As mentioned, each of the new mechanical watches contain Swiss made automatic movements, but it isn't clear whose movements. They aren't ETA, and the pieces are priced less than most with ETA chronographs. There seems to be more and more brands with nameless Swiss made automatic movements. Should that be something to be worried about? It depends. A range of companies exist that produce lower-priced, but still technically Swiss made movements that mix Swiss and Asian made parts, often mostly assembled in Switzerland. They are often technically less complex than more expensive Swiss movements, but are perhaps just as reliable for most uses.
With ETA cutting back on its supplies, many watch brands have, instead of looking for an alternative supplier, made a commitment to be independent. Ulysse Nardin is one of those brands, and this year alone, they are introducing five new in-house movements. We had the chance to speak to its CEO, Patrik Hoffman, and got to learn more about their endeavors in producing in-house movements and also saw some of their new watches for 2013.
Inside the JS Watch Frisland 1941 will be "execution top" (well, factory decorated) Swiss ETA automatic movements. They aren't COSC Chronometer certified, but they are designed to offer Chronometric performance. The case is also water resistant to 50 meters and has a sapphire crystal over the dial as well as over the movement for the exhibition case back. Overall these are nice looking aviators with a little Icelandic personality and a lot of what people come to expect from an aviator. Prices aren't cheap and start at 2,250 Euros. Actually, the red seconds hand is a 35 Euro add-on, as is the buffalo leather strap which is another 200 Euros. The good news is that anyone not in Iceland gets a 20% discount because you don't need to pay their VAT duty. jswatch.com
Breguet La Chronometrie Ref. 7727 10Hz
All in all, this is an exciting watch and looking at the list of features it is easy to see why. A low price, technical innovation so far unseen before, and marvelous aesthetic qualities. In fact, this is ideal to present as a gift to your friends with unrefined and simple tastes in watches. It will function as a starter piece to allow them to appreciate the wonders of the mechanical watch, and hopefully wean them off using their mobile phone to tell the time.
In the last year Swiss art watch brand ArtyA has transformed itself from extremely avant garde "creative" watches to something like this guitar head-shaped Son of Sound collection. The brand was once about just creating totally one-of-a-kind watches that combined the work of an artist and watch maker. The "piece unique" moniker was more a result of that production style versus an effort. For example if you take a steel case and "deface" it (as founder Yvan Arpa liked to say) with electricity and machines by hand, no two cases are going to look alike (i.e. "piece unique"). Thematically, ArtyA watches contained everything from fossilized dinosaur feces to human blood and actual butterfly wings.
So what can you buy if your pockets are not so deep? The good news is that there is a lot of fun to be had in the shallow end. There are "serious" watches of significance that can be bought for less than the price of a quartz fashion piece.
As a sport watch, the Icon Extreme name does technically apply as it has 100 meters of water resistance. The case is certainly beefy and the crystal is sapphire I believe. It might not fit snugly like many dive watches, and I don't know precisely what activity Savoy had in mind when designing it, but I imagine it would survive a day playing craps at a Casino or driving your Cadillac through traffic. Given the style, those are the types of sports that seem to go with the design. The look of the watches is very Las Vegasy. Meaning that they are meant to look classy, but also modern, and additionally unique. Sort of like the Cheesecake Factory. In fact, this color scheme for the Icon Extreme is pretty conservative given the others - which might be worth looking at on their site if you are shopping for a watch to go with your various Dolce & Gabbana sunglasses.
For those of us on an average budget, check out Bianci. We've reviewed them before and been impressed with the value. This model, the H262MOP_WHT, is a white ceramic with mother of pearl dial, Swiss ISA quartz movement and sapphire crystal, list price 9 (cheaper in reality). They have a wide variety of styles, including some with cubic zirconia jeweling for a bit of affordable bling that should last quite well.
Thanks to Victor M. of Raleigh, North Carolina for this thorough follow-up review of a Marvin Malton Cushion watch he was the lucky winner of during the September 2012 aBlogtoRead.com monthly watch giveaway. The giveaway specified an M119 watch, but it looks like he was able to get an M120 Limited Edition model instead (similar but with different dial). Check out his details reviews below:
Once again, as an update to this article, Nataf is no longer the CEO of Slyde as of January 2013. It was a very quick time in office.
Grand Seiko Watch Roadshow 2012 At Arizona Fine Time
Watch Industry News
9 Commentsby Paul Hubbard
Grand Seiko Watch Roadshow 2012 At Arizona Fine Time
Although these watches are not the first word in legibility - especially the Heading Indicator - they stay true to Bell & Ross’ older aviation-themed watches such as last year’s Altimeter and the older Radar. All in all, these watches cement Bell & Ross’ reputation for making uniquely-designed aviation-inspired timepieces.
