Omega is probably the most famous "astronaut watch" given its "moonwatch" status. While many love mechanical timepieces, no doubt the increased functionality of a quartz Omega X-33 offers a lot of utility to astronauts whose lives in space are heavily dictated by regular schedules and alarms. Omega would do well if it released more pieces like the Omega X-33 and the Omega Z-33, though doing so could also be a bit of a threat to its focus on mechanical watches for a number of reasons. There will always be great pro watches like the Omega X-33, but they won't always be easy to find.
There are admittedly a range of good aviation watch choices, Breitling being among them. However, there are some unique products that Breitling sells which the others don't. For example, Breitling continues to offer a range of high-function, highly accurate Super Quartz movement-based timepieces. In the luxury watch business, quartz is sort of the enemy, but these movements by Swiss ETA are the thermoline models which are accurate to 10 seconds per year. What began with the Breitling Aerospace model continues into a range of pieces coveted by many aviation professionals. Being an independent company, Breitling can really do whatever they like, and I applaud their distinct attention to the needs of actual professionals versus producing exclusively luxury lifestyle products. Have no doubts though, you can easily get a solid gold Breitling with diamond decoration.
The Intra-matic comes in two sizes, a 38mm version which is featured in this review, and a 42mm version.
For an automatic watch is worn daily, is there any benefit or harm from using a watch winder every night?
John and I go back and forth jesting on Memorigin's Batman tourbillon watch. We also talk about the new Maison Patek Philippe in China, as well as what real Chinese watch tastes actually are. Last, you get to hear more about the new aBlogtoWatch website and all the blood, sweat, and tears behind it.
Want a way to augment your watch collection for under and also celebrate your love of the American Flag (also works if you are French)? Well then today on the 4th of July you can pick yourself up a red, white, and blue-colored NATO-style watch strap. If you haven't heard, NATO-style nylon watch straps are all the rage. They have a retro sporty look to them, and come in a zillion colors given their nylon construction. Many have "racing stripes" or a series of colored stripes that can work well with many watch dials. It also helps that they are very inexpensive.
For 2013, Seiko has introduced a limited edition re-issue of the legendary Grand Seiko 44GS. The 44GS is noteworthy because it was the first Grand Seiko to have a completely reworked design that embodies the Grand Seiko aims of engineering excellence and art. The story behind this is that a young graduate who joined Seiko thought that the Grand Seiko watches of that time did not have the looks to complement its engineering credentials. He then set out a new style for the brand which became the bedrock for future Grand Seiko designs, which led to the original Grand Seiko 44GS of 1967.
One the most enduringly popular watch designs, its popularity is in no small part due to its distinctly refined Art deco aesthetic, something which has been present in all of its 250 plus model variations.
Discussing the Top Gun connection is touchy. First of all, some fans love the Top Gun branding, and some really don't care for it. The logo on the rear of the watch is actually from the 1980s Top Gun movie, and not the logo of the Top Gun pilot training school (now located in Nevada and not near San Diego). IWC retained rights to the Hollywood logo for use on its Top Gun watches. A little while ago IWC and Breitling got into an amusing little face-off where they both had Top Gun watches - each claiming to have "the real Top Gun timepieces." To be honest I am not sure who holds what rights and whose pieces are more legitimate (not sure that it really matters to me either). What I know is that each of them has an actual relationship with the Navy's Top Gun school - which I confirmed by speaking to people who administer and are students of the Top Gun program. What does this all mean then? It means that there is a Top Gun branding on the watch which is pretty cool if you like it and easy to ignore if you don't. I wouldn't let the Top Gun relationship affect your purchasing decision in any way - especially since there is no such branding on the dial of the IWC ref. 5019 watch itself.
The story of the UN-118 automatic movement is rather long. Finished a while ago, the movement experienced some production delays due to the complexity of industrialization. While Ulysse Nardin is not a stranger to producing movements or movement modules, the UN-118 was to be their first in-house made "more basic" movement that was produced in more than just small quantities.
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Yvan Arpa is a sort of rock and roller himself. Around his neck is a jewelry-style pistol (with tiny moving parts like the hammer), and biker style rings line his fingers. More artistic than aggressive, it is all part of his brand persona. He at least looks like he is having a very good time with his work. Most brand people meet you in a suit to present a dive watch - it just never feels particularly genuine. With Yvan, you get a more authentic brand experience.
Fortunately, the story has a happy ending, when IWC replaced the watch with a new one, it also gave him some IWC collectibles for his troubles. Nevertheless, it is pretty shocking that IWC and the authorized dealer could let such an error go unnoticed.
I am just a few miles right now from the F.P. Journe manufacture here in Geneva. Earlier tonight, I saw Francois-Paul and said hello. He doesn't speak much English, but that doesn't stop me from understanding his watches completely. With under 1000 watches made each year, F.P. Journe is not only a boutique watch brand, but a watch brand's watch brand. What I mean by this is that his timepieces are coveted by normal customers as well as watchmakers alike. He has a pretty good thing going right now. If you like watches then you probably like his watches.
Shell Cordovan black, size M
What was interesting for me was seeing how, instead of staying a one trick pony with only one idea to sustain themselves, they have evolved further concepts of the one hand watch to include additional complications. The "Singular" for example, is a very interesting chronograph, and the "Singulator", a regulator style watch. These pieces return the same basic ethos of the design - simplicity and symmetry.
You'll notice that the Skell and Ghost collections will be offered in a range of colors mixing black, white, and rose-gold tone. Probably the most interesting models mix black-colored steel with a white dial and strap. Cheeky. While most of the watches are in coated steel, a few apparently have titanium bezels.
Source: The Watch Gallery