Watchonista Staff Picks: February Releases
The second in our “Staff Picks” series, Team Watchonista chooses their favorite watch releases from February, ranging from microbrands to motorcycle collaborations.
As a collector, who will admittedly talk watches with a brick wall, I love reading what my colleagues at Watchonista submit as their latest favorite monthly watch release. But perhaps even more than just finding out which model they chose, I’m fascinated by why it’s their favorite.
So, after a sparring match on Slack over who got to choose the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak “Jumbo” Extra-thin 39mm (ref. 16202BA) in January, my latest pick just so happens to, again, overlap with at least one of my colleagues: The Breitling Top Time collaboration with Triumph.
For me, this piece is an instant winner. Released a little over a week ago, the Breitling Top Time Triumph is where style and speed intersect. You heard it from me; icy blue is the IT dial color. Granted: Maybe it’s just living in the throes of a New York winter, but that blue deeply resonated with me
And while I wouldn’t dream of riding a Triumph Motorcycle (or any motorcycle, for that matter), I would certainly wear this, especially when priced at a reasonable $5,500.
Team Watchonista’s Favorite Releases: February 2022
As you probably already know from my editorial about it, I am one of the 33 recipients of the Endurance by Habring² for the CronotempVs Collectors Club, which was delivered to us happy subscribers in mid-February.
Since writing about the Endurance by Habring2 for CronotempVs Collectors, I continue to be moved, surprised, and delighted by the emotional aspects behind the watch that was (in large part) dreamt up by our good friend @scaramanga_. The poetic language of this watch, developed for a kind of imaginary expedition to the South Pole, has been profoundly moving for me.
I have been a “watch person” ever since my uncle Frank gave me a kid’s Timex, which I faithfully kept in its clamshell box every night, wore to school, and tried to remove before any after-school rock fights with my friends (that part was largely unsuccessful). But, soon on the heels of that, a friend of my mom’s brought over her 49cc Honda “Monkey” mini-bike and taught me how to ride.
I was instantly smitten.
While, these days, I currently own more timepieces than motorcycles, I’d be hard-pressed to choose one passion over the other. Luckily, with the recently announced Breitling x Triumph Top Time Triumph chronograph and Top Time Triumph Speed Twin Owners’ Limited Edition watches, as well as a limited-edition Speed Twin Breitling ride, now I don’t have to. This collaboration is a perfect example of why motorcycles and timepieces really play well together, plain and simple.
In truth, I hadn’t been too familiar with the gorgeous striated “Zorro” dial of collectible Top Times, but there’s a reason why they are so coveted. And a British-brand café racer is a bike on every two-wheeler’s list. But when a watch is made in an ice-blue hue that matches the bike’s tank, it creates an authentic style statement without being overly matchy-matchy.
For timepieces, I favor sports chronographs that lean into the badass. For motorcycles, a café racer-style bike with modern engineering is a rocking dream come true. Together? Thanks, Breitling, for colliding two of my worlds in a way that cannot be ignored.
You want to hear a success story? Last week, it was all about the Girard-Perregaux Casquette 2.0 – a limited to 820 pieces collection that sold out in a couple of hours and watch aficionados all over the world are still chasing down on the secondary market.
And this, the Casquette 2.0, is my futuristic and desperately-sought choice of the month. The brand came up with the same aesthetic codes that collectors have been cherishing since 1976, but with a notable upgrade on materials - ceramic and titanium grade 5 - and a new quartz caliber. A statement watch that will always be one step ahead.
My February pick is the Tangente neomatik platinum gray.
It has an effortless formalism (which would help me transition from my WFH wardrobe), but the gray dial magically transforms the look of the Tangente.
A perpetual calendar for dummies seems a little silly, but somehow, H. Moser pulls it off in a unique and desirable way. That is why my favorite February release is the 42mm H. Moser Endeavour Perpetual Calendar Tutorial (ref. 1800-0205).
Amazingly, H. Moser & Cie. has managed to make a watch with a seemingly complicated movement very easy to understand using a “cheat sheet” on the dial. For those that don't know, Moser already makes its perpetual calendars pretty much foolproof and this tongue-in-cheek version is like the cherry on top of a very delicious (and expensive) cake.
For my picks last month, I stated that I like slim, clean, time-only watches by independent brands. But I am also a child of the Seventies, so I have a soft spot for sci-fi of that era and retro-futuristic creations in general.
No surprise, then, that my top releases for February are a pair of spaceships for the wrist: Girard-Perregaux’s revival of its LED classic, the Casquette 2.0, and URWERK’s sleek and shiny UR-112 Aggregat Odyssey.
Both have cool, digital, perpendicularly configured displays as well as streamline, avant-gardist cases – G-P’s in black ceramic and titanium, URWERK’s in polished steel and titanium. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like I will be able to add either of them to my collection: At CHF 4,500, the Casquette 2.0 sold out immediately, at least online, while the UR-112 Aggregat Odyssey costs CHF 250,000.
It’s a surprising choice for me, but I have to go with the Hublot Classic Fusion 42mm Elements Turquoise made for The Hour Glass.
There are several models in the Classic Fusion 42mm Elements Special Edition collection, and all of them feature stone dials – a couple of which even competed for the top spot (I’m looking at you, Malachite and Eye of the Tiger).
But in the end, I have to pick the turquoise model. Its dial is just too beautiful.
(Photography by Pierre Vogel, other sources mentioned)