Cameron Wong

Posts by Cameron:

10.04.2018

HANDS-ON: The Seiko Prospex ‘Save the Ocean’ SRPC91K1 – the ocean hero in a half shell

Seiko have taken their affinity with the ocean to deeper depths, announcing new brand ambassador Fabien Cousteau at Baselworld 2018. The grandson of famed underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Fabien has dedicated his life to exploring and conserving the world’s oceans, and is founder of the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Centre. As part of this new partnership, Seiko have introduced a series of Prospex ‘Save the Ocean’ special editions, with a portion of all proceeds donated to the Ocean Learning Centre. First up is my personal favourite, the Turtle. Vital statistics Essentially, it’s the same Turtle that we all know and…

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01.04.2018

HANDS-ON: The Seiko 1978 Quartz Saturation Diver’s Re-creation Limited Edition, ref. S23626

Affectionately named for its tuna-can-for-the-wrist design, the Seiko Tuna collection holds many “firsts” in the dive watch world. From being the first to feature a dual layer construction with a one-piece inner case, to introducing the accordion-style rubber strap. In 1978, it also welcomed Seiko’s – and the world’s – first foray into professional quartz dive watches, with the addition of the 600m “Golden Tuna”. Which you might have already noticed (if you’re any good at maths) is celebrating its 40th birthday at Basel 2018. Vital statistics Seiko have marked this special occasion with the release of a limited-edition re-creation…

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30.03.2018

HANDS-ON: The TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph GMT Heuer 02

This year marks 55 years of the Carrera, and TAG Heuer are pulling no punches when it comes to celebrating the occasion. Releasing a sporty selection of models at Baselworld 2018, which includes watches like this one — their modern take on the Carrera but with their latest in-house movement now sporting a GMT function inside. Vital statistics Last year we saw TAG Heuer downsize the skeletonised Carreras to 43mm, but this new GMT beefs things up again with a 45mm steel case. Maintaining a water resistance of 100m as well as the option of a stainless-steel bracelet or black rubber…

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28.03.2018

HANDS-ON: The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight, with thinner, smaller case and brand-new movement

Tudor have added another – smaller – member to the Black Bay family at Baselworld 2018. It’s inspired by the “Big Crown” (reference 7924) Submariner, and named after the year it was released. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight faithfully re-creates the smaller case size of the 7924, complete with oversized crown and introducing a brand-new calibre into the Tudor collection. Vital statistics This is the first time we’ve seen the original Black Bay design downsized. The case of the Black Bay Fifty-Eight measures a very friendly 39mm across. However, the real story is how much slimmer it now is – at just under 12mm,…

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27.03.2018

HANDS-ON: The Seiko 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation SPB077 and SPB079

Seiko have again released a duo of modern re-interpretations of one of their OG dive watches – the Seiko 6159. Sitting alongside the modern re-creation – the newly released SLA025, which was also just revealed here at Baselworld 2018 – the pair echo the original design of Seiko’s first hi-beat diver but wrap it up in a slightly more contemporary package. Vital statistics Available in two variants, the cases are thinner and hark back to the design of the original, except now they have a screw-in case-back and measure 44mm across and 13.1mm thick. They’re also joined by thinner bezels,…

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25.03.2018

HANDS-ON: The TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 16 Chronograph

Named after the Carrera Panamericana, a legendarily dangerous car racing event of the early 1950s that took place across the open roads of Mexico and was cancelled after resulting in too many fatalities. The TAG Heuer Carrera is an icon of the motorsport-inspired watch world. And this year it celebrates 55 years since its release with a stable of new releases, like this pair of heritage-inspired Carrera Calibre 16 Chronographs, released at Baselworld 2018. Vital statistics There are two colours available, a black dial and a blue. Both with contrasting white subdials and highlights of red and orange. The top…

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24.03.2018

HANDS-ON: The Seiko 1968 Automatic Diver’s Commemorative Limited Edition (ref. SLA019)

With another contemporary nod to Seiko’s original hi-beat diver – the 1968 ref. 6159 – a familiar face has received a limited-edition update. Based on the venerable Seiko MM300 dive watch, this commemorative limited edition not only pays tribute to its vintage inspiration with a host of updates, but also to the lush green forests and abundant marine life that can be found around the island of Yakushima at the southern end of the Japanese archipelago. Vital statistics The one-piece 44.3mm case is now set off with a deep green dial and zirconia ceramic bezel. And Hardlex has been replaced…

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22.03.2018

INTRODUCING: The Seiko Automatic Divers Re-creation Limited Edition SLA025

Seiko’s venture into the dive watch world came hard and fast. Releasing their first dive watch in 1965, just three years later they upped the ante and introduced the Seiko 6159. A one-piece cased 300m rated diver, powered by a hi-beat movement that until then was being used only by the Grand Seikos of the time. Now, 50 years later – and revealed here at Baselworld 2018 – Seiko have re-created the original, with the brand new SLA025. Vital statistics With its black dial and bezel highlighted by polished golden hour markers, hands, and 60-minute scale, it has all the looks of the original.…

