Professional Jeweler Archive: Muscular Attraction

May 2003

Timepieces/News


Muscular Attraction

Consumers still demand larger timepieces, which now are adding functions for sportsmen


One undisputed theme from spring debuts: big, solid, round watches. Many of these larger timepieces glitter with diamonds (see Timepieces/New Products, pp. 58-59). And now many men and women who own diamond models are adding a second large watch with functions suited to sporting lifestyles. (Whether consumers actually use the functions is debatable.)

Chronographs and diver watches have fulfilled these requirements quite successfully over the years. This group of timepieces, by their nature, are larger than standard three-hand models. Many include both analog and digital displays, are sometimes technically impressive and often have functions beyond those on a standard chronograph.

Analog-digital chronographs or strictly digital models (including runner watches – another growing category) often add lap times, multiple-event timing, countdown timers, alarms and fastest-lap indicators.

Diver models typically have thicker cases and thicker and wider bracelets or straps. Chronograph cases may share the same diameter as a three-hand model, but they appear bolder with multiple subdials and additional pushers.

Aviation watches also are larger than standard watches and have grown more popular in the past few years, especially among men.

For ongoing coverage of 2003 debuts, see our reports on the big Swiss watch shows in our June, July and August issues.

– by Michael Thompson

Rodolphe’s Viper Watch Collection, taking cues from the Viper sports car by DaimlerBenz, includes this automatic chronograph for men. The 18k chronographs are $6,875 retail (limited edition of 500). Under the hood is a chronograph module made by Dubois-Depraz with 47 jewels and engraved bridges and rotor. The 18k back is engraved with the customer’s name, a Viper Vehicle Identification Number and a serial number.

Rodolphe Watches Inc., Vista, CA; (760) 305-6231, www.rudolphewatches.com.

The new automatic Oris Divers Titan, geared to professional divers, is water resistant to 3,300 feet. It has a 44mm diameter titanium case with helium air valve, 4.7mm-thick sapphire crystal, unilateral safety bezel, screw-down crown at four o’clock, extendable strap, numerals and hands with luminous tritium and a black rubber strap with titanium safety buckle or titanium bracelet. The clasp can be extended without special tools.

Oris, Hawthorne, NY; (914) 347-6747, www.oris-watch.com.

With this new Montbrilliant 1903 chronograph, Breitling honors the 100th anniversary of the first flight by the Wright brothers at Kitty Hawk. The caseback features a silhouette of Flyer I, the Wrights’ plane. It’s made in steel and in limited series of 100 each of rose gold, yellow gold and white gold.

Breitling, Wilton, CT; (203) 762-1180, www.breitling.com.

The Bermuda, new from Invicta Watch Co. of America, has a digital movement with IC chip created by Invicta and Epson of Japan. Housed in an oversized aluminum case with aluminum pushers, the Bermuda features a dial with mirror finish and a polyurethane strap. The display is dot matrix, with the dots on the characters lighting up for night visibility. The watch also offers a 1/100-second chronograph timer and alarm function.

Invicta, Hollywood, FL; (800) 327-7682, www.invictawatch.com.

This new model from the Breckenridge Collection by Accutron has a multifunction carbon-fiber dial inside a brushed and polished curved steel case. The chronograph has an alarm with analog and digital display. Suggested retail, $795.

Bulova, Woodside, NY; (718) 204-3261, www.bulova.com.

Copyright © 2003 by Bond Communications