Baselworld 2018: The New Rolex GMT Master II Pepsi 126710 BLRO

Rolex has introduced a few new watches at the Baselworld 2018 – a new Rainbow Daytona amongst others – but the new GMT Master II Pepsi 126710 BLRO has caused the most stir. Why? Well, it comes with a new movement and a new bracelet, but, most of all, it’s steel. Steel? This is what the fuss is all about? Yes, yes it is.

Rolex already offers other versions of the GMT Master II in steel, but the “Pepsi” was only available in white gold till now. And this is the first time Rolex has introduced a new version in steel and not in gold. Of course, there is a hefty difference in price and many fans and collectors don’t consider a massive gold Rolex quite the everyday piece. That’s different now and with the new GMT Master II Pepsi in Steel Rolex heard the call of the customer, implementing what many wished for.

Rolex has redesigned the Oyster case a bit, also the lugs are a bit slimmer than in the previous models. it is combined with an emblematic bezel featuring a Cerachrom insert in red and blue ceramic.
Of course, the GMT Master II features two different time zones, making it the perfect wristwatch for the frequent traveller. In addition to conventional hour, minute and seconds hands, which display the local time (the time in the wearer’s current location), the GMT Master II features an arrow-tipped hand which circles the dial once every 24 hours, which is completed in its function by the 24-hour graduated bidirectional bezel.
The adjustment of the local time can be made independently of the minute and seconds hands, and without affecting the 24-hour hand. The time in an alternative time zone can be displayed by turning the rotatable bezel.

The new GMT Master II is powered by a brand new movement, the calibre 3285. This self-winding mechanical movement offers a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. It works at a frequency of 4 Hz and carries the Superlative Chronometer certification, which ensures excellent performance.
The calibre lies in the classic Oyster case which guarantees a water resistance of 10 bar.

The Jubilee bracelet which completes the new GMT Master II is also new, comes with a sporty look and combines matte with polished surfaces.
This watch comes at 8.400€. That’s a price-performance ratio we can live with.

Always Trending: Chronographs

Since the first chronographs were introduced, they became hugely popular and with good reason. Some feature a tachymeter scale with which lap times can be calculated, some show chronograph hours and minutes, some only minutes. All of them feature subdials and a small second. Apart from these functions, chronographs are also popular because of there sporty looks – but many of them can also be worn to the office without difficulty – they are just gloriously versatile.
We are introducing five of them today.

Two chronographs of Chrono Diamond made the cut. The first one is the Argos, named after the hero of the same name and fellow of Jason from the argonaut myth of Apollonios of Rhodos. And the watch ought to accompany its owner just as reliably. Its design is reduced and simply elegant. It shows hours, minutes, the running seconds at 9 o’clock, the chronograph minutes at 3 and the chronograph hours at 6 o’clock. The Argos shows day and month in two windows at 12 o’clock; the date is shown by a fourth central hand with a small crescent moon tip.
The Argos is powered by a quartz movement and you’ll have the choice between twelve different models: in stainless steel, with gold and pink gold PVD-coating and different coloured dials. All variations come with a leather bracelet.

The Chrono Diamond Nestor stands out with a dial that accentuates the functions of the subdials extravagantly. At 2.30 o’clock you’ll find the running seconds, at 6 o’clock the chronograph hours and at 10.30 the chronograph minutes. At 4 o’clock a small date window is placed. The dial is textured and of course, it bears the for Chrono Diamond characteristic diamonds.
Chrono Diamond offers nine different versions of the Nestor; with dark and fair dials, in stainless steel and with gold PVD-coating, with a metal bracelet or leather strap. All of them are powered by a reliable quartz movement. All-Chrono Diamond watches are Swiss Made.

The Festina Chrono Bike-Line has a longstanding tradition and is a hommage to bicycle racing. So it is no surprise that the watch manufacturer could win Richard Virenque as ambassador. The french road racing cyclist was a climber, winning the King of the Mountains competition of the Tour de France a record of seven times. During his active time he was part of the Festina Team and the partnership between them remains to this day.
The Chrono Bike chronographs come in a variety of designs. The latest model features a stainless steel 44-mm-case, the dial is protected by mineral glass. The subdials for the running seconds, chronograph minutes and chronograph hours contrast sharply with the rest of the dial.

