This Week in Watches: Tom Ford, Blancpain, and Pacemakers

Tom Ford’s new line of watches, affordable dress watches, a watch mechanism that fixes hearts and more.

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Blancpain

The watch industry is awash with too much news to cover. Each week, we’ll break down everything worth knowing. This week: Tom Ford’s new line of watches, affordable dress watches, a watch mechanism that fixes hearts and more.

Tom Ford, the Watchmaker

Tom Ford, the man and designer label that makes pretty much every conceivable piece of apparel and accessory for men is now getting into the watchmaking game. Ford is reportedly partnering up with Bedrock Manufacturing (which owns Shinola) and will use the company’s watchmaking know-how to make watches in Switzerland. It’s worth mentioning that Shinola’s movements are quartz, a product of a partnership with Swiss movement maker and quartz specialist Ronda (though it does produce one mechanical movement). It stands to reason then that Ford’s timepieces will follow suit, though we’d be pleasantly surprised if the Tom Ford label became a vehicle for Bedrock to test the waters with mechanical pieces.

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A Diver that Sinks and Shrinks

The Blancpain Bathyscaphe is historically the samller, simpler sibling of the classic Fifty Fathoms. In 2013, Blancpain reintriduced it alongside its Fifty Fathoms line, but in a relatively large 43mm case diameter it’s hard to argue it perfectly encapsulates the vintage look. Rectifying this, Blancpain is introducing a new 38mm version, a wise move given buyers seem to prefer more reserved case sizes these days.

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Powering a Different Kind of Ticker

Researchers at the University Hospital of Bern in Switzerland have figured out how to incorporate a self-winding watch rotor into a pacemaker that has proven successful in testing with lab pigs. The mechanism is rotated by the beating of the heart, and could potentially replace traditional pacemaker batteries, which need to be replaced via invasive surgery every decade or so.

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Dress to Impress for Less

British watch brand Christopher Ward has launched two new dressy timepieces, both with very nice prices. The first is the C3 Malvern Automatic MKIII, which uses a Sellita SW200-1 automatic movement, comes in at a compact 39mm in diameter and 9.9mm thick — consider that to be just right — and features domed silver or blue dials. The other is the C3 Malvern Chronograph MK III, which features a Ronda quartz chronograph. Both are open for pre-orders with deliveries starting in March — prices start at $565 and $400 for the auto and the chronograph, respectively.

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Execs Exit at Richemont

Not long after its trade show and as a result of an overall industry sales slump, luxury watch conglomerate Richemont is losing CEOs for four of its brands: Jaeger-LeCoultre, Piaget, Vacheron Constantin and Dunhill. The move is meant to “reflect a more nimble and streamlined executive model.”

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