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One of the most popular Rolex Oyster Professional sport watches from the last few years is the reference 116710BLNR GMT-Master II “Batman” — referred to as such because of its distinctive blue and black “Cerachrom” ceramic bezel. This was the first steel Rolex watch to include a two-tone ceramic bezel, which has since been supplemented with a blue and red “Pepsi” Cerachrom bezel in 2019 as Rolex updated the overall GMT-Master II collection with various new features, including a new movement. While the Rolex reference 126710BLRO (red and blue bezel) GMT-Master II stole much of the attention over the last year, it is also joined by this 126710BLNR (blue and black bezel) that is, in essence, an upgraded Rolex Batman.
The new 126710 generation Rolex GMT-Master II has upgraded over the previous generation 116710 in a few ways. One feature that is not, per se, an upgrade but merely a cosmetic difference is the choice of matching steel bracelet. For many, this will be the biggest difference between the Rolex Batman and the “Batgirl” (a nick name that I don’t find particularly fitting). The previous generation BLNR (the code Rolex uses to refer to the bezel style) was paired with a three-link Rolex Oyster bracelet (with a polished center link), and the new generation BLNR comes paired with an all-steel Jubilee bracelet.
Watch enthusiasts are sometimes up in arms about which bracelet is better or more desirable, and my take is that they are both good in their own ways. Some people claim that the Jubilee bracelet feels a bit too “old” but that is simply because it is mostly associated with more vintage Rolex timepieces on account of them not recently using the bracelet for its sports watches. The Jubilee style bracelet is incredibly comfortable, and it comes on the same deployant clasp (with a “comfort extension” as that on the three-link bracelet. For me, the two bracelets are simply two different flavors that both match the GMT-Master II watch equally well.
Having a few flavors of the same watch is often important to Rolex — which is why, in 2019, it debuted both the GMT-Master II 126710BLNO and the 126710BLNR. Each is the same watch with the only difference being the colors of the two-tone Cerachrom ceramic bezels and the color of the GMT hands. The bezels themselves rotate in both directions and the 24-hour markers on the bezel are used in conjunction with the 24-hour GMT hand on the dial to know the time in other time zones. For this reason, the GMT-Master II has always been ideally suited as a traveler’s watch.
Rolex is funny about mentioning upgrades in its newest generation watches; you’d think they would be louder when it comes to discussing the new features, but the reality is that Rolex is careful not to make their older generation watches seem less desirable. “A Rolex is always a Rolex” according to… well, Rolex. Many people, for example, would not necessarily notice that the new generation GMT-Master 126710 has a different case than that of the previous generation. Both cases are the same 40mm-wide in Rolex’s Oystersteel (904L grade steel), but the 126710 has some slightly different angles to it and is machined differently. I’m not saying it is enough for 116710 generation GMT-Master II owners to “upgrade,” but for those who are keen to wonder what Rolex made differently, then it is more than just a bracelet and a movement for the latest generation GMT-Master II.
Recall that the case is water resistant to 100 meters, with (of course) a sapphire crystal and a Cyclops magnifier window over the date window. Now let's discuss the movement a bit. We already discussed the movement when introducing the GMT-Master II 126710 back in 2019, but I will give you the basic details again. The movement inside the latest-generation GMT-Master is the in-house-made caliber 3285 automatic, which is the GMT version of Rolex’s 32XX generation of movements. The automatic movement operates at 4Hz, now 70 hours of power reserve. It also includes Rolex’s “Superlative Chronometer” rating, which is a stack of both third-party COSC Chronometer rating and more stringent in-house performance testing by Rolex. What I really appreciate about Rolex’s Superlative Chronometer rating is that (unlike most other watchmakers) it comes with specific performance promises, one being accuracy to within plus/minus two seconds a day.
All Rolex movements perform pretty well, so aside from the increased power-reserve rating, I have a feeling that most Rolex wearers will not notice too much difference in terms of the movement operation from the last GMT-Master II generation to this most current 126710 family. When traveling, the movement allows the wearer to adjust the hour hand independently, which helps make it simple to adjust the local time when moving into different time zones.
