Perhaps no other combination of factors excites vintage watch enthusiasts quite like early dive watches with military provenance. The blend of classic design, field-proven durability, and the romantic warmth of patina is a difficult one to beat, and few brands capture this magic formula better than Blancpain. The brand’s Fifty Fathoms line is one of the longest-running and most celebrated diver lines in all of watchmaking, and Blancpain certainly has no lack of historic points to reference with its collection. For its first major release of 2021, Blancpain singles out one of the most lauded military references in the Fifty Fathoms’ lineage. First produced in the mid-‘60s for the elite Kampfschwimmer combat divers of the West German navy, the Fifty Fathoms No Rad offered these battle-hardened, frogmen-tough functionality and underwater legibility without the use of radium lume, which was still the standard at the time but had been discovered to cause potential health issues. The new lim..
While Cartier has rightly earned its place as an icon in watchmaking, its contributions to haute horlogerie are often far less discussed than designs like the Tank or Santos. While they may fly relatively under the radar, these offerings rarely lack for spectacle, and the brand’s first haute horlogerie collection of 2021 is no exception. This exclusive box set trio of designs all aim to push the aesthetic limits of skeletonization, inspired by both the brand’s own design traditions and the dramatic look of floating mystery dials. The new limited edition Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Precious Icons Set includes the Rotonde de Cartier Astromystérieux, Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon, and the Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon, all three of which push the intricate and complex tourbillon escapement to new visual frontiers.
The flagship model in this new set is undoubtedly the Cartier Rotonde de Cartier Skeleton Mysterious Double Tourbillon. The Mysterious Skeleton D..
While the more vintage-focused El Primero series may be Zenith’s most famous offering, the brand’s ultramodern Defy 21 chronograph line has earned wide acclaim among enthusiasts in recent years for its mix of cutting-edge movement concepts and aggressive angular design. Beyond the base design, the Defy 21 form has become a canvas for a wide variety of colors and concepts ranging from urban-inspired green ceramic finishes to vibrant purple colorways. Zenith’s latest limited-edition iteration may be the most striking to date, with retro-modern visual textures and a shimmering rainbow finish. Designed in partnership with Argentinian-Spanish modern artist Felipe Pantone, the new limited edition Zenith Defy 21 Felipe Pantone is certainly not for the faint of heart but brings a spectrum of bold visual concepts to this high-tech line.
The 44mm black ceramic case of the Zenith Defy 21 Felipe Pantone follows the same general principles as earlier iterations, streamlining the hallmarks of moder..
While automatic movements are more or less the norm today, the thinness and feel of a hand-wound chronograph still holds a special place in the hearts of many enthusiasts (this writer included). Hamilton has a long and proud history with hand-wound chronographs with standouts like the Chronograph A and Chronograph B of the late ‘60s, and the brand is staging a dramatic return to the concept in 2021. While sharing more than a passing resemblance to the current automatic Intra-Matic Chronograph line, these new manual wind versions offer a cleaner look and a brand new exclusive movement. With a sporting ‘60s style and just a hint of patina, the new Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H series offers one of the most authentic vintage chronograph experiences from a modern watch in its price range.
The 40mm stainless steel case of the Hamilton Intra-Matic Chronograph H is true to its ‘60s sporting roots in form, with a narrow mirror-polished bezel accentuated by slim attached lugs with a sharp..
Japan’s Citizen watches marked its 2021 new product launch season with its biggest punch: a high-end automatic watch with a brand-new movement that combines Swiss and Japanese techniques in the Caliber 0200 watch (debuted on aBlogtoWatch here). The $6,000 USD product left many watch collectors feeling excited, but a bit priced out of the fun. It has been over a decade since Citizen has debuted any new mechanical movements — even though the company’s in-house movement maker Miyota has introduced new movements that are used in other products.
So with that in mind, it is good news to many timepiece enthusiasts that Citizen has something new and mechanical, and much more affordable, with the relaunch of the Series 8 collection. These new watches feature two new movements, the caliber 0950 and the 0951, that are put into the Citizen Series 8 870/830 and Series 8 831 models, respectively. What you really need to know is that the Series 8 comes in two two core styles (with a few variants eac..
