Watchuseek Blog

Friday, June 29, 2012

Go large: Hanhart Pioneer MonoScope

If you like your watches ultra noticeable, then the new Hanhart Pioneer MonoScope is for you. Designed for pilots who can't afford to take their eyes of the distance for a moment, and who need a large at-a-glance watch face, the Pioneer MonoScope's unmissable 45mm casing, like its legendary predecessors, features a single button for controlling the entire range of chronograph functions. 

This new model from the Pioneer collection also bears another hallmark of the early precision timepieces made by the Swiss-German watch brand in the widely spaced arrangement of its small seconds and 30-minute counter displays.

In the first half of the 20th century, Hanhart was a pioneer in developing highly functional precision chronographs. As early as 1938, the Swiss German watch brand designed a monopusher model for naval officers, featuring its own “Calibre 40” movement. 

One for all 

All of the chronograph functions on this wristwatch – start, stop and reset – are performed by the same button and always follow strictly one after the other. Unlike its two button equivalent, the seconds hand on this chronograph cannot be restarted after it is stopped. The next time the button is pressed, the seconds hand invariably jumps back to its initial position. This is perfect for navigating safely and measuring distances at sea as it rules out any possibility of faulty navigation by dispensing with an addition stopping function.

The technical design with a single button is also the trademark feature of the Pioneer MonoScope. The automatic movement enclosed in the generously sized stainless steel case has had to be re-engineered slightly to suit this monopusher arrangement. 

A large shift lever is responsible for the third strike on the chronograph cam. This cam has also been modified so that it has an additional tooth on its lowest level, enabling the shift lever to control not two, but three positions.

A further modification of the calibre has made it possible for the two displays for the small seconds and the 30 minute counter, which are typical of Hanhart chronographs, to be positioned right on the edge of the dial. The movement has a power reserve of around 42 hours.

1930s styling 

The model is reminiscent of its predecessors from the 1930s. On the Pioneer MonoScope, the centres of the two displays, together with the numerals 2 and 4 as well as 8 and 10, form a straight, vertical axis, resulting in a symmetrically balanced presentation. 

The large, easy to read face also features distinctive luminous Arabic numerals and the hands which are also coated with Super-LumiNova®. 

The minute hand is bent downwards slightly to ensure a more precise time display. The black and silver colours used on the watch reflect the colours traditionally preferred for precision timepieces.

To guarantee maximum water resistance and robustness, the Pioneer MonoScope is, like the models on which it is based, fitted with a sealed, screwed down case back which includes three indentations for the case key.

The rivetted strap made from hardwearing calfskin and a high quality pin buckle fit the wrist securely. The Pioneer MonoScope is also optionally available with a stainless steel bracelet and an adjustable folding clasp.


HAN4212 modified automatic chronograph movement (bicompax) with exclusive module, increased crown to button spacing and single button conversion; 28,800 vibrations per hour, 4 Hz; 31 jewels; rotor with a skeletonised Hanhart logo; power reserve of min. 42 hours

Small seconds at 9 o’clock, 30minute counter at 3 o’clock

Stainless steel; red button; flat or fluted, bidirectional rotating bezel with red marking; convex sapphire glass, antireflective on both sides; screwed down case back; diameter 45 mm; height 16 mm; water resistant to 10 bar/100 m

Silver coloured or black; luminous numerals and hands coated with Super-LumiNova®

Calfskin with riveting and stainless steel pin buckle or stainless steel with adjustable folding clasp

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Like father, like son: IWC watches for pilot and co-pilot

IWC Schaffhausen has introduced an exclusive special edition Pilot’s Watch for both Father and Son. The two unusual timepieces form a family unit which can be handed down as a fascination with precision engineering and aviation from one generation to the next.

2012 being the year of the Pilot’s Watch, the watch manufacturer most renowned for its unmistakeably masculine timepieces is launching its second special edition since 2008 aimed squarely at the men in the family; or to put it another way, pilot and co-pilot. 

In life, as in the cockpit, it’s a question of being able to rely on one another and of giving the junior member of the team an increasing degree of responsibility. 

Big Pilot’s watch for father and son 

For fathers, the model of choice is the Big Pilot’s Watch with power reserve and date display. With a 46-millimetre case diameter, it is one of the seriously big players in its field. The automatic 51111-calibre movement has a power reserve of 168 hours. 

The power reserve is stopped automatically after 7 days to ensure the requisite high level of precision. 

Pilot’s watch Mark XVI for father and son

The son’s edition comes in a 39-millimetre case and is powered by an automatic 30110-calibre movement, virtually identical to the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVI. The movement has a 42-hour power reserve and features the date. Both watches have a stainless-steel case, an eye-catching crown and a black, riveted alligator leather strap.

The shape of the hands is designed to resemble propeller blades. The inner surface is coated with a green luminescent material to guarantee optimum legibility against the rhodium-plated dial. 

