Starting and stopping activities is a couple clicks away. Once started, each activity comes preloaded with a series of customizable data pages that constantly, in real time, feed the data nerd like myself. Of course, this assumes you have already paired the Garmin Fenix 2 with the Garmin ANT+ HRM Run heart rate strap (for running, hiking) and with the bicycle cadence or power meter ANT+ sensors. All these are an extra or add-ons, except for the power meters, which tend to be in the 00+ mark. Yup, being a data junky is expensive.
On the the new-for-2015 Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed watches (a really handsome collection, by the way), the Montblanc e-Strap feels natural and, at the least, interesting. I still have to experience wearing a functional model, but if what Mr. Lambert says comes to pass, I won't have to wait long before that happens. Of course, the Montblanc e-Strap will connect via Bluetooth to a companion/host smartphone, to be operated via a dedicated app.
Turning the watch around, we are greeted by an unusually shaped sapphire case back that provides an open view at the PF111 movement. The in-house caliber, unfortunately, does not give away any of the secrets of the pantograph mechanism. What you get instead is not a fancy arrangement of individual cocks (yes, those), but three larger bridges with curvy sides, covering up most of the going train and the two, series-coupled barrels which provide a total of 192 hours (8 days) of power reserve – which, by the way, you can keep track of on the power reserve display on the dial.
The testing is done by Rolex's specially programmed high-technology equipment and an exclusive methodology that simulates the conditions in which a watch is actually worn. That likely includes the simulation of how the watch takes up countless different positions when worn on the wrist every day, how it is subjected to sudden moves, and also probably of how the watches remain stationary for 8-10 hours each day, when they are not worn.
That is actually an interesting subject - Omega is a really diverse brand and in many instances has different people who like them for different reasons. Some people love Omega for its De Ville and Constellation watches, without any interest in Speedmaster or Seamaster - and of course just the opposite is often true. I don't know that I've met any hardcore Omega lovers that love everything Omega does today - which adds an interesting dimension to the brand's persona. It just proves that Omega is aiming to appeal to many people who themselves are often diverse from one another.
The Sedna Black adds some extra pop to the dark looks using 18k Sedna Gold components and two small, but noticeable splashes of red. Specifically, the bezel is now in brushed 18k Sedna Gold with a matt ceramic ring inlay and matt chromium nitride tachymeter scale, while the hands and applied indexes are also in Sedna Gold. This proprietary gold alloy of palladium, copper, and at least 75% of gold, is proprietary to Omega: Sedna Gold was specially developed in an attempt to make normal red gold more durable and hence more beautiful in the long run.
On the wrist, the F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel is a handsome 42mm wide - which is my preferred size for a watch like this. Actually, there will also be a 40mm wide version. This is one of those instances where you can get the same F.P. Journe watch in a 40mm or 42mm wide size. The case is also quite thin for an automatic perpetual calendar, at just 10.8mm thick. At launch, the F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel will be available in either 18k red gold or 950 platinum, and probably stay that way, though I have a feeling F.P. Journe might mix it up a bit with additional dial styles in the future. Since the 2013 debut of the perpetual calendar watches, the company has developed some interesting new dial production techniques which F.P. Journe has been slowly integrating into more and more of their models - even existing ones. That means F.P. Journe's first obligation is to produce the F.P. Journe Quantième Perpétuel models promised in 2013 and then flesh out the collection a bit more with additional dials. So we will see how that goes. I have a feeling this collection is going to be quite popular, so some variety will be merited.
At 45mm wide and 15.1mm thick, the white gold case carries some 21st century heft, with the movement ticking away at a very traditional 2.5 Hertz or 18,000 vibrations per hour. The interesting bit is that while the construction started in 2012-2013, the only piece to have been made thus far still lacks most of the intricate decoration it absolutely has to showcase. Planning, designing, and then manufacturing the case as well as the movement components is, of course, a demanding task and one that allows for no mistakes. However, what really sets independent watchmaking – and more importantly, haute horlogerie – apart from other branches of the industry has to be the quality of finishing.
ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?
To give you an idea of how bright it is, when we finally got to see these pieces on the afternoon of our very last full day at Baselworld 2015, the three of us – James Stacey, Ariel and myself – just couldn't stop charging the lume and taking pictures in what was an improvised tent made up from catalogues and whatever else we could find laying around. As we were oohing-and-aahing, Stepan just quietly smiled and endured what must have been one of the most enthusiastic (childish? – maybe) reactions to his latest creations. We found it extremely difficult to put these down (let alone hand them back to their maker) and stop admiring the exciting vibrance of the new Sarpaneva Korona K0 Northern Lights.
As an amateur triathlete, I have been using Garmin watches for the past 10 years now, and the latest model I had a chance to test is the Garmin Fenix 2. My addiction to the sport reached a new high last year, when I completed my first full Ironman, that's 2.4 miles swimming, 112 miles cycling, followed by 26.2 miles running (a full marathon).
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