Breitling SuperOcean Automatic 36 Watches

Last but certainly not least, we have a trio of smaller sized diving watches for those with daintier wrists. The Breitling Superocean Automatic 36 watches are all engineered from stainless steel and are equipped with matching silver-coloured ceramic inserts on their unidirectional bezels and metal sloped flanges for the minutes scale. The 36mm cases offer the familiar screw down case backs, screw in crowns, sapphire crystal glass and a 300 metre water resistance. They are also yet again powered by the Breitling 17 automatic winding movement.
The three Breitling Superocean Automatic 36 watches come in three dial colours: white, turquoise or orange. All ensure easy legibility with large applied indexes and hands dressed in Superluminova. The seconds hand is outlined in white on the turquoise and orange models while the white dial opts for a subtle touch of orange. The cases are secured by rubber straps in the corresponding dial colour or by a three-row link bracelet. Both straps close by a folding buckle with micro-adjustment.
Breitling’s legendary sea watch is reinvented in the new Breitling Superocean 2022 watch collection as it debuts a pared-down aesthetic reminiscent of the original Superocean Slow Motion from the 1960’s and 70’s. The release offers an abundance of choice, with four case sizes (46mm, 44mm, 42mm and 36mm), three case metals and two strap options to choose from.

Chopard L.U.C Perpetual T Luxury men Diamond Watch

The case measures 45mm in diameter, and although housing a movement of this complexity is no small task, the piece would be better suited at 42mm. The movement itself measures 33mm, begging the question: how much did the movement size, or dial layout and aesthetics, influence the overall case size?

It is obvious that the final diameter of the piece was carefully considered. Chopard keeps the lug length short, sweeps them noticeably towards the wrist. They have positioned the pivot point (spring bar location) of the strap closer to the case instead of placing it towards the end of the lug.
At this price point ($74,900 CHF, or $103,685 CDN), and the limited release, a safe first assumption is that the piece is platinum. However, the case is grade 5 titanium. The use of titanium is an interesting choice, and certainly a matter of personal preference. But it sets up a noticeable contrast between the modern material and the otherwise very classic aesthetics of the Perpetual Chrono.

Titanium definitely contributes to lighter weight. For some this translates to a more comfortable wear. But don’t you want to feel every single ounce when you make this kind of investment? I like to know it is safely on my wrist without looking at it!
Chopard has done a good job conveying a lot of information on the dial with a few exceptions. The Rhodium themed colour scheme is appropriately austere without being stuffy. And accent colours (like red to indicate Chronograph functions) are certainly complimentary.

The two aperture large date window at 12 o’clock is easy to read. Chopard’s ability to maintain (as closely as possible) a very classic three subdial design elevates the watch face, with additional indication tucked into the larger subdials.
Where the colour and layout work, and dial symmetry is maintained, the day/night subdial feels out of place. It’s seemingly better paired in correlation to the moon phase, instead of the day of the week subdial. It might be the subtle sun and moon indications on the day/night subdial. Although the corresponding leap year indication on the opposite side of the dial seems on point to me.

In previous versions of the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chrono , the day/night indication was bolder with the night side of the subdial in black (as well as the “L” Leap year quadrant of that subdial). So the more subtle approach on this piece is clearly intentional, just not to my taste.
Is there a readily obvious poetic solution? No, although it might be a good sign that this minor detail is the only thing I can think of to complain about! The rotating moon phase and small seconds at 6 o’clock are well executed. But like the day/night indication the moon phase and small seconds do not feel like an intuitive pairing at first glance.

The more I handled the Perpetual Chrono the more and more sense the dial began to make. But it is important to note that at first glance a watch with this many complications can be a little disorienting.
The Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chrono is a serious timepiece and a real achievement for any Maison. No one will deny that this watch is a marvel. At this price point there are also many, many choices in the world of horology. Like any serious piece, a watch must speak to you beyond the technical details, or aesthetic highlights. What does the Chopard L.U.C Perpetual Chrono say to you?

MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye

MB&F is adding a “Tiger Eye” version to the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye collection. Love the name. What is tiger eye? It is a golden brown gemstone. According to MB&F, “…in some parts of the world, it is believed to ward off the evil eye. Roman soldiers wore engraved tiger eye to protect them in battle.” Here, the stone takes the form of the dial plate and sub-dial of the latest Legacy Machine FlyingT (T stands for Tourbillon) in an 18K yellow gold case set with diamonds.
Sounds fancy. Well, it is a Legacy Machine, so shouldn’t it be? MB&F says, “We don’t craft yellow gold cases very often…but we think it works particularly well with the silky luster of tiger eye, with its undulating bands of color varying from gold to deep brown.”
Make no mistake, it is still a tourbillon. A flying tourbillon, no less. Interestingly, it is also one of the independent brand’s most wearable timepieces, measuring 38.5mm in diameter and 20mm in height. Granted, it may not go under your cuff, but no one would wear an MB&F and worry about that. I assume you already know the theatrical creations that MB&F is renowned for. If not, click the name hyperlink to our past features for a quick browse. Those time machines are typically quite substantial.
Then came the Legacy Machine FlyingT. It debuted back in 2019 as MB&F’s first-ever Machine “dedicated to women”. It garnered the GPHG prize for Best Ladies’ Complication the same year. The collection continues to expand with diamond-set versions in white gold, guilloché-dial editions in red gold and platinum, and last year’s FlyingT Allegra collaboration with Bvlgari. As for the gemstone editions, there has been Lapis Lazuli in 2020, Malachite in 2021, and Tiger Eye today.
Intriguingly, the MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye LM FlyingT does appear to be a smaller and diamond-studded version of the Legacy Machine. References abound that this is a watch “for” women. With all due respect, given the all-male crew of Friends responsible for this creation, I think we’ll park the marketing babble for now, and dive straight in to see the watch for what it is.
To be honest, as a horological masterpiece, the LM FlyingT is off-the-chart intelligent and extraordinary. On further inspection, it is clear that a total redesign has taken place. I love that MB&F decided to go all-out to design a watch as a tribute to women. With a technical upgrade to a new flying tourbillon, it deserves all the respect and accolades it has commanded.

That said, I’ve gotten so used to MB&F Legacy Machine FlyingT Tiger’s Eye theatrical creations that it’s easy to forget the LM FlyingT is a very dramatic machine “for women”. How can a crew with not a single woman involved create a watch for women? Calling it “a timepiece for women” is pure PR garbage. Those who do that either do not know watches very well or do not care what “watches for women” means and just jump on the label. That, as we know, only perpetuates the status quo.

The point is, the LM FlyingT is a watch that’s “dedicated to women”. It says so in MB&F’s own literature, and it makes perfect sense when you hear how Max Büsser talks about it. I actually love his concept to make a watch inspired by the women in his life. And if you go along with that, it means that watch would be talking to men too. Now, who would be buying it for the woman of his life, and who would be buying it for himself?

Jacob & Co. Epic X Black Titanium Bucherer Blue

Along with the one-of-a-kind the Astronomia Tourbillon Bucherer BLUE watch, Jacob & Co. and Bucherer have also collaborated for the Jacob & Co. Epic X Black Titanium Bucherer Blue Edition, a skeleton watch that also nods to interstellar travel.
Featuring a 44mm diameter black DLC titanium case, the limited-edition manual-winding timepiece, which was inspired by the Rakia mission, will be available for purchase exclusively in the U.S.at Bucherer.
The exclusive 18 pieces feature an eye-catching blue honeycomb strap and a titanium caseback with an engraving of an astronaut, clad in a spacesuit and helmet, gazing at the Earth from space.

Jacob & Co has long produced some seriously oppulant timepieces. The Astronomia is probably it’s most popular, but the Bugatti’s also stick out in my mind. A collection that tends to fly a little under the radar is the Epic X Colleciton. And to end Q1, Jacob & Co release an all new version that is quite bold, and also quite unique. Introducing the Epic X Chrono Tourbillon “Blue Titanium”.
The Epic X Chrono Tourbillon “Titanium Blue” is arguably amongst the more practical Jacob & Co watches. Further, its even one of the more practical Epic X watches. Jacob & Co is typically drowning in diamonds or precious stones, complications, or exagerated features – It’s what makes the brand more unique in the space. With the Titanium Blue, the size is there, the complications are there, but the oppulance takes a backseat to the practicality.

