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For a monster, it crept in quiet as a mouse in February. No press releases, no fanfares.
It’s just about impossible to buy one online as it’s already sold out, and that’s despite the fact its price tag is twice that of the second-generation Orange Monster.
Yes, eBay sellers want US$950 for this new 3rd generation Monster. I have a first-generation Orange Seiko which set me back all of US$80.
Still water resistant to 200 meters, it’s now badged as part of the Prospex line, raising it to the ranks of Professional Monster. The new Monster runs on the upgraded Seiko 6R15 mid-range automatic movement with hacking and hand winding capabilities and a 50-hour power reserve. It features a cyclops date window at 3 o’ clock, 42.5mm diameter, and 47.5mm lug to lug.
SEIKO Frost Monster
It’s still unmistakably an Orange Monster albeit with a sunburst effect, but now it’s accompanied by a Frost Monster, more at home in the perma-freezing grey seas that surround the British Isles. But good luck trying to get hold of one.
Le Mans, France: The setting for the exclusive reveal of the new Monaco this past weekend couldn’t have been more fitting. It was here in 1971 that the “King of Cool”, Steve McQueen, first wore the watch, securing its place in horological history.
Steve McQueen in Le Mans, 1971
As a tribute to Monaco’s cinematic debut, guests – including Steve McQueen’s son, Chad McQueen – enjoyed a special screening of the famous film in the place where it all began.
Not only was the TAG Heuer Monaco the first ever water-resistant square watch, but it was also the first to feature an automatic-winding chronograph movement. In honor of the Monaco’s 50th anniversary, five limited editions will be successively revealed throughout the year.
These new models are inspired by different decades from 1969 to 2019. The special collector’s editions unveiled in 2019 pay tribute to the Monaco’s timeless design and TAG Heuer’s never-ending innovation. After the unveiling of the first model at the Monaco Grand Prix in May, TAG Heuer was proud to reveal the next limited-edition model celebrating the period from 1979 to 1989 in Le Mans, France. The first model took inspiration from the years 1969 to 1979 – the first decade of the Monaco’s history.
TAG Heuer Monaco 2019
When the Heuer Monaco (TAG was not part of the company name at the time) was introduced at simultaneous press conferences in New York and Geneva on 3 March 1969, journalists and watch aficionados around the world were amazed.
With its never-before-seen water-resistant square case, the Monaco’s daring and iconic design made it instantly recognizable. Developed by Heuer, the Calibre 11 was the world’s first automatic-winding chronograph movement.
Jack Heuer, CEO at the time, believed this groundbreaking innovation required a design that would demand attention. The Monaco did exactly that. In 1971, the Monaco was worn by Steve McQueen, the “King of Cool”, in the movie Le Mans.
As it evolves, the Monaco still has the revolutionary spirit that made it both infamous and famous. The complete story behind this icon is told in the new book Paradoxical Superstar, which includes archive excerpts and sketches of the designs and movements.
British journalist Nicholas Foulkes, watch expert Gisbert Brunner and American writer Michael Clerizo all contributed chapters that capture the heritage and innovation that defines the Monaco. Underscoring the timepiece’s bond with its namesake city, H. S. H. Prince Albert II of Monaco wrote the book’s foreword.
MOVEMENT TAG Heuer Automatic Calibre 11, diameter 30 mm, 59 jewels, balance oscillating at a frequency of 28,800 vibrations per hour (4 Hz), 40-hour power reserve
FUNCTIONS Chronograph with seconds and minutes; date, hours, minutes and small seconds at 3 o’clock CASE Diameter 39 mm, case in stainless steel, fixed bezel in stainless steel, sapphire crystal, polished steel crown at 9 o’clock and push buttons at 2 and 4 o’clock, water resistant to 100 meters, steel caseback with “1979- 1989 Special Edition” and “One of 169” engravings
DIAL Red dial with sunray finishing, fine brushed rhodium-plated counters, polished, faceted indexes, black and white touches on hands and indexes
STRAP Black calfskin leather strap, polished folding clasp in stainless steel Limited to 169 watches
1969 was not only the year man landed on the moon, but also the year both Heuer and Zenith unveiled rival automatic chronograph movements for the first time.
