Quite literally, Finnish Stepan Sarpaneva's face is on the dial of the piece unique Woodoo watch. This individually made watch is based on the Sarpaneva Korona Moonshine that came out a few years ago. What Stepan did is overlay a diamond-studded skull mask over the face of the grimacing moon. The face is loosely based on Stepan's own face - and if it isn't, then it seems all too convenient. That's actually him below modeling off the face paint inspiration. What followed was probably a hell of a night for Mr. Sarpaneva.
So, what this watch is not: Your run of the mill, boring Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar (ha!).
The uniquely engraved dial and design made this Chronoswiss extra-special. I think at first glance many people felt it was something from Vacheron Constantin with a hand-made dial such as that which uses monkeys to portray the concept of "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil." Estimate price: 22,000 - 32,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 42,000 Euros
RH: Watchmaking was always first on the map, and I love being able to do it now. But I had to bide my time for 20 years until my vision started to be achievable. The real triggers were the nanoWatt technologies that allowed complex electronics to run off a coin cell, and the innovation of building watch movements out of tiny stepper motors mounted on a printed circuit board backbone. Suddenly I realized I could actually fulfill my vision. That was a couple of years back. There's been a lot of perspiration since, making it come true.
All of this comes at a time when my love for dive watches is high, but I am unsure about my feelings for very deep diving watches. The problem is that I am unable to really reconcile my appreciation of the technology of an ultra deep diver with their sheer practical futility. The IWC Aquatimer Automatic 2000 is water resistant to 2000 meters, and it shows it with a chunky case and very thick sapphire crystal. The issue is that I can't really think of any circumstance where a human, even in some type of suit, can dive that deep.
ABTW: What was your first grail watch, that one piece you believed would be an apex of your collection at the time?
Looking at the list of features and the actual dial of the Tourbillon Astronomique, it gives the impression of a watch that was intended to be complicated in the first place, but then somehow morphed into a watch maker's wet dream, comprising an array of functions that go beyond the line of what makes sense, but is likely just enough to entertain a master watch maker and his narrow circle of customers. Let's start from the more traditional and work our way through to the more outlandish features of the Tourbillon Astronomique.
Next is the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side of the Moon Subway, which imagines the ceramic Dark Side of the Moon in a new case material and finish with a dial that looks like a subway transit map. For Bergenstjerna, the subway connection is not what is important. It is about combing these interesting and familiar geometric shapes into something completely unusual.
6. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity Watch Hands-On
Bearing the Seal of Geneva, the movement is pretty top notch in pedigree and construction. The symmetry of not only the dial layout, but of the movement itself is impressive and attractive. The movement operates at 2.5Hz (18,800 bph) and has a relatively efficient 231 parts. The tourbillon cage itself is also a standout item of attractiveness with its Maltese Cross motif.
The El Primero 410 gets its name from its innards, the Calibre 410 Automatic Chronograph movement, an iconic unit that saw more than thirty years of regular production before being retired at the turn of the century. Noting the increase in popularity of some of their vintage pieces, Zenith brought has back the movement for one final hurrah, in the form of this Limited Edition piece. The Calibre 410 is a column wheel movement that beats at 5hz, has an amplitude of 36,000 VpH, and provides power to the triple calendar and chronograph functions.
Over the dial is a sapphire crystal, and what is interesting is that even though the watch has a display case back, Seiko claims that it is anti-magnetic. While the movement decoration is fun and amusing in a really satisfying way, the dial is quite stunning in my opinion. The deep blue dial is meant to remind you of a view of the sky and sea with the center of the face being the horizon. The dial is actually made from the shell of a "White Butterfly." That must be a Japanese term, but it is blue mother-of-pearl and the design is engraved into it.
The DB25LT measures a sizeable 44 mm across and 12.5 mm thick. Its platinum case is made of a series of rings stacked together and features beautiful open-worked lugs and is finished with anti-reflective sapphire crystals front and back. The beautifully textured hand-guilloché rose gold dial features a three dimensional outer ring that carries both the minute track and Roman numeral hour markers. The flame-blued steel skeleton hands are formed as an arch so that they can safely travel over the raised moon phase display.
Interestingly enough, Audemars Piguet still records the sale of each of its watches by hand in similar books today. Of course, they do this in addition to entering the information in computers, but the practice exists because “we don’t know if in 100 years the computer data we have now will be readable. This will be.” This experience helps illustrate a side of the company that few people know about. Audemars Piguet is among the many 100-year-old-plus companies that are fully invested in being around more than 100 years from now.
Just as Patrick Kansa points out in aBlogtoWatch’s RubberB rubber strap for Rolex, there are plenty of aftermarket options and varieties, but at quality levels that span the map. Without question, the Everest Leather Series is at a quality level complimentary to Rolex watches in materials, machining tolerances, and leather selection. In Everest’s first offering, straps will be available in saddle brown, vintage brown and black calf leather, as well as in black and brown crocodile to match the watch face, bezel, and your mood. Everest plans to offer shell cordovan straps in the very near future as well.
I've always wanted to add a chronograph version of the brand to my collection and about six months ago, I fell in love with the look of the Breitling SuperOcean Special Edition Heritage model with a beautiful blue dial and black bezel.
While this particular watch doesn't look like it's as robust as some of their other models, Ball has built it in a way that should allow it to handle just about anything you'd throw at this watch - or at least activities you'd have a watch of this style paired to. It carries a water resistance rating of 100m, and it's shock resistant to a limit of 5,000 Gs. Combine that with the convex sapphire crystals front and back, and you've got a durable watch ready for your day-to-day activities.
Inspired by the rear windows on some 1970s and 1980s sports cars, these louvres allow light to enter the case. Why? Light falls on where the discs that indicate the time are located and allow their luminant to be charged so that one can read the time in the dark. Small holes in the case act as "exhaust ports" allowing any water that enters this section of the case to exit. The movement itself is fully cased and prevents water from entering it. Light is simply hitting a section of the sapphire crystal prism.
Robin J. from Breskens, Netherlands asks:
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Las Vegas has apparently had the effect of making both David and Ariel want to bling themselves out with diamond-covered watches. From there, conversation turns to reviewing watch prototypes and a malfunctioning hour striker watch we dubbed the "perpetual striker," with Ariel helping us through David's lapses into technical geekisms.
Having said all that, comparing Swiss tourbillons with a Memorigin tourbillon watch is sort of silly. Memorigin understands the communicative and artistic value that a tourbillon has. For them playing around with the concept is more fun than trying to beat the Swiss at their game. In fact, the last time I checked, Memorigin only produces watches with tourbillons.
Allow me one very brief look into Swiss watch making history, and then we'll begin the tour, I promise. Above, I mentioned that becoming a manufacture is a "previously unseen craze," and there is a reason why I said that. For centuries, the Swiss watch industry had its own – dozens, or at times even hundreds of – dedicated, specialized component manufacturers. These workshops were the absolute experts when it came to creating some of the most delicate parts such as the hairspring, fine wheels and pinions, even cases. Others were dedicated to building ébauches, so called "blank movements," that contained most plates, bridges and wheels, but lacked the escapement and the mainspring. Finally, "manufactures," or rather établisseurs, were those who bought these ébauches and all other fine components from these external suppliers and used them to create complete movements, which they then decorated, regulated, cased and, of course, branded.
ABTW: Was there ever a time in your life when you could afford it?