The chronograph features large easy-to-use pushers, while the inner-bezel is operated by the ceramic crown at 10 o’ clock – giving it added utility. The dial features a blue sapphire dial plate that is mostly see-through, and puts the JCAA09 on full display, without compromising the legibility.
Overall, this is a very sporty offering for the self-assured yachting type. While I’ve seen others throw the Titanium blue into the racing category, I find it sits better into the boating one. It’s big, bold, and the colorway lends to the sea. While it’s probably a little big for my personal tastes, I don’t imagine this watch will have a hard time finding buyers.

Blancpain Air Command Replica

The Blancpain Air Command was originally produced by Blancpain in the 1950s, and was supposedly intended for use by the US Air Force, the US Navy having already adopted the 50 Fathoms diver’s watch. The Air Command was a flyback chronograph, constructed somewhat along the lines of the Type 20 spec, and supposedly 12 watches were made and offered to USAF pilots through Blancpain’s US distributor, Allen Tornek. It’s now an extremely rare grail watch for vintage  Blancpain Air Command   collectors – they’ve appeared at auction very rarely. One is coming up at Phillips Hong Kong later this month, with an estimate of $50-100,000; and prior to that, another one (not the same watch) hammered in 2016, also at Phillips (in the 88 Epic Stainless Steel Chronograph auction) for CHF 100,000. 
The lot notes for both watches are pretty much the same in the essentials. The catalogue essay for the 2016 auction reads, ” … scholars have asserted that it was never serially manufactured or commercialized,” and then continues, “Like many other Swiss manufacturers, Blancpain was hit by the quartz crisis and … had to sell many of its assets, including some unfinished watches. With only a handful of specimens of this mythical model known to have survived, it is hard to determine what the exact specifications of the Air Command are.”
It then goes on to say, “However, as some of the Air commands have Blancpain-signed movements, it is possible that examples like the one presented here have only been assembled and fitted with a Valjoux 222 after the sell-off of the cases, dials, bezels and pushers and hands.” While the origins of the original Air Command seem to be destined to remain a mystery (albeit if we had records from the era, many passionate collectors would doubtless be deprived of the pleasure of arguing with each other) it was a handsome flyback chronograph, with classic mid-century instrument-timepiece good looks, and Blancpain has in terms of cosmetics, stayed very close to the original.  Indeed, from the dial side, at first glance it would be difficult to distinguish one from the other. The new-for-2019 model is very slightly larger than the original (42mm, vs. 42.50 for the new model). The Arabics are larger in the new model (as is the crown), the word “Flyback” is present in a very subdued fashion on the new guy, and of course, the difference in chronograph pusher positioning gives away the newer movement. The new model has no running seconds, with a 12 hour counter where there was a running seconds on the original; but taken as a whole, it’s a pretty faithful reproduction, right down to the elongated 3-minute markers in the 30 minute register. The new watch, however, has a very different movement from the flyback Valjoux caliber 222 in the vintage model. It uses the Blancpain caliber F388B – this is a column-wheel controlled, flyback automatic chronograph with vertical clutch, and which runs at 5 hertz, or 36,000 vph, giving the chronograph a 1/10 of a second resolution. 
If you’re going to do an homage to a vintage model this is a great way to do it. What a lot of us love about vintage watches is, yes, the nostalgia they can evoke, but of course functionally vintage watches are generally inferior to their modern counterparts, especially with the advances in materials technology, lubricants, gaskets and seals, and movement design which the last ten or fifteen years have brought us. The overwhelming tendency from a design standpoint, from modern brands, seems to be to use ecru Super-LumiNova (somewhat ironically, it turns out that “ecru” actually means “raw” or “unbleached”) in an effort to reproduce the look of yellowed radium or tritium paint, but as Jason Heaton mentioned in one of his stories for us, you don’t necessarily have to see this as an attempt to drape oneself in borrowed glory – at this point, and despite the fact that “fauxtina” is a term that seems to be here to stay, you can as easily look at it as just another color choice if you want. 

