This Week In Watches: December 19, 2020 — It’s Nearly Christmas!
Here we are, in the final run-up to Christmas! It’s been a long time coming in a long year. There’s been a lot of up and downs, but at this time of the year, we like to focus on the good stuff. Christmas should be fun and enjoyable — Goodness knows we need it to be this year!
Thankfully the watch world doesn’t disappoint and delivers some fun and grooviness. Santa is immortalized in watch format (FINALLY!) — that is itself should be enough, but there’s also some other coolness if you read on!
Konstantin Chaykin Santa 2020 Wristmon
Christmas is nearly here. This time next week, Santa will have been down your chimney or other appropriate entry point and deposited vast numbers of gifts under your Christmas tree (hopefully). He’s a good guy, this Santa Claus. Good guys deserve to be celebrated or memorialized and, until now, the industry seemed to have forgotten jolly St. Nick. NO MORE!
…they’re serious watchmaking in an entertaining format.
Well-known Russian watch-maker, Konstantin Chaykin, has now released a watch immortalizing the man in red, himself. The new Santa watch forms a part of Chaykin’s Wristmon family. These watches have a cult-like following for their whimsical charm and their “out-there” character. Having handled one of these watches in person (not the Santa edition, but one of the original Joker pieces), I can see the attraction. To some, they may seem gimmicky, but they’re serious watchmaking in an entertaining format.
The watch that Christmas 2020 needs!
The watch features the usual format of hours and minutes displayed through Santa’s eyes, and then a neat moonphase hidden away in his mouth. You can see the white of his beard coloring the bottom half of the dial, too — it’s probably my favorite iteration of the Wristmon family so far! Even the strap continues Santa’s beard. After the year that has been 2020, this is precisely the kind of light-hearted fun that we need, nay, deserve!
You can find out more about all of Konstantin Chaykin’s Wristmon watches right here.
Grand Seiko opens two new North American boutiques
Ahhh, Grand Seiko. A brand beloved by many of the Fratello team. Indeed many of us have watches from the esteemed Japanese brand in our collections. The brand has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the game since branching out and becoming a separate sub-brand of Seiko Watch Corporation (SWC). Before launching internationally in 2010, the brand was primarily known only in Japan, and it was difficult to find its watches here in the West.
The move cemented it as the flagship brand in the West…
This international launch developed further when SWC shifted the focus of its US operations away from the more affordable Seiko-brand watches to Grand Seiko in 2018. The move cemented it as the flagship brand in the West, under the name Grand Seiko Corporation of America (GSA). Fast forward to today, and Grand Seiko has announced two new brand boutiques. One on Madison Avenue in New York City and the other in the Miami Design District.
New York and Miami
As New York remains the go-to location for avid collectors of art and fashion, Grand Seiko looks to showcase its extensive collection of timepieces in its Midtown, Manhattan location — New Yorks’ prime luxury retail hotspot. Then, the Miami district’s artistic nature attracts and caters to individuals who appreciate Grand Seiko’s master craftsmanship and align with the brand’s ethos. Opening a boutique in these new neighborhoods is a significant step for Grand Seiko as a global brand, especially in the American market.
The Grand Seiko Madison Avenue is located at 510 Madison Avenue, Manhattan, New York, and the Grand Seiko Miami Boutique is located at 130 NE 40th Street, Miami, Florida.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano in classic Christmas colours
Red and Gold? The classic Christmas colour scheme. Now, where have I heard that excellent color combination recently? Oh yes, you may have seen that we released our Fratello × Oris Bronze Big crown Pointer Date on December 1st. That combination of the red dial and the bronze’s golden tones are a match made in heaven. Admittedly we were the folk people to decide those colors made sense, but we certainly agree. It turns out we’re not the only ones.
…a world-famous Argentinian maker of polo boots.
As the Reverso approaches its 90th anniversary in 2021, the fine folks at Jaeger-LeCoultre have decided to pay tribute in a stunningly festive way using this same color scheme. Initially developed in 1994, the Duoface offers two contrasting dials, each displaying a different time zone, thanks to the hand-wound Calibre 854A/2. Made as a limited edition, the Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano case receives the rose gold treatment. Matching is a stunning sunburst burgundy-red dial, complemented by a white dial surrounded with Clous de Paris guilloche on the reverse. The watch is completed by a unique strap, specially designed and hand-crafted by Casa Fagliano, a world-famous Argentinian maker of polo boots.
From boots to straps
Both dial treatments are balanced by warm tones from the rose gold case, and complemented by the bi-material strap. Inspired by the canvas-and-leather boots that it makes for summer polo, Casa Fagliano combined cordovan leather and canvas for the new strap.
The Reverso Tribute Duoface Fagliano is a limited edition of 190 pieces, boutique exclusivity, and can be yours for €23,600. You can find out more about the watch here and find out more about Casa Fagliano here.
Arcanaut and the ARC 2
You may have seen our Managing Editor, Rob, dropped an interview this week with Danish independent brand Arcanaut and its founder, Anders Brandt. It’s a cool read and introduction to a young brand who are unapologetically Scandinavian with their designs. Please take a read right here; I’ll wait.
…an unsuspecting local fountain…
For the brand’s second model, the team has added the technical know-how and material craziness that is James Thompson of Black Badger fame as a new part-owner. With James on board, the brand has already created a new proprietary material. They intend to use this for the dial of the upcoming ARC 2. Anyone familiar with James’ work will know he takes the ordinary and makes it extraordinary. This time, using some material he liberated from an unsuspecting local fountain. Yes, you read that correctly…
I just had to speak with James about this madness. He said, “I found these pieces of stone which came from an old fountain here in Gothenburg. Using an industrial coffee grinder, we turned these into a powder. From that, we made this awesome composite material, which we then cast into the dials for the ARC 2”. Catchily named D’ARC Matter, I cannot wait to see more of this material, including the final, refined prototypes. Just from the concept alone, I can tell it’s going to have a real organic vibe to it. Every dial will be slightly different due to the nature of the composite. Groovy baby!