I've heard from at least one other watch brand that they have almost bested Piaget in terms of size. They might have meant the 5.25mm thickness of the watch or the seemingly impossible 2.35mm thickness of the movement itself. Frankly, I could care less whether Piaget actually makes the thinnest this, or smallest that. It is the end result before my eyes that is what really matters. I personally don't buy or get excited about things merely because of a achievements on paper. It is the emotional reaction that I have when I see and wear them that matters. All the rest just make good talking points when bragging to friends - an activity far less common that enjoying the watch personally. Price is about ,000. You can read a bit more as I also wrote about this watch on AskMen.com.
Dial choices on these Golden Square models were plentiful. From light to dark tones, dials could even have mother-of-pearl, diamonds, or engraved centers. On each face though, the sharp angles of the hour numerals and the large hands stand out the most. Just the time not enough for you? Roger Dubuis did, and continues to release Golden Square watches with a variety of complications. There are calendars, chronographs, and a unique dual timezone model that is styled like a regulator. For older models, I recommend the basic three hand models as some of Roger Dubuis's older movements with additional complications sometimes had issues. If you are getting a new Roger Dubuis watch, this isn't an issue anymore after Richemont Group too them over and improved their movement production arm.
I am really in love with the watch case. It is big at about 46.5mm wide with a case that has several different materials in it. Most of the case is brushed grade 5 titanium. Then it has 18k rose gold, as well as some polished steel. One of the first things you notice about the case is the fold out chronograph pushers. There really isn't much to say about them, they fold out, work just as described, and fold back in securely. I love the intricately designed large crown. It has steel and gold in it, and an engraved fleur de lys Louis Moinet logo in it. The bezel is also very nicely done in steel with that 18k rose gold ring and trim. Finish on the case is very nice, and it overall is a great look that fits well thanks to its gentle curvature.
There was a lot of excitement at Montblanc in Geneva for this watch. They only had one of them at SIHH and it was in a case. Still a prototype but I got to check it out a bit. In a nutshell, you press down on a lever on the left side of the case and the watch dial magically transforms into something else. Not only does the look change, but more importantly the functions do as well. One face shows the time (regulator style with retrograde minutes) and the date, while the second style is a chronograph.
For me, the ideal way of getting a Maurice de Mauriac was isn't by sitting in an office or shop, but rather in a place like an outdoor cafe in Zurich - where the brand and its principle, Daniel Dreifuss, are based. I imagine sitting over coffee while Mr. Dreifuss takes watches out of a case alongside papers with colors and dials and all sorts of options. It isn't about buying what he had to offer, but about him making what I want to see. Sitting in the Swiss metropolis, you get a good idea of what you want your watch to look like in practice, as opposed to in a white store setting. No doubt this is how many of Maurice de Mauriac's customers choose the look of their next watch.
The most avant garde aspect of this Soarway GMT is the bezel. The uni-directional diver's bezel has but one indicator on it. At the top, with a lume dot and a black ring around the "eye" just like "Alex" in A Clockwork Orange. Plus the whole bezel with its notches (like eyelashes) and the dial color contrast reminds me of this iconic "man with single eye in drag" look. Fake eye lashes on a man trying to be a man never did quite look as good since the film. In fact, I am going to dedicate the the Kobold Soarway GMT Avantgarde watch to A Clockwork Orange. Not only did that little resemblance occur to me, but the style of the watch seems to fit in the classic 1970s shock film. Stanley Kubrick would be proud. I really do love that movie - genius. Though the book is incredibly hard to read. You literally need to sit there with a Russian dictionary to read it, as every few words is something in Russian.
Inside the watch is a marvelous movement that looks as good as it should operate. It is the automatic Bovet made Calibre 16BA01. It has a micro-rotor in solid platinum on the rear of the watch, and a number of functions. The Pininfarina Tourbillon Ottana watch has the time (with smaller single hand dial on the back of the watch), special seconds hands that makes a revolution each three minutes, but has indicators for each minute, big date indicator, power reserve indicator (watch has about 80 hours of power reserve), and a unique 80 second tourbillon. On the side of a case is a minute repeater style lever, but it is used to flip the watch over or transform it into one of its other forms. The movement alone has 514 parts, and is interestingly made mostly from brass. Quite beautiful in design and decoration. The type of movement you feel proud taking home to mother.
For the unveiling of the book, I visited IWC’s headquarters and manufacture in Schaffhausen. The sleepy Swiss town (well most Swiss towns are quiet) is typical of the village style burghs that watch makers like to call home. While the manufacture is extremely modern, vestiges of a medieval past are all around. With smoke pluming chimneys on story-book style homes, to a castle topped mountain, the view from the factory is conducive to practicing the history rich art of watch making.
