Omega Speedmaster Professional DD145.0022
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From a design perspective, the cases and dials aren't bad. Nothing to write home about, but classic and soothing to the eye in a vintage military sort of way. Looks like a cross between a Bell & Ross mixed with a lot of Swiss Army Victorinox DNA. There is some manner of luminant on the dials and the hour markers are applied - which is a positive. You get the distinct impression that Fossil wanted to come out the Swiss doors with a very safe design, do nothing particularly new, and see how it went. Though I still have no idea who the target demographic for these watches will be. At about half the price, they might be a strong buy.
Recently Breitling unveiled the modern Transocean collection with a three-hand and chronograph model which I reviewed hands-on here. The Transocean is a slick, retro-looking boardroom watch in a contemporary size, fitting for today's "Breitling guy." That means the three-hand automatic isn't dainty being 43mm wide. This new Transocean Unitime however is larger at 46mm wide. That certainly isn't too large for a Breitling, but is probably close to the size ceiling for what people want in a classic looking timepiece.
I was fortunate therefore to come across the Meistersinger stand at the Salon QP 2012 recently, having known about the brand for a few years already. In the video, I speak to Paul Kustow of Meistersinger UK, who explained to me the concept behind the brand, as well as showing me some of the latest pieces.
The 44.25mm wide case is a cherry size on the wrist fitting oh so comfortably. Something about the design further makes it feel flatter than it is - which is a good thing. The rear of the case is one large sapphire crystal which domes over the movement giving you a hell of a nice view into the in-house made caliber. Omega didn't just slap together a ceramic case. Careful detailing went into the precise textures and tone making sure that it was the proper shade of black and shined in just the right way. Areas of the case are brushed, but it certainly grabs your attention with some notable sheen.
Of the watches they cover, the 657 is by far my favorite - a classic three-hand aviator with a 60-click bezel, powered by the workhorse ETA 2824-2. It just has perfectly clean styling, and the dial offers up a great feature I wish more brands had. The date display shows up between 4- and 5-o'clock, and they've rotated the numerals 45 degrees, so it reads level to the horizon. Necessary? Absolutely not, but it is great evidence of attention to detail.
With that radio, thankfully, it means you're not just stuck connecting to Android (or even just Samsung) phones - you can hook it to your favorite (though, more recent) iPhone as well. This is all in theory, though - out of the gate, there are only two Samsung devices (the Note 3 and Note 10.1) listed as being compatible with the watch. Frankly, that's ok for now - if you want to install apps onto the phone, you'll need the special watch app store that sounds like only Samsung devices will have access to. Samsung claims that soon more Galaxy phone devices will work with the Gear after software updates, but those are yet to be announced.
Inside of the Vacheron Constantin Overseas Chronograph with Blue Dial (ref. 49150/B01A-9745) is the caliber 1137 automatic chronograph movement, which is a base Frederic Piguet. That isn't an in-house made movement, which for some people defeats the purpose of getting a Vacheron Constantin in the first place. F. Piguet is however the high-end movement making division (also called Blancpain Manufacture) of the Swatch Group. Never mind that the Richemont Group owns Vacheron Constantin, but F. Piguet movements are pretty nice and nothing to complain about. This is one of only one or two currently made Vacheron watches with the caliber 1137 movement inside of it.
The number of hours that is spent on perfecting each piece is truly extraordinary, and for all the bluster that big brands make about handcrafting their watches, the truth is that hidden away from the marketing messages are big machines that crank out parts like any modern assembly line. In stark contrast to the method that Roger Smith uses to make his watches, it is night and day.
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to look at a rare collection of vintage Breguet aviator watches and was treated to an uncommonly good time with old timepieces. While vintage watch love is deep amongst this (watch enthusiasts) crowd, it is the rare historic and interesting timepieces that really excite me on a tactile basis. Sure I can appreciate most vintage timepieces for their design and what they mean as part of the evolution of the watch, but I am not particularly interested in wearing vintage watches on my wrist. Much more the modernist, I like new watches, their prices be damned.
Before discussing the book's content itself, I believe it is important to become acquainted a bit more closely with its author. First of all, the parallelism between watchmaking and Daniels' work speaks volumes. When one is merely an outsider, a spectator, he is destined to misunderstand, or rather not understand at all what is before his eyes. When it comes to watches, all inner workings, and hence the real values remain hidden, concealed by their complexity. Similarly, George Daniels clearly appears nothing less than what those who knew him claim he always had been. A modest, peaceful, warmhearted man, even though to many, he had a reputation as being direct and stubborn. But at the same time, the thoughts and plans he had were those of a genius – something others could not tell after first sight, and likely could not conceive after the thousandth.
Turn the Quadruple Tourbillon watch over and it is business as usual for Greubel Forsey watches. The complicated in-house movement is beautifully decorated and designed, employing some of the best finishing practices the high-end horology industry has to offer. The piece contains four tourbillons in two distinct tourbillon structures. Each structure have an outer four minute tourbillon as well as an inner one minute tourbillon (how long it takes for the tourbillon to make a full revolution). You can see that the inner tourbillon is diagonally angled. It is a mesmerizing place of gears and wheels to watch in action - which is really the primary allure of wearing a Greubel Forsey timepiece. With the Secret, it is more about having a personal knowledge of what the watch contains on the inside - and not showing it off to others. How selfish do you need to be to wear this watch?
The 38 Series is comprised of four new models, three of which are essentially up-sized versions of their 35mm older siblings. The totally new model is the Orion 38 Grau and it is a design that is instantly recognizable as a Nomos, but varied in its use of a nicely muted tonal dial. The medium grey dial exhibits the signature Orion attention to scale and proportion with long elegant hands and a matching silver-tone marker layout. As with all of the Series 38, the Orion 38 Grau is powered by Nomos' in-house and hand wound Alpha movement, designed in a three quarter plate layout with a 43 hour power reserve, 17 jewels and a small seconds display. The Alpha can been seen via the display case back and is fully decorated with Nomos pearlage, blued screws, and a sunburst treatment for the ratchet and crown wheel.
That is a compliment that any young watch brand would like to have, and for the Ivresse, Badollet certainly deserves it.
What comes next for the Constant Escapement is anyone's guess. I hardly see Girard-Perregaux putting this into more mainstream watches, but it could hint that silicon is going to play a major role in the brand's upcoming new mechanical movements. That I think would be a benefit to them. While they will always be a traditional watch maker, it will be extremely important to them to feel fresh and contemporary in today's highly competitive high-end watch market. Price for the Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement watch will be about 0,000. girard-perregaux.com