Why People Want A Rolex
New for 2013, our favorite Russian watch maker Konstantin Chaykin will release a rather amazing new timepiece called the Cinema. The piece is a poetic nod to the early era of film making and specifically honors the inventor of the zoopraxiscope, Eadweard Muybridge. The zoopraxiscope is credited as being probably the world's first movie projector, and was produced around 1879. Using a wheel with a series of pictures on it, the machine was able to project an animated image. This complication is actually built into the Cinema watch, being Konstantin Chaykin's very first attempt at such a feature, and the only one that we are aware of in a wrist watch.
Where Casio offers a range of outdoors watches in other timepiece collections, the G-Shock collection has become its urban jungle watch with a combination of durability, style, and functions such as a stopwatch (chronograph), calendar, world time, and backlight (among others) that makes sense in people's day-to-day lives. More recently G-Shock models have begun to borrow technology from Pro Trek models such as a compass or thermometer. Aside from Bluetooth phone connectivity, your humble G-Shock hasn't really gained any novel features for a long time, until now. Finally, you can blow in your watch and get your blood alcohol reading letting you know whether you should cab it or not.
John discusses a Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk watch he is reviewing and I discuss a Blancpain Fifty Fathoms that I am reviewing. Which is the better watch? Then we proceed to get into the dirty details of smartwatches and the potential failings of Bluetooth. Of course, Casio is about to come out with new Bluetooth watches that may just have us eating our words. Also, Rolex.
While it might be interesting to know the alignment of planets, it doesn't really do us any good above trivial knowledge. Planetarium watches are also notoriously difficult and complicated to adjust properly, and if your watch stops, chances are that you won't be qualified to reset all discs properly yourself. Because of this, most people with planetarium watches aren't even looking at anything accurate. Plus, even amateur astronomers would use more precise digital instruments to view this type of data if they really needed to know where to look for Saturn tonight.
We offered a detailed first look with a hands-on experience of the Heritage Chrono Blue during Baselworld 2013. In that prior post you can see what the watch looks like on the wrist with the provided blue and orange NATO-style strap. Yes, Tudor supplies both a steel metal bracelet and strap with each Heritage Chrono Blue. Tudor is a detail-oriented company (just like Rolex), and if there is anything positive to say about the Heritage Chrono Blue it is that Tudor really makes sure each angle of the watch looks and feels good. Detailing is meticulous and people familiar with watches will immediately notice the excellent use of materials.
In this special two part series, the history of Grand Seiko is explored, as well as the roots of its high-beat movements. Hopefully after reading this, you will gain a better understanding and appreciation of not just Grand Seiko watches, but Seiko, its parent company, as well.
While we are enduring fans of all things "dive + Oris", their racing-inspired watches have always been both a great deal and great looking. This new limited edition Calobra model for 2013 is a shining example of how Oris does motorsports-themed watches right. Oris isn't new to the racing watch game, and steadily offers new models each year. The sad thing about the Calobra is probably that it is limited given that this could easily be the base for a larger collection. Having said that, the Calobra is a revision of the standard Oris Artix GT Chronograph that offers much of the same appeal in a non-limited edition way.
It seems appropriate to start a review of a Lum-Tec with a picture of their namesake. Eight layers of luminous pigment, in blue and green; makes for a spectacular display at night, or even walking inside to a dark room. This is the LUM-TEC 300M-1, introduced in 2013 and available in 40 or 45mm versions, in either brushed stainless or PVD treatment.
ABTW: What was your first grail watch?
We recently took a hands-on look at the new and updated Girard-Perregax Sea Hawk watches. While that was a refresh of an existing model this new Chrono Hawk is something totally new. Well, sort of. Girard-Perregaux was once quite strong in sport watches, but seemed to focus more on classic-style watches the last few years. A new emphasis on Western markets such as Europe and the US has led them to once again focus on sport watches, which have typically been great with their name on it. With collections such as the famed Laureato no longer being made, the "Hawk" watches will be the brand's new sporty bread and butter. You can once again read where we debuted the new Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk & Sea Hawk watches here on aBlogtoWatch.
