I don't know when or if all Chopard men's sports watch will contain in-house movements, but the general trend at the brand has been to increase the number of watches with Chopard-made movements. I am pretty sure that this year at Baselworld 2015, we will get to to see Chopard's own replacement for the 7750 - even though in-house made Chopard chronograph movements have been available for a short time now. So let's talk about this movement in the Chopard Mille Miglia GTS Power Control.
It clearly works as the matt grey dial and the gold indices and hands make for some stellar contrast – something the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Black Black deliberately lacks. If the face of the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon Sedna Black looks highly familiar to you, that is with good reason: it looks much the same as last year's Speedmaster Apollo 11 45th Moonwatch Anniversary Edition (hands-on here), featuring the same color combination and matt dial with all marks (except the gold indices) in relief, achieved with laser-ablation technology. You can read more about the dial in our hands-on article linked to above.
This continues a trend seen in their aviator chronograph released last year, and instantly gives the case a more modern silhouette. So, too, does the color-coded pusher at 2 o'clock, which is used to operate the alarm function. I really appreciate this asymmetric styling in the Vulcain Aviator Cricket, and like the way it is working its way into more of their flight-themed models.
One of the most interesting technical upgrades is the increased durability of the titanium cases. Like the F100 the Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave F900 watch comes in a lovely modern looking titanium case that is about 45mm wide. The Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave F900 is 13.1mm thick, which less than a millimeter thicker than the F100's relatively thin 12.5mm-thick case. Going back to the titanium case, Citizen now uses their Duratect coating over the titanium, which increase the scratch resistance. Citizen calls it "Super Titanium," and claims a hardness of 2,200 - 2,500 Hardness Vickers for the normal titanium and a bit lower hardness for the black Duratect DLC coated titanium version. Over the dial is an AR coated sapphire crystal, and the case is water resistant to 100 meters.
Stepan Sarpaneva: I am Stepan Sarpaneva, a watchmaker, designer, and owner of the Sarpaneva watch brand.
With a black dial, Glashütte Original offers a new type of large and lume-filled hands produced from 18k white gold. Likewise, luminant is applied all over the dial to pretty much everything save for the date indicator discs. The design of the luminant is even artistic, and according to the brand, the font used for the dial of the Glashütte Original Senator Observer is new for them and inspired by actual vintage observation clocks. What I really like here is how well it combines sporty readability with just a hint of decorative value which the Germans in particular are really good at.
What makes the car world different from the watch world is a lot of regulations. Most car makers cannot release their innovative concept cars as production models due to tons and tons of regulations designed to make them safe and street legal. The watch industry is not bound by such regulations and can more-or-less release whatever they want. While I am not suggesting that the Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime 5175 is anything less than Patek Philippe says it is, similar "wildly complicated" timepieces are frequently released in the watch industry that simply don't work – ever.
The emotive potential of objects is enormous. The Round Table of King Arthur featured on the original model from Roger Dubuis was an imitation of the ceremonial table that hangs on the wall of Winchester Castle. That table, and others just like it, were used to great effect during the reign of Edward III. When the Hundred Years' War with France began (1337), Edward needed to rally his countrymen behind the cause. Leaning heavily on his royal connection to the Arthurian legend, Edward reputedly commissioned several round tables, around which he held assemblies with his most trusted knights. He even went as far as to bring Camelot to life when he ordered the total remodeling of Windsor Castle. With this cultural iconography reminding his knights and people that they were the subjects of greatness, he hauled his country into a war it would eventually win.
So should you worry about magnetism as a watch wearer? Yes and no. You have to realize that, to a large degree, the concern isn't that you are suddenly going to find yourself around serious industrial magnets or in an MRI machine. The worry is how relatively small magnetic fields often caused by modern technology can either temporarily effect or permanently damage the movement inside of your watches. Standard equipment for all mechanical watch repair facilities is a de-magnetizer machine. Originally, anti-magnetic watches were developed for various types of professionals, such as scientists who worked around strong magnetic fields. Ironically, as we use more and more technology in our life, the "threat" of magnetism to watches is amplified. So do you need an anti-magnetic watch? Maybe. Do you want one? Probably.
Three new ladies watches, one in blue, one in red, and one in black/gray felt are defined by their smaller size – the cases measure 32.7mm at their widest point. The quartz calibre J643-29 has a date display and luminous dial markings and hands. The gents version of this watch uses the slightly larger calibre J645.33 so it fits more snugly in the 38mm case. The male edition is effectively identical in design but for its engorgement, and more muted and traditional colorway of white dial and beige strap.
