Ulysse Nardin Freak X 43mm

The image that springs into most people’s minds when discussing camouflage generally contains some combination of muted natural colors, a blotchy or digital pattern, or perhaps a heavily textured surface like a ghillie suit. However, over the course of history, camouflage has taken innumerable shapes, colors, and textures, but perhaps none other is as striking or unusual as dazzle camouflage. Originally developed in World War I as a way to break up the visual silhouettes of British naval vessels, this jagged assortment of black and white stripes attracts the eye but makes discerning the shape, speed, and direction of the object difficult. This dramatic pattern has survived into the present day, with similar designs used by automakers to disguise prototype cars during road tests, but until now, the design has seen very little use in the world of watchmaking. Ulysse Nardin aims to change that with a stark, high-impact new interpretation of the complex Freak X series that blurs the line between horology and pop art. The new limited-edition Ulysse Nardin Freak X Razzle Dazzle adds a new, visually arresting dimension to one of the brand’s most spectacle-driven lines for a camouflaged watch that refuses to hide.
Ulysse Nardin renders the 43mm case of the Freak X Razzle Dazzle in black DLC-coated titanium. With a matte blend of brushed and sandblasted surfaces, this stealthy case design leaves minimal flash in images to distract from the visual complexity of the dial. Likewise, the overall case design is futuristic but simple, with a handful of distinctive touches like a notched bezel and layered construction to augment the unbroken flowing line that runs from tapering lug tip to lug tip. Around back, a sapphire display caseback gives a view of the simpler, less embellished rear side of the movement within. While the overall package is undeniably striking, it is notably fragile, with a water resistance rating of only 50 meters.
Referring to the dial of the Ulysse Nardin Freak X Razzle Dazzle is slightly disingenuous. Technically, this is a fully skeletonized design, with the surface beneath the handset formed entirely by movement plates. That said, the full arrangement of plates still allows a detailed view of the movement’s inner workings courtesy of the Freak X’s signature element – the carousel movement. Thanks to a planetary gear smoothly integrated into the ring supporting the hour indices, the gear train of the Freak X Razzle Dazzle rotates along with the distinctive oversized minute hand, with several elements, including the silicium balance wheel mounted directly to the hand as a counterweight. The blued surfacing of the balance helps to cut through the monochrome design of the rest of the watch, immediately picking these out as focal points in images. That said, the main plate that serves as the base for the overall design is no shrinking violet in the Freak X Razzle Dazzle, either. The angular, zigzagging pattern of black and white zebra stripes that gives this model its name is less disorienting than it is dramatic, giving a starkly pop-art flair to the Freak X’s design. While this does affect legibility slightly, the laser-etched pattern on this plate more than makes up for it with its sheer visual wow factor.
The in-house Caliber UN-230 automatic movement is on full display inside the Replica Ulysse Nardin Freak X Razzle Dazzle. Contrasted with the rotating dazzle camouflage spectacle up front, the view of the Caliber UN-230 through the caseback is clean and restrained, almost minimal, with a radially brushed black finish across the movement bridges and skeleton rotor with hints of brightly polished elements poking through the gaps. Performance for the Caliber UN-230 is solid, with a 72-hour power reserve at a 21,600 bph beat rate.
To complete the intricate black-and-white colorway of the Freak X Razzle Dazzle, Ulysse Nardin delivers the watch with a pair of straps. Both options follow the same pattern, with rubber-lined leather in a modernist perforated pattern finished with deep black point de bride stitching. Delivered in both optic white and black, these straps add a touch of visual texture to the overall package while harmonizing with the monochrome design.
By adding a dazzling new camouflage texture to the already eye-catching look of the Freak X line, the limited edition Ulysse Nardin Freak X Razzle Dazzle creates one of the brand’s most striking modernist looks to date. Only 30 examples of the Ulysse Nardin Freak X Razzle Dazzle

