An update on Baselworld watches, a $450,000 Seiko, an affordable perpetual calendar, Alpina’s vintage diver and more.
On the Radar
Reads and New Gear
Lots of Watches From Basel
Basel kicked off last week with a staggering amount of watch releases. We’ve narrowed down some of the big news, including Rolex’s refreshed Daytona, Seiko’s diamond-dusted Spring Drive, Heuer’s reissue of the Monza, Chanel’s first watch for men and Tudor’s all-black diver. Check out more highlights below and be on the lookout for more news later this week.
Seiko’s First Tourbillon
Seiko, purveyor of timepieces both budget and super high-end, has never yet made its own tourbillon movement — until now. The Seiko Credor Fugaku Tourbillon Limited Edition is one of the most impressive tourbillons ever built. Based on Seiko’s ultra-thin Caliber 68 family, the Caliber 6830 that powers the Fugaku adds a tourbillon cage while keeping the movement at a scant 3.98mm thick. That’s still about twice as thick as the Bulgari Octo Finissimo, the thinnest tourbillon in the world at the moment. But Seiko claims the Calibre 6830’s diameter of 25.6mm makes it the smallest tourbillon ever made, by volume. The movement is housed inside a platinum case adorned with 48 sapphire crystals, and features a dial with white gold, yellow gold and mother-of-pearl detailing. What’s more, the wave motif that adorns dial and the case back is an homage to Edo-period Japanese artist Katsushika Hokusai’s “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” series of landscape prints. Only eight will be made and are estimated to sell for 50,000,000 Japanese yen, or about $450,000.
The Perpetual Calendar, Made Affordable
Frederique Constant is known for making relatively affordable Swiss watches, many with in-house movements and classic styling. The new Slimline Perpetual calendar, a dress watch featuring a the brand’s FC-775, in-house automatic perpetual calendar complication that starts at $7,622 for the steel version, is proof positive of this. The next most affordable option would be the Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Perpetual Calendar, which starts at just under $13,000. Most people would still be (understandably) reluctant to call a watch that starts at over $7,000 “affordable” — but for those who desperately want to get their hands on a perpetual calendar watch, the Frederique Constant is a great, attainable option.
All the Livelong Day
In the early 20th century, Longines watches and pocket watches were used by rail workers from countries like Romania, Italy, Canada, China and the United States. To celebrate that heritage, Longines decided to launch their take on those early watches: the Railroad, a simple, 40mm three-hand watch with an automatic mechanical movement and 24 Arabic numerals painted on the dial to indicate each hour of the day.
Alpina’s Old-School Diver
Alpina is best known for its collection of modestly priced pilot’s watches, but the brand isn’t one to let the watch community forget about its history with dive watches, like the Alpina 10 model from the 1960s, a Super Compressor dive watch with a case designed by Ervin Piquerez S.A. Hence the Seastrong Diver Heritage, a watch with a Super Compressor design, water resistance up to 300 meters and a price tag around $1,700
The World’s Thinnest Solar Watch
In the 40th year of its Eco-Drive solar watch line, Citizen’s released something incredibly special: the Eco-Drive One. At a total thickness of 3mm, and sporting a solar quartz movement only 1mm thick it is the thinnest solar-powered watch ever made.
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