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Watch Collecting 101: How to Clean Your Watch and Strap at Home

Watch Collecting 101: How to Clean Your Watch and Strap at Home

With summer coming to a close and the fall just starting up, it’s almost certain that many of our watches are in need a good cleaning. Sand, sunscreen, bug spray, and sweat are among summer’s many gifts — all of which, combined with the growing dust from the autumn, might end up as debris on your timepiece.

Facing the end of the season and the start of the colder months, we at WatchTime spoke with a few watch and watch-strap cleaning experts, to help our readers keep their wristwear shining in a few easy steps at home. We spoke with Michael Ryan, Vice President of Watches of Switzerland for Wynn Resorts; Ruediger Albers, President of Wempe US; and Claire Humen, Technical Director and Production Manager for Jean Rousseau US, all of whom lead brands that have helped clean and service innumerable amounts of watches and watch straps. Collectively, let’s say they know a thing or two about how best to approach the task.

If Your Watch is Water-Resistant (Approximately 50 meters and above):

The most typical watch to clean is one with a good water resistance, think approximately 50 meters and above (such as the new Rolex Submariner, pictured above). Any lower than this and you will want to take some special considerations while cleaning, but by and large most watches offer some degree of water resistance. Also, if your watch’s bracelet is water resistant — i.e., metal or rubber — you can keep it attached and clean it along with the watch, though if the bracelet lacks water resistance (think leather), remove the strap and clean it separately.

The equipment you’ll need will be a gentle soap (such as hand soap or Dawn-brand dish soap), warm water, a bowl, a small, soft brush (such as a soft toothbrush), a protected cleaning area (such as over a layered towel), and a dry microfiber cloth. The process is as follows:

  1. Fill the bowl with warm water and a small amount of soap to create a gentle soapy solution.
  2. Dip the brush in the solution, and gently brush the watch to clean. If your watch is made of a precious metal (such as gold), you will want to use either an extra-soft brush, microfiber cloth, or just your hands to avoid damaging the softer material.
  3. Once cleaned, gently rinse the watch with non-soapy water. If your watch is moderately water resistant (50 meters to 100 meters) you can accomplish this via a quick dip, if your watch has an excellent water resistance (such as those at 100 meters and above), Albers noted you could rinse the watch directly under a running faucet which can help you flush out any remaining debris.
  4. Dry the watch completely using a soft microfiber cloth.

If Your Watch Has Little or No Water Resistance (Approximately 30 meters and below):

If you have a watch with little to no water resistance, usually defined as 30 meters or less (such as the Patek Philippe Calatrava or A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia, pictured above), then it is important to take special precautions to protect your watch during cleaning. Albers recommends using “a soft, maybe [lightly] damp cloth” to clean, but to avoid submerging the piece lest you cause “significant damage” to the timepiece. Ryan recommends cleaning a watch without water resistance using only “a dry soft toothbrush” to physically brush up any debris, and then to “clean it up with a cloth.”

How to Clean Your Watch Strap or Bracelet:

Now that your watch is clean, you should also clean the bracelet it is strapped on, too. Like the watch itself, when cleaning a bracelet you should consider its water resistance, age, material construction, etc., all of which will help you determine how to best clean it. Water resistance continues to take the cake in terms of importance, so if either your bracelet or watch are water resistant, but not both, then you should separate the two and clean them accordingly.

For a more durable bracelet — such as one constructed from steel, titanium, or rubber — Albers recommends using a soft brush with a gentle soap and water to clean the clasp and bracelet, possibly even running the bracelet under a faucet to flush out any debris.

For more precious metals, such as gold or platinum, Ryan recommends cleaning the bracelet with just your hands, or if available opting for an extra soft brush, as a too rigid brush can scratch the metal. In addition, Ryan recommends using a gentle hand soap or Dawn-brand dish soap with warm water to rinse, then drying with a soft microfiber cloth.

However, if your bracelet is constructed of something much less water-resistant — leather, for example — then you will need to use a gentler cleaning process.

Claire Humen, the Technical Director and Production Manager for Jean Rousseau US — a French-heritage luxury strap maker based in New York City — recommends addressing the surface debris first. “It is best to clean the surface of any dust, dirt, etc. with a very slight damp cloth. This should be done without rubbing hard, and is acceptable on leather like alligator, shark, grain calf.”

