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Articles | Interview

SIHH 2012: “military” watches
(part 7)

The “Military” style came into fashion at the end of 60smilitary of the XX century. It became a specific protest of the society against rather aggressive policy, pursued by the leading countries of the world. The “Unisex” clothes, reminding of military uniforms and often drawn all over with crudely patched pacifist symbols, come into vogue. The military accessories were also adopted: various head-dresses, tokens, “bullet” trinkets. The wrist watches, which were a part of equipment, had the same destiny. Many manufactories, producing time meters, caught up that trend and started making novelties just in the “military” style. There the watchmakers could choose two ways. First, some companies copied the design of their own novelty from the military watches of past years. This category may include the products of Azimuth (models “B-Uhr Inner Hour” and “Bombardier IV”), Baume & Mercier, DENISSOV Barracuda, U-Boat (the watch drafts, planned to be issued for the Italian Navy, were taken as standards). Secondly, some manufactories made watches for armed forces of different countries indeed. This list includes Panerai (it made wrist watches for the Italian Navy), Blancpain (its products are preferable by the members of various special divisions of France, Germany, the USA, and Israel), IWC (during a long time the leadership of that manufactory kept in secret the fact that at the Second World Way it had produced watches for the German aviators), Breitling (its chronographs were popular among the aviators during the First World War, and later that company supplied the British Air Forces and American aviators with watches), and others.
The main feature of a “military” men watch is a simple design without any luxuries. Usually, such watches have monochrome dials, often of dark color, big hour markings, sometimes provided with illumination (it can be tritium or luminescent). The water resistance of such watches usually makes up not less than 100 m. Often their movements are provided with a complication like chronograph. For comfort purposes the military watches are sometimes equipped with rotation bezel and durable, practical textile strap. Today the men wrist watches of “military” style are still popular. This fact is proved by the exhibition stands of the leading manufactories, presented their products at SIHH 2012 at the end of January in Geneva.

Panerai: their new is not forgotten old yet

It’s not a secret that the famous watch company “Panerai” has Italian roots. The time meters, manufactured in that country, are traditionally expected to be vivid in colors and luxurious in finishing. However, the “military” style excludes such details.
At SIHH 2012 Panerai has presented 12 new models. These men wrist watches are designed in militarized style, specific for the manufactory. Their design is based on the previous and favorite models. It’s clear that within the bounds of “military” style the watchmakers couldn’t venture any luxuries in design or too extraordinary materials in manufacture, however, they managed to introduce some useful changes into new watches. It should be noted that these alterations concerned, first of all, not the appearance, but mostly the movements.
At SIHH 2012 several models with cases of synthetic ceramics, made from zirconium powder, have been presented by Panerai. Such material easily endures high temperature, and it is more resistant to small defects and scratches. It is used for making, for example, the men watch “Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT”, designed in favorite color range of the designers. The black dial and case from ceramics, the diameter of which makes up 44 mm, are interestingly combined with the brown leather strap with white stitching, and with the white hour markings and hands. The model “Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT” is provided with caliber Đ.9001. This movement is automatic, thanks to which the wrist watch has 3-day power reserve. The model “Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT Automatic Ceramica Tuttonero” has a stricter and trendier look. It will be good for those who don’t like leather straps. Provided with the same technical characteristics as the model “Panerai Luminor 1950 GMT”, this wrist watch is fixed at wrist with the help of black ceramic bracelet.

Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Ceramica - 44 ́́ /Ref. PAM00441/ Luminor 1950 3 Days GMT Automatic Ceramica - 44 ́́ /Ref. PAM00441/ watch backside Tuttonero ref. PAM00438 Tuttonero ref. PAM00438 watch backside

Despite the fact that “military” considers minimalism, Panerai issues the models with various complications too. At SIHH 2012 it has presented the model “Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica” with the movement, based on in-house caliber P.2005/B, which consists of 239 details. This men wrist watch has such complication, as tourbillon, seen through the transparent back case, made of thick sapphire glass. The movement of “Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica” is provided with 6-day power reserve. Besides, it has a supplementary counter for 24 hours, serving for indication of second time zone, at “3” hours on the dial. At “9” hours, there is a miniature dial for the second hand. “Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica” is quite a massive men watch. Its diameter is equal to 48 mm. It is water-resistant at 100 meters. This model has also brown leather strap.

Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica (PAM 00396) Panerai Luminor 1950 Tourbillon GMT Ceramica (PAM 00396) watch backside

Besides, Panerai released two remakes of its models: special editions “Radiomir California 3 Days” and “Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days”. These are two limited series, each of them consists of 500 timepieces. Their design reminds of similar models, issued by Panerai in far 30s of past century. There are only the most necessary things in these watches: big steel case (47 mm in diameter), black dials with contrast light hour markings, blue hands, treated with plexiglass, durable strap from brown leather. The men watches “Panerai Radiomir California 3 Days” and “Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days” are provided with in-house caliber P.3000 of manual winding.

Radiomir California 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00424) Radiomir California 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00424) watch backside Radiomir California 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00448) Radiomir California 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00448) watch backside

The historical collection of Panerai has completed with another two models, made in the best traditions of the brand. The wrist watches “Panerai Radiomir California 3 Days” and “Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days” are designed like the first watches from the “Radiomir” line. It was created in 1936 for the Italian Navy. Today these men watches with great history received second life. Both models kept the predecessor’s specific elements: polished steel case of rather big size (47 mm in diameter) with conic crown, brown strap from natural leather, black dial, quite readable due to contrast hour markings. The model “Panerai Radiomir California 3 Days” has a zest in its design, which doesn’t spoil strictness of its minimalism. The hour markings represent an original combination of Roman, Arab numerals and marks. The marks at “Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days” alternate with spots. The date aperture is situated at “3” hours. The mechanical hand-wound caliber P.3000 serves as a movement for “Panerai Radiomir California 3 Days” and “Panerai Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days”.

Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00425) Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00425) watch backside Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days (ĐÀ̀00449) Radiomir S.L.C. 3 Days (ĐÀ̀00449) watch backside

The stylish and luxurious men watch “Panerai Radiomir 8 Day GMT Oro Rosso” with a case from pink gold and black dial can’t be passed by either. In spite of being a “military” watch, it can be considered as a true work of art. Its main advantage is a unique movement. It is created on the base of carefully assembled in-house caliber P.2002. You can assure in it by looking through the sapphire glass, replacing the back case.

Radiomir 8 days GMT Oro Rosso Special Edition (Ref: PAM00395) Radiomir 8 days GMT Oro Rosso Special Edition (Ref: PAM00395) watch backside

Two limited series, “Radiomir 1940” with a case from polished stainless steel and a black dial, and “Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso” in a golden case with brown dial, complete the list of novelties from Panerai in 2012. 100 pieces of each model are issued. They have a transparent back case from sapphire glass, through which you can see their movement. The base is caliber OPXVII of manual winding.

Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso (Ref: ĐÀ̀00398) Radiomir 1940 Oro Rosso (Ref: ĐÀ̀00398) watch backside Radiomir 1940 (Ref: ĐÀ̀00399) Radiomir 1940 (Ref: ĐÀ̀00399) watch backside

The famous model of 1940 was also paid attention. The wrist watches “Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days” and “Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days Power Reserve” are based on it. The improved in-house calibers P.3001 and P.3002 complete the classic Panerai design. Both movements are hand-wound. Such watches are equipped with power reserve counters.
These models are exclusive by their limited editions. It’s not easy to buy these watches, of course, but you need to try anyway.

Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00422) Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days (Ref: ĐÀ̀00422) watch backside Luminor 1950 3 Days Power Reserve (Ref: ĐÀ̀00423) Luminor 1950 3 Days Power Reserve (Ref: ĐÀ̀00423) watch backside

IWC: Think ahead of your airplane

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph TOP GUN Miramar (Ref. IW388002)The wrist watches from “Pilot’s Watch” series became a specific visiting card of the Swiss manufactory “IWC” long time ago. This year, as well as many famous company, it has decided to return to its origins, more exactly, to the things that made it glorious. Besides, the “military” style is still popular, and the time meters with such design are in demand. Therefore, it’s not a surprise that the year of 2012 has been devoted by IWC to the pilot’s watches.
At SIHH 2012 this Swiss manufactory has presented a full collection of new “Pilot” models. The men watch under the title “Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Chronograph” is the most outstanding and extraordinary one among them. The chronograph is named after the marine base in San Diego. The military base “Miramar” is famous for the “TopGun” program for the USA best pilots training, first applied there indeed. The wrist watch “Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Chronograph” has a rather massive case (its diameter makes up 48 mm). It is made of half-matt dark-grey ceramics. The buttons, responsible for the chronograph’s work, and the crown are made of titanium. The “military” style of this model is showed by the tarpaulin strap of olive color. To improve the dial readability of “Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Chronograph”, it was painted in black. The contrast Arab numerals and big, wide hands are coated with phosphor.
The movement of “Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Chronograph” is created on the base of automatic caliber “IWC 89365”. This chronograph has power reserve for as many as 168 hours.
From the first days of exhibition the men watch “Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Chronograph” attracted rapt attention of the SIHH 2012 visitors. This model has been called one of the most stylish novelties. However, the chronograph “Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar Chronograph” is not the only watch of “military” style from the presented ones on IWC’s stand this year. As they’ve promised, all these novelties are also pilot’s watches.
IWC decided to follow many famous manufactories, which from time to time reissue the most successful wrist watches of their own production, providing them with some additions and improvements. The model “Mark XI”, created in 1948 for aviation, was taken as an experimental base. Its predecessor – IWC Mark X – was used by any military divisions. But they had to introduce a range of changes to make it a part of pilot’s equipment. For example, to prevent the watch movement from magnetization and to make the case resistant to pressure drops.
The model “Mark XVII”, issued by IWC this year, is provided with the same movement “ETA 2892”, based on caliber 30110, like its predecessor. The model’s power reserve makes up 42 hours. The case of “IWC Mark XVII” is made of the same iron alloy, applied for the previous model. It deflects the radiation of radars and radio transmitters, protecting the watch movement from electromagnetic fields that leads to more accurate indications. The front case of “IWC Mark XVII” is made of rather strong sapphire glass, which endures pressure drops. The movement is water-resistant at 60 m.

Pilot's Watch Mark XVII (Ref: 326501) Pilot's Watch Mark XVII (Ref: 326504)

The designers of IWC have changed mostly the appearance of “Mark XVII”. For example, following the fashion tendencies, they enlarged the diameter of case from 36 to 41 mm. The date aperture, situated at “3” hours, also changed. The new bigger version shows three figures at once. A small red hand, painted on the black matt dial, points the current date. The men watch “IWC Mark XVII” is available in two variants – with metallic bracelet or black leather strap.
One more novelty from IWC — the model “Pilot's Watch Worldtimer”. This men watch has a quite big steel case of 45 mm in diameter, the water resistance of which makes up 60 m. The scale with the names of 23 cities of the world, representing different time zones, is situated along the edge of matt black dial. The crown helps to synchronize the time of “Pilot's Watch Worldtimer” with the current time of local place. Apart from that, the model has a 24-hour ring, encircling the dial. It is painted in two colors: white and black, and it helps to indicate day and night. The movement based on in-house automatic caliber 30750 provides up to 42 hours of power reserve. It should be noted that “Pilot's Watch Worldtimer” is a fresh invention by IWC designers that didn’t have analogues in past.

Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Ref: 377701 Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Ref: 377704

Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph (Ref: 377801)The craftsmen of the manufactoryPilot's Watch Worldtimer (Ref: IW326201) created two remakes of existing models for those, who wanted to buy watches with chronograph function. The case of improved “Pilot’s Watch Chronograph” became 1 mm bigger (now its diameter is equal to 43 mm). It is made of stainless steel and protects the movement from water at 60-m depth. The chronograph “Pilot’s Watch Chronograph” is provided with an inner case, protecting from electromagnetic influence on the movement.
The black matt dial and white hour markings and hands, treated by phosphor, remained unchanged. As in the previous models, there is the date aperture at “3” hours, which now shows three figures at once. The day week counter is on the right. This chronograph is based on automatic caliber 79320 at 25 jewels, providing “Pilot’s Watch Chronograph” with 44 hours of uninterrupted movement. IWC issues two variants of this model: with metallic bracelet or black leather strap with classic buckle.

“Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph” has also grown up as against its predecessor. The diameter of new model’s case is equal to 46 mm. It is also made of steel and protected from electromagnetic effect. The dial’s design of this chronograph practically doesn’t differ from “Pilot’s Watch Chronograph”. Besides size, the design of “Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph” differs also by an additional button at “10” hours. It is made to stop the hand of split-chronograph with red tip. Also with the help of this button you can synchronize indications of the split-hand with the second one. One more zest in “Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph” design is the strap from black leather with unfolding buckle, adorned with decorative rivets.

On the whole, the models of IWC at SIHH 20102 don’t strike our imagination with vivid colors and various forms. However, they are real men watches, functional, and with minimalistic design.

Diverscope LPR from
JEANRICHARD: depths conquerorDiverscope LPR by JEANRICHARD

The Swiss company “JEANRICHARD” is less popular than other famous
manufactories, involved in production of “military” time meters. But despite the fewer number of customers, the quality is at the same highest level.
The model “Diverscope LPR”, presented by
JEANRICHARD at SIHH 2012, perfectly proves this fact. This men watch has become another piece from the “Diverscope” series. This watch has a steel case of 43 mm in diameter and 13,4 mm in thickness. It has an unusual texture, as it was treated in two different ways. As a result, some details of the case are glazed, others are polished. Proving its name, “JEANRICHARD Diverscope LPR” remains water-resistant at 300-m depth. The back case is screwed-up. It is made of sapphire glass, not deformed.
This model is equipped with automatic movement on the base of in-house caliber JR1010 at 26 precious stones, providing 2-day power reserve. The case of “Diverscope LPR” is provided with screwed-up crown at “3” hours. On the opposite side, at “9” hours, there is a special button, which allows regulating positions of bidirectional inner bezel. The wrist watch “
JEANRICHARD Diverscope LPR” is available with black strap with unfolding buckle, made of rubber or kevlar.
This model is provided with black dial with big, clear hour markings, designed in the form of Arab numerals and lines, with massive central hour and minute hands of contrast white color. The date counter’s aperture is situated between “7” and “8” hours. An unusual linear power reserve indicator is the main peculiarity of “
JEANRICHARD Diverscope LPR” appearance. It doesn’t look like an additional counter on the dial, it is situated just at “12” hours. There are “E” letter at the bottom (it means “empty”) and “F” letter at the top (stands for “full”). When the movement “Diverscope LPR” is fully wound, the “12” numeral is white. It is gradually becomes black that gives a signal to wind up the watch.

“Capeland” collection from Baume & Mercier: the “military” style can be luxurious

The company “Baume & Mercier” is famous for its unique, perfect style. Thanks to the designers’ ability, even a “military” chronograph becomes an elegant accessory, matching a strict business suit.
In 2011, Baume & Mercier started making the “Capeland” collection, which became one of its main trumps. These watches have a prototype – one-button chronograph, the manufacture of which started in 1948. Of course, the craftsmen of Baume & Mercier introduced a range of changes into the movement and appearance of these watches. As a result, they made quite functional chronographs, the design of which combines classics, vintage, and “military” style. The model “Capeland 1007” with tachometer and telemeter scales, provided with fly-back function, became the highest achievement of the designers. These men wrist watches look like pocket models, used in the beginning of XX century. The round case from white gold and the white dial hide a rather modern and reliable movement “La Joux-Perret 8147-2”. The success of “Capeland” collection inspired the Baume & Mercier watchmakers for creation of new models from this series. At SIHH 2012 the company has presented several new chronographs of “military” style.

