I've long since been a fan of Montblanc timepieces, and in the world of watches that are associated with larger brand names, Montblanc is still unique. Owned by Richemont, they have become a sort of analog to Cartier (also owned by Richemont) in that as a company, they are highly diversified in their products. Not only does Montblanc offer items from pens to fragrances, their watch collection is equally diversified. You can spend from about ,000 to almost a million dollars on a Montblanc branded timepiece. The company even has multiple manufacturing locations, and different levels of in-house made movements. For example, you can get "good" in-house made Montblanc movements produced at their manufacture in Le Locle, Switzerland, or opt for something much more exclusive and high-end, produced at their Montblanc Villeret facility that used to be the watch brand Minerva.Read more ›
Prior to SIHH 2014 I previewed the Parmigiani Bugatti Aerolithe Flyback Chronograph watch. In discussing Parmigiani's latest Bugatti partnership timepiece I was overall impressed with the design and features that were remarkably sober and blended a nice masculine design with a successful combination of both Parmigiani and Bugatti brand DNA. Now that I've had some hands-on time with the piece I have to say that this is one of my all-time favorite Parmigiani timepieces.
In a typical watch industry travel container, used to carry the most precious cargo, Journe reveals his original pocket watch creation to me. It is in a transparent plastic case held in relative stasis by two tautly pulled pieces of plastic shrink wrap. As far as pocket watches go, it is rather large and instantly you can see the familial resemblance between the two pieces. The dial is simple with two overlapping dials for the time and a subsidiary seconds dial. The markers are printed on an off-white face flanked by two screws and just a little bit of dial text. The case uses two metals with the bezel and case back ring being in 18k rose gold, while the rest of the case is in 950 sterling silver and thoroughly machine guilloche engraved. Both the wrist and pocket watch even have hunter-style opening case backs.
Where the original Speedmaster Mark II featured Omega's 861 hand wound mechanical movement, the new Mark II is powered by Omega's 3330 Co-Axial automatic chronograph movement. The column wheel-equipped 3330 is similar to the Longines L688 but boasts Omega's Co-Axial escapement as well as their Si14 silicon balance spring. This automatic chronograph movement places the 30-minute scale at three, the 12-hour scale and date at six and the running seconds at nine.
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In 1969 Omega introduced the Speedmaster Mark (Mk) II as an updated version of the outgoing Speedmaster. It happened to be in the same year that Omega also had a few of its older generation Speedmasters make their way to the moon in the NASA Apollo 11 mission, but that of course is another story. With a newly formed case that would become an iconic symbol of the brand as well as the era, the Omega Speedmaster Mark II will be re-introduced by Omega this year in 2014 with a modern movement but a design that is very true to the original. We even have the price below - which is lucky given how early this is being announced.Read more ›
I've always gotten a kick out of the "digital" style font of the date. In the past, I commented that it was a nice little connection between old and new technology. I still think it works here. I don't, however, think the hands require any skeletonization. While the dial is pretty easy to read, there is only lume on the tips of the hands, and I think bolder hands would help improve the dial. See, for example, the hands on the Blancpain Fifty Fathoms (which would be ideal here, given their similarity).
I happen to love watches like this. Take a little inspiration from antiquity, mix in traditional horology and add some modern design. Before you know it, you have some totally interesting and wild timepiece that does not fit into any particular box. This is the 2013 limited edition Hublot Antikythera SunMoon watch. Part calendar watch, part astronomical watch, this is horological obsession at its best.
Earlier in 2014 we showed you the newest creation by Breva, their Genie 02 Altimeter watch with a hands-on look. It followed up the Genie 01 watches from 2013 that included a barometer. For Baselworld 2014, Breva is adding an additional version of the Genie 02 with the Genie 02 Air produced in a titanium case that has been coated in black and bears slightly different dial and calibration.Read more ›
Eleven James CEO Randy Brandoff came up with this idea long before he left NetJets as its Chief Marketing Officer. Eight years ago, he thought about "luxury collaborative consumption" or "an alternative to outright ownership," because he saw Marquis Jet and NetJets give broad access to all the people who wanted to partake, without writing a check for million for a Learjet. Lucia Reisch, a professor of consumer issues at the Copenhagen Business School was recently quoted saying: "Everything that has to do with collaborative consumption is absolutely on the rise." In 2010 the author Rachel Botsman wrote the book "What's Mine Is Yours: the Rise of Collaborative Consumption." Clearly Randy's vision is a global trend and now the concept is being applied to timepieces.
What I think strikes a chord for me in watches such as this is that they respect the long traditional of watchmaking that preceded them but have no interest in directly drawing inspiration from the past. I typically know something of that nature is about to be claimed when I start reading a press release only to embark on a curated history lesson of a person or product from the 18th or 19th century that ends up being only tangentially related to the new product a brand claimed in its honor. Cartier doesn't do that. Rather they start by talking about exactly what the watches do, with minimal BS, and in a clear language. In other words, they aren't hiding mundane details with pretty words.
