The Zeitwerk and the Lange 1 are really outstanding A. Lange & Söhne creations. It first unveiled was completely revolutionary, with its jumping digital displays for hours and minutes and the totally complicated movement, complete with constant force escapement. After that, the replica A. Lange & Söhne has launched a few variations on the original theme, consisting of the Handwerkskunst and the Decimal Strike. Luckily, we're gaining yet another new Zeitwerk, the first with an extra "small" complication, the Zeitwerk Date. Just seeing the watch, it's apparent to see what's going on: You've got the classic Zeitwerk with the addition of a date ring around the outer edge of the dial. The interesting point is that the date is shown via the movement of a red marker under the dial that fills in the proper transparent number to indicate the exact date. The effect is extremely elegant and the extra information doesn't at all distract from the bold Zeitwerk hours and minutes. It's always difficult to tell from press renderings of replica watches, but I want to bet top dollar that the effect is even more subtle in person than it appears here. With the additional complication comes some extra heft - so as to accommodate the extra numerals without disrupting the proportions of the main display, the case has expanded to 44.2mm in diameter from the 41.9mm of the original Zeitwerk. The grey dial and big rhodium-plated German silver bridge look fantastic, and the red accents feel right at home too. This replica watch is a common model, but as you might expect production will be relatively small each year. I still remember the very first time I saw a Zeitwerk - it was real and I'd never seen a photo of one either. My instant reaction was something along the lines of "holy cow, what is that!?" That may be eight or nine years ago, and since then it has grown no less impressive to me over time. Of course, it's a little bigger and thicker than I'd like for my own daily wear, but it's a perfect fake watch I find myself returning to time and time again. This version might be even a little larger in diameter, but to see it get a small technical update like this is interesting, and both the execution of the date complication and the artwork on the dial are greatly elegant and impressive. This is absolutely one of the watches I'm most excited to see in the metal in the year 2019.
There are many shapes and sizes of sports watches. While I may prefer a good dive watch or the old-school charm of a racing chronograph, as for me a solid GMT is the best and nothing can beyond it. I suppose there is something particular about GMTs, about their ethos, their simple but powerful functionality, and their ability to ground you in your roots while adapting to anywhere you want to go in your life. Tudor declared the Black Bay GMT in March at Baselworld, a smart stainless steel travel watch based on the format established by their Black Bay dive watches, with true GMT functionality as well. Following the Pepsi-colored bezel established by Tudor's sibling brand Rolex, the Black Bay GMT is rather a new style for Tudor, but one that is recognizable both for its general Black Bay roots and for its aesthetic and functional similarities to one of the all-time great travel replica watches, the Rolex GMT-Master II. With a strong value proposition, perfect design, and a new movement offering true GMT functionality well, the Black Bay GMT has become a classical port watch for the crazy traveler. Tudor has never really produced anything that could be considered a true precursor to the Black Bay GMT before. Of course, they've produced some GMT watches in their history, and even fitted the Heritage Chronograph with a smart 12-hour bezel, but the Black Bay GMT is unique among their product legacy and not according to any specific Tudor reference or model during the production. If we zoom out just a little, we find Tudor's older brother, Rolex, who do produce a very similar watch in the GMT-Master II. Originally announced the reference 16760 in 1983, the GMT-Master II built upon the travel-ready appeal of the original GMT-Master that Rolex developed for Pan Am pilots in the mid-1950s. Rolex created the model around a new movement that offered local jumping hours for GMT-Master II. So when you landed in a new time zone, you could change the local time in either direction by jump-setting the hour hand through the crown. This functionality also included the ability to progress or retract the date (If you fly through midnight), and the whole process could be done without stopping the replica watch or even disrupting the position of the other hands. If you fly a lot, this functionality will be upgraded. As we all know, the GMT-Master has offered a 24-hour bezel in a split blue/red color scheme that enthusiasts call a "Pepsi" bezel since its inception as reference 6542. At the same time, other colors have been offered, including red/black which is called a "Coke" bezel. The split colors help to describe day/night in the second time zone, and the color scheme has become one of the most noticeable visual design cues of the GMT-Master and GMT-Master II. While there was a brief pause while Rolex developed the ability to produce a red/blue Cerachrom bezel (their application of a ceramic bezel insert), the white gold reference 116719 with the Pepsi look returned to the line up at Baselworld 2014.