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22.03.2018

INTRODUCING: The Bell & Ross BRV Racing Birds

What if you were a brand born in a cockpit and were an ace at aviation-inspired watch designs? What would be your next step? Why, you’d design a plane, of course! And that’s exactly what Bell & Ross have done. The brainchild of Bruno Belamich – co-founder and creative director of Bell & Ross – the BR-Bird is a way-out V12-powered propeller-engine aircraft that’s designed for speed. With short, broad wings placed nearly at its tip and a single-seat cockpit set as far back as possible, the ultramodern bird was designed to compete at the Reno Air Races – an…

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21.03.2018

INTRODUCING: The Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 114

As they did with their Calibre 111, Oris have chosen Baselworld to debut their latest in-house produced movement, with the Calibre 114, in their ever popular ProPilot collection, being launched at Basel 2018. It’s the fifth Oris-made movement to be introduced into their catalogue since 2014. This one comes with all the fun of the Calibre 111 and adds a GMT hand to the centre of the dial. Because, really, what better complication is there for a pilot’s watch? Vital statistics Not much has changed style-wise with the case of this latest ProPilot. It still measures 44mm across, is water…

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21.03.2018

INTRODUCING: The Oris Divers Sixty-Five Bi-Colour – a bronze and steel option in 40mm and 36mm

Without a doubt, the standout hit for Oris in recent years has been the Divers Sixty-Five, and for good reason, mind you. First released in 2015, it remained faithful to its inspiration – a model from (you guessed it) 1965 – and nailed the vintage vibe. Instantly becoming a crowd-favourite, and quickly followed up by different dial variations with applied dot and baton indices and a 42mm case, as well as bronzed beauties like the Carl Brashear limited editions. Now home to more than two dozen models, Baselworld 2018 sees the collection grow by two, with the release of the Divers…

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21.03.2018

INTRODUCING: The Oris Big Crown Pointer Date in blue and the brand new 36mm version available in both steel and bronze

The pointer date is one of Oris’ most recognisable complications. Making its debut in 1938, it wasn’t until it was reintroduced in 1984 that it became a regular part of the catalogue. Paired with another of Oris’ signature designs, the heritage-inspired Big Crown pilot’s watch, Baselworld 2018 sees a couple of fresh-faced dials, as well as a 36mm version cased in two very different metals, added to the family. Vital statistics What we have are two versions of the same design, one with a 40mm case, and the other with a 36mm case. Both are water resistant to 50m and have a…

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17.03.2018

LIST: 8 fast, fantastic watches of Formula One

In the world of F1, where everything is measured in tenths, watches have long played an integral part. In fact, it may come as no surprise to anyone that Formula One teams and watch manufacturers often follow the same racelines, each striving for their own breed of ultimate performance mechanical machine. This year, with the Australian Grand Prix coinciding with Baselworld, we thought we’d look back at last year’s partnerships and the watches of F1. Bell & Ross BR-X1 RS17 for the Renault Sport Formula One Team An F1 steering wheel for your wrist. The BR-X1 was one of three…

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15.03.2018

IN-DEPTH: The Raymond Weil Freelancer Chronograph

The story in a second: A value-packed chrono from one of the few remaining family-owned watch companies. It wasn’t all doom and gloom during the quartz crisis of the mid ’70s. While brands and manufacturers were disappearing left, right and centre, never to be seen again, others like Raymond Weil were only just starting out, which makes them a relative newcomer to the watch world. However, unlike many others, they’ve managed to remain independent and create a diverse catalogue that’s bursting at the seams with collections like the Freelancer. Introduced in 2007, it’s now one of the mainstays of their line-up,…

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10.03.2018

LIST: 5 sporty Kickstarter watches that caught our eye

Here at Time+Tide we receive a lot – and I mean A LOT – of emails from young brands directing us to their new watch launching on Kickstarter. The humble platform that began as a way for up-and-coming designers to tender their ideas – and, if they were good enough, have them brought to life – now crowded by cookie-cutter designs, each touting the same old story. Sorting the good from the less good can be a massive task. However, every now and then, through the fog of “industry disruptors” and “affordable luxury”, shine a few gems that, at least…

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02.03.2018

NEWS: Panerai open first Australian boutique in Melbourne, and 2 standout models in stock right now

If you love watches and happen to find yourself in Melbourne, Collins Street is the place to be. If you also happen to be a Paneristi (even a budding one), you now have even more of a reason to visit, with Panerai setting up shop and opening their very first Australian boutique at 360 Collins Street. The space has been designed by Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola, who chose to reflect the timeless traditions of the Florentine watch manufacturer by decorating the 60-square-metre boutique with iconic Panerai details. Warm golden-brown tones of bronze, wood and brass echo their naval origins, and…

