The New Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition Watch

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green on side - Perpetuelle

Official watch of the Seattle Seahawks?  Nah, the Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition commemorates the unique relationship between OMEGA and the innovative Solar Impulse project, a project which officially began in 2003 and whose ambitious aim is to circle the globe in an airplane powered only by solar energy.  This new watch follows the Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse that Omega released last year, which itself was a big step up from the Solar Impulse watch Omega introduced in 2010 in tandem with the craft’s maiden voyage.  While the quartz multi-function movement and 45mm titanium case with ceramic bezel remain unchanged, the overall aesthetic of this year’s model has been greatly enhanced.  The base Skywalker X-33 from last year is unremarkable in its appearance, but the 2015 Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse reflects a bold color-set — and it looks really, really good.

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green sideview - Perpetuelle

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green - Perpetuelle

The watch itself which has a blue bezel and green seconds hand, complemented with a bold and blue NATO-style strap with a green border.

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green detail - Perpetuelle

The lightweight grade 2 titanium 45 mm case is complete with a ceramic bezel with a chromium nitride scale whose minute track scale is coated in white Super-LumiNova, as are the skeletonized black and white hour and minute hands. The central seconds hand is distinguished by its green and black color combination.  he blue and green dial, with its white transferred indexes and hour markers coated with white Super-LumiNova, has a central opening allowing the wearer to read the liquid crystal display digital elements.  

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green side by side - Perpetuelle

Omega Skywalker X-33 Solar Impluse Blue Green lume shot - Perpetuelle

The OMEGA Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition is powered by the OMEGA calibre 5619, a quartz chronograph movement.  The titanium caseback is stamped with the Solar Impulse “Around the World” patch and engraved with the words “TESTED AND QUALIFIED BY ESA” (the European Space Agency).

It will be produced in an edition limited to 1,924 pieces. The number honors the year that the first round-the-world flight took place; members of the United States Army Air Service flew around the world from 4 April to 28 September 1924.

More on the Solar Impulse Project, here.

Solar Impluse logo Solar Impulse Aircraft Flying

OMEGA collaborated with Solar Impulse co-pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg on the concept of this innovative timepiece that combines both analogue and digital displays. It was developed to meet the needs not only of these specialists but of anyone who can appreciate its impressive variety of functions.

Solar Impulse Betrand Piccard and pilot André Borschberg

 

Richard Mille RM 011 Ceramic NTPT (Asia Limited Edition)

Richard Mille RM 011 Ceramic NTPT Asia Limited Edition - Perpetuelle

In tandem with the opening of Richard Mille’s newest boutique (in Singapore), the RM 011 Ceramic NTPT Asia Limited Edition brings a (curiously American!?) red white and blue color motif to the party.  The latest RM011 has a white ceramic bezel and caseback in combination with NTPT carbon fiber tech caseband, along with the “standard” RM011 flyback chronograph caliber with innovations such as the variable geometry rotor and more.

Richard Mille RM 011 Ceramic NTPT Singapore dial detail - Perpetuelle

Distribution of the watch — only 5o pieces will be made — will be limited to Mille’s Asian boutiques (he has ten in the region), which keeps with his favored practice of creating specific designs for specific geographies.  The price on the RM 011 Ceramic NTPT Asia Limited Edition is about 193,000 Singapore dollars, excluding tax/GST.

On a related topic — if you haven’t been to the new Richard Mille website yet, now would be a good time to check it out, it’s worth a visit: http://www.richardmille.com/

Did You Know?

NTPT® carbon is an exclusive material with a unique appearance. Its remarkable surface displays extremely regular undulations, as NTPT® carbon is composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers. These layers, with a maximum thickness of 30 microns, are impregnated with resin then woven on a special machine that modifies the direction of the weft by 45° between layers. Heated to 120°C at a pressure of 6 bars, the NTPT® is then ready to be processed on a CNC machine in Richard Mille’s ProArt case factory. When compared to composite materials, whose exceptional physical properties are already well known, NTPT® carbon improves the rate of occurrence of breaking stresses by 25% and of micro-cracks by 200%.  source

Double Take: Patek Philippe Reference 5975 Multi-Scale Chronograph (Hands-On)

Patek Philippe 5975 1 - Perpetuelle

It should come as no surprise that Patek Philippe, one of the world’s premiere watchmakers, cleverly devised a line of timepieces to commemorate its 175th anniversary as a company. Four limited edition models, in an assortment of precious metals, sizes, and designs, celebrated the occasion—the 5575 (the 7175 being the ladies’ variant), 5975 (the 4675 being the ladies’ variant), 5275, and the astonishing 5175. But the cleanest and most restrained of the bunch is undeniably the 5975, a chronograph that functions differently from what one would expect of the complication.

More specifically, the 5975 features a seldom-seen layout in which the chronograph hand measures heart rate, distance from a stationary object, and speed over an established radius as it traverses the dial. Pulsimeter, telemeter, and tachymeter scales crowd the face, but with a bit of brain power and a penchant for pre-digital age means of making measurements, ease of use is high and never an eye sore during daily wear.

