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While I don't love each Classic Racing model Chopard releases, I am a fan of the majority of new stuff they come out with. I say that with seriousness, because I really love a lot of that stuff. Design and quality is mostly really good, and Chopard always ensures that comfort and legibility are design priorities. You'd be surprised at how many watch executives say things like "I don't use watches to tell the time." Great line of work for them... These Chopard Classic Racing watches as a whole have some of the best fit & finishing, as well as attention to detail, that is available. The biggest complaint people have with them is the price. Well, to be more precise, the price given the movement inside of them. The majority of these watches are chronographs and contain the tried and true Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. These are top 7750s with mostly all COSC Chronometer ratings, but inherently are still movements which are widely available, and also come in many much less expensive watches. Most Mille Miglia chronograph pieces range from about ,000 - ,000. Which for many people is admittedly a lot for the 7750. As a watch lover I am still not 100% certain why people are so concerned about the movement as being the primary source of value in a watch, but it is often the case. What I mean is that when taking the price of a watch into consideration, people place an overwhelmingly large emphasis on the price of the movement. You need to take into consideration the case, dial, strap, and overall engineering costs. Nothing about these cases and dials says "inexpensive." Anyhow, Chopard is aware of all this and for a while has been planning the next step.
The SpidoSpeed Black Diamond case is 44mm wide in a black DLC coated steel case. Like the Spidolite before it, the case is "skeletonized." The case is water resistant to 100 meters and comes with a beautiful black calf leather strap with portholes. The marketing pictures do not do it justice at all, so it is a good thing I have some real pictures of it. Are you a fan of black (Tahitian" mother-of-pearl)? Unlike normal mother-of-pearl, it offers a darker but still lustrous look which can be nice when used correctly. I think it is a good fit on this watch. What Linde Werdelin was able to do in my opinion is create a form of men's jewelry watch that isn't girly, remains sporty, and also has a unique look to it. Price for the 50 piece limited edition Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Black Diamond watch is ,500.
Habring² will offer three dial color options - being blue, brown or gray. The attached leather strap with lighter brown/orange contrast stitching feels very "Louis Vuitton" in hue. Each color version of the Doppel 2.0 feels well-executed and I think Habring² will do well with this range. According to them, they will produce only 20 pieces of the Doppel 2.0 watch each year. That is pretty Austrio-exclusive. Price is 6,000 Euros.
This watch doesn't have the famous tire tread style rubber strap of many Mille Miglia watches. Here Chopard uses a quite attractive padded black leather strap with red contrast stitching to match the dial. The strap pieces are also punched with portholes to make them more racing and sport themed. The buckle is also in titanium and has an engraved Chopard logo.Read more ›
Technical specifications from Ladoire:
Fashion editors and people of those ranks continue to sully the watch world with their questions on style trends and what is going be hot for spring and summer. Brands like to have the people writing for mass audience consumer publications that they advertise in come to the watch shows because it would be awesome for them to get some actual editorial coverage. That unfortunately isn’t going to happen because the average writer and reader of those publications doesn’t know about or care about watches (for the most part, and there are some really great notable exceptions). Unless they are colorful under watches which do get a fair amount of coverage it seems. I am actually glad that the fashion people are there because I want them to see the world I love so much, but my advice to watch brands is to stop pretending that you are fashion brands. Be stalwart that you release nice new watches each year based on a range of factors that hopefully don’t include fashion trends or what is going to look “so hot” in the fall with orange and brown. I know I sound like a snob saying that, but that isn’t what makes this industry tick. This is an industry of half marketing people, have engineers. Each focused on making marketable wrist machines that tell the time for a long time. These items aren’t meant to be (for the most part) disposable, and are intended as lifetime investments. The current fashion industry is about disposable clothes and quickly changing color and style trend announcements so that they have something to actually “write” (list) about. That just doesn’t meld with the watch industry, and I hope it never does.
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When I made the long trip to Hong Kong International Airport, it was no surprise that there were many things different to that of which I was accustomed to in the United States; however, the longer I rested in the city of Hong Kong, the more accustomed I grew to it. My quick assimilation into Hong Kong culture brought along with it a keen curiosity of certain aspects of Chinese culture. The superficial image or "face," as my father calls it, is one of the most pertinent aspects of Chinese society. The way other people view you, your outer image, is defined by what you wear: clothes, a watch, a bag, etc. or what you drive: Ferrari, Bentley, Rolls Royce, etc... The Chinese are willing to spend large amounts of money on what they wear or their "face," which makes for the fact that Hong Kong has the largest population of Rolls Royce than any other city in the world no mystery at all.
Beating inside is the Bremont BE-54AE automatic chronograph movement. Visible thanks to the sapphire display back, this movement is derived from the ETA 7750 but has been modified with a 24 hour UTC function and then decorated by Bremont and COSC certified. As was my impression with past Bremont models, the ALT1-WT's feature list has been designed with actual use in mind. Bremont is not one for vaporware and the chronograph, UTC hand, and world timer bezel all boast strong legibility, reliable implementation and excellent ease of use.Read more ›
Half of the anthracite dial has been excised to reveal the two tourbillons, still leaving enough surface area to display hours, minutes, a central hand for the 1/100th-of-a-second chronograph with its counter running around the circumference of the dial, chronograph minutes at 3 o’clock, chronograph seconds, and 1/10th-of-a-second at 6 o’clock. The power reserve is located at 12 o’clock.
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I am not sure what Mille Miglia watches aren't limited editions these days. Most all seem to be. The steel version will be available as a set of 2,012 pieces, while the 18k rose gold version will be available as a set of 250 pieces. Inside the watches are a modified Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. The movement has been upgraded with a GMT hand for a second time zone, and has been COSC Chronometer certified for accuracy. Price for the steel model is ,610, and in 18k rose gold it is ,880. For that cash you at least get the iconic racing tire tread rubber strap.
Those familiar with Richard Mille know of their pledge to put tourbillons in activities where they do not belong. Here, the case of the RM 053 is said to be rather shock resistant, but I personally wouldn't want to test it on my dime. The case is 50mm tall by 42.70mm wide and 20mm thick. For having such a small viewing area this is still a lot of watch. Of course, you need to make it clear you are wearing a Richard Mille right?Read more ›
Often times the elements that makes a watch "luxury" are the materials it is made from. You don't find plastic in luxury timepieces, but you do find a lot of high quality metals as well as precious materials. Use of high quality materials isn't enough though. Those materials need to be finished and polished properly for the best effect. The iPhone has always been an incredibly solid feeling phone, but with the iPhone 5, Apple tells us that the phone is entirely made from aluminum and glass (more on that below). Metal and a hard crystal is exactly what most good watches are make out of. Like high-end watches, the iPhone 5 also makes use of various finishes and very well fitting parts. It will also likely feel very soft and familiar when it is being handled. Harsh edges and an awkward feel are something the best watches don't have - and neither will the iPhone 5.
By Ken Kessler
The C900 features a 43mm case with a thickness of 15.7 mm so the size should suit nearly any wrist. Inside, the JJ02 hand wound calibre features traditional timekeeping with a sub-dial devoted to a 30 minute measure for the chronograph, and one to display the running seconds. The dial design is a mix of thin baton markers, roman numerals at six and twelve, and lovely needle-point hands. The effect is luxurious yet muted and can be matched with either a black or brown leather strap.Read more ›
List prices are 5,000 Euros for GMT and 4,500 Euros for the 3-hand version. Those are suggested retail, so expect a bit less depending on VAT and currency rates. I've confirmed with their US distributor that they are available now.
However, the advent of social media has allowed users to exchange actual photographs and reviews of watches and other Chopard products. Part of what aBlogtoRead.com does is offer precisely this type of media. At least I for one have found that seeing a product review by a trusted person online is the next best thing to seeing a product in person. In many cases that is enough to induce purchase. Chopard and other brands have carefully seen the success of gray market retailers online selling watches which ought to be proof enough that online sales are not something they should ignore.
The more interesting models are the 42mm wide Ball for BMW GMT and Power Reserve. Each will come in polished or DLC black coated steel cases. Information from Ball also seems to suggest that the Power Reserve model will be available in an 18k gold case as well. These models have the most interesting dials and of course the extra complication. I also like the smaller BMW emblem logo on the dials rather than then the larger embossed logo. My favorite models are the Ball BMW Chronograph watches. They come in a few styles on a technical fabric strap or a steel metal bracelet. The styling is fantastic and Ball uses Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 or Sellita SW500 automatic chronograph movements for these rare Ball BMW chronograph models. More technical details are available below.
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