Week in Review: 27/05/2019 – 02/06/2019
Another week down, another “Week in Review” round-up! In this week’s instalment we have amazing new releases from the last seven days from watchmakers like Zenith, Ulysse Nardin, HYT, Raymond Weil, RGM and more.
Check out last week’s round-up here.
Zenith Defy El Primero Fusée Tourbillon
A typical fusée and chain system is intended to provide the movement’s driving force with some kind of stability throughout the entire power reserve, thus improving the watch’s precision and efficiency. A tourbillon essentially negates the effects of gravity, again improving a timepiece’s accuracy. Couple them together and what you get is a very precise machine. The Defy El Primero Fusée Tourbillon is Zenith’s latest masterpiece. Available in either a full carbon or platinum case and featuring a thoroughly detailed openworked dial, the Defy El Primero Fusée Tourbillon is a wonderful representation of the technical monster that Zenith is. The carbon model is limited to only 50-pieces and will cost 85,900CHF, while the platinum version will be made in a run of 10-pieces and will cost 109,900CHF. Both are stupendous watches, but I’d put my money on the darker, more aggressive looking carbon model for sure.
Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Magma
The latest piece to come out of the Ulysse Nardin atelier is the Skeleton X Magma, an amalgamation unique styling, brashness and modernity. Using a combination of carbon fibre and red marbled epoxy resin, the Skeleton X Magma’s 43mm wide case is an assortment of intrigue and odd beauty. This weird but appealing look extends to the skeletonised dial where a distinctive “X” is formed by four indices, centered by Ulysse Nardin’s iconic rectangle in the middle of the dial. The manually wound movement is in full view and while it may look bare-boned, it does have a power reserve of 96-hours. Pricing is ambiguous, but Ulysse Nardin are claiming it to be accessible. Exclusive to the US only at this time, however.
Bulova Computron LED
How cool is this?! A remake of Bulova’s LED watches from the 1970s, the Computron LED is again available through Bulova’s e-shop. Made in three distinct variations, one in black stainless-steel, one in silver stainless-steel and the final a gold-toned variation, each model has an identical look. The LED display is such a cool feature and really rings true to the Computron LED’s nostalgic feel. Far from groundbreaking, but in reality not everything has to be revolutionary or pioneering to be considered interesting. The top of the watch and the middle sections of the bracelets feature vertical slating, against a nod to the design codes of the 1970s. Priced from $295USD.
RGM Watch Co. PS-801-Skeleton
RGM Watch Co. have recently introduced their latest piece, the PS-801-Skeleton, a skeletonised version of their in-house made movement. The calibre 801 is an interesting movement, featuring high grade polishing and a distinctive 3D look. It’s expansive and dial-filling with empty spaces kept at the minimum. Legibility isn’t an issue either, with the blued steel hands providing clear differentiation between the milky white openworked mainplate. Sitting at 43.30mm in diameter and 12.30mm in thickness, the PS-801-Skeleton is available in either a stainless-steel or 18k rose-gold case, and dimensionally it sits right in the sweet spot of wearability. Priced from $21,400USD for the stainless-steel version, or $34,200USD for the 18k rose-gold version. Steep, but consider that this watch is primarily hand-made.
From the masters of fluid mechanics comes their latest invention, the H0. Available in two models, one with a khaki dial and an anthracite DLC coated stainless-steel case. The other in a slate grey colour scheme with a touch of blue. The anthracite model has red and pale green fluid pulsing through its capillaries and tubes, while the slate grey model has a beautiful ebony-coloured liquid. Ultra-modern, the H0 is anything but conventional. The rest of the movement is stock-standard from the perspective of HYT. For the rest of us, just think bellows, capillaries, moving liquid displays and the like.
Raymond Weil Freelancer Evolution
Raymond Weil has introduced two new models as part of their core collection. The Freelancer Evolution is a bold new timepiece available in either full stainless-steel or a two-tone variation. Featuring a half-moon opening date window and a beautiful Clous de Paris centre dial, the Freelancer Evolution is an interesting take on the foundations of the Freelancer’s look. Available now, the Freelancer Evolution in stainless-steel with blue dial is priced at $2,950AUD, while the two-tone model with black dial costs $3,100AUD.
IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month
The Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month is one of IWC’s unsung heroes, and now available in a lightweight titanium case, it may prove to be one of the world’s best daily wearers. Dimensionally, the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month is quite large on the wrist. At 45mm in diameter and 17.40mm in thickness, the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month will definitely have some kind of a profile. But consider this: in this very well priced watch ($37,400USD) you’re getting an in-house made movement with a full perpetual calendar, a hacking seconds mechanism and a flyback chronograph all rated with a power reserve of a very decent 68-hours. Where else are you going to find this much complexity for such an approached price, relatively speaking? Beyond that, the Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month just looks immensely cool, too. From its monochrome look to its digital display of the date and month, all the way to the gleam of that spectacular titanium case. Zero complaints from my end.
Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde Chronograph
Brand new from Jaquet Droz is their monopusher chronograph, the Grande Seconde Chronograph. Available in three distinct models in a 43mm wide, 14.83mm thick stainless-steel case, there is a grey, blue or silver dial version, each costing 20,000CHF. There is also a limited-edition piece in 18k red-gold with an ivory fired enamel dial made in a limited run of 88-pieces costing about 33,000CHF which isn’t pictured here. The three stainless-steel models feature an off centered chronograph sub-dial layout with the monopusher and crown located at about 4 o’clock, while the red-gold model has a vertically oriented sub-dial layout with the crown and pusher at the traditional placement of 3 o’clock. All four models are supremely beautiful, and all four models have the very appealing aesthetic that is renowned amongst all of Jaquet Droz’s timepieces. They do cost a pretty penny though.
Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 10
Harry Winston knows no bounds when it comes to avantgarde watchmaking. The manufacturer produces some absolutely mind-blowing watches, and its latest endeavour is a prime example of that pursuit. The Histoire de Tourbillon 10 is Harry Winston’s final chapter in its story of the tourbillon, and since 2009 it has unveiled watches that truly push the bounds of conventional watchmaking. The Histoire de Tourbillon 10 features an immense amount of watchmaking tech. There are four tourbillons, each rotating once every 36-seconds. There are four balance wheels, each with a Phillips terminal curve and Geneva-type stud, along with two pairs of mainspring barrels, each rotating at an above average rate. The watch itself is huge, and its rectangular shape merely adds to its enormity. Measuring 53.30mm across, 39.10mm in length and 17.60mm in height, wearability factor is down to a minimum. But this isn’t a watch you’re going to wear every day, because depending on whether you choose the one of ten white gold or platinum models, or if you decide to take it a step further and get the balls-to-the-wall piece unique in Winstonium (which is a proprietary platinum alloy), you’ll be forking out at the very least 700,000CHF (add another 70,000CHF for the piece unique version). Irrespective of its price or its proportions, the Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 10 is still absolutely magnificent.