This Week (in Watches) Today, 19 July 2022: 7 things you should know

Following the frantic release of watches over the past two weeks, we have had a slower week. Not that it was not without its fun, since Swatch is sending the MoonSwatch on tour! Imagine that. We also have a some deserved comeuppance for watch criminals, and a slate of interesting releases from Konstantin Chaykin, Zenith, Kurono Tokyo, Tissot and A Lange & Sohne. These are the top 7 things in the world of watches; let’s get into it.

Swatch sends the MoonSwatch aroud Europe

Photo Credit: WatchPro

Nobody, not even the brands themselves, would have expected the kind of furore that surrounded the release of the MoonSwatch back at the end of March, and time will tell if the move in the long term has more benefit or harm for Omega, though Time&Tide reported the current benefit recently. Regardless, Swatch Group is leaning into it with its latest move to send the MoonSwatch on tour around Europe. It has bought 500 Fiats with customised colours to match the colours of the MoonSwatch with a plan to send them around the continent with MoonSwatches. Teasers seem to indicate that the following places will be visited: Germany, London, Greece, France, Portugal, Mykonos, Locarno, St-Tropez, Barcelona, Ibiza, Porto Cervo and Marbella. The dates and exact pieces are currently still under wraps, and this might turn out to be a surprise pop-up store in the various locales, since Swatch has promised that watches would be available to purchase at each stop of the tour. Personally, this is a really cool way for Swatch X Omega to capitalise on the hype that has been built up around the MoonSwatch while potentially alleviating some of the outcry over the way the launch had been handled.

Watch Ripper gets 40 months in jail

Photo Credit: WatchPro

We have all read the various horror stories of how luxury watches are increasingly being targeted by criminals because of how hot the market has become. It has gotten to a point where many (myself included) have been put off wearing anything nice overseas because of how seemingly dangerous it is. Well, it is nice to hear stories from the other side where criminals are caught and prosecuted. This week, Stefania Tinica was sentenced to 40 months in jail for her role in 2 robbery cases involving stealing Rolexes from elderly men after approaching them to fill up questionnaires and hugging them. She is believed to be part of a gang of women using the same modus operandi known as Rolex Rippers. Given that this is still relatively common nowadays, it would be wise to always be careful and smart when you are out and about. For tips on how, revisit the podcast a couple of weeks ago.

Konstantin Chaykin Joker & Harley Quinn

“Classic Joker or Harley Quinn? For the first time, Konstantin Chaykin is depicting a female character in his Wristmos collection, and since his most famous piece of this collection and in general, is the Joker, it only makes sense that it would be Harley Quinn.

James Porter and Son

Chaykin pays extreme attention to this character’s original design. The white hand guilloche dial features her black mask as the hour and minute rings, the pink and turquoise usually found in her hair are used here to shape the eyes, plus there are her puffy eyelashes and of course the black heart-shaped tattoo on her cheek. Her smile makes way for the Wristmos iconic monophase complication. As we’ve come to expect from Chaykin, the design is completed by a strap with red and black diamond motifs.

The prince of crime comes in all elegant with a suit, bow tie, and hair on the strap, in the Joker’s signature colors. Instead of a monophase, the jokers terrifying smile, which is giving me vibes of Jack Nicholson’s joker, frames a weekday indicator. The whole look gets particularly creepy once the pupils reach 1:50. For the movement includes four wheels with figuratively shaped spokes, which form the symbols of the hearts, diamonds, spades, and clubs suit, plus two rack levers shaped as a stylized letter “J”.

How cool would it be to have this dynamic duo on the wrist? These watches are part of an exclusive collaboration with DC that gives the brand access to all Batman-related properties.” – Misael Alves

Zenith Extreme E “Island X Prix”

“Zenith is the official timekeeper of the Extreme E series and to celebrate the second year of the Extreme E competition they have released the Zenith Defy Extreme E “Island X Prix”. It is based on the Defy Extreme Carbon and it contains parts reclaimed from the racing series. It’s an arresting look for a watch with claimed environmental credentials. Is it any good though?

