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TAG Heuer Carrera Porsche Calibre Heuer 02 44 Orange Racing

The TAG Heuer and Porsche partnership is a match made in heaven. It officially started in 2021, with the introduction of this TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing, however, it goes well beyond sponsorships of racing events for marketing purposes, and a special edition watch. In case you do not know yet, and to add legitimacy to the story, in the 1980s, when TAG (Techniques d’Avant Garde) Group bought Heuer, Porsche and TAG developed and built a 1.5L V6 TAG-Porsche Turbo engine with 1,060 hp and 12,600 rpm for the McLaren MP4/2B. It was one of the most successful engines of those years, securing McLaren a win in three consecutive F1 world titles with Niki Lauda in 1984 and Alain Prost in 1985 and 1986 at the wheel. Now both brands are winning watch fans with special editions. Including the latest TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing.

The new TAG x Porsche collaboration is based on a Carrera Sport Chronograph presented in 2020, and it follows the TAG Heuer Carrera x Porsche of 2021 and the Yellow edition of 2022. All three TAG x Porsche come in a 44mm case, driven by a high-performance Calibre Heuer 02 and capable of racing non-stop for 80 hours. The difference between these models is visible but purely aesthetic. Just as you choose a colour for your car, TAG Heuer x Porsche lets you decide if asphalt grey and white, black and yellow, or black and orange is your thing. TAG Heuer explains the orange “was inspired by the colour of the heat sparks made by the car on the asphalt.” Should this not be enough, please think Porsche’s Lava Orange colour used since the 2000s on the 911 GT3 RS (Type 997) models and the latest generation of 911 GT3s and Boxters, or Gulf Orange from 1972, as Porsche offered vehicles in orange throughout 1960-1970s up until about 1978, but I digress.

The new TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing makes lots of vibrant sparks. The bevelled domed sapphire crystal with double anti-reflective treatment will not crack under pressure, no doubt. The stainless steel case is black DLC treated, the screw-down sapphire case back and the crown is made of steel with black DLC, the fixed ceramic bezel is black, and the piston-style pushers, you guessed it, are black, too. And so is the winding rotor, shaped after a Porsche steering wheel. And the folding clasp with double safety push buttons on a textured black calfskin leather strap. The black dial has a vertical brush finish – this is new to this edition. The minutes-track flange is black – this sums up the details in a 0, 0, 0, 100 CMYK colour scheme.

Now, orange is where it should be and in doses just right to whet your appetite. The name Porsche is parked on the ceramic bezel with a white tachymeter scale, in bright orange, as is the middle ring of the crown, orange-lacquered. The black texture of the base dial looks like the speed marks the brand implies, and the dial is orange-outlined, with white applied Arabic numerals that use the same typeface as the dashboards of Porsche cars. Familiar sub-dial layout 3-6-9 is comprised of orange-outlined counters; chrono counter hands are all orange-tipped. The minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock and the hour chronograph counter at 6 are both black “azuré” finished, and the small seconds sub-dial is black-grained. The chronograph’s central seconds hand is bright orange, and this colour finds a few spots to highlight on the reverse. The black rotor has orange mentions of the Cal. Heuer 02, Tag Heuer and Porsche, and the top part of the column wheel shows this colour.

In this edition, the designers of the TAG Heuer Carrera Chronograph x Porsche Orange Racing decided to leave out the Calibre designation and power reserve capability “statements” found in the previous edition at 6 o’clock. All for the better, the crowded dial needed some space, and this decision made the date window a little more obvious, not lost.  Inside the case is the in-house Heuer 02 calibre, a modern integrated chronograph with a column wheel and a vertical clutch to ensure smooth and accurate operations. Running at 4Hz, it has a healthy 80-hour power reserve.  This watch is worthy of the brand names it proudly bears, and it is a good chronograph, perfectly legit, technically advanced and original. The textured strap has orange stitching modelled after the sports car upholstery, and the strap lining is orange, so Orange Racing it is, no doubt, with so many elements to support the name.