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To do this we attempted to upgrade the look and feel of aBlogtoWatch, borrowing from elements that we've long appreciated in places such as quality print magazines - which have been able to emphasize a lot more creativity being static versus dynamic as most websites tend to be. We hope that the experience of reading articles on aBlogtoWatch will be as good as the articles themselves.
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The birth - or occasional rebirth - of a company is always a noteworthy phenomenon in the galaxy of watch making. It is so because it either grants us the chance to follow the formation of a new star that will shine on for decades or even centuries to come or the sight of a falling star, something that only temporarily existed and barely left anything significant behind. What we have now is the rare opportunity to take a closer look at the earliest stages of a watch brand's revival as I was among those invited by Anonimo to visit them in the beautiful Italian town of Florence. We gathered to discover and to discuss their plans for the future and also to see where and how they will have their trademark brass cases manufactured.Read more ›
Getting back to the watch, the 10 Year Anniversary Tourbillon is different from the Anniversary Tourbillon in two main ways. First, the dial has different colors. While the Anniversary Tourbillon from last year was meant to be a close emulation of his original pocket watch, this new model extends the design a bit. Thus, the dial is now in two colors, being black and white, with the “upside down” figure eight of the time display rendered in black. It looks quite cool and the contrasting elements arguably make for a better looking wrist watch than the cream colored dial. This black and white tuxedo look is pretty handsome, actually.
The Motorola Moto360 Smartwatch is going to be released sometime during the summer of 2014, with rumors stating July as the most likely time for its premier, and we are looking forward to seeing – and testing! – what the final user interface is going to be like. motorola.com
If there was ever one quartz watch that I have lusted for, it is the Seiko’s new Astron GPS Solar watches. As its name suggests, these watches rely on GPS signals to determine their location and are then able to sync with them so that you can have the precise time no matter where you are. It really is the ultimate traveller’s watch and we just had a hands-on session with the new 2013 models.Read more ›
I don't know about you, but for me, that makes for a nice list in a watch not only worth taking a strong look at, but also for something you'll be wearing on a regular basis. Let's face it, when it comes to convenience you want a perpetual calendar with automatic winding and a long power reserve. If the watch accidentally winds down, resetting everything is a pain. That is when you need to open up one of those moon phase websites and start counting and seeing if the moon phase indicator window matches the graphic on your screen.
Several years ago the mandate at Tudor was "up your game boys, Rolex wants to offer the world's best watch from about ,000-,000" (which of course is just under the starting price of a new Rolex.) So the historic brand Tudor was re-shaped and refocused into what is perhaps the best value in Swiss watches today, given what you get in regard to style and quality. The Ranger is a new three-hand watch that in my opinion is a less expensive Rolex Explorer I, but that is in many ways more appealing. It is a military style field watch with a slick design, awesomely made 42mm wide case and a dial that is both legible and highly attractive. Tudor offers the Ranger both on a steel metal bracelet and range of strap options including this fabric camo strap. With a vintage inspired design and tool-like feel, there is almost nothing better for the money. The Tudor Ranger starts at ,825.Read more ›
Magnetic fields are all around us, but most are too weak to really interfere with your mechanical watch. The real issue is that if they do, they can cause a lot of problems and force your watch to be serviced for demagnetization by a watchmaker.
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The Margot is Christophe Claret's first watch ever intended for women, and we have to admit that it is rather imaginative. The maker of extremely high-end complicated men's watches wanted to create something unique for females, so he made a watch with a poetic complication very similar in theme to what a brand like Van Cleef & Arpels would create. Though I had to say that only an independent watchmaker such as Christophe Claret would have the mind and motivation to take a concept such as this so far. The complication in the Margot watch is a simple game of chance, and the irony is that by mere having the watch in her possession, the owner knows the answer to its question already.
Allow us to take this opportunity to not just review a unique version of the TAG Heuer Monaco, but also to review the collection as a whole. The Monaco is one of TAG Heuer's most famous watch families, sporting a cushion/square case which was originally debuted in 1969 - an important year for watch making, and an important year for Heuer. The Monaco watch gained fame when actor and driver Steven McQueen wore one in the 1970 race movie Le Mans. More recently, the Monaco was very prominently featured in the television show Breaking Bad. The watch was worn by the lead character Walter White (played by Bryan Cranston) in the last two seasons of the show.
This year Tissot will release three versions of the Seastar 1000 Powermatic Diver. They include the Seastar with a black dial and bezel with blue trim, the black dial with red bezel, and the matching blue dial with blue bezel. The watches are available either on the steel metal bracelet or the branded and fitted rubber strap.Read more ›