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Frederique Constant’s most recent Vintage Rally Healey limited edition was seen two years ago, so this week’s announcement of two new editions of the ode to classic Healey car races has been warmly welcomed among the racing fans.

Begun in 2004 after a partnership between the Frederique Constant Manufacture and the Austin-Healey car brand, the once-annual watch debuts were a source of kinship among not only rally fans but for enthusiasts of all manner of retro-themed industrial designs. 

No chrono

While this year Frederique Constant returns with new Vintage Rally Healey watches, the Geneva-based watchmaker diverts from tradition with two models sporting time and date only. Previous models included at least one chronograph.

Declaring a focus on “urban design,” whatever that is, Frederique Constant in 2020 debuts two automatic Vintage Rally Healey models. Each 40mm watch is issued as a limited edition of 2,888; one is cased in rose-gold plated steel and the second is all steel.

The primary differences between the two models lie in dial colors and case and strap finish.

The rose gold model features a silver-colored dial with a brown seconds flange and applied rose-gold-plated indexes.

The steel-cased edition is a bit sportier, with a true British Racing Green dial framed in a silvery seconds flange and set with applied silver-colored indexes. Both watches are deftly set with luminous material on hands and markers.

British Racing Green has long been associated with the vintage Austin Healey and was last used by Frederique Constant on a chronograph Vintage Rally Healey offering in 2018.

Both watches are fit with a calfskin strap that has been perforated to enhance air circulation, a feature of many racing watch straps during the early decades of the last century. The strap on the rose-gold-plated model is a bit darker than the strap on the steel edition. 

Each watch is powered by a Sellita-based automatic FC-303 caliber with a date window at 3 o’clock and a power reserve of 38 hours.

On each caseback you’ll find an engraving of a Healey 100S NOJ393, the same car Frederique Constant includes in miniature replica form with each watch. Price: $1,895 (both models).

Specifications: Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic

Reference: FC-303HVBR5B4 (rose-gold-plated, limited to 2,888 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date

Movement: FC-303 caliber (Sellita-based), automatic, 26 jewels, 38-hour power reserve, 28’800 alt/h

Case: 40mm rose-gold-plated polished stainless steel, 2-part, convex sapphire crystal, water-resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Silver color with brown ring, applied rose-gold-plated indexes with white luminous material, date window at 3 o’clock, hand-polished rose-gold-plated hours and minutes hands with luminous and pearl black seconds hand

Strap: Dark brown calf leather

 

Reference: FC-303HGRS5B6 (steel, limited to 2,888 pieces)

Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date

Movement: Automatic FC-303 caliber (Sellita-based), 38-hour power reserve, 28,800 vph

Case: 40mm polished stainless steel, 2-part, convex sapphire crystal, water-resistant up 50 meters

Dial: British Racing Green with silver color ring, applied silver color indexes with white luminous material, date window at 3 o’clock, hand-polished silver color hours and minutes hands with luminous and silver color seconds hand.

Strap: Light brown calf leather

Even though the Monaco Grand Prix, originally scheduled for last weekend, was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, TAG Heuer is still presenting a special-edition timepiece in tribute to the event and to the Monaco collection.

The new TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition features the race’s red-and-white color, but now includes a small silver classic car logo at the 1 o’clock position in honor of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique race.

Additional race-imagery can be found on the caseback where TAG Heuer has printed the race’s logo on the inside of the transparent sapphire glass.

Inside, and visible through that caseback, TAG Heuer fits its in-house Caliber Heuer 02 chronograph movement, featuring a column wheel and a vertical clutch. The movement also offers an unusually long 80-hour power reserve. The new watch is to be made in a limited edition of 1,000, each of which is engraved with its unique number and the words “One of 1000”.

As is often the case with its limited editions, TAG Heuer is placing the new watch in its a themed package, which in this case is a red watch box decorated with a checkered racing flag. The new watch is available for pre-orders via www.tagheuer.com and in select TAG Heuer boutiques before its launch on July 27, 2020.

A scene from an earlier running of the Monaco Grand Prix Historiques, which was canceled this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

TAG Heuer is the Official Sponsor and Timekeeper of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique as well as the Official Watch of the Monaco Grand Prix and the Official Watch Partner of the Monaco Top Cars Collection museum.

Price: CHF 6,700 (or approximately $6,885)

Specifications: TAG Heuer Monaco Grand Prix de Monaco Historique Limited Edition

(Reference CBL2114.FC6486, limited to 1,000 watches)

MOVEMENT: TAG Heuer Automatic Caliber Heuer 02 Manufacture automatic chronograph, 33 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 80-hour power reserve

FUNCTIONS: Chronograph with minutes and hours, permanent second indicator; date, hours, minutes; central chronograph seconds hand.

