Baselworld is coming up fast. With less than a day until Baselworld all the companies that will announce their new watches before have already done so. Now it is my job to convey these new releases onto you. This is the IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar Boutique Edition. The movement used is the in-house 51613. This is the same movement used in all their other Perpetual Calendar watches. However, this is not a negative aspect because the perpetual calendar displays the date, day, month, year in four digits, and moon phase. All of the displays, including the moon phase, need to be reset once every four years. The positive features found in this movement don't stop there though. It also has a 7-day power reserve (with automatic winding) and an impressive 68 jewels.
The calibre 51613 is beautifully decorated, but what good is decoration if you can't see it? That may be what the designers at IWC thought as well, so they included an exhibition case back that gives you a full view of the movement as well as the rotor, complete with an 18-carat gold medallion. The case itself is 44.2mm in diameter and is water resistant to 30m. Due to this low water resistance it does not matter that it is set on a dark brown alligator leather strap with a folding clasp. If the water resistance was more it should probably be on a bracelet.
The watch will be available in IWC boutiques worldwide. However, it is a limited edition of just 500 pieces. This is the last of the IWC watches for Baselworld 2014, mainly because they totally revamped their entire Aquatimer collection at SIHH in January. Oh well, I am still loving lots of their new Aquatimers, although this watch is slowly but surely taking their place as my new favorite IWC.
Pita is a brand based out of Barcelona. They don't have a large production, but they make watches that could compete with the big guys. This new watch may be their best yet. This is the Pita Barcelona Roadster, a bullhead chronograph with a super-light case and very peculiar design. Let's take a closer look...
This watch is available in more than two versions, although there are only pictures of two. In fact, two watches may never be the same since one has the option to get a custom engraving or other "tailored changes". Other variables include different case materials. This watch case be made with aluminium-lithium, grade 5 titanium, magnesium, steel, 18kt gold, or even platinum. In one wishes to do so they can go a step further and get a DLC/Anodization coating on their watch too. However, they will make only 99 of them (per year) so not many people will have the joy of creating their own "custom" watch.
The watch, as mentioned above, is a bullhead chronograph. This is the real special feature about the watch, the pushers are integrated seamlessly into the case, a feature which isn't found on any other chronographs I have come across. The crown is even imbedded in the case. Despite this it looks relatively easy to pull out though because of the cutout underneath it. At the heart of the watch beats a modiﬁed Valgrange chronograph movement. For those thinking 'this looks a LOT like a Valjoux 7750' (just turn the movement and it all makes sense) ETA owns Valgrange. The minute counter is slightly confusing but you just remove the "0" after each number and you have your minutes. The hours are supposed to be RPMs and fortunately use plain numbers. The biggest change from normal chronographs? The fact that all the chronograph hands reset pointing down. It is an easy thing to do but it is a very nice touch that really makes the dial look more like the dashboard of a car.
The standard version, with the aluminum-lithium case, is perhaps the most special. The case itself weighs just 17 grams. That is impressive for a watch that is 47mm x 44mm x 13mm. My one gripe?, the use of C1 superluminova. This lume has proven to be not only weak but it fades quickly. For a watch at this price point I would expect better. Even if the price could be increased by $25 USD I am sure many would appreciate the move. While we are on the subject of price, why don't I mention it. The standard version (aluminum-lithium case with no coating) can be pre-ordered for 3195€ (euros), without tax. The sales tax in Spain is, brace yourself, 18%. So with the added 18% it comes out to approximately 3,770€ which translates to somewhere near $5,220 USD. In case I missed anything, here is the link to the Pita Barcelona Roadster on their website. It's a great watch, although the design is a little odd, but the price tag puts the watch up there with other luxury brands including Omega, Breitling, Nomos, and others.