Let’s face it: 2020 was a challenging year in just about every regard. Now that 2021 appears to be finally bringing positive trends and a slow return to some type of normalcy for most of us, what better time to celebrate a “restart” to life with five new and distinctive chronographs?
PARMIGIANI FLEURIER TONDAGRAPH GT
Deftly treading the mythical line between special-occasion luxury and everyday active wear, the Tondagraph GT is noteworthy for its gently curving lugs, ergonomically sculpted bracelet with brushed and polished finishes, classically fluted bezel and “clou triangulaire” guilloché motif on the dials. The 42-mm stainless steel case houses the automatic PF043 caliber, which offers the uncommon horological combo of a chronograph and an annual calendar. The dial displays the time on luminous Delta-shaped hands, the date in a large aperture at 12 o’clock, running seconds and month in a multipurpose subdial at 3 o’clock, and chronograph minutes and hours, respectively, on subdials at 9 and 6 o’clock. The calendar indications (date and month) are delineated in bright orange to contrast with the dial. The screw-down crown ensures a water-resistance of 100 meters, and the movement carries a 45-hour power reserve. Price: $21,500.
GRAND SEIKO 60TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION SPRING DRIVE CHRONOGRAPH GMT
Paying tribute to the samurai warlords of Japan’s Sengoku period from the late 15th to early 17th century, this limited edition boasts a dial in the “Katsu-iro” indigo-blue color used for samurai armor. The imagery of a lion, Grand Seiko’s longtime symbol, is evident in the dial’s lion-mane pattern and in the angled shape of the steel case, whose Zaratsu-polished lugs resemble the claws of the King of the Jungle. The dial’s center-mounted hand ticks off the stopwatch seconds, while the subdials on the right side tally up the minutes (30) and hours (12). A date window appears at 3 o’clock, a power-reserve display at 7 o’clock, small seconds at 9 o’clock, and a GMT hand in the center. Seiko’s Spring Drive Caliber 9R96, which achieves its high level of accuracy through its combination of a balance wheel, electro-magnetic energy, and a quartz oscillator instead of a traditional escapement, beats inside. Price: $44,300.
MAURICE LACROIX PONTOS CHRONOGRAPH MONOPUSHER
Maurice Lacroix celebrates 20 years of its Pontos collection with this limited edition, whose 41-mm steel case features a black PVD coating that makes it scratch- and abrasion-resistant. The dial is enhanced with a gradient effect, going from medium gray in its center to black at its periphery, and hosts both a telemeter and a tachymeter scale, one in red, the other in blue. Both scales elegantly intersect with the subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock — for 30 chronograph minutes and running seconds, respectively — and the rectangular date window at 6 o’clock. The movement is Caliber ML166, an automatic movement based on the Sellita SW-500 and modified to include the single-pusher stopwatch functionality. It amasses a respectable 58-hour power reserve and boasts high-horology finishes, including circular côtes de Genève and a sunray-brushed rotor. Price: $3,290
SINGER REIMAGINED FLYTRACK PRIME
Born of a partnership between a California car customizer and a Geneva watch designer, Singer Reimagined has gained quick renown since its founding in 2017. Following up its GPHG award-winning Track 1 chronograph is the recently launched Flytrack Prime, available in three strictly limited editions of 10 pieces, each of which incorporates a different scale into its minimalist chronograph dial: a tachymeter, a telemeter, or a pulsometer (pictured). The 43-mm steel case has a matte micro-blasted finish and a polished bezel and includes a pump-style monopusher at 2 o’clock. Common to all versions is the peripheral disk with triangular pointer that serves as the hour hand, a large, partially skeletonized minutes hand and another orange hand for both running seconds and chronograph seconds. The manually wound caliber was designed in collaboration with the movement artisans at Aghenor and stores a 55-hour power reserve. Price: CHF 26,500.
LOUIS MOINET MEMORIS SUPERLIGHT
Guinness World Records recognizes watchmaker Louis Moinet (1768-1853) as the inventor of the first chronograph, and the brand that bears his name, established in 2004, takes its mission of elevating that horological invention to the next level seriously indeed. The Memoris Superlight, housed in a satin-finished grade 5 titanium case, stands out from the pack with its innovative separation of its movement’s chronograph components from its self-winding mechanism. All 147 of the chronograph elements (out of the 302 total parts) reside on the front of the mechanism, comprising the open face of the watch. One press of the monopusher at 2 o’clock on the case sets the yokes, clutch, hammers, column wheel, springs and wheels of the stopwatch in spectacular motion for the wearer to see. The case weighs only 31 grams despite its stately size of 46 mm, and comes on an alligator strap in a color that echoes the dial details. Price: CHF 26,000
I love Agenor, Kenissi and the likes. But they are far from my budget…