In 1944 a Swiss engineer named Hans Hilfiker designed a new system that would synchronize clocks at each station using signals that traveled via telephone cables. The system would re-sync the clock at several thousand stations every single minute. We believe the two second pause allows for each clock to be synchronized and the delay gives the clock the ability to neutralize any perceived error. Thus, the iconic two second pause each minute as seen on Swiss Railways clocks was borne. It is a unique and telling aspect of Swiss culture, and very much in line with the personality of their watch industry today.
2. A Brief History Of ETA: THE Swiss Watch Movement Maker
We discussed their "firsts" at the time of their debuts; both Citizen's Satellite Wave and the Seiko Astron GPS Solar, and we were blown away by the state-of-the-art technology that these two giants have independently developed. At Baselworld 2014, Ariel went hands-on with Seiko's latest and finest version of their top of the line GPS signal calibrated wristwatch, the Seiko Astron GPS Solar Chronograph, so let's see what this new flagship line of watches has to offer.
Finally, in the 1950’s, the health dangers of radium were universally accepted in the USA and it was phased out as a source of illumination for watches, although the practice did continue, to a lesser degree, through 1968 in watches and 1978 in clocks, and the Military continued its usage. One repercussion from this chapter in history, was that the women getting sick eventually brought political pressure on the watch companies to end this practice of using radium on their products. At first the companies were hostile to such claims and stonewalled against any and all recognition of the cause and effect of painting dials and radium toxicity. They covered up the health problems from their workers and ignored complaints of ill health, as well as forcing the company physicians to stay quiet about the alarming health problems of the radium painters. It was said that when some of the women blew their noses, their handkerchiefs glowed in the dark. In one cruel instance, the residues from the factories where the dials were painted were reused to make sand for children’s sandboxes. When the watch company owners were confronted with the knowledge that the sand may be toxic, they responded by explaining that the sand would be beneficial to the children, like the mud of the famous curative baths at health spas. (The analogy to the tobacco industry begs to be noted here: It was not the watch industry’s finest hour!)
The women's model comes in a 36mm wide case and features quick change systems for either the white leather strap or stainless steel bracelet. The men's model comes in at 40mm, and while it has the bracelet and leather strap as well (in black), it's not of the quick change variety. This is something I've experienced on a few other watches, and if you're the sort to change straps frequently, it really is quite a nice add-on. I don't feel that it's any less-secure than a spring bar - and it's a shame they didn't include it on the men's model.
It dates back to the second century BC. The watch is limited to 20 pieces and features a simplified, miniature version of the original mechanism in honor of the masterpiece of Antiquity and includes both a solar and a lunar calendar, as well as an indication showing the sidereal position of the Sun and the Moon. hublot.com
We've seen a lot of Ball Fireman watches over the years, which is one of their major collections outside of the Engineer family. Often times, the chronograph versions are lovely, and here you have a familiar design mixed with Ball DNA that works wonderfully for those who appreciate the look of historic sport watches. For 2014, this newest version of the Fireman Storm Chaser Pro comes with three dial color options as well as a strap or steel metal bracelet.
XN: No, I don’t have it anymore. After that, my grandfather gave me his Condor Chronograph. He got it sometime in the 50s and it still works and looks great thanks to the watchmaker who completely restored it. My current grail watch is the first Royal Oak Concept that Audemars Piguet released at the end of 2002, just when I joined the company.
Allow me to mention three things about Lange as a brand and watchmaker that they do quite well. First, they produce products that are undoubtedly useful tools. That doesn't mean their tools are necessarily modern or advanced, but rather that they are precision instruments designed to perform a task. That task being to tell the time and perhaps other related information. Lange watches are easy to read with properly sized hands and legible dials. The functionality is logical and easy to understand, while the tools sit comfortably on the wrist and are designed to work well and last a fair amount of time. You rarely get the impression that much on an A. Lange & Sohne watch is just for show. It holds true to what many people feel is the most important definition of luxury - a well made object of utility that is expensive because it was produced without consideration for cost rather than to merely be expensive due to the inclusion of valuable materials. The point is that Lange makes something valuable rather than assembles valuable things into a final product - and they've held true to this ideal rather well.
Yes, my love for Lange is well documented, and I will continue to make no apologies for that. After my experience at the Napa Valley Akademie this past September, I gained a new appreciation for the exactitudes of German manufacture, the “no bullshit” spirit and authenticity of the brand, and the intricacy of the craftsmanship that goes into the minute details of each of their timepieces. When it comes to high-horology manufacture, A. Lange & Söhne has my rapt attention. And this piece, the second to bear the Handwerkskunst nomenclature, may just be their most astounding creation yet combining what Lange does best in the movement with German hand-applied decoration.
It is actually green. The base ceramic material begins life as a brittle green ring which when baked shrinks and becomes red. The all red bezel is then chemically treated on the half of the surface that will eventually become blue. The completed sintering process specially developed by Rolex after years of trial and error results in a red and blue bezel, with an impressively bold set of colors that has a perfect demarcation between the two colors. It is really a brilliant effect, and no one but Rolex can come close to producing anything like it in bulk.
TAG Heuer and aBlogtoWatch hosted a special event to close-out 2013 at their new Silicon Valley boutique in San Jose. Since I am local, Ariel asked me to proxy him and MC the event as I can virtually bike to that store and have been there when it first opened to add a rubber strap to my Grand Carrera 36 RS Caliper.
Starting from the home page you can scroll down and then click to see previous pages where up to 11 articles per screen will be tiled with images and some article summaries. We've adopted the more modern "tiled" approach that helps bulk content together in a way that doesn't feel too crowded or ordinary. This gives each page a truly unique feel with a mixture of beautiful watch pictures that help browsing and selecting articles to read comfortable and rewarding.
Of course, the watch will still continue to run, relying on the power reserve. Once the activities are complete, you can then unlock the rotor and let it do its job. This does seem like a pretty clever work-around for a problem that would impact (no pun intended) the watch, and helps to ensure robustness. I wonder how long it will be until we see that switch become something automatic, much like your seat belt will lock into place when the car suddenly decelerates. The switch is nice, but something automatic would be just plain cool.
With 2013 almost over, I felt a small recap of the most popular watch blog stories of 2013 might be interesting to look at. These are often difficult to predict but the results are surprising. First, we find that list-style articles perform well on aBlogtoWatch. These appeal to a wider audience than dedicated reviews of hands-on coverage and we are pleased to see a very healthy mainstream interest in content about timepieces. Second, we find that popular brands clearly perform best. Rolex, Omega, and Seiko, as well as Hublot are all the topics of specific articles that have proved successful.
Right now, the largest size available for a men's Constellation watch is 38mm wide. I have a feeling that will change next year as the sizes get larger for the Western market. Personally I think the Omega Constellation needs to be at least 40mm wide (up to maybe 42mm wide) for the US market. What I have for review is the steel Omega Constellation Co-Axial Day-Date 38mm watch ref. 184.108.40.206.01.001 and the 18k Sedna gold Omega Constellation Co-Axial 38mm ref. 220.127.116.11.02.001.
Jean-Marc Wiederrecht (JW):I am a watchmaker graduate from the Geneva Watchmaking School in 1972. In 1996 I founded with my wife a watch movements company called AGENHOR. AGENHOR is a small factory working as a supplier for many very renowned watch brands. To have a better idea of AGENHOR’s activities please have a look here.