by Kyle Stults on April 08, 2014
Before we get to the last of Blancpain’s new additions to the 2014 Villeret collection, let’s switch it up with a look at the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscape Chronograph. The Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe line debuted last year in basic 3-handed models & steel cases. This year the line is really stepped up with a satin-brushed black ceramic case and ceramic bezel. On top of this, Blancpain has fitted this watch with a new automatic mechanical manufacture caliber — the Blancpain Cal. F385. The Cal. F385 is a column wheel chronograph with vertical clutch; it has a silicon balance spring and beats at 36,000 vph. Moreover, this is a water-resistant chronograph — the pushers are constructed to enable use underwater to depths of 300 meters. An exceptional feature for a chronograph watch.
First look quick look…
***UPDATE: See our “closer look” at the Tudor Black Bay blue, with extensive photo gallery, here>>>
Not to be outdone by its bigger brother Rolex, Tudor also has a strong lineup this year, including this new Heritage Black Bay with blue bezel. It comes on a dark blue aged-leather strap for $3,100 or a polished steel bracelet for $3,425. Both versions come with a fabric strap as well. And don’t overlook the white “snowflake” hands which look very nice inside the blue bezel.
With this our official coverage of Baselworld 2014 beings: Rolex has just unveiled the Sea-Dweller 4000, featuring a 40 mm case, black ceramic bezel, helium escape valve and depth rating of 4000 feet (1220m). The bracelet is also upgraded with Rolex’s Glidelock & Fliplock clasp features on the bracelet. The caliber is the Rolex 3135.
This is certainly an intriguing release — a “reissue” of sorts. The Sea-Dweller first debuted in 1967 and was discontinued in 2008, which I suppose makes the new 116600 one that purists might love.
Omega is re-issuing the Seamaster 300 this year, and here is your first look. Originally introduced in 1957, the OMEGA Seamaster 300 makes a comeback in 2014 complete with Omega’s most advanced design and watchmaking innovations. Interesting, among other details, is the “Master Co-Axial” notation on the dial (photo below), the “sandwich dial”, bracelet with polished center links with fine adjustment, ceragold bezel inlay (two-tone model), and “broad-arrow” hands. This watch will hit retail display cases November 2014.
by Kyle Stults on February 05, 2014
To celebrate its 25th anniversary as a Swiss watchmaker, Victorinox Swiss Army is launching a limited and numbered titanium version of its popular Dive Master 500 watch. In a first for the Dive Master collection, the 500 pieces in this exclusive 43mm model are powered by an automatic mechanical Swiss ETA chronograph movement. This watch will be available Summer 2014, price
TBD is $3,295, fairly hefty but even so I don’t think this one will have any problem selling out. Get one while you can!
by Kyle Stults on January 22, 2014
One of two white ceramic watches Audemars Piguet is bringing this year, the AP Royal Oak Offshore (ROO) Diver is a real looker. Recall: in 2012, Audemars Piguet introduced the ROO Diver in forged carbon with yellow accents; in 2013 the ROO Diver debuted in black ceramic with orange accents, and included a sapphire display in a titanium caseback ring. This year the ROO Diver is in a pristine white ceramic, with blue dial accents, and a display back for its nice Cal 3120. Price will be $23,900 and this will be a boutique exclusive.
First look…world premiere orange ceramic bezel…platinum case, dial and strap stitching…
Omega has just upped the bar, unveiling the new Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Orange Ceramic with a brushed and polished 43.5mm case crafted from 950-grade platinum with a bi-directional 24-hour GMT rotating bezel whose polished ring is made from orange ceramic (patent pending), a world premiere. This stunning wristwatch has been produced in a limited edition of only eight pieces.
by Kyle Stults on January 21, 2014
Perhaps the most conspicuous technical modification on the new IWC Aquatimers is the external/internal rotating bezel aka “SafeDive”. Naturally, many watch enthusiasts are wondering how exactly the new IWC “SafeDive” bezel works. Allow me to explain with the help of some material and video provided by IWC.
IWC SAFEDIVE SYSTEM
Through the combination of the schematic above and the video below, you can get a good sense of how the SafeDrive internal/external bezel system works. Note that the views you are seeing are from the back (the underside) of the bezel (i.e. the crown is on the left). What appears to be a second crown on the left side of the case (again–right side in the images and video shown here) is actually a housing for the drive wheel and pinion.
For safety reasons, the internal rotating bezel can only be turned anticlockwise. This guarantees that even if the external rotating bezel is inadvertently moved, the dive time – during which the diver can return to the surface with no need for decompression stops – is not exceeded.
Why Such a System?
The SafeDive combines the advantages of an internal rotating bezel with the ease of use of an external rotating bezel. The external rotating bezel with its SafeDive system can be moved simply and precisely in steps of one minute, even when wearing diving gloves or with cold fingers.
I hope you found this short primer helpful. Please ask any more questions in the comment section below.
by Kyle Stults on January 21, 2014
With a 42mm case, the redesigned IWC Aquatimer Automatics are the smallest member of the new Aquatimer family. But as you can see these new references should wear quite well! I think they look great with the new internal/external bezel system and their pure 3-handed dials. One small technical improvement is that the water pressure rating has been from 120 meters to 300 meters, same as the Aquatimer Chronographs. Again as a reminder see my 2014 IWC Aquatimer Collection overview for more details on the new design elements.
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I’ve already discussed at length the new IWC Aquatimer collection for 2014 (if you are catching up, read here), so let’s just get right to a look at the great looking new Aquatimer Chronographs. Four references are introduced — 2 black dial, 2 silver dial, on rubber or bracelet. There is actually one special Aquatimer Chrongraph reference, the Jacques Cousteau (more on that here). Price from 6300 Euros (~$8,500 at current f/x).
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