It is the end of the year and you people are entitled to your lists, round-ups, and best-ofs. I am not a man of superlatives - so please stop asking me what my favorite watch brand, model, or food is. We thankfully live in a world were it is not necessary to choose favorites, and sampling is encouraged (my horological polyamory will continue unscathed). Having said that, I've chosen ten of the most desirable, interesting, or just plain cool watches of 2011 covered here on aBlogtoRead.com. Check them out below is no particular order:
There are various versions of the Surf Watch with dial colors such as red, black, and sandy tan. Strap choices include leather, rubber that looks like a bracelet, and a full metal bracelet. The cases have rotating bezels and decently designed dials. The hands and hour markers are pretty easy to read, but the watch functions need some explanation as few timepiece dials are laid out like this. First of all, the movement is done by Swiss ISA. This movement maker is really interesting and I'd like to get to know more about them in the future. As far as I know they are a sort of a smaller-scale movement maker for those who want movements that do more than just tell the time. They also seem to produce only quartz movements. I have a few watches with ISA movements and they are all quirky to say that least. Not that quirky is terrible, but I've never had one with functions that screamed simplicity to me.
There are two very similar versions of this watch, and I will cover them separately. There is the El Primero Stratos Flyback, and then there is the El Primero Stratos Flyback Striking 10th. These look very similar, and are in the same case. Though the Striking 10th version takes last's years El Primero Striking 10th watch and puts it in the Stratos case. For now we are going to focus on the Stratos Flyback - which you can easily tell by the red labeled "Stratos" on the dial. The other version instead says "1/10 of a second" in the same place.
Producing their own movement has more to do with practicality than it does image. For years Swatch Group owned ETA has been threatening to no longer supply brands with movements. Ulysse Nardin has long since relied on ETA bases for its mainstream movements which are then modified by Ulysse Nardin. The brand’s highest-end Ulysse Nardin pieces are another story. Delays, price increases, or complete lack of parts from ETA would be an unwelcome eventuality to say the least. The overall sentiment in the watch industry right now is that no matter what happens at ETA, the outcome in unpredictable. This has led to a surge of innovation and investments, whereby non-Swatch Group brands are either making their own movements, or looking for suppliers elsewhere. Ulysse Nardin as a high-end brand, would of course like to dictate its future as much as possible. They are among a rare breed of successful, but independent watch brands remaining in Switzerland.
Over a year ago I was at the GTE 2011 - the first occasion of the "Geneva Time Exhibition." For 2011 the GTE doubled in size, and looks to be a now standard fixture during SIHH week in Geneva. While at the show last year I was introduced to a nice grandfatherly looking man who did not speak English. His name was Laurent Ferrier. Laurent, as it was explained to me, used to work at Patek Philippe and was now due to start his own brand. He had one of the watches on him and I got a chance to check out the Gallet Classic Double Spiral Tourbillon watch for the first time. I knew then at that instant it would be a big success.
Tech specs from Temption:
Limited Art Edition 100 pieces in English
The standard Top Gun uses a matte black ceramic case with a titanium caseback and large crown. The same goes for the chronograph version. Depending on the model there is a Top Gun logo engraved into the caseback or offered as a colored print under a protective sapphire crystal. It looks cool either way. Most people claim to not care about the Top Gun collaboration but I promise you it adds just a nice little icing to this sweet cake.
For me the most interesting part is the history of how Movado got the rights to the watch. Apparently Horwitt wanted to sell the design for years, especially after battling to get a design patent. After looking for a buyer for a long time, Movado finally bought the rights to the design for a mere ,000 in 1975! Movado then waited until Horwitt's death in 1990 to go full scale and make the Museum Dial watch their signature timepiece. Imagine that, the mighty value of the design bought for just ,000. Another instance of a designer never being able to fully realized the value of their creation and another handsomely profiting from it.
