For the last few years I have really admired the collection of watches from Swarovski. They offered nicely designed quartz watches with a lot of cool personality and prices that aren't totally outrageous. The only problem was that they were all ladies watches... bummer. My favorite model was the Octea Sport. Last year, I heard a rumor that Swarovski was going to release new men's watches - it turned out to be true.
The dials are attractive and really make the Chronofighter Oversize watches what they are. Visually balanced, the dials are also really legible with large hands and lots of lume. Out of all the Wildlife Chronograph models the Black Sahara is my favorite, as is the Amazonia (similar, but with green not beige accents). I also like the use of black date discs behind little round windows.
The formal name of this piece is the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Contemporain with Royal Blue dial. It features just one tourbillon (!) that is placed at a 25 degree angle. The tourbillon rotates once each 24 seconds unlike most that rotate once each 60 seconds. Greubel Forsey really seems to dislike one minute tourbillons.
Large titanium pushers offer the ability to easily operate the various functions that include alarm, perpetual calendar, chronograph, timer, and second time zone. The dial depsite the LCD screens is very legible and modern with a classic tint. The Spacemaster dial has SuperLumiNova all over it for night viewing as well.
One of the noticeable aspects of the Everest EH-1 Band is that it stretches slightly and has a somewhat spongy feel. Despite the sponginess, the strap is made of medical-grade silicone and is vulcanized like all other rubber straps found on quality Swiss watches. Additionally, the Everest EH-1 Band has two coatings; one that is a surface finish and another that is an anti-microbial coating. Unlike the RubberB strap which does not stretch much, the Everest EH-1 Band rubber gives/stretches slightly when there is tension on the strap which is great on hot days when wrists swell. Also, the silicone used in the Everest EH-1 Band is formulated to look new years down the road, and is impervious to heat. With the RubberB strap, I gently heated it with a stove lighter to make it conform around my wrist as the RubberB strap feels stiffer than Everest’s. In doing the same procedure with the Everest EH-1 Band, it sprung back to its original flat shape. In Italy, I discovered that the springiness was an advantage as the heat would expand and contract my wrist size and the strap would just accommodate changes in wrist size.
Limited to a total of 5000 pieces, the Seiko Star Wars watch collection is a fun treat from the Japanese brand - though they aren't budget priced. While not high-end luxury priced, the Star Wars watches range from about ,620 - ,820 in US dollars. Only slim deals are to be expected as the best models are going to be really popular. Consider me excited. For the mega fan, Seiko will release a yet to be detailed "SPECIAL SET" (150 of them I believe) of all six Star Wars watches, which is said to include a few other fun items as well. Again, look for a Seiko Star Wars watch release on October 12, 2012. Seiko even has a dedicated micro site (in fancy HTML5) here in Japanese.
Thanks to Phosphor for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.
The new for 2012 Breguet Heritage Phases de Lune Retrograde 8860 watch is for women (in case you didn't notice). I like the woven leather strap and overall simple yet refined theme of the watch. It is also a rare "casual" ladies piece in the Breguet collection that doesn't need to be worn with an evening gown. I won't discuss it more here, but simply wanted to share the hands-on pictures of the Breguet watch. You can read more about the Breuget Heritage Phases de Lune Retrograde 8860 timepiece via my article on Centurion here.
This 42mm dive-ready chronograph features a number of changes over the 40.5 mm Tribute design we saw earlier this year. The vintage lume has thankfully been replaced with crisp white SuperLumiNova, the two register display has been upgraded to to a trio of matched sub dials and the fixed bezel of the vintage-inspired model has been swapped out in favor of an ISO 6425 compliant unidirectional rotating bezel. I find the overall design is reminiscent of the Omega Speedmaster, but that is likely due to its largely monochrome color scheme and piston-style pushers. I am a huge fan of dressy divers so it is of little surprise that I think this new JLC looks great and that I really appreciate a style that makes as much sense while out for dinner as it does while diving.
Number of jewels: 39
Both versions offer multiple dial styles and colors. The styles range a lot actually and dial colors can come in blue, black, or white with different trims. The two watches have the same case - which is 42.80mm wide and 14.45mm thick. So what is the difference? Well they have different movements.
Wearing comfort for the watch is very high - at least on my wrist. I also can say that legibility is quite good given the very busy dial. Rather than look too mismatched, the dial comes across as "cool" for most tastes and is surprisingly easy to read given the properly sized hands and excellent luminant. This isn't just a watch, but a true information center on your wrist disguised as something between sporty and dressy. For fans of high-function Japanese watches that make the most out of quartz movements, pieces like this are a winner. The Citizen Perpetual Chrono AT ref. AT4004-52E retails for 5 - with its sister watches ranging from 0 - 5.
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 111 here.