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Hublot Big Bang Zermatt Watch

Hublot, a Swiss-based watchmaker, has a special relationship with Switzerland and the Alpine resort of Zermatt. To celebrate this connection, they have created the Big Bang Zermatt watch. This watch is available in both men’s and women’s styles. The men’s version features a 44mm stainless steel case with alternating polished and satin finishes, a detail not used by the brand since 2018. The watch also has titanium bezel screws and the iconic Matterhorn on the 9 o’clock subdial. It is powered by a HUB4100 self-winding chronograph movement. The Hublot Big Bang Zermatt Watch comes with two straps, one in slate grey and one in stone white, to reflect the colors of the town of Zermatt.
Hublot’s new release is inspired by the Matterhorn, one of the most well-known of all the Alps. When I had a look, I was wondering what I was meant to say about these watches, and it got me thinking. There’s a really great program on the BBC’s iPlayer right now called Around the World in 80 Days and, no, it’s not just another interpretation of Jules Verne’s classic novel. Well, it technically is that, but it’s split into eight-hour-long episodes which gives it plenty of time to dwell on the details. I haven’t gotten all the way through it yet, in fact, as I’m writing this I’ve just finished watching the episode set in India and it was a cracker.
The story is set in the 19th century and features everyone’s favourite iteration of Doctor Who’s The Doctor play the role of Phileas Fogg. The story so far is rather excellent, as I mentioned, because this is an episodic set rather than a movie there’s plenty of time to get acclimated with each of the major stops that Fogg and his friends are travelling through. Not to give it away too much, but all sorts of events have taken place in England, France, Italy, Egypt and now India. One of the most defining features of Verne’s story is of Fogg taking a hot air balloon over the Alps. And so in comes our tie into the watches.
The new Hublot Big Bang Zermatt Watch pay tribute to the Matterhorn in their own way. According to my quick search of Googlepedia (or is it Wiki-oogle?), the Matterhorn is the 12th tallest of the Alps, although its near perfectly symmetrical outline makes it one of the most recognisable alongside Mont Blanc. Both watches feature the Matterhorn on their dials, in fact, that’s about the only thing that really stands out on the dials as the rest is matte black. It appears as though there is lume on the hands, although I’m not sure how brightly black-coloured lume shines.
Nevertheless, both Hublot Big Bang Zermatt Watch are black as you like, which is becoming a more popular trend. The larger of the two has a 44mm x 14.1mm case made of matte black ceramic, while the smaller features a 41mm x 12.75mm case. That one also has eight black diamonds set on the dial with more within the bezel. Both are water-resistant to 100m.
Inside the larger is the calibre HUB4100 which is based on the ETA 7753 calibre and has a 42-hour power reserve. The smaller of the two uses the Hub4300 which is not based on the ETA 7753, instead, it’s based on the ETA 2894-2. The main difference between the two is the diameter and the jewel count, apart from that the beat rate and the power reserve (and most other details that matter) are the same. It’s nice that Hublot has covered the movement with a representation of the Matterhorn.

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Richard Mille RM 66 Flying Tourbillon

Richard Mille has unveiled its latest technical timepiece with a rebellious spirit — the “Horn To Be Wild” RM 66 Flying Tourbillon.

Attired in a fully curved, tripartite tonneau-shaped case made of Carbon TPT and grade 5 titanium, the Richard Mille RM 66 Flying Tourbillon features an incredibly complex build that underwent an arduous manufacturing process with high level of quality control. It stars a golden skeletal hand gesturing “the devil’s horns” as the centerpiece, which is set in place over the manual winding tourbillon calibre.

Positioned at the 12 o’clock mark is a skull seal that pays homage to Richard Mille’s iconic RM 052 model, which is also the brand’s first watch to “stir up rebellion and the advent of non-conformity in haute horlogerie.” The skull motif is echoed on the spidery and claw-like torque-limiting crown, accompanied by polished red gold pyramid studs. In addition, the watch incorporates unusual-looking hour markers that are screwed onto the upper flange, which comes in a shape that emulates guitar picks to add to its rock’n’roll aesthetics.
Richard Mille knows how to get conversations started on the world-wide-watch-web. Whether you love the brand or hate it, you’re bound to feel something when confronted with a picture of a new RM release on your Instagram feed. Which kind of means they’re doing something right.

This latest model is anything but short of divisive. At first glance, the Richard Mille RM 66 Flying Tourbillon  “Horn To Be Wild” looks like a watch made for two sides of extreme. Exhibit A : aging rockstar who wears deep v-neck t-shirts, skinny jeans and prayer beads, this rockstar once lived to beat the system, and now resides in a 20 million pound home in Kensington. Exhibit B:  L.A. hypebeast decked out in Amiri with zero taste barometer and a rose gold Brabus G Wagon (car reference courtesy of Highsnobiety automotive editor Jonathan Schley).

Now for the actual watch and its contents . The rose gold openwork hand, which sits as the proud centerpiece of the RM66 is instantly recognizable. Its  representation of the “sign of the horns”  symbol was popularized by Ronnie James Dio of Black Sabbath fame. The link isn’t hard to make: think Ozzy Osborne biting off bat heads, think Gene Simmons and his “The Demon” stage persona (or the Family Guy parody thereof), think Hells Angels and faded “I heart mom” tattoos.
The “sign of the horns” is ultra emblematic to a modern audience, but this type of skeletal imagery has always been imbued with meaning. Visual artists have employed the same code for hundreds of years, typically as a Memento Mori – a symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death. Found across various mediums, these ancient skulls weren’t intended to scare. Peversley, they were a jovial reminder of the imminent pleasures of the afterlife as famously depicted in the Danse Macabre. This watch uses much of the same code. The RM66 isn’t morbid, it’s life affirming, it’s rock and roll.

