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These two piece unique Hublot timepieces and other interesting unique watches are available at Marcus, which is located at 170 New Bond Street in London. It is part of their 10th Anniversary Exhibition that will run until October 2nd, 2012.
Also announced was a duo of bright blue Monacos meant to invoke the memory of Steve McQueen, who wore a Monaco in the 1971 film Le Mans, and has been a considerable factor in the continued popularity of the Monaco line. First, the Monaco Heuer Steve McQueen Calibre 11, a traditional looking blue and white edition of the Monaco that is actually a slightly revised version of a boutique-only model that Tag Heuer announced last year. This is basically a vintage inspired Monaco with bright white racing stripes on the dial and its crown on the left side of the case. Note the use of "Heuer" and not "Tag Heuer" on the dial and the matching blue leather strap. It is fitting that this vintage inspired chronograph wears the Heuer name on its dial as the original Monaco design launched in 1969, some sixteen years before Heuer became Tag Heuer.
The sunglasses also included in the giveaway are great, made of high quality glass and steel, I wear them daily and they provide excellent protection during the searing hot Israeli summers.The passport case is great for traveling abroad, in style.
For once, I see very well done propeller style hands. The large hands are used for the hour and minute hands, while more traditional aviator-style hands are used for the chronograph subdials. Legibility is very high here - which I very much appreciate. According to BRM, the style of the watch case and dial are heavily taken from aircraft such as the Spitfire, P-51 Mustang, and the Mitsubishi Zero. Come to think of it, are any of those bomber planes versus fighters? It doesn't really matter in the end - you get the idea.
Strap Brown vintage finishing alligator
Material: Titanium and steel
Dimensions: Width 43.8mm, length 53.6mm, thickness 17.8mm
Glasses: Sapphire crystal
Water resistance: 30m/100’/3ATM
Surface finishes: Satin finish
Most people are going to buy this watch because of the dial and lume style. Casio indicates that the dial is "pop art" inspired. I can see that as the numerals are large and overlapping. The hands are cute - perhaps not the most legible in the world, but good enough. There is a little heart placed into the minute hand. You'll notice another heart being used as the 2 o'clock hour marker. I wonder what the male version of hearts are... Like maybe skulls or rocket ships? If this was a dude's watch then the minute hand would be a spaceship and the 2 o'clock hour marker would be a smiling skull, right?
Over the screen is a K1 mineral crystal - though I would have preferred a sapphire crystal. My real issue with the crystal is that it attracts finger prints very easily. You'll need to wipe off the screen a lot. Not a huge deal, but something about it tends to attract finger oils very easily. For a minimal futuristic look that isn't nerdy or cliche it is hard to find more attractive offerings than a watch like the Braun BN0106. The piece most certainly benefits from its connection to Pierre Nobs, and the overall package does what it was designed to do fluidly. Great to find "design focused" watches with this much utility and promise. Price tops out at 0 for the black version of the BN0106 on the bracelet. You can buy them online from Braun here.
In the hand, it feels lighter than you'd expect. Less dense. Very smooth and polished.
Chopard matches the cases with a great looking gray-colored Barenia leather strap - requisite racing portholes on the straps are included. On the back of the watch over the sapphire exhibition caseback window is the insignia of the Automobile Club de Monaco (aka, guys who probably get a few of these without having to pay for them). While the reference 168992-3032 titanium model isn't strictly limited - it will only be produced this year. The reference 168992-9001 titanium and gold model is technically limited to only 500 pieces. Great if you love gray, these watches retail for ,540 in titanium and ,140 in titanium with 18k rose gold. My favorite Chopard Grand Prix de Monaco Historique still might be my Time Attack MF model.
The newest "DNA" watch collection from Romain Jerome will be the Liberty DNA timepieces. These watches will each incorporate some metal from the actual Statue of Liberty, and feature a unique design meant to honor the statue while not simply featuring imagery from it on the case and dial. Do you see something a bit steampunk about it? Maybe, while this isn't per se a Steampunk watch (as many other Romain Jerome models are), the Liberty DNA (ref. RJ.T.AU.LI.001.01) does have a 19th century feel to it.
