Most car and aeronautic enthusiasts will surely be familiar with this 21st century material, but for those that are not, let us explain what carbon has to offer. Among its primary advantages over other materials – and we will refer to stainless steel now as that is the most ubiquitous case material – is that it is extremely light and also offers comparable (and in some ways superior) durability. Carbon undoubtedly is a modern material that works best with modern design – but more on that a bit later. Before we look at the watch itself in detail, allow us to first discuss carbon as a material and why it is so important – after all, it is the Phantom's carbon case that truly sets it apart from the rest in its price segment.
Once in place, the 124g watch fit snugly to my wrist. As the case is just over 13mm tall, and has no external protuberances, it slips very nicely under a shirt cuff – and back out again to check the time or, you know, just show off the design on your wrist. I have a co-worker who is a gearhead and is into watches, and this one definitely elicited a very positive reaction. As for myself, I rather enjoyed the novelty (and ingenuity) of how you interact with the movement.
There is something a bit hypnotically mesmerizing about the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon in action, and what makes it so interesting is the cylindrical construction of the entire assembly. The "spherotourbillon" itself consists of 105 parts, which are mostly titanium and some 14k gold (as screws and weights). The entire mechanism takes about 30 seconds to fully "revolve," and as I mentioned above, the balance spring isn't flat like most balance springs, but cylindrical.
That is where the one stumbling block I ran into with the Ball Engineer II Marvelight occurred: on the wrist. Specifically, with the sizing for the bracelet. Ball does quite nicely include two half-links on the bracelet, which you can use to size things more accordingly. For me, though, I could not find that "just-right" fit.
Kari Voutilainen: I have missed two watches. The first was 20 years ago when I was on a summer holiday. While on the trip, I found a beautiful marine chronometer, which I bought. A few days later, I accidentally went in to antique shop and they had a very rare tourbillon demonstration model from Glasshütte watchmaking school, dating from the early 1900s. So, I bought that one as well! Then the seller told there is one similar one in another shop, which I went to see.
At first glance, you have an exhibition case back, allowing you to see the rotor and bits and pieces of the movement. Via the coin edge bezel (yes, here it is more than just a pretty face) you can deploy shielding that is reminiscent of a camera iris (or, for those cinematically-inclined, graphics used in James Bond intros). It is worth noting that there is still a small pinhole left. Ball assures us that this is not an issue, as protecting the balance wheel is the most important thing here.
Kari Voutilainen: It was a Leijona diver watch, which I got when I was 12 or 13 years old. I would admire the watch during school lessons when things turned a bit boring...
This particular Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Diver watch in titanium retails for 5,500 Swiss Francs (currently about ,750). Other versions of the Maurice de Mauriac Chronograph Diver range in price from about 4,500 - 5,500 Swiss Francs. I encourage you to visit their site and contact them for the full range of options. mauricedemauriac.ch
The bracelet on the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley is very well made, and there are small micro-extensions on each end which come in handy. Inside the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley is the Ball caliber RR1201, which is a base Swiss Sellita or ETA mechanical movement with, of course, some modifications by Ball. For me, the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley is a great assortment of features and design cues that feel very satisfying together, if you are looking for a high-quality and useful men's sports watch (that also happens to be rather attractive). Even so, Ball will only produce the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley ref. PM2096B-S1J-BK as a limited edition of 500 pieces. Price is ,899. ballwatch.com
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Watch To Debut At SIHH 2015
20 Commentsby David Bredan
Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton Watch To Debut At SIHH 2015
Having seen first-hand how well done a high-end skeleton watch can be, I suppose I have become a bit spoiled in what I would look for. That said, I think the Tissot Chemin Des Tourelles Squelette sits in a sort of happy medium - not showing off nearly as much as those luxury watches, but keeping things so much more readable than what you would see in the bargain bin of your local shop.
As noted, the men's watches include the 45 millimeter wide Classic Fusion in titanium and the 48 millimeter wide King Power in a micro-blasted ceramic case. Both have see-through casebacks showing off the automatic chronograph movements, while the ladies' Classic Fusion at 42 millimeters will have a ceramic case with a solid caseback and a diamond-set bezel.
The 48mm white gold model, limited to only 10 pieces, exudes a look of scientific competency. Scientifically competent it is. The Girard-Perregaux Tri-Axial Tourbillon is a complex lesson in physics (how about gyrophysics), tribology (yes that's an "-ology" - principles of friction, lubrication, and wear), metallurgy (tourbillon cages must be strong, light, and resilient) and that's only a start. The amount of scientific know-how required to create a functioning tri-axial tourbillon can fill walls of books or quite a bit of server space.
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Even though the Genequand System uses less power than traditional mechanical movements, it operates faster. A standard 4Hz Swiss movement operates at 28,800 bph, while the Genequand System balance wheel operates at 86,400 bph (beats/vibrations per hour). The system is made up of three essential parts, and those include the isochronism compensator, Wittrick oscillator, and pallets. The entire system appears to be more or less lubrication free, and is mostly produced from precision-cut silicon. The team to produce it at Vaucher and CSEM consisted of at least 20 people.
