All posts in “Watches”

A Guide to Common Automatic Watch Movements

A watchmaking company that designs and produces its own movements in-house is referred to as a manufacture and given a good deal of respect in the industry. Many watchmaking concerns, however (and especially many micro-brands), rely instead upon a small number of tried-and-true movements from several companies whose specialty is in producing movements themselves, rather than complete watches.

Utilizing these commonly available, outsourced movements allows the watchmakers to keep costs down and introduce a known quantity into the equation of watchmaking; these movements are relatively inexpensive, commonly available, and comparatively hassle-free to service.

What follows are some of the most well-known and commonly utilized automatic watch movements available today, along with a brief list of watches that use them:

ETA 2824-2

Perhaps one of the most ubiquitous and well-known automatic calibers available today, the ETA 2824-2 is based upon the Eterna 1247, which was first produced in 1955. The 2824-2 itself has been in production since 1982 and is available in four grades: Standard, Elaboré (improved), Top and Chronometer — as the grades increase, so does the movement’s accuracy, finishing level and price (by way of example, a Standard 2824-2 is accurate to within an average rate of +/-12 seconds/day, with a maximum daily variation of +/-30 seconds, while the Chronometer grade must meet COSC standards and is individually serial-numbered, and accurate to +/-4 seconds a day and maximum positional variance of 15 seconds). ETA, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swatch Group, is slowly phasing out the availability of their movements to non-Swatch Group companies.

Features: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, date window
Diameter: 25.6 mm
Height: 4.6 mm
Jewels: 25
Vibrations Per Hour: 28,800 (4 Hz)
Hand-Winding Possible: Yes
Hacking: Yes
Power Reserve: 38 hrs
Country of Manufacture: Switzerland

Sellita SW200

Sellita originally operated as an outsourced assembly operation for ETA, receiving near-complete 2824-2s and adding wheels, screws and other parts. When the Swatch Group (and thus ETA) decided to phase out supply of the 2824-2 to companies outside of the Group, Sellita decided to produce their own clone of the movement, which they could do legally as all the IP on the 2824-2 has long since expired. Though the company added an extra jewel to the SW200, it is otherwise identical to the 2824-2.

Features: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, date window
Diameter: 25.6 mm
Height: 4.6 mm
Jewels: 26
Vibrations Per Hour: 28,800 (4 Hz)
Hand-Winding Possible: Yes
Hacking: Yes
Power Reserve: 38 hrs
Country of Manufacture: Switzerland

Swiss Technology Production STP1-11/3-13/5-15

Established in 2008, Swiss Technology Production is the Fossil Group’s answer to ETA, and produces movements both for Fossil Group brands and third parties. The STP1-11 is the company’s base movement and has been engineered to fit anywhere a 2824-2 would, effectively making it a Swiss-made clone. While the movement is produced in several grades, including the STP3-13 that is used in many of Zodiac’s latest offerings and the STP5-15 which has an “open heart” view of the balance wheel, the base caliber itself features perlage decoration, an aesthetic feature not found on many of the other movements featured on this list. Several modules also exist that can be added to the base STP1-11 in order to give it added calendar information and functionality. While STP headquarters is, in fact, a movement assembly facility, many of the movement components are produced by the Fossil Group or by other Swiss manufacturers, meaning that the STP family of movements is in compliance with the stringent “Swiss Made” standards in effect since 2017.

Features: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, date window
Diameter: 25.6 mm
Height: 4.6 mm
Jewels: 26
Vibrations Per Hour: 28,800 (4 Hz)
Hand-Winding Possible: Yes
Hacking: Yes
Power Reserve: 44 hrs
Country of Manufacture: Switzerland

Miyota 9015

Similar in feature set to the 2824-2 and the SW200, the 9015 is an automatic movement made by Miyota, which is part of the Citizen Group. First produced in 2009 and developing upon the 8215 caliber, the 9015 differs from the 2824-2 in the number of jewels, the length of the power reserve, height and the absence of multiple grades. Due to its relatively low price and wide availability, the 9015 is often utilized by micro-brands.

Features: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, date window
Diameter: 26 mm
Height: 3.9 mm
Jewels: 24
Vibrations Per Hour: 28,800 (4 Hz)
Hand-Winding Possible: Yes
Hacking: Yes
Power Reserve: 42 hrs
Country of Manufacture: Japan

Seiko NH35A

The NH35A is a Japanese automatic movement made by Seiko both for their own watches and for third parties. Inexpensive and relatively robust (though not nearly as accurate straight from the factory as some of the Swiss offerings on this list), the NH35A is another Japanese alternative to the Swiss-made 2824-2 and SW200. It features both hand-winding and hacking and is only available in one grade.

Features: Hours, minutes, sweep seconds, date window
Diameter: 27.4 mm
Height: 5.32 mm
Jewels: 24
Vibrations Per Hour: 21,600 (3 Hz)
Hand-Winding Possible: Yes
Hacking: Yes
Power Reserve: 41 hrs
Country of Manufacture: Japan

Valjoux/ETA 7750

Originally produced by Valjoux (and since absorbed by the Swatch Group) beginning in the 1970s, the Valjoux/ETA 7750 is perhaps the most widely-used automatic third-party chronograph in the world. Relying on a comparatively inexpensive and easily manufactured three-plane cam system in place of the classic column wheel, the 7750 automatic chronograph movement can be modified to display a date window, the day of the week, one less sub-dial, and a moon phase complication, rendering it incredibly versatile. It is also available in three grades, including Elaboré, Top and Chronomètre.

Features: hours, minutes, small seconds, 2 push-button chronograph (30-minute counter, 12-hour counter), possible date, day, moon phase
Diameter: 30 mm
Height: 7.9 mm
Jewels: 25
Vibrations Per Hour: 28,800 (4 Hz)
Hand-Winding Possible: Yes (but not recommended)
Hacking: Yes
Power Reserve: 40 hrs
Country of Manufacture: Switzerland

Get a Special Version of the Hamilton Watch from Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet”

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Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Hamilton is a longstanding partner of the motion picture industry, having designed watches and clocks for films from 2001: A Space Odyssey through the MIB franchise to Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. Now, the Swiss-owned brand is once again partnering with Nolan on a special watch for his new film, Tenet, which stars John David Washington and Robert Pattinson in “a race to prevent World War III.”

