When watches try and point your interpretation of them in a certain direction, it often feels a little conscious. There is nothing patently obvious about the Tag Heuer Monaco to suggest its motor racing heritage (it isn't even round!). When a watch lacks the kind of authenticity Zenith claim to have installed in the Zenith El Primero Chronomaster 1969 Tour Auto Edition, it has to be synthesized. And it is fair to say, however successful or otherwise you think they might have been, that Zenith have had a damn good go.
You read that correctly: both the Vintage Black and the Pitch Black are said to have lumed tachymeter scales, reminiscent of the design seen on the also recently updated Speedmaster Mark II (review here) – see our review of that piece to see for yourself just how amazing the lume on the tachymeter scale looks!
You can see that the HUB9012 uses two crowns for the Hublot MP-12 Key Of Time watch. The crown on the right is used for setting the time and winding the watch, while the crown on the left is used to speed up or slow down time... as well as return the time to normal. There is an indicator on the dial which tells you what time control mode the watch is in to avoid even further confusion. The Hublot HUB9012 movement is manually wound and comprised of 512 parts. The time speeding and slowing down system, in a sense, operates like a modified chronograph mechanism and is controlled via a column wheel.
The Olio Model 1 smartwatch that we had at the time was an early prototype, so unfortunately, I could not see a lot of this functionality in action. What I was able to see was a glimpse of the working user interface, design of the operating system, and the actual Olio Model 1 watch collection hardware. Though, overall, I was able to learn about Jacob's ambitious plans for Olio and what the start-up's team was diligently working on.
Let's start with the overall design: the Pebble Time is 20% thinner than the original, being a truly slim 9.5 millimeter thick. The case, available in black, white or red, is water resistant to an extent that it allows a quick swim or shower, and its metal bezel secures a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass – a manufacturer whose name may sound familiar from Android smartphones. The case has a slightly curved profile, made complete by stubby lugs that will allow the watch to look decent and wear comfortably even on very thin wrists. The lugs are now 22 millimeters apart – and the supplied straps come with a quick-release pin allowing for their easy, tool-free removal – so changing to aftermarket straps should now be easy.
When we last visited the Eterna Super KonTiki, it was back in 2010, when Eterna (which was a very different company back then) released the limited edition Super KonTiki 1973 (hands-on here). That was a lovely watch, and while the 2015 Super KonTiki is distinct in style and design, it maintains a lot of the same DNA that makes it a real "Super KonTiki."
Why would you want this complication in a timepiece? Well, let me first say that even though the dial for the time might show the time as being sped up or slowed down the movement inside of the watch always keeps track of the "correct" time, so at least you don't need to totally screw up the utility of the watch by playing with its complications. That still doesn't answer what utility "time control" has. As a practical person who is enamored with tool watches and accuracy, I am probably the wrong person to ask. I spoke with Hublot years ago about this watch and the concept of the time control movement is purely romantic. It just goes to show that you can find romance in the oddest of places...
What makes this jumping hours and minutes system so relevant on a regulator-style display (where the hours, minutes, and seconds are each indicated on their own separate dial) is that, historically, these types of layouts were used on the most precise clocks (which were called regulator clocks). The name is based on the fact that the clocks were used to "regulate" the time of other clocks. Many of these had "dead seconds" hands which ticked versus sweeping for a more precise ability to read the time. While I don't know if this is a novel concept (I sort of doubt that it entirely is) DeWitt has adopted the ticking concept of a dead seconds hand to the hours and minute hands. I find the concept interesting both technically and emotionally as the concept very much fits into the notion of idealized mechanical indication of the time.
Mickey Nolan: Yeah that’s right, I’m going to strip down a Rolex Submariner Date 16610 with a 3135 movement. It’s probably the most common Sub out there. They were made from the late eighties all the way up until 2010. This particular one is from 1995. It’s just come in. It looks to be in pretty good shape, but it’s fast, so it needs checking over.
ABTW: That is a pretty comprehensive list of watches you would peg as grails. Have you ever obtained any of them?
Dominating the dial and the overall appearance of the timepiece, a re-imagining of Cronos, the God of time, sits dejected atop the hour dial. One hand grasps the scythe that will cut you down when the hourglass, on which his other hand rests, finally runs out; and behind this morbid scene, we can see that the end has come for daylight too. A night sky of expertly blued steel, studded with eleven diamond stars, provides a stunning contrast between the 18k rose gold and sterling silver relief of the dial.
Also new is the Rolex Sky-Dweller reference 326138 in 18k yellow gold with silver dial and brown leather strap. There is a richness to colors which is interesting and separates this from the existing yellow gold Rolex Sky-Dweller that comes with a matching dial and yellow gold bracelet. The final new version of the Rolex Sky-Dweller to add to the original three is the reference 326935 in 18k Everose gold with the "sundust" dial paired to an Everose bracelet.
To that end, if you’re looking to support modern independent watchmaking at a level that makes a difference, you’d do well to look at Bremont. Take it from a guy who only collects vintage and owns exactly ONE modern timepiece: Bremont is a contemporary brand worth throwing your support behind. bremont.com
LAST CHANCE: Traser Classic Automatic Master Watch Giveaway
7 Commentsby David Bredan
LAST CHANCE: Traser Classic Automatic Master Watch Giveaway
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