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Watch Reviews from Our Spring Issue

Categories Watches

TAG Heuer, Breitling, Seiko, Hublot and all the of the timepieces from the Watches pages of our Spring issue.

TAG HEUER
Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T
One of the most notable releases by TAG Heuer from this year’s Baselworld, this COSC-certified automatic chronograph with a titanium and carbon flying tourbillon at 6 o’clock is one of the proudest creations of the brand’s main man, Jean-Claude Biver, because it most directly demonstrates the “affordable luxury” mantra that informs TAG Heuer’s work. A tourbillon for 20 grand? The combination of industrial manufacturing processes with traditional watchmaking championed by Biver make it possible. Inspired by the Monaco V4 tourbillon, this lightweight version was handcrafted by four watchmakers and equips the piece with a power reserve in excess of 65 hours. The achievement of balancing chronograph functions, automatic winding mechanism, flying tourbillon and counters within the diameter was no small one. Inside a lightweight, shock-resistant case comprising 12 modular components (allowing future customisation of materials, colurs, etc), the 02T is sporty  and futuristic in conception, and yet still definitively part of the Carrera family. $20,450.

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SEIKO
Astron GPS Solar
Seiko launched its GPS Solar technology in the Astron collection in 2012 and its practicality for travellers via advanced functions and refined design has made the watches enduringly popular.
Now the world-famous Japanese brand adds a new calibre to the range. The Calibre 8X22 allows a slimmer case and a clean, uncluttered dial layout in the new collection of Astrons, from which we’ve featured the limited edition SSE091J with the dark mother-of-pearl dial. Seiko says the case is slimmer than any other GPS Solar watch at 12.4mm depth. Despite the GPS antenna being smaller, its processing power has increased, meaning the world traveller can receive GPS signals easier than ever, wherever they are. The new Astron adjusts to the local time in every time zone of the world, with an accuracy of one second every 100,000 years, using just the power of light. The new collection is also available in three others designs (SSE087J, $2,700; SSE089J, $3,000; SSE096J, $2,700),  all with titanium cases, and taking the full Astron GPS Solar collection to over 50 models. $4,100.

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ETERNA
Super KonTiki Chronograph
Named in honour of the Norwegian explorer and ethnologist Thor Heyerdahl, who wore an Eterna on his famous expedition across the Pacific on a raft, the new Super KonTiki Chronograph is a piece very much aimed at the modern-day adventurer. Inside a robust 45mm stainless steel case, a new dial configuration incorporates the line’s iconic triangular indexes with two chronograph subdials. White SuperLumiNova makes the piece highly legible whether day or night. “On a night dive in Bonaire, I held an underwater torch to the dial of the Super KonTiki for 30 seconds before descending and it glowed brightly for the entirety of a 45-minute dive in black water,” said diver Jason Heaton, who tested the watch in the waters of Bonaire in the Netherlands Antilles.  Sporty, tough and beautifully finished, the spirit of Heyerdahl lives on. $7,400.

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HUBLOT
Usain Bolt Big Bang Unico
As you read this there’s every chance champion Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt is or just has lined up to win Olympic Gold once more. To mark the significance of another Olympic campaign, perhaps the greatest athlete ever seen was promoting two new limited edition Hublot timepieces before the Games. The Big Bang Unico pieces – an all-gold version (above) and an all-black one – present in the 45mm Big Bang case, with the seconds hand of its flyback chronograph movement shaped fittingly like a lightning bolt. The design is tinged with green and gold and the strap is marked with the silhouette of the Jamaican flag, paying homage to Bolt’s origins. On the sapphire caseback that reveals the UNICO manufacture movement, the silhouette of “Lightning Bolt” displays his emblematic victory sigThe gold version with case and bezel in 3N 18k yellow gold is limited to 100 pieces, the all black cut in ceramic, to 250 pieces. $54,100 (gold);  $28,400 (black).

