IN-DEPTH: The Seiko Prospex ‘Turtle’ Diver

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The story in a second: The Seiko Turtle offers a winning combination of heritage and quality at a supremely wallet-friendly price. Seiko dive watches have a massive – at times fanatical – following. It’s these guys and gals who are responsible for giving the brand’s cryptically coded watches their colourful nicknames – the Tuna, Monster, Sumo and, in this case, the Turtle. Officially, the Turtles we’re looking at here are known as SRP775 (black gilt dial on bracelet), SRP773 (blue dial on bracelet) and SRP777 (black dial on silicone). From now on, collectively, we’ll just call them Turtles. But wait, there’s more. These… Read More

HANDS-ON: The Baume & Mercier Clifton Perpetual Calendar raises the bar

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Baume & Mercier are known for their value-focused take on traditional watchmaking. Their Clifton and Capeland collections epitomise this approach, offering versatile style at a price that won’t break the bank. Of course, this means some concessions must be made: Cases are usually steel, and complications are of the more down-to-earth variety. But just because this sort of everyday mechanical is Baume & Mercier’s bread and butter doesn’t mean that they don’t have the capacity to hit the horological high gear on occasion. In fact, over the past few years Baume & Mercier has released a series of fairly stunning special edition… Read More

HANDS ON: The Piaget Limelight Gala – winner of the GPHG ladies’ watch prize lands in Sydney

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Coming face-to-face with an award-winner can be nerve-wracking. When you’ve watched from afar, seen photographs, read reviews, you’re always curious to know whether things will live up to the hype. These days, after all, it’s spin that makes the world go round. So, yes, the preamble to meeting Piaget’s pink gold Limelight Gala, complete with Milanese bracelet, was understandably tense. This was just a couple of weeks after it had won the ladies’ watch prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) – what if, away from her wintry hemisphere of choice, she wilted under the harsh Australian sun? What… Read More

IN-DEPTH: The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Flyback Chronograph Ocean Commitment II

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The story in a second Blancpain has upped the ante on last year’s excellent Ocean Commitment watch, with a second – even bluer – limited edition. These days it’s not unique for a watch brand to have a corporate social responsibility program, usually tied in with a limited edition product. Few, however, do it with the level of integrity and (dare we say it) commitment as Blancpain’s work in marine conservation and research programs. Though the Ocean Commitment program itself is comparatively young, Blancpain has donated a total of roughly seven million Euro over the past seven years. But beyond… Read More

IN-DEPTH: The Heritage Chronométrie Annual Calendar Chronograph proves that the secret to Montblanc’s success is complicated

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The story in a second: Montblanc’s 2016 Heritage Chronométrie highlight is a complicated number, packed with value. Jerome Lambert descended, whirlwind-like, on Montblanc in 2013. His presence was felt immediately, as the global luxury giant began turning out increasingly impressive timepieces, many with a complicated, heritage bent. Then, as suddenly as he had arrived he was gone, elevated to the rank of Richemont Group Head of Operations in a recent reshuffle. And while he may be running out the clock as Montblanc CEO (replaced by former Head of Sales Nicolas Baretzki), his short tenure will leave a long legacy – a revitalised… Read More

HANDS-ON: Shades of grey – the Rolex Yacht-Master 40 with dark rhodium dial (ref. 116622)

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This cool, calm and collected new Yacht-Master almost slipped past me. I was too busy falling in love (again) with the gold and chocolate Rolesor Yacht-Master, which was distracting me and dazzling my senses, but then out of the corner of my eye I spotted a flash of almost-iridescent blue, and my curiosity was piqued. I’m so glad it was, because this steel and platinum Yacht-Master with its dark rhodium dial and blue highlights is an absolute stunner, even though it’s a much more restrained affair than its Everose-embellished siblings (in both Rolesor and Oysterflex variants). This is partly down to… Read More

HANDS-ON: The stylish pilot – Breguet’s Type XXI 3817

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Turns out that Breguet, not content with nailing the brief when it comes to dress watches and innovating left, right and centre are also quite the dab hand when it comes to pilot’s watches. And they’re no Johnny-come-latelies at the genre, either. In fact, in the early 20th century, Abraham Louis Breguet’s grandson – Louis Charles Breguet – made planes under the name of Breguet Aviation. There is no connection, however, between Louis Charles’ aeronautical business and the Type 20 chronograph that inspired the Type XXI 3817 that we’re looking at today. It’s important to note that Type 20 and 21 chronographs used by the French Air Force… Read More