Welcome to the next instalment of The Wind Up, our regular series where we cover everything watch related. In this instalment we have a few pieces from fan-favourite Raymond Weil, a special perpetual calendar from one of the more affordable Swiss brands, as well as another oddity from Ulysse Nardin. So as always, sit back, relax and enjoy!
Baume et Mercier Clifton Perpetual Calendar
The perpetual calendar is arguably one of the harder complications to create, and for a brand that hasn’t had much experience in utilising this complex movement, Baume et Mercier have done extremely well in my eyes with their Clifton Perpetual Calendar. Not looking that dissimilar to one of the most recognizable perpetual calendars in the world, the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar, the Clifton utilises its dial space efficiently, with each sub-dial being large enough to be legible even from afar. Baume et Mercier have utilised the Vaucher calibre 5401 micro-rotor powered automatic movement. At only 2.6mm thick, it keeps the case dimensions relatively small (42mm diameter and 11.2mm thick), and has been finished surprisingly well. Priced relatively well for a perpetual calendar, but at the 5-figure mark I can name a bunch of other perpetual calendars I’d rather purchase.
Raymond Weil Tango 300
Brand new from Raymond Weil is the Tango 300, a versatile sporty looking chronograph that comes in a variety of colour options. The stainless steel case is a very comfortable 43mm in diameter, and at only 11.9mm in height it won’t protrude from your wrist too much (unlike other unsightly watches floating about..). The dial is typical chronograh: three sub-dials indicating passing seconds, minutes and hours, as well as a date window at 4:30. Different dial colour highlights break up an otherwise monochromatic face while the textured dial keeps things interesting. Its quartz powered, so I don’t really expect this to penetrate the horological-minded community, but it is what it is and it does what it says it does. Its unabashed, wearable and indeed affordable. And some times that’s all you really want.
Raymond Weil Freelancer
Another new release from Raymond Weil, except this time a bit more in-tune with the horological crowd’s lust for tradition, the Freelancer is a gorgeous chronograph that looks a mix between the Paul Newman Daytona and the infamous Speedmaster. The “panda” colour scheme looks fantastic and its something that I personally love. Raymond Weil have done well to combines vintage aesthetics with contemporary design to create a watch that, while it doesn’t carry the esteem or heritage other automatic chronographs do, will still hold its own amongst the stacked chrono-crowd. Unlike the Tango 300, the Freelancer has an automatic winding movement so you can be sure your piece won’t be overlooked based purely on mechanism purity. A definite yes for me, and something I wouldn’t look past if I were shopping for a solid everyday sports watch.
SevenFriday Q3/04 Bullrush
In collaboration with the every growing Bullrush Rally, SevenFriday have released their latest PVD beast, the Q3/04. Looking every bit aggressive, the Q3/04 is perfect for that arm hanging out of the Huracan’s open window. Or could it be the raw SLS? Either way, it looks pretty awesome. Dimensionally large and imposing, it certainly won’t fit everyone’s wrist nor will it fly pretty under the radar, but the Q3/04 is less of a humbling piece and more of an in-your-face accessory, and I love it. Powered by the inexpensive but solid Miyota 8219, like I said this piece is more about its aesthetics than its mechanical ability. And who cares? I sure don’t. Ever since SevenFriday’s inception I’ve enjoyed their releases, and the Q3/04 is no different. Speed, pizzazz and a kind of passive aggressiveness to get you through your day. Love it!
In commemorating of the de Havilland 1934, as well as to raise funds for the Shuttleworth Collection, Bremont have released their latest limited edition piece, the DH-88 available in either stainless steel or rose gold. The watch is typical Bremont, with subtle details and a pilot’s watch-inspired aesthetic. Each piece incorporates the original spruce plywood from the undercarriage assembly of the aircraft, which is a neat little touch I’m sure people will appreciate. Powered by the BE-54AE chronograph with integrated GMT functionality movement, you can be sure that the time-keeping ability of the piece hasn’t been overlooked. Durable, precise and very beautiful.
Ulysse Nardin Classic Sonata
From the master of the obscure comes their latest monstrosity, the Classic Sonata. A watch who’s dial is reminiscent of some awkward and misunderstood communication between collaborating departments, but still able to be pulled off to a somewhat appealing degree, it is chock-full of useful complications that you’re likely to use. So what do you get inside this beast? You get classic time-telling e.g. seconds, minutes and hours represented by the centre-stacked hands. You get an enlarged date window at 4 o’clock. You get a 24-hour dual time indicator sub-dial at 6 o’clock and a nifty little alarm setting sub-dial at about 1 o’clock with its own power reserve indicator situated inside the sub-dial. Oh, and you get an on/off indicator for the alarm at 10 o’clock. Pretty cool, right? And all of this is powered by the calibre UN-67 boasting an impressive 42-hours of power reserve. Priced high (mid to late $30k), but you kind of have to appreciate its novelty and usefulness. Very cool Ulysse Nardin, very cool indeed.