Our new regular series looks at the latest news, releases and happenings from the past month...
Welcome to the first in the series of This Month In Watches. This something I’ve wanted to have running on the site for some time now and lucky for you and me, today is that day. Here at WatchGecko we’re always keeping an eye on the latest news, releases and happenings in the watch industry. We also receive a lot of press releases with some great information in that occasionally won’t make it’s way to Mag. This is where This Month in Watches (TMIW) comes into play.
Here we’ll go over everything worth discussing from the past month from new releases, popular articles from the Magazine, industry news. Sounds good? Let’s get into October 2019 in Watches...
Seiko SRQ029 & SRQ031 Limited Editions
Seiko celebrates their first chronograph to be released as well as their first automatic chronograph at the start of the month in the form of the new Seiko SRQ029 & SRQ031 Limited Editions. These two models are more of an adaptation of the original designs rather than a direct re-issue with more conventional chronograph layouts featuring. Although these are 41mm and 42.3mm in width, I like the fact these piece hint to the past rather than directly copy. Give me an SRQ029 and an original 64 Seiko "Crown" Chronograph and I’ll be happy.
The Geckota Racing range expands...
The latest addition to Geckota’s growing range of motorsports inspired chronograph arrived this month in the form of the new C-04 Racing Chronograph. This new VK64 powered chronograph features a first for the brand, a fully ceramic bezel, bespoke case design (she’s 40mm by the way), signature Geckota hands and three unique colours. Available here for just £299.
The C-04 is also available in a new gift set! The package does become £40 more expensive however for that added cost you get yourself two additional leather straps, one Military style strap, a springbar tool, a lug gauge and a watch roll. Not bad for £339. Find out more here.
The Seiko SNKL23 Review
At the start of the month, we reviewed the entry-level watch of choice for many, the Seiko SNKL23. For less than £100 you can own an automatic watch, from a respected, valued and important watch brand whilst also looking pretty great. As it stands our video review is quickly becoming one of our most popular on the channel. Check it out for yourself here.
Zenith continue the El Primero party
This year Zenith celebrated 50 years of the El Primero (as if you didn’t already know). They have celebrated this achievement pretty hard already with releases such as the trio of A386’s in the three golds, A384 and of course the Only Watch piece. Zenith continued to remain busy recently with a special edition Silicon Valley-based collector’s club ‘Collective’ 50 piece C.01, their first boutique Zenith x Bamford Watch Department, another Bamford piece (this time for Mr Porter) and a one-off Zenith for auction season this year, in platinum.
The Longines Heritage Classic arrives!
Ah finally. Finally, Longines follow up on their insanely cool Heritage Military release from 2018 with the Heritage Classic. Here we see a simple cased sector dial from Longines arguably one of their best vintage styles from the archive. This thing is extremely similar to the original models and is just beautiful. I’m counting down the days until we get hands-on with one...
I've also heard Longines have more up their sleeve for the start of next year, stick around for that one...
The new Movember Oris ChronOris 2019
Oris and Movember have worked together for a few years now releasing some cool spin-offs of popular models and 2019 was no different. The ChronOris is a model that I feel doesn’t receive the attention it deserves, with most eyes being distracted by the 65 Diver or a Pointer Date, the ChronOris quietly sits there looking great. Now it has the Movember treatment on it, let’s hope this can really give it the attention it deserves.
Taking handmade to a whole new level: The Greubel Forsey Hand Made 1
Grubel Forsey has a reputation for creating insanely complicated pieces. Tourbillons, perpetual calendar, GMT with a globe in the case and now a 95% handmade tourbillon. This white gold cased, 43mm watch keeps things relatively simple with just time only and a tourbillon featuring (not a globe in sight). But it’s simplicity ends there. The Hand Made 1 has been entirely created from scratch. The movement construction, traditional machining and hand-finishing specialists reflected at length on each of the 272 movement components and 36 case parts. the only exceptions being the sapphire crystals, the case gaskets, the springbars, the jewels, and the mainspring.
6,000 hours or the equivalent of three years man-hours is needed to create just one of these watches. Crazy stuff.
WatchGecko visit Dornbluth & Sohn in Kalbe, Germany
We recently took a short trip over to Germany to visit good friends of WG, Dornbluth & Sohn. We have a lot of pictures and things to say about this visit so stick around on the Mag for more coverage on this trip in the next few weeks. Dornbluth announced three models to celebrate 20 years of the brand. First, the Quintus Kraftzwolf 38.5mm sees a big date, unique power reserve with the 12 indice and of course a new smaller size (very welcomed!).
