Without trying to be fancy the workers plow through the tedious effort of assembling watch movement modules. Their construction is very similar to complete watch movements, and they each still take months to complete given the bevy of steps involved from start to finish. What people really don't quite understand is that even your basic mechanical watch movement takes a lot time to put together. It is a matter of weeks if not months, and the movements pass through the hands of many people who each construct, inspect, decorate, assemble, and test. And sometimes the steps are repeated more than once. Seeing just parts of the process makes one understand not only what makes a Swiss watch "Swiss," but why they aren't cheap. There is real effort and time in these little items of passion that the Swiss won't stop making until time itself is a concept we have forgotten.
Thanks to Christopher Ward for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.
The piece is really a beauty. There are a lot of desirable elements such as the guilloche machine engraved dial, legible dial, and easy to operate GMT function and movement. It just exudes class and sophistication, but not at the expense of function. The steel case is 40mm wide and straight-forward in its design. The polish is well-done and mixes with the metal dial very nicely. Zenith really impressed me with the dial decoration and design. You know all those times when I complain about how hands are too short? Well my friends, this is certainly not one of those times. Do you see how much better properly sized hands can make a dial look? Just imagine them shorter and consider how much that would take away from the design. See what I mean? To people designing watches, this is the right length for such dial and the watch's proportions. NOT less. Stepping down from the soap box now.
Blancpain just released the new X Fathoms dive watch that it has been promoting for a while now. Launched in Dubai, the new super diver contains a mechanical depth gauge as well as a few interesting features. One of those is a retrograde five minute counter on the dial that is always running. This is meant to be used for measuring decompression times. No other diving watch in the world has ever looked like this.
The boys in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania have done us Americans proud. However, I found it ironic that I needed to see this American-made watch in Switzerland. This is the RGM Pennsylvania Tourbillon MM 2 watch. Almost all of it is made in American, including the case and much of the movement. Certain parts, like the balance spring, really make no sense to try to manufacture yourself. Designed after classic American pocket watches, the Pennsylvania Tourbillon is a handsome timepiece for discerning collectors and you don't have to be American to like it.
Operation of the Bulova Precisionist seems to be exactly the same as any other quartz watches - save for the sweeping seconds hand and enhanced accuracy. Overall, this is an amazing and very modern quartz movement that anyone interested in watches or accuracy should know about. I further think it is interesting that Bulova aimed straight for analog watches, when it might have made sense for Citizen to place it into digital watches first. Yes, these might compete with their atomic-controlled models, but I think it represents a distinct technology. Precisionist movements hopefully will blossom into a much larger collection.
The Tread 2 will have a lot of material upgrades and a more sophisticated design. It will also be very accurate and come in a smaller package. I reviewed the very cool Tread 1 here, and you can see that it is a large timepiece. The Tread 2 will have a 38mm wide case that is 42mm tall and 14.5mm thick. That is a lot smaller than the Tread 1. The Tread 2 will initially be in steel, but DLC black versions could easily follow. It will again have a rubber strap.
There are skull watches and then there are skull watches like this. Looking like a Mexican "Day of the Dead special" (Dia de Los Muertos), this mechanical skull-shaped watch is full of personality and design talent. Right now it is a one-of-a-kind watch, but there are plans for production in the near future. The watch was designed by Fiona Krüger while she was a design student at the ECAL school in Switzerland (University of art and design Lausanne). Apparently I need to credit both her and the school as she designed the watch while there.
Listen to the HourTime show watch podcast episode 66 here.
Clooney doesn’t make it, but Buzz Aldrin does. At 80 years old, Buzz still talks a good game and later talks to us about his other passion — the oceans. A popular Omega personality, Buzz was one of the people wearing an Omega Speedmaster Professional watch in 1969 when he walked on the moon.
Also when winding the movement the barrels sometimes "jump." This means that while turning they sometimes turn a bit more rapidly for a second - which is sometimes called "slipping." This isn't so much an issue as a question I have as to what causes this. I think it might have to do with the fact that the barrels are series coupled. Operation of the movement is otherwise pretty simple. The crown could be a little bit grippier, but winding the Madison Eight Days is a breeze. I like Eterna crowns because the five point logo is integrated into them. Ironically that five point logo is supposed to be five ball bearings. While adjusting the time is easy, the date requires pressing an inset pusher located at about 10 o'clock on the case. While it works just fine, you will need a pen or stylus to adjust the date.
The rear of the watch has "Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012" engraved on the back. IWC is the officially timekeeper for the boat race events. In the race IWC is also the official sponsor of the Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing Team. Interesting that they sponsor the event and one of the teams.
Under the figurines is the tourbillon - all part of the in-house made and very complex caliber UN-78 manually wound movement. There are complex movements, and there are complex movements. Seeing the operation of the watch and then looking through the sapphire caseback window shed a bit of light on this fact.
The alert signal notifies the wearer of calls and e-mail messages arriving on the networked smartphone
IWC uses both in-house made movements and those sourced from places like ETA. Movements from ETA aren't as prestigious but tend to be extremely reliable and robust. Sources have told me that IWC has had some issues in the last few years with their own movements in terms of repair and reliability. While their movements looks really good on paper, my hope is that quality is very high on their list for the new calibers that we will see. It is true that while the new Pilot watches are to be debuted very soon, IWC will still have a few months to work on them before the full commercial release.
Rate Frequency: 28,800 vph
Case: Steel brushed, three-parts, 47 mm case diameter
Bidirectional turning bezel with 60-minute scale (120 divisions)
for countdown function and with 24 hour GMT display
Luminous capsule green afterglow at pos. 12 h
Sapphire crystal anti-reflective coating on both sides
Screw-down steel case back with engraving of temperature
conversion table from C° (Celsius) into F° (Fahrenheit)
Two crowns with FORTIS logo, individually numbered (xxxx/2012)
Water-resistant 200 m / 20 bar
The Importance Of Educated Watch Sales People