WatchTime Special Watch Tests 2013

W atch aficionados know that there are a surprising number of watch magazines in the world. The United States alone has half a dozen. Occasionally someone asks, “What’s the difference between WatchTime and other watch magazines?” The answer, simply put, is that WatchTime puts its advertisers to the…

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MAKING IT NEW

The Luminor 1950 3 Days 47 mm is a nearreplica of a coveted vintage Panerai. Inside, though, is a new in-house movement. How do case and caliber fare under our close scrutiny? Pros + Attractive design + Very good legibility + Manufacture movement with long power reserve Cons – Plexiglas soon becomes…

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MAKING IT NEW

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HOW WE TEST WATCHES

BY MIKE DISHER WATCHTIME TECHNICAL EDITOR THE TEST EDITOR WEARS THE WATCH FOR UP TO TWO WEEKS, USING IT JUST AS THE OWNER WOULD. W atchTime is the only English-language watch magazine that does independent product tests. These tests have been a cornerstone of WatchTime since its launch in 1999. The…

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DIVING WITH THE SUBMARINER

A s a supplement to our standard test (see preceding article), we gave the Submariner a practical test to find out if it was truly suitable for diving. German diving instructor Jens Köppe took the Rolex under water for a 40-minute dive. But before he could begin we had to replace a bracelet link…

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DIVING WITH THE SUBMARINER

HOW HIGH THE MOONS?

We tested two versions of Omega’s famous Speedmaster Moonwatch. Which scored better? Pros + Well-constructed manufacture movement + Very accurate rate results + Attractive design + High-quality craftsmanship Cons – High price Pros + Classic design + Good craftsmanship + Moderate price Cons – Poor rate…

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HOW HIGH THE MOONS?

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DIVING CLASS

We put Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak Offshore Diver, a watch built for sport but suited for leisure, through its paces. + An attractive variation on the classic Royal Oak design + All components are very well crafted. + Handsome, technically interesting manufacture caliber Cons – Setting the dive-time…

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DIVING CLASS

Above the Clouds

Whether in the air or on the ground, the Zenith Pilot Big Date Special is always at home. We put this high flyer through our rigorous test. Pros + Nicely decorated in-house movement + Interesting design details + Consistent rate results + Good value Cons - Hard-to-read big date display - No hack…

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Above the Clouds

Plane and Fancy

One of the most intricate pilots’ watches ever made, this version of the IWC Big Pilot’s Watch incorporates a cockpit rarity, a perpetual calendar. See how the watch fared in our test. Pros + Very attractive design + Scratch-resistant ceramic case + Sophisticated perpetual calendar Cons – The…

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Plane and Fancy

Group Effort

Longines’s Column Wheel Chronograph contains a movement made especially for the brand by ETA, its sister company in the Swatch Group. Pros + State-of-the-art chronograph caliber + Near-perfect rate results + Attractive price Cons – Loose chronograph pushers – Sharp lug edges – Corrector button for…

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Group Effort

BAUME & MERCIER CAPELAND

Baume and Mercier launched its newly redesigned Capeland at the SIHH exhibition in Geneva in 2011. The watch has a harmonious design featuring a brown sunburst finish on the dial, a stainlesssteel case and a brown leather strap. We found the dial especially attractive, with its color scheme of brown…

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BAUME & MERCIER CAPELAND

CHRONO TEST FEST

If you like chronographs, and if you like watch tests, the next 18 pages should make you as happy as a rattrapante at the New York Marathon. Here, you’ll find seven mini-tests of chronos plain and fancy, large and, well, larger. Enjoy. Frédérique Constant Vintage Racing Chronograph Baume & Mercier…

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CHRONO TEST FEST

Frédérique Constant Vintage Racing Chronograph

F rédérique Constant has been the official timekeeper and a supporter of numerous events celebrating classic Austin-Healey cars since 2000. Recently Frédérique Constant announced it is the official timekeeper of the Peking to Paris Motor Challenge, the most adventurous of all endurance rallies for…

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Frédérique Constant Vintage Racing Chronograph

Hamilton Khaki Officer Auto Chrono

Pros + Solid craftsmanship + Good wearing comfort Cons – Mediocre rate results – Daytime legibility could be better. The watch contains the tried-and-true ETA 7750 movement. The Hamilton Watch Co. was founded in Lancaster, Pa., in 1892. The brand soon became the leading supplier of pocketwatches for…

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Hamilton Khaki Officer Auto Chrono

Stowa Pilots’ Chronograph

Atraditional pilots’ watch has a cleanly styled, black dial with individual minutes markers, luminous indicators and a triangle flanked by a pair of dots at 12 o’clock. Insignia and logos are left off since they would detract from the legibility. Both the dial and the case are matte finished to…

