Ralph Lauren has managed to stay consistent with its Sporting collection's designs over the past couple of years – perhaps a bit overly so, but more about that in a moment. The 44.80 millimeter wide, round case stands out with its bulky, but elegantly curved lugs, wide bezel, and its six large round screws. The inspiration for this 2015 Ralph Lauren Automotive Chronograph is the dashboard of a 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe, owned by Ralph Lauren himself – and while the connection to that particular car is arguably negligible, the result is a handsome watch that features a piece of elm burl wood, reflecting the interior trim of the Type 57.
"George Daniels (1926-2011) is regarded as one of the greatest watchmakers of all time and his work has its deserved place in watchmaking history amongst the finest and most influential. One of his greatest accomplishments is known by millions around the world thanks to Omega, who feature his co-axial escapement in most of their watches (which they bought from him at a rather meager sum)." These are the words I started my article about George Daniels' momentous publication, humbly titled Watchmaking (read about it here). You may learn more about his work in that post, so for now, let us move on to discussing this "watchmaker's watch."
aBlogtoWatch: Do you have a particular set of criteria when considering an acquisition?
After a while, I finally went to a jewelry store to buy one, but the salesman told me that there was this even newer, more accurate watch which used a quartz crystal. I wondered why anyone would put a rock (OK, mineral) in a watch and how that would do anything useful. The tuning fork, I could sort of understand. I ended up with the quartz watch, taking it on faith that this was even newer tech. But I always considered the original Accutron a lost love.
To begin with, have a look at the magnolia that appears down at the 7 o'clock position: sure, flower motifs are not anything new when it comes to watches. Those five hand-formed and -painted petals at first appear to be obscuring the flying tourbillon, but every five minutes, (or with the press of the pusher at 9 o'clock) the "secret" of the mechanism is revealed.
Some watch companies spend as much as 60% of their revenue on marketing. Most all of them dedicate significant portions of their income to marketing efforts designed to make people aware of their products and to help position their brand as an equal, or as more excellent than their competitors. Market statistics (at least in the United States and Asia) indicate a very strong correlation between the amount of ad dollars spent in a region and high-end watch brand's success in that region. Taken together, the resulting message is that watch brands both understand marketing is important, and strive heavily to fund it.
Mk II is special because of Bill's eye for quality and details. When Mk II wants a watch to be a certain way, it is. The brand is a unique opportunity to receive a modern or vintage-style military-themed watch in a brand new package. One of the major reasons why people like buying homage watches is because they don't want to put up with the rarity, price, or low quality of vintage watches. Mk II is among the rare brands that produces items of this nature with such an meticulous eye. They aren't for everyone, but I don't think fans of the concept will be disappointed.
What is clear at this point is that, at the very least, the greater watch-lover community expects the ideal smartwatch to offer uncompromised wearing comfort paired with an aesthetically pleasing design that does not sacrifice legibility and user-friendliness for the sake of more gimmicky features. So far we have seen some reassuring steps towards meeting this basic and yet challenging requirement (with the Motorola Moto360 and the Withings Activité first springing to mind), so now, let's see what the Michael Bastian smartwatch has to offer – other than a silly name, that is.
The metallic sunburst finished "Sunstar" or "Blackstar" deep gray dials of the Alpina Strartimer Pilot Automatics are the best Alpina has to offer, and they come in a few hues, as well as with a brushed steel or PVD black steel case. Inside the watches are Swiss Sellita automatics. I am not sure which, but likely an SW200 automatic for the three hands and perhaps an SW500 for the chronographs. The cases are further all water resistant to 100 meters and have sapphire crystal, as well display casebacks with a view of the movement and a custom Alpina automatic rotor.
To be sure, it would have been a much cooler watch had there been some actual "DNA" from a Batmobile in the mix, but it seems that was not in the cards. As far as Batsymbol watches go, this one is pretty sweet. The dial itself calls to mind the "broken skyline" that was used in movie promotions, and the look of the watch when the luminant is going is plain cool (though, again, the fanboy in me wonders if a yellow tinted lume would not have been more appropriate).
Darakjian Jewelers: There definitely is a watch culture at Darakjian Jewelers. We are not your average local jewelry store. We are proud authorized dealers of Audemars Piguet, Vacheron Constantin, Ulysse Nardin, Carl F Bucherer, Maurice Lacroix, Bremont, SevenFriday, to list a few. Over the years, we have positioned ourselves with our brands and some that we’ve had over the years that really capture our clients discerning tastes.
Timeless Luxury: DFW is constantly changing. If you asked me this question 10 years ago I would say Rolex in a heartbeat, but the cities have become somewhat of a melting pot with so many large corporations coming here, and the watch customers are younger than they used to be. The Rolex customer is getting older and his kids don’t want to wear an old man’s watch, so they started wearing Breitling and Bell and Ross. Then, they became educated in watches and started buying Grand Seiko and Nomos Glashutte. The way I think about it is the Internet has changed the watch industry for the better. The Internet has educated so many people on what good watches and good value are. When there wasn’t easy access to this information, the consumer had to rely on advertising and the largest brands always won. But, thanks to the Internet and stores like Timeless, collectors and first time buyers are realizing there are other options in the luxury watch market, very unique and exciting options.