While the new  Blancpain Air Command really succeeds in general of capturing the charm of the original vintage model, the one other niggle I can see folks having with it is the propeller-shaped rotor. This is the sort of thing that tends to come across as either an annoying bit of kitsch, or a harmless bit of fun, depending on who you are (and maybe on which side of the bed you got out of this morning). Propeller-shaped winding rotors on aviation-themed watches are, like ecru lume, present in large enough numbers that I personally don’t object to them as much as I did even a few years ago (perhaps this is just a sign of age-related resignation, but I can’t manage to rouse much outrage about it). The rotor in the Air Command is reasonably well done, anyhow, and the rather sober brushed finish the red gold has been given, is pleasantly harmonious with the style in which the rest of the movement has been finished. A propeller on a watch whose design originated in the 1950s is a bit of an anachronism, as by the early 1950s most air forces were falling over themselves trying to switch as fast as possible to jet aircraft, but it’s still a handsome looking rotor.

All praise, incidentally, to  Blancpain Air Command   for omitting a date window – normally I don’t mind them but a date guichet would have been jarringly out of place on this watch (ditto for sticking to a two-register design). Overall, this is a very respectful as well as faithful homage to one of the most interesting, to say nothing of mysterious, vintage Blancpain watches, and the use of modern materials and a modern movement adds significantly to the appeal. These will be produced in slightly larger numbers than the very few surviving vintage  Blancpain Air Command watches – Blancpain is offering this watch as a 500 piece limited edition.

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Quantième Complet Phases de Lune

Expanding on a dive watch collection — especially one with such a rich history as the Replica Blancpain Fifty Fathoms — is a challenge at the best of times. Do you stick to classic tool watch roots? Do you step outside the box with a complication or design with more commercial appeal? Do you start toying with unorthodox case materials? There are a lot of ways to go here, and as we’ve seen year after year, the results can be fantastic, just as easily as they can be questionable. We’ve seen Blancpain take some interesting approaches with the Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe collection recently, including the blue ceramic-cased flyback chronograph Ocean Commitment II, but for 2018 we were presented with a couple of very unexpected dive watches from the longstanding brand. The most curious is the complete calendar moonphase (Quantième Complet Phase de Lune, per the brand), taking the classic 43mm satin-brushed Bathyscaphe case, and fitting it with a very vintage-y dressy-feeling triple calendar moonphase complication. It’s weird, it’s confusing, it’s the first and only diver with this complication, but it also makes the mind roam to the much-loved phrase: “That’s so crazy, it just might work!” Will it? Let’s find out.
Of the many details about this latest release, its case design is the least altered when compared to prior Bathyscaphe watches. Entirely brushed in finish, as would be expected of a proper tool Replica Blancpain Fifty Fathoms , the only noteworthy change to the 43mm steel case of the Complete Calendar Moonphase is the addition of a pair of corrector pushers located on the case barrel around the 2 and 4 o’clock position. On one hand, the idea of adding pushers to a 300m dive watch sounds a little sketchy, but in practice we don’t suspect they will cause any issues with water resistance. For one, these will not (we can say will not, and not just might not) engage in serious diving, and flyback chronograph variants of the Bathyscaphe already use non screw-down pushers, at this depth rating, so there’s really nothing to be concerned about here.
Here’s where we get to the good stuff, as there’s a lot going on on the Complete Calendar Moonphase dial. Compared to a conventional 3-hand Bathyscaphe diver, the slate grey sun-brushed dial is definitely a little busy, though it kind of works. Blancpain stuck with the traditional triple calendar moonphase configuration, with the day and week near 12, a pointer date indication, and a large moonphase indication at 6 o’clock. This is a configuration the brand has been using for some time now in the Villeret, though to make it work in the Bathyscaphe is a relocation of its pointer date track. Rather than having this indication at the outer perimeter of the dial, it has been moved inbound of its hour indices. This helps ensure that its minute track is free of clutter when its timing bezel is in use.
As we’ve mentioned, this is a complication the brand has been using for quite some time, and the caliber 6654.P is by no means a new addition to the brand’s repertoire. That said, it’s a well-executed caliber, good for a power reserve of 72 hours, and fitted with a blackened 18k gold decorated rotor. A minor tweak was required to relocate its corrector pushers to the side of its case (rather than between the lugs, as we see in the Villeret line), but otherwise this is a case of grab a caliber from the shelf and find it a new home.
The Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is one of those watches that quickly reminds its wearer that case diameter spec is not a good benchmark of how a watch will be on the wrist. At 43mm across, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite as chunky on the wrist; however (thankfully), it still wasn’t overpowering. The piece was launched on bracelet, NATO, and a sailcloth canvas, the latter of which has consistently proven very comfortable. Its bezel action is as expected from one of the most well-respected dive watch manufacturers out there, and the same can be said for its brightly glowing Super-LumiNova indices.
Spending some time with the Complete Calendar Moonphase, to be frank it took some time for me to warm up to it. Aesthetically, it’s a mighty sharp looking piece, and I’m a fan of how well executed the calendar complication was integrated into a dive watch. At its root, the hangup is entirely the melding of a dress watch complication and a tool watch case. That said, I soon realised how foolish the hangup was. Crossing design codes is something I’ve often encouraged in other categories, and once again acknowledging that this new Replica Blancpain Fifty Fathoms is not meant as a pure tool watch per se … where’s the real harm, right? It’s a sharp-looking watch, it has practical complications, and it’s built to Blancpain’s exacting standards. This is certainly worth a second look if you’re in the market for an out-of-the-ordinary diver from a legacy brand.

