March Mania Begins! Preliminary One: Jorg — Seiko, Oris, Unimatic, Czapek, And More…
Welcome, one and all, to the preliminary round of March Mania 2021, here on Fratello. Are you a watch maniac like we are? If so, you’re sure to love our month-long feature. 96 watches reviewed last year line up for a battle royale like nothing that’s gone before. We need your votes. We want your comments. Help us decide the champion and share in its glory! Let the games commence…
In this round, your task is simple: vote for your favorite watch. Below you will find a selection of 12 timepieces that we covered here on Fratello throughout 2020. Why not refresh your memory by clicking the links and reading those eruditely penned odes to wrist-wear? Once you’ve made your selection, vote using the poll form below. Every vote counts because only the top eight will make it through to the next round.
Login to your Fratello account and drop us a comment. Who did you vote for and why? What’s your prediction for the later rounds? Will the Omega Speedmaster 321 triumph once again… Who knows? You decide!
Unimatic Modello Quattro U4-A Watch
Minimalism can sound like such a restrictive term. But if you know what you are looking for, a universe of options will open itself up to you. And that’s exactly what Unimatic has proven with the Modello Quattro U4-A. The transformation of the familiar Modello Uno diver into this military-style Modello Quattro has been one of ingenious design and great engineering. Add the “mad” €425 list price and tell me this is not the perfect kick-off to March Mania?
Linde Werdelin 3-Timer Nord
I’m not afraid to admit I am biased when it comes to Linde Werdelin. The London/Copenhagen-based brand has always had a special place in my heart because of its unique design approach. It’s why I was more than happy to review the Linde Werdelin 3-Timer Nord. The 3-Timer Nord has a great presence with its sandblasted steel finish and machine-like steel bracelet. Add the fumé dial that is inspired by the changing blue colors of the North Sea and you end up with another unique Linde Werdelin timepiece.
Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 in rose gold
There is absolutely no way of doing the brilliant rose gold version Breguet Marine Alarme Musicale 5547 justice in just a couple of sentences. That is why I will focus on just two things. First off, just look at the majestic presence of this 40mm statement of Breguet watchmaking brilliance. Putting this on my wrist changed me as a man. The dial, the materials, the complications, the presence, the finishing, all brilliant. But the most brilliant of all? The hands-down best designed and executed bracelet in the watch industry. Yes: the best. You heard that right.
Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue
This year the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight Navy Blue totally won me over. The much-hyped BB58 was not for me until the moment I put the new Navy Blue version on the stainless steel bracelet on my wrist. The watch seemed simply too small for my wrist every time I tried the black version on the fabric strap. But on a stainless steel bracelet, it turns out to be just perfect in size and appearance. Because it also looks much crisper and nicer than its retro-inspired brother. And considering the incredible hype surrounding its release, you seemed to agree.
Seiko SLA037J1 55th Anniversary Diver
A little look behind the Fratello scenes: the number of page views of the review of the Seiko SLA037J1 55th Anniversary Diver was absolutely bonkers. Many of you wanted to find out all there is to know about Seiko’s re-creation of the legendary 62MAS to celebrate 55 years of Seiko divers. And there was a lot to discuss. The blue color, the 39.9mm Ever-Brilliant Steel case, the Hi-Beat Calibre 8L55, and the €6,500 list price. It was hard not to have a strong opinion on what turned out to be one of Seiko’s most talked about releases of 2020.
Oris Hölstein Edition 2020
The Oris Hölstein Edition 2020 perfectly embodies this March Mania. Who is mad enough to create a fully bronze watch? The answer came courtesy of Oris. With its full bronze version of the Diver Sixty-Five, the brand created one of the most fun releases of 2020. The moment I put this on my wrist, I had the biggest smile on my face. It’s definitely not as flashy as a full gold watch. Instead, it has an incredible wrist presence that has all the pulling power of a gold watch without screaming too loud. But is a fully bronze watch practical? Of course not, it’s madness!
Norqain Freedom 60 Chronograph
Norqain has put a lot of effort into getting its name out there with a number of noteworthy releases. On top of that, the Norqain has released a number of watches with their all-new proprietary chronometer-certified movements developed in collaboration with Kenissi. The release that stood out for me was the Freedom 60 Chronograph. It is a great-looking 1960s inspired chronograph powered by the “good old” Valjoux 7753. I still think about this watch from time to time because of how comfortable it was, how it felt such high quality, and how great it looked on my wrist. This is simply a great watch.
Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887
It’s not often that you get a chance to write an introduction article on something as special as the Breguet Marine Tourbillon Équation Marchante 5887. What looked like a simple article announcing the release of this new flagship of the Breguet Marine collection, turned into a story about Breguet’s watchmaking brilliance put into one watch. Several months later I had the honor of wearing this €209,500 watch. It was an exciting and humbling experience. Seeing all the complications in action in this stylish statement was one of my highlights of 2020.
Czapek Antarctique Terre Adélie
Remortgaging your house to buy a watch? Seem perfectly at home in this March Mania right? That’s exactly what Rob suggested he would be doing after reviewing the Czapek Antarctique Terre Adélie in the summer of last year. Both Rob and I have praised this watch several times because of its incredible design, brilliant in-house developed movement, and top-notch execution. Considering this is Czapek’s first go at a modern steel luxury sports watch with an integrated bracelet, this Antarctique Terre Adélie is an incredible achievement. It is one of my absolute favorites in 2020.
Seiko Prospex SPB185
It will come as no surprise that you will see quite a few Seiko’s in the upcoming days of March Mania. The one new Seiko you were collectively most excited about was the Prospex SPB185. It was one of our most-read articles of the year. This s updated version of the Prospex 1968 Automatic Diver’s Modern Re-interpretation, could be a winner. The smaller 42mm size was a great first step, the new case with its great lugs a second, the updated handset a third, the bezel with engraved numerals a fourth, an updated movement the fifth, and the list goes on.
Panerai 42mm Submersible Goldtech
When it comes to gold watches, I don’t want them to be big. Gold in itself is already a great statement. If you add a large case, it often becomes an excessive statement. That’s what it was great to see a 42mm version of the Panerai Submersible Goldtech on Rob’s wrist during the Geneva Watch Days 2020. In 2020 Panerai also released the 44mm Submersible Goldtech OroCarbo in an equal color combination only with brushed finishes of the case and bezel. But it doesn’t hide the fact that the sweet spot for this brilliant combo of black and gold is with this 42mm Submersible Goldtech.
Glashütte Original Sixties Chronograph Annual Edition 2020
The Glashütte Original Annual Edition series puts the spotlight on the brand’s in-house dial production facility located in Pforzheim, Germany. Many of you will remember the stunning green and orange dials of the Annual Editions of years before. This year Glashütte chose to go a little easier on the eyes by choosing a glacier blue color for the dial that is complemented by a brown-grey nubuck calfskin strap with lightly contrasting stitching. It made the Sixties Chronograph look like an absolute peach and the perfect way to close out the first day of Fratello’s March Mania. Who gets your vote?
So now it’s over to you! We want your votes but we also want to hear your thoughts. Better still, by sharing them with us, you’ll put yourself in the running to win either a LIC leather watch strap or (drum roll, please), the HAMILTON INTRA-MATIC AUTO CHRONO. Yes, that’s right, as Karina detailed in her post yesterday, we will be giving away one of Hamilton’s most popular models for one lucky commenter. How do you win? Comment on the March Mania tournament as often as you can, engaging with other readers, helping to create a happy community atmosphere. The best contribution will be handsomely rewarded, so what are you waiting for? Let your voice be heard!
March Mania: Preliminary Round ONE