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RJ Introduces the Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon

It's a central flying tourbillon.

Though RJ has long used pop culture icons – from Hello Kitty to Pokemon to Super Mario – on its watches, the Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon is the most interesting to date, because it’s powered by a newly developed movement boasting a central flying tourbillon and a six-day power reserve.

While earlier RJ cartoon- or comic-inspired were mostly standard watches with design tweaks, the new tourbillon modelled on Marvel’s web-slinger is mechanically interesting on several levels. The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon is powered by the RJ-7000, a hand-wound movement that, according to the brand, was developed in-house at its recently opened manufacture in Eysins, about 30 minutes from downtown Geneva. More notably is the fact that the concept of the movement was first developed by RJ chief executive Marco Tedeschi while he was studying micro-technical engineering at the École Technique de la Vallée de Joux (ETVJ).

Central tourbillon

The movement is fully skeletonised, with the large flying tourbillon sitting right in the centre. Though conventional tourbillons are extremely common, central tourbillons are notably uncommon. Only a few brands produce them, most notably Omega and Beat Haldimann, and now RJ.

Open-worked to resemble a spider’s web, the tourbillon cage is made of titanium, and sits just over a pair of eyes taken from Spider-Man’s mask. Because the tourbillon sits right in the centre of the dial, the hands are are peripheral, sitting on the edge of the dial, below the plane of the tourbillon.

The planetary minute hand is linked to the going train and driven by planetary gears. And the minute hand in turn drives the hour hand, via a large toothed ring sitting on the edge of the movement. So legibility isn’t the best – the hands are small and blend into the skeleton movement – but it’s mechanically interesting and looks cool.

The hour hand (left), driven by small planetary gears, and the minute hand

Sitting below the tourbillon is a single, extremely large barrel that provides 150 hours, or about six and a quarter days, of power reserve. The barrel is wound directly via a large, pull-out ring on the back. When not in use, the ring sits in a recess and is flush with the case back.

Setting the time is done via the same ring, but a button in between the lugs at six o’clock has to be pressed to engage the setting mechanism. To facilitate that, the strap has a quick release system: pressing on the screw heads on each lug releases the strap.

Carbon composite

Two versions of the Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon are available, both powered by the same movement. The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon has a black and red case made of carbon composite mixed with red fibreglass, while the Arraw Spider-Man Stealth Tourbillon has a case made of black and grey marbled carbon composite.

Both can styles are identical in size and design, measuring 45mm in diameter with four rubber bumpers fitted on the sides. Crystals on both sides are sapphire, but the one on the front is domed. And the case back is titanium.

The Arraw Spider-Man Tourbillon starts at US$92,000 for the Stealth version, which is a moderate price as such watches go.

The watch is delivered in a black wood box shaped like the watch case that’s fitted with eight legs and a web inside to hold the watch


Key facts and price

Spider-Man Tourbillon
Ref. 1C45T.BBBR.1023.PR.SPM19

Spider-Man Stealth Tourbillon
Ref. 1C45T.BBBR.1010.PR.SPM19

Diameter: 45mm
Material: Carbon composite with titanium back
Water resistance: 100m

Movement: RJ-7000
Functions: Hours, minutes, and central tourbillon regulator
Frequency: 21,600 (3.5Hz)
Winding: Manually wound
Power reserve: 150 hours

Strap: Polyamide and rubber with folding clasp

Availability: Limited to 10 pieces in each, available from retailers
Price: US$97,700 in red, US$92,000 in black Stealth

For more, visit RJwatches.com.


Update October 18, 2019: Added the fact that the movement idea was developed by Marco Tedeschi.

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Breitling Introduces the Revamped Avenger Collection

Still extra-large sports watches.

Launched by Breitling almost two decades ago as an upsized, sportier version of the then bestselling Chronomat, the Avenger has just been revamped into a streamlined collection made up of facelifted watches.

Still retaining the styling of earlier generations of Avengers, the line is now made up of chronographs in three sizes (48mm, 45mm and 43mm cases), automatics in 45mm or 43mm cases, and a GMT.

All models are rated to 300m and have a stainless steel case as standard. But the 45mm and 48mm watches are available in Night Mission livery – the best looking iteration – which means a black-coated titanium case and dial featuring military-inspired “stencil” numerals.

breitling super avenger chronograph 48 night mission

Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission

breitling super avenger chronograph 48 night mission dial

All the chronographs have the same basic specs, and the same COSC-certified Valjoux 7750 movement. The flagship model is the Super Avenger Chronograph 48, an enormous 48mm watch that’s probably too big for most, making the 45mm and 43mm chronographs more viable.

The best looking watches of the line is the Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission, which manages to have a more modern military style that’s distinct from most other military aviation-type watches.

Breitling ambassador and retired astronaut Scott Kelly

The Average Automatic 45 Seawolf is a 45mm dive watch, powered by the Breitling Calibre 17, which is an ETA 2824. The specs are shared by the Avenger Automatic 43 that’s 43mm.

breitling avenger automatic 45

Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf

And the last model is the Avenger Automatic GMT 45, which has the Breitling Calibre 32 inside; that’s actually an ETA 2893, which is an ETA 2892 with a second time zone hand.

breitling avenger automatic GMT 45 night mission

Avenger Automatic 45 GMT Night Mission


Price and availability

Availability: Now at Breitling retailers and boutiques
Price:
Avenger Automatic 43, from US$3,500
Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf, from US$3,975
Avenger Automatic 45 GMT, from US$3,975

Avenger Automatic 45 Seawolf Night Mission, from US$4,795
Avenger Automatic 45 GMT Night Mission, from US$4,795

Avenger Chronograph 43, from US$5,200
Avenger Automatic 45, from US$5,405
Super Avenger Chronograph 48, from US$5,405

Avenger Chronograph 45 Night Mission, from US$5,835
Super Avenger Chronograph 48 Night Mission, from US$5,835

For more, visit Breitling.com.


