Sunday, November 21, 2010

$1 Watch Review

I picked this up on eBay for a whole American dollar [+ $3 shipping], based on someone who showed it to me in person a couple of weeks ago. It's an LED watch that animates the time and date when the side pusher is pressed.

An interesting enough looking watch

Wow! Now it's 6:04 PM

...And now for my long awaited review:

Does it work?

Is it accurate?

How is the strap?
Kinda crappy, but that's to be expected

Does it require math?
Eh, a little

Is it fun?
Sure, why not?

Was it worth a buck?

That's about it. Dollar watch = Dollar review.

Enjoy your week!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Patience Pays Off

Almost exactly one year ago I posted an article about a Rolex that I found in front of my apartment while I was living in Boston. I brought the watch to work, snapped some pics, asked around the online community a bit and got solid confirmation that the watch was legitimate. That evening I turned the watch into the Brookline Police Department. I told the officer that I wanted to find its original owner as I imagined someone was looking for it, and stated that if the original owner came into claim it to pass along my phone number as I wanted to hear the history of the watch. At this point the officer said to me in a very smooth Boston accent "So a watch collector finds a vintage Rolex on the street and turns it in to find the original owner?.....Good man." Honestly, that alone was worth turning it in. I really wanted to find the original owner because if I lost it I would hope like hell someone was trying to find me.

Along with turning it into the local police department I spent the next couple of months posting on watch forums, and on Craigslist etc etc seeing if I could aid in the search. I opted to not post pics and rely on the owner being able to describe the watch to me so not just anyone could claim it. If I was contacted I would have put them in touch with the police department.

Fast forward to a year later, I contacted the property/evidence officer at the police department and was told that no one had claimed the watch and now I could consider it mine. Needless to say I was quite excited. There was only one problem...I moved to Seattle, I was literally across the country. In speaking with the detective he told me that if I arranged it I could have someone pick it up in my absence. I found a good friend in the area who agreed to proxy me and pick up the watch. I told the detective his name, put them in touch with each other and...Bingo Bango...The watch arrived in the mail today.

So here it is, it's commonly referred to as a "Rolex Rebberg", or "Rolex Trench Watch". I have it dated somewhere between 1914-1920 but am still waiting for confirmation on that. The name "Rebberg" refers to the movement that it has, it's possible this model has a proper name, I just don't know it yet.

Since I started the watchmaking class which has every tool I could possibly need I am going to be able to disassemble, clean, reassemble and oil, regulate and time it myself. The only change I am going to make is the hands, in doing some research I see that the hands have been replaced, I have already found modern equivalents to the originals and will be getting a pair of them. They should look something like THIS.

So all in all it's not a bad way to get a vintage classic...Finding one on the street. I was definitely fortunate that the watch ended up in my hands, and to its original owner, where ever you may be, I promise that your old watch is now in good hands [ask around] this piece will be pampered and cared for properly. I'm sorry you lost it, but am relieved that it no longer needs to spend its time in a police station not being fed daily.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Sixth iPod Nano Officially Gets Watchified

As I briefly mentioned in my previous post, many people are throwing NATO style straps on the newest version of the iPod Nano and wearing it as a wristwatch. I understand that there are some minor issues with things like battery life, but all in all I think its a great idea, and I'm looking forward to the day when I can don one myself. Anything to get something new on the wrist, right?

Enter a small company named Hex, recently they introduced a silicone watch strap that the new Nano sits inside of. The new jacket has an opening for the headphone jack, and integrated buttons for control. I think we can also presume that the case of the iPod will be well protected encased in the strap.

The Hex strap will set you back about $25, and comes in a a choice of 9 colors. They can be seen in greater detail, and purchased, through the Hex website:

A great way to hide the headphone cable [photos courtesy:]

Friday, October 29, 2010

Opinion: Watches Aren't Going Anywhere

Yesterday I was barraged by articles [like THIS one] about a poll that was taken in the UK stating that "time has run out for the wristwatch". It seems like once a week I am clued into an article that says something similar to that sentiment. The more I see them the more annoying they become.

How many times have we seen the so called death of the wristwatch? Too many to count. Apparently this poll was taken among what I can only imagine was very young people who rely more on their personal devices [MP3 players, smart phones, and tablets] than they do on a wristwatch. Well I'm here to tell you that there are really no worries, the wristwatch industry is thriving...Especially on the mechanical end. So not only have sales been up in recent years, and steadily increasing after the recent recession, but it's mechanical watches that are proving their worth, not just the more affordable quartz pieces. Watches are worn mainly by adults, of course most teenagers and people in their early 20's don't care about them...They're having enough trouble understanding the value of things when new $400 gadgets come out every 3 months which leave the old $400 gadgets in an underwear drawer collecting dust.

Which leads me to my next point; I have seen a non-running pocket watch over 100 years old come back to life in a span of 3 hours with some careful intricate work. An item made by man, over 100 years old working in the way it originally intended by its designer. So it leads me to ask, 100 years from now where is your smart phone going to be? Probably in a landfill with millions of other smart phones not degrading at the rate that the manufacturer stated. It's not widely known but in the United States alone there is a projected need of up to 5000 watchmakers in the next 7 years, proof that this "dead" industry has a lot of life left in it.

Don't get me wrong, I love the convenience of my MP3 player...Even with its horrifying sound quality [don't even get me started on that]. I love gadgets as much as the next guy, but they certainly aren't built to last. A quality timepiece can literally live on forever with the proper maintenance. Announcing them as dead based on a poll is moronic at best. On an up note it was Steve Jobs who suggested that the new iPod Nano be worn as a wristwatch...Which I fully support, and kinda has me considering updating my iPod.

The new iPod Nano being worn as a wristwatch

The watch industry has survived through much more rocky times than the era of the iPod. Even the American version of "The Office" inadvertently poked a little fun at the situation when the Kelly character asked Ryan for the time during a visit to the local theater, and he pulled out an iPad with an app of a giant running clock on the screen, it was obvious he was meant to look idiotic. Needless to say, I got a good laugh out of it...But I'm kind of a nerd like that.

Thanks for letting me get that off my chest. I, of course, welcome any comments you may have. If you are so inclined when you come across a story about the death of the wristwatch, put a link to this article in the comment section.

Charlie Sheen; You're Big Trouble, Mister

Typically when it comes to entertainment news I give it a passing glance and move on to generally more important things. Over the past two days I have heard way more about Charlie Sheen than I would ever imagine I could. I can read your mind right now; "Why the he talking about a story that really has no bearing on anything whatsoever?". Well today I learned of a detail of the Charlie Sheen saga that hit me to the core of my being.

Apparently during his now infamous stint in New York City, Chuck seems to have misplaced his timepiece...And we aren't talking about a dollar store watch here. The watch? A Patek Phillipe 5970, valued at approximately $150,000. To serious collectors, and fans of all things wristwatch the mention of the word "Patek" ignites a Pavlovian response of an increased heart rate and bouts of uncontrollable drooling. Likewise the thought of one being lost, or stolen, from its rightful owner brings waves of sadness, along with thoughts of "Well, you really gotta keep an eye on that thing".

The Patek Phillipe 5970 valued at approximately $150,000

TMZ reported that Sheen was photographed wearing the piece while being seen out and about with adult film star Capri Anderson [like the passing mention of that name on my blog won't bring an onslaught of porn spam]. We have all heard various tales of what happened in the hours following. Sheen was not aware of his missing watch until a few hours after they left a New York restaurant together.

There is a whole lot happening in this photo [snatched from TMZ...obviously]

Ok, I need to editorialize here for a moment...A few hours later?...HOURS?!? I go 5 minutes without any watch and I start getting the sweats, and I certainly don't own anything remotely close to a Patek. Moving on.

On one final note; court documents regarding Sheen's assets state that he has a timepiece collection valued at around 5.5 million dollars....So really, what's $150,000? Side note it would take him shooting only 3 episodes of "Two and a Half Men" to get to that sum. Impressive, and a little depressing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tissot Shoots...And Scores!

In their further attempt to bring in a strong base of American sports fans Tissot has announced today that the French born basketball star Tony Parker will be joining Tissot as an ambassador.

Parker, known for being the captain of the French basketball team, and a member of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs is known internationally for his ability on the court and his high level of social awareness off of it. He has had quite the impressive professional career which includes; a bronze medal with the 2005 French national team, 3 NBA titles in 2003, 2005, and 2007, as well as becoming the first foreign born player to be named MVP of the 2007 NBA finals.

