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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.

 

By Gary Girdvainis

Max is back and minimal is original. Sixty years after the launch of the Max Bill Automatic, Junghans has revisited not only that minimalistic design, but has dared to offer it in the authentic 34mm original size.

An original Max Bill watch from 1961 (left) and a new model, with date. Both are 34mm in diameter.

Tiny by today’s standards (for a men’s watch), the 34mm watch is powered by an automatic movement under a dial bereft of excess – or anything distracting, except, for some, a date display. Two dial options offer a choice between an numeral-free edition or a model with Arabic numerals in a fine font.

Whether with simple stick markers or Arabic numerals, the austere dial keeps the smaller size from feeling too crowded, while the almost-nonexistent bezel adds volume and expanse to the scant case.

Water resistance is nominal at 30 meters and good for splashes and rain, while a double-coated sapphire crystal reaches to the very perimeter of the case. A truly unisex watch, the modern rendition ranges in price from $1,095 to $1,195 depending on the case finish and strap or bracelet choice.

Bulova celebrates Apollo 15 with the 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot Limited Edition, a new quartz chronograph from the storied brand.

Bulova will make 5,000 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot watches.

Bulova has a long history with NASA and has been involved in multiple space missions. The watchmaker specifically celebrates Apollo 15 because on August 2, 1971, Apollo 15’s mission commander David Scott made lunar history while wearing a Bulova chronograph. You may recall that the original watch sold for nearly $1.6 million at auction in 2015.

The Bulova Chronograph Worn by David Scott on the moon sold for nearly $1.6 million at auction in 2015.

Bulova notes that its partnership with the U.S. space mission ran from the mid-1950s until the 1970s. To learn more about Bulova’s links to U.S. space exploration, visit the digital Bulova Museum.

New case

Bulova’s celebratory release replicates the style and dial layout of Scott’s watch from Apollo 15, with technical updates. The new model is cased in a new and larger 45mm titanium case, and includes new gold-tone accents and pushers.

Inside, Bulova places proprietary high frequency, high precision quartz movement, which boasts a frequency of 262 kHz, eight times the frequency of traditional quartz watches. This is the movement, with its apparently ‘sweeping’ seconds hand, that Bulova inserts into its Precisionist collection, which Bulova debuted in 2010.

The watch’s retro-styled dial includes the original Bulova logo and dial layout with a sapphire crystal. A sharp-looking grey leather NATO strap holds it to the wearer’s wrist, and the watch is water resistant to fifty meters. On the screw-down case back you’ll find an engraved image depicting a moon walk and the watch’s limited edition number. Bulova will make 5,000 50th Anniversary Lunar Pilot watches and will package each with a storybook and commemorative NASA coin. Price: $995.

In recent months my inbox has been a repository of reminders about classic American watch design. And while plenty of digital missives arrive from the encouragingly high number of youthful watch designers active across the United States these days, I’ve been especially impressed by the retro-design regimen currently underway at Accutron.

Accutron’s Legacy collection transports us back decades with its studied re-introduction of dials and cases that truly met, and in many ways help define, the Swinging Sixties and the Space Age. The collection’s aerodynamic curves, electrical references and rampant asymmetry are a treat to both the eyes and the wrist. And by retaining vintage sizes Accutron enhances the nostalgia, setting the imaginative dials within their proper proportions.

The newest version of the Accutron Date and Day Q.

A stylish reminder of Accutron style from this era can be found in the Accutron Legacy Date and Day Q, a Legacy release that echoes the original 1971 streamlined ‘flying saucer’ 34.5mm oval case design and 4 o’clock crown.

Updated Bulova Classics

Bulova also understands the value its design archives. The Bulova Oceanographer ‘Devil Diver’, its Computron and Bulova’s array of military watches are prime examples.

Just recently Bulova notes that it is expanding its array of Bulova Classic designs with new versions of the 1948 Sutton and the 1960s Aerojet.

The newest Bulova Sutton reprises a 1940s design but with a contemporary dial aperture and case size.

Both these re-releases are automatic models powered by Miyota movements. The new Sutton automatic ($395) recalls Bulova’s President watch, circa 1948, though the new model offers an updated 33mm by 49mm case size and a contemporary dial aperture to expose the movement. Bulova is offering the watch with a white dial on a brown alligator grain leather strap or with a black dial on a black alligator grain leather strap.

My favorite among the recent debuts is the new Aerojet, reprising a Bulova design from the 1960s. Bulova unveils two new 41mm steel-cased versions featuring the Aerojet’s signature cross hair dial with a bi-color Day/Night indicator and vintage Aerojet logo.

The new Bulova Classic Aerojet reprises a 1960s design.

