HYT Flow replica watch

A pioneer in the hydro-mechanical display of time – where time is indicated by liquid in tubes – HYT Flow replica watch has furthered its novel time display by lighting up the liquid display. Not merely with luminescent paint as is convention, but with dynamo-powered LEDs. First installed in the H4 of 2016, the illuminated-liquid display now returns with the sleek HYT Flow.

Contained in a rounded, almost organic case with sweeping lines on the dial, the Flow features an LED at six o’clock. It launches with two versions: the simpler one having a a light ring around the aperture at six, and the other – which is more lavish and interesting – is equipped with lights underneath a dome set with baguette diamonds.
While LED lighting is not new, it remains the highlight. It is definitely not something conceived for functionality and legibility in the dark, but instead as a complication with brilliant visual appeal. The diamond-set variant, in particular, offers a stunning light show thanks to the highly refractive and reflective nature of the gemstone – albeit at a steep price of well over US$160,000.
Functionally the Flow remains similar to its predecessors, but the entirety of the design has streamlined compared to the angular styling of the brand’s earliest watches. The case is rounded, with lines that flow, which is complement by the open-worked wave pattern on the dial.

Crucial elements like the minute hand and power reserve indicator are on the dial, while the turbine-shape running seconds sits below the wave-pattern surface. Notably, the dial does not reveal the bellows mechanism that drives the liquid hour indicator, but the overall look is elegant-sci-fi and appealing.

The only shortcomings of the watch are the same as those for preceding models: the watch is big and fairly expensive, and long-term serviceability is a question. But the Flow, like the rest of HYT’s line up, is a truly novel take on horology, which mean conventional yardsticks probably matter less.
Thought not obvious at first, but the dial layout is a contemporary interpretation of classical horological ideas. For instance, the boundary between the coloured and clear liquid advances around a glass tube to indicate the hours, and reverses direction to flow backwards quickly once it completes its path – a liquid retrograde hour display. And it is also a regulator-style display, with the minute hand at twelve o’clock and running seconds at nine.

And the light display is perhaps a modern take on the automaton. To generate electricity, the crown at four o’clock is wound, which rotates an electrical coil in a magnetic field to induce current. Pushing the button on the top of the crown activates the LEDs for about eight seconds, after which the mechanism requires winding once more.
Underneath the dial is a manual-wind movement that has a 65-hour power reserve. Like a conventional movement, it has a balance assembly and gear train, but combined with the liquid-display mechanism made up of a pair of bellows that move the two immiscible liquids.
The finishing is attractive and suited to the style of the watch, but not spectacular for the price – it is fine and neat but largely mechanically applied. The gilded wheels constrast well with the darkened and frosted bridges, and the bevelling is a nice touch.

HYT Soonow

HYT is well known for pushing boundaries. The Neuchâtel-based brand’s goals have always been clear: to shake up the status quo from every conceivable angle. For a brand founded fewer than 10 years ago (2012), HYT has experienced a sharp maturation. While the earlier products put out by the brand were far more digestible (and, in comparison to the current range, look positively traditional), the true craziness of the brand’s character has only recently emerged. The HYT SOONOW watch is perhaps the closest representation of the brand’s core aims we’ve seen so far.

Doing things by halves is not something anyone would ever have associated with the company that brought us horology’s first fluidic module small enough to fit on the wrist. But when HYT went to blow the lid off the industry’s expectations, it seems they found several subsequent lids that would also need blowing off in time. And here we are. With the (explosive) release of a new limited-edition model, HYT has not only embraced its role as the industry’s maddest of mad scientists, it has also flexed its muscles as one of watchmaking’s foremost philosophical artists.
Inspired by ancient Aztec carvings, the skulls used in HYT’s watches are a central motif. Skulls and watchmaking go together like peanut butter and jelly. The folly of man in the face of time. As far as temporal symbolism goes, it’s low hanging fruit. But low hanging as it may be, it does seem to be very juicy fruit (because skulls, whether we think they are cool or not, still sell).

The previous HYT Skull watches have been based around the same core form. Some models experimented with unusual materials, some with engraving, some with both. But the HYT SOONOW uses a different form entirely. This more basic skull must have provided a significant technical challenge, as the glass capillary containing the liquid that indicates the passing hours has much sharper (and a couple more) bends in it than the previous iteration.

One of the biggest challenges faced by HYT when designing the original Skull watch was ensuring that the movement and the bellows were able to compensate for the increased force needed to push the fluid around a bend in the glass. It stands to reason that the sharper the bend, the greater the pressure differential will be.
The movement powering this intriguing piece is an exclusive manual-winding caliber with an operating frequency of 28,800vph and a power reserve of 65 hours. The bridges are hand-beveled and decorated with Côtes de Genève.

The patented micro-fluidic module features a borosilicate glass capillary tube with nano-coating interior, bent into the shape of a skull. Inside the capillary, two immiscible liquids; one transparent, one colored, are separated by a thin meniscus that marks the hour. The liquid is stored in two multi-layer metal bellows linked to a thermal compensator. As one bellow contracts, squeezing its liquid through the capillary, the other contracts, allowing its fluid to flow back into it. When the hour indicator reaches the end of the capillary (so one bellow is totally depressed while the other is totally full), a retrograde function kicks in and the colored fluid returns to the right-hand bellow to begin its 12-hour journey again.
The HYT SOONOW watch comes in two colors (both limited to 25 pieces). One model has green fluid (backed by a black Super-LumiNova rail running beneath the capillary), and the other has blue fluid (backed by a white Super-LumiNova rail). The titanium dial is decorated with 313 18k-gold pins (either yellow or white) and 937 perforations. The skull, crown, and stainless steel base plate on the green version are all DLC-coated.

Both dials display the hour by way of the fluid-filled glass capillary. Neither model features a minute hand, as is the norm for the HYT Skull watches. The left eye of the skull shows a rotating message utilizing the words “soon,” “here,” and “now.” This is effectively a running indicator or a rudimentary seconds hand. In the left eye socket, a dilating pupil indicates the power reserve (and plays its part in creating this manic visage).
The HYT SOONOW watch measures 48.8mm-wide and stands up 20.08mm on the wrist. It is a large, unapologetically divisive wrist sculpture. The messages it is trying to communicate are well understood but perhaps too often forgotten. I am a huge fan of the brand, in general, and am quite fond of their earlier skull-inspired models, but this one does not resonate with me quite so much. The ubiquitous use of sapphire crystal affixed to a stainless steel base makes for an eye-catching piece, but I preferred the warmth and artistry of something like the HYT Skull Maori watch. However, given that both new references will be limited to just 25 pieces, it seems unlikely they will struggle to find homes on the wrists of the ultra-rich who want something that stands out from the crowd.

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.

RM 21-01 TOURBILLON AERODYNE

Richard Mille has just unveiled a new case design with its RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne. Influenced by the world of aeronautics, this watch continues the brand’s quest in crafting watches that have incredible wrist presence, are lightweight and utilize some of the most advanced materials and technologies.

The RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne sees 5N red gold sandwiched in a Carbon TPT exoskeleton using 20 spline screws. This contrasts the vivid, precious metal with a cage-like technical material. The colors continue down to the baseplate where a PVD royal blue honeycomb structure made from HAYNES 214 can be found. This engineered alloy is made from nickel, chromium, aluminum and iron, and can often be found in combustion chambers as it is able to withstand temperatures of 995 °C — this means the baseplate is stiff, has a low thermal expansion, and is resistant to high levels of torque.
The superlative quality of a Richard Mille watch is in equal measure the architecture and materials it is made of. Naturally, it would be impossible to design watches capable of resisting extreme conditions without using constituents that were themselves created to handle punishing demands. In capitalising on engineering materials—particularly from the fields of aeronautics and Formula 1—and testing their potential applications in a watch movement or its housing, Richard Mille brings into being watches whose precision, lightness and reliability are intimately bound to the materials employed.

