For 2014, Audemars Piguet decided to release a new limited edition version of the Royal Oak Concept GMT Tourbillon in white and titanium. This went with two other white watches that included the Royal Oak Offshore Diver in white ceramic, and a new white version of the Royal Oak Offshore Chronograph 44mm. With three new white watches for 2014 you could call it a trend over at AP. Given their efforts in markets such as Miami and other parts of the world were white-colored watches work well, that isn't at all surprising to me. As someone who happens to like white watches I particularly enjoy the result.
Speaking of seconds, the chronograph seconds hand on this Breitling is in polished silver and is a little hard to see at times. There's no lume on the seconds hand. The hour and minutes hands are nicely sized and all it takes is a very quick glance to read the time. more »
ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?
It is easy to read the time despite the black on black features near the bottom of the watch as the hands are painted in a bold yellow contrast. My favorite part of the watch is the beautifully layered dial design building up from the skeletonized movement. It could be difficult to see in pictures, but the background of the watch functions like a hologram, displaying different shades of gray depending on the angle of light.
Dial: sapphire, circular satin-finished dial frame with chamfered and polished edge
From a technical standpoint, the major challenge of having a 50 day power reserve is the torque curve. Think of a single wound spring. When it is fully wound, the power it releases is more than than the power it releases as it winds down. So as a spring slowly releases power, the actual power it releases varies. This is an issue because differences in released power (measured in torque, more or less) effect how accurate the timing is. Watches are regulated to account for a specific amount of power to be released, and when that power shifts, so does the accuracy of the watch in regard to indicating the time. So Hublot's challenge was to design a system where not only do the mainsprings slowly release power over a 50 day period, but that power remain relatively constant, so that reading the time is at all reliable.
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.
IWC Portofino Hand-Wound Day Replica Watches
If there was ever one quartz watch that I have lusted for, it is the Seiko’s new Astron GPS Solar watches. As its name suggests, these watches rely on GPS signals to determine their location and are then able to sync with them so that you can have the precise time no matter where you are. It really is the ultimate traveller’s watch and we just had a hands-on session with the new 2013 models.
I recently visited the brand's tiny workshop in Lully-sur-Morges and had the opportunity to meet the founders, the couple of Anouk Danthe and Olivier Leu. They are both watch designers with some extensive experience when it comes to creating new watches. Anouk has worked for Audemars Piguet, Omega and Jaeger-LeCoultre, while Olivier has worked with more than eighty - small and major - brands as a freelance watch designer. In 2007 they set themselves a new challenge, one that is rightfully the dream of most watch makers and designers: they established their own company, called Revelation, and based it on the superb idea of producing a unique watch dial that has never been done before.
Panerai has a knack for SIHH novelties and this year is no exception. With a handful of special pieces being released, I'm going to focus on what caught my eye. Being rather firmly a Radiomir guy (unless we're talking about last year's drool-worthy 1950 Regatta 3 Days), I found myself taken by the new Radiomir 1940 Chronograph. With three limited edition versions rendered exclusively in precious metals, these aren't your garden variety Radiomirs and their dial design eschews Panerai's signature sparse appeal for something entirely more retro.
We have sympathy for the many watch loving women who are looking for more mechanical timepiece options and tend to only see men's models. Having said that, the watch industry has also noticed that many women who like mechanical watches are now buying men's watches to wear.
At 42mm wide, in either 18k red gold or platinum, the Blancpain Villeret Quantieme Perpetuel 8 Jours is perhaps subtle, but not humble. And that is what I am talking about in regard to the personality of this object. With its modern size and dedication to useful features, this is the type of timepiece I'd feel comfortable about investing in when wanting to spend mid-level Mercedes-Benz car money on a timepiece.
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