by Christopher Scapelliti
You can’t say Perrelet has been content to stick with tradition. The watchmaker, which has been in continuous production since the late 1700s, has made some surprisingly modern additions to its offerings over the past few years. In 2009, Perrelet introduced its high-tech—and highly successful—Turbine wristwatch, featuring a face with 12 spinning titanium turbine blades. Last year, the company expanded its Titanium collection, which comprises lightweight, contemporary timepieces set on sporty black, natural rubber straps.
For 2011, Perrelet has decided it’s time to expand its Diver collection. The new Seacraft 777 line does this with three watches: a three-hand with date ($3,100), a GMT ($4,800), and a chronograph ($5,000). (The 777 designation is apparently a reference to 1777, the year founder Louis Abraham Perrelet perfected his self-winding pocket watch with a stop mechanism to prevent the winder from breaking when subjected to excessive motion.)
The styling is classic Perrelet (although the black three-hand model, with its wedge-shaped hour markers and italic Seacraft inscription, brings to my mind the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean). The three-hand and GMT models feature 42mm cases, while the chronograph has a 45mm case. The anti-reflective sapphire crystal is 4mm thick and has an integrated automatic helium escape valve that makes the Seacraft 777 functional as a diving watch (it’s protected to 800 meters). All models are offered with black, blue, or white dials and with a leather strap or, for $300 more, a stainless-steel bracelet, which features screwed-link construction, a push-button fold-over clasp, and a slide-out dive extension.