September brought us a variety of noteworthy new releases, including the Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Watches AKA the “Thrifty Fathoms,” Blancpain’s highly anticipated Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary “Act 3,” the Ulysse Nardin Freak X OPS, and more. Our Ariel Adams went to Panama Beach to go scuba diving with Tudor’s new Pelagos FXD Black, capturing some killer underwater wrist shots in the process. From around the web, we take a look at Zodiac’s collaboration with Worn & Wound, learn about the in-depth production processes of Laurent Ferrier and F.P. Journe, and hear a cautionary tale about a fellow collector getting duped into buying a fake Rolex.
1. Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms Watches Expand On The MoonSwatch Concept
Following the worldwide success of the MoonSwatch, Swatch has now joined forces with another Swatch Group brand to create another Bioceramic version of a classic. Meet the Blancpain X Swatch Bioceramic Scuba Fifty Fathoms! This new collection consists of five different models, each inspired by a different ocean. Unlike the MoonSwatch, which featured a quartz movement, the “Thrifty Fathoms” AKA “SwatchPain” AKA “Swifty Fathoms” (I could go on) is powered by Swatch’s Sistem51 movement — the first ever mechanical movement assembled entirely by machines. This particular version of the Sistem51 is fitted with an impressive 90-hour power reserve as well as a Nicachron antimagnetic balance spring. Like the MoonSwatch, this piece is polarizing. Some think it’s fun, others think it’s silly. Regardless, there is no doubt that it has created a lot of buzz for a brand that could use more of it.
2. New Release: Blancpain Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3 Watch
Hot on the heels of Blancpain’s collaboration with Swatch, the brand has dropped another piece in another noteworthy material. The Fifty Fathoms 70th Anniversary Act 3, cased in Bronze Gold (presumably the same material utilized in this watch), draws its inspiration from the original “Mil-Spec” Fifty Fathoms watches of the 1950s. While the case material and edition size of 555 make this watch somewhat niche, its new case shape and smaller 41.3 mm diameter are promising developments for those who have been clamoring for a smaller, more vintage-inspired version of the Fifty Fathoms. Fingers crossed that they release a standard production version of this watch in stainless steel.
3. Hands-On: Underwater With The Black Tudor Pelagos FXD Watch
There is no better way to go hands-on with a new dive watch release than to use it for its intended purpose. Last month, Ariel traveled to Panama Beach to go scuba diving with the new Tudor Pelagox FXD in black, capturing some underwater wrist shots along the way. In this article, he gives his thoughts on the experience and the watch, sharing some great underwater wrist shots along the way!
4. New Release: Ulysse Nardin Freak X OPS Watch
When Ulysse Nardin introduced the Freak in the early 2000s, the brand sought to reinvent what a wristwatch could be. As the first watch to utilize silicon in its movement, the original Freak featured no conventional hands, dial, or crown. In 2019, the brand expanded the daring and innovative Freak collection with the Freak X, which boasted the same carousel-style movement but had a traditional crown and a substantially lower price point. Unveiled at Watches and Wonders Shanghai, the new Freak X Ops brings a splash of color and tacti-cool style to the collection. Perhaps the most noteworthy difference between this piece and others in the Freak X line is its case composition; the Freak X OPS blends the brand’s “Magma” carbon fiber composite first used in the Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Magma with a black DLC titanium case found on existing Freak X models. The result is an extremely unique, rugged interpretation of what has become one of the brand’s flagship watches.
5. Ariel’s Thoughts: Why You Should Take Interest In Luxury Watches You Can’t Afford
In this article, Ariel discusses the value of learning about and appreciating watches that are beyond one’s financial means. Exploring the history of timepieces as both luxury accessories and functional items, Ariel emphasizes how understanding the context behind watch innovations and designs can add to one’s appreciation of horology, thereby contributing to the larger watch culture and conversation.
6. Introducing the Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Laser Tag Limited Editions
Late last month, Zodiac launched the newest additions to its popular Super Sea Wolf Collection: the Zodiac x Worn & Wound Super Sea Wolf Laser Tags. Aiming to capture the essence of the 1990s and the nostalgia of the laser tag craze, these limited edition pieces feature bold, neon-accented designs that incorporate photoreactive elements on the dial, bezel, strap, case, and even the packaging. The two versions of the watch — each representing a different laser tag team — feature hidden lines on the dial that come to life in blacklight conditions. While I’m biased (I spent my fair share of time playing laser tag growing up), I think these are extremely fun and thoughtfully designed.
Source: Worn and Wound
7. Behind The Scenes In Geneva — Visiting The Craftspeople At Laurent Ferrier And F.P.Journe
Penned by our friends over at Fratello, this article takes us on a behind-the-scenes visit to the Laurent Ferrier atelier and F.P. Journe’s new facility in Geneva, Switzerland. Showing how both of these brands use a combination of time-honored traditions and modern technology, the author gives us an inside look at the amount of time and attention to detail it takes to finish a piece of Haute Horlogerie from either of these brands.
Source: Fratello Watches
8. Collector Confessions: How People (Including Me) Get Scammed Into Buying a Fake Watch
This article documents the cautionary tale of how its author (and personal friend of mine) got duped into buying a fake Rolex BLNR AKA “Batman.” As an inexperienced collector whose eyes might’ve been bigger than his watch-buying experience at the time, he was swept away by the moment and ultimately purchased the watch without doing his full due diligence. I’ve seen this watch in person, and it is extremely convincing to the naked eye. With fakes becoming increasingly difficult to spot, this story is a reminder to shop only with reputable sources, and that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Source: Feldmar Watch