Linde Werdelin Spidolite Nord and Linde Werdelin Oktopus Nord

An icon of contemporary independent watchmaking whose signature is the combination of superb engineering and high tech materials with cool, distinctive styling, the Oktopus Nord edition by watch company Linde Werdelin is an uncompromisingly robust sports watch, whose durability is underpinned by a modified premium grade Swiss movement.

With a water resistance rating of 300m, an elaborate yet lightweight case of Grade 2 titanium, and bold dial features ensuring excellent legibility in all light conditions, the Oktopus is a hardy and practical diver’s watch, which with its distinctive good looks is equally at home in the marina bar or exploring a reef.

Measuring 44mm across, 46mm from end to end and 15mm tall, with exposed screw heads and angular design the Oktopus is an imposing piece on the wrist. As part of the Nord series which is inspired by the dark waters of the North Sea, this limited edition is produced in 88 numbered pieces, and to protect against the elements the Grade 2 titanium is supremely resistant to the corrosive effect of sea water.

A departure from the Oktopus collection’s usual ceramic bezel, the Nord Edition features a titanium alternative, and it surrounds a deep-set two-part dial which graduates from blue to black in a fumé effect. Partially skeletonised, the upper dial features a cutaway section which reveals the two date wheels which align in a big double window just below the twelve o’clock position. The arabic numerals at the three, six and nine are filled with ultramarine Super-LumiNova, as are the hour indices and broad steel hands.

On the underside of the Linde Werdelin Spidolite Nord watch, a solid, screw-on titanium caseback features a laser etched Oktopus motif, while within the Dubois Dépraz Cal 14580 self winding movement has been modified with in-house finishing and customisation at Linde Werdelin. Beating at a brisk 28’800 vib/h (4hz), the movement boasts a minimum of forty hours of power reserve.

The Oktopus Nord is presented on a natural rubber strap which is manufactured using 30% recycled rubber, with titanium pin buckle. A quick release system means that the strap is easily interchangeable. With only 88 numbered examples being produced, it is an exclusive and individual piece.
An icon of contemporary independent watchmaking whose signature is the combination of superb engineering and high tech materials with cool, distinctive styling, the Oktopus Nord edition by watch company Linde Werdelin is an uncompromisingly robust sports watch, whose durability is underpinned by a modified premium grade Swiss movement.

With a water resistance rating of 300m, an elaborate yet lightweight case of Grade 2 titanium, and bold dial features ensuring excellent legibility in all light conditions, the Oktopus is a hardy and practical diver’s watch, which with its distinctive good looks is equally at home in the marina bar or exploring a reef.

Measuring 44mm across, 46mm from end to end and 15mm tall, with exposed screw heads and angular design the Oktopus is an imposing piece on the wrist. As part of the Nord series which is inspired by the dark waters of the North Sea, this limited edition is produced in 88 numbered pieces, and to protect against the elements the Grade 2 titanium is supremely resistant to the corrosive effect of sea water.

A departure from the Oktopus collection’s usual ceramic bezel, the Nord Edition features a titanium alternative, and it surrounds a deep-set two-part dial which graduates from blue to black in a fumé effect. Partially skeletonised, the upper dial features a cutaway section which reveals the two date wheels which align in a big double window just below the twelve o’clock position. The arabic numerals at the three, six and nine are filled with ultramarine Super-LumiNova, as are the hour indices and broad steel hands.

On the underside of the watch, a solid, screw-on titanium caseback features a laser etched Oktopus motif, while within the Dubois Dépraz Cal 14580 self winding movement has been modified with in-house finishing and customisation at Linde Werdelin. Beating at a brisk 28’800 vib/h (4hz), the movement boasts a minimum of forty hours of power reserve.

The Oktopus Nord is presented on a natural rubber strap which is manufactured using 30% recycled rubber, with titanium pin buckle. A quick release system means that the strap is easily interchangeable. With only 88 numbered examples being produced, it is an exclusive and individual piece.

Graham Fortress Ltd

The Graham Fortress is a chronograph equipped with a monopusher set within the crown. By placing the monopusher/crown on the left flank of the case, the watch breaks with convention. However, there is much sense in taking this unusual approach to chronograph design.
What’s in a name? The Fortress upholds Graham‘s fondness for aviation-themed product names. Perhaps its moniker doffs its hat to the Flying Fortress of the 1930s? Alternatively, the word ‘ may evoke thoughts of military strongholds or castles and, by default, elicit images of strong, castellated buildings and impregnable structures. All of these associations are consistent with the tough nature of this new Graham model.

To really understand the watch brand from La Chaux de Fonds, a person has to think like Graham, ie don’t subscribe to convention or accept mediocrity be bold and brave. If a sign says ‘keep off the grass’, put on a pair of big boots and do a jig on the turf. If other brands choose to place push-pieces on the righthand side of the case, then break the rules and go for a leftfield approach.
Indeed, as you look at the new Fortress from Graham you will note a monopusher located on the left flank of the case. This lone pusher, positioned in the top of the crown, starts, stops and resets the chronograph. It’s a one-stop shop for all of your stopwatch needs. By combining it with the crown it endows the case with a clean, uncluttered profile.

But a leftfield design can also be eminently logical. A pusher on the left side of the case proves more intuitive to use. When using a chronograph, the wearer observes the start of an event, actuates the stopwatch function and thereafter, at the end of the event, halts the timer. The potential problem is the human factor, namely the time gap between seeing an event and pressing the push-piece. The shorter the gap between observation and pressing the pusher, the more validity the recorded elapsed time really has. The thumb is the fastest acting digit, hence with this design, a right-handed person will instinctively place their plumpest digit on the push-piece and press it with lightning bolt alacrity.
Another key benefit of positioning the combined crown and monopusher on the left is superior wearer comfort. Often when a watch is worn and the wearer flexes their wrist, the protrusions on the right flank of the case gouge the wrist, chafe the skin or inhibit free movement. The Fortress’s leftfield approach causes no such problems.
The blue sunray dial and the black grained dial feature bold, luminescent hours and minutes which collaborate with ample, applied Arabic numerals, imparting meaning. The dial has two circular brushed counters, a small seconds display at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph register at 6 o’clock. A date display is located adjacent the monopusher/crown. Housed in a 47mm stainless steel case, the generous proportions of the watch confer impressive wrist presence while the exhibition caseback affords sight of the Fortress’s Swiss automatic movement.

