The ongoing stream of retro watch re-releases continues. The culprit this time is Eterna - the brand who makes all the Porsche Design watches (these days). Back with a vengeance, this watch is really suited to driving around in your DMC DeLorean. Now there is a item begging for a proper release! I heard that a company in Texas bought the rights to the DeLorean name. They make money refitting older ones to actually kick-ass levels (better than original even - in terms of performance, engine, etc...). Plus, they are supposedly working on a new model! Tell me that this new Porsche Design Heritage P6530 watch doesn't belong in bed with a DeLorean? A match made in heaven. I think we need more stainless steel cars without paint. I mean we have it on blenders and refrigerators, why not on cars again?
Over the dial is a domed sapphire crystal with a lot of AR coating on it. This makes the dial very easy to read - despite having such a domed crystal. Such doming can often lead to lots of glare and distortion - but that isn't the case here. The watch dial is very much an evolution of the MB1, with some added elements for the U-2's purpose. Like the plane, the purpose of the U-2 is a secret. No not really, but actual American U-2 pilots will be given special serious of the U-2 watch to wear. And there will be other models made available to the public.
The green, white, and red colors of the power reserve indicator disc are a subtle reminder that this new limited edition watch from Oris has something to do with Italy. The dive watch is actually made as a limited edition piece with the Col Moschin in mind. Col Moschin is the Italian special forces. The only one that they have I believe. They seem pretty bad-ass (duh), and are known for having a very arduous training regiment. Col Moschin is also known as the Italian 9th Parachute Assault Regiment (you can read more about them here). While most of the elements from the Oris Col Moschin limited edition watch are taken from other Oris dive models, there are a few unique elements that makes the watch worth looking at.
So what is this all about? Well the first planned watch from the new VicenTerra brand is the GMT-3. Large and tonneau cased, it will sport a steel case (not sure about the size) with a uniquely modified Swiss ETA 2892 automatic movement. The modifications will give it the time, retrograde date display, second time zone in GMT format, a day/night indication disc at the top of the dial, and a rotating globe that is meant to have the "lit" side of the Earth facing the dial. There are pushers all over the case to operate the various functions. Seems elegant enough given the good quality base movement.
Brands and retailers fought back. Not very well, but they fought. Brands pressured consumers not to buy online, and threatened to remove warranties on products not sold in the traditional manner through retailers. Retailers communicated the value of service, personal treatment, and after-sales support to consumers as a way of getting people to buy from them. Perhaps those promises would have been enough if they could deliver. Lowering profits meant lower wages, and watch sales people quality plummeted. There are still good watch stores out there, but for the most part, good ones are few and far between.
Is the Royal Oak Offshore the official watch for the l'Hydroptere relationship? Hardly, it is just their latest marine themed watch. I have confirmation that Audemars Piguet will not only release a l'Hydroptere limited edition watch, but it will be a very special one. As a bit of trivia aside, according to the team members who sail the ship, their dream features for a watch while sailing are that it should: be very light, have the time, a chronograph, a countdown timer, a tide chart, and a barometer with a history/log function. All easy to see at a glance. So someone get working on that. Maybe Audemars Piguet is as well!
While TechnoMarine hasn't really gone anywhere, they certainly didn't grow too much in popularity. For 2010 their idea is to change all that. Have they succeeded? Well they are off to a good start. They also have a killer advertising campaign and messaging plan that I think will be excellent for the brand. Just wait until you see their ads soon. For Perriard, the most important of the new collection is the new TechnoMarine Cruise Sport line. I initially wrote about it here on AskMen.com. This is the major mainstream collection that he is going to be focusing on. A 40mm wide and 45mm wide model selection with and without a chronograph. Priced at about 0 and under, this is a watch made for the masses.
In addition to the alligator printed leather strap with steel deployment clasp, the watch is available with a steel bracelet. The leather strap offers a bit more of that "authentic vintage' feel. The dial tones are white and metallic grays. Almost monochromatic save for the red tip of the world time hand. Note the tapered date window that is taken directly from vintage Timex watches. TX even tapers the font of the date on the disc to match the shape of the case - a welcome detail.
