January 2014

Half a century of airborne feats

Breitling celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Patrouille Suisse by dedicating to this exceptional team an exclusive version of the Chronomat, complete with personalized dial and engraved caseback. Issued in a 1,000-piece limited edition, this authentic aviation chronograph once again reflects the special ties between the Swiss brand and the world’s elite pilots.


In 2014, Switzerland and the aviation world are celebrating a double milestone: the 100th anniversary of the Swiss Air Force and the 50th anniversary of the Patrouille Suisse.

1964 saw the official creation of an aerobatics team composed of professional air force pilots. Initially comprising four and later five British Hawker Hunter Mk 58 jet fighters, the Patrouille Suisse switched to six planes in 1978 and began giving its first demonstrations beyond national borders. Since 1995, it has established itself as one of the rare aerobatics teams on supersonic jets by flying six American F-5E Tiger II fighter aircraft recognizable by their red and white livery. An outstanding ambassador of Swiss precision and excellence, the Patrouille Suisse regularly performs at shows around Europe, providing stunning displays that delight spectators and have already earned it numerous distinctions.

An authentic aviation chronograph
As a privileged partner of aviation, Breitling enjoys a longstanding relationship with the Patrouille Suisse that has already led to the creation of several personalized models. The brand now joins the team’s 50th anniversary celebrations by launching a limited edition of its stellar Chronomat model in its dual-time version. An authentic wrist instrument for pilots, this mechanical chronograph featuring a sturdy satin-brushed steel case is distinguished by a black dial bearing the flight team logo at 9 o’clock, framed by a rotating bezel with inlaid rubber numerals. The second hour hand, tipped by the outline of a red F-5E Tiger II, serves to display the second timezone in 24-hour mode in a very simple manner via an extremely practical crown-adjustment system. The 24-hour scale on the bezel also enables a third timezone reading. The engraved caseback bears the official 50th anniversary logo, topped by the limited-edition number. Water-resistant to 200 meters (660 ft), the Chronomat 44 GMT “Patrouille Suisse 50th Anniversary” houses Manufacture Breitling Caliber B04, a selfwinding chronograph movement entirely developed and produced by Breitling and chronometer-certified by the COSC (Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute), the highest benchmark in terms of precision and reliability and the only one based on an international norm. Sturdiness and high performance expressed in a technical and masculine style: a fine tribute to 50 years of airborne feats.

I have been so busy with my real job that I haven’t had a chance to post my comments and thoughts on the new watches released this week at SIHH. There have been quite a few that have gotten my attention, and I’m just trying to find the time to talk about them. I’ll start with the whole Panerai Lineup, since I’m passionate about Panerai, and I really like their watches.

First, lets take a look at the new base model watches:

PAM560 Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio

PAM561 Luminor Base 8 Days Acciaio Replacing PAM114

PAM562 Luminor Base 8 Days Titanio Replacing PAM176

PAM563 Luminor Marina 8 Days Acciaio Replacing PAM113

PAM564 Luminor Marina 8 Days Titanio Replacing PAM177

The new P.5000 In-House caliber line of base model Panerai are very nice, and a nice upgrade to the entry level PAMs. This will make them more expensive, but also more exclusive and give them a longer 8 Day power reserve, which is a welcome feature for many. I think this is a fantastic upgrade to the line, but will also make the price of admission much less achievable for the common buyer.

Most of these models are replacing older models that have been around for around 10 years or more, but the interesting thing is the PAM112 does not appear to be discontinued even though the PAM560 looks to be its predecessor. Overall, I’m quite excited to see what these new pieces bring to the brand.

PAM518 Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Platino

PAM519 Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Oro Rosso

PAM520 Radiomir 1940 Chronograph Oro Bianco

The other interesting pieces I found in the line-up are the Radiomir 1940 Chronographs. If these were available in steel, I would be all over them, but Panerai has followed in the footsteps of Rolex, only offering certain movement and dial configurations with precious metal cases in order to increase exclusivity and rarity. I really like these dials, and I like that they only made them on the Radiomir 1940’s style, as the detailed dials do not suit ant of the other case types. The vintage style chapter ring really gives the watch an interesting feel.

Overall a nice release from Panerai, without too much deviation. Just some solid bolstering of the existing line-up with a little bit of pizzazz with the pocket watches and the Radiomir Chronographs. Nice work. Also, several pieces were discontinued.. see below.

Discontinued Models for 2014
Panerai also announced that they would be discontinuing the following models:
PAM 114
PAM 176
PAM 219
PAM 113
PAM 177
PAM 439
PAM 504
PAM 505
PAM 299
PAM 25
PAM 297
PAM 241
PAM 244
PAM 270
PAM 275
PAM 289

Panerai revealed its SIHH 2014 pieces via email today, and they are an interesting bunch of pieces. In particular I really dig the Chronograph collection, which appears to be the feature. The Radiomir 1940 Chronographs are a nice looking bunch. I’ll recap all the pieces later today.


See the Chronograph video here:

See the SIHH 2014 Novelties here:

Panerai teases us with a video of their upcoming 2014 SIHH Collection, coming in less than 6 days. This time they’re being a little bit more cryptic, taking some cues from Apple, no doubt.


They certainly have the same type of cult-like followers, and create the same kind of buzz. I certainly can’t wait to see the collection, even though I can’t afford most of them!

Happy New Years everyone, its my first post after the holidays, and I hope everyone had a great holiday season. Now, down to IWC business.

Only a few years after the Aquatimer collection received a revamp, they are getting another facelift. This time, there are some serious upgrades to the system, not just a new sapphire crystal bezel and overall design changes. This one has some technological upgrades, the most obvious one is the IWC SafeDive system with the internal dive bezel that is operated by turning an outer bezel, similar to the Breitling B-1, though I believe the mechanism is different.

IWC Aquatimer CHRONOGRAPH Edition GALAPAGOS Islands Ref. IW379502 04

IWC has six new models including, featuring some very cool features such as bronze cases, depth guages, perpetual calendars, and pellaton winding movements – all new to the Aquatimer line. IWC has only released photos of three of them. The six new models are:

Aquatimer Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month (Ref. IW379401)
IWC-manufactured 89801 calibre with perpetual calendar and large digital display for the date and month. Limited Edition of 50 Pieces, and features a gigantic 49mm Case.

Aquatimer Deep Three in titanium (Ref. IW355701)
Titanium Watch with a Mechanical Depth Guage

Aquatimer Automatic 2000 (Ref. IW358002)
Water Resistant to 2000m, and features the IWC-manufactured 80110 calibre with Pellaton winding system. Photo Below:

Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “50 Years Science for Galapagos” (Ref. IW379504)
Limited Edition of 500 pieces, features IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre and are black rubber coated.

Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Galapagos Islands” (Ref. IW379502)
Limited Edition of 500 pieces, features IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre and are black rubber coated. Photo Below:

Aquatimer Chronograph Edition “Expedition Charles Darwin” (Ref. IW379503)
Features IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre and for the first time for IWC, a Bronze Case. Photo Below:

See the IWC site for the full story: