bezel that Citizen creates using its rose-gold-like Duratect Sakura Pink titanium, the same eye-catching metal that coats the caseback.

Citizen is now selling its Satellite Wave GPS F950 Titanium 50th Anniversary Limited Model exclusively on its website. Price: $5,000

 

Panerai underscores its deep connection with divers of all types this week as it introduces the Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122).

Inspired by free diver and brand ambassador Guillaume Néry, Panerai has outfitted the new dive watch with a 44mm titanium case produced using Direct Metal Laser Sintering technology, which shapes titanium using a 3D printing process.

The new Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122),

Referencing Néry’s deep-dives, Panerai is also adding sporty touches such as a rubberized coating on the bezel, crown and bridge lever, a convex crystal and a dial with an eye-catching dégradé effect that Panerai says emulates “the shades produced as sunlight filters through the depths of the sea.”

Water resistant to 300 meters, the Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition is powered by Panerai’s own Caliber P.9010, a fairly thin automatic movement equipped with two barrels for a three-day power reserve. Panerai built a quick-change feature into this movement that allows the wearer to easily adjust the time and date with in one-hour increments, with the hour hand connected to the date indicator.

 

In addition, Panerai has equipped the watch with an especially sporty strap made from black recycled PET material with white stitching and a trapezoidal pin buckle.

Panerai is also enhancing the package of the boutique-only watch with its first white rubber strap emblazoned with ‘Officine Panerai.’ In each gift box buyers will find a screwdriver that will assist the owner when removing the buckle to swap straps.

The caseback includes an engraving depicting the silhouette of the freediver and Panerai Ambassador Guillaume Néry.

Panerai will make the new watch available in its own boutiques as a limited edition of seventy, each of which will be covered by a new seventy-year warranty.  Price: $18,900.  

 

Specifications: Panerai Luminor Marina 44mm − Guillaume Néry Edition (PAM01122—limited edition of 70 pieces, boutique edition).  

Movement: Automatic Caliber P.9010, 6mm thick, 28,800 vph, two barrels, three-day power reserve.

Panerai’s own caliber P.9010, with two barrels and supplying a three-day power reserve.

Case: 44mm by 16.2mm sandblasted DMLS titanium, safety lock crown protection device (protected by trademark) in sandblasted titanium, titanium bezel, crown and bridge lever with rubberized coating, sapphire crystal, twelve-sided screwed caseback, sandblasted titanium with DLC coating, engraved with the “70 Years Warranty” logo, water resistant to 300 meters.

Dial: Black with dégradé effect, sandwich structure with Arabic numerals and indexes 
in white SuperLuminova with green luminescence. Seconds at 9 o’clock, date at 3 o’clock.

Strap: Recycled PET, black with white stitching
 and trapezoidal pin buckle in titanium with DLC coating. Additional white rubber strap with luminescent
 “Officine Panerai” personalization.

Price: $18,900. 

Porsche Design applies the principles behind the Porsche car configurator to its wristwatches.

Few topics rev up collectors as much as watches and automobiles. Porsche Design has known this ever since Ferdinand Alexander Porsche designed the first Porsche Chronograph 1 in 1972. It was the first-ever all-matte-black watch, and it set the stage for five decades of cutting-edge wristwatch creativity from his then-new studio, Porsche Design.

This year, Porsche Design has launched a program meant to inspire budding F. A. Porsches who, like Professor Porsche, want to design and wear a wristwatch inspired by –and infused with – Porsche’s automotive legacy.

Watch collectors and Porsche owners can now create a customized Porsche Design chronograph that perfectly matches the Porsche 992 or Porsche 911 of their dreams – or the one in their garage.

Porsche Design offers twenty-one different dial ring colors deriving from Porsche 911 lacquering.

With the new Porsche Design Custom Built Timepieces program, fans can combine an almost endless array of colors, materials, fonts and displays using the new Porsche Design online watch configurator. The configurator, found directly on the Porsche Design website, offers options and operations far exceeding any other online watch customization program, effectively placing the Porsche enthusiast directly behind the leather-covered wheel, with a clear roadmap toward designing a truly individualized watch.