2021 marks the 60th anniversary of German tool watch brand Sinn, and the marque has a year of unique novelties planned to celebrate the occasion. For the first entry in this planned series, Sinn returns to its tough and functional U1 diver line with a unique dial variant cased in its signature German submarine steel material. The new limited edition Sinn U1 DS combines the brand’s core design philosophies with an aggressive and weathered new look that emphasizes Sinn’s definitive toughness.
The 44mm German submarine steel case of the Sinn U1 DS follows the same rounded utilitarian pattern as regular production models, with a deep and even bead blasted gray tone throughout in initial images. The 4 o’clock screwdown crown, tall case sides, short wide set lugs, and unique shallow scalloped dive bezel are all present here, offering a more tool oriented perspective on dive watch cues than many of its competitors. The insert-free unidirectional bezel features a full engraved dive scale, kee..
Over 80 years after their introduction, the flieger design standards set down by the German Luftwaffe in the early days of World War II remain the backbone of most modern pilot watch design. German tool watch specialist Laco has one of the closest ties to this design lineage of any brand, as one of the five companies contracted by the German government to make the original flieger watches, and the brand has continued to evolve the clean and utilitarian style ever since. Laco’s first major releases of 2021 continue this tradition, reimagining two of its core pilot styles with a patinated military look. The new limited-edition Laco Augsburg Oliv 42 and Laco Aachen Oliv 42 help to prove the longevity and versatility of the core flieger design, giving the utilitarian concept a rugged new sense of worn personality.
Both the Laco Augsburg Oliv 42 and the Laco Aachen Oliv 42 begin with Laco’s elemental 42mm flieger watch case in stainless steel. The form of this case should be familiar to an..
Australian lifestyle brand Deus ex Machina has carved out a loyal global following since 2006, offering enthusiasts a laid-back hand-drawn aesthetic and a rose-tinted vintage attitude for everything from surfboards to motorcycles, fashion, classic Porsches, and even coffee. As its first major release of 2021, Breitling offers Deus ex Machina its first foray into the world of timepieces, translating the café racer-inspired Deus aesthetic into a playful and distinctive limited-edition model. The new limited-edition Breitling Top Time Deus shows off the versatility of the relatively new revived Top Time line, offering a relaxed and youthful feel rarely found in this market segment.
The 41mm stainless steel case of the Breitling Top Time Deus follows the same pattern as previous Top Time releases, with an elemental design that feels true to the line’s ‘60s roots. Narrow tapering lugs, an even narrower polished bezel, and a simple cylindrical mid-case are a classic midcentury sports watch ..
One of the greatest strengths of the Casio G-Shock line is its sheer breadth. The Japanese giant offers a G-Shock for nearly every taste and budget, ranging from sub-$100 digital throwbacks to ornately hand-carved masterworks reaching well into the mid four figure range. The Casio G-Shock G-Steel line sits firmly in the middle of this range, bringing a more premium feel and advanced features to a more affordable price bracket. While the G-Steel line has not been at the center of attention in recent years, Casio’s latest release revitalizes the nameplate with a refined new colorway. With the brand’s current movement technology and a handsome black and gold color palette, the new Casio G-Shock G-Steel GSTB100GC-1A offers a bold new face for the brand’s midrange collection.
Casio fits the G-Shock G-Steel GSTB100GC-1A with an oversized, aggressive 53.8mm stainless steel case with black ion plating. Like many modern G-Shock designs, the integrated form here is sharply angular and multi-fac..
When Bulova announced its Precisionist X line in 2020 as a 10th-anniversary celebration for the Precisionist series, it ushered in a new high watermark for the performance of its high-end quartz chronographs. With a 1/1000 second analog chronograph and an aggressive angular integrated design, the Precisionist X offered a bold look forward for the future of the brand, and for 2021 Bulova returns to the Precisionist X line with a more refined second attempt. By increasing the water resistance to a robust 300 meters and introducing a slightly cleaner case design, the new Bulova Precisionist X Sport offers a more polished experience than its predecessor with impressive capability in any conditions.
The general form of the Bulova Precisionist X Sport’s angular 45mm x 47mm stainless steel case is shared with the original Precisionist X, but the bezel architecture has been simplified. The Precisionist X Sport eliminates the complex bracket motif from the Precisionist X’s bezel, leaving a mor..