Max BÜSSER was in Singapore this week to show case his new watch to his fans and collectors. Nicknamed The CanAm - which is the Canandian Amercian Formula Car Racing which is Max's inspiration for this new watch. Today he met with bloggers and media personalities to brief them on the inspiration of this new watch. The basic core of this watch comes from his earlier HM5 but this new piece is more refined in its superior finishing. The striking blue movement rotor now sits on the top of the watch for all to see and appreciate. The new watch however is even larger that the usual watches from MB&F. Clearly intended to be a talking piece or wrist jewellery and at SGD127,700, this watch will be a very low production model meant for rarified few.
The 2016 unveiling of new MOVAS prototypes was a pleasant surprise to all those who gathered. Sean Wai spoke about the development of current models and the new 2016 were in that closed pewter box which he later opened and spoke at length as shown in my earlier video.
There were six new watches that Sean showed us. Some fundamentally new while others were variants of earlier models.
The BLUEY was a collaboration with a pop band. Primarily the change is the whole case is now made of carbon fibre.
One of the favorites of Sean was the Emperor Chronograph that is made of sandwich case of Carbon Fibre and steel. It is a big watch seen here on wrist and features a full sized rotor with exhibition back.
Another large watch with a different case design is the Tactical. A model expected to have variants in colour and materials in the years to come. It features a crown protector and a quick date change pusher.
Finally, the one model that was announced that got a few people excited. The Empire 1. Clearly taking design cues from Richard Mille, the new Empire 1 is not an easy watch to make due to the thin case design, skeleton dial and using steel and carbon fibre sandwiched together to make the case will keeping it svelt.
Only 50 of this watch is expected to be made and will arrive later this year.
Watch the video as Sean Wai of MOVAS presents on the new timepieces for the coming year. (Still images forthcoming.)
Found this rare Grand Seiko SBGJ013 HiBeat GMT in Titanium (40mm). Launched in mid 2015 featuring the award winning Caliber 9S86 that beats at 36000 per hour that also features anti-magnetic properties. Considered by aficionados to be the pinnacle of Grand Seiko mechanical movement development. The case and bracelet are high gloss polished titanium - a feature that is not available to low grade titanium watches. High gloss polished titanium can only be found in very few brands. The images of this watch on the internet does not show its most impressive aspect - the details of the tuxedo dial. The dial is deep grey translucent material. The vertical lines are etched onto the dial from behind. The lines can only be seen clearly from an angle reflecting the light. Unlike the other GMT models of Grand Seiko, this model's GMT hand is in gold. The case, hands and indices are polished using the Zaratsu process that only a handful artisans are qualified to perform at Grand Seiko facility at Morioka Japan. The list price of this beautiful time piece is 750,000 yen.
2016 for Vacheron will prove to be a watershed year. With the contraction of global demand for luxury watches every Swiss company needs to work harder and smarter to deal with economic challenges. Fortunately for VC, this year's Overseas models may prove to be a winning stroke.
The Overseas model range is to VC as is the Nautilus to Patek and Royal Oak to Audemars Piguet. The Overseas watch represents the company's flagship sports watch line. The model series had been around for decades and has gone through small detail changes to appeal to market demand. It still retains its distinctive details in its design which includes the Maltese details on the bracelet and bezel. This year they released several new models but the most appealing are the new Blue dial models. Featured here in high resolution. While there is the Overseas Blue Chrono, it is felt that the classic three handed is by far the most interesting.
The only small detail that tended to distract is the white date window. The watch would have done better as a date free watch allowing the beautiful blue to stretch across the dial unbroken. The accompanying automatic caliber keeps the watch super slim and sexy.
The new clever innovation is the quick release mechanism that allows for bracelet change to strap with a simple click of the locking mechanism. Provided are blue leather and blue rubber straps that complement the blue dial perfectly.
Here is the watch with the blue rubber strap.
Here is the same watch with blue leather straps.
The movement as before still handsome and well finished as one would expect from Vacheron at this price point.
The new Overseas also has a complement ladies watch that was also launched. A smaller sized watch with a bezel embedded with top quality diamonds.
But notwithstanding the blue straps that comes with the watch, the Overseas will always be measured against its competition Patek Nautilus and AP Royal Oak for its overall look and feel as a steel watch with steel bracelet. Seen here with its clasp closed showing its famous Maltese Cross. The bracelet as shown, is very well crafted and designed and continues to be improved on as the years go by.
The overall new Blue Overseas is a winner for Vacheron. In real life the dial is stunning as it should be. Vacheron has always been a leader renowned for its dial work. The only disappointment is the retail pricing of the watch. Hopefully retailers will make their customers happy with a sizeable discount for this handsome timepiece. If that should happen, I am sure VC will be enjoying a resurgence this year despite all the economic gloom.
