My favorite part about the watch aside from the blue dial is that Greubel Forsey does not dick around with legibility. The hands are easy to see and there is a full scale of hour and minute indicators around the dial. They are actually placed on a sapphire crystal ring that floats around the outer dial. The effect is impressive and helps add depth to the already very deep looking dial. Another sapphire crystal piece is elegantly used as the tourbillon bridge. This allows for a much better view of the tourbillon in action. The hints of red on the dial are an appreciated touch and help identify the watch as a Greubel Forsey. I am pretty sure that the hands and other applied elements on the dial are in gold.
The good news, like I said, is that once you setup the watch, most of its features are unnecessary to mess with again (assuming the watch remains powered). That means the time and calendar data is reliably accurate for as long as you need. That makes this watch more or less "set it and forget it" when it comes to most functions. That doesn't apply to things like the chronograph, that you will still need to learn how to use. It isn't exactly as straight forward as the apparent "start/stop" and "reset" pushers might suggest - but it isn't a big deal.
As a non formal watch, for me the SpidoSpeed ticks all the right boxes. Very comfortable in size and weight, a great design and enough practicality to justify having one!
Let's start by discussing the DeLorean DNA aspect of the watch. Each of the 81 pieces in the limited edition will have metal from an original DeLorean DMC-12 in the bezel of the watch. Of course the case is in stainless steel measuring 46mm wide. Design-wise, the watch does not inherently suggest the automobile in all aspects. However, the yellow, red and white "lights" in the subsidiary seconds dial are meant to suggest the car's famous tail lights.
While I don't love each Classic Racing model Chopard releases, I am a fan of the majority of new stuff they come out with. I say that with seriousness, because I really love a lot of that stuff. Design and quality is mostly really good, and Chopard always ensures that comfort and legibility are design priorities. You'd be surprised at how many watch executives say things like "I don't use watches to tell the time." Great line of work for them... These Chopard Classic Racing watches as a whole have some of the best fit & finishing, as well as attention to detail, that is available. The biggest complaint people have with them is the price. Well, to be more precise, the price given the movement inside of them. The majority of these watches are chronographs and contain the tried and true Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750. These are top 7750s with mostly all COSC Chronometer ratings, but inherently are still movements which are widely available, and also come in many much less expensive watches. Most Mille Miglia chronograph pieces range from about ,000 - ,000. Which for many people is admittedly a lot for the 7750. As a watch lover I am still not 100% certain why people are so concerned about the movement as being the primary source of value in a watch, but it is often the case. What I mean is that when taking the price of a watch into consideration, people place an overwhelmingly large emphasis on the price of the movement. You need to take into consideration the case, dial, strap, and overall engineering costs. Nothing about these cases and dials says "inexpensive." Anyhow, Chopard is aware of all this and for a while has been planning the next step.
It just wouldn't be a Speedmaster without a tachymeter (tachymetre) scale bezel. Not that I would ever use it, but it is good to know that some things don't change. The bezel does help frame the design of the watch well, and offers a little piece of utility that people might have once used "back in the day". A little retro love never hurt anyone.
Please note that the watches you see here aren't the final versions, but prototypes used to showoff the new movements. The final versions will have different dial designs and possibly other changes. Chopard wants to make it clear that this is sneak preview of a new range of movements and collection that will be debuted sometime closer to the Fall of 2012.
It is easy to love the silvered guilloche engraved dial on the face of the watch. On the face are also 18k rose gold hands and Roman numeral hour markers. The chronograph and subsidiary seconds dials don't really intrude on the hour markers as much as you'd think they might. I personally quite like minute repeaters with visible hammer and gong displays on the dial This piece does that well, but also preserves legibility for both the time and chronograph functions.
Case-back: Micro-blasted and polished black PVD titanium
One of the challenges that has always faced chronograph designers is preventing the chronograph’s operation from disrupting watch operation. The Mikrograph of 2011 contained two independent “kinematic chains” (I think that’s TAG speak for “trains”), one for the watch and one for the chronograph, but integrated into the same movement. This also applies to the MikrotourbillonS.
An immediate benefit is the elimination of a clutch, while separating the watch from the chronograph eliminates the risks of either effecting the other in any negative manner. Energy loss is also reduced. This topology ensured all “Mikro” timepieces are ISO 3159-compliant; the Mikrotimer and the Mikrograph are COSC-certified with the chronograph function running, which TAG Heuer says is “a feat virtually impossible to achieve by conventional mono-frequency chronographs.”
Parents also stopped wearing as many watches for many of the same reasons. Disposable income went more to gadgets and other emerging electronic items that seemed more important or relevant. With casual Friday turning into casual every day, even the status requirements of wearing a fine timepiece for business purposes started to erode – especially in America. Bill Clinton famously campaigned and served in office as the US President wearing a Timex Triathlon – in order to connect better with the common person. His choice of wearing the inexpensive plastic digital sports watch was especially ironic because Clinton himself is and was a major high-end watch collector. Even politics were marginalizing the perceived excess of traditional watches now seen as fodder for the wealthy, and akin to status symbols like clothing from Hermes, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana. It just started seeming less and less like something to buy for a kid.
Hidden under the black rubber skin is 120 LEDs. The primary array of 100 white LEDs displays alphanumeric information while an offset strip of 20 colored LEDs track your activity progress along a beveled edge. A single oval button flanks the display and is the only means to access different features of the FuelBand without plugging it into a computer or syncing it with a smartphone. This button is the sole blemish on the otherwise beautifully minimalistic facade. It is slightly raised and further accentuated by its cutout surround. I would much rather Nike had either blended it into the design more or made it stand out in an aesthetically pleasing manner. As it sits now, the button would look closer to a manufacturing defect than a design choice if it were not so symmetrical. A spring-loaded stainless steel clasp holds the FuelBand securely closed while also sheathing the built-in USB plug. Nike claims the FuelBand is water resistant and is "safe to wear in the shower or when dancing in the rain". I'll admit to testing the first claim but a situation to test the latter has yet to present itself.
With a price tag of £175,000 in the UK, or 5,000 give or take a few bucks, the MikrotourbillonS follows the belt-driven Monaco V4, Mikrogirder, Mikrograph, and Mikrotimer Flying 1000 as TAG-Heuer’s way of showing the Swatch Group that it will survive their plans to reduce the supply of movements. Moreover, such outré timepieces demonstrate that TAG-Heuer has the ability to innovate and to produce complications in-house, with the ease and facility one associates with sniffier, more elite auteur houses.
Purely mechanical, luxurious, and actually fun, who is the Otturatore watch good for? Well for one you'll need to muster up the roughly ,000 it costs to purchase one. After checking off that requirement you should also be the type of person who wants a well-designed, but highly unorthodox timepiece. This isn't a watch for those looking for something too "familiar." Last, you'll need to be the sort of chap who is more than happy to demonstrate and discuss their watch with friends as well as near strangers. Just because I can't get enough of it, I am going to say it one more time "Otturatore!" Gotta practice those rolling Rs...