These four timepieces round out our list of Watches and Wonders highlights on the chronograph front.
In the first instalment of this two-part series, we looked at headline-worthy chronographs that brands such as Patek Philippe and Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled at Watches and Wonders 2023. Four more highlights round out this list – each an outstanding timepiece in and of itself, but also a noteworthy addition to its brand’s line-up.
The venerable Daytona has been updated this year to mark its 60th anniversary. Naturally, the familiar reference in platinum (complete with the classic ice blue dial) showcases all the changes and upgrades that Rolex has implemented. Design wise, various refinements have been made across the range. References fitted with the Cerachrom bezel, for instance, now have these bezels rimmed in their respective case middles’ materials for a touch of contrast. In much the same way, the dial and case have also been tweaked subtly.
On the movement front, Rolex has iterated on calibre 4130 to debut the new calibre 4131 across the Daytona references to finally “catch up” on the manufacture’s technical advancements of the past few years, such as the Chronergy escapement. What’s perhaps more astounding is how the new movement can now be observed in the platinum reference of the Daytona. The see-through case back on this watch – a first for the Oyster Perpetual collection – marks a new chapter for Rolex that may just make it to the rest of the brand’s collections yet.
A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus Chronograph
Four years after A. Lange & Söhne debuted the entirely new Odysseus line – its first in non-precious metals – the manufactory has finally extended the collection with a chronograph. And oh, what a watch this is! Apart from being the brand’s first self-winding chronograph, the new timepiece also sports several atypical features. For a start, its seconds and minutes totalisers are both positioned at the dial’s centre. This makes the elapsed minutes easier and more intuitive to read, while leaving space on the dial for the Odysseus’s usual displays at three and nine o’clock. As a result, the Odysseus Chronograph can effortlessly maintain a stylistic link to its siblings.
The reset function here is a novel addition as well; while the minutes totaliser jumps back to zero instantaneously, the seconds totaliser makes multiple revolutions at high speed, depending on the elapsed time. It’s not unlike how quartz chronographs reset themselves, but mind you, this is purely mechanical in execution. The Odysseus Chronograph is cased in steel and offered in a limited run of just 100 pieces – for now, at least. Most of them have, no doubt, already been spoken for.
Grand Seiko Tentagraph
Grand Seiko’s Evolution 9 collection sees the addition of a chronograph model this year. The new Tentagraph Ref. SLGC001 marks the brand’s first mechanical chronograph, and its name is a portmanteau of its four major features: a 10Hz high beat movement (TEN), a three-day power reserve (T), automatic winding (A), and chronograph complication (GRAPH). Built on the 9SA5 mechanical calibre, this timepiece’s movement features the same Dual Impulse Escapement that’s more efficient than traditional Swiss lever escapements. Naturally, a vertical clutch and column wheel are used here for the chronograph’s coupling and actuation respectively.
As part of the Evolution 9 family, Ref. SLGC001 follows the line’s design language, from the wider lugs to the case’s lower centre of gravity, as well as the usage of specific hands and indices for legibility. With this timepiece, Grand Seiko has seamlessly extended the Evolution 9 collection to meet the demands of aficionados seeking a mechanical chronograph, while also offering an alternative to the classics that are currently on the market.
Montblanc Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph
Previously released in “lime gold” as well as stainless steel, Montblanc’s Unveiled Secret Minerva Monopusher Chronograph has returned for a third run. What’s new this time is the distressed steel finish, which is created by applying a black coating to each case, then manually abrading it with quartzite and limestone to yield a unique finish for every case. A fluted white gold bezel lends a refined touch of luxury against the rugged, industrial case, while a black nubuck alligator strap bridges these contrasting elements.
At first glance, this watch appears to be a fairly straightforward skeletonised movement. It is, however, anything but – the movement has actually been reversed, so what appears to be a skeletonised dial and mainplate are actually the bridges that would normally be on the reverse side of the watch. The dead giveaway? The Minerva manufacture’s traditional arrow-shaped bridge at one o’clock. Just 88 pieces of this timepiece will be available.
Images courtesy of respective brands featured, artwork by Curatedition. All rights reserved.