These come with colorful sunray blue or brown dials with a degrade effect. The blue model is available on a black distressed leather strap for $450 and the brown on a multilink bracelet for $495.

   

 

Watchmakers have been multiplying their automotive and motorsports collaborations in recent years. Here, we review a few prominent timekeeping/racing alliances.

By Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle

In this Part III of our recently expanded four-part series outlining automotive-wristwatch partnerships, we highlight TAG Heuer.

TAG Heuer

Historically rooted in motorsports, TAG Heuer has worked with many car companies, starting with Scuderia Ferrari, but also McLaren, Mercedes, Audi and, more recently, Aston Martin.

As one of the most highly-anticipated watch/car partnerships with authentic motor racing heritage and on-track success, the friendship between TAG Heuer and Porsche has existed for decades and is now transformed into a strategic partnership ranging from sports competition to product development.

From a 1959 Ralley.

Racing fans and watch fans will know that the Carrera Panamericana road race in Mexico gave its name to creations from both brands. Porsche named its most powerful engine the Carrera after its class win in the 1954 Carrera Panamericana, and Edouard Heuer’s great-grandson, Jack Heuer, conceived the first Heuer Carrera chronograph in 1963.

Jo Siffert, wearing Heuer.

Thereafter, Jack Heuer struck a sponsorship arrangement with Jo Siffert at the wheel of various Porsches with the Heuer logo on his car and suit. Siffert was the Swiss racing driver on which Steve McQueen had based his character during the filming of Le Mans in 1970 in which he drove a Porsche 917.

The Porsche 911 Carrera, from 1972.

In the 1980s, TAG Heuer and Porsche developed the TAG-Turbo engine that led the McLaren team to three consecutive F1 world titles. Porsche also created its own Formula E team with TAG Heuer as title and timing partner in 2019, the Swiss watchmaker being a founding partner of the electric racing championship.

The TAG Heuer Porsche Formula E Team tackles its second season running the Porsche 99X Electric race car in 2021.

And there is more. The two brands will be collaborating in the FIA World Endurance Championship and the Porsche Carrera Cup worldwide one-make cup series. For their first joint timepiece, they produced the 44-mm TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph, powered by the in-house Caliber Heuer 02 with 80-hour power reserve.

In the Porsche colors of red, black and gray recalling historic Heuer models, the watch features a rotor in the shape of Porsche’s trademark steering wheel. Arabic numerals suggesting the numbers on Porsche dashboards are set against an asphalt-effect dial.

The TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition.

“Time is at the very core of racing. Without its mastery, there is no competition, no progress,” says Frédéric Arnault, TAG Heuer CEO.

Back view of the TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Chronograph Special Edition, showing the Caliber Heuer 02.

“From its early years, Heuer made it its specialty to develop tools like chronographs, stopwatches and dashboard timers, which helped drivers, teams and race organizers keep time in increasingly accurate ways,” Arnault continues. “The company served a very tangible purpose in motor racing from the start; it was in its DNA. Later, it was Jack Heuer who saw the natural connection from a branding perspective, and we became the first non-automotive brand to sponsor a F1 team. We started with Carrera as it’s an iconic name we share, but that was just the first step.”

 

Y-Jean Mun-DelSalle is a freelance journalist and editorial consultant who has lived on three different continents. She meets with inspirational individuals in pursuit of excellence: emerging and established artists, designers and craftsmen, engaging entrepreneurs and philanthropists, and the movers and shakers of the world today. She contributes regularly to regional and international titles such as Artsy, Asia Tatler, Design Anthology, Forbes, Portfolio, Robb Report, Shawati’ and Vogue, shining a spotlight in particular on art, architecture, design, horology and jewelry.

 

(Editor note: Benrus has discontinued selling this watch. “Unfortunately there was a question around the movement and its authenticity,” according to a Benrus publicist. “Out of an abundance of caution Benrus has removed this product and is conducting further research.”)

Mechanical alarm watches combine a truly useful timekeeping function with the collector’s love of automatic or manual-wind movements. This week the recently revived watchmaker Benrus, founded in New York in 1921, debuts a superb retro-inspired alarm watch that offers these enticements, but also adds another compelling component: a vintage movement.

Inside the Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild manual-wind movement from the 1970s.Thus, inside the new Benrus Wrist Alarm you’ll find a fully rebuilt A. Schild 1931 manual-wind movement from the 1970s. Benrus is utilizing movements that were never used and have been carefully disassembled and fully serviced in Switzerland to assure they are operating as if they were new. More than 330,000 original AS 1931 movements were sold between 1970 and 1974, according to Benrus, which offers more details about the history of the original movement on its website.