This rebellious firm doesn’t subscribe to slick marketing, it chooses to focus on making excellent watches, rich in character. Indeed, the Graham Fortress Ltd is a serious watch from a company that still knows how to have #fun.
La Chaux-de-Fonds based Swiss watch maker GRAHAM SA presents FORTRESS, a limited edition automatic mono-pusher chronograph watch with its operating elements placed on the left side of the case.

Dressed in a massive 47mm diameter stainless steel case, the GRAHAM FORTRESS watch is available with a blue sunray dial or a black grained dial. Each version is limited to 100 pieces.
Its bold, luminescent hour and minutes hands collaborate with ample, applied Arabic numerals to display the time. The dial has two circular brushed counters, a small seconds display at 3o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph register at 6o’ clock. A date display is located adjacent the monopusher/crown.
The generous proportions of the watch confer impressive wrist presence, while the exhibition caseback affords view of the Fortress’s Swiss automatic chronograph mono-pusher movement. Certified by Chronofiable, this calibre has a power reserve of 48 hours.
The pusher, positioned in the top of the crown, starts, stops and resets the chronograph. The deliberate positioning of crown and pusher on the left side of the case ensures quick and easy operation. Another key benefit of positioning the combined crown and mono-pusher on the left is superior wearer comfort.
The Graham Fortress Ltd is the latest creation from the Anglo-Swiss watch brand, best known for its unusual ‘trigger’ device. However, this new model eschews the legendary trigger in favour of a monopusher/crown. Could this model be the new face of Graham?
There are some brands which apply one or more stylistic elements to a product or its packaging, making it readily identifiable. The silhouette of a Porsche 911 is unlike no other car, distinguishing it from others. The ‘hobble-skirt’ bottle will forever be associated with Coca-Cola. A red pocket knife will always be termed a Swiss Army knife. In terms of watchmaking, Graham will forever be associated with the chronograph trigger.

The Swiss watch brand has equipped numerous chronographs with a prominent trigger on the left flank of the case. There is much sense in positioning the trigger on the left and, indeed, its design. Appraising the human hand, the thumb is the fastest acting digit. In military aircraft, weapons are engaged using the thumb. Graham’s trigger is ergonomically designed to accommodate the thumb, making actuation intuitive and quick. This is of vital importance.

When using a chronograph, the time interval between observing an event and actuating the pushpiece needs to be as small as possible if the recorded elapsed time is to have relevance. By endowing various models with its iconic trigger, Graham has significantly improved the value of the chronograph complication. Moreover, by locating the trigger, which also includes the crown, on the left, the arm is able to flex easily, hence wearer comfort isn’t compromised. The chronograph is reset with a separate pushpiece located at 10 o’clock.
In terms of the trigger’s design, ‘form follows function’. By seeking the optimum means of actuating the chronograph, Graham has created a look that differentiates its products from all others.

With all talk up to this point being about the trigger, it may come as a surprise to learn that the brand’s latest model, the Graham Fortress Ltd, eschews the actuation device in favour of a monopusher/crown. At the centre of the model’s fluted crown is a pushpiece with allows the wearer to start, stop and reset the stopwatch function. The monopusher/crown sits on the left flank of the case, upholding Graham’s design language as well exploiting the aforementioned ergonomic benefits.

Reading the Graham press release, there is a degree of mystery regarding the inspiration behind the ‘Fortress’ name. Is it a reference to the Flying Fortress of the 1930s or is it intended to convey the model’s robustness? One thing is certain, the Graham Fortress Ltd looks sturdy and ready to take on the world.
Housed in a 47mm steel case, this new watch is overtly masculine. The rhodium-plated ‘Modern’ hour and minute hands are treated with beige Super-LumiNova and efficiently converse with matching, fulsome Arabic numerals. A small seconds display is located at 3 o’clock and a 30-minute chronograph register is positioned at 6 o’clock. Lastly, a date display resides at 9 o’clock, completing the model’s inventory of functions. All indications are eminently legible.

With the advent of the Graham Fortress Ltd, one cannot help wondering if the monopusher/crown will become the new face of Graham.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Black Dark

If you’re a fan of the popular blacked-out sports watch style, then the recently-discontinued Tudor Black Bay Dark may be just the watch for you. Much less expensive than full black ceramic watches, this black PVD-coated stainless steel Tudor Heritage Black Bay – complete with an in-house movement – is a modern take on the brand’s vintage-inspired dive watch collection.
Tudor first introduced the Tudor Heritage Black Bay in 2012, using the vintage Tudor Submariner as inspiration. Along with reinterpreting the general design and silhouette of its famed vintage diver when creating the Black Bay, Tudor also borrowed the oversized winding crown from the ref. 7924 and the geometric “snowflake” handset from 1970s Submariners destined for the French Navy.

Incorporating some of the best and most iconic design elements from Tudor’s archives, the Heritage Black Bay was an immediate success among collectors and it served as the poster-child for Tudor’s major brand relaunch. Just four years after launching the Black Bay collection, Tudor released a slew of fresh models at Baselworld 2016, including new versions of the stainless steel Black Bay and the never-before-seen Black Bay Dark.
Like other reference 79230 watches, the Tudor Black Bay Dark sports a customary 41mm stainless steel case. However, to achieve its all-black look, the ref. 79230DK is treated with a black Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) coating with a satin finish.

On top of the case sits a unidirectional rotating bezel (also made from PVD-coated steel), and fitted with a black anodized aluminum insert. The bezel includes a red inverted triangle with a luminous pearl at 12 o’clock and a 60-minute timing scale for divers to keep tabs on how long they’ve spent underwater. The first 15 minutes of the insert’s scale includes marks at every minute followed by a marking every 5 minutes for the rest of the insert.
As expected, the Tudor Black Bay Dark’s winding crown screws down onto the middle case to create a waterproof barrier. A closer look at the crown reveals an engraved rose emblem, which if you’re familiar with Tudor’s history, you’ll recognize as the brand’s earliest logo. The only use of color on the Black Bay Dark is the red text for the depth rating on the dial and an inverted red triangle on the bezel. These touches are yet another throwback to vintage Tudor (and Rolex) dive watches.

One of the signature design details of all Tudor Black Bay watches is the angular snowflake hands, and the Black Bay Dark is no different. The white lume of the hands and hour markers pop against the black elements while the lack of a date window allows the dial layout to remain uncluttered and appealingly symmetrical.

