Let's face it, there are not many brands like Richard Mille. They are effectively the Pagani Automobili of the watch world as they have consistently pushed the limits and interaction of materials, technology, and design. Richard Mille is famous for their use of massively complex skeleton movements, curved tonneau cases, and exotic materials. Some readers will remember the RM056 model which was launched at BaselWorld this year featuring a case made of sapphire crystal and sporting a .65m price tag. Regardless of your opinion of their watches, you have to admire their drive to make unbelievable products with truly stratospheric prices. Consider the RM027 which features a tourbillon movement and a case made of a high-carbon composite that weighs only 13g (without its strap) and can actually float when placed in water (read more here). The RM027 carries a price tag in excess of 0,000 and is perhaps most famously known as the watch worn by tennis star Rafael Nadal. I like Richard Mille watches for the same reason I like the many iterations of the Pagani Zonda, they're insane, dramatic, and an interesting point of overlap between the passions of technology and design.
This peer review production process is actually harder than simply conceiving a watch and then having it made. Watch production for small boutique brands is a laborious and highly time consuming process. Brands like Linde Werdelin rely on a range of suppliers that produce the many small parts which go into their watches. Working with suppliers takes a long time to get deliveries, and the process can be frustrating for brands. Going back and forth to get pieces 'just right' is an appreciated ordeal that they go through.
Who is this watch best for? Well how much do you consider yourself a product of the video game generation? If you don't have ties to early video games that chirped and beeped as you racked up points... then the point of this watch may be lost on you. Romain Jerome expects a few select people to share their vision and enjoy what this piece is all about. Their relationship with Taito is far from over, and it makes me happy to know stuff like this is getting made. Niche for sure, which makes it cool. Price is 16,550 Swiss Francs.
The two most notable features of the case design are the bezel rotation system and the crown protector. Let's start with the bezel. The bezel itself is tall and sloped, and a thing of beauty. Omega fitted it with a sapphire crystal inlay - which is a major upgrade from the acrylic of the original. These so called "sapphire bezels" are highly valued by myself, but more common these days are ceramic bezels. Omega offers these as well on other Seamaster models in the form of basic ceramic or Liquidmetal bezels. Assuming you have the industrial process down, I believe that ceramic bezels are less expensive than sapphire ones. Each are durable, but the aesthetic are different. The beauty of the sapphire covered bezels are that they visually integrate with the dials more because of the dial crystal. Under the sapphire is a standard minute marker array coated with a lot of luminant. More SuperLumiNova is used on the dial. From a darkness viewing perspective this is a very bright watch - high marks for lume quality and volume.
Omega is known for being the brand with the first watch (Speedmaster) on the moon, however, the best selling Omega watch might be the Seamaster series; which includes the very watch worn by secret agent 007 since 1995 and more recently in the 2008"Quantum of Solace" James Bond movie.
I've always really liked the Swiss Army Dive Master collection of watches. Over the last few years the brand has released a range of these models in both quartz and mechanical form. I personally reviewed a Swiss Army Dive Master 500 watch here. For 2012, Swiss Army has "re-launched" the Dive Master 500. Nothing radically new, but the cool watch remains... cool.
Dimensions without lugs: 59mm long x 44mm wide x 17mm high
The strap can easily be adjusted by pulling the extra nylon strap and folding it on the inside of the formed bracelet. After adjusting it a couple of times, I wore it once for a long US east-to-west coast trip, hardly remembering it was on my wrist the whole day.
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Linde Werdelin releases a bejeweled watch for men. I first noticed it on the wrist of Jorn Werdelin at this year's Baselworld watch show. They often play with designs as an experiment to see what might make the next cool limited edition piece. I wasn't sure if this was one of those experiments. A lot of the time, brand owners and CEOs like to produce exclusive pieces reserved just for them. A watch with black diamonds and a mother-of-pearl dial is precisely the type of thing that Jorn might produce just one of for himself to wear. We now learn that Linde Werdelin will produce 50 of them.
"The titanium case body has undergone a rougher polish to achieve a more masculine finish. The ceramic bezel has been widened around the fixing screws allowing a stronger hint of colour display from the eight coloured tension disks. The bezel has been given a satin finish with a polished facet on the outer side creating a more luxurious and interesting contrast under the light. The 3 o’clock unit has been opened up with a curve on top to add elegance yet enable easy access to the crown.
You can see that BRM developed a new parachute style logo to go with this collection. The logo is right on the dial with the Bombers name. Rarely is the model name of a watch located on the dial. The dials again are a mix of instrument, art, and plane aesthetics. You can see elements like a compass in there, as well as features taken from traditional aircraft cockpit gauges. BRM did a nice job with the dials, especially given that there is a healthy variety. There are even more dial versions than shown in this article. Doesn't something about the look remind you of classic baseball art styles?
The watch is made almost entirely out of polycarbonate, yet it does not feel "plastic-y" at all, the polymer is rock solid, and way more scratch resistant than I expected, after two months of regular use, the body of the watch is pristine, not a scratch.
The watch is water up to 200M which is very impressive considering the crown is not a screw-down one.
The goal is to get young people wearing more watches and to grow up with a bit of watch culture. I suggest a two pronged approach to achieving this. One prong is product related, and the other is marketing related. Let’s talk about marketing first.
To paraphrase the movie, if you can afford to, I highly recommend picking one up.
All things told, this was a very successful auction for Christie's and, with a final total of just over .5 million in sales, was actually the most valuable season for any auction house operating in Asia. Though it is important to recall that the auction as a whole offered hundreds of watches. Furthermore, with so few Opus models in existence, it is exciting to see how the prices stack up against the estimates as professionals try and predict the value of a very exclusive line of watches. All concerns for funding aside, I would have been aggressively bidding on the Opus 6 or waiting what could be a very long time for for Christie's to dig up an Opus 11, as it is definitely my favorite of the entire Opus family.
What I like about the 461 part caliber 4043 movement is its practicality and beauty. It is also a fully integrated movement that seamlessly combines time, 30 minute chronograph, and minute repeater functions. It also features an admirable 50 hours of power reserve and is an automatic. Look how beautiful it is as well. It is truly an exceptionally designed and finished movement fitting for the Zenith El Primero name. There is just a slight amount of skeletonization in the 2012 Academy Minute Repeater Chronograph model around where you can view the minute repeater hammers through the dial of the watch. The 2009 piece with the 4043 movement was a bit more strange looking with more extensive dial skeletonization.
The Rolex GMT-Master II reviewed here is the two-tone gold and stainless version. It uses Rolex's famous oyster case at 40 mm and it weighs in at 160 grams. The weight is due in part to the gold material and to Rolex's usage of high-grade 904L steel which is forged completely in-house and is supposed to be highly polishable and very resistant to corrosion. The gold is solid 18-karat which is also used in the bezel and the dial markers.
Amazingly, this is the smaller version of the Gauge, a watch whose design is based on a vintage depth gauge. The original version from Helson is rated to a ludicrous 3,500m and measures 47mm by 19.4mm in heavyweight bronze:
Inset chronograph subdials with a hint of texture offer exactly the right amount of decor and sense of dial depth. The hands are the right length, which really (really) helps the dial look its best. Too short hands on a watch like this would have totally killed it for me. Right now Dent offers three versions of the Ministry Chronograph, with black, silver, or cream dials.