These seemingly waving "lines" which connect the two furthest points of the frame are the blades and their sole duty is to lend the pivoting motion of the pallet fork the exact same momentum, time after time, 6 times a second, every second of every hour of every day. The brand's video demonstration of last year still applies and beautifully illustrates the snapping motion of the blades.
In addition to the new Steel model watch, Pebble is introducing a Pebble appstore. The appstore has six categories of apps that include Daily, Tools & Utilities, Remotes, Notifications, Fitness, and Games. Daily apps include quick access to news, stocks, weather, and the sort of things you'd want to check frequently. Remotes control home appliances, car door locks, cameras and more. There's a fitness category, utilities that include conversion apps, games, and notification apps that push customized notifications straight from apps and web services to the watch. Overall it looks like people with a Pebble have a lot more reason to play with and rely on their smartwatch than those with pieces from competitor brands.
Elegance and design don't have to be expensive. This is the Pebble reference P04, from new Danish brand Bulbul. Founder Jacob Juul worked with KiBiSi and Mega Design to produce a finely made quartz watch that was inspired by the shapes of pebbles on a beach. The design is two years' work, which Jacob started after visiting Baselworld in 2011. He calls the Pebble "...classic Scandinavian design with a little twist."
Sporting a price tag of ,500, the DSTB will be limited to just 50 units and I would wager that such a beautiful execution of a rather esoteric complication will make the DSTB quite popular with collectors and Arnold & Son fans alike. arnoldandson.com
I travel quite a bit and one thing that I have noticed a lot lately is Seiko Astron advertising in airports. That makes sense given that in some regards Seiko has released the perfect travel watch. A timepiece that can automatically connect to global positioning satellites to update the time and location of the watch is a rather remarkable tool for the frequent and busy traveler. Now, despite our suggestions to Seiko that we get one of these to test during our travels, aBlogtoWatch hasn't received one yet to test out. Though, I believe that will change in the near future. I merely state this to indicate that we haven't actually be able to test whether or not the modern Astron is the perfect travel watch, but it has the potential to be.
The dial is semi-skeletonized and offers a view of a portion of the underlying movement while still featuring Zenith's signature three color Striking 10th sub dials. Offering a total measure of sixty minutes, the central seconds display offers 1/10th of a second resolution with full seconds shown on the blue sub dial. There is also a very cool date display at six showing the date via cut-out numerals with a red background. The same red is seen on the dial peripheral and the central 1/10th seconds hand with its Zenith star counterbalance. Great dial design at work here. Lots of detail and eye-catching elements without sacrificing the legibility of the time display or chronograph measure.
We also hear Apple is experimenting with curved glass in reports from the New York Times and Bloomberg, chances are that they will be using sapphire crystals (screens) just like high-end timepieces do. The goal of course are durable, beautiful iWatches that don't break as easily as a dropped iPhone will. We even discussed how the iPhone 5 took cues from luxury watches here.
We've speculated a lot about the function of the left-hand "crown" on the opposite side of the case. It first looked like a helium escape valve and it also looked somewhat like a locking system for the SafeDive rotating bezel. While it isn't actually something one can operate, it is related to the bezel system. Apparently there is some gearing in there, and the small holes are to allow water to escape after the watch has been submerged in water. As an legit diver, the Aquatimer Automatic should perform well if called upon for a dive. The case is water resistant to 300 meters and the dial is very legible. In fact, most all of the Aquatimer models this year make good actual dive watches though some might prove too precious to beat around. These great-feeling steel tool watches remind you that they are ready for action while in many ways also being simple, casual timepieces. On a bracelet the Aquatimer Automatic with the black dial could easily be a watch worn with a suit.
Still measuring 41 mm wide, the new blue Black Bay further differentiates itself from the 2012 model with a dial design that drops the gold for silver-style white metal surrounds and matte black base (see photo below). As much as we were fans of the gilt markers and slightly brownish hue of the dial for the 2012 model, the 2014 model looks great and actually steps a bit into to Pelagos territory, despite the much more classic aesthetic of the heritage models.
Konstantin Chaykin has a legitimate manufacture, and is the only high-end watchmaker in Russia at this time. Though there are a few little guys here and there and some people working on new brands. What is really interesting to me is that even within his home country he is controversial. That is really strange, and I am not sure I totally understand why. There is one very important detail I need to mention that I don't think people are totally clear on. Konstantin Chaykin buys zero parts from Switzerland. Most high-end watchmakers around the world (not all) still often buy at least a few parts from Switzerland. These are usually hard to make movement parts such as hairsprings. Konstantin Chaykin gets their hairsprings from Saint Petersburg-based Raketa.
