This Week in Watches — February 15, 2020
What an installment of This Week in Watches we have for you. So much exciting news reached us this week. Let’s get to it! I’ll start with a watch which was presented last week, but exclusively in Japan. It must have taken the news a little while to travel to our region, but trust me, it was worth waiting for.
Grand Seiko SBGA421
We haven’t been able to find any official press information in English — quite understandable for a watch exclusively sold in Japan — but this watch is too beautiful not to show you. We’re talking about a limited edition Grand Seiko. In the year that Grand Seiko is celebrating its 60th anniversary, the AJHH — the Association Japon de la Haute Horlogerie — celebrates its 15th.
Except for the commemorative editions which Grand Seiko has presented for their own anniversary, the AJHH got a limited edition as well. The SBGA421 is clearly derived from the popular SBGA titanium cased, caliber 9R65 powered Spring Drive model series. Even though we’ve seen the type of snowflake dial before, the red accents make this an entirely different proposition. The SBGA421 will be limited to 390 pieces and will come in a special AJHH signed presentation box. It’s available for purchase (¥680,000 excluding sales tax) from February 21st onwards at 17 selected stores in Japan. There’s more information on the website of the AJHH.
Next up this week is a young indie-brand from Singapore. Founder Lim Yong Keong — in local watch collecting circles known as YK — successfully released his first model, the Feynman One, last year. Now, YK’s second model, the Feynman Cove, is going live on Kickstarter on February 18th.
The Feynman Cove is a modern take on the famous Super Compressor-style watches from the late 1950s. The design intent was to create a dive watch with should have an attractive lume scheme. This resulted in three models with different dial colors and names: Vintage Blue, Eclipse Black, and Founder’s Teal. Each with varied combinations of lume, and plated rotors in different colors matching the dial. The specifications of the watch are on par with standards in this league. The 40mm 316L stainless steel case sports a domed sapphire crystal with 5 layers of AR coating, and a flat sapphire exhibition case back. The latter reveals a decorated ETA 2895-2 Top-grade automatic movement. The 200-meter water resistance rating should be mentioned, just like the super early bird price at Kickstarter, $687. If this got you interested, head over to feynman.watch.
As you (hopefully) know yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Every year brands make it easy for us not to forget our loved ones. They present us special editions for this occasion or draw our attention to existing models that would make a suitable gift. This year I briefly would like to draw your attention to two of them.
Frederique Constant Art Déco Round
For the occasion, Frederique Constant unveiled not one but five new round models in its Classics Art Déco collection. A line of contemporary and classic models created 13 years ago and found on the wrist of the modern woman. Art Déco Round models are powered by a quartz movement that runs 6 years before it needs a new battery. The 30mm polished stainless steel case is set with 18 diamonds on its horns and boasts a convex sapphire crystal. For the dial, there’s a choice of two colors, white or blue. Both are made from guillochéd mother of pearl. Frederique Constant Classics Art Déco Round models are available from €850. These new models don’t seem to be available at Frederique Constant’s website yet, but our Karina will do a solid review next Monday, February 17th.
Glashütte Original PanoMatic Luna
Glashütte Original takes The Day of Love even more seriously. Unfortunately — in my book love should be unlimited — only 25 lovers had the possibility to have a very special Valentine’s Day with the PanoMatic Luna. Another classic round design, however, in this case with a sophisticated and decoratively finished automatic GO caliber 90-12. In the white mother-of-pearl dial, we’ll find the off-center hour and minute hands, a Panorama date, plus a moon-phase display. These beauties are 39.4 mm in diameter with a height of 12.0mm. The 30-meter water-resistant stainless steel case is set with 64 brilliant-cut diamonds. I couldn’t find a list price for this specific model, however, more or less similar models sell for €14,440. Additional information is available at www.glashuette-original.com.
… back to regular news
While watches presented for Valentine’s Day seem to be solely aimed at female wearers, it will often be gents buying them. That might be a good reason to treat themselves as well, so here we go on with masculine novelties.
HYT 1.0 x MR PORTER
HYT celebrates a seamless cooperation. Or, in fact, two seamless cooperations: One between like-minded partners — which points at HYT and MR PORTER, I guess — and one between mechanics and fluids. However much I like the design of the HYT 1.0, I have to pass on the language in HYT’s press releases. Here’s what I mean: “Visually translating the dynamism of time’s constant motion, the H1.0 × MR PORTER is carefully curated and rich in detail. Mechanical energy constantly injects its power into the flow of the two fluids that trace time’s unstoppable passage.”
And that was not all. But, as said, I do like the design of the extremely limited (to five pieces) H.10. Made in a satin-finished and PVD-coated stainless steel case that measures a whopping 48.8 x 20.1mm. Besides the time, there’s a power reserve indicator under the sapphire crystal dome as well. The H.10 x MR PORTER is driven by HYT’s exclusive 35-jewel manual winding caliber, ticking at 28,800vph and supplying a power reserve of 60 hours. More information is available at www.hytwatches.com. The 5 watches will become exclusively available at ‘the ultimate online style destination for men‘ for a price of €58,000.
Swatch 5th Season
Helau or Alaaf? If you’re thinking about joining the Carnaval festivities end of next week in Europe, but you’re afraid to ruin your high-end watch, we’ve found the solution. Swatch offers a watch dressing you up for the occasion. Here’s to the (German) shop.
British Army x G-Shock
We love collaborations. And a collaboration with the British Army is about as special as it gets! Casio Computer Co., Ltd., this week announced the first timepiece to be released as part of G-Shock’s and the Ministry of Defence’s new partnership. The partnership positions the watch brand as an official partner to Her Majesty’s Armed Forces. The first timepiece in this collaboration, the British Army X G-Shock Mudmaster, GG-B100BA-1A, was designed in conjunction with the British Army. Featuring an updated carbon core guard and triple-layered carbon-insert bezel, it can withstand the harshest land environments. These elements provide durability in a lightweight case.
This special edition Mudmaster features a camouflage design inspired by the Army’s own Multi-Terrain Pattern. Furthermore, the model sports a stealth-black dial, specifically requested by the British Army so as not to attract undue attention when worn on operations. Compared to regular Mudmasters, additional, to the quad sensors — compass, thermometer, altimeter/barometer, and step tracker — this model has many new features. These include a location indicator, mission log memory, and location memory. The GG-B100BA-1A British Army × G-Shock Mudmaster will be available in Europe for a list price of €499. At the time of writing, we could not get confirmation that the GG-B100BA-1A will be available in other parts of the world as well. More info through the G-Shock UK website.
Frederique Constant Flyback Chronograph Manufacture
Frederique Constant, this week added two new variations to its popular Flyback Chronograph Manufacture collection. One has a rose gold-plated case with a chocolate Panda-style dial. The other comes in stainless steel, with a blue dial in the same style. Both new models sport the ingenious FC-760 caliber, which does not use a regular conventional flyback mechanism. A conventional mechanism is based on a set of several column wheels that act as a system of clutches. Frederique Constant dispenses with this complexity, replacing the standard column wheel with a star-shaped one. Pleasingly, this results in a thinner movement with fewer parts and operations.
Additionally, the Flyback Chronograph Manufacture watch case has a diameter of 42mm with a boxed sapphire crystal on top. There’s a flat crystal in the case back so that one can admire the movement with perlage and circular Côtes de Genève decoration. Also, the new Flyback Chronograph is developed, manufactured and assembled entirely in-house at the Geneva Frederique Constant manufacture. Prices are €3,895 for the steel version and €4,195 for the rose gold plated. For more information please head over to www.frederiqueconstant.com.