Legibility is really something that Seiko excels at, especially in its Grand Seiko line. It begins with a very high quality sapphire crystal over the dial that is given a fantastic anti-reflective coating on the inside. Seiko marries colors and materials as well as finishing on the dial very well. The hands are all precision cut and polished, so there are no distracting areas of glare of light reflectivity. The proportions of the the dial elements are also ideal, and from a fit and finish standpoint, the detail on the dial is superb. While I didn't think the gold "gilt" dial of the Grand Seiko Spring Drive GMT SBGE015 would appeal to me more than the SBGE001, I do like it a bit more, as it makes the timepiece a little bit more distinct and doesn't take away from its classic appeal.
As the watch became more popular, and my sales started to take off, I kept hearing a recurring sentiment... "The movement is so beautiful, too bad you can’t wear the watch movement side up!”
4. Wait until the giveaway is over on December 31, 2014 for the winner to be chosen at random. This giveaway is for the trip and certification, a watch is not included. A couple of basic rules. You can only enter once. You must comment with a valid e-mail address where you can be reached. Your comment must be confirmed and approved. You must complete the objectives to be considered. You are responsible for providing your contact shipping information if you are chosen. Shipping restrictions to non-US entrants may apply based on sponsor's policies. Giveaway watch selection based on sponsor's inventory and watch availability. All comments made after the end of the giveaway period will not be considered. If you are chosen as a winner, you then have 24 hours to ensure receipt of your full shipping information or an alternative winner will be chosen. For the full terms and conditions, please click here.
Like most other “new” watches for SIHH 2015, this Richard Mille RM 11 isn’t new – but the RM 11 is one of the most iconic pieces in the larger Richard Mille collection which has experienced countless executions over the years. So why is it on the list here for 2015? Well, for the first time, Richard Mille has added the option of a titanium bracelet for a men’s watch. 2015 actually sees two other Richard Mille watches for women with bracelets – though none are quite as impressive as that for the RM 11. Cool looking and comfortable, the RM 11 on the bracelet immediately feels like something which has been in the Richard Mille family for a while. Its mostly brushed surfaces are given delicate, polished beveled edges, and the clever spring-loaded deployant Richard Mille fans have enjoyed on the brand’s bracelets for a while. richardmille.com
The Moscow Slava movement factory closed down years ago, and I am not familiar with the full chain of ownership, but from what I understand it fell into the hands of Alexander Shorokoff. Watch lovers recognize that name associated with a really nice brand based in Germany designed by the Russian Mr. Shorokoff. So he owned the no longer operating Slava factory and the items it contained. Apparently, he sold off a lot of movements to CCCP Time, that used them for the production of some of its mechanical watches such as the CCCP Heritage. CCCP Time further claims that the movements were in understandably poor shape and that a fair amount of restoration work and new parts were required to make them operate properly.
Sweden has the Omega Suverän, which is a military watch, where there are probably quite a few of those available, if you live there. Or in South America, the 1950s (Omega) Constellation with the kite markers… So, I say to people, look for what was sold in your area, and is wanted worldwide.
Speaking of the striking mechanism, it is worth mentioning now that this is not just any minute repeater, but a decimal minute repeater. Such repeaters are rare and the only ones that comes to mind are Kari Voutilainen’s Decimal Minute Repeater watches (hands-on here). This means it sounds the number of hours, 10 minutes and minutes, which is easy to decipher as opposed to the traditional hours, quarter hours and minutes. A low-pitched tone marks each elapsed hour, while a double tone marks each elapsed ten-minute period, and finally, a high-pitched tone marks the elapsed minutes. The two gongs are black polished and flank the subsidiary seconds dial. They are also visible on the dial so owners can see all the action.
While the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT doesn't have the fancy two-tone ceramic bezel as the Rolex GMT-Master II Day/Night, it does cost about ,000 less. Let's just say that the two watches aren't exactly neck-in-neck competitors, but it is a good idea to know how and when watchmakers "give design compliments" to one another. The bezel of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT happens to be aluminum. As mentioned above, the steel case is 41mm wide but wears large, given the tonneau-style (barrel-shaped) case. Mostly brushed, the case and bracelet have a decidedly sober and sporty theme to them.
Moving on to some original Breguet pocket watches, here is one that tells some more about the average Breguet customer: this 45 millimeter wide pocket watch, No. 3519, is in cased in 20k gold and it was sold on March 8, 1822 for 4,500 francs to "Général Davidoff." His exact name is actually Denis Vasilyevich Davydov, and he was a Russian military man and a poet – who also happened to be a commander of the partisans who defeated Napoleon. One of the more interesting facts that extensive research into Breguet's work reveals is that the watchmaker not only was an incredibly gifted craftsman, but also an extremely smart businessman, who adeptly maneuvered through massive political storms, always finding the way to sell his ultra-luxurious work – and the story of this pocket watch is yet another tangible proof of that.