Frederique Constant, and its sister brand Alpina currently combine using both in-house made mechanical movements as well as sourced movements from ETA/Sellita. Watches with "Manufacture" in the title tend to be those which have in-house made calibers. Inside the Classic Manufacture is the Frederique Constant caliber FC-710, and it has been a pretty good looking work horse. The movement is an automatic with about 42 hours of power reserve and includes the time with central seconds and a subdial for the date. Some prior models look very similar but do not have a seconds hand.
For 2013, MB&F announces this new limited edition version of the Horological Machine No 5 (HM5) watch in 18k red gold. aBlogtoWatch reviewed the MB&F HM5 watch here when it first became available in 2012. This fifth edition of the Horological Machine legacy is inspired by driving watches (and cars) from mostly the 1970s. The wedge-shaped case displays the time on the side, visible through a sapphire crystal prism that magnifies the hour and minute indicator discs for increased legibility. Originally in all zirconium (similar to titanium) this new HM5 RT version comes in a case using parts made from 18k red gold as well as titanium.
As I mentioned a bit previously, those hands (including the independently-set GMT one) mark out time via two registers on the dial itself (12 and 24 hour), allowing for two different times zones. If you recall, I said you could pick up a third time zone if desired, and that's enabled by the uni-directional bezel (and it's 24-hour markings) that surrounds the flat sapphire crystal. Now, if you're reading any other reviews on the Arctic Explorer, you'll know that this bezel is often called out as a point of contention.
It literally makes zero sense from a marketing standpoint that Hawaiian surfer lifestyle watch brand Bathys Hawaii would suddenly work on developing an atomic clock wristwatch (what you see in this post is a working prototype). While a few others are currently in production, Bathys may have beat the rest in terms of actually releasing a working prototype of the world's first atomic clock powered wristwatch, and that is pretty cool. So yes, the upcoming Bathys Cesium 133 timepiece doesn't fit in with the theme of the brand, but it will be designed to "fit in". However, most people don't know that Bathys founder Dr. John Patterson was first and foremost a scientist. Now things begin to make sense a bit more sense.
And while there were many who objected to the use of silicon in fine timepieces, it was only a matter of time before its obvious advantages finally outweighed its lack of history in the industry. To begin with, silicon is hard enough to render lubricants redundant, and that coupled with its anti-magnetic attributes is helping to extend service periods and greater overall reliability. It couples its hardness with surprising lightness that makes for more efficient use of the movement's energy, allowing for more power-consuming complications and/or improved power reserve. However, what probably is its most important property that ultimately allowed Ulysse Nardin to come up with its new escapement is the extreme precision with which silicon components can be manufactured.
It doesn’t take Mr. Bennahmias long to plainly state “No.” In his opinion design and movement lovers are both driven by passion, and passion comes from the same emotions. To appeal to an art loving audience or a watch collector is the same. “We show them what we do, and they find out something that they love.” Francois brings out the watch industry’s secret weapon – a visit to their manufacture, as an example of what he means.
Author’s Note: If the following sounds like a love letter to A. Lange & Söhne, that’s because it is.
Mechanically, the tourbillon in this 1815 model has two interesting features that have never before existed together in a tourbillon. Back when A. Lange & Sohne originally released the Cabaret Tourbillon in 2008, they introduced the first ever tourbillon with a hacking seconds (stop seconds) feature. That means that when you pull the crown out the tourbillon stops until you push the crown back in. The purpose of this feature in watches is to allow for a more precise setting of the time.
For years, the brand logo of Bulova was the tuning fork, even long after they stopped making turning fork movements. In fact, the tuning fork logo was only really removed from most Bulova watches in 2013/2014. In 2010, Bulova released a limited edition of 1000 Accutron Spaceview 214 watches in honor of the 50th anniversary of the originals, priced at around ,000. The reason for the high cost was that Bulova no longer had the skills to produce the turning fork movements and had to carefully reverse engineer some of the original caliber 214 Bulova Accutron movements.
Inside the Serket Telson PVD manual wind watch is a Swiss ETA 6497 manually wound movement which is visible through the sapphire crystal caseback.
Aside from the computational calendar, the movement offers the time, date, month, year, and has a function indicator that is adjusted by the pusher in the crown. It is one of the most peculiar calendars I have seen because it seems to include the year, but it is not a perpetual calendar. Thus, you have an annual calendar with a year indicator– though it is an important part of the spotlight complication.
