Hour, minute and small second hands
Hour, minute and small second hands
Call me a snob, but I honestly wouldn't have discussed this collection unless I thought the designs were impressive for the price. There are lots of watches in the few hundred dollar range that don't pass muster. Cross partnered with Solar Time Ltd. out of Hong Kong to design and produce the new collection. While the names of the pieces lack cohesion and there needs to be a marketing campaign around them, the watches and designs aren't half bad. I got my hands on a trio of them to share with you.
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Lateral inserts: Black composite resin with carbon insert at 9 o'clock
Movement: Modified calibre 13 1/4” BE-36AE automatic chronometer, 25 jewels, Glucydur balance. Anachron balance spring, Nivaflex 1 mainspring, 28,800 bph, 38-hour power reserve, Bremont moulded and skeletonised decorated rotor.
Car and watch tie-ins are far from uncommon but more often than not are merely the addition of a logo or an element designed to look as if it were part of a car. Typically such elements end up looking like a tacked-on afterthought and not an integral part of the design. The M21 stands out because it doesn't necessarily look like a "car watch". UNIQ was able to select identifiable elements of the vintage car while combining them into a cohesive design which is capable of standing on its own. With no knowledge of the GAZ M21, the M21 watch would likely be seen as a good-looking watch with a retro vibe. With its modern 44mm size and color scheme, the M21 is a watch that can easily dress up or down. The flat caseback sits comfortably while the waterproof leather strap conforms nicely to the wrist. The 13.5mm thick case feels light but not cheap and doesn't move around on the wrist. A stainless butterfly deployant clasp closes firmly and is engraved with the M21 logo.
When I started my timepiece collection, I consider myself fortunate to have bought a Rolex GMT-Master II (ref. 116713 LN) as my first timepiece. It is one of Rolex's many iconic designs, and to be frank, it still remains one of my favorite watches to this day.
Vostok Europe makes the Anchar relatively durable with the case being water resistant to 300 meters. That and some other features such as the rotating diver's bezel help make it a true dive watch. However, I believe the piece doesn't have a sapphire crystal. But the mineral crystal it uses does have AR coating on it. On the rear of the case is an engraving of the Anchar submarine - which was designed in the 1960s.
While it does not surprise me much, I can't say that I would have guessed Rado would bring out a watch with the aesthetic of Tron. In a way I get it. Rado had a nice time in the 1980s when it started to popularize ceramic cased watches, and Tron came out in the 1980s. Both were futuristic in their own avant garde manner. The Rado R-One (R-1) isn't per se a "Tron watch" as there is no official connection, but you'd be amiss to find the R-One's design not wholly inspired by the movie franchise.
The "phantom" watch craze of the last few years had me a bit uneasy. Such watches looked cool a lot of the time, but really sacrificed functionality and practicality in many instances. Many of them just ended up looking silly with black hands and indexes on black faces. Even more insulting was the black colored luminant often used on these watches to make them "night viewable." I don't know about how you feel, but such lume was only moderately effective in my opinion. Nevertheless, these black-on-black watches sell pretty well. Here is one such piece from Luminox that I can recommend.
The black rhodium plating also provides more color and contrast, yielding a movement that is quite striking. Kind of reminds me of the Glashutte PanoInverse. Not Patek-level finishing, but quite good.
The Revolution Shelby 1000 watch is 43.5mm wide in steel. The limited edition version is in black vulcanized rubber coated steel. The normal version has some rubber elements with a brushed steel case. The bezel has a tachymeter (of course) and the sides of the case are black on both models. I really like how the chronograph pushers are integrated into the design to look like crown guards. I have always had a weakness for this design style.
Good luck, and thanks to Breil Watches the sponsor of this Orchestra watch giveaway here at aBlogtoRead.com!
The case is further constructed of rubber, resin, and black ceramic (for the bezel). The black and gold crown with the Hublot logo appears particularly nice in this watch. Black and gold color combinations tend to look good in my opinion and with the Hublot style and hints of red this makes for a nice high-end sports watch. It is glitzy and loud, and just how many people like it.
Inside the 5130G is Patek Philippe's in-house made caliber 240 HU automatic movement. The slim movement is just 3.88mm thick, and uses a micro-rotor to maintain a slim profile. The micro-rotor is made from 22k gold, and the movement has a power reserve of 48 hours. Note the special Patek Philippe Gyromax balance wheel. The movement offers the time and world time function. Once you learn how to use it, the piece makes for a very comfortable traveler's watch.