Rolex Oyster Perpetual Sea-Dweller 43mm Red

Rolex’s anniversary pieces are frequently sought after, although in recent years, the Rolex Way has somewhat gone on a tangent. For its 50th anniversary, Rolex has generated considerable consternation amongst vintage fanatics by adding a cyclops on the sapphire glass – those dealing with the onset of presbyopia may be thankful, but it’s anathema to the Sea-Dweller itself, which for years eschewed that visual aid. Think of this watch more as a slightly slimmer and better proportioned Deepsea, or simply look at it as a great modern Rolex, which is a breath of fresh air amongst the slew of vintage re-issues this year.

Tudor Heritage Black Bay Chronograph

Tudor found a winning formula with the Black Bay collection, and continues in its stride with the Heritage Black Bay Chronograph. It has a 41mm steel case that’s just the right size (for me), and it features all the Tudor signatures such as the snowflake hands, the Tudor rose engraved on the crown, and the rivets on the steel bracelet. What’s more remarkable though is that Tudor goes back to the good old days of watchmaking, when collaboration between brands was the norm; the MT5813 caliber is sourced from Breitling, based on the B-01 movement, but adapted by Tudor.

Omega Railmaster

While the Omega 1957 Trilogy Limited Editions had many fawning over the re-issue, particularly the box set, it’s the new Railmaster collection that caught my attention. It has some vintage touches, but done in a very modern way, more a modern interpretation rather than a re-issue. As it’s a Master Chronometer, it’s anti-magnetic to at least 1.5 Tesla, and is equipped with Omega’s co-axial caliber. It may be a value proposition, but it leaves nothing to be desired to its pricier brethren. It’s also one where photos don’t do it justice; the vertically brushed dial can be dramatically different visually, depending on how it catches the ambient light.

Hermès Slim d’Hermès L’heure Impatiente

Hermès likes to play with time itself, as anyone who’s tried to order a Birkin or Kelly handbag will have experienced. This has extended into its timepieces; a follow-up of its Arceau le Temps Suspendu, the Slim d’Hermès L’heure Impatiente could easily be mistaken for an alternative to an alarm watch. However, delving further into the watch, you discover that it took considerably more effort to make the one hour countdown work as desired, and to achieve the desired sonic profile for the chime. Plus, there’s a hidden Pegasus and a shark within key components within the movement, for no other reason than they thought it would be fun.

Hermes

Bulgari Octo Finissimo Automatic

At the risk of sounding like the introduction to a summer blockbuster movie: just when you thought that it couldn’t get any thinner, Bulgari continues almost obsessive-compulsively in its quest to produce the slenderest mechanical movements with the Octo Finissimo Automatic. The caliber is not simply an automatic version of the Finissimo BVL 128, the manual-winding movement we’re already familiar with, but an entirely new one, the BVL 138, incorporating a platinum micro-rotor. Both calibers are an amazing 2.23mm thin, although the cased-up Finissimo Automatic is less than a hair’s breadth thicker than its manual equivalent, at 5.15mm instead of 5.00mm.

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