The ALT1-WT will be positioned as one of Bremont's new for 2012 watch models. But there will be other models as well. The differences between this model and the Globemaster are minor - being mostly the caseback and dial changes as far as I can tell. Bremont makes it clear that this watch is an adoption of the C-17 Globemaster. The case done with specially hardened steel and is 43mm wide. The most recognizable element is the rotating city ring that is to be used in conjunction with the 24 hour hand. This gives you the time all around the world at a glance and the design here is well-done. Bremont uses their Roto-Click system for the inner rotating bezel that offers distinct positions for the bezel turns. It is a nicely satisfying little detail. You can tell that the city ring is different on this model compared to the Globemaster (that has airport indicators).
Like the originals they have plexiglass crystals, 100 meters of water resistance, and a cool black and faded yellow look to the dials. The straps on the new models are meant to be reminiscent of the woven fabric straps of the originals. Today they are done in a textured black leather.
- Bottom plate in hand-ground titanium, wet sandblasted, Titalyt®treated
Haldimann's H9 watch is called the "Reduction," but to me it is the Revulsion. The watch is "reduced" to a useless tragedy. I should have seen this coming, but perhaps never expected his audacity to go this far. And by audacity I mean it in the American sense... "boldly rude." Please remember that my European friends as you plaster this term all over your speeches and releases. The Haldimann H8 Sculptura watch that preceded the H9 was a step in this direction. The piece (seen below), displayed a centrally mounted tourbillon without an indicator of time. While as a watch it was worthless, it did have some value as a fun thing to look at. I mean that is sort of the point of tourbillon complications - to just see them spinning around. There was a delicate elegance to the H8 that almost made you forgive its rather seditious incompatibility with what watches are all about.
The lugless case design is attractive and I overall like the style of the watch. It works well and is polished in its look. John Isaac matches the Rough Sea with a buffalo leather strap with folding clasp. They also provide an additional rubber strap, which should go well with this look. Price for the John Isaac Rough Sea watch 1,990 Swiss Francs and you can get them online via their website.
Bell & Ross BR 01-92 Carbon Watch Review
The case is 44mm wide in steel and clearly has some resemblance to the IWC Aquatimer. I like the large crown and masculine, but not too massive, chronograph pushers. The watch is water-resistant to 300m which is pretty good for a diver style chronograph. One thing I don't get is the markers on the rotating bezel. They look cool, sure, but why a navigational bezel? I mean, it isn't totally without use, but it feels more for show than anything else. I would prefer a more standard diver's style bezel with a 60 minute ring - a 60 minute countdown ring might be interesting, actually.
Android Market with up to 250 000 applications such as:
Adobe Flash Reader
Google Search, Google Maps
GMail , You Tube , E-Blogger
TECHNICAL DETAILS from Hublot:
In America boys are raised with cars as being the ultimate luxury toy that they desire from well before they can drive. It isn't uncommon for kids to have posters of super cars in their room and eagerly anticipate the day they may be able to afford even a budget model. That day doesn't come for many people but that doesn't stop them form lusting over these powerful and impractical machines. To a large degree that is what makes the high-end car industry so powerful - the fact that people are bred from a small age to want one. In at least the United States the same isn't true with watches at this time. Perhaps that will change in the future. I can hope and with the amount of marketing dollars being pumped into the media it might happen a bit sooner than later.
Beau Hudspeth | Photographer | Watch Collector (in training)
Why Are Watches So Expensive?
Collecting vintage is not for the uninitiated. I don’t recommend it to people with a casual interest in watches. You need to inform yourself and be aware of junk, fakes, aftermarket parts, disreputable sellers, poorly serviced movements and basket-cases, franken-watches cobbled from parts, etc. Today’s buyers have the advantage of reams of information available online for just about any marque. If you have an interest in a particular brand or model, start researching. You’ll be amazed at how much information you can find on websites, blogs and forums. You’ll also be amazed by how many horror stories are out there, which is good fodder for learning from the mistakes of others. It helps to find a reputable brick and mortar store that deals in pre-owned and vintage watches; if you build a relationship with a knowledgeable retailer you will be much less likely to get burned. You will also want to find a good watchmaker with a lot of experience, as it is inevitable that you will need to get your pieces serviced. Having a good watchmaker at your disposal can make the process much less painful and far less expensive.