BW: ochs und junior is a whole environment way of thinking, from the packaging to the watches. You're not paying for advertising or middlemen. We will make around 100 watches in 2012, and we will make a maximum of 300 per year. More than that and we can't control all of the processes: innovation, production, communication, retail, service. We want to have the direct contact to our customers and want to know them - quite different from most other watch companies, even the small ones.
Angular Momentum makes a lot of art watches and I find this one quite interesting. It comes in a large 49mm wide Damascus steel case. This is a special type of folded steel that, when polished, reveals wonderful designs. This type of Damascus steel has what is called a "Scandinavian Bluetongue" pattern. This isn't merely a design placed on the metal, the design is a part of the metal. The singular case is sandwiched with two sapphire crystals, showcases boulle-style lugs, and is matched to a leather strap.
The case is 43mm wide and available in steel or 18k rose gold. The case features a polished bezel while the side of the case features two strips of coined edging. The lugs are hardy and feature protruding side screws like most Chronoswiss' Timemaster pieces. The watch showcases a sapphire display back as well as an AR coated sapphire crystal over the dial. Overall, I think the case design is highly successful and provides visual interest along with traditional design.
Inside the watch is a Soprod caliber TT 651 automatic movement. I am sure that Cuervo y Sobrinos uses their own custom rotor. One thing I enjoy a great deal is the strap. CyS tends to impress me with their cool straps and this one is no exception. The strap comes in black or white, and is rubber. There are two strips of material as a red padding is used on the underside, and there is red stitching helping to hold it all together. Pretty cool. You could make an argument that Cuervo y Sobrinos didn't need to give the Manjuari Diver the big date or second time zone complication, and that it would have been enough as a diver. That however would not be true to the brand as they like to add useful functions when it works, and I appreciate that. Price is in the 6,000 - 7,000 Swiss Franc region I am guessing.
With a 45.5mm wide case (in steel or rose gold) and a special automatic movement, the TNT Rendezvous is a very unique and interesting watch. It is also limited to 201 pieces per model. I have a feeling that all Pierre DeRoche limited edition models are limited to 201 pieces.
The Lido first came out last year in a quartz version, still available and a fine choice for gifts and those not afflicted with the mechanical movement obsession. The C20 model sports the ETA 2836, a solid and impeccable workhorse that's easy to like. Hacking, handwinding, quickset day and date, 38 hour power reserve, topped with a signed screw-down crown.
The Rolex Submariner is not only one of the most versatile watches designs in history, it is also one of the most commonly "homaged." Not everyone can afford or find their perfect Submariner, and sometimes others want to creatively build upon, or alter what Rolex made famous. It is hard not to look at any Sub-homage watch and think about whether the brand making it is attempting to ride on Rolex's popularity, or merely respect it through duplication.
Those are the three pieces that most catch my eye from an aesthetic point of view. And if you are buying to keep an item that you find compelling and plan to keep for the long-haul, do just that. But if you're buying with an eye to "invest" and possibly flip one of these watches in the next couple of years, you might need to take a different tack. The truth is, there is a decent chance that with the hourglass or Gagarin tourbillon you might have a tough time recouping your money. If you want to help the charity and still have an opportunity to make this event an investment, there could be better choices. The reality is that we watch nuts aficionados are a very small percentage of the population. Everyone twenty minutes out of the womb knows what a Rolex is, but most people aren't familiar with Ikepod or Bernhard Lederer. The aforementioned MB&F “Flying Panda” will be appreciated by horological cognoscenti everywhere. I would also recommend that investors take a serious look at the offering from Patek: Lot #30. The only thing less enticing about the name ("Patek Philippe, Ref. 3939") of this piece is the look. To the unappreciative there's nothing exciting going on here. But look a little deeper and consider ... not only is this a Patek (that's enough to do it for most of us) it's also a tourbillon and a minute repeater! That's the trifecta. If anything in this auction will hold value and appreciate, I bet it's this Patek. The "Wish Price" for this dream piece is EUR 450,000 - 650,000. One slightly peculiar note with this Patek is that it's stainless steel and not a precious metal. And the case is only 33.3mm, rather diminutive for a modern man's wristwatch.
On the plus side the UR-110 Torpedo is unique, well-made, and easy to read. At the same time, it could use a bit more design refinement and can take some time to get used to on the wrist. Urwerk fans will likely welcome its addition to the collection, and it does feel different enough, while keep in line with the look and feel that Urwerk is going for.
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Dual Time Watch
2 Commentsby Ariel Adams
A. Lange & Söhne Saxonia Dual Time Watch
ETA 2893 GMT movement, respectful hat-tip to the Rolex GMT master that's not a copy, lovely design and CW's usual attention to detail. Why oh why does Rolex refuse to use anti-reflective coatings, for example, on their crystals? So very foolish of them when brands like CW are there to innovate in their place. A steal at 5 non-EC.
Tag Heuer was nice enough to share the new Carerra Mikograph 1/100th of a second chronograph watch with me, but the room we were in was too dark to take video! So forgive me for having just the CG movie to show you what the watch looks like while the chrono is working. Though the Mikograph is much faster than a foudroyante watch, if you know what those look like to operate you get the basic idea.
Watch detailing is as always impressive. IWC far and away makes the best pilot watch hands anywhere. The trick is contrast. The detailing is crisp and the hands perfectly pop off the dials to create a strong, legible look. Others try to duplicate this, but I've never seen anyone do it quite as well as IWC. The three hand watches use the outgoing IWC made caliber 51111 automatic movement with that super long 7 day power reserve. The handy power reserve on the dial helps keep the look interesting as well. This is one of the 48mm wide watches and comes in both standard Top Gun and Top Gun Miramar styles.
Prices often are set based upon desired market placement. It is the idea that if an item is priced at a certain level, people will associate it as being on par with brands of similar price, and that lower priced brands or models aren't as good. It is based on a sense of goodwill that consumers have toward product makers, but more to retailers, who they feel will charge just enough to make a profit and also remain competitive. While I am not suggesting that all watch brands participate in this practice to the same degree, this happens a lot (and of course is not unique to the watch industry).
Young San Francisco based watch brand Xetum now has their first limited edition piece - and it starts selling today (February 15th, 2011). Limited to 100 pieces, this is modified version of the Tyndall model watch. For the limited edition Xetum changed a few things, and the result is pretty nice - as you can tell from hands-on experience with the piece.
While the passport and strange dial are gone, the "customization" is still there. Vacheron Constantin is careful this time around to point at that customization means choosing from a few predefined options. I guess over the last few years watch brands have realized that people are actually reading the press releases that barely put any effort into, and are in turn scrutinizing them. As such, the new QDI seven part watch case can be constructed from a few metals, and I believe you can also selectively choose the finishing (polished, brushed, etc...) on the various case parts. According the VC the case has 700 possible combos to choose from.
One interesting thing I learned about Ludovic Ballouard is that one of his hobbies is making and flying model airplanes. He is in a club in Geneva for model airplanes that is said to be made up mostly of watch makers. Apparently his favorite model planes are those with built in camera so that he can see (presumably in real time) what the plane sees from an aerial perspective. I recall waiting for such a thing to come about when I was a kid and into model planes.