April 4, 2021
by Kenny Yeo
March was a busy month for watch brands. Baselworld might be no more, but that did not stop brands from continuing the tradition of announcing new watches in March. Omega refreshed its vintage-inspired Seamaster 300 Master Co-axial collection; Audemars Piguet updated its Royal Oak Offshore Diver 42mm; while Tissot dropped the PRX, an affordable sports watch with an integrated bracelet. Over in Japan, Citizen announced its intention to make more high-end mechanical pieces with the Calibre 0200.
From around the Web, we have a treat for fans of A. Lange & Söhne. First, we have an interview with CEO Wilhelm Schmid, who shared the brand’s plans for e-commerce and how it is coping with the pandemic. Next, we take a look at rare Lange made in stainless steel. From Germany, we go to Japan to learn more about the history of Seiko chronographs. And to wrap things up, we investigate the issue of daylight savings time.
Sports watches with integrated bracelets are all the rage now, and Tissot is throwing its hat into the ring with the new PRX. Interest in such watches is at an all-time high, so it’s no wonder that we are seeing more affordable options enter the market. And at well under $400, the Tissot PRX could just be the most affordable option you can buy from a big name Swiss brand. The cynics will be wondering what Tissot has sacrificed to bring prices so low. Well, the movement in the PRX is quartz. The snobs will tune out at this point, but if you persevere and look deeper, the PRX is actually a very fine watch for the price.
For 2021, Omega is updating its Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial collection. Not to be confused with Omega Seamaster Diver 300M, the Seamaster 300 is the vintage-inspired model with no helium escape valve, no date, and 12-3-6-9 on the dial. There are some tweaks to the dial, case, hands, and movement, but the biggest update is arguably a new model with Bronze Gold case. The new material is an alloy of copper, gold, silver, and palladium. And it was designed to offer the warmth and gentle aging properties of bronze but without any of that nasty green patina that can sometimes develop on bronze watches. If you love vintage-inspired dive watches, you have to check it out.
Seiko’s Prospex LX watches are among the company’s most high-end dive watches. One of the standout models in this range is the SNR031 Titanium Diver. Longtime Seiko fans will instantly recognize the Marinemaster-esque case. The case is titanium, and it’s coated in black. To match, the ceramic bezel insert is black, and so is the dial. Even the hands and hour markers are grayed out. The only pop of color is the lume on the hour markers and hands. Since this is one of Seiko’s most high-end dive watches, it has a three-day Spring Drive movement for impeccable timekeeping. Some will argue that Seiko’s asking price for this is too high. However, I’ll invite you to hit the link below and check out the watch in greater detail. You might find that there’s a lot to like.
Interest in Japanese watchmaking has never been higher, and Citizen is capitalizing on it with its new Caliber 0200 watch. The Caliber 0200 is a clear sign of Citizen’s aspirations in the high-end mechanical watch space. Until now, the company is most famous for its Satellite Wave GPS and Eco-Drive watches. This is a pity because Citizen has access to loads of mechanical watch know-how through its ownership of movement manufacturer La Joux-Perret. Fortunately, the company has confirmed that the Caliber 0200 is only the start and that it will be focusing on making more high-end mechanical watches out from Japan. It also said that it is looking at ways to make and decorate high-end movements in Japan. At any rate, this is all good news to fans of Japanese watchmaking.
Since Royal Oaks are impossible to find in retail, Audemars Piguet has wisely decided to offer alternatives. For this year, the brand has updated its Royal Oak Offshore Diver collection. The enhancements are numerous and significant. The dial has been reworked, and I think it looks more handsome than before. There’s also a new quick strap-changing system. And on the inside, there’s a new in-house self-winding movement. What hasn’t changed, however, is that the Royal Oak Offshore Diver continues to be a big, bold, and expensive watch. Is this enough to get AP fans to forget about their Royal Oak waitlists?