Right off the bat, you've got a much darker watch. While the regular Tyndall is in a brushed/polished case, the new LE features a deep PVD black. While they could have paired that with their existing black dial, Xetum upped the ante and instead went with carbon fiber.
With the sub dials, you have a fairly common small seconds display. What's less common is that this is off-center. While I'd normally mark this down as throwing off the symmetry, it actually works well here. The overall cluster of the circles kind of defies normal symmetry rules to my eyes, and I'm surprisingly liking it. I also like the day/night indicator that they have. Here, they've designed photo-realistic discs to correspond to the sun and the moon, which are then coated with actual asteroid dust. Yes, Shatner's watch is bringing the final frontier (space, for you non-Trek folks) right to your wrist... more »
Each year brings thousands of watches into my hands and the hands of my colleagues. I write more than 500 articles per a year on watches and have been exposed to a great variety of small wearable items that indicate the time or other information. In fact, I even continue to do this in pursuit of my interests. I have yet to put a watch on my wrist and declare "That's it. I am done. This is the best watch in the world. I will dedicate the rest of my days to spreading its gospel." No, I don't think aBlogtoWatch or my career has a natural endpoint. This is no ultimate holy grail for me or most people. Perhaps this is why a passion for timepieces (among many other expensive hobbies) is enthusiastically referred to as an addiction. You just keep wanting more.
Movement aside, the Omega Seamaster 300 Master Co-Axial also features the latest in materials technology from Omega including a sand-blasted ceramic dial (black and blue) and also a ceramic bezel with a Liquidmetal diving scale.
Elsewhere, we learn about the history of Longines and also visit the many fascinating depths of the incredible manufacture that is Audemars Piguet. You will find an inside the manufacture look in the brand's Le Brassus headquarters as well as their high-end movement making facility in Le Locle, APR&P (Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi) and their Heritage & Restoration Department. Had you been longing for a comprehensive look inside "AP?" Look no further, we have got you covered with these three special articles in our selection.
We admit that this might sound like an unreal proposition – because it is, as no one in their right mind would spend all their income on Rolex Submariners! But, let's put that aside for a minute and concentrate on the point that is to be made here: when considering the average US income, the Rolex Submariner has become three times less affordable since the 1970's – and that is tangible, factual proof for a high-end watch gradually becoming a luxury item. In 1970, the average American earner worked 3 weeks to earn the price of a Submariner, while in 2012 the price of one accounts for over two months' worth of his income. This goes to show that although a fine watch has never been particularly cheap, some very evident repositioning has happened over the course of the last few decades.
Outlining a trend
ABTW: What drew you to this particular watch?
AA: First of all, I was being raised on Japanese video games, toys, and gadgets... so a techie watch with a futuristic look and a lot of features was right up my alley. It really wasn't that I had use for most of the features, but the sensors in the watch and the sheer list of functions was enough to sway my child heart.
I realize that many of you are seeing an MCT watch for the first time, so what is happening on the dial may be confusing. Well, allow me to explain: The watch indicates the hour at four points around the dial via turning triangular louvers. Between them all 12 hours can be displayed. There is a traditional minute hand that goes around the dial, and when a new hour comes the C-shaped window in the middle of the case pivots one position clockwise to point to the next set of louvers that display the current hour. The system is not only legible because of the digital hour system, but because of how easy it is to see all the information. This is pure time telling art, and very much a success despite being so unorthodox.
This time around we really are looking at a rather simple modification: the PAM557 follows the trend set by the chronograph piece as it also shares a lot in common with yet another 2011 novelty, the PAM372 (Luminor 1950 3 Days). Debuted three years ago, the 372 was almost exactly like the watch presented this year, other than the crown's placement on the more usual right side of the case. What we have here is something Panerai likes to call the "Destro", which stands for "right" in Italian and implies that the watch is primarily designed to be worn on the right wrist as the crown has been moved to the 9 o'clock position. The case is in 316L steel and it is polished all the way around, including the bezel. The crystal is not sapphire but 3mm thick Plexiglas, which is definitely not a first for Panerai, but certainly a welcomed treat for those in search of the more authentic Panerai "mood".
SD: Yes, I've retained all of my watches and just added Maximillian Büsser's Music Box to my personal collection. But of course, I mainly wear my brand. I've retained all of the serial number 1's that we make and rotate wearing them. However, we are always working on new designs that won't be made until a year or two from now, so my mind is always on the ones to be made and wondering how soon I can get them produced!
JW: This watch was not to sell and, of course, also unaffordable for me.
When I first discovered the Freak watch years ago I was a bit weirded out by the "freakish" design. It wasn't that the Freak looked bad to me, but rather that it simply looked so different I didn't understand what it was trying to do. The Freak was only strange because it was so radically different. Years later after a lot more watch education, the Freak started to grow on me, starting with an understanding of the innovative use of silicon, complex design, and legibility despite its highly unorthodox face. I became a Freak lover, but it didn't happen overnight. The Freak Cruiser is the most advanced "non tourbillon" Freak which means it is worlds more refined than the original. No doubt the watch is a statement, but it is a statement I want to make. Price is a dream-worthy ,500. This is a "wish list" after all right?
Maurice Lacroix has extended their haute horologerie "Masterpiece" line with the "Masterpiece Gravity" which features a large balance wheel on the dial as part of an in-house made movement. According to Maurice Lacroix, this is the first watch equipped with an oscillator assortment (balance roller, lever and escapement wheel) entirely made of silicon, which has a lighter weight than metal and no need for lubrication.
When Maitres du Temps started in 2008, the Chapter One was the watch that they debuted with. And late last year, we wrote that they were revisiting the Chapter One with a new transparent design. We finally got hands on time with these watches and here is what we think of them.
We previewed this watch back in March. To recap, this highly unique watch has a full calender and a computational display that shows the date and anniversary of 1 of the 12 custom events built into the watch. You select which of the dozen named events/people you wish to display and the watch computes and displays the age of the event/person and allows you to see anniversaries approach as subdial hands converge on the month display. When the 2 hands on the subdial below 12 meet, an anniversary is occurring. Before that, the closer they are, the less time you have to buy Kate Winslet a birthday gift (if you are the owner of this first watch that is).
John learns to find love in a smartwatch - which one is it? We discuss the real future of the smartwatch industry and what watch lovers need to know about it. We discuss the love child of MB&F and Urwerk that is C3H5N3O9 and discuss "experimental" watch brands. Lastly, we talk about the Spero Lucem La Clemence tourbillon minute repeater and its "crazy hands."
While the lume provided by gas light systems may not hold a candle to the initial brightness of paint-based applications (see Seiko divers), they glow consistently for years and their brightness is even, effective, and in no way distracting (a freshly charged Monster draws a lot of attention). For anything short of diving, or watches where the tubes might look out of place, this is a great way of providing low light legibility.
So are you able to identify all of the watches from just their hands? There might be one or two that is difficult to spot but you'll quickly feel silly for not knowing them at first glance if you look at our answer guide below. I think it is a testament to both big brand and boutique company design to see that a range of different watch companies are represented in this collection. While I would love to spend more time analyzing the hands and why they are distinct, I think the pictures speak louder than the words. What do you think? Are hands as important as we claim that they are? Are there models that should be in this list? What are some of your favorite watch hands?