Having just announced an extravagant, 18k pink gold Astron limited edition, Seiko reveals yet another GPS wristwatch that’s affordable and a lot more funky, having been designed by car design studio Italdesign Giugiaro.
Seiko introduced the world’s first analogue Seiko quartz fake watches chronograph in 1983, putting it in an asymmetric case styled by Italian automobile designer Giorgetto Giugario (whose firm is now design partner of Roger Dubuis). The unusual case shape was intended to make it easier to use the chronograph buttons, even while driving.
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Known as the Giugiaro Speedmaster, the watch was worn by the character Bishop in the 1986 film Aliens, bringing it fame that has lasted long after the watch was discontinued. Seiko marked the 30th anniversary of the Giugiaro Aliens watch in 2013 with a series of limited editions.
The new Astron Giugiaro Design Chronograph is modelled on the 1983 original, with an asymmetric case that protrudes on the right, while being more aggressively shaped, and a good deal more high tech.
Now a large 46.3mm in diameter, the case is black-coated titanium with a black ceramic bezel. A black dial with green and red accents – the colours of the Italian flag – serves as the solar panel for the 8X82 movement, which syncs once a day with a GPS satellite for spot-on timekeeping.
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If no satellite is within range, it’ll run to within 15 seconds a month. In addition, it has a chronograph, perpetual calendar, second time zone, and world time function.
While the original Giugiaro Speedmaster was a small and somewhat one-dimensional watch, the Astron Giugiaro Design has a three-dimensional dial, with raised hour markers and a sloping chapter ring.
The Seiko Astron Giugiaro Design Limited Edition replica watches UK (ref. SSE121 or SBXB121) is priced at €3250 internationally and ¥324,000 in Japan. It will be available end May 2017.
Back in 2016, we had a chance to go hands-on with the replica Corum Golden Bridge Round which was a departure from previous Golden Bridge watches by using a round case rather than the angular cases the collection had been known for. For Baselworld 2017, designer Dino Modolo helps return the Golden Bridge to its angular roots with the Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle. Since its initial release in 1980, the Corum Golden Bridge has seen more than a few variations, and this version retains the collection’s hallmark feature – a movement that displays the full transfer of energy from its spring barrel at 6 o’clock to the escapement at 12 o’clock.
The caliber CO113 is what Corum refers to as an “in-line baguette” movement, which has all its parts stacked up in a column-like shape. Like the numerals, the bridge structure that supports the movement is made of 18k gold and decorated with a variety of engravings alongside the brand name. This unique movement layout allows the wearer to view every component in motion as power is transferred from one end of the case to the other. The movement itself operates at 4Hz with a power reserve of 40 hours.
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The Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle case measures 29.5mm wide by 42.2mm tall and a mere 9.3mm thick. The detailed execution of the 18-karat gold Roman numeral structures and rivets that surround the movement are very cool to look at it – it feels like something King Midas would approve of.
The rhodium-plated, baton-shaped hands provide a nice contrast with the gold structures, and to keep things simple, the movement only indicates the time with hours and minutes. There’s a sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment over the skeletonized dial and a screw-in sapphire case-back that helps maintain the replica Corum watches water-resistance of 30 meters. The crown itself is a distinctive touch and something I can appreciate for the sake of symmetry and balance. Due to the movement’s orientation, it’s located at 6 o’clock and features deep grooves for easy operation.
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The fake Corum Golden Bridge Rectangle is a watch that will be catering to a very specific set of watch enthusiasts, to say the least. An art-deco, gold watch with a skeletonized dial that still feels as solid as, well, a bridge blends together a real masculine view of luxury with a refinement that is abundantly and obviously made clear.