Petermann Bédat Introduces the 1967 Deadbeat Seconds

Exquisite finishing and an open dial.

First revealed a year ago as a prototype with a dial that was a work in progress, the Petermann Bédat 1967 wristwatch with an unusual deadbeat seconds mechanism has just been launched in its final form. Mechanically identical to the prototype – it’s equipped a secondary escapement for the jumping seconds – the refined 1967 now has a partially-open dial that shows off the finely-finished keyless works.

Initial thoughts

The prototype 1967 deadbeat seconds was let down by an uninspiring faux-classical dial, which was a shame, because the movement was executed to an impressively high level.

Fortunately, Messrs Petermann and Bedat embarked on a total redesign of the dial. Independent watchmakers don’t often make drastic changes to designs in response to criticism, but the two did so, and the result is a success.

The new 1967 is a handsome watch that manages to look modern while evoking classical dial design. In fact, the new dial is essentially a “sector” dial with a sapphire chapter ring, a novel combination that has not been done before. And it is matched with Petermann Bédat’s take on classical lance-shaped hands, which complete the contemporary feel.

The new 1967 in rose gold. Photo – Petermann Bédat

Dial aside, the rest of the watch is largely identical to the prototype. The movement was already excellent and will be almost unchanged in the production versions, although Mr Petermann says that the engraved lettering on the three-quarter plate will be improved.

Priced at little under 60,000 Swiss francs, which is about US$63,000, the 1967 is fairly priced for the complication and quality. And it is also an unconventional offering from a haute horlogerie independent. Although the deadbeat seconds is fairly common amongst affordable watches – Austrian independent Habring2 has made a specialty of jumping-seconds watches priced below US$10,000 – it is uncommon at the high end.

The cal. 171 in the prototype

Petermann and Bédat, with help from Renaud

Founded by Gaël Petermann and Florian Bédat, both Swiss watchmakers who spent several years working for A. Lange & Söhne (and Mr Petermann then worked for Svend Andersen), the brand was founded in 2017. The duo set up shop in the town of Renens, adjacent to the workshop of Dominique Renaud, the watchmaker best known for cofounding Renaud & Papi, the complications specialist now owned by Audemars Piguet.

With Mr Renaud’s help, the two young watchmakers constructed the cal. 171 in the 1967 wristwatch. The movement has an elaborately constructed independent going train and escapement for the jumping seconds, which is contained under a large, frosted steel bridge over the three-quarter plate.

The jumping, or deadbeat, seconds is also what gives the watch its name: 1967 was the year the first prototypes of quartz movements were debuted in both Switzerland and Japan. And the defining trait of a quartz movement has long been a seconds hand that ticks forward in one-second steps, which is exactly what the 1967 does, except it accomplishes it entirely mechanically.

The deadbeat seconds mechanism inspired by a construction devised by Robert Gafner, a teacher at the watchmaking school of La Chaux-de-Fonds in the 1940s

One of the two deadbeat seconds escape wheels. Photo – Petermann Bédat

The anchor for the deadbeat seconds escapement. Photo – Petermann Bédat

A new look

Clearly a 21st century design with vintage influences, the face-lifted 1967 is a better-looking watch than the original. The new dial is essentially a two-part construction – a central portion in brass that’s been frosted and then bevelled by hand, which is ringed by a clear sapphire chapter ring that carries the hour markings.

The jewelled bearings for the escape (upper) and seconds wheel. Photo – Petermann Bédat

The central portion also has cut-outs for three jewelled bearings on the main plate that contain the lower pivots for the escape wheel, mainspring arbour, and respectively.

But the highlight on the front is probably the levers of the keyless works, which are all in black-polished steel and visible between two and four o’clock.

To go with the dial, the pair also designed a new style of hands that are lanced shaped, but characterised by wide, flat top and sloping, bevelled flanks. Though the outline of the hands are old school, the details give them a space age feel.