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26.02.2018

INTRODUCING: The Bremont AIRCO Mach 3, and fresh white dials for the Mach 1 and Mach 2

Last year, Bremont launched a brand-new range of classically styled pilot watches. Named after the Aircraft Manufacturing Company Limited – one of Britain’s first military aircraft manufacturers – the AIRCO collection saw them stepping out of their 43mm-sized wheelhouse and into something a little smaller, with not one but two new 40mm models – the Mach 1 and Mach 2. This year, they’re expanding the collection and adding a set of new dial colourways, as well as the AIRCO Mach 3. Vital statistics With 100m of water resistance and a DLC-treated case barrel, the AIRCO Mach 3 carries over the exact same smaller and…

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26.02.2018

INTRODUCING: The Bremont ALT1-C gets 2 new dials

A core model of the Bremont catalogue, the satin-brushed case ALT1-C, was in fact the very first watch designed by founding brothers, Nick and Giles English. It provided the base for a collection that now includes polished cases, as well as a mix of different dial colours. However, since its launch in 2007, the original design has remained mostly unchanged. At least that was until today, with the release of two new versions of the flight-inspired chronograph. Vital statistics Let’s start with something that hasn’t changed. Inside is the same BE-50AE chronometer certified movement that’s based on the venerable Valjoux…

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26.02.2018

INTRODUCING: The Bremont Endurance

Following on from 2014’s Terra Nova limited edition, Bremont have once again teamed up with polar explorer Ben Saunders to release the Bremont Endurance. Retracing Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ill-fated journey across the South Pole, Ben wore the Endurance as he attempted to make a record-breaking first ever solo and unassisted trek across Antarctica. After 52 days, and having crossed 1086km, Ben reached the South Pole; however, without enough food to continue, he was forced to halt progress and return home. Nonetheless, he still became the first person to complete solo ski expeditions to both the North and South Poles without…

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20.02.2018

INTRODUCING: The sporty TAG Heuer Link Calibre 17 Chronograph

Last year, I went hands-on with the sleek three-handed TAG Heuer Link, which saw itself revived into the men’s collection after letting the ladies Link have the first turn in 2016. While the makeover leaned more towards the elegant side of the Link’s sporting elegance roots, this year sees a sportier return to the collection, with the introduction of a tri-compax chronograph. Vital statistics Featuring a sunray dial of either black or blue, there’s an angled date window at 4:30, accompanied by a small seconds subdial at 3 o’clock, a chronograph minute counter at 9 o’clock, and an hour counter at…

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19.02.2018

INTRODUCING: The Franck Muller Crazy Hours 15th Anniversary collection

I don’t know about you, but the only thing on my mind when I’m at a resort on vacation is how many trips to the breakfast buffet is considered too much (more than five apparently, if the appalled looks of fellow diners was anything to go by).  However, for watchmaker and eponymous brand founder Franck Muller, holidays can be a time of more radical thinking, as it was a holiday in Mauritius that inspired the instantly recognisable (and undeniably fun) Crazy Hours complication. First released in 2003, the Crazy Hours collection introduced a dial layout where the traditional display of…

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10.02.2018

LIST: Cleared for take-off – 10 of the best pilot’s watches

First things first, just what is a pilot’s watch? While I think most of us could instantly recognise one, there isn’t an exact formula like there is when it comes to dive watches — and there’s a lot more to it than simply being a watch a pilot would wear. Ultimately (since you asked), a pilot’s watch is one that is instantly readable at a glance, whether in simple time-only form, or more complicated with functions that a pilot might find useful. And while we can’t all be Maverick or Iceman (no one wants to be Goose), we can still live…

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06.02.2018

INTRODUCING: The new Bell & Ross BR V2 Steel Heritage models

With aeronautical instruments remaining a main source of inspiration for Bell & Ross, it’s fair to say they’re passionate about aviation. And while we’ve come to expect flight-ready four-sided designs from the Parisian brand, last year’s third-generation Vintage collection not only evoked the look of instrument panels from aircraft of the 1960s but also featured a more classically styled round case. This year, as a preview to Baselworld, the collection has been given an update and an even stronger vintage feel with the release of two new Steel Heritage versions of the BR V2. They’re designed to meet modern military…

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26.01.2018

HANDS-ON: The Bausele Terra Australis “Red Back”

When Felix first took a peek at the Terra Australis made by Aussie watch company Bausele, what he saw before him – to paraphrase his own words – was the preliminary sketch before the finished painting. Fast-forward to today and those metaphorical pencil marks are now barely visible under brushstrokes of paint, with the brand officially launching the flagship model late last year. While much of the design hasn’t changed from that first look prototype, from initial impressions, it’s easy to see that the overall quality of finish has improved by leaps and bounds. To kick things off, Bausele have…