The message carries through onto the design of the rest of the watch. No surface or detail is spared of the punk rocker aesthetic.  The Carbon TPT bezel and caseback almost resembles a Glam Rock style monochrome animal print, the caseband features 5N red gold plates with a clou de Paris pattern (aka a studded belt pattern, the ultimate punk rock signifier and early 2000s Kelly Osborne / Avril Lavine accessory) and the gothic-inspired spider-like crown displays a small skull engraving and encases a synthetic ruby. The crown resembles the top of a scepter, a symbol of gothic culture; it embodies something I like to call The Great Frog aesthetic: a crossover of gothic, punk and leather.
But let’s set these audacious looks aside for a second, because there’s a whole lot of fine watchmaking happening inside of this black carbon TPT tonneau shaped case.

The openwork Richard Mille RM 66 Flying Tourbillon features a manual winding caliber which showcases a fast-winding barrel positioned at six o’clock and the tourbillon at 12 o’clock. The grade 5 titanium movement, whose lines follow those of the hand, is highly skeletonized. This is possible thanks to a flying tourbillon with a cage that is fixed at only one end of its axis, eliminating the upper bridge.

The tripartite case is assembled using 20 spline screws in grade 5 titanium and is fitted with 2 Nitril O-ring seals to 50 meters of water resistance.

Of course it’s all in the material at Richard Mille: The Carbon TPT used is composed of multiple layers of parallel filaments obtained by dividing carbon fibers. These layers are then woven on a special machine and heated to 120°C. Using Carbon TPT basically  means there’s far less chance of you scratching, cracking  or making nicks in your watch. The damascene effect (I’m still calling it animal print) differs from one watch to the next, making each watch unique.
Back to the decorative elements of this openwork splendor. There is a small skull engraving set atop the tourbillon, which echoes the skulls we’ve seen in previous RM designs. The indices could be mistaken for joint sockets, or tiny baby teeth. Turns out they are meant to be guitar plectrums.

The engraved hand is attached to the barrel bridge, with the index and little fingers outstretched and visible from the front, whilst the thumb holding the middle and ring fingers are visible from the back of the watch. Whether this is very much your cup of tea or your worst possible nightmare, the engraving work executed here deserves all the praise and more. As somebody who has collected and inherited charms since their early teenage years, the level of detail on this x-ray hand has me wondering if RM only hires engravers with doll-sized hands. The finishing is indeed manual, with the contours of the bones and delicate joints created by deburring and polishing.
Yes, ossuary artifacts are inherently morbid, but the point here is to turn that natural instinct on its head. Something that should be weird, scary and gross is instead associated with free spirit and rebellion which echoes the RM anti-conformist spirit perfectly.
Richard Mille just gave us permission to stick up our horns and embrace our inner rebel, something I enjoy doing in this sometimes very stuffy watch space.

OK, so the watch has a million-dollar price tag, but this watch isn’t for us mere mortals. It’s for the actual aging rock stars collecting their royalties from a castle in France. I don’t see the problem with enjoying Richard Mille from afar. Are we not allowed to enjoy something without owning it? This is an objet d’art!

Divisive as the brand’s products may be, their cultural relevance is so significant that the Tonneau-shaped RMs are not just relegated to the musings of hardcore watch enthusiasts, Richard Mille is part of the mainstream cultural discourse. Yes, it helps when Pharrell and Rafael Nadal are your brand ambassadors, it also helps when the price tag can sometimes be north of a million dollars. But I love RM for pushing the boundaries and essentially reframing the definition of a luxury watch: Luxury is no longer just about owning a giant gold or platinum brick timepiece.
The RM66 is an accessory with a whole lot of personality, done in the most Richard Mille way. The high grade materials, the progressive mechanical function, the top-notch decorative elements. The various themes and motifs used by the brand can often be tongue-in-cheek but they are always done to material and mechanical perfection. This type of watch world rebellion is what keeps me interested in the brand. Serious haute horlogerie but always fun, always with a  f**k you approach.

Wearing a Richard Mille is like the rich man’s equivalent of dying your hair blue. It’s punk with a price tag. Is this going in my personal Richard Mille hall of fame? Probably not. I’m an RM88 Smiley, RM07-03 Bon Bon kinda gal. This watch would have even scared the 14-year-old version of me who listened to slipknot and wore safety pins in her jeans.