The Longines Conquest V.H.P. comes in many different colours and designs; some in stainless steel and some in black PVD-coating. The sober case is complemented by an articulate dial. Except for the big Arabic 12, Longines opted for plain indices which are equipped with the same greenish lume as the minute and hour hands. Red accents highlight the chronograph functions – the central seconds hand, the hands of the chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock and the chronograph hours at 9 o’clock. The subdial at 6 o’clock shows the running seconds.
The Conquest V.H.P. is powered by an reliable, high-quality ETA quartz movement.

The last chronograph we’re introducing in this feature is the rugged Mathieu Legrand Avant-Garde. This model is for fans of larger, more masculine watches. The indices, the big Arabic 12, as well as the hour and minute hands are generously coated with lume, so perfect readability is given at all times, even in the dark. The chronograph seconds and the subdials are highlighted with colour. At 4.30 you’ll find a big date window.
The Avant-Garde is powerd by a Swiss made quartz movement and comes in four different versions – three with a black, one with a fair dial; in stainless steel, with a PVD-coating in gold or in a bi-colour design.

Oris and the Mechanical Alarm in a Wristwatch

Oris revived one of its most hirstorc complications, the mechanical alarm. The new Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition breathes new life into a complication that Oris first introduced in the 1940s. Fans of the manufacturer will be pleased that Oris has based the new Alarm on the Big Crown ProPilot, the company’s iconic pilot’s watch.
After all, the story of Oris is closely linked to that of the aviation. The company was founded in 1904, at the dawn of aviation, and made its first pilot’s pocket watch in the early 1910s. That was followed by the company’s first pilot’s wristwatch in 1917. The Oris Big Crown debuted in 1938 with its oversized crown that allowed gloved airmen to make adjustments quickly and easily. Today, Oris’s pilot’s watch collection is full of watches that delights pilots and watch enthusiasts equally.

The Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition is the latest expression of Oris’s pilot’s watch tradition. The watch has two distinctive features. The first is its alarm, indicated by a central pointer hand with a bright yellow tip. The alarm can be set to the nearest 10 minutes against a scale that runs around the outside of an aperture in the middle of the dial. That aperture houses the watch’s second key feature, a circular date display. Underneath it is a rotating disc with a yellow date marker that makes a full tour of the dial once every 31 days.
As mentioned before, the Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition is aesthetically based on the familiar design of the Big Crown ProPilot. In this case, the watch has two stainless steel oversized crowns, one to set the time between 2 and 3 o’clock, and a second to set the alarm between 3 and 4 o’clock. Both crowns are made of stainless steel and screw to ensure the watch’s water resistance to 10 bar.
Otherwise, the watch retains the recognisable ProPilot look. Its signature bezel motif is inspired by jet engine turbine blades; the classic round stainless steel case and tapered lugs give the watch its stylish gait; and the fundamental dial design elements, such as the straight-edged hour and minute hands and large, luminescent Arabic numerals, remain clear and functional.

The case houses the Swiss Made automatic movement Oris Kal.910.

The Big Crown ProPilot Alarm Limited Edition comes on a dark brown croco leather strap with a stainless steel folding clasp.
Oris will only be making 250 pieces of this watch.

Astronomical Single-Hand Watch: MeisterSinger Lunascope

German watch manufacturer MeisterSingers crafts mechanical watches for people who aren’t interested in counting seconds, but see the bigger picture and want so stay on track. MeisterSinger builds single-hand watches – and follows a longstanding tradition in doing so. Although the movement of the long, single hour hand is hardly noticeable to the human eye, it is as relentless as the passing of time on ancient sundials.
Our division and representation of time always followed the movement of the stars. Even back in the Middle Ages, tower clocks emulated astronomical models, preferring to recreate the mechanics of the heavens on Earth rather than wanting to show single minutes or even seconds. Now, the renowned watch designer is presenting its first astronomical watch – the Lunascope.

The slender 40-millimeter-stainless steel case of the Pangaea family forms the ideal backdrop for the dial with its unusually large moon-phase display. The upper half of the dial features a dynamic cut in which the moon moves across a dark blue, starry background. The generous diameter of this timepiece allows a realistic depiction of even fine details of the moon’s surface – just like when you’re looking up at the full moon on a clear night.