A fair question to ask is whether or not one should seek out this blue and black 126710BLNR or the red and blue 126710BLNO — as they both cost and do the same things. In some senses, it is a matter of style and taste. It is also important to mention that both watches are currently very challenging to purchase at retail. That sort of implies that, for most buyers, the one they purchase is the one that they find available. It is the enduring recommendation of aBlogtoWatch that consumers do not purchase watches for above retail price, as in recent years speculators have been known to quickly purchase available popular timepieces and then attempt to immediately resell them for a premium. Such actions only serve to benefit the said speculators and should be avoided by most consumers. If you can get your hands on this, or any of the latest-generation Rolex 126710 GMT-Master II watches, then you’ll probably be quite happy with it. Price (recently updated in 2020) for the Rolex 126710BLNR GMT-Master II watch is £7,750.
Bvlgari is on a roll with its Octo Finissimo! The Octo Finissimo collection receives a blue dial version as well, in satin-polished stainless steel.
I recently shared my experience of wearing the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo in satin-polished steel (here). As I commented, I believe it is one of the coolest luxury sports watches available at this moment. For me, the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo in steel is the one to buy and I even prefer it over some other hyped Gérald Genta designs out there. And that comes from deep down inside my soul, as I am a big fan of the Royal Oak and Nautilus.
But which one to buy? The choice just got a lot harder. Enter the Bvlgari Octo Finissimo in satin-polished steel with a blue dial. I am a sucker for blue. My cars are blue. A lot of my clothing is blue. And, I must admit, I don’t take much convincing when it comes to blue dials either…
Bvlgari Octo Finissimo Blue Dial
Normally, I end my articles with the price, but let me state it right here: €11,800. That’s a lot of money, but I can’t think of anything that would justify a lower price. The in-house developed and produced caliber BVL138 with platinum micro-rotor is a stunner. The finishing on the case and bracelet is breathtaking, and the size — 40mm — is spot-on. Bvlgari is not joking around and prooves that a watch like this doesn’t have to be in the 20 or 30k range.
Blue Lacquered Dial
What I wrote in my hands-on review on the black dial version, also applies to this blue dial reference 103431. The thickness of the case (6.4mm) is perfect. In real life, it looks super-thin. I don’t need a watch to go thinner, otherwise, I might start getting nervous about its structural integrity.
Blue Lacquered Dial
The thickness of the case (6.4mm) is perfect. In real life, it looks super-thin. I don’t need a watch to go thinner, otherwise, I might start getting nervous about its structural integrity.
The new dial has really thrown me for a loop. After reviewing the black dial, I was pretty certain nothing would knock that model off my wishlist. But the way Bvlgari has gone about creating this blue lacquered dial has really turned my head. A black dial might be more versatile, but a blue dial makes it more sporty. The blue lacquered dial has a sunburst finish, as you can see in the pictures. That’s a nice flash of elegance that shouldn’t be underestimated when paired with the satin-brushed case.
Article Source: https://www.fratellowatches.com/the-bvlgari-octo-finissimo-blue-dial-in-steel-ref-103431/
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Editor’s note: There comes a point in every collector’s journey where they wish, even if only for a moment, that they had only one watch. That all of their learning, discussing, buying and selling in the world of horology could be focused into a single piece that they could wear every day for the rest of their life. Never again would they hesitate in the morning as they decide what to wear that day, and never again would they wonder where part of their collection was. For many, that watch could be the Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 ref. 114300.
The story in a second:
This could well be the only watch you’ll ever need.
There’s a concept in the world of watch enthusiasts that’s referred to as ‘only one watch’. For the majority of the population, this concept is better known as ‘normality’. But if you’re the sort of person who has a watch for work, one for the weekend as well as a dedicated timepiece for special occasions, there’s a good chance the thought of committing to just one will fill you with dread. How could you choose? Can you live without a chronograph? And do you go for fine finishing or bulletproof reliability? Well, allow us to humbly suggest that all you really need a watch to do is tell the time. Everything else is superfluous. We’d also argue that you need a watch that can handle the daily rigours of regular wear and still scrub up OK. It also needs a timeless style that won’t look out of place on your wrist in 50 years’ time. Not an easy set of criteria, but the new Rolex Oyster Perpetual 39 more than nails it. If you could only ever have one watch, you could do a lot worse than one of these.