The new RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne is entirely true to this lineage and draws on the influence of aeronautics.
With the RM 21-01, Richard Mille presents a new case design. The complex structure of the case in 5N red gold is reinforced with an exoskeleton in Carbon TPT

, used for the bezel and pillars. This extremely light and durable composite is made by stacking hundreds of layers of carbon fibres thanks to an automated process that rotates 45° between each layer, then heated to 120° in an autoclave before being machined to the nearest micron. Just like armour, these reinforcements perfectly protect the case, and are firmly held in place by 20 spline screws. The striking appearance of Carbon TPT

 layers perfectly complements the gleam of gold and the royal blue honeycombed motif of the baseplate.
Carbon TPT

 is found at the heart of the baseplate, this time combined with an orthorhombic honeycomb structure embodying the concept of air itself and made of HAYNES

 214

 with a blue PVD treatment, a first for the brand. This nickel-chromium-aluminium-iron alloy is primarily intended for use in thermal environments exceeding 955°. Optimal resistance to high temperature oxidation makes this material—which can nonetheless be moulded and assembled by conventional methods—an especially suitable choice for combustion chambers. Consequently, the RM 21-01’s baseplate offers unsurpassed stiffness, an extre-mely low thermal expansion coefficient and exceptional torque resistance, all essential prerequisites for a Richard Mille watch.

For the bridges, Richard Mille’s movements team opted for grade 5 titanium, a biocompatible titaniumaluminium-vanadium alloy used in the aerospace industry that ensures superior rigidity and excellent corrosion resistance. The barrel and tourbillon bridges, consisting of four arms on an openwork circular base edged in gold, are seated in the central crucible of the plate lending them mechanical properties ideally suited to the rotation of these moving parts, while allowing the beauty of the tourbillon to shine through. This calibre is finished with a PVD treatment in 5N red gold to enhance the contrasts created by the case and the character of this flightworthy mechanism.
The sapphire glass dial provides a flawlessly transparent window into the manual-winding Calibre RM21-01. The power-reserve indicator is placed in lieu of the number at 11 o’clock, while the torque indicator occupies the 1 o’clock position. The latter makes it possible to immediately know the barrelspring’s tension and thus optimise the movement’s functioning. At 4 o’clock sits the function selector, operated by a pusher integrated into the centre of the crown, which is crafted in Carbon TPT

 and 5N red gold with a gasket in the same material as the white rubber bracelet. A simple press suffices to switch from the Neutral (N) position to Winding (W) to Hand-Setting (H).

From the thoroughly meticulous hand finishing of the movement that includes bevelling, polishing, burnishing and chamfering of the components, to the use of innovative and technical materials and the incorporation of a tourbillon to counter the effects of Earth’s gravity, the new RM 21-01 Tourbillon Aerodyne, issued in a limited edition of 50 watches, explores new horizons.

