(Continued from Part 1) 1000 – 2500 Euros
This price range is probably the most competitive and it’s where you can find watches with great features, excellent movements, great designs and much more. These watches are great value and truly qualify as high-quality sports watches. All of the watches featured here are mechanical, as the price range allows for the inclusion of a quality automatic movement.
Continuing in its heritage of aviation watches, Hamilton introduced the Khaki X-Patrol, a watch that includes useful features for pilots in its design. With this watch, pilots can do conversions for distances in miles (nautical or statute) and kilometres, heights or altitudes in feet or metres, volumes in gallons and litres, as well as weights in pounds and kilograms, using a turning bezel. This automatic chronograph in steel, sized at 42mm, is great value at €1295.
Luminox, which made its name with the Navy SEAL line of watches at very affordable price points, has moved up market in recent years, augmenting its offering with select special editions as well as several models with mechanical movements. This year, the star of the Luminox booth was the new Field Valjoux Auto Chrono 1861, which retails for €1900 -1940. Especially attractive is the Blackout, a special black tone on tone version, but still incorporating the luminosity for which Luminox is known.
Besançon, France-based Dodane introduced the new Type 23, slightly larger than the previous Type 21, at 42.5 mm. Dodane has been making flight chronographs for the French Air Force for many years and is now marketing to end consumers, with great success. The price of the Type 23, with a solid case back and a standard chronograph movement, is €2250. Equipped with a flyback chronograph, with high-end finishing and an exhibition back, it is €2980. There is also the option to add the Viper certification of precision from the Besançon Observatory, for €390 more.
Reactor Sports Watches introduced the new, mechanically-powered Titanium Poseidon in solid titanium. Having pledged to produce the world’s best sports watch (the Poseidon is water resistant to 1000 metres, has class-leading luminosity with Never Dark technology and is built like a tank), Reactor is answering its customers’ requests for mechanical movements. At €1200, it’s a great buy.
To help raise awareness and protect the Tubbataha Reefs National Park in the Philippines, Oris created the Tubbataha Limited Edition. A great looking diving watch, with a unique regulator layout, this 46mm timepiece is water resistant to 500 metres, retailing for €2350.
2500 – 5000 Euros
This price range is a bit of an anomaly, to be honest, as the range isn’t high to start talking about precious metals, but it is high enough for lots of extras. What we do see are more interesting movements (like the world time chronograph from Ball Watch) and better attention to detail (which costs money and time). Here are the highlights:
Maurice Lacroix’s Pontos S, for sport, is an attempt at merging the worlds of sport and elegance, with a great result. Water resistant to 200 metres and available on a NATO strap, this 43mm chronograph has good looks and the toughness to go just about anywhere. Retail price: €3150, or €3450 in red.
The Ball Watch Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph combines two great complications at a very affordable price, €2920. Very attractively designed, the 42mm Trainmaster Worldtime Chronograph shows the time in 24 time zones, and is shock resistant to 5000 g. In addition, tritium tubes grace the dial and hands for nighttime luminosity.
A sponsor of the World Rally Championship, Edox has taken what it has learned from that series and put it into the new Chronorally Automatic Chronograph. The official WRC timepiece, it has a very attractive carbon fibre dial with an oversized aluminium chronograph stop/start pusher, perfect for operating the timer while bouncing around in the passenger seat of a rally car. The Chronorally Automatic Chronograph is 42mm and is water resistant to 100 metres, retailing for €2600.
Staying in the diving world, Rado introduced the new D-Star 200 Automatic Chronograph. In steel, with a marine blue dial and a unidirectional turning bezel with blue ceramic inserts, the D-Star retails for €2900.
The new Aracno Automatic from EJE Watches is a boldly designed timepiece powered by an ETA 2892-A2 automatic movement. The dial is carved from a single block of 316L steel for a great 3-D effect. At 45mm, water resistant to 50 metres and available in steel, titanium, aluminium or gold, the Aracno Automatic certainly makes a statement. Retail price starts at €4900.
The Bell & Ross WW2 Régulateur Heritage is a very cool watch, with a shaped bezel that was originally designed to be used by pilots wearing gloves. Displaying the time with a regulator display, emphasising the minutes over the hours, the 49mm WW2 Régulateur Heritage is powered by a Dubois Depraz automatic regulator movement, and is highly legible, rugged and water resistant to 50 metres. Retail price: €4800. (Continued… Part 3)
Source: Europa Star June - July 2012 Magazine Issue