This is the first thing you notice about the new Oyster Perpetuals, offered in three sunburst dial variants. The dark rhodium dial is the most conservative option (and we suspect the most popular), while the red grape and blue are bolder, more youthful options.
Rolex have pulled off an impressive feat with this dial. It’s supremely simple, but far from boring. In fact, the purity of this dial – and the watch as a whole – may well be its greatest strength. No date or cyclops distract from the clean lines. The hands are simple sticks, and the applied gold indices have enough height to ensure legibility, without dominating. Only the hands and the three, six and nine are filled with luminous material – this isn’t a diver after all.
Naturally, there’s the applied Rolex crown and signed rehaut, but it’s the printed hour markers that we’re most interested by. In an uncharacteristically playful move from the Swiss giant, these are a breath of fresh, colourfully contrasting air. The rhodium dial gets bright blue details, the grape comes with reddish-orange highlights and the blue’s markers are Kawasaki-green (which looks to be the same tone as they used on the Deepsea D-Blue dial text). These 12 plots of colour, combined with the wonderfully reflective sunburst finish, make for a surprisingly fun time-only watch.
Rolex’s Oyster case is legendary, first developed in 1926 as the world’s first waterproof watch. And while these days many people are wary of going for a swim with anything rated less than 500m, the 100m water resistance on the Oyster case is more than enough for a casual dip. Meanwhile, aesthetically, it sits in the perfect middle ground between dressy and sporty, with a timeless style that means it will never look out of place. While there’s nothing novel about the style or construction of the case, what is new is the size. Previously available in 34mm and 36mm cases, this is also offered for the first time in 39mm. And while the two larger sizes are both quite unisex, the Oyster Perpetual 39 is a winning size for a men’s watch.
The Oyster case is part of a classic double act, working best when paired with the (equally timeless and iconic) Oyster bracelet. The broad brushed links of this comfortable steel bracelet are one of the many, instantly recognisable calling cards of Rolex, providing the perfect accompaniment to the case’s tapering lugs and mirror-finished bezel. Again, there’s nothing particularly new or innovative, but let’s be honest, at this point in the Oyster bracelet’s 80-odd years of life, there’s not too much you could improve on.
Powered by the proven Calibre 3132, this features Rolex’s Parachrom hairspring, the Paraflex shock protection system, and has around 48 hours or power reserve. It’s not Rolex’s most cutting-edge movement but, then again, it’s a perfectly appropriate choice for this entry-level, time-only piece.
On the wrist
This a paradox. It’s discreet while being distinctive, simultaneously timeless and on-trend. It’s also comfortable to a fault. It’s classic Rolex. Fastening the clasp, you know that every detail has been pained over, and that nothing about this watch has been left to chance. But more than that, you know you’re wearing the latest evolution of a watch that’s still very clearly related to its 80-year-old ancestor — a style of timepiece that for many is the canonical definition of a wristwatch. And that’s why the Rolex Oyster Perpetual is the best contender for the only watch you’ll ever need.
I’ve got the perfect watch for EVERY occasion.
Who’s it for?
Anyone. This watch will look great on literally anyone.
What would we change?
While the look and design of this is as close to perfect as you can get, it would be nice to see the Oyster Perpetual powered by a more modern calibre.
You could win and own this watch for just £4.50 by entering our competition, enter now: Tickets-Oyster-Perpetual-39
Original Article Post: Time&Tide
With all the uncertainties in the world currently, there is one thing we are certain of... We are missing the Watchlotto office!
Everybody in the Watchlotto office is currently working remotely due to the Covid-19 rules and we are missing everything about the office. A day to day would be filled with watch reviews, creating amazing content for you guys, and improving the website. In light of the current situation, we have still managed to exceed behind the scenes with the new website only being a few weeks away and planning has already started to do weekly competitions.
A lot of planning is needed for this and in true Watchlotto style we want to do more than just weekly competitions... we want more winners!