Breitling Super Chronomat 1461 Days 44 Stainless Steel

Having re-launched the Chronomat collection this time last year (with 32, 36, and 42mm models), Breitling is now following up with the full-fat option, the new Replica Breitling Super Chronomat in a whopping 44mm case. That new size spans several new versions, including one with the UTC module bracelet, a version in 18k red gold, and a pair of references using Breitling’s uncommon Four-Year Calendar.
The physical manifestation of “large and in-charge”, the new Super Chronomat is classic Breitling and a knowing nod to the brand’s long-standing dominance in the world of super-sized pilot’s chronographs.
For Breitling, tool watches are a core competency. And I think they are at their best when the brand isn’t afraid to be itself, with bold displays, bright colors, polished surfaces, baroque crowns, rider tabs, ana-digi layouts, and distinctive high-quality bracelets. The results don’t always fit my wrist, but the brand has an incredible history in sport watches and the return of the Chronomat speaks not to their postmodern legacy, but to something more modern.
Born in 1984, the original Breitling Chronomat was a 39mm tribute to the era’s fascination with fast-flying jet aircraft. Based on a design created in 1983 for the Italian Jet Team Frecce Tricolori, the Chronomat spoke to the era of Top Gun (1986) and when the Blue Angels started flying the McDonnel Douglas F/A-18 Hornet (also 1986).
As a boy born in this era (also 1986), the peak of my social calendar was attending air shows – and some of my earliest memories of cool watches were imprinted on the grounds of the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum. Funky Citizens, stoic Seikos, plenty of Rolex, and, of course, big brash Breitlings.

New for 2021, the Super Chronomat takes that original ’80s design and lights the afterburner. Versions available include the Super Chronomat B01 44 in black or blue (you can pick rubber, steel, or steel with the super rad UTC module), the B01 chrono in 18k red gold with a brown dial and bezel (again, your choice of bracelet or rubber), and the Super Chronomat 44 Four-Year Calendar in either black or blue/two-tone (same option of rubber or steel).
The pure chronographs (which have B01 in their name) are 44mm wide, 14.45mm thick, have display case backs, 200 meters of water resistance, and house Breitling’s B01 automatic COSC-certified chronograph movement with a column wheel and a vertical clutch. The bezels use ceramic inserts (the first time on a Chronomat) and the rider tabs at three and nine are swappable, allowing the bezel to be used for elapsed time or count down (this is a feature common to the original Chronomat).

As for the Breitling Super Chronomat Four-Year Calendar, sizing remains at 44mm but thickness is up a hair to 14.55mm. Water-resistance is down to 100 meters, and this calendar-packed Chronomat uses Breitling’s Caliber 19 movement. Based on an ETA 2892-A2, the Caliber 19 has been seen in several past models from Breitling and it uses a module to offer not only a chronograph but also a calendar movement that accounts for everything except leap year.
As with most complicated calendars (especially those packed into sport watches), there’s a lot going on in terms of dial design, and most of the sub-dials are running double duty to keep track of both a 12-hour chronograph measure and day, date, month, and moon phase. It’s an uncommon calendar execution, but I get the appeal, offering most of a perpetual calendar without all of the cost. To be clear, the Caliber 19 (which is sometimes identified by Breitling as the 1461) is not an annual calendar (which requires adjustment… annually). Rather, as the name suggests, the Four-Year Calendar would only need to be adjusted for Feb 29th.
Functionality aside, while I know that the 44mm sizing will be too big for my tastes (I will forever be more of a 40mm Aerospace kind of guy) the Breitling Super Chronomat looks good, but more importantly, it looks like a proper big Breitling.

Priced from $8,500 (topping out at $35,000 for the 18k gold on a bracelet), the new Super Chronomat offers a specific appeal to a specific type of buyer who wants a big, luxurious, well-made chronograph – and watches like the Chronomat (Super or otherwise) help to maintain Breitling’s competition with brands like IWC and Omega.