The Observatoire Chronometrique+ is a new initiative in which any and all Swiss-made mechanical watches can be submitted, and they test fully assembled watches, not just for their chronometric performance, but also their power reserve and their resistance to water and magnetism. At first sight, it certainly has the potential to make brands who have not done so in the past consider certifying their watches, contributing to some unexpected changes in the market. Let's explore the details of this new certificate and how it may influence the industry.
It is a scarce occasion to have a watch on the wrist which highlights something iconic in such a tangible form. You see, the dial in my watch comes from a 36 years old Mini that a lady used to own for nearly three decades, and while that for some that is not comparable to having particles from the Moon or pieces from an important ship in your watch, for others there is something amusing in being able to look at (and wear!) an item that has a unique history all to itself – a history we all can relate to. Furthermore, there is something to it being exposed in such a clearly visible way, meaning that the most interesting feature of this watch is not hidden "in there somewhere," but is always visible through the large mineral glass front.
For 2013, Breitling has released a very attractive blue version of the already rather rare Navitimer 1461 model. An interesting item, we take a hands-on look at this stunning piece. Let me address something first. If other watch writers are anything like me, there is one particular request (aside from "what watch should I buy?") that annoys us. That is to write an article or sum up current "watch trends." This is what happens when watches get mixed into the abyssal pool that is fashion, which apparently needs to reinvent itself each quarter else something chaotic happens - such as a mass neglect of wearing clothing amongst otherwise civilized human beings. The majority of watches I prefer to pay attention to are designed to look cool forever. Perhaps not all are timeless, but they have appeal (and ideally longevity) beyond this season.
We previewed this watch back in March. To recap, this highly unique watch has a full calender and a computational display that shows the date and anniversary of 1 of the 12 custom events built into the watch. You select which of the dozen named events/people you wish to display and the watch computes and displays the age of the event/person and allows you to see anniversaries approach as subdial hands converge on the month display. When the 2 hands on the subdial below 12 meet, an anniversary is occurring. Before that, the closer they are, the less time you have to buy Kate Winslet a birthday gift (if you are the owner of this first watch that is).
In this special feature article, we go on a quest to better understand what is behind the unremitting rise of luxury watch prices, and to do so, we will explore how and why Rolex prices have increased over the last 60 years. You see, while the steep increase of high-end watch prices has become evident to every discerning watch buyer on this planet, it remains difficult to point out exactly why and how things have changed so radically... or, if they have changed at all.
We will check this watch at BaselWorld 2014 next month and provide a hands-on review. Though we have a feeling that with its modern take on this traditional type of watch and 43mm wide case, it should prove to be a hit. When seeing it, we will also check out the machine-engraved 3/4 plate and report more about it and other aspects of this very cool addition to Maurice LaCroix's Masterpiece series. It won't be too cheap as the price is expected to be between 10,000 and 20,000 CHF. mauricelacroix.com
IWC Schaffhausen, the watch "engineered for men" as their motto puts it, has been involved in a number of partnerships with teams and events related to what I guess we could call "manly sports." One of these partnerships is between the Eastern-Switzerland-based brand and the Formula One team Mercedes AMG Petronas, who have so far dominated the season, by the way. The primary collection dedicated to this co-operation is the Ingenieur, the more rugged and sports-inspired among all IWC collections.
In person, I found the watch to be even better looking than the pictures. Oris does a really good job with their pilot watches, and this "Big Crown evolution" helps take the aesthetic into the modern era. At 44mm wide, the Big Crown ProPilot Chronograph GMT is actually 1mm smaller than the Day Date model, but in my opinion, it's the perfect size. The case is also water resistant to 100 meters with a case thickness of 15.50mm.
The case is 40mm wide constructed from both 18 rose gold and sterling silver. It is just 10mm thick. The movement is known as the caliber 1412, which offers the time with subsidiary seconds as well as a tourbillon. The tourbillon is visible when you open the caseback, and the movement's frequency is 21,600. The manually wound movement has a power reserve of about 56 hours.
While the Orion can be had with a handful of dial colours, we'll stick to the 38mm version which can be had in grey with rhodium plated hands and markers (called the Orion 38 Grau), a silver dial with rhodium plated hands and markers with a date (the Orion Datum Weiss), or the silver dial with gold markers and blued steel hands as seen here (with or without a date). For me, the Orion 38 reference 384 is the one to have. The gold markers are visually quite interesting and I love the blued steel hands and the incredible contrast they provide for legibility of the time display.