Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition
The Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition is the latest creation from the Genevan brand. This high-end model is marketed as a ‘time only’ watch, however, in my opinion the Singer Reimagined is being unduly modest. This timepiece surpasses the description ‘time only’, courtesy of its ‘chronograph on demand’ and its unusual means of indicating the hours.
There are two men in Geneva who have an extraordinary ability to view the world differently. Marco Borraccino of Singer Reimagined and Jean-Marc Wiederrecht of movement specialist, Agenhor do not blindly accept convention but constantly think of new ways to deliver advancement.
When Singer Reimagined released its inaugural Track 1 model it was like nothing else on the market. The watch was born out of an idea that both men had conceived independently. Borraccino and Wiederrecht wanted to create a chronograph which eschewed the usual counters. Their idea was to position the hours and minutes to the edge of the dial, displayed on peripheral discs. The chronograph functions were located to the centre of the dial, affording greater prominence.
On the Track 1 model, three co-axial hands, presented in a cheery-shade of orange, indicate the elapsed seconds (up to 60 seconds), elapsed minutes (up to 60 minutes) and elapsed hours (up to 60 hours). This latter detail differentiated the model from ‘regular’ chronographs which normally measure elapsed periods up to a maximum of 12 hours, some even less. Both the chronograph hour and minute hands are instantaneous, while the second hand sweeps the dial.
At first glance, the Agengraphe movement resembles a hand-wound movement, however, typical of Agenhor, the Calibre Singer Reimagined 6361 is not what it first appears. A central rotor is positioned beneath the dial, hidden from view. By adopting this approach, the beauty of the movement is fully revealed without a pesky rotor obscuring the view. The ingenuity of Borraccino and Agenhor is clear to see. Clearly, I am not alone in viewing the Singer Reimagined Track 1 in a positive light as the model received the Chronograph Award at GPHG 2018, quite a feat for a fledgling brand.
A new era
Recently, the Swiss marque unveiled a new model, the Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition. Like many self-confessed horophiles, I could not help wondering whether the Genevan firm could repeat the magnificence of the Track 1.
The Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition is offered in three variants, each endowed with a specific ‘chronographic scale’. Prospective purchasers can choose from a tachymeter, pulsometer or telemeter scale. Each of these options comes with its own distinctive colour scheme (see later).
A rotating disc sits close to the internal case walls. This disc is marked with a triangular index. As the disc circumnavigates the dial, the index points to the adjacent rehaut which conveye the prevailing hour. The minute hand is partially openworked, silver-toned and enlivened with orange fill. A slender, elongated central sweep seconds hand, presented in orange, kisses the aforementioned rehaut.
However, one thing you soon learn with Singer Reimagined is that there is inevitably a delightful twist to discover. In this instance, the model features a ‘chronograph on demand’, intended to measure short elapsed times up to 60 seconds. This function is actuated using the pushpiece at 2 o’clock. By pressing the pushpiece, the central sweep seconds hand transitions into a flyback chronograph hand.
To operate the chronograph function, the wearer holds the pushpiece down, holding the flyback chronograph hand in a static position. On releasing the pushpiece, the hand commences its journey without hesitation.
If the pushpiece is subsequently pressed and then released, the central sweep seconds hand assumes control. In addition, the push button can be used to zero-reset the watch, ideal for synchronising the watch with a reference clock.
The Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition is marketed as a ‘time only’ watch, however, in my opinion the Genevan brand is being unduly modest. This timepiece surpasses the description ‘time only’.
The Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition is limited to 30 pieces, comprising 10 Tachymeter, 10 Telemeter and 10 Pulsometer models. Each piece has its own unique reference number which is shown on the upper case surface using an 18-carat gold hand-applied numeral. Once again, Marco Borraccino’s originality is much in evidence.
The dial – The Tachymeter
- Used to calculate the average speed of a vehicle over a known distance.
- Matte black dial with triple tachymetric scale (20 – 300 km/h)
- Silver-toned, circular brushed rehaut with black indexes
- Rotating hour disc in matte black ceramic with an orange luminescent arrow
- Black soft calf leather strap in ‘rally style’ with orange stitching and a pin buckle
The dial – The Telemeter
- Used to calculate the distance to an event that can be seen and heard
- Matte black dial with green distance scale (0 – 15 km)
- Black circular brushed rehaut with green indexes
- Rotating hour disc in matte black ceramic with a white luminescent arrow
- Black technical textile strap with green stitching and a pin buckle
The dial – The Pulsometer
- Used to calculate a person’s heart rate
- Matte tobacco dial with ecru scale indexed to 15 beats
- Golden circular brushed rehaut with black indexes
- Rotating hour disc in matte black ceramic with an ecru luminescent arrow
- Brown calfskin leather strap with orange stitching and a pin buckle
The Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition is housed in a 43mm case. The model’s dimensions deftly sidestep the feebleness of a diminutive watch and the unnecessary bulkiness of a horological leviathan. Once again, everything is thoughtfully considered.
Singer Reimagined has chosen to use Grade 5 titanium for the case. This should not be confused with cheaper Grade 2 titanium. Unlike this latter material, Grade 5 is not a pure form of titanium, but an alloy comprised of titanium (circa 90%), aluminium (6%) and vanadium (4%). This blend is much stronger than its cheaper sibling.
The machining of a Grade 5 titanium case using a CNC machine is far more difficult than machining steel, gold or Grade 2 titanium.
Heat generation is a major problem when milling Grade 5 titanium as the alloy is very hard. The cutting tools have to operate at slower speeds to prevent unwanted hardening of the metal and avoid the milling tools wearing out prematurely. This heightens production times and thereby increases costs.
