January 31, 2023
We’re a month into 2023, and it’s been an interesting few weeks in the watch space. LVMH Watch Week (January 10-12) saw the launch of some truly compelling pieces, including the Hublot Big Bang Tourbillon Automatic Yellow Neon SAXEM, the TAG Heuer Monza Flyback Chronometer, and the 36mm-wide Zenith Defy Skyline. David Bredan went hands-on with Rolex‘s first-ever titanium watch — the 50 mm Deepsea Challenge. Jaeger-LeCoultre announced its new Collectibles Program, which will allow enthusiasts to purchase vintage and historically important JLC timepieces directly from the manufacturer. Omega released its most accurate chronograph to date, thanks to its new Spirate System, which boasts an unparalleled accuracy rating of 0/+2 seconds.
Our curated stories from around the Web include a look at a questionable Rolex 6265 Daytona that auctioned for close to $6 million, a collector’s guide for early Parmigiani Fleurier timepieces, an article about the rising prominence of watches in movies, and more.
1. Team aBlogtoWatch Shares Our Favorite Watches From LVMH Watch Week
As has become customary, LVMH kicked off the year with an impressive variety of new watch releases from Bulgari, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Zenith. While TAG focused on traditional mechanical watches as well as electronic pieces, Bulgari unveiled a series of high-jewelry pieces with lavish, Italian-themed aesthetics. The Zenith and Hublot offerings placed a particular emphasis on color, bold lines, exotic materials, and skeletonized mechanics. Check out our team’s picks for favorite new releases from LVMH Watch Week 2023.
2. Hands-On With Rolex’s First Attempt At A Titanium Watch, The Rolex Deepsea Challenge
Rolex’s first titanium watch is a statement piece. With a 50mm-wide by 23mm-thick case and a staggering 1,1000 meters of water resistance, the new Deepsea Challenge is the brand’s largest and most technically capable consumer-facing watch to date. While its practical application is questionable, there is no doubt that this is an interesting and impressive piece from the best-known brand in the world. Given the Deepsea Challenge’s eye-popping measurements and technical specs, all of us were curious to learn more about how this watch wears and feels in the metal. In this article, David Bredan goes hands-on, sharing his thoughts in addition to some interesting pictures that illustrate the size and scale of the Deepsea Challenge.
3. Jaeger-LeCoultre Starts Selling Vintage Watches With The Collectibles Program
As vintage designs continue to garner widespread interest across the space, various large brands have dipped their toes into the vintage market, selling expertly restored timepieces from their archives. In this piece, Ripley Sellers gives you the low-down on the new Collectibles Program from Jaeger-LeCoultre, which will allow enthusiasts to purchase vintage and historically important JLC timepieces directly from the manufacturer.
4. Zenith Unveils The Defy Revival A3691 Watch
There are perhaps two distinct sides to the Zenith brand. While Zenith has focused much of its energy on modern, industrial designs over the last few years (most notably in the Defy 21 and Defy Classic Collections), the brand hasn’t forgotten the iconic, sometimes quirky designs on which it built its name in the ’60s and ’70s. Like the El Primero A384, the new Defy A3691 uses a somewhat obscure reference from that time period as its inspiration. The A3691 is distinctive and very evocative of the time period from which it comes. Fitted with an angular case, ladder bracelet, and gradient red dial, this one oozes ’70s flavor. It’s a real treat when a brand executes a heritage design so well.
5. Ariel’s Thoughts: Wristwatch Innovation I’d Like To See In 2023
Given his experience and unique insight into this hobby as both a collector and a publisher, it’s always interesting to hear Ariel’s thoughts on how brands can improve their products. With suggestions about case materials, watch accuracy, and different approaches to classic complications, he explains ideas for how brands can innovate to keep things fresh in 2023 and beyond.
6. Omega Introduces Spirate System 0/+2 Seconds Accuracy In The Omega Speedmaster Super Racing
Omega has shown an admirable commitment to timekeeping performance over the years, and with its recent launch of the Omega Speedmaster Super Racing and its Spirate System, Omega has released its most accurate chronograph yet. Boasting an unparalleled accuracy rating of 0/+2 (beating Rolex and its -2/+2 rating), the new Spirate System features an anti-magnetic spiral with optimal geometry for ultra-fine rate adjustments. David Bredan explains the mechanics of this new advancement and explains why this is a noteworthy and important release.
7. 21 Of The Best Military Watches And Their Histories
These days, tool watches are all the rage. However, it’s safe to say that many of us enjoy them as a form of self-expression first, and as a tool, second. For example, I have to admit that scratching one of my stainless steel sports watches is enough to send me into an existential crisis. Many of the iconic sports watches of today were originally developed under military contracts with certain countries’ armed forces. These pieces were designed for timekeeping under adverse physical conditions and incorporated special features that, over time, were implemented into timepieces meant for civilians. This article highlights some of the most important military watches of all time, including the Rolex Mil-Sub, Tudor MN “Snowflake,” Omega Seamaster 300, Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, and more.
Source: Gear Patrol
8. Rolex Daytona 6265 – The “Unicorn” Frankenstein Plot
It is no secret that rare and collectible vintage Rolex timepieces can fetch extremely high numbers at auction (see Paul Newman’s Daytona). Vintage Rolex expert Perezcope has become known for sharing honest insight regarding the vintage watch auction landscape. Thanks to his experience and impressive attention to detail, he is able to spotlight when a timepiece isn’t what it is advertised to be in terms of originality. Here, he highlights a particular white gold “Unicorn” Daytona 6265 that was once owned by John Goldberger and fetched nearly six million Swiss Francs at Phillip’s “Daytona Ultimatum” auction in May of 2018. Unfortunately, for the buyer, Perezcope makes a compelling case that this “Unicorn” is, in reality, a completely made-up Frankenstein watch.
9. A Collector’s Guide: Early Parmigiani Fleurier
With a strong connection to traditional watchmaking, a beautifully unique design language, and a reputation for exquisite finishing, Parmigiani Fleurier is one of the most interesting young independent brands in the industry today. And while it has always enjoyed a cult following of dedicated collectors, Parmigiani has often been overlooked by the mainstream. Over the past two years, this has changed as the brand has found more widespread success, thanks in large part to the watches of the Tonda PF and Tonda GT lines. In this article, A Collected Man revisits Parmigiani’s history, discussing the earliest timepieces created by the brand and highlighting why these beautiful, rare, and important watches are worth a closer look.
Source: A Collected Man
10. The Sense And Non-Sense Of Watches In Movies
Over time, wristwatches have taken on more of a prominent role in film and television. While Hollywood has used timepieces to accentuate a character’s wardrobe and even propel a story forward (see Interstellar), watch brands have used the silver screen as a creative way to promote their products. For example, sales of the Omega Seamaster Professional went up tenfold after Pierce Brosnan wore the watch in GoldenEye, and the Seamaster has been the Bond watch ever since. This article features an informative discussion on how and why watches are used on screen, citing pertinent examples of important watches in movies, such as Hamilton’s Ventura in Men in Black, Seiko’s Guigiaro Chrono in Alien, and Bremont’s ALT1-WT model in Kingsman: The Secret Service.
Source: Quill & Pad