The new 38mm steel Benrus Wrist Alarm allows the wearer to set the alarm hand as desired using the crown at the 2 o’clock position. After winding the alarm with the same crown, the user can expect a fairly loud buzz for about ten seconds at the chosen time.

The watch itself echoes the look of a Benrus alarm watch circa 1956. Within its steel case you’ll see an off-white linen patterned dial, applied polished stainless steel numerals and markers and domed sapphire crystal.

Benrus sets the Wrist Alarm with a dark blue genuine leather strap with deployant buckle. The watch is water resistant to 50 meters and has an enhanced 50-hour power reserve. Benrus will make 500 Wrist Alarms. Price: $1,295.

(Please see note at the top of this story regarding the availability of this watch.) 

 

For seventeen summers Frederique Constant has released a new Vintage Rally limited edition series, which the Geneva-based watchmaker dedicates to collectors of classic Austin-Healey vintage automobiles. The annual debut rarely disappoints, and this year’s releases are no exception.

This year’s highlight is an all-grey Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds, with a range of the contemporary color on its dial, strap, steel case, index hour markers and hands.

The new all-grey Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds.

The dressy 40mm watch sports the original Healey logo on the dial, just adjacent to the off-center small seconds hand at 9 o’clock. Around the decidedly matte dial is the flange displaying the sixty-minute scale. Frederique Constant has engraved each watch’s caseback with a Healey automobile in action. (See below for additional technical details).

Frederique Constant will make 888 examples of the grey-dialed Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds, with each arriving in a gift set alongside a miniature replica of a vintage Austin-Healy automobile.

Custom green

For buyers outside the United States, or by special order in the United States, two additional Vintage Rally watches are also available.

For these ‘international models” Frederique Constant offers a green dial and a blue dial, both colors that allude to the Austin-Healey company. One model features British racing green while the other offers a dial in navy blue within a rose gold-plated case. This model’s hour markers, hands and crown are also navy blue, which is hinted on the leather strap as well.

Only the grey model ($1,595) is available in the United States. As noted, the two “international” models are available here only by special order. Prices: $2,175 (Blue dial/rose-gold plated case) and $1,957 (Green dial, steel case).

Specifications: Frederique Constant Vintage Rally Healey Automatic Small Seconds (Limited edition of 888.)

Movement: ETA-based FC-345 automatic caliber with 38-hour power reserve.

Case: 40mm by 11.15mm polished steel, two-part case, convex sapphire crystal, engraved case-back with Healey Noj 393 vintage car. Water resistant to 50 meters.

Dial: Grey with matte finishing, white inner ring with printed seconds graduation
, silver color applied indexes with white luminous treatment, hand-polished silver color hour and minute hands with white luminous treatment, small seconds counter at 9 o’clock w/red hand
, date window at 3 o’clock.

Strap: Grey calf leather with light grey stitching.

Price: $1,595

 

Zenith began celebrating El Primero’s fiftieth anniversary in 2019 with a series of Revival models. These have included the El Primero A386, A384 and A385 Revival models, among others, up to the most recent Chronomaster Revival Safari. With all these releases, the Le Locle-based watchmaker has kept the Revival series dial and case designs largely true to their historic proportions and, often, their original hues.

But as Zenith admits, none of these Revival models filled a void within its collections for a ongoing, steel-cased Chronomaster El Primero A386 model. Remember that the first A386 Revival from 2019 was cased in gold. And while the hot steel-cased  Chronomaster Sport Zenith debuted early in 2021 has seemingly met the demand for a new, sportier Chronomaster El Primero chronograph, customers in search of a steel-cased, dressier El Primero A386 have been waiting since 2019. 

The new 38mm Zenith Chronomaster Original, here with a steel case and bracelet.

Zenith this week launches the Chronomaster Original to fill that void. The five watches in the new collection (four are steel-cased, one is cased in gold) retain the most identifiable aspects of the much-loved El Primero A386 from 1969, including a 38mm round and bezel-free steel case with a domed crystal, pump-style chronograph pushers, faceted lugs, and brushed and polished surfaces.

Zenith however updates several key elements of the now familiar Chronomaster Revival profile.  First, Zenith replaces the retro 1960s ladder bracelet found on the recent Revival models with a new, richly-finished solid-link bracelet.

Practical scale

More notably however Zenith updates the tachymeter scale, replacing the original 1/100th-of-an-hour calculation scale with a 1/10-of-a-second chronograph scale. This allows instantaneous reading of a 10th of a second using the chronograph seconds hand.

Within the case Zenith fits the primary reason for this change of tachymetric scale : the latest version of the El Primero caliber, dubbed the El Primero 3600. Also found powering the new Zenith Chronomaster Sport (and originally seen in an earlier, very limited Chronomaster 2), the caliber of course retains the El Primero’s signature high frequency of 5 Hz (36,000 VpH).