The natural impression of the Earth’s satellite corresponds to the astronomical precision with which the Lunascope presents the moon’s various phases. The moon takes 29 days, 12 hours, 44 minutes and 2.9 seconds to circumnavigate the Earth. A lot of watches round this figure down to 29.5 days, which means their movements deviate by eight hours per year and need to be corrected by one complete day every three years. The movement specially designed for the MeisterSinger Lunascope is far more exact. Its moon-phase indicator only needs a slight adjustment after 128 years – a short period of time in astronomical terms, but a very long time in the world of watchmaking.
Since the Lunascope comes with a glass back, the Swiss automatic movement ETA 2836 can be viewed. And it provides a power reserve of 38 hours.

MeisterSinger offers the Lunascope in two versions: with a sunburst dial in the dark blue of the moon’s background or with a silvery opaline dial, on which the circular date window at 6 o’clock forms an optical contrast to the astronomical display. Both watches are completed by a calfskin strap.

25th Anniversary: Seiko Grand Seiko 9F quartz caliber

In 1988, the Grand Seiko team made a new quartz caliber that was worthy of the high standards the brand was – and still is – known for. At that time, rapid advances in quartz technology were being made but most were focused on the addition of new functions. The Grand Seiko team though, decided that they could, and should, go further by focusing on the simple essentials of precision and durability. They decided that to be the “ideal” quartz watch, a new caliber was needed that would be even more precise, more durable and more in keeping with the aesthetics of Grand Seiko. Five years later, in 1993, the first 9F caliber, the 9F83, was completed.

The new caliber delivered advances in every aspects. Its hands were as long as those on every other Grand Seiko watch, the calendar change was instantaneous and the durability and reliability was enhanced. Caliber 9F incorporated key innovations such as a backlash auto-adjust mechanism to eliminate any shuddering of the second hand, a twin pulse control system to deliver increased torque and a unique protective shield to minimize the risk of dust coming into contact with the gear train or stepping motor. Still today, the caliber 9F can lay a strong claim to being the highest performance quartz watch in the world.

The new limited edition pays proud homage to the 1993 design. Its case and bracelet retain the soft contours of the original. There are, however, stylistic enhancements. In line with contemporary taste, the case is slightly larger, the Grand Seiko name is now at the 12 o’clock position and the dial carries a special pattern based on the traditional quartz symbol with, above the six o’clock marker, the 5-pointed star which, symbolises the extraordinary precision rate of +5 to -5 seconds a year.
This commemorative watch is offered in a limited series of 1,500 and will be available from April.

A second limited edition also commemorates the 25th anniversary of the caliber 9F. The case design is a contemporary re-interpretation of the celebrated 44GS from 1967 and showcases the beauty of the finishing on the 9F movement through an exhibition case back. The robust construction is clear to see and the striped pattern of the engraving bears witness to the care taken on the finishing on ever 9F movement, which, albeit hidden behind the case back in every other model, is assembled and finished by hand to the same high standard.
The dial, with its special markings and star symbol, is the same as on the first commemorative edition. The bezel is in gold. It is a limited edition of 600 pieces and will be available in May.

The case of both watches is made from stainless steel with a diameter of 39.1 mm and a water resistance of 10 bar.
Both watches are completed by a stainless steel bracelet.

German Watches for the Austrian Air Force

The german-based watchmaker Hanhart from the southern Black Forest can look back on a long history in the production of aviator chronographs. So it should come to no surprise, that when a structural change within the Army and the re-establishment of the Command of the Austrian Air Forces in 2017 the Command inspired to design a limited edition of aviator watches, Hanhart was chosen as partner in this project.
The Primus Austrian Air Force Pilot Limited Edition combines the virtues of the Austrian Air Force such as precision, endurance and resilience with the principles of Hanhart: reliability, perfect legibility, ease of use and robustness. This chronograph combines the characteristic features of both sides, which are required for a perfect pilot’s chronograph.

The dial is, like in all Hanhart Primus watches, wonderfully distinctive. The bright luminescent numerals and indexes together with the red Hanhart details create a clear contrast to the black basic design of the chronograph and thereby contribute to a superb legibility. The unique fluted bezel with inlaid red marking, the typical “bicompax” dial arrangement and the anodized aluminium red button reflect the typical features of the watch manufacturer. The chronograph provides central hours and minutes, a small seconds at 9 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and a date display at 6 o’clock. The chronograph seconds are  counted by the central seconds hand.

