Prices from Manufactum: 1.350, - EUR with leather strap, As of August 2012, technical changes
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.
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The Swatch Touch is a bit larger than you might think (at 39mm wide). It makes for a good men's size, and a large size for girls. Swatch however considers it a unisex watch with colors for men and women. Guys get black and camo, while girls get pink, blue, and purple. Everyone can enjoy the white version. The curved plastic case is comfortable, with good textures and a silicon strap that isn't as "sticky" as some others. The case is water resistant to 30 meters and I like (similar to many Swatch watches) that the battery compartment is easy to get to on the back of the watch.
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The next limited edition Hublot Big Bang watch is for women. To be honest, the Big Bang model has taken a back seat (this will most likely be changing soon) to other Hublot models when it comes to limited editions for men. The King Power has been favored for a while because of its larger size and more technical design. In 2012 Hublot re-released the Big Bang as a larger watch and modernized it a bit. Anyhow, this shiny Big Bang is for the ladies and has been done in collaboration with watch maker and retailer Zegg & Cerlati. Making limited edition models for retailers is a popular way of creating exclusivity and making retailers happy while giving them a reason to promote items to their customers.
Functions: Hour/minute/second, date and day at 3H.
We discuss how some Kobold watches will now be produced in Nepal by Sherpa people - and how much we want a Sherpa butler. Storm offers a low-cost version of the Corum Bridge watch with the Mekon. The Sarpaneva Korona K0 Diver is cool but with amusingly off marketing. Is the Pebble E-Paper watch on Kickstarter worth your investment?
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I actually covered the Jaquemarts Tourbillon collection before in this article here. I am covering the pieces again mainly because I got some much better video and photography. This merits a second look because a watch collection such as this is all about the beauty of the details. These models we have here are the famous Genghis Khan piece and the later Alexander the Great version. Note that the Genghis Khan version is the extremely limited edition of 30 pieces Genghis Khan Haute Joaillerie timepiece.
Position 2: Setting time
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Some totally diamond covered watches are head-to-toe lined with diamonds. The case is usually in 18k white gold while diamonds of different sizes and cuts are used to cover the case, bracelet, and dial. On watches like this you are sometimes lucky to see the hands as they can blend in with all the shine. The best types of these pieces use a variety of stones to retain the shape of the watch or offer unique patterns.
I credit H20 for offering a lot of options that actually look unique. Nothing here looks like a swapping of standard parts, and they took the time to ensure that each combination of parts should look good. At the same time I think there might be a bit too many options. I mean options aren't bad, but it can lead to "choice paralysis." I have warned brands before on offering customizable watches with too many options in the past. H20 is very much leaning in that direction - which can cause issues for even the serious enthusiast. Consider you are about to customize a new H20 ORCA and the price of a few hundred dollars here or there doesn't matter. You are first asked if you want the hardened steel? OK that is an easy one, why would you not want the most durable case. But doesn't it beg the question of why a less durable case is available? Does it have a nicer finish? Who knows. Then you get to the question of what sapphire crystal style you want. Domed or flat? Well I know that flat ones produce less glare, but domed ones can look a bit more "high-end." Do most people know that? I am not sure. Even with what I know I am not sure which one to choose as I would really need to see both of them side by side in order determine how they play with the light.
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Others noticed the Everest EH-1 Band while wandering around Rome. On one occasion while riding a Vespa, another Vespa driver was caught eye-balling the strap when we were all lined up at stop lights, and there were inquiries by Rolex dealers I visited, on the source of the strap.
This is the phantom, or "black out" version of the Luminox Field Date Date 1820 Series watch. Specifically, this is the model reference number A.1876.BO. That latter "BO" likely stands for "black out." A mid-range piece in the Luminox line-up, this is a handsome military style watch that retains the functionality you need with the style you expect from a black on black colored timepiece.
