The movement in the watch is called the calibre 14580 automatic. The big date indicator is at 12 o'clock and uses very cool looking laser-cut discs. It is really well done and I love how the discs are a different color on each of the models. The dial is much improved over the original Oktopus with better looking numerals and a index ring that is reminiscent of some of the brand's earlier models. The face's mixture of shapes, colors, and textures is very pleasing, and still offers a bold legibility people have come to expect from a dive watch.
Let's face it, there are not many brands like Richard Mille. They are effectively the Pagani Automobili of the watch world as they have consistently pushed the limits and interaction of materials, technology, and design. Richard Mille is famous for their use of massively complex skeleton movements, curved tonneau cases, and exotic materials. Some readers will remember the RM056 model which was launched at BaselWorld this year featuring a case made of sapphire crystal and sporting a .65m price tag. Regardless of your opinion of their watches, you have to admire their drive to make unbelievable products with truly stratospheric prices. Consider the RM027 which features a tourbillon movement and a case made of a high-carbon composite that weighs only 13g (without its strap) and can actually float when placed in water (read more here). The RM027 carries a price tag in excess of 0,000 and is perhaps most famously known as the watch worn by tennis star Rafael Nadal. I like Richard Mille watches for the same reason I like the many iterations of the Pagani Zonda, they're insane, dramatic, and an interesting point of overlap between the passions of technology and design.
aBtR: What makes the Touch Time different than one of Phosphor's other watches, or from a conventional digital watch?
DB: It is an update on what a digital watch should be. Although Phosphor has other innovative products, this one is specifically targeted at the large audience of current digital watch buyers.
The glass in this watch is a hardened mineral glass, which although less scratch resistant than sapphire, is less prone to breaking, which is very important due to the military oriented nature of the watch. The main feature on this watch is however its T100 tritium dial illumination, T100 tritium illumination contains 4X more tritium and therefore is much brighter than the T25 illumination that is used in 99% of the tritium watches, the tritium glows almost as brightly as a freshly "charged" traditional glowing paint, and after several minutes the tritium glows much brighter than the glow in the dark paint on my other watches (primarily Casio). The tritium illumination impresses me every time, the time is clear as day, even in pitch black environments. It is so bright it always draws attention to my wrist as soon as the lights go out.
The complicated rubber strap doesn't disappoint. It has a series of flaps so to say and does a good job of snugly securing to your wrist. It looks a bit bat ray-ish (well of course it does). It might have a ton of part and pieces, but it is rather comfortable given the pretty huge (wide and thick) watch on your wrist. I'd say that you need to wear it for yourself to really understand what it feels and looks like.
I've always mentioned how I don't understand the "debate" about watches being too large or too small. You like what you like - that is it. Further, you don't need to only wear large or small watches. People who like smaller watches seem to get almost get offended (personally) when they see watches that violate how big they think a watch should be. They get angry. I should know, I see exactly what they say. On the other hand, a guy who wants a larger watch usually calmly laments an otherwise nice piece that simply isn't made in the diameter they prefer. "Too bad it isn't XXmm in size or I would get one". Weight can be an issue depending on the person. SISU watches are heavy, but you get used to it - at least I do. Wear the piece for an hour or two and you don't really even feel the weight. Worst case scenario, you are getting a bit of exercise.
Small seconds hand at 9 o’clock
1. Natural titanium case, white gold moon faces, light blue sky, limited edition of 18 pieces
2. Black titanium case, white gold moon faces, dark blue sky, limited edition of 18 pieces
3. Red gold case, red gold moon faces, anthracite sky, limited edition of 18 pieces
Indication domes configured perpendicular to wrist.
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 19mm
Number of case components: 55
WHEN: April 28-May 4, 2012
German Sinn timepieces are really hard for us tool watch lovers to resist. Often stalwart in their new products, over the last few years they have been a bit more trendy and playful. While I don't know first hand, I have a feeling that the Bell & Ross success was a major eye-opener for them. Back in the 1990s when Bell & Ross began, they were basically selling dual-branded Sinn watches in a new distribution method. It was basically like selling the best tools in a hardware store, but now in a department store. Bell & Ross has since come a long way, but their roots in offering plain and simple instrument watches hasn't changed much.
Live from a semi-secluded warehouse in Las Vegas, John and I vent and muse on the then watch shows in Vegas and talk about a few new models as well as the hopelessness of horological humanity.
Why do we find the Ploprof attractive? That is a good question, and I think it is for the same reasons we find a tank or well-designed tool attractive. The Ploprof was born in a lab, by engineers and technicians. No one sipping an espresso ever sat at a cafe and discussed how the piece would make for a nice luxury item and whether they could put diamonds on it. It was the anti-luxury high-end watch. A real tool that signaled the result of teamwork and problem solving. Something which represented innovation without concern for budget, and was designed to be a necessary element in the exploration of the deep. Tools such as this are created by smart humans to let humans do more than we could without them - and that concept is completely sexy.