Let's discuss the bezel first. With a pull of the finger, the bezel comes loose and can be replaced with another one that Glam Rock provides. Each piece comes with three bezels. The system is quite good actually. You'd never know the bezel can be pulled off if no one told you, and it sits really securely on the case. Swapping bezels couldn't be more simple and as I said, the system is engineered well. There is a bit of a problem though. Glam Rock hasn't quite figured out what other bezels to offer with the kit. The base bezel has a tachymeter in the same tone as the case. The others included with the watch merely change the color of the bezel giving you steel tone, rose gold tone, or yellow gold tone. A rose gold bezel on a yellow gold toned watch doesn't look good. What would have made a lot more sense is offering actually different types of bezel designs - that match the colors of the case. Perhaps that will come in the future, but for the time being, I don't feel that Glam Rock is making the best use of this feature. If there are better bezel options out there, they weren't included with the watch.
My typical distaste for display backs doesn’t factor in here – partially because the movement is so beautifully decorated and adorned, but primarily because the movement fits the case precisely. So many movements – even high end manufactures – fit small movements in oversize cases, but not so with the Saxonia. This is clearly a timepiece built to fit around the movement, and I could watch that Nivarox balance spring do its dance all day.
Starting at £700 and going up to about £3000 depending on the complication and the model, the prices are downright fabulous in terms of value for money.
This Timewalker ChronoVoyager UTC watch has a sunburst polished silvered dial and rose-gold toned hands and hour markers. Something about the dial also looks a bit brownish to me. That could be the inclusion of the gold-toned elements or a slight brownish tint to the dial. The dial's flange ring is sloped and features the 24 hour time scale for the GMT hand. An interesting detail is the non-even placement of the "day/night" indicator on the ring. To be slightly more accurate, the GMT scale is dark from 7pm to 7am - which is usually 6pm to 6am on other watches which have a two-tone scale like that.
Operating the watch is a simple task, as the crown has only two positions: winding and time-setting. The lack of a date mechanism renders the watch nearly idiot-proof (over-winding is still possible). Audible clicks can be heard when the crown is turned to wind the watch and the winding resistance is close to ideal; as is the amount of effort required to operate the two chronograph buttons. Pusher feel is fairly crisp, but not buttery-smooth like the class-leading Lange Datograph.
Using a similar case that is also 44mm wide in steel, the Chrono Hawk removes the rotating diver's bezel opting for a more simple brushed bezel. You can really see the Laureato in the Chrono Hawk design right? By the way, the new custom case-fitted strap is pretty nice. More and more we are moving to a world where buying a third-party strap just isn't possible anymore as each high-end watch tends to have their own custom strap or bracelet. Having said that, the design benefits are often worth it. On the dial, the Chrono Hawk offers a similar style as the Sea Hawk, but with different hands, hour markers, and a unique set of chronograph sub dials. While the hands are richly lumed, the chronograph hands are not. As a sport watch, it would have been nice to be able and read the chronograph in the dark. Compared to the diver, this model is water resistant to 100, versus 1000 meters. Look for the new Sea Hawk and Chrono Hawk watches from Girard-Perregaux in 2013. Prices are ,350 for the standard Sea Hawk models, ,500 for the Foreverglades Sea Hawk, and ,800 for the Chrono Hawk
So a little about me: my name is Andrew and I’m a surgeon from Indianapolis, Indiana. I’ve always liked watches, but only within the last few years have I really cultivated an appreciation of mechanical watches. Part of my fascination with timepieces is that they are such intricately designed and expertly assembled tiny machines that turn the unwinding of a spring into a useful device that accurately tells time. More personal to me, though, is that with a little maintenance, a watch can serve someone for a lifetime and then be handed down to the next generation for his or her enjoyment. I treasure my father's and grandfather’s watches, and since I became a parent, I wanted something that I could pass down to my children. So when the opportunity arose on ABTW to travel to Geneva to build a watch at the headquarters of Frédérique Constant and Alpina, I jumped at the chance to enter the contest. Certainly I was comfortable working with my hands, and the chance to assemble something to pass down to my kids was very intriguing. I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning, but I figured I would give it a shot.
Eterna says that 70% of the Calibre 39 will be produced within their hometown of Grenchen, Switzerland. Given Eterna's rich history in watchmaking and proven expertise in movement design, the Calibre 39 is an exciting announcement that could have a real effect on the watch market as we know it. In a nutshell, while they do make watches, Eterna is probably at its best when making movements. Should they be able to industrialize and price the Calibre 39 appropriately, it should prove to be a major business for them as well as helping to ease the movement woes of many small and larger watch makers. eterna.ch
Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4 Watch
15 Commentsby Ariel Adams
Harry Winston Histoire de Tourbillon 4 Watch
ABTW: I see all this creativity and enthusiasm going into the Machines and it definitely makes me curious about something: if you could do something else – I know you wanted to be a car designer –, what would it be? In other words do you plan on extending your and hence MB&F’s operation to beyond watch making?