When I first started writing about watches back in 2007, it was the high-point of what I'll call the "independent watch renaissance" - a time when luxury consumer enthusiasm and willingness to try new things prompted an unprecedented explosion of investment into small high-end watch brands. That period didn't last very long, however, because when the economy sank, so did consumer spending on new, untested brands. MCT originally began in 2009, but later changed ownership. Later, under new ownership and with stable funding, MCT continued its life by releasing the Sequential One S110 watch. A year later, the MCT Sequential Two S200 watch (hands-on here) was released. For 2015, the Frequential One adds a new element to the promising brand.
"S/el" stood for "sport elegance" and was supposed to be a versatile watch collection that one could wearing for sporting purposes or with a suit. Launched in the late 1980s, the bracelet was its most iconic element even though it initially was also its most controversial element. In my opinion, some of these early 1990s Tag Heuer watches are great looking, but for today's tastes, suffer from being a bit small or focusing on quartz versus mechanical movements. Anyhow, going back to 2015 with these new "Senna Edition" watches, TAG Heuer wanted to recall the iconic bracelet.
From a finishing perspective, the 01.08-C movement is a bit different than what I've seen before out of Fleurier Ebauches. The decoration and bridge design look less industrial and modern, with a more classic appeal, as though Chopard were trying to offer a less sophisticated and more entry-level version of their L.U.C range movements. In my opinion, that isn't necessarily a bad idea, and the movement is visible through a sapphire crystal caseback.
For what I believe is the first time (or it's a rare occasion) Breitling uses black ceramic for the bezel on the Breitling Chronoliner. I am pretty sure there have been some black-cased Breitling models, but I don't recall any that have had steel cases mixed with black ceramic. This follows a trend set forth by many other brands. In this instance, it makes a lot of sense, because this black bezel on steel case combo is something borrowed from Breitling's history. Though in the past, the black bezels were merely painted metal and prone to wear. Black ceramic does not wear off, so the color and shine remain forever, so long as the bezel is not physically broken.
Going back to the original point of Olio attempting to be a high-end smartwatch, are its makers doing what is necessary to achieve that goal? I think it is too early to tell. The hardware might not have the lavish curated polish of the Apple Watch - but then again, it isn't trying to be that. The Olio Model 1 - which really launches the company - is about a strong beginning and leveraging its boutique operation along with collective skills into a software and hardware experience that will be distinct from pretty much everything else out there.
While the watch is gold (which means it is expensive), it is nevertheless a great looking sports watch. While it is true that many people consider a true Rolex sports watch to have a steel case, there is an emerging market for precious metal sport watches as a lifestyle item. At least with Rolex, you know it also has a lot of durability and thought behind it. I am curious to know what people's thoughts are on what is a great-looking sports piece with the 2015 Rolex Yacht-Master, even though it is more than double the price of, say, a steel Rolex Submariner.
We decided to start off with none other than Rolex, the brand millions of people around the world aspire to own. Over its history, Rolex has grown to become not only a benchmark to which many others in the watch industry are measured but, more importantly, a watch many buy as gifts or for themselves to mark an important moment or achievement in their lives – and while that may sound like marketing speech, in this case, it is a fact that could hardly be argued against.
It is very fascinating to see how Eterna's engineers managed to create something modular that is to a tenth of a millimeter the exact same size as the 7750. The reason for that is, of course, simple: the Eterna Caliber 39 was purposefully designed to be an alternative to ETA's movements, and the only way to offer an alternative to brands is by allowing them to keep their present case sizes and internal construction, saving them the enormous costs of re-engineering their cases. Despite the similarities, the Eterna Caliber 39 provides 60 hours of power reserve, half a day more than the 48-hour life of the 7750 movement family. That may just be enough if you put the watch down on Friday and only wear it again on Monday morning – a time frame all modern mechanical watches should cover, in my opinion.
In fact, that is one of the major things I like about companies like DeWitt - they don't produce the same old types of interchangeable horological items that could come from any number of brands. These are distinct works of art with a serious level of mechanical thought and effort put into them. An interesting detail is the signature on the back of each of DeWitt's most complicated timepieces such as the DeWitt Academia Grand Tourbillon. A single watchmaker assembles each of the watches, and their signature is engraved on the back of the watch. It was interesting to view several different DeWitt timepieces and see various names engraved in cursive font on the backs of the movements - a classy touch, if you ask me.
● Olio Assist: A cloud-based personal assistant that contextualizes and understands your personal preferences to offer insightful and actionable suggestions.
Before going into greater detail on this old-new material, let's see how the Rado Hyperchrome XXL Court collection performs on and off the court. Altogether there are three variations in this line of watches, representing the three surfaces on which tennis is primarily played: hard court is mimicked by a rather vibrant blue version, clay by a piece with orange indices and hands, and the one seen here opts for neon green, representing grass. Incidentally, this very green is exactly the color of a tennis ball – at least it always reminded me of that and not of the green of grass.
On aBlogtoWatch, if a watch with "Ferrari" in the name is mentioned, you will probably think of Hublot. That is mostly accurate, since Hublot is an official partner of Ferrari and their official high-end watch making partner which started back in 2011. So while Hublot makes all of Ferrari's most expensive timepieces, there needs to be a collection of Ferrari watches for everyone else. The company that has that privilege is Movado. In 2012, I covered the Movado Ferrari watches here that replaced the "sun" on the classic Museum Dial watch with the Ferrari prancing horse logo.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?
In a recent article, I discussed the value proposition of a Richard Mille watch in more depth, here, when speaking about the Richard Mille RM 025 Tourbillon Chronograph Diver. The RM 025 and this Richard Mille RM 60-01 Automatic Flyback Chronograph Regatta have an extremely similar case, even though the price is very different. In fact, at just over 0,000, this limited edition Richard Mille RM60-10 Automatic Chronograph Regatta for Le Voiles de St. Barth is literally hundreds of thousands of dollars less than the more pricey tourbillon-based watch above. Anyhow, I recommend the above article to consider some of the more intricate details in Richard Mille watches and how, in many instances, it takes a hefty premium to pay for this level of refinement and manufacturing precision. While Richard Mille may represent an aesthetic not all collectors love, they are at the top of their game when it comes to producing bold, modern sport watches.