It is very likely that the SNR005 was designed for the Japanese market, but Seiko decided to test it outside of Japan as well. Therefore, the design is beautiful and interesting, with a distinct Japanese twist. Images of the SNR005 don't really do it too much justice. I recall a few years ago seeing images of it and thinking "well, that is interesting, but I am not totally sure about this one." Once you are able to wear the watch a bit you really appreciate it. While the design isn't perfect, it is an extremely capable classy watch, with a super cool movement, and a solid construction. People used to lower-end Seiko watches only, will be pretty impressed by a watch like this. It blows more entry level Japanese watches out of the water.
Erwin Sattler makes watch winders, watch furniture, and also watches. I last wrote about the Erwin Sattler Trilogie that combines a clock and a watch winder, and includes a watch. You can see that same type of design aesthetic here. The idea seems to be "neo-classic furniture looks better with hidden gears." The Thesaurus desk is 166cm wide, 84cm deep, and 74cm tall. It is made from high-end aged wood, and the black elements have 13 layers of black varnish on them. The desk drawers are lined with alcantara leather (no slip).
In the world of limited edition Panerai watches there are cool ones and boring ones. This is one of the really cool ones. I also love that they all (limited to 100 pieces) sold out within one hour of being released. This is the Panerai Luminor Submersible PAM 358, and was specially made for the Parisian high-end watch store Chronopassion. The PAM 358 is a pretty crazy watch. Water resistant to 2500 meters (over 8,000 feet), the watch is shaped like a diving vessel with a large rounded bottom. It is known as a "destro" model, or lefty model, because the crown is on the left side of the watch. It is really thick as well - even by Panerai standard. The case is 47mm wide in titanium with a special rotating diver's bezel that is in steel. This is one of the most coveted, ultimate Panerai dive watches out there.
Getting a chance to check out and review this watch for a while was really a dream come true. I recall when I wrote about it a while ago here when it was first announced. I knew then that I really wanted to wear one. The full limited edition of the Louis Moinet Jules Verne Instrument watches is finally out, and Louis Moinet even has created the artistic steampunk Vernoscope set that comes with four special pieces. My opinion is that Jules Verne style watches are going to be a big part of Louis Moinet's future, and it all starts here.
The final watch that will be the RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon has yet to be released. It will be debuted in the middle of June though. While this isn't the most complex tourbillon in the world, it is nicely made with 100% American elbow grease. The first one ever, and better late to the game than never. So listen to "American the Beautiful" and think of those proud stars and stripes when looking at this new classic looking, thoroughly American calibre. Price starts at ,000 for the watch in a steel case. ,000 in gold, and 5,000 in a platinum case. Ask yourself, how much of a patriotic watch lover are you?
The majority of Porsche Design watches looked a bit ordinary to me, until I was actually able to handle them. They then make a very good case for themselves. I guess there really is something to the popularity of the this whole "Porsche Design" thing (you sense my sarcasm right?). The P6612 is a great example. The colors and design of the watch make such a good visual case for themselves when you see them. The design of the dial makes it so that it integrates seamlessly with the bezel, and the use of contrasting colors is impressive in execution. When it comes down to it, it is the quality in construction of Eterna (that makes all Porsche Design watches) that is much to thank.
The watch is named the Agonium "Memento Mori, Carpe Diem!" Which translates into the uplifting statement "remember you will die, so seize the day." Good advice, but you aren't gonna close a lot of business meetings with ol' silver bones here. The message is the same as the much more innocuous Mr. Jones The Accurate watch I discussed here. I mention silver by the way, because that is one of the three metals the watch is available it. Not quite sure of the watch size actually, but I hope it is massive. The watch case is handmade. Basically, each of these pieces is going to be a custom order. Strom themselves even invites you to suggest custom orders, "All is possible, ask for an offer." In sterling silver, palladium, gold, or even platinum, the case design is Gothic cool with skulls and architecture resembling an underground catacombs crypt. Skulls and bones stacked up making the corridors. You can even get versions of the palladium cased version with diamond decoration. Diamonds are used on the case as the eyes of the some of the larger skulls. I want to meet the man who orders that piece.