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Watches Of The Week: 15/01/2024 - 21/01/2024

Welcome to the next edition of the Watches Of The Week series, a weekly round up of all the happenings in the world of watches. The week that was welcomed a variety of new watches, including releases from Breguet , Zenith, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Omega.

Hope you all have a great week ahead.

Breguet Unveils Two New Classique Models

Breguet celebrates the Lunar New Year by releasing two dragon-themed watches with the Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345 and Classique Dragon 7145 being unveiled. Both models centre around the aura and mystique of the dragon. The Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345 depicts a hand-engraved gold dragon twisting and snaking through the two tourbillons, secured to the two barrel bridges clutching a pearl made of mother-of-pearl within its talons. The Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345 walks the walk and talks the talk, combining a mesmerising platinum aesthetic with a 749-component manufacture calibre. Pricing is on request for the Classique Double Tourbillon Dragon 5345 as this can be uniquely customised to the purchasers equally as unique tastes.

The Classique Dragon 7145 is Breguet's second Lunar New Year piece and is complete with a crimson red Grand Feu enamel dial which serves as the perfect backdrop to the hand-engraved rose gold applique dragon. This particular model is limited to only 8 pieces and is priced at AUD122,500.

Verdict: Breguet continues to quietly work its magic while showcasing the maison's exemplary high watchmaking talents.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Celebrates The Chinese New Year

Like Breguet, Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrates the Chinese New Year by releasing two very special timepieces. The first is the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel, and the second is the Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel is a wonderous feat of haute horlogerie. It features arose gold case, an immense tourbillon at the 6 o'clock position and a hand-guilloché patterened dial glistening and gleaming under different lighting environments. Interestingly, each of the 180 ‘sun rays’ required six passages of the hand-operated rose engine lathe, making 1,080 lines altogether. In addition, the date sub-dial is hand-guilloché in a circular pattern (known in French as azurage) to create a subtle texture that contrasts with the sunray. Once the guilloché work is completed, the master enameller applies Grand Feu enamel in multiple layers – one layer at a time, followed by firing at 800ºC and carefully managed cooling – to create the desired intensity and depth of colour. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel is priced at €120,000.

The second release from Jaeger-LeCoultre is the Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve. With an upgraded movement providing a 70-hour power reserve (with no calibre size change mind you, remaining at only 4.9mm in thcikness), the new Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve is the perfect blend of subtlety, intrigue, technical mastery and chronometry performance. The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Power Reserve, like the Master Ultra Thin Tourbillon Enamel, is not a limited edition piece, but does come in significantly less expensive at USD21,200.

Verdict: Jaeger-LeCoultre have proven themselves, once again, the uncrowned quiet achieving kings of modern watchmaking.

Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon "Apollo 8"

It's been six years since the original Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon "Apollo 8" was released, and what a blockbuster piece that was, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the 1968 lunar mission. It had a pattern dial like the Moon surface with the same look being extended to the movement, with some openworking, and a whole lot of contemporary finishings. The end result was a cult classic.

The new Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon "Apollo 8" follows suit, albeit with some changes. The first is a rocket-shaped seconds hand. The second is a METAS-certified calibre 3869 movement, giving it the coveted Master Chronometer label. There are other minor details that have been changed, like a laser engraved dial engraved with a relief texture replicating the Moon's dark side, along with some screws and pins being coated in black to blend better with the aesthetic. Otherwise, the main change here is that movement.

Brand: Omega

Model: Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon "Apollo 8"

Reference: 310.

Case: 44.25mm x 13mm

Case Material: Black Ceramic

Water Resistance: 50m

Calibre: Cal. 3869

Price: AUD23,650

Verdict: A timely update that introduces one of Omega's most interesting timepieces to the world of Master Chronometry.

Zenith Adds Two New Pilot Watches

Zenith dropped two fresh new pieces to its ever-growing Pilot collection. The first is the Pilot Automatic, completed with a horizontally ribbed blue dial, inspired by the corrugated metal sheets that made up older aircrafts' fuselages. The second is the Pilot Big Date Flyback, again inspired by older aircraft and aviation from yesteryear, this model features a flyback chronograph with a "big date".

Both models are subtle, blue, and quintessentially not what you would expect from Zenith. I particularly like the old-esque aesthetic of these pieces, especially with those bold hour numerals, sleek sweeping lug-to-case transition, broadsword hands and, on the Big Date Flyback, those overly large sub-dial registers.

Verdict: Very un-Zenith, but two very solid, very accessible hits.


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