5 Vibrant New Timepieces From Patek Philippe, Tutima, Glashütte Original, Nomos Glashütte, And Grand Seiko
Each year usually has its own distinctive color trend. While an armada of new watches with green dials sailed into view last year, following in the wake of an even more powerful fleet of timepieces with blue dials in previous years, 2019 seems to be all about a wide variety of colors with many high-end brands offering refined pieces in eye-catching hues.
Color has never looked so spectacular, so let’s dive right into five of 2019’s brightest newcomers.
Patek Philippe Aquanaut 5168G: olive green has never looked so great!
Topping the most anticipated luxury watch introductions at Baselworld every year, Patek Philippe is always good for surprises. With verve and taste, the Geneva brand continues to set the bar ever higher when it comes to sophisticated complications.
But the family-owned company also has a penchant for intriguing color schemes that breathe new life into its classics. In 2019, this rings true for the Aquanaut, the brand’s second sports watch originally making its debut in 1997 as a spinoff of the legendary Nautilus.
After last year’s Aquanaut Chronograph 5968A with its daring orange strap and accents on an otherwise black dial, in 2019 it is an eye-catching army green that goes to the head of the fashion class. This military-inspired verdant hue goes very well with the Aquanaut’s bold porthole-inspired octagonal silhouette, with the signature embossed dial with its three-dimensional pattern providing even greater visual impact.
The Aquanaut’s white gold case comes in “Jumbo” size with a diameter of 42.2 mm, making the new version larger and more luxurious and bound to spark the interest of collectors. The 2019 Aquanaut has the charisma of a cool tool watch – also highlighted by the matching olive-green tropical strap embossed with the signature pattern.
Apart from the new color choice, specifications including luminous indexes and hands and a water resistance of 120 meters are the same as that of its blue-dial predecessor that was introduced in 2017 on the occasion of the Aquanaut’s twentieth anniversary (see Give Me Five! 5 Watches That Have Stood The Test Of Time Starring Rolex, Patek Philippe, Omega, And Cartier).
The watch is powered by automatic manufacture Caliber 324, whose top-notch decoration and massive gold rotor can be admired through the sapphire crystal case back.
For more information, please visit www.patek.com/en/collection/aquanaut/5168G-010.
Quick Facts Patek Philippe Aquanaut Reference 5168G
Case: 42.2 x 8.25 mm, white gold
Movement: automatic Caliber 324 S C with Gyromax balance and Silinvar Spiromax balance spring, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, power reserve 45 hours, Patek Philippe Seal
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK002: the art of the Japanese dial
Grand Seiko is one of the brands that has surprised me the most in recent years. I am not sure when I first realized how much tradition and know-how Seiko has to offer, but in the last three or four years I’ve noticed that its introductions at Baselworld were among the ones I increasingly anticipated the most.
It seems I am not alone in this as Grand Seiko’s reputation has grown tremendously, underscored by the fact that it was transformed into a standalone brand two years ago, which I reported on in Grand Seiko: A New Direction With New Models For 2017.
Among the many new timepieces of 2019, I especially fell for the new Grand Seiko Elegance collection, which quite literally lives up to its name.
The Elegance line consists of four limited-edition timepieces, all powered by the manually wound Caliber 9S63, Grand Seiko’s first hand-wound movement in eight years, displaying small seconds at 9 o’clock and a power reserve at 3 o’clock. Following Grand Seiko’s high standards, Caliber 9S63 offers a 72-hour power reserve and keeps time with a maximal daily gain of five seconds and a maximal loss of three seconds per day.
The movement is handsomely finished with tempered screws and polished chamfers. The sapphire crystal display back bears a lion, the brand’s symbol for strength.
The Elegance line is not only new in terms of the mechanics inside, it also welcomes a premiere for Grand Seiko: two of the models feature long-lasting, radiant Urushi lacquer on the dials, which we have until now only seen on some timepieces of the Presage line.
Urushi lacquer is extracted from trees around the town of Joboji located in view of Mount Iwate, a mountain that the skilled watchmakers at Seiko’s Shizukuishi Watch Studio can see during their working hours.
However, this exquisite surface coating is only available with the two pink gold models, one with a perpetually classic black dial (Reference SBGK004) and the other (Reference SBGK002) with a textured amber-colored dial.
The hour markers and “GS” letters are decorated by Urushi craftsman Isshu Tamura, based in Kanazawa, using the traditional Maki-e technique, which includes the application of gold powder and polish, giving them a delicately shimmering appearance. Thanks to Tamura’s time-consuming application of layer after layer of lacquer, these elements feature an almost three-dimensional profile that offers excellent legibility.
This masterpiece is framed by a freshly designed case in pink gold with Grand Seiko’s signature interplay of polished and brushed surfaces obtained by the brand’s Zaratsu method. As befits such an elegant timepiece, it is distinguished by harmonious proportions with a diameter of 39 mm and a profile height of 11.6 mm.
For more information, please visit www.grand-seiko.com/us-en/collections/sbgk002g.
Quick Facts Grand Seiko Elegance SBGK002
Case: 39 x 11.6 mm, pink gold
Movement: manually wound Caliber 9S63, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, power reserve 72 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date, power reserve indication
Limitation: 150 pieces
Price: $29,000 / €31,400
Glashütte Original Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date Annual Edition 2019: retro chic at its finest
I am a big fan of the Glashütte Original Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date and an even bigger fan of the annual limited editions distinguished by the artistic dials first seen in Sixties Iconic: Glashütte Original’s Richly Multicolored Homage To Vintage East German Style.