The Big Pilot’s Watch is fitted with a folding clasp while the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVI comes with a pin buckle as standard or, at additional cost, with a folding clasp.

The inner circle on the case back of both watches is reserved for the engraving of a name, as a stylish dedication and to prevent mix-ups: a practical feature, because this Pilot’s Watch set can be extended to include several watches for fathers with two or more sons.

Big Pilot’s Watch for Father and Son 

Ref. IW500906
Mechanical movement, Pellaton automatic winding, date display, power reserve display, central hacking seconds, Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance, Breguet spring, screw-in crown, glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
Calibre: 51111
Frequency: 21,600 A/h / 3 Hz
Jewels: 42
Power reserve: 168 h
Winding: automatic
Materials: stainless-steel case, rhodium-plated dial, black alligator leather strap, folding clasp in stainless steel
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 46 mm
Case height: 16 mm 

Pilot’s Watch Mark XVI for Father and Son 

Ref. IW325519
Mechanical movement, self-winding, date display, central hacking seconds, screw-in crown, glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure
Calibre: 30110
Frequency: 28,800 A/h / 4 Hz
Jewels: 21
Power reserve: 42 h
Winding: automatic
Materials: stainless-steel case, rhodium-plated dial, black alligator leather strap, pin buckle in stainless steel
Glass: sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 39 mm
Case height: 11 mm

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GRAHAM Silverstone Stowe GMT LE watch

The Silverstone Stowe GMT is an impressive 48mm steel chronograph which features carbon elements. The sporty black carbon dial is adorned with yellow numerals, chrono and minutes counter’s hands. The watch also shows a double-disc date and a GMT function displayed by the central GMT hand and the green scale on the aluminium and carbon fiber bezel.   

The Silverstone Stowe GMT also offers a sophisticated flyback function. It enables the user to reset the chronograph to zero without stopping it. After releasing the flyback pusher, the second hand will restart immediately from zero. The flyback function allows the user to start re-timing quickly within one push of a button. It was originally used by pilots. 

The transparent case back allows the wearer to enjoy the work of the manufacturing automatic mechanism G1721 movement, with a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour, and a power reserve of 48 hours. The calibre is equipped with hours, minutes, seconds, chronograph, date display, second time zone and of course, those flyback functions.

No racing suit would be complete without the special tyre tread strap. The yellow inset on the strap repeats the dial motto of the Silverstone Stowe. This watch knows all about endurance and will undoubtedly finish on the podium.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today is yesterday: Hamilton Intra-matic

The new for 2012 Hamilton Intra-Matic watch lends more than a little from the current hot demand for Mad Men style 60’s watches suitably enlarged to meet with today’s less slender wrist.

Launched in the year of Hamilton's 120th anniversary, the Intra-Matic pays tribute to the elegance and slender dimensions of the bestselling original (the case measures just 7 mm in height without crystal) but its Büren micro-rotor automatic movement has been replaced with a high-performance 2892-2 automatic movement with a 42-hour power reserve visible through the glass covered case back.

The Hamilton Intra-Matic watch is available in 38mm and 42mm cases and features a retro look with a clean, slim, elegant dial capped with a domed sapphire crystal. The watches come in stainless steel or yellow PVD and in black or silver dials. The dial features long, lightly curved minute and hour hands and 12 thin hour indices described as   "an expression of the quintessential character of Hamilton watchmaking."


The date window is placed at the 6 o’clock position opposite a retro Hamilton logo. 
The watches are priced at $945 for the 42mm version and $845 for the 38mm version.

 "From the early years of bringing safety to the American railroads with punctual pocket watches, and efficiency to the skies and seas with wristwatches and navigational equipment, Hamilton has always had its eye on modernity. True pioneers open up and prepare unbroken ground for others. Hamilton is proud to have led the way in many fields – and committed to discovering new watchmaking territories with every passing year." Hamilton Watches

Monday, June 25, 2012

Less is more: Hautlence Rose Gold HLC 06

Two years ago the first models in the HLc line, were launched by Hautlence. Now they have just released an  elegant  rounded  version,  limited  as usual to just 88 numbered  pieces.

Founded  in  2004,  Hautlence – an anagram of Neuchatel – has  been  praised  by  watch  collectors  and  aficionados from across the world for bringing a new dynamism to watchmaking.  

Rose Gold HLc06

Less is more

The  rose  gold  HLc06,  inspired  by  minimalist  art  and  the  famed  maxim  of  architect Mies van der Rohe: "less is more", is stripped of all excesses and features an opaline chocolate dial in an 18-carat rose gold case measuring 41mm in diameter. 

The HL, the in-house movement, has been specially rebuilt around the jumping hour and retrograde minute. Using the theme of circles right  down  to  the sectors  on  the  minute  display  arc,  the  repetition of the circles represents infinity. 

Both the front and back have sapphire crystal with angled edges and multi-layered anti-reflective treatment. The crown is thoughtfully positioned at the 40-minute position (or usually the 4 o’clock position), to avoid discomfort. 