The last two models are in the Harry Winston Midnight Limited Edition Shanghai ladies collection. Here the appeal is in the dial designs. Each of these two models draw inspiration from a traditional Shanghai (and Chinese) residential architectural structure called a Shikumen. These buildings are highly coveted in modern Shanghai and are kept intact as much as possible by the local people. The design of the dials on these two watch mirror elements of the structure's overall layout, as well as aesthetic elements found in many of them.
As you might expect from a Vacheron Constantin piece, the detailing on the dial and case are pretty much immaculate. The hands are very well rendered and I actually love the "hidden heart" which tips the hour hand. Notice how the subsidiary seconds dial is slightly recessed and is done in a different silvered finishing. This adds an additional layer to the dial. Around the dial is a rail-road track style minute ring.
There is metal in the ID Two, but less of it than you might expect. Let's start with the most notable non-metallic component, the case. The ID Two uses the 42mm wide Calibre style case, but one that is made from Ceramyst. That is a sexy sounding name for transparent polycrystalline ceramic. In other words, a very hard, mostly clear ceramic case. I don't know much about this material, but according to Cartier they are the first to have used it for a watch case. Are crystals next?
Inside the Rolex Sky-Dweller is the new Rolex in-house made caliber 9001 automatic movement. The automatic movement has all of the above complications and a three-day power reserve. Rolex being known for their quality standards must have been testing the 9001 movement for a while. I have no doubts that the movement will be top notch for what it is.
Technically speaking, 24 hour format watches aren't that tough to produce. It is really a matter of a few gears with a few more teeth. The dial needs to have more hour indicators packed into it, and reading the time is of course different than on a 12 hour dial where you can usually mentally know the time without seeing the indicators. Of course, you could get used to a 24 hour dial if you stuck with it long enough. Personally, I've never had enough use for one to wear it full-time, but for many people a 24 hour dial watch is both useful and interesting.
This is not that model. Well not exactly. This is a special limited edition version of the Historiques American 1921 made especially for the Vacheron Constantin boutique on Madison Avenue in New York city (ref. 82035/000J-9717). Aside from special branding on the rear of the watch, the dial of the boutique model is different from the standard Historiques American 1921 piece. Frankly, I think this dial is the best. While the standard model has more classic, thin Breguet style numerals and pomme hands, the boutique model is the sporty brother. Here you see a military dial inspired watch with large Arabic hour numerals and beautiful hands all coated in lume. Mega bold look with mega legibility. Much more character than you might come to expect from a piece like this. My understanding is that dials such as this have been on some older Vacheron Constantin pocket watches and more important, the limited edition dial is more akin to the original 1920s driving watches that Vacheron Constantin produced.
Each dial is very much reminiscent of the Reverso's historical look. The brand is careful to ensure that detailing is impressive by giving the dials machine engraving and crisp printing. The black colored dial also has luminant for night viewing. The best part is that the overall Reverso look is not only highly art deco in style, but also very legible and useful. It is hard to not be a Reverso fan. The design is timeless, looks good on most people, and even after all this time the flipping case concept is still fun. Others have tried to replicate the idea of a double sided watch, but no one does it better than JLC.
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With a starting price of about ,000 (up to the mid ,000 range for the gold models) the H1 sits in a very interesting price zone. Most people expected the price to be much higher, say over 0,000. The price is still totally out of the question for most people, but it does give the wealthly, versus the ultra-rich a better opportunity to own and enjoy a highly exotic watch. Myself, among others, are enjoying what the H1 offers in style and poise, as well as technical innovation. Perriard promises more and more complication in the future, so I anticipate that the H1 is going to be their entry level model for the years to come. Usually brands like this start with an ultra-high flagship model, but getting the tech right was likely the most important thing for HYT to begin. I really like what they are doing and CEO Perriard's passion for the product certainly sweetens the deal. Look for HYT H1 watches in select retailers soon.