I am torn on the lack of a seconds hand. On most watches, it would be a deal breaker but it seems to make sense on the Intra-matic, especially if you're planning on using a watch like this not as your daily-wearer, but as your go-to dress watch. Ultimately, the importance of a seconds display is up to you and Hamilton offers other dress watches in the Jazzmaster and Timeless Classic ranges which are slim, elegant and employ a seconds display.
F.P. Journe watches are still done in 18k gold, and I am referring to the movements not just the cases. Few brands have mechanical movements with golden bridges like this. The movement is an automatic with 120 hours of power reserve. Love that decorated gold rotor... The rotor is also designed in a way that the slightest movement of the hand will wind the movement. That makes it quite sensitive. A power reserve indicator on the dial is a characteristic Journe touch.
I don't know when it started but I will once again comment on Bill Clinton's choice to wear a Timex Triathlon when he was campaigning to be president. Clinton was then and still is today a serious high-end watch collector. Though he chose to wear a very inexpensive and utilitarian timepiece as the US President as a political message that he connects with common people. I always enjoyed that irony since his personal watch collection is extremely valuable. Since then the "everyman watch" practice has become de rigueur for political candidates in the United States. What I also find interesting is that every single politician I have ever paid attention to does in fact wear a watch. Not that I am complaining, but it is certainly part of their "uniform."
But perhaps the best aspects of the dial are these two subsequent features. First, the seconds hand on this watch is the completely unique lightning bolt hand that is painted orange. The color contrasts perfectly with the black dial and also matches the discreet seconds markings around the dial (also in orange). And second, to complete the case, the dial is covered by the uniquely colored crystal matching the corporate colors of Rolex. The crystal is perfectly transparent with hints of green that never overpowers and seem to change intensity depending on the angle you look at the dial or how light is reflected on it. Finally, while you would not think that orange and green would work well together, it does so in this case in spades… and this is coming from someone whose color preferences tends to be conservative (read, black and white).
Titanium is the obvious choice for the 45mm wide (15.32mm thick) case as it is strong and light, but not so dense as to terribly retard the sound of the chimes. Platinum apparently is a terrible choice for minute repeaters. The case is modern looking yet simple. It serves merely as a frame for the movement. Little touches inside of the movement are what matter. On the dial you'll see a trio of distinctive looking bridges on the calibre TRD98 manually wound movement. Claret calls these "Charles X bridges" as they were inspired by pocket watches from Charles X. On the dial you also have a tourbillon, and above it, a skeletonized view of the mainspring barrel. Skeletonizing mainspring barrels allows you to see the spring inside it and know if the watch needs to be wound (judged by how tight the spring is). The movement has a power reserve of about 72 hours.
GM: Pre-ordering is a very important aspect of independent watchmaking. Kickstarter provided the ideal platform and audience for Division Furtive's timepieces. The 30-day campaign (ending December 9th, 2012) is exceeding all my expectations given the £20,000 minimal goal has been reached in only 6 days. This allowed me to jump back into design work much quicker knowing there was a strong demand for my current designs (25% of all the Type 40 and 50% of all the Type 46 have been sold 18 days into the campaign). The Kickstarter campaign is also a good occasion to get feedback and integrate changes that will please collectors (e.g.: wristband).
A watch that comes from this studio is more than a functional object. Beyond its intended use as a timekeeper, the quality of the finishing and the components is paramount as well. As George Daniels once said, “A handmade watch has to be as good as, and better than a mass produced watch.”
The bracelet is solid and balances the watch well.
The over ,000 price point is still hard to breach for the mass market, but Morgenwerk will likely position the Satellite Precision collection as a high-end "go anywhere" sports and adventure watch. There are also going to be a lot professional-use agencies which might find the piece interesting. Morgenwerk is further banking on the fact that satellite controlled watches will soon outshine watches that are controlled by radio signals from atomic clocks (which have a much more limited service area). Morgenwerk's official website will launch at the beginning of 2013, with the first watches scheduled to ship around the spring time of 2013. We can't wait.
I did play with the minute repeater myself and found that it works nicely. Another welcome feature in the minute repeater mechanism is the addition of a silent flywheel. This means that when the minute repeater is activated there isn’t the typical humming sound of the regulator – at least that is the idea. The in-house made movement is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback window, and exhibits a typically high level of fit and finishing by the brand. It is the caliber PF357 manually wound movement that operates as 21,600 bph. The power reserve is 72 hours and the minute repeater has two gongs.
This is a watch that's all about the movement, so I'm glad they have a full-width view back. Note the swan's neck fine regulator and lack of wire springs: this is emphatically not a cheap movement in design or execution. Ditto the column wheel - the more expensive solution for chronograph coordination, it's quite difficult to manufacture.
