Yet another vintage inspired watch

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Photo from calibre11.com

This time from TAG Heuer. The new Monza chronograph features blued cathedral hands and a faux enamel dial with mock aged Luminova. Somehow the case looks a bit too modern for such a heavily vintage dial. It is also reminiscent of the Longines Spirit.  The movement is the TAG Heuer Cal. 36 which is actually a Zenith El Primero.

More on the new Monza at TAG Heuer specialist site Calibre11. – SJX

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Less is more from Stowa – the Flieger Chrono

Stowa is popular on the internet mainly for its affordable watches styled liked vintage military designs. They have just unveiled their Flieger Chronograph, one of the most uncluttered chronographs I have ever come across.

The chronograph has been condensed into a central seconds hand and a minute counter – that’s it. I like the clean and functional design tremendously. Inside is a Valjoux 7753 modified by Stowa (I assume the modification is merely moving the seconds pinion). Case is 41 mm and in steel.

As with all Stowa watches the pricing is reasonable, at about EUR1400, give or take depending on the strap choice. They are available on Stowa’s online store.

– SJX

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Finally the new Rolex Explorer II is here

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A screenshot of the mystery 2010 video

Last year a Rolex promotional video was making its rounds on the internet. It showed the 2010 collection with one addition, what appeared to be a new Explorer II with the enlarged case of the new Submariner and an orange hand a la freccione or Steve McQueen ref. 1655.



The story goes that the watch was originally slated for 2010 release but pulled at the last minute, and the video was released by accident.

So it was not hard to guess one of the watches Rolex just unveiled at Baselworld 2011.

The new Rolex Explorer II is 42 mm, larger than the Submariner and GMT-Master II but smaller than the Deep Sea. It contains the new 3187 calibre.

– SJX 

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The new Tudor Heritage Advisor

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In the fifties the Tudor line-up had an alarm watch known as the ‘Advisor’, the only complication available in a Tudor but not a Rolex. This year at Baselworld 2011 the alarm makes a comeback as part of the Heritage collection which takes inspiration from vintage Tudor (last year’s highly successful Monte Carlo was the first Heritage model).

The new Advisor has a 42 mm titanium and steel case. The movement is automatic with an in-house Tudor alarm module; the base calibre is most probably an ETA. The functions are explained in the Tudor press release:

“The disc at 3 o’clock indicates the status of the alarm power reserve. The alarm function is activated via a specially shaped pusher at 8 o’clock, and its ON/OFF indicator is displayed in a dial aperture at 9 o’clock. The date is indicated by a hand on the counter at 6 o’clock. The winding crown at 2 o’clock is engraved with the name ADVISOR and is used to set the alarm. The crown at 4 o’clock is delicately decorated with the TUDOR rose from the original dial and is used to access the winding, time settingand date-changing functions.”

– SJX Addendum: More on the Tudor Heritage Advisor alarm.

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Introducing the new Patek Philippe ref. 5270 perpetual calendar chronograph

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Baselworld 2011 has just opened and one of the most anticipated watches is the replacement for the ref. 5270G from Patek Philippe, the latest in a long history of chronograph with perpetual calendar wristwatches.

Fifth in a long line of such complications the Geneva house (it is preceeded by the refs. 1518, 2499, 3970, 5970), but it is the first entirely in-house model of this complication – that is in itself a sign of how the industry has changed. 

It utilises the CH29 calibre, first seen in the 5170J, with the addition of a calendar module, making it the CH 29-535 PS Q.

The Patek Philippe CH29

The two apertures at 4:30 and 7:30 are the leap year and day/night indicators respectively (pictured right).

Based on this photo alone, the short indices from three to nine o’clock seem a bit unbalanced, but the curved lugs are a nice detail.

The case is in white gold only for now. It measures 41 mm in diameter, one mm wider than the 5970 it replaces.

Like the rest of the Patek Grande Complications it is presented with two casebacks, one solid and the other sapphire. In practice that means the watch is sold with the sapphire case back and the solid back remains sealed in the factory pack.

Technical specifications

Movement Hand-wound, CH 29-535 PS Q calibre Functions Hours, minutes, seconds, perpetual calendar (date, day, month and leap years), chronograph, moon phase and day/night indicator Case 18K white gold, 41 mm; Sapphire crystal; Interchangeable solid back and sapphire crystal back; Water-resistant to 30 m / 3 ATM Dial Silvered opaline; Black oxidised white-gold hourmarkers and hands Day and month windows at 12 o’clock Moon phase and date at 6 o’clock Day/night indicator at 7.30, leap year indicator at 4.30 Instant 30-minute counter at 3 o’clock and small seconds counter at 9 o’clock Bracelet/Strap Matt black, hand-stitched, square-scale alligator leather with 18K white gold folding clasp

– SJX

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Introducing The Patek Philippe Ref. 5204P Split Seconds Chronograph With Perpetual Calendar

Introducing The New Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Chronograph Ref. 5905P (With Prices)

Baselworld 2013: Patek Philippe Calatrava Ref. 5227 with officer's style case

The Calatrava Ref. 5227 is the latest Patek Philippe dress watch with officer's style case, this time with an invisible hinge for the case back. It is simple but classically attractive in the traditional Patek Philippe style.

Price is inverse to weight

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In the world of Richard Mille, price is inverse to weight. When launched the RM009 Felipe Massa and subsequent RM027 Rafael Nadal tourbillons were the lighest mechanical watches in the world. And now to satisfy those who want a weightless watch but are on a budget, Richard Mille gives us the RM035 Rafael Nadal.

Like the RM027 it was developed for Rafael Nadal. And like the RM027 it has a heavily skeletonised movement weighing only 4.3 g. The RMUL1 movement is manually wound and almost certainly from Vaucher. Interestingly, it is Chronofiable® certified which means it has a passed a thorough series of durability and reliability tests. It is the first RM to receive this certification; Chronofiable® is also part of the testing process of the Qualite Fleurier certification used by Chopard amongst others.  The case is a magnesium-aluminium alloy with a black ceramic oxide coating. A brilliantly cool looking watch. And it retails for the equivalent of an almost ridiculous USD95,000.

But for those who are parsimonious, Casio offers a pair of G-Shocks with carbon fibre bands that weigh 47 g and cost about USD300.

I really wanted to pick up one of these when I was in Tokyo but the lettering on the band put me off. Casio needs to learn from Richard Mille: less is more.

– SJX

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