Ananta was more than just a new collection for Seiko but the first globally-sold high-end Seiko watch. This was even before Seiko decided to sell its prized Grand Seiko collection on a more global basis a few years later in about 2011. Ananta was a midway watch between Seiko's nicer watches and the really nice Grand Seiko. Ananta initially came equipped with both in-house made mechanical movements as well as Seiko Spring Drive movements. Seiko has since made the decision to keep Spring Drive for Grand Seiko exclusively.
Under that domed crystal you've got another Egard signature - a dial that offers a variety of textures and finishes. On this particular dial, you've got a carbon fiber surface offsetting the two sub dials and the view into the balance wheel of the Miyota 8S27 automatic movement. While these sorts of variations can seem a little jarring in pictures, they generally work pretty well once you see them in steel, and have some time to acclimate to the layout.
For the Tourbillon Barometer (yup, that's the name of the piece), Da Vindice has gone ahead and put an open-worked fleur de lys on top to indicate those seconds (as well as carry the brand logo). I like this, as it mixes up the standard arrowhead (which has innumerable variations), and marries practical use, design, and a bit of showmanship, all in one little piece. Next to it, a simple date display would simply disappear, generally. To ensure that doesn't happen here, we've got a pair of offset circles, giving us a sort of oblong look to the readout. Normally I'm not a fan of date displays like these, but here it kind of works. Or, to put it another way, if I had to have a display like this, it might as well be visually intriguing (which this one is).
Since the early 1960s, the Carrera has been a staple watch model of Heuer and later TAG Heuer. Developed as a lifestyle racing watch, the Carrera remains one of the most important timepiece families of the 20th century in regard to its importance as a collectible and how it has influenced timepiece design for over 50 years. Today, I am going to look at a rather unique version of the Carrera that certainly sits toward the higher-end of the collection. This is the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 36 Racing watch, and this article is actually the third piece we've done on it.
Over the last five or so years Bell & Ross has been "stepping back in time" by examining key eras from the past and designing watches with those themes and time periods in mind. When the WW1 collection was launched in around 2011 (hands-on here), it was a Bell & Ross homage to the first wrist watch, or in their lingo "wrist watch 1." That of course was meant to look like WWI, or "World War I," but that is when most people agree the wrist watch became a mainstream object. Though wrist watches as a product started in around 1904.
With the visage of Transformer Optimus Prime or Bumblebee on the dial, it is arguably easy to scoff at the themes presented here which are then combined with a tourbillon. Then again, these aren't 0,000 watches or anything close to that. No, and brands like Memorigin are making products aimed at aging Generation Y and Millennials who are either finally making disposable income or have some family money to spend and want products that comment on the things that inspire them. It might be silly to see Batman or other comic book and movie characters on a watch dial... but is it any more silly in concept than watches inspired by someone's racing, flying, or diving fantasies?
The dial of the new Aquatimer Automatic alone is very pleasant, but in a boring case it would not save a design. IWC really focused on the case and the overall wrist-presentation of the Aquatimer which helps assert much of its value. A great example is the rotating bezel system called "IWC SafeDive." In person it works so nicely. The piece is designed with a quasi-internal bezel, but one that is operated using the outside bezel. The outside bezel turns in both directions and has a ratcheting operation. Meaning that it turns freely in one direction, but turns the inner rotating bezel in the other direction. The inner bezel conforms to a series of 60 clicks and it is simply a pleasure to operate in this innovative and fun to use "case complication."
When Autodromo sent us some Prototipo Chronograph watches to check out, the first thing I got excited about were the gloves that they also supplied. Based in New York and founded by watch and car lover Bradley Price, Autodromo is part of a new generation of lifestyle micro brands. Buying an Autodromo watch is as much about buying into the lifestyle they suggest as it is about enjoying their products. As a brand entirely devoted to the celebration of vintage European sports cars, having racing themed watches isn't enough.
While the process of how the wristwatch turned from a ladies' accessory into an everyday item worn all over the world is rather complex and worthy of a dedicated article, for now we will concentrate on the sole greatest issue with the earlier examples of wrist-worn timepieces, reliability. We also discussed the issues related to their resistance (or their lack thereof) to dust and water in our article about the history of dive watches, so now let's focus on the other – and just as significant – problem watchmakers had to face: timekeeping accuracy. Beyond being rather fragile and requiring special care, early wristwatches were also extremely inaccurate with gains and losses in excess of several minutes and more per day – destining them to be jewelry or accessories rather than "true watches" that told time in a reliable fashion.