Hamilton’s design team quickly established that there was no timepiece within their catalog that fit the film crew’s requirements. During an 18-month period, they modified one of their Khaki Navy BeLOWZERO watches with the technology that Nolan’s team required, producing dozens of prop watches for filming.

For those of us who’d like to own a version of the prop watch, Hamilton has produced a special edition timepiece available in two colors. Each watch features a lightweight 46mm titanium case, a matching black dial and hands coated in dark grey SuperLumiNova, a sapphire crystal, an impressive 1,000m of water resistance, and a black rubber strap with black PVD pin buckle. Powered by the Hamilton H-10 automatic movement with 80-hour power reserve, the special edition comes in two versions: one with a red-tipped seconds hand, and one with a blue-tipped seconds hand.

Each version (both cost $2,095) is limited to 888 pieces and ships in special packaging designed by Tent production designer Nathan Crowley. Check out the full story on Hamilton’s website below.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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These Are the Watches We’re Obsessing Over in June, 2020

As watch lovers, we spend our afternoons poring over watches both new and vintage. When a new timepiece comes across our radar, one that particularly resonates with our tastes, we can’t help but obsess over it. So, here’s a taste of that process — five timepieces that our watch-loving staff are obsessing over right at this very moment.

Le Forban Sécurité Mer Malouine

For all the #watchguys out there: I’m not one of you. I understand your passion for small things that you don’t really need because I am similarly addicted to purchasing expensive kitchen knives I in no way, shape or form need. A vintage reissue from the late ’60s once donned by French sailors, this watch ticks my simple(ton?) boxes: a reliable automatic movement, satisfying looks, a nice story, a price within reach and I know I won’t see five other folks wearing one walking around Manhattan every day.–Will Price, Assistant Editor

Rolex Date ref. 1500

It’s the little things in the vintage Rolex world that, for one reason or another, stir the imagination. In this particular case, it’s the brown “sigma” dial on this otherwise fairly innocuous ref. 1500 from 1978 — the Greek letter “sigma” was supposedly used to indicate the presence of (often white) gold on the dial, often in the indices. When combined with a svelte, possibly unpolished case, an Oyster bracelet, and a timeless design, you have the recipe for a hell of a watch. –Oren Hartov, Associate Editor

Omega Speedmaster Mark II

While there’s a modern version that I’d quite happily wear, the Omega Speedmaster Mark II seems like a lot of watch for the money at vintage prices. It’s funky and unique with its unmistakably ’70s feel (even though it came out in 1969), but it’s also a Speedmaster with some cool history of its own. Its technical look combined with vibrant orange hands is captivating. –Zen Love, Staff Writer

Enicar Sherpa Guide 600 MKIII

I’ve had my eye on this vintage Enicar for a while now. For under $1,000, you get a ’69 compressor with AR1147 automatic movement. It’s not clean — the GMT hand is missing and it’s pretty beat up — but that’s part of the charm. Need something to do this summer? This big 43mm diver is definitely a unique project. –John Zientek, Associate Editor

Timex x Nigel Cabourn Sea Survival Watch

Can one obsess over a Timex watch? When it’s a collaborative piece made with a legendary British menswear designer, then yes. The fashion world reveres Nigel Cabourn for his vintage-inspired menswear pieces and enviable military-style outerwear. Cabourn brought his eye for military design to Timex’s Mk1 field watch case and tweaked it to become the Survival watch. The yellow-faced, 36mm timepiece recalls World War II ventile flight suits, which were yellow so rescuers could easily identify fallen soldiers in the water. For $180, you get an accurate, quartz-powered watch with a yellow cotton drill watch pouch designed with Cabourn. –Tyler Chin, Associate Staff Writer

10 Great Solar-Powered Watches for Summer Sun

Without the constant winding required of mechanical watches or the dead batteries associated with regular old quartz, solar-powered watches represent some of the most practical, useful, and reliable timepieces made today. The inclusion of solar charging gives the wearer all the benefits of current quartz watch technology without the looming feeling of an expiration date on your watch that’s determined by its battery life.

Solar-powered watches absorb light through solar cells and convert it into energy that is stored in the batteries. You knew that. Perhaps not everyone knows, however, that while the common term is “solar,” any light source will do the job — and not just the sun. One can identify solar cells on the dials of many watches by their purplish tint — however, some companies, like Citizen, have developed clever technology whereby the solar cells are hidden but light absorption remains efficient, resulting in more options for traditional dials.

It is important to note one small caveat to the assertion that one “never” needs to change the battery of a solar-powered watch. Parts of any watch, including batteries, will age just like every other item or material does. So while they will not run out of juice if kept sufficiently exposed to light, many batteries have an expected life of about 30 years before they begin to corrode. In comparison, the many moving parts of mechanical watches mean that they will also most likely require multiple services and often even part-replacement during the same period of time.

The solar watch market is today dominated by the major Japanese brands, namely Casio, Citizen, and Seiko — though the first solar watch was invented by an American engineer. Solar-charging technology can be found in some very affordable watches, but is generally a feature that adds to the price of similar models without it. Many high-end quartz watches from Japanese brands combine a range of technologies and features including solar charging. The below list includes inexpensive examples as well as luxury-priced solar watches with many other features and levels of refinement, and even a couple from European brands.

Casio G-Shock GW6900-1

Always look for the Tough Solar technology when shopping Casio G-Shock watches, as many of them offer it. The GW6900-1 is one of the most classic G-Shock forms, and it’s also an example of the quite affordable end of Casio’s solar-powered range. The Tough Solar does, however, command a premium over otherwise very similar models that do not offer solar charging. This is a robust watch that can be beat up and worn for years without worry, hassle, or much financial investment — one reason it is a top choice among soldiers and police.
Case Diameter: 50mm
Water Resistance: 200m

One Eleven Field Watch

With a mission of sustainability, a youthful and casual style and solar charging, One Eleven watches feel generally made for summer. The brand offers a range of styles of which this field watch is a great example, with a case made of 85% recycled steel. Best of all, One Eleven’s products remain at the budget end of solar watches.
Case Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Citizen Eco-Drive Promaster Diver

Notice that Citizen’s vast range of solar-powered watches, designated by their technology which they call Eco-Drive, are mostly analog, and that no solar cells are visible. This solid dive watch is a great example of an affordable and rugged offering that will serve you well for years, with no winding and no need for battery replacements.
Case Diameter: 42mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Casio Protrek PRG-600

Don’t be shocked that Casio has multiple spots on this list: they represent some of the best options at multiple price points for solar watches. Protrek is like a brand of its own within the Casio universe, and like other watches that include the brand’s Tough Solar technology, it incorporates multiple other features like censors, a compass, and more. Protrek watches are made for outdoor activities, so plenty of sun will keep them healthy.
Case Diameter: 51.5mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Seiko Prospex Solar Diver Street Series

Seiko’s Prospex collection distinguishes itself from the brand’s more basic models with premium materials and more robust construction. The Street Series further offers an edgy take on the typically practical, tough character of many Prospex watches while retaining all the quality you’d expect. It’s a great solar option from Seiko that doesn’t necessitate shelling out for the full-featured, premium Astron line — especially in this version, with its fresh and summery white silicon strap.
Case Diameter: 46.7mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Casio G-Shock Frogman GWF-A1000

While one can dive well into luxury pricing territory with the G-Shock MR-G and MT-G ranges, professionally focused watches like the Frogman offer some of the same premium features — Tough Solar being one of them, of course. The newest Frogman takes the classic asymmetric design of the famous dive watch and gives it an analog dial for the first time, as well as sapphire crystal and the brand’s new carbon fiber-reinforced case structure.
Case Diameter: 53.3mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Junghans Max Bill Mega Solar

Junghans is one of the very few European companies that has invested in technology like solar charging and radio-controlled watches while also being strong in design (Bauhaus-influenced design, specifically, is their biggest claim to fame) and in mechanical watchmaking. They offer a different aesthetic and approach from the vast majority of their competitors, and watches like the Max Bill Mega Solar remain relatively affordable and showcase the brand’s strengths.
Case Diameter: 38mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar II

Tissot’s T-Touch collection is interesting and unusual in the wider world of watches in that it includes a touch screen to operate a host of features — and Tissot is one of the few Swiss brands focusing on this kind of watch and technology. T-Touch watches are rugged and seem made for actual outdoor use, but the addition of solar charging on more recent models truly rounds out a strong package.
Case Diameter: 45mm
Water Resistance: 100m

Seiko Astron 5X53 Dual-Time Sport Titanium

In the race among Japanese watch companies to make the ultimate practical watch with satellite and radio-synching technology, it’s ultimately the consumer who wins. The mighty Seiko’s entrant is the Astron, the latest edition of which is the Astron 5x. It includes a more compact titanium case than ever at 42.9mm wide and 12.2mm thick, solar charging, Seiko’s zaratsu polishing, sapphire crystal, and essentially every premium detail the brand offers at this price level.
Case Diameter: 42.8mm
Water Resistance: 200m

Citizen Eco Drive One

The world’s thinnest light-powered watch is the Eco-Drive One, and Citizen emphasized the achievement by making it a luxury product, not holding back on refinement or materials. At just 2.98mm thick and 40mm wide with a refined design, it’s not only technically interesting, but wears elegantly and comfortably — it even made our list of best men’s dress watches.
Case Diameter: 40mm
Water Resistance: 30m

Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

A Japanese Streetwear Designer Has a Unique Take on Vintage-Inspired Watches

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TAG Heuer x Fragment Design


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

The new Fragment Design Heuer 02 Chronograph looks unlike anything else in the current TAG Heuer catalog. It’s a bit like a vintage Heuer Autavia, but not quite like any specific model. So what exactly is it? It’s the first watch in TAG’s Formula 1 collection to feature the brand’s in-house Heuer 02 chronograph movement, and it’s the vision of Japanese streetwear designer Hiroshi Fujiwara.

As this is the second TAG collab watch under Fujiwara’s brand Fragment Design, you’ll find his lightning bolts logo on the dial and case back. With a “C-shaped” 44m-wide steel case, the designer says he was “especially attentive to details such as the bracelet links and the red sapphire case back” — which provides a view of the movement. The case shape, dial layout and bezel have a very ’70s Autavia feel, but the dial’s minimalist approach with small red hour markers and lumed hands feels distinctly modern.

TAG placed this sleek chronograph in its Formula 1 collection despite having recently revived the Autavia name that seems more apt — but in the end, this is a cool-looking watch no matter what you call it. Like many of TAG’s best recent timepieces, the TAG Heuer x Fragment Design Formula 1 Heuer 02 Chronograph is a limited edition. Only 500 examples will be made with a price of $6,150 each, available directly from the brand online with delivery starting in August 2020.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

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This Is Patek Philippe’s First New Watch of 2020

Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

An eerie silence descended over the watch industry this year following the cancellation of Baselworld and the online-only iteration of Watches & Wonders Geneva (previously “SIHH”). When would Patek Philippe, Rolex, and Tudor release their new wares? The answer, of course, was: whenever the hell those three brands feel like it.

Well, today we’re finally getting a first look at a new model from one of those storied maisons — namely, Patek — in the form of a limited edition ref. 6007A-001 Calatrava produced in celebration of the firm’s new manufacture in Geneva. Limited to just 1,000 pieces, the new model is notable for being cased in stainless steel — a relative rarity amongst Patek Philippe timepieces and the second such debut from the brand in the past year or so. (Baselworld 2019, you may recall, saw the debut of the ref. 5212A Weekly Calendar in steel.)

The 6007A-001, which celebrates the opening of the maison’s new building in Plan-les-Ouates, features a gorgeous new blue dial with outer minute and inner hour tracks and applied white Arabic indices, plus a smaller concentric railway track with triangular hour markers. Within this is a “carbon”-style, cross-hatched texture in grey-blue, while a date aperture at 3 o’clock and a set of lacquered, white gold baton hands tie the dial together. Set within a 40mm, polished steel case, the look is distinctly modern and yet evocative of the history of the Calatrava line that dates back to the 1930s.

The watch is powered by the automatic calibre 324 S C movement and comes equipped with a calfskin blue leather strap with white decorative seams and prong buckle. A sapphire case back is marked with the cross of Catatrava — the longtime symbol of Patek Philippe — and the words “New Manufacture 2019.” The Geneva facility, which received its first teams in 2019, is meant to finally house all Patek manufacturing under one roof, and measures an impressive 200m long by 10 floors high. The 6007A-001, which celebrates it, is available for $28,351.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

Why Does the Popular NATO Watch Strap Have This Mysterious Feature?

