Watch Of The Day


By Steve Huyton

For a long time, Chinese-made products have been unfairly dismissed as inferior quality or disposable products. Admittedly in a region as large as China, there is a broad spectrum ranging from substandard to superlative.

Nevertheless, tech giant Apple exclusively manufactures in this country and it hasn’t deterred consumers at all. Within the watch industry, the label Swiss-made still carries a lot of weight. However, there are a lot of brands like Ciga Design that are changing people’s perceptions.

This company shook the world of horology on its head by winning the Challenge Prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2021 awards for the phenomenal Blue Planet.

The Ciga Design Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition

For that reason, I was delighted to hear of another formidable piece called the Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition. This watch was unveiled in 2023 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of mankind’s conquest of Mount Everest.

I’ve always been fascinated with innovative design and that was the catalyst for writing books about this subject. My philosophy is to select based on creative merit rather than brand status. This strategy I believe is more advantageous for the reader because they are offered increased diversity.

That’s why I’m very pleased that brands such as Ciga Design are getting the recognition they deserve. The business is the brainchild of multi-disciplinary designer Zhang Jianmin who specializes in fields like architecture, graphics and product design. After twenty-six years of commercial experience, he decided to launch his own watch brand. In my opinion, the Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition is their most ambitious creation to date.

Hilary Quote

Ciga Design have set the tone for this watch by using a quote from mountaineer Sir Edmund Hilary: “It’s not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”

These words are very inspiring and captivate the essence of the Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition.

Fortunately, I got to inspect one of these amazing timepieces and was incredibly impressed with the overall quality. Aesthetically this watch has a distinctive Avant-Garde appearance normally found in Haute Horlogerie watches that retail for multiple times the price.

The proportions have also been well considered. With a 45mm titanium case, this piece sits comfortably on the wrist and is suitable to wear with formal/casual attire.

What makes the Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition so special is the meticulous attention to detail. Remarkably, Ciga Design’s chief designer personally embarked on a journey to the base of Mount Everest to source rock for the dial of the watch. This creates a 3D texture that perfectly frames the exposed central tourbillon carriage.

Other incredible characteristics include ice axe-style hands engraved with the signatures of both Sir Edmund Hilary and Tenzing Norway. Ciga Design has also added a nice touch by including the four world flags of Britain, Nepal, India and the United Nations. Overall the minimalistic composition is highly effective and the quality first rate.

Beneath the architectural façade lies a very sophisticated in-house customized hand-winding movement. The Calibre CD-05 comprises 33 jewels and oscillates at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour.

This exquisite mechanism is visibly showcased via the sapphire crystal exhibition engraved case back. Functionally the Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition features hours, minutes and seconds. The watch also has a very impressive power reserve of 120 hours and is water resistant to a depth of thirty meters.

As a perfect finale, the Central Tourbillon Mount Everest Homage Edition is presented on a textured rubber black strap with a complimentary titanium buckle. With a retail of $3,600, I believe this watch is very competitively priced.

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

Benrus relaunches its Type I-C dive and field watch with a new series that recreates the look and feel of the original pioneering 1960s-era Benrus Type I military watches.

One of four new Benrus Type I-C watches

The historic U.S.-based brand is recreating the Type I-C with a design faithful to the original asymmetric-cased model, including its spare, logo-free dial, full 300-meter water resistance, big indexes and large luminous hands.

Benrus offers a choice of three dial colors, white, blue and black, each cased in a 42.5mm by 47.5mm bead-blasted steel case with a screw-in textured crown, bidirectional rotating hour bezel and double-domed sapphire crystal.

Inside Benrus fits a Soprod P024 automatic movement with a 38-hour power reserve.

Benrus offers the black-dialed model with two bezel and strap options. One features a matching black bezel, a direct echo of the original design. That watch comes with a black two-piece rubber tropic strap. The second black-dialed model comes with a red bezel and is available on a red two-piece rubber tropic strap.

Other variations include a white dial with black bezel on a white two-piece rubber tropic strap and an all-blue model featuring a blue dial with matching blue bezel and blue two-piece rubber tropic strap.

Each Swiss-made Benrus Type I-C watch benefits from a healthy dollop of white Super-LumiNova markers and hands. On the back of each watch you’ll also find an image of an American flag.

Benrus was the first watchmaker to land a U.S. military watch contract during the Vietnam war. Its Mil-Spec MIL-W-50717 watches were used by soldiers in the various branches, including the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, the Green Berets and the CIA.

Price: $1,495.

Specifications: Benrus Type I-C

Case Diameter: 42.5mm (without crown)

Case Length: 47.5mm (top lug to bottom lug)

Case Height: 15mm

Lug Width: 20mm

Bead blasted 316L stainless steel case w/ screw-in high-grip textured crown

Double domed sapphire crystal

BW G9 Super-LumiNova on dial markers and hands

Soprod P024 w/ 38-hour power reserve

30ATM water resistance

Quick release two-piece rubber tropic strap

Special American Flag case back

Swiss Made

Maurice Lacroix adds a bronze-cased model to its best-selling Aikon collection with the new Aikon Automatic Bronze.