Seiko 140th anniversary limited edition Sport collection SBGC240

A new Spring Drive Chronograph with gold highlights joins
the grand seiko replica Sport Collection
Kintaro Hattori founded his company in 1881 and led it until his death at the age of 73 in 1934. His business philosophy was that his company should be “Always one step ahead of the rest” and, while it was not created until 1960, nothing better expresses the power of his vision than Grand Seiko with its unique design, leading edge manufacturing and exquisite finishing. In honor of the 140th anniversary of the foundation of the company, replica grand seiko proudly announces a new Spring Drive chronograph that perfectly embodies Kintaro Hattori’s vision.
This powerful watch allies all the high functionality of the Spring Drive chronograph Caliber 9R86 with a new design and a new combination of materials. The result is a timepiece of rare refinement.
The bezel catches the eye immediately with its dodecahedron shape, its zirconia ceramic outer layer and 18k gold base. Thanks to this combination of materials, it is both strikingly beautiful and highly durable.
The case, too, uses contrast to deliver a visually arresting impression. Its top surfaces have been given a hairline finish while the sides showcase the distortion-free perfection that only Zaratsu polishing can deliver. The dial is as rich as it is legible. The gold color hands and hour markers stand out against the pure black dial and, as the markers are aligned exactly to each apex of the twelve-edged bezel, both time of day and elapsed time can be read precisely and at a glance.
The 18k yellow gold buttons that operate the chronograph are prominent and designed to ensure secure operation but they are also streamlined so as to look just as good when under a shirt cuff as on the sports field.

Seiko 140th anniversary limited edition
Sport collection

Replica Bell and Ross BR 03 Diver Military

Bell & Ross BR 03 Diver Military (Ref. BR0392-D-KA-CE/SRB)
Bell & Ross announced its new model added to its successful diver’s watch model family, BR 03 Diver. The model, arranged with a military theme, is limited to 999 pieces.
The Replica BR 03 Diver model family, which was added to the product group by the famous French brand in 2017, continues to expand with a new version. The model, which successfully represents Bell & Ross’s “Tool Watch” philosophy, draws attention with its military inspired color theme.
Matte black ceramic material is used for the 42mm x 42mm case (and one piece bezel) of the model. The case, which has sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the front and a bezel with luminous numbers on it, and a ceramic cover on the back, also features a screw-down crown. As expected from a professional diver’s watch, the model offers a water resistance value of 300 meters, which also meets ISO 6425 standards.
The military theme, which is also included in the model’s name, is completed by a khaki green dial. The dial, which promises optimum readability in almost any environment with its Super-LumiNOVA filled large hour markers and thick hands, has a date window at 4:30 o’clock, displaying with a disc in the same tone as the dial.
The new model is powered by the Caliber BR-CAL.302 based on Sellita SW-300-1. Te 25-jewel automatic movement beats at a frequency of 4Hz (28.800vph) and offers up to 42 hours of power reserve when fully wound.
The model, which is limited to only 999 pieces, is accompanied by a black rubber strap with the B&R logo. There is also a khaki colored synthetic strap in the box set of the model. Both straps are secured to the wrist with a black PVD coated stainless steel buckle. The list price for the model, which is planned to reach the sales points in the coming days, is EUR 4,400.

Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Edition Re-creation of King Seiko KSK

2021 marks the 140th anniversary of Seiko’s foundation and a re-creation of the second series of King Seiko, known as the King Seiko KSK, will be released in celebration of this landmark.
From the first Grand Seiko in 1960 to the automatic chronograph in 1969, the sixties was a decade of important advances in both technical and design development that laid the foundation for the company’s future success in the prestige watch arena. Alongside Grand Seiko, one other series in particular demonstrated the company’s ability to create mechanical watches with high accuracy. It was called King Seiko and, in addition to its precision, it offered a powerful yet graceful design that symbolized the high quality of its construction.
In contrast to the gentle rounded contours of the first King Seiko creation, the KSK case was strikingly sharp and angular and had a contemporary feel. Its flat surfaces and multi-faceted corners caught the light from any angle and gave the watch a new and striking brilliance. The case’s durability is also enhanced by the super-hard coating which protects the watch from scratches.
The sharp, bold faceted lugs feature large flat planes and razor sharp angles and are Zaratsu polished to a distortion-free mirror finish.
The new re-creation brings the 1965 KSK back to life in every detail. The combination of the flat dial with the faceted indexes and broad, sharp hands re-creates the refined elegance of the original.
The faceted and textured twelve o’clock index ensures high legibility.
The case back bears the same emblem as the original. And as a proof of the limited edition, “Limited Edition” and the serial number are printed.
Even with an automatic movement and the addition of a date window, the new watch retains its slim profile and is just 0.5mm thicker than the original, thanks to the thinness of Caliber 6L35. The eight beat per second movement has 26 jewels and offers a power reserve of 45 hours.

