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WatchBox Reviews

Rolex Big 3: Daytona, Submariner, GMT; Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, FP Journe Vagabondage Trilogy

• A Lange & Sohne 1815 Pour Le Merite • Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver • Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Ocean Commitment • Chopard LUC Tech Qualite Fleurier • FP Journe Vagabondage (1) • FP Journe Vagabondage II • FP Journe Vagabondage III • IWC Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph 3713-02 • Jaeger LeCoultre Master Geographic • Laurent Ferrier Galet Square Boreal • NOMOS Glashutte Tangomat GMT • Roger Dubuis Hommage 37 Bi-Retrograde Perpetual Calendar • Rolex Datejust Turn-o-Graph 116261 • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona 116500LN • Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner 116610LV • Rolex Oyster Perpetual GMT Master II 126710BLRO • Zenith El Primero Tourbillon Tonight’s Watches Live is a celebration of both exotic and mainstream luxury watches from the leading watch brands of the world. Rolex, A Lange & Sohne, Zenith, Omega, and Audemars Piguet are represented on tonight’s table with host Tim Mosso ready to show and tell all. The Rolex “big three” now is acknowledged to include the Rolex Daytona, the Rolex GMT-Master, and the Rolex Submariner. Tim has chosen his favorite stainless steel version of each Rolex champion in anticipation of the brand adding new versions or entirely new generations of these sports watches. Tim’s favorite rotating bezel Rolex, the discontinued Datejust Turn-o-Graph, makes the cut on sentimental value. All three examples of the FP Journe Vagabondage are on the table in platinum, the noblest of precious metals. From the first examples in 2004 to the final run of 137 pieces in 2017, the Vagabondage has been FP Journe’s most distinctive watch. Unconventional in its use of a “tortue” (note the small “t”) shaped cushion case, the three Vagabondage models also find thematic unity in their unconventional displays for time. The Vagabondage 1 uses a wandering hour frame that migrates around the center dial with current hour in tow before jumping to the next hour upon reaching twelve o’clock. The Vagabondage 2 employs a jumping hour and jumping minute display with the addition of a power reserve indicator. The Vagabondage III retains the jumping hour display but substitutes the minute jumper for a conventional minute hand and a sensational jumping digital seconds display. The final watch in the Vagabondage series also employs a constant force device (remontoir d’egalite) in order to maintain even force to the escapement. Zenith, which is celebrating the 50th anniversary of its landmark El Primero chronograph caliber, is represented by a king among El Primeros: the caliber 4035 tourbillon chronograph in the 2011 Zenith El Primero Tourbillon. Finally, luxury dive watches receive their due in the form of an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver and a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Ocean Commitment. Both ceramic oversize dive watches offer scratch resistance and water resistance in equal measure. Audemars Piguet leads with time-tested Royal Oak Offshore style, but the impressive five-day power reserve of the Blancpain caliber 1315 poses a challenge to AP’s aging caliber 3120 automatic.