Precision Winter 2021: New for this year
If you’ve given up hope of buying a new Rolex Submariner or Cosmograph in steel due to the waiting lists for both, take a look at the more easily attainable Explorer II, which is 50 this year. The model was originally aimed at cavers (believe it or not) on the basis that its rotating, 24-hour bezel and bright orange secondary hour hand enable the wearer to keep track of whether it is night or day underground. The latest features an improved movement and other technical upgrades but retains the classic look. Early versions, incidentally, became known as ‘Steve McQueens’ after the actor was erroneously said to have worn one.
Briston has established itself as a popular name in motor sport, with emerging Australian-Irish racing driver Bart Horsten attracting its sponsorship as he makes his way in F3. Horsten wears a Clubmaster Traveller Worldtime. Powered by a Swiss automatic movement, it comes in steel or acetate tortoiseshell, above, cases. Just 500 will be made.
In 2006, Jaeger-LeCoultre marked the 75th anniversary of its signature Reverso with a haute-horlogerie version called the Triptyque that wowed watch fans by having three dials driven by the same movement. Now, to celebrate 90 years of the celebrated flip-case, the historic brand has unveiled the £1.14m Quadriptyque, above, the world’s first watch to feature four functioning faces. The 11 complications include a perpetual calendar, minute repeater and three displays of lunar information that, says the maker, enable this micro mechanical marvel to predict events such as supermoons and eclipses.
Tudor’s sensibly priced Black Bay watches have become best-sellers in the UK since 2014, with some versions commanding a premium above retail on the pre-owned market (the green Harrods edition now trades at £4000 against an original 2017 price of £2630). The Black Bay first appeared in chronograph form in 2017 and all-steel versions were previously available only with all-black dials, but this new variant brings a choice of black, above, or opaline dials, each with contrasting chronograph counters. As ever with the Rolex sister brand you get a great quality, chronometer-certified movement, a choice of two straps (aged leather of Jacquard fabric) or a steel bracelet – plus a five-year, transferable guarantee.
IWC continues its 15-year association with the US Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor Course – better known as Top Gun – with two new watches in the Mojave Desert range, which is named after the location of the China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station. The desert theme has inspired a 46mm Big Pilot Top Gun three-hander at £13,600, above, and a £28,600 perpetual calendar model. Annual production will be limited to 250 pieces and 150 pieces respectively.
Opinions differ as to which brand really did launch the first ‘professional’ underwater watch, but Doxa claims to have been the first to make such a model available to the public with its 1967 Sub 300. After initial success, the firm gradually phased out its dive models which, by the 1990s, had disappeared. Now back, they have enjoyed a renaissance in the last three years, prompting the still privately owned brand to develop numerous variations. The latest is a 200-piece limited edition Sub 600T, the Pacific, above, the first Sub to feature a titanium case. Each gets an electric blue dial, bezel and strap with orange detail.
Farer has enjoyed five years of growth since its founding in 2016 by former TJX Europe boss Paul Sweetenham and three partners. Designs are done in the UK with manufacturing by Swiss private label manufacturer Roventa-Henex. One of the latest models is the Segrave Monopusher, above, which is named after multiple speed record holder Sir Henry Segrave who, in 1927, became the first person to exceed 200mph on land. The matte black dial gets a large, 30-minute white chronograph counter and touches of blue, orange and green on the hands.
Bell & Ross
French brand Bell & Ross has produced many yellow-themed special editions since it began to back Renault F1 in 2015, but the team’s 2020 rebranding as Alpine necessitated a new range of chronographs with touches in Alpine blue. One of the coolest is the steel, cushion-cased BRV3-94 A521 chronograph, above, which is available in a limited edition of 500.
Watch designer Fabrizio Buonamasa Stigliani, who previously penned cars, has secured no fewer than seven thinness records for versions of Bulgari’s eight-sided Octo Finissimo that launched in 2014 and has since become a signature of the brand. The latest is the Perpetual Calendar, above, which carries a 408-part movement measuring only 2.75mm high inside a case that’s 5.8mm thick, making it the world’s thinnest perpetual calendar watch from Audemars Piguet’s Ultra Thin. If Bulgari’s effort is kept running continuously, it is claimed the calendar will remain accurate until the year 2100. We’ll be checking…
Patek fans went into a spin earlier this year when brand boss Thierry Stern announced its hottest model, the blue-dial Nautilus Reference 5711, would be axed. A lengthy waiting list for the steel, portholeshaped sports watch (first penned by Gerald Genta in 1976) had set pre-owned values soaring, so mint examples were trading for more than twice the £25,690 RRP. But in April, Patek confirmed this new 5711, above, which is just like the old one, only with a green dial and a price tag of £26,870. Three other variants were launched, too: the Ref 5990/1R, a rose gold flyback chronograph travel time (£81,970); the diamond-set 5711/1300A (£72,860); and the 7118/1450R, a high jewellery Nautilus costing £282,340.
One thing the Christopher Ward collection lacked was a sporty, all-round dress watch. Enter the C63 Sealander range. Models can be had in steel cases with automatic or GMT movements starting at £1150, but our favourite is the Elite version, above, which houses a chronometer-certified Sellita mechanism in a 40mm titanium case with a neat hidden crown. CW’s first haute horlogerie watch is due in November, featuring a titanium case and skeleton movement with twin winding barrels – and at an impressively affordable price of less than £3500.
At its peak during the 1930s, Junghans produced a staggering three million clocks and watches per year. In contrast, the brand has just announced a decidedly limited edition model in the form of the Meister S Chronoscope Platin –a platinum rarity of just 12 examples. The most famous designer for Junghans, meanwhile, was Bauhaus artist Max Bill who penned his first model for the once-mighty German maker in 1961. The 60th anniversary of that is marked with 1060 Max Bill three-watch sets made up of a regulator, above, an automatic three-hander and an ultra precise piece with half-second progression.
Over a decade after producing his first art car for BMW (the 2010 M3 GT2) American artist Jeff Koons has created a run of eight M850i Gran Coupés, which will be unveiled at the Frieze art fair in Los Angeles next February – with a predicted price tag of £220,000 apiece. Along similar lines, BRM has launched a new Art Car collection of chronographs that pay tribute to the BMW race cars painted by some of the most celebrated pop artists of the 1970s and ’80s. The R50 Art Car watches, above, feature movements designed to resemble engines and huge 50mm titanium cases. All of the coloured components of the 12 watches will be hand-lacquered, while the markings on the sapphire crystals are done by UV ink spraying.
Danish-owned, Swiss-made and independent, Linde Werdelin produces unusual, well-executed watches in small editions and sells them direct online –a formula that has worked well throughout the 15 years since it was founded. The latest model is the Oktopus Nord, above, a dive watch with a dial inspired by the freezing waters of the North Sea. A sandblasted titanium case and bezel based on the shape of a diving bell offers little weight and corrosionresistance, while the two-layer dial is topped with stainless steel hands with ultramarine Luminova.
A winding box is one of the best ways to maintain an automatic watch. Equipped with an electric motor that oscillates the watch regularly, keeping the mainspring wound and the mechanism running. The SwissKubik brand offers affordable models that run on alkaline batteries. Starting at £425, the 10cm cubes can be endlessly locked together and are available in a myriad of colours and finishes, ranging from leather to carbon fibre.