The new timepiece from Hanhart is available in three different versions of case and bracelet. The chronograph can be ordered in a normal, a matt sandblasted or a black DLC coated stainless steel case. Despite the size of 44 mm in diameter and 15 mm in height, the flexible lugs provide a comfortable fit on the wrist. The case of the Primus Austrian Air Force Pilot Limited Edition is water resistant up to 10 bar.
Inside works the automatic chronograph movement HAN3809. It works at a frequency of 4 Hz and provides a power reserve of up to 42 hours when fully wound.

The bracelets are available in calfskin, vulcanized rubber and canvas; each comes with a folding clasp made from stainless steel and matching the case.
This chronograph is a limited edition of 100 pieces. Prices start at 2.590€ for the regular stainless steel one and go up to 3.090€ for the DLC coated one.

Girard-Perregaux launches the Laureato Chronograph

Two years after its return to the Girard-Perregaux collections, the Laureato is writing a new chapter in its history, with the introduction of an enriched range of chronographs. In this extension of an eminently sporting chic collection, the Laureato once again demonstrates the strength and relevance of the design of this iconic watch, born in 1975.
This timepiece is designed for daily use. Entirely clad in steel or pink gold, available with two different case sizes and interpreted in three dial colours, the Laureato Chronograph is a versatile watch. Equally at ease in smart or informal attire, it is capable of adapting to every daily circumstance encountered by an elegant man.

The dial, adorned as ever with the “Clou de Paris” hobnail pattern, comes in a choice of silver-toned, black or deep-blue versions. The two counters and small seconds subdial all feature a snailed finish that ensures they stand clearly against the background. They bear simple and slender hands facilitating reading without overloading the dial.
At 6 o’clock you’ll find the small seconds, opposite, at 9 o’clock the 30-minute-counter and at 6 o’clock the 12-hour-counter. At 4.30 you’ll find a date window.

Girard-Perregaux has fitted the emblematic case with a chronograph movement. The Laureato Chronograph is endowed with the powerful identity of all Laureato models. This personality all its own is based on a genetic code that has been driving evolutions in its aesthetic details for the past 43 years, while never distorting its essence. The Laureato is defined by a polished octagonal bezel fitted on an integrated case, meaning with no lugs or loops; as well as by its metal bracelet forming a natural extension of the case and representing an original design element in its own right. The exterior of the Laureato case has evolved to incorporate a crown guard, a curve naturally imposed by the pushers themselves. The latter are octagon-shaped like the bezel, creating protuberances that the Laureato Chronograph incorporates with natural ease.
The stainless steel case is water resistant up to 10 bar, the one made of gold up to 5 bar.

The new Laureato Chronographs are powered by the calibre GP03300-0122/0137/0138 (42 mm) respectively the GP03300-0134/0136/0137 (38 mm). the self-winding mechanical movement drives two counters, small seconds as well as a date display. As well as guaranteeing impeccably accurate timekeeping, the calibre provides a comfortable power reserve of 46 hours and works at a frequency at 4 Hz. Its horological qualities are complemented by exemplary finishing including Gôtes de Genève, chamfering and straight graining. 

The metal bracelet is distinguished by wide satin-brushed H-shaped links as well as domed and polished interlink elements. The interplay of polished and satin-brushed surfaces creates heightened visual interest and enlivens the watch. The Laureato Chronograph can also be bought with a leather bracelet, in this case, Girard-Perregaux also delivers an additional rubber strap.

Chronoswiss Flying Regulator Open Gear

The Regulator was the first stand-alone model in the history of Chronoswiss and in subsequent years, it quickly became the brand’s central motif and standard bearer. It is therefore only logical that the design team pays special attention to the Regulator on its 30th birthday, which is also the 35th anniversary of Chronoswiss itself. Following the 3D dials and skeletonizations of recent years, the manufacturer is now introducing the Flying Regulator Open Gear, a model which provides unexpected insights.

To produce a Regulator, a modification of the movement is necessary. Normally, it is hidden from prying eyes underneath the dial. But in this new version it has not only been made visible but also showcased as a central design element, hence the name “Open Gear”.
Its dial is simultaneously its module board, onto which the train wheel bridges of the skeletonized gears are mounted. These move on four ruby bearings, generating the least possible friction. The train wheel bridges have also been skeletonized and boast carefully angled and polished edges. Six screws keep them reliably in their intended place on the dial. This is how functional design is done.
At 6 o’clock on the dial, the Flying Regulator Open Gear reveals an exciting insight. The dial and the bridge have been skeletonized at the height of the small second so that you can see the second wheel in action. As the associated seconds scale – just like the display at 12 o’clock – floats above the dial on a funnel-like display, the gaze is virtually drawn towards the inner workings and to the seconds wheel, designed to look like a rotary dial.
Super-LumiNova inlays on the hands and indexes ensure best legibility, even in the dark.

