If you look at many of the most popular watch brands, you'll notice that their collections usually contain a few (or many) classics whose names have been around for years. Brands like Rolex don't really release new models, but rather continue to improve on their core collection over time. Models like the Submariner and Datejust have been around for generations. Other brands also keep tradition alive by continuing to offer modern versions of designs that have proved successful for many years. To recognize and help suggest those watches which are "living legends" we've come up with a list of the top 10 worth owning. To be clear, to be a living legend, a watch must have historic roots and still be produced today. We know we couldn't include them all so mention your favorites in the comments below.
The first thing you'll notice of course is that these watches take on a black and white with yellow trim theme. That is except for the Airspeed which adds a few more colors (though yellow is dominant). Bell & Ross provides images of the actual instrument so that you can see how the concept went from cockpit to wristwatch design. As always, Bell & Ross did a good job of "watchifying" them, but with various levels of legibility. I find that those pieces that are the most legible are the ones I enjoy the most. So in this case, I would be most partial to the Airspeed and Climb as the Heading Indicator is about as easy to read as the radar. Though, if you like the idea of a yellow fighter jet outline on your watch then this is the timepiece for you.
Antoine Martin likes to point out that the Slow Runner is a "true" one hertz operating movement. What does that mean? Another popular watch that is of a similar vein is the Dutch Gronefeld One Hertz watch. That watch indeed had a second hand moving at one hertz, but the escapement was faster. They used extra gearing to slow it down so that the seconds hand ticked. The Antoine Martin Slow Runner has an escapement assembly that actually does operate at one hertz, with the balance wheel moving back and forth one time per second. That makes for a rate of just 7,200 bph. An ETA 2824 operates at 28,800 bph comparatively.
While I am waiting to become wealthy, could you recommend a watch that could curb my obsession with owning an Omega Speedmaster, not an homage watch, but a watch with similar, quality, styling and design cues close to 0?
The Arnold & Son DBS (short for "Double Balance Sidereal time") offers separate views of two different measurements of time. The left dial of the DBS is marked with a star emblem as this dial measures Sidereal time. Sidereal is a time scale based on the measurement of the Earth's rotation relative to the fixed stars in the sky and is most notably used by astronomers. While this may seem like a re-purposed GMT movement, it is important to note that sidereal time does not rely on a standard 24 hour day. Sidereal time measures a day as being 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4.091 seconds long. The length of a sidereal day causes the math to change when designing a movement and necessitated the DBS's caliber A&S 1311 movement to essentially be two movements combined into one main plate. This hand wound movement features an independent timing system for both dials on the DBS. Each dial has its own crown while the long second hand links with the portion of the movement which is powering the standard solar display (right dial). Lastly, at 12 o'clock there is a 24 hour AM/PM indicator with one hand displaying the sidereal reading and the other showing the solar reading, allowing for a quick check of the difference between each time scale. The DBS has been inspired by two of Arnold & Son's earliest designs, as a tribute to models from 1796 and 1799 that were created by John Roger Arnold. Regardless of the heritage, the movement is certainly interesting and the DBS looks fantastic and is reminiscent of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre we showed you here. Cased in gold, the DBS carries a suggested retail price of 42 660 CHF (~000 USD) so you will definitely need to think of a good excuse for why you need a quick view of sidereal time.
Don't forget that Hublot designed this new Big Bang case to have an easy-to-swap strap using the triangular pusher on the lugs. I still love that system, and so does Mr. Biver who is eager to show it off and play with it. According to him, and we agree, these are the finest Big Bang watches that the brand has made, and there is good reason. First of all, the Ferrari watches have a totally unique case which is an evolved Big Bang case with new styling that is 45.5mm wide. That is between the older 44mm wide Big Bang case and the much larger King Power case. The cases have unique and angular chronograph pushers (with the Ferrari logo), as well as a crown that twists in and locks as opposed to merely screwing down.
While I agree with mostly what has been said in the article, I think that the term “homage” has been horribly abused and bastardized by the many small “boutique” brands that seem to pop up everyday on the internet. How many Submariner and Radiomir homages do we need?
So, going back to your question. A minute repeater is named as such because it "repeats" the minutes and hours to you. We, and many others, consider minute repeaters to be the most complicated of all watch complications. They use more parts and are more complicated to assemble than most tourbillons, though tourbillons have a constant visual appeal making them more popular. Minute repeaters cannot be produced in mass quantities given how each needs to be finely regulated to sound best. They are usually activated with a slider, that while pushing it, also winds a spring to power the repeater mechanism that lasts for about 20 seconds or less.
An important fashion label relationship offers an asset to the growing Ernst Benz brand that has been doing well for years now, but is primed to really jump up to a higher-level. Khankin's charisma is up to it, but something about him seems to prefer the more relaxed and flexible lifestyle of a boutique brand that rejects your typical corporate structures and hierarchy of rules. If the brand stays this size forever, I don't think it would be shame - as long as the people who work there are having as much fun as they are. The passion is infectious and transcends a certain "ordinary quality" some of the brand's timepieces have. They've certainly managed to look cool, and I think Mr. Varvatos picked up on that. Price for the Ernst Benz Chronoscope John Varvatos limited edition watches is ,800. ernstbenz.com
It also helps that IWC produces some of the best functioning watch hands on the market. While the hands are technically black on a black dial, a different of tone and texture prevent them from blending in with the dial - something a lot of other pilot watch brands fail at. That and the hands are all the right size (something you know I love). One dial difference on the Top Gun version of the Big Pilot is the counterweight on the seconds hand which is a little red plane. A fun and appreciated detail. In terms of lume, the hands are slathered in it, but only hour markers at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o'clock have applied lume. I would have liked lume on everything if I had my way.
In some light, as seen above, polished hands vanish and in their absence the lume strips are still legible. Not bad.
This necessitates constantly monitoring the results and modifying how much time the pieces spend in the liquids, so as to guarantee consistent aesthetic qualities. As a final step in creating the base hue, a layer of colored or transparent lacquer is applied for protection. Clearly, it has already taken a lot of effort to make a dial, but all this was just half of the work that is necessary.
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Tissot has teamed up with their Swatch family sibling, ETA, to produce a new movement for a range of budget-minded automatic watches. The new range has been dubbed the Tissot Luxury Automatic and will include both ladies' and gents' models with an option for COSC certification. With pricing that falls squarely between stiff competition from Citizen below and Tag Heuer above, do these new Tissot models have what it takes to be a hit with casual buyers?
If you've read our initial article debuting the H2, you know about its almost 49mm wide size and black DLC coated titanium case. On the wrist it more than feels like a little engine, with its newly diagonally aligned bellows oriented like pistons in an engine. The bellows are part of the liquid hours system and work with the movement using pressure to move the liquid around in order to indicate the hour. Minutes are shown on a larger central minute hand that completely jumps over the bottom part of the dial as though it didn't exist at all. It is a form of jumping minutes hand. You also have the large exposed balance wheel near the top of the dial. It just looks great, but may very well have been ruined if they had thrown a tourbillon into the pot.
Omega Speedmaster Skywalker X-33 Solar Impulse Limited Edition