There's a great deal of range consistency here, with each watch having at least one component in common with another watch. The cases are very trim, and the lugs unobtrusive and subtly styled. Simple, but sharp hands with a thin strip of luminous paint do their creator proud. This watch would have looked avant-garde in the sixties, but now stands out as a modern classic. It is not unique in its proportions, but it rubs shoulders with illustrious company.
What follows here is a short report on this "dream" lifestyle from my experience at the Concours d'Elegance 2014 during that memorable weekend, as well as a first hand account of Veyron owners that I met and had a chance to talk to. Please note, however, that I am far from even being able to test drive a Veyron, let alone own one, so this is not a lifestyle I can really fathom, but over two days, while surreal, I was a part of it and will try to report about it from the perspective of Parmigiani and watch lovers alike.
So what’s so special about the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom? We are glad you asked. You see, the carbon fiber used in the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom is a special kind called Carbon Matrix Composite (CMC), and not only is the case made out of this new material, but the seven bridges of its movement are made using CMC too. CMC is formed using a special technique where carbon fibers are placed in a certain direction in the mould and micro-blasted to give it an orderly elegant look that TAG Heuer calls “matte black vertical brushed.” This is obvious if one looks closely at the movement bridges that form the dial. The choice of material is not just for looks; by using carbon fiber for all the main components, the TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Phantom is also light. Furthermore, the extensive use of carbon fiber also encapsulates the essence of this watch very nicely as it was inspired by motor-racing and engines.
As much of a cliché as it is, watches tend to become such an item in everyday life as well, as many – not even necessarily watch nerds – grow emotionally attached to their timepieces, and the way it was featured and depicted by Top Gear in their latest challenge (again, in Top Gear Season 22, Episode 6) reinforced that important role watches often play in people's lives.
2015 sees the release of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grande Tradition Minute Repeater watch. Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the most revered names in watchmaking and is fondly referred to as “La Grande Maison,” which can be loosely translated as The Great Manufacture. In its rich 182-year history, the company has created over a thousand calibers, registered 400 or so patents and has numerous inventions credited to its name. And for the most part of the past century, it even provided movement blanks to Patek Philippe, Audemars Piguet, and Vacheron Constantin. The caliber 920 is a great example of this and is still used even today by Audemars Piguet in Reference 15202 Extra-thin Royal Oak, also known as the “Jumbo.”
Until now, smartwatches have have mostly existed as secondary screens for phones and computers, or as notification devices informing their wearers of information with relatively limited utility. The Urwerk HIS is about making meaningful suggestions and observations on the wearer's life that lead to better decision making. With that said, a mere explanation of the Urwerk HIS is mostly theoretical, until you understand how it works in action. The first phase of its life on one's wrist is as a passive learning device.
Of course, the irony is that each of these parachord bracelets are good for one time. Meaning that once you unravel them, you no longer have a bracelet, and you just have a strand of paracord rope. An interesting kicker that I recall from our meeting with Victorinox Swiss Army was that they will ensure each unraveled Victorinox Swiss Army INOX Naimakka watch bracelet is re-woven for free – assuming it is sent back to them, along with a story of what situation you were in that required you to use the rope.
We don't mean to imply that people must spend four, five, or six figures on a wrist watch in order to have a good timepiece experience. We do, however, imply that those are the watches that, to us, tend to be the most interesting. Wrist watches today are either extremely utilitarian or a type of luxury, as humankind doesn't strictly need them for the same reasons, or at the same level we once did. This means that people who choose to learn about and become familiar with watches, are those who want interesting items which they feel are worth their time. Given the amazingly vast and interesting world of high-end watches, it would be difficult to focus only on less expensive items that pale in comparison.
Kentex did a nice job polishing the case. You have some contrasting brushed and polished surfaces, and I like the polished beveled edges on the bracelet. Kentex supplies the bracelet with a solid end-link, which is rare at this price range - but not unheard of. Overall, I like the bracelet a lot. The above mentioned beveled edges are nice, as is the slight tapering from where the bracelet meets the case to the deployant. I am a huge fan of tapering bracelets so I find the addition of one here to be really welcome. It also helps to reduce how large the steel case wears.
Olio is very proud of its use of traditional watch industry suppliers for much of the external hardware of the Olio Model 1. This results in much more attractive finishing and a level of detail that is absent in more volume-production smartwatches. Little touches like the beveled edges on the bracelet and the guilloche machine-engraved texture on the inner bezel is a detail you really won't find in most other places.