Patek Philippe Calatrava Clous de Paris

Earlier this morning, Patek Philippe Calatrava Clous de Paris announced its final novelties for Watches & Wonders 2021, and, alongside a brand new perpetual calendar, the brand also announced a new two-reference Calatrava collection, dubbed the “Clous de Paris.” Offered in rose gold and white gold as the reference 6119R and 6119G respectively, while the watches are certainly classic and conservative in their styling, this is a big move for the Calatrava range as these models use Patek’s new 30-255 PS movement, which is meant to be the next generation of their long-standing 215 PS hand-wound caliber. With applied markers and the traditional hobnail bezel, this is kind of your grandpa’s Patek – but only better.
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way. Both references are 39mm wide, 8.08mm thick, and 46.9mm lug-to-lug (a shout out to Patek for including lug-to-lug in the tech specs). Both have sapphire display casebacks, alligator straps with pin buckles, 30 meters of water resistance, and are offered exclusively in a time-only format with a small seconds display. The rose-gold 6119R has a silver-grained dial with applied rose-gold “obus” markers and hands. Conversely, the 6119G has a grey-black dial with a vertical brushed finish and snailed finishing on the sub-dial.
Taking inspiration from the Calatrava’s impressive back catalog (which dates as far back as 1932 and the Ref. 96), these new Calatravas are a bit bigger but house a more suitably sized movement and have curved lugs for an ideal fit. In many ways, Patek Philippe Calatrava 6119 has created the new 6119 as an amalgam of various past references while striving to make the watch as modern as possible. Thus, we find a brand new movement wrapped in a design that has elements of the Ref. 96D, the 3919, and the 5119. See a pattern?

The key to this redesign is most certainly Patek’s new Caliber 30-255 PS, which is meant to be an upsized version of the 215 PS to better suit a modern case size. As such, where the 215 PS measures 21.9mm across, the 30-255 offers a case-filling 31mm diameter, all while maintaining the 215 PS’s exceedingly thin profile of just 2.55mm. Perhaps even more impressively, Patek has managed to fit a pair of mainspring barrels in the 30-255, so its power reserve is 65+ hours (versus 44 hours for the 215 PS).
Hand-wound and beautifully finished, the 30-255 carries the Patek Philippe Seal, and with it, a guarantee of -3/+2 seconds per day. Additionally, and helpful for those wanting to watch their 6119’s accuracy, the movement can be hacked (pulling the crown stops the movement so that the time can be synchronized with another measure). So while the Calatrava remains welcomely old-school in terms of its design, the new movement helps to keep things fresh.
The other benefit is that a larger movement means the dial proportions and layout can be improved, especially when it comes to the small seconds display. Just take a moment to compare a mid-late 2000s 5119 against the new 6119 (above) – see how much lower in the dial they are able to set the seconds display? And how much more proportional the overall layout is? While I think the use of negative space and contrast on the 5119 is rather special, the 6119 looks much more balanced and decidedly more like a modern Patek.

The Patek Philippe Calatrava 6119 has always been the quiet core of Patek Philippe’s range, and these new models keep a lot of the Calatrava’s subtle appeal while ensuring the range has the technical footing to remain competitive and timely within the brand’s ever-evolving lineup.