Basketball is not really a new venue for Tissot as they are already the official timekeeper for the International Basketball Federation [FIBA]. I'm sure it doesn't hurt Tissot that Parker has a solid fan base here in the states. In the past few years Tissot has made plays for ambassadors that have solid representation in very American sports including; becoming the official timekeeper of NASCAR. Make no mistake, this is just the beginning for Tissot and international basketball, as they have several organizations they are already teamed up with.

I'm sure we'll all be seeing a lot more of Mr. Parker in Tissot ads in the US in the coming months.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Now with a Twist

Over the past few months I have been a horrible, horrible, blogger. I really haven't done much with it, and I do feel pretty bad about that. There are several excuses but I'm sure the reason can be summed up with the word; malaise. I honestly wanted to write, and have been keeping up with the industry news, but I guess the muse just never struck me. I've also avoided activity in the forums, though I did visit for information. The passion was still there, just not the will...I guess. I know, I the waaaahmbulance, Craig. I am hoping all that is about to change.

As I mentioned in previous articles I do some hobbyist watchmaking at home, well last night I attended my first watchmaking class through NorWest Voc'Tech here in Seattle. Though not a standardized course set up through WOSTEP, or SAWTA [the Swiss governing bodies of horological education], I am definitely in the hands of extremely capable instructors and fellow classmates whom I can learn from. The class is full of known area watchmakers including; Tom Payne, who is certified as a WOSTEP 'Train the Trainer' instructor and Mark Smith from Seattle Watch Repair. Through these gentleman I have also become a member of the local chapter of the NAWCC, and Washington Watchmakers - Clockmakers Association.

My class bench, with my "school" set of tools...I may have a problem.

Now here's the part about my first class that really got my attention; in the small class of about 10 people I met a guy who actually read 'The Escapement' a couple times. Now considering I thought that my wife and my mother were my only two readers; I was quite excited to meet someone who was familiar. Obviously, it was nice to hear. Also, talking to this person about watches opened me back up to what I love about it so much. Hence the article.

What does all this mean for 'The Escapement'? What's the twist? you ask Well it means that I'm simply going to add some articles here and there about my experiences in the class. I will avoid going into minutia of the classes, as I imagine not all readers would be into that much information.

You know, I just read this and realized how much I use the terms "I" and "me", sorry about that, that's just plain tacky. I'll do my best to not do that from here on out, unless it's a stated opinion article.

Ed. Note: The Fat Boys photo is an mini homage to a very close friend of mine...and yes, I was actually a big fan growing up...'Crushin' was my favorite album, so there.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Nicolas G. Hayek: 1928 - 2010

The Swatch Group announced today via press release that their co-founder and and Chairman; Nicolas G. Hayek unexpectedly passed away due to heart failure while at work today, June 28th in Biel, Switzerland.
Nicolas Hayek is often credited with single handily saving the Swiss watch industry after the quartz crisis in the late 70's and early 80's. As Chairman of the Swatch Group, which is the home of many well known moderate to high end brands, the decisions he made shaped the way the industry moved and kept it from nearly disappearing all together. Unfortunately with some decisions came controversy which had The Swatch Group investigated on more than one occasion for antitrust violations. His legacy will most certainly focus on this drive to keep the Swiss watch industry moving forward and the tactics he used to do so. Most recently Hayek announced that ETA, the largest watch movement manufacturer in Switzerland, and the one widely used in most Swiss Made pieces, was to stop selling blank [ebauche] movements to companies outside of The Swatch Group. At first this announcement was met with deep concern about the future of the industry, but Hayek stated he was doing so because the Swiss watch industry was lacking innovation. As of now the result of this decision has brought about many high end brands developing their own in-house movements.

Though most of his career focused on the Swiss watch industry Mr. Hayek was also instrumental in the development of the Smart Car in conjunction with Mercedes Benz.

It looks as though the announcement was made after the close of the Swiss market with their shares closing up 2.55% at CHF 325.40. He was considered one of Switzerland's most influential captains of industry so if there is any shareholder reaction to his passing it will be evident in early trading tomorrow.
Currently his son, Nick Hayek Jr. is the CEO of The Swatch Group.

