aBlogtoWatch received a note from Rolex today on the appointment of a new brand CEO. The news release from Rolex was a scant, one line document on official letterhead that explained Jean-Frederic Dufour would be appointed as the CEO of Rolex SA in Geneva. Mr. Dufour would be replacing Gian Riccardo Marini.
Casio can't after all hand over all of the benefits of a Pro Trek to a G-Shock, so there are advantages to the Pro Trek depending on the wearer. What is oddly ironic for the first time, is that most modern Pro Treks are slightly smaller than a G-Shock. That means that we consider the Pro Trek PRW3000 (for example) to be a svelte, slim timepiece companion next to the bolder and masculine looks of the Casio G-Shock GW9400 Rangeman. I have both so I don't really prefer one over the other, and functionally they are very similar. I like the bold looks of the Rangeman more, but with its smaller size and more legible screen, I like the PRW3000 for things like exercise and sports, while the G-Shock is great for things like hiking, swimming, and otherwise adventuring.
Others have told the story better than I, but the details are simple. During the quartz crisis Zenith more or less shut down for a while and was sold. The directors ordered that many of the tooling and plans for movements be destroyed at the time. This includes the tools and plans for the newly developed El Primero. It was to be a movement that "had it all," but given the shift to quartz, from a mainstream perspective, the fully-featured El Primero was simply too late. No one at the time would have believe that a few decades later all of these highly performance-oriented movements and developments would exist inside of luxury watches.
The Viking case is also high detailed with inset sides, a complicated crown, and a lot of little features that make it more interesting than most large watches. Even the three-link bracelet has interesting angles to it that prevent it from being just another big dive watch. The case is available in brushed steel, but also in black PVD-coated steel, which adds a totally different look. The lugs and bracelet links each use hex-screws versus normal ones, but thankfully Tempest includes a tool in the box.
Most TV-related watches are cheap quartz junk. This is not. I like it because it is cool, clever, mechanical, and by an enthusiast for enthusiasts. orangewatchcompany.com
I recently visited Buccellati in Milan, Italy and shared my experience inside the Buccellati jewelry manufacture here on Forbes. So for aBlogtoWatch, I'd like to focus more on Buccellati watches versus their jewelry and silver goods. If you aren't familiar with Buccellati yet, that is okay. They aren't as well known outside of Italy as many of the French jewelry brands are known outside of France. Buccellati as a formal company has been around since 1919 in Milan, and since then has developed into what many refer to as "the Van Cleef & Arpels of Italy."
One of the biggest surprises from Rolex at Baselworld 2014 was its three all new Cellini watches. Of the three, the Cellini Time and Dual Time are the ones I like the best. The former is a simple three-handed dress watch, while the latter has an extra dual-time complication at 6 o’clock with a day/night indicator. Both watches, I think, are very neatly and well executed and for once, these Cellini watches are a viable alternative to Rolex’s more illustrious Oyster models.
Ever wonder what impact niche-appeal, high-end watches from small independent brands make on the larger general culture? This prop gadget from the Marvel Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. television show is how, and it illustrates how a niche luxury product is able to make a stylistic impact on a pop culture demographic that probably has no idea where the idea came from in the first place.
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit features two Hamilton watches, a black Khaki Field Titanium Auto (above, worn by Chris Pine) and a custom Khaki Aviation Flight Timer (below, worn by Kevin Costner). While I have yet to see the film, I love a good spy movie and both of these watches seem like solid choices for a spy's everyday carry. The Khaki Field Titanium Auto (ref H70575733) features a 42mm titanium case, an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement, a sapphire crystal and can be had on either a titanium bracelet or the suitably tactical looking canvas strap shown in the photo. In contrast, the Khaki Aviation Flight Timer (ref H64554431) sports a 40mm steel case, Swiss ana-digi quartz movement (with UTC, dual time zone, chronograph, alarm, flight time recorder and perpetual calendar) and a sapphire crystal.
