Great Britain’s Christopher Ward was the first modern-day U.K. watch brand to develop an in-house caliber in the 21st century, and now it becomes the first watchmaker — British, Swiss, or otherwise — to revive a style of divers’ watch that was once immensely popular but has languished as a relic of the past for almost 50 years — the so-called Super Compressor case. Here is what you need to know about the all-new C65 Super Compressor and why it’s such a major deal.
“Super Compressor” was the name given to a type of complex-structured dive-watch case, developed and manufactured by the Swiss firm Ervin Piquerez and used by watch brands from IWC to Tissot to Jaeger-LeCoultre to Girard-Perregaux, among many others, from the late 1950s through the 1970s. It was designed to increase its strength and integrity as it descended deeper underwater, with external pressure on the caseback compressing the O-ring gasket, and included a rotating bezel, operated by a second crown, under the crystal rather than outside the case. While several watch brands in the modern era have used the Super Compressor as a design inspiration for their dive-watch cases, a “true” Super Compressor has not been on the market since E. Piquerez discontinued production of the style in the 1970s (and eventually went out of business in the 1990s).
For the new C65 Super Compressor, which arrives in two dial colors and an array of bracelet options, Christopher Ward “reverse engineered” the original design to create its barrel-shaped case, with the built-in 300-micron-thick compression spring that bestows the case its name. Measuring 41 mm in stainless steel and 13.05 mm thick, the case has two screw-down crowns on the side — one for winding and setting the time, the other for setting dive times on the inner bezel, which rotates with 120 distinctive clicks. Under a box-type sapphire crystal, the dial (in “Ocean Blue” or “Black Sand”) features Super-LumiNova Grade X1 GL C1 on the hands and indices, the latter with diamond-polished facets. The seconds hand has Christopher Ward’s signature Trident-shaped counterweight.
The outer case ring that allows for a view of the compression spring is colored orange, a color also used on the crown for the inner bezel, the bezel’s orientation triangle at 12 o’clock, and the seconds hand’s tip. The ring is made of anodized aluminum and is stamped with a diver’s helmet. Inside the 150-meter water-resistant case, behind an exhibition back, a Swiss-made Sellita SW200 automatic movement beats at a brisk 28,800-vph frequency and amasses a power reserve of 38 hours. The rotor is decorated with a twin-flag engraving over a Colimaçone finish. The Christopher Ward C65 Super Compressor is not only the first “real” Super Compressor divers’ watch of the 21st Century; it’s also accessibly priced, starting at 895 British pounds on a strap and 1,000 pounds on a steel bracelet.
The Timex MK1 Mechanical and Other Archive Series Watches are Now Available at the Windup Watch Shop
Words by Windup Watch Shop
It’s been just about a month since we brought Timex into the Windup Watch Shop, and today we’re excited to add a few awesome watches to the collection from their design-driven Archive series (and one bonus watch!). Created in their Italian headquarters, the Archive series take vintage inspiration from the brand’s extensive – you guessed it – archives, and throws in interesting and innovative modern twists. The results are watches that tend to be on the smaller side and feature a surprising mix of colors, textures and vintage design cues.
Timex Archive MK1 Mechanical
Based on Timex’s Vietnam-era military designs, the MKI is as close to a vintage field watch as you can currently get from the brand – or any brand, for that matter. 36mm and featuring a big box acrylic crystal, it feels just like a vintage watch on the wrist. That said, there are some minor and appealing updates to the design. 50M of water resistance should keep it dry inside, while an olive green dial adds some appealing style. However, the most important detail is inside – a hand-wound movement. If you’ve ever had a vintage field watch, you’ll appreciate the feel of cranking the crown on this watch in the mornings before you head out.
