So what is it like on the wrist? Well it takes some getting used to - unless you are driving that it. Reading it is easy if you keep your wrist in the right position, and it looks very novel. People will certainly wonder why your watch is off-axis, but that just gives you an opportunity to explain. Very few formal style pieces like this can offer that. The Vacheron Constantin Historiques American 1921 Boutique New York watch is limited to 64 pieces and is priced at ,400.
For me, the best part of the Spitfire watches are the beautiful applied hour indicators and hands. The indicators are applied and filled with very white lume for excellent clarity and legibility. Against the metallic dial it makes for a superb look that is hard to complain about. Even with all its functions, the large 46mm wide Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month is clean looking and easy to read. You won't be blamed for falling in love with this watch.
The internal rotating bezel is operated via the left crown. It does not screw down and the bezel rotates smoothly without clicks. Functional types should prefer a rotating bezel with distinct notches, but it is fine this way for most purposes. Engineering a unique clicking system (like Bremont did with Roto-Click) would just increase the price of the watch a lot.
Playing with the movement is fun. It more or less operates just as you would expect. The digital display is novel and adjusts rapidly as time passes. You need to decide whether this is a super high-end nerd watch, or a sophisticated techie watch. Hard to say...
The watch dial is very handsome. I like the raised hour markers and hands in green. The watch is certainly bold, but not "in your face". It is a good mixture of minimal and sporty. This designer look is going to appeal to a lot of people as it prevents the watch from being cheesy or boring. Dietrich also knows how to use just enough green without going overboard.
Purists love the Omega Speedmaster Professional Moonwatch. Like the originals from 1969, these pieces replicate today those watches worn on the moon years ago. Of course they are cool, but much of the time I lust for more modern timepieces. The new for 2011 Speedmaster Co-Axial Chronograph is the most modern Speedmaster to-date (and I first covered it here). Up to 44.25mm wide, it features a slick design, improved legibility, and a fantastic movement made in-house by Omega. Even with all that, it still retains the charm and timeless design of the original.
JS Watch Co. is Iceland's premier watch maker based out of Reykjavik. Though I can't say for sure if they are Iceland's only watch maker. As small brands go, they have done some nice things and their latest offering is a special product for them. It really takes the Icelandic heritage to a new level, combining a range of design features and cultural elements. This is the JS Watch Frisland God Special Edition timepiece.
What really makes the Nero Uno watches shine is the case. It is complex and interesting, but not overly done. The design is quite architectural and meant to suggest the octagonal shape of the pens without copying them. The Nero Uno watch has a lot of Montegrappa DNA in the design, but is also something new. Each case is in steel, with PVD black or rose gold choices as well. Size is 42mm wide. This PVD rose gold toned model comes matched to a nice brown leather strap (with crocodile embossing), and the slight brown metallic and rose gold colors on the dial.
Initially there will be four versions of the Ikepod Horizon by KAWS watch. Each watch is 44mm wide in the wonderful pebble style case made here from titanium. The watches will have brushed or PVD black coated cases and a white, red, or black face. The color choices are interesting as KAWS artwork is usually much louder and more bold. I think that Ikepod and KAWS wanted to capture his style in a more subdued and simple way versus having a bright yellow and green watch.
"The 1960s was the sexiest era in US history." I am paraphrasing Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner after interviewing him in conjunction with the launch of the limited edition Mad Men Reverso watch known as the "Mad for Reverso" piece. His personal love of the era easily transcends through the show. "It was about time for the era's style to make a comeback." And it sure has. Everything from fashion to furniture as of late has been (at least in part) influenced by the popular television show on AMC.
While it isn't always the case that competing watch brands are friendly with one another, it most certainly is the case with high-end independent brands MB&F and Urwerk. The two brands share a deep respect for one another, as well as friendship, despite the fact that their products are thematically similar, priced in the same ballpark, and are aimed at more or less the same type of consumer. Still, the close relationship between the two is a testament to the deeper meaning of "Swiss Made:" which is actually a sharing of resources, talents, and ideas between people in Switzerland to promote "Swiss Made" as a whole. Enter the explosive new marque C3H5N3o9, otherwise known as the chemical make up of nitroglycerin.
There are very few tech specs on the actual watch itself, and we don't know exactly where the "original HMS Victory material" will go. It could very well be on the rotor of the automatic movement. I am guessing that the steel watch case is about 43mm wide. Done like an old ship's clock, the dial is very legible and classy. I love the white dial with black hands and hour markers.
Not one to forget their popular Carrera line, Tag Heuer also announced the new Carrera Calibre 16 Day Date Monaco Grand Prix LE (CV2A1F) which will be limited to 3000 units and can be had with a sporty tire tread-inspired rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet, both of which nicely suit its 43 mm stainless steel case. I have always enjoyed the Carrera line as they feature a very pleasing case and lug design as well as excellent legibility for a chronograph. This new model sports a simplified dial layout and bright red accents for the second hand and elements of the dial and bezel script. It is really ironic that there is now a Tag Heuer Carrera Monaco watch. Nice and confusing right?
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 101 here.
Technical specs from Boegli: