The original count of the heavenly bodies is seven but these new watches from Watches & Wonders 2020 ups it literally in two ways — a new number of eleven and a focus on horological anatomy.
Pictured Above: Panerai Luminor Marina DMLS Pam 1117
History is the theme of Panerai’s 2020 novelty PAM1117’s release as it celebrates 70 years of Luminor. The terminology was first coined by the Florentine manufacture in 1950 for its watch’s luminous compound but was gradually used to describe the iconic cushion- shaped dive watches.
X1, the brand’s newest luminescent is applied beyond the hands and hour markers as seen on the bezel flange, crown guards and even the strap stitches.
A 44mm by 15.65mm micro-blasted titanium case, manufactured by a special 3D printing technology, keeps the total weight of the watch including the straps to a mere 100g.
The PAM1117 is powered by Panerai’s P.9010 automatic calibre and is released as part of a trio of boutique edition series and as part of the line up of watches from Watches & Wonders 2020 — each limited to 270 pieces.
Bell & Ross BR03-92 Diver Full Lum
The eminence of Bell & Ross’ squared timepieces takes on new sets of characteristics as the brand continues to meld aviation codes into its latest marine-themed BR03- 92 Diver Full Lum — cementing it as one of the flyest watches from Watches & Wonders 2020.
A 300m water resistant ceramic case — native to aeronauts — provides the timepiece with unrivalled strength and lightness to handle the rigours of deepsea pressures and extremities. The highlight is reserved undoubtedly for the dial as its entirety features extensive application of SuperLuminova.
Two contrasting shades of luminant SuperLuminova are applied to the dial (darker C5 grade) and indices (lighter C3 grade) so as not to confuse the wearer. The Full Lum concept reverses the traditional principles of day and night legibility — the almond green dial remains muted under daylight but an explosion of luminance occurs when ambient light diminishes.
A duo of rubber and velcro straps allows the 999-piece BR03-92 Diver Full Lum to handle day to night adventuring.
Breiting Superocean Heritage B01 Chronograph 44 Limited Edition
For a brand whose roots run deep in aviation, little is known about Breitling’s pioneering dive chronographs released in 1959. With the release of the Superocean Heritage B01 Chronograph 44 Limited Edition as part of a collection of watches from Watches & Wonders 2020, the manufacture looks set to right some wrongs.
The watch is strikingly modern in its 44mm oversized execution and black-green dial but bears historical references such as the arrow hour hand and characteristically long hour indices.
Exceptional accuracy is another source of pride for Breitling, as the in-house calibre B01 humming within is certified chronometer status by the COSC.
Toughness meets flamboyance as G-Shock’s new 500-piece MTG- B1000VL is sparked by volcanic lightning. The concept follows last year’s captivating “Lunar Rainbow” colourway which takes inspiration from nature’s fascinating phenomena.
A gamut of colours that dissipate during a volcanic storm is recreated on the 55.8mm watch case and dial through a series of ion-plating and vapour deposition finishes. At the heart of the kaleidoscopic framework lies a carbon-fibre reinforced resin Core Guard Structure that lends G-Shock’s peerless shock resistance to this timepiece.
The module that lies within provides advanced features such as smartphone connectivity and solar-powered radio control as well as other regular G-shock functions.
Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Control Date
Purity and fineness of details form the soul of Jaeger-LeCoultre’s Master Control Date. The new Master Control Date personifies a pared-down philosophy that lets it sit in the category of the sleekest watches from Watches & Wonders 2020, while demonstrating the manufacture’s technical prowess.
The expression of the Master Control Date date complication is simple, the testing of the calibre is anything but. Presented this year is the new calibre 899 that underwent 1,000 hours of stringent testing — characteristic of the Master Control family.
A suite of optimised components contribute to reliable chronometric performance, the most notable being the improved 70-hour power reserve which strengthens the appeal of the 40mm by 8.8mm timepiece.
Longines Spirit Prestige Edition
Longines’ rich history in watchmaking is riddled with timekeeping instruments built for expeditions. The launch of the Longines Spirit as part of a series of watches from Watches & Wonders 2020 captures the essence of maverick aviators and explorers who chartered new frontiers in the 1930s.
The indomitable spirit is highlighted by the five stars applied on the dial to signify an improvement of the quality and reliability of the watch’s movement. Beneath the blue sunray dial lies a COSC chronometer- certified chronograph calibre L688.4 with silicon hairspring to improve accuracy and longevity.