The keyless works, along with the railway minute track that is broken by the five-minute markings, a nod to the “jumping” nature of the seconds indication. Photo – Petermann Bédat

All of the hands are hand made by Petermann Bedat – filed, chamfered, and polished by hand. Photo – Petermann Bédat

Available in white or rose gold, the case remains the same as on the prototype.

It is a moderate, usable size, measuring 39 mm wide and 10.7 mm high. The height is a little more than the average for time-only watches of this genre, a result of the thickness of the movement, which includes the additional height of the deadbeat seconds train.

The 1967 is limited to 10 pieces in each case metal.

Key facts and price

Petermann Bédat 1967

Case diameter: 39 mm
Case height: 10.7 mm
Material: 18k white or rose gold
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 171
Functions: Hours, minutes, and jumping seconds
Frequency: 18,000 beats per hour (2.5 Hz)
Winding: Hand-wound
Power reserve: 36 hours

Strap: Alligator with pin buckle

Limited edition: 10 pieces in each case material
Availability: Direct from Petermann Bedat
Price: 59,800 Swiss francs

For more, visit


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TAG Heuer Introduces the Fragment Design Calibre Heuer 02 Chronograph

By Hiroshi Fujiwara.

TAG Heuer’s first collaboration with streetwear guru Hiroshi Fujiwara of Fragment Design was the Fragment Design Carrera Heuer 02 of 2018. The vintage-inspired watch went down well and sold out quickly. Now the second collaboration has just been unveiled.

Once again limited to 500 watches and powered by the same Heuer 02 movement, the TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic Chronograph is modelled on the Autavia models of the 1960s and 1970s, but again given a minimalist makeover by Mr Fujiwara, who happens to be a vintage watch aficionado himself.

Initial thoughts

As a watch collector, Mr Fujiwara no doubt understood the cushion-shaped Autavia case, sometimes known as the “C-case”, is an instantly recognisable Heuer that has presence, making it a good candidate for a collaboration.

However, unlike earlier Fragment Design watch that looked almost like a real vintage watch, the latest edition looks far more contemporary, thanks to the high-contrast colours. The use of red is restrained, especially with the tiny hour markers, just enough to give the watch the right amount of auto-racing flair.

While I am generally not a fan of a date window at six o’clock, it is nicely done here. The date disc is black to match with the dial, allowing the date display to blend into the dial. And the Fragment Design double lightning bolt logo at 12 o’clock serves as a visual counterweight to the date.

The case has been upsized to 44 mm from the 42 mm of the original, but the short lugs probably mean it wears slightly smaller than it measures.

Included with the watch is a new, five-row steel bracelet. With brushed and polished surfaces, it is reminiscent of the “beads of rice” bracelets found on vintage watches of the period. However, I am certain the watch will look better on a black “Rally” strap with red stitching.

All in all, although this watch is appealing in its own ways, I still prefer the first Fragment Design collaboration as the vintage cues within the design were stronger. That said, the latest edition will no doubt sell out in a flash, especially since it is priced at 6,000 Swiss francs – a great value proposition for a well-made chronograph refined by a streetwear icon.

The movement

The Heuer 02 inside is the brand’s upper-end in-house chronograph movement, a step up from the the Heuer 01 that is based on Seiko TC78 (or the 6S78). An automatic movement with a column wheel and vertical clutch, the Heuer 02 has a useful 80-hour power reserve – almost twice the industry norm.

The case back is fitted with an imposing sapphire crystal that’s been tinted red. While it definitely makes for a striking aesthetic, I do not like that it obscures the movement. Incorporating the colour into the movement itself, such as with red-coated rotor or bridges, would have been a less intrusive solution.

Hiroshi Fujiwara

Mr Fujiwara is sometimes regarded as the godfather of streetwear, having been an influencer and tastemaker for streetwear culture long before the internet.

He is no stranger to collaborations. Fragment Design, which he founded in 2003, has created numerous, much-hyped collaborations with brands like Louis Vuitton, Nike and Moncler.