Does this look like an archeological excavation gone wrong, does this watch belong to James Goldstein? Richard Mille doesn’t care. They are sticking it to the purists.

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Urwerk UR-100V “T-Rex”

You can call Urwerk watches by many names, but shy or conservative aren’t part of this vocabulary. Daring, bold, provocative, futuristic, unusual, these are perfect ways to describe these complex and avant-garde creations. Apart from the watches inspired by sci-fi and space exploration, one of the most striking models ever was the UR-105 T-Rex, a textured, patinated bronze reptile that, incidentally, also displays the time, in classic Urwerk style. This design is back, this time in the brand’s latest creation, with the new UR-100V T-Rex.

As said, bronze was used for the first time by Urwerk in 2016, with the UR-105 – back then, the simplest model in the collection. At first, the use of this metal, which somehow represents the past and antique objects, doesn’t really make sense in the context of ultra-modernism usually presented by Urwerk. But the brand likes to do things in a different way. Bronze isn’t used here to bring a vintage diver’s watch idea but to make an object with a more organic look, a more primal attraction, which is reinforced by the unusual texture of the case.

Now, in 2022, the brand introduces this same design concept on its new classic model, the UR-100V T-Rex. Presented in 2019, this watch is a sort of back to basics, the “essential” Urwerk with a focus mostly on its signature display. Since its debut in the 1990s, the independent brand created by Martin Frei and Felix Baumgartner stands out with its radical, futuristic designs and its original way to portray time. The idea of wandering hours, like those on a sundial, is omnipresent. The stage was set from the very beginning with the creation of the UR101/102 displaying time on an arc. Then came the satellite time indication with a host of creative and complex iterations… satellites, cams, transporters, rotating cubes, telescopic hands, and retrograde indications. But with the UR-100, there was the intention to go back to the roots of the brand, with a display that echoed the first watches of Frei and Baumgartner.

The UR-100 features the emblematic satellite time display with orbital hour satellites. The red-tipped minute pointers on the hour satellites disappear after 60 minutes, later replaced by the next hour. Yet, the red tip reappears on another part of the dial, to display original astronomical indications: distance travelled on Earth (at 10 o’clock) and distance travelled by Earth (at 2 o’clock).

As explained in our article on the first models: “Basically, it uses the speed of Earth at the equator or the Earth’s orbital speed around the sun to display the distance travelled from these different perspectives in about 20 minutes. For instance, at the equator, the circumference of the Earth is 40,070 kilometres, and the day is 24-hours long so the speed is 1,670 kilometres/hour. That gives you the 555.55km travelled in about 20 minutes by the indicator at 10 o’clock. In a similar fashion, the indicator at 2 o’clock shows the distance Earth has travelled around the sun, a journey spanning some 35,740 km every 20 minutes. Naturally, these additional ‘space-time’ indications won’t be of any practical use in everyday life (at least to me) but it’s more an invitation to dream that matches URWERK’s space-age universe quite well.”

This year, the brand brings back the UR-100V T-Rex concept with this new Urwerk UR-100V model, which only differs in terms of colours and materials. The 41mm width x 49.7mm length case is made of bronze and PVD blackened titanium. The bronze has undergone three successive treatments. The first lies in the unusual composition of the alloy which results in a delicate patina. The bronze is then in the hands of a computer-controlled milling station that carves the pattern of scales on the top and sides of the case. The final processes, sand-blasting and Urwerk’s proprietary method of biochemical burnishing, give the watch its distinctive colour. Finally, these bevelled pyramids are truncated and polished to present a surface that is pleasing to the touch.

The display is here presented with a combination of dark colours – black background and bronze-coloured rotating elements – with bright yellow indications for maximum contrast. The watch is worn on a black alligator strap with bronze pin buckle.

The UR-100V T-Rex back of the watch reveals the movement, the automatic calibre 12.01. The drilled full rotor is regulated by a planetary flat turbine to minimise shocks to the rotor bearing and to reduce wear and tear. A traditional URWERK feature, the baseplates are in ARCAP, an alloy that does not contain iron and is not magnetic. The calibre 12.01 beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour and its power reserve is 48 hours.

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TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M Quartz 32 Green

New this year is the TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M with a ceramic bezel (hands-on here in more versions). While it’s also available in other colorways, the blue and black of this particular reference seemed perfectly suited to the blue skies and deep blue ocean surrounding Maui. There is a lot to like about this watch, and of course, a few things TAG might improve upon. I’ve worn this TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M watch every day for over a week now, and it’s both good-looking and comfortable, so it’s become a welcome companion.

