The Spacewalk by Seiko has an interesting history that involved being co-developed with video game designer Richard Garriot (who eventually produced a space-themed MMO), as well as being taken into space with him. Seiko designed it as their most capable space-worthy timepiece ever, and it includes their sophisticated high-end Spring Drive movement and is rather large at 53mm wide. A few limited edition versions were released at a price of around ,000 and it is among the few timepieces around that we would truly feel comfortable taking into outer space with us. Read more on aBlogtoWatch here. seikospringdrive.com
Now, however, we have pictures and a video of the rest of the Planet Ocean GMT lineup. Predictably, the new Planet Ocean GMT watches are handsome looking pieces and are built to very high specifications - water resistant to 600m and ceramic bezels with lacquered painted numerals for all models, except the one with the orange bezel, which is aluminum. As Ariel rightly puts it, these new watches are not a revolutionary addition, but as the old saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
I think the admiral who oversees the Top Gun flight school said it best. He described his appreciation for Breitling making a durable, high-end watch that fit the needs and expectations of military pilot professionals. He then quickly added that it sure helped that the pieces were damn sexy. These guys like to look good, and for them a Breitling watch fits the needs of their lifestyle, but is also in their opinion, a great style piece.
It is with possible envy that fellow boutique watch makers view Ernst Benz's relationship with fashion designer John Varvatos. A relationship that has evolved into John himself configuring limited edition dual-branded timepieces that are sold exclusively in John Varvatos clothing boutiques. Such a relationship is rare, especially for brands the size of Ernst Benz. Still for what the brand is they have achieved some interesting celebrity partnerships. My favorite one was with large orange Chef Mario Batali (hands-on here).
HYT: We really are not into a "mass production" system. In 2012, we are manufacturing only 80 pieces. But next year we shall bring the production up to around 350 units. Our team is ready to deliver this level of production. Funny enough, the latest challenges we had to face were coming from a "pure" mechanical watch perspective (vs. the fluidic module system which is highly complex). The watch industry is still facing issues on deliveries of dials and watch cases. We recently needed to be next to our partner to get enough dials and enough watch cases to assemble the H1.
If you want to consume the entire 200 page plus 2012 Swatch Group annual report then by all means check it out here. Or you can just see the first page which is enough to get a glimpse at this Swiss self-satire. None of the 26 cantons are spared, though the humor is more goofy than anything else. At the end of this post you can see more of the joke where joke descriptions of each of the mock coat of arms is offered for each of the Swiss cantons. Read those and it becomes apparent that much of this is a playful inside joke for Switzerland.
At ,570, the NOMOS Tangomat GMT is easily the watch with the most bang for buck that I have in my collection. I am already a believer in the brand and this will not be my last purchase. The NOMOS online store is also really well executed and after getting a brown strap, a loupe, and a catalog (free) from the store, I can also say that the service is first class. The whole process was easy, simple, and quick. Within one week I had my new strap, loupe, and also email exchanges with a NOMOS sales representative for an item that was out of stock that I wanted to get.
Ariel here. That is a good question Jason. I will respond that I really just decided to start blogging about watches back in 2007. The blog started as aBlogtoRead.com and later became aBlogtoWatch.com in 2012. It was my first website and my first experience blogging. I probably owned about 50 watches or so at that point as I got into watches in about 2001. I tend to not discuss my personal collection too much as we try to cover everything. I have a large range of timepieces, and there is little in terms of a theme aside from them being mostly newer sport watches. I really do this because I love watches in general as opposed to a narrow type of watch.
Borrowing on this theme, Jaquet Droz has introduced the aptly named Charming Bird watch. The highlight of this piece is that it features a miniaturized automaton bird on the dial that not only sings and chirps, but also flaps its wings and snaps its beak. Ariel had a hands-on experience with this interesting timepiece and has also a video showing how the automaton bird works.
Bell & Ross' challenge is to keep the BR01 collection fresh, while at the same time maintaining the look and feel of the genre (i.e. the design DNA of the BR01 family). That is a tough task for sure. Only brands like Rolex and Omega are able to sell the same watch year after year with little or no changes. Today the BR01 is still important for the brand, and my hope is that Bell & Ross will update the BR01 with minor upgrades and tweaks and keep it as an icon. Until they get to that point, the consumer is presented with a relatively large range of limited and non-limited BR01 (and its smaller BR03 sibling) to choose from. One of my favorites is this BR01-93 GMT watch originally released a few years ago.
Brands like IWC and Bell & Ross won't customize watches for you, but Maurice de Mauriac will. You can try to order online if they'll hear you out, but better yet, stroll into their shop in Zurich and find Daniel there (hopefully not busy). I swear that you'll have no trouble spending at least an hour or two looking through straps. Inside Chronograph Modern watches are decorated Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movements (visible through a sapphire crystal case back window), and I suggest you go for a colored crystal if you want something really interesting. Price is 4,500 Swiss Francs.mauricdemauriac.ch
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The Gyrowinder consists of a base with the gyroscopic winding system as well as a hand-blown crystal glass dome cover. It also comes with a series of counterweights that can be optionally used in order to keep the face of the watch pointed in a particular direction. This will certainly help keep your watch from getting too dizzy. No doubt serious enthusiasts will joyfully play with the weights to ensure their timepiece is happy. I believe this function is actually intended to make it so that if you are watching the winder in action, the dial of the watch can be set to always face you.
The second model is a bit of an irony for a continuation of the Traveller range as it does not feature any travel-related complications. The new Traveller Moon Phases and Large Date is a classic watch that offers a big date, sub seconds, power reserve indication and moon phase display. Girard-Perregaux is touting the Traveller collection as the inheritor of the WW.TC collection, so it would seem they are planning a wider scope of features and design for this new line of watches. Powered by the automatic GP03300-0080/81, this new model has a 46 hour power reserve, an instantaneous jumping large date and its moon phase display will be accurate to one day in 122 years (assuming sustained operation and a rather seasoned owner).
One thing I would have liked to see on the dial is luminant. It would have been possible to make the entire dial white lume - which I think would have been cool. Though making the dial pure white would have been a bit tough in that instance. I would have also liked for the crystal to be sapphire. As such it is a sapphire coated mineral crystal which is a mineral crystal with added scratch resistance. The crystal has a decent amount of AR coating to reduce glare. The case is water resistant to 100 meters.
It has everything for the avid watch collector or the tech guy (which I think, most of the time end up one in the same). The overall build is very impressive too. The different variations come in either Seiko's in-house High-Intensity Titanium on bracelets, or stainless steel with a silicone strap and deployment clasp. Seiko has a newly developed silicone strap that is 4 times the strength of regular silicone, and is virtually tear proof. They utilize this on the steel to help eliminate weight. Due to all the technology inside, the watches are large at 47mm wide and 16.5mm thick, so being lightweight is very helpful.
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