Thus, with a central chronograph seconds hand that rotates once around the dial in exactly ten seconds,  the movement offers a true 1/10th-of-second indication in conjunction with the new scale. And now that the scale frames the dials of both the Chronomaster Sport and this new Chronomaster Original design,  Zenith now offers two ongoing collections with this most practical utililization of its high-speed El Primero caliber.

In addition to its new application, the new El Primero 3600 features a newly blued column wheel and “new architecture” that Zenith says is more efficient than earlier El Primeros. The new efficiency also influences the caliber’s power reserve, which is now rated to sixty hours.

The new El Primero 3600 caliber offers a 1/10th-of-second-display from the 36,000-VpH escapement as well as an extended power reserve of 60 hours.

Zenith is offering the new Chronomaster Original in three models. One model, sold on a steel bracelet or a blue calfskin strap, features the well-known Chronomaster tri-color dial configuration. Another model features a so-called ‘reverse panda’ black dial with silver chronograph registers and is sold on a steel bracelet or a beige calfskin strap. Intrestingly, these two models use a rhodium-plated central seconds hand rather than the red central seconds hand found on the tri-color dial versions. The third model is cased in gold and features the tri-color dial design. The logo on each new model has been updated to the Zenith’s more contemporary script.

Both steel-bracelet models are priced at $9,000 while both strap models are priced at $8,400. The third model ($19,100), cased in rose gold with a silvered dial and tri-color subdials, is offered on a brown calfskin strap.

  

MB&F expands its award-winning Legacy Machine FlyingT collection with a new model boasting a vivid green malachite dial plate. You might recall that the independent watchmaker launched the LM FlyingT in 2019 in three white gold diamond-set editions.

The new MB&F LM FlyingT Malachite.

The 38.5mm watch was MB&F’s first venture into feminine-focused design, and it was quite a success. Customers clamored for it, and much of the industry awarded it the prize for Best Ladies’ Complication at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.

Just last year MB&F added a limited edition guilloché-dialed series cased in red gold and platinum. More recently, the watchmaker launched an eye-catching Lapis Lazuli LM FlyingT model, accompanied by an explanation that the brand expected to announce at least one new gemstone-set edition annually.

As on the earlier LM Flying T editions, the new watch’s 18-karat white gold case, set with diamonds, frames the malachite dial plate and, at 7 o’clock, the angled (at 50 degrees) time display, also set with malachite. A dramatic 60-second flying tourbillon emerges from the center of the malachite plate anchored at the top by a cantilevered double-arch upper bridge. Turn the watch over to enjoy the three-dimensional red gold sun rotor with sculpted rays.

MB&F explains that malachite varies in color, veering from light green to dark green. Historically malachite has been associated with omens of good health, including protection from lightning. No word on whether MB&F is offering similar such protections, but we can safely assure anyone wearing the new MB&F LM FlyingT Malachite full protection from a dull wrist. Price: $145,000.

The full collection of MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT models.

Just ahead of the annual Mille Miglia, the 1,000-mile classic car race in Italy slated for June 16 to 19, long-time race sponsor and participant Chopard has released its ode to the race, the new Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition.

The new Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition, with a 44mm steel case A second model offers a rose gold and steel case.

While this year’s race will run in the reverse direction (counter-clockwise) starting in Brescia, on to Rome and returning to Brescia to pay homage to the race’s original 1927 route, Chopard moves forward, offering two models of the new watch.

The steel and rose gold version of the Chopard Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition.

Chopard is making one of the new Mille Miglia 2021 Race Edition chronographs with a steel case, limited to 1,000 units, and will also make a second model cased in both steel and rose gold, limited to 250 units.  

Each is a sporty 44mm chronograph with either a stainless steel or polished ethical rose gold bezel with a black ceramic insert with white ceramic markings. Chopard has designed the bezel to mimic dials and gauges of the types found in classic automobiles that annually participate in the Mille Miglia.

The watch also sports a grey dial with a circular satin-brushed finish, all highlighted by red accents on the chronograph hands and for the race’s historic ‘Red Arrow’ pennant.

Chopard secures the back with screws and engraves a checkered flag, the ’1000 Miglia’ logo and the inscription ‘Brescia > Roma > Brescia.’ Though it’s not visible, the ETA-based COSC-chronometer-certified automatic movement offers a 48-hour power reserve, stop-seconds function, water-resistance to 100 meters and a glare-resistant sapphire crystal.

And finally, the watch’s calfskin leather bracelet features perforations and red or black stitching reminiscent of 1960s Dunlop racing tires, echoing examples from previous years.

Prices: $7,610 (steel model) and $11,000 (steel and ethical rose gold).