Welcome to Further Details, a recurring column where we investigate what purpose an oft-overlooked product element actually serves. This week: the extra keeper and length of material on the underside of NATO watch straps.

NATO straps are a fun, inexpensive and easy way to add some color and uniqueness to a watch. Military in origin, they’re now wildly popular despite having some quirky features that are not at all practical for civilian use. NATOs are such a hit, however, that many people probably never question one key element of their design: why is there an extra length of strap that folds under the watch?

A one-piece strap that simply passes under the spring bars and over the body of the watch would seem to work just fine, but NATOs have yet another layer of material that sits between watch and wrist. It’s typically folded at the buckle and sewn to the strap’s underside with a keeper on its end through with the main strap must be threaded. (If you’re not familiar with how a nato strap works, it’s perhaps best explained visually.)

If you ask a watch enthusiast what it’s for, they’ll enthusiastically tell you that if a spring bar fails during strenuous military use, the watch won’t simply fall off your wrist — as would occur with something like the standard two-piece strap. However, this doesn’t explain the NATO strap’s design at all: a single-pass strap (i.e, one without the extra length in question) would do the same job just as well.

Not only does this part of the NATO strap design seem unnecessary, but it creates further bulk by causing the strap to sit higher on the wrist — so much so that if you want to make a small watch wear more prominently, a NATO strap serves as a good solution. Designed to possibly be worn over a sleeve (which would be eccentric for modern casual wearers), yet more bulk is created by the necessity of tucking the strap’s end back in. There better be a good reason for all the extra fuss associated with NATO straps!

The purpose of the NATO strap’s length is well understood (see above), but it seems that not many people have a definitive explanation for the extra keeper. It’s been suggested that quartermasters used to hang watches on pegs by the buckle end and that this keeper would prevent the watch heads from sliding off. That doesn’t seem like a compelling enough reason for the design, but it does hint at the idea that this can keep the watch head from sliding off the strap.

Most likely is that the military felt it was necessary to keep the watch head from sliding around on the strap while being worn. Single-pass straps existed before the NATO was created for the British military in 1973 — indeed, a sort of fabric “proto-NATO” was used as early as WWII on A-11 and other military watches — but it’s easy to imagine that watch heads sliding around on straps was a problem they wanted to solve. This would further be an issue for watches with wider lug widths than that specified in the government spec for NATO (G-10) straps. While probably not a big concern for most properly sized straps today, it might have made a difference in military situations.

In the end, it’s the NATO’s overkill and over-design that many watch wearers enjoy anyway. Even if various aspects of the strap don’t feel practical for the modern watch wearer, we can be sure that the military had a purpose in requiring this design. NATO straps just feel purposeful anyway, and that’s one more reason to love them.

Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

Looking for a Skeletonized Sport Watch? This Is the One to Get

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Bell & Ross BR05 Skeleton Blue


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

What do you get when you marry two iconic watch designs? Introduced in 2019, the Bell & Ross BR05 combines the brand’s own iconic square case design with the luxury sport watch concept best represented by Gerald Genta creations like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. With a skeletonized movement visible through a translucent blue dial, the new Skeleton Blue version veers closer to lifestyle-focused sport watch territory and offers an ever more avant-garde look.

While remaining recognizably Bell & Ross, the BR05 has key features of the Genta genre of luxury sport watches, such as the 40mm case’s integration into the bracelet/strap (the bezel’s exposed screws were already a part of Bell & Ross DNA). Previous versions’ solid dials are here replaced with a blue-tinted crystal offering a view of the movement beneath. Thanks to the dial’s tint — which maintains strong contrast with the hands and indices — B&R is able to offer such a view without compromising legibility.

The Sellita SW300-1 automatic movement is skeletonized in a modern style and visible from both the front and back of the watch. Available for preorder now with delivery by the end of June 2020, the Bell & Ross BR05 Skeleton Blue is limited to 500 examples at $6,900 on the steel bracelet, or $6,400 on a proprietary rubber strap.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

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Keep Track of Friends Around the Globe with This Elegant GMT Watch

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Gravur Geography


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Back in late 2018 we directed your attention to the Geography, a mechanical GMT watch from Swedish brand Bravur. 39mm in diameter and featuring a second time zone housed within a recessed inner dial, the Geography was svelte and elegant, if perhaps a bit tough to read.

Now, Bravur is offering an updated take on the white dial version of the Geography. Featuring a larger GMT scale and applied black indices and numerals, this new version is not only more legible, but comes with a sticker price $200 less than the original, at $1,450. Ticking away inside is either the Swiss-made Sellita SW330-1 or ETA 2893-2, while the curved dial features Superluminova C1-tipped hands and a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating.

Of course, you may not have much need to travel right now, but a GMT watch can just as easily be used to keep track of friends in other time zones so that you don’t, you know, accidentally call them at 3AM (guilty). And given the Geography’s elegant looks and dimensions, it’s something you could easily pair with more formal clothing if you ever get back to the office.

Available with the user’s choice of one of six leather straps, the new Geography is made to order, with shipping times estimated for mid-December 2020.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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Check Out The Restoration of This Vintage Military Watch

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Watch This


From collector videos to watchmaking tutorials to auction coverage, YouTube is full of great content for the horologically curious. In Watch This, we dig out hidden gems of watch-related video content for you to explore in your free time.

I was desperately trying to be productive one recent weekend when YouTube beckoned me down one of its myriad fascinating rabbit holes. Venture I did, only to chance about my latest obsession: watchmaking videos.

[embedded content]

One of my favorite new channels is called The Nekkid Watchmaker — the name comes from the narrator’s desire “to strip away all the BS and snobbery in watchmaking and to encourage a new generation of watchmakers in to this wonderful art” — and if you love watches, you have to check it out. In it, our watchmaker protagonist (I think his name is Joe, judging from one of the video’s comments section) films his restoration of vintage timepieces, including wrist and pocket watches. He’s got a great sense of humor, is highly skilled and inventive, and is a pleasure to watch.

If you like military and military-style watches, I’d recommend checking out the above video first, which details the restoration of a Jaeger-LeCoultre P469-based wristwatch from the 1940s — amazingly, Joe even re-plates the chrome case with a fresh nickel coating. Pop some popcorn, crack a beer, and enjoy.