Replica Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400

Grail watches are supposed to embody the best. “Best”, however, is a subjective term. That’s why everyone’s grail is different. What I consider best for me is a watch that doesn’t require careful handling. My best is a watch that can keep up with me in all that I do. Beyond that, I want the ultimate expression of capability in specs and design, as well as efficiency of material and cost. Thus, as far as my judgment is concerned, I want an Oris. And if I’m buying tomorrow, I want an Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400.

If my grail is a watch, the tower that keeps it is Oris, and I admit I’m more enamored with the tower than the various potential grails within. Oris has spoiled me these past couple of years, and I’m almost content with holding off to see what else the brand has up its sleeve (Caliber 402, anyone?). But if we’re all naming our grails (and we are), it’s easy enough for me to point to mine — the 41.5mm Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 in blue.
For any of you keeping up with my most recent articles, there may be an exasperated “of course” and a throwing up of hands. Seriously, how many consecutive articles on Oris can I write? But this is a pre-meditated ending to a trilogy of sorts exhibiting Oris as I’ve come to know it. All these articles played a part in building my case. Everyone else took one article to announce their grail. Me? I took three. I’ll argue that it’s compensation (or an extended pitch) for such a humble grail.

Regardless of whether you read the article on Oris’s sustainability or the argument I made for the watch Oris is missing to make it the best, I expect most everyone can agree that sub-$10K is hardly grail territory. Grails are supposed to be an almost unattainable pinnacle of all that is sacred (in horology). They are what inspire knights (or us watch nerds) to embark on quests to attain them. But, as in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the holy grail need not be ornate. In my case (as for Dr. Jones — spoiler alert), the grail is humble, plain, and full of piety. But it didn’t use to be that way.
I started my watch journey drooling over the Omega Speedmaster — no wonder I ended up at Fratello. Then I branched out to Rolex, Patek, and Vacheron Constantin. My head was on a swivel, daydreaming about one watch or the next. For a minute, I thought I wanted one of VC’s Métiers d’Art — the Les Aérostiers, the hot air balloon watch. A worthy choice, seeing that it costs over $100K. Choosing a grail at this echelon took on a form of escapism. If I were a person that owned that watch (dealer’s choice), I wouldn’t be in the situation I was — underpaid, overworked, and unfulfilled. Well, spending a luxury car’s amount of money on a watch doesn’t solve problems like that.
Instead, I transitioned out of the situations making me so miserable, and I continued window shopping for watches. But I was looking less at watches that took me out of my reality, and instead began mentally trying on watches that I saw accompanying me from where I actually was. That’s when I really started having fun. And I found that there is “the best” in regards to craftsmanship, materials, and pedigree, and best as far as how good a fit it is for me. Now entered into the game all manner of watches from Seiko, Sinn, and the like. That’s when Oris became a serious contender.

