ABTW: Did you ever get the Casio?
XN: My father did get it for me. It was not that expensive even for us.
Exisiting under the Girard-Perregaux brand, JeanRichard refreshed itself over the past few years coming down in price a bit thanks to using ETA, versus all in-house made movements. That doesn't mean that all JeanRichard watches have abandoned the JR1000 caliber collection of movements, which populated most of its timepieces.
So, what strikes you first with the watch? For me, it's how much dial you see. Or, more accurately, how little bezel there is. For me, when there isn't a functional bezel, I like to see as little metal as possible around the edge of a crystal - at least when it comes to non-sport watches. On the M29, even though the bezel is narrow, you've got two distinct surface finishes. The one that's on a plane with the crystal has a brushed finish, which keeps reflection down. The chamfered and vertical edges of it, however, are polished, allowing the watch to give flashes of light as you move your wrist.
The Swiss made Ronda quartz movement seems accurate. I’ve checked it against my radio-controlled clock over the last few days and there’s no loss or gain.
DLC-treated titanium, three-part
Diameter: 40.8 mm
Height: 11.1 mm
Curved sapphire crystal
See-through curved sapphire crystal case-back
Screw-in crown adorned with an “M”
Sure, uni-hand purists may cry foul, but that's not what I'd consider myself. When it comes to a watch, I prize readability and functionality first and foremost. If things can be wrapped up in a visually intriguing package, well then, all the better in my book. The MeisterSinger Salthora also apparently has an audible component to it's design as well. When the hour jumps, there's an audible click. Not having seen one in person, I can't speak as to how loud this is, but it's another interesting bit of utility - potentially allowing you to know the time without even looking at your wrist.
Bovet is a brand I always like to watch carefully because they tend to come up with truly interesting new products and often in a quirky way. What do I mean by quirky? Well let's take their high-end Dimier Recital collection. This year they released a total of four new Recital watches (often it is maybe just one). Those being the Recital 11, 12, 15, and 16. Why no 13 and 14? Well because according to Bovet those are unlucky numbers in one culture or another. Ok then... So, this is the Recital 12 and it uses a new movement concept. It also happens to be the thinnest Recital watch, being 9.10mm thick. Not "ultra-thin" but still really thin given most Bovet Dimier collection watches.
Speaking specifically of the Metro, the movement used is the DUW 4401 and, aside from its in-house assortment, it employs 23 jewels and has a 42 hour power reserve. The DUW 4401 is essentially an updated version of Nomos' Delta calibre, which is also hand-wound and features a power reserve indicator. Nomos has also created the DUW 4301, which does not have a date feature but is otherwise identical to the 4401. Nomos continues to be one of the single best value propositions for an in-house manufacture and, with the DUW 4000 series movements, they have claimed yet another piece of the production for their own.
It is 2014 and guess what, the people making smartwatches are about ready for them to become mainstream. MetaWatch is going down that road with a new line of "real people friendly" smartwatches known simply as the "Meta." The real question is whether mainstream consumers are ready for it too. 2013 was the year the smartwatch made headlines. We saw the ultra indie success of watches like the Pebble, and the big boys make a serious entrance into the smartwatch market with the Samsung Galaxy Gear and the Sony Smartwatch 2. If 2013 was the year the public became aware of the smartwatch, will 2014 be the year the public actually wants to wear them?
The relatively large minute/hour track around the outer edge certainly helps in this regard as well. What's more surprising (to the eye, at least) is when you notice that the track is actually off-center in the watch - which means the hands are off-center as well. Fortunately, these align to each other, so there's no weirdness there. It's just a crescent that's been added to the right side of the dial.
It is also worth pointing out that mechanical watches with depth gauges are extremely expensive. Look to IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, or Blancpain for a depth gauge-based diver (among the very few brands that even offer one) and you'll be in for sticker-shot. All for what essentially will be a back-up tool? Most people don't have the budget or stomach to dive with one of those. Oris divers are serious tool watches at heart to taking them into the depths should be no cause for alarm. Chunky and produced in steel, the thick 46mm wide case of the Aquis Depth Gauge feels anything but fragile.
