Looks Good: DeWitt Academia Chronostream II Chronograph

DeWitt Academia Chronostream II case detail - Perpetuelle

For years I’ve struggled to find interest in DeWitt’s watches, but this new Chronostream II caught my eye.  It is part of the DeWitt Academia collection, which is original in its design and one of six families in the brand.  The Academia pieces span a range of complications and often feature a sculpted bezel in the form of 24 “imperial columns” that is an integral element of the brand’s elitist identity.  Purely on the basis of dial design (which is done in-house), the Chronostream II is a significant improvement over the Academia I, in my view.   Whereas the original Chronostream model was distinguished by its central applique, inspired by the instruments and radiator grills of vintage racing cars, while this new-generation version offers a very high degree of legibility and precision in terms of its displays.

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Buying Time: Manual Wind Chronographs from Patek, Journe, Omega and Chopard

FP Journe Centigraphe - for sale Govberg via Perpetuelle

Welcome to this week’s edition of Buying Time.  This week, I have selected four great pre-owned watches that are all manual wind chronographs.  Due to the intricate mechanics required for operation, manual wind chronograph calibers are arguably some of the most beautiful and intriguing calibers out there, especially at the high end.  My list spans a broad price range this week, but mostly focused on the pricier stuff.  I will start things off with an Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Apollo 11, then we’ll climb the ladder to a special edition Chopard L.U.C 1963 chronograph that I absolutely love and I think is a great buy for the money.  After this, we’ll really step it up with two incredible watches:  the F.P. Journe Centigraphe, and a Patek Philippe 5170J chronograph.  The great thing about a top notch shop like Govberg Jewelers (our partner in this weekly pre-owned curation) is the quality of pieces that come their way — these last two pieces certainly aren’t watches that come onto the secondary market very often, so you should give them serious consideration if you are in the market.  Now let’s get into it!

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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

Richard Mille RM 055 All Grey Boutique Edition (Bubba Watson)

Richard Mille RM055 All Grey Bubba Watson Boutique Edition - Perpetuelle

Limited to just 50 pieces, the RM 055 All Grey Boutique Edition is the newest iteration of the popular RM 055 Bubba Watson series by Richard Mille. The RM 055 Boutique Edition is available only at select Richard Mille Boutiques in Europe and the Middle East.  This watch has an upper bezel created using shot-blasted titanium carbide (TiC), a titanium and carbon alloy with a hardness of 1450 Vickers.  TiC was first used by Richard Mille in the creation of the armored case of the Tourbillon RM 053 Pablo Mac Donough which debuted in 2012. Its hardness enables it to withstand extremes and therefore ensures outstanding durability.

Richard Mille RM 055 All Grey Boutique Edition

Limited Edition 50 pieces (105,000 swiss Francs per)

Richard Mille RM055 All Grey Bubba Watson Boutique Edition detail - Perpetuelle

The caseband and caseback are made using shot-blasted titanium. The manufacturing process involves shot-blasting the grade 5 titanium case with miniscule glass beads at a low pressure to ensure an even finish and thus creating the ‘all grey’ effect.  The manual winding caliber RMUL2 is skeletonized, and made of grade 5 titanium with a PVD- and Titalyt treated baseplate and bridges.  According to Mille, this combination provides the whole structure with optimum rigidity and excellent surface flatness and finish, essential aspects for the perfect functioning of the gear train.  Originally designed in collaboration with Bubba Watson, one of the most powerful hitters on the PGA Tour, the caliber RMUL2 is capable of withstanding accelerations of over 500-G’s.

Sweet looking watch!