Tudor offered the Black Bay Dark with a choice of a matching black PVD-coated stainless steel bracelet or an aged black leather strap – both of which were fitted with a black PVD-treated steel folding clasp. Plus, regardless of whether the watch is paired with a strap or bracelet, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Dark comes with an additional Jacquard fabric strap.
Earlier models of the Heritage Black Bay ran on ETA-based movements but in 2015, Tudor announced its first in-house movement, the Caliber MT5621, which made its debut in the North Flag models. Since the Black Bay Dark was released the year after, it benefited from the addition of a Tudor-made movement: the Caliber MT5602.

The automatic MT5602 movement that drives the hour, minute, and seconds hands of the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Dark offers the wearer a respectable 70-hour power reserve. Tudor’s Caliber MT5602 beats at a frequency of 28,800 beats per hour (4Hz), and it is regulated by a variable inertia oscillator fitted with a silicon hairspring (which fares better against temperature swings, shocks, and magnetism than other materials). The movement is COSC-certified and as a result, Tudor includes the “Chronometer Officially Certified” designation on the dial of the Black Bay Dark.

All in all, the Tudor Caliber MT5602 is a well-made modern mechanical movement that has the added cachet of being made in-house by Rolex’s famous sibling company. Despite its in-house designation, the Cal. MT5602 is hidden away beneath the solid screw-down caseback of the watch, which grants the Black Bay Dark 200 meters of water resistance.
It’s important to point out that the Black Bay Dark has recently disappeared from Tudor’s current collection. Therefore, the pre-owned market will now be the go-to source to find this sleek Tudor dive watch, and due to only remaining in production for about 5 years, there are not all that many examples available compared to its standard stainless steel siblings.

At the present time, pre-owned prices for the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Dark ref. 79230DK are right around the same as the rest of the 41mm models with in-house movements from the Black Bay collection. With that in mind, given that this all-black model is no longer available at a retail level and there is now a fixed number of examples in existence, you can expect prices to increase in the future should the Black Bay Dark increase in popularity.

With a well-proportioned case size, a striking blacked-out design punctuated with white and red accents, and an in-house movement, the Tudor Heritage Black Bay Dark checks off plenty of boxes. Couple that with its relatively affordable price tag, and you’ve got a solid option for a modern high-quality dive watch from an internationally renowned watch brand.
Over the past several years the Tudor Heritage Black Bay has grown into an important and attractive watch collection. It was launched in 2012 with a retro-look model in stainless steel with a red dive-watch bezel, followed in 2014 by a more reserved version with a blue rotating bezel, and then one year later with the simplest version so far, in black.

Tudor set off a new round of reworks in 2016 with the introduction of the Heritage Black Bay in bronze, in a 36-mm case, and with an ultra-sporty completely black version. Plus all new and existing Heritage Black Bay models will use the in-house MT5602 movement instead of the ETA 2824, which was previously used. (The MT5602 was introduced in 2015.)
After four years of tantalising, tactical releases culminating in the near perfect surprise announcement of the Black Bay Black last year, we weren’t expecting a new Black Bay in 2016. Well, we were wrong. Tudor gave us not one, but three completely new takes on its modern classic (and updated all the existing models to boot). So now, in addition to the colourful trio of red, blue and black we’ve got the mighty bronze, the petite 36 and today’s subject, the midnight hued Black Bay Dark.

Replica Tudor Black Bay 58

There is no archetype in the history of horology that has generated more variations, more interpretations, and more attempts at reinvention than the mid-century dive watch. I don’t even have to say the names of the watches that started this genre, since you probably spoke them out loud to yourself at the end of my previous sentence. But it’s fair to say that for many people, this is what they think of when someone says the word “watch.” The mid-century dive watch, with its rotating timing bezel, it’s clean, no-fuss dial, and its sturdy case and bracelet profile, transcends any one watch at this point. It’s an idea as much as a thing itself.

That’s why a watch like the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is so interesting to me. Tudor essentially created its modern update to the dive watch in 2012, with the introduction of the Heritage Black Bay. At the time, it was just one watch, but in the nearly eight years since, it’s grown into a family of watches at Tudor and a formula for other brands to follow. But while the Black Bay takes a number of cues from old-school dive watches, it doesn’t make any attempt to actually be one. It’s 41mm across, it’s relatively thick, and it’s styled in such a way that you’d never mistake it for something from the 1950s. The Black Bay Fifty-Eight is something different entirely.
With the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, Tudor splits the difference between the Black Bay and the original Tudor dive watches from the late ’50s. It balances a smaller case size and throw-back dial and bezel details with a brand new movement and modern build quality. It’s an homage that doesn’t have to feel like one if you don’t want it to. It moves seamlessly between the worlds of the old and the new in a way that feels unique and refreshing.
The very first Tudor dive watch, the reference 7922, was presented in 1954. The watch was commonly called the Tudor Oyster Prince Submariner and it came just a year after Rolex unveiled the ref. 6204 Submariner. The two shared a lot of traits. Both had simple no-date dials, bold timing bezels, and cases with small crowns and no crown guards. These traits would become archetypes in no time, spawning generations of dive watches from Tudor, Rolex, and nearly every other watch company on planet Earth.

More than half a century later, the first Heritage Black Bay model was unveiled, just ahead of Baselworld 2012. Ben reported on the release, and it’s interesting to look back at his coverage (and coverage from others) to see reactions at the time. The kind of vintage throwback watches that we’re so used to seeing today were entirely absent from the market and Tudor opened a lot of eyes with this new model.
One of the most fascinating things about the Black Bay is the way that it created its own identity out of bits and pieces from Tudor’s past. There’s the gilt dial from the earliest 1954 Tudor diver, there’s the oversized crown from late 1950s and early 1960s divers, there are the Snowflake hands from ’70s military watches, and there’s the faded red color scheme pulled from a piece in Tudor’s archive. But all of this is put together in a package that’s the size and proportions of a modern watch, utilizing modern manufacturing techniques and finishes. It’s six different vintage watches, and also none of them.

From here, we saw the Black Bay emerge as its own blueprint. New colors, new materials, and even new sizes and form factors entered the picture. I don’t think anyone would try to argue that the Black Bay Bronze, for example, is a vintage homage watch. No, it’s a Black Bay. In less than eight years, the Black Bay has become its own thing, and I can’t say I’m all that surprised.

