Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono Watch Hands-On

Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono Watch Hands-On

This year, one of the new watches that Tudor will be introducing is the Heritage Chrono Blue, which is a direct homage to a popular 1970s Tudor watch, the reference 7169, which is also known as the Tudor "Monte Carlo Chronograph." This is also a spin-off of the very successful Heritage Chrono which was launched at Basel World 2010.

Over on the dial you can appreciate the movement's complications. The subsidiary seconds dial is slightly recessed within a nice looking gold ring, and the power reserve indicator is one of the piece's most distinctive elements. In the past I've seen several Franck Muller watches with highly diminutive power reserve indicators. On the one hand I love this. The indicator is small and out of the way, but there when you need it. I've said many times that I simply don't like wearing the majority of manually wound movement based watches if they don't have a power reserve indicator. It feels like I am driving a car without a fuel gauge.

No one denies the influence of George Daniels, one of the few people in history who have created an entire watch by hand. Witness the number of independent watch-makers these days, (of all nationalities), who cite the Daniels reference work “Watch-making” as a foundational part of their education. Without doubt, the one person who holds the direct lineage to the work started is Roger Smith, whom I had come to meet today.

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In contrast to the often minimalist look of other Piaget Black Tie watches, the Gouverneur is more busy in its approach. While it is not a 1950's era design, it does seem to have that era's hallmark fascination for sunburst displays and dauphine hands. It is actually a very retro design without feeling at all retro. You saw elements of this sunburst design in a more complex form in something like the Piaget Emperador Coussin Tourbillon (which was a rather spectacular thing from a mechanical standpoint), as well as many other Emperador and Emperador Coussin models. While the Gouverneur has redundant markers on the dial, they are all there in the name of style, and I think they work best on the three-hand models. Those models seem to have the right mix of complexity and breathing room. By the way, the three-hand models contain Piaget's well regarded in-house made 800P automatic movement that is visible through the sapphire caseback window. Finishing on the movement is as always, pretty sexy and is has a power reserve of 80 hours (pretty good for a 4mm thick movement).

Technical specs from Zenith: