Thursday, January 31, 2013

Top Gear Season 19 Episode 1: Wrist Watch

The long awaited season 19 of Top Gear is finally back on TV and the question on everyone's lips is (well, my lips at least) - Is Jeremy Clarkson still wearing his Omega Planet Ocean? Well, I'm happy to report that Clarkson FINALLY got himself a new watch! It seems like he now prefers to wear one watch and completely wear it out (in all the possible usage of the term 'wear') then goes off and buys a new one to do the same to. At least I think that's what his plan is. If wearing the watch out IS the plan then he has chosen wisely. His new watch will not age much (provided he doesn't drop it or wack it against something hard) and all he needs to do is change the strap every so often.

So... what IS his new watch?

Looks like the IWC Top Gun chrono in ceramic case. The Top Gun was part of IWC's 2012 SIHH release (see our post here) and I cannot fault his choice at all. IWC was the pioneer in ceramic watches (see post here) and it is only fitting they continue to produce watches with ceramic cases. The good thing about it is that the ceramic case will always look new. It is highly scratch resistant and hypo-allergenic. It's also very suited to this type of watches as it gives is a very stealthy look. If you don't like shiny watches this is for you!

Now here is where it gets tricky.

There are two different versions of the ceramic chrono. The ref: IW3789, is powered by valjoux/ETA 7750 and the one that Clarkson has, I believe is ref 3880 which houses the IWC manufactured 89365 calibre, which is a flyback chrono with 68 hour power reserve. Easiest way to tell them apart is that the Valjoux 7750 version has the running seconds at 9:00 position, and has both day and date displays.

Now don't be fooled by how the watch wears on Clarkson's wrist. Keep in mind that he IS a big guy, so any big watch will look normal on him. The IWC he's wearing measures 46mm in diametre and 16mm high. This is a big watch. I'd love to see how the 60mm Panerai Egiziano wears on his wrist.

I'll just gloss over what Hammond and May are wearing. James May has on his Omega Dynamic from the 70s in the studio shots (we covered the watch here) and can't quite make out what Hammond was wearing in the studio, but in the story piece he had the Breitling Navitimer on (covered here)

The other watch of note is the gold Rolex on one of the 'Dragons' of Dragon's Den. Ahhh.. I remember we used to have this show. It got axed quick smart. Maybe the dragons weren't as likeable. Or maybe we were lacking decent entrepeneurs. Looks like it's worked for the UK audience. The guy that tried out Clarkson's small car had a solid gold Rolex Yachtmaster II on.

The beauty of the Yachtmaster is in the eye of its beholder. It's a very bling watch, perfect for a 'dragon'. Aha. ha. I wonder if he ever uses the yacht part of his watch? The Yachtmaster features a prgrammable regatta countdown with mechanical memory for those of you into yachting.

That's kinda it for episode one. Hopefully in future episodes we'll have clearer shots of their wrists!


FXD said...

He still wears his Planet Ocean in some of the pre-filmed bits in season 19.

He wrote an article a while back chastising James May for the exorbitant price of his IWC Portuguese Chronograph, guess he's changed his mind?

In fact, he mentioned the price of May's IWC in two articles. Unfortunately they're both now behind paywalls at The Times Online, the first one was for an article on an Alfa Romeo MiTo review in 2009 where he rambles on about watches, and how fell in love with his hand wound Omega Railmaster XXL which he wore for a season or two:

The second instance was from an article in 2011, where I can find the text:

"Then we have James May, my television colleague, who has a collection of watches. Yes, a collection. But despite this he has just spent thousands of pounds on a watch made by IWC. Now I know roughly what he earns and therefore I know what percentage of his income he’s just blown on this watch and I think, medically speaking, he may be mad.

It turns out, however, that his IWC, in the big scheme of things, is actually quite cheap. There are watches out there that cost tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds. And I can’t see why."

Interestingly he never wears the Railmaster but the Planet Ocean is still seen on his wrist.

The IWC would of cost a pretty penny, unless IWC gave it to him.

The Sydney Tarts said...

Thanks FXD
not sure if IWC gave Clarkson the watch... could always ask them! Or if Clarkson turns up at an event as a "friend of IWC"...

belligero said...

Wow, does Clarkson have godawful taste in watches.

Anonymous said...

Noticed the IWC after Lewis Hamilton was on the show. IWC sponsor Lewis. Coincidence, I think not as product placement on a world watched programme is worth a fortune.