And that brings us to the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight. It is yet another distinct moment for Tudor, in terms of how the brand thinks about its historical legacy, its modern identity, and how the two can interact. It is neither a straight homage watch, nor is it a Black Bay in the typical sense. It is its own third way – and a compelling one at that.
When it was announced at Baselworld 2018, the Black Bay Fifty-Eight quickly became one of the most-talked-about watches of the year (alongside its sibling, the Black Bay GMT). For good reason. The BB58 did a great job splitting the difference between upending the Black Bay archetype and simply offering a new color combination. You get a new form factor, a new set of historically grounded design choices, and even a new movement to power it all. This is a new watch, but a new watch that’s firmly anchored in a storied past.
The moment you put the Black Bay Fifty-Eight on your wrist, you know you’re dealing with something special. It’s a modern watch – there’s no doubt about that. It’s sturdy, it feels like it can take anything you throw at it, and it’s got that bit of sparkle and shine that only new creations have. But it’s got an old soul. I imagine it feels something like what it might have felt like to strap on a Big Crown back in 1958. I might be spoiling my own review here, but this isn’t one of those watches that takes easing into or requires mental somersaults to come to terms with. I put it on my wrist and I knew I didn’t want to take it off.

The case is basically the perfect proportions for a sport watch, as far as I’m concerned. It doesn’t look dainty, but it doesn’t hang over the edges of my relatively small wrist. The fact that the bezel and dial are the same color scheme allows it to look a bit larger and stronger on the wrist, since the visual cues are uninterrupted. The contrast between the brushed tops of the lugs and the polished sides of the case is more pronounced once you start wearing the watch. It will catch the light unexpectedly and recapture your attention. I found the case to have some unexpected dynamism on the wrist, and I really enjoyed it.
The Black Bay Fifty-Eight’s biggest selling point, though, might be its versatility. Because it’s essentially monochromatic, is a medium size, and looks good on the bracelet or nearly any strap, it’s a great candidate for a first serious watch or a one-watch collection. I could see myself wearing this watch a ton to travel, since it goes with anything. It’s slim enough that I didn’t mind wearing it with a sweater (no cuff snagging issue), but I’d be equally excited to wear it to the beach with a t-shirt and trunks. Not too many watches can do this, but the Black Bay Fifty-Eight is a pretty perfect go-anywhere, do-anything watch.
I’m not normally someone obsessed with chronometry. From time to time I find myself setting my watches to the second and checking in on them, but typically, as long as I’m not late for anything, I consider myself well within an acceptable range. Just out of curiosity, I did time this watch, and the results blew me away. After seven days and six nights, the watch was running at a total of plus two seconds. Plus two. That’s wild stuff and about as good as any modern mechanical timekeeper can do. So, if you’re a timing nerd, this one might just be for you, too.

As far as comfort is concerned, I’ve only got one gripe, and I mentioned it above: I really wish the bracelet had more micro-adjustment positions. I’m somewhere between sizes, and dialing in the perfect fit is tough. With four links out and the clasp on the largest setting, it’s a bit small; with three links out and the clasp on the smallest setting, it jangles around a bit. I’ve landed on the latter position, and it’s mostly fine, but another millimeter or two and we’d be perfect.
Ultimately, after my week with the Black Bay Fifty-Eight, I found it hard to take off (just as I thought I would). It’s a watch that hits a lot of the right notes, either despite its simplicity or because of it – I can’t quite make up my mind. It’s easy to wear, but still interesting; it’s robust but well-sized; it’s a throw-back but totally modern. It’s a watch of quiet contrasts and it’s just flat-out fun to wear.
The Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight might have made waves when it was first released, but that’s no guarantee of longterm success. Here we are, nearly two years since that initial frenzy, and I think the watch is more appealing than ever. I’m not the only one either – wait lists are still months-long at most retailers here in the United States. The watch starts with a great idea and then delivers on it big time. You get a vintage-inspired watch that doesn’t look like a cheesy replica, in a size and build quality that make it an outstanding daily wearer. The way it bridges modern and vintage watches so effectively still impresses me.

Whether you’re a new collector looking to buy his or her first serious piece or a seasoned veteran who probably doesn’t need another watch at all, the Tudor Black Bay Fifty-Eight is well worth taking a look at. It’s a watch that shines in its simplicity, doing a whole lot with not very much at all, and it only gets better the more time you spend with it.

Richard Mille RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic

On the occasion of the classic car event Le Mans Classic, Richard Mille presents the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic, a limited special edition. The event was co-founded by the Manufacture and takes place every two years near Le Mans in France. The watch celebrates the return of the event in 2022, and accordingly features a green and white case – the colours of the event. However, the watch also offers several other references to racing and impressive mechanics under the hood.
Le Mans Classic usually takes place every second year in July on the site of the famous 24 heures du Mans race. At the event, which was co-founded by Richard Mille, drivers from all over the world compete with classic racing cars. The cars must be at least 40 years old. Since the first edition in 2002, Richard Mille has already presented seven special models dedicated to the event. The RM 029 Le Mans Classic is the eighth watch that celebrates the sport of racing.
Case & Materials of the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic
The Richard Mille RM 029 Le Mans Classic comes in a three-piece 40.10 x 48.15 x 13.10 mm case. The white middle section consists of a solid block of white Quartz TPT. This material is composed of hundreds of layers of interwoven quartz fibres, which are heated to develop their unique pattern. The front and back bezel are meanwhile made of green Quartz TPT fixed to the middle section with screws. Two white stripes are embedded on the top – a tribute to the colours of the racing event.
The dial is, in fact, just a sapphire glass pane that allows a view of the mechanics. On it are the skeletonised hands with green tips that tell the time along with the Arabic numerals. Surrounding the dial is a green ring with fluorescent dot indices. Furthermore, there is a large date at 4 o’clock. The 24-hour display at 2 o’clock has a blue dot at 4 o’clock. This is the time at which the race starts. At 7 o’clock, the Manufacture has placed another reference to the event. The Le Mans Classic logo with the green and white chequered flag adorns the front.
Under the Bonnet of the RM 029 Le Mans Classic
The RMAS7 calibre powers the watch. The automatic winding system supplies two barrels with energy. Together, they provide a power reserve of approximately 55 hours. Meanwhile, the variable geometry rotor allows the winding speed to be adjusted to the wearer’s level of activity. Elsewhere, the free-sprung screw balance ensures reliability. The latter operates at a typical frequency of 4 hertz.
The Richard Mille RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic comes on a white, ventilated rubber strap. As a special edition
The silence has been eerie these last two years on the outskirts of Le Mans. Anyone familiar with the world’s most iconic historic racing event will know that every second July, the whole town vibrates to the sound of scorched tarmac in the distance. The legendary race, Le Mans Classic will return not only in 2022, but exceptionally the next year too, in 2023, to mark the centenary of the very first race on the Le Mans 24 Hours circuit.
Usually, 700 historic racing cars take to the legendary Bugatti circuit together with 8,500 others in the club areas. The event is more than likely to top next year the record of 135,000 spectators it last saw in 2018. Richard Mille has been a partner ever since its inception in 2002 and has created the 8th model dedicated specifically to this event, a limited edition of 150 timepieces, the RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic. Aficionados will instantly recognize the timeless green and white color combination of one of the world’s greatest historic racing event.

The RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic, with total case dimensions of 40.10 x 48.15 x 13.10 mm, has a caseband milled from a solid block of white Quartz TPT

, offset by front and back bezels in green Quartz TPT

. The front bezel sports the characteristic double Le Mans stripes. These have been created from separate pieces of white Quartz TPT

 that has been inlaid into the green Quartz TPT

 bezel at 12 and 6 o’clock – a first for the brand. The vibrancy of this classic color combination is perfectly accentuated by a sporty white vented strap in rubber, guaranteeing excellent long-term comfort.
The skeletonised grade 5 titanium calibre RMAS7 movement with its oversize date window at 4 o’clock and a unique variable geometry rotor system driving double winding barrels forms the heart of the new RM 029 Automatic Le Mans Classic. A dedicated and finely detailed 24-hour counter at 2 o’clock pays fitting homage not only to the event itself but also to the hundreds of automobiles and drivers who relay over the 24 hours, starting at 4pm (indicated by a blue arrow).

Day or night, this limited edition gets fans and drivers alike back where they belong – out on the circuit, crossing the legendary Le Mans black and white chequered flag in perfect time.

Grand Seiko presents a Spring Drive masterpiece

High up in the mountains of the southern part of Japan’s Shinshu region is Achi, a village that is famous for its spectacular night skies. Thanks to its high elevation, its remoteness and the crisp cleanliness of its air, the stars above Achi seem almost within touching distance and the immensity of the universe is brought into the sharpest focus. With its platinum case and with the glide motion seconds hand that moves silently and continuously across the deep blue, starspeckled dial, this new Grand Seiko masterpiece brings to life both the majesty of the heavens and the ever-changing and yet eternal nature of time itself.

When the Spring Drive manual-winding caliber 9R02 was first presented in 2019 to mark the 20th anniversary of Spring Drive, it won favor among watch enthusiasts worldwide for its delicate yet understated refinement. With its hand-crafted quality and with the glide motion seconds hand that is the signature of Spring Drive, it exemplified Grand Seiko’s uniquely Japanese sensibility.

Today, in celebration of the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the company, Grand Seiko presents a new Spring Drive masterpiece powered by this caliber and made by the elite team of watchmakers at the Micro Artist Studio in Grand Seiko’s manufacturing facility in Shiojiri, located in the same Shinshu region as Achi. The watch will be available as a limited edition of 50 at the Grand Seiko Boutiques in August 2021.
The blue of the dial has a remarkable depth that is accentuated by the quiet and delicate sparkle of what appear to be distant stars. A unique manufacturing and finishing technique combining stamping, plating and painting gives the dial a different aspect at each and every viewing angle, just as does the sky above Achi. The Platinum 950 case is carefully engraved with a pattern which is replicated in different directions on the Zaratsu polished case, again capturing the exquisite order and ever changing aspect of Achi’s starry skies.
The watch presents a refined and slim profile with a diameter of 38.5mm and depth of 9.8mm.The hour and minute hands and hour markers are made of 14k white gold to ensure that their brilliance endures for decades. The Grand Seiko name, the minute markers and all the other markings are etched into the dial.
Every aspect of the movement is designed without compromise. The power reserve indicator is on the back side of the movement next to the barrel whose shape echoes that of the bellflower that is the symbol of Shiojiri. The rims of the bridges, the holes for the rubies and the screws are all expertly hand polished to a perfect mirror finish and the tempered blue screws stand out in contrast to the hairline finish of the bridges to heighten the perception of the perfection of the engineering. The caliber also incorporates an 18k yellow gold plaque on the lower bridge, which carries the engraved words “Micro Artist” but which can, if the owner so wishes, be replaced with a word of his or her choice.
The movement is assembled and adjusted by the craftsmen and women in the studio including Katsumi Nakata, who has been recognized as a Contemporary Master Craftsman and is now the third member of the Micro Artist Studio team to have received the Medal with Yellow Ribbon from the Japanese government.
The outstanding 84 hour power reserve of Caliber 9R02 is realized thanks to the Dual Spring Barrel, in which two mainsprings are set in parallel within a single barrel, and the Torque Return System. When the mainspring has been fully wound and the torque output is at its highest, approximately 30% of the available power is not needed to maintain the precision of the watch and is in effect wasted in a normal movement. The Torque Return System uses this energy to rewind the mainspring, resulting in an increase in the power reserve. In Caliber 9R02, this system is activated for 48 hours after the mainspring has been fully wound.
The Micro Artist Studio is a luxury watch studio that makes the Grand Seiko Masterpiece Collection, a series of unique watches that combine the best in horological technology with hand craftsmanship of the highest order. The studio was established in 2000 with the purpose of “uncovering, examining, and mastering the technologies and skills passed on by our predecessors for the production of luxury watches”. The team consists of craftsmen and women, each an expert in their respective fields, such as movement design, assembly and movement finishing.