Update: Today, June 30th, it was decided that Ms. Nayla Hayek [pictured below] will now serve as Chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Swatch Group. Ms. Hayek previously served as Vice President. It can probably be presumed that she will continue the traditions that her father initially started during his tenure.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

...Meanwhile Back at the Ranch

Well, hello there! After what was admittedly a much longer than expected hiatus I am very pleased to announce the [triumphant?] return of The Escapement Watch Blog to these here inter-webs!! The only real change that has occurred is that my home base is now in Seattle, Washington [for those not keeping track, I was previously in Boston, Massachusetts]. I am starting to discover that Seattle is quite the watch community, so in those regards I am extremely pleased with our decision to move to the left coast.

Essentially what happened was a big move across the country [in a U-Haul] for my wife and I, followed immediately by me joining a friend's band on a 30 city United States tour as a member of his road crew. I was going to attempt to write along the way, but honestly the hours were so wacky, and the tour was scheduled so tightly that any free time I had, I tended to sleep.

To those who are still paying attention; I want to extend a heartfelt thank you, and to those who happened to start following me on Facebook and Twitter whilst I was away...I want to sincerely apologize for what must have seemed like the most boring watch blog out there.

I am expecting to write at about the same pace as I had in the past. I have not given up, nor have I forgotten about my little corner of the web.

I very much appreciate your patience, and understanding. I look forward to serving you, the reader, to the best of my ability once again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Why So Quiet?

As you may have noticed it's been a little bit of time since I last posted anything on The Escapement's blog and Twitter account. After several months of investigation and debate my wife and I decided to move across the US to Seattle Washington. The confirmation of the move came about a month ago so, as you can probably imagine, I have been spending most of my time getting my affairs in order and packing up our home. We are doing this the old fashion way, we are loading up our home and dog in a U-Haul truck and driving across the country. The idea is at once romantic and dreadful to me at the same time.

I will, of course, continue with The Escapement once things settle down for us a bit, hopefully I will have some cool watch related personal news as well. I will still try to keep active during this process, though the posts may be a little lighter than normal. I understand that we are about to hit BaselWorld and my timing couldn't be more "perfect"...but alas that's the way life happens.

In the meantime I wanted to suggest a few fellow watch blogs that I find to be great reads, and are run by down to earth people that offer several different perspectives on individual watches and the industry.

Perpetuelle: OK this one was a given, run by Kyle Stults this is the blog that I guest write for from time to time. Perpetuelle does an amazing job of up to the moment news and opinion in the luxury watch industry.

Hodinkee: Stated by Benjamin Clymer and his partner Dan Wieder; Hodinkee focuses mainly on vintage pieces, but they are certainly not limited to them. An informative, and fun read.

The Watch Lounge: Run by Tom Mulraney; I would deem this to be a casual fun place to keep up with the industry, watch reviews, and some amazing giveaways for readers. Keep an eye on "Weird Watch Wednesday" for some of the coolest watches the industry has ever produced.

aBlogtoRead: Ariel Adams labor of love. A very popular, and often cited, blog that covers everything from Swiss made master complications to the burgeoning Chinese industry that is rapidly becoming a factor that the traditional Swiss firms can no longer ignore.

There are many other blogs that I follow and I cannot possibly recall them all. If you go to The Escapement's Twitter account you can find a decent sized list.

I truly appreciate every reader that has every graced this page and I hope you understand why I have been taking this small break while my 'normal' life falls back into place.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

BaselWorld 2010: Tissot Sailing Touch

This year at Basel Tissot will show off its latest version from their "Touch" collection. Coming off the popularity of their T-Touch Trekking watch, they have once again expanded the line with the "Sailing Touch" which has newly added functions directed towards those of you who find yourself having a kinship with the sea.

The original T-Touch is still quite a popular piece, and many know about all of its functions [compass, barometer, altimeter, chronograph, thermometer, and alarm] that are enacted by touching the crystal. Since its inception Tissot has listened to customer requests and updated the look of the watch and increased its water resistance to a full 100 meters, up from the originals 30 meter rating.

