Normally, I wouldn't dedicated an entire post to just a new "phantom" watches, but this Fortis B-42 Black & Black Automatic Day/Date limited edition watch does something different that I really appreciate. Everything about the watch case and dial are black. Black, and more black. Hence the name of the watch. Fortis wasn't happy just being a run of the mill stealth watch. So it make the hands and day/date windows easy to read! So you get the cool look of an all matte black watch, that you don't need to struggle to read. It seems like such an obvious thing, but I haven't see it before. Plus, the hands are covered in SuperLumiNova, so they will glow (actually, the dial hour markers are also lume most likely, and glow a sort of dull gray).
Different automatic watches each have different winding requirements. Some need more or less winding, and most watches wind with the rotor moving either clockwise or counter-clockwise. A few watches have rotors that wind in both directions. You can go to Orbita's website for a "Watch Database" that has an impressive list of watches and is updated frequently. You can go there to determine what type of winding your watch needs. Most of the time you can tell for yourself what direction the rotor of your watch winds in, but only if you have an exhibition caseback. Turn the watch in both directions. The direction where the rotor seems to move with a bit more resistance is the direction it needs to spin to wind. There is a lever switch on the Futura that controls the direction of winding. There is also a switch to control the amount of turns per day (TPD). The daily turns are indicated in the left hand LCD display, and starts counting at midnight. It then resets itself. This display is also used for various setting when you need to make adjustments to the unit. The right LCD display is for the time. This is good for a few reasons. Mostly to assist with the TPD counter as well as provide you with a reference to determine how accurate your watch is and to adjust the time if needed. I think that more watch winders should have built in clocks. I like this. Having the unit in my display case gives me a handy clock to go to when I need to adjust watches. The clock can further be set to 12 or 24 hour time.
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso is one of the most classic watches out there still being made today. Easily up there in some top 10 list, if one was ever to be established (note to self - work on top 10 classic watches list). Since its creation way back when (maybe the 1930s) it has been an iconic watch for Jaeger-LeCoultre. One of the most simple and classic, but still interesting Reverso models being sold today is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Duo. The original Reverso watches did not have dual faces. One side was metal to protect the watch during polo matches. When Jaeger-LeCoultre really revived the Reverso watch, they decided to put the other side of the watch to good use, and give the timepiece two faces.
Rolex isn't too keen on their watches being modified, but I am sure they love the ideas that Project X gives them. They have an odd protectionist sentiment about their timepieces. Preferring that you should want only what they offer - which while spectacular, is limited. Given the sheer popularity of Rolex watches, it comes with no surprise that wanting to make a "Rolex watch your own" is an expected desire given the options seemingly available. Say you want a Rolex watch in all black, with a different color dial, or perhaps a sapphire case back? Maybe your wishes are for something more grandiose with complex engravings or designs on the watch? Well Rolex has no ear for you, but Project X Designs does. The hidden efforts behind their pieces involve a determined Rolex company that keeps making their watches harder and harder to modify. Project X Designs can be seen as one of Rolex's biggest fans, faithfully preserving the brand's high quality image.
1. Comment on this post below with your valid e-mail address where required. In the body of your comment you can mention a few watches on your "to buy" or "wish list."
I wrote about the new series of Perrelet Semi-Skeletonized Split-Seconds Chronograph watches on Haute Living. The interesting like obvious is skeletonized and is a rattrapante (split seconds chronograph). In doing so, Perrelet has given the line a very unique style and high value for the originality. Prices are between about ,000 - ,000. Read the full article on Haute Living here.
First show discussing the lengthy experiences I had at SIHH and GTE. This will be continued in future shows as there were just too many watches to discuss at once. Having a hands-on look at the watches in addition to personal communication with the brands opens up a whole new world of information.
The dial is similar to the classic Speedmaster layout. The font of the numerals is "futurized" a bit, and the result is nice. Makes it feel more at home in modern aircraft. In addition to updated look and carbon fiber dial, the watch also features a date (on a black date disc) as well as a 24 hour GMT hand that is independently adjustable. I really like how the GMT hand is done. Omega makes it easy not to confuse the hand by labeling it as such. It might sound silly, but I like how the GMT hand looks - a good concept. There is also the orange color trim on the dial and tachymetre scale that adds a little reminder that this is not your average garden variety Omega Speedmaster watch. The sapphire crystal is AR coated on both sides.
