The stock alligator-printed mahogany leather band here feels so much more luxurious than one might expect: padded and lined with supple suede, it feels great against the skin. The refined feel of the mechanism also feels like it comes from a much more expensive timepiece. Setting the hour felt unexpectedly smooth, and the quick-set date turns with a satisfying click; these were joys I looked forward to every time I put the watch on. And oh yeah, all of these watches kept near-perfect time over the many weeks I wore them.
In 2012, when I first saw the then novel Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watches, I was immediately impressed. I happen to be the open-minded type of modern watch lover that has always seen value in the efforts made by Hublot. Did I think Hublot had improvements they could make in regard to quality? Yes. Did I think Hublot went a bit overboard with limited edition watches? Yes. Did I think sometimes Hublot got too ambitious with their pricing? Yes, and sadly, so do most other brands. Yet, at the end of the day, Hublot was thinking forward and producing new stuff with a momentum that no one else could catch up to. A momentum that could either cause the brand to keep going, sputter out, or trip on itself and pick up where it left off and hope for the best.
The same will be true of smartwatches. The bodywork will still be the same as the day it first caught your eye at the time of purchase, but the electronic part will evolve in step with the times via regular updates. That will make a huge difference!
While I am intrigued by Bamford's wild colored Rolex watches with fancy coatings, what interests me the most (at least, for now) is their collaborations with properties such as Peanuts and Popeye. Some of the most successful Bamford limited edition watches have been those which do homage to the old Mickey Mouse watches, where Mickey himself pointed out the hours and minutes with his hands. This same concept has been replicated in some Bamford watches with Snoopy from the Peanuts comic/cartoon and various characters from the Popeye comic/cartoon universe, such a Popeye himself. There is something oddly cool about a solid gold Rolex Yacht-Master with Popeye on the dial. It was a surprise success for Bamford, and I hope more of these continue to pop up from time to time with equally irreverent characters.
Every year, A. Lange & Söhne presents one mega important watch and this year’s hero piece is arguably the Zeitwerk Minute Repeater. The original Zeitwerk watch was first released in 2009 and is today still the brand's most unique and distinctive piece. You see, most of A. Lange & Söhne watches, such as the Datograph, Saxonia, and Lange 1 are all arguably classically designed, and the A. Lange & Söhne Zeitwerk is unusual because it displays the time digitally. The only thing traditional about it is its case design, with the subsidiary seconds dial and the power reserve indicator at 6 and 12 o’clock respectively. Even the movement, though decorated classically, is a tour de force in haute horology, featuring many innovations including a patented jumping hour mechanism.
It has been a few years since Hublot first released the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari watch in 2012, and already there are more versions than I can count. Of course, if you want variety, Hublot is the right company to consider. Though, I've always wondered as a consumer if there is just too much choice from Hublot. On one hand, it can be difficult to wait for the perfect version if you are interested in a specific model. On the other hand, Hublot likely feels that they can entice customers to buy multiple watches of the same ilk if they offer enough interesting versions. In support of this theory, I personally observed one watch lover buying two Big Bang Ferraris at a time - each with vastly different finishes (and one of them was the Big Bang Ferrari 60th Anniversary in the USA model).Read more ›
A discreet Greubel Forsey watch? It can happen, and it did happen, with the new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Tourbillon Vision. This is the most basic looking Greubel Forsey timepiece ever, and it even comes with an actually totally round case without the brand’s typical “asymmetrique” bulges – well save for the tourbillon bubble on the caseback (which you can’t even actually feel while it is on the wrist). Of course, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision isn’t actually simple, as the dial uses a pantheon of complex construction techniques only a brand like Greubel Forsey would even consider putting so much effort into. The Vision uses a modified version of the existing 288-piece movement with an inclined tourbillon that rotates once each 24 seconds. The dial display only has the time with subsidiary seconds dial and a window shows a rather discreet view of the tourbillon which can be better viewed through the rear of the watch. At 43.5mm wide in 18k white gold for 2015, this limited edition of 22 pieces is a unique selection of design elements and masterful technique that shows the range collectors can expect from one of the most meticulous timepiece makers around. Price is north of 0,000. greubelforsey.com
Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tradition Grand Complication
In fact, I find that the brilliance of this timepiece can be pretty much summed-up by that screw-bar: to me, it works as a more straight-forward design element, an open and unguarded reveal of the fact that this is a piece of machinery. There is no trickery, no obfuscation, no corners cut in the production of this piece. The balance cock, with its angular and cutting design made me jump for joy.Read more ›
The Two Sources Of Revenue: Users & AdvertisersRead more ›
Although it has been for a number of years now that we are seeing more elaborately crafted and designed high-end ladies' watches, with a little research, we can discover interesting details in the history of women's watches that go back much further in time. Therefore, before discussing this piece in greater detail, let us concentrate on a little snippet from Patek's past – a company, whose history with these timepieces goes back a long way. Although Patek Philippe was founded in 1839, the company made one of its first major breakthroughs at "The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations," or the Great Exhibition of 1851. The notice came from Queen Victoria, who loved fine craftsmanship and whose husband, Albert, the Prince Consort, was a man of innovation who was driven to the idea of merging science and art to the manufacturing industry – so much so, that he initiated the First World Expo.
The movement – this time around, installed "upside-down" and fully exposed on the dial side – makes up much of the visible dial design. It is De Bethune's DB2115, a 4 Hz hand-wound calibre with two barrels providing 6 days of power reserve. Complete with a silicon and white gold balance, as well as a silicon escape wheel, the DB2115 uses 37 jewels and has a power reserve indicator between two and three o'clock. Hours and minutes are present, but there is no seconds indication.
Read more ›
Audemars Piguet has been a sponsor of the famed Art Basel in Miami Beach, FL, for the past two years. The relationship is ongoing, and Audemars Piguet uses the event as a means to introduce new ambassadors as well as to announce its ongoing commitment in supporting select artists and causes.
Welcome back to an aBlogtoWatch original series, where we discuss important stores that sell watches all over the world. Each store we profile has an interesting story to tell about where they operate and who they sell to. Whether you buy watches from brick and mortar retailers or prefer to buy watches online, these are the stores that help shape our watch culture around the globe. There is a long list of stores to cover, but if there is a retail location in your favorite city that we simply can’t miss, let us know in the comments below.
Where to buy watches in Los Angeles, California?
Please RSVP by November 10: RSVP@ablogtowatch.comRead more ›
The Last Laugh, like the rest of the Mr. Jones Face Timers timepieces comes in a mid-sized 37mm wide case. The Mr. Jones Face Timers cases are steel with a black PVD coating, and each contains a quartz movement that indicates the time via discs. Not all of the watches display the time at the bottom of the dial, but most do. Actually, Mr. Jones Watches has a "live demo" of how the watches work via an animated demonstration that is linked to the time in your computer. You can check that out for a good way of seeing how the watches work and whether or not you feel as though you can even read the time.
When the Greubel Forsey Art Piece 1 watch was released, only a side view of the watch was available, and it wasn't even of a complete timepiece. What we saw was a sort of lens in the crown that seemed to contain one of Wigan's miniature works. It appeared that the work was right in the lens, but what we have since learned is that the lens acts as a magnifier and that the actual piece of art is a bit deeper inside of the watch. Photographing this effect is difficult to say the least. Let's just say that when you look directly at the crown you get a good view of the small character or item that Willard Wigan created for the watch.Read more ›
This is Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin's latest timepiece, and they call it the Genius Temporis, which roughly translates from Latin to "the spirit of our time." That, however, doesn't particularly explain the functionality of this 16th century-style timepiece. What you have is the simple elegance of a single-handed watch with the ability to also know the minutes (on demand) when the wearer chooses.
Read more ›
The Nomos Ahoi Atlantik models features a very attractive shade of dark blue that seems black in certain lights. Unlike the light colored Ahoi models, which feature a dial that is a galvanized silver gray, the Atlantik models feature a lacquered dial. Below are a series of photos showcasing different portions of the Nomos Ahoi Atlantik dial.
Much like the hour and minute domes, every single one of these titanium blades had to be milled from one single piece of titanium. They have not been cast or stamped, and there are no components welded onto them. Needless to say, they have to be manufactured with extremely small tolerances, otherwise they would either get stuck together, or slide on top of one another when closed. The real issue, again, is in a place where you will never see: right at the part where they are connected to an axis that allows them to slide, i.e., to close and open up.Read more ›
The NOS Breitling watches contain an array of models, including both production pieces and never-to-market prototypes. Each is in original packaging and never used. The Iten collection also includes a lot of Breitling stopwatches.
Having said that, the luxury watch industry has a lot to lose if Hong Kong loses its ability to be a major watch shopping hub. Though, it wouldn't be the first time the long-standing Swiss watch industry has had to shift focus from one market to another as economic conditions change. The turmoil must nevertheless be unpleasant, and will likely have a chilling effect on their desire to invest in product, marketing, and expansion around the world. News reports indicate that executives at major watch groups are beginning to acknowledge "difficulties in Hong Kong," and that for them, it is an "area of concern."
If you are interested in my new book The World's Most Expensive Watches, John and I discuss it after I am pleasantly surprised with his reaction. Patek Philippe releases their most complicated watch to date with the Grandmaster Chime 5175 and we discuss its high and low points. We also compare the feelings people have toward Patek Philippe versus Hublot and enter an interesting discussion of comparing and contrasting.Read more ›