SEIKO PROSPEX Seiko 140th Anniversary Limited Editions

When Kintaro Hattori founded his company in 1881, he was just 21 years old. During his fifty years at the helm, Replica Seiko became the leading watch company in Japan, with its own design and production facilities. This achievement was a direct result of his single-minded vision that Seiko should be “Always one step ahead of the rest”. His words resonate still and continue to inspire Seiko today. Throughout this year, Best Grand Seiko will release a series of creations that embody the spirit of Kintaro’s words and honor the140th anniversary of the founding of his company. The celebrations start with a series of Prospex, Presage and Astron watches inspired by the landscapes, seascapes of Japan.

From Seiko Prospex, a new series focuses on the beauty of nature. The watches capture the deep green scenery of the rich ocean that surrounds Iriomote Island.

The island of Iriomote in Okinawa Prefecture attracts divers from all areas of the world. Its abundant coral reefs teem with marine life but the island’s special charm lies in the primeval and pristine mangrove forests that surround it. Further, Iriomote is home to several species of flora and fauna that are rare and, in some instances, unique to the island.
As a culmination of Seiko’s developments in watchmaking technology, today, a diver’s watch in a stainless steel case with a green dial offering water-resistance of up to 300m is introduced.
The watch has sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface. The bezel display material is zirconia ceramics to ensure both high legibility and rigidity.
The gold-colored second hand, reminiscent of the sunrise over a lush virgin forest, makes a strong presence on the dark green dial.
The watch is powered by the 8L35 movement which was developed expressly for diver’s watches and is assembled by hand at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio. The watch is offered with an additional dark green silicone strap.

Based on the 1968 Diver’s 300-meter water resistant watch, this model has been given a modern design interpretation. While retaining the sharp and powerful design of the original, the new model features a slimmer bezel and a contemporary design for its minute and hour hands. The watch is offered with an additional dark green silicone strap.
The watch incorporates a case design that has long been nicknamed “SUMO” by fans because of its dependable and dignified structure.
The watch is water-resistant to 200 meters and has a screw-down crown to ensure the safety of the divers from any accidental operations.

Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited Edition

The Seiko 5 Sports and AUTO MOAI collaboration is here!
The watches fully express the worldview of artist AUTO MOAI as artwork created expressly for the two models decorate the creations.
AUTO MOAI is an artist working in Japan with the theme “anonymity”. AUTO MOAI depicts the relationships between people who are tacitly connected to each other on the streets, which are hard to visualize, with faceless figure.
The black-colored dial features AUTO MOAI’s iconic motif “faceless figures”.
The leather strap is printed with artworks exclusively designed for the collaboration watches.
The worldview of AUTO MOAI, on your wrist.
As a special feature of the limited edition, the “faceless figures” motif is illustrated on the caseback and includes the serial number.

  • In an actual product, the caseback direction might be different from the image.
    The watches are offered in a special box with the same design as the strap.
    Included is a special booklet featuring the artwork created specially by AUTO MOAI for the watches.

Japanese artist AUTO MOAI has used the Seiko 5 Sports watch as a canvas for their latest work, two limited edition pieces carrying the artist’s Faceless Figures motif.

The dials and casebacks of both 42.5mm stainless steel watches feature AUTO MOAI’s Faceless Figures, whilst the calfskin leather straps are printed with artwork designed exclusively for this project.

