Introducing the Fortis PC-7 TEAM Aeromaster Chronograph and Day-Date

Fortis has announced their first big product launch since an ownership change in September of last year, and it’s perhaps not a surprise at all that the new release places a strong emphasis on brand heritage and a longstanding partnership with a component of the Swiss military. This is a brand that has produced rock solid tool watches of all sorts over the years, and the new PC-7 Team Aeromasters are right in their wheelhouse: hearty, purpose-built aviation watches. Let’s take a closer look. 

The PC-7 Team is an aerobatics team of the Swiss Air Force that has its roots in the 1982 introduction of the Pilatus PC-7 plane. These watches, a #chronograph and a three hand model both with day-date indicators, celebrate the thirtieth anniversary of the official establishment of the PC-7 Team in 1989.


PC-7 Team Aeromaster Chronograph

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: Valjoux 7750 / 48 h power reserve / 25 jewels / Certified C.O.S.C Chronometer
  • Strap/bracelet: Steel bracelet & blue cordura performance strap
  • Price: CHF 4,450
  • Expected Release: June 2019

PC-7 Team Aeromaster Day-Date

  • Case Material: Stainless steel
  • Dial: Blue
  • Dimensions: 42mm
  • Crystal: Sapphire
  • Water Resistance: 200 meters
  • Crown: Push/pull
  • Movement: ETA 2836-2 / 42 h power reserve / 25 jewels / Certified C.O.S.C Chronometer
  • Strap/bracelet: Steel bracelet & blue cordura performance strap
  • Price: CHF 2,450
  • Expected Release: August 2019

The watches themselves are a product of Fortis consulting with PC-7 pilots for input on their design. Not surprisingly, these professional aviators requested timepieces with a focus on legibility and precision. To that end, each of the 300 pieces for each model is a COSC certified chronometer, and the dials are expansive and use generous amounts of lume on the large applied Arabic numerals. The deep blue color of the dial is a natural choice for a watch worn by pilots who fly above the clouds, and the 42mm Aeromaster case has a completely brushed surface to minimize the risk of unwanted reflections in the cockpit. 

Never a brand to skimp on useful watch tech, Fortis has added a bunch of additional mostly unseen features into the PC-7 Team editions. The sapphire crystal is double domed and uses Fortis’ AR027 anti-reflective coating to ensure legibility in any lighting condition, and even though the crown does not screw down (which would be counterintuitive in real life flight scenarios) these watches each boast 200 meters of water resistance thanks to the brand’s “In-crown-double-gasket-system.”

A close inspection of the dial reveals a variety of finishing techniques you wouldn’t normally expect on such a pure tool watch, but there is some very subtle circular graining in the subdials of the chronograph, and each model uses sunken elements in the rehaut for visual interest and to create a sense of depth. And, naturally, each watch features applied miniature representation of the PC-7 aircraft flying in a V formation at 9:00, making this a suitable collectible for anyone who has been associated with the team over the years, or those who are just fans of their impressive aerial acrobatics.

Both watches will be available this summer, with the Chronograph delivering in June, and the Day-Date following in August. Fortis

#watches

Five Vintage Watch Hidden Gems

Calling Attention to Our Vintage Steals

In recent years, there’s been a noticeably increasing interest in vintage watches. From record-breaking auction sales of models owned by famous wearers to copious vintage-reissues, the enthusiasm for vintage watches is undeniable. Whether it’s the story and history behind these watches or the classic, time-tested designs, there’s something alluring about models past. These watches set the foundation for designs we see today, they established trends, and they’re important pieces of horological history.

As purveyors of pre-owned watches – many of which fall into the vintage category – this trend is particularly compelling. There’s nothing more fascinating than the heritage behind a vintage model. There’s also nothing more rewarding than connecting a vintage model with its next owner. It perpetuates the next chapter of its story. Maybe you’re curious about getting into the vintage watch market or looking to add another vintage model to your collection. Sometimes, the most interesting vintage models go unnoticed among the countless offerings in our catalog. So, we decided to round up five vintage hidden gems and the stories behind them.

Rolex Date 1500

Vintage Oyster Perpetual

Rolex first debuted their groundbreaking Oyster in 1926 as the first water resistant wristwatch. Today, the model is still a crucial part of their catalog. Over the years, it has seen a number of updates and modifications. One particularly popular iteration is the Reference 1500. The brand initially introduced this model in 1962. However, the watch in our inventory dates just over ten years later to about 1973. Its run for over a decade is a testament to the 1500’s timelessness and appeal. The model comes equipped with the brand’s Caliber 1570 chronometer certified automatic movement and a date function. It’s also interesting to note the 1500 has a Sigma dial. In addition, the patina on the lume looks great on both the hands and indices.

Heuer Pewter Lemania 1500 Chronograph

Vintage Heuer

The relationship between Heuer and Lemania is an interesting partnership that spurred in the 1980s. The 1500 series first launched in 1982 and replaced the previous Valjoux movement with the Lemania 5100 chronograph. The model in our inventory, 510.503, showcases a few unique features. The simple date function, as opposed to day-date, indicates it’s a first series model. Another unique attribute is the pewter design. The line offered three stylistic options: classic stainless steel, PVD, and pewter. The pewter variation creates a distinct monochromatic look that’s simply one-of-a-kind. The bright, contrasting orange chronograph hands pop against the pewter background and give the model a handsome, sporty style.

Longines Ultra-Chron 431

Vintage Longines

The Longines Ultra-Chron is an example of one of the earliest, mass-produced high-beat watches. The brand first released the model in 1967 to commemorate their 100th anniversary. In basic terms, a high-beat watch is one with a movement whose oscillating wheel is faster than the average watch. From a technical perspective, this results in higher precision. At the time of the Ultra-Chron’s debut, Longines asserted it was the world’s most accurate watch. However, as one might guess, the higher frequency also places more strain on the internal mechanisms. This means high-beat watches must be equipped with more durable parts and better lubricants to combat the added friction. Stylistically, the Ultra-Chron is the quintessential dress watch. Plus, with the high-beat movement, it has the added bonus of the visually appealing smooth second hand.

Patek Philippe Calatrava 1509

Vintage Patek

The Calatrava is Patek Philippe’s flagship model, first introduced in 1932. Similar to the Ultra-Chron, it’s a classic dress watch with a minimalist, no-frills, time-only design. The model in our catalog hails from a few decades after the initial Calatrava debuted. The Reference 1509 first launched in the 1940s, and our particular model dates to the 1950s. This reference is most notable for its distinctive teardrop lugs. However, its design also marks the transition to the 2500 series of the model in the 1950s. The 2500 references feature the unique “Disco Volante” or “flying saucer” case style. Here, the crown rests inside the outer circular portion that lines up with the raised bezel.

Breitling Top Time 824

Vintage breitling

Last but not least in our round up of vintage hidden gems in our inventory is the Breitling Top Time 824. The brand first released the Top Time in 1964 as an entry-level chronograph. However, the model soon gained celebrity status and widespread popularity. For instance, Sean Connery sported the watch in the James Bond film Thunderball a year after its debut in 1965. One of the most notable and desirable aspects of this particular reference is the iconic reverse panda dial. Breitling was the first to introduce this style on the SuperOcean in 1957. It quickly became a favorite for its one-of-a-kind look and practical, easy legibility.

The post Five Vintage Watch Hidden Gems appeared first on Crown & Caliber Blog.

#chronograph, #rolex, #watches

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