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IWC was obviously on my radar before the results of that poll, but it was a fascinating look into the perception of (mostly American) luxury blog readers. One of your fellow aBlogtoRead.com readers recently commented on an IWC related article that IWC watches are well-made, nicely designed, but over-priced. A quick response via another fellow reader indicated a wise observation. If a brand is doing well, selling its products, and experiencing high demand, the amount it asks for its products isn’t too high — especially if it is getting that amount. That sort of halted the topic, and I thought it was a good message about the luxury industry overall. Luxury goods are easy to attack. It is easy to complain about price, image, and snobbiness. What is more impressive is when luxury brands are defended. Such conduct shows that the price, image, and possible snobbiness don’t actually result in bad sentiment - in that particular case. I’m making a general statement about the luxury industry and many different types of products, but in the context of IWC, it interesting to see fans ‘ring in’ to communicate their own personal high-view of the brand and what they sell.
Located at three o'clock is a power reserve indicator. The manually would movement hold up to 120 hours of power. That is a lot, and it is spread out through 4 mainspring barrels that are all stacked on top of one another. It looks like a large cylinder on the dial and can't be missed at between 10 and 11 o'clock on the dial. The whole thing spins when you wind the watch. There is constant movement going on the dial at all times. That mixed with the very high-grade finishing and polishing of the movement pieces makes it all very nice to constantly look at. You can also be sure that unlike some larger watches, the Double Tourbillon is very comfy to wear. Very ergonomic in design, with a well fitting padded black alligator strap. The deployment clasp is pretty neat as well. I like it when smaller indy watch makers take into consideration these elements of a watch as well.Read more ›
The watch wouldn't be called the "Golden Square" if it wasn't actually a golden square. The versions I have come across have cases either in 18k rose, yellow, or white gold. Prices for these watches retailed to levels above ,000. On James List there is a version in rose gold with a diamond decorated inner dial for just under ,000.
At 45mm wide in a sand-blasted steel case, the La Primera GMT isn't for the faint of heart. At 14.5mm thick, it is a nice larger watch. Perfect for those who enjoy the size, and intimidating for those who don't. The large dimensions allow for 1000 meters of water resistance, as well as a 5mm thick sapphire crystal (that is AR coated). With a large screw-down crown, secure caseback, built-in automatic helium escape valve, and easy to manipulate rotating diver's bezel - you have a hell of a dive watch on your hands. In fact, Essex is working to get more actual divers using these watches as they are fully meant to be in the sea. That watch is considered a saturation diver.Read more ›
MotoGP is a worldwide event, with events occurring in a number of countries. Tissot is clever to team up with the race series as it is truly an international phenomenon, with exposure all over the planet. On the track itself are Tissot signs, and the winner of the race (as well as the pole position aware) receive Tissot watches. It is really hard to disassociate Tissot and MotoGP. This is a partnership done right, and if you are a MotoGP fan, chances are you'll have, or have your eyes on a number of Tissot watches.
For the dial Bianci went for applied triangular hour markers that feel like they match the theme of the watch pretty well. The hands and hour markers both have lume applied to them, and contrast with the black dial well. The face of the watch isn't too original, but feels highly acceptable and conservative. I happen to like the rounded edges on the square date window. The sloped flange ring is a tachymeter scale.
The caseback has a respectful looking Tutima logo that adds to the heritage feel of the case. Tutima is mostly a classic aviator watch brand, but they do dive watches properly. As straight forward as the DI 300 looks, it is "sexy" for most German dive watch standards. I personally like this watch a great deal. It is comfortable to wear, easy on the eyes, and highly reliable as a legible timepiece. The black and yellow dial is one of the best that Tutima has released for this collection in my opinion, but there are a number of other color versions (and another dial choice that you might be interested in. This specific model is know as the DI 300 SE Ref. 629-08.Read more ›
I still didn't know what model it was though. Searching online I couldn't find images of it, nor did I know the name of the piece. Though it was clear that it was a bit of an older model, and had a quartz movement. Then something really random happened. I was visiting Switzerland and was speaking with a fellow watch writer. Clearly noticing his watch, I realized that he was wearing the precise Porsche Design watch that was in the show. How random right? Thomas (I will spare him by not giving his full name) was clearly perturbed when I asked if I could photograph the watch he had been wearing for many years. But he let me (I don't think I gave him much choice), and I finally had another missing piece of the puzzle. I still didn't know the name of the watch though, but having images of it helped me. A little more Googling and I finally learned the name and model of the watch. Lost's Jack wears a Porsche Design Dashboard 6600.41 watch. It is in steel and about 38mm wide with a sapphire crystal and a Swiss quartz chronograph movement. Finally, the super watch nerd within me has yet another watch mystery solved.
