October 9, 2015
by Kenny Yeo
If I say Seiko, you are probably thinking about affordable, value-for-money dive watches like the Orange Seiko or maybe even the Sumo. While it is true that Seiko is most well known for its bang-for-buck divers, did you also know that they make minute repeater watches? Not just any minute repeater, mind you: we are referring to a one-of-a-kind minute repeater that uses Seiko’s unique Spring Drive technology. The watch I’m talking about is the epic Seiko Credor Minute Repeater.
Still on Seiko, we also check out a very special Grand Seiko that’s regulated to very high standards, +3/-3 seconds per day, in fact, almost rivaling the standards that Patek Philippe sets for watches bearing its Patek Philippe Seal.
We also check out SevenFriday’s latest V-Series watches. In keeping with the spirit of the brand, the new V-Series watches are unlike anything else on the market. Telling time on these watches can be a little tricky and requires knowledge of basic addition. Lastly, we turn our attention to the newest haute horlogerie brand on the block, Ferdinand Berthoud. How did the brand come about, and what kind of watches do they make? All this and more in this month’s round-up.
1. Orient Mako USA Watch Review: Best Budget Diver?
For absolute value for money and bang for buck, it’s hard to beat the Japanese. Seiko and Orient are two names that get thrown around often when someone says he or she is looking for an affordable mechanical watch. Today, we are turning our attention to the new version of Orient’s popular Mako diver – the Orient Mako USA – which comes with many “wishlist” features that fans have been clamoring for. This particular watch is available exclusively on the Orient USA website for now, and fans of affordable mechanical pieces should definitely check it out.
2. Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Numbered Edition ‘First Omega In Space’ Watch Review
Mention Speedmaster and space, and most people will think of the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch (Ref. 3570 or 3184.108.40.206.01.005). While that is easily the most popular Speedmaster, the first Speedmaster to actually go into space was the Reference 2998, which in 2012 was reissued as the Omega Speedmaster “First Omega in Space” watch. This was limited to 1962 pieces and was immensely popular with collectors. For 2015, Omega has decided to bring this winning design back, but this time, in their special Sedna gold. The Sedna gold case does up the price significantly, but if you have deep pockets, this is a super-looking watch, in my books.
3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar Meteorite Watches Hands-On
The triple calendar with moonphase complication is one of the most classic-looking complications and it lends itself well to dressier pieces. And as the old saying goes, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it, so Jaeger-LeCoultre has kept the Master Calendar watches the same but introduced two new models with meteorite dial options and in steel cases. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar watches are one of the most popular choices for this type of watch. It may sound like a small change, but in the flesh, the texture of the meteorite dial makes a huge difference in the way the watch looks and feels. Here’s our take on these new pieces. The photos will give you a good idea about the difference that the new meteorite dials make.
4. Chronométrie Ferdinand Berthoud FB1 Watch: Debuting A New-Old Name In Haute Horlogerie
Reviving old or lost brands and names is tricky business. It takes a lot of guts and vision to be able to execute this properly, and the latest such brand to be “revived” is Ferdinand Berthoud. If the name doesn’t ring any bells, don’t worry, you are not alone. Born in Val-de-Travers, Switzerland, Ferdinand Berthoud traveled to Paris at a young age and was bestowed the title of Master Clockmaker at a young age of just 26. He specialized in chronometers and was so adept that he was made horologist-mechanic to the King and the Navy when he was 43. Fast forward to today, and the name Ferdinand Berthoud is alive again thanks to Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the Co-President of Chopard. The story of how Scheufele discovered Ferdinand Berthoud and also the brand’s very first watch can be found in the link below.
5. Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R Watch In All Rose Gold Hands-On
It’s no secret that the Nautilus is one of Patek Philippe’s most popular, sought after, and perhaps unusual watches. Inspired by the porthole of a boat, the Nautilus has a case design that is unlike any other in the business. New for 2015 is a Nautilus rendered in full 18k rose gold that has an absolutely delicious and creamy chocolate dial. This is conspicuous consumption at its finest, gentlemen and ladies. But the new Patek Philippe Nautilus 5711/1R is not without its merits, the case design is as iconic as it gets, and it is finished to an extremely high standard – and then there’s that lovely caliber 324 S C that beats within and that large gold 21k gold rotor. This is really one of the most luxurious sports watches money can buy today.
6. Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater Watch Hands-On
There’s something romantic about minute repeater watches that I can’t quite put on my finger on. Maybe it’s the way they sound or the hive of activity that the movement becomes when you activate it, but I do love myself a minute repeater. And when it comes to minute repeaters, Jaeger-LeCoultre is arguably one of the masters of this particular form of high complication. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater is one of the latest minute repeater watches from La Grande Maison and it is simply sublime. The classic design and case size really lends itself well to the minute repeater complication, which, in my mind at least, is one of the most classic of complications. Now, if only they could get rid of that pesky and frankly useless Sonnerie plaque at 5 o’clock…