One of the interesting and novel design quirks that pique my interest is when a watch relocates its controls to a different portion of the dial. I have never worn a watch with a crown at 9:00, and I don’t think I would like it as I am right handed, but putting the cockpit at 12:00 is something that catches my eye. Scuderia Watches (http://www.ctscuderia.com/) are a new brand to me, brought to my attention through one of those sites that highlight cool stuff for guys. Their first automatics were introduced last year at BaselWorld 2013, so maybe there will be some new models from the house in the near future. The man behind the brand, Enrico Margariteli, is a veteran of Fossil and Emporio Armani, and mates his passion for Italian design with Swiss precision. The brand offers both mechanical and quartz watches, but I wanted to focus on two of the mechanical models that caught my eye.
Fist up is the City Race, an automatic chronograph offered in stainless steel on a stainless bracelet or leather strap, or in a black coated stainless on a leather strap. Depending on your desire to get noticed or fly under the radar, you can go with conventional looks or some pretty bright colors, like the yellow accented dial on a perforated yellow leather strap (these bolder color combinations designs are shown on the web page, but I can not verify that they are actually being sold). In keeping with the brand’s DNA, the crown is located at 12:00 and the pushers are located at 11:00 and 1:00. I think for functionality as a stopwatch when it is still on the wrist, the relocation is at best a wash, but if you take it off, then it is going to feel like a stopwatch in the hand. Plus it looks cool. The watch is moderately large at 46mm and water resistant to 10ATM. Powering the watch is a Swiss automatic movement made by Val-Swiss, the CHR-01 with 27 jewels and a 40 hour reserve. The company behind the movement is not one I am familiar with, but it looks like they have sprung up in anticipation of a shortage of ETA movements in the future. The watch retails right in the neighborhood of $3,000.
The next model that caught my eye was the Salt-Flat Racer 0-60, a 3 hander in stainless with either a stainless bracelet or a leather strap. The watch blends automotive and aeronautical cues, with a bullhead crown at 12:00, and a Flieger B-style dial and hands. It lends itself to be mistaken for a stopwatch, though it does not have any of that functionality. Powering this watch is another Val-Swiss movement, the CSD-01 with 21 jewels and a 36 hour power reserve. This watch retails for $1,495 to $1,595, depending on the choice of strap.
There are two other automatics in the catalog, the Mater Time which pushes the design of the City Racer even further toward that of a hand-help stop watch, and the Salt Flat Racer, a model that takes a step away from the more traditional Flieger B-Style of the Salt-Flat Racer 0-60.
Matt Himmelstein – Contributing Writer
Engineer, weekend warrior and mechanical watch enthusiast. He prefers value oriented brands because, well, those are the ones he can afford while still paying for all his weekend warrior hobbies. New watch makers are also an interest because you can get often get a unique look, and the watch now comes with a story. His favorites in his small collection are a Christopher Ward altimeter style and an Anstead dive watch from a Kickstarter campaign.