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Stowa Pilots’ Chronograph

MOVADO DATRON

In 1970, Movado introduced an automatic chronograph called the Datron, which had an oval case and a date display in an unusual position, at 12 o’clock. For the Datron’s 40th anniversary, in 2010, the company brought out a commemorative version of the watch, preserving many of the original model’s…

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MOVADO DATRON

Montblanc Sport DLC Chronograph Automatic

M ontblanc has been making complicated watches containing in-house movements for several years. But it continues to introduce less expensive watches that house standard calibers. The Sport DLC Chronograph Automatic, fitted with the ETA 7750, is a particularly distinctive example of such a watch.…

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Montblanc Sport DLC Chronograph Automatic

FIRST RESPONDER

Chopard answered the challenge of limited supplies from ETA by setting up its own factory to make less-expensive movements. We tested the Classic Manufacture, powered by the first fruit of this venture. Copard has been making its own movements since 1996. They’re named L.U.C in memory of the firm’s…

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FIRST RESPONDER

TIME AND AGAIN

Girard-Perregaux’s Vintage 1945 XXL brings modern styling and technology to a World War II-era classic. Here, we see how well it stands our test of time. As its name suggests, the Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL is a jumbo-sized version of a watch that G-P launched in 1945. With a width of 35 mm…

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TIME AND AGAIN

Minute's Notice

Instead of the standard small elapsed-minutes hand, Carl F. Bucherer’s Manero CentralChrono has an eye-catching, center-mounted one. We take the measure of this quirky chrono. Pros + Good rate results + Elaborately crafted case + Well-balanced design Cons – Poor legibility – Simple strap and clasp …

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Minute's Notice

Exploring the New Explorer II

In 2011, Rolex made changes to the Explorer II both inside and out. Find out how this intrepid watch fared in our intense test. In 2011, to mark the Explorer II’s 40th anniversary, Rolex introduced a new version of the watch. The case diameter has grown from 40 mm to 42 mm. The hands and indices are…

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Exploring the New Explorer II

The Explorer II Through the Decades

The Explorer II: a watch for adventurers Both the original Explorer and the Explorer II were created as tool watches for adventurers of all types. Rolex registered the Explorer name in Geneva in January 1953, and the company supplied early Explorers to Sir Edmund Hillary’s expedition, which reached…

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The Explorer II Through the Decades

SHADES OF GRAY

With its shiny, lightweight, titaniumceramic case, Chanel’s J12 Chromatic is a triumph of form. Now we see how it functions. Pros + Eye-catching design + Impeccable craftsmanship + Comfortable on the wrist + Innovative material Cons – Less than ideal legibility – Irregular rate The most difficult…

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SHADES OF GRAY

ROYAL DELUX

The new Extra-Thin 39MM Royal Oak from Audemars Piguet is the spitting image of the original Royal Oak from 1972. See how it held up during the less-than-royal treatment of a WatchTime test. The world of watches contains only a few true icons. One of these is the Royal Oak, designed by Gérald Genta…

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ROYAL DELUX

WATER BABIES

We see how four divers’ watches withstand the rigors of actual diving. H ow low will a journalist go to test a group of divers’ watches in real-life situations – under water, over the sleeve of a wetsuit and as a supplement to technical diving equipment? Our editors went 11 feet under water – the…

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WATER BABIES

ORIS Tubbataha Limited Edition

T aking its name from a Philippine reef that Oris is helping to preserve, the new Tubbataha Limited Edition bears a strong resemblance to the brand’s Master Diver. Like that watch, this one is a regulator, meaning that it has a central minutes hand and subdials for the hours and seconds. This…

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ORIS Tubbataha Limited Edition

OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-axial

The crystal is highly reflective and the stripes of luminous material on the hands are too narrow. Pros + Ceramic bezel clicks firmly into place. + Rubber strap can be lengthened easily. Con – Time of day and the dive time are hard to read under water. T he Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-axial…

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OMEGA Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M Co-axial

PORSCHE DESIGN P’6780 DIVER

A divers’ watch needs a rotating ring that’s calibrated to show how many minutes have elapsed since the beginning of the underwater excursion, but this component does not need to be on the outside of the case. Like several other manufacturers, Porsche Design, in its P’6780 Diver, positions the ring…

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PORSCHE DESIGN P’6780 DIVER

CITIZEN Promaster 1000 M Professional Diver

Pros + Long extension piece to lengthen the strap + Highly luminous dial with bold contrasts + Scratch- and waterresistant case Cons – Rotating bezel is difficult to operate. – Cluttered displays are hard to read. T he Promaster 1000 M Professional Diver has a 47.5-mm titanium case which, as the watch’…

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CITIZEN Promaster 1000 M Professional Diver

Tough Time

This two-time-zone watch from Mühle-Glashütte is rugged enough for any off-road journey. How did it stand up to WT’s rough-and-tumble test? T he Mühle-Glashütte Marinus GMT is a rugged travel companion that will tell you the local time as well as the time back home. Marinus means “belonging to the…

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Tough Time