The Process

Porsche Design released the streamlined online configurator this September after six years of development. The process itself echoes the customization process that Porsche has offered buyers of its famed 911 for years, but expands the type and breadth of options from which a buyer can choose when creating a dream chronograph.

For more than thirty years, Porsche customers have been able to enhance their personal dream car with many individual details through Porsche Exclusive Manufaktur, even to the point of designing a one-off vehicle.

This experience has now been expanded with the ability to design a Porsche Design chronograph based on an individual’s personal taste or Porsche 992 vehicle configurations. It’s an experience that ultimately ends with the customer taking ownership of a Porsche they designed themselves.

A total of six rotors are available, including the Porsche Design Icon rotor in black or five sporty alloy wheel designs of the current 911. Choose from up to 21 different colors for the rim.

“As with the online car-design process, the watch is digitally visualized down to the smallest details and customizations are shown to the customer in real time. The customer begins by selecting the case of the watch and then continues choosing from more than 1.5 million configuration possibilities,” explains Gerhard J. Novak, General Manager Timepieces, Porsche Design Group.

“Once the customer has finished designing the chronograph, an individualized configuration code is created, and from there it is sent, or brought in, to any authorized U.S. Porsche dealer where the order is placed. Delivery takes between eight to twelve weeks.”

The rendering of the watch is based on CAD data from the designers at Studio F. A. Porsche in Zell am See, Austria, and the Porsche Design engineers in Solothurn, Switzerland.

“It quickly became clear that these custom components had to be interchangeable without the need to develop a new watch each time,” explains Rolf Bergmann, Managing Director, Porsche Design Timepieces AG. “Offering a wide range of options while manufacturing small quantities of custom-built timepieces is possible thanks to the sequential production process transferred from Porsche sports car production. The principle of zero-defect tolerance was a necessary prerequisite for the implementation of a watch concept like this.”

Inside Porsche Design places an all-new Porsche Design WERK 01.100 – a COSC-certified chronograph caliber.

A New Engine 


Key among the components of the customer-designed watch is an entirely new engine.

Porsche Design developed a new movement to serve as the engine for the online-designed timepiece. The new Caliber WERK 01.100 is a COSC- certified chronograph movement that now enters serial production for the program.

But the WERK 01.100 offers Porsche Design customers more than simply its novelty.

“For the first time customers can individualize a part of a Porsche Design COSC-certified movement by choosing the winding rotor that features the various wheel designs of the latest-generation Porsche 911,” Bergmann says. “The color on the rotor edge can also be customized to match the color on the outer edge of the wheels of the 992,” he adds.

Porsche Design tests its new COSC-certified movement in accordance with the Chronofiable standards.

Customers select their choice of rotor design after choosing which case to place it into. Porsche Design offers a 42mm case based on the one it used in Chronotimer Series 1. The user can opt for a glass-bead blasted natural titanium or a black titanium case coated in titanium carbide via a PVD-process.

Porsche Design offers fourteen different color options for the strap. It can also be accentuated with decorative stitching made with genuine Porsche car yarn available in nineteen colors.

The Straps

Next, the customer chooses his or her strap.

Bands can be titanium or leather and are offered in three sizes with up to 300 different configurations. All leather straps (with butterfly clasp) are crafted from the same hides Porsche uses for its car interiors and come
in the fourteen official interior colors of the current Porsche 911 series. Leather wristband stitching is offered in the nineteen different colors of genuine Porsche yarn.

Porsche Design has created dial options for the program that start with the matte black look of the current Chronotimer Series 1, with its minutes counter at the top of the dial, hour counter at the 6 o’clock position and running seconds at 9 o’clock.

But the user can add color using one of many colorful inlaid ring options, with colors based on those used on the current Porsche 911, to frame
 the black dial to either complement or contrast the choice of strap.

