Tracking Time: Colour Me Blue
There was a time when the colour blue was a…
There was a time when the colour blue was a sign of diving watches. Not anymore. Azure dials are common across all categories of watches, more so this year, with most brands having taken a liking to the colour. Here are a few of the best-looking ones.
BREGUET TRADITION AUTOMATIQUE SECONDE RÉTROGRADE 7097
This new watch from the Tradition collection, which was launched in 2005, is a tribute to the calibres of the simple subscription and tact pocket watches of the 18 th and 19 th century. The components of the movement like bridges, wheels, escapement, barrel, which otherwise are usually hidden beneath the mainplate, are revealed in the open in this watch. The bridges and mainplate are decorated to achieve a uniform, finely grained surface. The gold winding rotor borrows its shape from historical movements, while the classic clous de Paris (hobnailing) guilloche pattern, executed by hand, highlights the blue dial in gold, positioned off-centre at 12 o’clock. The timepiece gets its name from the retrograde seconds hand at 10 o’clock. The hours and minutes are shown by Breguet-style open-tipped hands, in rhodium-plated steel. The semicircle, with a circular brushed finish superimposed on the dial, provides readability and highlights the retrograde seconds’ complication. The pare-chute, a Breguet invention, which protects the balance staff from shocks, and is emblematic of the Tradition collection, is located at 4 o’clock. The 40mm case is in 18K white gold, with a sapphire-crystal caseback. The self-winding movement provides a power reserve of 50 hours.
BOVET RÉCITAL 26 BRAINSTORM CHAPTER TWO
Following the success of the Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter One last year, this 2020 version of the watch — with its distinctive asymmetrical profile — comes in the iconic sloped writing sapphire crystal case, and features Bovet’s patented double-sided flying tourbillon, a second-time zone with a 24-city disc, and a precision moon phase while offering five days power reserve. The back consists of a bezel and four horns machined from titanium. The dome dial, in blue or green translucent quartz or blue aventurine glass, displays the hours and minutes of local time in the upper part of the case. The seconds are read off an index fixed on the tourbillon at 6 o’clock. The dome, located at 3 o’clock, displays the second time zone. The names of 24 cities, representing the 24 time zones, are printed on the rotating part of the dome, which makes a complete revolution, by scanning the 24-hour graduation of the base ring. A three-dimensional V-shaped needle allows the selection of the displayed time zone. The moon-phase indicator is positioned at 9 o’clock, and is also displayed by a rotating dome. The two circular windows, which overhang the dome, make it possible to read the age of the moon according to the specific orientation of its crescent. It needs correction only once in 127 years. Only 60 movements will be produced for the model, which will be distributed among the blue quartz, green quartz, or blue aventurine glass dial versions, in limited editions of 10 timepieces each.
OMEGA CONSTELLATION GENTS’ COLLECTION
The new 41mm watches in the Constellation range integrate some of Omega’s finest and most advanced watchmaking materials into the designs. This includes models in stainless steel, 18K gold, or a combination of both. The bezels have been crafted in polished ceramic, replicating the look of the original Constellation Manhattan of 1982 that used shiny sapphire glass. The caseback features sapphire crystal, and offers a view of the Master CoAxial Calibre 8900/8901 inside. All watches have been Master Chronometer certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) at the industry’s highest standards of precision, performance, and magnetic resistance.
IWC PORTUGIESER YACHT CLUB MOON & TIDE
This nautical sport watch is the first from IWC to sport the newly developed tide indication. A sub-dial at 6 o’clock indicates the expected times for the next high and low tide. The double moon-phase display at 12 o’clock has been enhanced to show spring and neap tides, and provides information about the strength of the current tides. Spring tides, which bring particularly high water, occur at full moon and new moon. The 44mm case and the filigreed bezel are in 18K gold, set against a blue dial with 18K gold appliques, and a blue rubber strap. The 82835 calibre has a power reserve of 60 hours.
