Watches of the Week: 11/07/2022 - 17/07/2022
Welcome back to the latest edition of my weekly series, Watches of the Week. I hope you enjoyed the new and refreshed format of my Watches of the Week editorial. I did receive some really good and interesting feedback which I will definitely be taking on board, too. Please drop me a line if you have any questions, bits of feedback or criticisms!
In this Watches of the Week edition, I'll be highlighting a handful of interesting watch releases, particularly from A. Lange & Söhne and Tudor. Audemars Piguet unveiled a number of new Royal Oak Offshore models with a very interesting take on the musical arts.
A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante
A. Lange & Söhne magnificent 1815 Rattrapante is back. It was first released in 2020 amongst a trio of watches marking the 175th anniversary of the maison in the 1815 Rattrapante Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange” (alongside the 1815 Thin Honeygold and the almighty Tourbograph Perpetual Honeygold "Tribute to F.A. Lange". For those of you who are not entirely certain what constitutes a rattrapante (or a split-seconds chronograph), it essentially means the aside from the typical time-recording function of a chronograph, the wearer can actually "split the time" and begin timing another interval, completely separate from the initial chronograph recording. It may sound simple in practice, but it requires an incredible amount of engineering to execute to the precise manner needed to qualify as a rattrapante.
This new A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante is a far more elegant take on the original, in my opinion. It is crafted in a 41.20mm by 12.60mm platinum case with a white dial and blued hands. I much rather this more inconspicuous take on the 1815 Rattrapante over the somewhat ostentatious and borderline loud 815 Rattrapante Honeygold “Homage to F. A. Lange”. Of course, the finishings of the calibre L101.2 are second to none. Hand-engraved balance cock, German silver throughout, screwed gold chatons securing balancing jewels, straight graining, polishing and beveling make the L101.2 a sight to behold.
The A. Lange & Söhne 1815 Rattrapante is limited to only 200 pieces with pricing on request.
Verdict: The quintessential rattrapante is redefined and made that much better by one of the best in the business. A bona fide grail.
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Music Edition"
Audemars Piguet has a longstanding history with the world of the musical arts. In 2005, Audemars Piguet collaborated with Jay-Z to celebrate his career's 10th anniversary with a limited edition Royal Oak Offshore accompanied by an iPod containing his discography. In 2006, Audemars Piguet developed a striking watch in partnership with EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne to create the Royal Oak Concept Minute Repeater Supersonnerie, which won the “Mechanical Exception Watch Prize” at the 2016 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève. And since then Audemars Piguet has progressively unveiled a handful of watches that pay tribute to the ever-evolving environment of music.
The latest venture into the world of music is with these new Royal Oak Offshore models. Presented in five new Royal Oak Offshore models (in both 37mm and 43mm sizes, with two models in titanium, two in gemset 18k white gold and one in black ceramic), these new pieces features a tapisserie dial which bears the pattern of an equaliser, the same you'd find in a recording studio. The pops of colour depicting the equaliser adds another stunning aesthetic element to a watch that is steeped in history and pop culture. It's an interesting look that is an acquired taste, for me at least.
The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Music Edition" 37mm in titanium is priced at $29,100USD and is limited to 500 pieces. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Music Edition" 37mm in white gold is priced upon request. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Music Edition" 43mm in titanium is priced at $31,700USD and is limited to 500 pieces. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Music Edition" 43mm in ceramic is priced at $40,500USD and is limited to 250 pieces. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Music Edition" 43mm in white gold is priced upon request.
Verdict: A piece that needs a second and even third look. More interesting than it is groundbreaking.
Tudor has unveiled a historical take on the archetypal field watch. With key features like wearability, legibility and accessibility in mind, the Tudor Ranger ticks many of the tick boxes of being something you can bang around without thinking much about it. As generic a statement as that is, I think it's prudent to give a bit of a backstory to the Ranger. On the 8th of July in 1952, the British North Greenland Expedition left for a scientific mission spanning the course of two years to study the ice sheets in Greenland. The members of the expedition were all equipped with the Oyster Prince model. The Oyster Prince, which was Tudor's first automatic and waterproof watch, was subsequently worn in extreme arctic conditions, proving its worth tenfold.
Fast forward to the Expedition's 70th anniversary and Tudor's Ranger is an homage piece that draws inspiration from the pioneering Oyster Prince model, complete with Tudor's manufacture Calibre MT5402, a supremely functional 39mm case and a clasp with a rapid adjustment system. Aesthetically the Tudor Ranger does all the right things with lovely balance, beautiful proportions, heritage-inspired hour numerals and hands, as well as the option between a green, red and beige fabric strap, a hybrid rubber and leather strap and a steel bracelet.
The Tudor Ranger is priced at $3,730AUD for the rubber and and fabric strap, while the steel bracelet is priced at $4,150AUD.
Verdict: Functional, accessible and plenty of bang for your buck value. An exceptional entry level watch that serves multiple purposes.