More dramatically, the watch collector then opts for either a brushed bezel or a black tachymeter bezel set with minute markers in the style of the design-defining classic speedometer developed by F. A. Porsche.

The rotor design echoes the Porsche 911 wheel. The wearer can add a personal note with laser engraving.

Each custom-built timepiece can be further individualized with a laser engraving on the back of the case as well as on the exclusive watch box, according to Bergmann.

“If desired, the corresponding car visuals, a graphic logo or the fonts and lettering featured on the rear of the customer’s car can also be applied to the watch box,” he adds.

Porsche and Porsche Design

While watch collectors have long heard about buying “a racecar for
the wrist,” from makers of auto-influenced watches, Porsche Design is confident that its new online configurator comes closest to the truth of that metaphor.

“Customers who order their own custom-built Porsche Design chronograph will take a piece of the Porsche sports car lifestyle with them when not behind the wheel,” notes Novak.

The direct relationship between the watch and the car is undeniable, he adds.

“The experience of designing a Porsche Design masterpiece based on the current 992 generation is one-of-a-kind – from the rotor and bezel to the genuine Porsche leather straps,” he adds. The program will be expanded to include additional Porsche models in the near future.

The six-year project required a deep restructuring of Porsche Design watchmaking and development, he explains.

“The greatest challenges certainly were in regards to the order and production processes; after all, this had never been done before. The idea of a “sports car on the wrist” was different for every customer, and
it required us to rethink our entire process. Everything from engineering, sourcing and production had to be adjusted. To do so we tapped into the brand’s heritage and pulled key learnings from Porsche’s unique automotive production expertise.”

North American Launch

Thus far, with only a few months of processing orders, Porsche Design says reactions to the program have been very positive.

“The very first order we received after the program launched in the United States was actually from a Canadian customer,” Novak reports. “He had heard about the custom-built timepieces program and reached out to see if he could design a watch to match his 992 and place an order in the U.S. He will actually be picking up his “sports car for the wrist” at an East Coast dealership in the coming days.”

“We are looking forward to continuing to introduce the program to new Porsche Design and Porsche customers alike,” says Novak.

Indeed, customization has been a buzzword among high-end watchmaking for the past few years, and several watchmakers have embraced the possibilities of made-to-order watches, mostly with very limited color or material options.

Novak points out that as Porsche itself has enjoyed a positive customer experience with personalized automobiles, Porsche Design’s careful development of the process with timepieces makes perfect sense. “Introducing this unprecedented level of personalization in the luxury watch segment was a natural next step for us,” he says.

“The timepieces business unit is extremely important for Porsche Design globally and in the United States, and we believe we are keeping pace with the general desire for more individualization in watches.”

Porsche Design manufactures its watches in its Swiss factory.

For Porsche, that customization perfectly unites its automotive realm with the burgeoning watch division of Porsche Design, as supported by its German engineering and Swiss manufacturing facilities.

“Not only does the program highlight the connection between Porsche sports cars and Porsche Design timepieces,” says Novak, “it embodies the premium aesthetic, attention to detail and optimal performance expected of all things associated with the name Porsche.”

Porsche Design Custom-built timepieces are priced starting at $5,150 and, depending on the selections made, can range up to $11,600.

Franck Muller’s new Vanguard Line Cut emphasizes lightness and curves with a micro-blasted matte gray titanium case, dial and bracelet.

The new Franck Muller Vanguard Line Cut.

As the latest model within Franck Muller’s winning Vanguard collection, the Line Cut offers collectors a matte-finished contemporary option within Vanguard, known for its wrist-hugging tonneau-shape and trademark elongated numerals.

The new collection broadens the appeal of Vanguard, which Franck Muller has expanded considerably in recent years with racing designs, skeleton models, gem-set editions and several seriously complicated calibers.