Patek Philippe 5975 4 - Perpetuelle

A brief breakdown of each scale:

Pulsimeter: taken directly from Patek’s press release: “medical heart rate measurements are expressed as the number of pulses per minute. To accelerate such measurements without having to wait for an entire minute while counting, the Multi-Scale Chronograph has a pulsimeter scale calibrated to 15 heartbeats (GRADUE POUR 15 PULSATIONS). If the Multi-Scale Chronograph is started when the first pulse is felt and stopped on the fifteenth, the pulsimeter scale display the number of pulses per minute. During their daily rounds in the wards, physicians once typically had to take the pulse of over a hundred patients. A pulsimeter watch saved them more than an hour a day.”

Telemeter: in the case of most watches utilizing a telemeter scale, distance from an object is measured in kilometers. The scale’s importance in military history is dually noted, as it was especially useful in determining the range between a gun and its target.

Tachymeter: the most common scale on chronographs. Calculates distance based on speed or speed based on a set amount of time.

Patek 5975 Dial Close Up - Perpetuelle

In terms of construction, the 5975’s dial appears relatively basic at first glance, which looks out of place, given its hefty asking price. Until light reflects from the surface at a variety of angles—which reveals a glowing, three-dimensional hue, perfectly chamfered indices, and beveled dauphine hands—it seems like one of 5975’s weakest points. But perhaps that’s exactly as Patek intended—the face effortlessly captures the spirit of a vintage watch, and meticulously crafted details only present themselves under close, and careful, inspection. Think of the 5975 as a watch for those who prefer to live their lives under the radar, with none of the flashy glitz commonly associated with timepieces commanding astronomical prices.

Patek Philippe 5975 - Perpetuelle

Aesthetically, the 5975’s 40mm case falls in line with that mindset, too, being relatively simple aside from finely sculpted lugs that are detachable come service time. Even after a studious look at the overall package, one would be hard pressed to notice such a subtle detail—the fit is exceptionally tight and not unlike what Rolex has achieved in recent years with their cases and bracelets. But know that Patek is not Rolex and quiet brushing lining the sides of the pushers, for instance, elevates the 5975 into an entirely different class. And that’s only one example of its prowess.

Powering the 5975 is Patek’s proprietary caliber CH 28-520, which is an automatic movement, as opposed to a more appropriate manual wind that typically coincides with the company’s chronographs. Featuring a solid gold rotor, column wheel, vertical clutch, and 55 hours of power reserve, the movement comes in at 5.2mm in height, making the watch 10.25mm thick—extraordinarily thin for a contemporary chronograph. Patek’s quality seal also adorns the movement meaning a very high level of finish and accuracy—the 5975 is rated at -3/+2 seconds a day, even with the chronograph running.

Patek Philippe 5975 Case Back 2 - Perpetuelle

But therein lies an issue: to maintain the watch’s thin profile, Patek chose to keep the 5975’s movement behind a closed back and a commemorative engraving. Reading “Patek Philippe Geneve 175e Anniversaire 1839-2014,” first impressions paint the presentation a bit of a letdown, but it suddenly makes sense, if only for the fact that the company is able to craft their products as they please and watch collectors eagerly line up for their next purchase. And, honestly, that speaks volumes of Patek’s reputation in the watch world, given that rarely do any of their products flop. A buyer always exists for the newest limited production Patek, no matter the amount of quirks, cost, or aesthetic.

The verdict: there’s no doubt that Patek Philippe has worked hard to earn the status it enjoys today, and the 5975, along with the rest of the 175th anniversary collection, is proof of that. As expected, none of these watches is perfect, and in the case of the 5975, its biggest setback is a lack of a display back and perhaps that the dial doesn’t jump out at you at first glance. A closer look, however, renders those thoughts obsolete—the 5975 is a stunning piece—aesthetically and technically—capable of captivating lucky collectors for years to come. Bravo, Patek Philippe. Bravo.

Patek Philippe 5975 Deployant Buckle 2 - Perpetuelle

Patek Philippe 5975 Presentation Box Top - Perpetuelle

Included with the 5975 is a luxurious wood presentation box, celebrating Patek Philippe’s 175th anniversary. Particularly noteworthy is the commemorative inscription.

Patek Philippe 5975 Presentation Box  3 - PerpetuelleBreakdown of the 5975 model lineage (5975G seen in the article):

5975J – 18k yellow gold; limited to 400 units; priced at 53,000 CHF / $64,000

5975R – 18k rose gold; limited to 400 units; priced at 55,ooo CHF / $67,000

5975G  – 18k white gold; limited to 400 units; priced at 55,000 CHF / $67,000

5975P – platinum; limited to 100 units; priced at 78,000 CHF / $95,000

The official press release for the Patek Philippe Reference 5975, with full technical specifications, can be viewed right here.

Arnold & Son Unveils a New Royal TEC1 – Palladium Case + Black Guilloché dial

Arnold & Son TEC1 Palladium Black angleview - Perpetuelle

Arnold & Son’s TEC1 wristwatch, part of the brand’s Royal Collection, is defined by its tourbillon and column wheel chronograph in an automatic caliber.  A few references of the TEC1 already exist, but this new edition with palladium case and black guilloché dial is perhaps its most aesthetically power combination yet.  Arnold & Son makes some darn interesting and uniquely attractive watches, and I would say the TEC1 fits near the upper end of its range in terms of complication and intrigue.

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