Fair Winds and Following Seas

Alex and Miles Pincus chart a course with Panerai and the new Panerai Luminor Due aboard Brooklyn’s Pilot

Photographs by Doug Young
Fashion styled by Justin Arroyo

Created for the Italian navy in 1950, Panerai’s Luminor was built for function above all else. Every element of its now iconic silhouette was designed for underwater excellence: the hefty, water-resistant case; the oversized, luminescent numerals; the crown-protecting lever. Unfortunately for Italian sailors, Panerai hasn’t been part of the official navy uniform for some time, but the watches still retain the rugged good looks (and focused engineering) that ensured each timepiece would withstand the rigors of life and combat at sea. Therein lies the ironic allure of today’s diving watches — they seduce with the promise of adventure, bringing some high seas swagger to civilians, even if the only diving most see is a few feet off a yacht.

Still, the bulky proportions that made the Luminor so beloved by sailors aren’t always compatible with life on land.  Panerai’s new streamlined Luminor Due offers a solution. It refines the brand’s classic dive watch down to its essence, resulting in the thinnest timepiece Panerai has ever produced. Its sleek, minimalist lines have all the hallmarks of the original, translated elegantly to scale. It easily pairs with suits (and not only those of the neoprene variety.)

Like all great designs, the streamlined Luminor Due is a master study in proportions. Two case sizes are on offer.The 42mm version is just 10.5mm thick, while the 38mm  model (the smallest diameter in Panerai history) comes in at 11.2mm thick. Both feature the new OP XXXIV automatic movement, driving a traditional date function and offering three-days of power reserve, a hallmark of the collection and its maker. For those customers and collectors who favor traditional Panerai sizing, the Luminor Due is also available in 45mm, equipped with a GMT function.

Beyond its versatile sizing, the new Due introduces a range of fashion-minded dials and straps. The latter come in a variety of colors, including a baby-blue alligator skin pattern and a handsome mint-colored leather, which are easily swappable. The message here is clear: This watch isn’t just for seafarers (or men, in general) anymore. While still resolutely sporty, the Luminor Due makes Panerai’s distinctive look more wearable for those who prefer taking to the water with a cocktail in hand.

The new Panerai Luminor Due can be configured with a variety of straps.

Which is precisely the spirit that inspired brothers Alex and Miles Pincus to open a fleet of nautical canteens in Manhattan and Brooklyn.(They also opened a seafood restaurant in New Orleans, called Seaworthy, in partnership with the Ace Hotel.) After growing up as avid sailors in Louisiana, the brothers were living in New York and “kept coming back to the premise that one of the best things about having a boat is sitting dockside and having a drink. “We just kept mulling it over, like ‘How great would it be to have a boat that you can enjoy without having to commit?’” says Miles.

At that time, Alex was working as an architect, Miles as a professional sailor and boat restorer; together, they set about refurbishing a historic schooner that would become Grand Banks, their breezy (and boozy) outpost docked in the Hudson River along Manhattan’s TriBeCa. Pilot, a racing schooner dating back to 1924, which now serves customers while floating off Brooklyn Bridge Park, followed soon after. “These boats have a history that new boats can’t even begin to touch,” says Alex, “It’s like a vintage, mechanical watch versus a brand-new smartwatch.” As both watch enthusiasts and men that divide their time between land and sea, the Pincus brothers sat down with Watch Journal to discuss the new Luminor Due and finessing the style out of the maritime lifestyle.


The Luminor Due 

How did you get into watches?

A: I studied architecture and I’m very into design. For a while, I really didn’t get watches. Then my friend took me to Analog Shift; I started looking around and realized that [watchmaking] is its own discipline of design with so many subtle ideas that are being worked through. I got obsessed, scanning all the watch blogs for what would be my first serious watch. I ended up getting a vintage Seamaster from the year I was born.

M: For a while, I really loved my watch — I have a Submariner — and thought it’s great, it’s simple, it’s nautical. Then when I got attached to my cellphone, I thought ‘Why do I need this? I’m checking the time on my phone’. I hadn’t worn it for about a year and a half but I put it on the other night and, with a little bit of a wind, it was back in business. That’s pretty impactful. Like, this thing is going to keep on going.

A: The first watch I ever got was my grandfather’s from the 1920’s: a really beautiful dress watch, really thin, with a couple diamonds and rubies on it. It definitely has not seen it’s moment in the resurgence of watch styles yet. When I’m 90, it’s gonna look really cool.

Do you guys generally share the same tastes, as far as style?

M: We often dress alike, which is terrible and funny at the same time. Like, we’ll show up at the same meeting with the same shirt on.

A: We both are reasonably nautical by default. I would say my general fashion aesthetic is ‘Don’t look like an asshole.’ It’s not much more complicated than that. We’re usually working on boats, so you wind up dressing a certain way. You have to do physical work but you also have to look presentable to be dealing with people in a restaurant.

