For someone like me, who is hopelessly challenged to remember a phone number for any period of time over 15 seconds, this was hugely impressive – and also a very humbling experience. I presume it also goes to show the amount of brain-exercise watchmaking and the assembly of a complicated movement requires: you just have to know where things went inside the movement and what they do and how they are connected; otherwise finding the cure for the problem of a 300+ component movement will prove to be impossible.
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James Lamdin: I am James Lamdin, and in addition to my freelance writing for ABTW and other outlets, I am the founder and CEO of analog/shift, an online boutique with a curated selection of vintage timepieces. In other words, I work on both sides of the timepiece industry, covering new watches and current events while wearing my writer's cap, as well as buying, selling, and brokering vintage wrist and pocket watches for individual and corporate clients. In many ways, I get the best of both worlds, and should it ever stop being fun, I'll stop doing it!
While the Swatch Group and its ETA movement manufacturing division had, for several years, voiced its plans on drastically reducing the amount of movement kits (which are no longer available at all at this point), as well as complete movements that it was selling to non-Swatch Group companies, it was only in 2011 that the company got the green light from COMCO (the Swiss Competition Commission) to start cutting back on movements sold. Interestingly, the Habrings had printed out and showed us the email they received from ETA in late-2011, in which they were notified of a 50% cut in supplies.
People who see Interstellar might not believe that Hamilton had no hand in crafting the incredible screen time that the watches enjoyed in the movie. In addition to a Hamilton watch worn by McConaughey's character "Cooper," another Hamilton watch was used as a key plot device by his daughter in the movie Murph Cooper played mostly by young Mackenzie Foy and later by Jessica Chastain. This latter watch is very much the more important piece when it comes to the movie's story, and takes on the incredible role of being used to communicate Morse code through time and space. It really shows the symbolic power of a watch, and its placement in the story is very interesting (and very Nolan-esque). It is also a wet dream for watch companies given how it is able to make traditional timepieces very relevant for modern viewers.
The Ulysse Nardin Freak is the first watch that I am aware of that used silicon versus metal parts for elements of the movement. The reason the movement was designed to be on the dial itself was to make this point clear - especially because silicon does not look like metal, with its alternating blue and purple colors. You can see more close-up pictures of the Ulysse Nardin Freak Cruiser watch here when we first debuted it last year. In the watch, silicon is used for both the balance spring as well as the double escapements. Yes, the movement uses not one, but two escapements, which should lead to better accuracy over time.
The number, 45, also informs the watch itself. This is a very limited-edition, with only 45 pieces being produced (which explains how the cases can be numbered by hand engraving). Given the limited nature and the upgrades given to the watch, it is no surprise that the price has gone up considerably from the "base" Islandus. If you are looking to get one, the JS Watch Islandus 45 Years Anniversary Edition is available at a price of ,427. jswatch.com
The Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie Ultra Slim is one of those ultra-slims that does work on the wrist. A combination of perfect proportions and design ensured that everyone who tried it on in my company at SIHH gave it universal praise. Despite the objections of some more vocal holdouts of the Giant Watches Are Better Brigade (I’m looking at you, Ariel*), 38mm, in my opinion, is the perfect size for a piece of this type. With its reserved dimensions, it fits comfortably under the cuff without completely disappearing, and fits nicely against the skin with its curved lugs and rounded case back.
Another thing worth mentioning is that while it is unclear just how many hardcore watch-lovers Hublot will keep on attracting to its corner, it is easier to guess when it comes to the affluent people who feel an attachment to one of the many sports, partner companies, or ambassadors in Hublot's stable. To give you an example of how I found that to translate into reality, let me share a personal experience of mine with you. At the event, I got a chance to talk to a proud owner of a recent Hublot Ferrari watch, and he was attending the event more as an Hublot lover than a golf or a baseball aficionado. He proudly wore his watch, and when I introduced him to Jean-Francois, seeing them discuss their Hublot watches, I could see right there the power of fusion that Hublot is so adept at using.
I have always loved worldtimers for their practicality, and I could not be any more excited about this watch. The size and the looks are bang on and close to perfect, and the dial has so much detail and looks just exquisite. My only complaint so far is that the pusher at 8 o’clock is much too conspicuous than what I would have liked it to be, but that is about it. I can’t wait to see this in the flesh.
Peripheral automatic rotors don't sit on top of a movement, but rather around it. There is usually a crescent-shaped weight that moves along a track which acts as the rotor. That is what movements such as the Carl F. Bucherer A1000 (and others with rear-mounted peripheral rotors) are like. In a watch like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Selfwinding Tourbillon Chronograph, the peripheral automatic rotor is actually mounted around the top part of the movement, and in this case, visible through the dial of the watch. In this timepiece, the rotor must be heavy enough to properly wind the movement so Audemars Piguet and Renaud & Papi (where the movement is produced) crafted the peripheral rotor from platinum.
Shreve, Crump & Low: Boston watch enthusiasts are not terribly different that those in other cities. Boston is an international city, so our clientele is well-educated, well-traveled and articulate. Most watch lovers in Boston work as professors at one of the many prestigious universities or in the vastly growing technological field in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Ball also uses some traditional SuperLumiNova luminant, which is painted on the ceramic bezel insert. The diver's style bezel rotates uni-directionally for added functionality. This is among the most refined Hydrocarbon Engineer designs in a collection of timepieces that try very hard to be both luxurious as well as masculine. One of the most interesting updates to the design of the Engineer Hydrocarbon case in the Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Hunley is the use of a domed sapphire crystal, versus a flat one. Curved sapphire crystals are going to produce more glare as compared to a flat one, but the sapphire crystal is anti-reflective coated and legibility is very good in the watch overall.
New colors are a staple for successful models from Nomos and the Nomos Lux and Nomos Lambda are no different. The new Nomos Lux models show a fun side that is not often seen from the brand and the Nomos Lambda Deep Blue looks so good, we wonder why it wasn't part of the original launch. We love the way that Nomos uses color to accent and pivot on their strong and individual sense of design. The other element (pun intended?) to these models is their use of gold, which, along with the high end movements, translates to pricing much higher than we are used to seeing from Nomos.
...Except for the A. Lange & Sohne Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst, in my opinion. That is Rose's one true aspirational watch. Even though the Zeitwerk itself comports with his values and personality, the highly limited edition model with its great artistic effort is not a timepiece meant to be worn on a regular basis. It is a precious piece of art not so subtly displayed over the the surface of a mechanically complex item, which marries the world of traditional watchmaking and modern culture in a way few other watches have been able to do.
OMEGA Speedmaster Professional Chronometer Apollo XI '1969 - 1994'