For perfectly good reasons, an ambassador announcement rarely elicits more than an eye roll in the watch world, but when a brand partnership is done right, and for the right reasons, everyone stands to get something out of it – including watch fans. Thankfully, Breitling’s recently assembled “Surfer Squad” is surprisingly shaping up to fall in the latter camp, at least in my book, with the debut of the new Breitling Superocean Heritage II Chronograph 44 Outerknown edition watch.
id you know the Master Compressor was dead?! Now that I have your attention, let me begin this review with the lines I originally wrote, just before visiting JLC’s official website to check what was up (or down…) in their men’s section. Before that shocking news, this is how I originally wanted to start: after all that palaver here, but also here, I decided to put my money where my mouth is and buy myself a Jaeger-LeCoultre that I not only liked, but that was of the breed I have been seeing killed off from the brand’s identity in recent years.
Last month, famed watch retailer Bucherer teamed up with Swiss TAG Heuer to release the latest in their growing series of “Blue Edition” releases. With a history spanning back to 1888, the Lucerne-based watch and jewelry house has also managed to foster lasting relationships with the brands they carry – often releasing exclusive models with “Bucherer Blue” as a central design theme.
As far as statement timepieces go, few brands do a better job than Jacob & Co., which was founded in 1986 initially as a jewelry outfit and started making watches in 2002. There is nothing conventional about Jacob & Co.’s watches, as evidenced by pieces such as the Astronomia Solar and the Epic SF 24. This year, the brand unveiled what could be one of its most elaborate and outrageous watches yet, the Twin Turbo Furious.
Easily one of the strongest new high-end wristwatch product offerings for 2018 is Omega’s updated Seamaster Diver 300M. Originally launched during the Jean-Claude Biver-era of Omega in 1993, the Seamaster is today a truly iconic model for Swis Omega Diver Watches. At the time in the early 1900s it was meant to reassert Omega’s relevance but also distinctive design ethos. In fact, the Seamaster 300M was supposed to NOT look like the Rolex Submariner – which at the time dozens and dozens of watches did indeed look like.
Being in the microbrand dive watch space, Ocean Crawler is no doubt swimming in crowded waters. Their watches, unlike many brands, strive to be unique in their designs and they’ve truly built a style all their own across their releases. Within the microbrand world of watches, I think there are two things required to make for a watch worth your money – the first is that it has a unique design that isn’t just an homage, and the second being manufacturing quality that matches up with its price point.
When we think of scuba diving equipment, the most crucial aspects that come to mind are the tanks, the regulator, dive computer, and for some, a dive watch. However, Spinnaker has chosen to pay homage to one of the often overlooked pieces of dive equipment, the wetsuit, with their latest dive watch release known as the Spinnaker Bradner SP 5057.
I always consider it to be a rare and immensely valuable opportunity whenever I get the chance to connect with dedicated brand owners eager to show off their products. In fact, there’s nothing better than feeling the complete idea of a product finally “clicking” after witnessing the tenacity and perseverance of the individuals committed to developing something new – especially if we’re talking about micro-brands.
Started by “machine collector” and “Count” Jerome DeWitt (who also has a claim to being an ancestor of Napoleon), Geneva-based DeWitt is among the more interesting independent watch brands that collectors should know about. Brands like DeWitt come with strengths and weaknesses. Independence and resolution are among their strengths, and trying to solo it in a world for luxury mechanical timepieces is clearly a challenge DeWitt and others are trying to overcome in a time when inherent quality and mere perception battle it out for luxury spending dollars.
In the market for a mechanical dive watch with an analog thermometer? No? Well perhaps you will be after reading this review. Or at least you’ll appreciate that there are still some interesting new things to see in the world of mechanical timepieces. One of my biggest problems with mechanical watchmakers today is the total lack of effort in trying to create new (or fresh) complications and features. Too often we are presented with the same complications again and again, without much variety.