Vacheron Constantin Quai de l’Ile Retrograde Annual Calendar Watch
How many of these "Final Edition MB&F HM2 models will be made? Just 18 pieces for the HM2 Black SV and another 18 pieces for the Red SV. Prices are ,000 each. What to expect next? You guessed it, special versions of the HM4.
Number of case components: 53
Before being at Hublot Mathias Buttet ran BNB Concept. When the economic crisis hit and BNB Concept went out of business, Hublot (a large customer of theirs) bought up much of their resources and hired Mathias. While still at BNB he was working on the replication (not exact in terms of shape, but in terms of function) of something that was known as the Antikythera. The project was never completed and when Jean-Claude Biver hired him, he made promises to Mathias that he could still pursue certain pet projects such as this. Mathias was happy to inform me recently (as he has a few times actually) that Jean-Claude has kept his promises.
Hours and minutes on right dial, power reserve indicator on left dial
Did y'all know Seiko is 130 years old? Yes sir! And this year their US roadshow event featuring Grand Seiko watches will be celebrating that fact with some fun events. Yours truly will be at the Phoenix, Arizona event on October 14th 2011 held at Seiko's number 1 Grand Seiko dealer; Arizona Fine Time in Scottsdale. Come for the watches - stay for the food/drinks/cigars (these are also the CigarKing.com people).
One thing I can say for sure, Dievas did pull off an even more serious looking version than the original - and by serious I mean better suited to serious duty for military folk (and people who like to pretend they are military folk). The only thing I believe that these types would change is the strap. Not that I don't like the black treated leather with red stitching, but rather I think it is more fashion and function. I would keep that strap for street use, and get an all black strap for more "kill or be killed" use. Actually, Dievas offers the strap with red or black stitching which I now learned after looking into it.
A pyramid in now Mexico is built to honor Kukulkan. There are engraved statues of his image there. An image that is replicated on the Kulkulkan watch on the dial and the back in high relief. The "219" name of the brand refers to some Mayan calendar numerals on when Kukulkan is due to return (or something like that). To me the neon green design of the watch mixed with black and looking all technical reminds me of Japanese Gundam characters. Though I do think the dial design is sorta cool, especially how "219" is integrated into the snake's mouth. For hour indicators the watch presumably uses the Mayan numeral system.
I will create a very general example that represents how this works. A watch coming out of the factory costs ,000 to produce in terms of parts and labor. The manufacture wishes to make some profit on the watch so the price to the distributor is ,500. The distributor is in charge of getting the watch to retailers. But first the distributor needs to get the watches out of the country, and into other countries. This gets import and export taxes and duties involved - which vary greatly on the placed involved. They are often based on the value of the watches. In addition to paying these customs, the distributor also needs to take a cut for profit. The distributor also has to find retailers (and hires sales people). To cover all these expenses and make a profit, the distributor charges the retailer ,500 for the watch. The retailer is then charged with getting customers in the store, and must hire and pay sales people (who are often on a percentage commission + base pay revenue model). Marketing costs are often (ideally) distributed between brand, distributor, and retailer. In order to cover these costs, plus the commission for the sales person in the store and get a profit, the retailer needs to charge ,000 for the watch. You can now see how a watch that cost ,000 to make can very reasonably be sold for ,000 in a store.
At some angles the dial appears flat black or grey, depending on light source. However, the skeletonized black-on-black hour and minute hand tend to vanish against the dial. The Genoa version uses blue-on-white and seems more legible. Unlike the vivid seconds hand, they take a bit longer to spot and read and really the skeletonization isn't needed as there are no subdials to block.
The kit also include a pair of cuff links - which are different in the steel or gold models. The gold cufflinks are a bit more fancy. Actually, Milus usually offers neat cufflinks. If you recall I wrote about their Kama Sutra rotor cufflinks here. The gold cufflinks have one with a working compass, and one with a little storage box (you know for keeping a cyanide pill or some ecstasy). Each of them fold open with a motif of a plane and gold propeller on the outside. The slightly more simple steel cufflinks are a pair of compasses. Really nice little items.
Let's start with a real altimeter. Here's one from a plane I used to fly: