REFERENCE (CASE / BRACELET): 116610 LN/V / 97200
We all knew it was coming. First there was the new Aquaracer (called the Aquaracer 500M because it didn't actually totally replace the more basic Aquaracer) and now there is the chronograph version. It looks pretty rad actually. Feeling very similar to a dive version of the new Carrera, this watch has a similar layout, but not the 1887 automatic chronograph. The Aquaracer 500M Automatic Chronograph has a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 that they refer to as the Calibre 16 movement.
I like that the dials look a bit three dimensional. The chapter ring is applied, as are the hour indicators - where there is lume, in addition to it being on the hands. I feel that for a sport watch, the hands could have stood out just a tiny bit more, but overall the pieces are a good mix between style and legibility. The dials feel like they have just enough going on, without going overboard. Styling overall is fun, youthful, yet tasteful. While you don't get the impression that the watches have a low-rent look, these aren't luxury timepieces either. Best as casual sport watches that can take some abuse.
Some of the best Longio Tourbillon watches are sport pieces - or at least sporty looking ones. Rubber straps and clear faces are enhanced with tourbillon complications. Perhaps not the tourbillon watch for everyone, but still interesting and marketable. A real "easy on the eyes" aesthetic that I can appreciate. For the ladies is a tourbillon watch as well. This is a more fancy watch for sure. An horizontally oblong case in polished steel with a mother-of-pearl dial, semi-precious stones around the bezel, and a date with moon phase indicator subdial. The applied hour markers and hands are attractive as well. It might not have as polished a design as those coming from Europe, but the price is comparatively fractional.
I wanted to double up on my coverage of nice, (relatively, in the luxury watch sense) affordable military style watches that were unveiled at Baselworld 2010. I just spoke about the Tag Heuer Formula i Khaki that has a green military strap and dial. Now I would like to share with you the new Bell & Ross BR03-92 Military Ceramic watch. Put in the BR03 case which is 42mm wide, the watch is in a matte finished ceramic in green. Cool! The olive drab green color of the case is lighter than the dark green of the dial. The Bell & Ross BR01/BR03 dial is based on military fonts and a high legibility style - so it looks right at home. The label of "Military Type" is on the dial of the watch in the version I sampled, but not in the marketing image. Hard to say what will be in the final version.
Available on a really high quality rubber strap (in orange or dark brown) or on a cool "H" link metal bracelet, the Clipper Chrono also has a few dial color choices. These include a silver tone, a slate tone, and a mocha tone. Each looks pretty good in their own right. Perhaps a bit bare, but the tight looking chapter ring with hash markers helps with a "functional" look and balances out the inner dial. The dials are now a bit three dimensional as well. The chronograph subdial sections are lowered a bit - which is a better look that the previous models I think. The application of the revolving Arabic numerals is also better. Nice bold lume covered numerals. Hands are further improved in quality. Faceted in the middle and polished, with lume in the center - and strong like swords.
Read more about the Chopard L.U.C Engine One Tourbillon watch in my article at Haute Living here.
This Pathfinder is mid-line for Casio, lacking only the radio-set functionality of the more expensive versions. It still has solar power (which I consider an essential feature for an outdoor watch), alarms, countdown timer, world time, altimeter, barometer, compass, altimeter, thermometer, trend graphs and an EL backlight. The case is 50.7mm across at the widest point, 15.5mm thick and 65g on the plastic strap.
It is this reason that Hublot is such a success, not the only reason, but an essential ingredient. There are plenty of other brands with good designs, but no vocal souls. JCB is the face and voice of the entire brand’s image. There is a little Biver sensation in each Hublot watch, a fact that makes me want one so badly. JCB will never let you forget about Hublot either. Regardless of whether or not you feel as though the volume of limited edition models coming from the brand is humorous, you are continuously left thinking about the brand. Not only that, but so are other people. So if you are a lucky owner of an Hublot watch, you can be sure enough on looking envious people recognize your wrist prize because JCB has made sure they too are thinking about the brand.
A Speedmaster Professional 145.022-71 Non-NASA (and Original)
The dial design was curious to me at first, but proved highly enjoyable and useful. It is clearly styled after airplane cockpit instrumentation. Maybe more so that Bell & Ross aviation themed watches. Bremont founder restored vintage aircraft before making watches, so they know a thing or two about airplane instrument style. This includes the style of the hour and minute hands, the matte black metal dial, the hour indicators, and the damn good clarity. Though I have to say, the Bremont U-2 dial is probably a lot nicer in quality that most airplane cockpit instruments. Like the MB1 watches, the seconds hand has an emergency eject handle as the counterweight. This handle would rest between your legs in a Martin Baker ejection seat - ready to be pulled in the case of an emergency. It has no such function in the watch! Imagine an ejection lever that would eject the movement from the case. That would reach new heights of pointless complications.