CASE: 39mm fine-brushed and polished steel, fixed bezel, sapphire crystal with Grand Prix de Monaco Historique logo printing on the back, polished stainless-steel crown at 3 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, water-resistant to 100 meters, stainless-steel case back with limited-edition number engraving.

DIAL: Rhodium-plated red sunray brushed dial, rhodium-plated indexes and hour and minute hands with white SuperLuminova, red lacquered central hand, Grand Prix de Monaco Historique logo at 1 o’clock on the dial.

STRAP: Black calfskin leather strap, folding clasp in polished stainless steel

 

 

With its pennant-shaped markers and distinctive case shape, Corum’s Admiral Cup is as identifiable on the wrist – even when seen across a room – as the Corum Bubble. This in part explains why the relatively young Swiss watchmaker (founded in 1955) frequently turns to the popular nautical-themed collection when introducing new materials or enhanced functions.

Corum is again tapping the Admiral’s Cup collection (here dubbed the Admiral 42) to sport a relatively rare feature for Corum: a bronze case.  And while the first such model, an Admiral 45 Chronograph seen several years ago, showed us a dark ‘pre-patinated’ bronze alloy, this latest example starts with a brighter satin-finished bronze case.

The newer bronze alloy will patina over time evenly, according to Corum, imbuing the entire satin-finished 42mm by 10mm twelve-sided case and bezel with a nautically appropriate vintage look that Corum says will “pay tribute to the beauty and strength of the brass material used in old ships.”

Subtler markers  

As seen throughout the Admiral collection, the new bronze model features twelve 5N gold-coated, pennant-shaped hour markers on the dial. But unlike many other Admiral’s Cup models, these marker are subtly marked with one color (to match the dial) rather than touched in multiple hues.  

Apparently to underscore the watch’s eventual vintage bronze case color, Corum has also added an interesting vintage-looking Admiral logo at the top of the running seconds subdial just above the 6 o’clock position. Nice.  

Blue or green dial

Corum offers the watch in either a navy blue or maritime green dial, each fit with a matching alligator strap. Skeletonized gold Dauphine hands are filled with either green or blue SuperLuminova that will glow to match the dial color.

Inside the watch Corum places the ETA-based CO 395
 automatic movement, which it makes visible through the sapphire case back. Price to be determined.

 

Zenith unveils the Chronomaster Revival Shadow, another winning retro model designed as a result of Zenith’s deep dive into its own El Primero history.

The newest watch updates the look and feel of a black-cased El Primero watch Zenith made as a prototype in the early 1970s. Dubbed the Shadow, the update utilizes an original A384 case shape and 37mm size, the same case Zenith revisited for last year’s Chronomaster Revival El Primero A384.

Zenith has re-created the stealthy look using micro-blasted titanium rather than the darkened steel Zenith discovered on the early “Shadow” model.

Not surprisingly, unlike the prototype from 1970 powered by a manual-winding chronograph movement, the Chronomaster Revival Shadow features Zenith’s date-free El Primero (4061), visible through the display back.

As Zenith explains “only a handful of this spectral prototype was made, but the model was never officially produced or commercialized. Many watchmakers and longtime employees of Zenith had heard of and even seen one of the rare prototypes, even though official records about this piece are extremely scarce.”

The Le Locle-based watchmaker spent much of 2019 documenting its El Primero history as it celebrated the pioneering, high-beat chronograph movement’s fiftieth anniversary by issuing a series of celebratory watches, many of which were made to echo the case and dial designs of early Zenith watches fitted with the El Primero movements.

The new Zenith Chronomaster Revival Shadow pairs grey subdials with a matching tachymeter scale, and both contrast nicely with matte black dial.  Perhaps to emphasize its stealthy name, the watch’s hands and applied markers are filled with white SuperLuminova that emits a green glow. The watch’s strap is textured black rubber with white stitching. Price: $8,200

Specifications: Zenith Chronomaster Revival ‘Shadow”

Reference: 97.T384.4061/21.C822

 

Movement: El Primero 4061 Automatic with column-wheel chronograph, 36,000 VpH frequency with 50-hour power reserve, visible from clear caseback.

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.

Case: 37-mm micro-blasted titanium using original A384 case shape, water resistant to 50 meters

Dial: Black dial with grey counters and tachymeter scale, hand and markers rhodium-plated, faceted and coated with SuperLumiNovaSLN C1

Bracelet & Buckle: Black “cordura effect” strap and white stitching. Microblasted titanium pin buckle.

For 2020, IWC Schaffhausen is updating and expanding its Portugieser collection, focusing on equipping the entire collection with in-house calibers while also re-emphasizing the design’s nautical history.