Sporting a blue ceramic bezel, a screw down crown, and 1000 feet of water resistance, this TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M is at home in the ocean SCUBA diving, surfing, or just going for a swim. The unidirectional 120-click bezel has lume on the index pip. I found the “decking” pattern on the dial quite attractive and rather nautical. There is a magnifier over the date at 3 which my old eyes welcomed. It does make the hands a bit less readable but that’s always the case with a cyclops. Speaking of readability, overall legibility is very good.

However, the blue seconds hand sort of gets lost with the black dial in some lighting conditions. You may have to spot the lumed tip to see the passing seconds. And there are a lot of shiny elements on this TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M watch – the hour markers, the hands, the bezel, and the sides of the case. Plus the flat sapphire crystal and the lovely, but shiny, blue bezel reflect light very strongly at the right (wrong?) angle. And the case, bezel, and crystal all show my grimy finger prints, so I’m frequently wiping the watch to keep it shiny and purdy lookin’.

The TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M’s black nylon sail cloth strap has blue stitching which compliments the blue bezel and seconds hand. And the strap is very comfortable due to its blue rubber underside. Again, a nice color match with the rest of the watch. The strap does not have pin holes as the deployant clasp clamps to any position you select. The release is via pressing the 2 side buttons on the clasp. It’s a very comfortable and highly functional strap and buckle combination.

Screwing off the case back reveals what TAG calls its “Caliber 5” movement. In this case, a Sellita SW 200 (an ETA 2824 clone). In my testing, this reliable workhorse automatic was accurate from -5 to +1 seconds per day (over all 6 positions). While not a formal or complete timing test, this cursory testing showed this particular TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300M to be well within COSC chronometer specs. I was a little surprised to see a plastic movement holder, but it obviously is doing the job. The nicely engraved, solid screw-in case back is decorated with a diver’s helmet engraving.

Coming back to TAG Heurer’s “Don’t Crack Under Pressure” slogan, it is dead-on true in the case of Kai Lenny and his TAG Heurer Aquaracer 300M. The surfer and the watch did not crack under pressure – but a couple of his beefy “big gun” surfboards literally cracked and broke in two under the relentless pounding of Jaws.

Noted water sports photographer Tom Servais has photographed surfing greats around the world for decades. He stopped by when we were visiting the Lenny home on Maui, and he had an interesting watch story to tell. The strap failed on his TAG Heuer watch while shooting in big waves in Fiji a couple of years back. He knew where the watch went down but with the huge surf, there was no chance to go looking for it. He mentioned the lost watch to a friend of his in Fiji when he got to shore. And sure enough, the TAG was spotted 6 months later wedged in the coral exactly where Tom reported it MIA. Since the Fijians knew whose watch it was, Tom was able to get his trusty TAG Heuer watch back the next time he went to Fiji. He just cleaned it up a bit and put on a new strap. Being underwater for half a year didn’t phase it a bit.

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Patek Philippe 5271 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph

If there’s one watch that perfectly defines Patek Philippe, it has to be the chronograph perpetual calendar – a combination that was first introduced by the brand with the reference 1518 and which is now represented by the 5270. This watch debuted in rather neutral, slightly conservative editions but has been updated recently with far bolder styles, such as the green lacquered edition of 2022. In addition, Patek also proposes a gem-set version in platinum, known as the 5271P. Previously available with diamonds and a black dial, this ultra-luxury reference makes a remarkable comeback this year with two new coloured editions, the new Patek Philippe Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5271P with rubies or blue sapphires, and matching lacquered dials.
Regarding the proportions and movement, there’s not much news. The Patek Philippe Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5271P is nothing more than a stone-packed version of the already desirable and high-end 5270. Yet, there are a few things to be said about these new versions of the 5271P, as they follow the evolutions found on the green 5270P presented earlier this year, representing the fourth generation of this model – the previous versions are covered in this in-depth article.
The previous black-and-diamond 5271P was part of the third generation, meaning no “chin” and a tachymeter bezel on the periphery of the dial. Now, in the same vein as the green model, the new Patek Philippe Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5271P feature a much cleaner dial, with a complete railroad track on the periphery (a continuous track, without the cut at 6 o’clock) and no tachymeter scale. This results in a cleaner, more balanced and modern look. Similarly, the dials are lacquered with bold colours and a gradient effect. Finally, the printings and tracks are pure white and more contrasting than previous editions.
Now, the new versions of the Patek Philippe Chronograph Perpetual Calendar 5271P are set with coloured stones – blue sapphires and rubies – instead of classic diamonds. No surprise here, as Patek has all the necessary skills to make gem-set watches since it recently took a stake in Salanitro SA, the most prominent player in jewellery and gem-setting activities for Swiss Haute Horlogerie. The 41mm platinum case, which is identical to the 5270 models in size and shape, has been adorned with 58 baguette-cut rubies or blue sapphires on both the bezel and the lugs, for a total of 4.11 carats. The result, which is graphic and modern, is also far from being discreet. But this is a style that some clients were asking for.
To add to the audacity of these new editions – 5271/11P with blue sapphires and 5271/12P with rubies – the brand has given them some equally daring dials with matching colours and a glossy lacquer with a black gradient effect. No stones are to be found on the dials, which rely on classic white gold applied markers and hands. The watches are complemented with a glossy black alligator strap with colour-matched stitching and a fold-over clasp that is also set with stones (22 baguette-cut rubies or sapphires, in this instance). Inside the case, no surprises, as we find the advanced calibre CH 29-535 PS Q. This in-house, hand-wound chronograph relies on an appealing architecture with a column wheel and a horizontal clutch, on top of which is a perpetual calendar module. There are multiple innovations and technical solutions implemented at play here, which we covered in detail in this article. The movement indicates the time together with a chronograph with central seconds and 30-minute counter, and a perpetual calendar with date-by-hand, apertures for the day and month, a leap year indicator, a day-night indicator and moon phases… and all of that finds its place on the dial is a balanced and legible way.

