Now that I’ve shown you the big stars of the 2014 Armin Strom lineup (I’ll link to them below if you aren’t familiar), let’s take a look at a new addition to the Gravity collection. This year Armin Strom has added a date model to the lineup, equipped with the new manufacture caliber ADD14, an automatic mechanical movement with dial-side viewing of the micro-rotor and other mechanics. The Gravity Date is a natural line extension and will nicely complement the time-only Armin Strom Gravity.
In my (re)introduction of H. Moser a few months ago, I hinted at a new collection which was expected from the brand this year. And indeed it was unveiled at Baselworld 2014: the Venturer collection, as you see here. Comprised now of three variations — all “small seconds” but with varying dial treatments — the H. Moser Venturer collection joins the brand’s now 27-reference strong “Endeavour” collection. It also represents the “second phase” of the life of namesake Heinrich Moser; both collections are part of a general re-orientation, if you will, of this maker of “very rare” timepieces under its new owners, the Meylan family.
For some reason in anticipating this new collection I was expecting a bit more of departure from the brand’s current models. But with hindsight my anticipation was entirely unwarranted — discretion and sobriety are undoubtedly among the chief characteristics of H. Moser & Cie, and indeed, the new Venturer models very much keep with current aesthetics. The new models are laudable on many accounts. Not only are the Venturer models aesthetically pleasing, but they are a showcase for a new manufacture caliber, the HMC 327, with a silicon lever and escape wheel, among other more traditional niceties.
The new Villeret Perpetual Calendar from Blancpain is an extraordinary watch, and perhaps the finest achievement in an already impressive set of of new introductions this year. The new self-winding Blanpcain Calibre 5939A comprises 379 parts and measures 7.25 mm thick, with an impressive 8-day power reserve. It is offered in choice of red gold, or a limited edition platinum model, and comes in a dedicated box equipped with a winder serving to keep the watch on time even when not in use. The box cleverly designed solid wooden box doubles as a cigar humidor if the interior is removed.
First launched in 2009, the L.U.C Lunar Big Date is presented this year in white gold with a handful of enhancing design changes. Though the L.U.C Calibre 96.20-L with micro-rotor remains the same, the rest of the changes greatly enhance the overall look of the watch as compared to prior year models. Among the changes I like most are the is that the silver-toned subrust dial is now set with Roman numerals (Arabic numerals on prior versions), and the subdials are more balanced as well. All in all, this is a Chopard L.U.C. Lunar Big Date I could at last see myself wearing, which is something I could not say about prior versions.