This Week in Watches – May 12, 2019
Nihao, watch fans, it’s time for This Week in Watches: the May 12, 2019 edition. We’ve got lots to cover today!
We have quite the lineup for you today and are pleased to feature everything from the relatively attainable to things that are only attainable once you’ve likely attained just about everything else. That’s a lot of attaining, isn’t it? So without further ado, let’s get into This Week in Watches…
Fortis PC-7 Team Watches
We’ve not heard a lot from Fortis in a while. It seems they’ve been reinventing themselves under new leadership and perhaps the new PC-7 Team watches are the first of many new announcements. Fortis has been in partnership with the Swiss Air Force Demonstration Team (i.e. like the Blue Angels or Thunderbirds) for roughly years and is celebrating with two, 300-piece limited edition Aeromaster watches. Both are chronometer certified, feature blue dials and a pattern of 9 planes in close knit formation. The side of the watches have an affixed plaque with the individually numbered designation. The 42mm stainless chronograph, 7750-powered, will become available in mid-June at a price of 4450 CHF while the 42mm three-hand model, ETA 2836-2 powered, is available in August. The B-42 case is used on both pieces and that means 200 meters of water resistance despite a non screw-down crown.
Each watch will come on a stainless bracelet and will include a navy blue Cordura strap. Fortis has a strong link to aerospace – they still create custom-dialed pieces for air squadrons upon request, so I can imagine that Swiss Air Force members and fans will enjoy these new limited pieces. They’re not inexpensive, but I always like the feel and looks of a Fortis in person, so I’d assume these are no different. On a side note, I had to chuckle a bit at one of the hash tags on the site for these watches as they call out “#therealsquad” in what is a thinly veiled shot at Breitling. A little sport never hurt anyone…. For more on these pieces, visit the Fortis official site.
Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition
With the help of its surfer’s squad, Breitling recently held a beach cleanup event in Bali and commemorated its official support of Ocean Conservancy with the launch of a new limited edition 1000-piece Superocean Heritage II 44 Chronograph. The 44mm chronograph, as the name implies, contains the chronometer-certified Breitling Caliber 13. And while I’m not normally a fan of 6/9/12 chronograph layouts, this one impresses in no small part due to an eye-catching color scheme of silver and blue. In keeping with the theme, the strap is made of ECONYL, which is recovered nylon from used fishing nets. This limited Superocean will sell for 5,800 Euros at retailers. More information can be found on the Breitling site.
Chronoswiss Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear ReSec
First announced at Baselworld 2019, we have images of the new Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear ReSec from Chronoswiss. The watch – and its variants in stainless steel cases or rose gold – signifies the first time that the brand has placed its regulator movement into a 44mm case. The piece we see here is a DLC-coated steel model limited to 50 pieces. The movement contains a real Chronoswiss hallmark with the seconds shown along a 120-degree scale above 6:00. It counts 30 seconds and then jumps back to the start to begin again; it’s something that I could stare at for quite some time. A Hornback crocodile strap is fitted to the watch and pricing will come in at 9,700 Euros. More information can be found on the Chronoswiss site.
SEVENFRIDAY P3C/02 “Racer III”
Now, SEVENFRIDAY isn’t a brand we hear from everyday either, but today is a new day and we received word of the new P3C/02 “Racer III”. The brand tells us that the new 47.6mm x 47mm Racer III draws its inspiration from motorcycle racing and we see a bit of this in the black rubber strap and case surround. Red highlights help to break up the black that abounds on the PVD-treated case and other dark elements on the dial. Of real note, though, is the fact that this is SEVENFRIDAY’s first case that’s water resistant to 100 meters. Inside, we have a customized Miyota 82S7 automatic. I found another interesting detail which is the inclusion of a chip on the caseback that allows one to connect the watch to the brand’s own app for the purposes of registration and verification. The watch is available now for a price of 1,062 Euros ex.VAT and further information can be found on the SEVENFRIDAY site.
Mido Baroncelli Chronometer Silizium
Mido continues to roll out new watches and the latest is the Baroncelli Chronometer Silizium. At 40mm, the watch comes in many variants and features a chronometer-rated version of the ETA C07.821 (Powermatic 80) with antimagnetic silicon hairspring. This is a straight-up daily office watch and that normally doesn’t jump out at me, but I like what Mido is doing with their dials and textures.
In particular, the blue model reminds me of a 70’s IWC Yacht Club owned by a friend. These pieces are water resistant to 30 meters and have a display back. At 1,010 Euros on leather or 1,070 on stainless steel, they’re competitively priced as well. More can be found on the Mido site.
Zenith Pilot Silver
I’m always a fan of different case materials and with the Zenith Pilot Silver, we’re treated to the use of a metal that’s been out of fashion for nearly a century. Yes, the new Pilot Silver sports a solid silver case (well, 925) – a first for the company. These pilots are fun watches with their large 45mm cases, bold Arabic numeral dials and cathedral hands. This model brings in what looks like riveted plates from an old plane. It’s well done, but I’d love to see a solid silver case paired with a matte black dial. Let’s hope! The watch contains the Elite 679 automatic. At 8,500 Euros, this isn’t an inexpensive option, but it is fairly unique and only 250 will be made. The Silver is already on the Zenith site with additional information.
Chopard L.U.C XPS Azur – Cannes Film Festival
This is a big week for partnership watches and Chopard is here with a new limited edition related to its partnership with the Cannes International Film Festival (they’ve partnered since 1998). The watches sport a stunning blue hand guilloche dial that’s reminiscent of the nearby sea in Cannes. The 40mm x 7.2mm thick case comes in white 18-karat ethical gold and the movement is the brand’s own L.U.C 96.01-L chronometer-certified automatic. It features a display back and comes on a hand-stitched black alligator strap with pin buckle. Price? With only 10 pieces created, decide quickly after reading more details on the Chopard site.
Alpina Seastrong Diver 300
The new Alpina Seastrong Diver 300 is our type of watch, so I’d expect a real hands-on review once we’re able to source a piece. What we have is a new rendition of a well-known watch from Alpina. Originally created in the 1960’s, the Seastrong has always boasted high levels of capability and distinctive looks. The new 300 is no different with 300 meters of water resistance and what seems to be a highly legible dial. A cross hair runs through the dial while strong lume plots and large dagger hands round out the design. The bezel looks really cool with its raised and lumed markers every 5 minutes. The cases are 44mm x 13.06mm thick in stainless steel with either titanium or bronze PVD coating – that’s something different. Inside, there’s the AL-525 automatic (based on the Sellita SW200) and it’s viewable via a display back. I like the looks a lot! For more, head to the Alpina site.
Jaeger-LeCoultre Beefs Up Its Warranty Period
In what could only be classified as a big deal, Jaeger-LeCoultre has announced that it’s timepieces will now carry an 8-year International limited warranty. What’s more is that watches purchased prior to the institution of the warranty that are still under the old warranty period will receive an extension to the 8-year total. I don’t run into too many issues with my watches, but I also don’t spend tens of thousands on highly complicated watches or wear any one watch with regularity. But, I’d think that most people shopping for an expensive, complicated watch or for that one dressy watch to wear to work would take a lot of comfort in getting an 8-year warranty on their expensive keepsake. JLC will offer an online registration service and the platform is available in many languages. JLC’s intent is to become closer with its customers while offering an unmatched service experience. This is a good thing – well done. For more, head to the JLC website.
And folks, lest I forget, Happy Mother’s Day for those who are celebrating!! That’s all for This Week in Watches – see you next week!