The art of engraving and enamel work has a rich heritage in the craft of watchmaking. The amalgamation of art and engineering has allowed mechanical watches to withstand the accusations of being obsolete by proving to the world that there is much more to watchmaking than keeping the time. The Quartz Crisis of the '70s and '80s led to a lack of demand for refined mechanical timepieces, a direct consequence of which was the forced closure of many of the Swiss watch industry's engraving and enamel art schools in Geneva. With very few options left, the skill of a master engraver and enamel painter became highly prized amongst many companies.
After delving into watches more and understanding the intricacies of haute horology, I am now drawn to more complicated and slimmer watches. If I were to be asked to name my 'grails' I would rank them as follows:
Grand Seiko GMT for an everyday modern watch
Audemars Piguet Royal Oak for an everyday classic watch
Harry Winston Opus 3 for the ultimate in watch making
Here in Budapest, we need to differentiate between local and tourist customers and also between European and non-EU customers. For non-EU customers, I would say that the high VAT, which is an extremely high 27% in Hungary, means the highest return for a tax-free purchase. That is a major advantage, as in the case of most watch brands, the Hungarian retail prices are equal or very near to the Euro retail prices in other countries that have 20% VAT.
For the Hungarian population, I would call our expertise, our integrated after sales service center, and the wide selection of watches as our major advantage for them to buy the watches with us.
At BaselWorld 2014, Breguet revealed two extremely complicated "halo-pieces," humbly titled the Breguet Classique Complications 3795 and 3797, each featuring a tourbillon, perpetual calendar, and, in the case of the former reference, an extensively and exquisitely skeletonized movement and dial. We went hands-on with both the Breguet Classique Complications 3795 skeletonized watch, as well as the non-skeletonized 3797 version in red gold. Given that these pieces are very much indicative of what the modern Breguet is capable of when it comes to both technical complexity and quality of finishing, we were curious to see what a closer look would reveal.
At 45mm wide, the newer Big Bang case (originally released in 2013) offers that bold Hublot style with a lot more comfort than the King Power case (that you may have noticed Hublot hasn't been using all that much). I continue to love the pushers that offer a quick release for each of the straps that allows you to mix up the look of most Big Bang 45 cases. Of course, there is a proprietary lug connector system, but when you are spending these prices it probably won't irritate you too much to go to Hublot for new strap options.
The magic of the Ressence Type 3 design relies on the cooperation between the upper and lower (front and back) sapphire domes. The upper segment is the oil-filled dial and displays, which is made possible by the Ressence Orbital Convex System, or ROCS. The dial is convex, and thus, the sub-dials have to be perfectly rendered to operate within the main dial element while appearing to share its curvature.
SevenFriday is a master of presentation, and a watch like the SevenFriday M2 faithfully embodies that fact with its rich details and varied textures. What is perhaps the most impressive about SevenFriday watches is the quality and level of detail offered at this price point. No, these aren't cheap watches, but they could easily be much more expensive. I've heard from several retailers that sell them in Switzerland, for example, that customers often guess they are priced in the ,000 range. Despite the fact that SevenFriday uses relatively pedestrian Japanese mechanical movements, the cases, dials, and even straps are of a very impressive and high quality. If you are familiar with high-end watches, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised the first time you handle something from SevenFriday.
So, even though the Apple Watch offers a refined experience when you use its available features, not all of those features are as fully fleshed out as I would like – which makes me eagerly await future versions. I do however appreciate that Apple did not include functionality that wasn't ready for prime time and that isn't very reliable.
The IWC Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month does away with the tourbillon and the moon phase indication, using the generous dial real estate to feature a "digital" date, month, and leap year indication for its perpetual calendar, pairing that impressive (and extremely rarely seen) combination of complications with a chronograph. Because of this selection of complications, the case, although still 46 millimeter wide, now is 17 mm thick, as the 89802 movement requires considerably more space.
Louis Vuitton is part of the larger LVMH (Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy) group which also owns major watch makers such as Zenith, Hublot, TAG Heuer, and Bulgari. It isn't as though LVMH really needs more watches, but a brand as powerful as Louis Vuitton doesn't do too poorly with whatever it decides to offer, and its watches are certainly among its more exclusive offerings. So let's take a look at these new DLC-coated black steel Louis Vuitton Tambour éVolution GMT watches for 2015 and who they might be good for.
If you prefer your straps to be a single tone, but still want some flash to what is on your wrist, then the Da Luca Straps Timbuctoo (5) may be more to your liking. This has a sort of a leafy tattoo pattern embossed on to the leather. As the strap remains a single color, this allows the pattern to be a bit more subtle, unless the light is hitting it at an angle.
