Here was a passionate Ferrari collector, who extended his passion to watches and proudly wears his Ferrari and Hublot branded timepiece in a situation outside of his current passion, but as a reminder of where his hobby and his heart reside. Hublot, by fusing, in this case, Ferrari ownership with its complex mechanical timepieces is bringing along a new class of watch collectors. So, when Hublot does the same for golf – as they did when they picked Justin Rose as their newest ambassador – they are attracting a new group of passionate people to our watch-loving ranks. And I believe we all can be happy about that. hublot.com
Facing the dilemma of potential obsolescence, first in the face of inexpensive equivalent competition (quartz watches) in the 1980s, mechanical watch companies decided to go "high-end." In the late 90s and early 2000s, high-end watch companies faced yet another foe: the ubiquity of the mobile phone (which indicates the time). This prompted them to go even higher-end. Pretty much, the only way to compete in a market of effective cheap stuff is to distinguish your product as being classier, better made, more exclusive, and "the type of thing rich and famous people with good taste own." These aren't bad tactics, in theory, but actually achieving it is complicated and less than straight-forward.
Powered by a single barrel that would likely provide over 40 hours of power reserve, the movement actually runs for a mere 36 hours after it has been fully wound, thanks to Daniels' stop-start mechanism that disengages the mainspring after 1.5 days. The reasoning is that the last 6 or so hours of power reserve comes at a price of insufficient torque, negatively affecting timekeeping performance – a problem that concerns only the most dedicated watch manufacturers, and that even fewer make the effort to find a solution for. Thanks to the elegantly placed power reserve indicator on the dial, one can always know when the movement requires winding.
These days, locations include their flagship store on Newbury Street in the Back Bay section of downtown Boston, Chestnut Hill (in the suburb of Newton which is home to Boston College), and Greenwich, Connecticut.
ABTW: What are some of the watch brands you are known for carrying?
After lunch, it was over to the big Westime. A friendly & generous man named Leon was going to be our tour guide through their expansive collection. If the first Westime was a small, intimate boutique experience, this one was the opposite: wrist candy as far as you can see. It was easy to be overwhelmed, but luckily, the staff was incredibly friendly, knowledgeable, & accommodating. There was absolutely no pressure to move us from brand to brand, and we got to experience the store at our own pace.
Most people who know Stephane Greco recognize him as the owner of Rhodior - which is the name of his company. It is situated in the heart of the Plan-les-Ouates part of Geneva, which is also home to a series of big watch companies who have major facilities there, including Rolex, Patek Philippe, Vacheron Constantin, Piaget, Frederique Constant, and more. By offering a desirable and highly specialized service, I have a feeling that Rhodior simply fell into success given its location and regular customer needs.
Cuban turned European watch brand Cuervo y Sobrinos has an interesting history. The original company was based in Havana and then shut down for many years until it was revived to be Swiss made but with "a Latin soul." To a large degree, that is still true in their interesting designs that are heavily inspired by the original pieces from the brand.
Today, the Omega Seamaster 300M collection is relatively basic and exists just under the Seamaster Planet Ocean in terms of price. The movements are not fully in-house, but rather combine custom Omega parts with stock ETA movements. Frankly, the movements are very good and the value is there too, but you can't turn them over and admire them like you can the very pretty in-house made Omega calibers. While most Omega Seamaster 300M watches today are three-hand automatics, there are some chronograph versions (such as the Omega Seamaster 300M Co-Axial Chronograph ETNZ Limited Edition, and its non-limited edition variants), and now for 2014, a Chronograph GMT Co-Axial.
So what this means is that the blogs are a venue for sharing and giving first hand accounts. What this also means is that the brands cannot lie, if they do, this will be noticed and revealed and shared. So blogs allow us to reach people in a different manner, an authentic fashion, while forcing us to have a coherent message, since any incoherence will be discovered and exposed.