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BREITLING
Navitimer  46 Blacksteel
Described as a “cult model” among pilots and aviators since it was first introduced in 1952, the Navitimer was an evolution of the 1942 Breitling Chronomat. A contraction of “navigation” and “time”, the early Navitimers were much prized by airline and military pilots and included a manual chronograph movement. These pieces are, of course, now highly prized by collectors. Fast forward 64 years and the Navitimer remains a much cherished line in the Breitling universe. This exclusive version of the large-size Navitimer – 46mm in diameter – is distinguished by an all-black exterior with satin-brushed steel case made super resistant via a carbon treatment, a two-counter dial, a black oscillating weight visible through a transparent caseback and a new strap featuring an aircraft tire-tread pattern.  COSC-certified, the Manufacture Breitling Caliber 01 inside the Navitimer 46 Blacksteel provides a 70-hour power reserve. 1/4th of a second chronograph and 30-minute totalizer. The rotating bezel features the famous circular slide rule that has always been an essential element on the Navitimer. The new strap style, by the way, is now available on all models in the Navitimer range. Another beautifully finished timepiece to add to Breitling’s growing collection of all-black timepieces. $12,730.

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LOUIS VUITTON
Voyager GMT
A thoroughly modern and masculine look characterises this collection, which in true Louis Vuitton style is aimed squarely at the travelling man. The ‘V’ in the centre of the dial takes its inspiration from the
V signature first designed by Gaston Vuitton for the Steamer Bag back in 1901, though LV says it also stands for ‘Voyager’ because of the piece’s GMT function. It manages to look both contemporary and reverential of LV’s design history. $7,250.

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VACHERON CONSTANTIN
Overseas World Time
Another watch for the frequent traveller, Vacheron Constantin releases this one in three looks – blue, silver-toned or brown dial. The dial displays 37 time zones over a Lambert projection map of the continents and oceans and a translucent lacquered disc showing city names. Another disc provides day/night indications, while the outer ring indicates hours and minutes. An elegant 43.5mm case houses the Caliber 2460 WT  in-house movement. $55,400.

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RADO
True Thinline Skeleton
Rado’s talents with high-tech ceramic is on full display in this skeletonised limited edition piece which presents a slim 7mm silhouette. The thin Swiss movement inside is visible through stylised semi-circular cut-outs on the dial and is adorned by 21 crimson jewels. The polished black ceramic case is – as with many of Rado’s pieces – elegantly beautiful and lightweight but also extremely hard and scratch-resistant, ensuring durability. Limited to a run of 99 individually marked pieces. $6,600.

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BREMONT
DH-88 Limited Edition
Recalling the dash and dare of 1930s airmen, the Bremont DH-88 Limited Edition celebrates the de Havilland DH-88 comet, Grosvenor House, an aircraft that made a phenomenal record-breaking flight in 1934 when two Brits won an incredible air-race from England to Australia, barely stopping for over three days. The stainless steel and rose gold case houses the BE-54AE chronometer rated chronograph movement with GMT functionality. Original spruce plywood from the undercarriage assembly of the aircraft is also incorporated in the design.

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RAYMOND WEIL

Freelancer

This dark and sporty new Freelancer  was created to mark the brand’s role in sailing as official timing partner of the D35 Trophy on Lake Geneva and the GC32 Racing Tour internationally. It’s a sport close to the founder’s heart. Polished stainless steel or black PVD-coated 42.5mm case, SuperLumiNova on the key indexes for maximum legibility, unidirectional rotating bezel, three-day date window, water resistance to 300m and black rubber bracelet give it a very ‘dive watch’ feel… but as indicated, it’s most definitely one more for the yachties.

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ALPINA
KM-710
A fine example of the retro trend we covered in the opening pages of this section, Alpina reinvented an historical German Navy service wristwatch for this year’s Baselworld. Taking its design cues from the original pieces, which comprised both wrist and pocket watches, Alpina’s designers added SuperLumiNova luminscent material to dial and hands, a stainless steel case of 41.5mm diameter and the in-house AL-701 automatic calibre movement for a beautifully contemporary realisation of a thoroughly vintage look. $4,150.

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CHOPARD
Mille Miglia GTS Automatic
Another vintage-inspired timepiece, this one recalling the design of the Mille Miglia race cars. Check the rubber strap, inspired by 1960s Dunlop tyre treads, and a dashboard-inspired black matt dial with central seconds in red. Inside the stainless steel case, the chronometer-certified self-winding in-house movement ticks away with an approximate 60 hours
of power reserve and 100m water resistance. $7,810.

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THOMAS SABO

Rebel Spirit
A simply beautiful fashion piece from the Rebel Spirit range, the combination of mesh bracelet, dark dial, polished stainless steel case and rose-gold hands and markers ensure this affordable timepiece is the perfect dress-up watch when the party you’re attending is a little more bling than business. The 42mm case houses a Miyota quartz movement. As with everything in the Thomas Sabo universe, it’s very easy to match with the brand’s men’s jewellery. $449.

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