The styling of the watch is inspired by the archival pieces as well — the oversized crown, flange and large luminous baton hands.
The accompanying interchangeable steel, leather and leather NATO straps offer versatility to match all manner of occasions — be it at the boardroom or cafe.
Omega de Ville Prestige
The embodiment of sophisticated elegance takes a new guise as Omega introduces a facelift to the new De Ville Prestige. A unique textured dial structure glistens silvery as light hits; its subtlety allows the rose gold leaf-shaped hour and minute hands and applied Arabic and cabochon indices to stand out.
The resurgence of two- tone watches does not look like it is slowing down as Omega applies the same tones of rose gold to the bezel, crown and bracelet among stainless steel. The warmth of rose gold accentuates the sensuous curves of the De Ville Prestige, its alternating one- and two-rose gold links bracelet is a distinct touch of modernity without being overly jarring.
With an attractive diameter of 39.5mm, the De Ville Prestige fares nicely on both small and large wrists.
Rado Captain Cook Bronze
Rado tells the tale of two polarising looks combined in one with the use of bronze in the new Captain Cook Bronze. After its wild success in steel, the move to bronze cases on its watches from Watches & Wonders 2020 showcases Rado’s experimentative nature (they are known as masters of materials after all).
Apart from its desirable tough physical properties, bronze’s reactivity to air leads to an oxidation process that ages the alloy — an aesthetic trait watchmakers cherish. The patina which bronze develops is unique to its wearer, one forged over time and adventures.
A brand new Captain Cook Bronze emanates a glow similar to gold but slowly antiques as time passes; it is akin to buying two watches with two drastically different appearances. Ceramic — whose Rado’s true mastery lies in — is used in the bezel that radiates the same shade of colour as the dial.
An automatic calibre C07 powers the dive watch that is rated to 300m water resistance.
Seiko 1975 Professional Diver’s 600M Re-Creation SLA041
The historical importance of Seiko dive watches is unparalleled as its invention pushed the boundaries of deep-sea exploration — just one of the many new dive watches from Watches & Wonders 2020.
One of the models was the “Tuna”, whose protective shroud helped earn its nickname.
The 1975 Professional Diver’s 600m Re-creation SLA041 — a faithful rendition of the original — was released as Seiko celebrates the 55th anniversary of its first dive watch.
Measuring at a scale tipping diameter of 52.4mm, Seiko’s use of ceramic (shroud), titanium (inner case) and its new proprietary Ever-Brilliant steel (bezel) ensure the SLA041 is built to withstand 1000m of water resistance.
The watch hands and indices remain true to the original as well, which will be huge plus points for ardent fans.
TAG Heuer Aquaracer
TAG Heuer’s new Aquaracer prepares to get wet owing to its racing sensibilities alongside the adrenaline and thrill of motorsports. From a functional perspective, TAG Heuer’s new Aquaracer was made to be a modern-day jack-of-all-trades which lands it in the sweet spot of modern watches from Watches & Wonders 2020.
Its DNA certainly lies in water-sports with its 300m water resistant case but that does not limit the timepiece’s functionality given the tool watch approach TAG Heuer has taken.
Given the adventuring spirit of modern-day men, the rugged nature of the Aquaracer enables one to push the boundaries of land, sea and air exploration.
Replete with a green panelled dial and matching bezel, TAG Heuer’s focus on legibility is apparent with the use of large hands and applied indices filled with luminous materials.
The manufacture’s automatic Calibre 5 movement powers the watch autonomously up to 38 hours.
Zenith Elite Moonphase
The fascination with the moon reaches fervour heights as Zenith aims to capture lunar romanticism with its Elite Moonphase. Set in a revamped Elite collection, the traditions of watchmaking are redefined by a sleek contemporary setting paired with strong visual elements.
The namesake complication takes centre stage amidst the sunburst dial – a deep blue contrasting starkly against slate grey. Shifted deliberately off-centre is the seconds hand which gives the dial a touch of asymmetry, made possible by the ultra-slim 3.97mm thick Elite calibre 692.
Measuring 40.5mm wide and 9.35mm thick, the Zenith Elite Moonphase represents a new generation of dress watches that look equally stunning sans cocktail jacket.
This story first appeared in the July ’20 issue of Men’s Folio Singapore.