While you can get a Navitimer in 18k red gold (including the new Breitling Navitimer GMT as a limited edition ref. RB044121|BD30|441X|R20BA.1), for me, this is a watch meant to be owned in Breitling's highly polished steel case. Few Swiss brands today are as dedicated to the iconic and timeless appeal of a well-polished case. Though you can opt for plenty of other Breitling models in brushed cases, which will be a bit more "stealthy" in appearance.
The Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon is water resistant to 30 meters and presented on a black, full-grain, hand-stitched alligator strap and secured to the wrist via a folding clasp in white gold. Limited to 10 pieces, price will be somewhere around 0,000. girard-perregaux.com
Admittedly, it is a little busy looking, but Panerai has done a good job of fitting all the complications on the dial. The circular indication of the months is particularly clever, but a part of it is cut off because of the date window. Also, since its unusual for months to be displayed in this fashion, reading it will take some getting used to. If you think that regular Panerais have dials that are too plain-looking, this one is for you.
ABTW: Do you still have it? Or have you moved on to something else?
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YES4005 GO DANCE
Model: New Irony Alu Big
Dial: Sun-brushed silver dial with white designs, date window between 4 and 5 o’clock
Case: Aluminum with opaque white plastic insert and white crown
Bracelet: Gray and white silicone
Mike Vogard (who started Vogad, of course) had an interesting idea to create a travel watch that allows the wearer to change the timezones by turning only the bezel. The system, which is a few years old now, is still quite cool and makes for a very pleasing, albeit simple, travel timepiece. To adjust the timezone, you must first fold down the latch-style section on the side of the case which unlocks the bezel, allowing it to turn.
The metallic sunburst finished "Sunstar" or "Blackstar" deep gray dials of the Alpina Strartimer Pilot Automatics are the best Alpina has to offer, and they come in a few hues, as well as with a brushed steel or PVD black steel case. Inside the watches are Swiss Sellita automatics. I am not sure which, but likely an SW200 automatic for the three hands and perhaps an SW500 for the chronographs. The cases are further all water resistant to 100 meters and have sapphire crystal, as well display casebacks with a view of the movement and a custom Alpina automatic rotor.
On the wrist, the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX watch is rather comfortable. It isn't the thinnest watch in the world, but it isn't the thickest either. The polished and brushed steel case is attractive and the "triple anti-reflective coated" sapphire crystal offers a great and clean view to the dial. I've heard some people criticize the modern-looking case design, but I rather like it. While taste is always open to interpretation, comfort - like I said - isn't an issue with the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX. With 200 meters of water resistance, this isn't a professional diver, but the Victorinox Swiss Army INOX will withstand the abuse most people subject it to.
Zenith has produced something befitting its founder's genius, while staying true to the modern stylistic characteristics of the brand. The case silhouette of the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot watch is identifiably from the Zenith Academy, and the 'guiding star' logo is featured on the dial and prominently on the crown. You could, however, be forgiven for skipping over the necessary nods to the brand's identity in favor of ogling the complication that sets this wristwatch apart from the crowd. A kidney-shaped cutaway, spanning from 9 to 3 o'clock, reveals a finely wrought fusée and chain system.
A discreet Greubel Forsey watch? It can happen, and it did happen, with the new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Tourbillon Vision. This is the most basic looking Greubel Forsey timepiece ever, and it even comes with an actually totally round case without the brand’s typical “asymmetrique” bulges – well save for the tourbillon bubble on the caseback (which you can’t even actually feel while it is on the wrist). Of course, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision isn’t actually simple, as the dial uses a pantheon of complex construction techniques only a brand like Greubel Forsey would even consider putting so much effort into. The Vision uses a modified version of the existing 288-piece movement with an inclined tourbillon that rotates once each 24 seconds. The dial display only has the time with subsidiary seconds dial and a window shows a rather discreet view of the tourbillon which can be better viewed through the rear of the watch. At 43.5mm wide in 18k white gold for 2015, this limited edition of 22 pieces is a unique selection of design elements and masterful technique that shows the range collectors can expect from one of the most meticulous timepiece makers around. Price is north of 0,000. greubelforsey.com
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tradition Grand Complication
Robert Michelsen: I can‘t say exactly, since I was so young. When I was a kid I was always around my dad‘s and grandfather‘s shop, and I showed interest in watches and watchmaking quite early. Often I became totally hypnotized trying to fix and assemble old alarm clocks. I remember the thrilling satisfaction I got when I all by myself dis-assembled and assembled an old alarm clock from Poland and made it "tic-toc."
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The movements (said to be just 2.8mm thick) have a power reserve of 55 hours and operate at 18,000 bph. The dial offers a view of the nicely rendered tourbillon to the left, and a subsidiary dial for the hours and minutes to the right. Under the time display is the mainspring barrel which turns as you manually wind the watch via the crown.
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ABTW: This watch obviously occupied a lot of your focus, sight-unseen. Did you ever get it?
Originally, Abraham Louis Breguet created the tourbillon back in 1795 to counteract the effects of gravity on the escapement of the pocket watch while kept in a pocket. The theory was that the constant force of gravity pressed down on the regulating system of the movement and hampered its precision. Whether this is true or not, I don't know. In any case, it does not really matter as the actual original purpose of the tourbillon is redundant anyway. The tourbillon has rather become a testament to exemplary craftsmanship. The more complex the tourbillon, the more credibility is given to the company.
The Roger Dubuis Hommage Minute Repeater Tourbillon Automatic is just that, a vividly complicated mechanical movement that combines a tourbillon with a minute repeater and offers automatic winding. That latter element is quite interesting because the watch features "double micro-rotors." Wha...? That is right, rather than having a full rotor or one smaller micro-rotor, the Roger Dubuis Hommage Minute Repeater Tourbillon Automatic has two micro-rotors. Why? Well I am not totally sure and Roger Dubuis doesn't claim any particular utilitarian purpose to this. I think they just designed it that way because Roger Dubuis is a bit avant garde. Let's just say this isn't the first time I've seen double micro-rotors before... It does look unique to have two smaller rotors spinning on the back of a movement.
Practically, only half of the value of the movement is presently to be created in Switzerland, with no limitations being made to the origin of any and all other components, including crucially important parts such as the case, dial and hands. That changes if a manufacturer intends to mark not just the dial, but also the case as "Swiss Made": my understanding is that the case cannot be marked as such unless it meets similar requirements as the movement. With the new legislation – which now requires 60% of the cost of the entire watch to be incurred in Switzerland – a jump in the amount of Swiss made components finding their way into Swiss watches is therefore to be expected.
ABTW: What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
>Model: Waltham Original Antique dial
>Price: ,900 USD
>Would reviewer personally wear it: Yes
>Friend we'd recommend it to first: Historic American watch-lover looking for something really cool.
>Best characteristic of watch: Faithfully captures the spirit of a classic American pocket watch for today, and on the wrist.
>Worst characteristic of watch: Not all the dials match the case as well. People might complain about 44mm width, but with these movements, there isn't going to be anything smaller.