The Sailing Touch offers a few of the same functions as it's big brothers but two of them had to be swapped out for more nautical themed toys. The "Altimeter" and "Thermometer" have been replaced with a "Tide" calculator, and a "Regatta" countdown timer. The chronograph function is now marked by "Speed" on the dial. One other feature that was added for 2010 is a backlight on the digital portion of the watch. Sometimes it really is the small things, fans of the T-Touch line truly appreciate Tissot increasing water resistance and adding that backlight.

The look of the Sailing Touch is one of a refined sport sailing watch, with a well rounded case and colorful bezel that is marked to work with the regatta countdown timer. As with past versions the Sailing Touch is available on a rubber strap in black or white, with a folding clasp. The case is a solid 316L steel with a sapphire crystal, so you can touch away without any fears of scratching it.

The Sailing Touch will be available this year and sell for between $500.00 - 900.00, depending on the version. I bet you can't wait to get your hands on it....Well at least your finger.


FunctionsHours, minutes, weather (relative pressure), regatta (countdown), speed (chronograph with tachymeter), compass, 2 alarms, tide calculator, 2 time-zones, perpetual calendar and back-lighting

Case316L stainless steel
Scratch-resistant, anti-reflective tactile sapphire crystal
Red, silvered or navy blue bezel with or without setting of 19 Top Wesselton VS/SI diamonds (0.8 to 0.85 ct)
Water-resistant to 100 m

DialBlack, silvered, navy blue or white lacquered

Bracelet/StrapBlack or white rubber, or rubber with 316L stainless steel, safety folding clasp

BaselWorld 2010 Preview Pt. VI

Continuing with today's sport watch mood; BaselWorld preview number six.



SUB 800 Ti Professional
Using a unique technology for the hourmarkers and hands, the SUB 800Ti guarantees extraordinary luminosity in conditions of the poorest visibility. Constructed in titanium, it is both highly resistant and light and meets the most exacting demands of deep-sea diving.



GrandCliff TNT Penta
Both technical and entertaining, the GrandCliff TNT Penta chronograph reveals a composition of five resolutely high-tech disks. The two date discs come together at 12 o’clock, while the three others, made of eloxided aluminium, indicate the 60 minutes and 12 hours of the flyback chronograph, as well as the permanent seconds. Limited edition of 201 pieces.



Deep Dive
Luminox’s Deep Dive has been used for 20 years by the Navy Seal, America’s coast-guards, and by the legendary diver Stan Waterman. The brand’s new version is even more impressive, with water-resistance to 50 bar (500 m/1500 ft). Certified for professional use, it meets the stringent ISO 6425 norms for diving watches. A patent-pending blocking system for the bezel and crown protector, an automatic helium valve, and a case with special water-resistant gaskets are just some of its many characteristics. And if those weren’t enough, there is its unique Luminox Light Technology (LLT) system providing continuous illumination for 25 years thanks to the micro gas tubes that emit a blue glow, the last colour that the human eye is capable of distinguishing at great depths.



Classic Watch
The most impressive model in the Gucci Classic collection, this chronograph embodies the quintessential Gucci style, inspired by a passion for sailing and nautical sports. Very sophisticated in its steel case and bracelet version, it becomes powerful and distinguished when presented in black PVD and a black or green rubber strap. No matter which of the two versions one chooses, one certainty remains: that of wearing a timepiece that is faithful to the brand’s codes, with the emblematic G in shiny filigree on the dial and the iconic green-red-green band. An inimitable signature, which makes each one of Gucci’s creations instantly recognisable.



Horseshoe Chronograph
Surprising and unique, the emblematic horseshoe by Catena is enhanced with black PVD and pink gold finishing, creating some very elegant contrasts between the case and dial. The chronograph, measuring time to 1/10 of a second, will satisfy the highest expectations of the man in search of contemporary elegance.



C1 Code
Logical, methodical and highly efficient, the new C1 Code chronograph is making a statement. The algebraic formula above the dial expresses the structural complexity of the case and partially covers the impressive sapphire crystal. The equations are fitted around the various counters, an unequivocal assertion that Concord watches are supreme pieces of engineering.