See Panerai watches on eBay here.Read more ›
The new watches have the same 40mm width, but a slightly different shape of case and a new "maxi dial." Like the other new Submariners and GMT Master II, the dial has larger hands and hour indicators. Plus, the lume should glow blue. Another wonderful addition to the steel Submariners is the ceramic bezel. Rolex calls it "Cerachrom," and they do it probably better than anyone else. The ceramic has a beautiful tone and is very crisp-looking. Compared to the ceramic bezel on the GMT Master II, the Submariner bezels are a more of a matte finish.
See Piaget watches on eBay here.Read more ›
The government will eventually ground all the remaining U-2 planes - even though they are still being used for limited missions today. Why? Unmanned spy drones and orbital spy satellites have become more useful, much more useful. While I will never call a super cool spy plane is obsolete, the U-2 is a historical token of the ingenuity that the need for secrecy can create, and will eventually be only a reminder of the past. But they still have a good 5-10 years in them. I want you to check out the two cockpit images. One is of an original U-2 cockpit, and the other is of a more modern one with upgraded instrumentation. Notice that even with more reliance on computers and screen, there are still analog instrument. Cause the bottom line is, electronics can fail, and in many events people trust mechanical things more. So a watch like the Bremont U-2 not only looks like it belongs in the plane, but is useful to wear while in it as well.Read more ›
Wearing an Hublot watch will be more than just about the design and the movement - but will also have a little bit of each event or activity the JCB has aligned the brand with. I mention this concept to him and he smiles. The connection being obvious to him as it was his intention all along. Hublot is a lifestyle, not just a watch. Hublot owners want to life the Hublot ideal. To be like its ambassadors, to think of the events it partners with each time they look at the watch. Is there a little bit of World Cup in each glance at your Big Bang? To many there may be. JCB is strangely quiet about the topic of endorsements and further brand connections. Though he does smirk at my questions. I can tell he has a lot more planned up his sleeve for the future.
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If you would have asked me before I visited SIHH 2010 what brand would have impressed me the most, I don't think that Cartier would have been one of my top choices. The maker of high-end watches usually focuses on the jewelry side of watch making more than the complex mechanical side. At least it used to be that way. Part of their current and future goals is to assert themselves as a true master watch maker. As such, SIHH was filled with interesting and complex watches. Of course not all of their watches are going to be so complex, but they are going to from now on, focus on a haute horology collection for serious collectors. My favorite in this new collection is the Rotonde de Cartier Astrotourbillon watch (Cartier Rotonde Astrotourbillon).
The final watch that will be the RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon has yet to be released. It will be debuted in the middle of June though. While this isn't the most complex tourbillon in the world, it is nicely made with 100% American elbow grease. The first one ever, and better late to the game than never. So listen to "American the Beautiful" and think of those proud stars and stripes when looking at this new classic looking, thoroughly American calibre. Price starts at ,000 for the watch in a steel case. ,000 in gold, and 5,000 in a platinum case. Ask yourself, how much of a patriotic watch lover are you?
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As much as I love GMT complications, I have to say that the name for this one is just silly. "Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Magnate GMT." Four proper names plus GMT suffix?
The Tambour watch case has been seeing new life recently in hard to find watches with unique complications. Louis Vuitton is trying to assert themselves a bit as being a more serious watch maker by doing a bit more than placing an ETA movement in a pretty watch. This clever Spin Time GMT watch is a clever take on telling the time, built on top of a base ETA automatic movement (likely a 2893). The module has 12 cubes and turn around showing an Arabic numeral when it is that cubes "turn" to indicate the hour. Consider it an interesting variation on a jumping hour watch. Now, it get a little bit more complex. Each cube has numbers on the top and bottom. These are AM and PM times, but in 24 hour format. So the cube for 2pm, has a "2" on it, and a "14" on the other side of it when it is PM time. Just grasp for a moment the meaning of all that. To tell the time, you first search for the cube with an exposed number, and then track the minute hand traditionally.Read more ›