Buying Time: Blue Dial Watches

Blue Dial Watch Cover - Perpetuelle

In this week’s episode of Buying Time, we are looking at pre-owned watches that sit within a fun sub-category of the watch world:  watches with blue dials.  Most watch brands have at least one or two blue-dialed watches in their stable, and for good reason.  The most common dial colors are black, silver, grey, and white.  Beyond this, it gets tricky for watchmakers to venture to other parts of the color palette, though other colors are on occasion used to good aesthetic effect (e.g. salmon, red, brown).  Blue, however, often lends itself to an eye-pleasing result on the dial of the watch and is thus probably the most widely used color apart from the monochrome palette.  Particularly on the pieces I’ve found for you today.  Let’s get started.

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Cha-Ching: Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze is a Beauty

Zenith Pilot Type 20 Extra Special Bronze case detail - Perpetuelle

This bronze beauty from Zenith is a 2015 introduction in the brand’s Pilot collection.  Zenith Pilot watches are among my favorites from the brand — they’ve done a really nice job with these watches, invoking functional aviator’s watches of the past with their large cases, highly legible dials, and oversize onion crowns (for easy handling).  As for this particular watch, well, first and foremost it is defined by it’s 45mm bronze case. The neat thing about bronze is that it evolves over time, developing an irreproducible patina that adds a certain element of character to the watch.  Of course you can see it is a very simple and highly legible time-only watch, with vintage style hands and hour numerals.  Lastly, the watch has an in-house Zenith Elite caliber 679.  This is an important upgrade from last year’s stainless steel version of this watch which I understand used a Sellita base caliber and was, for obvious reasons, not well received by Zenith fans (and is selling a a steep discount in the grey market right now).

More looks and details, on the click

Buying Time: 5 Time-Only Dress Watches Under $10k

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin - for sale - Govberg via Perpetuelle

There’s something about owning a time-only watch.  For some, the simplicity of such watches is not appealing.  But for most, an elegant and uncomplicated watch is a must have for any well-rounded collection…or the occasional black-tie event.  When it comes right down to it, the term “dress watch” is of course a highly subjective term.  Here’s the criteria with which I define it:  any watch that is simple and classical in its styling, sized between 34mm and 42mm and on the thinner side of the spectrum case-wise (I am highly partial to “ultra-thin”), elegant leather strap or bracelet, and uncomplicated save for a small seconds or date window.  Generally speaking!  Other defining criteria such as movement type (automatic or manual wind), age (vintage or new), case metal (steel or precious) are generally fungible for me when it comes to these types of watches.  But yes, defining a “dress watch” is clearly a subjective exercise!

However, in today’s edition of “Buying Time”, I think you’ll get the essence of what I’m talking about.  This week I went to great pains to select just five superb time-only dress watches, all of which are available now from the pre-owned vault of my partner in this weekly endeavor, Govberg Watches.  I’ve also taken care to select pieces all priced under $10,000 ($3,200 on the low end), and all at a meaningful discount to the current retail price for a new piece.  Certainly not play money, but as most of you know Perpetuelle is about luxury not economy, and so I hope you’ll find something that suit’s your tastes.

Follow along as I walk through this week’s lineup.

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Tribute to Rolling Stones: A New Zenith El Primero 1969 Chronomaster Special Edition

Zenith El Primero 1969 Chronomaster Rolling Stones Special Edition dial detail - Perpetuelle

Following last summer’s announcement of its partnership with the Rolling Stones (and the launch of the first Zenith / Rolling Stones watch), Zenith is back with a new, limited edition 1969 Chronomaster watch to celebrate the partnership.   This time around, the watch with is given what might be considered more of a rocker’s look, with a black-DLC finished titanium case and a black strap stamped with a British flag (Union Jack) motif.   And unlike the first model which had the Rolling Stones tongue on the dial (a bit tacky, one might argue), this version nicely integrates it into the rotor, visible through the sapphire caseback.  The last model also incorporated the tongue logo on the caseback glass, but overall I find this execution much more attractive.

Full specs and more pics on the click