Using the same case style as the brand's other watches, the Pole Guardian comes in a few color versions and separates itself with the dial design. What you see is one of the most clever AM/PM indicators I have ever seen. It might not be the most minimalistic, but it is the most fun. The way it works is simple once you understand it. Attached to the hour hands are three connected gears. They turn with the time and are located at 12, 6, and 9 o'clock. On them are two numbers representing the time in that hour marker location for the time before or after noon.
Seen through the sapphire crystal caseback, the Chopard L.U.C 12.96 automatic movement has twin barrels with 65 hours of power reserve and of course is nicely decorated. The rotor is in solid 22k gold and is a micro-rotor. It is also COSC Chronometer certified which isn't too common in watches of this type. Chopard really did a good job mixing classical elegance with a timeless looks in this watch. I think it is one of the best in it genre. Prices for these pieces ranges a bit - retailing at about ,500 of the standard gold version and up to around ,000 for the diamond version. See one of these Chopard L.U.C XPS Diamond watches available on James List here.
We go over some of what I saw at the 2011 week in Geneva, and then dutifully disagree on those watches that we like.
The large watch has a slick look to it and a bullhead style layout with the crown and pushers on top. The case is likely finely machined steel, with an evolved look based on the watches that came before it. The rapid development of such timepieces likely hints to future Tag Heuer watch designs of models we have yet to see. Tag Heuer's bread and butter is lower-end entry level luxury watches but their high-end watches have caused quite a stir over the last few years. The first of which was the famous Monaco V4.
In a steel case that is water resistant to 50 meters the Rough Sea is 35.5mm wide but taller than it is wide so it does not feel so small. Though this is a medium-sized watch. As you can see in the "lifestyle" shot that John Isaac provides, the watch is certainly not in the family of massive dive watches. Some of you will love this, others wont. With 50 meters of water resistance this is strictly a desk (or dinner) diver watch. You shouldn't really be doing more than washing your hands or dishes with this on (more like Tame Sea). Actually, that is a bit of a shame as it would be nice to have this nice looking dive-style watch be more activity suited. Then again, most logical people would retort with the fact that something like 1-2% of people wearing dive watches even take them underwater.
The idea of a modern explorer has morphed since we have exploited the reaches of our planet. In the early 21st century, when the oceans have been plumbed, the poles of the earth reached and the moon traversed by several countries, there are few and far between those who embody the concept in a physical sense.
Starting a new watch brand these days is a tricky endeavor. No one I've spoken to in the last few years who was part of starting a new line of timepieces mentioned money being their primary motive. That isn't to suggest that these aren't profit ventures, but rather that it takes a certain sense of drive and artistic desire to do what is necessary to bring a watch brand to life. John Isaac is just such a brand. It popped up recently with some interesting ideas and eye-catching designs. My favorite part is seeing how new ideas and new people add life to my favorite world.
Interestingly enough Reardon ends the history of his books around 1989. There is a very good reason for this. Around this time the Swiss watch industry started to revive itself after the "quartz crisis." Instead of a clean angelic rebirth, it was more Robocop style. After being tortured and beat to within an inch of its life, the mechanical watch industry reinvented itself, and shielded itself with a new outlook on luxury that in many instances was different than the past. It was now more machine than man! Which is ironically a very accurate analogy in more ways than one. Please try to imagine Robocop's voice when thinking of any Swiss luxury watch brand. Will you do that for me?
Manfredi amongst others explains how at other times customers come into stores with incorrect information about watches saying that "there are clients who can develop ideas about brands that can be hard to overcome." Topper explains that success for them is in helping a customer find the product they want versus selling them a specific watch. Education can only take a consumer so far and neglectful sales staff can hamper good business.
I love the creativity of stuff like this and am happy that Fiona Krüger is striving to make it a reality. On her website (link above) you can see more images as well as concept art while designing the Memento Mori watch. Fiona Krüger is also not sure about the price at this time, but I hope it will be relatively affordable.
For the classic look of the watch the case size of 42mm wide is appropriate. Zenith will offer it in steel as well as 18k rose gold. The dial is guilloche machine engraved with applied hour indicators and properly sized hands. Zenith is really leading the market today with mainstream models that have hands the right length. The steel version has either a steel and blue or steel and gold dial. The watch has a sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 50 meters. Zenith offers it attached to a black or brown leather strap. Overall an attractive piece with a lot of inherent functionality, and the Ludwig Oechslin connection is just the icing on the cake for me.
Aside from the black ceramic bezel the case is in steel and 46mm wide. There are carbon fiber inserts on the sides of the case (which you can see if you like to the previous article above). Quality and comfort are high for this range. The Black Swan comes in three dial choices. All that changes on each are the hands and hour indicators. What do you prefer, black, white, or orange lume?
Thanks to Jorg Gray for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.
For one thing you actually turn the crown counter-clockwise versus clockwise to wind it (but don’t forget that it is an automatic). Nothing major, but still a quirk. To adjust the time there is another flat crown mounted on the caseback. You need to pull it out a bit then and use it to turn the two sapphire crystal discs that indicate the minutes and hours. Cool and weird at the same time in my opinion.
I first wrote about the Marvin Malton 160 collection of watches here. After that I went on to discuss the Malton 160 Cushion collection which includes this Marvin Malton 160 Cushion Khaki timepiece which is an automatic three-hander in green. Rather than take a military approach to advertising the khaki green colored watch, Marvin opted for a more fairy tale theme by suggesting that the watch was akin to a frog prince. Interesting, right?
From the side, the difference is more clear. Note the increase in bevel on the back of the chrono, this helps keep it comfortable and in place on your wrist. You can see that the bezel doesn't dome very high, which is why the acrylic is a minor issue.
Inside of the watches is the Tag Heuer Calibre 16 - which is their decorated version of the Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph. While not extraordinarily different than the standard models, the colorful rings around the dial are fun and attractive, while the limited nature being only officially available in Japan offers a fun intrigue to the collection. Price of each is 420,000 Yen (which is about ,485 as of the time of writing).
See Patek Philippe watches on eBay here.
In addition to being offered in titanium, the watch also has a new dial design and bezel. The thin rotating bezel is engraved with applied black for a much more retro look than the others. I feel that it fits the "timeless aviator" theme rather well. Around the periphery of the dial is a thick, white minute ring which is complimented with a similar design around the sub seconds dial. These little touches really add to the attractive quality of the dial - which remains highly legible.