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Tourbillon Chronograph

Audemars Piguet has been creating some of the most technically interesting watches in their Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept collection for the past couple of years. Last year, they showed off the Royal Oak Concept Laptimer, a highly complicated chronograph with three column wheels that could measure consecutive lap times. And earlier this year, they unveiled the equally complex Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch, a minute repeater exemplifying Audemars Piguet’s obsession with sound clarity and quality.
Of course, it would be cruel to show you pictures and tell you about this watch’s amazing sound without a video to let you hear it, so do play the video above to hear it for yourself. The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is a piece that took Audemars Piguet eight long years to develop, and the goal was to create the ultimate striking watch. The minute repeater complication is often regarded as one of the most difficult and… well, complicated to make – so imagine how hard it is to create one from scratch. The next thing to remember is that Audemars Piguet didn’t only want to create a new minute repeater watch, they wanted to create one that would be the best.
Now, the “best” for Audemars Piguet means their striving to create the most clear and crisp sound of any minute repeater. The brand points to three accomplishments demonstrated in this watch, which I will briefly run through. First, the unique preparation of the steel used to create the gong structure allows the watchmakers to more accurately and easily adjust and hone the pitch, tone, and harmony of the minute repeater. Second, the way the case is built minimizes sound absorption and maximizes amplification. I’ll discuss this “soundboard” technique more a little bit later on. Finally, the striking regulator is redesigned so the anchor system acts like a shock absorber, minimizing shock noise.
One of the most important components of a minute repeater watch is the case because it is responsible for amplifying the sound. It is often said that gold is the best material for the job because it produces a richer sound, but the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch opts for titanium. Titanium is a very light and strong metal, and its low density allows sound to pass through with less resistance. If you have any doubts about this, you only need to look at exotic supercars and their titanium exhausts. Titanium is also used elsewhere around the watch to improve the quality of the sound, but more on this later.
The use of titanium also means that despite the watch’s sizable dimensions, at 44mm wide and 16.5mm thick, it remains light and comfortable to wear. And thanks to its unique aesthetic, the case design immediately identifies the watch as a Royal Oak Concept and nothing else.
It goes without saying that the case is finished to an impeccably high standard with contrasting finishing. The bezel has mirror polished edges and features a satin-brushed finish on the top, which complements the exposed polished 18k white gold screw heads. The case has been sandblasted and features a matte finish that juxtaposes very well with the shinier bezel. The large crown and chronograph pushers are made out of ceramic.
The black satin-brushed dial is partly skeletonized to reveal the inner workings of the watch. The hour and minute hands are made of 18K white gold and are partly skeletonized as well. However, because they are fairly chunky, telling the time isn’t overly difficult, but legibility is not ideal. That being said, this isn’t really a piece where the hands are the focus. The running seconds hand for the chronograph is bright yellow to provide contrast against the black dial.
Finally, the individual minute markers and the markers for the 30-minute chronograph at 3 o’clock are rendered in yellow and white to provide maximum contrast and legibility. The 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock is also unique because it displays the elapsed minutes using a retrograde indicator. And lastly, at six o’clock is the tourbillon.
The movement is where the magic all happens. It is obviously in-house, and it is the calibre 2937. Manually wound, it features a staggering 478 components, beats at 3Hz, and provides a power reserve of 42 hours. And like all high-end chronograph movements, it has a column-wheel and lateral clutch.
What’s unusual about it, though, is its two gongs. Instead of mounting the gongs to the movement plate, they are attached to what Audemars Piguet calls a “sound board.” Basically, it is a thin membrane made of a special copper alloy that covers the back of the movement, held in place by screws, and also forming a water-tight seal. This explains how the Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is able to get a water-resistance rating of 20 meters, which may not sound like much to a casual observer, but this could not be more incorrect. The 20 meters is actually quite impressive considering the intricate construction of the watch.
When the hammers strike the gongs, this membrane vibrates and acts like the sound board of a guitar, dramatically amplifying the sounds of the gongs. In addition, the actual titanium case back is slightly raised to cover this membrane and has apertures along the edge to allow sounds to escape. This results in one of the loudest minute repeater watches we have ever heard. And interestingly, the watch seems even louder when it is worn on the wrist!
At the end of the day, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch is yet another successful showcase of the brand’s almost breathtaking technical know-how and unique design sense. It is a thoroughly modern take on one of horology’s oldest complications, and we can see that in the case of the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie Tourbillon Chronograph watch, it has also been thoroughly improved.

Bell and Ross BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE

Bell & Ross has dropped a black ceramic chronograph to mark its involvement with France’s national aerobatic display team.

The Franco-Swiss brand announced it had become the official watchmaking partner of the Patrouille de France earlier this year.

The new BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE uses a 42mm square, matte black ceramic case with bidirectional rotating bezel with engraved 60-minute scale housing a BR-CAL.301 automatic chronograph movement.

Bell & Ross have reflected the colors of the Tricolore using a blue dial (with recessed running second and 30-minute chronograph counter sub dials at the three and nine o’clock positions), white Super-LumiNova markings and red tipped chronograph hands while the Patrouille de France logo sits at the six o’clock position and is also engraved on the caseback. As well as the 500-piece mechanical edition, Bell & Ross will be producing a near identical 100-piece limited edition using a quartz movement, which the pilots of the patrouille de France will wear.
In its quest of excellence, the brand has made aviation, especially aeronautical instruments, its main specialty. Sharing the values of performance and precision, Bell & Ross supports elite units by designing watches that fea- ture specific functions or celebrate special occasions and anni- versaries. The brand is proud to see members of these forces and cutting-edge institutions wearing its watches today.

To name a few, the anti-magnetic case of the Type Démineur made it safe to wear during mine-clearing operations. The Pilot Type Aéronavale – with its chronometer and notched bidirection- al rotating bezel graduated for 60 minutes – was ideal for fighter pilots during their missions. The photoluminescent indexes and oversized numerals of the BR 03-92 GIGN, BR 01 RAID and BR 03-92 TORNADO echoed the need for day and night read- ability. With its multifunction movement, the BR 03 Type Aviation fulfills the requirements of French fighter pilots.

Being chosen over the years by many air, land and naval forces is an incomparable recognition of the brand’s technical exper- tise and the quality of its watches, which are perfect for pro- fessional use. By participating in the design and manufacture of professional watches and by serving the most prestigious elite corps, Bell & Ross contributes to history. The year 2021 marks a new milestone for the brand…
The reference brand in Aviation watches was chosen by the armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (French Air and Space Force) to become the official watchmaking partner of the patrouille de France.

Patrouille de France is the French Air and Space Force’s official aerobatic display team, created in 1953. Its mission is to represent the French Air and Space force abroad, acting as an ambassador for French aviation and for France itself. Considered as one of the most precise and aesthetic acrobatic flying team in the world, the patrouille de France has flown around the world with grace and elegance for more than 67 years. Every year it continues to impress and move new generations of spectators.

Comprising 9 pilots and 35 engineers, the patrouille de France manages an annual agenda with a military precision approach. Its time is split between winter, which is dedicated to training, and summer which is spent demonstrating at air shows. It traditionally opens the Bastille Day parade in Paris, with nine Alpha Jets.
Bell & Ross is honored to raise the patrouille de France insignia amongst its professional accolades. The professional instrument that Bell & Ross has designed for the patrouille de France prove its ability to meet very specific needs.
The armed forces’ requirements and specific demands pushed manufacturers to go even further regarding reliability, readability and functionality.