Both watches are water resistant to 100m and use Seiko’s 3Hz 4R36 automatic movement, which has a power reserve of 41 hours, while the base color of the case is created using Seiko’s “black hard-coating” process.
Each piece is serial numbered and presented in an “art book” style presentation box, which includes a booklet featuring the custom strap artwork.

AUTO MOAI, who deals with the tacit connection between people on the street, works in the same kind of anonymity implied by their work, with almost no information offered about their identity, except for their birth year of 1990. The artist’s breakthrough came when their work was used in Supreme’s A/W 2018-19 collection.

The Seiko 5 Sports AUTO MOAI Limited Editions drop on May 14, priced £420 GBP ($584 USD) with the mainly white SRPG43 limited to 1,500 pieces and available via Seiko retailers, while the mainly black SBSA125 is a Seiko boutique exclusive, limited to just 300 pieces.

Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport

The new Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 date marine black marks a new chapter in the German brand’s history. This sports watch features an impressive water resistance of 300m, robust characteristics and a new ergonomic bracelet. However, Nomos’s loyal fans should not despair as the brand’s legendary styling expertise remains undiminished.
My wife and I have a good friend called Liz who always exhibits a notable degree of style. However, she does not spend colossal sums of money on designer clothes to achieve her elegant look. Her eye for aesthetics is coupled with a capacity to shrewdly procure garments that accentuate her natural beauty.

Liz’s capacity for skilfully pairing items in order to achieve a chic appearance also extends to the interior design of her home. Muted hues sit in concert with rich textures. Liz cleverly selects stylish items which won’t lose their appeal with the passage of time. Quite simply, our friend Liz has an innate talent for design.

This prowess for design is something you either have or you don’t. Nomos Glashütte has an extraordinary prowess for design. It freely embraces the timeless charms of Bauhaus and distills this into horological forms.

Every year, the German brand unveils new models, each one delivering originality. Some of its watches come from nowhere, such as the company’s eye-popping Autobahn model. However, irrespective of the style, every Nomos watch is imbued with a timeless minimalism. It is this approach to watch design which ensures each reference, even those dating back several years, retains relevance and is not rendered obsolete with the release of new models.

At Baselworld 2019, the Saxony-based Manufacture unveiled three new sports watches. The Club Sport and two versions of the Tangente Sport one with a white silver-plated dial and another with an incredibly deep black dial.

The Club Sport is also endowed with a deep black dial and incorporates a gorgeous rounded bezel and plump indexes. At some future point, I will return to this model and review it in detail, however, for now, my eyes are solely fixated on the Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 date marine black.
Considering its 42mm case diameter, the dial of the Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 date marine black seems exceptionally large. This characteristic can be attributed to the supremely slender bezel which grants greater space for the dial canvas.
The hue of the dial is incredibly black, causing the hands and indexes to seemingly step forward. The hour and minute hands are lined with sand coloured SuperLuminova, augmenting legibility in restricted light.

Nomos has chosen to depict the indexes in a delicious shade of mint green. Stylised Arabic numerals are employed for the even-numbered hours, while matching slender batons indicate the odd-numbered values. Adjacent each index is a cambered, luminescent square, aiding legibility. Succinct, narrow lines sit between each index, again, expediting read-off. The indexes are treated with SuperLuminova which emits a light blue hue in dim conditions.
A snailed small seconds display is positioned in the lower portion of the dial and sits slightly below the main dial epidermis. The small seconds hand is presented in a cheerful shade of red. This latter ebullient touch does not detract from the overall cohesion of the dial, quite the contrary, it adds a delightful soupçon of colour which enriches the aesthetic.
Last year, Nomos showcased the Caliber DUW 6101 in the aforementioned Autobahn model as well as other 2018 novelties. One of the attributes of this movement is that it allows the positioning of the date disc to hug the periphery of the dial, facilitating a large-format indication. The Tangente Sport neomatik 42 is fitted with the Caliber DUW 6101 and, therefore, fanfares the prevailing date at 3 o’clock, in highly-lucid widescreen form.
The first thing NOMOS disciples will notice about the Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 date marine black is the stainless steel bracelet. In itself, this may not sound remarkable but it is the first model to leave the brand’s Glashütte atelier equipped with a bracelet.
Typical of Nomos, it is engineered to an unerring standard. While there is a palpable robustness to the bracelet, it is also very slender. The hand-assembled bracelet, comprised of 145 parts, is notably flexible and comfortably articulates around the wrist. Links can be added or removed easily and the deployant clasp is beautifully engineered, contributing to the ergonomic excellence of the watch.

