In this 50th anniversary year of the Apollo 11 moon landing, you’ve probably been hearing a lot about the first watch worn on the moon, the now-legendary Omega Speedmaster Professional. But there’s a lot more to Omega — among the best-known luxury watch brands on the planet, and certainly the best known off the planet — than its lunar milestone. From the Olympics to James Bond to the Mariana Trench, not to mention names like Speedmaster, Seamaster and Constellation, the brand has achieved well-deserved rock-star status among watch enthusiasts everywhere. Here are 10 things you should know about Omega.
Chronoswiss has built much of its reputation on its ability to conceive and execute numerous clever variations on the classical regulator dial — this year’s ReSec models being possibly the most prominent recent additions to the collection — and one of the most eye-catching spins on this classical arrangement can be found in the Flying Regulator Night and Day model, which adds an attractive and quite practical day-night indicator to the regulator ensemble, which already included the distinctive funneled subdials as well as a curved triple-date aperture at 3 o’clock. I had a chance to spend some time with the most elegant version of the model, which matches a black dial with a 18k rose-gold case.
More so than any other consumer product, watches are intertwined with history. Whether it’s your grandfather’s Elgin pocket watch or Paul Newman’s Rolex Daytona that broke the record for most expensive wristwatch ever sold, it’s these relationships between time and personality that allow watches to retain a sort of indefinable sense of humanity on the wrist. Some brands embrace this ideological stance and put a focus on bridging the gap between historical perception and modern tastes, while others take the watch as an archival item onto itself and build it out with historically significant objects of the past. Is this taking it too far? Does adding a piece of the Titanic onto a watch provoke a moral quandary or make it more valuable? What about adding human blood onto a watch’s dial? What’s the limit to these “special-edition” timepieces? That’s up to you.
MB&F (which by now most watch aficionados know stands for “Max Büsser and Friends”) has built its brand equity on uniting some of the world’s most inventive and renowned independent watch artisans, and the new Legacy Machine Thunderdome, unveiled today after sneak previews last fall, is no exception. Not only does this wildly unconventional timepiece feature a world-first, proprietary tourbillon device; it also marks the first collaboration between watchmakers Eric Coudray and Kari Voutilainen.
Today on “Vintage Eye,” we’ll be focusing our gaze on Alpina’s new Startimer Pilot Heritage Chronograph, a neo-vintage bicompax monopusher chronograph released earlier this fall. This new model takes its inspiration from a 1970s helmet-style case design common in racing watches during the era — like this Bulova seen below via Analog/Shift— and an older-style monopusher, coming together to develop a unique watch uncommon at its price point.
The Startimer Heritage Pilot uses a 42-mm wide stainless steel “helmet” style case, comprised of brushed and polished facets. At the two o’clock position its single chronograph pusher used for starting the mechanism, stopping it, and resetting it, with a signed crown just below it. The dial is available in three color options, the first a silvered white option with two anthracite subdials evoking the panda dial aesthetic which is particularly popular on neo-vintage chronographs; and the other two use a blue sunray dial with silver registers, differing only in the colors of their hands and their tachymetric scales. This scale is angled on the outer edge of the face, while printed markers are used for each minute, with applied metal markers accented with Super-LumiNova used at each hour position. The model has two subdials, one for running seconds at 9 o’clock, the other for a 30-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock. Sweeping over the dial, with the printed Alpina logo at the top, are two slim hands accented with lume, while a simple pointer tallies chronograph seconds.
Women’s watches take center stage for the holidays. Whether sparkling with diamonds or sleekly simple, these timepieces designed especially for women are sure to please. Here, offered up on Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season, are 26 newly released ladies’ watches that are perfect for gift giving.
BELL & ROSS
New to the Bell & Ross BR S Diamond Eagle family this year are the BR S Black Diamond Eagle and the BR S Black Diamond Eagle Diamonds. The watches’ dials are inspired by the celestial sphere and are covered by sparkling diamonds that twinkle like stars in the night sky; the Aquila constellation is represented by seven diamonds. The hour circle features metal appliqués. Each version comes on a black satin calfskin leather strap or a black ceramic bracelet. The Diamonds version has a bezel set with 66 white diamonds (0.99 ct.). 39-mm steel case. BR-CAL.102 quartz movement. As shown: $7,400.