Thanks to Christopher Ward for the review unit. Opinions are 100% Independent.
The Ingenieur Carbon Performance has a mostly carbon fiber case and dial, other bits are ceramic, including the screw heads. What impressed me was something that only people who know carbon fiber watches well will see - the look of the carbon fiber. Most carbon fiber watches have flat surfaces. This is because when you polish carbon fiber, doing a flat polish allows you to really see that "weave" look in the material. However, the case (and especially bezel), have a lot of curved edges that still have that weaved fiber look we associate with the material. Not sure how they did it but it looks pretty good.
However, buying a watch in person makes a lot of sense in many instances. First of all, you can see and touch the watch to make sure the quality is good and that you aren't dealing with a fake. Authorized retailers selling only new watches aren't going to have fakes, but some pre-owned dealers may have them mixed in with real stuff from time-to-time. In most instances, they aren't trying to trick anyone, it is just that they themselves don't know they have fakes in their stock. Also, and this is a factor to seriously consider, if you buy a watch from overseas and it needs to be shipped to you, there may be customs implications. Depending on where you live (and how honestly the shipper marks the package), you'll need to pay some type of duty on watches sent to you from other countries. There are tricks to this of course, but you always need to measure safety with cost.
The first thing we noticed about the watch is the major branding change in the name. The Ceramic XV was a sort of a fancy looking climber's watch, and now Ball has recast the concept to being something in the Airborne collection designed for paratroopers. So it went from a climbing watch to a falling watch... Of course the relief art on the case back represents this fact with the logo of the USAF Pararescue team. Another unique thing that I am noticing for the first time is the name of MB-Microtec H3, that produces the world's tritium gas tubes. For whatever reason they now have some branding on the watch.
For the affordable manufacture suggested price of ,950, the RW Maestro Automatic Moon Phase (ref. 2849-STC-00659) makes for a nice classic dress watch. The dial alone makes it worthwhile. RW also makes another variation of the Maestro which is ref. 2839-STC-00659 that includes a black dial with moon phase and a version that also has a silver dial. Both have the moon complication at 10 o'clock and do not include the month nor the day subdials but instead a date subdial at 6 o'clock.
CW: I eventually bought a broken one... which was hugely satisfying as I fixed and restored it myself. I also designed our C1 Russell watch as a tribute to Thomas Russell, helping to keep a great name alive
The starting point for the design is what you can see from turning the One Hertz watch over and looking through the display back. There you will see what is without doubt, one of the prettiest views into a movement that exists in the watch industry. Bart sketched this design at the beginning to more-or-less confirm this look right at the outset. The aim was to create a totally new style of bridge, not wanting to borrow the existing design idioms of the German and Swiss style, but to come up with a totally new, Dutch style.
There are lots of others, too - Nike Fuelband, Fitbit, Metawatch, EZ430 Chronos, to name just a few. As the category evolves and expands, we'll be spending more time here covering it. Chime in here in the comments, and let us know what you think. Are they "smart" enough yet for you to wear one?
How time flies, it's the end of yet another month and time for yet another installment of our bi-weekly roundup of the best watch articles from here and around the internet.
Parmigiani is perhaps most famous for its Bugatti watch, but beyond that, the brand actually has a very interesting, though brief, history. In this special feature, our contributor, David Bredan, spent six days with Parmigiani, learning more about their history and learning how they make watches. This is an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at one of the most promising brands right now.
Overall, it's a great looking piece for the price point not even including the Bluetooth function. There are two variations of the watch, both 46mm, with anti-reflective mineral crystal, 100m water resistance and fabric straps with polyurethane coating and contrast stitching. The stainless steel with blue (AT7030-05E) and black IP with green (AT-7035-01E) both retail for 5 but can be purchased directly through our site for 1.25 HERE. This price is also valid over the phone or in store.
The "MegaWind" name comes from the larger battle axe-style automatic rotor visible through the front-facing sapphire crystal. By removing the date disc of the original HM3, MB&F was able to include a larger rotor (which is now three pieces versus one piece). This visually expands the movement compartment, though it is actually the same size as the original. Not that there was a winding problem with the original, but technically speaking a larger (and heavier) rotor means the watch should wind more easily while worn on the wrist.
In fact, the Fifty Fathoms from Blancpain has such a long and storied history that if you're a diving watch enthusiast, the basic facts should be familiar to you. In 1953, French naval diving officers Captain Robert Maloubier and Lieutenant Claude Riffaud were charged with creating a new group of elite combat divers and needed a suitable watch that was up to the task. None of the diving watches of the time were suitable, and both went around to many different companies to find one that would develop a watch which would possess unheard of technical characteristics, suitable for the demanding use of the divers. Rejected by many watch companies, it wasn't until they met Jean-Jacques Fiechter, CEO of Blancpain and a passionate diver, that the watch was given the go-ahead to be developed.