JAEGER-LECOULTRE MASTER CONTROL MEMOVOX TIMER
This JLC watch comes with a useful new function — the timer. The alarm can be either set in the traditional way, or based on the number of hours that should elapse before the alarm rings (for example, the duration of a meeting or the number of hours of sleep on a given night). The indicators are linked, so whichever alarmsetting method is chosen, the second indicator will automatically move to the corresponding position. The dial is laid out in concentric rings, in two shades of blue with a sunray finish, complemented by an inner ring engraved in bas-relief with polished numerals. The latter also features the elapsed hours-until-alarm indicator in the form of a small hand tipped with a red JL logo, and its outer edge also features the the Memovox’s signature triangular markers that point to the alarm time. Comes in the new 40mm Master Control steel case. The automatic mechanical Caliber 956 movement has a power reserve of 45 hours. Limited to 250 pieces
HUBLOT CLASSIC FUSION CHRONOGRAPH SPECIAL EDITION CAPRI
This watch is inspired by the stunning Blue Grotto water caves off the Italian island of Capri. Inside these caves, light gets refracted by the crystal clear electric blue water, onto the rocky walls. The 45mm case is made of polished black ceramic with a satin finish, surrounded by a bezel that is machined from ceramic, in a vivid turquoise blue. The same wave of blue is seen lapping around the striated rubber strap, and brings the dial of the chronograph to life with its chiaroscuro effect. It is powered by HUB1143, a self-winding chronograph movement, with a power reserve of 42 hours.
CHOPARD MILLE MIGLIA GTS AZZURRO CHRONO
As is well-known, Chopard has been, for more than three decades, the main sponsor and official timekeeper of the world famous Italian 1000-mile Mille Miglia classic car rally, from Brescia to Rome and back. This stainless steel (750-piece limited edition) chronograph is one of the two models produced this year to celebrate the rally. It features a sub-dial layout inspired by a classic car instrument cluster. The elegant steely blue ‘Azzurro’ dials contrast with the ‘Mille Miglia red’, used for detailing the hands as well as the instantly recognisable ‘1000 Miglia’ direction arrow that frames the date window. The mechanical self-winding movement has a power reserve of 48 hours.
SEIKO PROSPEX DIVER’S WATCH 55TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITIONS
The limited edition trilogy series are recreations of three landmark watches that Seiko launched in the first decade, after launching its first diver’s watch in 1965. While faithful to the original designs, the 39.9mm case of the 1965 Diver’s Re-creation, and the 44.8mm case of the 1968 Professional Diver’s 300m Re-creation, are made from the Seiko developed ‘EverBrilliant Steel’, giving them a brilliant white hue and unique look. The 52.4mm case of the 1975 Professional Diver’s 600m Re-creation, like the original, is made from titanium. All three watches share the same blue-grey dial, while the straps pay homage to the originals, and are modern in both the material and colour. The 1965 and 1988 versions are powered by the 8L55 automatic movement, while the 1975 version carries the automatic caliber 8L35, all of which have a power reserve of 55 hours. The watches are water resistant upto 200m, 300m, and 1000m, respectively. In addition, the 55th anniversary of Seiko’s first diver’s watch, is also celebrated with a stainless steel modern reinterpretation. Its 40.5mm case is characterised by a slim profile, and features the same special 55th anniversary blue-grey dial, and comes with both a stainless steel bracelet and a silicone strap. It is powered by the caliber 6R35 movement, with a power reserve of 70 hours.
BELL & ROSS BR 03-92 DIVER BLUE BRONZE
This diver’s watch — with 300m water resistance — comes in a 42 mm wide bronze case, with an unidirectional rotating solid bronze bezel featuring a 60-minute scale with an anodised aluminium insert. The dial is in blue with gold-plated applique indices. Powered by the automatic mechanical calibre BR-CAL.302 movement. Limited edition of 999 pieces.
PANERAI LUMINOR MARINA FIBRATECHTM – 44 MM
One of Panerai’s great contributions to the watch industry over the last two decades is the introduction of new hightech materials. This watch follows in that tradition. Its 44mm case is made from FibratechTM, a composite developed by the Panerai Laboratorio di Idee. Made from unidirectional mineral fibres that are natural and eco-sustainable, it is produced by the fusion of basalt rock. It is 60 per cent lighter than steel, resilient, and highly resistant to corrosion. The Fibratech of the case is set off and enhanced by the Panerai-developed CarbotechTM used for the bezel, the crown, and the crown bridge lever. The watch is powered by P.9010 calibre, which has a power reserve of three days. The strap is made from Panerai’s proprietary SportechTM, a woven material giving a waterproof rubberised effect, blue with white stitching, fitted with a trapezoid titanium buckle, with black DLC coating. A second rubber strap in blue is also supplied, with a screwdriver for removing the buckle.