The team has been planning to implement a second competition type into the website which will allow you guys to win cash, cars, and other luxury goods with a limited amount of tickets sold. With both Spot The Ball and this, we hope to see 2-5 winners a week!
Its exciting times ahead but for now, its time to recap on the two highest-value watch reviews we have ever done. Check them out below:
The Patek Phillipe Nautilus - 5980R
The Patek Phillipe Aquanaut - 5167A
I hope you enjoy guys.
Our next competition is ending next week, make sure you have entered because we could be seeing you next week delivering your dream watch. Good luck!
Get Tickets Here
Imagine if Apple released a new iPhone, but no one could buy one, no matter how early you lined up. Imagine if Tesla answered the 400,000-plus pre-orders for the new Model 3 by making a few hundred. Imagine if Gordon Ramsay opened a power-lunch restaurant with only two tables.
Now you know what watch lovers are up against trying to get their hands on the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona.
This sleekly contemporary update of one of the most collectible watches of the last 50 years drew audible oohs when it debuted at the Baselworld watch fair in March.
Reviewers declared this next-generation Daytona, with its techie Cerachrom bezel, a triumph, “the watch Rolex lovers have been waiting for”.
Despite the £10,500 price, dealers were bombarded with orders. “From the moment it was announced, demand was unlike anything we’ve ever seen,” said Ira Melnitsky, the chief executive of Tourneau, the watch retailer.
There was just one problem: Daytonas are scarce. Considered a timepiece for cognoscenti, not first-time buyers, the company typically parcels them out in limited numbers to dealers, who, in turn, set aside the few they can get for their most loyal customers.
Anyone who knows how many, or few, Daytonas have been actually made is not telling. A spokeswoman for Rolex, a company that is discreet to say the least, declined to discuss production or distribution plans.
Given the surging interest, the situation is starting to resemble a highly genteel version of the Cabbage Patch Kids frenzy of the 1980s, when tight supply for the must-have dolls around the holidays led to near riots in toy stores.
“We’ll never have enough to satisfy demand,” Mr. Melnitsky said.
Indeed, the new model may represent a prime arbitrage opportunity for anyone fortunate enough to get hold of one but crazy enough to sell it. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see these new Daytona models get flipped in the secondary market for a cool £5,000 premium over retail in the first six months,” said Paul Altieri, who runs Bob’s Watches, a prominent online dealer of vintage Rolexes in Westminster, Calif. He wasn't too far wrong with prices now being at an average of £19,950.
This is hardly the first time that the Rolex Daytona has created a fuss. The storied chronograph, named after the Daytona speedway in Florida, debuted in the 1960s as a tool for auto racing enthusiasts. With its three subdials for timing laps, it was the world’s most regal stopwatch.
By the 1970s, it was already achieving icon status, with a big boost from Paul Newman, who adopted it as his signature timepiece when he developed a passion for motorsports.
In the years since, the Daytona has become the rare timepiece coveted by both tweedy collectors (Christie’s sold a so-called Paul Newman model from 1969 for $1.1 million in 2013) and paparazzi-dodging celebrities (Daniel Craig, Adam Levine, and Eric Clapton, to name a few).
The anticipation of the new model has been building for years, especially after Rolex redesigned its Submariner and GMT-Master II models with Cerachrom, a scuff- and fade-resistant ceramic that infuses these venerable midcentury models with a 21st-century flair.
The wait was finally over in March. “My phone started vibrating nonstop at Baselworld moments after Rolex raised the green window shades,” said Stephen Pulvirent, a watch journalist and editor at Surface magazine. “Everybody was chirping, ‘It’s finally here.’”
That same day, some even lined up outside the Fifth Avenue flagship of Wempe Jewelers, a prominent Rolex dealer, before it opened, said Ruediger Albers, the president of American Wempe Corporation.
But for Rolex devotees, the heady rush quickly gave way to a gnawing realization that they were going to have to wait a long time to possess one. To some, it feels like a horological version of “Waiting for Godot.”
“I’ve heard several times of two-year waiting lists,” said Louis Westphalen, one such devotee who oversees vintage watch sales at Hodinkee, the influential New York-based watch site. “I have friends who have given up because they were beyond 20th place on waiting lists.”