Timex Archive Navi Land
If ever there was a watch that exemplified what makes Timex watches fun, this is it. Featuring a 38mm steel case with a dark green tumbled finish, it’s unique, exotic, and awesome. Inspired by the outdoors and adventure, the Navi Land has a bold sporty design. The dial features massive numerals, and large lumed hands for easy reading no matter the situation. The bright orange compass bezel adds an exciting shock of color, and a cool feature. The orange date is one last little detail that brings it all together. While less “vintage” in look and feel, the worn in case adds a sense of patina that is very appealing.
Timex Archive Navi Ocean
The Navi Ocean mixes classic styling with a unique crystal for an altogether exciting result. Featuring a bead-blasted 38mm, 100M steel case with a bi-direction 12-hour bezel, and a dial that has a mil-spec appeal, it’s designed to be an everyday sports watch. One simple feature, however, gives it an entirely different personality. The mineral crystal has a smokey blue-gray tone to it inspired by vintage sunglasses. The result is epically stylish and unlike most watches you’ll see today. The Navi Ocean features a reversible green fabric strap. One side has a classic fabric look and feel, while the other has been rubberized for something completely different.
Timex Archive Navi World Time
The Navi World Time has that kind of weird-watch-charm that you just don’t typically see in modern watches. Well, unless they’re in the Timex Archive Series. Featuring a 38mm case steel case that has been tumbled to give it a distressed, worn-in look, you wouldn’t be blamed if you thought it was an old watch. But that’s just the beginning, the dial on this watch is out of control. With a complex array of numerals, coffin-shaped markers, crosshairs and even a red date, there is a lot going on, but it all looks great. The bezel then features a World Time index, with cities around the world, each representing a different timezone. Set up right, you can read the time around the globe.
*Bonus: Timex T80 x PAC-MAN
We told you there was a bonus! File this watch under just plain fun. The Timex T80 x PAC-MAN digital watch is a joint celebration of Timex’s first digital watches, and the 40th anniversary of PAC-MAN, the legendary arcade game. Easily one of the most iconic characters ever, that little yellow circle with a wedge for a mouth who is eternally stuck in some dungeon eating little dots, running away from ghosts, and occasionally going berserk and eating them too, can cause pangs of nostalgia in almost anyone. Now, with this version of the T80, Timex has brought the character to your wrist on a fun, everyday timepiece. Around the dial you’ll find PAC-MAN doing his thing, eating dots and chasing ghosts. But, the best part is actually invisible. The alarm tone has been changed from a beep to the PAC-MAN jingle.
Launching this week at the Geneva Watch Days event is a new iteration of the De Bethune DB28 Steel Wheels, equipped with a tourbillon movement whose delta-shaped bridge, and two barrel covers, are in sapphire crystal. The timepiece follows the futuristic design of the first DB28, which hit the market in 2010, borrowing the unusually shaped case, inspired by pocket watches and patented innovative floating lugs, designed for maximum comfort. In 2011, it took home the Aiguille d’Or prize at the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve (GPHG). The new reference perpetuates the brand’s bold aesthetics, following a series of variants, from the DB28 Skybridge to the more recentDB25 Starry Varius Chronomètre Tourbillon.
The DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon stays faithful to the vision of founder and watchmaker of De Bethune, Denis Flageolet, with its sleek and taut lines and movement infused with the latest technological advances. Among those advances are the signature delta-shaped bridge and barrel covers in sapphire crystal — blue for the bridge and clear for the barrel covers — which together create reflections that magnifies the movement’s architecture and allow the eye to peer into its inner heart.
The sapphire glass components, cut by laser, fit perfectly with the forms, rises, angles, and the teeth of the bridge and barrel covers; a ring of polished titanium encircles each barrel cover. The use of sapphire for the delta-shaped bridge, both barrel covers, and the laser-cut of the glass, are a first for the brand. The bridge’s sapphire crystal is 1 mm thick “to ensure functional rigidity,” while the sapphire crystal of the barrel covers is 0.3 mm thick, which according to the brand, is “resistant to small everyday shocks.”
The DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon’s dial comes with a circular-grained titanium hour rings, spherical polished titanium hour markers, on a blue-colored polished titanium circle. The hand-made hour hand, made at a workshop in Sainte-Croix, Switzerland, consists of four elements: a steel barrel, a titanium insert, an inner component in matte titanium and polished titanium for the outer component. At the back is the power-reserve indication, using a manually blued steel hand also made in De Bethune’s workshop.
The movement, Caliber DB2019V5, is a titanium-and-silicon creation which beats at 36,000 vph. According to De Bethune, its tourbillon cage weighs 0.18 grams (it is the lightest ever created) and rotates manually every 30 seconds. The movement measures 30 mm in diameter and weighs less than 0.0001 grams. It comprises 272 components, held together by a microscale exoskeleton, that can hold a power-reserve up to 5 days, ensured by the movement’s self-regulating twin barrel.
The case of the DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon is in polished grade 5 titanium, mounted on floating lugs, with a diameter of 43 mm and a height of 9.80 mm. It comes mounted on an alligator leather strap with a polished grade 5 titanium pin buckle, limited to just 10 models.
DB28 Steel Wheels Sapphire Tourbillon
Hours, minutes, 30-second indicator at tourbillon cage at 6 o’clock, power-reserve indicator on the back, time setting function at the crown,
Each watch within the GMT Bezel collection receives a Sellita SW330-1 top grade automatic movement with bespoke rotor featuring the Farer “A” emblem cutout visible through an exhibition caseback. The SW330-1 offers quick setting date and 24 hand adjustments, bringing a level of practicality to this travel focused complication. This is set within a cushion shaped case that measures 40.5mm in diameter, 11.75mm in thickness (including domed crystal), and just 44mm from lug to lug. Those wrist friendly dimensions represent Farer’s priority on creating watches that are usable everyday, with minimal fuss to get in the way of practical comfort.
The case itself is radially brushed across its top surface, and horizontally brushed along its wall. A highly polished chamfer splits the two surfaces with what Farer calls a ‘light catcher’. The crown holds a bronze cap with the Farer logo, and screwed in, makes for a water resistance depth rating of 200m / 656ft.
Each variant of the GMT Bezel is priced at $1,475 and are available to order right now for late September delivery. For each watch sold, Farer will continue their support of the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust with a donation of £25. Learn more from Farer right here.
As followers of the watch industry are well aware by now, “Roman Jeweller of Time” Bulgari has made pushing the boundaries of mechanical-watch thinness its stock-in-trade, with each year bringing at least one new record-setting watch that combines horological complexity with waif-like profiles. This year is no exception: as one of the founding maisons of this week’s Geneva Watch Days exhibition, Bulgari has used that platform to launch its sixth world-record timepiece in six years: the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Automatic Watch.
The new model’s claim to fame is that it debuts as the thinnest timepiece combining all the following features: a skeletonized, self-winding movement, a single-push chronograph function, and a tourbillon. Its 42-mm sandblasted titanium case, in the now-famous eight-sided Octo configuration, measures only 7.4 mm in total thickness. The crown and chronograph push-buttons are also in sandblasted titanium, as is the tapered bracelet. The openworked dial is dominated by matte gray details, particularly the two subdials at 3 and 9 o’clock.
Inside the wafer-thin case (water-resistant to 30 meters) is an accordingly slender movement, Caliber BVL 388, which rises just 3.5 mm in height despite its array of functions. Visible from the back (through a clear sapphire window) as well as the front of the watch, it uses a peripheral rotor for automatic winding, amassing a power reserve of 52 hours. Its balance beats at a frequency of 21,600 vph (3 Hz) and its uses both a column wheel and a horizontal clutch to drive its integrated chronograph function.
The Bulgari Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Skeleton Automatic is a limited edition of 50 pieces, priced at $142,000. Click here for more new Bulgari Octo models for 2020.