 Jump hour disc

The hours are positioned on the left of the dial, visible through a jump hour disc which reveal the hour instantaneously at the top of the hour. 

The minutes are read from the retrograde minute hand, which travels 180 degrees before instantly returning to its starting point on the hour. Simply ingenious, and delightful to observe. 

The mechanism is driven from the crown which is found at the 40-minute position. 

In-house calibre

The movement is the third Hautlence in-house calibre; a hand-wound mechanical movement with Côtes de Genève decoration and hand beveled bridges. The fully wound movement has a 40 hour power reserve.

Makassar ebony presentation box

The watch comes on a hand-sewn alligator strap and is presented in a Makassar ebony wooden box including a number of extra luxury goodies such as a watchmaker’s magnifying glass – known as a loupe, a special identification number plate and a travel box.

Expect no change from US$59,250 for the HLc06 with pin buckle or US$62,300 with the folding clasp (inclusive of Swiss tax).


Model: HLc06 – rose gold
HAUTLENCE HLc06 in-house movement. Jumping hour, retrograde minute. Manual winding mechanical movement.
Display:  Jumping hours, retrograde minutes.

Calibre: Movement description : Jumping hours, retrograde minutes with connecting rods system.
Number of components : 207
Power reserve: 40h
Regulation organ : 21’600 vibrations/hour
Number of jewels: 24 
Finishing : Traditional “Côtes de Genève” and hand angled bridges

Case:18-karat rose 4N gold 

Finishing: polished 
Screwed lugs: 18-carat 4N rose gold 
Dimension: diameter : 41mm / thickness : 9 mm
Glass: sapphire crystal with angled edges, multi layer anti reflecting treatment.
Back: screwed sapphire case back with stamps and officials engraving: “HAUTLENCE” and “Horlogerie Suisse”.

Crown: Polished with HAUTLENCE logo: 18-karat 4N rose gold. 
Identification and numbering plate : HLC 06 – 01/88

Dial: Base dial brown opalin with HAUTLENCE’s logo hand applied. Skeleton micro-machined hours & minutes dials, 4N gold. Jumping hour disc, semi-transparent: metallisation made by a vapour deposition process to generate the concentric bands. Hands, laser-cut profile and polished 4N gold with superluminova arrow  Connecting rods, hand angled and linear fine brushed and 4N gold plated.

Strap:  Brown hand sewn genuine Louisiana alligator strap with square scales.
Interchangeability lugs. Buckle: pin or folding buckle, 18-karat 4N rose gold.

Water resistance: 30 metres (3ATM)

Limited Edition:  88 pieces

Packaging: Makassar ebony wood box containing :  
Identification and numbering plate
Special leather travel box
Watchmakers magnifying glass
Instruction booklet
Warranty card (3 years)  

Price: Pin buckle: US$59,250 Folding buckle: US$62,300 (including tax)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Winning ways: Blancpain L'evolution Flyback Split-Seconds Chronograph

The latest addition to the L-evolution collection features a flyback split-seconds chronograph mechanism and a large date. 

It reflects Blancpain’s strong commitment to GT racing, as exemplified by its own CEO, Mark Hayek winning a GT race at the recent round of the Blancpain Endurance Series with his co-driver Peter Kox at Silverstone.

Carbon fibre casing


Blancpain naturally chose carbon fibre in creating this timepiece. Its lightness and sturdiness, combined with its aesthetic appeal, provide a wealth of development options. 

This high-tech material was used to create certain watch components: the carbon fibre bezel, caseback and dial represent significant technical feats, reflecting Blancpain’s characteristic innovative strength. 

To accentuate the L Evolution's sporting personality, the large date display features a dynamic digital font; red accents punctuate the black background; the 8 o’clock pusher echoes the shape of a fuel-cap; and the 9 o’clock counter that of an insignia.

Flyback split-second chronograph movement 

At the heart of this new model is the in-house calibre 69F9 with its 409 parts including 44 jewels, ensuring a 40-hour power reserve. A column wheel guarantees precise pusher control, as well as a vertical coupling-clutch that avoids any unwanted jerking of the hand when the chronograph is activated. 

This movement combines a flyback split-second chronograph mechanism with a large twin-aperture date display. The split-second chronograph function is a major horological complication that enables readings of “split” or intermediate times thanks to a so-called split-second (rattrapante or “catch-up” in French) hand that is superimposed on the chronograph sweep seconds hand. 

When the split-second function is activated via the pusher at 8 o’clock, the hand stops to enable reading of a split time, while the sweep seconds hand continues running. A second press on the pusher enables the split-second hand to “catch up with” the sweep seconds hand. The flyback function, enabling reset and instant restart of the chronograph, is activated by pressing the pusher at 4 o’clock.

The sapphire crystal allows for viewing of this movement with its unique decoration. The parts have been coated with a beadblasted two-tone material. 

