New Watches this Week: Richard Mille, Parmigiani Fleurier, Sinn U2, and Others

Posted by Robert Farago on July 13, 2020

Richard Mille RM11-05 LE – $215k

New watch alert! Regular readers know I’m no fan of Richard Mille’s illegible, sandwich-thick watches. But there’s no faulting RM’s technical excellence. Same goes for the majority of all new watches, of which we have eleven more to share. But first, more on the RM 11-05 . . .

The case is made of an exclusive flash sintered metallic zirconium matrix called Cermet that’s harder than advanced calculus (2,360 Vickers). Other than that, everything: titanium baseplate and bridges, GMT and flyback chronograph functions, variable-geometry rotor and a miniature Keurig coffee maker. I prefer the $750k RM with a tiger in the tank. In RM world, kitschis king.

BCHH Sovereign – $9900

It’s a shame Benjamin Chee Haute Horlogerie had to pay aBlogtoWatch to feature their new Sovereign. The 40mm models’ [literally] cutting edge design deserves attention in its own right. The green jade dial model combines the “imperial gem’s” appeal with a Tesla Cybertruck. I’m not sure the Sovereign’s design will stand the test of time, but it does offer 150m water resistance.

The Sovereign is a bespoke product. There’s a plethoraof dial options, including the world’s most useless complication (a tourbillon). It’s powered by a Vaucher Manufacture caliber, blessed with a signed tungsten gold rotor and the high horology finishes the brand’s name leads you to expect. Unlike some watches we could name, the caseback screws are perfectly aligned. So there is that.

Parmigiani Fleurier Tonda GT LE – $19,500

Following in the footsteps of Patek Philippe and Audemars Piguet, all the cool kids are making luxury sports watches with integrated bracelets. H. Moser & Cie.Bell & RossA. Lange & Söhne and Chopard have jumped on the steel bandwagon. Add Parmigiana Fleurier’s new Tonda to the list. They offer a three-hander, but the 42mm Tonda GT is Tower of Powerfunky. A big date perpetual calendar chrono never looked so hip.

Wearing Côtes de Genève stripes, the in-house caliber PF043 motivates delta-shaped hands infilled with black luminescent coating, swinging around a black dial with Clou triangulaire guilloché. The whole package is water resistant to 100m, with a 45-hour power reserve. PF’s making 200 of these bad boys. Priced just above Vacheron’s Overseas three-hander, this one should sell out. Emphasis on should.

Sinn U2 W Limited Edition LE – $3260

Let he without Sinn order the first watch. Never mind. The first U2 W is already gone. Limited to 100 pieces (in North America), the W LE combines the Sinn  U1 Wdiver and U2 C to give tool watch aficionados the best of both worlds. You got your tegimented PVD / DLC submarine steel case, 2000 meter water resistance and a replaceable copper sulphate capsule (eliminates internal humidity).

Sinn has more models than IMG. This is one of only two white watches with a single time zone (click here for our review of the black 556i). A Top Grade ETA 2824 shelters under the W’s brick sh*t house black caseback – a reliable workhorse if there ever was one. A BIG horse – the W’s case is 44mm. If you want a dressy tool watch that will outlast the End of Days, the W is your biblical huckleberry.

Citizen Connected – $236

The Citizen Connected is a 42mm Bluetooth-connected hybrid smartwatch. It automatically syncs the time and date, provides call, event and email notifications; plays/pauses music, adjusts volume, tracks steps, estimates commuting time and makes you smartphone’s camera go CLICK. For an additional $163, you could buy an Apple Watch Series 5 that does all that and more and better. But then you wouldn’t get a round dial with actual watch hands.

It should be noted that Citizen is about to launch a full-on smartwatch. Also, the Connected isn’t solar-powered. Or water resistant (it’s “splash proof”). Nor does the Connected’s crystal have anti-reflective coating. The bracelet is made to a price (it sho’ ain’t no OMEGA). And if the Connected’s like other hybrids, there’ll be slow-to-no software updates. Other than that it’s perfect!

MIDO Ocean Star Decompression Timer 1961 LE – $1,250.00

Once again, a watch company has resurrected a vintage model to lure new buyers and alienate collectors who paid top dollar for the original. This time around its a multi-colored watch with a decompression timer – a complication that no diver in their right mind would use to avoid the bends. So a style statement then, in the great Breitling Navitimer slide-rule-on-your-wrist tradition.

The Ocean Star runs on Mido’s automatic Caliber 80, built on the Swatch Group’s next-gen automatic (ETA C07.621). Water resistant to 200m with an 80-hour power reserve, the 1961’s affixed via a mesh bracelet or two [free!] black leather straps. MIDO’s “limiting” production run to 1961 examples. New watch alert! That was the year Ham the Chimp became the first undocumented American in space. Just sayin’ . . .