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26.01.2018

HANDS-ON: The Zenith Pilot Type 20 Southern Cross

During a time when planes were more fabric than steel, and I’m sure the phrase “on a wing and a prayer” had a much more literal meaning, Zenith were pioneering the use of pilot watches, with French aviator Louis Blériot wearing a Zenith on his wrist as he made the first ever flight across the English Channel in 1909. In fact, Zenith were so early to reach the skies that they are the only brand that can use the word “Pilot” on a watch dial, thanks to them being marketing-savvy and trademarking the term. All this is a roundabout way…

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09.01.2018

HANDS-ON: The Gavox Avidiver

Summer has officially landed here in Australia. The days are long and sun-soaked, while the nights are humid and restless. With temps rising, there are only two things on my mind: whether the aircon can be reprogrammed to go colder than 16°C, and the upcoming summer holidays. It might not be much help with the AC, but one watch that was made for an island getaway is the Gavox Avidiver. A hybrid of air and sea, it combines the legibility of a pilot’s watch with the water resistance of a diver. As well as boasting an extra trick up its…

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22.12.2017

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Unico Golf

Hublot take their motto – The Art of Fusion – very seriously. It’s an ideology we’ve witnessed them bring to life ever since their very first watch, which combined a gold case with a natural rubber strap – the likes of which had never been seen before. It’s also an attitude that has allowed for some extremely esoteric partnerships. From French contemporary artists, all the way to synth-rock band Depeche Mode. This year they’ve joined forces with world number one golfer Dustin Johnson. And created a watch specifically designed for golfers to calculate and keep track of their scores. To…

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20.12.2017

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Classic Fusion Aerofusion Chronograph Orlinski

“Art is subjective” – a phrase I’m sure you’ve heard, and even said once or twice. Usually in response to someone who has made some rather critical comments about a particular artist or piece of work you like. Whether it’s a painting, a song, a photograph, or a sculpture. There’s always going to be two camps – those who love it, and those who don’t. And like art, Hublot’s bold and sometimes brash designs often divide opinion. But that hasn’t stopped them from pushing the envelope, and developing some incredibly innovative designs. Because you see, Hublot loves art. It’s part…

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19.12.2017

HANDS-ON: The Martenero Kerrison

Since 2014, New York-based Martenero have been quietly making a name for themselves amongst the enthusiasts of the microbrand watch community. Their formula is of simple dials with bright pops of colour, paired with a twisted lug case – with the exception of their straight-edged Edgemere – brought to life by a desire to create classically-styled watches with a clean and modern look. This year they’ve taken a far-reaching approach to expand their five-watch catalogue, with their sixth release launched via crowdfunding website Kickstarter. The Kerrison more than tripled its pledge goal and I expect we’ll see it become a…

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11.12.2017

HANDS-ON: The Sinn 104 St Sa I W

Famous for their formidable and over-engineered designs — which range from technically advanced mission timers to hardcore divers made of submarine steel — Sinn are arguably the most renowned tool watch manufacturer in the industry. However, the German company also hosts a suite of dressier pieces that are better suited to a boardroom than a war room. Meeting somewhere in the middle is the Sinn 104. A professionally capable pilot’s watch that is equally at home outside of the cockpit – be it in the office or on the street. And at the beginning of this year, Sinn added to the…

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09.12.2017

INTRODUCING: The Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic True Second Limited Edition

Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Geophysic collection harks back to a time when nuclear tensions were taut between the Eastern and Western Bloc. A time in 1958, at the height of the Cold War, when a period of collaborative worldwide scientific experiments and excursions took place. Dubbed the International Geophysical Year. One of the more notable expeditions of the time, was a pioneering cross under the North Pole, by the first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus. On the wrist of USS Nautilus commander – Captain William Anderson – was the high-tech (at the time) purpose-built Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic, designed to cope with the strong magnetic…

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02.12.2017

LIST: The 11 best chronographs of 2017

I’m just going to say it. Nowadays, no one actually “needs” a chronograph. I mean, really, how often does the need for a stopwatch arise? And if it does, we all have those smart little assistants in our pockets (gasp! blasphemy, I know). However, there’s a certain mechanical allure to the humble chronograph watch. No other complication requires quite as much interaction from its owner. From the compressing of a little pusher with our fingertips, to feeling the click of tiny levers and gears inside before the second hand races off. There’s a reason the chronograph is considered a must-have…

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01.12.2017

INTRODUCING: The IWC Tribute to Pallweber Edition “150 Years”

Mention the words “digital watch” and most minds instantly fill with images of G-Shocks or the trusty Casio calculator watch. However, long before the invention of those little battery-powered timekeepers, came the Pallweber pocket watch. Patented in 1883 by Salzburg-based watchmaker Josef Pallweber — who then licensed his invention to IWC, and later to other manufacturers — the Pallweber featured jumping numerals in a digital display. And despite a relatively short production run from 1884 to 1890, it’s perhaps the most iconic IWC pocket watch of all time. Next year, with the company celebrating its 150th anniversary, the Schaffhausen manufacturer is launching…

