Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Breitling.com Updated for 2010

Breitling officially announced the launch of their updated website for 2010, today. As you would imagine the site still has that familiar feel to those who have frequented it in recent years. As with their previous web offerings Breilting still uses aircraft imagery to promote the firms close relationship with avionics history.

In normal Breitling.com fashion you are first greeted with a warning not to buy their product online, which is immediately followed by a short introduction film showcasing the Breitling aerial demonstration team. The center piece for the new site appears to be, of course, the B01 Chronomat which houses Breitling's first ever fully in-house produced movement, the B01 ["Breitling - 01"].

New features that caught my attention were the much easier menus to navigate around the site [previous versions of the site grew tedious very quickly] and the new one click access to areas to get information about maintenance of your watch, obtaining their recently released iPhone / iPod Touch application, and information about the B01 movement. Plus, if you happen you happen to have an extra $175.00 lying around you can also order "Breitling: The Book" directly on the site. A review of the extensive book is available HERE.

Another fun feature about the new digs are what is shown as "The Configurator". This allows the surfer to play with the various models of Breitling watches piece by piece and create your perfect version. After you are satisfied with your monster you can email it directly to Breitling and they will be able to notify you of availability. For those who can't run out and get a new Breitling, if your model is still available it's a great way to see how that strap you always wondered about would look on your piece. There is a sample video of how it works HERE.

It's nice to see Breitling making their website more user friendly and not hiding all the goodies they offer.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Vintage Rolex Found in Boston...Is it Yours?

As I was leaving for work this morning I came across a wristwatch in the oddest fashion. The gorgeous found vintage piece had Rolex printed on the dial, so I snapped some pictures, had some people who know such things check them out and it appears to be genuine as far as we can all tell.

If you live in the Boston area and have misplaced, or had a vintage Rolex watch stolen recently; please contact me at the.escapement@gmail.com with information about the lost watch, and if everything checks out, I will gladly put you on the path of recovering it. It's quite a beautiful piece of horological history, and I would love to see back on the wrist of its rightful owner.

Note: The Rolex pictured is NOT the watch that was found, nor is it the same model.

Thanks to all who have assisted me today in gathering information about this piece.

*UPDATE* - I just got word from James Dowling; co-author of Rolex Wristwatches an Unauthorized History, and Jake over at Jake's Rolex Blog that the watch I found is in fact a genuine Rolex.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Breitling Source Review: Eklund Pilot

I would first like to apologize for the lack of posts lately. It would seem that the industry news has slowed down just a bit, but I hear that it will be picking up again very soon.

In the meantime I figured I would do what has become a normal routine of posting the latest video review from Breitling Source. This time our host takes a good look at an Eklund pilot's watch.


A written review from Breitling Source can also be found HERE.

More to come from The Escapement!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First Look: Swatch Automatic Chronograph

News about Swatch producing an automatic chronograph for their line hit the web a few months ago from BaselWorld '09. I was certainly intrigued to see what Swatch would come up with. While browsing a favorite watch forum [Watchuseek] this morning I was treated to what was my first look at the new Swatch. The original thread where I saw the watch was posted by Tony Li [photo credits also go to him], and he stated in his post that the watch was currently available in Hong Kong, and is said to make its worldwide appearance on October 15th.

As you can see it has the characteristic plastic case [there will also be a steel case version of the watch], with a partial exhibition case-back. It also states that the top crystal is sapphire, which leads me to believe that the case-back crystal is mineral. I am still trying to determine if the movement is a variation of the Valjoux 7750, or something else. The subdial configuration leads me to believe it is in fact a 7750. *Update* - After doing a little searching I found out that the movement is actually a: ETA Caliber C01.211, a fifteen-jewel, 3Hz movement with a 46 hour power reserve. This movement has also been used in a couple of Tissot pieces including; the ladies PRC-200 Automatic Chronograph, and the Couturier Auto Chrono.

The ETA C01.211

All in all I find it to be a pleasing watch to look at, and am very curious to see it in person. The going price for these pieces is estimated at a very low $360.00 - 380.00 [USD] which is very impressive for an automatic chronograph of any origin, be it Switzerland, Japan, or China.

These are not limited edition pieces and will be available to all who would like one. The full line offered by Swatch [a total of 5 variations] can be seen, and purchased, through their official website HERE.

Below is a quick spot Swatch produced for as an introduction to their newest line:

More to come as I gather more information about this piece.

Special thanks to Tony Li for granting permission to use his photographs.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CX Swiss Military Watch’s ‘20,000 FEET’: Keeping Time in Any Condition

Originally introduced at Basel World 2009, it was officially announced on October 6th that the ‘20,000 FEET’ by CX Swiss Military Watch has indeed gone into a limited production run of 1000 pieces. The watch certainly has created some buzz online due to its outrageous ability to withstand…Well just about everything.