All the collaborations tend to stick with Mr Fujiwara’s philosophy of taking a beautiful, existing product as the base, and then enhancing it with the addition of accents and the removal of distracting, superfluous elements, resulting in a stripped-down design.

That was the formula applied to the new TAG Heuer collaboration, which bridges two of his passions – design and watches. Mr Fujiwara’s primary interest in horology centres on vintage sports watches, and he occasionally shares his thoughts on watches (as well as many other topics) on his personal portal, Ring of Colour.

Fujiwara Hiroshi (Image: TAG Heuer)

Key Facts and Price

TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Calibre Heuer 02 Automatic Chronograph
Ref. CAZ201A.BA0641

Diameter: 44 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Crystal: Sapphire
Water resistance: 100 m

MovementHeuer 02 
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, date, and chronograph
Winding: Automatic
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Power reserve: 80 hours

Strap: Steel bracelet

Limited edition: 500 pieces
Availability: From July 27, 2020 at boutiques and authorised retailers
Price: 6,000 Swiss francs; or 8,650 Singapore dollars

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Patek Philippe Introduces the Calatrava Ref. 6007A-001 for the New Manufacture

A limited edition in steel.

Patek Philippe’s 1,600 employees in Geneva began migrating to its expansive new headquarters last year, and now the move is almost complete. To commemorate the completion of the new manufacture, Patek Philippe has announced its very first new launch for 2020: the Calatrava ref. 6007A-001 “New Manufacture 2019”.

A limited edition of 1,000 watches, the ref. 6007A has a steel case and a grey-blue dial finished with a variety of textures, including a “carbon” pattern on its centre.

Initial thoughts

The new ref. 6007A confirms the chatter that Patek Philippe is in the midst of evolving the Calatrava line by injecting more contemporary flair into its aesthetics, which began with last year’s quirky ref. 5212A Weekly Calendar.

Though the new ref. 6007A is a very different watch – in fact, its styling brings to mind the unique ref. 5208T “Only Watch” – it too feels like a more casual take on the classic Patek Philippe gentleman’s watch.

The case is steel and relatively large at 40 mm, while the dial has a sporty, instrument-like look (which can be explained by its inspiration, the speedometer-inspired ref. 6006G). Notably, the dial has a stamped guilloche centre, which is an unusual feature for a Calatrava. And it also features applied Arabic numerals in white gold, a luxe detail for a simple watch.

It will doubtlessly be a lightweight, thin watch that is easy and comfortable to wear, especially since the steel case is more hardwearing than the usual 18k gold. That, combined with the new look, makes for an appealing watch.

I like the new style that the ref. 6007A represents – though I could do without the date window – and it will be a good thing to see it incorporated into regular-production models, which is a certainty.

But as is always the case with Patek Philippe wristwatches, the ref. 6007A sits at the highest end of the price spectrum for a high-end, time-only watch in steel, making it affordable as such watches go, but certainly not a value proposition.

The “carbon” pattern on the dial

A strap in embossed calfskin

A casual Calatrava

The ref. 6007A has a steel case that’s 40 mm wide and 9.07 mm high, making it slightly larger than the typical Calatrava, but just as slim. Though the case is new, the shape takes inspiration from the ref. 6006G, one of the more contemporary Calatrava models in the current collection.

Similarly, the aesthetics of the dial are also informed by the ref. 6006G, though the new dial is both novel and distinct relative to anything the brand has done before. In fact, the closest relative to the new dial is that found on the one-off ref. 5208T grand complication made for Only Watch 2017.

Like the ref. 5208T, the dial is rendered in grey-blue and finished with four textures – radial and circular brushing, plus stamped guilloche in concentric as well “carbon” patterns. Though labelled “carbon style” by Patek Philippe, the pattern on the centre of the dial is reminiscent of the basketweave guilloche.

Notably, the applied hour markers are 18k white gold, as are the white-lacquered hands, and both are filled with Super-Luminova for nighttime legibility.

