The time has come as we herald in a new year. Countless of (amazing) watches were released this year and this gives us hope that next year’s novelties will be equally exciting and refreshing. As we wind down for the remaining of 2021, we end it on a high with a selection of watches wrapped & delivered that will be impactful gifts for yourself or loved ones.
Grand Seiko SBGM247
Grand Seiko unveils the newest member of its Sports collection, the SBGM247. Founded in 1960, Grand Seiko stemmed from the idea of building a watch that would be precise, durable, easy to wear and beautiful. As Grand Seiko evolved over the decades, it challenged the conventions of horology as it pushed boundaries and set new standards in not only chronometry but in practicality and beauty.The revered Japanese watch manufacture has four distinct collections, namely Masterpiece, Elegance, Heritage and Sports, under its portfolio. As its namesake duly implies, the Sports collection stands out from its counterparts for its sportiness and edginess. Still, it does not deviate from the aesthetics of Grand Seiko with its innate suaveness and confidence backed by technical intricacy and powerful designs for active wearers.
Two ubiquitous aspects were combined into a single timepiece when designing the SBGM247 — a GMT complication housed in a sports watch. At first glance, the SBGM247 does not attempt to over-complicate the narrative. Housed in a stainless steel case with a matching bracelet, the SBGM247 is as robust as any dive watch with 200m water resistance afforded to it. The crown was deliberately positioned at four o’clock for added security against accidental knocks during high-impact activities.
The Japanese manufacturer took a strong consideration for legibility as a pair of large handsets are complemented by similarly sized hour indices while the contrasting orange GMT hand pops against the green lacquered dial. The travel-friendly GMT complication can be set to a secondary time zone when set against the 24-hour scale — even hours are indicated on the fixed bezel while odd hours are printed on the bi-coloured inner-flange. Grand Seiko’s proprietary luminescent material LumiBrite fills the hands for easy reading in the dark.
Grand Seiko’s critically acclaimed movements need no further introduction as it sets itself apart from its competitors with its supreme accuracy and reliability. Powering the SBGM247 is the 9S66 calibre with an accuracy deviation of +5/-3 seconds per day, surpassing the +6/-4 standards set by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC).
Luminox Master Carbon SEAL Automatic 3860 Series
Having supplied watches to various military units and special forces in the world, Luminox is going full circle with the Navy SEALs as it presents the Luminox Master Carbon SEAL Automatic 3860 Series. Luminox and the Navy SEALs established a relationship that dates back to 1992 when the Navy SEALs first commissioned Luminox to produce watches as part of its Essential Gear. Given the precarious nature of the missions, Luminox sought the use of a carbon case for its strength and lightweight properties — both highly desirable especially when facing harsh conditions.
This spurred Luminox to develop its proprietary carbon composite materials as CARBONOX+ and CARBONOX were later introduced in 2016 and 2006 respectively. Since their developments, both materials have been household names of Luminox, alongside the brand’s iconic Luminox Light Technology (LLT) gas tubes. Together they form the foundation of the new Luminox Master Carbon SEAL Automatic 3860 Series which, for the very first time, houses an automatic movement within a CARBONOX+ case.
At first glance, the tool watch nature of the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic jumps with its no-nonsense outlook. A stealthy colourway is afforded with a tonal black and grey colourway punctuated by a red-pipped seconds hand and striking red rubber strap. Legibility is ensured with the use of the LLT gas tubes positioned on the watch hands and hour intervals. Under low or no light conditions, the gas tubes glow naturally even without an external power source making sure the watch is totally visible in low or no light conditions, never having to rely on an exterior power source.
With a 45mm diameter, its hulking demeanour belies its weight as the CARBONOX+ case weighs three and six times lighter than titanium and stainless steel respectively. Apart from being lightweight, the CARBONOX+ case is durable, hypoallergenic, weatherproof, shock and scratch-resistant. A high-performance carbon long bar matrix is responsible for the unique properties as carbon fibres account for up to 40% of the compound which contributes to the distinct grey case colour as well. The Master Carbon SEAL Automatic is finished off with a black IP-plated stainless steel bezel and sapphire crystal.
The workhorse automatic Sellita SW220-1 movement was chosen to power the Master Carbon SEAL Automatic for its reliability and performance. Creating the CARBONOX+ case to house the automatic movement was no easy feat as a great deal of research and development had to be done to determine the correct thickness of the case and adapt it to the weight of the movement without compromising on its structural integrity.
TAG Heuer Carrera Day Date 41mm
Equal parts suave, elegant and refined, TAG Heuer presents the TAG Heuer Carrera Day Date 41mm as part of its new generation three-handed TAG Heuer Carrera which was first launched in the early 2000s. The story of the TAG Heuer Carrera however dates back to 1963 when former TAG Heuer CEO Jack Heuer introduced the watch (a chronograph to be exact) to the world. Since then, the timepiece has attained legendary status as the timeless, sporty and elegant chronograph is the ultimate showcase for the brand’s fascinating motor racing heritage.
Named after the Carrera Panamericana car race, the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph was built on the cornerstone of legibility as Jack Heuer’s obsession with readability saw the birth of a watch rid of superfluous decorations as only three lines of texts are retained (Carrera, Heuer and Swiss Made). Its design language was apparent from the get- go as it was kept pure and minimal to allow quick relaying of information, especially for race car drivers.