Black Light
Winner of the prestigious Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award 2009, the Black Light attracts immediate attention. The world’s first three-dimensional wristwatch, it is very easy to read in the dark thanks to its Superluminova-coated sapphire crystal hourmarkers, with the hands turning underneath. Thanks to the skilful use of the day/night contrasts, its black dial reflects intense luminosity. By exceeding the parameters laid down by design and opening up new dimensions, Alfex confirms that it has always been – and always will be – a “design addict”.

BaselWorld 2010 Preview Pt. V

I decided that I would focus on a few sport watches for this preview. Enjoy!


Limited Edition 80 years
Growing younger by the year, Jovial has decided to extend the festivities of its 80th anniversary with a commemorative piece, the Limited Edition 80 years. The apotheosis of what has been a very emotional year for the brand, this piece embodies to perfection the sense of revival which has characterised the anniversary collection: a supremely innovative high-tech case of delicious chocolate-brown colour, contemporary materials and a skilfully orchestrated interplay of structures and volumes with the most meticulous finishing to create a perfect balance.



Led Nomad
A little treasure of sophistication, the Wenger LED Nomad is subtle and discreet despite its numerous digital and analogue functions. There are four pushpieces: one to display the central LED digital compass bearing and the arrow which appears under the Wenger cross logo, a second for the day of the week, a third for the date and month, and a fourth for the digital time in hours, minutes and seconds. Little doubt that today’s nomad will be attracted by this “1 pushpiece – 1 function” principle. The avant-garde design of this redoubtable multi-functional tool gives it plenty of punch.



The models in the Traveller collection have an in-laid sailing boat on the dial to symbolise travelling and, thanks to a second time zone and large date, are transformed into very useful companions. Echoing the emblematic shape of the “wings of time”, the titanium case is both light and comfortable to wear.



Tazio Nuvolari Edition Limitée Grand Prix en Or
Unfailing source of admiration for the Eberhard brand, the legendary racing driver Tazio Nuvolari has inspired a very exclusive red-gold series, reminiscent of vintage dashboards. While Eberhard has fully met the requirements of these instruments – clarity, legibility, precision and resistance – it has paid no less care and attention to the aesthetic aspect: a black gold-plated black dial for extra brilliance, a circular-grained flange, a ceramic bezel with tachometer scale, large counters, and striking contrasts between the black and red gold, sublimated by numerous red touches. Limited series of 123 pieces.



Série Rocky II
Masculine, resolute and distinguished. A sporty design – a yellow dial for the punch and a bi-coloured strap for originality – combined with useful complications – large date, retrograde days and small seconds – make the Rocky II Series a must for men who want to express their individuality.



Elite Sport
A sporty model guaranteed to make an impact has now been added to Altanus’ emblematic Elite collection. The generously-sized case features a very contemporary bezel and pushpieces, offering a perfect setting for the animated dial. An extremely dynamic ensemble that is given impressive depth by the slide rule on the flange.



12 Hours of Sebring
Alpina is the official timekeeper of the “12 hours of Sebring”, the race that opens the American Le Mans Series, and is celebrating the 58th edition of this legendary event with a limited series of 158 pieces. This chronograph has been built to meet the tough requirements of the celebrated Florida circuit, regarded as one of the main meets on the international agenda. The 12 Hours of Sebring watch offers drivers everything they need: precision, legibility, shock-resistance and reliability. And let’s not forget the opportunity to follow the 12 hours of Sebring on the chronograph’s 12-hour counter, or the GMT which enables the spectators, who have come from afar, to remain on their starting-blocks in two time zones! Limited and numbered edition sold in a special Sebring box.


More previews to come!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Into the Abyss: Breitling Avenger Seawolf Chrono Blacksteel

Breitling has unveiled their newest limited edition version of the Avenger line. The Avenger Seawolf Chrono Blacksteel will have a limited run of 2,000 pieces worldwide. One of its more impressive features is the ability to operate the chronograph at a depth of 1,000 meters [3,300 feet]. Unlike other Avenger models in Breitling's line up this utilizes Breitling's own "SuperQuartz" movement rather than a mechanical.

From Breitling:

A special version of the Avenger Seawolf Chrono – the only chronograph that is watertight and fully operational at a depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 ft) – the new Blacksteel limited edition is distinguished by its unconventional look matching its exceptional performances.