M: It’s a funny look you have to choose because it’s always super hot out during our peak hours. Sometimes you’re dealing with management, sometimes you’re in the bowels of the boat fixing something.

Given how varied your days are, what do you look for in an everyday watch?

A: Something that’s comfortable, something that’s extremely durable.

M: My wrist will literally bang into a thousand things a day.

A: We’re walking around a lot of tight quarters on a boat, so you have to have something that’s resilient and fits well and is functional.

M: That, and not exceptionally heavy.

Alex and Miles Pincus aboard their bar/restaurant Pilot docked in Brooklyn.

Sounds like you could be describing the new Luminor Due. What did you think of it?

M: It feels great, super thin. It sat on the wrist really nicely. It’s a great watch for working on a boat. Even though it’s so thin, it doesn’t feel insignificant.

A: It’s a nice balance between having a big presence on the face and a thin, light feel on the wrist. I don’t wanna wear a monster on my wrist…[like I said,] I don’t wanna look like an asshole. Honestly, though, I’d rather be subtle in everything I do from watch to clothes to lifestyle.

I imagine that balance, between mechanics and appearance, is something you both know a lot about, having transformed boats into restaurants…

M: It’s definitely a balance we’ve grown into through the years. We showed up in 2014 with Grand Banks and the day we opened had a 200-deep line down the pier. It’s a big challenge to overcome, having a compact space with very limited water, electrical, you name it. We’ve had to be very creative about how we make it comfortable and familiar for people but still authentic to the boat and the idea we’re trying to present.

A: It’s actually a lot like a watch: we have a constrained space and there are certain components that aren’t going away.

M: It needs to tell time and it needs to fit in this big of a space…

A: And there are all these different moving parts that we need in order to function. It could be a Frankenstein, or it could feel natural like ‘Oh, of course, it always looked like this’. It takes a lot of consideration to get to that point. Like, a watch doesn’t all of a sudden look graceful and simple. So many decisions go into every little thing to make it feel effortless. We learned a lot with Grand Banks, tried to improve on that [at Pilot], and put that experience into a full renovation of Grand Banks to make all of the little pieces work together even better. By the time we do the next boat, we might have it down.

Montauk Oysters “A Kiss From the Sea.”

This Isn’t Your Grandmother’s Cartier

If Gérald Genta is the Phil Spector of watch design, then Cartier is the Berry Gordy, having produced some of the 20th century’s greatest hits: the Tank, the Santos, the Ballon Bleu. The past few years have seen Cartier paying homage to its most iconic watches—2017 marked the 100th anniversary of the ever-popular Tank and the reintroduction of the Panthére, born of the 1980’s glitzy excesses. This year, the spotlight turns to the Baignoire, a style that epitomizes the house’s penchant for pieces with sleek, geometric lines.

Named for its distinct oval dial (the name translates to “bathtub” en français), the Baignoire was designed by Louis Cartier in 1906, though it truly rose to popularity in the 1960s after being donned by screen sirens Catherine Deneuve and Romy Schneider. With its elegant curves and delicate proportions, the Baignoire is pure feminine grace.

Cartier Libre Baignoire Débordante

But the latest batch of Baignoires, debuted at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie 2018, leave all of that demure heritage in the dust. The new collection, called Cartier Libre, takes the classic oval form and turns up the volume, distorting and reimagining the shape in four limited-edition styles: These are all about big, bold extravagance, pushing the Baignoire’s silhouette to extremes.

The Baignoire Débordante, which translates roughly to “overflowing bathtub,” features an elongated black dial surrounded by white gold rays dripping with diamonds and black spinels. The Baignoire Infinie uses a thick cuff bracelet as the base for a microdial surrounded by rings of sunburst marquetry, inlaid with a mix of diamond baguettes, black spinels, and white-and-gray mother-of-pearl.

Cartier Libre Baignoire Etoilée

The Baignoire Etoilée turns the oval horizontally, with a quilted dial suspended from a fluid bracelet of cascading white diamonds that fade into black spinels. The Baignoire Interdite also features a horizontal dial, but oversize and obscured by glossy black Roman numerals that haphazardly wrap around the face and diamond-studded bezel like very luxurious bondage.

Each of the styles will be produced in numbered editions of between 15 and 50 pieces, making them inherently collectible. But the appeal of Cartier Libre goes beyond mere exclusivity. Not only are these four designs imaginative displays of the brand’s decorative savoir faire, they are evidence of what is surely a rare occurrence: Cartier throwing orthodoxy out the window and reveling in its wild side.

Get Woke: The Best Modern Table Clocks

Patek Philippe table clock

Home timepieces don’t have to be sleepy. These contemporary table clock designs from Patek Philippe, Cartier, Panerai, and others will tempt collectors.


