Porsche Design is upping the size of the P6530 watch to modern measures at 44mm wide. Of course the look of the watch is more or less the same, as is the dial. The watch is in titanium, like back when titanium was truly exotic. The cool smooth lines on the bead-blasted case remind me of how titanium is used best. These days we have techniques to polish up titanium and make it look all fancy-like. Little do most people know that you stare at polished titanium the wrong way and it scratches. Light and strong don't necessarily mean scratch resistant. A bead-blasted case will accept wear and tear more gracefully. The original watch that this Heritage P6530 is based on was actually the world's first titanium chronograph watch when it was released in 1980, and made by IWC.
You'll notice that each of the tubes (MB&F calls them "pods") has a crown at the end of it. One crown is used for winding the watch, and the other is used for adjusting the time. Based on what tube the crown is placed, it should be obvious which one does what. The Thunderbolt has just two functions. It tells the time via hours and minutes, and has a power reserve indicator. Worn on the wrist, the two dials should be angled to the wear, making the watch easy to read without having to turn the wrist. This watch feels more like an instrument than any previous MB&F watch. It is really a fantastic machine.
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SwissKubiK watch winders are all perfect squares (10cm x 10cm) for the single winders. Though the company does make units that are meant to wind multiple watches. They also offer grid-like units that allow for you to insert a number of winders. At the same time, the cubic nature of the winders makes them easy to be stacked neatly. SwissKubiK winders are made in Switzerland with all Swiss, and some French parts. My understanding is that the French parts mostly come from auto industry suppliers. This makes sense as the materials used in the winders has that high-grade feel.
All watch manufactures are split up into two main areas: production and assembly/finishing. Production is where the parts are actually made. This is where the mega bucks machines live and doing their work quietly. Amazing inventions, an assortment of modern wonders are programmed to produce the tiny plates, pinions, and gears (etc...) that go into each watch. Here engineers work, in calm, slightly chemically smelling chambers which are well lit and remarkably peaceful. Go to the other side of things and you'll find watchmakers in white robes sitting at high desks which operate similar to those from hundreds of years ago. A white environment is kept extremely clean. JCB points out how clean the manufacture is - clean enough to eat off of. It probably is. Watch manufactures are quite operations, and the workers peacefully go about the delicate process of making watches. I stroll by with camera in hand. Some appreciate the opportunity to be immortalized in watch related media with a loupe over their eye. Others shy away from the ordeal - as though they chose watch making to be introverted. The characters at Hublot (like most modern manufactures) are young and upbeat. Despite the slowness of making little machines, there is an energetic feeling in the halls.
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Inside these watches is the same quartz movement over and over, and the hands have that "drug-store, Chinese Timex rip-off" look of quality to them. The funniest part of all is that Ulli takes herself so seriously! I don't think anyone in her life has had the balls to tell her that this crap is embarrassingly bad. Ulli is probably a really nice person, but these watches just don't have what it takes to be taken seriously. So just laugh.
The dial design was curious to me at first, but proved highly enjoyable and useful. It is clearly styled after airplane cockpit instrumentation. Maybe more so that Bell & Ross aviation themed watches. Bremont founder restored vintage aircraft before making watches, so they know a thing or two about airplane instrument style. This includes the style of the hour and minute hands, the matte black metal dial, the hour indicators, and the damn good clarity. Though I have to say, the Bremont U-2 dial is probably a lot nicer in quality that most airplane cockpit instruments. Like the MB1 watches, the seconds hand has an emergency eject handle as the counterweight. This handle would rest between your legs in a Martin Baker ejection seat - ready to be pulled in the case of an emergency. It has no such function in the watch! Imagine an ejection lever that would eject the movement from the case. That would reach new heights of pointless complications.
How to resolve the problem? The brand could sell directly to consumers online and make a deal with existing retailers to cut them in. Alternatively the brand could directly sell online and have their own brand owned stores. That way there was no competition and you could have inventory placed all over the world. More important, you wouldn't have to split profits with retailers. The new model looks like it had no place for third-party authorized dealers. Ethically a lot of issues exist. You remove a brand from a store that is selling there and you can easily force a business to shut down and put people out of work and livelihoods. Regardless, business needs dictate actions. So you know what is being done.
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The 165 Years - Homage to F.A. Lange Collection includes three watches. They are not new watches per se, but done with unique treatment. Each on a new gold color called "honey gold." More on that in a sec. The watches each have guilloche engraved dials, which is rare for the brand these days. First is the Tourbograph "Pour le Merite," then the Lange 1 Tourbillon, and finally the quite new 1815 Moonphase watch.
