The dial is nicely lumed, and the new Omega Speedmaster Mark II goes a step beyond most Speedmasters by offering a luminous tachymetre scale. The tachymetre scale is a crucial element within the Speedmaster design and the Mark II approaches that design from an entirely new angle. The tachymetre scale is integrated around the edge of the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, thus allowing the numbers of the scale to be transparent. Beneath the crystal lies a bright orange metal ring, mostly obscured from view, that holds a luminous application directly below the transparent tachymetre scale.
We saw dozens of "GMT" watches at Baselworld and many have the feature backwards. The primary time display is adjusted much like any three-hander while an independent hand can be adjusted to track a second timezone, generally via a 24 hour display to aid in day/night approximations. This feature is handy if you need to know the time in a second time zone for your day-to-day business but aren't necessarily travelling between time zones.
Of course, how could we forget the tourbillon? Unlike other manufacturers, the tourbillon in this watch is angled at 25 degrees and completes a revolution every 24 seconds - pretty fast for a tourbillon. In addition, we like that the tourbillon seems to be floating, and this is achieved by using synthetic transparent sapphire bridges. The dial is simply mesmerizing and brimming with artistry and fine craftsmanship.
The almost race-style dial of the 5960/1A makes it the type of watch you don't need to wear with a suit or formal attire. At 40.5mm wide the watch isn't huge, but it is totally within the range of what most under 50 people are wearing. Even the numerals and fonts used on the dial are more modern that one might expect from a Patek. To that we offer a big thumbs up.
IWC offers two dial colors for the Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium. One is black with blue accents, but we keep being drawn to the "silver-plated" tone dial. While not exactly white, it is an almost white colored sport watch dial - and we love those. In our review of the Porsche Design Flat Six P'6310 watch, we discussed the difficultly in producing light-dialed sport watches, and what it takes to succeed. The key is the right black materials and a lack of reflectivity. This is very well executed with the thickly-outlined-in-black hands and applied hour indicators. While the dial has a touch of gloss to it, all of the indicators stand out with a beautiful, instrumental gusto on the Ingenieur Double Chronograph Titanium face.
Many watch lovers are familiar with the fact that Rolex uses a type of steel that no one else uses. Stainless steel is not all the same. Steel comes in various types and grades... and most steel watches are made from a type of stainless steel called 316L. Today, all the steel in Rolex watches is made from 904L steel, and as far as we know, pretty much no one else does. Why?
Drawing from what's labeled as the "golden era" of the 1950s, these new automatic Clifton chronographs will be formally introduced at SIHH in January. Intrinsically, the three are mechanically the same - 43mm stainless steel case, ETA 7750 movement (decorated and visible through the case back), sapphire crystals, and a 50m WR rating, to mention some of the highlights. Where the three models differentiate themselves then, is in the styling.
ABTW: Given the pedigree and rarity of the watch, I'm guessing I know the answer, but I still need to ask - was there ever a time in your life when you could afford it - and if so, did you get it?
It is a bit hard to believe that after all these years this is the first hands-on article we've done with the famous TAG Heuer Monaco V4. It just goes to show that cool watches can fall through the cracks (though the video in this article is from a look we did in 2012). If you don't know, the Monaco V4 was originally a sort of concept watch designed for TAG Heuer by Jean-Francois Ruchonnet back in 2004. Given that we are writing this in 2014, I guess it is the 10th anniversary of the watch. Having said that, TAG Heuer did not come close to releasing the watch (which used many belts instead of gears in the movement) until several years later.
Finally, a quick PSA for those of you who may have read the original review and got excited about the Tropik only to find they were already sold out. Keep an eye on Halios' website as the second batch of Tropiks are due to be released before the end of the year. Now you can't say that I didn't give you a heads up.
The Benu line houses their new 100.0 calibre, which features a 2/3 plate made of German silver. This not only is a hallmark of the region, it's also a way of increasing strength and stability, while still allowing a view of the balance wheel through the caseback. The movements are lovely, but so are the dials. Here is a textbook example of how properly sized hands can make or break a watch design. So kudos to these guys for getting it right.