A few years ago I discovered these cool manly looking timepieces in a watch store up in San Francisco. I believe that it was relatively soon after that Ball watches re-emerged with a strong look based on the brand's history of producing accurate railroad pocket watches. Priced right, the watches were high-end offerings with tritium gas tubes and names like "Engineer Hydrocarbon." I didn't know what that meant, but they had my attention.
The watch is the Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Black Diamond watch. It is based on the original Linde Werdelin SpidoSpeed Chronograph the we fully reviewed here. The SpidoSpeed Chronograph is the brand's first ever chronograph watch. It is based on the Spidolite collection and was quite cool when it was first debuted. Now it gets a bit dressed up with diamonds. For their chronograph watch, Linde Werdelin chose a Concepto caliber 2251 automatic chronograph movement with a custom rotor.
You can tell pretty easily that these are 1970's styled watches. They are cool and sporty with that 70's sense of color and geometry. Only problem is that they don't look like high-end pieces. Sure the quality is all there, but watches like this originally were pretty mainstream oriented. Today there are very few "mainstream" limited edition mechanical Swiss watches so this is more a novelty rather than a real luxury re-issue.
At 43mm wide, with a thinner bezel, the Pontos S is a great size for most wrists. While the dial looks large, it won't sit massively as some fear with pieces 44mm and above. Plus, the case is thick enough to allow it to feel "less than puny." Dial design is downright elegant in its highly contemporary design approach. There is a dash of futurism in the design of the dial and pushers. How will the design age? Hard to say, you'll need to strap it on your wrist for a few months or years to find out.
The Rolex Oyster bracelet is one of the most durable and recognizable bracelets found on Swiss watches. Its trademark Oyster look is recognized around the globe and variations of it are seen on other watch brands. The Oyster bracelet is durable, but for sport watches, there are instances when the bracelet needs to give or stretch a little bit, or be lighter - similar to the comfort a leather strap possesses, as well as be waterproof. Under conditions when the weather is hot and there is heavy perspiration, a strap needs to give while the wrist expands under heat. This is where having a silicone strap that is impervious to ultra-violet light or breakage comes into play, and one of the reasons why many sport watches are outfitted with a silicone strap. Lastly, for athletes, wearing a stainless strap while running or cycling typically yields, well, for the lack of a better term, black sweat gunk comprised of dirt and perspiration that builds up under stainless bracelets. This black gunk only comes off with soap and water.
It is possible that the BR 01 Altimeter is my favorite in the collection because it is the most watch-like. Though it is different enough to warrant a second look. Also, I like how Bell & Ross turned the pressure indicator into a big date indicator. This could quite possibly be the only "open" date window that I actually feel makes sense. I knew it would happen eventually!
At Baselworld 2012 I got to check out an early version of the new P'6540 Heritage Chronograph. You'll note that Porsche Design made a lot of dial changes between the prototype and the final version shown in the marketing photographs I have included. While the prototype I checked out is more like the original, I think the final version is the best looking. The original Chronograph 1 used a Lemania chronograph movement and not the ETA Valjoux 7750 used in the modern version. This required a slightly different design for the prototype model, but it lacked a bit of sexiness. The final version cleans up the dial and makes it a lot more elegant, in addition to adding some "nice watch" elements.
As a sports watch it is hard to call it modern looking. The case is rather modern - if not a bit chunky, but the dial is all old school, but in a good way. Proportions are pretty good and all the hands are easy to see. Watches like this tell other watches with stubby hands to suck it. Someday I know I am going to get into a fist fight with some industrial designer that makes watch dials with hands so short they mock clocks everywhere. For the sake of the children, please let's focus on not totally forgetting how to design analog watch dials. Thanks for keeping it real GP. The dial itself has a sprinkling of red color and watching that arrow style foudroyante hand mechanically spin is a real pleasure. The periphery of the dial has a minute scale and a really covert tachymeter scale as well.
Size of case / total weight
EQWT720DC 50.5 x 47.3 x 12.6mm / 167g
A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending the 2012 French Open (aka Roland Garros) in Paris, France. The French Open is arguably one of the top two or three professional tennis tournaments in the world (behind Wimbledon and alongside the US Open) and brings the game's top players to the heart of Paris for a yearly event which dates as far back as 1891. Compagnie des Montres Longines Francillon SA, better and more simply known as Longines Watches, have been the official timekeeper and partner of the French Open since 2007, and claims to have found a strong synergy between their brand and the world of tennis. When you consider Longines' products, their ambassadors, and their partnerships, it becomes very clear as to why the French Open is an ideal venue for what is the largest yearly event in Longines' social calendar as they dedicate a lot of their resources to embracing the sport of tennis.
Omega Speedmaster In Detail Photo Essay
These are not just cosmetically enhanced Speedmaster watches with tricked-out dials. These are a new twist on the Speedmaster concept with a new movement. That latter part is sure to catch the attention of other watch movement nerds like me. The new movement is a sort of middle area between a base ETA movement and a totally in-house made Omega movement like the 9300.
At the exclusive watch show SIHH, Cartier has one of the largest booths. A lot of their space is dimly lit with museum style showcases offering glimpses of items you probably won't see anywhere else. Given that the show is not open to the public, most people will never see these pieces at all. In the cases are a range of artistic and high-jewelry creations that the French brand has produced for the year. Some of these are piece uniques, some parts of limited editions, and some might not even be sold at all. Whatever the nature of the item, I am usually sure to find at least a few beautiful things.
List price on the Rado D-Star is ,695. Given the ETA movement and durable, well-finished case, that seems reasonable to me. I see this as a nice Swiss watch for the man or woman who just wants a handsome classic watch that will last for a long time given the durable, highly scratch-resistant case material.
High-Quality Touch & Feel