The ‘20,000 FEET’ is a follow up to CX’s 2005 world record breaking offering of the ‘12,000 FEET’. What possible reason would CX have for besting a piece of their own design? You guessed it — in 2008, a competitor’s watch beat the depth record that was originally held by the ‘12,000 FEET’. Though to create a piece that was a “record breaker” was only part of their plan; they wanted to the watch to be functional, legible and once again contain a mechanical chronograph movement (COSC certified Valjoux 7750). The technical team had to develop a tank that was capable of simulating the conditions that would equal the pressure of an 800 bar (8,000 meter) dive. One particular area that caused a problem was finding a proper way to affix the 10mm thick (that is not a typo) sapphire crystal to the titanium case. Prototypes for the ‘20,000 FEET’ started to appear in late 2008, and the rigorous testing soon followed.
When viewing the watch head on, it honestly doesn’t look too remarkable. It kind of comes across as just another sports diver with a chronograph movement, lume in the right places and legibility literally written all over its dial. It’s when the watch is viewed from the side that it really makes its statement. Clocking in at a whopping 28.5mm thick this beast will most certainly have a presence on the wrist. Don’t let the fact that its 46mm monster case is made from titanium fool you — the watch weighs in at a hefty 265 grams (for a point of reference a Breitling Super Avenger chronograph weighs just under 154 grams…and that’s a pretty substantial watch). I, for one, cannot wait to see a variety of photos of this thing on a wearer’s wrist.

I know what you’re thinking — it’s a gimmick, something designed to garner CX some attention and though part of me agrees with that presumption it’s obvious that CX wants this to be a functional diver. The overall design of the watch says take me under water, deeeeeep under water. Features include a helium valve, extra large crown, screw down pushers and large tactile bezel so all operations can be done with diver’s gloves on, and even with the pushers in the unscrewed position the watch is still rated at 300 meters.

So, did it break the record it was designed to? Absolutely it did; on January 5th 2009 Guinness World Records certified that the ‘20,000 FEET’ was in fact the deepest diving watch that still functioned at 6,000 meters. Apparently not content with holding the dive record they started to perform other tests, just to see how tough the watch actually is. Rather than describe what exactly was done, I think its probably better that you view it yourself:

Kinda gives the term “beater” a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

CX Swiss Military Watch has dedicated a website strictly for the ‘20,000 FEET’ and its simple enough to remember; www.20000feet.com. There you can find more video of the watch being put through it paces , along with more information on its development, and other technical spec goodies. If you would like to be 1 of 1000 lucky owners of the ‘20,000 FEET’, be prepared to shell out about $4,500 USD (2,998 EUR) plus VAT.

The above article was originally written by Craig M. for:

Monday, October 5, 2009

Concord & Turiaf Team Up

Concord, in partnership with the French born NBA player Ronny Turiaf, has announced the production of a limited edition piece in their popular C1 line, named the “C1 Heart2Heart”. Proceeds from the watch sales will benefit Turiaf’s “Heart to Heart Foundation” which he established in 2008 after his successful open heart surgery and subsequent return to the NBA. The foundation’s goal is to provide treatment and electrocardiogram [ECG] testing for underprivileged patients suffering from heart disease, with a particular focus on children. Turiaf was only 22 years old at the time of his open heart surgery, and returned to play in the NBA after only 6 months of recovery. He is currently playing for the NBA’s Golden State Warrior’s and is a member of the French national team.

Peeking out from underneath a 3.3mm sapphire crystal of the C1 Heart2Heart chronograph watch will be blood red accents highlighting the rotating seconds disc, the central seconds hand, and the saddle stitching on the rubber coated alligator strap which is attached directly to the bulky case rather than using a traditional lug system. In homage to man behind the foundation the number “21” [which is Turiaf’s jersey number] was singled out on the date wheel and will also be in this same red color. The case-back will house a sapphire crystal to view the ETA Valgranges based COSC movement with its black rotor with vertically applied Côtes de Genève. The Heart to Heart Foundation’s logo and Ronny Turiaf’s signature will also adorn the underside of the boldly designed case.

Concord has stated that the limited production run will yield only 25 Heart2Heart pieces.


The above article was originally written by Craig M. for:

...To a Deluxe Apartment in the Sky

Over the past month or so I have entered into conversations with Kyle over at the First in Watches: Perpetuelle Blog. After some friendly back and forth He inquired if I would like to contribute some articles to his blog. After the initial shock of even being asked I happily accepted the opportunity to stretch my legs out a bit and write on Perpetuelle's behalf. I am happy to announce that my first offering for Perpetuelle has gone up today.

Originally launched in August of 2008, Perpetuelle focuses on industry news and reviews from the luxury watch market. Along with the blog Kyle has started what he refers to as a bespoke online forum so fans and collectors alike can keep in contact with each other sharing information, thoughts and any other watch related stuff they can think of. A new format of the forum will launch later this year, and it promises to be very user friendly, and customizable.

Fear not loyal readers...[both of you]...The Escapement is not going anywhere. I will still continue to write for this blog as much as possible along with contributing to Perpetuelle. You really won't notice any major differences here on The Escapement. Basically when I write an article for Perpetuelle I will post it here after it officially publishes there. I will, however, clearly state that the post was written for Perpetuelle first and all links will take you to that original post.

Any other writing I do for The Escapement will appear as it has in the past...my clever sense of humor still included free of charge [like that humorous little quip right there].

To check out Perpetuelle for yourself, which I highly recommend by the way, click on their logo below.