This Week in Watches: Breitling commemorates AOPA’s 75th anniversary, the return of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic 1958, interstellar watches from Zenith and Geo.Graham and more.
Lean and Clean
While thick, robust watches have their benefits, they often fall prey to door jams and snags on cuffs and jacket pockets alike. More often than not, a truly practical and comfortable watch will also be a thin watch. These watches feel wafter thin (because they are) but still look of consequence, and are in fact some of the best dress watches around. For an understated yet stately look that fits under a cuff with heaps of clearance (10mm thick at max, including crystal), these six are some of the best.
Case in Point
Most discussions about watches and their value begin and end with the movement: Swiss versus Japanese, in-house versus outsourced, finishing and complications. But in reality, the movement is only part of the story. All too often overlooked is the humble watch case, which can be equally artful, interesting, and difficult to produce.
We Tick Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches, we examine Breitling’s new seafarer, a skinny Reverso, Shinola leather and much more.
We Tick Off the Latest in Watch News
This Week in Watches, an Aston Martin opener, Zenith’s new boss, CR7 becomes a TAG ambassador and more.
An Explorer's Watch at the Explorer's Club
In 1958, as numerous scientific initiatives blossomed across the globe, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced their now-legendary Geophysic chronometer, meant as a tool for scientists and explorers. Today the Geophysic 1958 has been reborn in a limited series of watches, each of which accurately replicates its forebears in design and intent.
Best of Show
Every year we come away from Salon International Haute Horlogerie, the world’s most prestigious watch show, feeling privileged and awed. This year was no different. The competitive environment of the show, the electric vibe among the attendees and the enthusiasm of brand reps and watchmakers showing off their new creations make the Palexpo in Geneva a wonderful place every January.
After we’ve returned home and slept off the jetlag, we like to poll our team of Timekeeping contributors for their picks from the preceding week. So with our further ado, here are our favorite watches of SIHH 2014.
From Geneva with Love
This time of year, the horological universe revolves around the Palexpo center in Geneva. It’s SIHH — the Salon International Haute Horlogerie, where the watch brands under the Richemont Luxury Group umbrella (and a couple of outlying independents) convene to display their wares in elaborate and opulent “booths” that defy that pedestrian name. Journalists and retailers from around the world descend on Geneva to jostle for first looks at the latest and greatest creations from legendary maisons like Jaeger-LeCoultre, A. Lange & Sohne and Audemars Piguet. Follow our man on the ground, Jason Heaton, as he sends in the latest horological news every half hour.
We like to think our self-winding watches can run forever. But they will stop eventually, and before then their accuracy will degrade. Friction, viscosity, air resistance, not to mention entropy buildup — the Second Law of Thermodynamics and all that — conspire against the mechanical timepiece. The sad fact is, perpetual motion is physically impossible. But with a little maintenance here and there, it’s almost achievable. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos clock, invented in the 1920s, is “living” proof. How does it do it? The key is something that’s constantly changing, even though we often can’t tell: temperature.
10 Top-Notch Watches that Won't Break the Bank
When building anything, one must begin with strong foundation. A watch collection is no different. While anyone, given the choice, would undoubtedly begin and end with only finest examples of haute horological hardware, we can’t all justify blowing junior’s college and post-grad funds on something small and shiny. A conservative budget should not dissuade wide-eyed complication connoisseurs however: there are many excellent mechanical options available for the budding collector. We’ve selected ten rock solid options, both vintage and new, that would proudly produce any one-percenter’s tan line. So get started. Junior will thank you — it’s his heirloom, anyhow.
Over the years the Reverso — created in 1931 as a watch that could withstand the rigors of a polo game — has seen countless versions, alleged patent squabbles, clones and wannabes from both sides of the Atlantic, a brief suspension of production, and perhaps even a flirtation with quartz. We delve into the storied past of this absolute icon.
Mad for mid-century
it’s not just the incredible storytelling that’s so appealing about Mad Men. It’s the style and setting narratives that relive a fabled American decade. Tailored suits and bespoke dresses. Cigarettes. Colors. The Rolling Stones and Beatles. More cigarettes. And the subtle dress watch. We round up 5 stunning watches from the American mid-century in celebration of the season 6 premiere.
It Was the Best of Times
Nothing helps shake off the doldrums of mid-winter like a visit to Geneva for the annual Salon International Haute Horlogerie. For the uninformed, SIHH is the watch trade show put on by the watch brands under the Richemont Group umbrella and some of their friends. Familiar names like IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre and Panerai set up shop next to lesser known watchmakers like Parmigiani and Gruebel-Forsey in the grand confines of the Palexpo convention center. We asked Gear Patrol’s Timekeeping writers to weigh in on what impressed them the most from this year’s crop of timepieces. Their picks vary from the classic to the outrageous (see the Tourbillon Yohan Blake, below), and together they represent a great range of SIHH 2013.
High watchmaking goes deep
Earlier this year, Jaeger-LeCoultre introduced its retro-tastic Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph at the annual Salon International de Haute Horlogerie in Geneva. The watch made just about everyone’s “Best Of” list (including ours) with its creamy “aged” luminescent markers, textured dial and old-school pump-style chronograph pushers. The watch was homage to a watch JLC never produced…
Part trade show, part soiree, all business
Every year, 18 of the major Swiss watch manufacturers pack up their suitcases, shut down their ateliers and head to Geneva to participate in one of their biggest events of the year, the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH). Part trade show, part intimate soiree and all business, SIHH has, for the past 20…
When most people think of a dive watch, the first thing that comes to mind is the prototypical ratcheting bezel, with its chunky flutings and bold markers. But there was another style of diver that emerged in the early days of recreational diving and found great popularity – the Super Compressor. To be clear, the…
Vorsprung durch Technik
Ask the average guy where the best watches in the world are made and he will undoubtedly say, “Switzerland.” After all, most of the recognizable brands like Jaeger-LeCoultre, Vacheron Constantin, Rolex and Patek Philippe hail from that neutral Alpine nation. It is partly the neutrality of Switzerland that has allowed these great names of horology…
Vintage goods in full regale
Below you’ll find a dozen-ish picks from the Pop Up Flea. Given our druthers we would have snagged the whole lot, but alas we left with only a few… at least for today. If you’re in New York, be sure to make it down to 159 Bleecker street — wallet in tow — because there…
[click on image to enlarge] That’s one long name. Befitting of it’s massive list of capabilities including a 1,000 meter depth capability and it’s color-coded mechanical depth gauge (this is truly rare), 24-city automatic time-zone selection disk and Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 979 movement comprised of 247 parts, 29 jewels. You’re looking at one of the most…