Among the highlights: a smaller (40mm) Portugieser Automatic model, a smaller diameter (42mm) perpetual calendar, additional examples of the Portugieser Chronograph newly set with an in-house caliber, a new Yacht Club watch with a moonphase display, plus an all-new edition of the watch with a tide indicator. In addition, IWC added several complicated Portugieser watches that combine a tourbillon with a perpetual calendar and a chronograph.  

The new IWC Portugieser Automatic Chronograph, also available with green dial or with blue dial (on gold Boutique model).

New Chronographs

The Portugieser Chronograph (Ref. 3716), long a best seller for IWC, is newly equipped in the standard version with the IWC in-house 69355 caliber and a clear sapphire-glass back. The two stainless-steel models ($7,950), one with deep green dial and one glowing in deep ‘claret’ red, are equipped with the newly developed folding butterfly clasp. A third model, elegant in 5N gold, (Ref IW371614, $17,800) features a blue dial, gold markers and gold hands. 

The new Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. 3583) is fit with IWC-manufactured Caliber 82200.

Automatic, now at 40mm

The Portugieser Automatic 40 (Ref. 3583) marks the return to the collection of the three-hand design with the small seconds at 6 o’clock. You’ll find it now in a compact case with a 40-millimetre diameter–and bearing the collection’s entry price of $7,250. The new automatic model gets its power from the IWC-manufactured 82200 caliber with Pellaton winding. Four versions are available in 18-karat 5N gold or stainless steel cases.

IWC Portugieser Automatic, 40mm

A fifth Portugieser Automatic, in a larger (42mm) case, sports its power reserve display and small seconds on the dial and will be offered as either a gold-cased boutique edition (blue dial, $23,900) or with a the same rich red dial ($12,700) found on the new Portugieser Chronographs. These offer a longer power reserve than the 40mm models (up to seven days) thanks to their larger case diameter, which allows space for two winding barrels.

IWC Portugieser Automatic 42 (boutique Edition), with seven-day power reserve.

The new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (Ref. 3442).

Smaller Perpetual

IWC adds its own in-house caliber 82650 with 60-hour power reserve to the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar 42 (Ref. 3442). Thanks to the new movement, IWC was able to case it in a smaller 42mm diameter size (above). This could be the sleeper hit given its moderate starting price ($22,900) and full, easy-to-read perpetual functionality. All the displays are perfectly synchronized with each other and can be adjusted with a quick turn of the crown. In this version of the calendar, the displays for the date, month and day of the week are seen in three subdials.

This new IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar (Boutique Edition) features a 44mm diameter & displays the calendar information on four subdials and it has a four-digit year display, a small seconds hand and a power reserve display.

Also look for a boutique 5N gold edition of the classic 44mm Portugieser Perpetual Calendar ($37,900, above). This model, with a nautical design, features a blue dial and shows the year in four digits–a feature IWC pioneered with its earlier Kurt Klaus-designed perpetual calendars starting in 1985.  Thanks to its slightly larger dimensions of the boutique edition, the movement has room for two barrels that offer a power reserve of seven days.

Yacht Club

Three new Portugieser Yacht Club watches combine a 44mm diameter with a recognizable Yacht Club bezel shape, flat casing ring and very useful flyback function.

The new IWC Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph.

The Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (Ref. 344001) is the first watch from IWC to feature the newly developed tide display.

One, the Portugieser Yacht Club Moon & Tide (Ref. 344001, $33,100) is the first watch from IWC to feature a newly developed tide display, which shows the expected times of the next high and low water. The Portugieser Yacht Club Chronograph (Ref. 3907, starting at $13,100) comes with either a stainless-steel bracelet or a two-tone bracelet in stainless steel and 18-karat 5N gold.

 

By the mid-1970s, the Yacht Club had established itself as one of the most successful models ever manufactured by IWC.

 IWC will ship more of the Yacht Club models to its boutiques, including those with expanded maritime-inspired colors (blue and gold). These are identifiable with their blue dials, braided blue calfskin straps and cases in 18-karat 5N gold or 18-karat Armor Gold. The latter is a new alloy that demonstrates a higher hardness value than traditional 5N gold alloys.

IWC History: In 2003 IWC launched the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar (Reference 5021).

Complications

Two watches in the new collection underscore IWC’s expertise at the high end. These are the new Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. 3940, starting at CHF 105,000), which combines a tourbillon with a retrograde date display and chronograph, and the Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon (Ref. 5045, starting at CHF 115,000) that combines a tourbillon and perpetual calendar.

The Portugieser Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph (Ref. 3940) combines a flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock with a retrograde date display at 9 o’clock and a chronograph.
The Portugieser Perpetual Calendar Tourbillon IW504504 boutique edition with 18-karat Armor Gold case, blue dial, gold-plated hands, gold appliqués, blue calfskin strap.