Standing in the famed Audemars Piguet archive department, I am amazed to hear what a vintage pocket watch minute repeater sounds like. I’ve heard a few before, but in this quiet room the over 100-year-old grand complication chimes deeply and clearly. The advent of the wrist watch heralded an unprecedented era of mechanical miniaturization which paved the path for all the wrist watches we love today. Though something gets lost when moving from a pocket watch to something smaller and more compact. Pocket watches, for all intents and purposes, are poor replacements for wrist watches given modern considerations of practicality. They are comparatively very delicate and aren’t convenient to carry. Nevertheless, looking at some of the pocket watches Audemars Piguet produced with Philippe Dufour in the 1980s, I am reminded of how much artistry is contained in the larger palette of a pocket watch movement. On this particular visit I only saw one Dufour item produced with Audemars Piguet, but I recall seeing other ones in their museum in the past. It is clear why items such as these are so collectible, and why Audemars Piguet still produces a limited number of modern pocket watches for a niche audience who can greatly appreciate them.
It was in 1963 that Rolex launched the Oyster Cosmograph that would soon become the Rolex Oyster Cosmograph Daytona. Rolex had been producing chronograph models for at least 30 years at that point but this was their first real racing world-inspired chronograph watch. No one really knows where the term "Cosmograph" came from, though it is Rolex-speak for chronograph. I've actually asked Rolex this question myself and they more or less said that a Rolex chronograph watch should measure more than just the time so they needed a cool name to indicate such. I do admit that Cosmograph does have a pleasant sense of mystery to it.
You know what tastes better than chocolate? Luxury chocolate. Oh, we like our sweets dressed up, for sure. Hershey's? No way, give us something imported from France and tell us they ship regularly to the doors of presidents and prime ministers everywhere. So what is better than a brown watch? An over 0,000 "chocolate" watch from the secret watch workshops of Christophe Claret (imported from Switzerland!).
If we stopped there, we'd have a fairly complete (and accurate) record of the time we're moving through–but Glashütte Original didn't stop there. For this to truly be a perpetual calendar, you need to have some sort of accounting for (or indication of) leap years. For this widening view of time (every four years), we've got the simplest indicator. There's a small circle just below the logo at 12 o'clock that turns red when you're in a leap year. Simple, subtle, and an elegant solution.
Casio designed the Casio G-Shock GPW1000 to fit within the brand's growing collection of purely analog G-Shock watches. We don't get technical data on the case dimensions or all of the features, but a quick look at the dial makes it clear that the watch includes many of the features we have some to expect Casio's newer and more stylish G-Shock fair that does not use LCD screens. Though it is interesting that on the dial "GPS" stands for "Global Positioning System" (and not satellite).
Interestingly enough, the reason for brands to not want bronze in their permanent collections is the exact same reason why people do want bronze cased watches. Let me explain by giving you the primary reasons why collectors might be so tempted to fit this several millenia old, non-precious material into their collections. For one, bronze looks very cool in person and complements military and-or diving watches perfectly with its uneven finish and rugged, nautical aesthetics. Two, bronze, thanks to its special characteristics, develops a completely unique patina over the years. This aged look is unique to each case as its color and the extent to which it affects different parts of the case will depend on where, under what circumstances and for how long the watch has been worn.
Our favorite Belgian watch makers Ressence, captured the hearts and minds of watch lovers around the world with his liquid-filled Type 3 timepiece. A crownless case made mostly of sapphire crystal looks like nothing else on the market, and delivers elegantly bold looks and marvelous (yet unique) legibility. This is really a watch lover's watch and it is sure to be as rare as it is cool. Though it is unceremoniously expensive at ,000. Though for that exact price I am not sure what else I would get.
Rolex GMT-Master II Day/Night
The watch industry likes to help designate platinum watches by matching them with blue. Of course, that isn't to say all watches with blue accents have platinum cases, but the reciprocal is often true. The platinum Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph comes with a rather stunning metallic blue dial and deep midnight blue rubber strap. It is odd that I said that latter part so nonchalantly. 20 years ago you'd never see a rubber strap with a tourbillon, and no tourbillon watch would have been this sporty. Have we come that far?
Because this is the Turbine Pilot it of course has some pilot watch features. Perrelet has given the Turbine Pilot a rotating slide rule bezel along with separate crown to adjust it. This feature adds a sense of technical legitimacy to the overall design, and features yet another vestigial element that makes for a great sport watch feature that people like to pay extra for, but won't ever use.
Watch brands have also been asked to be more vertically integrated over the last several years. That means they are being asked to design, produce, distribute, and sell their products. That is actually entirely unfair. I firmly believe that there are companies that make things and companies that sell things, and it is rare that a company is good at doing both. Watch companies really need to focus on just making things, but market realities are forcing them to do so much more.
4. The Real Story Behind The Bremont Wright Flyer In-House Made BWC/01 "London" Watch Movement