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Years later, and the watch industry has not forgotten the important lessons that came out of the Calibre 1887 series of events. We believed that anyone releasing a "new" movement would not make the same mistake. Unfortunately, it happened to Bremont and aBlogtoWatch reached out to communicate with the brand after-the-fact to get the full story.
Special 2014 World Cup Watch Models: None as of yet
Given that the Bremont Terra Nova is based on the Supermarine 500 (S500), it has a full 500 meters of water resistance and dive watch features such as an automatic helium release valve. Though technically it is not a dive watch given the navigational versus timing bezel. You can see that the bezel has compass readings on it which can be used for directional purposes. Though if you really did want to dive with the Bremont Terra Nova you'd have no problems.
The Bulgari Bulgari was said to be inspired by Roman coins, which repeated text around the periphery of the coin. That makes sense, but I am more interested in the cultural effects of the face's triple branding, as "Bulgari" is written on the dial and twice on the bezel. We look at the design today and don't even think twice. Which is because we are very used to patterns made from brand logos, Louis Vuitton monogram bags, and many other luxury goods who make use of their brand name as a design element. This is perhaps one of the most important fundamental changes in luxury advertising over the last several decades - the fact that a brand's name is an inherent part of its style. With only three names on the dial, this makes the watch seem almost tame by current standards.
Why it deserves a re-release: These designs are extremely iconic of the era and offer legibility, class, and a lot of elegance in a design that feels very wearable today. The basic shape of the Carrera case is more or less unchanged and these "panda dial" models are simply great looking. From elegant lines to a very readable dial, this is among the best looking, non-pretentious classic chronograph sport watches around.
I think it is great that products such as the Modillian are being created in order to provide watch lovers something so that they don't feel left out of the smartwatch game. Yes, the Modillian is a simple device that will not work for everyone, but it should provide an interesting use scenario and solution for many people who want to dabble in both the world of traditional watches and smartwatches or other wearables.
ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?
I like the execution of some SevenFriday watches more than others. The minute hand begins with a large wheel with spokes style design and has a smaller hand jutting out of it. The hour hand, by comparison, is a bit hidden underneath. It is not difficult to read, but isn't a model of legibility. The dial, like the case, is full of whimsical design elements that play out as a sort of satire on industrial design. SevenFriday watches don't take themselves ultra seriously because they aren't trying to be tool watches. Rather, they are trying to be interesting, gadgety fashion watches for men who don't use the term "fashion" in their vocabulary.
Now here is a watch that requires an introduction - being from Australia and in honor of Doctor Who. We've mentioned OWC watches before, but this is a new twist on dive watch designs.
Frankly, after watching something like this, it seems almost indescribable that watchmakers were able to advance the craft as they did before the advent of tools like this. Of course, it probably involved a lot of trial and error, and fiddly modification of parts - in other words, quite a bit trickier than what we have today.
The other Cartier Rotonde Small Complication model is the Rotonde de Cartier Power Reserve - Aperture Calendar watch. This model set comes in a smaller 40mm-wide case, also available in 18k white gold, 18k pink gold, and steel. These Cartier Rotonde Small Complication watches have more asymmetrical dials with a power reserve indicator as well as an "open" date window. I think Cartier might have been better off just including a big date rather than an expanded "aperture calendar" date window. The overall design is very attractive, but watch lovers tend to disagree on the attractiveness of such open date window styles.
It does tick me off to a considerable extent that many brands don't think to add that necessary information on their watches. How about just brand, model name, and reference number? That shouldn't be too hard to fit on the back of the watch right? So let's start seeing more of that. Glashutte Original seems to be on the proper side of that fence, but it is arguable whether or not the name of the model should be on the dial as it doesn't add to the overall composition. Having said that, there is enough empty space on the dial to prevent it from looking cluttered.
XN: It was so futuristic at the time. The stop watch had a precision to the hundredth of a second, it had a one minute countdown display, really cool stuff for a kid!
On the plus side, fashion brand watches are often very well designed and of a high-quality. The element that some people dislike about these watches having known names is a plus factor to others. Also, and while this is not a universal rule, these brands often have access to really good suppliers or materials that only the biggest brands have access to. I'd say that in the end, it really depends on the person. Some people are totally OK (or even eager) with the idea of wearing a watch from a major fashion label, and others for equally legitimate reasons simply won't go near them. For that reason luxury fashion watches are among the most controversial items in the world of watches.
In fact, the promotional video produced by Meta sums it all up nicely. Meta CEO Bill Geiser hired the design studio of former Vertu luxury phone designer Frank Nuovo to help re-imagine the brand and product. This makes sense as it was part of Nuovo's job to produce luxury lifestyle mobile phones - which anyone in the luxury watch industry should be more than familiar with. Can Nuovo bring a bit of high-end lifestyle magic to something which is second only to Google Glass in terms of nerd credibility? The video communicates exactly who Meta is seeking to attract. It further communicates almost nothing about the watch itself aside from its ability to be worn more comfortably and on a leather strap. Cheekily-dressed, good-looking kids in vintage cars and motorcycles are about as far as you can get from the traditional smartwatch wearer - which indicates Meta very much wants to separate itself from the industry's current perceived demographic.
To begin with, they installed a unique 'pull and slide' opening mechanism for the doors. While I am certain that I have seen doors open in a similar way before, their decision to use this idea for a safe makes it rather unique indeed. What this mechanism does is enable the doors to be moved completely out of the way once they are opened. In practice this means that as the doors are being pulled to the sides they silently retract and disappear between the side walls and the internal storage compartment. As a result the doors are not in the way at all and the interior can now be easily pulled out from the safe itself to reveal its 16, 32, or 48 watch winders and a set of drawers.