Visually it looks like the Dottling Gyrowinder is available in at least two models. One in highly polished steel and a black base, and another that mixes gold or brass elements with the steel for a two-tone look. While the Gyrowinder's excessive showiness is easy to poke fun at, the system is pretty cool. You know you sort of really want one for your desk. I know I do, and then I can joyfully laugh about my first-world problems such as needing such a device to keep my luxury timepieces wound. Prices for Dottling Gyrowinder start at 11,800 Euros.
Another says: I agree with my colleague above and would like to reiterate that mechanical watches stopped being state-of-the-art over 50 years ago. Quartz is far more accurate so putting lots of money in to incremental improvements in mechanical movement technology wasn't a priority for anyone in a long time. The biggest improvement in the last 100 years in mechanical watches is the Co-Axial escapement by George Daniels, but that still uses a traditional balance wheel. Today some brands like De Bethune and Omega produce totally silicon balance wheels, but overall the concept is the same. To preserve the "beating heart" of a mechanical watch this element is retained and tweaked as much as possible. It is a very clever system to be honest. For those who need quartz level accuracy, then they have tons of options available.
Returning to the original idea in this watch review article, I find myself being in the position as a well-educated watch lover reviewing a rather niche product with an appeal which is intentionally not mainstream. Those uninitiated in the "ways of the watch" can easily dismiss or love watches like this for all the wrong reasons. One of the ways I personally define "art" is to describe it as something that while I may or may not find it aesthetically appealing is something that required a degree of imagination and skill to create. I say all this in anticipation of the people who just don't "get" what the Steampunk Chrono is all about. But I will remind you that it is in fact crazy, you just might need a lot of the right type of education to know why. If you haven't learned yet then I'll get back to playing with this toy like it was some guilty pleasure. The Romain Jerome Steampunk Chrono is limited to 2,012 pieces per model and this ref. RJ.T.CH.SP.003.01 model has a retail price of ,400.
It is widely known that Rolex is fanatical about their metal. They do a lot of metallurgy in-house, and not all steel of the same grade is made equal. I've seen a lot of steel watches in my time and can say that no one makes steel or polishes a case quite like Rolex - and they so do fantastically using high-tech machines in rather large production volumes. This isn't about tiny details, but rather that the steel of a Rolex Submariner looks and feels a bit different than the steel of other watches. This is of course due in part thanks to Rolex's amazing brushed finishing that is applied to much of the Rolex Submariner case. Other parts of the case (such as the sides) are given a polished finish. These "alternating finishes" help the case to look its best.
I sat with Omega CEO Stephan Urquhart to discuss, among other things, the future of ceramic at Omega. It is certainly a major go. Ceramic stopped being a plaything years ago, and is now slated to sit between steel and precious metals as a mass produced luxury watch material for bezels, dials, and cases. At least at Omega, that is more or less confirmed for the future. Omega actually admitted that the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon watch was ready a couple of years ago. Omega just wanted to wait until the right moment to release it. It is already selling like mad to eager retailers. If the new upgraded Speedmaster was a fast hit, this is a speed boost. I am going to play some Dark Side Of The Moon Music and write about this puppy.
This time, the brand reaches out to "the world of sailors with its wealth of traditions and cultural customs" and - you guessed it! - tattoo art, in an effort to embody the legend of the sailor's grave. Tattoos, sailors, graves, London, DNA and fine watchmaking - at first these sound more like a random selection of words from a modern men's magazine than the attributes of a luxury watch... but who else would be able to pull off such a concept, if not Romain Jerome? Surely there are a lot of things to sink in (I hope I won't have a dead pirate's soul visiting me at night for that one!), so first, let's take a step back and look at the basics.
I can't help but love this watch. Mechanically it's fantastic and a joy to watch in action. The billboard style rotating large digits combined with the dynamic minute track are so well executed, and yet the case is a wearable and comfortable in size. Though it's far from cheap, it's been reasonably priced in my opinion and importantly it offers true innovation in terms of an alternative way of displaying the time!
The MegaSonic 720Hz is a movement unique to Omega and at the time had the smoothest moving second hand, ever. It was designed by Max Hetzel, the creator of the first ‘Tuning fork’ watch (the Bulova Accutron) but it works in a very different way. It has a micro-motor which, in simple terms, is a 1.2mm ruby disc studded with magnets which is shaken between two ruby springs in a sealed, oil-filled box by the tuning fork. This causes the disc to rotate four times per second. This disc is not directly connected to the gear train or any part of the watch but rather uses magnetic gearing to pass on its motion as does some of the reduction gear train.