Carbon insert strap

The overstitched strap in black alcantara features carbon inserts reminiscent of the latest racing cars, while the carbon folding clasp adds an ultimate touch of refined detailing.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

New vision: Victorinox Swiss Army Night Vision 2012

As the Victorinox Night Vision has been around since 2003, there are quite a number of versions out there lighting up the dark, but the 2012 version is perhaps the sleekest and most civilised yet. 


In fact, the new Night Vision has undergone its biggest transformation since its launch, and, true to the original, this new version comes packed with functions. Energy-saving LED technology provides dial illumination, flashlight and emergency strobe function, all are seamlessly incorporated into a classic Swiss watch design. 

The dial is in anthracite grey or silver-toned versions, on a steel bracelet or on an aviator-style brown leather strap. The Night Vision version 2012 cleverly combines discretion with plenty of functionality.

Ronda quartz

Traditional codes are respected with no show-off gadgetry. The timepiece’s pioneering lighting features are seamlessly incorporated into the sleek dial and bracelet design and the watch runs on the same ultra reliable Ronda Quartz 705 movement.  

42mm case

With a 42mm case, the new edition builds upon the original’s exclusive design features — the integration in a watch of  low  consumption LED  light  modules  for  dial  illumination, flashlight  and  strobe  functions. But for 2012, the look is more streamlined. 

Three versions
Three dial versions are available: charcoal grey dial with silver ring and steel bracelet; silver dial with  dark  grey  ring  and  steel bracelet; and silver dial with dark grey ring and brown ‘aviator’ leather  strap  with  beige  stitching  and  buckle.  

Illumination system

The watch also has a dial illumination system, with its hands, hour markers and three prominent Arabic numerals covered with lume allowing for easy  you time checking during the night without wasting the battery.

Water resistant to 50 metres, the new Night Vision is a  dynamic new upgrade for this popular model and it will be available in the Fall, so not long to wait.


Movement: Quartz, Ronda 705
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, dial illumination, flashlight, emergency signal and battery EOL indicator
Case: Stainless steel, 42mm, Scratchproof sapphire crystal with triple anti-reflective treatment, Screw-down back
Water-resistance: 50m/5 ATM
Dial: Anthracite grey with silver-grey ring, Luminescent hands, hour markers and numerals, Date window and LED at 6 o'clock
Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel with butterfly folding clasp
Other versions: Silver-toned dial with anthracite grey ring and steel bracelet or aviator-style brown leather strap with buckle and beige top-stitching

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

One for the ladies: Breitling Superocean 42 White Water

Sometimes Breitling watch designs can be clunky, over fussy and occasionally downright ugly, but the new Breitling Superocean 42 White Water, entirely clad in white from strap through bezel to dial is undeniably sexy. 

It’s sturdy, it's ultra-sporty it's water-resistant to 1,500 metres.(5,000 ft), and it’s for women. But at 42mm, it's also large enough to be unisex. In its new White Water version, the Superocean, we are told, is designed to appeal to ladies who enjoy mixing style and performance, boldness and excellence. 

The Superocean 42 will be available exclusively from Breitling boutiques, with a self-winding movement chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute). 

The white rubber-moulded unidirectional rotating bezel and the dial are adorned with dynamically styled numerals. The thick sapphire crystal is glareproofed on both sides while a safety valve serves to balance out differences in pressure inside and outside the case.


Movement: Breitling Calibre 17, officially chronometer-certified by the COSC, selfwinding, high-frequency (28,800 vibrations per hour), 25 jewels. Calendar.

Case: steel. Water-resistant to 1,500 m (5,000 ft/150 bars). Screw-locked crown. Unidirectional ratcheted bezel. Cambered sapphire crystal, glareproofed on both sides.

Diameter: 42 mm. Dial: white.

Strap: white rubber Diver Pro (with raised central ridge).

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Bremont to open its first stand alone store in London

Following on from the announcement yesterday of British brand Christopher Ward’s new partnership with land speed racing company Bluebird, it’s another ‘hurrah’ for a British watch brand. Bremont, who have established a strong following as a quality independent British watch brand, will launch their first stand alone boutique in upmarket Mayfair by the end of June.

The boutique will be located in the city’s prestigious South Audley Street in Mayfair, next to luxury stores such as Marc Jacobs and Purdey. The shop will open officially on June 25.

The brand has described the shop as having a “club-like atmosphere” and the store will also feature its own bar.

“As a British company we felt we needed a showcase to promote ourselves to visitors from all around the world. The boutique will be more than a traditional watch store. There will be an explorers club based from there, a considerable watch library and it will also be the only place in the world to see unique items like the Bremont B-1 Marine Clock. It is never an easy decision to launch your own boutique, but when we were approached by Grosvenor regarding the location there was no hesitation. We felt it was perfect for our brand.Bremont co-founder Giles English

Bremont launched in 2007 and has since branched out worldwide into the US and Asian markets as well as building up a solid following in its domestic market. 