Measuring 42mm in diameter, the Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 date marine black could not be described as a leviathan, albeit it is larger than many of the German brand’s other models. Personally, I found the scale of the watch very much to my liking. The height of this timepiece is 10.9mm, which may sound surprising when contrasted with other models equipped with the svelte Caliber DUW 6101 (3.6mm height). However, Nomos has capitalised on the slender profile of the movement, imbuing the watch with an ‘extra-robust case, reinforced seals, and sapphire crystal glass’, protecting the watch from ‘knocks, blows and leaks’. The impressive water resistance of 30 atm (300m) stands testament to the toughness of this watch.
It’s interesting to look at the design of the case and bracelet closely. Some elements evince a sturdy character such as the crown protection device on the right hand flank of the case. In contrast, the lugs are slender and angular, conferring a visual lightness typical of a dress watch. The watch head features highly polished stainless steel, while the bracelet is satin-brushed. Despite these seemingly disparate elements, everything comes together in harmonious union.
Up to this point, I have repeatedly talked about design, however, beyond the outer beauty of a Nomos watch, there is an inner virtue which cannot be ignored.
The German brand makes its own movements. Moreover, it makes its own ‘swing system’, something the Swiss refer to as the ‘assortiment’. This in-house ‘escapement’ includes the balance staff, balance wheel, balance spring, pallet lever, escape wheel and a number of other tiny parts.

Nomos has used a tempered blue balance spring and paired this with its own balance wheel. Often horophiles fixate on the composition of the balance spring, but it is also critical that the hairspring and balance wheel are optimally matched. To produce a complete and reliable escapement necessitates huge investment. However, by creating its own ‘swing system’, the German brand is able to enjoy independence from the big players in the Swiss watch industry.

The bi-directional oscillating weight is openworked, affording views of the decorated Glashütte three-quarter plate below. Both the rotor and the three-quarter plate are embellished with Glashütte ribbing. The mainplate is adorned with perlage, a detail which is visible beneath the balance wheel. An abundance of thermally-blued screws populate the movement, upholding best watchmaking practise. The rotor and bridges feature golden engravings and the balance bridge is affixed at two points, providing superior stability when contrasted with a balance cock.

The Caliber DUW 6101 features 27 jewels. The barrel is capable of harnessing sufficient energy for 42 hours of autonomous operation.
The typeface of the numerals denoting the hours is unique to Nomos. It is a small detail which the German marque will have obsessed over for many hours. It may not sound of huge significance, however, it does demonstrate the brand’s exactitude. By synergistically fusing lots of small details each Nomos watch is imbued with an exquisite appearance.

By equipping the Nomos Glashütte Tangente Sport neomatik 42 date marine black with a slender bezel, the dial is unusually large for a 42mm watch. This provides an expansive canvas, ideally suited for displaying indications. Indeed, every element of the dial has sufficient space to breathe, conferring an extraordinary degree of lucidity.

There is a welcome air of conservatism that pervades the corridors of Nomos’s HQ. Quite simply, the brand does not embrace the radical, preferring a strategy of considered evolution. This has led to its former watches retaining eye-appeal despite the brand subsequently releasing new models. While the introduction of a new steel bracelet may not seem unusual for some watch companies, it does represent a bold step for Nomos.