Furthermore, even when milling goes to plan, tools will wear out sooner when compared with other metals such as brass, steel, gold and Grade 2 titanium. This means that the cost of additional replacement tools has to be met, again inflating the production costs. Moreover, as the machines need to be stopped while tools are replaced, the case manufacturer will seek to recover the cost of downtime.
Often, those companies making cases will leave a CNC machine running, milling brass or steel overnight without any supervision. However, few firms will leave a machine milling Grade 5 titanium unattended. This is because titanium can catch fire during milling. Even if there isn’t a fire, the metal can overheat to the point that it causes harm to the CNC machine.
Therefore, given the aforementioned factors identified when machining a case, brands usually task specialist manufacturers to make their cases. While the unit cost of 18-carat gold is greater than Grade 5 titanium, the cost of machining the latter alloy proves far greater.
Beyond its lightweight properties, Grade 5 titanium is corrosion-resistant, hypoallergenic and not liable to magnetism. Its various attributes make a strong argument for selection.
In this instance, the case surfaces have been micro-blasted, delivering a muted matte finish. Moreover, the case also has hand polished accents such as the bevelled edge between the upper case surface and the flank while the bezel is presented in gleaming Grade 5 titanium. Again, polishing Grade 5 titanium heightens cost.
An exhibition caseback affords views of the hand-wound movement.
At first glance, it may appear that the Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition employs the same movement as its older sibling, the Track 1, but this is not the case.
The newer watch is endowed with the Calibre Singer AGH6364, a hand-wound movement containing 314 components, whereas the Track 1’s movement, the prize-winning Agengraphe, is automatic and consists of 477 parts. Put simply, the Track 1’s self-winding movement is more complex and, by default, more expensive to produce.
However, there is no escaping that both of the aforementioned movements share the same genes. Once again, the new Calibre Singer AGH6364 is the brainchild of movement specialist Agenhor, now run by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht’s sons, Laurent and Nicolas.
The thinking behind the movement was to create ‘the most minimalistic iteration on the chronograph theme’. The clutch has echoes of the Agengraphe, featuring triangular teeth with ‘a ratio of one tooth to three’, limiting the jumping motion forwards or backwards, mitigating errors in the event of shocks. Indeed, the brand state the seconds hand can only jump a maximum of 1°, further demonstrating Agenhor’s fastidious approach to movement design.
As the Swiss marque explains:
- ‘A large lever permanently keeps the system engaged, allowing the seconds hand swiping motion.’
- ‘When the user presses the reset button, the lever releases the clutch which disengages.’
- ‘The lever also acts as a reset hammer by pressing on a heart-cam in the centre.’
- ‘When the user releases the button, the lever returns to its initial position and re-engages the system to restart the seconds hand motion instantly.’
Two barrels collaborate to deliver a power reserve of 55 hours. The movement has a frequency of 21,600 vph (3Hz) and is fitted with 49 jewels.
Despite all of the movement’s many attributes, it is the appearance of the Calibre Singer AGH6364 which steals the show. Indeed, this is a movement you just want to admire again and again.
Crisp Côtes de Genève motif, gleaming anglage, polished jewel and screw sinks and pristine perlage all vie for the onlooker’s attention. Everything is wonderfully executed. Despite its modernity, the Calibre Singer AGH6364 reminds me of a vintage chronograph movement. Period movements don’t hide their motives beneath oversized bridges, they reveal their thought processes for the delectation of the wearer. Agenhor has chosen to expose numerous parts, sating the onlooker’s curiosity by delivering a sublime mechanical spectacle.
After the widespread praise for the brand’s inaugural model, the Track 1, culminating in Singer Reimagined receiving the Chronograph Award at GPHG 2018, the young firm inevitably faced a tough challenge to repeat the success with its next model.
Personally speaking, while I love the Track 1, I actually prefer the Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition. The dial is very clean, free of any unnecessary adornment and yet remains aesthetically interesting.
This new model sidesteps convention, rejecting a conventional hour hand in favour of a rotating disc. A potential problem with departing from the tried and tested coaxial hour and minutes hands, is that practicality is often sacrificed on the alter of style. However, the Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition proves the exception, displaying information in a clear, logical way.
The case is formed of Grade 5 titanium, an alloy that is light, corrosion-resistant, not susceptible to magnetic fields and hypoallergenic. The material is costly to process, but it is clear that Singer Reimagined has not skimped on the specification of this model.
Recently, ESCAPEMENT published a review of the Track 1 and made reference to the article on various social media channels. The feedback from the company’s followers was very favourable. Interestingly, a couple of followers expressed the same sentiment, namely, to wear the watch on the wrist with the movement uppermost. I understand this sentiment as the Calibre Singer AGH6364 looks gorgeous. Indeed, the term ‘head turner’ seems appropriate. Every element of the movement is refined to the highest order with much high-end finishing in evidence.
While, I share admiration for the movement, just like the aforementioned followers, I would always wear my watch in the conventional way with the dial uppermost, however, if Singer Reimagined has taught us anything, it is sometimes beneficial to view objects from a different perspective.
- Model: Singer Reimagined Flytrack Prime Edition
- Case: Grade 5 Titanium; diameter 43 mm; height 15mm; water resistance 10ATM (100m); sapphire crystal to the front and exhibition case back.
- Functions: Hours and minutes on peripheral discs; central chronograph with instantaneous hours, instantaneous minutes and seconds
- Movement: Calibre Singer Reimagined AGH6364; hand-wound movement; frequency 21,600 VpH (3Hz); 49 jewels; power reserve = 55 hours; 314 components
- Strap: Calfskin or textile depending on model paired with a brushed steel pin buckle
- Price CHF 26,500 (RRP as at 19.12.2020)
- Limited Edition: Each design is limited to 10 pieces – 30 in total