- In 5N red gold, white gold or platinum with asymmetrical convex sapphire crystal, 11 watches each
- Transparent back with asymmetrical convex sapphire crystal
- Lateral window with shaped sapphire crystal
- Raised polished engraving of the name of the Invention on a hand-punched background
- Gold security screws
- Polished bezel and centre band with hand-finished straight graining
- Hand-engraved individual number
For 2010 the Dual Tow (DualTow, not ever sure about it being one or two words), gets the "NightEagle" treatment. A dark case, new style on the rubber belt indicators, and tinted sapphire bridges over the dial. Essentially, there are sapphire plates (cut to look like parts of a stealth aircraft) sandwiched over the movement and the top sapphire crystal. The bridges have a purplish tint to them, and cover most of the movement (that was exposed in the standard Dual Tow watch). Time is read in the open sections over the belts. You need to look a bit closely to read the time, bu you can understand it pretty easily as it is digital. The font on the rubber belts now looks like that on a digital LCD screen - part of Claret's vision of combing modern pieces of technology and convenience with luxury mechanical watch making.
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To my knowledge, back in 2008 Bulgari never issued a press release on its watches in Iron Man. How funny it is that even before Iron Man 2 has been released, Jaeger-LeCoultre is plugging the placement like they won a prize. I actually think it was clever of them to get their watches in the film as they are a good fit. Though I am totally confused as to why they chose the watches that they did. Jaeger-LeCoultre probably didn't select the specific watches to be used in the film. That is for the film's producer, costume people, and maybe even Robert Downey Dr. The brand just makes its pieces available.
Each watch has an interesting and often clean looking dial. The hands on each are quite easy to read as well, often due to high contrast. Without hour markers not all of the watches are a breeze to read, but these are more art type watches that serve to tell the time - and they look pretty cool while doing so. Liking the Volnatomic collection doesn't come naturally to everyone. Fans of the designs like the watches the say way you like a tattoo. You either just want one or you don't. It is sometimes hard to explain why. Yvan has a way of making things that look simple, but no one else has done it. While his creations don't emanate "complexity" they aren't obvious either.
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The "Max Bill watch" as it is known is one of the 20th Century's most famous watch designs. Clearly conceived by designer and architect Max Bill in Switzerland, the watch was a staple of goodness back when it was originally made in the 1960s. Since then you could buy versions of the watch in its pure form as made by German Junghans (who has many of their movements made by Seiko). For 2010 Junghans offers up a more modern, but still retro version of this retro classic. There are three versions of the watches and most exciting is their more modern dimensions (save for the still small manually wound version).
This Pathfinder is mid-line for Casio, lacking only the radio-set functionality of the more expensive versions. It still has solar power (which I consider an essential feature for an outdoor watch), alarms, countdown timer, world time, altimeter, barometer, compass, altimeter, thermometer, trend graphs and an EL backlight. The case is 50.7mm across at the widest point, 15.5mm thick and 65g on the plastic strap.
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The design of the case makes is such that you can only comfortably turn the bezel but twisting it from the sides. I believe that this is a security mechanism to prevent erroneous turning of the bezel. The bezel has a nice hint of gloss that contrasts with the matte dial, while the very slightly glossy yellow flange ring is an intermediate texture between the dial and the bezel.
Next is my favorite of the bunch, the Anonimo D-Date II (new style of the original D-Date watch). The watch is a bit smaller at 43mm wide and in black toned sand-blasted steel. The blackening process is not PVD, but uses something called Ox-Pro, as well as Drass. I honestly don't know enough about these exotic processes, but Ox-Pro is for making the steel black and Drass is supposed a process to make the sand-blasted steel highly anti-reflective and anti-corrosive. Then you have the polished and brushed 4N tone 18k gold (which it uses again on the crown a bit). Style here is a bit more classic Anonimo with the arrow style hour markers and the signature hands. Not to mention the four placed Arabic numeral hour markers. The watch is attached to a high quality Kodiak coated leather strap (for extreme salt water resistance). The watch is water resistant to 500 meters and I believe has a helium escape valve on the left side of the case. Inside the watch is a modified Swiss ETA 2834-2 automatic movement, that has the day and date moved to the top and bottom of the dial. A really nice clean military look with some added luxury and an attractive masculine look. Price is ,800.
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