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Timex’s Affordable New Pride Watch Has a Hidden Feature

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Todd Snyder x Timex Pride


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Todd Snyder’s fruitful partnership with Timex has yielded yet another cool creation in the form of an affordable watch to celebrate the gay rights movement. Inspired by Gilbert Baker’s Rainbow Flag, which the movement adopted as its banner, the new Art of Pride watch appears to have a simple multicolored dial, but there’s a trick up its sleeve…

The watch face actually features three colored, translucent discs which rotate, causing the colors to interact with each other and change. Todd Snyder says that it’s based on a watch dating to the ’70s discovered in the Timex archives which similarly used multicolored discs.

Black hour and minute hands ensure legibility is maintained, and the moving colors interact, a playful metaphor for the inclusiveness of the gay rights movement. Housed in a 34mm steel case, the Pride watch is powered by a hand-wound mechanical movement.

$10,000 from the proceeds of the Todd Snyder x Timex Art of Pride watch will be donated to the Sylvia Rivera Law Project and Rainbow Railroad Foundation. The watch is limited in production and available from Todd Snyder now for $199.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

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This Striking World Time Watch Begs to Be Your New Travel Companion

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Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

The availability of multiple, easily scannable time zones on the wrist is useful to more than just travelers — it’s arguably the most practical information watches can offer to internationally connected wearers apart from the local time itself. The required density of information on a world time watch also often lends itself to a striking look, and newly revised Montblanc Star Legacy Orbis Terrarum puts all that together in a highly compelling package.

The map dial is a feature traditionally associated with world time watches — in this case, it corresponds to 24 city that the user can rotate via the 8 o’clock pusher. The time is then easily read in each city by the rotating 24-hour disc alongside it. All this is accomplished by a modified Sellita SW350-1 automatic GMT movement with in-house module and an independently adjustable hour hand, which is visible through a display case back.

Measuring 43mm, the Orbis Terrarum offers a bold wearing experience and enough dial space for the city names to be nice and legible. The new version introduces several updates over the previous version, with a subtle case redesign and a more sophisticated, three-dimensional dial execution. It also costs a bit more, at $6,800 in steel or $20,800 in rose gold.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

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This Auction Is Stacked with Incredible Vintage Watches

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It’s that time again: Phillips is gearing up for the eleventh iteration of its Geneva Watch Auction. On June 27th through 28th, bidding will take place on 215 lots that run the horological gamut, from vintage Patek through modern MB&F. Here are a few of our favorites.

Our Picks

Ref. 5699 cal. 13ZN by Longines Estimate: $20,600-30,900

Featuring what is often touted as the best chronograph movement ever produced, the 13ZN, this ref. 5699 from 1946 is housed in an oversized 39.5mm steel case and was intended for sale in the American market. The 13ZN is notable for its unique central minute counter hand.

Ref. 1463 by Patek Philippe Estimate: $206,000-412,000

It’s difficult to argue with the 1463, one of the best-looking chronographs ever made (IMHO). Notable as one of just two serially produced vintage Patek chronographs housed in water-resistant cases, this particular example is a later execution in pink gold — something rarely seen.

Ref. 325 “Portugieser” by IWC Estimate: $25,700-36,000

Dating to 1943, this typically oversized 42mm “Portugieser” is a reference 325, of which only 304 examples were produced using the caliber 74, a manually wound pocket watch movement. Featuring an aged black dial with luminous Arabic indices and a beautiful stepped case, it features a timeless design that is still produced today.

Ref. 5513 “Explorer Dial” by Rolex Estimate: $103,000-207,000

5513s, which, along with the 5512, were the first Rolex Submariners to feature crown guards, are a dime a dozen. But 5513s with Explorer dials are another story. Produced only during the first half of the 1960s, these watches are exceedingly rare, this example made more so by the presence of an underline beneath the depth rating.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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This Quintessential Dress Watch Deserves Another Look

Welcome to Watches You Should Know, a biweekly column highlighting important or little-known watches with interesting backstories and unexpected influence. This week: the Cartier Tank.

Even those who don’t know it by name know the Cartier Tank. It’s one of the most recognizable, iconic and imitated watches ever made. But do you know where it came from, the purpose of its design, and its significance in horological history? In many ways, the story of this deceptively simple dress watch is the story of the wristwatch itself.

It might seem counterintuitive considering its familiarity and conservative vibe as seen from a modern perspective, but when Louis Cartier introduced his angular wristwatch in the early 20th century, it was highly original and met with controversy. At a time when men carried round pocket watches, wristwatches — and especially those meant for men — were largely unknown to the public.

Louis Cartier’s first square wristwatch was indeed not the Tank: No, first came the watch known as the Santos, in 1904 — but it was designed for an eccentric aviator, and the average consumer wasn’t ready to give up the pocket watch.

Soldiers adapted pocket watches for the wrist during WWI (and some companies sold them this way), but Cartier is widely credited as the first to design a mens watch specifically for the wrist. One must imagine that making it square (or rectangular) in shape helped emphasize its purpose and distinguish it as fundamentally different from round pocket watches.

The Tank is known to have came into being in 1917, but there were just a few examples made, and legend has it they were given to General John Pershing of the American Expeditionary Force and his officers. Cartier claims that the design was inspired by having seen some of the earliest tanks being used in WWI, but tenets of the design such as the case’s overall shape, the Roman numerals and the dial’s inner railroad-style track were existing Cartier traits. This original Tank even featured the distinctive crown with its cabochon that remains a feature of modern Cartier watches.

By the 1920s, the Tank was well established, to the extent that watches of a similar style by other companies even were sometimes even also called “Tank” in blatant tribute to Cartier. Many decades later it was still, for Andy Worhol, simply “the watch to wear” — the celebrities and notable figures associated with the Tank are too numerous to mention. Indeed, it remains one of Cartier’s flagship collections and includes models of varying size, shape, complexity, formality and price.

The Cartier Tank today has a mixed status. Its provenance or the elegance of its design is not in question, but to a modern eye amidst an increasingly casual culture, it can appear feminine or even stuffy and formal. At worst, it might be seen as boring due to its familiarity. But it would be a shame to view it in any of those ways. The Tank’s history shows that its design is rooted in masculinity, chance-taking and innovation.

Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

Rugged Features Abound in This High-End GMT Watch

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Grand Seiko Hi-Beat


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Typically formal-leaning Grand Seiko is well-known for its GMT watches and high-beat movements, but less so its sport watches. Though sometimes overlooked, the brand’s Sport collection offers everything GS is loved for but with the likes of more water resistance, more rugged styles and bold case sizes. Two new Grand Seiko Sport GMT watches also stand out for their use of Seiko’s famously bright lume.

Accompanying the GMT complication is the ever-popular, bi-color 24-hour bezel, but here it incorporates the brand’s LumiBrite luminescent material all around: the numerals glow in the dark for the nighttime hours, and the bezel itself is illuminated for the daytime hours. If that weren’t offbeat enough, the bezel is not evenly bisected but is slightly asymmetric, so that its two colors don’t cut through the numerals.

All this comes in a 44.2mm-wide steel case with a 200m of water resistance. Inside, it’s powered by Grand Seiko’s 9S86 automatic movement that operates at an unusually rapid 5Hz. Available in a blue-and-white colorway on a steel bracelet, the model known as the SBGJ237 has a price of $6,800 and will be available in August 2020. The green-and-white SBGJ239 model features some pops of sporty red and comes on a leather strap for $6,600, and will be available in July.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

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This Important Designer Had an Outsized Influence on the Watch Industry

What would the modern watch landscape look like without the designer who pioneered concepts like the luxury sport watch? It’s no understatement that Swiss-born Gerald Genta has had a tremendous impact on the watch industry, and that timepieces he designed many decades ago are today some of the most coveted, iconic and copied of all time.

Genta gave the world many, many watch designs. Some had his own name on the dials, but most were produced by a wide array of other brands. He would likely not be so remembered, however, if not for two particular watches: the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus.

Both more or less represent a single concept that was ahead of its time: that of a steel sport watch with an integrated steel bracelet — intended not for a particular sport, but rather for wealthy customers who wanted something versatile, masculine and elegant. The popularity of these watches today has led to nothing short of celebrity status for the late Genta, whose other designs have also gained increased recognition and praise.

If you know nothing else about this watch design luminary, you should at least be familiar with these five Genta designs:

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Photo: Analog / Shift

Designed in 1970, this was the original groundbreaker. Legend has it that the request for a “totally new and waterproof” steel sports watch came in one day at 4pm and was due the following morning, and Genta delivered what’s now the iconic Royal Oak. Taking inspiration from traditional diving helmets, he expressed the bolts as the bezel’s hexagonal screws, and exposing this technical element on a watch was considered bold and innovative at the time.

Also unusual was the octagonal bezel and a steel bracelet integrated into the case design. All together, these elements made for an extremely distinctive look, while basic shapes and a simple dial meant the watch still has a classic appeal. Its highly legible, waffle-style “tapisserie” dial texture is another defining feature. Most unusual about the Royal Oak, however, was that Audemars Piguet treated this steel sport watch like a precious metal version, selling it for many times the price of any other steel watch then produced.

Though considered large in 1972 at 39mm, its size now feels modern, and its thinness makes it well-proportioned and comfortable. While not a commercial success following its introduction, the Royal Oak has become legendary and transformed into collection comprising endless iterations, from beefy and aggressive Offshore Chronographs to high-horology examples.

Patek Philippe Nautilus

Photo: Analog / Shift

Following the establishment of the Royal Oak concept in 1970, the Nautilus followed in 1976. Genta claims to have suddenly come up with the idea while alone at lunch, observing Patek Philippe executives at another table. He sketched it five minutes. No exposed screws here, and the bezel is based on a ship’s porthole, with the protruding case sides referencing its hinge and handle. But it’s a luxury steel sport watch (with an integrated bracelet) in the same spirit as the Royal Oak. Also like the Royal Oak, it wasn’t initially met with great demand but later became a superstar.

IWC Ingenieur

Photo: Analog / Shift

Genta didn’t design the first IWC Ingenieur watch, which debuted in the the 1950s with the purpose of protecting the movement from magnetic fields engineers might be exposed to at work. However, Genta gave the Ingenieur a makeover and reimagined it as a sport watch in 1976, the same year as the Nautilus debuted. Here, we can see once again the integrated bracelet and exposed screw holes in the bezel (though in this case there are five, rather than the Royal Oak’s eight). Genta’s Ingenieur never received quite the collector enthusiasm as the steel sport watches above, but in today’s market, it might just be ready for a reprise.

Universal Genève Polerouter

Photo: Analog / Shift

Genta didn’t suddenly appear on the scene with the Royal Oak: he’d been designing watches for decades by that time. His very first design to market, the Universal Genève Polerouter, was nothing like the sport watches that would later bring him fame, but it’s since found a following among vintage collectors for several reasons:

Not only was the Polerouter an exceptionally well-made and well-designed watch, but it’s also notable for its story and technical features. Universal Genève was the official supplier of watches for the Scandinavian airline SAS, which had just begun trans-arctic flights. Flying over the north pole caused problems for the aircrafts’ navigational equipment — as well as for the pilots’ watches — due to magnetism, and Universal Genève was selected to provide a new timepieces for the airline due to its reputation for building anti-magnetic watches.

The Polerouter was released in time to mark the historic first flight between Los Angeles, New York and Copenhagen. Its movement included a micro rotor — a technical trait that would interest Genta for many years for its ability to help keep automatic watches thin. With its characteristic tuxedo-type dial, antimagnetic properties and micro-rotor movement, this model is now a darling of vintage collectors.

Bulgari Octo

The modern Bulgari Octo itself wasn’t designed by Genta per se, but he should more or less be credited for it. When the designer sold his own eponymous brand to Bulgari in 2000, it naturally included the rights to his designs, among which was the Octo Bi-Retro. This watch had an avant-garde dial featuring retrograde displays and jumping hours — and, of course, the funky case design that today defines the Bulgari Octo.

One imagines that Genta would approve of Bulgari’s take on the Octo, as the contrast of its simple dial and highly complex case seems to fit his philosophy. Further, Bulgari has made thinness a defining feature of the collection, a trait which Genta valued highly.

Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

This Might Be the Coolest Timex Watch of the Year

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Todd Snyder Q Timex Bracelet


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

The Q Timex, Timex’s 1970s-inspired quartz diver, is now available in several different colors and styles. But if you were searching for something a bit more monochromatic — or something with more of a definitive (non-Rolex inspired) vintage inspiration — you should check out the new Todd Snyder X Timex Q Bracelet Watch.

If you’ve ever done a deep dive into the depths of eBay late one night, looking at vintage watches, you’ve no doubt come across similar-looking Timex models: baton hands, red-tipped seconds hand, stick markers, folded-link steel bracelet, etc. All of those features are present here and more: you get a domed acrylic crystal, a rotating, dive-style bezel, a reliable quartz movement with day-date display, a handsome black dial, lumed hands and a battery hatch for easy swapping. The watch is also sized perfectly at 38mm and is water-resistant to 50m.

It’s strange to see the old folded-link style employed on a modern bracelet (in place of solid links), and we have to say, we love it — there’s something immensely satisfying about the jangle and feeling of one of these bracelets once they’ve been truly worn in. For $179, there’s little to argue with here. Vintage aesthetics, modern tech, a great look — it’s all present in this new version of the Q.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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This New Timex Watch Is Inspired by World War II Flight Crews

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Nigel Cabourn Survival


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Timex has teamed up once again with British menswear designer Nigel Cabourn on a cool new collaboration timepiece, this time dubbed the Survival Watch. (You may recall the last collaboration, the Referee Watch, which debuted a year ago.) Another fun, affordable timepiece in the Timex spirit, the Survival model references the ventile flight suits worn by British airmen during World War II: In the event that an aircraft went down in the water, the airman was dressed in a yellow flight suit and life preserver so that rescue aircraft could easily spot him.

The Survival, which is housed in a 36mm Mk1 field watch case, references this yellow equipment with its bright dial, which is stamped with the broad arrow symbol that indicates British crown property. Featuring 50m of water resistance, a mineral glass crystal and a rugged quartz movement, the Survival is paired with two interchangeable straps, including fabric and leather NATO-style, slip-through models with yellow undersides. $180 gets you the watch and a special vintage-inspired, yellow cotton drill watch pouch designed with Cabourn.

If you’re looking for a great summer watch — or you simply enjoy military history and military-inspired gear — it’s worth checking out the Survival.

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.

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What the Hell Is a Minute Repeater Watch?

In the days before electric lighting, working hours were determined by the length of the day. Candlelight made for tired eyes and people’s schedules largely followed that of the sun. Theaters and train cars were dark in the era before ours, when bright smartphone screens are both a help and a nuisance. It was in this earlier age that the repeater watch was created so a man could check the time in the dark.

In the beginning, repeater pocket watches — which grew from their forebears, chiming clocks — only chimed the most recent hour that passed. So whether the time is 10:00 or 10:52, an hour repeater would still chime 10 times. As watchmaking advanced, repeaters got more precise and more configurations appeared, from quarter repeaters, which chimed the hours and the quarter hours, to five-minute repeaters, which would chime the hour followed by the number of five minute intervals after the hour in two different tones. The most precise repeater, as you might imagine, is the minute repeater, which sonically tells the exact time down to the minute.

Repeaters are not alarms, nor do they chime on their own, which would quickly become tiresome. Instead they operate on demand when the wearer wants to check the time, in which case he pulls a spring-loaded slider on the side of the watch case to activate it.

Adding a sonic element to a watch movement is not easy, much less one that “knows” the time.

By the early 1900s, artificial lighting rendered the repeater largely obsolete. But the charm of the complication has never lost its appeal, and it is one of the most enduring and beloved ones. Due to the skill required to design and build them, they have always commanded premium prices and have historically been the province of wealthy collectors. The big names in haute horology, including Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet and Breguet have built some of the most legendary repeater watches, which remain rare but prized by watch collectors.

Adding a sonic element to a watch movement is not easy, much less one that “knows” the time. Space is one issue; in a wristwatch case, it requires shoehorning the synchronizing, striking and separate winding elements alongside the rest of the watch movement. And then there’s the matter of tuning the acoustics to not only be loud, but to have a clear and pleasing sound in multiple tones to differentiate minutes from hours.

A repeater mechanism is wound separately from the timekeeping components of the watch. The required tension to sound the gongs is not as great as that for the watch’s mainspring, which is keeping constant time, so “arming” the repeater is accomplished by tensioning the spring that powers the chiming mechanism. This is done by pushing the slide on the side of the watch case, which tensions the chiming spring in the same way that pulling a toy race car backwards gives it the power to move forward when released.

A hunter-cased, 18K pink gold minute repeating pocket watch with chronograph from Audemars Piguet, featuring a 19-ligne movement made in 1888.

Once this slider is released, two hammers are activated, striking the gongs to read out the time. The gongs are thin strips of metal arranged around the perimeter of the case; in order to achieve different tones for the hours, quarter hours and minutes, they differ in thickness and shape.

The hammers are small, pivoting levers, typically mounted on opposing sides of the bottom of the watch movement. One strikes one of the gongs while the other strikes the second, and the sequence of the striking is what tells the unique time of day. Usually a lower tone indicates hours while a higher tone is for the minutes, and the quarter hour is a quick sequence of high and low tones.

In this way, the two gongs can be used to indicate three distinctive time measurements. As an example, at 3:00, the lower toned gong will be struck three times in succession: “dong dong dong”. At 3:04, the higher pitched gong will be called into action, resulting in, “dong dong dong; ding ding ding ding”. But at 3:31, the full sequence of the chimes is actuated, and you hear, “dong dong dong; ding-dong ding-dong ding.” In this way, the wearer needs only listen and pay attention to this sequence to tell the time. (11:59 becomes quite the lengthy symphony.)

Repeaters occupy a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts and, despite the obsolescence of this complication, it has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance of late.

The chiming part of the movement keeps track of the time using tiny gears called the “snails”, which are small semi-circular cams that have precisely-cut steps in their outer radius that determine how many times the hammer strikes. There is one snail dedicated to the hours, one to the quarter hours and one to the minutes, with the hour snail having 12 steps, the quarter hour snail three steps, and the minute snail, 14. These snails are geared to the timekeeping mechanism of the watch movement, and constantly in synch with the current time.