Jacob & Co Astronomia Casino

The Replica Jacob & Co. Astronomia Casino, also known as Jacob & Co. Astronomia Gambler, is another unique creation from Jacob & Co., conceived, designed and produced to be another step toward their goal of ruling over the segment of preposterously over-engineered, fun, ultra-high-end watches — because such a thing does exist and has, in fact, existed for years.
Whereas the mid-naughties were ruled by Harry Winston Opus watches — widely and rightfully credited as the original source of haute horlogerie creations that defied established limitations in design and functionality — the early teens were all about musical Jaquet Droz pieces, big-brand grand complications with perpetual calendars and chronographs and chiming mechanisms. (Some basic research will lead you to realize how the values of these things from the likes of Audemars Piguet, IWC, A. Lange & Söhne, and others have dropped off a cliff, sometimes down to 25 to 30% of their original retail price.) Why am I saying this? For one, because it was only recently that I came to realize how this was a frequent thing with “grand complications” and not just “one-off” lemons, and second, to show that so many of those who can afford these things are ready to take a blow on their purchases (or even if ready they are not, they are forced to, should they wish to exit a position in one of these watches).3
Why do these traditionally highly valued watches tend to take such a massive hit in their “value,” save for a select few references that are like currency? For one, because they were severely over-produced. When you can pick up an Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars “Equation of Time” Calendar for $28,000, even though it originally retailed for nearly $110,000, or an IWC Grande Complication Minute Repeater Perpetual Calendar Limited Edition for $80,000, though it originally retailed for around $250,000, the relative abundance of these watches really strikes back. Another element to consider is that they simply are not fun anymore — not in the eyes of their original owners. The perpetual calendar kool-aid was strongly addictive back around the late ’00s, but when the only thing you can say for one of the key complications in your watch is, “Yeah, it’s not doing anything right now that you can see, but do you even know how complicated this is?” — that’s not a good sign.
Like it or not, the resale value of these once-upon-a-time grail status watches tells you more about their current desirability than I ever could. Those with six-figure amounts (in USD) available to burn on a watch purchase have migrated towards watches that are any one or more of the following: 1) novel, 2) fun, 3) expressive, 4) unique, 5) easy to appreciate. As always with watches, the more boxes you tick, generally speaking, the higher the price. The Jacob & Co. Astronomia Casino has gone to extreme lengths to tick all those boxes, and then some.
With its — there’s no other word for it — ridiculous thickness of 27.9 millimeters (that is an inch and then some!), it’s a watch to be easily appreciated from up close… as well as the other side of the dinner table. It’s as discreet as sitting at dinner with a 1940s Francis Bacon fixed above your head, like a sail. The heft is validated by a multi-tier, multi-purpose JCAM29A caliber that comprises the Astronomia “vertical caliber” with its rotating platform of four rotating arms and a fully functioning, fully mechanical roulette complication that lives underneath it.
First, a few words about the Astronomia. Although Jacob & Co. has created many wildly different variations of this movement, it remains genuinely outstanding as far as its construction and function are concerned. Powered by a single mainspring with a respectable power reserve of 60 hours (can be longer or shorter depending on the model variation and added complications), essentially every component other than the mainspring barrel and the winding and setting “bows” (crown-replacements on the caseback) live up in this four-arm assembly.
The four arms carry a bi-axial tourbillon (that becomes a triple-axis tourbillon in ways I shall explain soon), a miniature planet earth in blue magnesium, a 1-carat, 288-facet Jacob cut diamond that also rotates around its own axis, and a differential driven sub-dial for the time. These four arms perform a rotation across the face of the watch together and simultaneously, in under 10 minutes — and it is this rotation that adds the third 10-minute axis for the tourbillon.
The time display rotates with this assembly, and so, to keep it from turning upside down as it orbits the face of the watch, the implementation of a differential was required. This allows for the sub-dial to remain level, for the hands to be driven, and for the entire assembly to rotate together.

As impressive the tourbillon and the rotating diamond may be, my favorite two feats in the Astronomia are this differential driven-time display and the fact that each two opposing arms are perfect counterweights of each another. That’s some cool “invisible engineering” that saves the movement from suffering excessive strains from an overweight arm that would pull or push the delicate-going train assembly.
The centerpiece of this very Astronomia is, of course, its roulette complication. At the press of the button at the 8 o’clock position of the case, the roulette wheel is forcefully spun, sending the little white ceramic ball flying. To keep it from entering the movement, the entire roulette wheel feature is set underneath a pane of sapphire crystal. The functioning of this complication feels reassuring at every press of the button, and the overall execution of its every detail is as spectacular as it damn well should be.
The wheel is crafted from 18k rose gold, with black and red enamel used for its 36+1 pockets. As I said, the thickness is 27.9mm, while the case measures 47mm in diameter. Strangely, because the lugs are so short and are angled steeply downward, the overall wearability is the Astronomia Casino’s other way of playing games with one’s senses. Looking at it directly from above, the overall effect is borderline manageable — even on my narrow wrists, 6.75 inches in diameter. However, once I start tiling the watch away from myself, it begins to reveal its bonkers case structure, topped off with a generously curved front sapphire crystal. Speaking of which, the case band is one single band of sapphire crystal which, when paired with the hollowed out lugs, makes for an easy way of appreciating the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Casino in operation.

Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711

The Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 is dead, long live the 5711. While news broke earlier this year that Patek would discontinue its most desirable model, arguably the most coveted watch in the world, the brand is already pushing its replacement out to center stage. As part of the kickoff of Watches and Wonders, the industry’s biggest trade show, Patek announced a quartet of new Nautilus models, including the successor to the navy blue Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 .

The star of the show is the 5711/1A-014, identical in nearly every way to the watch that came before it, but for one key difference: The Nautilus is switching out its traditional blue dial for one in olive green. If you’re new to the world of watch collecting, that might not sound like much. But in an industry that obsesses over millimeters, this change is enough to set the world on fire. This is the first time the shade has shown up on any Nautilus. The waitlist for the item—would-be buyers waited up to a decade to buy the discontinued 5711—starts now.
While the 5711/1A is in the class of if you know, you know, the other new Nautilus models aren’t shy about showing off. First up is the green-dial Nautilus with 32 baguette diamonds. If that’s not enough for you, there’s also a rose-gold version of the watch, loaded up with 2,553 diamonds across the dial, case, and bracelet. Much is made of watch brands listening to their customers and tailoring watches to those folks’ taste. Well, this looks like a case of Patek looking around at how celebrities already treat their Nautiluses—Lil Baby, Nicki Minaj, and Drake all own aftermarket bust-downs—and one-upping them.

And if green isn’t your thing, the last of the new Nautilus pieces sticks with the model’s signature navy blue, wedging it into a rose-gold case with a travel time feature. The piece is ready for a post-vaccination world: Windows marked “Home” and “Local” help the wearer keep track of the time in two time zones.
After discontinuing the Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711 , Patek president Thierry Stern told The New York Times, “We cannot put a single watch on top of our pyramid.” However, it wasn’t hard to predict a new range of the model was coming back. In the same interview, Stern divulged that the 5711 in particular “will have a victory lap. We will have a surprise final series of the Ref. 5711. And it is not what was left in the pipeline.” And Stern knows that, like all the 5711s that came before it, this watch will also be a heartbreaker. “How many there will be, I cannot give this information,” he said. “It won’t be enough for everyone who is waiting for one.”
Despite the new green model, Patek is still making good on its announcement that production of the 5711/1A will conclude in 2021. The green-dial Nautilus will be made during this year only, which should make the piece extremely limited. Think of this watch as a final send-off for the beloved model—and expect an even bigger Patek frenzy than usual.

Nomos Glashütte Club Campus

The Nomos Club Campus is something of a quirky one. The original Nomos Club can cite a relatively classic and simple dial as part of its strong visual appeal, yet the Campus simply doesn’t follow suit. A watch that looks perfect on more robust wrists. The classic from NOMOS Glashütte, and number one: the handcrafted and manually wound Alpha caliber, which keeps on running—highly precise and highly praised, you only need to wind it once every two days.
Any conversation about watches that offer good value for money is bound to include NOMOS. It’s been a core tenet of the brand since the very beginning and every year we get some new release that shocks us with its price tag to gears-and-hands ratio. With the new Club Campus though, NOMOS is trying to push it even further, offering a fun watch specifically targeted at first-time watch owners receiving their timepieces for special occasions. Oh, and they’re awesome.
Earlier this week we showed you the new Club Neomatik, which can be considered the sort of “premium” Club model with intricate dials, open casebacks, and NOMOS’s latest slim automatic movements inside. The Club Campus offers a lot of the same details and look, only at half the price.
There three Club Campus models, in two sizes. The first watch is a 36mm Club, with the familiar long-lugged case, and the other two are 38mm Clubs, all in stainless steel. This means you can now get the Club in 36mm, 37mm, 38mm, 40mm, and 41.5mm, so there’s really a size for everyone. The Nomos Club Campus are all three-handers, luminous hour and minute hands and a sub-seconds register down at six o’clock. The dials are California dials, meaning there are Arabic numerals up top and Roman numerals down below. This is something we’ve never seen from NOMOS before and I really dig it.
One of the ways NOMOS has kept the price down on these watches is that inside is the Alpha caliber. This is still an in-house NOMOS movement, but it’s the oldest movement in the collection and doesn’t feature the Swing System escapement or the Neomatik winding system. It’s a manually-wound movement with 17 jewels and a 43-hour power reserve. Don’t misunderstand me here – this is a great movement. It might not be the fanciest, but that’s not what this watch is about.
Smartly, NOMOS has opted for a closed caseback here. It’s another cost-savings method, but more importantly it takes the focus away from the movement and places it on the experience of wearing the watch (not to mention making it slimmer too). For this watch though there’s another benefit: the expanse of steel offers a space for custom engravings, whether it be for a gift or a self-purchase. NOMOS is offering complementary engraving on all Nomos Club Campus watches and turn-around time is just a week or two.
The three models offer different colors, but all in the same general family. The 36mm has slightly more emphasis on the red and pink tones, while the similar 38mm model more prominently displays the bright blue SuperLuminova. The Nacht model, with the dark dial, is the most distinctive, and offers something for those who don’t want a light silvered dial. Personally, I like all three models pretty equally and think it really comes down to personal style here.

