Cut For Time: The Latest News From Seiko, TAG Heuer, Hermès, And Parmigiani Fleurier
This week, TAG Heuer’s connected watch gets new sports functions; Seiko introduces a new limited edition Prospex Diver; Hermès launches dazzling new Cape Cod watches, and Parmigiani Fleurier adds to its Tonda GT collection.
Seiko’s New Prospex 1986 Quartz Diver’s 35th Anniversary Limited Edition
One of the most essential pieces of gear for divers is an accurate, reliable timepiece. Deep-water divers must ascend in timed stages to safely adjust to the lower pressure nearer the surface. So, if a diver’s watch is inaccurate, it poses a serious safety issue for the underwater adventurer.
Enter Seiko. The brand produced its first quartz Prospex in 1986. As we all know, modern mechanical diving watches are quite accurate and very reliable. However, if one encounters a strong shock or takes in water due to a crown that is not fully locked, then a mechanical watch’s reliability can be severely compromised.
The quartz Prospex offered extreme reliability in 1986, and the new limited edition watch goes a step beyond. A new safety feature is its crown marked with a bright yellow “lock” sign and an arrow to signal the locking direction. The winding stem is also bright yellow, providing another warning sign that the crown is not properly locked. Plus, in addition to its 1,000-meter water resistance, its shock resistance has been enhanced by an outer protector made of zirconia ceramic, which, according to the brand, is seven times harder than steel. Harder still might be actually buying one of the new watches as only 1,200 will be made.
TAG Heuer’s Newest Sports App Additions for Swimming and Running
TAG Heuer’s Connected timepieces were some of the first luxury smartwatches introduced in the world of high-end watchmaking. Since then, the brand has worked relentlessly to enhance and upgrade the watch’s capabilities. Importantly, TAG Heuer listens to “feedback from customers and users to develop new features and continue delivering a best-in-class digital experience,” according to the brand.
For swimmers, the watch can now track performance in the water and provide progress tracking, eliminating serious swimmers’ need to change watches before jumping in the pool. It also tracks SWOLF, which is a combination of stroke count and time in the water. The term SWOLF combines “swim” and “golf” and refers to the goal of as few strokes as possible for a determined distance in the pool. In golf, of course, the goal is also fewer strokes, but on dry land.
Additionally, indoor runners will find the new feature for treadmill running useful in many ways. While running, the wearer can see which heart rate zone they are in with a glance to the wrist. Then, at the end of their session, the wearer can enter the distance into the app to calculate the average speed of their run.
Watch connoisseurs place a high value on brands’ in-house, proprietary craftsmanship. TAG Heuer develops its own apps in-house as well, showing its dedication to innovation, watchmaking or not.
Hermès’ New Diamond-Set Cape Cod Chaîne d’Ancre Watches
The Hermès Cape Cod watch has had a distinctive design since its introduction in 1991. Designer Henri d’Origny was tasked with creating a square watch, but he offered it with a twist – a square dial within a rectangular shape. Moreover, the original case for the Cape Cod had two “anchor chain” half-links designed by none other than Robert Dumas back in 1938. Today, the new chaîne d’ancre timepieces pay homage to that design, with a decidedly modern and elegant twist.
Two diamond-encrusted chain links intersect at the center of the new watch’s dial, adding sparkle and a touch of whimsy. There are three versions of the new chaîne d’ancre timepiece, each with its own distinct charm. The largest of the group has a 29mm x 29mm case size. Its case is crafted of 18K rose gold and is set with 52 diamonds. And its obsidian dial has its two chain links set with no less than 181 diamonds.
A second version, measuring 23mm x 23mm, also comes in 18K rose gold, but its dial is lacquered, gilded, and sand-blasted. It has 46 diamonds set in its case and 96 diamonds set into the dial’s links. The third is a similarly sized stainless-steel cased model. It also features 46 diamonds set in its case and 96 on the dial.
All of the new watches come with the choice of a single or double wrap strap and are equipped with Swiss-made quartz movements. Anchors aweigh!
New Bicolor Dials for Parmigiani Fleurier’s Tonda GT Line
Parmigiani Fleurier is expanding its sportier watch offerings with new Tonda GT models featuring a bicolor dial. The watches, an extension of the Tondagraph GT sub-family, now feature silvered dials with contrasting black sub-dials for a panda-like effect.
Parmigiani Fleurier describes the dials as having a “classical and crowd-pleasing bicolor style.” Indeed, the brand brought “a further purity of design and a fresh, stylish execution” to the Tonda GT collection, which was released just a year ago. Both versions are available with either a textured black rubber strap or a link bracelet.
The new 42mm Tondagraph GT Steel Silver Black has an annual calendar in addition to its chronograph function. The bold date indication sits at 12 o’clock and provides a design balance with the three sub-dials at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. What is interesting in this annual calendar is that the month indication is included in the running seconds indicator sub-dial at 3 o’clock, an unusual, eye-catching placement. And of course, like all annual calendar watches, the date only needs to be set once a year at the end of February.
The new Tondagraph GT Rose Gold Silver Black is pure chronograph, but it’s certainly no slouch in the watchmaking department. Its in-house caliber, the PF071, is COSC certified and visible through the sapphire caseback. And like the Steel Silver Back that houses the PF043 automatic caliber, both of the new timepiece’s movements are evolutions of the brand’s first in-house integrated chronograph caliber, the PF361, first unveiled in 2016.
And that movement, only a year later in 2017, won a GPHG (Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève) award for best chronograph watch for the Tonda Chronor Anniversaire, the first watch employing the in-house caliber.