If you thought titanium was used a lot on watches, the A-10 has an armor cage around the cockpit and instruments that is 900 pounds of titanium. Titanium is also used as the case material for the HM4 Thunderbolt watch. One of the most complex cases ever made by MB&F, the case is made from a series of parts with a unique strap attachment mechanism and sapphire segments of the two "engine tubes." The case is 54mm wide by 52mm long, and 24mm high. The watch has over 300 tiny, polished, and loved parts - in the movement alone. Thunderbolt's case is comprised of another 65 parts. The design makes some very clever uses of alternative polished and brushed surfaces. It also takes MB&F's fascination with sapphire crystal to a new level. On the top and bottom of the case are sapphire crystal windows over the movement, and there are the very hard to machine previously mentioned sapphire sections around the conical tubes. There are 5 sapphire crystals on the case, and require about 100 hours of machining alone, per watch.
Westime for example is filled with a number of brands. Sure you have the Richemont Group major players, but you will also find a number of smaller and independent brands with solid products and great images. John is known for helping to make such brands as Greubel Forsey and MB&F popular. Inside the shop I find others I am glad to see such as Nubeo and MCT. Like John, I see a lot to be impressed with in these brands. I am glad that we have some of the same taste, but happier to see brands like this on home soil. Too often promising smaller brands aren’t given a chance in America. I am glad to see a big name like Simonian taking interest in them.
Rotating aluminium domes, stationary hands
MKII is based in the US, but uses Swiss mechanical movements. As such, you can throw MKII into the list of high-quality, indy American watch makers. While MKII has have some of their own unique designs, they are masters at the homage watch. Really wanted that XXXX Rolex from the 1960s, but either can't afford or find one? More likely than not MKII has you covered. Also, you can get homage pieces that have the looks you like from classics, without elements you don't, and of course you got a totally modern watch. While I get the craze behind vintage watch collecting, personally I like new stuff. It is gonna last longer, and you don't have to put up wit things like old crystals and movements that need expensive restoration.
See Rolex Submariner watches on eBay here.
There are a few versions of this fashion beast. Seen here are two dials types. In a grayish dial with dark gray lume coated hands and hour markers, as well as a tan and silver dial version. Each is limited to 250 pieces, and John Varvatos is designing/adding new models all the time. Each watch is fitted with a special strap - usually alligator or crocodile. The strap buckles are even signed "John Varvatos" for these special models. The case is brushed, though the bezel is sharply slanted in a mirror polish. Retro notes are throughout, from the chronograph pushers to the colors on the dials. Aside from a few elements like the movement, much of this limited edition watch is different than the standard Chronoscope model. Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement with a custom Ernst Benz logo in black. While the case is large at 47mm wide, it does fit comfortably.
Probably the most iconic of 666's current collection is the Under Pressure models. Based on the style of a pressure gauge, this is a weird, but oddly wonderful watch. Also 45mm wide in steel, the dial comes in metallic orange, gold, silver, or textured black, with an orange seconds hand an a negative LCD display for the time. The watch actually has two movements. One for the LCD based Swiss quartz movement, and another for the independent seconds hand that goes around the dial once each 30 seconds. The two movements aren't connected, and you can start and stop the central seconds hand by pulling the crown out. Weird? Totally, but it has a really fun appeal. Also comfy on a wide black leather strap in the lugless case that 666 likes to use. 9 each - a possible gotta-have for trendy types.
¾ bridge Circular-grained
Magrette Moana Pacific Diver Watch Review
Check out the list of nominees here, and please to comment with your personal picks for the best watches below. The GPGH will be held on November 18th, 2010.
IWC: The Book, The Manufacture
You'll notice the large "23" in the subsidiary seconds dial on the watch in black and white. This was the car's number in the race (seen on the hood). The chronograph subdials are in red against the bold black face. Porsche Design knows that the best hands for legibility are white on black... so they haven't messed with this formula. As a racing chronograph watch, it does have a tachymeter scale, but one that is pleasantly understated around the periphery of the dial. Up a bit from that is a minute and hour scale.
In the future there are going to be many more models like this. Expect a chronograph version of the Bulgari Octo Bi-Retro, as well as versions in different materials. Price for this steel and ceramic model is going to be very close to the price of the previous Gerald Genta model at between about ,000 - ,000. I can't wait to see what crazy DNA mixing experiments Bulgari comes up with next.
It is big and it goes down pretty deep. It is also the first real diver's watch from Corum that I can think of (aside from a few dive style Corum Bubble watches). This is the new for 2010 Admiral's Cup Deep Hull 48 watch from Corum, and it is rather interesting, though I have some thoughts on it overall. The Admiral's Cup line has been very good to the brand, and over the last few years Corum has been refining it a lot. More models, lots of variety, and a furtherance of making them look more manly as opposed to colorful (which was the classic look with all the colored flags). Today's Admiral's Cup watches share very little in common with the originals. Here, the flags are barely still there in monochromatic glory. The real standout features of an Admiral's Cup watch is its 12 sided case and bezel.
This very cool watch from Hublot has a movement made by Mathias Buttet's department. Buttet runs the Hublot Confrerie Horlogere (formerly of BNB Concept) - I discussed this more here. The gorgeous movement is incredibly traditional in style compared to the forward looking designs of Hublot watches. The piece is called the Big Bang Minute Repeater Tourbillon and is limited to just 10 pieces. Functions include the time, a flying tourbillon, and a great sounding minute repeater. Listen to it in the video (which is of the movement that is in the watch).
I have to mention the box that the Kia Kaha comes in. Magrette always has impressed me with their product packaging, but their newest box style is the best. It comes in a large, hand-made New Zealand Kauri wood box with a hinged top. The new design and layout is very nicely done, and the wood has a fantastic finish to it. I love the almost intoxicating smell of freshly worked wood - it reminds you of being in a timber artisan's workshop. You'll certainly put you nose close to the box now and again for a serious whiff of the fragrance. Really one of the best looking (and smelling) watch cases on the market - certainly in this price range.
I quite like the strap actually. the crocodile leather is tapered a bit and it is on a nice fold over butterfly clasp. The deployment is well polished and closes comfortably around the wrist. The clasp is signed with an engraved Pierre DeRoche name and logo.
H. Moser & Cie is perhaps a brand you haven't heard of before. They are a smaller company, but I have been noticing more and more advertising from them - so they are getting orders or funding from somewhere. Actually, I understand that H. Moser is one of the people that helped make IWC what it is. The connection between IWC and Moser isn't exactly great these days as I understand it. It is true that as a smaller brand with a very complex watch - quality control issues are going to be of concern. At the same time, given the popularity of the piece, combined with the fact that it has been around for a few years, it is likely that H. Moser & Cie has been able to work some of the kinks out of the mechanism. The movement is all in-house made.