It has been suggested that all Mickey Mouse dialed Rolex watches are fakes. Well not necessarily fake Rolex watches, but rather real ones that have had aftermarket dials placed in the watch. There is actually some merit to this argument because aftermarket Mickey Mouse Rolexes do exist. Based on my research however, I would say that it looks very likely that Rolex did have an actual relationship with Disney in mostly the 1960s and 1970s up to the early 1980s. In that time there seems to have been a series of Rolex watches with Mickey on the dial. These appear to be direct homages to the original Ingersoll Mickey Mouse dials.
Fellows is a UK auction house, established in 1876. For this auction the estimate range is a fairly reasonable £200 - £50,000. Clearly not pocket change, but there are dozens of pieces in there for a person looking for a deal, or just filling out a themed collection.
MoVas stands for "movements of Asia." Currently, all MoVas watches use Chinese movements. there is a very specific reason for this. Sean has no interest in making simple three-handed watches. He likes complications and prefers the less cost intensive route of Chinese movements to experiment with his designs. The movement in this watch has a subsidiary GMT hand, power reserve indicator, and the time. Using a Swiss movement with these complications would raise the price of the watch more than substantially.
I would love to wear a watch like this and measure silly little things like people sneezing or how long it takes for me to actually respond with my fingers to starting and stopping stuff. When it comes down to it all of this super precise measuring is made limp by the response time it takes for mental decisions to translate into manual actions. Make a chronograph that is mind controlled and then you are talking cool stuff.
ARCAP. URWERK is one of a very few watch brands – perhaps the only – making extensive use of ARCAP is their timepieces. ARCAP alloys are a proprietary group of alloys that do not contain iron and so are non magnetic. They have very high tensile strength and they are resistant to oxidation – unlike the commonly used brass that has to be plated – chemical corrosion, low temperatures and are stable under temperature changes. And compared to brass, ARCAP is more stable when machined and does not retain tension, which makes it able to be machined to higher precision. ARCAP’s advantages do not come free of charge and it wears machine tools out at a 5X higher rate than brass. In the UR-1001, the mainplate, baseplate, carrousels, satellites, dials, bridges, retrograde spiral spring and retrograde u-springs are all in ARCAP.
As I said, the Moon Invader is meant to look like a small lander craft complete with small feet. While most avant garde, the case is actually neat looking and the detail is impressive. The case is 46mm wide - but feels larger given the extensions of the RJ "X" motif that goes through the center and to the feet. It is comfortable though. There are really no other watches that look like this. The dials start with a mesh metal. This is supposed to be inspired by the tire treads of actual moon lander vehicles. Whatever it is inspired by, it look slick, and no one else I know does this.
The Jules Audemars collection from Audemars Piguet has been getting a lot of attention over the last few years. For 2011 a few new models came out including this Moon-Phase Calendar version with a beautifully balanced dial. The Jules Audemars collection has always been about thin cases with elegant designs - formal watches that aren't stuffy or boring. The last few years of AP Jules Audemars watches really hit the nail on the head for many collectors, and so should this Moon-Phase Calendar version.
The X-Ray is really about appreciating technical drawings and schematics. The watch world is full of them, although consumers rarely see them. This watch sheds a little bit of light into the world of watch movement technical drawings. The dial has the hands, subsidiary seconds dial, and one opening showing a movement ruby and palette. The four dial options either come with a hand-made brown or black leather strap. Itay Noy X-Ray watches are priced from ,640 - ,900 - each are part of a limited edition of just 99 pieces.
When pulling out the crown to adjust the time, all the retrograde hands reset to zero. The first time I did this I was like "no, I have to reset it all!" Then I realized that this was just a position they all go to when you pull out the crown. Once you put the crown back in they revert to their previous position. I believe that this has to do with the modular design of the movement, and the time and calendar functions are separate. It also allows you to mess with the time and it not effect the calendar (which is adjusted with the case pushers. All in all, for the price, the movement is very slick to operate and provides useful functionality.
This limited edition collection is based on the popular Carrera model which is big all over the world - only this time with a choice of slick colored flange rings. The are called the Carrera Limited Edition Ring-Master watches (ring-master sounds more like a circus term than it does a racing term). Each of the three models is dedicated to a Formula 1 driver (though almost covertly). The most limited of the trio will be the red-ringed model that is in honor of Alain Prost. This model will be limited to 350 pieces as opposed to the 500 pieces (each) for the blue and yellow models. I also hear that Alain Prost is reuniting with Tag Heuer for some special relationship, possibly an ambassadorship and/or some special watches.
No expense really seems to have been saved in the design and construction of this watch. Even the rubber strap is all Swiss made. Even if you don't like the aesthetic choices of Nubeo watches, I challenge you to find one and tell me that it isn't a well made timepiece. Nubeo for me was the first brand that made me want to buy a case and not care what movement was inside (though I am perfectly content with the 7750 inside of it). There are about 300 pieces of this Nubeo Arctic Snowmobile Adventure watch around. Not sure of the original price but it was in the ,000 - ,000 range if I recall correctly. For me items like this are why I got into watches in the first place.
The following timepiece auction analysis post is by Chris Meisenzahl. He is a long-time watch enthusiast and daily Speedmaster Pro wearer. He blogs at The Pretense of Knowledge and can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/speedmaster.
I recommend that you check out Arizona Fine Time if you are in the Phoenix area for a unique watch buying experience. If the odor of cigar smoke bothers you then check them out online.
Behold the HM3 Frog Zr, aka "Black Frog," the newest highly limited watch from MB&F - there will only be 18 pieces. Unless I am mistaken, this is the first watch offered by the boutique brand done in zirconium (hence the Zr part of the name). Zirconium is a rare metal similar to titanium, but known to be more robust. According to MB&F, most zirconium is used in nuclear reactors and high-tech aerospace applications. There are a few high-end watches that utilize the exotic metal, and now MB&F has an interesting piece imbued with Zr.