With the design goals of a more modest size and price point, I began designing a Ladies Ka La Watch and I am now ready to begin production as soon as funding is secured. With a unique design inspired by the sundial, these ladies watches are elegant enough for a night out, while their contemporary design makes them suitable for daily wear. The retail price will be 0 when these watches are sold at selected fine watch and jewelry stores.
Jaeger-LeCoultre has captured my attention with the addition of the first minute repeater to the Ladies Rendez-Vouz Collection: the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater. As its name suggests, this ivy-encrusted timepiece is of undisputed elegance – and that elegance is much more than skin-deep. In 2012, Jaeger-LeCoultre debuted the Rendez-Vouz Collection to provide women the chance to own serious mechanical complications – rather than the more ubiquitous "downscaled" mechanical versions, or the usual dressed up quartz. Despite its recent inception, the Rendez-Vouz collection already boasts quite an impressive repertoire, including ladies' watches equipped with genuinely high-end complications, such as the tourbillon or celestial and perpetual calendar timepieces.
I am never shy about taking an opportunity to cover one of Bovet's exciting Recital collection timepieces and here is a look at the new for 2014 Bovet Recital 16. In the video below, you'll see a bit of the Bovet Recital 16 as well as the other new Recital watches for the year. Recital watches exist in the Bovet Dimier collection, which is most notably marked by their lack of a "ribbon" crown protector (and crown) at 12 o'clock. Therefore, in addition to being often rather complex, the Bovet Dimier watches tend to have more traditional cases with crowns at 3 o'clock.
Piaget claims to make "double records" with the Altiplano Chronograph. First is the world's thinnest (manually wound) mechanical flyback chronograph movement, with the in-house made Piaget caliber 883P that is just 4.65mm thick. Second is the world's thinnest flyback chronograph movement based watch case, as the Piaget Altiplano Chronograph is just 8.24mm thick. Available in 18k pink or white gold, the case is also a welcome 41mm in width.
The movement inside is IWC's in-house manufactured 89361 movement, and it is proudly displayed through the sapphire caseback – as opposed to being covered up by the engraved caseback we are used to seeing on so many of these limited edition watches. The movement features a flyback chronograph, IWC's double-pawl winding system with a 360-degree rotor designed to resemble a ship's wheel, and it offers an ample 68 hours of power reserve.
ABTW: As a brand ambassador for TW Steel, what is your input during the design process for your current special edition?
Jaeger-LeCoultre’s continuation of their Reverso line continues to impress me, and acts as an exception to my general disdain for “special edition” timepieces, which are often just a regurgitation of the same old stuff over and over again. Unlike so many other manufactures that draw from their archives, Jaeger-LeCoultre really derives its inspiration from the emotional elements of watch design, not just the architecture. A great amount of thought and care clearly goes into the development of each piece, and they seem to nail it each time.
Contradicting the competitive pricing, all Claude Bernard watches bear the "Swiss Made" designation on the dial, as all of them incorporate Swiss movements and are assembled at the company's manufacture in Les Genevez. With that said, some other parts of the watch – likely including the case and the bracelet – are sourced from Asia to keep prices down; but that is a practice much more common in the Swiss industry than one would dare to imagine. Anyhow, the requirements of the relevant Swiss legislation are met, i.e., over 60% of the costs of the watch is manufactured in the country.
I asked George what his relationship was with Rolex proper and whether it was non-existent or hostile. The look on his face more or less said it all. A darkness fell over his typically cheerful smile that I only now feel that I fully understand. I have little doubt that the two companies have squabbled, but for George the fighting is probably something that he takes personally, outside of the business side of any dispute. If there is anyone that can stand up to Rolex's admittedly impressive legal might, it is Mr. Bamford. That, however, isn't what perhaps strikes Bamford the most. In George's mind, he is probably one of Rolex's biggest fans, not only expending huge amounts of time and resources dedicated to artistic re-visioning of their products, but also the last 10-11 years of his life. And to have it met with hostility is probably upsetting, to say the least.
Casio has worked together with Sony to develop this unique low-energy consumption movement that would allow for both the reception of six-band radio signals as well as GPS signals. Radio controlled watches can sync up with signals coming from six different sources, which are located in Germany, the United Kingdom, the US, China, and there are two frequencies in Japan. "Radio wave reception" is done automatically up to six times a day (five in China), which guarantees that the already highly accurate quartz movement inside the watch remains extremely close to the atomic clocks.
Apple also knows that the expectations for its smartwatch product are extremely high, not only in functionality, but also design and utility. Can you imagine adopting something like an iPhone with its current manufacturing techniques for your wrist? The thin metal case and screen would break in a few days given what most traditional wrist watches are subject to. Apple has a lot to learn about producing a piece of consumer electronics that puts up with the abuse of daily life on your wrist.
I recall first writing about the Piaget Altiplano 900P about one year ago, before I had actually see the watch in person. During my review of the technical specifications, I became slightly annoyed, thinking, "why can't I find the name of the movement, and why can't I find the thickness of just the movement in comparison to the overall thickness of the case!?" These were reasonable questions, only to be answered by the fact that, unlike most watches which have a movement which is then cased, the Piaget Altiplano 900P's movement is actually integrated into the caseback piece of the timepiece's construction.
