5. Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Watch In White Ceramic Hands-On
One of the most traditionally iconic Ritmo Mundo watches around was the highly avant garde Persepolis with its massive case that flipped around to reveal two dials. There is an aBlogtoWatch video review of a Ritmo Mundo Persepolis watch with two automatic movements here on our YouTube channel. Ritmo Mundo has produced both mechanical and quartz watches, as well as both original designs as well as fashion-style timepieces that follow current watch industry trends. The brand has attempted to appeal to a range of very different watch consumers, but over the last few years has been flying more under the radar. Really starting in 2014 they are trying to make a name for themselves once again, and it begins with the Quantum watches.
Why is the crescent there? I suppose it's possible that they needed a little extra space in the case for some component of the movement. However, I think it's far more likely that it's a styling exercise. Not only does it give them a spot to put the brand nameplate, it's also a way of making the watch just a little bit different than the others out there. While wildly off-center watches can look and feel unbalanced, I think what Armin Strom has done here really works quite nicely - just enough different that it takes an appreciative eye to notice.
We discussed the capillary-style depth gauge system in the watch more when we initially covered the Oris Aquis Depth Gauge watch here. The brilliance of the system is that it is simple, unobtrusive, and useful. Unless there is physical damage to the sapphire crystal the depth gauge ought to work. Oris in effect has created a back-up depth gauge system that many divers may want to have in addition to their dive computers. It is pretty unreasonable these days to expect people who dive to rely of mechanical versus computerized equipment. Though it is not unreasonable for a diver to have a mechanical watch as a back-up timing device. That it may also have a depth gauge is an added benefit.
I think the high-end watch lover wants a brand like Shinola to do what Fossil was never able to do. That is to inspire more Americans to get into watches again, or for the first time. Shinola has an attractive and distinctive look which I think the mainstream can really rally behind. Being quartz-based hurts the brands rapport with watch snobs, but in a sense so does the price. There is nothing wrong with a quartz watch, but when they are priced like some mechanical watches then it is possible to take issue.
A little history then for those not in the know, Richard Habring is no wannabe proclaiming his philosophy; the credentials exist to prove his watch making skills and his worth as an independent. After all, this is the man who, early in his career, was given the task of creating a rattrapante or "split seconds chronograph," whose production could be industrialized and then mass-produced for a lower price.
Finally, a quick PSA for those of you who may have read the original review and got excited about the Tropik only to find they were already sold out. Keep an eye on Halios' website as the second batch of Tropiks are due to be released before the end of the year. Now you can't say that I didn't give you a heads up.
Quite literally, Finnish Stepan Sarpaneva's face is on the dial of the piece unique Woodoo watch. This individually made watch is based on the Sarpaneva Korona Moonshine that came out a few years ago. What Stepan did is overlay a diamond-studded skull mask over the face of the grimacing moon. The face is loosely based on Stepan's own face - and if it isn't, then it seems all too convenient. That's actually him below modeling off the face paint inspiration. What followed was probably a hell of a night for Mr. Sarpaneva.
In many ways, diving watches mean the pinnacle of modern watchmaking. We saw watches being worn on the Moon, exceed the speed of sound, but defeating the immense pressure that prevails only at the deepest points of our planet is a completely different challenge altogether. This is best proven by the process of how watches sneaked out from our vest pockets and onto our wrists, to ultimately become instruments capable of performing in tens or hundreds of thousands special military actions and scientific dives alike, withstanding extremely demanding conditions. It is no wonder then, that dive watch enthusiasts have a special feeling when strapping a watch with such pedigree on: as weird as it may sound for "outsiders," it does grant a feeling of indestructibility when your only and most important accessory has stood the tests of such demanding conditions. So let's take a closer look at what led from the first "waterproofs" to the engineering masterpieces that made it to the Mariana trench–and back.
Everyone that works at aBlogtoWatch–including myself–writes about watches because we love watches. Our individual goal as writers is to share our passion about what we like, don't like, and feel about watches, collecting, and our interest in little wearable machines. It isn't because we want a pat on the back from the people who run watch brands. Sure, we want a good relationship with those companies who make the products we like.
LAST CHANCE: RGM American-Made Watch Manufacture Trip
3 Commentsby Ariel Adams
LAST CHANCE: RGM American-Made Watch Manufacture Trip
Quite frankly, we get a lot of Press Releases from start-up watch brands attempting to stir media enthusiasm about their new wares. While we do our due diligence to investigate and report on them to you, our dear readers, very few of them often generate much real excitement from the aBlogtoWatch team. The Challenger Black Luna, on the other hand, did just that – because it is something innovative that we have never seen before. And for that matter, neither has anyone else.
Marketing studies show that if you increase the prices of your product, you can often increase the consumer's perception of your product. The problem is that watch brands have often taken this to a rather extreme level. Thus, watches that people recall as being in the ,000 - ,000 range are often in the ,000 - ,000 range now. The hope is that with lower volumes of sales and higher prices, brands can reach more affluent customers and sell fewer items, but it is a risky move and many fail.
In addition to Andre and I, our party was a mix that included a few Maurice Lacroix employees, a couple of US retailers, an LA real estate guy and a collector with no fewer than three Maurice Lacroix pieces to his name.
Our thanks to Bill for taking time from his busy schedule to reminisce with us about two watches that he has unfortunately lost due to theft. And while he didn't ask us to do this, I thought I'd share the information he sent out earlier this year in the chance that one of our readers comes across Bill's stolen (non-grail) watches.
[UPDATE 07-27-2014:We published a follow-up to this article: - The Real Story Behind The Bremont Wright Flyer In-House Made BWC/01 “London” Watch Movement. Ed.]
One of the questions that we get asked a lot is, “What watch should I buy?” The answer, though admittedly unhelpful, is it really depends. For example, some people may buy a watch because of its design and others may buy one because they are a fan of the brand. If you are feeling lost, our Editor-in-Chief Ariel has just written a bumper guide to helping you choose your next watch. We hope it helps.
Additionally, the steel version of the chronograph (or now the three hander) can be optioned with a matching steel bracelet. The bracelet is heavy and very nicely made, with a brushed finish and a button-release butterfly clasp.