New Watch Alert: Moser, Hamilton, Piaget and Others

Posted by Robert Farago on February 10, 2021

H. Moser & Cie Swiss Alp Watch Final Upgrade – $30,800

This $30,800 watch would annoy the hell out of me proclaims. New watch alert! The final installment of H. Moser & Cie’s Alpine series – a mechanical middle finger to the Apple Watch – features a faux Spinning Disc Pointer mocking Cupertino’s app loading app. Back in the day, Apple’s interminable load times inspired us to call its multi-colored predecessor “the spinning beachball of death.” These days you hardly see the icon. If you wear this watch, you’ll see it all the time. Like this . . .

WHEN WILL IT LOAD? The Swiss Alp’s frustration-engine (a.k.a., second hand) peers through a dial made of Vantablack, the darkest substance produced by hand of man. Cool as that is in theory, in practice it turns the crystal into a mirror; you have to shade the dial to see that you can’t see anything. On the positive side, the Final Upgrade is funny! And the HMC 324 hand wound movement is stunning in both its appearance and temporal virtuosity. This I know because I bought an HM&C Swiss Alp watch. Review to follow on

Hamilton Ventura Elvis80 Skeleton – $2000

There are two Elvises (Elvi?): the rail thin 50’s rocker with his sharp-as-a-tack wardrobe and the engorged Vegas Elvis wearing tacky-as-hell jumpsuits. The Hamilton Ventura worn by The King fits squarely into the early Elvis aesthetic. (Click here for a previous post’s pic of The Tupelo Tornado wearing his Hamilton Electrics Pacer Ventura.) Suffice it to say, this new Ventura is fat Elvis, only worse. Not to put too fine a point on it, the rubber strapped VenturaElvis80 Skeleton Auto is one ugly sumbitch.

New watch alert! It’s even worse in black. The groundbreaking Hamilton Ventura didn’t have a legibility breaking sine wave running across the dial or lighting bolts connecting the indices. (Nor did the previous skeletonized version.) Why does this one? To partially obscure the mundanity of Hamilton’s ubiquitous H-10-S movement? The Skeleton’s ultimate sin: gleaming fake gold. Lest we forget, The Memphis Flash wore a Gerald Genta-designed Rolex King Midas. ‘Nuff said? 

Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph – $8,350

Speaking of ugly, illegible watches . . . Wait! “A bold case combined with serious swagger and eye-popping green accents makes it a bright spark of contemporary design in a world of homage watches,” Thor Svbaoe opines at “Shy it ain’t.” I’m courageous enough to suggest that Mr. Svabaoe’s write-up on the Louis Vuitton Tambour Damier Graphite Race Chronograph is the best example of spin doctoring I’ve seen since CNN called press censorship “harm reduction.” Here he is live:

To be fair, the 46mm LV chrono is a magnificent example of unabashed brand boasting kitsch, if you like that sort of thing. And Mr. Svbaoe may be right: King Louis’ new watch could be a horological harbinger. As we emerge from the worldwide Coronageddon lockdown, prognosticators are prognosticating a transition into a second “roaring 20’s.” We’re talking unrestrained partying and profligate spending. Louis Vuitton’s bilious bauble is nothing if not unrestrained. And a thug magnet. One way or the other.

Hanhart Pioneer 1 Bronze LE – $1430

I recently highlighted the imminent arrival of OMEGA’s first ever bronze watch, pronouncing the Geneva watchmaker late to the horological bronze age. New watch alert! So is Hanhart, but they sure brought the noise. The Pioneer 1 Bronze is a stunning minimalist timepiece that trumps OMEGA with a bronze sliding bezel and a dateless retro dial. Hanhart’s [hidden] Sellita SW 200 engine is a far cry from OMEGA’s Co-Axial 8912, but Hanhart gives you twice as much style for $2720 less. If you ACT NOW . . .

And maybe not even then. Hanhart is only making 150 Pioneer 1 Bronze watches. That’s nuts. They could sell this piece until the Gütenbach cows come home. The watch is water resistant to 100m, enabling the immersion that aids the development of the variable green patina that makes the vintage style watch look increasingly vintage over time. (Collectors with OCD need not apply.) The Pioneer 1’s dark brown saddle leather strap enhances the impression of antique charm, although this is a 42mm watch. Going fast.

Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Sparkling – $40k

“At launch, this was billed as having ‘rock-hard, masculine lines’ and does, indeed, appear to be a ‘different’ kind of watch for the modern man,” waffles. “But are you man enough for the latest addition to the Skeleton X range – the decidedly bold ‘Sparkling’, pictured here?” What the hell does that mean? Do you have to be a “real man” to wear a 42mm, forty-thousand-dollar, diamond-encrusted, illegible timepiece that looks half-finished? I’m thinking it would help if I made millions rapping. And ignored . . .

another previous post where I suggested that iced-out watches’ popularity may be waning. The Ulysse Nardin Skeleton X Sparkling holsters 80 diamonds – and that’s just on the bezel. The dial sparkles with 60 more. If you can see past that, all hail the Sparkling’s in-house hand wound caliber UN371, delivering a mightily impressive 96 hours of power reserve. You’d think UN could do something a little less . . . obvious with their superb engine. But the brand decided that the bling’s the thing to capture the money of the king. And I’m man enough to admit they’re probably right.

Piaget Polo Skeleton – $28,500

If you can see through Ulysse Nardin’s marketing ploy (so to speak), why not save 10 grand and buy an even more amazing technological tour de force: Piaget’s skeletonized ultra thin Polo Skeleton? We’re talking about a 42mm stainless steel timepiece that’s only 6.5mm thick. OK it is a bit busy, in keeping with this now-you-see-it, now-you-see-it horological genre. But there’s more watch here. More finely crafted moving bits to delight the eye while you’re trying to figure out the time.

The metal bracelet and gray bridges version enhances the Polo Skeleton’s legibility – and brings the case’s similarity to 1950’s black-and-white TVs to the fore. Despite the stunning steel, the PPS’s limited sportiness remains the same. aBlogtoIgnore’s Sean Lorentzen kvetched about the Piaget Polo Skeleton’s 30m water resistance – as if anyone who owns a $30k timepiece as thin as vinyl flooring would be comfortable taking it for a dip in a swimming pool. I’m hoping the whole skeletonized trend takes a dip in popularity, but I understand the fascination. The question is: how long does it last?

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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