The model this watch builds on is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Reserve de Marche that was 37mm wide. JLC thankfully pumped up the case size to 39mm wide. Still pretty small, but a lot better than 37mm. With a thin bezel and less than shy lugs, the piece doesn't look as small as it is on the wrist. From a naming perspective, the new model just has that "Ultra Thin" part added to the name. This year, Jaeger-LeCoultre will offer it in steel or 18k rose gold on an alligator strap.
The most impressive new Maurice Lacriox watch this year is easily the Pontos S Diver. I think Maurice Lacriox eventually dropped the "Diver" part of the name. Who knows why - I am still going to call it the "Diver." I first discussed the Pontos S when debuting it to the world here. Now with a hands-on look at the final versions I can once again say "I like it."
Exhibitors at the Hong Kong show mostly shy away from having pictures of their goods taken. This is a strange sentiment toward a journalist, but I understand (sort of). In a place where intellectual property laws are routinely disregarded everyone is afraid of copying. Even if their own designs are not particularly original. I suspect it is a cultural reaction at this point to having cameras around your goods. At least a few times during the show I needed to pursue the matter of taking images at a booth with the person in charge. "Listen, I am the press. See, that is what my badge says. I am here to cover your stuff. I want to write about it because I like it. Without pictures I can't do that. So is it cool if I take pictures of your stuff through this glass? I promise they won't come out that great anyway." Sometimes a reluctant "yes," sometimes a continuous shake of the head declining my offer. Other times almost an argument. "Whatever!" And I move on to the next brand whose name is just as uncreative as the last. My favorite was "Wealthy Shiny Limited." The real soul of the show is not the watches but the drive of the people. The resolute way they re-purpose designs, budgetize luxury looks, and get creative with colors. In fact, if there is one thing the show does not lack, it is hue-riffic stimulation. Colors abound. Watches take a more modern role here as fun fashion items or useful wrist wear. The hallmark of "traditional watchmaking" is barely seen.
I am not a gambler but gaming can be fun. So fun that a lot of high-end watch brands have devised casino-themed timepieces that either suggest or directly emulate gaming. A popular example was the Girard-Perregaux Jackpot Tourbillon of several years ago. It had a tourbillon, actual slot machine, and cost over 0,000. More recently, Christophe Claret offered his extremely complicated 21 Blackjack watch with a roulette, dice, and blackjack game all in one timepiece. There have been watches that focus on everything from poker to simply being in a casino. This Bell & Ross BR01-92 Casino is all about roulette.
This year Seiko will have released four limited edition watches in honor of the famous Japanese manga series Golgo 13. "Duke Togo," aka Golgo 13 is the main character of the manga series that has been running since the late 1960s. In Japan, Golgo 13 is extremely recognizable and the four watches are true fanboy collector items of the highest quality. Now you too can kill enemies just like Duke! This isn't the first time Seiko has created limited edition watches for an anime or manga series. In the past I discussed pieces such as this high-end Seiko Galante watch for Astro Boy. Another super cool watch.
Chronograph wise, the monopusher is located inside the watch crown. That is to say that a single push of the white rubber H logo button sticking out of the crown will activate the chronograph, while a second push will stop it, and a third final push will reset it. Strangely enough there is no consistent running seconds hand (but you can use the chronograph for that). Maybe this was done to keep the dial uncluttered? Some may like this omission, some may not. Personally speaking I don't really mind it either way. One thing I would have liked to have seen is the usual 'H' screws on the bezel replaced in favour of some custom 'M' (for Marcus) shaped ones. I think it would have added a touch more uniqueness to the piece without over emphasising it. However, that would have been an extremely expensive upgrade given the machining and logistics of making tools.