50 years on and both brands are hosting anniversary celebrations supported by recreations of iconic watches from the era: a modern reissue of the Monaco in the case of TAG Heuer and now a contemporary El Primero A384 from Zenith joining its Revival series.
More than just a vintage-inspired watch, the Revival is a historically accurate recreation of one Zenith’s most important chronographs.
“With its retro-futuristic styling, timeless proportions and emblematic chronograph calibre, the A384 is the final piece in the El Primero 50th Anniversary Revival series,”
Each part of the original A384 from 1969 was digitized so as to be accurately reproduced, from the faceted steel case to the lacquered white and black tachymeter dial.
Zenith El Primero A384 50
On the outside, the only differences are the sapphire crystal instead of an acrylic glass, the display back replacing the solid steel case back. The case retains the same 37mm diameter and 12.60mm height as the original watch. Inside, the A384 movement has been replaced with a modern El Primero 400 chronograph movement.
Swiss brand Angelus has added a 5-day power reserve to its diving tourbillon movement.
While meeting all the criteria for a diver’s watch, the U51 Diver Tourbillon’s movement, the A-310 caliber, has a silicon lever escapement with all bridges as plates made of titanium, while the tourbillon cage is set on a ball bearing instead of pivots to gain in stability.
Even though the U51 Diver Tourbillon is intended as a high-performance sports watch, the skeletonized movement has been carefully decorated with sandblasted finishing, enhancing the natural color variations of the titanium.
The 45mm titanium case features two large screw-down crowns. The two-position crown at 4 o’clock is used for winding and setting the time, while the crown at 2 o’clock is used to rotate the unidirectional 60-minute rotating bezel.
Angelus U51 Diver Tourbillon 5-Day Power Reserve
At the 9 o’clock position there’s a helium escape valve to ensure the watch’s water resistance to 300 meters (1,000 feet), even during saturation diving so the helium molecules cannot make their way into the case under pressure.
The case features a subtle interplay between sandblasted, brushed and polished surfaces, which takes advantage of the titanium’s unique colors properties. The open display reveals a contrasting chapter ring of stormy blue and striking orange colors. The hands, indexes and Arabic numerals are all filled with Super-Luminova for optimal readability.
The U51 Diver Tourbillon comes on a matching blue rubber strap embossed with an Angelus logo and a titanium folding buckle.
Making a visit to Rodeo Drive anytime soon? From now until August 31st, the new Westime boutique located at 206 Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, unveils the Bvlgari Octo Lounge, an interactive experience dedicated to the Italian brand’s Octo Finissimo collection.
Throughout the summer, visitors can enjoy a rare opportunity to discover and purchase a selection of ten Octo Finissimo models, including the five world records and additional sought-after limited editions within the collection.
The Octo Lounge offers the first space in the brand’s history with a fully immersive experience devoted to men’s watches. There’s a 360° free access tower display which allows visitors to interact with the brand’s most important watches through a unique digital storytelling approach.
Using video content and dedicated touchscreens, visitors can learn about the watches’ technical breakthroughs and movements while maneuvering them to their will for a complete discovery of each piece, facet by facet.
Watches displayed at the Octo Lounge and available for purchase include but are not limited to:
The Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT Automatic, the collection’s fifth World Record to date (launched this year at Baselworld)
Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT
Features: Mechanical manufacture chronograph and GMT movement with automatic winding (peripheral mass) and small seconds – BVL 318 caliber (3.30mm thick). 55 hours power reserve; local time zone adjusted through the push button at 9h. 42 mm extra-thin titanium case (6.90 mm thick) with transparent case back; titanium crown set with ceramic; sandblasted titanium dial; water-resistant up to 30 meters.
Octo Finissimo Ceramic
Octo Finissimo Ceramic
Features: Mechanical manufacture movement with automatic winding (platinum microrotor) and small second – BVL 138 Finissimo caliber (2.23mm thick) decorated by hand with Côtes de Genève, chamfering and perlage finishing; 60 hours power reserve. 40 mm extra-thin ceramic case (5.50mm thick) with transparent case back; ceramic crown set with ceramic; ceramic dial; water-resistant up to 30 meters.
