The days are longer, the Sun is shining brighter and there’s a certain upbeat feel to the mornings. Dare I say it, Spring has come? In this instalment of The Wind Up we take a look at a variety of different pieces from some lesser known manufacturers all the way up to Vacheron Constantin’s latest super complication. So as always, sit back, relax and enjoy!
With Bauhaus-inspiration comes the Valachio Avantiam, a unique take on a design that is seemingly inundating our community. The Avantiam however, is really quite delightful. Not least because of its open-heart window configuration at 6 o’clock, but also for the way the watch flows quite easily. Aesthetically, there really isn’t much to complain about. Simple dial layout with hour markers and numerals sized perfectly, interestingly shaped hour and minute hands, super-thin wire lugs and a window showing the Avantiam’s beating heart. Mechanically it doesn’t disappoint either, and with the Miyota 90S5 automatic calibre beating away, you’re sure to get a few day’s worth of power reserve out of it. At just under 38mm, its sized appropriately for today’s demands and is available in a black/steel or white/gold configuration. Certainly gets my tick of approval.
Oris Divers Sixty-Five Green Dial
Lovers of all things green do not fret, because Oris has answered your pleas. Introducing the latest piece from their ambitious and impressive Divers Sixty-Five range is this beautiful green-dial piece. The dial, first and foremost, is really very gorgeous and the green has a multitude of shades it takes on depending on its environment lighting. The added factory-patina hour numerals and hands adds a nice little touch of vintage-cool to the piece that I absolutely love and I truly believe ties in the piece far better than Oris could have imagined. The 42mm stainless steel case is as robust as it is comfortable, and the accentuated crown looks superb. Oris have opted to use their Oris Cal. 733 (Sellita SW 200-1) to power the piece, so you can be sure that you’re going to be getting some fairly reliable time keeping from it. Available on either a black rubber strap, a stainless steel bracelet, a brown vintage leather strap (my favourite) or a green/black NATO strap and retailing from $2,800, it’s a promising piece that will age wonderfully.
Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar
The realm of the much revered “chronograph perpetual calendar” is a place dominated by the behemoths that are the Patek 5970 and the Lange Datograph. Forcing your way into this segment of the market is not only challenging, but also super risky. But Vacheron have pulled a rabbit out of the hat with this piece, and damn am I impressed. The Traditionnelle Chronograph Perpetual Calendar is just about as impressive as it gets, from the platinum case to the 22k white gold hand-engraved moonphase all the way to the incredibly intricate movement on show, its all very beautiful. I have little qualms as to whether I think this will sell. I know it will, and its integration into the high-end watchmaking community should remind people just how powerful and valuable a brand like Vacheron is.
Melbourne Watch Company Sorrento
From one of my favourite Australian watchmaking manufacturers comes their latest piece, the Sorrento. Based on the traditional diver watch aesthetic, the Sorrento is both classy and practical. The dial is beautifully detailed and contrasts wonderfully with the double layered engraved bezel. The hour, minute and second hands are wide and unique, but fit in well with the overall theme of the piece, and while the piece lacks a date window (sigh..), its inclusion would probably have ruined the dial’s flow. The 42mm stainless steel case looks robust yet comfortable, and the half crown guards do well to minimise unnecessary heft. MWC have opted to use the reliable (and affordable) Miyota Cal. 9015, which is a high-beat automatic movement. Available now for pre-order at a heavy discount and with a 24 month warranty (not something you’d see everyday from a small time manufacturer).
Breitling Navitimer GMT Aurora Blue
There’s a reason why I feature Breitling so often now. Simply put, it’s because they care. They care about people’s opinions about the brand and about their watches. Some months ago I was invited to their Sydney boutique by one of their knowledgeable marketing executives who wanted to have the opportunity to discuss the brand with me, as well as show me some of their pieces. Suffice it to say, my opinion of them changed that day, and for the better. Anyway, enough blabbering on, here is the Navitimer GMT in Aurora Blue. It’s a very beautiful piece, with red and yellow dial highlights scattered about breaking up the Aurora Blue inner dial and creamy-patina (off white even?) outer dial. The piece looks complicated and confusing, but once you get your head around the functions, its practicality comes to light. Powered by the in-house automatic calibre B04 with COSC certification (and the ability to see it through the sapphire caseback, yes!), this piece is about as Breitling as it gets. Limited to only 1,000 pieces and retailing for a confirmed $12,270, if you’re looking for a do-it-all piece, then you have to look at the Navitimer GMT.
Bremont AC Regatta
In association with ORACLE TEAM USA, Bremont have created their latest yachting-inspired timepiece, the Regatta AC. With its 43mm satin titanium case ad protruding crown, the AC Regatta is an imposing figure, but one that’s practical and functional. The exposed pushers emphasise that functionality one step further, but don’t’ sway from the piece’s beauty or elegance. The dial is highly informative and super gorgeous. I particularly love the red and blue dial highlights. I really think they tie the piece together superbly, and without them then the piece would have a tough time distinguishing itself from its competitors. Powered by a custom Bremont automatic movement that incorporates an hour/minute chronograph, a date and 24-hour counter, as well as a 15-minute Regatta timer and 5-minute countdown timer, the watch is chock full of complications that I’m sure will tickle that watch-nerd soft spot we all have.
DeWitt Academia Skeleton
Much less known than a lot of the brands I’ve featured here, DeWitt is a manufacture that produces super high-end pieces that are both extremely niche and wonderfully gorgeous. The Academia Skeleton is just another reason as to why I have such admiration for the brand. The inverted dial is finished beautifully, with high-grade polishing and beveled edges providing a visceral treat even to the staunchest of critics. The combination of rose gold, yellow gold and grey adorning the skeletonized dial makes for an awesome colour spectacle, and if you look closely you can see subtle hints of red from the rubies. Albeit it this isn’t the most practical watch, and certainly not one you’d wear every day, but you have to appreciate the craftsmanship that went into this work of art. Indicative pricing (relative to exchange rates) puts this piece in the early 6-figure mark. If I had the dough, I would have little hesitation in pulling the trigger for this masterpiece.