It is difficult to find a good looking, conservatively legible diving-style watch with a range of colorful dials. Most of the time the colors are the same sporty oranges and yellows. The deep green-dialed Marineman is an instant winner, but I have to admit loving the white version as well. You see, I happen to be one of those guys who likes mother-of-pearl. It is rare to find the material available on a good looking sporty watch, but when I see it I am drawn to it. Here you have an otherwise really masculine sports diver with a white bezel and mother-of-pearl dial. I just happen to personally like it a lot, and apparently Kentex decided to produce it, so I am not the only one.
Serge Michel (SM): Serge Michel, Owner of the independent watch brand Armin Strom.
The Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph is the flagship piece in the new Montblanc Meisterstück Heritage collection which is a totally new watch line for 2014. It also coincides with Montblanc's new leadership by Jerome Lambert, and it is said that this is one of his conceptions. We liked this Meisterstück Heritage Pulsograph watch so much that we selected it as one of our top 10 best watches of SIHH 2014. I can now fully discuss what you need to know about this interesting chronograph.
In this video, photographer Andreas Jörg shows us just how much skill and attention to detail is required to bring an already fantastic platinum Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona photo to perfection. It’s unfortunate that this video omits the 1.5-hour shoot to get the raw image but it does speed up the reported 2 hours put into touching up the photo into a worthwhile 9 minute clip.
The last piece we've shown you here is called "The Sitting Man" who moves independently of the chair, only actually being seated once each minute or so. These are just a few of the watch sculpture creations by Dominic Wilcox. The art really isn't about time but is rather about using the motion of a watch dial to create an interesting animated scene. It is a clever use of horology and something we wanted to share. You can see more watch sculptures on the Dominic Wilcox portfolio page.
The main problem with this automatic winding system was that it required someone to wear the watch constantly. It needed about 10 to 15 hours of motion to give it a full 24-hour wind. When I was a young watchmaker, my store was near a retirement home, and I would get many of the “senior citizens” automatic winding watches for service. I kept getting an unusual amount of watches coming back to me that weren’t keeping good time - some would come back several times. It finally occurred to me that the wearers of the watch weren’t active enough to give it a full days wind… as many were geriatric and just didn’t move around enough.
After releasing models for scientific exploration and deep diving, Rolex decided to expand its focus on timepieces for pilots as well as physicists. Aviation professionals have been lucky enough to enjoy the attention of watchmakers since almost the beginning of flight in the early 20th century. Rolex was comparatively late to the game with their first aviation-themed watches coming in 1955 with the original GMT-Master. Watch lovers know the story of the GMT-Master well as Rolex worked closely with the commercial airline Pan Am (Pan American World Airways) to create what their pilots needed. In many ways Rolex worked off of a successful formula. In fact, if you've ever wondered why so many Rolex Oyster Professional watches look similar, it is because Rolex did not try to reinvent the wheel with each new timepiece, but rather add additional or different features to their previous generation wheel.
SM: So far I do not possess one. Right now I'm happily sporting our Tourbillon Earth and building my collection of Armin Stroms. I believe part of the passion of the watch industry is to constantly seek new innovations and designs.
The funny thing is how different people are attracted to the brand. I don't know anyone who dislikes A. Lange & Sohne, but everyone has their own relationship with it. For instance some people have a particular piece they fawn over and consider a real grail watch. Perhaps your dream timepiece is a Datrograph Up/Down such as this or maybe a Lange 1. Other people however don't have any particular Lange watch they are currently pining for, but simply have an immense level of respect for the brand. In understanding the appeal of A. Lange & Sohne, I think it is more valuable to focus on this latter idea - that people identify and respect the brand's values as a watchmaker.