This year the brand was awarded Luxury Watch of the Year in the WatchPro Watches of the Year with the editorial team describing winning watch The Victory as “a unique and spellbinding timepiece”.

Monday, June 18, 2012

True blue British: Bluebird and Christopher Ward form partnership

Christopher Ward has announced that it is teaming up with Bluebird as its Official Timing Partner and will be creating a new range of watches to celebrate new attempts to break the world speed record on land and water. Bluebird, the legendary racing brand, is also marking its centenary with the unveiling of its latest project – the Bluebird Formula E, is the car they hope will be racing in the proposed FIA Formula E series.   

It all began 100 years ago, when Sir Malcolm Campbell went to see Maurice Maeterlinck’s play, ‘The Blue Bird’, at the Theatre Royal Haymarket, in London. The problem of what to call his racing car was immediately solved and the Bluebird legend was born. Sir Malcolm went on to set many speed records on both land and water as did his son, Donald. Donald was tragically killed in 1967 when his boat, Bluebird K7, overturned during his attempt to break the 300mph barrier on Coniston Water. However, Sir Malcolm’s grandson, Don Wales, and the Bluebird Electric team have continued their quest for speed and plan to smash the electric world speed records on land and water in 2014. 

As the Official Timing Partner, Christopher Ward will be verifying the record attempts and it also has plans to recognise the Campbell family’s courage and engineering ingenuity with a range of Bluebird watches. There are even plans for limited edition watches to contain fragments of the record-breaking cars and boats. 

Both Christopher Ward and Bluebird share a proud British heritage. Bluebird is a privately owned enterprise which has often beaten major manufacturers in its quest for ultimate speed. Similarly, Christopher Ward takes on the major watch brands and, with its innovative business model, sets new standards for making luxury watches affordable.

This is a partnership not a sponsorship deal. We were pleased and honoured when Bluebird approached us, as for many people – especially the generation of me and my fellow directors – the Campbell’s story has such resonance. Bluebird remains fresh, exciting and very British. We have already created many motor racing and aviation watches and we also create bespoke watches for RAF squadrons – so we’re used to working with people who travel at extremely high speeds. Celebrating the heritage and achievement of such an iconic British brand, as well as a remarkable family, is an absolute privilege.’ Christopher Ward

No watches designed yet, hence no pictures, so we will just have to content ourselves with the Christopher Ward logo on the front of the new Bluebird Formula E. We will show the watches as soon as they are released.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Maria Sharapova and Lewis Hamilton make it a double victory for TAG Heuer

TAG Heuer has enjoyed double victory celebrations in the past week: Roland-Garros for Maria and the Canada Grand-Prix for Lewis. With these results, Maria is standing  at number 1 in the WTA ranking and Lewis is leading the F1 World Championship. Beautiful Rebels at the top.

Maria Sharapova

On Saturday June 9th, the Russian TAG Heuer Ambassador won the only Grand Slam tournament she had yet to win. She had to show her best tennis during 90 minutes against Sara Errani, but her experience and really good current form helped her in winning 6-3, 6-2. 

Sporting a TAG Heuer Formula 1 Lady Steel & Ceramic on her wrist, she showed off the Roland Garros trophy to the French public: "It's the most unique moment I've experienced in my career. I never thought I would have that. I thought that when I won Wimbledon at 17, I thought that would be the most treasured moment of my career. But when I fell down on my knees today I realised that this was extremely special, and even more so."

Maria now becomes only the 6th Woman Tennis Player to have won the US Open, the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the French Open since the beginning of the Open era. Standing at the top of the WTA rankings, after a Final at the Australian Open and a victory in Roland Garros, Maria is now looking forward to a second victory in Wimbledon, starting in 2 weeks time.

"I could have said, 'I don't need this. I have money, I have fame, I have victories, I have Grand Slams.' But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it's freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn't there from the outside world, and you seem so small," said Sharapova, "But you can achieve great things when you don't listen to all those things."

Lewis Hamilton

On Sunday June 10th in Canada, Lewis Hamilton became the 7th winner in F1 in 7 GP's so far this season! Lewis realised the perfect race, with a good tyre strategy which saw him overtake Alonso and Vettel within the last ten laps. 

On the podium, he proudly celebrated his victory with his TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 on his wrist: "Incredible race today. Thank you so much to the team and to all the fans that have continued to support me through everything."

Beside Lewis, on the second step of the podium, TAG Heuer new ambassador Romain Grosjean celebrates his best place in F1 this season. The Franco-Swiss driver did also an incredible race finishing 2,5 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton.

Scoring 25 points, Lewis took back the lead of the F1 Drivers' Championship ranking. He is now looking forward to the next Grand-Prix in Valencia, Spain on June 24th.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Race ready: Chopard Limited Edition Mille Miglia GMT Chronograph

To celebrate the running of the 2012 Mille Miglia race, Chopard have released this GMT Chronograph limited to 2012 pieces, inspired by dashboard instruments of classic racing cars.