The styling of the stainless steel bracelet subscribes to the Bauhaus doctrine and provides a cosseting embrace with the wearer’s wrist. There is a palpable sense of quality which pervades the hand-assembled bracelet.

Occasionally, I am asked to proffer a selection of watches imbued with notable merit. Clearly, my suggestions are based on the available budget. Nomos is one of the first names to roll off my tongue. Not only does the brand make gorgeous-looking watches, it also has an impressive technical competence which differentiates it from most of its rivals. Few brands, in this price segment, make their own movements. Moreover, even fewer brands make movements equipped with an in-house escapement. Nomos stands out in this regard.

Examine a Nomos movement with a loupe and you will discover a high-level of finishing, often lacking in watches costing twice as much. In addition, there is a refreshing integrity to the movement’s composition. For example, the blued screws are not subject to a galvanic treatment but assume their rich colour through superior thermal treatment. Considering the modest asking price of £3980, the execution of each element is superb.

Which brings me to my final point. Spending vast sums of money on a watch will usually, but not always, provide greatness. However, Nomos, and my friend Liz, have also shown that price does not have to preclude quality and style, it’s merely a matter of knowing where to look. In this instance, I would suggest looking to the German watchmaking enclave of Glashütte. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

SEIKO PROSPEX The Naomi Uemura 80th Anniversary Limited Edition

Five years after the introduction of Seiko’s, and Japan’s, first diver’s watch in 1965, Seiko introduced a watch that was as instantly memorable as it was supremely functional. This 1970 diver’s watch had a flowing case design with an asymmetrical extension that protected the crown at the four o’clock position. With its solid construction, 150 meter water resistance, luminous hands and indexes, it was perfect for those who required a timepiece with exceptional strength and visibility. The watch proved its reliability in extreme conditions when it was worn by the Japanese adventurer, Naomi Uemura, in the years 1974 to 1976 when he completed a 12,500km solo dog-sled run from Greenland to Alaska.

2021 marks the 80th anniversary of Naomi Uemura’s birth, and today, a modern re-interpretation of this much-respected diver’s watch commemorates the adventurer’s life and his exceptional achievements.

Born in 1941, Naomi Uemura was a university student when he took on the challenge of his first mountain climb. By the age of 29, he had climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. In 1970, he became the first Japanese mountaineer to reach the summit of Mt Everest. Just three months later, he reached the top of Denali in Alaska (then known as Mt. McKinley) and thus became the first adventurer in the world to reach the tallest peaks on all five continents. In the winter of 1984, he succeeded in climbing Denali in winter but disappeared forever on the descent. Famed for his modesty as much as his achievements, Uemura was given the National Honor award shortly after his disappearance.

This commemorative watch echoes the design of the 1970 original but is thoroughly modern in execution. The patterned dial evokes the mountainous terrain that Uemura so loved, and the dial and bezel are in the blue tones of the earth’s upper atmospheric layers that only those who, like him, have been to the roof of the world can see. Uemura was the first person in the world to reach the summits of the highest mountains on all five continents.

The case sides are carefully polished and the watch is presented on a five row steel bracelet to create a modern sharp profile. The case has the distinctive asymmetrical shape to protect the crown at the 4 o’clock position.

The case has a super-hard coating to protect the watch from scratches and the crystal is a dual-curved sapphire with anti-reflective coating on the inner surface to ensure high legibility from every angle. The watch has enhanced water resistance to 200 meters.

The additional blue silicone strap has the train track pattern as the original is also offered.

The case back is marked with Uemura’s name and carries the individual watch’s serial number.

* In an actual product, the case back direction might be different from the photograph.

This Uemura inspired timepiece is powered by Caliber 8L35, which was designed especially for diver’s watches by the watchmakers at the Shizukuishi Watch Studio in northern Japan.