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Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300

This, I have to admit, came as a shock. It came as a shock to me, and every other single person with whom I spoke that I’d consider knowledgeable about collecting Patek Philippe. The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300 – reference 5175 – the most complicated Patek wristwatch ever made, of which there were only seven pieces made – six for the best clients in the world, one for the museum – has returned. It has a new reference, in a new case material, and without all that incredibly ornate engraving, but it’s back. First, have a look below at what makes this watch so special.
The price for the Grandmaster Chime? Yup, $2.5 million, and we’re told there was a list a mile long to get it – the six collectors that received it had surely been hand selected by the Sterns for their appreciation of, and long-term commitment to, the brand. But now those six collectors may not feel quite as lucky, as the same incredible caliber – with over 1,500 individual components – is available to more people! Okay, this is still an insanely rare, special piece that will go to only the very best of the best watch buyers in the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that each 5175 was advertised as one of seven in the world, and now there will be more – and in white metal.
Again, the 5175 is the anniversary piece, and it combines mechanical craft with “rare hand craft” as Patek likes to refer to engraving and enamel work, so it is indeed a much more complicated watch to produce with all that case work, but still, to see the same caliber used in this new reference Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300 so soon after the 175th anniversary is interesting to say the least.
The price of the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 6300 ? A still staggering $2,200,000, or about $300,000 less than the fully engraved 5175R. No word on many of these will be made or for how long, but I can imagine at least six people out there will be curious to know.

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TAG HeuerCarrera Calibre Heuer 02 44

Fans of the Monaco racing watch – introduced in 1969 as one of the world’s first automatic chronographs – love its blue sunburst dial and contrasting silver counters, red hands, and square shape with its expansive sapphire crystal and faceted edges. The newest version, the TAG Heuer Monaco Calibre Heuer 02, our test watch, offers these same visual features, all of which TAG Heuer has continued to refine based on the earlier Monaco Calibre 12 model. The once-flat registers are now slightly recessed, giving the design more depth and interest.
Here’s another update: the symmetrical arrangement now shows elapsed minutes and hours rather than minutes and seconds. The running seconds indication is now placed at 6 o’clock — a clever solution even though every minute the seconds hand sweeps across the date window for a period of several seconds. With its use of the new movement, TAG Heuer designed a clear layout of the displays, but this also involved a compromise. Including the small seconds display at 6 required moving the “Automatic” lettering upward and placing it between the two registers.
Changes to the dial layout are based on a fundamental innovation. With automatic TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 44, TAG Heuer is now using a fully developed, in-house chronograph movement in its Monaco line. Recall that the original Caliber 11 from 1969 was a collaborative project between Heuer, Breitling, and Hamilton-Büren in addition to the module specialist Dubois Dépraz, which contributed the chronograph mechanism. The long-awaited in-house base chronograph movement first appeared in 2017 as the Caliber Heuer 02, which was introduced in the retro model Autavia Calibre Heuer 02. Previously at TAG Heuer, “only” the complex Calibre Heuer 02-T was available (with an additional tourbillon) and before that, the Calibre Heuer 01, based on a Seiko movement.
Now, for the first time, a Monaco chronograph is powered by a true manufacture movement. This innovation actually brings real advantages to the user. Mechanical watch fans can use it to measure intervals of up to 12 hours instead of just 30 minutes, and when fully wound, the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre Heuer 02 44 runs for up to 80 hours — almost twice as long as its original 42-hour power reserve — so you can take off the watch on Friday and put it back on Monday morning without any problem or interruption. And the new movement complements the Monaco visually, with its modern, high-tech look, generous diameter of 31 mm and large sapphire crystal in the caseback. The new model is much more appealing from the back than the similarly designed Monaco Calibre 12 with the ETA 2894 movement, or the Monaco Calibre 11 with a modified Sellita SW300 movement and the crown on the left.

