LK: I acquired the stainless steel automatic Golden Complitech version when our shop was doing the service for Universal Geneve in the 90's. This was a glorious time for the company as they celebrated their 100th anniversary in 1994 and produced many interesting models inspired by their history. It was when I first started going to Basel, I was 20 and can say everything I am doing today took root then. It was my favorite watch and I wore it daily until the day the first Ernst Benz ChronoLunar was in my hands. Since then my Grail watch is the next EB that we are building and have numerous watches that I am working towards.
- Three-dimensional horological engine developed by Jean-François Mojon and Vincent Boucard of Chronode
- Powered by a Sowind gear train
- Battle-axe 22k gold ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor
- Power reserve: 42 hours
- Balance frequency: 28,800bph/4Hz
- Number of components: 224
- Number of jewels: 30
- Engine housed in a water resistant, titanium inner container
The good news is that watch demand is still high, and potentially growing. Much of this is spurred by the continued large spending of marketing dollars by (mainly) the larger brands. I've always been personally skeptical of marketing as being directly related to sales, but it is a proven and necessary part of a brand's strategy. The thing which is important to understand is that marketing does not create demand, marketing creates awareness, which can result in demand if a product has merit unto itself.
It was obvious that strong corrective measures were necessary as the companies themselves, separately, never had the power to make a difference and to turn things around. The first step in an effort to break these unnerving trends was the 1924 founding of the Swiss Watch Federation (FH, for short), uniting some three quarters of the industry. Two years later, as a second stage, with strong financial support from some powerful Swiss banks, the corporate trust Ébauches SA was created by the three largest movement makers - Schild SA (ASSA), Fabrique d'horlogerie de Fontainemelon (FHF), and A. Michel SA (AM).
The UNICO was meant to be the higher-volume in-house movement that Hublot needed (next to its small production of in-house tourbillons, etc...). However, the UNICO took a long time to develop, and suffered some delays as Hublot perfected the materials used in the movement. Early versions of the UNICO for example were planned to have carbon fiber main plates. It was an ambitious concept that was in fact used in some watches, but apparently didn't turn out to be something that Hublot could produce in large quantities from about 2011-2012.
Project Watches is run by Jack Markuse, who has worked for the last three decades to marry architecture and design in the products we use every day. Starting in the early '90s, they turned their eye towards watches. This has led to a variety of collections, including watches that were directly inspired by buildings. Nothing so special, right? Well, those watches were actually designed by the architects of those buildings - so it's not just some loose association for a quick sell. This is just a quick overview of their history and some of the products. For more information, head on over here.
To begin with the most outlandish of them all, the G-force sensor has been slightly redesigned. While its needle read-out at 12 o’clock still does not offer an exact numerical indication for the extent of G-forces the wearer experienced, on its scale it is now printed to measure up to 6 G’s. To give you an idea, that is just about the maximum that a Formula-1 car generates in the fastest, nastiest of corners and you really need some of the best and latest supercars on the market to get near that. A more significant update is one that implies that the G-sensor as it were was not “in-your-face” enough – literally. To change that for the better, the reset pusher, previously located on the case at the 9 o’clock position, is relocated to the very center of the dial, protruding from the sapphire crystal. If anything, presumably it should make resetting easier and faster in demanding situations such as not crashing your supercar while fiddling with your watch trying to impress your passengers. Finally, the sensor, composed of over 50 parts and measuring 17mm in diameter, can now be manually rotated to align with the direction of one’s movements by turning the brown ceramic bezel. This allows for the specific and more accurate measurement of different movements, such as cornering, accelerating and braking.
The trick that the Armin Strom Tourbillon Gravity Fire (ref RG14-TF.M.90) has up its sleeve is a micro-rotor. As you might suspect, a micro-rotor is simply a smaller version of the rotors we're used to seeing in an automatic watch; these usually lead to a thinner watch than you might normally have as well.
Modillian promises "specific vibration types" which seems to suggest that different alerts can be assigned to different vibration lengths or styles. That will allow a Modillian wearer to know whether or not they just received a missed call or a new text message. Since the current crop of smartwatches are more or less fancy notification devices, the Modillian is aimed to offer that type of functionality without asking people to replace their traditional timepiece with a smartwatch.
These aren't the thinnest watches Jaeger-LeCoultre makes–not by far. One of the reasons is that these have automatic movements. We tend to prefer automatic movements because you don't need to wind them up all the time. Having said that, the placement of an automatic rotor tends to add thickness. So as thin watches go, these are certainly a nice slim size and are both different sizes. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Date is actually the thinner of the two. It is 40mm wide and 7.4mm thick. The Master Ultra Thin has a slightly narrower case at 38.5mm wide and is a hair thicker at 7.58mm thick. Each comes in a fully polished 18k pink gold case that is comfortable and imminently classic. Oh, and it is worth noting that the non-date version will be available in a steel case as well. We didn't see those, however, and I believe JLC is releasing the gold models first.
Fun fact, did you know that the 2012 Monaco Historique watches had a bezel with a tachometer versus a tachymeter? Yup. The bezel on the 2014 model is attractive though Chopard hasn't jumped on the ceramic bandwagon yet, so it is produced in aluminum as an insert. Further, even though the case is titanium, the bezel itself under the aluminum insert is steel (steel holds a polish better.) Inside the Monaco Historique Chrono watch once again is a Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph that has been highly decorated and given a COSC Chronometer certificate.
I know for a fact that the Visconti Abyssus watch collection is going to spark a range of polarizing opinions. No, this isn't a watch I could wear on a daily basis, but I do appreciate it for its steampunk sci-fi virtues and unrelenting dedication to being different. So the question is then, where did a design like this come from and what does it have to do with an Italian pen company? That answer goes back to Anonimo.
Just out of school, Richard, barely a few months into his job at IWC, was given the task of finding a solution to the rattrapante problem. Many said it could not be done yet he accepted the challenge and proved his detractors wrong. Not only did he come up with the solution, he managed it in less than two years. His achievement revolved around utilizing a cam system, instead of the more traditional column wheel, thus enabling parts to be more easily fabricated and assembled without the high level of adjustments previously needed. This then enabled IWC to introduce the Doppelchrono, and ensured Habring’s achievement to be recorded in the history books.
This brings up a lot of interesting legal and business questions that could take an entire book to fully answer. While we could get into some of the more interesting elements of intellectual property law and the relevant cases, I think that is beyond what most people want to read about in answering what is a very legitimate question about many of the watches people see.
To some of you, SIHH is notable because it is the first major watch event of the calendar year. To others, you might know SIHH as the event where the entire Richemont group come together to show off their new watches for the year. But there is more to that, as our Contributing Editor James Lamdin will now share with you.
The Omega Constellation has never been one of the main Omega watches on my radar. This fact is interesting to me since I am a big fan of Omega watches overall. If you speak to Omega you learn something interesting that makes sense if you think about it. The world is split up into two major types of Omega markets. Those are Omega Speedmaster and Seamaster markets, as well as Omega Constellation and De Ville markets.
Speaking of seconds, the chronograph seconds hand on this Breitling is in polished silver and is a little hard to see at times. There's no lume on the seconds hand. The hour and minutes hands are nicely sized and all it takes is a very quick glance to read the time. more »
Wempe Glashutte Zeitmeister Sport Watches
6 Commentsby Paul Hubbard
Wempe Glashutte Zeitmeister Sport Watches
Hands-On Omega Speedmaster Apollo 17 Reference 3220.127.116.11.03.001