The GMT function on this watch allows the wearer to view the time in a separate destination without altering the time set at their original location, making it a vital tool for those who like to travel. This is done by simply adjusting the independent central GMT hand which refers to the 24-hour scale on the bezel. COSC-Certified Swiss made mechanical self-winding chronograph with 25 jewels. The movement has a frequency of 28,800 VpH and a power reserve of 48 hours.

Set within a 42.4mm stainless steel case  - or in rose gold, but for 250 pieces only - which is the watch features include glare-proof sapphire crystal glass, black dial with luminous hands including GMT hand and chronograph function, 30-minute counter at 12 o'clock, 12-hour counter at 6 o'clock with a central chronograph seconds hand and small independent seconds hand at 9 o'clock. There is also a date aperture aligned to the left at 3 o'clock and a tachymeter scale on the outer dial. The watch is water resistant to 50 metres.

The Mille Miglia 2012 Chrono comes on a Dunlop racing tyre style rubber strap with stainless steel pin & buckle. It’s presented in a Chopard Classic Racing box, with COSC certification and 2 year manufacturer's warranty included.

Monday, June 11, 2012

When in Rome: Mido All Dial Tenth Anniversary

Swiss watch brand Mido has drawn inspiration from the Coliseum in Rome to create the Mido All Dial, which this year celebrates its tenth anniversary. To mark the event, Mido has created a limited edition of 1,000 pieces. Drawing inspiration from eternal Rome; the Coliseum is engraved on the case back of this COSC-certified chronometer, and the dial, with its characteristic contours, indicates the hours with – what else -  Roman numerals.

The COSC-certified chronometer features an extremely accurate ETA 2836-2 automatic movement with a power reserve of around 38 hours. 42mm in diameter, the dial exhibits contours apparently reminiscent of those imagined by the architects of the Coliseum. Its anthracite centre with a sunray satinated finish creates the main focal point. In an attractive reference to Mido’s colour, the Roman numerals are orange, as are the applied indexes and hands treated with Super-LumiNova®. An anti-reflecting sapphire crystal treated on both sides makes for easy legibility. The All Dial also features a screw down crown.

Water-resistant up to a pressure of 10 bar (100 m / 330 ft), this model comes with a stainless steel bracelet with a satin and polished finish.

About Mido

Part of the mighty House of Swatch, Mido was founded in Switzerland by Georges Schaeren in 1918. Today, Mido is based in the town of Le Locle, in the heart of the Swiss Jura mountains. The name Mido comes from the Spanish ‘Yo mido’, meaning ‘I measure’.

Mido’s ambition is to produce watches that possess characteristics typical of the quality and careful craftsmanship of a Swiss watch, namely timepieces endowed with mechanical movements that are wound either by hand or automatically.
The image of the brand is timeless, classic clean-cut and refined. Mido’s philosophy is to combine timeless design with functionality rather than following fashion. The objective is to create timepieces in high-quality materials, endowed with high-precision movements and offering exceptional water-resistance, in the spirit of sustainable development.


Movement:     Automatic ETA 2836-2 certified COSC Chronometer, 11½’’’, Ø25.60 mm, height: 5.05 mm, 25 jewels, 28,800 A/H, INCABLOC and NIVACOURBE shock-absorber, NIVAFLEX NM mainspring, ANACHRON balance spring, GLUCYDUR balance wheel. Finely decorated Chronometer movement with blued screws, decorated oscillating weight with Geneva stripes and engraved Mido logo. Function HMSD+Day. Adjusted on 5 different positions for a high accuracy. Min. 38 hours power reserve.

Case:    Stainless steel 316L, 2 pieces, sapphire crystal with an anti-reflecting treatment on both sides, screwed crown and case back, special engraved case back with the Coliseum and serial number, water-resistant up to a pressure of 10 bar (100 m / 330 ft).

Bracelet:    Stainless steel 316L with stainless steel folding clasp.

Dial:   Sunray satinated anthracite centre, logo and indexes individually applied, indexes with orange Super LumiNova®, fine painted Roman numbers, date at 3 o’clock.

Hands:    Diamond polished, with orange Super-LumiNova® for easy readability at night.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Another man's poison: Perrelet Turbine Toxic

Earlier this week we presented the Daniel Strom Agonium Collection, a series of gothically inspired watches drawing heavily on skull symbols and memento mori.

Such imagery is all the rage in fashionable watchmaking circles at the moment. Many a top Swiss brand is being lured by the mystery and occult of the skull as the human brain cannot separate the image of the human skull from the familiar human face. It has now become a symbol of rebelliousness and cool.

Not to be left out,  the new Perrelet Turbine Toxic models flirts with such imagery by displaying the skull symbol in between the twelve blades of two Special Editions of their double-rotor watch.