Having started with a quick glance at its past and present importance, followed up by a hands-on look at its last hurrah, we have wrapped up Horological Machine No. 3. And although it would be a fitting ending to say goodbye to it, I am sure we will for long be seeing it in one of its many versions out in the wild, worn by collectors and enthusiasts. The MB&F HM3 MegaWind Final Edition will be limited to 25 pieces, priced at ,000 each. mbandf.com
Grand Seiko SBGR077 & SBGR079 Magnetic Resistant Watches Hands-On
38 Commentsby Ariel Adams
Grand Seiko SBGR077 & SBGR079 Magnetic Resistant Watches Hands-On
3. Wait until the giveaway is over on March 31, 2015 for the winner to be chosen at random. A couple of basic rules. You can only enter once. You must comment with a valid e-mail address where you can be reached. Your comment must be confirmed and approved. You must complete the objectives to be considered. You are responsible for providing your contact shipping information if you are chosen. Shipping restrictions to non-US entrants may apply based on sponsor's policies. Giveaway watch selection based on sponsor's inventory and watch availability. All comments made after the end of the giveaway period will not be considered. If you are chosen as a winner, you then have 24 hours to ensure receipt of your full shipping information or an alternative winner will be chosen. For the full terms and conditions, please click here.
Publishing update: while I stand by everything I wrote in this review (first drafted in November 2014), it's worth mentioning upfront that Garmin has released early in 2015 the Fenix 3, which is an updated version that seems to address many of the shortcomings of the Fenix 2 and adding various features to make it an even better multi-sports watch. If I end up upgrading to the Fenix 3, I will make sure to review it here. I also have a Garmin 920xt which has many of the same features of the Fenix 3. I will likely review the 920xt first. However, all that said, please note that Garmin still sells the Fenix 2 and the price remains the same while the Fenix 3's price starts at 0 more than the 2.
To mark the brand’s 150th anniversary, Zenith has introduced another version of its ultra-complicated Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane watch (hands-on here). That watch is unique because of its gimbal-style gyroscopic escapement, which Zenith calls a “Gravity Control system”; it also has a fusée-and-chain constant force mechanism, which is rarely seen in wristwatches.
A photo posted by Eli Hershberger (@watch_amish) on
The second iteration adds automatic winding to the base, as the self-winding mechanism fits into that larger open space you saw a bit further above, between the crown mechanism (keyless works) and the balance wheel. Given how popular a regular automatic is going to be, it makes sense that this small complication pops into its designated space, making it easy and relatively cheap to install.
As the "Grand Feu" part of the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu watch name implies, the dial is produced from grand feu enamel. Yet again, we have something which makes the watch unique - how many pilot-style watches have enamel dials? What makes this design so interesting is that elements of it are meant for classic dress watches while Zenith produced it to sort of look like a vintage sport watch - with a lot of decoration. A timepiece such as the Zenith Pilot Type 20 Grand Feu will look really nice next to your set of engraved blades and guns.
Longines has added a new dive watch to its Heritage collection, and this time, it's a chronograph. The new Longines Heritage Diver 1967 is a great-looking vintage-inspired piece that, as is all the rage these days, draws inspiration from a past Longines model. With classic good looks, strong proportions and an enthusiast-approved movement, the Longines Heritage Diver 1967 manages to standout in the crowd at Baselworld 2015.
The hour, minute, and sub-dial hands are nicely bevelled and rhodium plated, while the chrono-seconds hand is covered with matching blue lacquer. The sub-dial hands in particular are pleasantly substantial and their proportions marry well with those of the hour and minute hands. By using a transparent disc to carry many of the apparently "floating" dial elements, Hublot have created an optical illusion you might find in a classic mystery watch.
Well, toeing that line might feel a little hypocritical, if you've ever lusted over a luxury quartz watch. I certainly have. I even used one in my previous example: the Breitling B55 Connected is a luxury quartz watch that connects to your smart phone using similar, if not identical technology to the Bulgari Diagono Magnesium Concept. There are plenty of purists who dismiss quartz as it is. I've never been that strict on the matter, because I tend to care more about what the watch stands for. That said, there comes a point when even I believe a line should be drawn.
That leaves us, at least on the dial, with just the rather large date display that takes the place of the 3 numeral. On one hand, I do rather appreciate the larger cutout, which kept this complication easy to read. Given its size, however, the lack of going with a reversed date wheel really makes the window stand out (as does the white outline). While it may be in keeping with retro looks to have the white date window, I think the watch would look a lot slicker if it were a black window with white numerals.