A very interesting thing to note is that the Octa Sport watch has an aluminum movement. Most FP Journe watch movements are in gold. The movement is the in-house made Calibre FPJ 1300-3 automatic. It even has an aluminum rotor - but one one that also has a tungsten strip for extra weight. Power reserve for the movement is impressive at 120 hours. The movement is visible through a sapphire exhibition caseback window.
An interesting point on this was made to me at Girard-Perregaux. This is actually their final year at SIHH and next year they will be returning to Baselworld due to their new ownership status. Anyhow, CEO Mr. Macaluso commented on how at GP they see beyond China. There is a realization that economic growth in China will slow and eventually level out. True enough news reports from China indicate that 2011 saw a slowed increase in economic growth already. Plus, as the nation's "new rich" become just "rich" their buying habits will tame and as watch consumers, while their tastes will mature and become more sophisticated. What that means is that the Chinese consumer will quickly develop a taste for what people in the US and Europe want. Even if they don't, the US and Europe cannot be ignored as essential markets. If a brand puts all their eggs in Chinese-made baskets.... well you know how the story goes. This is the "Goodbye China" part of the story. Not that the watch industry is at all done with its Asian love-affair, but rather that it realizes there is an entire world out there, and that these are European brands that are making watches primarily to suit their own tastes.
Personally, I think I like the 3-hand more than the chronograph, but it's a tough call and the price difference is unusually low for a Top-grade 7750. The day and date are nice to have and the classic 3-subdial display has a professional vibe that nicely balances the skull and crossbones. Both watches have robust builds and whimsical details and if that combo appeals to you (as it does me) then Helson will make your day.
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.
Until x-ray technology was good enough, we had no way of seeing into the corroded machine that has spent 2000 years under water. Parts of it were completely destroyed but from the fragments we have been able to understand at least what the Antikythera machine was designed to do. It was really about coordinating events with various celestial phases, as well as predicting events like eclipses. The Greeks obsessively tried to understand and predict cycles of the moving bodies in the sky, and machines like this helped synthesize that work.
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