Humen went on to tell us that extra care should be used when approaching leathers that are super matte or dyed with tannins, “as they are naturally more susceptible to absorbing natural oils and water from a too damp cloth.” For these, she recommends, use only a lightly damp cloth or a dry microfiber cloth. Some leathers that qualify here are Jean Rousseau’s interesting salmon leather straps, vegetable calf, and ostrich. Ultimately, she told us, “it’s a good idea to maintain the surface of your strap by wiping it so every so often to prevent any hard to remove dirt from settling,” which is good advice not only for your luxury leather strap, but for metal bracelets and the watch itself.

Jean Rousseau also offers a strap care kit to help rejuvenate its leather, which the company tells us adds “life back into your strap, brightening its color and suppleness.” The kit includes a cream, cloth applicator, and water-resistant spray, all of which should be applied to the strap on a clean surface. Humen told us that some Jean Rousseau straps, like the water-resistant alligator, is already developed with these protective layers infused into the leather fibers so they wouldn’t require this treatment.

Above all, Humen stressed to us that “alcohol, a wet cloth, soap, and the force of rubbing should never be tried on your strap” if it is to be maintained in its best shape for years to come.

Some Very Important Considerations Before Cleaning:

While from the instructions above it might seem quite easy to clean a watch and strap (and it is), there are some important factors to think about before you launch into the task. So, before you grab your scrubber and soap, here are some things to think about.

As you may have guessed, the far most important consideration is knowing the water resistance of your watch. If your watch lacks water resistance, such as a vintage dress watch or a more fragile chronograph, you will need to clean it differently than a modern, professional dive watch or even a moderately water-resistant piece such as a field watch. Every expert we spoke to stressed the importance of this factor, as the entrance of even a small amount water and soap into the case can quickly devastate a watch.

Along these lines, before you begin cleaning, Albers recommends double checking that the crown of your watch is pushed or screwed in completely, he also recommends not operating the pushers on the side of the case during cleaning if the watch is a chronograph, as having an unsealed case, via an open crown or moving pushers, reduces the overall security of the watch against water.

The next two considerations to think about are the age of the timepiece and its last servicing date. Both of these factors contribute to the effective water resistance of a watch, as older pieces and those that have gone a long time without servicing will have diminished water resistance as a result of aging and drying gaskets.

Ryan told us that “gaskets will dry out in several years, making them brittle and if they crack moisture can get inside and rust your movement. A timepiece has a crystal, caseback, crown, [and] tube and some also have pusher gaskets, and if one of them fails because they are old and dry, moisture can damage your timepiece.” He went on to tell us that harsh chemicals can also affect the gaskets, which is why Watches of Switzerland recommends using only mild soap at home for cleaning, like Dawn brand dish soap or a hand soap, rather than a more heavy-duty cleaner. Both Albers and Ryan recommend knowing the last service date of a watch, and if you have a concern over the effective water resistance of your watch to have it inspected by a reputable watchmaker.

The third important consideration is knowing the materials of the watch, the watch crystal, and the watch strap. Ryan told us that “the brush you use on stainless steel can scratch the shiny gold finish on a precious metal timepiece,” so while you should use a soft brush to clean a steel or titanium timepiece, you’ll want to opt towards an ultra-soft brush, microfiber cloth, or even just your hands while cleaning something constructed of precious metals. For more uncommon material case constructions, such as bronze, carbon fiber, or one of the many other natural and upcycled material options, Ryan suggests contacting the dealer you purchased from or manufacturer to learn how best to clean the watch in question.

Ryan also mentioned that a hesalite or acrylic crystal — found most often on vintage timepieces — can easily scratch as compared to something more durable like sapphire, so you will want to opt away from abrasive brushes while cleaning these facets, and again opt towards something very soft like a microfiber cloth or your hands.

The final consideration when cleaning your watch at home is to clean over a protected surface. Ryan stressed that watches become quite slippery while cleaning, and if your timepiece accidentally falls out of your hands and onto a hard surface then it can quickly become damaged. A good way to avoid this is by cleaning over a layered towel, which will help catch water and any potential slips.

