As Joshua Munchow looks back over 2019, he is reminded what an exciting year it has been in the world of watches – from changes to the major fairs and exhibitions to corporate acquisitions and right on down to surprising launches from brands. There was definitely enough to keep us on our toes.
1969 marked the introduction of the world’s first self-winding chronographs. These were presented by Zenith with its El Primero, Seiko with the 5 Speedtimer, and an illustrious group consisting of Breitling, Heuer/Leonidas, and Hamilton/Büren, with the Chronomatic Caliber 11. Sabine Zwettler takes us through the history and looks at three of the latest-generation commemorative automatic chronographs by these early pioneers.
If there is one complicated element that has been in a whirlwind (pun intended) of developments, it has been the tourbillon. And while tourbillons are still fairly expensive, you don’t have to spend $100,000 anymore, as many brands now have great offerings for even a third of that amount.
The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève’s 2019 Chronometry category awards mechanical watches comprising at least one tourbillon and/or a special escapement and/or another development improving chronometry (precision timekeeping). Our panel clearly wishes that there were more empirical evidence for the claims of high precision and is split on the winner. What’s your favorite?
Back in the 1970s, McQueen was the king of cool: he was a world-famous movie star and a prominent racecar driver. So it’s no surprise that the Heuer Monaco he wore in the film ‘Le Mans’ instantly became a hit. But what happened to the Monaco models used on set and where are they today? Chris Malburg interviews the prop master to find out.
Walter Cronkite and Peter Jennings were two of the best known and most respected broadcast journalists on American television. While Cronkite was known to wear a gold Rolex Datejust and Omega chronographs, resident watch spotter Nick Gould surprisingly found evidence of Jennings sporting a Heuer Monaco.
The TAG Heuer Monaco’s square case, the deep-blue dial with square chronograph counters and elongated hour indexes, and the crown on the left side (to show that it didn’t require winding) stood out at its introduction in 1969. While some strongly disliked the unusual appearance others were entirely taken by it, and the Monaco quickly gained momentum. Now TAG Heuer commemorates 50 years of the bold Monaco with a handful of celebratory limited editions..
Joshua Munchow thinks that TAG Heuer’s move to separate the Autavia into its own collction and have it be fully supported by Caliber 5 with its Isograph carbon-composite hairspring is a definitive step to creating a new, solid base for the brand to build on.
The brand-new Carrera Calibre Heuer 02T Tourbillon Nanograph, an incredible (and incredibly priced) piece of high-tech horology contains a balance spring made from a patented carbon composite of carbon nanotubes and amorphous carbon. Joshua Munchow explains why we should sit up and take notice of this.
The unbeatable combination of Gulf Oil’s powder blue and bright orange stands out as one of the most well-known racing liveries in history, and these two new TAG Heuer Monaco Gulf editions use those colors superbly. Joshua Munchow explains how and why.