I loved last year’s green executions that kicked off the annual series and I love the 2019 edition featuring a “fiery orange” as the Saxon manufacture calls it (which Elizabeth and Martin previewed at Time To Move). The unique character of the radiant orange is augmented by a gradient effect, ranging from a golden yellow in the center through a strong orange and finishing with an intense red hue on the outer ring of the slightly curved dial.
The effect is simply stunning: it reminds me of the dramatic scenery a spectacular sunset creates.
These phenomenal dials are manufactured in Glashütte Original’s own dial manufactory in Pforzheim. The production process includes both an individual application and firing of the color and a unique stamping treatment employing the original tools and methods from the 1960s. With the help of a 60-ton press, the dial blank is embossed with an intricate guilloche pattern. The result is intriguing, with tiny elements radiating from the center to the rim.
As its name suggests, the Sixties Panorama Date includes the brand’s signature large date, here executed in high contrast white against a black background. The watch is powered by Caliber 39-47, an inhouse automatic movement that has proven its strength over the years.
As to be expected from this top-notch Glashütte watch brand, the Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date is finished according to the brand’s highest standards and features Glashütte ribbing, beveled edges, and a swan-neck fine adjustment regulator.
For more information, please visit www.glashuette-original.com/collection/vintage/sixties-panorama-date.
Quick Facts Glashütte Original Sixties Panorama Date
Case: 42 x 12.4 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 39-47, 4 Hz/28,800 vph, power reserve of 40 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and large date
Nomos Glashütte Tangente neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium: what an update!
Bright colors abound in 2019, however, some manufacturers opt for more subdued tones including brown and grey, often accentuated by gradient transitions and/or striking sunburst as well as guilloche or fine engraving to give their time displays more understated looks.
This trend certainly rings true for the Nomos Tangente neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium, which received a color “update” this year.
First presented in 2018 (see it in Naughty Or Nice? A Down-To-Earth Wish List), its Caliber 6101 neomatik movement boasts one of the coolest date displays of modern times. So cool that it won the Challenge Category of the 2018 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève for its innovative mechanism.
Instead of using a hand, the neomatic’s dial features 31 apertures around the periphery; the date is framed in red in oval-shaped cutouts on either side of the current date numeral. In typical Nomos fashion, the indication is impeccably executed.
Additionally, it depicts how far the month has progressed in such a bold manner that it reminds us to seize the day.
With its new ruthenium dial ranging between dark grey and brown as an intriguing backdrop, the indication is beautifully spotlighted. This rare platinum-group metal conjures an exclusive and elegant hue going very well with the rhodium-plated hands and Bauhaus style numerals.
There is much to admire on the back of the Tangente neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium too. Inside the thin stainless-steel case, measuring a mere 7.9 mm in height, ticks a genuine manufacture movement raising the bar for slimness: Caliber DUW 6101 is only 3.6 mm in height and features the date ring around its circumference, allowing the date to be easily set in both directions via the crown.
Also notable through the sapphire crystal display back is Nomos’s proprietary escapement, the Nomos swing system, with its attractive tempered blue balance spring. The movement is finished to Glashütte’s high standards, boasting Glashütte ribbing, gold-colored engravings, perlage, and tempered blue screws.
In my opinion, the new version of Tangente neomatik 41 highlights the impact color can have on the appearance of a watch. In this case it transformed a great timepiece into an even greater one.
For more information, please visit www.nomos-glashuette.com/en/tangente/tangente-neomatik-41-update-ruthenium.
Quick Facts Nomos Glashütte Tangente neomatik 41 Update Ruthenium
Case: 40.5 x 7.9 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber DUW 6101, 4 Hz/28,800 vph, power reserve 42 hours, Swing System escapement
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Tutima Sky Flieger Automatic: a colorful trio
All good things come in threes: since we have just discussed two refined Glashütte watches, here’s something else new in this timekeeping-obsessed town.
Tutima has a pretty cool new entry-level line with a very appealing price tag coming in under €1,500 that could be the perfect dressy-yet-sporty everyday timepiece for this summer.
The Sky Flieger Automatic – “Flieger” means “pilot” in German – is an all-new collection consisting of three models with red, green, and blue dials. Their appearance is highly stylish thanks to the subtle 1970s vintage design featuring a so-called color gradient that gains in intensity from the center to the rim. Completing the dial are the weekday and date indications at 3 o’clock and luminous indices and hands.
My personal favorite is the red variant, which has a slight tendency to burgundy and reminds me of the allure of a full-bodied red wine. The blue and green executions are also stunning, both featuring bold and expressive hues. It is just a matter of taste and style preference; you can’t go wrong with any of this happy-color trio.
Powering them all is automatic Caliber 330, based on the tried-and-tested ETA 2836, which is visible through the exhibition case back. For a sports’ watch these debutantes, which are water-resistant to 100 meters and complemented by elegant mesh bracelets, feature a more moderate diameter of 41 mm making them suitable for both casual and dressier occasions.
You easily can wear them while exercising at the gym, pair them with a business suit, or put them together with informal wear – they will pull off any look. Considering all these favorable attributes, the only question remaining is what color to go for!
For more information, please visit www.tutima.com/watches/sky.
Quick Facts Tutima Sky Flieger Automatic
Case: 41 x 13 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic Caliber 330 (ETA 2836 base), 4 Hz/28,800 vph, power reserve 38 hours
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; weekday, date