When to Call an Expert:

All watches are different, and that is why it is always best to consult your watch dealer or the manufacturer on how best to clean your watch before undertaking the task.

However, if while cleaning you notice lasting condensation or even tiny drops of water underneath the crystal, Albers recommends you “visit your local jeweler immediately” — as in the same day — as it can indicate a watch has been compromised with water and can quickly damage the internal components. Albers does note that a very small amount of temporary condensation seen underneath the crystal may be normal, especially when there are dramatic temperature changes put on the watch. However, if the condensation persists then the watch should be opened by a professional jeweler as soon as possible “to air out … and prevent further damage.”

Additionally, all watches require regular servicing from time to time. Some brands recommend servicing once a year, others every two years, some every three years or more, so it’s best to consult your dealer and watch brand directly on how often to have your watch professionally serviced and checked for water resistance.

Benefits to Regularly Cleaning Your Watch:

The benefits of cleaning your watch and its strap at home are twofold. The most obvious is to reduce any debris that may have found itself on the timepiece, whether that be hair, oil, dust, or dirt, all of which not only reduce the quality of the intended look of the watch, but could also damage the various sealants, gaskets, and finishing on the watch and its accompanying bracelet. While serious deep cleans during servicing are great, nobody has their watch serviced every week, so it pays to keep up with the regular maintenance a watch needs yourself.

The other, and possibly more relevant for this year, is to reduce the chances your watch can itself become a vehicle for the transmission of the coronavirus and other pathogens, both to yourself and to others. The COVID-19 pandemic has become a fact of life for us all. As a result, keeping your person and belongings clean has gained a newfound prominence in everyday life. The wristwatch — which for many has long been one of the least cleaned and most used items in their possessions — is consequently not immune from becoming a vector for both grime and the virus. As a result, cleaning your watch, now more than ever, has become a necessary routine as part of your regular personal hygiene.

To learn more about what Wempe recommends for cleaning your watch at home, click here.

To learn more about Watches of Switzerland’s professional servicing options, click here.

And to learn more about Jean Rousseau’s recommendations for strap care, click here.  

Watches, Stories & Gear: A Controversial New BMW, Infinity Whiskey & Another Look At Goodfellas

Watches, Stories & Gear: A Controversial New BMW, Infinity Whiskey & Another Look At Goodfellas

What’s Up With Seltzer in 2020

Credit: Brooke Cagle/Unsplash

Is nothing sacred? According to Gizmodo, it appears the answer is a resounding “no,” as we learn that flavored seltzer water, the lifeforce for so many of us, the effervescent rush that carries us through the day, is potentially loaded with toxic “forever chemicals.” I’m no scientist, but that doesn’t sound great. These man made chemicals don’t easily break down in the environment or human body, and can potentially result in a variety of adverse health effects. According to the CDC, it’s estimated that these chemicals are found in the blood of 97% of Americans. Again, not a statistician, but that seems like a lot. Read up here, and perhaps strive to drink more of that plain old still water if your favorite brand of the sparkling stuff is among the chief offenders. 

The Goodfellas Connection

Adam Villacin for The Ringer

Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas is 30(!) years old this year. One of the most critically acclaimed movies in Scorsese’s lengthy filmography, Goodfellas is based on the true story of Henry Hill, who spent his life in organized crime, until it epically all fell apart, as these things do, and he flipped on his longtime criminal associates. Hill’s path from small time neighborhood hustler to a witness to murder and grand larceny is an old school epic Hollywood tale that’s part of a long storytelling tradition, and Scorsese’s film is endlessly entertaining, and still a joy to watch after three decades. 

In this appraisal from The Ringer, writer Brian Phillips puts Goodfellas into context with the two other major American works dealing with organized crime: The Godfather and The Sopranos. Goodfellas, according to Phillips, acts as a bridge connecting all three, and it’s fascinating to read this piece and consider how one work informs the next, and how they are all in dialogue with each other as we binge and rewatch them on demand in the age of streaming video.