The new Maurice Lacroix Aikon Automatic Bronze.

Paired with a new brown fumé pattern gradient dial, the watch comes nearly six years after the previous automatic Aikon in bronze, which sported a dark blue patterned dial with Arabic numerals.

This latest example, which Maurice Lacroix issues as a limited region of 888 pieces, matches the bronze hue with a dressier ‘smoked chocolate’ dial.

The elegant Clous de Paris pattern is set with a brown hue that gradually darkens toward the edges. Thin stick indexes in gold also set a more sartorial tone to the watch, as do the gold hands.

Maurice Lacroix adds a few details to the watch’s 42mm case that enhance its dressy appeal, including a brushed bronze finish and sandblasted ‘riders’ on the bezel, meant to add a sense of depth to the moderately sized 11mm thick case.

Maurice Lacroix fits the new Aikon Automatic Bronze with a Sellita automatic movement, which is manufactured to Maurice Lacroix’s specifications to create the Automatic ML135 caliber. These newer specs include rhodium-plated components with snailing and perlage circular graining finishes. The rotor is visible through the open caseback and is fit with the Maurice Lacroix logo.

Finally, Maurice Lacroix attaches the watch to an integrated vintage brown leather strap embellished with the brand’s M logo in 4N gold. An EasyStrap system allows the wearer to swap straps as desired without the need for a special tool.

Price: $2,550.

As the official timer to the Olympic Games in Paris 2024 this summer, Omega launches a celebratory watch, the Speedmaster Chronoscope Paris 2024, with a vintage 1940s ‘snail’ dial design that displays a tachymeter scale, a pulsometer scale and a telemeter scale.

The new Omega Speedmaster Chronoscope Paris 2024

With its white opaline dial and black, grey and gold accents, the watch oozes retro appeal while also hosting a full slate of modern technical updates within its contemporary 43mm case.

The watch is also available with a Moonshine Gold case and bracelet and a ceramic bezel.

The updated size fits a technically astute Omega Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 9908 / 9909, certified by METAS, which marks it as meeting high Swiss standards of precision, performance, and magnetic resistance.

Omega is offering the new watch in four models. These include a version in full stainless steel with an anodized aluminum bezel and one cased in Omega’s own gold 18-karat yellow gold alloy known as Moonshine Gold with a ceramic bezel.

The steel model is also sold on a leather strap while the gold model is available on gold bracelet or a leather strap.

Each dial offers blackened sub-dials, Arabic numerals in Moonshine Gold and leaf-shaped, gold-coated hands and subdial hands.

On the back, Omega adds a commemorative design featuring a stamped medallion on a frosted base that displays a mirror-polished Paris 2024 logo and the words, “Paris 2024” and the Olympic rings.

Prices: $9,500 (steel with aluminum bezel on leather) to $51,400 (Moonshine gold case, ceramic bezel and gold bracelet).

To celebrate two decades as the Official Timekeeper of the NTT Indycar Series, TAG Heuer launches a new Formula 1 Chronograph Indy 500 Special Edition watch.

The new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph Indy 500 Special Edition watch.

The 43mm quartz-powered chronograph, which launches ahead of the 108th Indianapolis 500 on May 26, echoes previous special editions from TAG Heuer with its racing-red accents and prominent Indianapolis Speedway logo.

TAG Heuer teamed with the Indycar design team when considering which race references to include in the watch. As a result, you’ll see “Indy 500” displayed on the ceramic bezel, positioned on the tachymeter scale.


In addition, TAG Heuer has engraved the Indy 500 logo and ‘special edition’ mention on the back. Also note the asphalt-like black and red detail on the dial.

As a reference to heritage, the new TAG Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph watch details #11 in the indexes, which underscores the year of the first race in 1911 as well as the beginning of the TAG Heuer partnership in 2011.

The red numeral at 11 o’clock depicts the birth of the race in 1911 and the beginning of the TAG Heuer partnership 100 years later.

The chronograph’s three sub-dials feature a permanent second indicator at 3 o’clock, a minute chronograph counter embellished with the Indianapolis Speedway logo at 6 o’clock, and the hour chronograph counter at 9 o’clock.

As a racing-inspired watch, the TAG Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph is fit with a steel bracelet and folding clasp with a double safety system and pilot extension. This allows the watch to be worn over a racing suit.

At this year’s Indy 500 race, look for the new watch on the wrist of of TAG Heuer ambassador and Indycar driver Alexander Rossi.

Price: $2,400.

Specifications: TAG Heuer Formula 1 Chronograph x Indy 500


Movement: Quartz Chronograph displaying hours, minutes, seconds, date, chronograph.

Dial: Asphalt-like textured black and red dial

3 counters:

3 o’clock: black second indicator

6 o’clock: Indy 500 logo minute chronograph counter

9 o’clock: black hour chronograph counter

Date display at 4 o’clock

Case: 43 mm diameter

Polished and fine-brushed stainless-steel case

Water resistance: 200 meters

Strap: Fine Brushed Steel and Folding Clasp Push-Buttons

Price: $2,400.