Welcome to our first regular Series on Man of Many: The Wind Up covering the latest watch news from around the globe to keep you in the know on all things horology.
Montblanc 1858 Chronograph Tachymeter
With Montblanc’s release of their brand new 1858 collection, typical scepticism is to be expected from their four new pieces. Disregard your disdain for new collections, and you will be able to see what I see. A stunning single-button chronograph in a beautifully finished pink-gold case that is very reminiscent of yesteryear’s watchmaking architecture. An easily legible dial with luminous numerals offsets flawlessly with the overall presence of the piece. The movement features the manually wound Calibre MB M16.29 that can be viewed in all its glory through the crystal display back. A stunning piece by one of my favourite boutique-type brands, but with a limited run of 100 pieces worldwide, pricing and exclusivity may put you off.
Glashütte Original Senator Sixties Iconic Collection
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I think that these new pieces from Glashütte resonate in that statement. Presented in five different models, I think that these pieces are a bit of a hit and miss from the Germans. Paying homage to a bygone era is a dangerous game to play, and trying to echo past design inspiration while combining contemporary technologies can have a rather backwards effect on the piece’s appeal and representation. If I had to pick a piece, it would definitely be the Sixties Grey. Its dial is really very intriguing to look at and so it should be, given the amount of treatment that is required to give it that “degrade effect”. Compelling to look at, but for the price I would be remise to say that there are better options around.
Grand Seiko SBGR097 Limited Edition
There is no doubt in my mind that the Grand Seiko line includes some of the most underrated and overlooked pieces available in this day and age. But, from a mass producing company operating out of Japan to present to the world a line of pieces that are represented as being “supreme” to their base models, one needs to differentiate themselves slightly. The SBGR097 is another one of those pieces. In a nod to widespread consumer recommendation, Seiko have released their latest model in a limited edition 42mm wide case. Typical of Grand Seiko, the finishing on the SBGR097 is second to none. The dial is presented in a beautiful shade of gloss-like blue, with the GS symbol repeated across. Eye-catching hour and minute hands are complimented by the elongated seconds hand which offset the busy-like nature of the dial’s GS pattern. Standard case and lug perfection, with a strap that should not be overlooked. Movement wise, Seiko have used the automatic Calibre 9S61 which is on par with any COSC certification and provides a decent 72 hours of power reserve. Clean, refined and a good option if you want to fly under the radar.
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day and Date
Elegance, heritage and vintage-design inspiration is what IWC intended to capture with this piece, and they have pulled that off flawlessly. And that is an exploit in its own right. To incorporate classical lines and finishing techniques into a case that is an astounding 45mm is a mean feat in itself, but I believe IWC have done just that. The dial itself is compelling to look at, especially the grey-slate dial confined in that stunning red-gold case. It seems like there may be a lot going on in that massive space, but once you get your head around the sub-dials and their purposes, the piece is actually quite pleasant to look at. I think at 45 mm, IWC is right on the cusp of an acceptable and wearable wrist watch. I personally would not want to see this thing get any bigger. Typical IWC movement finishing; oversized baseplates with continuous Geneva stripes that can viewed through the sapphire caseback propels the piece’s esteem and “want-factor” even more so. Pricing is quite high, but then again you are purchasing a piece that literally oozes classical watchmaking architecture and heritage.
Oris Big Crown ProPilot Calibre 111
Here is another watchmaker that normally flies well below the radar, but when they do make an appearance they tend to leave their fans stunned and bewildered, but most importantly excited. Enter Oris, ladies and gentlemen, a company that prides itself on simple timekeeping pieces available at affordable pricing points. Let us start with the dial and sub-dial layout. A high degree of legibility is afforded for this piece, with the dial itself finished in a lovely anthracite finish, while the small-seconds and power-reserve indicator sub-dials are separated far enough to ensure differentiation at a only a slight glance. The date window seems slightly misplaced, and throws off the balance of the piece, but that is just me being nit-picky. The luminous properties of a pilot’s watch have not been forgotten, as the applied Arabic numerals and indicator hands have all been filled with Oris’ Super-Luminova compound. Oh, and did I mention the Calibre 111 is a hand-wound movement that provides its wearer with a staggering 10-day power-reserve. A very sound piece that reflects Oris’ rich history without forgoing the advantages of modern technology.
Baume et Mercier Clifton 1830 Pocket Watch Repeater
A pocket watch for the modern-day watch wearer is something that is highly undesirable and nigh useless, but I take my hat off to those at Baume et Mercier for releasing their 1830 pocket watch repeater. A boutique piece if there ever was one from Baume et Mercier, the intended market niche for this will most likely include those that want to purchase and store, but never use. Understandable, and for the price I would completely agree with that train of thought. But let us delve a bit deeper into the piece without focusing too much on the regal nature that a pocket watch echoes. The size of the piece is typical of a minute-repeater; approximately 50mm wide finished in red-gold, and as such close to the entirety of the movement is visible through the sapphire case-back. The movement inside the 1830 is finely decorated and almost entirely skeletonised, while the incorporated five-minute repeater module from Dubois-Depraz sounds authentic and harmonious. With a limited run of 30 pieces in this collection, Baume et Mercier have offered their customers an insight into the brand’s ability to produce horological marvels, while still providing some great market-entry pieces for newcomers.
Omega Globemaster Master Chronometer
Omega have done it again. They continue to astound the world with their brand authenticity and ethos that draw people into their little haven of watchmaking prowess. Enter the Globemaster Master Chronometer. A certified COSC chronometer that has passed the stringent requirements laid out by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). In so many words, this basically means the pieces are all approved to be water resistant, as well as precision and magnetic resistant to 15,000 Gauss, far exceeding the industry’s standard norms. Omega continually repeat three tenets that best represent the new piece: precision; durability; and aesthetics. Judging by what I have seen, they have really hit the nail on the head with this line. Several different colour and strap options are available, with my favourite being the blue-toned dial on steel bracelet. Standard Omega movement finishing includes a self-winding rotor with Co-Axial escapement, enhancing precision and stability. Coupled with a free-sprung balance with silicon balance springs and two barrels mounted in a series, the movement is far more impressive than expected. Pricing is expectedly high due to the piece’s double certification, but rest assured that your money has been well spent.