Chronoswiss offers the timepiece in four different color combinations: in purist stainless steel with dials in galvanic blue, black or silver, or timeless elegant in a red gold case with a galvanic silver dial.

The Flying Regulator Open Gear is a pure Chronoswiss development – from the design to the dial module.
This watch will only be available as a limited edition.

Clear Design: The New Armin Strom Pure Resonance

Armin Strom is known for maintaining a pared-down approach when it comes to watches. This ensures the brand’s style of watchmaking remains focused on its essence. And with every new model Armin Strom heads further in that direction and the new Pure Resonance is no exception. This version too heads further in said direction, squarely placing emphasis on the watch’s most remarkable feature: the visible dual balances oscillating in resonance.

The goal of the Pure Resonance has not changed: to display the interesting resonant balances while improving overall precision. To this end, the twin seconds flyback mechanism of Caliber ARF15 was removed and replaced with one clear-cut subsidiary seconds subdial. The reason for this can be found in the straightforward approach to the movement: the fewer functions a timepiece must perform, the better it can concentrate on accuracy. In other words, with no superfluous functions the watch con focus fully on precisely providing the time.

The dial now offers just subdials for time displays. Roman numerals dominate the off-center subdial displaying hours and minutes in black and blue with blued steel hands, while a classic railroad track marks the exact minutes. The smaller subdial at 7 o’clock displays seconds using only a baton-styled white hand and a simple track.
The resonators are placed at the left side of the dial. The time displays receive their portioned energy from the lower regulator, while the upper regulator remains in place to create resonance.

This conceptual forthrightness is reflected in the design of the movement: the basic calibre ARF16 showcases the resonant regulators and resonance clutch spring. New bridges are decorated with côtes de Genève. The mechanical movement beats at a frequency of 25,200 vph and provides a power reserve of 48 hours minimum.

The outward design of this new Pure Resonance has been kept also pure. The case has a diameter of 42 mm and comes in rose gold or stainless steel. It is 1.4 mm smaller than the original version, comes with reduced lugs and crown and practically no bezel. The characteristic lip at 6 o’clock remains, therefore it can be customized easily.
The case is water resistant up to 5 atm and comes with a leather bracelet.

New Limited Edition by Raymond Weil: Bob Marley Tango

Watch enthusiasts know Raymond Weil among others for its limited editions in which the Swiss manufacturer honors musical icons. In the recent past fans could gush over a model celebrating the Gibson Les Paul guitar, Buddy Holly, David Bowie and two different Beatles watches. Now Raymond Weil has introduced a new music collaboration, honouring the iconic Reggae legend Bob Marley.
Bob Marley remains one of the 20th century’s most important and influential music icons. Famous for having put reggae on the global map, his lifestyle and music continue to inspire new generations illustrated by the millions of albums sold worldwide. His daughter said about the collaboration: “We are honoured to work with Raymond Weil on the creation of this timepiece that celebrates our father’s legacy and recognizes the artistic contributions of so many great musicians in this unique way,” Cedella Marley said.

The Bob Marley Tango 300, a tribute to the renowned artist was developed and designed by Raymond Weil in collaboration with the “House of Marley”. The manufacturer has chosen ist emblematic tango 300 collection for its versatility and durability, as the canvas for the design of this limited edition. Its 41 mm diameter stainless steel case comes with a black PVD plated bezel and houses a quartz chronograph mechanism. The case back is engraved with the iconic Bob Marley logo.

Punctuated with green hands on the sub-dials and a yellow coated second’s hand, this timepiece takes in the color palette from the Ethiopian national flag. The colours stand out spectacularly against the black dial and the red details on the beveled minute track ring complete the look with a subtle reference to the flag. The dial is textured while the subdials aren’t and therefore contrast with its surroundings. At 3 o’clock you’ll find the running seconds, at 6 o’clock the chronograph counts the hours, at 9 o’clock the minutes. Raymond Weil has placed a small date window between 4 and 5 o’clock and there is our only point of criticism because its background is white and therefore stands really out, disrupting the balance a little.
Hour and minute hands as well as the indexes glow in the dark.

The Bob Marley Tango 300 is a 600 piece limited edition and is completed by a black rubber strap.