The mixture of white, green, black, and red on the dial is interesting. Red is used for the GMT hand, as well as the 24 hour scale. Although the 24 hour scale is split into red and white areas - for night and day times. A large RAID insignia logo is placed in all black at 6 o'clock on the watch. I wonder if any RAID members will be wearing this watch.
I see one advantage to this watch really. You get that look of a classic aviator with the Burberry name - if that tickles you the right way. Burberry is a pretty good brand that sorta went over-the-top like Louis Vuitton. Not sure when it was, but at some point Louis Vuitton just went nuts with the "monogram" showing up on everything from change purses and shoes, to probably shower caps. Burberry is on their way there, but with plaid - so much plaid. But as far as hideous plaid goes, at least the Burberry stuff looks good. I'd settle for a nice Burberry overcoat with all the plaid on the inside.
Ulli spent some healthy time with a thesaurus when she came up with these slogan gems. What are the perfect words to describe this creature from the "Blue Lagoon?" Oh yea! "Dark and mysterious." So much better sounding that what she was thinking which was "uninspired scrap metal in black, with blue intestinal lining dial."
Thanks to Bianci for the review unit. Opinions are 100% independent.
I am probably losing a load of karma points for this article. Part of me feels bad because I am in a sense directly criticizing artist Ulli Kampelmann, though I mean nothing personal. I just find her entire collection of watches so bad looking, and in just a funny way, that I had to show them off. I am sure her other types of art work are better. I don't actually need to say much, because the hilarity sort of speaks for itself. They looks like cliche 80's satire, with a healthy serving of bad taste, and framed by expensive materials such as gold and diamonds. What is even funnier are the images placed with the watches in the little marketing shots on the Ulli Kampelmann site (which you should totally visit if you are in a bad mood as it will make you smile with laughter, I promise).
These watches really help propel Seiko as a luxury brand with models that are a more natural step up for most Seiko watch owners. Unless you really understand the significant appeal of the Spring Drive movement, moving from the prices you are used to with Seiko watches to the Spring Drive Ananta pieces is hard to do. It is more natural to go from a few hundred dollars to a couple of thousand - rather than a few hundred dollars to several thousand. The value is still really impressive in both the Automatic and Spring Drive models. I visited the manufacture in Japan where the movements in the Automatic Ananta watches are produced. The facility is almost identical in poise and style to those of the high end makers in Europe. Movements in the Automatic collection are hand assembled and meticulously tested. Finding an European watch with this level of quality and features for the same price is not going to be possible. Oh, and I should note that the Seiko automatic movements are produced in a different manufacture than the Spring Dive movement. I found that to be interesting. Both are similar though in terms of the high quality facilities, but just located in different parts of Japan.
There are probably over a dozen models of the ww.tc available right now. There are chronograph versions, small seconds version, perpetual calendars, power reserve models, and ones with fanciful timezone reference cities such as the ww.tc 24 Hour Shopping version for the ladies. I focused on the chronograph versions as they have a particularly chic look. Plus the newest version in ceramic is really awesome. That is the Girard Perregaux ww.tc Shadow. It is basically the same as the standard Financial version but in an all ceramic case and it has a Flyback style chronograph. All the men's ww.tc watches are 43mm wide. The ceramic case of the ww.tc Shadow is incredible. Usually ceramic cases are made in modern or different looking styles, but Girard Perregaux took the standard shape of the watch in did it in ceramic. They could have done PVD steel, or a DLC coating, but they opted for the more complex ceramic. It is done in a brushed finish (not shiny), so it doesn't look like something from Chanel. The ceramic is light, hard, and very tough to scratch.
The dial also pops with detail, from the swirling guilloche to the individually cut and polished faceted hour markers.
