Surprisingly, Ball Watch Co. is about to release a relatively straight-forward and simple watch. I am a big fan of the brand, but lately their new watches have been getting functionally (and cosmetically) more and more complex. I always have appreciated their simple masculine looks that weren't trying to hard to be something they were not.
The French are actually impressive watch makers and designers. The quickly up and coming Bell & Ross is French. Tag Heuer and Zenith are owned by the French, and some wonderful "artsy" watch makers such as Alain Silberstein are French.
· Model 5000 Data, black dial with spheres and index white. ,020.00
· Model 5100 Data, black dial with spheres and index white. IPB treatment. ,110.00
· Model 5200 Chrono, black dial. ,245.00
· Model 5201 Chrono, white dial. ,245.00
· Model 5300 Chrono, black dial and IPB treatment. ,310.00
· Model 5301 Chrono, white dial and IPB treatment. ,310.00
There is a lot of Bell & Ross influence in this watch, but it would be unfair to completely attribute Bell & Ross for the theme. No, the Pink Panther actually represents a modern approach of thinking about watch design; focusing on unorthodox case design and ways of displaying the time. I wouldn't call it minimalistic, but there is certainly more emphasis on the watch case than on the portion of the watch that tells the time. Here in the Pink Panther, you have a perfect example of this philosophy in action. Despite regarding the Pink Panther as such, this is not an example of form over function, because function has certainly been addressed. A good designer like Virtual Ideas will never sacrifice the essential operation of a watch to satisfy looks. This is a primary way you can separate watch designers from mere industrial designers who sometimes conceive watches.
It is only recently that Eterna has returned to the US market. For a long time, the lauded watch maker just sort of ignored US shores with its branded products. That isn't true with the watches that it makes for Porsche Design though. In 2008, Eterna returned to the US market with a couple of beautiful KonTiki line watches, and I can't wait to get one myself. You should be aware that for years, Eterna has been offering really good watches in Europe, with very few trickling over into the States. The pictured watch is a good example. I am not certain what the watch is called, but it is a thorough two-tone Eterna diving watch. The "Eterna-matic" moniker refers to the fact that it has an automatic mechanical movement as most every Eterna watch does. Inside this watch is the very competent ETA 2892-2 movement with a gold plated (maybe solid gold) rotor. The crown is also signed and done in gold.
The dial patterns are gorgeous really. Look closely and you will see a traditional Chinese background design that looks great with the characters. Functionality is pretty chronograph standard, utilizing the full feature set of the automatic Valjoux 7750 with the 12 hour stopwatch, date, and day of the week. I love the size of this watch at 47mm wide. What is funny is that Asian market watches are typically much smaller than those for Europe and the US, typically 36-38mm. So I hope that the Chinese are ready to bring on the big ways of the west with this Ernst Benz watch.
The move from pocket watch to wrist watch in the early 20th century heralded a big move to the "active" person being able to tell the time. Pocket watches, while classy, sat in your pocket or coat until you could pull them out, open them, and check the time. The advent of the wrist watch gave you the ability to check the time easily at a glance without having to use your hands. Wrist watches are more convenient, and arguably more stylish.
It is also worth noting that a good value can also be achieved based on an item's market price. Say for example that a watch retails at ,000 and would be appropriate for that price given the quality, etc... If an available price for the watch on the market is significantly less, that price instance could merit a Good Value Award. This will come in a variety of circumstances and may include a one time deal where a watch can be purchased on eBay for a good value, or an ongoing market price that can be enjoyed through any number of retailers. Overall, if you see something with a Good Value Award, you can be sure that if you spend the money, you will feel as though you received a great deal.
Check out the TechnoMarine UF6 Diamonds watches soon. Pricing retails at about ,000 - ,000, but expect actual prices to be less with a little persuasion. You know what I mean.
The lineage of this watch stems from two places. First, the style derived from the Victorinox shield logo. The mixture of sharp angles and curves are employed in direct relation to the logo placed in the 12 o'clock position. Meaning, that all over the watch angles and curved edges come together in a seemingly appropriate harmony. Take for example the arch located where the crown connects to case, and the gentle curved of lug incorporation and crown protectors. Then notice the same type of lines on the bottom of the Swiss Army logo. Then, you can see the many sharp angles located on the bezel, bracelet and sides of the watch. These are analogs to the upper portions the shield logo.
[Update: July 8, 2014 - While we value the quality of their product, in light of recent events, aBlogtoWatch will no longer cover RGM products and cannot endorse RGM as a company. - Ed. ] What's This?
The Grand Port Royal are among Zenith's only rectangular watches, and it is obvious a lot of time was put into the design. Interestingly enough, the watches are not mere squared watches that house an El Primero movement. Instead, the highly modern approach to the design focuses on simplicity and texture, emphasizing minor details and the functions of the watch. Details of interest involve the high grade materials, texturing on the dial, and design of the hands and font for the numbering. The case is self looks chiseled almost, stressing the angularity and displaying an overall faceted look. It is a simple shape that evoke sporty strength without pretention. The dial is framed nicely and displays another world into itself. While the case is simple, the dial is more complex. Functions involve a 30 minute chronograph, and a power reserve, in addition to telling the time. Included is the typical tiny propeller style seconds indicator in the "open" window to the movement. It is sometimes hard to see, more for looks that use, but it is fun to watch. Interestingly enough a date window is absent. Zenith probably decided it would have looked too cluttered with a date window. Actually, many 30 minute chronograph watches don't have date windows.
Well hello there Bell & Ross! I see you have a little new card up your sleeve this year. I didn't really think you'd get too many buyers for your exorbitantly expensive uber-tourbillon watch with unnecessary features like a "trust indicator." I trust you enough already... You really just wanted to do a design study and get people excited about future designs. Now you've taken the new fanged case design, updated number fonts,more moderns hands, and presented us with something new. It is even in titanium to make that 46mm case feel down right light on your wrist. While the dimensions stay more or less the same, the overall look of the case is much more detailed and sophisticated than previous generation BR01 watches.
Be clear that I didn't purchase this watch for the name, but rather for the looks. Though I would be lying if I said that I didn't like the fact that the name of the watch distributor (Tiffany & Co.) doesn't add some value to the watch in my mind. I am careful to say that Tiffany & Co. does not make this watch. They don't make any watches. They outsource the design and production (like they do with most of their designs and production), and sell it under their name. Sometimes they commission designs, other times they seek out designs that fit with their overall line. While Tiffany & Co. has been selling watches for a long time, it has not been their forte. Recently, they made a deal with the Swatch Group. They also made a deal to distribute Patek Philippe watches. What the future holds for Tiffany & Co in terms of watch is unclear, but it looks as though selling watches will be a greater part of their business model. More on their current capacity to sell watches in a bit.