Now there’s a difference between a watch that’ll work for me right now and a watch that’ll work for me from now on. I’ve purchased a couple of in-a-pinch watches that aren’t leaving my collection any time soon. Those aren’t grail watches, at least not to me. It’s hard to game out “until death do us part”, but people get married all the time. If I could prepare for making that decision, buying a watch to wear forever is a piece of cake. And Oris — in its product specs and design and my interpretation of what it stands for as a brand — is a watch I can wear forever.
Because when looking for “the one”, it’s almost all a specs game for me. I had Oris on my radar for years, but the release of the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 changed everything. With the five-day power reserve, 10-year service interval, and 10-year warranty, Oris stepped to the conceivable end of what’s possible in a workhorse mechanical movement. This snapshot in horological history in and of itself is almost reason enough for me to choose the Oris Aquis Calibre 400, but the reduced frequency of repair added an element of economy that sweetens the deal.

If I’m going to be marrying this watch, I want to have an idea of what to expect. A 10-year warranty is an unprecedented assurance in a watch. I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years — it seems far away enough to be a dream. But I expect I’ll still be interested in watches and enjoying the outdoors. That’s a win for the Aquis Calibre 400 with the above-mentioned specs and 300 meters of water resistance.
My purchase and servicing of an Oris Aquis is an investment in the company as well. Yes, financially, but also as a brand and all the minutiae that comprise it. I’m going to have the watch on my wrist. It will undoubtedly be representing something about myself, whether I like it or not (I do). It’s all that Oris is doing on the whole — environmentally, socially, technically — that sells me on any particular watch. I love what Oris has done, and I’m looking forward to seeing what it will do in the future.
Therein lies the predicament. If I’m choosing today, my grail watch is the Aquis Date Calibre 400. Its design appeals to me, of course. More importantly, it is a slice in Oris’s and the greater watch industry’s history marking the 10-year repair standard milestone (I know that the 41.5mm Calibre 400 wasn’t the very first). But Oris is just ramping up, and I think there’s a lot around the corner to look forward to. Honestly, I could buy the Aquis now and not beat myself up if and when Oris releases the next 400 variant. Like marriage, I’ll make my commitment and then not look too closely at anything else. I have experiences to live and stories to make… with the watch. I’m a simple man (obviously), and besides, there isn’t much that Oris could do that would make me want something more than a Calibre 400. There’s simply not anything more that I need.
That’s not to say I won’t buy another watch ever again. As much as I entertain the notion of a one-watch collection, which my grail would comprise, I’m not letting go of the watches I already have without good reason. I’m also open to purchasing more watches in the future. The role of the Oris Aquis Date Calibre 400 as a grail is to become “the one” for me — a watch that encompasses all of my serious interests in watches. After that, I can play. I can explore novelties, funky fashion pieces, and yes, I might even get a Speedmaster. But I will do so resting assured that I’ve achieved my grail.

And you know what? The secret is that grails change. The (usually) unattainable nature of them makes that an easy adjustment to make. Once attained, however, it becomes a different matter. But if I purchase the Aquis and my grail does change, at least I will have had the opportunity to have my grail. That’s more than most knights can claim.

