Last Week (in Watches) Today, 14 September 2021: 7 things you should know

Horage Supersede GMT Sports Watch, With In-House Micro-Rotor Calibre

This week we have Chronext finally confirming its IPO plans, Watches of Knightsbridge starting a dedicated Rolex site, Geneva Watch Days confirming its 2022 plans, Oris rightly recognized for its environmental efforts, and cool new releases from L’Epée 1839, Tag Heuer and Horage. These are the top 7 things in the world of watches; let’s get into it.

Chronext to IPO by end 2021

Photo Credit: WatchPro

In the past couple of months, Chronext has been making strategic additions, like former Facebook chief marketing officer Gary Briggs,to its board and executive management team in preparations for a rumoured IPO effort. The company has just confirmed this week that it plans to IPO by the end of 2021 on the SIX Swiss Exchange. The secondhand watch market company seeks to raise approximately CHF 250 million in shares while early investors will also seek to take some profits for themselves by placing some of their current shares up for sale. Chronext and Chrono24 were originally rumoured to be in a race to go public and it appears that the former is poised to take the crown as the first grey market company to IPO. Chronext intends to use the funds raised to drive growth and expand further overseas which seems like a sound move given how rapidly the secondhand market has been growing over the past several years.

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Watches of Knightsbridge starts dedicated Rolex trading site

Photo Credit: WatchPro

Rolex has undoubtedly been one of the chief drivers of the frantic growth of the secondhand watch market and Watches of Knightsbridge is now seeking to capitalize further on it. The auction house this week launched Oysterbar, a site that is dedicated to trading in Rolex watches. Although Rolex from all years starting from 1966 are on offer, the company’s expertise lends itself naturally towards more vintage pieces. The idea behind the site is to allow prospective buyers the ease of finding a unique piece for themselves from specific years that may interest these buyers, for example, a birth year watch. This concept provides a lot of convenience to clients as purchasing vintage watches, especially from the most counterfeited watch brand, is a daunting task. This site along with others like EBay’s authentication service will go a long way to easing those interested in vintage Rolexes into that rabbit hole.

Geneva Watch Days confirms 2022 show

Photo Credit: WatchPro

Geneva Watch Days came to a close just over a weeks ago and the success of this year’s turnout has prompted the founding brands to confirm that the show will return in 2022. The show was initially intended to be a temporary replacement after the pandemic forced the usual suspects, Baselworld and Watches & Wonders to cancel their events (at least the physical one) in 2020. However, its performance, complete with parties organized by brands like Breitling and Bvlgari throwing their own parties, has solidified the show’s place in the annual watch trade show roster. While show was started by 9 brands including the likes of De Bethune, H Moser & Cie and MB&F, this year’s event saw 25 brands participating with over 350 retailers and 300 journalists attending. That is a remarkable turnout given that we are still very much in the midst of the pandemic. If things continue to hopefully improve in the next 12 months, this show will no doubt continue to grow and perhaps become a replacement for what the now unrecognizable Baselworld once was.

Oris now climate neutral

 While there are many brands now launching various initiatives to go green, Oris has long been at the heart of environmental causes. From virtually eliminating the use of plastic in its packaging, to bringing awareness to an uncountable number of water based causes, the brand could probably form several collections made up its environmental limited edition watches. It is therefore fitting that this week, it has been recognise by ClimatePartner as a climate neutral company. ClimatePartner is one of the world’s most renown climate action experts. Based on its calculations, Oris has offset more than 2.5million kg of CO2 with its initiatives to clean the oceans and keep it plastic free. What Oris is doing is truly an inspiration and should be an example for all watch companies, especially those with far more resources than Oris. 

Label Noir x L’Epée 1839 Time Fast D8 LN_EP01

One of the best parts of this hobby, especially when you are as new to it as I am, is that you constantly find new brands that produce really cool timepieces. L’Epée 1839 is one such brand. With more than 180 years of history, the brand makes a myriad of themed clocks, inspired by anything from spaceships, robots, dinosaurs to jellyfish. This week, the L’Epée 1839 has together with the Label Noir released a matte black Time Fast D8. The Time Fast D8 was first released by L’Epée 1839 in 2019, and takes after single seater Formula 1 racing cars from the 1950s. It is not just a cool looking racing car clock, but has been designed so that the mechanical functions of the clock are seamlessly incorporated into the car’s design. The time is told by two rotating discs at the side of the car, much like each racing car’s logo or branding, the driver’s helmet houses the balance wheel, while the amazing mechanical movement, much like the car’s engine is found under the hood. How cool is that? While CHF 31,500 is no small sum, that fairly reasonable for all the craftsmanship that goes into this piece especially when only 5 of these will be made. I used to want the JLC Atmos Clock for my house, but now all I have eyes for is this amazing work of art. 

Tag Heuer Aquaracer Night Diver

A far more accessible black timepiece will be Tag Heuer’s new Aquaracer Night Diver. The brand this week released a new addition to the recently revamped Aquaracer line that bears a slightly more vintage aesthetic. This fully DLC coated case contrasts brilliantly against its white opaline dial (which I believe will be more silver than white in reality). What is especially cool is the fact that the dial is fully lumed, for maximum legibility, especially with its blacked out indices and hands. Personally, this is a really good looking watch that offers something different from the usual steel black/blue/green bezel options in the brand’s Aquaracer line-up. If you can pull off the 43mm case size, I cannot, then this watch will be a really fun watch to enjoy, especially with its new clasp that allows for 1.5mm adjustments on the go.

Horage Supersede GMT

Finally, we have Horage’s latest industry disrupting Supersede GMT. Based off the company’s K2 micro-rotor movement, the Supersede GMT offers some of the best of current technology available. The micro-rotor, despite its size allows for 72 hours of power reserve, features a silicon escapement, is COSC certified and shows of both the Cotes de Geneve and the brand’s unique grid motif finishing. The movement is blacked out to allow the gold micro-rotor to shine. The rest of the watch’s specs is better than most of what you can find in the market at any price, being a traveler’s or true GMT watch, has a power reserve indicator, a rotating diver’s bezel, 100m water resistance and still is only 39.5mm by 9.85mm in size. The bracelet will be a three link somewhat integrated bracelet with either polished or brushed centre links depending on how the community votes, which is a really cool initiative. The Supersede GMT will come with 3 out of 4 dial colours that the community will also vote on, white, black, grey and boreal (green). If there is one nitpick I have with the design, it would be the way the power reserve throws the watch dial’s balance off, though not by much. For those interested, the watch is will open for pre-orders from November 2021 at CHF 4,500 and will have several stages of pre-orders with the prices rising to a final price of CHF 5,900 when its scheduled to ship in March 2023. All in all extremely good value. Even if you don’t plan to purchase the watch, get in on the voting fun here.

So that is it for this week. As always, get in on all the action on the Scottish Watches website, YouTube Channels (Scottish Watches, Scottish Watches Live as well as Watches Unboxed) and of course, the podcasts on your podcaster of choice. Till next time, take care everyone.