Zenith DEFY 21 Black Ceramic Boutique edition – $13,600

The Defy 21 BCB defies logic. It’s a Boutique edition watch you could only buy at a boutique – that you can now only buy online. (Just goes to show how hard it is to stay new watch alert.) Let’s call the Defy 21 Ceramic a newly available watch and move on – to a timepiece where the chrono hand makes one rotation per second. Not even Billy Preston did that.

To be fair, the function’s useful if you’re timing boiled eggs to 1/100th of a second. The BCB also makes sense if you worship at the feet of Zenith’s legendary El Primero movement – all 290 components. The 44mm ceramic chrono was a hit off-line in U.S. boutiques even as it was racking-up online sales in the Eurozone. And now Americans can click to buy one- at full retail. How great is that?

Bovet Récital 26 Brainstorm Chapter Two LE – $383,500

According to Shanana, in Chapter Two you tell her you’re never never ever ever gonna part. To put this bad boy on your wrist, first you’ve got to part with the better part of $400k. But this time, you get a second time zone. Plus . . .

A sapphire “writing slope” case with a blue quartz dial, patented double face flying tourbillon and radial guidance system (for aiming anti-aircraft missiles) and a universal time display. Not patented: [another] three-dimensional moon phase. For that price, Bovet should throw in the string quartet playing in the video above.

TAG Heuer Carrera – $5750

“They are on the larger side of what I tend to reach for,” HoDinkee “reviewer” Jon Bues writes. Translation: the new TAG Heuer Carrera is a 44mm beast, one that turns it [enormous] back on the elegant 36mm watch it’s intended to honor. Saying that, the new black Carrera is as handsome as the OMEGA Speedmaster MoonwatchExactly as handsome.

Don’t get me wrong. TAG’s movements have moved on in the last 60 years, for the better. Launched in 2018, the self-winding in-house Heuer02 Chronograph engine has an 80 hour power reserve. It isn’t COSC certified but neither is the Atomic Clock and the Atomic Clock isn’t water resistant to 100m. For another $700, the 39mm Limited Edition throwback is still the one.

Jaquet Droz Petite Heure Minute Tiger – $32k

Back before a Chinese lab tech sneezed and infected the world, America was in the throes of Tiger King mania. Us too. While the world’s moved on – and how – the tiger remains a spirit animal for Carole Baskin and peyote eaters. New watch alert! They’d be hard pressed to find a higher quality tigeriffic timepiece than Jaquet Droz’s Petite Heure Minute Tiger watch.

The feline’s hand-painted on a black or ivory Grand Feu enamel dial by Droze’s artisans, green eyes and all (the tiger, not the decorators, as far as we know). The decorators use a microscope to paint each hair individually to reproduce the feline’s fur. New watch alert! It’s tacky AF. But it’s high class tacky.

Vortic Watch Company The Chicago Railroad 039 – $3995

Vortic’s still waiting for a court’s decision on Hamilton’s life-or-death lawsuit. Meanwhile, RT’s mob’s stopped using Hamilton movements for their pocket-to-wrist watch conversions and launched their own pocket watch. Well, it’s Elgin’s pocket watch they’ve made “new” – the first of many. So yes, this is another old watch new watch alert.

The exhibition case is Vortic’s party trick. It’s CNC milled from a solid block of aluminum bronze, left unpolished (because tool marks). The Chicago Railroad 039 comes “pre-patina’d” with a matching chain. The price is the real eye-opener. A reputable dealer will sell you a top quality Elgin Father Time pocket watch for  $1750 t0 $2275, serviced and oiled in a period correct case. Still, supporting Vortic is an excellent idea.

OMEGA Constellation Gents – $20,400

OMEGA’s 1982 “claw” redesign of the legendary Constellation was almost as epic a taste failure as the big hair of its era. The watchmaker’s recent update is finally saving the once-storied timepiece from ignominy. The top-of-the-line model’s plenty pricey piece, but the now-symbolic “claws” blend beautifully with the Ceragold case and indices. It’s got class. Equally important . . .

The Constellation’s powered by OMEGA’s Master Chronometer Caliber 8901, a kick ass co-axial escapement-equipped movement that’s both OMEGA and COSC certified. A gold rotor does the Geneva wave while it tops-up the 60-hour power reserve. The gorgeous interchangeable straps help take the Constellation to the next – and former – level. Whether the watch can liberate high horology cash from entry-level grail watch buyers remains to be seen. As always, watch this space.

Which are your favorites?

Which of these week’s new watch releases do you have your eyes on? Let us know in the comments!

This article was republished with permission from TheTruthAboutWatches.

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