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.
Another new feature on the dial is the "∞" (infinity) character that Ulysse Nardin places over the "Perpetual" label. Perhaps we will see this on all perpetual calendar watches from the brand moving forward. Overall the piece is very interesting and I look forward to checking it out more soon. Ulysse Nardin will produce the Perpetual Manufacture as a limited edition of 250 pieces total. I imagine that is 125 piece in each metal. ulysse-nardin.com
Mr. Graff was born and bred in London. He started out as an apprentice to a jeweler in the Hatton Garden District. Being a mere apprentice did not last long, very soon he was creating his own jewelry pieces. By the time he was 24, he had already opened two of his own jewelry stores in London. As he traveled the globe, his clientele grew, and so did the demand for more important jewelry pieces. Astoundingly, by the age of 30, he had set up one of the biggest jewelry manufacturing business in Britain. In 1973, he became the first jeweler to receive the Queens Award to Industry and Export. He opened up his flagship store on Bond Street. Today, the company has 45 stores around the globe with corporate offices in London, New York, Geneva, Hong Kong, and Tokyo.
What we don't know is practically speaking how "automatically" the system updates itself based on the watch's new location, or how easily it is able to get a signal. This is an important consideration given two examples that I can readily think of. I happen to have a lot of "atomic clock controlled" watches that sync to radio signals sent out from the atomic clock nearest to me which is located at Fort Collins in Colorado, USA. I frequently have issues getting a signal indoors, even if right next to a window. Also, I've used a lot of timepieces that connect to Bluetooth, and can easily say that consistent connections are something I've yet to experience.
The new Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Gravity watch is one of those peculiar watches that you either love or hate. Obviously, the case and overall style of the watch is very classic, but the dial is very modern in its execution and shows off the all-silicon assortment and in-house made hairspring of the brand’s new ML230 caliber. This is a classically-designed watch for people who love to look at the movement in action.
When internet shopping and online media introduced the concept of reviews and comments made by the public, it completely transformed how consumers made purchasing decisions. It has been empirically shown that consumers are most effected by word-of-mouth recommendations and opinions. Traditionally, this has been by friends, family, and proximately close associates. The internet has not changed this fact at all, but it has changed the distance we are willing to put between ourselves and who we will accept word-of-mouth advice from. People on the internet seen as fellow consumers are afforded similar amounts of reputation as friends and family when they are viewed as relatable.
The upcoming limited edition Aeroscope will likely help support Spitz's work battling autism for the Blooming With Autism charity that he is involved with. Spitz has twin children who are afflicted with the condition and has been an outspoken proponent of autism medical research for several years. However, this is speculation as the nature of the limited edition watch has not yet been revealed.
Sometimes things need not be so complicated to be desirable and, for some, to be exceedingly valuable. Big watches are in nowadays, and that makes important watches of the past which were extraordinarily large for the time in high demand. In the special world of auctions, high demand equals no limit bidding. A stellar example is this monopusher chronograph from 1932: cased in an 18k gold case measuring 46 millimeters in diameter, not only was it considered to be an extremely large watch at the time, but it still remains uncharted territory as Patek Philippe generally makes much more conservatively sized pieces.
All of my qualms about the watch came from looking at certain design decisions individually. As a whole, the watch works beautifully. The brushed case meets a polished bezel, and the shape is classic Swiss Army. The inner circle on the dial has the same Alox texture as some of the Swiss Army knives. It is conservative without being dull. It’s elegant without being too pretty, or too flashy. I have found that I can wear it anywhere. This watch isn’t haute horology and it isn’t trying to be. It’s not pretending to be anything. It is simply a well-designed watch. It takes all the most practical elements of timekeeping and puts them into a classic, 40mm case. I’m not the kind of guy that cares about who’s wearing dive watches with suits, or dress watches with swimwear; but if the elusive all-situations watch really does exist, this one could be it. In short, if you’re on the fence about this watch, don’t be. Get one.