Each parameter —case diameter, special functions, water- resistance, day and night readability, legible indexes, oversized numerals, precision, autonomy, shock and temperature resistance, anti-magnetic cases, rotating bezels— becomes a key factor when a military institution chooses a watch.

The life as a military or civilian pilot is punctuated by time. During aerial shows, the pilots travel at speeds of between 300and800kilometers per hour and are spaced just two to three meters apart. At these speeds, the slightest error could be fatal. Every second is critical to the pilots. Time is a crucial factor in allowing maneuvers to be executed flawlessly in complete safety. Their watch is the essential tool for piloting and mastering this millimetric time.

Bell & Ross worked closely with the pilots and designed a chronograph which is perfectly adapted to their operational
Produced in 500 pieces, this limited-edition is made available to the public. The dial of the BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE proudly and elegantly bears the patrouille de France insignia.

The circle represents the cohesion of the operational unit and its ability to tackle every aspect of a situation.

The gold of the emblem’s background is a color widely used in military insignia.

The nine jet silhouettes evoke nine Fouga Magister (former patrouille de France’s aircraft before the Alpha jet) and represent their signature aerial display formation also known as the “Concorde”.

The tricolor banner which wraps the logo symbolizes the French colored smoke and acrobatic evolutions of the flying team, “ambassador” of the French Air and Space Force.

More than just a logo, this emblem is highly symbolic and depicts the values embodied by the pilots that are accuracy, reliability, discipline, control along with solidarity and humility. In partnering the patrouille de France, Bell & Ross associates itself with these values, and join them as an ambassador for excellence in French aviation.

The patrouille de France logo is printed at the bottom of the dial and also engraved on the case back.
Bell & Ross has created both an emblematic and functional watch that meets the specific requirements of patrouille de France pilots: the BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE.

The case for the new BR 03 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE is made of high-tech ceramic. This material holds a privileged position in the aerospace sector, with uses including the manufacture of parts subject to high temperatures, exposure to acids, corro- sion, and erosion. It is also found in the design of heat shields and noses for rockets. Almost as tough as a diamond, ceramic is extremely hardwearing and has an unchanging color as it is dyed in the mass. It is also lighter than steel, hypoallergenic and has thermal control properties, which increase the wearer’s comfort.

The BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE houses a mechanical chronograph movement with automatic winding which offers tried-and-tested reliability. Available to the public, an identical limited to 100 pieces quartz edition version of this watch will outfit the patrouille de France flying team.
When on their mission, time measurement is the determining parameter. As an essential tool in aerial navigation for measur- ing short time periods, the chronograph is the main complica- tion of aviation. It is equipped with a bi-directional bezel with a 60-minute scale to mark intervals in time.

Synchronization is fundamental for these pilots especially when, they chain together several scenes with 2, 4, 6 or 8 jets. Their safety and quality of the show rely on that. Having general- ly, eight pilots sometimes nine flying as one at over 600km/h, subjected to accelerations exceeding 6g, precision must be ab- solute. It is the same for their watches. Thought for an optimal readability of the pilot while flying, the chronograph seconds hand features in the centre of the dial which is the most im- portant time measurement tool.

The new chronograph timepiece is both a tool and an icon. By adopting the distinctive design features of this iconic French acrobatic patrol, the BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE asserts a strong identity from the very first glance.

Precision and legibility are the two key criteria for the pilots. The colors used on the dial provides a visual contrast to offer optimal readability.

At 600 km/h each second counts. Each of them must be iden- tified rapidly. To enhance its legibility, the hands used for the chronograph functions are distinguished by red tips. In avia- tion, this is the one of the colors of essential features and test flights, known for its frank, clear and dynamic properties. The dark blue dial echoes the color of the sky as well as the patrol’s color identity.

The numerals, indexes and hands are white and photolumines- cent to ensure perfect visibility both day and night. Designed for a professional use, the insignia was placed on the dial, so it does not disturb the readability. This logo also features on their dashboards’ plane. Pilots use their watches mainly during the ground phases until take-off. The BR 03-94 PATROUILLE DE FRANCE is equipped with a black natural rubber strap. In the summer, rubber is the ideal material to preserve the wrists of pilots throughout the season.
Bell & Ross has always been passionate about military history, design, and values. In its quest of excellence, the brand has made aviation, especially aeronautical instruments, its main specialty. That ethos continues till today with the BR 03-94 Patrouille de France.

Patrouille de France is the French Air and Space Force’s official aerobatic display team, created in 1953. Considered as one of the most precise and aesthetic acrobatic flying team in the world, the patrouille de France has flown around the world with grace and elegance for more than 67 years.

Chosen by the armée de l’Air et de l’Espace (French Air and Space Force) to become the official watchmaking partner of the patrouille de France, Bell & Ross worked closely with the pilots and designed a chronograph which is perfectly adapted to their operational needs.