Limited edition record breakers Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic and Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in Carbon both limited to 50 pieces worldwide.
Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater in Carbon
Features: Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater with mechanical manufacture extra-thin movement, manual winding, minute repeater, two hammers and gongs, Carbon CTP and Peek case, bracelet and skeletonized dial. Thinnest Minute Repeater on the market (6.85mm) Limited edition of 50 pieces.
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic
Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic
Features: Manufacture mechanical movement, ultra-thin flying tourbillon, special ball bearing system, ultra-thin sandblasted titanium case and bracelet, and skeletonized sandblasted titanium dial. Limited edition of 50 pieces. 2018: World Record – thinnest self-winding watch (3.95mm)
Born in the 1930s, Scandinavian design belongs to modernism, a movement marked by functionalism and simplification of form.
These rules certainly apply in the case of the latest watch from Copenhagen-based Danish brand Richardt Mejer. Founded in Copenhagen in 2015, the brand has already seen success with its Signature and Daily models.
If you like your watches clean, considered, quiet and Danish designer cool, this could be just the watch you are looking for. Everything about the 38.5mm Richardt Mejer Automatisk, which took a year to design, prototype and produce, has been driven by the insistence for only quality components.
The case is made from high-grade antimagnetic 316L stainless steel with a brushed finish. The dial is protected by a scratch-resistant Sapphire Crystal both back and front, while an anti-reflective double coating secures a clear view.
The hands are Richardt Mejer Signature hands with a brushed finish and Super-LumiNova® luminous pointers.
The dial is what’s called a double-layered “bullseye dial”. The lower level is a matte grey dial with black printed markers while the upper level reveals a sunray dial with the printed Richardt Mejer logo and a date window at 6 o’ clock. The watch features raised steel markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9. For an extra luster, the markers are part brushed and part polished with Super-LumiNova®
The automatic movement is a first for Richardt Mejer, it’s powered by the Swiss Made STP1-11, which is faithfully based on the famed ETA 2824-2, one of the most reliable, hardworking movements on the market. As the design for the movement is no longer copyrighted it can be produced at impressive cost savings. It offers hours, minutes, and a smooth sweep second, date with a rapid corrector, a stop second device and 44 hours of power reserve.
Choose From 3 Unique Dial Colors
Perhaps what is most striking about the compelling overall harmony of the watch is the choice of colors for the dial. Richardt Mejer has avoided the obvious like blue, or silvered and opted instead for softer hues including Plum, Stone, and Moss. You won’t find these colors anywhere else, so they do make a statement. The watch is designed to be worn every day and is perfectly proportioned for a medium to large sized wrist.
The watch comes on your choice of a black or brown calf leather strap, designed with a quick release so they are easy to change.
The early bird price for the watch is €425, a saving of 45% off the future retail price of €770. With 17 days to go, it won’t take you long to realize the boys are a little short of their Kickstarter target, so they need your support!
The Arnold & Son Constant-Force Tourbillon is considered an ultra-accurate marine chronometer. Its practicality, both in terms of readability and accuracy has been clearly proven.
In the 1780s, John Arnold developed marine chronometers that would mark the history of navigation. He created high-precision systems with a long lifespan and an appropriate display scale to ensure the utility of the chronometry they provided. He, therefore, decided on a constant force mechanism paired with true-beat seconds.
Constant force involves inserting an energy-storage sub-system into the gear train just before the escapement. Supplied at regular intervals, this secondary reservoir produces extremely regular torque as it is released in consistently, small doses. It differs from the barrels’ energy flow, which is delivered over a long period of time and naturally fluctuates. The balance spring receives an invariable source of energy, hence the name “Constant Force”.
The true-beat seconds is a consequence of this mechanism. As the constant force system is reloaded 60 times per minute, it is possible to display a second that jumps forward from marker to marker by simply attaching a hand to the winding wheel. Despite being a common feature of quartz watches, it remains a rare feat in mechanical timepieces.
This precise reading proved extremely useful for maritime positioning in the 18th century. The difference between the local time (measured by the position of the sun) and the reference time (kept by a clock) gave the distance traveled along the east-west axis of the earth. Or in other words, a vessel’s longitude. The creation of marine chronometers allowed captains to know their position and, more importantly, to know how far away they were from a deadly reef or shallow waters.
