I do applaud Romain Jerome for being so ballsy and avant garde. They have made some nice one-off or limited edition pieces that spit in the face of fellow Swiss who are highly conservative most of the time - especially in terms of watch design. Actually, even Romain Jerome's non limited edition watches are "special." Love them or hate them you have to appreciate their niche and determination to be different. However, that doesn't mean I have to love everything they make. This new special "art" watch by French artist André Chéca is a bit much for me. It is one of those things that I freely admit not liking, but appreciate the artistic endeavors behind it, and that it exists. As though I wouldn't get pissed about it being in a museum ("That isn't art, I could do that!"), but I would openly discuss my distaste for it ("My lord this piece tickles the vomit enticing regions of my gullet").
Model: MOANA PACIFIC DIVER
Movement: 21 jewels (Miyota 8215) Automatic
Case diameter: 44mm excluding the crown
Case finish: Brushed sides and back with a polish finish on the top, crown and bezel.
Crown: Screw down
Bezel: 120 clicks unidirectional rotating with 12H lume
Crystal: Sapphire (double domed), AR coating.
Water-resistance: 500m/1650ft Water resistant
Strap: 24mm Leather (black with red stitching) plus rubber.
Buckle: Brushed stainless steel
Vintage Style Roll Case: Canvas
Limited Edition: 500 pieces
Price: 5.00 USD plus .00 shipping worldwide.
Below the bubbles is a code. You go online or use a mobile website on your mobile phone and enter the code at Prooftag's website. After you enter the code the site shows you an image of the bubble formation that is associated with the code. You can then authenticate it in two ways. See if the image on the screen matches that on the card you are holding using your own eyes. If it is hard to tell and the images look close, you can used the special instrument that Prooftag offers that will line up the position and size of the bubbles compared to that which is in their system. Overall it is a really great system, and Prooftag has a good website that covers all the little details.
Aside from the lack of GMT and bezel, the watch case is mostly the same, if not identical to the GMT model. The dial feels a bit cleaner and more classy, and Omega is hitting high with this watch having all the gold models. Aiming straight at Rolex. Omega has a lot weight behind these feelings as stats show that other similar Omega watches top worldwide online searches for watch models - translation, these watches are in high demand. But that does not mean that everyone can afford them. Companies like to infer that just because people are interested in a watch model means they are ready to buy. Perhaps it is (spooky noise, people interested in cheap replicas! All the watch industry people are now gasping.
Like most Chinese watch makers, Longio started out as an OEM watch maker (and still is one). This means that they are an "original equipment manufacturer" for other watch brands. Essentially, they make all or part of the watch, while someone else puts their name on it. Longio eventually decided that they want to put their own name on watch. One thing that is most striking about Longio watches is that they are original. The Chinese are known for copying things that others have made. The design of this watch is totally original though. We begin to see character and design that is innately regional to Hong Kong and the surrounding areas. It took Japan a long time before the watches they made had a Japanese character to them. China however is able to learn these lessons observing them from afar, and are already making watches that suit them, not just others.
Then you have the Terranaut II and III watches. These are more simple three hand versions with automatic ETA 2824-2 movements inside. The different is the layout of the dial and the size. The Terranaut two has a special legible dial that really makes good use of the indicators for the "navigator" style look. The Terranaut II is a good 44mm wide, while the more traditional looking Terranaut III is just 40mm wide. With clearly styled aviator hands and dials these are good pilot watch homages with a good deal of style. The hour markers and hands are covered in a rich amount of SuperLumiNova for high function, and the crystals are all sapphire. The watches aren't all that water resistant with just 50m of water resistance, but I excepted more from "Nautische Instrumente" Muhle Glashutte. Not a bit deal though. The watches each come in wooden presentation boxes. Not sure about the price, but I would guess about ,000 - ,000.
In this first episode, we introduce ourselves, tell you what we do and where we come from with watches and discuss a few watch pet peeves. Also, phones by watch makers packed in gorgeous boxes so you can "pass them down to the next generation" - hmmm... John first brandishes his love for clocks, we talk about the most complex wrist watch in the world, the Gerald Genta Arena Metasonic Sonnerie Watch that costs 0,000.00. Ariel just got back from Japan, so we talk Seiko, their Astron and how the Spring Drive models work. Glide hand. Enjoy.
While I didn't put the watch through torture tests, I did inspect it carefully with my watch snob eye (often as damaging to the spirit). This includes seeing how comfortable the watch is, operating each of its functions again and again, as well as giving the watch to non watch people and asking them to perform simple tasks. The results left me with a good feeling that CX learned most every lesson it needed to know about good watch making long before it make the 20,000 Feet Diver. The chronograph is a perfect execution of the Valjoux 7750 - meaning the pushers are smooth and precise, while their screw guards are flawless in operation. Winding the watch with the large crown manually was nice, as well as adjusting the time and date. The watch didn't miss a gear. The rotating diver's bezel is one of the best I've ever used. Strict professional grade. A perfect mix of being tight enough, but also being easy to turn. There is no wiggle or give to the bezel, and turning is smooth with 60 satisfying clicks. I do not embellish on any of these points. I've most never seen quality like this - even at this price level.
With linear time indicators that resemble syringes, the "Toxic" watch concept creation by Swiss Virtual Ideas is another neat idea by the watch design firm. Showing time on linear scales means that an indicator moves across a scale and then jumps back once it reaches the end. Look closely and you can see a telescopic arm that moves across the dial with a red strip for the indicator. It moves like a vial filling up or emptying at the arm extends and pushes in the indicator. It would have been cool for it too look like one side of the indicator was filling with a colored liquid. The telescopic arm would be difficult to manufacture but by no means impossible. I like how Virtual Ideas has pushed the envelope of watch engineering limits, but still within the range of possibility. Nevertheless, a watch like this would cost a lot. Recently, I discussed the Urwerk King Cobra watch with a similar liner time concept.
The U-Boat 925 sterling silver watches are for U-Boat watch enthusiasts, who demand a little extra. They will be produced in limited quantities and, as with the gold Classico models, offer the opportunity of customization with an engraving on the back of the case. The metal's softness and susceptibility to oxidation is an important aspect to note. While some may shy away from a watch that changes color slightly over time, the vintage style created by the "patina" (color created by the oxidization of silver) is the exact reason why many people have chosen these particular watches over their stainless steel counterparts.
The dial crystal is sapphire, seeing into the easy to read face. Here you have a lot of unique character. The outside portion of the dial is done in mother-of-pearl, with applied Arabic numerals over it in black. There is also a minute scale in white. The center of the dial is nicely textured with an attractive patterning and segments for the text and Longio logo. Even the date window is done nicely with faceted edging. A smaller textures black ring sits on the outer most periphery of the dial framing the entire face well.
Really soon (6pm on September 24th) it will be time for the Only Watch 2009 watch auction. I summed up the detail a bit here, and here. Click there to get the specs on it all. Frankly I am a bit tired of writing "Only Watch" 2009, but just because there has been so much to say about it. The concept is really cool; your favorite watch makers need to make special unique watches that are then sold to the super elite, and the money goes to charity. The auction is held at the Monaco Yacht show every other year.
I think the quartz watch with "Rolex" placed underneath it on the outer surface of the phone is pretty funny. There are two subdials that I don't actually think do anything - just there for show. I hate stuff like that. Then there is the font used to spell Rolex. How funny is that? I like that the three places where "Rolex" is written on the phone are done in a different font, and in a different style. Really classy! The look is completed with photos on the screen to remind you of what you are really desiring, a nice watch.