Introducing the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield in Black and White Ref. 42000CN (Specs & Price)

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Tudor has just unveiled the latest version of its black ceramic chronograph, the monochromatic Fastrider Black Shield in black and white, inspired by the Ducati XDiavel motorcycle.

Characterised by its one-piece, black ceramic case, the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield was originally introduced in 2013, with red or khaki accents on the dial. Now with the launch of the all-black Ducati XDiavel cruiser, Tudor has stripped all the colour from the Fastrider Black Shield to match, leaving it stark in black and white.  The new Fastrider Black Shield is as functional and fuss-free as a chronograph modelled on a motorcycle can be. While the design is almost identical to the other Fastrider chronographs, including the steel model introduced at Baselworld 2015, the new black and white version looks distinctively different. Though the dial has a larger logo at 12 o’clock, it conversely seems less cluttered because the dial has no colour. 

The 42mm matte black ceramic case is matched with a matte black dial that has the hour markers and hands highlight in flat white. Made via a process known as sintering, where ceramic powder is heated in a mould to create a dense and strong mass, the case and bezel are a single piece. The crown and pushers are in black-coated steel to match the ceramic case.

Inside the ceramic case is a Valjoux 7753, meaning it is robust, reliable and easy to service. It’s self-winding with a 46-hour power reserve.

The Fastrider Black Shield is water-resistant to 150m and available on a leather or rubber strap, both paired with a matching black coated folding buckle. It’s s priced at exactly the same as the existing models in the range, which is US$4925 or €3250.

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Hands-On with the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm PAM574 and PAM575 (Review & Price)

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A men’s dress watch or ladies’ timepiece, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm PAM00574 and PAM00575 are the first watches to feature Panerai’s new calibre P.1000, a hand-wound movement with a zero-reset seconds.

A recent addition to the Panerai collection, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm is the smallest watch in its line-up, and it’s equipped with the new P.1000 movement. It’s also notable because the steel version, the PAM574, is paired with a lime green strap, making it a ladies watch in all but name. The new Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm succeeds the references PAM512 and PAM513 introduced in 2013, both identical in size but more masculine in styling. While the discontinued PAM512 and PAM513 used the P.999 movement made by Piaget, their replacements have the in-house P.1000. Though not explicitly described as a ladies’ watch, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm PAM574 looks like one. It has a stainless steel case, black dial and gilt hands, along with a pale green Super-Luminova that matches the lime green strap. On a black or brown strap this would immediately look like a conventional military-inspired Panerai, and a watch for men, but this combination is more slanted towards the female clientele.

Exactly the same size but more masculine is the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Oro Rosso 42mm PAM575 in red gold. This is also 42mm in diameter, but the combination of a red gold case, black dial and black strap give it a strong contrast.

At 42mm both watches are small by Panerai standards, but sizeable enough compared to everything else. While the steel PAM574 is passable as a ladies’ watch, the PAM575 might do as a men’s dress watch, albeit a largish one. Both the PAM574 and PAM575 are not quite typical Panerai watches, yet they are not entirely the watches they seem to want to be, which begs the question why? The obvious answer is to broaden the appeal of the brand, to bring in those who do not want a large wristwatch that looks like it’s going to war.

The new calibre P.1000 Aesthetics aside, both watches are powered by the P.1000, a new movement that is an upgrade over the P.999 it replaces. Hand-wound movement with a three day power reserve, the P.1000 is finished in a manner typical of Panerai movements, with straight brushed finish on the bridges and shiny, diamond-cut bevels. Large apertures have been cut into the three-quarter bridge to show part of the gear train, giving it some visual appeal.

More importantly, the P.1000 has a useful zero-reset seconds for more precise time-setting: pulling the crown brings the seconds hand to 12 o’clock, and it remains frozen there until the time is set and the crown is pushed back in.

Pricing The Radiomir 1940 42mm in steel is €7400 or S$10,900, while the red gold version is €17,600 or S$25,900. Singapore dollar prices include 7% tax.

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Roger W. Smith Introduces New Quartet of Wristwatches, Including Retrograde Date and Triple Calendar

Roger W. Smith has facelifted and expanded his collection of hand-made wristwatches, presenting the new Series 1, 2, 3 and 4, which include complications like a retrograde date and triple calendar.
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Based in the Isle of Man, English watchmaker Roger W. Smith is best known as the protege of the late George Daniels, inventor of the Co-Axial escapement now used by Omega. Up till now, Roger W. Smith’s offering of serially produced timepieces comprised of just a single model, the Series 2. That has now grown to four watches, starting with the time-only Series 1, a redesigned Series 2, the Series 3 with date function, and the instantaneous triple calendar Series 4.

A new movement and improved escapement 

Though different in terms of the complications, each of the new watches is equipped with the same base calibre featuring a refined Co-Axial escapement that’s more efficient and compact. First seen in the GREAT Britain wristwatch made for the campaign to promote the United Kingdom, the new escapement necessitated developing a new movement as it could not be retrofitted due to its smaller size.

Alongside the new movement, the latest watches also have a slightly redesigned case, though the characteristic Roger W. Smith aesthetic inherited from George Daniels remains the same. Despite the mechanical and design changes, the quality has not changed – the whole watch is made of traditional materials like gold, brass, steel and sterling silver that last practically forever. The dials, for instance, are made from sterling silver and gold, with blued steel hands.

The return of the Series 1 and 2

The Series 1 and 2 are not entirely new models: made from 2001 to 2004, the Series 1 was Roger W. Smith’s first serially produced timepiece. It was rectangular with a retrograde date function; at the end of its production it was succeeded by the more conventionally shaped Series 2.

The original Series 1

Now the new Series 1 is the simplest timepiece in the collection, an entry-level watch so to speak. Featuring three hands for the hours, minutes and seconds, the Series 1 has a 40mm case.

With the addition of a power reserve indicator, the new Series 2 is slightly more complicated. It is also 40mm in diameter, and looks largely identical to the first generation Series 2.

Series 3 retrograde date The retrograde date indicator found on the first generation, rectangular Series 1 has made a comeback with the new Series 3. This has a fan-shaped date indicator at 12 o’clock and is also 40mm.

Series 4 triple calendar 

The most complicated watch in the new line-up is the Series 4 that shows the day, date, month and moon phase. Slightly larger at 41mm, the Series 4 has the traditional layout of a triple calendar, with two windows for the day and month along with the moon phase at six o’clock. Unlike most calendar watches with calendar discs that creep over to the next day, this has an instantaneous calendar, meaning all the indicators change crisply at midnight.

Also unusual is the date indicator: instead of a conventional arrow-tipped hand for the date, the Series 4 uses a “travelling date aperture”, essentially two prongs, to indicate the date. Done this way for better legibility, the pronged date pointer means the dial is split into two parts, an outer chapter ring with the date, and the inner portion with everything else. In-between is the track that the date aperture travels on.

Pricing

The Series 1 starts at about £95,000 in gold (about US$145,000), while the Series 4 starts is in excess of £250,000 (about US$381,000). They are available from www.rwsmithwatches.com.

Update November 16, 2015: Included the fact that the Series 4 calendar is instantaneous.
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