 

The new Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph is a reinterpretation of a 1943 Audemars Piguet chronograph. Now with a larger (40mm) two-tone steel and 40mm pink gold case, the new watch retains the original’s olive-shaped pushers, steel lugs and champagne dial.

Art Deco numerals enhance the vintage aspect, as do the pink gold hour, minute and seconds hands, blue chronograph hands and a blue transferred tachymetric scale. For 2020, Audemars Piguet has rearranged the chronograph counters, but retains the original watch’s 4/5 indication above the 15 minutes mark inside the 30-minutes counter at 9 o’clock to allow the wearer to record up to 45 minutes.

The watch’s sapphire caseback reveals the integrated flyback chronograph with column wheel (Caliber 4409) and the 22-karat pink gold oscillating weight, displaying its satin-brushed and decorated “Clous de Paris” decoration.

Audemars Piguet includes two straps with the watch, including a light brown hand-stitched calfskin strap and an additional dark brown alligator strap. Price: $53,100 (limited to 500 pieces).

Specifications: Audemars Piguet [Re]master01 Selfwinding Chronograph 40 mm

FUNCTIONS: 
Flyback chronograph, hours, minutes and small seconds.

CASE: 40mm steel case and lugs, 18-karat pink gold bezel, crown and push pieces, glare-proofed sapphire crystal and caseback, water-resistant to 20 meters.

MOVEMENT: Selfwinding Manufacture caliber 4409

DIAL: 
Yellow gold-toned dial, blue tachymetric scale, pink gold hour, minute and seconds hands, blue chronograph hands.

STRAP: 
Hand-stitched light brown calfskin strap with stainless steel pin buckle. Additional brown alligator strap.

 

        Bell & Ross this week unveils three automatic watches within its vintage-military BR-V2 collection, all equipped with NATO fabric straps. Two of the 41mm debuts are steel-cased models (one is a GMT and the other is a three-hand model with date) while the third is bronze-cased bi-compax chronograph.

        Bell & Ross is offering each new model with its own blue or green color with matching dials, bezels and straps. Two of the new watches are also available with a steel bracelet, while the bronze-cased chronograph, a limited edition of 999, is only sold with its blue NATO strap. 

 

The new Bell & Ross BR V2-93 GMT.

BR V2-93 GMT Blue

With a nod to the BR V2-93 GMT 24H launched in 2018, this latest GMT edition offers a 41mm steel case with a metallic blue sunray pattern dial. And in case you’re not aware of the aviation-linked GMT functionality, Bell & Ross has placed an aircraft-styled counterweight on the seconds hand.

 

Around the dial you’ll see a bi-directional rotating bezel in two-tone anodized aluminum (grey for daytime and blue for night-time), which means the time in a second time zone (shown on a 24-hour scale) can be read using the arrow-tipped GMT hand. All four hands and all the indexes are coated with white SuperLuminova.

 

 

                                                              BR V2-92 Military Green

The BR V2-92 Military Green model is the most basic of these three debuts, with its three-hand timekeeping, date and anti-reflective matte khaki dial.

       Here, Bell & Ross has treated the dial to echo those in the existing Bell & Ross “LUM” collection, which means it is treated with green SuperLuminova. And as we’ve seen in the Bell & Ross Vintage collection, this BR V2-92 is also equipped with domed sapphire crystal and a black bi-directional rotating bezel in anodized aluminum. Note that the date, in a nice military detail, is at 4.30 and is colored the same khaki green color as the dial.

BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze

To maintain the vintage décor found on the entire Bell & Ross Vintage BR Aéronavale collection, here the brand extends the look with a bronze-cased edition, limited edition to 999 pieces. Bell & Ross’s bronze formula, comprised of 91% copper, 7% aluminum and 2% silicon, noticeably tilts on the yellow side of traditional bronze tints.

The new Bell & Ross BR V2-94-Aeronavale Bronze, on a blue canvas strap.

        

 Like other watches in the Bell & Ross Vintage series, this new BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze features a fixed bezel, here in navy blue anodized aluminum. The watch’s blue dial, nicely set with gilt metal indexes and numerals, is a luxurious example of historic bi-compax chronograph subdials. This chronograph also features screw-down pushers and skeletonized hands coated with white SuperLuminova.

 

 Prices: BR V2-93 GMT Blue // elastic canvas strap $3,200 // steel bracelet $3,500

 BR V2-92 Military Green // elastic canvas strap $2,990 // steel bracelet $3,300

 BR V2-94 Aéronavale Bronze // Limited to 999 PCS // $5,200