To some dealers, even two years seems optimistic. Mr. Albers said the wait could reach five years.
“Managing expectations is a challenge,” said Mr. Albers, who is considering engraving the purchaser’s names on the back of each watch to discourage buyers only looking to resell for a profit. He is also considering setting aside a couple of Daytonas for loyal customers to borrow for a week, so they can at least “enjoy the newness.”
Even so, the Daytona is likely to remain the most unattainable status symbol in town. “It certainly takes less time to get great ‘Hamilton’ tickets,” Mr. Albers said.
As a watch competition company, our job is to make watches accessible to all, especially with desirable investment time-pieces such as the Daytona. We didn't think we could do it, but we have.
This Daytona is available to win for £10.50 per ticket. With a value expectation of £19,750 based on market conditions. If you would like to have the chance to own one of these luxury pieces for a fraction of the price. visit here to purchase tickets: Daytona Tickets.
They say necessity is the mother of all invention. In watchmaking, that has historically been very true. The world right now is facing a global pandemic, something that has resulted in a lockdown across numerous continents for months. Even with that, the future of retail is challenging and unpredictable at best.
With many brands, e-commerce has become an essential lifeline, a platform that allows one to engage with clients, albeit in a rather impersonal manner. When it comes to luxury products, it’s difficult to develop a narrative about a product on a shopping cart. As CEO of IWC Christoph Grainger-Herr explained in an interview with us last year, retail needs to “combine elements of story-telling with a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where we try to have a good balance between story-telling and the focus on products.”
The interest in immersive story-telling is part of the reason why IWC is unveiling a new initiative, spearheaded by the brand’s SEA team in Singapore. The new virtual boutique concept is based around the brand’s refreshed boutique in ION Orchard, which represents the latest in the brand’s retail identity.
IWC's ION Orchard Boutique was officially re-opened last year by CEO Christoph Grainger-Herr, featuring a new concept.
This virtual boutique launch exists on the Internet and can be readily accessed by anyone with the link. Going in, one can choose to roam the store on your own or to be aided by the brand’s retail staff through a fixed appointment. With 360-degree views of the entire store, one can wander through the shop on your computer screen, and enjoy the brand’s welcoming physical retail space in the comfort of your home.
Discover IWC’s latest Portugieser 2020 collection
An Augmented Digital Retail Experience
At the various displays, you will be able to discover the different universes that IWC inhabits, from the Portugieser collection to Aquatimer. Each contact point provides additional technical information on their products, or arrange a virtual meeting in their private web conference room where a Client Advisor from the brand can explain these products in greater detail. These advisors are available on weekdays from 10am to 7pm. Private walkthroughs can also be arranged.
The IWC Boutique in ION Orchard, Singapore. The virtual retail boutique allows you to digitally move about the store in exactly the same way as the physical retail space.
In an official statement, Stanislas Rambaud, managing director for IWC Southeast Asia explained, “With the launch of our new virtual reality retail experience, the IWC Virtual Boutique perfectly embodies the brand’s DNA and offers a tailored online shopping experience. At a time where virtual connections are more frequent and accessible than physical ones, visitors can now enjoy the convenience and availability of an IWC experience, outside the traditional retail infrastructure.”
The concept also allows the brand to engage with its younger clientele on a more personal digital front and add a bold new innovative front in its retail network. As more users engage with the platform, the experience will steadily improve making it even more interactive in the future. It’s definitely a bold move and one that allows it to extend its client conversations further digitally.
Check out the IWC Virtual Reality Boutique here.
Vacheron Constantin presents its Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton, a stunning display of watchmaking prowess housed in a luxurious pink gold case with an ultra-slim height of just 8.1mm. Nothing has changed regarding the case, its proportions, the layout or the beating heart of the movement powered by Vacheron’s prestigious Calibre 1120 QP. The novelty of this 2020 edition lies in its intrepid skeletonisation. Hand-finished movement parts, in line with the Maison’s longstanding tradition of Haute Horlogerie, are combined with grey NAC-treated parts for a contemporary face in keeping with the sporty spirit of the Overseas.