Black is the keynote here, variously interpreted in the steel case subjected to an ultra-resistant carbon-based treatment; the unidirectional rotating bezel; the large screw-locked crown and non-slip pushpieces; and on the dial base creating a striking backdrop for the white luminescent hands, hour markers and red-rimmed counters. Its original, technical and powerful appearance makes the Avenger Seawolf Chrono Blacksteel limited edition an unmistakable standout model among diver's watches. But its greatest feat is hidden inside its case, thanks to its magnetic pushpiece system. This exclusive Breitling patented device serves to activate the controls through the metal of the case, without any direct mechanical contact. This means that whereas most chronographs cannot be used when diving, the Avenger Seawolf Chrono is the only instrument of this type to be watertight and fully operational at a record depth of 1,000 meters (3,300 ft). To accompany professionals to great depths in complete security, this extreme chronograph has been equipped with a decompression valve and an AR coated sapphire crystal guaranteeing optimal readability in all circumstances.

Its SuperQuartz™ caliber – also exclusive to Breitling – ensures a level of accuracy ten times superior to that of standard quartz movements, enabling it to measure times to within 1/10th of a second complete with split-time indications. The Avenger Seawolf Chrono Blacksteel, issued in a 2,000-piece worldwide limited edition, is available on a – naturally black – Diver Pro rubber strap or on a perforated Ocean Racer strap. In a nod to Breitling's special ties with aviation, its inner bezel ring is adorned with a windrose serving to memorize a course – both underwater or in the air.

Personally, I am a big fan of Breitling's offerings and think this is one fantastic looking watch, since their release of the original Avenger Skyland in Blacksteel a couple years back I have always found that particular look to be very appealing.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

BaselWorld 2010 Preview Pt. IV

The hits just keep on comin'! Click on each respective brand name for links to their official websites.



Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster
A quintessential Ball Watch timepiece, the new Engineer Hydrocarbon has undergone numerous developments, like the unidirectional rotating bezel with an H3 micro gas light inserted into a container at 12 o’clock. Its graduation from 0 to 14, as well as the numbers 15, 30 and 45, are coated with a very powerful luminescent paint producing blue reflections. Another innovation is the patented triple folding clasp that the brand has machined from a single block of steel, with the folding elements under the buckle cap equally divided so that the bracelet can be extended by 22mm and the watch worn over sports equipment. American navy pilot Brian Binnie took this extraordinary timepiece with him into space, an expedition that Ball Watch has celebrated by equipping the Spacemaster dial with tubes of blue luminescent gas, in the style of a spaceship’s instrument panel.



r5.5 Automatic
Already the winner of a prestigious prize, the r5.5 collection has been enlarged with a new automatic model, a natural development of the collaboration between Rado and the British designer Jasper Morrison based on their shared passion for high-tech ceramics. With the characteristic square shape of its dial, the r5.5 is an immediate eye-catcher. The collection’s name comes from the radius of the dial, whose matte black colour offers striking contrasts with the white luminescent hands and hourmarkers. Not forgetting the perfect synthesis between the ceramic case and the bracelet with its different-sized links that makes the watch fit so snugly round the wrist.



1931 Régulateur Réserve de Marche
Almost 400 years after the appearance of the regulator in the field of chronometry, Louis Erard pays tribute to this veritable symbol of precision. For the occasion, it has introduced an exclusive complication thanks to a new module developed in partnership with Soprod. A world-first and exclusive to the brand! Offering both ancestral craftsmanship and modernity, Louis Erard has pulled off a master stroke in a spirit of haute horlogerie at affordable prices.



A blend of pink gold and chocolate tones, this limited edition of 100 Eos watches from Christian Jacques has been designed with refinement in mind. The combination of an automatic chronograph movement, noble materials – pink gold case and crocodile strap – and highly worked finishing creates a timepiece that is as classic as it is elegant in the purest Swiss tradition.



Worldmaster Original 1888
Defying time with grace and elegance, the Worldmaster Original 1888 honours the past by paying tribute to the present. Or maybe it is the contrary. Both sober and refined, its delicately cambered case opens onto a sunray guilloché dial that enhances the sophistication of the piece, while the hand-applied hourmakers and Arabic numerals are ennobled with nickel or pink gold. Both vintage and contemporary, the Worldmaster Original 1888 encapsulates the powerful innovations introduced by the watchmaker from Lengnau for 122 years.



