Intentionally or not, IWC keeps allowing me time with their collection, confident that the inherent merits of their watches will attract me. The biggest thing holding most people back from not being watch lovers is simply lack of an opportunity to develop into watch lovers through experience and education.
This is one of two new titanium Seiko Ananta watches for 2010. The other model is an Ananta Spring Drive Chronograph GMT limited edition piece - which is considerably more expensive that this model. The titanium composition of the watch makes for a very light Ananta. At 46mm wide, this is one intensely light watch for its size (still 100 meters water resistant). Titanium makes for a good color tone as well with the darker, monochromatic tones of the dial. Conventional watch wisdom would have a touch of red, or some other color in the dial, but the all black and white tones look good here. The bezel (with a tachymeter scale), side of the case, pushers, and crown are in black.
While lots of classic car lovers are familiar with Austin Healey and cars, like the 3000 (below) and the Sprite, I would say that a club that races the cars and are dedicated only to them is the very definition of Niche. The brand has been "no longer" for a long time and it is interesting to consider a dedicated group of people that year after year obsess over the same cars. Still they are a fun bunch of little roadsters that certainly help remind of a time back in the 1950s and 1960s when small sporty cars were a European specialty. While the special limited edition Frederique Constant Healey Chrono Automatic is made for the small club, there are going to 1,888 pieces available in each version. Meaning that the brand wants more than just a few people to pick this piece us. Good thing that the watch styling is handsome enough for plenty of people to get into them.
I do really like this watch and find myself claiming it for wrist time more often than not. Other people seem to like it as well. When they do, it gives me the opportunity to tell them all about Bremont, and the U-2. I like that it is an English watch (with a Swiss movement). Something about "London" written on the dial as opposed to "Swiss Made" that feel fresh. The movement is Swiss, like I said. Bremont uses as base ETA 2836 automatic - that has a day and date feature. Bremont modifies it a bit and calls it the Bremont Caliber BE-36AE. The movement has further been COSC Chronometer certified for accuracy. In addition to having some really nice perlage polish and blued steel screws, it has a very cool black colored custom Bremont rotor. There is a great (though watch nerd) joy when you hand someone a cool looking functional watch, only to have them turn it over and say "wow" when seeing the unexpected decorated movement.
Being a pathfinder watch, the piece will of course have the requisite "ABC" functions. This is the altimeter, barometer, and compass. This also includes the thermometer as part of the barometer function. Again, this are present and useful as expected, with reliance on the small screen, and some integration of the analog hands. The button layout on the watch is the same you are used to. With three on the right, one on the left, and two on the front of the watch. There is little to no learning curve if you are going to the PAW-5000 watch from any other Pathfinder model.
If you like darker watches, the Classico Blue has a PVD black coated version in addition to the brushed steel model. Price is just a bit more for the sand-blasted PVD watch if you like it better. Inside the watch is a Swiss ETA 2824 automatic movement. With a nicely architected case, 1000 meters of water resistance, and a Swiss automatic movement, the price for the Classico Blue watch is pretty fair. Prices start at 0 for the steel version with a leather strap (0 with the metal bracelet), up to 0 for the PVD version on a metal bracelet (0 in PVD on the leather strap). Both watches also come with an addition sports strap (probably rubber) with blue trim to match the dials. See where to buy below, and then tech specs below that. Oh, and the Classico Blue will be a limited edition model, but I am not sure of how many pieces.
Thinking about dead-beat second watches is interesting. They really date back to old pendulum clocks that ticked once per a second as well. So you can consider the One Hertz to be just like that, a pendulum on your wrist. The G-02 movement is going to be pretty interesting, and I am amazed that Gronefeld put this much work in to developing it for a watch that is limited to just 12 pieces. Oh, and it will have a power reserve of 60 hours. If you are wondering, the "1912" part of the piece's name comes from the date when Tim and Bart's grandfather first became a qualified watch maker. I think just calling it One Hertz would have been enough, but you have to send a shout-out to family right?
Each of the Xtreme 1 collection watches are 45mm wide, but the SEA-HUM 3TZ is thinner and has (only) 500m of water resistance. It goes up to 1,500 or 2,000 meters of resistance respectively. Here are the basic stats for the T3Z:
As a man, my favorite collection of watches from Hermes has always been the Clipper. It has evolved a bit over the years, but has always been a very tasteful sport watches from a well-regarded luxury brand. I've always been drawn to Clipper watches not because of the Hermes name, but because of the design. They have always reminded me of instruments on fine ships. Gee, with a name like Clipper I am sure that this is hardly an accident. Funny how you can seem to almost never go wrong giving a watch some manner of boat or marine theme.
Hublot’s building is quite literally the shape of a box. Square and black, it feels like a suitable, complimentary look to house the brand’s activity. The Hublot’s black box is surrounded by green. There is very little industrial about farmland. Forget that most of Switzerland feels like farmland. I am reminded by the Robin William’s movie, Toys. If you recall the movie, you’ll know what I mean.
Panerai has placed one of its newer in-house made Calibre P.2002/7 manually wound movements in the watch. Although I would have preferred an automatic or at least a power reserve indicator, the movement does have a power reserve length of about 8 days. That is pretty nice, but without a power reserve indicator, you never know how much power you have in it. So you just end up fidgeting with the crown all the time to wind it. Then again, without even a date, if the movement runs out, resetting it isn't a big deal.
Powering the watch is a Swiss ETA 2897 automatic movement that has been modified a bit by Oris. The back of the watch is engraved with the Col Moschin seal, and looks pretty nice. As a limited edition of 1000 pieces, this is certain one of the nicer limited Oris watches for activities purposes this year (aside from the "cultural" limited edition models they have). The rubber strap is a really nice element as well. It is thick at the lugs and tapers in sizes a bit for comfort. The nicely engineers titanium deployment strap hides excess strap on the inside. This is the new way rubber straps are being made by the best brands. Basically you get the clean look of a rubber strap that is cut to size, but here you don't have to cut it, as the strap is still totally adjustable. I say "so long" straps that have to be cut, and "long live" the
hidden excess" style rubber straps. If you don't like the rubber strap or want a metal bracelet, the watch looks like it can accommodate the standard bracelet for other Oris ProDiver watches (that you'd have to get separately of course). Price for the Oris Col Moschin is between 3,000 - 5,000 Swiss Francs. Available soon.
I've checked out a number of models, angles, and versions both new and existing of one of Girard-Perregaux's most diverse collection of watches - and I have some nice images of a few of the best. The ww.tc is a collection with a name I don't understand, but a usefulness that is more than apparent. I never really "got" the watch until I was able to personally check the collection out. I can say one thing for sure, if you ever get a Girard-Perregaux ww.tc watch, you will find it very hard to go back to a timepiece that just tells you the time.