The Watchmakers’ Award: How the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Became the Industry’s Gold Standard

The Watchmakers’ Award: How the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève Became the Industry’s Gold Standard

Created in 2001, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) has
established itself as the most important award show in the industry. Here’s a look back at how the event started, the performance of the competing brands and, just as important, how much the event has evolved over the last two decades.

The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève was created in 2001 with the aim to “highlight and […] reward the most remarkable contemporary creations and promote the watchmaking art worldwide.” The founding members were the Canton of Geneva, the City of Geneva, the Musée international d’horlogerie in La Chaux-de-Fonds (MIH), the Geneva Laboratory of Watchmaking and Microtechnology (Timelab) and the Edipresse Group. Until 2019, watch brands were able to enter their most promising models in up to 14 categories, with a (comparatively small) fee per watch, and an additional, more substantial, fee for shortlisted watches that would later take part in the global traveling exhibition. Carine Maillard, Director of the GPHG, says, “The GPHG is a media showcase and a great promotional tool. The preselected watches are presented every year in autumn, during an exceptional exhibition, which travels the globe. Winning watches have significant visibility thanks to international media coverage. We keep registration fees low so all brands can participate.”

Kari Voutilainen on his way to collect one of the two awards he won at the GPHG 2019.

In other words, the GPHG is partially financed by the brands that choose to participate (the Republic and Canton of Geneva and the City of Geneva also provide financial support, together with sponsors), and until 2019, brands that didn’t want to compete simply weren’t represented at all, which explains why, for example, there is not a single watch from Rolex to be found among the previous winners. (Its sister brand Tudor, however, is a regular participant and first won an award in 2013 with the Heritage Black Bay.) To improve this situation, the GPHG has launched the “Academy of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève.” With this move, the GPHG “is affirming its commitment to openness and innovation by announcing the creation of an international watch industry Academy, operational as of May 2020.”

With a movement of 2.89 mm in thickness and a case of 6.3 mm in height, the Royal Oak self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin (Ref. 26586IP.OO.1240IP.01) won the prestigious “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix at the GPHG in 2019.

The group is composed of “several hundred members” from the industry, including brand representatives, and each member is responsible for proposing one to 12 watches in at least eight of the 14 categories of the upcoming 2020 edition. At the same time, brands will still be able to enter watches directly and will even be able to validate all entries. In theory, this means that the 350 members of the academy should generate at least 2,800 additional entries for the 2020 edition, most likely with a fair amount of identical watches among them. While the pool of entries should substantially grow with this new setup, the deciding body is still relatively small. The final jury selecting the award winners will consist of 30 members from the academy, but almost half of them will be randomly selected. This jury will meet in Geneva, behind closed doors, and under notarial supervision, to evaluate the preselected watches in person and proceed to the final vote by secret ballot. Hopefully, this new concept will allow for an even more transparent, independent and representative look at the industry. Speaking of transparency, WatchTime joined the GPHG as a media partner in 2019 and is also represented directly and indirectly in the academy: yours truly, Rüdiger Bucher (Editor-in-Chief of WatchTime’s sister-publication Chronos) and Jeffrey Kingston (longtime collector and close friend and event partner of WatchTime) are members of said academy. You will also find New Jersey-based Roberta Naas on the list. She’s a regular freelance contributor to WatchTime.

Greubel Forsey won the “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix with the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision in 2015. The manufacturer has won four category awards and two grand prizes so far.

The GPHG obviously is neither the first nor the only award for watches. In Germany, for example, the Goldene Unruh (“Golden Balance” in English) has been operating since 1998. For this year’s edition, almost 10,000 end-consumers selected the “best watches of the world” among 243 entries. The GEM Awards, presented by Jewelers of America, has been honoring “the achievements of individuals and companies whose work raises the visibility of fine jewelry and watches” since 2001, similar to MIH’s 1993-launched “Prix Gaïa” in Switzerland. Special-interest publications like Polish CH24.pl have been searching for the “Watch of the Year” since 2010, as does Revolution magazine, and Robb Report with its “Best of the Best” award, to name just a few. Additionally, design competitions like the iF Product Design Award and the Red Dot quite often include a watch category. In comparison, the GPHG has managed best to set the gold standard in the watch industry, mostly thanks to its international setup and constantly growing reach. As a result, the GPHG is now often described as the “Oscars of the Watchmaking Industry,” despite heavyweights like Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe, for example, not having participated in last year’s edition. On the other hand, despite the “Geneva” in its name, brands from other Swiss regions, Germany and even Japan regularly participate. In 2019, among 196 entries, 84 watches were shortlisted, 18 (including the “Aiguille d’Or” award) ended up with a trophy in November, and two of them (Kudoke and Seiko) were produced outside of Switzerland. The five participating brands with the most shortlists in 2019 were (in alphabetical order) Audemars Piguet (4), Bulgari (5), Hermès (4), Ulysse Nardin (4) and Zenith (5); the most dominant category was “Men’s Complication” with 23 entries. Last year’s “Special Jury Prize” went to Luc Pettavino, Founder of Only Watch (which auctioned off the record-breaking Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime in steel for CHF 31,000,000 two days later, on Nov. 9, 2019).

Bulgari so far has won five awards, last year in the “Jewelry Watch” category with the Serpenti Misteriosi Romani (below)

Best in Show
The first watch brand ever to win the prestigious “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix (“Golden Hand” in English) at the inaugural award ceremony of the GPHG in 2001 was Vacheron Constantin with the Lady Kalla (Ref. 17701/701G-7393), a women’s watch covered with more than 120 white emerald-cut diamonds. The same watch also won in the “Jewelry Watch” category that year, which meant that the Geneva-based brand won in two of a total of seven categories. Winner in the category “Complicated Watches” in 2001 was Audemars Piguet with the Répétition Minute par Carillon Edward Piguet (Ref. 25935PT). Patek Philippe won in the category “Poinçon de Genève” (Geneva seal) with the ultra-thin Calatrava (Ref. 5120), and Gucci with the “Réveils de voyage” alarm clock in the “Pendulette” (table clock) category. Blancpain’s Chronograph Pastel Flyback (Ref. 2385F-192GC-52) won the “Ladies’ Watch” award; the “Men’s Watch” award went to the Leroy Osmior Chronograph. That was it. Fast forward to the last award ceremony in 2019, and the number of categories went from seven to 18, with Audemars Piguet winning the “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix with the Royal Oak self-winding Perpetual Calendar Ultra-Thin (Ref. 26586IP.OO.1240IP.01).

Kari Voutilainen has won the impressive number of seven awards over the past years, two of them in 2019: the 28ti (limited to eight total pieces in titanium) won in the “Men’s Watch” category and the Starry Night Vine won in “Artistic Crafts.”

As with most award shows, the entries that didn’t win usually cause as much stir as the ones that ended up winning. Using a comparatively small specialist jury, an award like the GPHG is not necessarily about identifying the commercially most successful watch, or models particularly popular among end-consumers. Still, looking back at the winners of the last 20 years, there’s almost never a brand that wouldn’t have deserved the award in retrospect, but obviously many more that would have deserved one as well. Therefore, in order to create more chances (or, depending on your viewpoint, incentives) for the brands entering, the organizer constantly added or renamed categories over the years. In its second year, for example, the GPHG saw the introduction of the “Special Jury Award” (which went to F.P. Journe for the Octa Calendrier), the “Pendulette” category was replaced with a “Design Watch” category, and two public awards were added (last handed out to Czapek Genève for the 33 bis Quai des Bergues in 2016). In 2003, the “Sports Watch” category was added and renamed in 2019 as the “Dive Watch” category. In short, only three categories remained untouched over the existence of the entire award show: “Men’s Watches,” “Women’s Watches” and the “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix.

F.P. Journe is the only brand so far that has managed to win the grand prize three times. Its most recent category winner, the Chronomètre à Résonance in red gold, won the “High Complicated Watch Prize” in 2010.