Applied numerals and hands in white gold

Visible through the back is the cal. 324 S C, an automatic moment with a full rotor that’s a mainstay of Patek Philippe’s line up. It’s equipped a Spiromax hairspring made of Silinvar, which is essentially a flat, silicon hairspring of Patek Philippe’s own, patented design.

A new home

Located at Chemin du Pont-du-Centenaire 141 in the municipality of Plans-les-Ouates – nicknamed “Plans-les-Watch” because of the proliferation of watch factories – the new manufacture is a long, 10-storey building (including four basement floors) characterised by long, white covered corridors that run the length and width of the building, as well as exposed stairways.

A project that took five years to complete, the manufacture is defined by large numbers. Its total area is 133,650 square metres, space that allows Patek Philippe to vertically integrate almost all of its production, including the Rare Handcrafts workshop, parts production, and employee training.

The building includes a top-floor restaurant that can accommodate up to 880 – or about half its workforce – and a 635-vehicle carpark in the basements.

Costing a total of 600 million Swiss francs – the structure alone was 500 million francs – the manufacture will serve Patek Philippe’s needs for the coming two to three decades.

And according to Patek Philippe, its new premises are “not to noticeably increase the volume of watches produced from currently almost 62,000 pieces per year”, but to streamline and rationalise manufacturing and assembly.

Key facts and price

Patek Philippe Calatrava “New Manufacture 2019”
Ref. 6007A-001

Case diameter: 40 mm
Height: 10.34 mm
Material: Steel
Water resistance: 30 m

Movement: Cal. 324 S C
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, and date
Frequency: 28,800 beats per hour (4 Hz)
Winding: Automatic
Power reserve: 45 hours

Strap: Calfskin with embossed motif

Limited edition: 1,000 pieces
 At both retailers and boutiques
Price: 25,000 Swiss francs; 37,400 Singapore dollars

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Business News: Longines CEO Walter von Känel Retires After 51 Years

As the Swatch Group reshuffles management.

After an epic career, industry legend Walter von Känel has just retired as chief executive of Longines, a post he held since 1988. Now 79 years old, Mr von Känel joined Longines in 1969, just as the watch industry was on the cusp of the Quartz Crisis, and stayed for 51 years.

Under his leadership Longines has become the world’s fourth largest watchmaker by revenue, with 2019 sales of about 1.65 billion Swiss francs – from an output of about 2.1 million watches – according to Morgan Stanley estimates. Despite Longines’ vast size, Mr von Känel retained an almost unbelievable grasp of the brand’s history and products, something he demonstrated during a 2016 interview where he could describe the calibre inside the Lindbergh remake of 1987.

For all his success, Mr von Känel remained steadfastly dedicated to the brand, keeping a relatively low profile despite being in a business filled with large personalities. When I asked in the 2016 interview if Longines would be doing anything to mark his 50 years at the company, he response was simple: “I am against the cult of personality. We sell Longines watches, we don’t sell von Kanel watches.”

On his retirement, Mr von Känel was named Honorary Chairman of Longines, while keeping his appointment as Chairman of the Longines Foundation. The new chief executive of Longines is Matthias Breschan, who was most recently chief executive of Rado. Mr Breschan, in turn, will be succeeded at Rado by Adrian Bosshard, who was running both Certina and Union.

Mr von Känel during the 2016 interview explaining the numbers behind Longines’ business

Taking effect from July 1, 2020, the management changes extend to several other brands owned by the Swatch Group.

Tissot chief executive Francois Thiebaud is becoming the brand’s chairman. His replacement is Sylvain Dolla, who comes from the top job at Hamilton.

Hamilton’s head of sales, Vivian Stauffer, will move up to chief executive. And Marc Aellen will become chief executive of Certina, having been in charge of sales at Jaquet Droz, while Franz Linder will take charge of Union, in addition to running Mido.

Finally, Raynald Aeschlimann, chief executive of Omega, the largest and most important brand of the Swatch Group, will add another title to his resume. Already a member of the Extended Group Management Board, Mr Aeschlimann now joins the Executive Group Management Board, the top management body of the Swatch Group.


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