Given the scale of transoceanic navigation, every second counted, as each represented a potential error of hundreds of miles. There was no point in a timepiece being accurate if its information display was not equally as precise. Because a true-beat seconds hand stays immobile for an entire second, its readings were all the more accurate.
The Limited Edition Constant-Force Tourbillon
Now, some 230 years later, Arnold & Son continues to use this device in a model that incorporates all existing solutions for supreme chronometric results: the Constant-Force Tourbillon.
Its A&S5119 caliber adopts the same characteristic layout as John Arnold’s marine chronometers.
The two series-coupled barrels are located at 11:30 and 1:30. When the force supplied by the first barrel falls below a predefined threshold, the second barrel reinforces it to smooth out the central – and longest – part of the torque. In addition, the A&S5119 caliber features a patented constant-force wheel at 7:30, which is supplied with power every second. It can be seen under the true beat seconds hand (a complication that is also included) and can be identified by the anchor that acts as the winding mechanism’s satellite carrier.
This constant force wheel supplies the regulating organ of the Constant-Force Tourbillon, a one-minute tourbillon that beats at a frequency of 3 Hz and is located at 4:30.
By rotating and adopting every position in order to establish an average, the system reduces the detrimental effects of gravity on the parts in the regulating organ.
The combination of the three approaches with the barrels and the escapement in the space results in almost zero variation in amplitude over the entire power reserve of 90 hours – an extremely rare achievement.
Measurements made using the Constant-Force Tourbillon show an average daily rate variation of around 3 seconds. This is an error rate of less than 4 in 100,000.
You have to go all the way back to 1971 to discover the original Shaft starring Richard Roundtree. But in 2019 three generations of the Shaft family give the movie a new lease of life.
“Shaft” is the next chapter in the film franchise featuring the coolest private eye on any New York City block. JJ, aka John Shaft Jr. (Jessie T. Usher), is a cybersecurity expert with a degree from MIT, but to uncover the truth behind his best friend’s untimely death, he needs an education only his father can provide. John Shaft Sr (Richard Roundtree) also adds the benefit of his experience.
Absent throughout JJ’s youth, the legendary locked-and-loaded John Shaft (Samuel L. Jackson) agrees to help his progeny navigate Harlem’s heroin-infested underbelly. And while JJ’s own FBI analyst’s badge may clash with his dad’s trademark leather coat, there’s no denying family. Not only that, Shaft’s got an agenda of his own, and a score to settle that’s both professional and personal.
RITMO MUNDO RACER 2221/5 CHRONOGRAPH
Featured prominently on the wrist of Samuel L. Jackson’s character John Shaft throughout the movie is the 44mm Racer Swiss quartz chronograph model. Like Shaft, Ritmo Mundo is a somewhat maverick brand. Founded in 2002 in California, from the start the brand was determinedly independent. Its reputation was built the old-fashioned way with hours of global travel, traditional brick and mortar sales and print advertising. To this day, Ritmo Mundo operates as a private company with complete control over all processes with the ability to quickly change styles or components without the delay of corporate approvals.
Highlights include a high polish stainless steel and black IP 40mm case with a second-hand sweep, 60-second sub-dial and 1/100th second subdial with a big date window at the 12 o’ clock. The strap features a unique rubber tire tread with traditional buckle. The watch is water resistant to 10 ATM.
It’s safe to say that I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for the obscure, and as I went looking for our “watch of the day” to close out this second week of June I stumbled across an old favorite; a watch that delivers killer value given its complexity, in an interesting package. It’s a Speedmaster, but not just any Speedmaster. You’re looking at their obscure split-seconds chronograph, that was only on the market between 1999 and 2001/2002.
A past WUS forum thread refers to the 3450.30 as “The Bastard Speedmaster“, and in a sense it’s not wrong. The piece is aesthetically Speedmaster-ish at best. Its tachymeter bezel is proportionally oversized, its hour and minute hands are much fatter, and its case design is much more closely aligned to that of the Omega X-33 than a conventional Speedmaster casing. Though there is also a black/carbon fiber dial variant out there, this silver dial contrasted by blued hands has had my attention for some time now. Measuring 42mm across and quite thick (16.1mm per the specs we tracked down), the piece wears about as hefty as modern 44.25mm Co-Axial Speedmaster models.
