How do you comply with up on successful launch as a younger watch model? Whereas established marques have quite a lot of traces and a wealthy heritage with which to construct upon current success, the “sophomore album” drawback is usually a main problem for a more moderen watchmaker. That is very true within the case of CIGA Design. Past the necessity to construct upon the muse of its award-winning core design, the model has arguably taken up the mantle of delivering revolutionary Chinese language horology to the plenty, which solely provides to the strain on its present slate of releases. With this in thoughts, any follow-up to the 2021 launch of the CIGA Design Blue Planet is certain to garner intense fanatic scrutiny. Somewhat than resting on its laurels, the model takes the GPHG-winning base mannequin and provides a brand new layer of visible drama and materials high quality. The brand new CIGA Design Blue Planet – Gilding Model combines an impressively luxe really feel with the identical distinctive show as its predecessor, delivering what could be the Chinese language marque’s most compelling providing up to now.
At 46mm-wide, the lugless round case of the CIGA Design Blue Planet – Gilding Model presents the identical kind and dimensions as its predecessor, however that’s the place the similarities finish. Though the easily rounded, UFO-like form could also be acquainted, the brand new polished black zirconium oxide ceramic case materials offers this smooth form an inky new sheen and an much more futuristic really feel. As with the earlier iteration of this design, the tall curving arc of the sapphire crystal is the visible centerpiece of this case, flowing seamlessly into the case aspect curvature and offering a visual “ambiance” for the dial’s rendition of the Earth. Impressively, CIGA Design additionally renders the stylized 3 o’clock crown in matching ceramic for a unified look. Though the case dimensions could seem cumbersome on paper, the light-weight ceramic materials and totally lugless geometry work in tandem to ship a surprisingly snug and compact sporting expertise. Nevertheless, the 15.6mm general case thickness does make itself obvious in day by day put on, and due to a floaty stance on the wrist this can be a tough watch to slide beneath shirt cuffs. Just like the earlier Blue Planet, water resistance is one thing of an Achilles heel for the Blue Planet – Gilding Model, with a subpar official score of solely 30 meters.
Though the dial of the CIGA Design Blue Planet – Gilding Model might comply with the sample of its predecessor, a change in each supplies and colorway offers this design a markedly totally different character. Whereas the unique Blue Planet’s dial largely highlighted the wealthy blue semi-matte floor of its “oceans,” a swap to refined matte black for these parts as an alternative attracts the attention way more in direction of the “land.” As with its predecessor, this mannequin presents a finely detailed reduction map of Asia, jap Africa, Oceania, Antarctica, and elements of Europe, with dramatic elevations and depressions (that is particularly obvious in its rendition of the Himalayas). Nevertheless, CIGA Design makes this already ornate visible structure much more dramatic with the addition of 24K gold ending for all landmasses in addition to the compass rose hour indicator. Pure 24k-gold is a relative rarity in watchmaking, however its use here’s a actual spectacle on the wrist, turning an already dramatic and stylized watch design into a real showstopper. The swap to a predominantly black major dial additionally creates a extra unified search for the Blue Planet – Gilding Model, permitting this mannequin to keep away from the unique’s visible disconnect between the central blue dial and the contrasting black outer rings. This ends in a extra open, spacious look general as nicely, though it does shift the design away from the unique’s theme of the delicate fantastic thing about the Earth and its oceans.
Functionally, although, this is identical dial show as its predecessor. For these which might be unacquainted with the road, the world map-style central dial is basically a big round hours hand. The compass rose ingredient works in tandem with the mounted outer hours ring to point the present hours. The Blue Planet – Gilding Model’s actual mechanical feat is the inside minutes ring, nevertheless. Somewhat than performing as a typical minutes hand and circuiting the dial as soon as an hour, this rotating ring is as an alternative keyed to the place of the hour indicator. At any time, wearers can precisely learn each the hours and the minutes by taking a look at the place this compass factors. It’s a sublime resolution, though it does take some psychological adjustment in apply, significantly as a result of the hours and minutes scales rely in reverse instructions. Studying curve points apart, it’s a charismatic and distinctive method to show the time and one that provides extra visible spectacle than almost the rest at this value level.
Contained in the CIGA Design Blue Planet – Gilding Model beats an in-house designed automated motion. Ending on this motion is stable if a bit simplistic, with a striped signed rotor and broad perlage throughout the plates and bridges. A number of the simplicity of this ending is masked by the printing atop the sapphire show caseback, which proudly celebrates the unique Blue Planet’s Problem Prize win on the 2021 GPHG awards. When it comes to efficiency, this unnamed motion is equally simplistic, with a 40-hour energy reserve at a 28,800 bph beat price. CIGA Design claims a surprisingly broad accuracy vary of -20/+40 seconds per day, however the lack of a seconds hand and the character of the general show helps to masks a few of these shortcomings on the wrist.
CIGA Design matches the Blue Planet – Gilding Model with an all-new polished black ceramic bracelet. The clear single hyperlink design and gold tone butterfly clasp create a handsomely unified look on the wrist, with a high-gloss end that instructions consideration. Just like the case, this can be a comfortably clean and light-weight materials, which helps to maintain the general sporting expertise mild and cozy all through the day.
It’s no straightforward feat to comply with up efficiently on successful watch design, significantly when it comes early within the improvement of a brand new model. With the Blue Planet – Gilding Model, CIGA Design has successfully tackled these challenges, elevating and refining the unique design with new supplies and new finishes that assist this younger Chinese language marque supply a compelling various to extra established nameplates. The CIGA Design Blue Planet – Gilding Model is on the market now by way of Amazon and the model’s e-commerce platform. Official MSRP for the CIGA Design Blue Planet – Gilding Model stands at $1,899 USD as of press time, however from March 15 to March 31, 2023, readers can use the promo code “ablogtowatch” to obtain a $200 low cost. For extra data, please go to the model’s web site.