Time-only

Franck Muller equips the new Vanguard Line Cut with a simple two-hand time-telling function, which serves to emphasize the sleek, curved matte gray case and its curved black ‘line cut” along the sides.

Furthermore, Franck Muller then matches the cut to the black outline of each of the dial’s long, hand-applied numerals.  Ironically, while the dial projects depth, the case remains relatively thin, here measuring only 9.8mm from front to back. By Franck Muller standards, that’s ultra-thin.

Franck Muller watchmakers have fit the new watch (which is still in limited release) with an extra-flat automatic movement.

 

Specifications: Franck Muller Vanguard Line Cut

Reference: V 41 S AT REL LINE CUT FM 708

Movement: Franck Muller Automatic, 21,600 vibrations hour, 
42 hours power reserve, 
Côtes de Genève, circular graining, rhodium plating.

Case: 41mm by 50mm by 9.10mm micro-blasted grade 5 titanium, water resistant to 30 meters.

Dial: Gray titanium PVD, matte gray hand-applied numerals with black contours.

Bracelet and buckle: Micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.

Price: 9,820 Euros, or about $11,920.

 

Citizen takes its light-powered, GPS-connected wristwatch technology underwater this week as the Japanese watchmaker debuts two Promaster dive watches set for the first time with the Citizen Cal. F158 Eco-Drive Satellite Wave GPS movement. 

Citizen Promaster Eco-Drive Satellite Wave GPS Diver 200m, with Duratect-hardened Super Titanium case.

The new watches are being billed by Citizen as the first light-powered dive watch with GPS satellite capabilities. The newest Promasters are also fully compliant the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) standard for dive watches and feature water resistance to 200 meters.

Citizen Promaster / Eco-Drive Satellite Wave GPS Diver 200m, with black DLC Super Titanium case.

To use the new models beneath the waves, a diver first presses the push buttons at 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock simultaneously, which sends the watch into Dive mode. All functions, except time display, will then stop in order to prevent erroneous user operations. It will not enter into Dive mode if the charged battery amount is insufficient.

Both watches are cased with Citizen’s proprietary Super Titanium, which Citizen then enhances with a surface-treatment hardening technology called Duratect MRK. While both models measure 47mm in diameter, the blue dialed option (model CC5006-06L) is finished in a glossy black hue using a DLC layering technique, which enhances scratch resistance.

Sea of features

These are professional-level dive watches, echoing much of the Promaster collection, which features a range of high-spec dive, aviation and racing watches. Citizen has ensured that each model boasts a unidirectional bezel with knurled notches, a screw lock crown, sapphire crystal, charge capacity display function and light-level indicator.

And, as is required for ISO compliance, the Eco-Drive Satellite Wave GPS Diver 200m dials are easy to read with large, luminous indexes and hands.

Citizen’s proprietary light-powered Eco-Drive Cal.F158 will operate for about seven years on a full charge – even without a light source. This insures that the various high-tech functions will operate uninterrupted.

Thus, the watches will continue to receive location and time information anywhere in the world using GPS satellite signals. This data will automatically correct the time and world calendar. Even without GPS satellite function, the watch is rated to an accuracy of ± five seconds per month. The wearer can also manually adjust the crown to change city and calendar, if desired.

For experienced or aspiring divers, Citizen has emblazoned the dial ring on both watches with the abbreviated names of eight famous diving locations, including Sharm El Sheikh, Maldives, Phuket, Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, Hawaii, Galapagos and Fernando de Noronha.

Each watch comes with a urethane strap with extension band.

Citizen supplies each watch with a urethane band and an extension band for wet suit use.

Prices: $1,395 (Super Titanium case with black DLC coating and blue dial) and $1,350 (Super Titanium case and green dial).

 

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.

 

By Cordwainer Byrd

Seiko’s rich legacy of products that represent absolute real estate in the rich tapestry of wristwatch history lend themselves to recreations and homages, with 2020 delivering a singular treat in the release of a three-watch edition that charts the story of Seiko’s indelible mark on adventure, diving and outdoor sports.

