FACED WITH TURBULENT TIMES, WATCHMAKERS ARE REVISITING THEIR BACK CATALOGUES AND RE-ISSUING STEADY CLASSICS.
For the first time in almost two-and-a-half years, the Swiss watch industry posted positive month-on-month results in both March and May of this year. Headwinds may be abating, but a tough economic climate means that this year the watch world has been characterised by a raft of reissues from the golden era of watch design. Leading the way was Omega, which updated a trio of its most recognisable timepieces, releasing them as the ‘1957 Trilogy Collection’. Sixty years ago, Omega debuted three industry-changing tool watches. This year, the ‘Speedmaster’ returns in a 38.6mm case, while the ‘Railmaster’ and ‘Seamaster 300’ have been updated with Omega’s ‘Master Chronometer’ movement, a calibre capable of withstanding 15,000 gauss of magnetism. Only 3557 of each will be made available. The original Blancpain ‘Fifty Fathoms’ arrived four years before the Omega ‘Seamaster’, becoming the world’s first bona fide, series-produced dive watch. In 1957, the ‘Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC 1’ incorporated a circular water-tightness indicator at six o’clock that would turn from white to red should water penetrate the case. The indicator returns in 2017, along with a bezel covered in scratch-resistant sapphire. Other notable retro revivals include Zenith’s ‘Chronomaster Heritage 146’, a chronograph from the ’60s that’s now equipped with Zenith’s legendary ‘El Primero’ movement; Grand Seiko’s ultra-accurate micro-electro-mechanical ‘SBGM221’; and Longines’ ‘Heritage 1945’, an elegant, time-only automatic with a steel case and brushed copper dial. omegawatches.com; blancpain.com; zenithwatches.com; grand-seiko.com; longines.com
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Stainless steel ‘Heritage 1945’, $2350, by Longines; stainless steel ‘Speedmaster’, $9725, stainless steel ‘Seamaster 300’, $9425, stainless steel ‘Railmaster’, $9125, all by Omega; sapphire ‘Tribute To Fifty Fathoms MIL-SPEC’, $17,650, by Blancpain.
BOTTOM LEFT TO RIGHT Stainless steel ‘ Chronomaster Heritage 146’, $9900, by Zenith; stainless steel ‘SBGM221’, $6800, by Grand Seiko.