Breitling Premier Heritage

During our last conversation a couple of months ago, CEO Georges Kern could hardly keep his cool as, bursting with pride, he gushed over Breitling’s 2021 novelties – without revealing anything, of course. As we are now finding out, his excitement was fully justified. This year, the Premier collection is extending to include six new – and extraordinarily chic – Breitling Premier Heritage Chrono models within three sub-lines.
In 2018, Kern presented the first Premier of the new era. This was surprising in the sense that prior to the relaunch, the model was not particularly on anyone’s radar. The Premier collection is based on a line originally conceived by Willy Breitling in the 1940s, which picked up on the achievements of his predecessors alongside his personal vision of a modern and elegant watch. This involved a combination of Léon Breitling’s tachymeter display, and Gaston Breitling’s chronograph with a separate pusher at 2 o’clock. Willy Breitling further complemented these features by adding his two separate chronograph pushers at 4 o’clock, creating a stylish watch with a sensual case and low-key dial.
In his time, Willy Breitling was an important supplier of prominent military and pilot watches – although he increasingly yearned for normality after years of war. He wanted to bring back a sense of optimism, both for himself and others, through beautiful objects. Furthermore, having a good sense of style was an obsession for Willy Breitling. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the first 1943 Premier was Willy Breitling’s dream come true; a stylish watch that simultaneously incorporated the technical finesse of the company’s history.
It’s possible that Georges Kern sees himself as the cross-generational ambassador of this historically important model. Upon reissuing the line back in 2018, Kern respectfully adopted the achievements of the company’s founders, while also making subtle tweaks and bringing the Premier up to date technically.
Now, he is continuing on the line of Willy Breitling’s thoughts on elegant watches by introducing several new features. That said, Kern also left room for some fashionable touches. This involved keeping the Premier as a watch that can serve as a dress watch, yet be sporty enough to be equally wearable with a suit as a leather jacket. Therefore, the once baton indices are now Arabic numerals, and the hands are becoming even more classic. Additionally, new precious metals, as well as new functions, are making their way into the Premier watches. Furthermore, all new models come with a fine alligator leather strap with tone-on-tone stitching.
The Breitling Premier chronograph, previously measuring 42 mm, is now available in the form of two 40 mm models. This is essentially a “back to the roots” move from Breitling – the historical Premier models measured a smaller 36-38 mm. Of course, this would simply not be a fashionable size today.
Furthermore, the calibre also sort of goes back the model’s roots, as it were, now featuring a classic manual winding mechanism. The new chronographs use Breitling’s manufacture calibre B09, using the manufacture Calibre 01 as its base. This is the same movement that powers both the Navitimer Ref. 806 and AVI Ref. 765. Additionally, the choice of a manual winding movement means that the open caseback is a particularly delightful feature.
The expansion of the Premier chronograph also introduces several new colour and material combinations. One of the two models showcases a pistachio-green dial in a stainless-steel case. Meanwhile, the second model has a silver-coloured dial with an 18-carat red-gold case. Both dials are impressively well done (in fact this applies to all models). For one thing, Breitling keeps the subdial counters in the same colour tone as the dial. Furthermore, the Arabic numerals and the “B” from Breitling’s logo are not simply printed, but rather neatly applied. As with the Arabic numerals, it was a clever move to switch up the baton hands in favour of cathedral hands.