Released this September, Seiko’s Prospex “Built for the Ice Diver” collection represents a material homage to Seiko’s 55-year history of producing sports diving watches, beginning in 1965 with the release of Japan’s first dive watch, the 62MAS.

The Original Seiko Diver’s watches. From left we see the 1968 Hi-Beat Diver’s 300m, the famed 1965 62MAS and the 1975 Professional Diver’s 600m.

New classics

The new collection is comprised of recreations of highly desirable classics that represent modern technology brought to bear on a vintage subject.

“Built for the Ice Diver” is a reference to Seiko’s position as Japan’s watch for the adventurer, tested in extreme conditions both underwater and as a companion to high mountaineers. The 62MAS set the standard for many subsequent Seiko dive watches, with an automatic movement, quickset date and 37mm stainless steel case capped with a plexiglass crystal and rectangular tritium minute markers, ratcheted bezel and broad hands. Vintage examples sell for more than $4,000.

This particular watch, of the many, many variations of Seiko’s developed across multiple markets, grew to prominence because of two men, one real and one fictional. The first, acclaimed Japanese Adventurer Naomi Uemura, chose the original Seiko 62MAS because it was a robust, waterproof watch, and made in Japan to boot.

Japanese Adventurer Naomi Uemura, pictured with the historical Seiko dive watches.

Sure, he could have picked a Rolex Explorer or Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, like any other run-of-the-mill international adventurer, but Uemura was a standard bearer for his country and selected that most Japanese of all brands, Seiko. He (probably) wore the watch throughout many of his treks, which included a one-man dog sled run from Greenland to Alaska, the first solo walk to the North Pole and ascension of the North American Denali Mountain, which marked his last adventure. He disappeared on the Denali hike, presumably with a Seiko on his wrist.

The second man in the Seiko storybook is the legendary “Captain Willard” from Francis Coppola’s film, “Apocalypse Now.” Willard, played by Martin Sheen, wore a Seiko in the same dive watch family, which gave rise to the watch’s status among collectors, (we love our little tribute names, don’t we), and its value on the secondary vintage watch market.

The legendary “Captain Willard” from Francis Coppola’s 1979 film “Apocalypse Now” wearing his Seiko diver.

Seiko has re-issued this watch in several variants over the years, and at varying price points, creating secondary and tertiary collectors’ markets for the multiple iterations of this product.

The new collection

For the uninitiated collector, deciphering the complicated soup of Seiko designations, per market, is itself a treasure hunt and the stuff many lengthy Seiko forum discussions. Suffice to say, the current Prospex Ice collection is alluring enough to satisfy anyone interested in wearing a tough watch that looks like a classic from the analogue era. So, let’s get on with now.

The Ice Diver collection is comprised of three watches, each with its own twist on our theme. Shop for SKUs SPB175 (grey dial/bezel), SPB177 (green dial/bezel) and SPB179 (blue dial/bezel), packaged in the Seiko Sumo case, released exclusively in the North American market and priced at a very competitive $900.

The Sumo variant is a wide (44mm), thin (12mm) all stainless watch case and signed bracelet, powered by a Seiko automatic caliber 6R35 movement, beating at a frequency of 21,600 BPH, pivoting on 24 jewels, with a 70-hour power reserve. It’s water resistant to 600 feet and has a dual curved sapphire crystal. It has a date indicator, rotating bezel, Lumibrite hands and markers and a three-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Seiko Prospex Ice Diver SPB175, priced at $900.
Seiko Prospex Ice Diver SPB177, priced at $900.

And if that’s not enough, it’s supplied to the Japanese Antarctic Research Expedition (JARE), which means that the homage on an homage on an homage is now itself a bona fide collectible with its own nascent back story. Face it folks, for $900 this is one hell of a watch – and by the time you read this it will probably be sold out anyway, and headed to become a $1,500 watch on the collector’s market. And so it goes with Seiko.

