You'll notice from the profile picture of that this watch is a thick beast. The sapphire crystal alone is 10mm thick! Incredible. The whole watch is 28.5mm thick and 46mm wide. Although big, the watch is made out of titanium, so it is still pretty light at 265 grams. Official depth resistance rating standards require a 25% safety margin, which is why the watch is rated to 20,000 Feet, when it is actually tested to 25,000 feet (7,500 meters). You of course realize that this is all done in pressure chambers as there are no places where the ocean is this deep, or if it is, no reasonable way of testing the watch that deep.
MM: How do watches fit into some of your most profound memories?
DP: Watches have been purchased or gifted to me during milestone or touchstone moments throughout my life. So these watches then help those memories stay alive and relevant throughout my daily life.
It is really all the little details that makes this watch stand out. For example, did you notice there is no crown? Yup, none. The watch caseback is used to adjust and manually wind the watch (though the movement is automatic). So you see those little balled nubs in gold around the back of the case, those are to help twist it. The time can even be set under water. Cool right! There are almost no dive watches that can boast that. Inside the watch is the Pita-003 movement which I read is based on a modified ETA 2678. The movement will be modified with two patented systems which is necessary due to everything that is going on inside of the 18mm thick case of the Oceana watch. Did I also mention that is water resistant to 5000 meters? Yea, really nuts.
And just like women today, Hello Kitty is very versatile. Take this sporty white Hello Kitty Model above.
Looking at the supple, durable white rubber band, I can actually see this watch on a woman's wrist. Wish it was on mine. Tissot has built a rep for integrating different materials to create a watch that is versatile, durable, and priced well. With all the accents that they've included, like the checkered flags and Danica blue indicators, Tissot is definitely successful in their final product.
I haven't seen him dive into water too many times (no one dives in the Great Salt Lake right?), but the IWC Aquatimer is a great choice for a multi-duty classy yet rugged watch. The IWC Aquatimer Chrono-Automatic is a modern IWC diving watch with an automatic Valjoux 7750 movement in side to power it. Water resistant to 120 meters (about 400 feet), the pushers do not need to be screwed down and can be operated underwater. What looks like a screwdown pusher for the lower chronograph pusher is actually a pusher as well as a crown to operate the internal rotating bezel. I like this model because of how subtle it is. Other Aquatimer watches have splashes of color, but that look isn't what everyone is looking for. While it is hard to tell in the images, the watch has a high amount of rich polish and finish on the case and dial.
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For such a classy watch, though, I would have expected greater options for the bracelet for the 2009 release. While I understand that a rubber strap can be deemed the most versatile, it is definitely not always the most appropriate. A watch like this, I would want to wear day and night. And for serious events, a rubber strap does not fit. I trust that it is top-notch, high-quality rubber - so good thing that a leather strap is available as an option.
You've been hearing about watch makers creating iPhone app versions of their watches, but Victorinox Swiss Army has taken the concept to the next step. In addition to including digital versions of their watches (not likely all of their watches) they are using the "always connected" feature of the iPhone and the power of the iPhone app to keep potential customers up-to-date with the latest watches and news from the company. In fact, you can even locate authorized dealers right from the application. It will use the iPhone's built in GPS to located the nearest store to you. Lots of potential, but it will require a dedicated team at Victorinox to handle it all in the right way.
Alfex has been around for 60 years and you still haven't heard of them? I don't care that they are hard to find, especially in America. It is a cool brand, and this 60th anniversary piece is actually very unlike them, though it is handsome. Typically, the brand produces interesting minimalist designs. This is a more technologically inspired watch with a lot of classic elements, such as the case shape and crowns. The watch itself was designed by Marcus Eilinger, and Alfex is confident that it will become an icon. The Pazzola Giant Alarm is going to be offered in a limited edition of 600 pieces.
I've placed some comparison images of the limited edition model and the standard GPW for you to see the difference. You probably agree that the Elite limited edition model is something special. The case of the watch is 44mm with and about 15mm tall. Part of that has to do with the thick 3.5mm tall sapphire crystal. The lugs are place 24mm apart to allow for an impressively wide strap. 24mm is the same width as most Panerai watch straps. The design of the case itself is a blend of aggressive styling with technical futuristic look. It does this in a subtle manner because use of too many complex curves and angles makes a watch look awkward once it is on your wrist. Not the case here.
Of course I love the fact that the watch is an automatic. I love a nicely decorated exhibition movement, but sometimes I really just want something that I don’t have to wind. The axe-like rotor is skillfully designed, but really there to make owning the watch easier. Decoration on the movement and dial abound. From texturing to guilloche engraving, everything is there to enhance the basic functionality, not distract from it. The big news about the Chapter One watch was the roller based moon phase and month, which are thankfully employed here, but as the day and month instead. That is a complication whose novelty won’t soon wear off for me. What an amazingly convenient complication, and the rollers themselves are constructed from black anodized aluminum. Attached to the watch is a black alligator strap with a matching gold deployment.
The Daniel Roth Endurer Chronosprint is thoroughly a luxury watch in heritage and design. Although it has a unique and avant garde appeal, this watch is focused on the fine watch market. Accordingly, all materials and high quality, with the proper amount of movement decoration and overall fit and finish. The strap is a specially textured calfskin (with a few thick horizontal lines), while the buckle matches the case. I would image the price for the Endurer Chronosprint watch to be in the ,000 - ,000 dollar range. With the Japanese design themes and the undeniably masculine and sporty look - without an abrasive machismo, this is a beautifully designed and elegant (but strong looking) watch with a winning design. Despite a few shortcomings and design quirks (such as not having a seconds display), this Daniel Roth watch is an under the radar success in my opinion. For that, I am going to give it my aBlogtoRead.com Seal of Approval Award.
Such watches are not unreadable of course (just for people who aren't wearing the watch). To compensate for similar colors of black, the watches have different textures and other mechanisms to help with legibility. Part of the 'point' of the watch is making it difficult for people other than the wearer to know what time it is (or what watch they are wearing). I have to admit that a lot of the watches are pretty cool looking. Still pretty easy to read (on your own wrist), you will no doubt get a lot of people saying "hey, what is with you watch? Let me see that." The watch which this Black Stealth limited edition is based on is one of Sinn's newer diving watches, the U1. With a uniquely designed dial and hands, it is certainly of the most fashion (but still functional) oriented Sinn watches out there.
The default display on the screen can be changed at will to show the digital time, or the date. Sorting through the menus gives you an audible reassuring "beep." Overal the watch is a breeze to use and live with. In addition to luminant used on the hands and markers, there is a backlight that can be activated for the LCD screen. This type of watch is the purest form of function I could imagine from a basic watch without too many other functions to dilute accomplishing a task with easy and competency. The level of polish in the watch is beguiling, but after seeing countless watches that haven't "figured it out" or have superfluous elements there just for show, a utilitarian watch boils right down to this Casio Wave Ceptor.
What I like best about these watches is the pride you can sense in them. It is as if the background suppliers are proudly shouting that they too can have a face to their watches, and do more than work in the shadows while others take all the credit. I don't know what type of market Chinese watches will have outside of Asian. Hong Kong based watch companies will find a niche to compete with Japanese and European watches, I am sure. There is a space between the high-tech watches from Japan and the established luxury timepieces from Europe for a new market for relatively inexpensive formal dress watches with global appeal. The next step for Chinese watches (if the choose to do it) is marketing; telling the world what they are about and what they can do. So until then we can only keep watch.
Some images via the Seiko & Citizen Watch Forum (SCWF).