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30.11.2017

INTRODUCING: The Ulysse Nardin Marine Torpilleur Military

A history born on the open ocean. Ulysse Nardin gained fame for marine chronometers, found in the pockets and on the wrists of many of the world’s navy captains in the 19th century. The Marine Collection has since become the brand’s most emblematic. However, renewing the focus and direction of the collection, earlier this year UN added the streamlined Marine Torpilleur Chronometer. And with SIHH 2018 just around the corner, they’ve unveiled another inclusion to the Torpilleur family. One that is less the officer and the gentleman of its predecessor and more the rough-and-ready adventurer of the high seas. Forging…

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20.11.2017

INTRODUCING: The Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Day & Night Watch

Cartier may be better known for simple timekeeping classics like the Tank or the Santos. But it’s no secret that the French maison also hosts a history full of complicated – and equally as iconic – designs. In fact, even before the Tank or the Santos were the style icons they are today, Cartier were mystifying the world with mysterious movements. Like that of their Model A mystery clock, and the cleverly stylised sun and moon day/night display of the Comet clock (AKA the Planet clock), both of which date from 1912. As a prelude to SIHH 2018, Cartier have, for…

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18.11.2017

LIST: The 10 best dress watches of 2017

There are certain times in life when one must simply dress up and don a suit and tie. Occasions when that sporty chrono or chunky diver just won’t quite look the part. Hopefully it’s for a fancy shindig like a wedding or an awards night, and not for something less fun, like a court hearing. But, if your wristwear hasn’t already been chosen by the boys and girls in blue, you’ll want to dress it up a notch. To do that in style you’re going to need something a little more elegant strapped to your wrist. Here’s our pick of 10 of…

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15.11.2017

INTRODUCING: A racy traveller – the Montblanc TimeWalker Chronograph UTC

In recent years, we’ve witnessed Montblanc – who acquired Minerva back in 2006 – embrace the storied bygone days of its Villeret movement manufacturer. They’ve developed innovative complications, and paid tribute with dressy heritage-style timepieces. And this year they’ve revamped their modern TimeWalker collection, keeping the contemporary styling, while paying tribute to the illustrious motorsport heritage of Minerva. Sitting amongst the simple three-handers and limited-edition rally timers of the collection is the TimeWalker Chronograph UTC. A sporty chronograph with a dual-time complication. What immediately sets the Chronograph UTC apart from the other TimeWalkers is its black DLC-treated 43mm case. Structurally…

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09.11.2017

INTRODUCING: The Ulysse Nardin Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon in rose gold

Just one look at their anchor-shaped logo should be a clue to the centuries old maritime heritage of Ulysse Nardin. Their Marine collection, which has hoisted the sails for more than 20 years, was last year celebrated with the release of the mesmerisingly complicated Ulysse Nardin Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon. After all, UN aren’t only about the high seas.  Avant-garde designs and clever complications are common throughout their catalogue. This year, UN have added a warm touch to the Marine Grand Deck Tourbillon, with a darker colour scheme and a change of material for the case. Now made from 18k…

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08.11.2017

HANDS-ON: The Seiko Prospex SPB051 – an on point reinterpretation of the 62MAS

Nothing gets a watch fan’s blood pumping quite like a new dive watch release from Seiko. And this year, our collective hearts were racing. With Seiko dropping not just a re-creation of the iconic 62MAS – the SLA017 – but also two modern reinterpretations, the black SPB051 and the blue SPB053. And that’s the key phrase here – modern reinterpretation. You see, unlike the SLA017, which was an almost exact duplicate of the 62MAS, these modern reimaginations are larger, sportier, and exactly that, reimagined for the wrist of today. I had the chance to get my hands on the SPB051,…

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03.11.2017

HANDS-ON: Linked in – the sleek new TAG Heuer Link Calibre 5

For some, turning 30 is a daunting occasion. It’s an age when we’re expected to be mature and take life seriously. And just getting yourself up and down from a chair now takes effort and involves a distinctly loud groan. It’s not all bad though. And in the case of the new TAG Heuer Link it can actually be a very good thing. First released in 1987, the Link began life as the TAG Heuer S/EL (short for Sports Elegance) and throughout the ’90s was one of their most successful models. In recent years, however, the Link was overshadowed by…

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01.11.2017

HANDS-ON: The TAG Heuer Aquaracer Calibre 7 GMT

With the long-awaited reissue of the Autavia topping the news out of TAG Heuer this year, there was yet another update to one of their reliable mainstays – the Aquaracer. While it’s not unusual for a brand to make changes to a model every year or so, the past few years we’ve seen the Aquaracer steadily evolve, with a series of small tweaks and refinements made to the collection. This year, and almost as a culmination of all the changes, TAG Heuer released the brand new Aquaracer Calibre 7 GMT. Although it’s not the first Aquaracer with a GMT complication,…