Even though the caliber SH21 movement is Swiss, Christopher Ward is British. For that reason, they decided to not finish the SH21 like a traditional Swiss movement. The bridges are mostly brushed but little details, such as machine-beveled edges, add a hint of flair to the otherwise intentionally industrial design. I inquired as to what a movement like this lacks that a much high-end movement might have, and we had a nice discussion about that. The short of the story is that with a high-end movement from a Swiss brand, you'll probably get a lot of hand-finishing and more decorative parts, but for the most part, there aren't any major features lacking in the SH21. Overall, Christopher Ward has a pretty serious contender.
Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity
The men's model goes for a darker pallete, with anthracite (aka dark grey) being the color of choice. This shows up on what little there is of the inner dial (much less patterned than the ladies model), as well as on the outer dial edge, where you have small marks for the minutes, and a whole lot of Hamilton Viewmatic branding (each word shows up three times).
So, what are the new models for 2013? They are the Seiko Astron SAST015 in titanium on a bracelet, the SAST 025 in a black IP steel case on a strap with orange trim, and the SAST100, which is the limited edition Kinatro Hattori Special Limited Edition that we will cover in a separate aBlogtoWatch article. The SAST015 is probably my choice of model with its titanium and ceramic case. Ceramic is used not only for the bezel, but also for the middle link on the bracelet. The dial is accented in red. Though both of them are a good choice depending on your style. I just happen to like titanium and bracelets. There is also the SAST019 version with blue ceramic and titanium or the SAST017 with black ceramic and gold accents.
In the early 2000s, when Max Busser was heading the watch division at Harry Winston he instituted the Opus collection, where Harry Winston collaborated with high-end independent watch makers to produce amazingly complex limited edition men's watches. It was a bit out of character for a brand known for diamond-studded timepieces and other items of elegance. The Opus collection helped spawn some other interesting men's collections in the brand as well as the Histoire de Tourbillon–which I always called "Opus light" (though not "light" from a price perspective).
Swiss Jeanrichard can't seem to get enough special edition models out their doors lately - but at least most of them are pretty cool. This newest series of special models is in honor of Japan, and puts a Hokusai-inspired dial on an Aquascope watch. Let me first mention what I don't know: and that is whether or not these are part of a limited edition, or if they are to be exclusively sold in Japan. I have a feeling the answer to both is "no," but we just don't know yet. Having said that, my instinct tells me these will be part of a limited production, meaning their numbers won't be strictly limited but they aren't going to be regular models and will be produced for maybe a year or so only.
Truth seekers such as the FakeWatchBuster looking to help set the record straight have been around just as long. A few decades ago, these were people involved in investigative journalism. Today, people like the FakeWatchBuster, exploit their particular interests and expertise to cleverly and virally balance deception, by exposing the truth in a manner as fun for the public to digest as the lies the public wants to believe. It is perhaps particularly appropriate in this day and age for fake displays of wealth to be identified by status-laden timepieces.
It may even be morally wrong to have a favorite watch. Philosophically, I am not exactly a proponent of moral edicts, but I do feel an ethical obligation to my readers to be open-minded. This is especially true given my role as someone who helps frame opinion and inform people on a variety of new watches. Sometimes my work is suggested to be akin to that of a movie or art critic. That would indicate my role is to give people the tools and condensed summary of products so that they can best determine for themselves what is worthy of their own investment. Not to tell people that they need to like what I like. Naturally, I will have my own tastes and preferences and am not expected to be completely neutral. The best critics are those with very strong opinions. My preferences exist to allow people to agree or disagree with me, but my value is in offering an insight that people can incorporate into their own sense of good taste.
Each of his movements, like each of his watches, is a unique composition. As of now, there is no coherent brand DNA. No two watches designed by Konstantin are the same. Some are classic, some are modern, but all do something a bit out of the ordinary. Though, the brand has mentioned that it is internally working on a more simple movement that it can produce in larger volumes, as an entry level piece. Having said that, let's look at one of the brand's most high-end watches to-date, the Lunokhod Prime.