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Breaking News: SIHH Renamed Watches & Wonders Geneva, and…

Stage its own city-centre events.

Last year’s shock announcement by industry giant Swatch Group that it would depart Baselworld permanently set up off chain of events: a botched response that led to the resignation of the chief executive of the fair’s organiser MCH Group, and then a full-year loss for MCH. Some prominent brands like Breitling also decided to leave Baselworld, though the giants, like LVMH and Rolex, have opted to stay.

Since then Baselworld’s new management has announced a flurry of new initiatives and programmes, starting with Baselworld announcing it would unite with SIHH after a decade’s separation. It’s also revealed an unimpressive hotel deal and more recently, a concierge service for visitors.

All of that seems to have compelled the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH), the organiser of SIHH – a watch fair in healthy condition compared to Baselworld – to do something as well. And so they have, with the goal of making the event more consumer centric.

From 2020 onwards, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) will be known as Watches & Wonders Geneva, adopting the name of an event that first started in Hong Kong before migrating to Miami in the wake of the slowdown in the Chinese territory.

Rebranded but pretty much unchanged

Palexpo forever

Despite the name change, the format of the event appears pretty much the same. The Salon with its 30 exhibiting brands will take place as it always has, at the Palexpo conventional hall beside Geneva airport, located about 30 minutes from the city centre.

And just as it did earlier this year, the Salon will also include the Lab, an exhibition dedicated to watchmaking technology and innovation, as well as the Live, an area for panels and talks.

But the goal is to make the fair more accessible to consumers, whereas in the past it was primarily a trade show for watch retailers and press, which is where the next part comes in.

The opening event of the final Watches & Wonders Hong Kong in 2015

The major new addition is In The City, a series of events outside Palexpo and instead within the city itself. According to the FHH, In the City encompasses city tours, exhibitions, museum and factory visits, and events in boutiques. Given the sales-focused stance of many of the participating brands, factory visits and boutique events will probably feature most strongly.

Watches & Wonders Geneva takes place from April 25-29, 2020 in Geneva. For more, visit Watchesandwonders.com.


 

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IWC Introduces the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph “80 Years Flight to New York”

A world-time chronograph in brown.

IWC’s latest limited edition is a surprisingly small run – 80 pieces to mark the 80th anniversary of the flight of the giant Latécoère 521 flying boat Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris from New York to Lac de Biscarrosse in Southwestern France. Starting on Bastille Day, July 14, in 1939, the flight was the first nonstop crossing of the North Atlantic by flying boat.

A passenger on the 28-hour, 27-minute journey was French aviator Antoine de Saint Exupéry. And it happens that one of IWC’s most popular sub-collections of pilot’s watches watches is Le Petit Prince, named after the famous novel by de Saint Exupéry. So the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph Edition “80 Years Flight to New York” is an offshoot of the Le Petit Prince collection, with a few tweaks.

iwc Pilot Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight New York 2

It retains the vaguely retro flavour, with Gothic-esque numerals and lozenge hands, but instead of the standard blue dial of Le Petit Prince, the anniversary watch has a brown metallic dial, matched with brown ceramic bezel.

iwc Pilot Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight New York 3

The edition is based on the Timezoner Chronograph, usually available only in the standard black and white livery of IWC’s basic Pilot’s Watches.

It’s an unusual watch that combines both a flyback chronograph and IWC’s proprietary “timezoner” mechanism. Originally developed by the defunct watch brand Vogard, the timezoner mechanism has a rotating world time bezel linked to the second time zone, so turning the bezel moves the 24-hour hand in one-hour steps, both backwards and forwards. So the watch conveniently shows local time on the main hands, and the second time zone hand can show the time anywhere else in the world.

Besides the colour, the watch is identical to the standard version, with the same, large 46mm steel case containing the cal. 89760, an in-house automatic movement constructed with the wheel train of the Valjoux 7750. The limited edition is price about 10% more than the standard model.

iwc Pilot Timezoner Chronograph 80 Years Flight New York 1

As for its historical inspirations: Latécoère 521 was pressed into military service during the Second World War, and then destroyed in 1944 by German forces as they fell back from occupied France. That same year, de Saint Exupéry vanished while on a reconnaissance mission for the French Air Force in the Mediterranean.

The proceeds from the sale of the first watch in the edition will go to the Antoine de Saint Exupéry Youth Foundation, which supports education for youth in poor countries.

Antoine de Saint Exupery

Antoine de Saint Exupéry at the Pacheco Air base in Buenos Aires, Argentina, around 1929. Photo – Antoine de Saint Exupery Estate.

iwc Latécoère 521 Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris seaplane

The Latécoère 521 seaplane, named Lieutenant de Vaisseau Paris, departing from Le Havre, France, in June 1935. Photo – Latécoère Foundation.


Key facts and price

Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph Edition “80 Years Flight to New York”
Ref. IW395003

Case diameter: 46mm
Height: 16.8mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 60m

Movement: Cal. 89760
Functions: Time, date, flyback chronograph, world time
Frequency: 28,800bph (4Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 68 hours

Strap: Calfskin

Limited edition: 80 pieces
Availability: Boutiques and retailers
Price: US$13,100

For more, visit IWC.com.


 

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