See K.T. from Singapore asks:
Thanks to our friends at IWC, I was fortunate to get my hands on one of the very first pieces available to review in the USA. As I attended events with it over the past few weeks, it received plenty of attention from fellow watch journos and enthusiasts alike. The design was universally praised– and most agreed that it was the highlight of the new Ingenieur collection. Although the price/movement debate came up frequently, most agreed that the value proposition weighed heavily in its favor. I know I don’t speak for just myself when I say we’d all love to see a version with an in-house movement in the near future, but are scared of what the price tag might look like on one. Right now this is the only “re-edition” 70’s Genta masterpiece available new for under (and in this case, well under) K, making it a real bargain.
Unique Swiss watch maker MCT is sort of back on the scene after being quiet for a few years. The brand's famous Sequential One timepiece was developed by movement designer Denis Giguet, who later left the brand. When I last spoke to him he told me that he would be working full time at Van Cleef & Arpels of all places. MCT was recently scooped up by a new guy I believe and has been trying to get it back on track. The first step is to revitalize the Sequential One with some design variations. Here are the two new MCT Sequential One S110 watches.
You have to wonder at the simultaneous launch of these two watches, one to be a gloriously innovative dead-end and the other to be the first wave of a horological revolution.
The first, and possibly most surprising, is the new ref 3239 Ingenieur Automatic which is built around a comparatively tiny 40mm platform. Most modern Ingenieurs are 46mm wide (and fairly tall) but this 40mm version returns to an old-school sweet spot and is a cuff-friendly 10mm thick. The underlying message here is that IWC wants to offer up some competition to the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and Patek Philippe Nautilus. As I've never really taken to the trend of large watches (over 44mm), I think the 3239 is a practical option that will adorn a more conservative wrist with a more subtle sort of luxury. The 3239 still rocks 40,000 amperes/meter magnetic protection, the Genta-designed five bolt bezel and the clear legibility of a watch with tool-ish roots. That said, the Ingenieur Automatic which is powered by the IWC cal 30110, features a very dressy dial design that can be had in black, or silver with hands and markers in either chrome or rose gold. The cal 30110 is an IWC modified ETA 2892 A2 automatic movement which, in its base form, can be found in hundreds of watches and is commonly used as a base for modified movements. The modern Ingenieur range has been comprised of larger watches with more boisterous designs, so it is interesting to see IWC downsize the case and fit a much more elegant and conservative dial design. One has to consider that the 3239 may be the direct result of the continued popularity of the Rolex Milgauss (also 40mm) and possibly a response to demand from customers for an Ingenieur which is closer to its roots.
Strap: Rolled-edge hand made black alligator leather strap
First, a small Basel recap: if you are interested in watch industry business then my report from Baselworld 2013 is simple. The watch industry has anticipated a slowdown in business and growth from China for the last few years and the projections are true. While Chinese money is still important, China isn’t exactly a growing market and many Chinese buyers are purchasing outside of China in places such as the US and Europe (where sometimes surprisingly, taxes on luxury goods are cheaper).
Roundup by Kenny Yeo
Summer may be over for all intents and purposes, but Nautica is looking to extend that season a little bit for you with their latest watch, the cryptically named NMX 1000. Name aside, this is a watch that will get attention, and looks to be a snap to read (not to mention measuring something via the bezel).
After a presentation highlighting JeanRichard’s new timepieces, examples of the 1681 and Terrascope collections made their way from table to table. Among the more striking pieces was the steel, cushion-shaped Terrascope, with a blue lacquered dial and steel bracelet. Its case, 44mm wide and reinforced by two lateral arms, is reminiscent of the Glashütte Original Seventies Panorama Date, which itself is evocative of the Patek Philippe Nautilus. Not all cushion-shaped cases are created equal, of course, but given the JeanRichard’s attainable price point, 42-hour power reserve and self-winding JR60 movement, it’s clear that Sowind is taking this relaunch as seriously as Captain Sully took the safe deliverance of his 155 passengers. As always, time will tell (pun intended) how the market takes to the new models — and the new face — of JeanRichard. Limited edition watch to come soon.