BRIEF BACKGROUND OF THE OVERSEAS
In 1977, Vacheron Constantin introduced reference 222 to mark the brand’s 222nd anniversary. Designed by Jörg Hysek, the 222 was a high-end sports watch with a tonneau-shaped 120m water-resistant case, a serrated bezel and an integrated bracelet. Reinvented in 2016, under the aegis of artistic director Christian Selmoni, the Overseas collection is Vacheron’s answer to the luxury sports watch. The distinct, powerful design of the case is built around a hexagonal, notched and polished bezel evoking the insignia Maltese Cross resting on a tonneau-shaped case with contrasting matte finishes. Complemented by automatic, anti-magnetic movements, the versatility of the watch is underscored with its winning DIY system to change the mood of the watch with the any of the three bracelets provided. Ranging from automatic time-and-date models to dual time and world time models, from chronographs to tourbillons all the way up to ultra-thin perpetual calendars, the collection is well furnished.
What is interesting to note is that the ultra-thin perpetual calendar made its debut back in 2016 with the relaunch of the Overseas. A somewhat unexpected complication in a family of luxury sports watches, the closed model version is now joined by this openworked version.
The case, made from 18k pink gold, has not been altered and measures 41.5mm and boasts an ultra-thin height of just 8.1mm. With its polished hexagonal bezel and contrasting brushed case and bracelet, the external elements of the watch display the traditional high-end finishes of the Maison.
The perpetual calendar layout is identical to the closed dial version and is arranged around four sub-dials. The ring at 12 o’clock indicates the months, but you will notice that they jump in a strange order. A typical Vacheron feature of its QP movements, this 48-month sub-dial indicates the months of four years, including the months of the leap year. The days of the week at 9 o’clock are countered by the date at 3 o’clock and the phases of the moon are placed at 6 o’clock. The pink gold hands and applied hour markers are enhanced with luminescence and there is a chapter ring for the minutes with blue Arabic numerals and black markers.
A highly regarded complication, the perpetual calendar movement (calibre 1120 QPSQ) powering this watch appears in a new guise and now reveals all its intriguing mechanical parts under the sapphire crystals on both sides of the case. Skeletonisation is an art in itself and consists of hollowing out components without compromising their reliability. And when it comes to skeletonising an already complicated QP movement in an ultra-thin format, there are very few watchmakers qualified for this challenging task. Since the movement is now on view, special handmade finishes have been performed on the parts: surfaces are decorated with satin-brushed finishes; straight lines and curves are bevelled to catch the light; and then there is circular brushing, sunburst finishing, circular graining and polishing. In addition to the hand-crafted finishes, some parts of the mechanism are treated to an NAC electrolytic process that gives them a contemporary anthracite grey colour. Another touch that contributes to its contemporary face is the thinly veiled cover of the moon phase crafted in sapphire to reveal the second moon.
ULTRA-THIN PERPETUAL CALENDAR MOVEMENT
The Overseas Perpetual Calendar will not require any adjustments to its calendar indications or moon phases until 1 March 2100. Achieving this level of performance in a calibre composed of 276 components and just 4.05mm height denotes the prowess of Vacheron’s watchmakers.
Visible through the sapphire caseback are the gear trains and the NAC-treated oscillating weight with its segment in 22k gold. For the first time in the Overseas collection, the rotor is openworked to highlight its Maltese Cross design. Calibre 1120 QPSQ, which bears the prestigious Geneva Hallmark seal, is an automatic movement oscillating at 19,800vph/2.75Hz with a 40-hour power reserve for the hours, minutes, perpetual calendar (date, day, month, leap year) and moon phases.
With perhaps the easiest DIY strap-changing systems on the market, the Overseas is always accompanied by three interchangeable straps. In this case, the watch comes with a luxurious gold bracelet with satin-brushed Maltese Cross-shaped links and two additional straps in blue alligator leather and blue rubber.
The price of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin Skeleton (Ref. 4300V/120R-B547) is £115,000 and will only be available at Vacheron Constantin boutiques. More details at vacheron-constantin.com.