I must admit I am not a great fan of the Defy watches. Too often they seem quite bland and with a confused design language which is often fussy and contrived. This is not one of those watches.

Zenith have fully committed to the inspiration of the Dakar-style racer. Soft curves are replaced by angular and faceted structures. Slashes have been cut into the crown and hexagonal and dodecahedral forms are present and fully appropriate. It’s not that often that a brand truly commits to a modern industrial design and Zenith are to be applauded for it. This is the kind of chic that goes with a frisson of excitement and visible air conditioning.

The question is that, just like Extreme E, will this watch save the world from an environmental crisis? No, of course not. If it helps Extreme E with its mission challenge, entertain and inform then that’s enough. Good one Zenith, me likey.” – Mark Wheeler

Check out the full article here.

Kurono Tokyo 34mm

“Hajime Asaoka – one of the best living watchmakers – created Kurono Tokyo to make more affordable watches. And he delivered, while they are initially affordable, they usually sell out fast. This new collection started as 4 prototypes in 34mm for himself. He wore them and his watch collector friends convinced him to produce them for them – so he is making 80 of them for each of these 4 fresh and beautiful designed models.

If you can wear this size – good on you, they go on pre-sale on 21st July at 11 pm JST for only 150,000 Yen or about $1,080 US. They’ll have 50m water resistance, steel case, sapphire crystal, solid case back, Miyota 90s5, 24 jewel movement, 40-hour power reserve, and calf leather strap.

By the way, if you can’t wear 34mm maybe it’s a nice present for someone who can.” – @KoolPep a.k.a Ralf

Tissot Telemeter 1938

The Tissot Telemeter 1938 is a solid example of how you do a vintage reissue right. The latest pair of chronographs in Tissot’s Heritage collection takes inspiration from the brand’s time as an official timekeeper for ski races in Villar in 1938. The vintage watch was a bi-compax mono-pusher chronograph with both a tachymeter (in the center of the dial) & telemeter scale (framing the dial). The pair for the most part carry a similar aesthetic, but with upgraded features.

Most notable will be the upsized 42mm case which is a shame, to me. There are also two colour variations offered, one with a silvery off-white dial paired with blue hands, a tachymeter in red & the telemeter in blue, while the other has a black dial with gold-colored scales and hands. Both watches capture the spirit of the vintage aesthetic, without overtly relying on fauxtina.

The watches are powered by the ETA-based Calibre A05, which was derived from the Valjoux 7750. It comes with essential updates that bring it into the modern day, such as a longer 68-hour power reserve, & the use of a Nivachron hairspring to combat magnetism.

With a price of CHF 1,895, I am not convinced that this presents a decent value proposition, but with Tissot’s increasing market attention recently, perhaps there hasn’t been a better time to strike.

 A Lange & Sohne 1815 Rattrapante Platinum

If there was one complication that defines A Lange & Sohne, it would be the chronograph, usually with an additional complication or two. In fact, you might be surprised to know that the brand never released a standalone rattrapante chronograph until 2020, when it dropped the brilliant honey gold version. Well, it now adds to a second model to that collection with a limited 200 pieces in platinum.

While the Platinum version maintains the same 41.2mm x 12.6mm case dimensions, along with the rarer 12 & 6 o’clock sub-register placements, it is definitely more understated, given the use of white metal, a silver dial and black markers and tracks to complete the monochromatic look. The only colour is found in the heat blued hands & a touch of red along the tracks.

The watch may be understated, but it isn’t boring, the display case back is a testament to that. It shows off the beautiful Calibre L101.2 which comprises of a whopping 365 different parts. The movement is intricate because it has to be to create complication like this, but that also presents a canvas for some of the finest finishing you’ll see. I’m talking gold chatons, heat blued screws, hand-polished bevels, hand-engraved floral patterns on the balance cock & fine grain finishing on the bridges and plates. In other words the whole she-bang.

None of these come cheap though, & price is stated to be on request though it should be in the region of US$154,200.

So that is it for this week. As always, get in on all the action on the Scottish Watches website, and of course, the podcast on your podcaster of choice. Till next time, take care everyone.