The dial, especially flange ring, aren't nearly as dramatic as those on the Sea Hawk. I personally prefer the Sea Hawk but a lot of people I have spoken with prefer the Chrono Hawk. I am however a fan of the piece's high legibility as well as symmetrical dial design. It doesn't necessarily feel very classically "GP," but then again no one said it should. I will reiterate my feelings about the design of the 44mm wide case. It is overall interesting and most certainly sporty, but with very long lugs it simply doesn't site well on smaller or even medium wrists.
The tourbillon complication was recently added to the base caliber design from Armin Strom to make the caliber ATC11. The beautifully symmetrical movement builds on the brand's seven day power reserve ARM09, but for the ATC11, Armin Strom managed to offer a full ten days of power reserve through two barrels. Such a long power reserve unsurprisingly comes with a slower operating speed of 18,000 bph. This is often a trade-off when including a very long power reserve in a movement. Most modern movements operate at 28,800 bph, but classic or longer power reserve movements operate more slowly. This can affect accuracy, but few clients of such movements are in the market for strict timekeeping. In fact, with a tourbillon, it is often a bit better to have a slightly slower movement so that one can better view the operation of the tourbillon.
We may never know what our ancestors thought or felt when seeing these creations. Today we are more exposed to complex toys, but imagine an inhabitant of 1850 seeing some of these mecha-creatures. Was the Janvier clock a useful tool or merely an expensive salon gadget? Could a clever watch maker convince a client that magic was used to operate a singing bird that was clearly not alive? Who maintained these items and how plentiful were they? Did the average citizen even know about complexities such as this, or was this world relegated to the homes of the richest few percent? It is hard to say, but I feel lucky that items such as these are preserved well enough for us to appreciate in our own way today.
Now this is news that the watch industry will be perking their ears up for, especially for watch producers whose products lie on the margins of the old percentage figure of 50%.
Well, say you're in London standing across the road looking at the west face of Big Ben. Just take a walk up along the street, away from the river and you will see Westminster Abbey, a bit of a distance behind Big Ben. It is the large Gothic cathedral there, recognizable by the flying buttresses like the ones on the Notre Dame in Paris. Walk towards the cathedral, then along its perimeter, until you come to the main entrance. At the two towers of the entrance, you will find the clock you will be looking for. It is the one on the left.
I've taken apart a BR01 case before, and you'd be surprised how complicated it is to access the movement. The one-piece case has the bezel lift out and with it the case and dial. All the screws on the case are totally functional, and it is a delicate item that is much more sophisticated than some basic case where a movement pops into the back. I am not trying to defend Bell & Ross or the pricing of luxury brands which of course is higher than it "needs to be," but I am merely pointing out facts that others tend to not be aware of when complaining that simple looking high-end timepieces inherently require less detail than more complex looking timepieces. Moving on, this again is one of my favorite BR01 collection pieces and if you are looking for the right model in the collection, this could be for you. Price for the Bell & Ross BR01-93 GMT watch is ,000. bellross.com
4. Rebellion T-1000 Gotham Watch
The BR 01-92 Airspeed watch also uses an ETA 2892 automatic movement but retains the hands as they are normally. This is once again going to be a polarizing design, this is interesting because you get a very traditional aviation style dial that is colorful. This is extremely rare. As a traditional aviator's watch you get an inner ring for the hours and an outer ring for the minutes - which is more logical as the hands touch the rings that they actually refer to.
Highly polished steel cases are sort of a hallmark of Breitling watches. They help take the pieces from being mere tools to also style items. It is Breitling's not so subtle, subtle way of adding bling to otherwise serious utilitarian designs. I get to handle a lot of polished steel and steel cases. Breitling takes their cases quite seriously using very good metal and applying very good polishing techniques. One of the only non-polished areas on the watch is the surface of the bezel. The brushed steel makes for a nice contrast. The Breitling Chronomat 44 GMT is heavy, and feels super solid. It is also water resistant to 200 meters. So by all means take it for a little dive.
Frequency: 21,600 v.p.h
Inside the watch crown end, Eterna actually places five ball bearings - which makes for one of the coolest crowns around. Then you have the logo on the dial under the brand name, and again as five of the hour markers. On the rear of the watch the logo shows up again in the placement of the caseback screws, and last you have the logo with the brand name on the movement itself. Those little details show just how much effort was put into the design - whether it is a look you like or not.
In New York recently, I sat down with Girard-Perregaux to see some watches I had not yet been able to get my hands on. Though I soon learned these were vintage pieces. While I am intrinsically more interested in new things, I felt that the unique beauty and craftsmanship of these Girard-Perregaux pocket watches merited some discussion - and pictures.