When Panerai released the PAM514 in 2013, they also released a sister model, known as the PAM512. What is the difference between the two? Both are Radiomir 1940 watches but the PAM512 comes in a 42mm wide case with a different movement (and no date). The PAM514 is 47mm wide with Panerai's in-house made P.3000 manually wound movement - a mechanism that is quite attractive visually through the expansive sapphire crystal caseback window.
What really put Sarpaneva on the map are his moon-phase watches that use his character-rich moon face. They are so distinctive that MB&F collaborated with Sarpaneva on the HM3 MoonMachine collection. The Korona Moonshine and now the Woodoo do have moon phase indicators, but not in the standard way. Rather, they focus on a large image of the moon face which Sarpaneva is known for. Time is told on a single moving disc and read via an indicator in a window at 8 o'clock. This is analogous to a single hand watch in terms of how the time is read.
Let's go back in time a moment to the launch of Red8World back in 2009. aBlogtoWatch reviewed the Red8 watch here that was 38mm wide with a Seiko auto-quartz (Kinetic) movement inside. You can see some design similarities but the new Red8USA watches are much more interesting as men's watches - especially because they are mechanical (and larger in size).
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The star of that model name would be the movement, of course. In this case, it's the 59215 calibre, which is a higher-beat movement (28,800 BPH). More intriguing (at least to me) is that 8 day (192 hour) power reserve. Bigger power reserves on automatics are nice, but when it comes to manually-wound pieces, it's something that makes life that much easier. With this model, IWC has created a watch you really only need to worry about winding once per week - though, if you're like me, small bits of winding end up occurring throughout the day.
While the base Japanese quartz caliber 7X52 movement in the Astron is only as accurate as most other decently made quartz movements, this watch can update itself with the most accurate time available. That is because it can receive not radio signals, but satellite signals from the many GPS satellites revolving around the earth–that themselves are updated by atomic clocks. So, the key here is that the watch regularly updates itself to be not only accurate, but also accurate given the location you are in the world.Read more ›
We have seen a handful of brands incorporate historical material in their watches before, with Bremont's HMS Victory (using wood and metal from an 18th century ship) and Romain Jerome's Moon Dust DNA (where the dial contains "dust" from rocks originating from the Moon) springing to mind first. The primary difference between REC Watches and the others is the more-than-considerable price difference, as the REC Watches Mark I costs around 2.5% that of those just mentioned. That is a significant difference and yet the overall experience remains comparable: when wearing any one of these pieces you are not just wearing a watch, but in one way or another you are also looking at an item that inherently has a story and some interesting history to it.
The bad side is that, unlike large companies, small independent watch makers lack large budgets, marketing plans, deep industry connections, and the experience of having made watches for years (for the most part). So what you get is often a dream and a compromise and these range from pitiful shells of their own potential to truly impressive timepieces that combine a load of features for a fair price. The Viking is much closer to being the latter.
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Everyone that works at aBlogtoWatch–including myself–writes about watches because we love watches. Our individual goal as writers is to share our passion about what we like, don't like, and feel about watches, collecting, and our interest in little wearable machines. It isn't because we want a pat on the back from the people who run watch brands. Sure, we want a good relationship with those companies who make the products we like.Read more ›
Easily my favorite new 2014 model is the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Ceramic Carbon with its black and yellow tones. The case is in black ceramic while the bezel is in carbon fiber. The dial offers an exposed view of the movement does in a deep gray almost rhodium tone, while yellow ads a very bold accent color to the hands and markers. The combination of materials and colors feel particularly cool even though nothing strictly new is added to the collection.
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ABTW: What drew you to this particular watch?
The dial of the GREAT Britain is the most complicated element of the entire watch. Not only is it a totally unique design, but it incorporates so many techniques and individually-made components. You should already know that Roger Smith makes each hand in painstaking detail. These are cut, formed, polished, and flame blued - all by hand. What is also flame blued on this piece are the applied Roman numeral hour markers. This is something I've personally never seen before and it looks very good offering an attractive element which is also every legible.
ABTW: Your existing models exhibit some very complex behaviors courtesy of the movements inside. Why did you decide to create such complex watches?Read more ›
ABTW: What was your first grail watch?Read more ›
Geneva-based AkriviA is one of the more recently established independent haute horlogerie brands with a foundation that goes back to the now defunct innovative BNB Concept movement maker and designer. Being an independent in the world of modern watch making means the brand in question is not related to luxury groups or major watch manufactures. While there are a number of trade-offs to be made - such as lack of vast financial and technological resources - one of the major advantages is that their engineers, designers, and watchmakers are not bound by the strict and heavily moderated design philosophies that exist at larger more established brands.
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In conclusion, the VCXO Ox One promises to be a genuinely interesting concept that strives to successfully merge the two opposing worlds of mechanical and electronic watches. Unfortunately, it will be at least 6 months from now before we see the first batch of watches delivered, forcing us to wait a little longer before we get to press that "Magic Button" for the first time. The VCXO Ox One will be available in non-limited editions executed in stainless steel and black ceramic, as well as a numbered run of 25 pieces in pink gold with pre-order prices coming in at ,150, ,200 and ,150 respectively. vcxo-watches.com
It would be safe to surmise that Omega was the star of the Swatch Group last year in 2013. 2014 and beyond are looking pretty bright as well, but what we can safely say is that Omega has done a good job of recognizing and celebrating its past, while also firmly looking into the future. A watch like the Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra > 15,000 Gauss is really about both of those perspectives. In reviewing it, we find a solid classic Omega timepiece with a heart that literally dictates a guaranteed future of the brand. Let's take a closer look at one of the most anti-magnetic mechanical watches around.
4. Greubel Forsey GMT Watch In Platinum Hands-OnRead more ›