independent watchmaking

The U-Boat Bubble

The U-Boat Bubble

By Gary Girdvainis
Under a domed crystal, a visible bubble quickly separates a U-Boat watch from most other watches. As this bubble dances over the dial, it actually serves the purpose of accommodating temperature variations that might otherwise damage the watch with the expansion of the limpid liquid within.
The U-Boat Darkmoon is available in a variety of colorful dial options.
The effect of the dance is amazing as the colorful U-Boat dials seems to leap out of the watch and project themselves onto the domed crystal, while the refraction effect mitigates any need for an anti-reflective coating.
The U-Boat Darkmoon is a full-sized watch with a crown-left position on its 44mm stainless steel and sapphire case. Inside is a Ronda 712.3 quartz movement powered by a quick-change battery that overcomes the problem of needing special equipment to change the power supply.
Water resistant to 50 meters, the U-Boat Darkmoon is available in a colorful array of dial options. Price: $1,420.
One caveat on owning this very cool quartz watch is that you do need to take care not to leave it in excessive heat or sunlight for too long as this may damage the watch – but that is sound advice for almost any watch.

MB&F LM Perpetual EVO Now in Titanium

MB&F LM Perpetual EVO Now in Titanium

MB&F this week adds a vibrant blue-green color dial and a new case metal to the lineup of its Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO, which the pioneering independent watchmaker first launched in 2020. Seen initially cased in zirconium with an orange, blue or a black dial plate, the newest edition frames its new dial hue in titanium.
The new MB&F LM Perpetual EVO Titanium.
The Legacy Machine Perpetual EVO built its sporty chassis and new livery around the original GPHG-award-winning Legacy Machine Perpetual from 2015, devised for MB&F by watchmaker Stephen McDonnell.
McDonnell effectively redesigned the traditional perpetual calendar when he built the LM Perpetual in 2015 with a “mechanical processor” (a series of superimposed disks) that takes the default number of days in the month at 28 and then adds the extra days as required by each individual month. He also built in a safety feature that disconnects the pushers during the date changeover to eliminate any risk of damage to the movement when the date is changed.
For the 2020 EVO edition, MB&F added a series of technical upgrades to the watch that effectively toughened its resistance to shock and water. The EVO offers a redesigned, sleeker case, ergonomic double-sprung pushers, an integrated rubber strap, Super-LumiNova, a specially developed ‘FlexRing’ shock-absorbing system, a screw-down crown and 80 meters of water resistance.
MB&F will ship the new LM Perpetual EVO Titanium, with its all new green-blue dial, to its retailer around the world, though expect a few available at the MB&F eShop. Price: $176,000.

Patek Philippe Updates Three Chronographs

Patek Philippe Updates Three Chronographs

Patek Philippe this week introduces new versions of three existing chronographs, including one (Reference 5905) with an olive-green dial set into a steel case with an Aquanaut-inspired steel bracelet.
The other two debuts, new versions of Reference 5204 (a split-second chronograph with perpetual calendar) and Reference 5930 (a world time flyback chronograph) each feature new case metal and/or a new dial color.
The new Patek Philippe 5905/1A-001 is a flyback chronograph and annual calendar in a 42mm polished stainless steel case.
Reference 5905/1A-001
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Patek Philippe first launched this self-winding flyback chronograph with annual calendar in platinum in 2015 and then in rose gold in 2019. Now, the watch enters the market as a sporty 42mm steel watch, complete with an integrated steel bracelet inspired by the brand’s all-sporty Aquanaut (Reference 5167/1A).

And combined with a trendy sunburst olive green dial, this debut will likely become the latest Patek Philippe watch with demand far exceeding production. Patek Philippe rarely cases its watches in steel, and the metal’s use here will only amplify the already strong demand for the brand’s pioneering and highly legible annual calendar, especially as combined with a flyback chronograph.

Specifically, the dial offers a central chronograph hand, a large 60-minute subdial at 6 o’clock and three day/date/month apertures helpfully arranged along the top of the dial. For setting purposes, Patek Philippe includes a day/night indicator at 6 o’clock.
As seen through the clear sapphire caseback, Caliber CH 28-520 QA 24H shows Patek Philippe’s technical and artisanal mettle, with a vertical disk clutch column wheel. This means the central chronograph seconds hand can also be used as a permanent (running) seconds display.
The new watch will join existing references in platinum with a blue dial and in rose gold with a brown dial. Price: $59,140.

Reference 5204R-011
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Patek Philippe dresses up its classically styled split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar with a more contemporary sunburst slate grey dial and matching strap.
The new Patek Philippe 5204R-011 is a split-seconds chronograph and perpetual calendar in a 40mm rose gold case.
The 40mm watch’s highly desirable technical pairing, first offered in rose gold in 2016, is, like the annual calendar, notable for its legibility. It displays day and month in two apertures at 12 o’clock. Small seconds and the instantaneous 30-minute counter appear on two subdials at 9 and 3 o’clock, while two round apertures display the leap-year cycle between 4 and 5 o’clock. And helpfully, the date hand (at 6 o’clock) includes a moonphase display.
Through its clear sapphire caseback the Reference 5204R allows a view of the manual-wind Caliber CHR 29-535 PS Q, first introduced in 2012. This caliber, with two column wheels, a horizontal clutch and a split-seconds mechanism, is a recipient of seven patents.
The watch is available on a shiny slate gray calf leather strap with an embossed alligator pattern and a rose gold fold-over clasp. Available with interchangeable sapphire crystal and solid caseback, it is joining the two existing versions in rose gold. Price: $309,893.
 
Reference 5930P-001
This automatic World Time Flyback Chronograph is resplendent with its all-new 39.5mm platinum case, especially as it complements a sexy green dial and matching strap.
The new Patek Philippe 5930P-001 World Time Flyback Chronograph is set into a 39.5mm platinum case.
Not only are the green city names right on trend, they do so in a retro style particular to Patek Philippe: In 1940 the Geneva watchmaker actually placed a similar green dial on a one-off model of its famed world timer. Furthermore, the case features the wing-type lugs often seen on Patek Philippe world timers in the 1940s-1950s.
If the design here looks familiar from more a recent era, it’s because Patek Philippe debuted the 5930 in 2016 in a white gold version with a blue dial and matching strap. Here, the green dial center has been guillochéd by hand in a circular pattern while the hands and applied hour markers are coated with a generous application of luminescent coating.
Inside, Patek Philippe’s caliber CH 28-520 HU is equipped with a column wheel and a disk-type vertical clutch. This allows the central chronograph hand to be used as a permanent (running) seconds display without affecting accuracy or power reserve.
Patek Philippe offers the new Reference 5930P-001 on a shiny green alligator strap with a platinum fold-over clasp. It joins the collection alongside a white gold 5930G-010 version with blue dial and strap. Price: $100,538.

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