No doubt IWC will update the book every so often when new things come out, but the core history will remain. The significant investment in the book was a reasonable endeavor for them, and as I discussed above, the book has a number of important uses for IWC. For you, it is worthwhile to pick up if you are an existing IWC fan, want to know more about the brand, or are just interested in the last century of watch making (as there aren’t too many books or resources that offer as attractive a package to get such information). Priced in the US at 0, and available from IWC and major book retailers.
So the phone is heavy and high quality with an expensive watch movement. What about using it as a phone? It should suffice for that task. The unlocked device is a tri-band GSM phone developed with Sagem Wireless. The OS is pretty basic. Celsius sees the LeDIX as a companion or weekend phone. It is not supposed to replace your Blackberry. As such, they intend for the LeDIX to be used for calling, basic messaging, contacts, and the 3.2 megapixel auto-zoom with flash camera. Though the phone does have basic multi-media features such as a media player, and a web browser. The screen is a nice to look at 2.2 inch OLED. The phone is not a 3G device, and it really doesn't' need to be given what Celsius expects its owners to use it for. Battery life is about 3.5 hours of talk time.
Ball fitted the Spacemaster Orbital (what I will call it for short) with ETA's newer Valjoux 7754. Newer, as in released in 2003 (or so), which is fresh from the egg compared to some other movements we know and love that have been used since the 1970s. The 7754 automatic is based on the famed 7750, but adds a GMT complication to the mix. Even so, it still has a power reserve of about 46 hours. Not sure why we don't see these used in more watches - perhaps they are very expensive or hard to get from ETA.
For a few years now, Frederique Constant has been in cahoots with the UK based Healey Challenge. An annual race operated by the Healey Drivers Club. What does Frederique Constant get do in this scene? Well make special limited edition watches that might be of interesting ti the Healey divers. I actually wrote about their last offering here, the most basic Frederique Constant Austin Healey watch. That was a three-handed model where this is a chronograph. Really when I think of race or motorcar themed watches, they have chronograph mechanisms. Thankfully Frederique Constant didn't insert the passe tachymetre scale on the bezel. Finally someone realizes that not all car oriented watches have to look like an Omega Speedmaster or Tag Heuer Carrera.
I wrote a bit more about it on the Jameslist Blog when it was first announced, but I wanted to wait to get further into it, until after I got my hands on the watch itself for some play time. Size wise it is pretty big. The squarish case is a nice mixture of curves and angles, but its dimensions are hefty. Still, the Tread 1 is surprisingly comfortable to wear. Unlike other large sizes watches with "novel" designs, the Tread 1 is a watch I think I could wear for hours and hours without and discomfort. Part of this has to do with the curved lug structures, and the form fitting, thick rubber strap. The case is in steel, due to have various levels of polish, and the back part of the watch will be DLC (diamond like carbon) coated. This prototype is sans DLC. Crystal over the dial is not sapphire, but rather the same type of polycarbonate that are used for bullet-proof windows. While at this thickness the Devon Tread 1 won't stop a bullet, it does provide for something a bit more durable on the shatter resistance side than sapphire. Though sapphire would be more scratch resistant. However, a sapphire crystal of this shape would be extremely expensive and difficult to manufacture, significantly upping the price of this watch.
Do watch designers and watch makers ever fight? John goes off on cheap Chinese watch brands you can find on eBay, and we also discuss the Sinn 900 Pilot S and F.P. Journe's Vagabondage II watch.
-ML 153 complication module, created, developed and manufactured by Maurice Lacroix
Look closely and you'll see lots of little things that take this aviator style watch into a new direction. It looks different on many angles. This includes the curved lugs, different font used for the hour indicators, and the crown that is actually decently rendered. Then you have that wrap and wrap again strap that isn't at all aviator, but really fashion oriented. Though isn't that the point of this watch altogether? I admit that placed on the right ensemble, this timepiece would look grand. Nicely proportioned with good color tones, and a handsome look. Dedicated aviator watch enthusiasts might gall at the thematic rape, but they would be wasting their breath complaining on a runway watch like this.