Summarizing the last 19 editions of the GPHG, F.P. Journe has won the “Aiguille D’or” Grand Prix a record three times (2004, 2006 and 2008), followed by Vacheron Constantin (2001 and 2005), Greubel Forsey (2010 and 2015) and Patek Philippe (2002 and 2003) with two grand prizes each. Richard Mille (2007), A. Lange & Söhne (2009), De Bethune (2011), TAG Heuer (2012), Girard-Perregaux (2013), Breguet (2014), Ferdinand Berthoud (2015), Chopard (2016), Bovet (2018) and Audemars Piguet (2019) all have won once, indicating the jury’s preference for haute horlogerie when it comes to handing out a Grand Prix. Audemars Piguet also happens to be the brand with the most trophies in total: the Swiss watch manufacture has won the incredible number of 13 category awards, and since 2019, one Grand Prix. Vacheron Constantin (eight awards and two Grand Prix), TAG Heuer (eight awards and one Grand Prix), and Piaget (nine awards) come next. Perhaps most impressive in this list is Kari Voutilainen’s track record at the GPHG. Voutilainen, one of the best-known and best-regarded names on the independent-watchmaker scene, with an annual production between 25 and 55 watches, has won seven times, which puts him on a par with brands like Zenith and Van Cleef & Arpels. Voutilainen has even managed to win the “Men’s Watch” category four times (2007, 2013, 2015 and 2019), followed by F.P. Journe with two trophies in the same category (2003 and 2005). The “Women’s Watch” category has been dominated by Chanel with four trophies (2012, 2017, 2018 and 2019), followed by Piaget with three trophies (2008, 2009 and 2016). Voutilainen said, “Participation helps to get you known and gives you certainly more credibility. If someone wins, this might help sales; at least it won’t get worse. It is also the only independent competition without any commercial interest.”

Kuala Lumpur-based newcomer Ming won the “Horological Revelation Award” in 2019 with the 17.06 Copper.

A Launchpad for Brands and New Releases
Thanks to its growing influence and reach, the GPHG has also become an attractive platform for newcomer brands and product launches. Ulysse Nardin, for example, chose the award show to first introduce its latest dive watch model in 2018. For a newcomer brand like Singapore-based Ming (the watches are assembled, regulated and tested in Switzerland, final quality control is done in Malaysia) the decision to enter paid off in 2019, only two years after the brand’s debut. The 17.06 Copper won the “Horological Revelation Award.” Dr. Magnus Bosse, Co-founder of Horologer Ming, commented, “It’s nice to have the visibility and recognition for our work, plus it’s opened doors for us within the industry. It also fulfills a longstanding dream for the team to share the stage with our heroes — that was a night none of us will ever forget!” Next to the media coverage of the exhibitions, award ceremony and winning pieces, all watches that are shortlisted are presented every year in autumn, during a road show, which travels the globe. (Last year it went to Sydney, Bangkok, Mexico City, Puebla, Geneva and Dubai.)

One thing is certain: it’s in the nature of almost every award show that some decisions will always be seen as controversial by those not involved in the jury process. However, the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève has shown to be an agile player, willing to be as inclusive as possible with the newly launched academy. And by constantly adapting and evolving its concept, it has truly become a global platform to showcase the creativity and ingenuity of the entire industry — an essential role in a world without a format like Baselworld.

Screen Time: 5 Watches That Pay Tribute to Movies

Screen Time: 5 Watches That Pay Tribute to Movies

Many watches have appeared in movies, and some have become nearly as famous as the stars who wore them. But only a handful of watches have been created specially for movies, in partnership with the filmmakers themselves. Here is a rundown.

OMEGA SEAMASTER DIVER 300M 007 EDITION

Omega has been outfitting cinematic superspy James Bond since 1995’s Goldeneye, and the latest timepiece worn by Agent 007, in this year’s No Time to Die, was conceived with the input of the film’s star, Daniel Craig. Designed in the style of the original Seamaster Diver 300M, which debuted in 1993, the watch has a 42-mm titanium case with an aluminum rotating bezel ring and a helium-release valve at 10 o’clock. Both the dial and bezel ring are executed in a “tropical” brown hue for a vintage look; the arrow marker above 6 o’clock on the dial is a reference to a style of military watch that Bond (a Navy man) would prefer. Inside is Omega’s master Chronometer Caliber 8806, and the watch is offered on an adjustable titanium mesh bracelet or a striped NATO strap. Price: $8,200 on strap, $9,200 on bracelet. Click here for more details.

Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition
Omega Seamaster Diver 300M 007 Edition

HAMILTON KHAKI NAVY BELOWZERO SPECIAL EDITION

A longtime provider of watches to filmmakers — for movies like 2001, Men in Black, and Interstellar, to name just a few — Hamilton collaborated closely with the production design team for Christopher Nolan’s sci-fi opus TENET on a custom-made watch for use in filming. The commercially available version of that specially produced prop piece is housed in a 46-mm, black-PVD titanium case, with a black dial hosting either a blue- or red-tipped seconds hand, referencing key colors in the movie. Each color version is limited to 888 pieces, a number chosen to reflect the palindromic nature of the film’s title. Equipped with Hamilton’s proprietary H-10 automatic movement, which boasts an 80-hour power reserve, and mounted on a black rubber strap with a black-PVD pin buckle, the 1,000-meter water-resistant watch comes in special packaging created by TENET production designer Nathan Crowley. Price: $2,095

Hamilton Belowzero Titanium Limited Edition Red
Hamilton Khaki Navy Belowzero Special Edition Red

GRAND SEIKO GODZILLA 65TH ANNIVERSARY LIMITED EDITION

In the classic 1954 Godzilla film, the Wako clock tower of Seiko’s historic Tokyo store is demolished during the rampage of the titular giant monster. To commemorate the 65th anniversary of the film, Grand Seiko, the luxury watchmaker that sprung from the original Seiko brand, released this 44.5-mm, titanium-cased watch that features several references to Japan’s famous movie monster: the crimson dial with its radiating waves is designed to echo the look of Godzilla’s fiery red heat-ray breath, and the sharkskin strap, with its applied black and red areas, has been given a rough texture inspired by the creature’s dinosaur hide. The Spring Drive movement ticks behind an exhibition caseback inscribed with a rendering of Godzilla destroying Seiko’s clock tower in the Ginza — which, like Godzilla himself, endures as an icon of the city of Tokyo. Price: $12,500; more info on the watch here.

Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary - front
Grand Seiko Godzilla 65th Anniversary – front

JAEGER-LECOULTRE MASTER ULTRA-THIN KINGSMAN KNIFE LIMITED EDITION

Jaeger-LeCoultre partnered with online retailer Mr. Porter to produce this limited-edition watch tying in with the release of the Kingsman sequel, The King’s Man. For the movie, which explores the origins of the fictional Kingsman spy agency, Jaeger-LeCoultre has reinterpreted its “couteau,” a 1907 pocketwatch,as a refined ultra-thin dress watch. The timepiece has a rose-gold 40-mm case, just 4.25-mm thick, with a broad bezel that slopes gently towards the edge of the case to create a profile reminiscent of a knife blade. The crown is protected by a triangular bow and placed at 12 o’clock in the style of a pocketwatch. The ivory dial has simple index hour markers, a railroad minute marker on the edge, and slender, blued steel hands. Inside is the hand-wound Caliber 849, an ultra-thin movement (1.85 mm) that the manufacture first introduced in 1994, with a power reserve of 35 hours. The caseback is engraved with the Kingsman logo, and the limited edition number out of 100 total pieces. Price: $29,800. Click here for more details.

Jaeger-LeCoultre_Master Ultra-Thin Kingsman Knife Limited Edition

CITIZEN TONY STARK “I LOVE YOU 3000” EDITION Japan’s Citizen Watch Co. continued its partnership with Marvel Studios with the release of this Eco-Drive-powered watch that references the blockbuster film Avengers: Endgame, and the (spoiler alert!) dramatic death of one of its headlining heroes, Tony Stark, played by Robert Downey, Jr. The dial recreates the Stark Mark I reactor that played a major role in the film series and uses the iconic helmet of Stark’s alter ego, Iron Man, as its 12 o’clock marker. The inscription, “Proof that Tony Stark Has a Heart,” a reference to a poignant scene in Endgame, is etched around the inner dial ring, while a Tony Stark signature and the “Avengers: Endgame” logo are engraved on the solid caseback. Prices are $350 for the version in a black ion-plated case and bracelet, and $495 for the limited-edition model (1,500 pieces) in rose-gold-plated steel.

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