JM: Yes. By the early 2000s, I considered buying the Reverso, but Jaeger discontinued the color I was fond of, which was rose gold with a black face. After that time, the Reverso went on steroid and it doubled in size, becoming a travesty of the original design intent. Maybe at some point I will return to it, that first love.
Earlier in 2013, MB&F announced its first non-watch item, the MusicMachine produced in collaboration with the last remaining music box maker in Switzerland, Reuge. Anyone who has been around the watch circuit knows about Reuge because their products often appear at watch trade shows and in some high-end watch stores. Together with Reuge, MB&F released a space-themed music box (without the actual box) that played such classic romantic songs such as the theme from Star Wars (by John Williams) and Smoke on the Water (by Deep Purple). I know I get teary-eyed with nostalgia when I hear those.
The day was spent watching warm-up dives from sunny deck of the SS "Is Mike Gonna' Hit That Other Boat?" or the refreshing waters of the surrounding lake. From the surface of the water the divers appear suicidal, and later when I stood on the same platform, the impression was all but confirmed. You could jump, said that little voice in my head. While the structure of diving may be simple, the sport is fairly complex. Red Bull takes a sport that the Olympics operates at 33 feet and pushes it to a max of 92 feet (66 feet for the women). They have taken a construct that we all understand and applied the typical Red Bull philosophy of identifying the edge of the sport's possibility and then collecting athletes willing to leap into the unknown.
How does this translate to their watches? That is a good question. Buccellati has four manufacturing facilities in Milan, Bologna, Como, and outside of Italy, there is a location in Chiasso, Switzerland. Of course, this latter place is where Buccellati watches are made. Even though Buccellati watches do not contain in-house movements, they are produced by Buccellati themselves.
A little history first. The modern A. Lange & Sohne brand as we know it returned to the world in 1994 after a several decade hiatus thanks to communism coming to the eastern part of Germany. The highest-end highlight of their debut collection was the limited edition Tourbillon Pour le Merite reference 701.005. Only 50 pieces were produced in platinum from about 1994 to 1998 and it had a price of about 0,000 when new. Lange is one of those few modern brands whose products can actually appreciate in value during the lifetime of the owner. So if you wanted to get a Tourbillon Pour le Merite today it would certainly cost you a lot more than 0,000.
Christopher Ward, of course, works with some of Switzerland's best watch industry suppliers in getting the parts for the movement, but they also work with "alternative" suppliers, such as companies that produce parts for the medical device industry. Of course, a legitimate question is whether or not the SH21 can be defined as "in-house made," since many of its parts are produced by suppliers and then assembled under Christoper Ward's control. That is a good question and is an added element on top of "in-house designed and assembled." The basic notion is this: the investment to acquire the machinery and talent to produce parts right off the bat makes little sense, and most brands work with suppliers to get parts for their movements - just to varying degrees. I wouldn't focus on whether or not Christopher Ward actually currently owns the machines that produce each component, but rather that the movement is designed by them and assembled under their quality control guidelines in-house. I will also add that according to Christopher Ward, the SH21 movement is 100% Swiss Made.
Do you know why there was such rapid expansion and growth of the luxury industry in China over the last few years? Because luxury brands more or less started from nothing there. Take a place as large as China, with as many people, and grow a market. The result will of course look amazing. So China was to be the golden land of opportunity for luxury watch makers because of massive amounts of money, especially new money, and a culture that was uniquely receptive to the "good word of Swiss watches." With an almost religious fervor, many Chinese clients appreciate the values and status associated with owning a fine timepiece. The problem is that with legal and political limitations of "high-end gifting" and stabilizing business growth, the Chinese markets are "maturing." That translates into a situation where luxury watch brands aren't seeing the double digit growth numbers they were hoping for.
My First Grail Watch: Jerome Mage
My First Grail Watch
10 Commentsby Patrick Kansa
My First Grail Watch: Jerome Mage
Omega fans know that the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is built on the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph that was debuted just a few years ago as the most modern Speedmaster watch ever. We offered a full aBlogtoWatch review on the Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph here so that you can better understand it. Though we will go over it again briefly right now. The famed Speedmaster collection gained world fame in the late 1960s for being on the wrists of the Apollo 11 astronauts when they traveled to the moon. Since then Omega has left the collection relatively classic looking, but has updated it over the years. Nevertheless, the classic "Moonwatch" has always continued to be in production.