Looking at its inner workings, its Omega caliber 3600 movement is quite similar to the split-seconds offered by IWC in the same period. Based off of a Valjoux 7750, with the addition of a proprietary split-seconds module, these Speedys have proven generally reliable on account of their relative simplicity. A particularly interesting detail is that this was once of the first automatic Speedmaster models to gain COSC Chronometer certification. As with most other split-seconds chronographs on the market, its pushers at two and four o’clock handle start, stop, and reset function, whereas the additional pusher at 10 o’clock handles split timing operation.
The example we’re looking at today comes to us via eBay, specifically from a retailer on the platform that is a member of the e-commerce giant’s Authenticate Program for luxury watches. As you likely read earlier in the week, eBay’s Authenticate Program involves significant vetting of sellers and product, ensuring that any watch you acquire is guaranteed to be in true and authentic condition. Based on the available imagery this example appears to be in solid overall condition, with nominal scuffs and dings. The seller is offering it without its original box or papers, however they are backing the piece up with a 1-year warranty for added protection.
Listed at $3,299 or best offer, we (of course) always recommend tossing an offer in and seeing where the conversation goes. These things have been floating in and around the $3,000 mark, though we suspect that there’s definitely some wiggle room with the seller to close the deal. As with anything in the pre-owned space, it’s always worth engaging in at least a little haggling.
Of course, this is not to be confused with the famed Breguet Type XX Aéronavale watch, which will set you back US$13,000 or more. The Breguet Type XX remains a highly desirable collector piece, with no dip in popularity or value since the watch revival began in the 1980s.
The original Type XX began as standard-issue equipment for the French Air Force and Naval Aviation personnel in the 1950s. It became one of the most popular pilot watches of the post-WWII period, a time often coined as the “golden age” of mechanical watches.
UNDONE TYPE XX
The UNDONE Type XX is a new affordable piece from UNDONE that pays tribute to the gallantry of WWII fighter pilots and their high-precision instruments. Its timing is excellent too, being launched in the same month as the D-Day landings 75 years ago.
It’s the only highly customizable aviation-inspired watch on the market for under US$500. Part of UNDONE’s best-selling Urban collection, which includes models that are both retro and contemporary, the UNDONE Type XX is refined, with twin ‘big eye’ sub-dials at 3 and 9 o’ clock and an oversized diamond crown; another nod to a pilot’s watch, designed to help pilots set the time even while wearing thick leather gloves.
UNDONE’s new sweeping chrono second-hand introduces a fresh look complete with an arrow at the tip, a detail faithful to vintage military watches.
THREE STYLES TO CHOOSE FROM
The Type XX Collection from left to right: Type XX ‘Panda’ ,Type XX ‘Classic’, and Type XX ‘Special Edition’
Classic and Panda models are priced at US$315, but in addition to the aesthetics of a bygone era, you can still opt for UNDONE’s extensive customization options.
Type XX “Panda” with a white background, black numerals, and black sub-dials
Type XX “Classic” with a black background and vintage lumed numerals
Hands for the “Classic” and “Panda” are either white or black; the 20mm strap options include 14 different choices of materials, textures or colors.
UNDONE TYPE XX SPECIAL EDITION
Undone Type XX Special Edition
Limited to just 150 pieces, the “Special Edition” is a contemporary interpretation of the original watch, set in a black case, displaying a black background with light blue numerals and white subdials, which, along with the white hands, glow blue instead of the traditional green. The Special Edition comes on a black NATO strap. The US$350 price tag also includes an additional black NATO strap.
The UNDONE Type XX is powered by the highly reliable Seiko mecha-quartz VK64 hybrid movement with a mechanical 60-minute chronograph combined with a quartz timing module for precision.
Its case width measures 41.8mm excluding the crown and is 12.1mm thick including the hardened domed K1 crystal. Initials can be added onto the Type XX at the 12 o’clock position. The case-back is also customizable with glass, engravings, and prints.