It’s Tool Time: 3 Rugged, Resilient, And Reliable Timepieces For Every Occasion From Bell & Ross, Panerai, And Breitling
Men and their tools – this is a story in itself: if “diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” tools might be a boy’s favorite toy.
As Scottish philosopher Thomas Carlyle, once said, “ . . . without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all.” From drills to jigsaws and hammers to pliers, men’s toolboxes have the right helper for every task at hand.
No wonder that tools designed to be worn on the wrist rank among today’s most popular timepieces. Stemming from military timepieces from the first half of the nineteenth century, they are built with durability and strength in mind rather than sophistication and finesse.
Despite their resilient nature, modern tool watches show no lack of subtle details and sparkle with refinement as these pieces prove.
Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Grey Lum: dare to be square
The latest addition to the Bell & Ross squadron of pilot’s watches is the most elegant tool in this compilation. Naturally, it features Bell & Ross’s hallmark square case with one screw on each of the rounded edges paired with a round dial designed in signature clean and cockpit instrument fashion.
Its fine satin polish and the sunburst finish of the anthracite dial create a subtle play of light that lends it a decidedly classy look during the daytime.
But wait until it gets dark: thanks to the generous application of green-tinted Super-LumiNova C3 on all four of the bold Arabic numerals, the hour markers, the hour and minute hands, the dial powerfully lights up.
The green photoluminescent glow is not only particularly bright but also really long-lasting, hence the name “lum,” which is short for lumière, meaning “light” in French. In addition, the hue of the photoluminescence is reminiscent of glow-in-the-dark tritium used in vintage military watches.
This look and feel are continued by the gray-green calfskin leather strap. Bell & Ross also offers a black synthetic fabric strap that is more resilient and further highlights the timepiece’s tool watch impression. However, the leather strap makes for a more elegant appearance.
This new timepiece is powered by the tried-and-tested Sellita SW 300-1, which includes a date indication between 4 and 5 o’clock.
For more information, please visit www.bellross.com/our-collections/Instruments/br-03-42-mm/br-03-92-steel/BR-03-92-GREY-LUM.
Quick Facts Bell & Ross BR 03-92 Grey Lum
Case: 42 x 42 mm, stainless steel
Movement: automatic caliber BR-CAL.302 (based on Sellita SW 300-1), 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 42-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds; date
Price: €2,900 / $3,440
Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech 44 mm: big time for innovation
With a bold diameter of 44 mm and clothed in the brand’s own ultralight Carbotech, a carbon fiber composite first introduced in 2015, this new timepiece creates quite a statement on the wrist.
The Luminor Marina’s signature cushion shape with crown protection on the left side – beloved by Paneristi all over the world –is highlighted by the unique pattern of the case’s matte-black high-tech material, which exhibits an almost woodgrain-like surface texture.
The round bezel frames the sandwich dial filled with electric blue Super-LumiNova, which lends the timepiece a stunning look. The radiant hue is repeated by the bright blue stitching of the Sportech fabric-pattern rubber strap.
The inner workings of the new Luminor Marina execution are in no way inferior to its sophisticated appearance. Panerai’s own P.9010 automatic movement with a power reserve of three days ticks behind the closed case back. With a water-resistance of 300 meters, its light weight, and very cool looks the Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech 44 mm is a picture-perfect example of how a well-designed luxury tool watch can look today.
For more information, please visit www.panerai.com/us/en/collections/watch-collection/luminor/pam01661-luminor-marina-carbotech-44mm.
Quick Facts Panerai Luminor Marina Carbotech 44 mm PAM01661
Case: 44 mm, Carbotech
Movement: automatic manufacture Caliber P90.10, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 72-hour power reserve
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; date
Price: €12,800 / $12,800
Breitling Avi Reference 765 1953 Re-Edition: the copilot’s best friend
From the classic Navitimer to the bolder Avenger to the relatively new Super 8 collections, the Grenchen-based brand’s name is synonymous with professional pilot’s watches. They build Breitling’s core collections, which the brand regularly updates and expands by always respecting its historic hallmarks and highlighting them with the means of modern times.
With the Avi Reference 765 1953 Re-Edition, Breitling revitalizes another faithful recreation of a gorgeous vintage piece that once stood alongside the famous Navitimer. Available in three limited versions – one in stainless steel with a black dial (1,953 pieces), one in platinum with a blue dial (253 pieces), and a pink gold execution likewise with a black dial (253 pieces) – it is dedicated to the second most important member of the airplane’s crew, the copilot.
Although the Avi Reference 765 1953 Re-Edition clearly is a Breitling, the timepiece, whose origins date back to 1953, offers a distinctive look and feel. As is crucial for a pilot’s watch, the dial provides best readability with bold Arabic numerals accented with Super-LumiNova. The syringe-style hour and minute hands are reminiscent of pilot’s watches of that decade as is the thin, arrow-tipped hand for the sweep chronograph seconds and the domed Hesalite crystal protecting the dial.
A really nice touch is the 15-minute chronograph counter at 3 o’clock with the same signature luminescent indexes every three minutes as the original 765 AVI. Back in the 1950s, these helped pilots in their final pre-flight plane check that was not to exceed 15 minutes.
Powering this vintage re-issue is Breitling’s manufacture Caliber B09, naturally coming with a chronometer certificate for proven precision. The fact that it is manually wound contributes to the authenticity and probably makes it even more desirable for sophisticated collectors.
At moderate diameter of 41 mm and height of 11 mm, it makes for an attractive partner for all kinds of settings.
For more information, please visit www.breitling.com/us-en/watches/aviator-8/avi-ref-765-1953-re-edition.
Quick Facts Breitling Avi Ref. 765 1953 Re-Edition
Case: 41 x 11 mm, stainless steel, platinum, and pink gold
Movement: hand-wound manufacture Caliber Breitling B09, 4 Hz/28,800 vph frequency, 70-hour power reserve, officially C.O.S.C. chronometer certified
Functions: hours, minutes, subsidiary seconds; chronograph
Limitation: stainless steel (1,953 pieces); platinum (253 pieces); pink gold (253 pieces)
Price: €8,600 / $8,600 for stainless steel