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25.10.2017

IN-DEPTH: Get funky with the Oris Chronoris Date

The story in a second: Disco might be dead, but the ’70s live on in Oris’ latest re-edition. A decade for experimentation, the ’70s was an era of bold shapes and brightly coloured designs (men’s turtleneck ponchos, anyone?). While many of these experiments should never be repeated (men’s turtleneck ponchos), there are a few special exceptions. One of which is the Oris Chronoris. Released in 1970, it was the brand’s first foray into the world of motorsport and their very first chronograph. Since then, Oris has built a strong stable of auto-themed watches. Maintaining connections to the sport of motor-racing with partnerships including…

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20.10.2017

IN-DEPTH: The Tudor Heritage Black Bay S&G

The story in a second:  Two-tone is back, baby! Steel and gold watches have been around for years. Hitting peak popularity around 30 years ago, they were the epitome of ’80s style, but, then again, so were pastel polos with double popped collars. However, while the mix of these two metals has been used by countless manufacturers, I’ve just never been a two-tone guy. It’s not that I have anything against the combination (double popped collars are a different story), it’s just that they were never for me. This year, something happened that I think no one saw coming. Tudor…

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17.10.2017

INTRODUCING: Coming of age – the Patek Philippe 20th Anniversary Aquanaut Ref. 5168G

The year was 1997, the Spice Girls were busy spicing up life, and Leo was king of the world. It was a great time to be alive, and not just if you were a 13-year-old-girl. Because if you were a fan of stainless steel sports watches, it was also the year Patek Philippe introduced the Aquanaut. Taking its design cues from the casually elegant Nautilus, it was initially released as a slightly more accessible alternative, and aimed at an active and younger generation of watch lovers. But it quickly stepped out of big brother’s shadow, and has since become an…

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12.10.2017

INTRODUCING: The Chopard L.U.C Heritage Grand Cru

The latest addition to the L.U.C Heritage collection pays tribute to not only the Chopard of the past but also to the present. To understand how, I’ll have to take you through a crash course in Chopard history (don’t worry, I’ll make it quick). Chopard were founded in 1860 by Louis-Ulysse Chopard, who specialised initially in highly accurate pocket watches. Some of these early chronometers even made their way as far as the court of Russian Tsar Nicholas II. Skipping forward a century, in 1963 the company was purchased by the Scheufele family, who still own it to this day, with…

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06.10.2017

HANDS-ON: The funky, fun Dan Henry 1970 Diver Compressor

If you’re here, then I can safely assume that you own a few watches, or at least that you’re into them. I’m also willing to bet that you have, at least once, fantasied about designing your own. A pipedream for most, but not for Dan Henry. Over the course of 30 years, Dan Henry has amassed a collection of more than 1500 watches, and what began as a simple desire to share his passion with others quickly turned into the beginning of his eponymous watch company. By finding design inspiration through the often decades-old styling of his most iconic pieces,…

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03.10.2017

INTRODUCING: The Nomos Ahoi neomatik, in eye-popping ‘siren red’

Nomos may be one of the younger players in the watch scene, but they’ve already well and truly stamped their mark on the industry. A very minimalist-looking one, to be sure, but that does not mean that their purist Bauhaus/Deutscher Werkbund-inspired designs are boring. Far from it. There’s nothing ho-hum about a manufacturer who has been making its own movements since 2005, and whose latest calibre – the DUW 3001 – not only uses their own designed and built escapement system but is also their thinnest automatic movement yet. Now that excitement of thin in-house goodness is combined with an extra…

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27.09.2017

INTRODUCING: Sporty but simple – the Montblanc TimeWalker Date Automatic

Soon after the introduction of the motor car came the introduction of motorsports. Our inherently competitive nature driving us in our search for speed and steering what was one the greatest inventions in human history towards its inevitable competitive use. From motor racing’s early days, timepieces were used to measure the difference separating victory and defeat, and, ever since, cars and watches have cosied up in the back seat with an inexhaustable (unlike these fast-paced puns) roll call of pairings. At the beginning of the 1900s, one of the main players in motorsport timekeeping was Minerva. The manufacturer was one…

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21.09.2017

INTRODUCING: The Hublot Big Bang Unico GMT

The angry man of jazz, Charles Mingus, famously said, “Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” A saying which, I think, is rather befitting to watches with a GMT or dual time zone complication. Because, let’s face it, having to calculate the time in another time zone can be a complex task, especially as you stumble through an airport in a jetlag-induced haze. With Hublot’s latest Big Bang, the Unico GMT, what was already a simple solution to a complex problem has been made veritable child’s play with the push of a button.…

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18.09.2017

INTRODUCING: A touch of class – the Breguet Classique 7787

Enamel is enjoying something of a renaissance in watch manufacturing. Many companies – from Seiko to Patek – are increasingly turning to the nearly forgotten art to decorate their dials. While it’s a slow and sometimes unforgiving process, the reward for mastering the technique is a uniquely alluring dial with a hue that will never fade. One company that has mastered the craft is Breguet – the gurus of guilloche also produce watches with some of the finest enamel dials in the industry. In fact, just this year they updated two of their classically styled pieces – the elegant Classique 7147, which we…