I got a chance to check this watch out briefly at JCK in early June. It is pretty cool and and update to the Casio Pathfinder PAW-1500 watch that I reviewed favorably here. This is the Pathfinder PAW-2000 and represents a nice incremental improvement over the PAW-1500. The PAW-2000 watch is actually thinner and has a few more functions. I didn't even think it was possible to make this watch any thinner, but Casio did it. A major new elements is the duplex LCD screen(s). This isn't the first time Casio has done this, but the application is welcome here. What does that mean? Well basically it has two LCD screens that are stacked on one another. The top LCD screen is used for the compass function to allow for a full overlay. The previous model watch only has the compass "digital needle" show on a thin ring around the face.
Trigalight tritium gas tubes are used on various places on the dial. Including for each hour marker and on the hands themselves. All the gas tubes are in the white color while the 12 o'clock indicator is in orange. Most of you are familiar with tritium gas tubes, but for those of you who are not, they are small tubes filled with lightly radioactive gas (no worries, that won't harm you one little bit) that glow by themselves nicely for about 25 years. This means that you never need to charge them in light, and they glow clearly in the dark. Tritium gas tubes are probably the best type of luminant out there and I highly recommend watches that use them for those who enjoy or need low light and no light watch dial reading. The most popular so far in the collection has been the Aviator Bucker Bestmann. This watch has a retro cream dial and an automatic three-hand ETA 2824-2 movement. The watch dial is no nonsense function, just like the place it was modeled after. I like the large file textured crown and the large size as some of the existing Traser watches have been small by today's tastes. You get a really classic aviator look with a hardy Swiss movement (visible through an exhibition caseback). On both bracelets is looks nice. I have included only a picture of the Aviator Bestmann on the bracelet, but it is the same bracelet for all the watches. Oh, and the automatic Aviator Bestmann model comes in a limited edition of just 200 watches. They may be sold out already! Price is about 0.
See more images here at the LUM-TEC forum at Watch & Clock Forum.
The design of the watch is a combination of tool shed tech and traditional diver watch. From a distance the appearance of the DS 2000 GMT is of a strong looking diving watch. Upon closer inspection you realize all the little features that make the Formex unique. The full titanium case and bracelet have steel accents, such as the screws and bolts that give it a more precision look; as though it experienced a deeper level of engineering. And of course, the titanium makes the watch very light, even for its relatively hefty side of 45mm wide size. Formex is really dedicated to the user. As you can see the watch packaging. You get a wealth of tools, and straps in a case that can be taken with you on adventures. The Allen bolt fastener on the lugs makes it easy to change straps quickly and without any frustration; of course a tool is included for this. Also, there is a unique multi-locking clasp on the bracelet that is very secure. Look at the rotating diver's and its grippy looking surfaces. The contrasting colors make it easy to read, and the thickness makes it easy to operate even with gloves on. Overall, it is just a very ergonomic watch, which adds to it's tool like demeanor.
When John and I recently discussed these awards on HourTime (Episode 3), we mentioned that there should be some awards for affordable watches. They can still be luxury ones on the mix. How about up to ,000? You could have 3-4 categories (classy, sport, womens, complicated, etc...) and then do each of them for various price points. Up to 0, up to ,000, up to 00, up to ,000. That would work out well right? Not that I have a problem with events like the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve, but I think there is just too much nice stuff that they are leaving out.
The dial on the BR-03 92 Phantom is surprisingly easy to read. The painted hour markers are thick and wide, therefore raised over the dial. They consist of a healthy dose of black photo-luminescent paint, which makes the watch even easier to read when the lights are turned off. I have found in similar watches from other companies that the black markers take longer to "charge" then light colored ones. This means that if you do not hold the watch directly under a light source for five minutes it does not glow in the dark very well. The BR Phantom dials, on the other hand, have a strong, green glow even after regular wear during the day.