The snails coordinate the number of times the gongs are struck, but the actual act of striking is controlled by racks, levers and cams that pivot the spring-loaded hammers. The entire sequence of events is something to behold, but many repeater watches have solid case backs to enhance acoustics — though the magic of modern watchmaking and materials science has seen the introduction of glass case backs that allow the owner to observe the performance (which is entirely ironic, given the raison d’être of the repeater in the first place).

Repeaters occupy a special place in the hearts of watch enthusiasts and, despite the obsolescence of this complication, it has enjoyed a bit of a renaissance of late, giving those of us living in a bright world a chance to still “hear the time.” Here are five of of our favorite modern repeaters.

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater

The Octo Finissimo has become one of Bulgari’s flagship watches, and it’s been the vehicle for high complications like tourbillons before. Here, it has a 40mm rose gold case and unassuming presence, but inside is some truly stunning horology. The cutout indices on the dial hint at the movement below, but they’re also said to aid sound transmission of the chimes. A lot more of the movement is visible from the case back, where you can watch the hammers go to work on the gongs. Despite its complicated movement, the watch remains remarkably thin at just 6.90mm.
Case Material: Rose Gold
Diameter: 40mm
Price: $170,000

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Minute Repeater Supersonnerie

One would be remiss to not include an Audemars Piguet in any discussion of repeater watches. After all, AP was the undisputed master of the chiming watch in the 19th century, building the mechanisms not only for its own timepieces but also for those of many other brands, including A. Lange & Söhne. The Royal Oak is AP’s most famous collection, and while this iteration maintains the iconic sport watch design, it takes on a different character as a rare (20 examples each in titanium and platinum), ultra high-end complication hiding in plain sight.
Case Material: Titanium or Platinum
Diameter: 42mm
Price: $321,700 (titanium); $386,600 (platinum)

A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk Minute Repeater

In an ironic nod to German repeater history, the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater pays tribute to Dresden’s Semper Opera House clock, which aimed to keep people from disrupting performances with…their repeaters (akin to cell phones in movie theaters today). The large digital time display is directly inspired by that clock, which was built by Johann Gutkaes, the mentor to Lange’s namesake founder, in 1841. The chiming watch is actually a “decimal” repeater, meaning it chimes the 10-minute intervals instead of the quarter hours as part of its sequence, showing how the German masters always do things just a little bit differently.
Case Material: White Gold
Diameter: 44.2mm
Price: ~$507,000

Roger Dubuis Excalibur Diabolus In Machina

Roger Dubuis makes a lot of large, brash, skeletonized, tourbillon-equipped sport watches in its Excalibur collection, and this particular example fits right in among them. Even if many of the brand’s watches appear designed to stand our from afar, a closer look reveals the highest level of finishing and craftsmanship, and some serious horology going on. Case in point is this Excalibur Diabolus In Machina with minute repeater and flying tourbillon, turning the classical image of the chiming watch on its head. Oh, and this might be a good example of a truly useful modern minute repeater since the dial’s legibility is somewhat sacrificed for its attention-grabbing looks.
Case Material: CarTech Micro-Melt BioDur CCMTM
Diameter: 45mm
Price: $571,000

Jaquet Droz Tropical Bird Repeater

In the 1700s, the Swiss watchmaker Jaquet Droz was well known for his mechanical automata, such as a small figure that could write a name, or a crawling caterpillar. The Bird Repeater carries on that tradition on the wrist, with a stunning visual element that accompanies the chiming of the time. The dial, which is hand-painted and engraved, features three-dimensional birds that, when the repeater chimes, flit their wings or open their tail while other elements of the tropical scene similarly come to life. If this display fails to mesmerize, the incredibly complex movement that drives all of this is visible at the back.
Case Material: White Gold
Diameter: 47mm
Price: $661,500

Patek Philippe 5078G Minute Repeater

Legend has it that former Patek CEO Philippe Stern never let a repeater leave the manufacture until he personally listened to its chiming in the quiet of his office. When he passed the reigns over to his son, Thierry, the tradition continued, and the Sterns must have good ears because Patek repeaters are some of the sweetest sounding in the business. The simple form of the 5078G, with its black enamel dial and tasteful arabesque patterning does nothing to distract from its aural perfection, tempting its owner to make it chime again and again.
Case Material: White Gold
Diameter: 38mm
Price: Upon Request

Jason Heaton

Only wears mechanical watches, drives an adequately patina’d Alfa Romeo Spider right up until the snow flies, and always keeps an open bottle of single malt close at hand.

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This New Pilot’s Watch Collection Is Steeped in Aviation History

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Longines Spirit


Editor’s Note: Watches & Wonders (formerly SIHH) has moved online and Baselworld 2020 is canceled, but that hasn’t stopped watch brands large and small from debuting their new wares. Stay on top of this year’s best new watch releases here.

Longines just announced a new pilot’s watch collection that seems such a natural addition for the brand, one wonders how it didn’t happened sooner. With all the high-flying history the Swiss juggernaut can boast, Longines certainly deserves to be among watchmakers that are most associated with the popular genre today. (Their logo is a winged hourglass, after all.) The new Spirit collection aims to put Longines on the radar of pilot’s watch fans and debuts with a handsome chronograph as well as this simpler, three-hand automatic model.

Available in a 40mm or 42mm-wide steel case, the Spirit takes cues and traits from the classical pilot’s watch, but thankfully stops short of feeling like another “vintage-inspired” timepiece, of which there are plenty these days: Indeed, the Spirit, which is contemporary in feel, offers more refinement than the aviators of yore would require. Those pilots would doubtless find little practical use for features like applied indices and a blue sunburst dial, for example, but these details are sure to be appreciated by modern wearers.

Featuring just the time and date, the Spirit watches are powered by ETA-based automatic movements with COSC chronometer certification and silicon hairsprings. Available with black, blue and white dial options, the new Longines Spirit watches are priced at $2,150 in 40mm or $2,250 for the 42mm version, regardless of whether you choose a steel bracelet or leather strap. (We recommend the bracelet option in this case — you can always add an aftermarket strap later.)

Note: Purchasing products through our links may earn us a portion of the sale, which supports our editorial team’s mission. Learn more here.
Zen Love

Zen Love is Gear Patrol’s watch writer. He avoids the snooty side of the watch world, and seeks out food in NYC that resembles what he loved while living in Asia for over a decade.

More by Zen Love | Follow on Instagram · Contact via Email

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