Announced today, the Samsung Gear S smartwatch heralds in a few additional features and specs to the Korean electronic giant's quickly growing smartwatch collection of products. Samsung has taken a decidedly "un-Apple-like" approach to their development of smartwatches by releasing pretty much every iteration of their smartwatch products in fast succession, versus waiting and tweaking until they have what they feel is "just right." The approach has helped Samsung gain a lot of notoriety for being first in a lot of categories, but reviews and media response to their smartwatches are lukewarm at best in many instances.
Practically, METAS operates several commercial cesium clocks and has collaborated with the Laboratoire Temps et Fréquence of the University of Neuchâtel (previously known as Observatory of Neuchâtel) for many years. All these – and also much greater, albeit in our case, quite irrelevant – efforts are made, as METAS is responsible for the dissemination of the official time in Switzerland. In watchmaking country, that is quite a big deal, and goes to show the institute's involvement in scientific undertakings related to timekeeping. On a basic level to see a luxury watchmaker work with a government scientific organization or certify its mechanical watches in this day and age is pretty cool.
The Weiss Special Issue Field Watch is a great addition to the lineup, one that gives some color variety. We of course reviewed the new latte dial here, but there is also a carbon color that is the brand's response to requests for a stealthier watch. You can pick your own Weiss Special Issue Field Watch for a price of ,250. Just be prepared to be patient - as the watches are built by hand, there is about a 6-8 week delay from the time of ordering until shipment. weisswatchcompany.com
Swatch designed the rear of the Sistem51 to look fun and interesting with various decorative patterns. The automatic rotor is actually transparent which allows for a better view through the clear plastic caseback of the watches. The movements offer the time with central seconds and a date indicator window.
Seiko was as innovative in their visual design as it was in refining the vertical-structured mechanics of a timepiece, however. Along the way, therefore, I also developed a bit of an obsession for the groovy looks of these timepieces – how they were so unrepentantly redolent of the ‘60s and ‘70s modernist aesthetics also ricocheting through architecture, cinema, graphic design, painting and sculpture – even comic books and cartoons. At the same time, there was a decidedly Japanese restraint and symmetry innate to the style and fabrication of the great mid-century Seikos – all of which reflected the harmonious rules of legendary Seiko designer Taro Tanaka’s famed “Grammar of Design” which went on to revolutionize the look of the manufacture’s products (the “Grammar of Design” is described quite well on p. 73 of Rob van Herpt’s essential but quixotic book-length history of Seiko, A Journey in Time, which can be downloaded here.
Basically, when a watch of a certain style is mechanically the same across a swath of brands, it’s what the individual brand does with the execution that makes it stand apart. The Oris John Coltrane doesn’t take giant steps, but it chooses the ones it does make carefully, and then refines them to their essence – so subtly that you don’t realize what’s special about it right off the bat until you actually wear it. There is so much narrative cleverly integrated into the watch’s conception and design: that, realized with a sophisticated palette of minimal abstraction, is what you’re paying for here. What’s luxurious about this is that there simply is nothing “extra” about this watch. That's not to mention its versatility.
Why add a perpetual calendar and moon phase complication to what is arguably A. Lange & Söhne's only sports watch? That is a good question, and one we cannot really answer, aside from saying that Lange is trying to add more variety to their most popular models. This turns the thick and large Datograph into a hefty dress watch, which is exactly what some people like. What the A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual lacks in creativity it makes up for in consumer appeal as Lange continues its trend toward being a bit more commercial and responsive in its new product releases. Nevertheless, I would happily accept an A. Lange & Söhne Datograph Perpetual in a heart beat if offered one.
Blending automotive and watch design is not a new thing by any stretch of the imagination, and while we have seen a large number of high-end as well as more affordably priced brands have a go at it, few could pull it off in a memorable way. Basically, where Autodromo stands out is that all their watches are inspired by motoring, with the Autodromo Stradale set to "evoke the age of Gran Turismo, when driving across the continent involved more than hopping on an expressway." Sounds nice and swell, but let's see how that translates into horology.
Having said that, the upcoming Bifrost collection will certainly suffice as a casual or dress watch, if you feel that one of Johan Gustafsson's "high contrast" individually-made Damascus steel dials is suitable to pair with your suit. As is their custom, each new watch collection from Gustafsson & Sjogren (aka, GoS Watches) begins with an individual model which will later be followed up with others that feature varying dial styles and possibly colors. Using various techniques and acids, the hand-forged Damascus steel dials can be rendered in a variety of manners.
The watch apps will function very similarly to the iPhone apps in terms of the notifications, and will give you a little tap using the taptic engine whenever there is relevant incoming information. A new feature which will be added into the mix is called a “glance.” The glance feature of the watch gathers and compacts the most relevant information, such as the time, weather, and upcoming tasks, and can be customized based on the users needs.