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12.09.2017

HANDS-ON: The Zenith Cronometro Tipo CP-2

There are a few select words and phrases regarding vintage watches that, when said, are sure to light the fires of enthusiasm inside a collector. One such phrase is “military provenance”; another, which can stoke either the flames of desire or disgust, depending on who you’re speaking to, is “vintage reissue”. We’re going to invoke both phrases here. In the 1960s, Zenith produced a watch with some serious military cred, which they recently celebrated with a faithful modern re-creation, limited to 1000 pieces. The original, code-named the Tipo CP-2 chronograph, was made for pilots of the Italian armed forces. It was also…

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31.08.2017

INTRODUCING: Cartier’s otherworldly Rotonde de Cartier Earth and Moon

Cartier is no stranger to the art of fine watchmaking, and in the last few years the French maison has been bringing the haute …err… heat to the world of high horology, with watches bearing the Geneva Seal – like the Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon. In 2014 Cartier first introduced us to the Rotonde De Cartier Earth and Moon in platinum, and this year with a case and dial change it has reunited the Earth with the moon and added an 18-carat pink-gold-cased version, which is limited to 15 pieces. Where the first version was a stylised tribute to the Earth,…

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22.08.2017

INTRODUCING: Evergreen design – the Rado Ceramica 

Rado is synonymous with ceramic. The brand pioneered the use of the material, creating its very own niche along the way. With its combination of incredible scratch resistance and lightness, it’s easy to see why it’s such a good material for watch cases. Perhaps the most iconic of all ceramic watches is the aptly named Rado Ceramica, which debuted nearly three decades ago. This chic and minimalist design is something of an evergreen, looking as fresh today as it did when it was first released. This year Rado decided to take on the challenging task of refreshing the Ceramica, seeking…

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17.08.2017

INTRODUCING: Return to form – the IWC Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

Until its relaunch earlier this year, the IWC Da Vinci collection was sometimes overlooked, and unfairly so, as it has housed several “firsts” for the company. First introduced in 1969, it was the first watch from the Schaffhausen manufacturer to feature a quartz movement – the famous Beta 21 – which was the product of a collaboration between 21 of the top Swiss houses, including Omega and Patek Philippe. Then, in 1985 the collection was given new life with the release of the awe-inspiring Da Vinci Perpetual Calendar (ref. 3750). Equipped with a perpetual calendar module developed by IWC’s renowned master watchmaker,…

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10.08.2017

INTRODUCING: The Girard-Perregaux Neo-Bridges

As one of the oldest continuing watch manufacturers in the world, Girard-Perregaux have a long, illustrious history of sharp and innovative designs. In 1889 at the Paris Universal Exhibition, the brand’s legendary pocket watch “Esmeralda”, a tourbillon with three gold bridges, was awarded first prize, establishing the motif as an emblematic design for the brand. Since then, the iconic Tourbillon with Three Bridges has formed the cornerstone of GP’s top tier collection. This year saw the addition of the Neo-Bridges, a “retro-futuristic” take on the design, which embodies the long-standing traditions of the brand while adopting its rediscovered forward-looking approach…

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27.07.2017

INTRODUCING: The Cartier Drive de Cartier Flying Tourbillon

Last year, Cartier launched a brand-new collection: the automotive-inspired Drive de Cartier. However, unlike much of the brand’s other offerings which have cross-gender appeal, the Drive de Cartier is intended solely for men. It has proven to be a hit the world over, with a case that is neither round nor square. Instead, its elegant curves form a rounded cushion shape, which is unmistakably masculine – but not in a macho kind of way. To use an automotive analogy, it’s less brute Mustang muscle and more the sophistication of an Aston Martin. The crowning achievement of the collection is the…

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21.07.2017

INTRODUCING: The Ulysse Nardin Diver Le Locle – a forgotten classic, revisited

Imagine you were suddenly launched back in time and onto the deck of a naval ship in the second half of the 19th century. What’s the very first thing you’d do? Personally, if I’ve learnt anything about time travel from The Terminator, I’d find some clothes. Shortly after that, I’d be pretty keen to know exactly “when” I was, and the only way to do that at sea would be to consult the ship’s marine chronometre – and there’s a good chance it would been made by Ulysse Nardin. It’s this style of watch – along with other suitably nautical horology…

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14.07.2017

HANDS-ON: A softer shape – the Bulgari Octo Roma

“When in Rome, do as the Romans do”, rather ironically, is not a saying that appears to be said very often around the watch design department at Bulgari. In the last few years the brand’s unique Octo collection has thrust them to the forefront of watch manufacturing, not only technically – with record-breaking pieces like the thinnest tourbillon, the thinnest minute repeater, and the thinnest automatic movement – but aesthetically as well, with unique eight-sided case designs inspired by the octagonal motifs adorning the domed ceilings of the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome. This year, creating what Bulgari refer to as…

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07.07.2017

IN-DEPTH: Is the Seiko Prospex SLA017 62MAS re-creation their best dive watch ever?