Capeland Flyback Chronograph Ref. 10063 Capeland Flyback Chronograph Ref. 10064 Capeland Flyback Chronograph Ref. 10065

Baume & Mercier offers a model in the round case from stainless steel of 42 mm in diameter and 15,1 mm in thickness to those, who want to buy watches, combining elegance and functionality. The technical “filling” remained unchanged: the mechanical caliber “La Joux-Perret 8147-2” with 48-hour power reserve is used for the movement. The case of new models from “Capeland” series has a convex sapphire glass as a front cover. The back case is also transparent that allows watching the movement. The case of “Capeland” chronographs is protected from water at 50 meters of depth. Different models are provided with leather straps of dark-blue color or black color with white stitching, or with metallic bracelets.
These chronographs are provided with the following additional functions: fly-back, telemeter and tachymeter scales encircling the dial, minute counter at “3” hours and additional miniature dial for 24 hours at “6”-hour position.
The models of “Capeland” series are specific with their extraordinary color combinations, used for the design. The wrist watch “Capeland” (Ref. 10063) has a white dial with black hour markings and a dark-blue strap. The model “Capeland” (Ref. 10064) differs by its metallic bracelet. Two models of “Capeland” series (Ref. 10062 and 10084) are also provided with the same dial – black with white hour markings and telemetric scale of red color. They only differ by the strap. The model “Capeland” (Ref. 10062) is equipped with a steel bracelet. The watch “Capeland” (Ref. 10084) has a leather strap, matching the dial’s tone. By the way, these two timepieces differ from the previous ones by caliber “Valjoux 7753” at 27 jewels, providing 2-day power reserve. The chronograph “Capeland” (Ref. 10065) is more vivid – its dial is painted in blue. This base color is completed with white hour markings and red telemetric scale. The black leather strap completes this image.
However, the novelty “Capeland Flyback Chronograph” (Ref. 10068), representing a bit renewed variant of last-year model “Capeland 1007”, has been the most impressive one on the stand of Baume & Mercier. It should be fairly noted that the historic prototype of this watch is still the one-button chronograph of 1948 issue.

Capeland Flyback Chronograph Ref. 10068 Capeland Flyback Chronograph Ref. 10062 Capeland Flyback Chronograph Ref. 10084 

The form of “Capeland Flyback Chronograph” case is compared by the masters of Baume & Mercier with roundish river gravel. This watch has a convex front case from polished sapphire glass. This glass is curved, duplicating the form of wrist that makes the men watch “Capeland Flyback Chronograph” incredibly comfortable. The case itself is made of steel. Its height is 16,5 mm at 44 mm in diameter. The wrist watch “Capeland Flyback Chronograph” is provided with the same automatic caliber 8147-2, made by La Joux Perret. One can admire the sophisticated finishing trough the transparent back case. The bridges and plate are circle-grained; the movement is adorned with blued steel screws. The self-winding rotor is engraved with “Cotes de Geneve”. The case protects from water at 50-m depth.
The main difference of “Capeland Flyback Chronograph” from the last-year masterpiece by Baume & Mercier is the color range. This men watch has a black dial, contrasting the gilded tachymeter scale and hands, and white hour markings. “Capeland Flyback Chronograph” is fixed on wrist by a light-brown strap. It is decoratively stitched with the threads of ecru color (unbleached silk).
“Capeland Flyback Chronograph” can be acquired by connoisseurs of classic style, and by fans of vintage models, and by men, who prefer sport style.


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