Event Recap: COUTUREtime & the RedBar National Meet Up in Las Vegas
This weekend, the StockX Watch team made the trip to Las Vegas for the yearly COUTUREtime trade show alongside our friends at RedBar, who were holding their first annual national meet up at the show. We saw familiar faces, made new friends, and tried on a lot of watches. On top of it all, Swiss watch brand, Oris, announced a new collaboration with RedBar in the form of a (very) limited edition Divers Sixty-Five. We went hands on with all of it, read on for our impressions and a slew of images from the weekend.
Among the many stand out watches we went hands on with, there were a few that stood out a little more than the rest. There were even a few that surprised us more than we’d have imagined.
Bell & Ross
Bell & Ross has been bolstering their BR V range of watches (with round cases) over the years, and this year they’ve added some truly handsome options at accessible price points. Two of these in particular caught our eye at COUTRUEtime, the BR V2-93 GMT, and the BR V2-94 RACING BIRD. Each of these are very wrist friendly, considering their complications, thanks to what were clearly well considered case dimensions. Their spec sheets may read 41mm, but you’d swear they were a bit smaller, an attribute we’d thank the lugs and slim bezels for. The RACING BIRD is priced at $4,700, while the BR V2-93 GMT will set you back $3,500 on a bracelet.
If you’re sick of heritage and vintage inspired designs, and prefer something a bit more avant garde, Zenith is deserving of a look. Jean-Claude Biver has put his distinctive touches of the revitalization of the Defy family, and it’s all the better for it. The angular case presents a mixture of brushed and polished surfaces (mercifully, more of the former), and a simple but strong dial that can be had in classic sunburst flavor, or entirely openworked. Doing an openworked dial properly is no small task, but Zenith have done a beautiful job in this regard, with brushed “arms” bringing a sense of order, not to mention a helpful focal point, to read the time against. This is looking like a great value for its sub $7,000 price tag.
A perennial favorite around these parts, Grand Seiko, had their latest Spring Drive watches, made specifically for the US, on hand, and the dials, which are inspired by the fabric of a Kabuki Kimono are pure magic in the flesh. There are other slight differences from other Spring Drive Snowflake models, such as the split hour batons at 12 o’clock, that require a closer look to fully absorb and appreciate. Trust us, it’s worth it. Keep an eye out for more details on these watches in the coming weeks.
Yes, the Black Bay GMT and 58 models are as good as you’d expect in the flesh. We’ve talked about each of these watches before, but this was our first opportunity to handle them in the flesh, and they did not disappoint. The BB58 in particular is every bit as good on the wrist as it’s been billed, and it immediately made us wish every other Black Bay model came in the same case. Here’s hoping.
Finally, Oris took full advantage of the show by releasing a new Sixty-Five at a private event with RedBar. The watch is the Divers Sixty-Five RedBar Limited Edition, and it was a complete surprise to attendees. The watch itself is unique for a few reasons. First and foremost, the dial. Yes, it’s read, but it’s not as red as you think. It’s a smokey red that reads almost like a vintage tropical dial. It’s subtle and beautiful in person. Second, it uses the newer 40mm design as revealed at Baselworld earlier this year, with the bronze bezel. Unlike those models, however, the RedBar edition ditches the date at 6 o’clock. Our friend, James Lamdin of AnalogShift, had a hand in the design of the watch, has this to say about its release:
“RedBar is all about bringing people together, having fun and not taking any of this too seriously, we couldn’t have asked for a better partner with Oris in bringing some serious horological street cred AND a great set of values to our collaboration – a true meeting of the minds that every RedBar member will be sure to embrace. Plus, it’s fucking RED!”
Can’t top that. The Oris Divers Sixty-Five RedBar Limited Edition is limited to just 100 pieces, and 100% of the proceeds will go to charity. Stay tuned for more details about this one and how you might be able to get your hands on one.
To learn more about RedBar and how you can join a chapter near you, head to their website, right here.