However, the new manufacture caliber does have one disadvantage compared to the previous movements: the unidirectional rotor is rather noisy on its return. In our test of the Autavia Calibre Heuer 02, the sounds made by the rotor were not quite as noticeable, which is probably due to the different case construction.

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Patek Philippe World Time 5230

Patek Philippe has been producing some of the world’s most coveted world time watches for nearly 80 years. This year, the brand is retiring all existing references in its so-called Heure Universelle collection and launching a new, upgraded model in their place: the Patek Philippe World Time 5230P, available in white-gold (Ref. 5230G-001) or rose-gold (Ref. 5230R-001):
Patek Philippe’s decision to introduce a new world-timer was motivated by, primarily, political and cultural changes worldwide that have necessitated updates to the original timepiece’s 24-hour city ring. Dubai, for example, has replaced Riyadh as the internationally recognized representative city of its time zone, and Moscow, which for many years had been located in the “UTC+4” zone, recently shifted to “UTC+3,” nearer to Western Europe, as its chosen time zone. The new Ref. 5230, available in both 18k white gold and 5N rose gold cases, now has a “globally valid” world-time city ring that accurately reflects the modern state of time zones across the world.
Patek Philippe also took the opportunity to do some subtle but significant reworking on the World Time watch’s case, dial, and hands. Patek Philippe World Time 5230P retains the iconic Patek Philippe Calatrava case (measuring 38.5 mm in diameter and 10.23 mm thick), but with new winglet-style lugs and a more narrow, smoothly polished bezel. The hands will be more noticeably different to a Patek aficionado: instead of the ringed hour hand and Dauphine minute hand on previous references, the watch has a pierced hour hand in the shape of the Southern Cross constellation and a lozenge-shaped minute hand, both with sharp center ridges between lapped, beveled flanks. The hands, and the applied baton hour markers, are crafted from the same gold as the case.

At the center of the dial is another decorative element new to Patek Philippe’s World Time watches. Whereas previous models were renowned for their polychrome cloisonné enamel world map motifs, Ref. 5230 features a black, hand-guillochéd, filigreed basket-weave pattern inspired by a historical pocketwatch on display at the Patek Philippe Museum in Geneva. The dial pattern was created on a nearly 100-year-old, meticulously maintained rose engine at the Patek Philippe manufacture.
The movement, visible through a clear sapphire caseback, is Patek Philippe’s in-house Caliber 240 HU. It is only 3.88 mm thick, thanks in large part to its patented micro-rotor design, which enables the watchmakers to greatly reduce the size of the winding rotor — made of 22k gold and engraved with Patek’s Calatrava Cross emblem — and integrate it at the level of the bridges. The movement includes the patented Spiromax balance spring and amasses a power reserve of at least 48 hours. With a tolerance of -3 to +2 seconds per day, its rate accuracy exceeds all customary chronometer standards. The movement’s haute horlogerie finishes all meet the stringent standards of the brand’s in-house certification, the Patek Philippe Seal. The bridges are chamfered and decorated with Geneva strips, a motif that also appears on the microrotor. The mainplate is hand-decorated with perlage, and the golden brass wheels are countersunk and have chamfered spokes. The rhodiumed bridges have gold-filled movement engravings and the movement’s total 239 parts include 35 ruby jewels, 10 of which are on display from the back.

Both versions of the Patek Philippe World Time 5230P come on hand-stitched alligator leather straps (black for the white-gold watch, chocolate brown for the rose-gold) with case-matching Calatrava fold-over clasps.