It all starts with Vacheron Constantin's in-house made caliber 2260 (which is the 2260 SQ in the Openworked version). This is a fantastic movement that is both beautiful and prestigious, as well as rather convenient to live with. If you must have a tourbillon, you may as well have one with a long power reserve (and indicator to show it). How long is the power reserve? Well, the name of the watch should make that rather obvious. The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14 Day Tourbillon has a full fortnight of power reserve, which is about 336 hours. I do hope it has solid accuracy throughout most of that time. In fact, this is perhaps the longest power reserve tourbillon-based watch with a single mainspring barrel.
My background is actually in Fine Art, so the creativity of the watches really struck a chord with me, and seeing the variety of materials and techniques used to make these beautiful objects opened up a whole world of possibilities.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you and what is your relationship to the watch industry?
So as a dive watch fan, I am drawn to watches like the PAM569 given its underwater looks and clean, legible dial. To better understand the PAM569, it is important to look at watches such as the Panerai Luminor Submersible 1950 3 Days Automatic Titanio PAM305 and the original Luminor Submersible PAM025. The PAM569 borrows the dial texture from the latter, and the overall design of the former. What makes the PAM569 different than the PAM305 is the left-handed orientation of the crown as well as the coloring of the luminant (and dial texture).
Lot 13: Girard Perregaux Bi-Axial Tourbillon no.6. The reference number is 99810, and the estimated date of production was 2000. The calibre is GPE 0201. It features two golden bridges, and has a current retail price of 7,000.00. The estimated price is 180,000 Euros (8,421 USD) and the starting price is 90,000 Euros (4,210).
It is widely communicated – and hence generally accepted – that complete vertical integration (i.e., producing everything in-house) is superior to other manufacturing methods. In some cases, that is actually true, and we have seen that work out beautifully for some brands. However, when it comes to some truly high-end watches with extraordinary technological solutions, produced in relatively limited runs, investing in having specially designed cases, movement parts, dials and everything else made in-house is practically impossible. Instead, what most of these brands will do is work with some of the best specialized suppliers in Switzerland.
Years ago when I first got into timepieces I stumbled upon a previous generation Blancpain Fifty Fathoms watch and fell in love it with. It remained an idle love for quite a while and eventually Blancpain decided to release a brand new version of its base Fifty Fathoms Automatique which has remained the cornerstone of its sporty dive watch collection ever since. I now have the pleasure of offering a hands-on review of a deliciously designed Swiss diver with a great design, great character, and matching "great" price.
I’ll try to write a postscript to this article after the close of the auction, and report the outcome and my thoughts about how it played out.
We are now into the last month of year and this means Christmas is just around the corner. Therefore, to get into the mood and help plan your Christmas shopping, we will be taking a look at a couple of gift guides and wish lists. In addition, we also review new watches from Arnold & Son, Omega and Zenith. Next, we learn more about the history of ETA and why it is so important to Swiss watchmaking. Finally, we pay a visit to UK's premier watch exhibition, Salon QP.
Jordan K. from Illinois, USA asks:
As we wind down to the end of December and of the year, we check out a couple of new watches: A. Lange & Söhne’s new Lange 1 Moon Phase watch; L. Leroy’s Osmior Tourbillon Regulateur Automatique; and Shinola’s charming 47mm Runwell. We also speak to Montblanc’s new CEO, Jerome Lambert, and also debate upon IWC’s brand direction and find out how you can keep your watches clean.
There are very few actual watchmakers left in England producing timepieces (like Roger Smith), even though it is coming back (a bit). Most watches of this ilk are produced in Switzerland, and Arnold & Son is, unsurprisingly, one of them. In fact, Arnold & Son is a sort of extension of the La Joux-Perret movement manufacturer. Given that internal expertise and capability, Arnold & Son is able to produce such a wealth of interesting and complicated in-house movements. So why they focus so much on the English thing is strange to me. It is not enough to be inspired but a great English watchmaker but be resolutely Swiss?
Total diameter 37.20 mm
Number of jewels 25
Power reserve approx. 46 hours
Frequency 28'800 A/h
Chronometer certified (COSC)