Every year Omega will present dozens of new models. Some are updated with colour variations or new materials. Others adorn new complications. Amongst the many models, here are the ones that are the most interesting.
The new moon phase Speedmaster Coaxial Master Chronometer shown below comes in steel and gold. The models brought to Singapore for media access featured only the black dialled steel and gold version. The blue version that caught the attention of many journalists was not available. The other model that caught the eye of the media is the Speedmaster CK2998 was unfortunately also not available.
The new moon phase features a miniature painted moon full of the details. There is even a miniature footprint!
See how detailed the moon looks on the moon phase dial - that also has sprinkling of stars.
The gold version features a gold coloured moon disc.
Two huge Seamasters one a 600m Diver and the other Chronograph Diver. Both are Master Coaxial Chronometers.
One new model that would be considered a potential hit with collectors is the new Globemaster Annual Calendar in Steel shown below. The annual calendar complication on this watch is a simple yet effective design with the fourth hand pointing at the months. It is a large cased watch of 43mm but relatively thin makes the watch easy to wear under business wear sleeves. Keep an eye out for a follow up report on this new watch.
The 2016 Tudor models were probably amongst the top three most interesting watches released this year. The whole range of the Black Bay series were updated with the new in-house MT5601 and MT5602 calibers capable of 70 hours of power reserve. Late last year the Black Bay Black was launched to complement the Red and Blue bezelled versions of the series. This updated model (with the new Caliber) continues to interest vintage enthusiasts.
There are a few new variants, the first being the Black Bay Dark (not shown here). Featuring blackened PVD for the case and bracelet. One can forgive Tudor for coming out with this variant to meet the market demand for blackened watches - although the practicality is questionable as PVD coatings are not known to stand the test of time.
It is the new Black Bay Bronze that was the most welcomed new Tudor model - clearly was the talk of the industry and collectors. At a new size of 43mm that encases the new MT5601 the watch on wrist wears very comfortably and handsomely. For some reason it does not appear much bigger on wrist than its sports counterpart at Rolex (it's sibling company) such as the Submariner that measures in at 40mm.
The new Caliber fits the 43mm case without any fillers - is COSC certified. Critically, it features a non-magnetic silicon balance spring running at 28,000 beats per hour. One of the most common complaints of watches is that the mechanical movement loses or gains time. This is usually the result of the movement becoming magnetised - something that will occur even more with so much circuitry and micro speakers on mobiles and tablets all around us. Using a silicon balance spring reduces dramatically the risk of inaccuracy due to magnetism.
The Bronze has a real vintage look and feel to it. The metal will inevitably patina and oxide to dark brown. Certainly very close to the colour of the dial. The brown dial and brown bezel lends itself an old school look yet matching nicely with the bronze tone. Matched with distressed brown leather and a brown fabric strap (both comes as standard) the whole package is an exciting vintage looking watch with a very modern and capable movement. The Tudor Black Bay are divers watches made to survive the depth of 200m (or 660 ft) which is more than adequate for hobby snorkelling and open sea divers.
The retail pricing of the Black Bay watches had always been very competitive (all models sit below S$5500 - sitting just below the price bracket of Rolex diving watches) makes for a serious proposition deserving consideration. Even the use of the new calibers have not significantly raise the prices of the watches beyond reason. If the Red, Blue or Black bezelled models of Black Bay had not excited you, surely the Brown Bezelled Bronze Black Bay will.
The MB&F Legacy Perpetual arrived in Singapore this week and it was shown to collectors and media this week. Apparently it took four years to develop and Stephen McDonnnell was the young master watchmaker who worked on developing an all new caliber that allows for the user to independently adjust the day, date, month and year using push buttons - without risk of damage to the movement that other perpetual calendars suffer. A fully integrated complication (not an add on module to a standard movement) the watch features two mainspring barrels that allows for 72 hours of power reserve. The subdial design makes for easier legibility as compared to other perpetuals. Retail at approx S$270,000. Only 25 will be made.
The handsome Omega 300 Spectre Limited Edition (7007 pieces at S$9800 list). Comes with satin finished steel bracelet and the Bond NATO strap. It features the lollipop second hand and 12 hour bidirectional bezel. It is a master co-axial which features the 15000 gauss anti magnetic properties. On the wrist this watch on the NATO strap looks unique and comfortable. A handsome timepiece with a classical ageless dial design.
The Tudor North Flag (2015 Collection) was launched with a pop up store along Orchard Road at the portico of Wisma Atria. Situated along the Orchard sidewalk, the pop up store has a giant poster of the new watches. The new watch is designed to be a tool watch with the power reserve indicator at 9 o'clock. The design has strong yellow contrast details on the dial and when matched with its integrated strap, it looks distinctive.