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The DB25 IX Maya is also know as the DB25 Ninth Maya Underworld. Again, I don't know what that means and to be honest the story is cool but I don't really care about the details. I think the art is nice and Mayan culture sounds fun and all. Though I don't have a connection to it, and if I ever traveled back in time I would avoid the entire region for fear of my head being sacrificially severed... and my heart then perhaps eaten. The artistry is amazing and I do appreciate the watch for that a lot. This is probably not going to be your first De Bethune watch - as for the price I would recommend more suitable entries into the brand. Limited to only 12 pieces, the DB25 IX Maya watch retails for 90,000 Swiss Francs.
Strap Upholstery black leather with anthracite grey stitching
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Over the screen is a K1 mineral crystal - though I would have preferred a sapphire crystal. My real issue with the crystal is that it attracts finger prints very easily. You'll need to wipe off the screen a lot. Not a huge deal, but something about it tends to attract finger oils very easily. For a minimal futuristic look that isn't nerdy or cliche it is hard to find more attractive offerings than a watch like the Braun BN0106. The piece most certainly benefits from its connection to Pierre Nobs, and the overall package does what it was designed to do fluidly. Great to find "design focused" watches with this much utility and promise. Price tops out at 0 for the black version of the BN0106 on the bracelet. You can buy them online from Braun here.
The Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Gold is limited to only 100 units in its initial run, which will be available starting later this month. The base SpidoSpeed Steel carries a price tag of ,000 USD but, with gold being gold, the new SpidoSpeed Gold will carry a price tag of , 500 excluding VAT. I think that there is a considerable group of buyers (myself included) who shy away from gold watches because they are fearful of the flashy or even cheesy image that they may project while wearing a gold timepiece. I am a big fan of the original SpidoSpeed and this new gold version proves that when it's done correctly, gold can be a fitting platform for a modern and aggressively styled sport watch.
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My personal favorite in the art collection for 2012 is the watch at the top of this article. It uses a Santos-Dumont XL case and displays a horse. The process is actually micro mosaic. From counters to coffee tables, stone or tile, mosaic is a popular and celebrated craft. Here, the art of mosaic work blends with gold engraving. Parts of the horse are engraved gold, while the majority of the dial is a hand-created mosaic of gemstones. According to Cartier, each piece of this limited edition collection requires over 120 hours of work to complete. Each stone must be individually selected, cut, and placed to form the image. This watch is called the Cartier Santos-Dumont XL watch, horse motif, gemstone mosaic and will come in a set of 40 pieces in 18k white gold, and 10 more pieces with diamonds on the case.
What types of events can you expect from RLH? The events will include dinners, presentations, parties, social gatherings, and educational seminars. Some events will likely be sponsored by major watch brands and focus on helping you to get better acquainted with their products and people. Other events will focus less on specific watch brands and offer more neutral environments for watch lovers and their friends to simply have a good time. Nothing boring, just real life horology.
Crystal: Domed anti-reflective, scratch-resistant sapphire crystal.
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In the watch industry, safes have most recently been combined with watch winders and other hobby "furniture" Brands I have written about such as Dottling and Buben and Zorweg have transformed the stalwart safe into a bona fide high-end lifestyle item. No longer something to hide in a closet or behind a false wall, they made the safe a beautiful piece of furniture to be flaunted - complete with built-in stereo, humidor, and whiskey cabinet. These companies helped make the safe itself a luxury item - in addition to the items it was meant to store.
The Opus 3 - One of the most eccentric of the Opus collaborations, the Opus 3 is the brain child of Vianney Halter and features six porthole displays. Each of the displays relies on its own jumping indicator to show the hour in the top left and right windows (blue), minutes in lower left and right (black), and date in the vertical center displays (red). Limited to 55 units in platinum or rose gold, the Opus 3 featured a massively complex hand wound movement and an exceedingly unique aesthetic that was a considerable departure from the previous Opus models. This rose gold example did quite well at auction, surpassing the ,000 - 0,000 estimates with a final price of 3,448 (lot 4877). This is actually quite good as the Opus 3 became a bit of a legend as it took 7 years to finally deliver the watches (in 2011).
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