While the boat has already proven a manufacturing success, the journey is really a symbolic denouement to the Plastiki’s birth. Proof that the concept works, and a way for David to enjoy the type of lifestyle he gravitates towards for at least another several months. The cheeky name of the Plastiki is in honor of the Kon-Tiki and its voyage from 1947 — Google that or David (as well as Adventure Ecology) for more information on them.
See Bell & Ross watches on Amazon here.
The watch don is friendly at his desk. His own office includes a conference table and toys. I recognize the wisdom of having company meetings in the room he feels most comfortable in, that is him. Soft in his tone and extremely congenial, my impressions of John all began before I met him. The watch industry is a small place, and its most important players are the subject of reputation and reference. Simonian is regarded as having an excellent eye for successful newcomers, as well being a businessman with enviable skills. Those unable to match his clever decision making and tactics are often most vocal about him. “Simonian is a shark, and the smartest person in the watch industry that I know of.”
It is true that Longio is efficient with parts, meaning that you'll see the same hands or cases on a number of models. I see it as economical experimentation. Unlike many boring euro-copycat Chinese watches, you see a distinct level of unique design in Longio pieces that still feel as though they fit in the watch industry. The Asamara watch certain conjures up this sentiment, as does the watch with the engraved dial, and the other roundish watch with the green numerals. Apologies for not having all the model names at my disposal.
One thing that Stefan Johansson really wants to focus on is customization. He wants to make you a watch that is totally for you. Right now you get some strap options (various leather straps with colored stitching in addition to the rubber), and some other choices. Right now most of these choices are more options than customization. You can however get your name placed on the caseback crystal, and the brand is actually open to special customization jobs. It just happens to be one of those services you need to specially as for.
The gray tones all over the watch add to the titanium feel, as well as function as Raymond Weil's hat thrown into the gray watch trend. The 46mm case is made from a few titanium pieces and has some interesting intended sides. Style is pretty much standard Nabucco with a few little changes here and there. The dial features three colors of gray. The hour indicators are SuperLumiNova anthracite, while the chronograph frame is a more cement colored gray, contrasting with the dustier toned dial. Raymond Weil gives the dial an interesting "step" texture that I like. The dial is OK, a bit busy, but still attractive. My main concern are the hands. They blend in with the dial too much. You can't tell in the marketing images, but they don't fare to well in all lighting situations. Raymond Weil should have done the hands in a much lighter tone to contrast with the gray. I bet yellow hands for the time and chronograph subdials would have been cool.
Getting a watch like this is about respecting the quality of the brand, the movement, the design, and of course the exclusivity. Greubel Forsey is first and foremost a luxury watch movement maker. Inside the 43mm wide watch is a complex manually wound mechanical movement comprised of 370 parts - each with a really nice level of polish and decoration. Movement has 72 hours of power reserve as well. A few sapphire exhibition windows around the case help you appreciate it. Having the tourbillon be inclined at 25 degrees makes it different, cool to look at, and might have some chronometric advantages to horizontally aligned ones. Don't miss the sapphire crystal segment of the watch dial itself over the tourbillon to help visualize the operation of the tourbillon better.
The dial also pops with detail, from the swirling guilloche to the individually cut and polished faceted hour markers.
It is a good thing that Bulgari kept the Gerald Genta name of the dial (and even indicated the in-house made automatic GG7722, aka 7722, movement). I don't think this dual branding on the dial approach is going to last forever, but at least in the short-term, both names will be there. Why? Because consumers are going to get very confused, and because the Gerald Genta name still is worth something to people - often more than the Bulgari name. In fact, I suspect the name is there to help add value to the watch - more so than it would have in consumers' mind than just the Bulgari label.
Finishing of the visible Hand-drawn file strokes, beveled and polished rims
Of Armenian descent, John grew up in Lebanon, moved to Switzerland, and then eventually to the US. The obvious analog is Nicolas Hayek, “ruler” of the Swatch Group who didn’t quite make it to the US from Switzerland, and is also from Lebanon. Simonian speaks several languages, but isn’t quite sure where he picked up English. Among them are Arabic, Armenian, Turkish, French, German (Swiss German as well), and a spattering of words and conversational skills in others as well. Learning this makes me jealous that I only know two languages. It seems that many successful business people are multi-tongued.
Welcome to new dive watch brand RedSea. Another Fan-diver brand. Meaning a couple of people who love watches - dive watches - decided they wanted a diver in "their image." So Red Sea was born, and if your tastes are similar to theirs, have they got a watch for you. There are two models, but they are basically the same watch with two dials. The Six Pounder is easily the most avant garde of the two. With its BRM watch style hands - you have an interesting use of borrowed aesthetic for a dive watch. The rear of the watches have a pirate style skull and crossed swords engraving that pretty much makes everything it is applied to a bit more bad ass. Do modern pirates have flags anymore? I wonder. I don't think they have ships they are super proud of anymore...
Wearing the U 1001 I feel pretty cool. I don't know if this is because I keep hearing the cool music that U-Boat has on their website and pondering the sophisticated marketing campaigns they employ, or if I am genuinely moved by their clever designs. It is funny, because no matter how many silly things I find in the watch, I still like it. Which goes back to my concept of it being like a muscle car. It is totally unwise for me to think about driving in stop and go California traffic in that dream '69 GTO Judge, but I think I would look pretty kick ass in the process.
MB&F wanted me to wear an Horological Machine # 3 watch to the Pebble Beach Concours de Elegance 2010, which I wrote about here. How could I keep from writing a full on review for aBlogtoRead? To many people the ability to tote around an MB&F is a dream. It represents the pinnacle in indulging a luxury lover's gadget fetish - to wear a highly complex, beautifully made creation which is a wearable statement of one's values and appreciation for the more avant garde fine things in life. It is a statement as much as it is a love of art. Max Busser has resolutely captured a niche section of the luxury wrist watch market, and offers no signs of letting go.
It is big and it goes down pretty deep. It is also the first real diver's watch from Corum that I can think of (aside from a few dive style Corum Bubble watches). This is the new for 2010 Admiral's Cup Deep Hull 48 watch from Corum, and it is rather interesting, though I have some thoughts on it overall. The Admiral's Cup line has been very good to the brand, and over the last few years Corum has been refining it a lot. More models, lots of variety, and a furtherance of making them look more manly as opposed to colorful (which was the classic look with all the colored flags). Today's Admiral's Cup watches share very little in common with the originals. Here, the flags are barely still there in monochromatic glory. The real standout features of an Admiral's Cup watch is its 12 sided case and bezel.