October 31, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
The end of the year is fast approaching, and brands are furiously announcing their champions for the upcoming holiday season. Stainless steel sports watches continue to feature brightly and, in this round-up, we take a look at Chopard’s new Alpine Eagle and A. Lange & Söhne’s Odysseus. Still on the subject of stainless steel sports watches, we also discuss how watch-lovers and collectors should approach the ridiculously high prices that some of these watches are commanding in the secondary market.
From around the web, we have a remarkable story of a woman discovering a $250,000 Rolex “Paul Newman” Daytona buried underneath the cushions of her sofa. Next, we take a look at how marquetry dials are made. And finally, we have a close look at Akrivia’s Chronomètre Contemporain “Only Watch” that is going to be auctioned off at the upcoming Only Watch auction.
You’d have to be absolutely daft to not realize just how popular luxury stainless steel sports watches are right now. As a result, every brand is quickly coming up with their own takes. Last month, we had Bell & Ross and Oris releasing their new stainless steel sports watches, and this month, we have Chopard with their new Alpine Eagle. On first impressions, you would be forgiven for thinking that it’s yet another Royal Oak/Nautilus wannabe. But it does have redeeming qualities that require further study. Furthermore, the inspiration for it actually comes from Chopard’s archive and from a particular watch called the Saint Moritz. Don’t be too quick to judge. Click the link below to learn more about the watch.
What? You too, A. Lange & Söhne? Has the great German watch brand A. Lange & Söhne succumbed to trends and given us a stainless steel sports watch? It is called the Odysseus, and a case can be made that this was inevitable. The fact is, A. Lange & Söhne makes a great many watches but a bona fide sports watch was never one of them. It’s unthinkable then that they would go any farther without a sports watch, especially since their competitors all have sports watches of their own. At any rate, I like it when brands try something new and while the Odysseus is divisive, I think it has enough traits and cues that clearly identify it as a Lange watch. Furthermore, and more impressively, A. Lange & Söhne has created a brand new movement just for this watch. Here’s a closer look at it.
Seiko watches are synonymous with quality and value. But more than that, they are also a reflection of Japanese culture; in particular, they showcase the affinity that the Japanese have for nature. Many times, nature has been a source of inspiration for the dials of Seiko watches. And in the case of the new Presage SPB111J1, the cedar trees of Central Japan were the inspiration for the deep green dial of the watch. For lovers of Japan, Japanese culture, and Japanese watchmaking, it doesn’t get much better than this. Little wonder, then, that this was one of the most talked-about watches of the past month.
This limited edition Grand Seiko watch also draws its inspiration from nature and Japanese culture. Two aspects of Japanese culture served as the inspiration for the brilliant red dial of the Grand Seiko SBGH269. The colors are a homage to the rich autumn foliage in Japan’s mountain regions. On the other hand, the vertical stripes are inspired by wooden floors found in traditional Japanese homes. The SBGH269 also features Grand Seiko’s modern 44GS case design and the company’s hi-beat 9S85 movement. The movement, however, has its standard rotor replaced by a unique circular oscillating weight made out of green anodized titanium. Grand Seiko once again shows that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
The acute shortage of and unexpectedly high demand for certain makes of stainless steel sports watches have created an unusual situation where some watches are commanding street prices that are substantially more than their MSRP. This predicament is compounded by the fact that brands are both powerless and doing little to fix the situation. So, what is a watch-lover to do in a situation like this? Do I suck it up and pay the (frankly ridiculous) street prices and fuel this absurd state of affairs? Or should I look elsewhere? Ariel shares his thoughts.