If the sport watch segment has a darling, it may very well be Bremont Watches and now you can learn a bit more about the start of this successful British brand thanks to the video embedded above. The film covers both the origin story of their brand, the many processes and tests that make their watches so tough, and even their highly sought-after limited editions. Decent watch clips are far too rare, so be sure to set aside 11 minutes and check this one out. Want even more Bremont? Here is our review of the Bremont Supermarine S500 from last year and we hope to bring you another Bremont review very soon.
While Omega released a series of sporty new models at Basel this year, few stood out like their new Spacemaster Z-33. The Z-33 is Omega’s follow up to the discontinued but much-loved X-33 (you can read our review of the X-33 Ref 3991.52 here). Returning back to the Ana-Digi game is no small affair for Omega as the X-33 has achieved cult status and is quite collectable on today’s secondary markets. The X-33 is one of only two Omegas to qualify for use in space by NASA, the other being the mechanically-powered and exceedingly famous Speedmaster. Since being discontinued in 2006, buyers have been hunting for the unique Omega X-33 with its curved display, titanium case and legendary 80db alarm. Has Omega managed to create a fitting sequel to the X-33, or have the made something that is entirely different, a quartz multifunction for modern-day Omega?
There are few high-end brands that we respect as much as Zenith and you don’t have to look much further than their website to understand why. Zenith is responsible for the stunning Elite Captain Dual Time, the very cool Striking 10th and even the Captain Windsor which boasts both an annual calendar and a chronograph for a price that is literally without competition. All Zenith timepieces are powered by their own in-house movements, allowing the internal technology to keep pace with their many beautiful designs. Zenith’s newest model, the Espada, is their attempt at an entry level model to attract new buyers while still incorporating their brand DNA into its simple three-hand design. [click to continue…]
Late last week, we showed you two new divers from Tudor and while they arguably stole the show from big-brother Rolex, that doesn’t mean Rolex didn’t come out and play at all. The big announcement from Rolex this year is the new Sky-Dweller which offers some fantastic technology but unfortunately wraps it up in a dial design that seems to have left Basel attendees rather cold. This new 42mm model comes in the three variations seen below and offers a technological first for Rolex, a watch with both an annual calendar and dual timezones. I will do my best to explain these, but please see the included video as the visual is quite helpful. The annual calendar complication means the Sky-Dweller can account for how many days are in each month so, with the exception of leap years, the Sky-Dweller won’t need to have its date advanced for months with less than 31 days. Further more, the month itself is cleverly shown on the dial via an aperture at each hour marker (see photos, eight o’clock is a different color so the Sky-Dweller is indicating it’s August), very cool.
The Swiss aren’t the only ones launching new watches right now, Japanese super brand Seiko has announced a new GPS enabled watch called The Astron. Seiko devotees will note that the Astron is the same name given by Seiko to the first quartz watch ever made, circa 1969. The new Astron is definitely a technological flagship for Seiko as it features both GPS and solar charging. The Astron’s 7×52 quartz caliber will connect to no less than four GPS satellites and will both sync the time AND correct the timezone for your current location. Seiko says the Astron knows all 39 of the world’s timezones and can, at the press of a button, sync the time (takes ~6 seconds) and the current timezone based on location data from the Astron’s GPS connection (this takes ~30 seconds). There is no delicate way to put this, the Astron looks freaking amazing – see for yourself:
Basel 2012 officially opens today but we are already getting some exciting announcements from the show floor. Yesterday, Tudor (sibling brand of Rolex) announced the new Pelagos and Heritage Black Bay divers. The titanium-cased Pelagos looks amazing as it features a snow-flake hour hand (a nod to Tudor’s past), is completely satin finished (Rolex got all the bling in this family) and the Pelagos shows its Submariner roots without simply being an ETA powered Rolex clone. The Heritage Black Bay is a continuation of the successful Heritage line which Tudor launched in 2010. This new 41 mm diver is a modern look at a nearly fifty year old design from Rolex and Tudor. Both of these divers offer a glimpse into two different sides of Tudor, a company that has the unfavorable position of having to continually prove its relevance and find its groove while often seeing much of the spotlight go to Rolex.
I don’t generally care for large watches. Much over 44 mm and I usually don’t even pay attention, which is why I largely ignored the first three iterations of the Benarus Megalodon. Regardless of my general indifference, the Megalodon has been soldiering on as a very successful, low production model aimed at buyers who are interested in a large watch which packs considerable wrist-presence without costing too dearly. Now in its fourth generation, the Megalodon 4 is the product of careful evolution, adding polish to its proven formula of offering a large case, distinctive prehistoric styling and as much luminous paint as can be applied to any single watch. Given the previous success of this line and some general curiosity as to how well a watch this large can actually wear, we were happy to experience a Megalodon first hand when Benarus offered one for review.
Here is an announcement we can really get excited about. Canada’s Momentum Watches has announced a very cool looking titanium aviator that features both GMT and alarm complications. This new model is called the Vortech GMT and, given its feature set, should make for a very practical and easy-to-wear watch. This new model will be available soon and sports a 44mm titanium case with a lug to lug distance of 53mm and is powered by a Swiss ISA8176/1990 quartz movement.
We love the Vortech GMT’s simple aviator style, the subdued case design, and the additional contrast provided by the red and yellow hands for the Alarm and GMT settings, respectively. Momentum is claiming the alarm is quite loud and that pricing will start at a very reasonable $285 with a yet-to-be-priced option for a sapphire crystal (the base model uses mineral glass). Even among other quartz competition, that is a strong feature set, clean styling and a wearable size, all for under $300! We are going to do the right thing and kindly beg to get one in for review, because after all, if you’re going to go quartz, it should have an alarm (and a GMT).
Earlier this week, Linde Werdelin announced a new and limited edition piece as a novelty for Basel World 2012. This new model, called the Oktopus II Double Date, is an expansion of the current Oktopus range which predictably integrates a grande date (or “big calendar”) complication into the layered and laser-cut dial design we expect from LW. The Oktopus II Double Date comes in three versions, each of which will be limited to 88 pieces and span options which mix conventional titanium and ceramic, DLC titanium and ceramic, and titanium and with rose gold. The Oktopus II’s five piece case measures 44 x 15.25 mm with a lug to lug of 46mm so it is large but not without purpose and the short lug to lug should make for a comfortable shape for almost any wrist. The Double Date boasts 300m water resistance, a sapphire crystal and the calibre 14580 movement which was made in a partnership between Linde Werdelin and Dubois Depraz. This movement supports its Double Date feature, seen at 12 o’clock, which is managed by two laser-cut discs and viewable via an opening in the dial.
Allow us introduce you to the newest model from Helson Watches, the Buccaneer 47mm. This new piece from Helson boasts a 47mm titanium cushion case, an internal crown-operated bezel, and a beautifully integrated domed sapphire crystal. This new Buccaneer is quite a departure from the original Buccaneer‘s design but the new 47mm model does retain much of the original’s military-inspired dial design and styling, which does well with this new edition. Click through for more info and additional photos: