Current Hours: Titanium Watches

Robustness and great lightness, extreme resistance to corrosion and biocompatibility: titanium has many very interesting properties for watch manufacturers who make cases and bracelets for their sports watches.

GRAND SEIKO – Evolution 9 Spring Drive SBGE283: for globetrotters

At Grand Seiko, the Evolution 9 collection, created in 2021, sets new standards in legibility, aesthetics and comfort, while staying true to the 1967 44GS watch, an emblematic piece that defined the Japanese manufacturer’s watch design. The line is expanded this year with five new sports references in high-intensity titanium (30% lighter than steel). They are all powered by a Spring Drive electromechanical movement with remarkable precision (-/+1 second per day, or even -/+0.5 seconds for some). Of these instruments, the SBGE283 model with GMT function is primarily aimed at travelers. Water resistant to 100 meters, the 41 mm diameter case features a fixed 24-hour scale on which an additional central hand indicates a second time zone.

Equipped with a date window at 3 o’clock and a power reserve indicator (3 days) at 7 o’clock, the black dial has hands and indexes covered with Lumibrite, an exclusive durable luminescent material. Protected by a domed anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the whole also stands out with its fine seconds hand that literally glides smoothly. This fluidity is characteristic of the Spring Drive, whose sprockets are visible at the rear. This caliber – unique in its kind – combines automatic winding by an oscillating weight with an electronic regulator. Alternating between vertical brushed and mirror polished finishes (hand polishing using Grand Seiko’s proprietary Zaratsu technique), the watch also benefits from a rounded profile with a low center of gravity. Details that make it possible, with the studied ergonomics of the bracelet, to offer a particularly comfortable wearing comfort.

€8,500, www.grand-seiko.com

ORIS – ProPilot X Caliber 400: the future is already here

Case and integrated bracelet, both sculpted with numerous facets, crown, bezel and back grooved with stripes inspired by jet engine turbines: the new ProPilot X Caliber 400 in titanium has a resolutely modern, not to say futuristic, design. At 39mm in diameter, it is available in three dial colors (grey, blue or salmon pink) and will suit all wrists indiscriminately. This watch marks a real stylistic break in the collections of Oris, which for several years has mainly played on the vintage trend to seduce lovers of fine mechanics. Fans of the independent Swiss watch brand will nevertheless note the aesthetic relationship with the Big Crown ProPilot X Caliber 115: an instrument presented at the end of 2019 that impressed with its hand-wound skeleton movement and highly graphic chisels.

The ProPilot X Caliber 400 is powered by the latest in-house caliber from Oris. Designed in 2020, this beautifully crafted automatic timepiece, depending on the position of the oscillating weight, recalls the head of a bear cub in a nod to the house mascot. Visible on the back of the case, it shows remarkable performance in terms of chronometric precision (-3/+5 seconds per day) and anti-magnetic resistance (it contains more than thirty non-ferrous components, including a wheel and an armature non-magnetic silicon escapement). It also has a comfortable five-day power reserve thanks to the presence of two barrels. Accompanied by a 10-year warranty, this 100-meter water-resistant watch is also distinguished by the originality of its patented folding clasp, inspired by aircraft belt buckles.

€ 3,800, www.oris.ch

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