TIC TALK: NEW MEN’S LUXURY WATCH RELEASES FROM TAG HEUER, SEIKO AND OMEGA

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Style, Watches

A fine luxury watch is still the go-to adornment for any man looking to complement his personal style. Omega, Tag Heuer and Seiko lead the charge of new men’s luxury watch releases for the summer. Here we take a look at each:

Men’s luxury watches: A new Speedtimer chronograph

Seiko has recently released its new Prospex Speedtimer SRQ043 mechanical chronograph. The Speedtimer and more importantly, the Caliber 6139 released in 1969, was one of the first automatic chronographs every produced. Many a collector (including myself) have owned, or are currently in search of, the 6139 of their dreams.

Part of the allure of this watch was the number of designs that Seiko executed using this caliber and its technical achievement of incorporating both column wheel actuation (instead of the more traditional cam and lever system) and a vertical clutch (instead of a horizontal clutch, which can sometimes lead to jittery start of the chronographs second hand when engaged). Pairing this with Seiko’s release of the first quartz wrist watch this very same year shows how hard the Japanese watch maker was working to make its mark in the world of watches!

With such a history around the Speedtimer and the 6139 I think that there will be both lovers and haters of this new design.

In the $4,000 range CAD this watch is providing a lot of value, but may disappoint Speedtimer purists with its potentially over-modern styling and hefty price tag.

Colin Potts

Watch writer

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New Seiko feels like it’s staying true to its original

Let’s start with the new Speedtimer’s 8R46 movement. In keeping with the original we have a chronograph movement that yet again uses both vertical clutch and column wheel mechanisms. I think purists will not like the absence of the Day indication from the 6139. Instead, we gain a small seconds subdial in the 3 o’clock position which modern collectors do appreciate. The 30-minute chronograph subdial has moved from 6 o’clock to 9, giving the dial strong symmetry, with the date at 6 o’clock. Overall, a very modern and currently popular chronograph configuration.

I can appreciate the blue dial as my personal 6139 from 1970 is also blue – and also boasts a red center seconds hand!  The centre seconds hand is curved at the end to track as close as possible to the dial, improving visual accuracy – another vintage touch that collectors will appreciate.

The Tachymeter scale feels very true to the original, but the pump pushers and crown not only fail to draw from the original Speedtimer DNA, but seem proportionally a little too large when compared to the case and dial.  What makes this stand out even further is that the original Speedtimer has small slightly recessed pushers and a crown almost flush with the case itself. I think this makes the pushers and crown on the new Speedtimer seem out of place.

In the $4,000 range CAD this watch is providing a lot of value, but may disappoint Speedtimer purists with its potentially over-modern styling and hefty price tag.

Omega Speedmaster ‘57

Released earlier this year the Speedmaster ’57 with new for 2022 calibre 9906 with manual wind and slimmer profile (12.99mm thick and 40.50mm in diameter) shares a similar layout to the new Seiko Speedtimer with subdials at 3 and 6 o’clock and date at 9.

My favourite remains the sandwich dial version with “vintage” Super LumiNova, but can see the allure of the Red, Green and Blue dials – the green dial probably being my second pick.  Personally, I find the Speedmaster ’57 more accessible, as someone who never had the urge to go down the rabbit hole of the many, many variants available in the Speedmaster line – something that was always a turn-off instead of a thrill for me.

Although many, many collectors have enjoyed the very nuanced world of the Omega Speedmaster and still do!  The slightly reduced dimension are quite welcome, as the 42mm of the modern Speedmaster Moon watch can wear a bit large for some – something some have discovered through Swatch’s Moonswatch which shares the same dimensions (42mm in diameter and 13.25mm thick).

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TAG Heuer Connected, Porche Special Edition

I’m going to try and stay positive here, but I think that making rigid connections between watches and cars can be a very tricky thing. Am I coming at this from my own perspective? Yes.  Have I seen the market research or the numbers for this or other collaborations? No.  Am I qualified to make these comments? Frankly, I think I am.

For example, I was very pleased to see Breitling end its collaboration with Bentley this past year.  In my mind the last thing a Bentley owner was going to want to buy was a giant, over the top, Breitling for Bentley watch. It just never seemed to do either brand justice. I feel TAG Heuer has done the same here with the TAG Heuer Connected X Porsche Edition.

Men’s luxury watches: Tag/Porsche collaboration misses the mark

I agree that maybe the kind of person who purchases and electric Taycan is not the kind of Porsche purist of old. I’m just not sure that someone that is Porsche-minded wants a 45mm, blacked out smart watch that is going to tell them things about their car that I assume their smart phone does anyway.

Doesn’t Porsche have a similar design perspective (a perspective shared by their clients) as some of our most beloved brands? The evolutionary mindset instead of the revolutionary, the core need to protect what the brand is, how it looks, how it feels. You can spot a Porsche, new or old, instantly, up close or at a distance.

By its look, feel, stance, curves, it just resonates Porsche.  Just like you can spot a Navitimer, a Datejust, a Speedmaster, even a TAG Heuer Monaco from across a smoky room. Maybe I’m just not a smartwatch kind of guy, but to me this collaboration misses the mark – for both Porsche and TAG Heuer.

Colin Potts is founder of Watch off the Cuff, a watch repair service based in Milton, Ontario, and a member of the Horology Society of New York in support of advancing the art and science of horology

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