A universally adopted logo intended to signal the presence of toxic substances, the skull appeared in classical art as a symbol of the past, before coming to symbolise piracy in the 18th century, and then certain well-known motorbike fans in the 1950s… It has now lost its taboo connotations to become a symbol of freedom that has spread throughout all echelons of the fashion world.

Beneath the optical effect created by the 12-blade wheel rotating across the Turbine Toxic models, the human skull appears in a truly luxurious almost Damien Hirst 'For the Love of God' style interpretation.

The men’s version is set with 210 diamonds (0.82 cts) and the ladies’ variation with 155 diamonds (0.59 cts). The skulls sing out against against an all-black background spread across the cases, dials and straps.

Choose between the bold Turbine Toxic XL model measuring 50mm in diameter; a DLC-treated steel watch on a rubber strap, and or the 41 mm Turbine Toxic XS in DLC-treated steel on a rubber or satin strap.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Jaeger-LeCoultre Arte Portuguesa: A personal view of time by Julião Sarmento

Jaeger-LeCoultre launches the sixth edition of Jaeger-LeCoultre Arte Portuguesa: The artist this time around is Julião Sarmento with 'A Personal View of Time'.

Jaeger-LeCoultre presents two limited editions of the Reverso personalised by Portuguese artist Julião Sarmento with a silkscreen print hand-signed by the master.

For the sixth edition of Jaeger-LeCoultre/Art Portugais, Jaeger-LeCoultre joined forces with Julião Sarmento to present the latest offering in the Art Portugais line, one of Jaeger-LeCoultre's most long-lived thematic collections.

The project began in 2000 with Pedro Torres, the founder of Torres Distribuição, the representative of Jaeger-LeCoultre in Portugal. His aim was to create the graphic representation of time by the experienced hands of internationally renowned Portuguese artists.

From customisation to "wearable" art

Inspired by Art Deco, the reversible case of the Reverso offers in its classical versions a space that allows for numerous personalisation options, creating tangible and intimate relations between the owner and his or her watch that becomes a unique object.

Since the creation of the Reverso watch in 1931, Jaeger-LeCoultre has incorporated it in a number of watchmaking complications, as well as having developed an exhaustive range of artistic personalisations, from simple engravings to enamel compositions.

The Reverso/Arte Portuguesa limited editions take a special place as some of the most beautiful versions ever produced for the Reverso. Imagined by Pedro Torres, the founder of the TORRES Distribuição company, the project has brought together several major Portuguese artists such as Júlio Pomar, Manuel Cargaleiro, Paula Rego, José de Guimarães and now Julião Sarmento. 

Their common aim is to customise the case-back of the Reverso with their personal visions of time, turning it into a timeless work of art comprising a highly emotional intrinsic value.

A feminine view of time by Julião Sarmento

Julião Sarmento set his heart on the representation of a female body, as the personification of time. "My work is often tied in with the female body. It in fact revolves around feminine iconography and I even have a series of works that represent a sort of expectant woman, a woman who is waiting, an image that conjures up space and time. It refers to the space in which the woman moves, the space she fills and the indeterminate time in which she is found. It is not fleeting time, it is perpetual time. In other words, the connection I am interested in is the conjunction of the brand image, my brand image and the concept of endless time." Julião Sarmento

The Reverso/Arte Portuguesa Julião Sarmento is available in two limited editions of Grande Reverso 976 equipped with a mechanical manually-wound movement. 

The pink gold edition with a black dial and a small second hand in a round sub-dial is issued in 20 copies (€17,900), and a steel edition with a small second hand in a rectangular sub-dial is issued in 30 copies (€9,900). 

On the case-back, each watch carries an enamel representation of a female silhouette, so characteristic of Julião Sarmento's work. 

Each watch comes with a silkscreen print hand-signed by the artist. The gold version has a specific feature: the silkscreen print is in dark yellow whereas it is in black and white for the steel version.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

RONDA Startech 5040.E chronograph

RONDA, famous for RONDA Swiss quartz movements, has added a further chronograph to its “Startech” 5000 line.

The new 12½”’-sized calibre 5040.E quartz watch movement features a calendar system that combines a normal date display with a horizontal day display at the 12 o’clock position.

The new Startech model retains the classic three-eye 3-6-9 look. In addition to a centre stop second, its chronograph functions extend to a 1/10 second and a separate 30-minute and 10-hour counter.

RONDA’s 28.00 mm-diameter Startech range of watch movements now runs to 18 multi-functions and chronographs.

RONDA has played a pioneering role in the watch market since being founded by William Mosset in 1946.  Their quartz movements tick in wristwatches all over the world - and have done so for over 30 years. The company prides itself on its  independence and freedom to best respond to customers' needs.


