The world of watches is never truly quiet. Ever so often, watchmakers will surely drum up updates on its various collections to get its fans buzzing. This week was particularly eventful as we got to take a look at some truly unique and soon-to-be sought-after pieces. This includes the likes of the Omega Moonwatch for the Apollo 11 50th anniversary edition; Zenith with its BaselWorld 2019 novelties; and many more.
However, this is more than just household names and Swiss-made haute horlogerie. One notable inclusion into this list is Grand Seiko, the luxury arm of the popular Japanese watchmaker. The entire premise of Grand Seiko’s existence derives from the challenge Seiko had set itself to compete against Swiss luxury watches.
With the history lesson done and dusted, scroll down to read up more about some of the latest updates with your favourite timepiece creators.
Featured Image: Omega; Hero Image: H Moser & Cie.
Bell & Ross is synonymous with its pilot watches but it also indulges in other areas of expertise when possible. One such avenue is with the open sea and diving, which brings us to the BR03-92 Diver. While one may think as to what makes Bell & Ross such a great advocator of its diving watches, one must remember its history when it comes to creating watches made for the sea.
Both its Hydromax and Diver 300 timepieces were made specifically for the deep blue sea and it’s because of that, we have the BR03-92 Diver. It comes with plenty of features available to make it the ideal diving partner, all of which is part of the ISO 6425 standard. This includes a resistance to water up to a minimum depth of 100 metres; a unidirectional rotating bezel with a graduated minutes scale; luminescent markers on its bezel and dial; as well as both anti-shock and anti-magnetic protection.
There are four variations of the watch — the BR03-92 Diver, BR03-92 Diver Blue, BR03-92 Diver Black Matte, and the BR03-92 Diver Green Bronze. All of these watches also utilise the same BR-CAL.302 automatic mechanical calibre movement.
Grand Seiko is the only non-Swiss luxury watchmaker on this list and with good reason. Seiko itself is known for creating very reliable yet affordable timepieces without compromising on performance design. Grand Seiko on the other hand kick things up a notch with many new models to compete against the best the Swiss has to offer.
Grand Seiko offers plenty of limited edition timepieces, keeping its exclusivity to a relatively low number. It divides its watches into three distinct categories — Elegance, Heritage, and Sports collection. One of the latest pieces goes to the Grand Seiko SBGZ001 from its Elegance collection, limited to only 30 pieces worldwide.
This timepiece marks the 20th anniversary of Seiko’s proprietary Spring Drive watch movement and it comes with a platinum case at 38.5mm. It is splash and magnetic resistant with a see-through case back that comes with its own serial number.
Swiss luxury watchmaker H Moser & Cie. is known for creating unique timepieces that transcend what the term ‘unique’ is to luxury watches. In 2016, it introduced a parody of the Apple Watch known as the Swiss Alps Watch Zzzz and in the following year, the Swiss Mad Watch made out of actual Swiss cheese. However, this year was on a different level as H Moser & Cie. unveiled the Moser Nature Watch covered with live Swiss plants, truly a watch for the ages.
Its Pioneer Centre Seconds now comes with a new variation — the Funky Blue Black Edition. This all-terrain model of the Pioneer Centre Seconds come with a layer of diamond-like carbon (DLC) in pitch black, giving it a sleek and classy look. This is a first for the entire Pioneer collection as the Funky Blue Black Edition features the iconic Moser fumé dial in stunning Funky Blue.
To complement its overall look, the hour and minute hands are bathed in luminescent Superluminova to resemble the glimmer of stars in a night sky. At its core, the watch houses with the HMC 200 automatic in-house calibre. There is also a bi-directional pawl winding system and it also has a power reserve for up to three days.
Omega has a long and storied history when it comes to important historical moments. Not only has it been the official timekeeping device of the Olympics since 1932, it was also the first watch worn on the moon in 1969. That same watch has since become an important emblem in the history of Swiss luxury watches.
With 2019 being the 50th anniversary since its first appearance that is quite frankly out of this world, the Omega Speedmaster Professional is back in an all new look. The 50th anniversary limited edition Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 pays tribute to Buzz Aldrin and his crew and is limited to only 6,969 pieces worldwide. There is a 42mm stainless steel case with a polished 18K Moonshine Gold bezel. On the bezel rests a polished black ceramic with the Omega Ceragold tachymeter scale to boot.
The 18K Moonshine Gold touch is evident on the dial as well, adorning all indexes and hands except for the central chronograph. On the 9 o’clock subdial is a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin climbing down onto the Moon’s surface, which also receives the 18K Moonshine Gold treatment. On the case back, you will notice a laser-engraved astronaut’s footprint with the quote: “That’s one small step for a man.” and “One giant leap for mankind.”
Last but certainly not least, we have Zenith with its entire BaselWorld 2019 novelties. As it remains to be one of the few Swiss luxury watch manufacturers to produce its own in-house movements, it’s hard to not include Zenith into the conversation when you’re talking about Swiss luxury watches in general.
One of its standout introductions during BaselWorld 2019 is the Zenith El Primero, which is in conjunction with the 50th El Primero anniversary collection. This movement was an iconic piece of watchmaking technology, even being used by Rolex from 1988 to 2000 for its Rolex Daytona chronographs.
The Zenith El Primero A386 revival comes in three variations — pink gold, white gold, and gold. It houses the El Primero 400 automatic movement in a 38mm case. This chronograph comes with a central hand, a 12-hour counter at the 6 o’clock, a 30-minute counter at the 3 o’clock, and a small seconds counter at the 9 o’clock. Each watch will feature 18ct of rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold, depending on which variation one chooses.