Jacob & Co Twin Turbo Replica Watch

As far as statement timepieces go, few brands do a better job than Jacob & Co., which was founded in 1986 initially as a jewelry outfit and started making watches in 2002. There is nothing conventional about Jacob & Co.’s watches, as evidenced by pieces such as the Astronomia Solar and the Epic SF 24. This year, the brand unveiled what could be one of its most elaborate and outrageous watches yet, the Twin Turbo Furious. The name hints at the velocity at which its twin tourbillons rotate, but what it doesn’t tell you is that the twin tourbillons are actually triple-axis variants, and that it also contains a decimal repeater, monopusher chronograph, and an unusual complication called the reference time differential. Let’s take a closer look at the Twin Turbo Furious.
The Twin Turbo Furious is a follow up to the Twin Turbo Twin Triple Axis Tourbillon Minute Repeater (Yes, that’s the name. It doesn’t roll off the tongue, does it?) watch from 2016. Like the Twin Turbo, the Twin Turbo Furious comes in a modern rectangular case that measures a whopping 57mm wide, 52mm from lug to lug, and 17mm thick. The watch looks even larger than what the specifications suggest because much of it is actually a large, curved sapphire crystal. People will notice the watch, I guarantee it.
The most unusual aspect of the case has got to be the crown and the accompanying crank-handle. The crank handle can be detached from the case and it makes winding the watch easy and fun. On the opposite side of the case is the activator for the decimal minute repeater. The decimal minute repeater is different from traditional minute repeaters because it chimes the tens of minutes rather than the quarter hours. This makes it easier to ‘hear’ the time.
The expansive dial is a cacophony of colors, dials, and hands. The main dial itself is actually a piece of smoked sapphire crystal with the Jacob & Co. logo. Around the periphery is a red neoralithe ring with white Super-LumiNova hour indexes and the seconds. Working our way in, we have the Pit Board, which is part of the reference time differential. This complication is used in conjunction with the chronograph to quickly indicate how many seconds faster or slower the elapsed time was in comparison to the reference time. The reference time is set using the crown and can be set up to 5 minutes and 59 seconds, which is indicated by the aperture at 6 o’clock on the main timekeeping dial. In the image above, the reference time is set to 1 minute and 56 seconds. Once the chronograph is stopped, owners can quickly see how much slower or faster the elapsed time was by reading the chronograph seconds hand off Pit Board wheel.
Moving on to the rest of the dial, we have the usual running seconds sub-dial at 9 o’clock and the chronograph minute counter at 3 o’clock. Below the timekeeping dial are the two triple-axis tourbillons that are connected by a differential, so that the rates of each tourbillon are actually averaged. These tourbillons spin very quickly, hence the name Twin Turbo Furious. The first axis makes a revolution every 24 seconds, while the second axis makes a revolution every 8 seconds, and finally, the third axis makes a revolution in 30 seconds. The end result is quite stunning as the tourbillon is in constant “furious” motion. In between the two tourbillons is a power reserve indicator.
Contrary to what you might think, the dial is actually quite easy to read. Admittedly, it is quite cluttered but the large red hour and minute hands painted with red tips and white Super-LumiNova help greatly with legibility. The bigger issue is trying not to be mesmerized by those two fast-spinning tourbillons.
The movement within is the Jacob & Co. caliber JCFM05 and it is visible through a sapphire display caseback. It is a beast of a movement with a staggering 832 components and an unusual architecture. Up top are the hammers for the decimal minute repeater, and working our way down is the column wheel for the chronograph. Dominating the bottom of the movement are two gold skeletonized wheels for the tourbillons.

The movement is highly decorated too, with hand beveled and polished plates and bridges, black polishing on numerous surfaces, circular graining on wheels, barrels, and plates, and polished jewel countersinks. Speaking of jewels, the movement has 75 jewels in all.
The Jacob & Co. Twin Turbo Furious is one heck of a statement piece. The styling is bold and the technicalities of the watch itself more than match its styling. Despite what you might think about its looks, there is no denying that this is one hell of a complicated watch with some interesting complications. Making a decimal minute repeater is hard enough, but combining it with two triple-axis tourbillons, a chronograph, and a reference time differential is unheard of. Unfortunately, the price for all of this is equally outrageous.