The TAG Heuer Carrera Three Hands was born a few decades later in the early 2000s as a tribute to the dashboard timers produced by the brand since the 1930s. TAG Heuer viewed it as the perfect foil to the Carrera Chronograph — both equally adept whether it is recording or telling time in the most legible way possible. In redesigning a classic for 2021, TAG Heuer retained its hallmarks of legibility and modernity as it expanded the collection into four distinct families — Carrera Day Date 41mm (seen here), Carrera Twin-Time 41mm, Carrera Date 39mm and Carrera Date 29mm.
The Carrera Day Date 41mm model displays the refined TAG Heuer Carrera styling to perfection. A concentric snailed dial features a subtle sunburst effect that lends a touch of refinement to an otherwise minimalist layout. A bolder pair of handsets and indexes outfitted with rhodium plating reinforces Jack Heuer’s vision of legibility as the silvery tones contrast sharply with the black dial. It is no coincidence only three lines of text are printed on the dial so as not to confuse the viewer from telling the time, day of the week or date. The TAG Heuer Carrera Day Date 41mm is powered by the Calibre 5 automatic movement and is equipped with a new case with refined lugs and an ergonomic H-shaped link bracelet for extra wrist comfort.
Longines steps into the age of titanium as it presents the Longines Spirit Titanium, an evolution of the Longines Spirit. For a brand steeped in history and legacy, creating a new watch collection based on its storied past seems appropriate. That is exactly what 189-year old Longines did as it released the Longines Spirit collection a year ago which leans into the story of historical aviator Amelia Earhart and ethnologist-explorer Paul-Émile Victor. These individuals were fearless as they explored uncharted territory with the help of Longines watches or timing instruments in their heroic exploits.
Longines pays tribute to the aviation world as it ventures into titanium watchmaking, a material widely used in aeroplane components. Prized for being lighter and more hard-wearing than steel, titanium is also highly regarded for its extraordinary corrosion resistance. For the Longines Spirit Titanium, Longines opted for a specific grade of titanium alloy (titanium, aluminium and vanadium) commonly known as Grade 5 titanium for its case.
Presented in several shades darker than stainless steel and exhibiting a matte textured surface characteristic of titanium, the Longines Spirit Titanium features satin-polishing on its case and bracelet for a sleek outlook. An anthracite dial matches the case both in colour and texture with glints of mellow gold offering a contemporary take on the pilot watch. The Longines Spirit Titanium mimics traditional pilot watches albeit with a slight twist. Instead of placing a navigational triangle at 12 o’clock, 12 little diamond-shaped indices are positioned alongside oversized Arabic numerals. The shape of the watch hands differs as Longines favours slender sword hands. A red-ended seconds hand offers a pop of contrast and is a tiny tribute to early-day aviators who relied on watches to calculate aeronautical arithmetics.
Five stars are stamped on the dial to convey a tradition of Longines — to signify an improvement of the quality and reliability of the watch’s movements as five stars are the maximum number that can be achieved. Herein lies the automatic Longines calibre L888.4 fitted with silicon hairspring to guarantee extreme accuracy and increased longevity. Longines takes the added step to regulate the Longines Spirit as chronometers, tested and certified by the Official Swiss Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC).
Tudor Pelagos FXD
Tudor’s latest offering, the Tudor Pelagos FXD, sets a new standard for military-specification watches Rich in heritage and steep in lore, military-commissioned Tudor dive watches are gems coveted by collectors for their rarity and cool associations. After supplying the Marine Nationale (French Navy) with dive watches that stretched back slightly more than six decades ago, Tudor is outfitting the elite force with the all-new Tudor Pelagos FXD.
The relationship between Tudor and the Marine Nationale dates back to 1956 when the Groupe d’Étude et de Recherches Sous-Marines (G.E.R.S.) tested Tudor’s dive watches in the field. Those watches passed with flying colours and marked the start of the partnership as the commanding officer procured more watches from Tudor. At present, the most famous Tudor dive watch used by the French Navy is the ref. 9401, with its iconic blue dial and bezel. Engraved on the case back with the initials “M.N.” followed by the year of issue, the watches were delivered in two configurations, “Snowflake” hands and hour markers and later, with triangular hour markers.
The newly minted Tudor Pelagos FXD is designed based on specifications provided by the French Navy’s specialised Commando Hubert combat swimmers. One of the requirements was the fixed bar case construction which earned the watch the FXD abbreviation. Fixed bars provide additional security as the weakest point of dive watches are the removable strap bars. As such, Tudor milled the 42mm case from a single piece of titanium to address any potential points of failure.
Another feature specific to this model is the 120-notch bidirectional, countdown bezel. With the help of the bezel, the combat swimmers perform “underwater navigation” as part of their missions. The Tudor Pelagos FXD is fitted with a one-piece pull-through strap secured by a velcro closure.
Photography Ching GreenPlasticSoldiers
Styling Wei Lun
Once you’re done with this story about Watches Wrapped & Delivered, click here to catch up with our December/January 2022 issue!