The watches are interesting looking and certainly not something I would expect Hublot to release without outside influence. They might opt for a bit more color and dazzle, but I find these to be interesting timepieces actually. The straps are gold or silver colored done with a glossy finish. It was important for Zegg that the dials be monochromatic, but also legible. With the mirror dial design Hublot came up with a few years ago - that is possible. You really don't see that many mirror finished dials on watches. It is almost an ironic concept.
With that profile, it's a cinch to wear long sleeves. This also shows the unusual appearance of the watch, almost like liquid mercury. [Ed Note. Could the watch be a T1000 Terminator?]
The Swatch Group is a curious situation right now. Some of their brands are doing awesome with great new watches, as well as lots of new watches. That includes entities like Omega, Hamilton, and Rado. Then you have a brand like Glashutte Original – which I happen to like a whole lot – that save for one highly limited, super high-end watch, has nothing new for this year. They aren’t the only one like that. I chalk this up to some direction lacking at the CEO level and other issues that occurred as a result of Hayek senior’s passing away. It will clear itself up, but it will take a few years. There are good people over there, but some of the brands need more dedicated leadership, or more of a push to innovate each year. Having said all that, what I did see from some of the less prolific for 2012 Swatch Group brands was good – there just wasn’t enough of it to satiate my hunger for watches.
Ulysse Nardin did a good job making the case interesting, but not too strange. Completely polished, the finishing is well-done and the little details on the case prevent it from being boring. The proprietary strap connection on the lugs forces you to buy only Ulysse Nardin straps, but you could argue it is worth the unique look. It is even easy to appreciate the detailing put into the crown guard and the crown with its applied UN logo. On the other side of the case are two ceramic pushers and a serial number plate. While this is not a limited edition watch, Ulysse Nardin likes to personalize each piece with a plate containing its unique serial number.
If you know Perriard's work in the past you'll be familiar with his enthusiasm and design decisions. Futurism and "doing it differently" are factors that help motivate him. He speaks incredibly fast in French when explaining the watch, and in English shares the same level of insight and passion when showing off his toys. The H1 is an incredibly cool and unnecessary watch - the exact formula which breeds success in this industry when it comes to watches are this level. I first covered the HYT H1 here when I debuted it for the world.
Chopard has had a really interesting last several years in terms of defining their brand and their release of new products. They benefit from not being part of a large group - which means they can experiment, play around, and sometimes just release cool things that aren't specifically meant for a target customer or demographic. As a watch writer, I have seen them spend time and money developing all sorts of interesting things - sometimes just for the hell of it. It basically means that I pay close attention to what they do because I don't always know what to expect.
This Citizen Perpetual Chrono AT watch for instance is light powered (using Citizen's famous Eco-Drive movement), atomic clock controlled, has a perpetual calendar, chronograph, and second time zone indicator... among other functions. This basically means that once you set it up you could go without ever adjusting it again for the rest of your life. The downside, especially as applied to analog watches that do all this is that the system is inherently complicated to learn and set up. Citizen offers a sizable instruction manual along with tutorial videos on their website, and you will need to reference them to figure out how to use a watch like this. Not that this is an issue, but people like me tend to be used to getting watches and figuring them out in a few seconds right out of the box.
Britain AUTOMATIC Ref. BBY1203
Design: Burberry Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey
Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, date
Movement: ETA 2824. Swiss Made self-winding mechanical three-hand movement. Three-hand movement with date function. 28,800 vph. 25 jewels. Incabloc shock protection system
Case: Distinct rounded octagonal case. Stainless steel finished with fine vertical brushing and polished beveled edge. Distinct bolts in brushed stainless steel and polished beveled edge fasten bezel to the lugs. 32 components. Water resistant up to 5 ATM (165 feet/50 metres)
Case back: Rounded octagonal case back screwed down by hand. Three-piece construction. Sculpted curved case back, inspired by antique British pocket watches. Stainless steel finished with fine vertical brushing,. Transparent case back with double curved sapphire crystal for insight into the movement. Custom rotor with circular Geneva Stripes finishing, featuring engraved Burberry logo in black
Dial: Dial in matte black. Date at 3 o’clock. Dial features applied Burberry logo and Automatic signature. Hour and minute indicators in fine-brushed, faceted silver stainless steel. Hands in fine brushed stainless steel with Super Luminova in off-white. Anti-reflective, scratch and shock-resistant sapphire crystal protects dial from the elements
Strap and clasp: Stainless steel (316L) bracelet with H-links. Combination of brushed links with hand polished centre links reflect light and emphasise. the faceted structure of the bracelet. Deployment buckle (triple folding clasp) with pushers
Dimensions:43 mm case
Caliber 7X52 quartz movement
GPS controlled time and time zone adjustment
Hour, minute and second hands
Perpetual calendar correct to February 2100
Signal reception result indication
World time function (39 Time Zones)
Daylight Saving Time function
Power saving function
Reading the time is quite easy, and various models of the Tread 2 are available with different color steel cases and numeral colors printed on the belts. Size-wise the case is 38mm wide by 42mm tall and it is tonneau-shaped. Not a small watch at all, it does feel petite next to the much larger Tread 1. The case is also a totally new design. Feeling futuristic in a bit of a 1980's modernism manner, you'll find that a lot of high-end Swiss watch brands are also offering watches that focus on this era's design aesthetic in 2012.
Our lonely lass is standing on the same Eiffel Tower on the ladies' piece. In the background is the Notre Dame - complete with stained glass windows. The watches are meant to serve as perspectives from the man and woman in the story. The dials are gorgeous creations. Totally handmade with hours worth of engraving, painting, forming, and setting on each. One dial can take weeks or months to completely finish. The dials are mostly engraved gold, with enamel work, mother-of-pearl sculpting, and miniature painting.
Over the dial is an AR coated sapphire crystal and the case is water resistant to 100 meters. While the crown might look inset, it is comfortable to operate. Legibility is actually not bad either. Dials like this can often have the hands blend into the dial, but that is not as much of an issue here as it can be in other designs. There are thin strips of lume in the hands and hour markers.