Nick L. was the fortunate winner of the Maurice Lacroix Pontos S watch after our November 2014 aBlogtoWatch giveaway. After receiving his watch, he was kind enough to snap some pictures and offer this winner watch review. This month you can enter to win a Swiss Claude Bernard Chronograph Automatic watch here. There are also still a couple of days left to enter to win a Tudor Heritage Chrono from TrueFacet here. Here is Nick's Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Diver watch review:
The Ernst Benz Chronoracer Sport is water resistant to 50 meters, and here, I wish it packed a bit more of a punch – the AR-coated sapphire crystal, the large brushed case and the overall field-watch atmosphere would be nicely complemented by a 100 meter water resistance rating, although the alligator strap surely is not made for diving or swimming. Despite this minor shortcoming, the Chronoracer Sport is unmistakably Ernst Benz – and such consistency is always impressive when coming from a smaller, independent brand – as it is bold, masculine, and is not without a little twist that renders it more exciting.
I will give you an example that will help clarify and illustrate this point. Forty years ago, in the middle of the most significant crisis to the watch industry, due to the arrival of quartz watches, we launched our most famous model, the Royal Oak. This was revolutionary at the time, since it broke all the horological rules of the trade, since during those days, every competitors' watches were made in precious metals that were either round or oval. But we created a watch that was octagonal, in stainless steel, with sharp edges and case, and with screws that were exposed. Really something opposite to the norms of the time, and we sold it for the same price of a gold Patek or the same price of two Rolexes.
Vulcain’s reputation was grounded in watches that have become icons in their own right. The Vulcain Cricket is perhaps the brand’s true classic: one of the earliest and most successful iterations of the alarm complication, the Cricket became known as the “watch of Presidents” due to its being a favorite of many of those inhabiting the Oval Office (Harry Truman was a Cricket fan, for example). Vulcain also has a reputation for its dive watches. Upon its introduction in the early ‘60s, the Nautical Cricket dazzled not just for its jazzily distinctive dial, but for a then-ingenious system to track decompression times and a unique case design that allowed divers to hear the alarm function underwater with loud clarity.
It used to be, back in the "good 'ol days," that you could find amazing deals on eBay from people who didn't really know what they were selling or when there simply wasn't that much competition for cool but obscure watches. While you might be surprised at the volume of people just like you searching eBay for watches on a regular basis, there are deals to be had. For the best watches, you'll get "fair deals," and occasionally amazing ones. The trick to eBay is using its "saved search" function so that eBay e-mails you when new watches you are interested in show up. This way, you don't have to endlessly look for the same models or brands over and over again.
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3. Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Watch Review
SIHH 2015 saw 16 brands exhibit their newest and latest watches of the year. Understandably, trying to keep track of all the new releases is tough, so to help you keep up to date with all the latest happenings, here is our pick of the top 10 watches from this year’s show.
The Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition uses Chopard's 03.05-M automatic chronograph movement which features a fully integrated design, flyback capability, a column wheel and COSC certification. The 03.05-M is built by Chopard's in-house Fleurier Ebauches workshop and has 45 jewels and runs at 4 Hz, with a power reserve of 60 hours. Chopard is no rookie when it comes to racing chronographs, and the Chopard Superfast Chrono Porsche 919 Edition's movement is the real deal and even boasts some eye-catching skeletonized finishing.
Before we get to that bezel, I wanted to talk about what it has in common with, and how it’s physically different from the Seebatallion. In general, it shares the same foundation, but is much simpler. Both watches feature 44mm cases although the SeeBataillon is in titanium and the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer is in stainless steel and 2.4mm thicker. They also both have an external bezel, crown at four o’clock, and 300m of water resistance. The Kampfschwimmer sheds most of the instrumentation features: The chapter ring is bare, it features thin stock hands instead of pilot style hands, the bezel does not have any Arabic numbers and relies exclusively on stick markers. The Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer also features a unidirectional bezel versus bidirectional on the Seebataillon, and its lugs are wider and longer. The shade of blue on the dial is a vibrant cobalt, while the Seebatallion features a navy dial. Instead of utilizing the Seebatallion’s Indian Rubber strap which features endpieces that perfectly fit the contours of the caseline, the Mühle Glashütte Kampfschwimmer features a synthetic “sailcloth” fabric strap that is similar in composition to the strap found on the Longines Legend Diver or the Omega Dark Side of the Moon. Instead of featuring a deployant clasp it features a light tang buckle.
ABTW: It seems you have had some great fortune getting your grails. Have there ever been any that slipped away?