Next is a simple change but the 99.1 is now available in medium size at 40mm. And finally, the Quintus Jubilar which is 38.5mm and looks towards an early Dornbluth design for inspiration.
Oh and as of this month, we're pleased to announce if you're looking to acquire a Dornbluth watch you'll be able to choose a strap from a hand-picked selection from our range!
The New Chopard Eagle Alpine
Stainless steel sports watches. Undeniably the most popular configuration for a watch in 2019. Throw in an integrated bracelet and you’re really winning. This is what Chopard have done with their Eagle Alpine. Taking inspiration from an 80s model called St Moritz, this new Eagle Alpine has all the ingredients of being a hit. Prices start around £10,000 which let’s be honest as we’re all comparing this to the Nautilus or the Royal Oak, that seems a lot more approachable.
People online are not backwards in coming forward when sharing their thoughts on this watch with many having an overall negative tone. For what it’s worth I genuinely like the look of this watch. The dial which is inspired by an Eagle’s iris looks beautiful, the bracelet is meant to be incredibly comfortably (Just ask Wei Koh) and the addition and execution of roman numerals feel surprisingly at home. If you’re in the market for an integrated bracelet sports watch in steel from a recognisable brand with such prestige, there isn’t anyone that really comes close in this price point.
SIHH evolves to Watches and Wonders
Watch shows across the world are at interesting crossroads at the moment. In this fast-moving technology-based world we live in, things can quickly become stale and in need of something new. SIHH have always been pretty hot on this sort of thing, which is why for 2020 not only will it combine dates with Baselworld but it will also have a re-brand. The Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (who own SIHH, Watches and Wonders, Dubai Watch Week and The Mastery of Time) will be now be calling the show a Watches and Wonders. The show will be split into Watches & Wonders-The Salon and Watches & Wonders-In the City.
The Salon see changes including doors open to the public, CEO talks, workshops, panels etc. In The City is free to attend and focuses more on experiences through boutiques and private spaces. Whether you agree or disagree with these changes, it does feel like an exciting time to be a watch fan.
The ever shifting show of Baselworld
From one watch show to another and Baselworld. Michel Loris-Melikoff (Managing Director of Baselworld) has been busy for the past few years with the latest news for 2020 being a new ‘Community District’ as well as Les Ateliers receiving some refinement for next year.
First up is this new district which a new space located in the heart of Hall 1.0.
The "Community District" comprises a new set of several large buildings, each housing two to three brands. With its resolutely contemporary architecture, its transparency and its harmonised layout between the different spaces, whose two-level interiors can be customized. The “Community District" combines private business zones designed to accommodate large groups, with important new experience areas for the general public.
The independent brands also received some positive news recently with the new developments including a more appropriate redistribution of the spaces on the south side of Hall 1: in Les Ateliers on the ground floor, the Watch Gallery on the first floor and the Incubator now on the same level.
Les Ateliers will remain in Hall 1.0 south and the space will be expanded to accommodate more brands.
The A. Lange & Söhne Odysseus
Stainless steel sports watch on a bracelet from Lange. Even though it seems everyone is releasing watches that fit that bill, I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I genuinely didn’t see this one coming.
This has been another point of discussion in the watch industry (certainly on social media) for the past week or so. This is a whole lot of new from Lange as it’s a brand new watch and bracelet, a first for the brand.
Again for what it’s worth the watch itself looks typically Lange (in the best way possible). The day and day perfectly mirror each other right on the edge of the piece. The multi-layered and textured dial keeps the watch feeling considered and detailed. I get what they are going for with the bracelet overlapping the lugs on the piece, however, this is probably the one aspect of the watch that I’m not the biggest fan of.
Riskers Watches is now live!
Amongst a lot of news at Baselworld this year, one brand we had a meeting with didn’t actually have a watch to show. Just a simple stand in the new ‘Watch Incubator’ section of the show with a roll-up poster, a few branding props and a 3D printed case made up Riskers Watches at Baselworld ‘19.
Fast forward around 7 months and Riskers Watches now have their Kickstarter campaign live and after only a few days are over 3 times their funding goal.
Be sure to head over to their Kickstarter campaign to support these former Richemont executives.
So there we have it, October 2019 in watches. This time of year is always a busy one with brands releasing their final phase of releases for the year so understandably a lot of new models to come.
Don’t forget to check-in at the end of November for your next round up!