The aBlogtoWatch team has made dressing up that much easier (and costlier) with our list of the top 10 elegant dress watches. In life, we usually avoid complications, in a dress watch as well, the less the better, a simple uncluttered dial is one of the timeless qualities that a dress watch should fulfill. The focus should ideally be on the essence of a watch. The time in hours and minutes, and little if anything more. Some of the best examples even avoid seconds hands.
Set over three floors in art gallery spaces, the entire exhibition was housed in halls that allowed one to wander around in amazement. It was not too big that one would become easily fatigued, yet not so small as to be a waste of time. In fact, the comfortable size of the event allowed attendees to have a cosy time with the brands as well as the watches themselves.
Read Ariel Adams' Watch Collector Article In the Wall Street Journal
So going back to the Beagle - how Swiss Made is it? I don't have all the details, but I wanted to get the the bottom of the movement. The movement is mechanical, an automatic, and skeletonized. For the price it looks pretty good. An answer from Earnshaw revealed that it is supplied by a Swiss company called Inter T SA. Their website is surprisingly straightforward. They indicate that they started as a result of ETA reducing supply of their movements and to help fill in the gap of Swiss Made watch movements. To make a long story short, the movements are technically Swiss Made. The necessary value is from Switzerland, and the rest of the parts likely come from China. And to be honest that isn't very uncommon. Some of the more important parts such as the hairspring come from Switzerland.
The Clifton Collection hits the mark on all these scores, and this is telling as it was inspired by a piece that the company made during the 1950's. Obviously, certain design work resonates deeply and all the more, even after 60 years. I would certainly recommend that you hold any watch from this collection in your hand should you get the chance to, and marvel at the way the whole package is so balanced and beautiful.
Be it space or spaceship, the watches below are some of the coolest modern watches which honor or make actual use of elements far from the Earth. Imaginative watchmakers use meteorite dials or design their cases and movements to look like spaceships. We love this stuff and as traditional as watchmaking is, these timepieces are directly inspired by science and science fiction. Oh, and we aren't including watches that track the motion of planets or the sky. Those are typically more related to calendar watches, and should be part of a distinct list.
A two-part question. If money were no object which single watch would each member of the aBlogtoWatch team own? If money were tight and you had only 00 to spend, which watch would you own?
If you want a classic pilot watch that has strong real history and that only got better with a new in-house movement, but is now guaranteed for five years, the Breitling Navitimer 01 should be on the top of your list. You are getting a superb timepiece with real pedigree and a brand that, maybe like no other, has a passion and dedication to aviation that is unquestionable.
This specific model is the Patrimony Traditionnelle Small Seconds ref. 82172/000P-9811, and named as such for obvious reasons given the dial. The dial has a subsidiary seconds dial (sometimes called “small seconds”) and in this case, the case is in solid 950 platinum with a lovely matte gray dial. Few brands do dauphine hands as well as Vacheron Constantin. These are beautifully shaped, wonderfully cut, and the perfect size. What is the trick to them looking so nice? Well, note how they are polished.
The base watch is the 45mm wide version (EX45) of the Roger Dubuis Excalibur in 18k pink gold. Inside is an in-house made caliber RD822 automatic movement. There is likely an exhibition caseback. The dial of the watch is peculiar, but it does have historical symbolism. The "table" is a hand-painted enamel reproduction of an actual table that hangs in Winchester, England. The table was commissioned by King Henry VIII in the 16th century. Of course the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table is much older than that - going back at least a few hundred years earlier. In fact, the table upon which this painting is based is said to be from the mid 13th century.
The steel Carrera case is 41mm wide and relatively thick which is common with TAG Heuer Chronographs today. Another interesting point was Jack remarking that the original Carrera was meant to be a relatively thin chronograph for the time. A hallmark of a vintage-themed chronograph is the presence of a tachymeter (tachymetre) scale. Often intrusive if place on the dial, I love the subtle but legible placement of the tachymetre scale on the flange ring against an anthracite gray color.
Before you gawk at this timepiece in awe or as if it were a train wreck, a bit of explanation of what the Montegrappa Chaos is due. This all started with the Chaos pen produced for Sylvester Stallone and then sold as a limited edition. First of all, Stallone is on the board of Montegrappa - so that should explain some of this. The story goes that Stallone wanted a special pen to use in the first Expendables movie. It was featured more I believe in the Expendables 2. Apparently he sketched out the design of the Expendables skulls with wings pierced by a sword logo during a meeting. It evolved into the Chaos pen, and because Stallone is Stallone, Montegrappa produced it.