Louis Moinet 20-Second Tempograph

This detailed review of the Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph contains live images, specification details and pricing. My first encounter with the Swiss brand Louis Moinet was earlier this year, when the company presented the Compteur de Tierces to a small group of invited journalists. This timepiece was the first chronograph ever produced, dating back to 1816. It features a super fast frequency of 216,000 vph (30 Hz), representing a mind-boggling technical feat. Indeed, some two hundred years later, only a few other maisons have matched the dizzying alacrity of the central chronograph seconds hand. Quite simply, I would liken it to the McLaren P1 cruising at speeds of over 200mph when everyone else is chugging along in Ford Model Ts. This historical chronograph has a modernity befitting the 20th century.
Recently, whilst touring Neuchatel, I grasped the opportunity to visit Les Ateliers Louis Moinet in Saint-Blaise. I was hungry to learn more about this illustrious name and, within moments of my arrival, I was overwhelmed by the sight of several mouthwatering creations placed in front of me.

Louis Moinet specialises in creating limited series timepieces that capture the aesthetic prowess of the 19th century watches produced by the great man, but tailored to suit a modern-day audience. Despite the re-emergence of the Louis Moinet name some 15 years ago, the company has already secured five Red Dot design awards, a record which, I am sure, will evoke envy in many rival brands.
In 2011, the Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph , with its 10-second retrograde display, won the Red Dot design award. The model has a technically exciting movement and a sumptuous dial design. Now, the Swiss firm has released a brand new Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph and its beguiling beauty demands discussion. Indeed, within moments of seeing it, I fell for its abundant charms.
The Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph is a available with a choice of three case variants, grade 5 titanium, 18-carat rose gold or 18-carat white gold, with each version limited to a mere 60 pieces. All the models feature a white off-centre hour and minutes display, positioned in the south-easterly area of the dial.
The Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph has a diameter of 43.50mm and case height of 15.60mm. Yet, despite its substantial dimensions, it feels comfortable in its skin, never appearing unduly large. Moreover, the scale of the case allows sufficient room for each element of the aforementioned dial display to breathe in stylish splendour.
I expend much energy searching for timepieces which justify comment. Regular readers of ESCAPEMENT will note that I have eclectic tastes and review watches from the accessible and meritorious to those models which are priced at altitudinously high levels. However, all watches I review on ESCAPEMENT are, to my mind, worthy watches, deserving of praise. The Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph proves to be no exception, for it is a stunning watch, blessed with sublime styling, an interesting seconds display and a notable quotient of ingenuity.

Today’s Louis Moinet 20-second Tempograph are a worthy legacy to a great watchmaker of the 19th century and under the aegis of Jean-Marie Schaller, CEO Les Ateliers Louis Moinet, the company’s future looks very bright indeed.

With an array of models that readily tempt me to consider acquisition, I can assure readers that the 20-second Tempograph won’t be the last Louis Moinet timepiece I review on ESCAPEMENT. Indeed, I have fallen for the immense fluidity and grace of several Louis Moinet timepieces, succumbing to their near balletic poise and the immense beauty of its artful designs.

ChopardMille Miglia 2022 Race Edition

Fire up your engines! In 2022 the 1000 Miglia is celebrating an anniversary, the 40th edition of the legendary classic car race from Brescia to Rome and back which will be held 15 to 18 June. Swiss jeweller and watchmaker Chopard as the main partner and official timekeeper of the event since 1988, has released two new takes on their popular Mille Miglia Race Editions.