Seiko Prospex Ice Diver SPB179, priced at $900.

Prospex is Seiko’s mid-range sports watch brand, with its own higher end LX series. It’s fascinating to watch Seiko grow and prune their brands into unique shapes, like an artistic gardener tending to a Bonsai tree.

With the chain-sawing of brands across many U.S. distribution points in 2019, Seiko drew a line in the sand: cut broad distribution, cut SKU’s, focus heavily on retailers and educate the consumer on the products to create new demand.

This release reflects that tactic in action. The Ice Diver collection plays off the perception of heritage, coupled with limited availability, backed by a lot of watch for the money. Instant collectible equals increased market desire for subsequent releases. Hats off to the company for delivering sales during a time period when we’re seeing other companies disappear into the vanity fueled, limited edition, lofty priced abyss.

Seiko Extra: The Spring Drive Prospex LX SNR029

For those seeking a classic-looking Seiko homage with all the attributes of current issue Seiko technology, take a look at the GPHG-award-winning Seiko Prospex LX SNR029.

Seiko Prospex LX SNR029

This watch literally straddles both of our planet’s unknown universes: space and water. At a list price of $6,000, this watch gives its Grand Seiko cousin a run for the money. This Prospex LX is titanium, with a case developed by Porsche designer Ken Okuyama and powered by Seiko’s 5R65 Spring Drive movement that is less susceptible to atmospheric deviations than a standard automatic watch.

 

The movement is found in Grand Seiko models and was actually worn in space by video game designer Richard Garriott, a citizen who paid the Russians to make him the sixth non-astronaut to travel to space. Needless to say, he wore a Seiko Spring Drive watch (whaddya think about that, Omega, Breitling, Casio, Rolex and Fortis). If you can get your hands on this classic – grab it!

 

Eight years after Seiko debuted its GPS-connected, light-powered Astron, the Tokyo-based watchmaker launches a new Astron dedicated to Seiko’s founder Kintaro Hattori. The new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary watch commemorates Hattori with a special sixteen-facet zirconia ceramic bezel, representing one facet for each decade since Hattori’s birth.

The new Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition.

This latest Astron, powered by the GPS-controlled Caliber 5X53, is a dual timer with automatic high-speed timezone adjustment (including Daylight Savings Time) while traveling in any time zone, with accuracy to 15 seconds per month even without receiving the GPS signal. The watch’s 42.8mm case and bracelet are made of titanium with a scratch-resistant coating. The watch’s dark hue, accented in gold, is meant to honor Seiko’s heritage.

 

Seiko has placed Hattori’s name and three reminders of his legacy on the case back, including the trademark “S” that he registered in 1900.  His motto “One step ahead of the rest” appears above it near the name Seiko, which the company first used in 1924.

Seiko is offering the watch, a limited edition of 2,500, in a presentation box with a commemorative “S” mark badge and includes a card carrying a message from Kintaro’s great-grandson and the company’s current Chairman & CEO, Shinji Hattori.

The Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition will be available in October, the month of Kintaro’s birth, at Seiko Boutiques and at selected retail partners worldwide. Price: $3,900.

Specifications: Seiko Astron GPS Solar Kintaro Hattori 160th Anniversary Limited Edition (Limited edition of 2,500)

Movement: Caliber 5X53
GPS controlled time and time zone adjustment, dual-time with AM/PM indication, perpetual calendar correct to Feb 2100
, automatic DST adjustment, high speed time zone adjustment
, time transfer function
, signal reception result indication, world time function (39 time zones), power save function. 
Accuracy: ±15 seconds per month (without receiving a GPS signal and at temperatures between 5°C and 35°C)

Case: 42.8mm x 15.6 mm titanium case with super-hard black coating zirconia ceramic bezel, dual-curved sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating, water resistance to 200 meters, magnetic resistance to 4,800 A/m,

Bracelet: Titanium with three-fold clasp with push button release. 
A crocodile strap is also included.

Price: $3,900.