Chronograph with date and day displays
Swiss-made quartz watch movement
Movement size: 12½’’’
13 jewels, gilt
Diameter 28.00 mm / height 4.40 mm

3-eye chronograph (at the 3-6-9 o’clock positions)
Centre stop second
1/10 seconds up to 30 minutes
30-minute counter / 10-hour counter
ADD and SPLIT functions
Horizontal day display at the 12 o’clock position
Small second

Monday, June 4, 2012

The man who haunted himself: The Daniel Strom Agonium Collection

Daniel, son of well-known watchmaker Armin Strom, has embraced the current skull/Twilight obsession in a series of Gothic skull inspired watches he calls the Agonium Collection. If it all seems a bit passe, in fairness the Memento Mori watch has been on the market for two years. The accompanying press release is full of the usual uber-hype, but that said, the Agonium Collection is an interesting and quality one.

Memento Mori, Carpe Diem

Translated as ‘Remember death, seize the day’. The sculpting and engraving work is excellent.  The "Memento Mori, Carpe Diem" watch case is highly detailed and covered with many a Gothic skull and fine engraving of a distinctly Victorian flavour. Even the crown is a skull head, and one wonders how easy it will be to actually use. The watch is available in your choice of precious metal including sterling silver, gold, platinum, and palladium. The dial comes in black or bone white and features polished steel hands and Roman numerals (no skulls), and the look is finished with a black alligator hornback strap with a matching metal buckle.

As for the dial, apparently it borrows from two world-renowned clocks: Big Ben in London and the Zytglogge in Bern. A trio of hands counts time: hours, minutes and seconds.

 The watch is powered by a self winding ETA 2824 movement, the watch features an anti-glare double curved sapphire crystal, and is water-resistant to 50m. Prices start at $8,272 for sterling silver and go up to a blood curdling $57,896 for platinum.

 Strom Draco

Again, the scariest thing about these novelty watches is the price. They are strictly in the spoilt goth teenager ball park. You can shell out €23,000 for an 18k red gold model of this watch as well. In the Draco collection Daniel Strom turns to the mythical dragon for inspiration. Once again the design of the watch, the choice of numerals and engraving all point to heavy Gothic influence. Both pieces are available in limited editions, whichever metal you choose, although you can specify your own custom made option.  

Draco is intended above all as a metaphor. It is a symbolic jewel first, a timepiece second. The sculptured case protects the more delicate one that surrounds the movement, an ETA 2824 calibre. The bone white or black dial with a craquelure effect completes the picture, protected by a curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Time flows from twelve Arabic numerals, swept by polished hands.

Strom Headquarters

Even Strom Headquarters where the watches are designed looks suitably spooky. You certainly wouldn’t want to do overtime in this place on your own.


Automatic, ETA 2824 calibre

Hours, minutes and seconds

Solid sterling silver, 18K gold, palladium or platinum, finished by hand. Inner case in stainless steel. Curved anti-reflective sapphire crystal. Crown in the shape of a royal crown. Water-resistant to 50m / 5 ATM

Bone white or black. Arabic numerals, gold-tones, white or black polished steel hands.

Black horn-back alligator with skull buckle in solid sterling silver, gold, palladium or platinum

Sterling silver: Limited to 88 pieces
Price: 8300 Euros

Sterling silver with crown and buckle in 18K red gold: Limited to 88 pieces
Price: 9 000 Euros

18K red gold Draco: Limited to 44 pieces
Price: 23 000 Euros

Platinum: Limited to 12 pieces
Price: Adjusted to the day's price

Friday, June 1, 2012

Swatch: What kind of a Rebel are you?

With so many top end Swiss watches on offer, it’s easy to overlook the fact that many of them may not be in existence today if not for the incredible success of a simple fun fashion watch known simply as Swatch.

Sales of Swatch watches came to the rescue of Swiss watch credibility at a time when it was needed most. A clever combination of marketing and manufacturing expertise restored Switzerland as a major player in the world wristwatch market. Synthetic materials were used for the watchcases as well as a new ultra-sonic welding process and the assembly technology. The number of components was reduced from 91 or more to 51, with no loss of accuracy.

 29 years on from its launch, Swatch continues to turn out hundreds of cool, collectable, affordable watches for those who either want a second watch (the ‘S’ in Swatch stands for second – Second Watch – Swatch)or for those who simply want a fun and uncomplicated timepiece. The new Gent collection is in many respects classic Swatch, full of choice, brimming with colour, but with a bigger, bolder more masculine design. Also these simple three hander watches come with day/date at 3 o' clock. 

If you are seeking something more zany or more topical, Swatch has it covered too. Swatch Bengali is bound to attract attention everytime its worn. 

And the Swatch London Olympics watch, bearing the frankly ghastly London Olympics logo, will be a talking point for at least the time that the Games is taking place. Swatch provides more choice than you could ever want. They run on a Swiss quartz movement and water resistant to 90 feet. They come on a silicone strap, and should the battry run down, it’s really straightforward to replace.

Next year will be the 30th anniversary of the launch of Swatch, and no doubt some special commemorative and limited edition models are in the works.

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