Unlike other major shows like Baselworld or SIHH, the Hong Kong Watch & Clock Fair caters to several hundreds of companies which are specialized in making products in extremely large quantities, striving to keep production costs low, quality levels relatively high, and production output as high as possible. This is not to say that well-known luxury brands from the Western world are excluded from the fair, rather to just point out that the limelight falls unquestionably on Asian manufacturers – and their connection with European and US-based brands, but more on that a bit later.
For a mass-produced product, the Apple Watch is excellent. While it isn't hand-polished, nor does it have complicated surfaces like those seen on a Swiss timepiece, it is an amazing achievement, not just for Apple, but for the tech industry overall. I've never had what is essentially a high-volume, high-end gadget that felt so good in my hands. The sad thing is that most Apple Watch wearers will not be "watch people," so they really won't have too much to compare it with.
"I bought this watch for one reason, to survive offshore. It's obvious.
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When my 120,500 foot yacht sank after hitting an endangered reef outside of Fiji, I knew I was in a bad situation. I could have saved my 40,000 man crew, but I had a Phil Collins moment and didn't, they all drowned.
Ironically I met up with a bunch of plane crash survivors, turned out to be the characters from the show lost. So as they're sitting there improvising survival plans, I just laugh.
With this Audemars watch, I simply hit the survival function, and I spawned my own Zodiac boat and putted away, leaving them to die alone and saddened.
The only problem was I contracted scurvy and had to give myself constant saltwater enemas, which sucked. They forgot the nutritional function in this survival watch.... so I then was forced to kill a whole gang of baby seals for food and used their tears for hydration.
Long story short, if you're an extreme survivalist, you will need this watch. I've climbed everest naked, dived in volcanic eruptions, scuba dived the marinas trench, and base jumped from the moon, all unscathed. It's that good."
TAG Heuer has evolved and developed a lot over the last few years, but for 2014 their new "Don't Crack Under Pressure" slogan is more than a new marketing message, but an indicator of a new direction for the Swiss watch maker overall. TAG Heuer, like many other watch brands, has experienced a lot of change over the last decade not only because of shifting economies, but also because of how the major players in the watch industry receive and/or produce mechanical watch movements.
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The consequences are not unexpected: the larger PAM572 carries a lot more heft than its predecessor, as the larger case and wider dial demands much greater presence on the wrist. It is, nonetheless, slim, and the curved profile and angled lugs also help make it look less out of place even on small-to-normal sized wrists. Despite the borderline archaic theme and name, the large "sandwich" dial and its more simple three-hand configuration is covered by a 1.7 millimeter thick sapphire crystal – no plexi, or other more "historic" material here.
I may have mentioned this in the past, but I really like the idea of thin dive watches (even though I rather ironically also like the idea of very thick dive watches). At 42mm wide and 11mm thick, the Calibre Diver wears very nicely on the wrist with an admirable width and a very svelte profile for a dive watches.
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The caliber inside is a 25-jewel, 38-hour power reserve movement, with Junghans engraved on the rotor. This is pretty much the best of both worlds: a reliable automatic movement with the understated elegance of German design.
While the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT doesn't have the fancy two-tone ceramic bezel as the Rolex GMT-Master II Day/Night, it does cost about ,000 less. Let's just say that the two watches aren't exactly neck-in-neck competitors, but it is a good idea to know how and when watchmakers "give design compliments" to one another. The bezel of the TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT happens to be aluminum. As mentioned above, the steel case is 41mm wide but wears large, given the tonneau-style (barrel-shaped) case. Mostly brushed, the case and bracelet have a decidedly sober and sporty theme to them.
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Next up is the orbital flying tourbillon which makes one revolution of the dial every sidereal day (23 hours, 56 minutes, 4 seconds). In the interest of brevity, sidereal time is generally used in astronomy to track the earth's rotation against the position of a fixed star (not our sun). To see a specific star, you need to account for your position (northern or southern hemisphere) and the earth's relative rotation - for repeatable results, you would use sidereal time to judge when to look into your telescope.
JK: One of Omega's biggest distributors in the Middle East was in Iran, so the brand had a huge, great presence there, with billboards all over the place. They had a real variety, and they were affordable. They even made special watches just for the Persian market - Omega Triple Calendars and Constellations, for example, with Farsi day and date. Now I have my own Triple Calendar with a Persian dial - all original, and extremely hard to find in such a large steel case.
Ariel Adams: In the last year, you've helped TAG Heuer change their direction by refocusing the product strategy of the company, and helping them realign with their more traditional focus on appealing to a large customer base with more accessible prices. In searching for a new full-time CEO, what type of qualities should they have? What types of activities do you want them to focus on for the next few years at TAG Heuer?
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