By Kareem Rashed

Patek Philippe table clock
Patek Philippe, Pendulette de Table, Réf: 25001M-001 (Photo: Patek Philippe)

Dating back to the Renaissance era, clocks have long been a canvas for watchmakers’ creativity. Thanks to their generous surface area, clocks afford watchmakers the ability to flaunt their handicraft skills, from intricate engravings to elaborate enamel paintings. “During the 1920s, clocks from great jewelers and watchmakers surpassed mere mechanics and became outstanding works of art,” says Lee Siegelson, an esteemed dealer of estate jewelry and objects whose collection includes several museum-worthy art deco clocks. “The makers of these clocks designed increasingly complex and ingenious creations to continually outdo themselves and each other.”

Part of the allure of timepieces lies in their balance between form and function: they aren’t purely decorative, yet are more than just machinery. A great watch doesn’t simply tell the time—it has brains and beauty in equal measure. In that sense, table clocks are the ultimate symbol of the watchmaker’s talent: utilitarian mechanics housed within an artful package. So, while there is no shortage of options for telling the time today, there still isn’t anything that does the job quite as attractively as an exquisitely designed table clock.

Although table clocks may not be as ubiquitous as they once were, the range available today is as diverse, and desirable, as ever. Many of the most storied watch brands create a select few clocks annually that are prime examples of their watchmaking virtuosity—pure catnip for connoisseurs. More than just beautiful objets, these clocks celebrate the enduring appeal of craftsmanship in the face of an increasingly digitized world.

Patek Philippe table clock
(Photo: Patek Philippe)

PATEK PHILIPPE

Patek Philippe has a rich heritage of creating exceptional clocks, including one gifted to J.F.K. in 1963 by the people of West Berlin depicting the time in Moscow, Washington, D.C., and Berlin. Their latest is “The Hour Circle,” a unique Bauhaus-inspired design that is meant to be viewed from above. The clock’s surface is a study in the art of enamel, with inqué and guilloché designs coated in a vibrant transparent blue.

Cartier table clock
(Photo: Cartier)

CARTIER

Cartier’s annual high-jewelry collections showcase the breadth of their atelier’s technical abilities and always include a select number of one-of-a-kind clocks. This piece, in white gold, agate, onyx, turquoise, and diamonds, features a dial made of faceted amethyst. The mystery clock setting, which Cartier has championed since the 1920s, utilizes hour and minute hands affixed to clear crystal disks connected to a movement in the clock’s base, giving the illusion that the hands are floating within the dial.

Boucheron table clock
(Photo: D. Siegelson / Boucheron)

BOUCHERON

The art deco era was arguably the table clock’s heyday, with numerous brands upping the design ante to create clocks on par with the fashions of the day. This piece, from the collection of Lee Siegelson, was designed for Boucheron in 1929 by Verger Frères, a leading clock manufacturer, and features a movement by Vacheron Constantin. Constructed at the same time as the Chrysler Building, the clock’s design is quintessential deco, with graphic, architectural lines rendered in nephrite, agate, gold, enamel, and coral.

Panerai table clock
(Photo: Panerai)

PANERAI

For its first-ever table clock, Panerai scaled its iconic Radiomir dial up to 65 mm and encased it in a glass sphere. As with all of Panerai’s watches, the dial features luminous indices and an engraved logo. An open back, also topped with convex glass, allows a magnified view of the P.5000 caliber at work inside. The movement is hand-wound using the oversize polished-steel crown at the clock’s top and has a power reserve of eight days.

Chanel table clock
(Photo: Chanel)

CHANEL

A striking monolith of polished obsidian provides the backdrop for this clock’s elaborate dial, embellished with three-dimensional carved mother-of-pearl and sculpted gold. The floral motif recalls the lacquered chinoiserie screens that Coco Chanel collected in her famed Paris apartment. An exhibition back reveals the openwork movement, which is wound with a gold key that is, naturally, studded with diamonds.

Vacheron Constantin table clock
(Photo: Vacheron Constantin)

VACHERON CONSTANTIN

Part of a series of 12 clocks released to commemorate the brand’s 250th anniversary, this one-of-a-kind piece is capped with an arch of black tourmaline, highlighting the beauty of the stone’s natural inclusions. The transparent cabinet offers a full view of the constant-force, manually wound caliber 9260, which boasts an impressive 30-day power reserve. In a display of the house’s decorative savoir-faire, the Roman numerals and silver guilloché feet are coated with precious Grand Feu enamel, a notoriously difficult material.

L'Epee table clock
(Photo: L’Epee)

L’EPÉE 1839

L’Epée has been solely dedicated to crafting exceptional clocks since 1839, even producing wall clocks for ultra-luxe Concorde jets—the only timepieces ever to grace a civilian plane. Their Destination Moon clock draws on the Space Race craze of the 1960s, with a body that unmistakably resembles a toy rocket. The winding crown is at the rocket’s base, leading into a mainspring barrel cleverly disguised as a ladder, complete with a tiny silver astronaut. The time is displayed via two rotating discs towards the rocket’s top, the one concession to reality in this whimsical design.