Designs inspired by vintage icons are making a major impact in the present.
In the 1960s, the German Bundesmarine was one of several naval forces using Blancpain’s Fifty Fathoms dive watches. Around 1970, a Fifty Fathoms watch was released called Barakuda, because it was issued to the navy through a diving-equipment company called Barakuda, and this was later made available to civilians. Today, Blancpain has reissued the Fifty Fathoms Barakuda (inspired by that civilian model) which includes codes such as a black dial with large red and white hour markers coated with vintage-effect lume, and white-lacquered pencil-shaped hands. Housed in a 40mm steel case, the automatic watch is water-resistant to 300m.
With the Navitimer Ref. 806 1959 Re-Edition, Breitling plumbs its own rich history for the first time. This reissue is a faithful tribute to one of the most popular iterations of Breitling’s signature pilot’s watch. Reproduced touches include the black dial with same-coloured subdials, the brand’s inscription in capital letters, a winged logo and the 94 “beads” on the edge of the rotating bezel. One welcome change for this 40.9mm steel watch though is a new manually wound in-house movement.
As the designer of several iconic timepieces, the late Gerald Genta had an outsize impact on the watch world. Celebrating the 50th anniversary of Genta’s eponymous manufacture, which it acquired in 2000, Bvlgari introduces the Gerald Genta 50th Anniversary. Powered by an automatic in-house calibre, the 41mm platinum watch is distinguished by details that will be familiar to Genta fans: Retrograde minutes and jumping hours, a retrograde date and the original brand logo are set against a vibrant blue dial.
Historical watches created by Swiss movement specialist Minerva – the forerunner of Montblanc’s Villeret manufacture – inspire the vintage-style designs of Montblanc’s Heritage collection. Driven by the manually wound, monopusher-chronograph calibre MB M13.21, the 40mm steel Heritage Pulsograph doubles up on the vintage details. Aside from a striking salmon pink hue, a domed dial and dot indexes, the chronograph watch also includes a pulsometric scale – which physicians once used to help them take a patient’s pulse quickly.
Showing that there is plenty more to the Rado story than just the latest innovations in high-tech ceramic, the brand’s striking vintage reissues include this 37mm Golden Horse – so called because of the two gold-coloured seahorses in the range’s logo. That logo is on this true-to-the-original, self-winding model, along with a gradated red and black dial and a screw-down caseback engraved with three seahorses and three stars.
By the horns
The French name of this Vacheron Constantin timepiece, Cornes de Vache, translates to “cow horns” – a moniker inspired by the distinctive shape of its lugs. The original timepiece was released in 1955 and was Vacheron Constantin’s first waterresistant chronograph. Previously reissued in platinum and in pink gold, the Historiques Cornes des Vache 1955 is now reborn in steel. The 38.5mm timepiece is powered by a manually wound calibre with a column-wheel chronograph.
Star of the show
To create Zenith’s limited-edition Chronomaster El Primero Radar, George Bamford – the founder of top watch customiser Bamford Watch Department – incorporated red accents that were inspired by a Zenith pocket watch from 1916, and the pyramidal minutes track that is used in several of the brand’s historical El Primero watches. Additionally, he introduced new design codes, such as a matte finish for the 42mm steel case and a gradated dark brown dial. An automatic El Primero column-wheel chronograph movement powers this boutique-exclusive timepiece.