Heritage Collection
Revue Thommen, one of Switzerland’s oldest watch companies, has reproduced its mythical Square model, launched in 1953 to celebrate the company’s centenary. While it appears more contemporary with its pink gold-plated Arabic numerals, transparent back and finely guilloched small seconds, the 2010 model nevertheless remains faithful to the brand’s identifying features: a manufactory-made manual-wound movement, refined lines and unostentatious elegance. Not forgetting those precious materials –18K pink gold for the case and the alligator strap – that add the final touch of perfection to this historically-inspired timepiece.



Master T
With its stylish tonneau case, sober dial and the most elegant of steel bracelets, the Master T has an array of useful functions – chronograph, date and moon phase – that will thrill lovers of sport-chic looking for a watch which is both contemporary and classic.


Keep up with The Escapement for more Basel previews, and more in depth looks.

BaselWorld 2010 Preview Pt. III

More goodies slated to appear this year in Basel.

I should mention if you see something in these previews that you would like me to explore a little bit more, just let me know I'd be happy to. Take a look at the latest Frederique Constant tailored to boys from the ages of 12-16; that's one way to try to pass along the watch bug. Click on each respective brand name for links to their official websites.



Junior AutomaticDesigned for young men aged 12 to 16, the Junior Collection was created by Frédérique Constant to provide fathers who love beautiful Swiss watches with the opportunity to commemorate an important stage in their son’s life. Housing an automatic movement, the Junior has a back specially designed for the engraving of a personal message, which can be submitted on-line.

Maxime Manufacture LadyWith its FC-700 calibre – a Frédérique Constant creation from A to Z – the Maxime Manufacture Lady is as technical as it is elegant. A combination of horological mastery and aesthetic refinement, it will surpass the expectations of the modern woman wishing to return to real values.



Hydroscaph Big Date Power Reserve
Gérald Clerc, representing the brand’s fourth generation, is the creative force behind the Hydroscaph, a timepiece that embodies a new type of construction by incorporating the most advanced technologies. Comprising more than 75 components, the patented 18K red gold and black titanium case is equipped with a helium escape-valve guaranteeing water-resistance to a depth of 1,000 metres. Manufactured in Switzerland. Three-year international guarantee.

Odyssey Lady Skeleton
The Clerc brand has created a precedent and opened a new era by combining futuristic aesthetics and case construction in an haute joaillerie timepiece. Individually numbered and manufactured in Switzerland, this vibrant tribute to beauty and femininity is an exquisite example of high contemporary watchmaking art.



Observatoire 1872 Minute RepeaterIn 1872, Badollet pocket-watches took the first three places of the Concours de l’Observatoire. The brand is now proud to present this magnificent model equipped with a minute repeater and flying tourbillon and housed in a case designed to recall the style of the fob-watch. This little horological masterpiece is adorned with an opaline skeleton dial set with 72 diamonds and 12 sapphires, through which the hammers, gongs and flying tourbillon can be admired on the bridge side.

Crystalball Chronograph
Taking personalisation to its very limits thanks to a remarkable choice of materials for the dial and case, the Crystalball Chrongraph encapsulates the mastery of the watchmakers of Badollet. The most stunning example is the manufactory-made column-wheel mono-pushpiece chronograph movement combined with a regulator tourbillon and a 120-hour power reserve.



Historiador SemanalTrue to its origins, Cuervo y Sobrinos has reinterpreted a model it brought out in the 1940’s. At that time, the movement made by the brand was patented. Nostalgic for this period when Havana was at the height of its splendour, the brand has devoted two years of research to develop a new in-house movement that is an improvement on the original. Introducing the indication of the week in the form of numbers – hence the word “semanal” (weekly) – and indicating the days, date and month in a circle all the way round the dial are dramatic proof of how valuable all that patient work was!

The objective was to create a truly elegant sporty watch, one that offered as much style as wearer comfort. The case has been worked in titanium to make it more resistant to corrosion and to lessen the weight. A contemporary mechanical piece of true distinction, the new S05 from Armand Nicolet has surpassed all the expectations of its creator!


More to come...very soon!