With all its features, the watch still only tells the time. How constant the force is or how reliable the components are is something only the future can show. I have a feeling however with the brands' reputation, the movement will perform quite admirably. The time is shown off-centered with a lower subsidiary seconds dial in a way typical to how F.P. Journe lays it out. Below that is a quite prominent view of the escapement and to the left of course is our friend the chain. My lord this watch is so pointless and loveable. I can't wait to photograph it and push to wind this baby up. Price is about 130,000 Swiss Francs. montres-rg.com
The early 1950s heralded in the era of another famous pilot watch - the Navitimer by Breitling. What made this piece famous was its combination of chronograph and slide-rule bezel. While not the first Breitling piece to offer these complications, the Navitimer was quickly adopted by military and professional pilots as a useful tool because in addition to telling time, it was able to offer a range of necessary inflight calculations. This was thanks to the slide-rule and chronograph combo. When cockpits went digital, the utility of the Navitimer subsided, but today many pilots are still trained using traditional analog calculation systems as a backup if electronics fail. The Breitling Navitimer is much more than a tool having attained the status as a high-end tool watch for the discriminating and intelligent active guy. Today, Breitling offers version of the Navitimer with their own in-house movements and it remains one of the brand's top sellers. Price is about ,000. breitling.com
Originally thought of as feminine, men started to wear wrist watches after the first World War, when they discovered how practical wrist watches were as compared to traditional pocket watches. The watches of the 1920s were heavily influenced by the Art Deco movement. And if you are a fan of the show and wish to recreate that same style on your wrist, Ariel has compiled a list of his favorite Art Deco style watches.
We will not go into much detail in regard to these specific pieces too much. I more wanted to offer a visual glimpse of what "used to be" when it came to high-end watches. One thing you'll notice is how each of these pocket watches includes copious amounts of hand-decoration (aside of course from the movements). This comes in the form of engraving, stone-setting, painting, and inlaying. The good news is that work like this can be found today, but not in exactly the same form. I do wish that some of the brands would from time to time create brand new piece unique models that feature more historic decoration techniques and styles.
Fellow writer James Stacey and I differ with Ariel in our preferred size of watch. In Ariel's hands-on, his take was "I love the feel of the Chromatic on my wrist, but would love for a 43-45mm wide size." Me? I find 38mm to be just right, but read on and see if you agree or not.
So what is it? It's an annual calendar with a 30-minute chronograph and AM/PM indication, automatic, based on an exclusive nine-piece design by Ludwig. An annual calendar complication requires correction only one day per year, that being March 1st. Unlike most every other annual calendar that exists, this one has three concentric disks so that the date reads out in single unobtrusive line. Annual calendars are usually complicated beasts with multiple subdials and hands (for example, the RGM 160 I reviewed) so the MIH is almost shockingly minimalistic and easy to read.
The co-axial escapement is the invention of George Daniels, and serves to increase maintenance intervals and improve timekeeping. Omega has been using it since 1999, and their inclusion of an unusual four-year, full-coverage warranty here testifies to their confidence in the system.
At the recent Basel fair, Philippe Dufour came up to the Badollet booth to have a look at the movement of the Ivresse. After moments of intense scrutiny, he turned to the people at Badollet and declared “In the future, there won't only be one address in Le Solliat, but there will be two different addresses.”
Mechanical chronograph movement
68-hour power reserve when fully wound
Stopwatch function with hours, minutes and seconds
Hour and minute counters combined at 12 o’clock
Small hacking seconds
See-through sapphire-glass back
What you see here is a version of the Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Modern that I call the Travel Timer. It is a sweetly sexy military-style watch with a red-tinted sapphire crystal and green khaki canvas strap. In all honesty, it is as quirky as it is cool, and is something that could only have come out of the industry of boutique Swiss watchmakers. Items like this mix the care of a watch maker employed to put these watches together, with a haphazard philosophy towards design that allows for some truly interesting luxury timepieces to be produced minus design committee meetings and an analysis of consumer demand. Daniel runs your local neighborhood watchmaker - and there are scant few of him left in the world.
Being the "brand of the carrousel," Blancpain's use of this close cousin to the tourbillon must someday find its way into anything they produce. Then again, they did recently produce the Carrousel Tourbillon watch (aBlogtoWatch hands-on) that featured both complications in order to help distinguish them. Now, with the new Blancpain Carrousel Minute Repeater Chronograph, we see for the first time all three of the named complications together in one watch.