Housed in a 44mm case Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition is offered in stainless steel or two-tone stainless steel and 18k rose gold, with silver-toned dial with circular satin-brushed finish, for a brighter look.
Chopard is an interesting brand. We like their watches. We’ve been to both of their factories and met their co-president. The problem is they aren’t big sellers. You don’t see the hype that follows brands like Rolex and Omega following Chopard around despite the fact their watches compete in dealers often. If you see one on the grey market, it’s usually at a great price, which again comes from the trickiness of selling them. Having said that, if you plan on keeping your Chopard, there’s a lot to like, and they’re a well-historied brand.
One key part of Chopard’s recent history is the Mille Miglia revival race. The original Mille Miglia of the 40s and 50s was a race from Brescia to Rome and back to Brescia in Italy, a round trip of 1000km. The danger of the race meant it didn’t last into the second half of the 20th century, but as humans are fickle and tradition-based folks, the race lives on as the Historic Mille Miglia, with owners of period cars taking part in the races, including co-president Karl-Friedrich Scheufele.
Every year, Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition makes a special edition to mark that year’s Mille Miglia. It’s usually based on the athletic and masculine Mille Miglia GTS line, and this year is no different. A pair of watches have been made for the 2022 event, both with big 44mm x 13.79mm diameter cases in either stainless steel or two-tone stainless steel and 18k Fairmined gold.
We like the Mille Miglia GTS here at WristReview. There’s charm to the big, vintage-racer style watch. The chronograph pushers that look like engine pistons are a nice touch, as are the gentle shoulders leading up to the big crown. We also like that Chopard Mille Miglia 2022 Race Edition dedicated most of the real estate to the dial and so made the bezels very thin. For 2022, they’re also blue to match the lumed hands, markers on the dials, and detailing on the straps.
Underneath the solid screwed caseback is an automatic movement based on the Valjoux calibre 7750. Chopard has excellent decorations on its watches, and we’d assume this to be no different here, although we’re unable to confirm that. The watch has a 4Hz beat rate and a 48-hour power reserve. I remember when Chopard put its in-house made movements in these. Still, the 7750 is a reliable workhorse and undoubtedly meets Chopard’s strict standards. It is a COSC-rated chronometer, after all.

Louis MoinetDerrick Gaz

Swiss luxury watch atelier Louis Moinet is continuing to plough the same creative furrow by unveiling Derrick Gaz, a brand new complication timepiece that incorporates high precision techniques, traditional watchmaking art and the great tradition of automatons. The piece is intended to be both technical and fun. Based on an attentive observation of the traditional gas extraction systems of the nineteenth century, it is fitted with an expansive tourbillon, one of Louis Moinet Derrick Gaz distinctive hallmarks.
The gas derrick rises up majestically on the left-hand side of the timepiece. This large openwork structure is made from 18-carat gold, a perfect reproduction in every detail of the derricks dedicated to underground exploration. Similarly, in the middle there is a replica of a drill – an endless screw that is also in endless movement on the Derrick Gaz, rotating about its axis once every 2.5 seconds. And so the gas begins its journey along the pipeline, symbolized by the Tourbillon Bridge, suitably curved in exactly the right tubular shape to maintain the distinctive aesthetic appearance of the timepiece. The same type of bridge is also to be found beneath the regulator system for the hours and minutes.

The gas pipeline leads to the valve handle. Obviously, this is what controls the flow of fuel on a real-life gas network. With the same desire for consistency, Louis Moinet has connected it directly to the crown: when the timepiece is wound by hand, the valve handle turns too, as if it were regulating the supply of energy to the Derrick Gaz.
The pipeline continues its path to a white dial: the gas derrick’s manometer serves as the Power Reserve indicator for the Derrick Gaz. Everything on it – down to the tiniest details, including the shape, type, proportions and design of the hand –is a faithful reproduction of the real manometers to be found on gas networks. The journey comes to a natural close at 3 o’clock, where the gas is stored in a tank made from fully polished 316L steel.

The Derrick Gaz will feature many of Louis Moinet’s distinctive style marks: luminous Dewdrop hands, a 255-part Louis Moinet LM42 movement decorated with wave-pattern Geneva Stripes, sunray brushing and pearling, a Fleur-de-Lys applique, and a patented 47mm Louis Moinet case. The dial will also be decorated with a coloured, lacquered Clou de Paris concentric pattern – a first in Louis Moinet collections.
The timepiece boasts a three-day power reserve and will be available in two exclusive limited editions of 28 pieces each, in 5N 18-carat rose gold with a black dial, and PD150 18-carat white gold with a blue dial.
The New Derrick by Louis Moinet Derrick Gaz is yet another timepiece from the high-end watch brand equipped with an automaton. This latest model eschews the tourbillon seen on its older siblings, providing more room for the headline act to showcase its talents. Angus Davies looks closely at this fascinating timepiece conceived by the super-creative Jean-Marie Schaller and his talented team.