The Breitling in-house calibre B09 is COSC-certified and offers a power reserve of approximately 70 hours. The new Premier B09 Chronographs come with a golden-brown alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. The price for the steel version is 7,400 euros, while the red-gold version is 16,200 euros.
It was perhaps foreseeable that the Premier chronographs would be given a drag pointer sooner or later. After all, as a chronograph specialist, the horology house has something to prove in this complex field. Willy Breitling introduced the first Breitling Duograph back in 1944. The name Duograph, meaning two chronograph hands, initially established itself at Breitling in place of the more common terms “drag pointer” or “rattrapante”.
Here comes the Premier Duograph of the 21st century. Breitling has come up with a new calibre for the watch, the Breitling manufacture calibre B15. The movement uses the in-house rattrapante calibre B03, but it is a manually winding, rather than automatic calibre, which measures a solid 15.35 mm in height. The integrated crown pusher for the drag pointer function is a special feature previously used on the historic models.
The new Breitling Premier B15 Duograph 42 is available either with a glossy deep blue dial in a stainless-steel case, or with a black dial and 18-carat red-gold case. The Breitling in-house movement B15 with manual winding is also COSC-certified and offers an approximate 70-hour power reserve.
Both versions come with a brown or black alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. The price for the steel version is 9,350 euros, while the red-gold version costs 19,200 euros.
George Kern keeps reviving lost treasures from the Breitling archives. Within the Premier collection, Willy Breitling also introduced a sub-line named the “Datora”. In addition to the classic chronograph displays, it also integrated a day, date and moonphase display.
Today, one would consider it somewhat atypical for Breitling. Yet for Georges Kern, it embodies his original goal as he took over and turned Breitling around as CEO and co-owner; to provide a worthy stage for the brand’s immense range of historic models.
If you take a look at the Datora Reference 805 from 1946, you’ll see how astonishingly similar the new model is to its historic counterpart. Breitling is simply adding a shine to it through a number of small new details, as well as the inclusion of the in-house automatic calibre B25.
The new Datora 42 has a champagne-coloured (Breitling actually calls it “copper-coloured”) dial, and comes in a stainless-steel case. At first glance, the watch evokes Patek’s Ref. 5270P or Lange’s Datograph. However, as the devil is in the detail, and in this sense, one should take a second look to get to see the subtle differences.
The second variation of the new Datora 42 has a silver-coloured dial and an 18-carat red-gold case. Both models come with a dark brown alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. Powering them is the new Breitling in-house automatic calibre B25 with a 48-hour power reserve, and is COSC-certified. Its price is 11,350 euros in steel or 22,200 euros in red-gold.
The new models are all very well executed. However, Breitling has to be aware that the tall height of the Premier might not be to everyone’s taste. Due to the modular construction of the movement, the Duograph and Datora, with their 15.35 mm heights, aren’t exactly watches made to flatter the wrist. With the new Premier Heritage Chrono collection, Breitling takes an interesting step in the future of its brand development. The collection enables a whole new approach at the horology house, which rested on the success of a few icons for far too long. The new Premier is a game changer that is likely to entice a whole new clientele – we picture it adorning the wrists of successful start-ups entrepreneurs or young creatives – from London to Tokyo.