The Second Take: Zenith, F.P. Journe, Harry Winston, and Adexe

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July 2018

The Second Take: Zenith, F.P. Journe, Harry Winston, and Adexe

This week in the news: Zenith in blue, F.P. Journe’s art and science of watchmaking, Harry Winston in vogue with vintage, and introducing new British brand Adexe.

Zenith in blue

Zenith Defy Classic
Zenith Defy Classic

Channeling the summer spirit, Zenith is into the blue with several watches sporting the blue motif. Among the four models sporting the colour of summer (but not fall), two models stand out for me.

The first is the Defy Classic. It sports many new features, including the 670 SK skeletonised automatic movement, 
a 41mm brushed titanium case that’s reminiscent of watch cases of the late ’70s and early ’80s, paired with a matching blue rubber strap.

Pilot Type 20 Extra Special
Pilot Type 20 Extra Special

The second watch looking towards new horizons is the Pilot Type 20 Extra Special. The 45mm chronograph also takes on an azure blue dial and is paired with a sporty blue oily nubuck leather strap.

Despite looking like a classy and decidedly retro aviator watch, it is water-resistant to 100m. That means this is a perfect watch for summer - versatile enough in the sky, under water, or for an evening out.

The ironic Tourbillon Souverain by F.P. Journe

Tourbillon Souverain with hand-engraved dial
Tourbillon Souverain with hand-engraved dial

Luxury watchmaking is as much art as it is science. Made in a limited edition of only 20 pieces, the new Tourbillon Souverain by F.P. Journe emphasizes both aspects of watchmaking.

The Régence Circulaire motif dial pays homage to the clockmakers and artisans of the 18th century, which is a period that watchmaker F.P. Journe is apparently enamoured with.

Over two days of meticulous work, an artist first draws out the intricate motif on the raw white gold dial, after which it is carefully engraved by hand.

In the 21st century, what is the state of the mechanical watch?

But as much as this watch is a work of art, its is also an impressive machine. As if the remontoire (a constant force device system) was not enough, the Tourbillon Souverain is enhanced with the addition of an independent dead-beat second.

The name of the complication comes from the fact that the hand remains motionless - or “dead” - for as long as the second has not actually elapsed.

In other words, the mechanical complication of the Calibre F.P.Journe 140 tells the time as if it were powered by a quartz movement. Ironic indeed.

Harry Winston in vogue with vintage

The Emerald Collection by Harry Winston
The Emerald Collection by Harry Winston

Luxury brand Harry Winston is mixing things up a bit with its Emerald ladies’ collection this season.

In line with trends we’ve been seeing across the industry, the watchmaker has focused on vintage styling in expanding its Emerald Collection. That means we have a timepiece that recreates the smal dimensions of women’s watches that were popular decades ago.

While the choice of vintage styling is not entirely a surprise, the new watch is presented in an 18-karat yellow gold case. Believe it or not, this is a significant departure for the brand, which is known for its use of rose and white gold instead.

But some things never change, and once again we get plenty of diamonds despite the small size of the new watch. To highlight its octagonal emerald shape, no less than 53 brilliant-cut diamonds embellish the case.

The timepiece is available with a Milanese bracelet, also in 18-karat yellow gold, that boasts a further 103 brilliant-cut diamonds. It is also available in a double tour gray satin strap that matches the vintage-looking anthracite gray dial.

Introducing new British brand Adexe

The launch of the British brand is accompanied by the usual marketing message by a newcomer: a brand full of spirit, celebrating individuality, and fusing mechanical precision with fine finishing.

But among the most important messages is the price of the new collection, which is quite affordable indeed. Price points for Adexe watches are in the range of £95-£129, which means that they top out at just under 200 Swiss francs/USD.

British designed Adexe watches
British designed Adexe watches

In the 21st century, what is the state of the mechanical watch?

Targeting a younger demographic, their designs are clean, elegant, and offer plenty of options for customers looking to add a bit of style points with a watch choice off the beaten path.

With plenty of competition out there in this market segment, the brand’s objective will now be to create a movement (of the social variety) around its watches, emphasizing their versatility and affordability.