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Watch trends 2019: Time fractions


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July 2019

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

The ability to display tiny fractions of time is without a doubt one of horology’s most important conquests. The chronograph was a crucial instrument of industrialisation during the world’s first globalisation phase, that of the first railways and regular international connections. To the eyes of the uninitiated, the chronograph may lack the nobility of the tourbillon, yet it is one of the key complications in the art of watchmaking, combining technical know-how, precision and consummate skill in the art of display. Because the nobility of the chronograph lies in its legibility.


To celebrate the 50th anniversary of its legendary 36,000 vph chronograph displaying tenths of a second, Zenith is offering a faithful re-edition of the initial 1969 version. Its 38 mm case, domed crystal, tricolour counters, tachymeter scale, indices, hands, lugs and mushroom-type pushers are all identically reproduced. There are two differences: a transparent caseback, and the fact that this model is powered by the current version of the El Primero automatic calibre.

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

Three revival models, in white, rose or yellow gold, are being produced in editions of 50 pieces each, guaranteed for… 50 years.

Price: CHF 19,900


In 1967, Doxa launched SUB. It was water-resistant down to 300m, and had the first patented rotating bevel to read decompression stops, and the first orange dial in a diving watch. 1969 saw the launch of the now legendary SUB 200 T. Graph. It’s now making a comeback, 50 years later, in a re-interpreted limited edition of 13 pieces in 18-karat gold.

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

This series is all the more remarkable since the watches are fitted with original historic Valjoux 7734 movements, much loved by collectors. It features two totalisers (30 min and 60 seconds) and a rotating bezel showing the duration of the dive in minutes (in black) and the depth in feet (in orange). Water-resistant down to 200m. A legend is reborn.

Price: US$ 70,000


In the mid-1950s, Carl F. Bucherer introduced a chronograph that attracted much attention: a streamlined model with a 34 mm BiCompax display. It is from this historic timepiece that the new Heritage BiCompax Annual takes its inspiration. It combines totalisers, a large date and an annual calendar in a 41 mm case in steel (silver dial, black counters, rubber strap), or steel and 18-karat rose gold (pink champagne dial, cognacbrown leather strap). It’s a fine achievement, running on a CFB 1972 automatic movement with a power reserve of 42h.

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

Price: Bicompax Annual steel/rose gold CHF 10,500. Bicompax Annual steel CHF 6,900. 2 x 888 pieces.


Swissair, TWA, Pan Am – three iconic airlines of the golden age of commercial aviation, now defunct. A supplier to 15 airlines from the 1960s, Breitling launched its first Navitimer, famous for its revolving slide rule, in 1952. The brand is celebrating this era with a dedicated capsule collection of three chronographs, equipped with the famous B01 calibre. Ah, the good old days!

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

Price: From US$ 8,275


Ten years ago, Denis Flageollet, master watchmaker and cofounder of De Bethune, presented a revolutionary and technically highly complex chronograph of absolute aesthetic purity and legibility.

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

The principle behind it was five hands, mounted on five central axes, embedded into one another and functioning with several interdependent column wheels, each capable of being reset on demand – the whole system controlled and activated by a monopusher at 6 o’clock. With a power reserve of five days, this is the most legible and certainly one of the most beautiful chronographs ever made. It is making its comeback this year, with just 10 pieces, specially produced for the occasion in grade 5 titanium.

Price: CHF 155,000


For the second watch of its existence (after the first won the Chronograph prize at the 2018 GPHG), Singer is pursuing its obsession with clarity of display. Alongside the peripheral hour and central minute indicators is a unique flyback seconds hand. Activated by a single press of the button, it returns to zero and starts again instantaneously. It’s ideal for accurately measuring lap times, average speeds and acceleration. 43 mm grade 5 titanium case, hand-wound movement, 52-hour power reserve.

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

Retail price tbd


For its first chronograph with an in-house automatic calibre, column wheel and vertical clutch (the MT5813, based on the Breitling 01 with a regulating organ specific to Tudor, silicon mainspring and dedicated finishes, COSC-certified), Tudor has chosen an exterior that suits both land and sea.

The overall characteristics of the Black Bay have been preserved, with its 41 mm steel case and pushers in yellow gold, a fixed yellow gold bezel with a black anodised aluminium insert and a tachymetric scale. The “snowflake” hands – the signature of the brand’s diving watches since 1969 – are proof of this affiliation.

Priced from CHF 5,350 (leather strap with removable cuff) to CHF 6,500 (riveted steel and yellow gold bracelet).


For more than three decades Chopard’s name has been intimately associated with the famous Mille Miglia automobile race (Brescia to Rome and back, a distance of 1,600 kilometres) that brings together more than 400 historic racing cars. An entire collection is dedicated to it.

Watch trends 2019: Time fractions

The 2019 Race Edition is a 43 mm chronometer which is sturdy, hard-wearing, chic and slightly vintage-looking. It’s available in two editions: 1,000 units in steel (CHF 7,750) and 250 in steel and 18-karat rose gold (CHF 10,500). COSC-certified ETA automatic chronograph movement, 48-hour power reserve, tachymetric scale engraved on the bezel’s black aluminium insert, carefully designed legibility.