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Richard Mille Debuts New RM 07-01 Intergalactic Watches

When it comes to the ultra-exclusive luxury watch brands within the industry, Richard Mille is definitely one of the most divisive. When describing Richard Mille to someone who isn’t a watch enthusiast, the analogy I often make is that the brand is the F1 car equivalent of a luxury watch. A well-constructed luxury sedan will give you a much greater sense of traditional refinement and will provide infinitely more creature comforts, but the state-of-the-art technology and advanced materials of the F1 car ultimately make it exponentially more expensive than something you pick up from your local luxury import dealer. With that in mind, the new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches combine the brand’s signature approach of high-tech materials and futuristic designs with a unique style of gem setting that places an emphasis on the prongs of the settings themselves to emulate the glittering stars set among the vast darkness of the galaxy.
All four of the new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches feature cases that follow the brand’s signature tonneau shape, and they are crafted from Carbon TPT with 5N red gold accents. The cases themselves measure 31.4mm in diameter by 11.85mm thick, with an overall lug-to-lug distance of 45.66mm, making them some of the most compact models that Richard Mille currently offers. Carbon TPT is a carbon fiber composite material that consists of multiple layers of parallel filaments that are created by dividing carbon fibers. From there, the fibers are impregnated with a composite matrix and woven at a 45 degree angle between layers, before being combined with heat and pressure to create a solid block of material, which can then get processed by a CNC machine and milled into the various case components. Sapphire crystals protect both the front and back side of the three-part case and the various components are all held together by grade 5 titanium screws that run through the trio of case components and secure them together using Nitrile O-ring seals to help provide users with 50 meters of water resistance.
Carbon TPT components can be found on a number of different Richard Mille models, but what sets the new RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches apart from their siblings is the unique style of gem-setting that adorns their external cases. Set into the Carbon TPT components are diamonds that are secured by 5N red gold prongs that are scattered throughout their surfaces. Setting diamonds into Carbon TPT comes with a number of unusual challenges due to the nature of the material itself. Unlike setting diamonds into gold, where the metal can be shaped into prongs to secure the diamonds, the hard rigid structure of Carbon TPT means that a space for the diamonds must first be machined using diamond-bit milling tools, and then the diamonds themselves must be secured into the case by gold prongs that are inserted by hand into the into the various settings that have been drilled into the surface of the case. It’s also worth noting that many of the 5N red gold prongs that are set into the case of the RM 07-01 Intergalactic don’t actually secure a diamond, but rather are there for aesthetic purposes to help create the models’ star-packed galaxy aesthetic.
The new Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches consists of a quartet of models with each one offering a slightly different take on the same core aesthetic concept. Named the Bright Night, Dark Night, Misty Night, and Starry Night, each of the different versions of the RM 07-01 offers a different ratio of diamonds to prongs set into their case, and while some models place an emphasis on the diamonds, others offer designs where the prongs themselves are largely the focus for a much less glitzy take on the same core aesthetic concept. Beyond the settings, other small differences exist throughout the four models. For example, the Bright Night version features its middle caseband in red gold rather than Carbon TPT like the rest of the range, while the Misty Night version features four red gold pillars on the sides of its case in the locations where the connecting screws pass through the various components. Additionally, while three of the RM 07-01 watches are completed by black rubber straps with red gold deployant buckles, the Starry Night model receives a full-link bracelet made from Carbon TPT.
Similar differences exist when it comes to the dials fitted to the four models. While all of them have a similar overall design and structure, the way that the diamonds and prongs are set into each one is different, as they are intended to correspond with the setting approach of the outer case. Each dial consists of a central section made from Carbon TPT that echoes the shape of the tonneau case and is adorned with diamonds and red gold prongs. Surrounding this central section is a skeletonized area that exposes the inner workings of the movement and separates the central part of the dial from the minute track flange that surrounds the periphery of the display. The outer flange is constructed from carbon fiber and it has hour markers filled with luminous material for added legibility. Sitting at the center of the dial are a pair of red gold hands that indicate the hours and minutes, and since the Richard Mille RM 07-01 does not have a seconds hand at all, the only indication that the watch is running will be the balance wheel moving back and forth, which is partially visible through the skeletonized section at the bottom of the dial.
Despite their differences, all four of the Richard Mille RM 07-01 Intergalactic watches are powered by the brand’s Caliber CRMA2 automatic movement. Running at a frequency of 28,800vph (4Hz) and offering users a power reserve of approximately 50 hours, the Caliber CRMA2 offers a highly skeletonized structure consisting of a mainplate and bridges that are crafted from grade 5 titanium and given an electroplasma treatment to give them a dark black finish. Along with featuring a free-sprung balance and a fast moving mainspring barrel for optimum performance, the Richard Mille Caliber CRMA2 also includes a bidirectional self-winding system with a variable-geometry rotor. Largely constructed from 5N red gold with a weight segment in heavy metal, the oscillating weight’s variable-geometry design allows the rotor to be set according to the owner’s activity level by adjusting the two weights that are fixed in place by spline screws. The black appearance of the skeletonized plates and bridges paired with the large red gold rotor offer an overall aesthetic that is very much in-line with the rest of the watch, creating an extremely cohesive overall appearance when looking at both the back and front slides of the RM 07-01 Intergalactic models.