The story in a second The most eagerly awaited dive watch release from Seiko…ever? Seiko were relative latecomers to the professional dive watch game, coming some 10 years after the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms and the Rolex Submariner. Released in 1965, the legendary Seiko 62MAS (ref. 6217) was Japan’s first professional dive watch and inspired a long tradition of Seiko divers that has seen the brand release some of the most widely used and respected divers on the market. In fact, some of Seiko’s own design innovations contributed to the foundation of the ISO 6425 dive watch standards. So, when the…

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30.06.2017

INTRODUCING: IWC’s renaissance – the Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph

At the beginning of the year, IWC declared it the year of the Da Vinci.  Saying  “arrivederci” to the tonneau style case and returning to the classic round case design of the 80s with those seductive, articulated lugs. The flagship for the new collection is the all new and very complicated Da Vinci Tourbillon Rétrograde Chronograph. As its name would suggest (and in a first for the company) this watch sports flying tourbillon, chronograph, and retrograde date complications. The trio of functions all wrapped up in the newly designed in-house 89900 movement, adding another branch to the 89000-calibre family tree…

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22.06.2017

HANDS-ON: Aggressively monochrome – the blacked-out Bulgari Octo Ultranero

With its intensely angular octagonal case, it’s easy to see why Bulgari’s Octo collection is a cult favourite. And the latest versions take the model down a darker path. We looked at the crimson-accented version earlier this year, and today we go even darker with the full-black Octo Ultranero. The case is the same as always – 41 mm steel treated with a black DLC, and rated to 100m. But while its red-and-black companion plays with contrast, this version offers nothing but black. The matt black hands and indices all but disappear into the equally black dial, and leave the…

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Tudor Pelagos LHD on brown leather strap review 14.06.2017

MY 6 MONTHS WITH: The Tudor Pelagos LHD

Late last year I celebrated a milestone birthday, turning the big three-zero. After coming to terms with the death of my twenties and realising that the big moments in life should be celebrated not mourned, I decided the occasion needed to be marked with a new watch. Thankfully my wife agreed, so a budget was set and the search was on: I began the task of shortlisting contenders. The top pick changed more times than I feel comfortable admitting, but finally, one watch prevailed: the practical and modern Tudor Pelagos. The only thing left to decide was the dial colour. The…

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09.06.2017

INTRODUCING: The Bell & Ross BR V2-94 Vintage Chronograph

When I hear the words Bell & Ross, I immediately picture square watches inspired by flight instruments – watches like the iconic BR01 or its smaller cousin, the BR03. And I’m sure I’m not alone. There is, however, another side to the Bell & Ross family. With classic looks and traditional round cases, the Vintage collection draws its inspiration from the history of aviation. Designed to meet military specifications set by the armed forces, this collection has legibility, functionality and precision high on the list of “must haves”. Given these requirements, it’s not completely unexpected that this, the latest vintage-inspired…

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26.05.2017

INTRODUCING: A different kind of dive watch – the Oris Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’

If you dive, or even if you don’t, then you may know that a diver’s regulator is the hub of their equipment – it is what makes breathing underwater possible, after all. We may not be referring to that type of regulator here, but the latest offering from Oris, the updated Regulateur ‘Der Meistertaucher’ (Master Diver), has been purpose-built for divers with a dial design seldom seen on a dive watch. In fact, Oris is the only manufacturer that currently offers a regulator dial on a dive watch – pioneered back in 1999 and featured in a handful of their collections, including…

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19.05.2017

INTRODUCING: The IWC Portugieser Chronograph Classic lives up to its name

In 1939 when two Portuguese merchants approached IWC about making a wristwatch with the same levels of accuracy usually seen in marine chronometer pocket watches, they had no idea it would be the beginning of a legend and the birth of one of IWC’s most popular collections. With a new slightly revised design, IWC have launched an updated version of their Portugieser Chronograph Classic – which we first saw back in 2013 (Ref. IW3904). The updates are few and subtle but they have culminated in a watch that accentuates the classic styling fans of the Portugieser love. Comparing new with old, the removal…

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11.05.2017

INTRODUCING: When less is more – the Girard-Perregaux Laureato Skeleton

Following on from their somewhat controversial releases at SIHH, Girard-Perregaux has surprised us with not one but two new pieces to add to their already brimming Laureato collection. Originally launched back in 1975, the then cutting-edge, quartz-powered Laureato was designed by an Italian architect who, the story goes, drew his inspiration from the dome of the famous Cathedral in Florence. With its octagonal inner bezel and integrated bracelet, the watch bore more than a passing resemblance to other very recognisable ’70s designs (read AP and Patek). These two new skeletonised pieces seem to be doing their best to shake that association…

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