It was another quiet week in the world of watches, but there was still enough noise to perk my ears up at. With new watches from a handful of well known watchmakers like Panerai and IWC, there was plenty to stop and stare at. Even though last week's releases were a touch more exciting.
This week Panerai unveiled its latest timepiece, celebrating its long-standing partnership with the Luna Rossa racing team. IWC released its new Mark XX. And TAG Heuer added a bright red Carrera Chronograph.
Panerai Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342
A subtle yet interesting play on colours is one of the focal points of the new Panerai Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342. Continuing its partnership with the Luna Rossa racing team who won the Prada Cup during the most recent America's Cup competition, the Panerai Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342 was unveiled as the commemorative timepiece. The soft palette of whites, greys and reds is a modern play at the quintessential nautical timepiece. Vivid yet unobtrusive, simple yet uncompromising, the Panerai Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342's aesthetic is remarkably effective. Encasing the Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342 is iconic Panerai's cushion-shaped 44mm stainless steel case with the maison's distinct crown protection device. There is a nice play on finishings here, with the case and lever featuring a polished finish, while the protection device has a brushed finish. Powering the Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342 is Panerai's P.6000, a bit of a workhorse that is quietly becoming a robust staple of the maison with its twin bridges supported by the regulator and Incabloc shockproof device. I really like the inclusion of the red small-seconds hand providing that little bit of contrast on top of the matte white dial, complimented by the gray bi-materal red-striped strap, too. The Panerai Luminor Luna Rossa PAM01342 is priced at $8,800AUD and is limited to 1,500 pieces. Verdict: Well worth you queuing up for.
IWC Mark XX
IWC very quietly unveiled its latest and greatest, the Mark XX. Perhaps the most brand-defining watch IWC has ever made (after the Big Pilot, of course), the new Mark XX features a range of updates that have been welcomed with open arms. First off is the new dial, which was designed with improved legibility in mind. In particular, that enlarged contrasting date window. Second is the placement of the numerals, which have all been moved closer to the centre of the dial. This fills up a lot of empty real estate and makes for a busier dial which I like, but I know people often prefer a less cluttered look. The case has been trimmed, too. Still measuring 40mm across, some steel has been shaved to reduce the height by .2mm to 10.80mm from the previous model. Minute yes, but still noticeable especially when you're dealing with such a small product. Next up is its water resistance rating. Up 40m from 60m to a whopping 100m. Doubt it will ever be tested by someone buying this, but it's nice to know you've got something a bit more durable. Finally and perhaps most importantly is the inclusion of the 32111 calibre (manufactured by IWC in collaboration with ValFleurier). This boasts a 120-hour power reserve which is super respectable. The IWC Mark XX is available with either a blue or a black dial and is priced at $7,800AUD. Verdict: The Mark XX ticks all of the right boxes of being a solid entry-level watch for the budding collector.
TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph
This is what I like from TAG Heuer. These kinds of simple, well designed, heritage inspired watches. The CBK221G.FC6479 hits all of the right notes as one of the most interesting and appealing watches TAG Heuer has released in recent years. As capable as it is bold, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph is a sight for sore eyes. I really, really like it. The understated 39mm stainless steel case, the exposed pushers and crown, the supple black leather alligator strap, the lume-filled hands and indices. All work so freakin' well. And then TAG Heuer decides to slap a bright red dial in and amongst it all. With nowhere to hide, this was either going to slap (as they say), or fall flat on its face. Safe to say the CBK221G.FC6479 definitely slapped. And it slapped hard. I absolutely love that bordeaux red dial. It is fabulous. I love how much it elevates the watch and gives it a brand new, fresh, exhilarating and exciting feel. It really looks the part as a watch to divide the crowd, to spark a conversation and to stand on its own as a bona fide focal point. The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph is priced at $9,800AUD and is limited to 600 pieces. Verdict: More. Of. This please, TAG Heuer.