Richard Mille RM 07-01 Automatic Winding Coloured ceramics

Richard Mille is known for its complex tonneau cases, openworked movements and above all, its fearless use of colour. The latter is the standout feature of three new RM 07-01 Colored Ceramic editions. Each of the three editions is rendered in a unique combination of colours: the Pastel Blue combines light blue with turquoise accents; the Pastel Pink mixes purple and blue highlights; and the Pastel Lavender comes with red and orange elements.
The three-part case is a wearable 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm, and although the RM 07-01 is known as a ladies’ watch, the thickness and length are substantial enough for any wrist. The technicolour models are made of a pure ceramic called tetragonal zirconia polycrystal, which contains 95% zirconia. Richard Mille says the material is scratch resistant to 1,400 vickers, tougher than sapphire. A long and difficult machining and grinding process using diamond tools is required to create the complex forms of the bezel. The caseband is crafted in micro-blasted white gold with hand-polished pillars, while the base plate and bridges are made of micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.
The dial is made using a combination of traditional and modern techniques. It starts with a rhodium-plated red gold centre that is finished in a guilloché motif that the company describes as “part botanical, part sunburst and part Art Deco.” This is the first time Richard Mille, a rigorously contemporary brand, has applied guilloché to a watch dial, but the unusual pattern gives this old-world craft a modern kick. The centre is surrounded by microblasted ceramic inserts and geometrically patterned rubber appliqués in various interesting configurations and colours. The straps are bi-coloured, matching elements of the case: in cerulean-lilac, coral-tangerine or olive-aqua.
It contains the automatic calibre CRMA2, with a free-sprung balance, which Mille says guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks, resulting in better timekeeping. The rotor moves on ceramic ball bearings, which optimize the winding system. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The RM 07-01 Automatic Colored Ceramic is limited to 50 pieces in each colour, and priced at approx. $220,000.
Richard Mille is known for its complex tonneau cases, openworked movements and above all, its fearless use of color. The latter is the standout feature of three new RM 07-01 Colored Ceramic editions. Each of the three editions is rendered in a unique combination of colors: the Pastel Blue combines light blue with turquoise accents; the Pastel Pink mixes purple and blue highlights; and the Pastel Lavender comes with red and orange elements.
The three-part case is a wearable 31.40 x 45.23 x 11.85 mm, and although the RM 07-01 is known as a ladies’ watch, the thickness and length are substantial enough for any wrist. The technicolor models are made of a pure ceramic called tetragonal zirconia polycrystal, which contains 95% zirconia. Richard Mille says the material is scratch resistant to 1,400 vickers, tougher than sapphire. A long and difficult machining and grinding process using diamond tools is required to create the complex forms of the bezel. The caseband is crafted in micro-blasted white gold with hand-polished pillars, while the base plate and bridges are made of micro-blasted grade 5 titanium.
The dial is made using a combination of traditional and modern techniques. It starts with a rhodium-plated red gold center that is finished in a guilloché motif that the company describes as “part botanical, part sunburst and part Art Deco.” This is the first time Richard Mille, a rigorously contemporary brand, has applied guilloché to a watch dial, but the unusual pattern gives this old-world craft a modern kick. The center is surrounded by microblasted ceramic inserts and geometrically patterned rubber appliqués in various interesting configurations and colors. The straps are bi-colored, matching elements of the case: in cerulean-lilac, coral-tangerine or olive-aqua.
It contains the automatic caliber CRMA2, with a free-sprung balance, which Mille says guarantees greater reliability when subjected to shocks, resulting in better timekeeping. The rotor moves on ceramic ball bearings, which optimize the winding system. It has a 50-hour power reserve. The RM 07-01 Automatic Colored Ceramic is limited to 50 pieces in each color, and priced at $163,000.

Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Stainless Steel Platinum Ice Blue

This specific version features a stainless steel case with a platinum bezel plate matched to an Ice Blue dial. Available with a rubber strap only, this Chronomat is powered by the in-house Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Stainless Steel Platinum Ice Blue Manufacture Caliber 01, a COSC-certified chronometer.
Presented in stainless steel, the Chronomat features a 42 mm case and the iconic bezel with the four rider tabs. This specific version features a special platinum bezel plate matched to an Ice Blue dial. Available with a rubber strap only, this Chronomat is powered by the in-house Breitling Manufacture Caliber 01, a COSC-certified chronometer.
Breitling’s all-purpose watch for your every pursuit, at home both on the red carpet and at the beach. Introduced in 1984, the Chronomat celebrated Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Stainless Steel Platinum Ice Blue centenary in style and marked the return of the mechanical chronograph. Nearly forty years later, the Chronomat is set to appeal to men and women of purpose, action and style.
Chronomat. Breitling’s all-purpose watch for your every pursuit, at home both on the red carpet and at the beach. Introduced in 1984, the Chronomat celebrated Breitling’s centenary in style and marked the return of the mechanical chronograph. Nearly forty years later, the Chronomat is set to appeal to men and women of purpose, action and style.
The Breitling Chronomat B01 42 Stainless Steel Platinum Ice Blue Chronomat B01 42 Bentley followed in 2020. Like the Centenary Chronograph, this model honors Bentley’s 100th anniversary. It features a 42-mm stainless steel case and a striking green sunburst dial with applied bar indices.
With over a century of purveying, maintaining and selling fine watches, Tourneau has an unparalleled prowess in the world of timekeeping. Our experts are here for you every step of your journey, from helping you find your perfect timepiece to providing service and repairs. When you buy your watch from Tourneau, you join a legacy of watch enthusiasts who keep the history of horology alive.
Enjoy guaranteed protection from Tourneau. Together with the standard manufacturer’s warranty and the complimentary Tourneau warranty, this watch is guaranteed coverage for up to five years. This exclusive guarantee is reserved for new watches purchased at Tourneau.
For as long as we can remember, the Breitling Chronomat has held a significant place in the brand’s history. It was first released in the 1940’s and was one of the first in the world to boast a slide-rule bezel. Nevertheless, for most watch aficionados, the most notable Chronomat was one released in 1984 during a time when extra-thin quartz watches were the order of the day. In 1983, Breitling released the Frecce Tricolori chronograph, a mechanical timepiece designed in collaboration with the Italian aerial squadron of the same name. Its versatility was evident as its tachymeter scale caught the interest of Formula 1 teams anda its reversable rider tabs made it the perfect watch for regattas. Then for the 100th anniversary of Breitling in 1984, Ernest Schneider decided to create a new icon which he saw in the face of the Chronomat Frecce Tricolori.
Rather than following the herd and designing another quartz watch, Schneider took the courageous path and went against the increasing dominance of thin quartz watches with the release of an all-new Bretiling Chronomat. The 1984 watch became a huge success and was a key influence in bringing mechanical watches on trend again. This time, the name Chronomat expressed something entirely different, with the combination of words “chronograph” and “automatic” making up its name. The new collection of Breitling Chronomat B01 42 watches for 2020 pay tribute to their predecessor with a reinstated vintage Rouleaux bracelet, interchangeable rider tabs on the bezel and the staple Breitling B01 in-house mechanical movement.

Although not an entirely faithful re-edition, the Breitling Chronomat B01 42 has managed to balance the perfect amount of vintage aesthetic with modern improvements. The 42mm stainless steel case looks almost exact to the original with integrated lugs, robust shoulders, and a bevelled rounded crown. The pushers and crown protection have been modernised slightly for better integration and to improve the water resistant rating to 200 metres.
Breitling and Bentley have worked together since 2003 when Bentley Motors entrusted the Swiss watch brand to design an onboard clock for their flagship model, the Continental GT. However, it seems the car and watch manufacturer’s history succeeds even that with a personal connection tracing back to the 1940’s. Willy Breitling, the inventor of the second chronograph pusher and the grandson of Breitling founder Leon Breitling, was a huge Bentley fan and was known to have owned several Bentleys that he would drive on the roads between Geneva and Le Chaux-de-Fonds.