This new watch from MB&F is unique among a unique brand of watches. It is the first ever piece that is meant to be an improvement on an existing model. Not a limited edition or something trying to "step it up a notch," The HM3 MegaWind is the new generation HM3 that improves on and replaces the first generation Horological Machine No. 3 collection. Normally, MB&F releases two types of watches. New watch collections and special or limited versions of those collections. For example, there was the HM3 and then the HM3 Frog. Those were distinct models, but weren't meant to replace one another. The MegaWind is the new HM3 and means that MB&F may just be finding some product permanence.
For the past couple of years, Bell & Ross has released a couple of aviation-themed watches based on their signature BR01 case, and this year is no different. 2013 will see three new aviation-themed watches. The three new watches are named Airspeed, Heading Indicator and Climb, and their names are a good indication of which cockpit dial provided the inspiration for the design. Powering these watches are ETA movements.
We don't want people to take this the wrong way, but sometimes hyper-focusing on only the movement inside of a watch can distract from other important elements. These days a lot of the appeal of a watch can come from its case, dial, or even bracelet. Much of the time watches contain the same or similar movements and are only differentiated by what is on the outside. In light of that we really don't feel it is necessary to explain what goes into the most popular ETA-produced movements time after time. If gets a bit repetitive to explain the tech specs of a Valjoux 7750 or 2824-2 hundreds of times.
In reality you don't need to wear green with a green watch it seems. At least not this shade of green. Aged looking strap and faded metallic dial does great with jeans and other casual attire. Actually really great. You'll find that either coincidentally or not, Ernst Benz's Khankin is a reflection of the Varvatos aesthetic - scarf and and all. He is typically seen with watches on both wrists, one of them is usually a Varvatos piece, while the other is something new that he is testing out. A calm and sociable charisma is part of his appeal as a personal brand ambassador. Whatever the circumstances of the Varvatos/Ernst Benz relation is, you get the distinct impression that Khankin is the type of guy Varvatos wouldn't mind hanging out with. Personalities like his are what make a niche luxury brand.
Tom E. from Belgium asks:
Two years ago Citizen released the Eco-Drive Satellite Wave - a limited edition watch that received signals from GPS satellites in order to have accurate time and calendar information anywhere in the world. We first debuted the Citizen Satellite Wave here during Baselworld 2011. Later we offered a hands-on look at the production version of the limited edition Satellite Wave timepiece. Now for 2013, Citizen will release its first non-limited collection of Satellite watches called the Eco-Drive Satellite Wave-Air.
The first prize winner who will travel to Geneva and build a watch is Mr. Andrew E. of Indiana.
From Around the Internet
1. Getting to Know Tudor: 6 Watches from the “Other” Rolex
Now these watches are a bit more of what I think of when someone says to me "urushi painted dial." As a follow-up to the Ananta Urushi Diver from last year, Seiko has released two new urushi watches for 2012. This time they remedied one of the principle issues of last year's limited edition urushi watch. See those red stripes on the Ananta Limited Edition Kumadori Chronograph dial? Well those are hand-painted in urushi lacquer - a special natural lacquer from a tree in Japan. I am not actually sure about the rest of the dial. Why is this important? Mainly because there is a very clear idea that something is special about the dial.
VINTAGE (CURVEX) 7-DAYS POWER RESERVE
Caliber: FM 1700
Movement: Mechanical with manual-winding, Two barrels, in-house
manufactured Breguet hairspring, high performance FM
escapement and balance screw
Dimensions of Movement: Ø 31.00 mm and height: 5.00 mm
Power Reserve: 7 days
Frequency: 18’000 vibrations / hour
Number of Components: 213
Number of Jewels: 27
Movement decoration: Côtes de Genève, circular graining, hand bevelling
Display: Hours and minutes, Seconds at 6 hours, Power reserve
Behind The Curtain At aBlogtoWatch: What A Watch Blogger Really Does
The Master of G Frogman is another obvious choice to include in this collection. The models are the Casio G-Shock GF8230E-9 and Casio G-Shock GWF1030E-9, respectively. They are intended to be bold and specialist diver watches and so they sport ISO Certified 200 meters water resistance, full metal cases and Tough Solar Power. Among other things they also feature tide-moon graphs, data memory up to 10 logs and full auto EL backlight for quick display illumination. The Casio G-Shock GF8230E-9 has a stainless steel case while the one for the Casio G-Shock GWF1030E-9 is made from titanium and ultimately both are wrapped in urethane resin. There is a high-end version, the Casio G-Shock GWFT1030E-9 Frogman which incorporates G-Shock's Multi-band 6 Atomic Timekeeping technology for radio-controlled time/date updating. Still, beyond mere specs there is a lot to like about the Frogman and the fact that now they are available in this vibrant yellow color is not only a lovely feat, but is also a cool homage to much earlier days of the brand.