This Week In Watches: January 9, 2021 — Happy New Year!
As the new year begins, so too does the machine that is the wonderful world of watches. I hope everyone had a good break over Xmas and New Year. We saw very little in terms of new releases and news over the break, but slowly life begins again, and we have a few bits and pieces to talk about today!
Top of the list has to be the almighty Omega debuting the much-hyped and worst kept secret: the new Moonwatch. At Fratello, we are big on all things Speedy, so you can imagine how excited we were! One of my favorite silhouettes from Zenith also received a facelift — I like what the brand has been doing with the Chronomaster revivals of late! Our good friends at Ace Jewellers Amsterdam are also back with the second season of their successful Ace List! Let’s get stuck in!
Omega Speedmaster Professional
You can have missed this one. Even if you were hiding under a rock this week, you could not have missed the launch of the new updated Moonwatch from Omega. This was the big-ticket in the news this week. Most notable is the movement update from the Cal. 1861 to the Cal. 3861. This new movement is the very same as the one used in the Moonshine Gold Speedmaster (see here), albeit without the gold plating. A valid and worthy upgrade!
…a real focused redesign…
Additionally, the bracelet has seen a real focused redesign, and the first impressions from the team are hugely positive. The finishing and general all-round quality is a significant improvement on those from the 1980s and 1990s. The taper now goes from 20mm down to a slightly-wider 15mm rather than 14mm.
Hesalite vs. Sapphire
Finally, the age-old debate may have been silenced once and for all. I am, of course, talking about the Hesalite vs. Sapphire debate. Everyone has their preference, and now Omega has something for everyone by launching both Hesalite and Sapphire topped versions. Tasty stuff. There are a few subtle differences between the two, but I’ll let you discover those in RJ’s in-depth write-up. Which do you prefer? For me it’s the opulent Canopus Gold version with the stunning silver dial. Make sure to let me know your favourite in the comments! You can find out more about the new Moonwatch on Omega’s website. Also, don’t forget to listen to RJ and Rob discussing this release on our recent podcast!
Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385
For many, the El Primero chronograph is the pinnacle of Zenith’s existence. The movement first saw use in the “El Primero Trilogy” — the A384, A385, and A386. While the A384 A386 may be the most well-known models, my eyes are always drawn to the lesser-known A385. The A384 and A385 both shared the same case but had different dial designs. It is this case which I love so much — a wonderfully angular and vintage-inspired shape that has proven timeless.
…A385 may be the best one yet.
The Chronomaster Revival series has been hugely popular, but I think the A385 may be the best one yet. I have seen it affectionately nicknamed the “Cappuccino” online, and the name certainly fits. True to the original, the smoky, coffee-brown dial lightens to a smooth, crema-like color in the center. It screams 60s chic but is still so on point and suave today.
This is a strong start from Zenith in the new year! I’m excited to see what else the brand has in store for us in 2021. You can find out more about the Zenith Chronomaster Revival A385 on Zenith’s website.
The Ace List – Infotainment for watch fans
Ace Jewelers in Amsterdam is a good friend of ours here at Fratello. Knowledgeable and friendly, Ace is known for being more than just a jeweler or AD by creating unique content in-house. During the first wave of lockdowns, the creative team came up with a unique concept to share knowledge, passion, and fun about watches and jewelry with their consumers. Thus The Ace List Live was born. It consists of video interviews with industry leaders, recorded during live streams. During these interviews, the audience could interact live with the host and guests by posting comments and asking questions.
…over 25 hours of unique content.
It’s a format that has proven very popular with viewers and followers. The first season saw 23 episodes and totaled over 25 hours of unique content. The guests featured on the series were a mixture of brand and industry experts — our very own RJ Broer and Rob Nudds had individual interviews on the show. This success has led to the team at Ace putting the wheels in motion for a successful sophomore effort in the new year. Indeed Rob will be back again for the second season – look out for him on the show next Thursday, January 14th!
New year, new season
Each live stream from Season 2 is simultaneously accessible on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter. Afterward, all episodes are immediately uploaded to TheAceList.com and Instagram TV and published as audio only podcast episodes available on Spotify, Google Podcasts, Anchor.FM, and many more platforms. Find out more on The Ace List’s website.
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Triple Rétrograde
Maurice Lacroix is one of the first brands out of the gates in 2021, with a new release for the new year. It’s a somewhat classy affair too, and one with some serious watchmaking prowess on display. The brand displays its know-how of retrograde functionality with the release of the first Triple Rétrograde watch in the Masterpiece collection.
Available in two dial versions, this watch plays with the way you can combine styles: the first features a classic and timeless look with a silvered “Clous de Paris” guilloché dial, bead-blasted surface, black transfers, and blued hands. The second has a bold, modern look and features an anthracite dial with snailed “Côtes de Genève” finishes, powdered silver transfers, and 4N gold hands.
…legible and easy to read…
Both timepieces feature a generously proportioned 43 mm stainless steel case to ensure that the display is legible and easy to read. Beneath these functions, the ML291 caliber ensures a smooth operation. Highly efficient, it perfectly combines a reliable SW200 automatic-winding movement with a manufacturing module developed and assembled in-house in Maurice Lacroix’s workshops. This meticulously finished caliber is visible through the sapphire case back.
The two versions of this bold and audacious watch are available with a black alligator-style leather strap for the version with an anthracite dial and midnight blue for the version with a silvered dial. Find out more on Maurice Lacroix’s website.