Montegrappa's primary business is the manufacture of nice pens. Though in that world it is apparently low-class to simply call their products "pens." They prefer the more high-brow term "writing instrument." The brand produces fountain and roller ball pens, as well as pencils. They even use a material that no one else uses in some of their more esteemed products - celluloid. Celluloid is derived from plants and must be specially aged before being used. Montegrappa offers writing instruments with celluloid bodies ranging in many different colors. The material feels warm and soft like quality plastic, but has a special visual depth that almost looks like polished stone. They add some special materials which give the celluloid more sparkle and a range of colors. It is a cool feature and I believe other pen makers only use plastic or metal in their pen bodies.
While you can get the Omega Seamaster Ploprof on a white, orange, or black rubber strap, it is hard to overlook the milanese (mesh) metal "shark-proof" bracelet. While aesthetically this bracelet is not for everyone, this is one of the best bracelets of its type out there. First of all, the metal mesh is made very well and does not have the tendency to pull arm hair. Second, Omega designed it to have actual removable links - which makes adjusting it very simple. Plus, the links are hard to see so it looks like one flush bracelet. Both texture, quality, and feel are very good on this mesh metal bracelet in comparison to others out there.
Clasp: deployant buckle in satin-finished black PVD titanium with carbon insert (Titanium) or satin-finished titanium with carbon insert (Magic Gold)
Each of the cases is 44mm wide in an optional specially hardened steel. I don't know why all of them don't come standard with the hardened steel. Each is further water resistant to an impressive 2000 meters. You can opt for a flat or domed sapphire crystal, and there are a range of dial options. In fact, there are four dials to choose from and three hand sets. You also have an impressive eight bezel options. Some of the bezels come with sapphire crystal inlays - which I happen to like a lot.
This peer review production process is actually harder than simply conceiving a watch and then having it made. Watch production for small boutique brands is a laborious and highly time consuming process. Brands like Linde Werdelin rely on a range of suppliers that produce the many small parts which go into their watches. Working with suppliers takes a long time to get deliveries, and the process can be frustrating for brands. Going back and forth to get pieces 'just right' is an appreciated ordeal that they go through.
the Omega GSotM (Grey Side of the Moon)
Case details are impressive. You can see the polished faceted edges and well integrated parts. The shape of the case quickly grows on you, but it is not without its quirks. The massive case is very solid, and has 1,200 meters of water resistance. This is twice the rated water resistance of the original which had 600 meters of water resistance. Though reports seems to indicate that both the original and new Ploprof can exceed their depth ratings. Probably not a good idea to "try that at home" (do you live underwater?). The case also includes an automatic helium release valve to ensure you can go down that deep without helium popping out the AR coated sapphire crystal.
Up for grabs is the Air Force One Tritium watch. The lightweight tactical watch is in polycarbonate and is 47.5mm wide. It contains tritium gas tubes for dial illumination. Not just any gas tubes, but the high-powered T100 tubes. Inside the watch is a Swiss Ronda quartz movement, and the watch it attached to a black silicone strap. Water resistant to 200 meters, this piece retails for 9.
In total, the Rolex Deepsea Challenge is able to go down to 12,000 meters, which is 39,370 feet. The world of science still hasn't answered why this is necessary, but we think it is really cool (don't we? I know I do). Even with its large size most people want to wear this. I think it is amusing how Rolex produced a special long bracelet to strap the Rolex Deepsea Challenge to the robotic arm. What was Mr. Cameron wearing on his wrist? Mere humans only get regular Rolex Deepsea watches.
Not too many brands got me really excited, but of course I have spoiled tastes. Of course some impressed me, but they mostly impressed me for what they offered at the price. The amount of mechanical watch movement makers in China was interesting - and their quality is much better now compared to what it was just a few years ago. US and European watch lovers would be absolutely shocked at the legions of brands they've never heard of. What impressed me was not one specific design or watch, but rather what the brands are capable of. The prestige of the tourbillon is no longer a Swiss treat. Chinese tourbillons are highly available combined with other exotic complications in both traditional and modern form. The Chinese offer true mechanical watch making at prices reserved for captains versus kings. Someone is also always there to remind you that custom projects are encouraged. The Chinese manufacturing spirit is legendary, and anyone with enough creativity and a modest budget can have their dream watches made. Unlike the mostly closed market of the Europeans which only exist for insiders, the Chinese market encourages people with ideas to enter and use local services.Though your ideas will be fair game for everyone else if you play.
The rear of the case is in some ways more interesting than the front. I like the polished sections and how it has a screw-down caseback. There is an exhibition window to see the movement. Both crystals are sapphire and the top one is AR coated I believe. The steel case is 35.5mm wide. If it was a round case this would be way too small for a men's watch. However, the elliptical shape of the case and the broad crown structures with guards help it feel larger.