Oscillating weight Monometallic, in tungsten
The 44-45mm wide case came in titanium or steel and was made in the 'carbon fiber' era (as I call it). In terms of case size, I am not totally sure, but I think the gold model was a bit larger than the titanium model. The bezel on the top and sides are all inlaid nicely with carbon fiber. This also applied to the chronograph pusher housings on sides of the watch. The chronograph pushers on this model were originally meant to look like gas pedals, but have since been used so much that forget their original theme. I love the woven stitching on the alligator strap. Supposed to look like a racing suit, but (especially on the titanium model) reminds me of a Spiderman web. I believe the crown is meant to look a bit like an F1 car gas cap.
John isn’t the fanatical watch lover I am, but that is a tall order. He loves the watch industry though. His father was in the watch industry, and now John’s son, Greg Simonian, is also involved. Soon to take over the retail side of the business, John will passed over an important part of the operation to his son, and leave him to be the big boss he enjoys being. Richard Mille will continue to be grown and nurtured by Simonian. When it matures other fresh projects will headline his distribution business, but he is never a one brand man.
Aside from basic features that any rugged dive watch need, the Essex La Primera GMT has a few unique features that help it stand out. One of these is the metal bracelet that I am sure you haven't seen before. Love it or hate it, the bracelet was developed for the brand and works pretty well. Think of it is a hybrid between a mesh metal bracelet and a traditional metal link bracelet. It is actually executed rather watch - presenting a comfortable fit, and nice feel to the touch. The design does seem to go with the watch case and dial. Essex also wanted to make sure that the bracelet and case were flush together without any gaps.
LUM-TEC lovers rejoice, this month you have a chance to win one of LUM-TEC's very popular Combat B series watches. This is the limited edition B15 Chronograph, with a 43mm wide bead-blasted steel case and a real carbon fiber dial. A pilot watch at heart, it comes with a sturdy NATO style strap, and a very easy to read dial. LUM-TEC of course gives the watch their famous MDV luminant that works very well I must say. Visibility is further enhanced by anti-reflective (AR) coating on both sides of the sapphire crystal.
Amethyst is used extensively in the JwlryMachine Purple. You'll find it as the large cabochon style eyes at the top of the hour and minute indicator cylinders, as well as over the open movement. The crystal there is specially engraved to look like feathers. What is really cool, is that it is semi transparent. Meaning you can still see the 22k gold battle ax style automatic rotor spinning underneath it. Another amethyst is used as a cabochon on the crown. The watch has about 41 carats of amethyst. Aside from amethyst you'll find a few precious stones on the complex case. These include about a carat of diamonds, as well as over 5 carats of mixed blue and purple sapphires.
HourTime Show Podcast Episode 12
It looks like Magrette used a slightly flatter sapphire crystal, also with AR coating on the inside. Perhaps the crystal isn't any flatter (hard to tell), it still has a slight dome to it. Regardless, it feels as though it reflects less light than before making the dial easier to read. This is another of the many incremental refinement and overall "polishing" treatment the watch line is getting.
Then there are the cool mechanical NOA watches, my favorite of which right now are the 4.80 collection Scyllis watch. These are the dive watches of the bunch and look like implements from science fiction (but they are real). These watches come in a bunch of styles and colors. Each is in steel, and some have PVD black coatings. The watches are 45mm wide with an internal rotating diver's bezel and a helium escape valve. These watches are also too pro looking to be worn casually - but I would still pull it off. The cases are water resistant to 300 meters and have double pinned rubber strap (to make sure it is securely fastened to the case). The Scyllis watches are thinner than you would expect and have Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movements inside.
Last is the concept watch from NOA that will hopefully reach production soon. I love this watch, and this is looks great. Oddly enough, this highly technical sports watch is made in honor of Alexander the Great, also known as "Skandar." The watch has the reference number of 3.56, because 356 BC is the year that Alexander the Great was born. The watch is 45mm wide in black steel, with a complex, but extremely legible dial. This is thanks to the high contrast hands. The watch contains a specially modified ETA 2892 automatic movement - with a Dubois Depraz chronograph and power reserve module added to it. NOA calls the movement the N.O.A A2081. The dial has windows for subsidiary discs (as opposed to dial), a power reserve indicator disc, and a date window. I am really digging the looks of the Skandar watch. This image is of a prototype, but after they get it ready for production, this is going to be a hot model for NOA (likely next year). Check out NOA for more interesting watches like this from their diverse and appealing collection.
Hermès Sertie Neige Ladies’ Watch