The Santos line has many variations, however, they are all styled like the original. This includes a square case that is slightly curved on both sides which makes it fit effortlessly on the wrist. The dial has the signature Cartier Roman numerals, including the incorrect IIII at four o'clock - this allows the markers on the right to better symmetrically match the ones on the left.
There are not many companies that produce quality silicone straps because there is more to it than what meets the eye. Both Everest Horology and RubberB shared that producing silicone straps is a tiresome effort done out of passion for Rolex and to improve the Rolex watch wearing experience. The amount of trial and error with prototypes and the amount of handiwork each strap requires makes designing and manufacturing straps a tiresome effort. Because silicone straps are not hand stitched or hand cut, most people assume that the strap pops out of a production mold, into packaging and off to the retailer. But in reality, high quality silicone straps require a clean room, are cured, cleaned, shaped/trimmed, vulcanized, and coated such that it possesses the quality and durability levels fitting for a Rolex watch. Many people associate silicone with rubber, but in reality they are entirely different. The only things that are “rubber” are items made from the material directly from a rubber tree. Everest Horology uses “medical grade silicone rubber” that is an exacting specification that exceeds FDA standards and must have zero reaction with the human body.
The domed crystal has a very effective anti-reflective coating on it and is visible from extreme angles. The dial has the minute markers on the chapter ring, a design I like as it leaves the dial less cluttered.
For show, there are changing color LED lights placed behind the winder modules. This means you get a bright light show when the inner cylinder spins into view and your many Big Bangs and King Power watches greet you. It is pure spectacle, but at these prices you better damn demand it. In this skin, the special item is called the Hublot Safe. It is based on the newer Dottling Morphosis watch winder safe which can be ordered in many other styles based on the cylinder architecture. An even higher-security version is available which weights 500 kilograms. Price is around 190,000 Swiss Francs. Unfortunately the cost does not include Mr. Biver personally rolling it into your living room.
With 24mm lugs, there are lots of strap options due to the Panerai influence. I'd been meaning to check out the new segmented-plastic bracelets made popular by the JLC Navy Seals, so I bought one from Panatime to try here. At a super-light 33g for the bracelet, it's an excellent complement to a titanium watch:
You recently got a first look at the new BMW by Ball watch collection here on aBlogtoWatch.com. There you learned that Swiss Ball watches was to be a major timepiece making partner of the Bavarian Motor Works car company. The details were a bit scant but you learned what the pieces were going to look like as well as that there wold be four version to start - one of them a limited edition.
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.
Let me ask you something, does the tourbillon bridge look like a peacock? See what I mean. I totally see a peacock or some other bird. The movement is the Ulysse Nardin produced caliber UN-78. Manually wound, it has about 70 hours of power reserve and looks pretty fantastic as visible through the sapphire crystal caseback. I took a heap of pictures of the movement - many of which you can see in the gallery below. Not only is the movement architecture attractive and well finished, but it is great to watch it in action when you activate the minute repeater.
So... the Hublot King Power Cathedral Gong Tourbillon Minute Repeater. In White. Yes, the name is a mouthful, and you may have seen the carbon fibre edition released by Hublot previously (hands-on here), but this colour, complete with the Marcus (a watch boutique in London on Bond Street) 'M' logo at 12 o'clock, is a piece unique (one of a kind). The manual wind calibre HUB8100 movement, developed by Hublot (and their now subsidiary movement division from BNB Concept) contains a column wheel monopusher chronograph, tourbillon and minute repeater functions. Apparently it is the most complex movement made by the manufacturer to date.
Nighttime legibility is excellent, as the hands and dial have excellent lume applied without being too busy:
The 45mm wide case is a work of art. I love the rivets on the case that hearken to bodies of older aircraft. Not since the famous Tiffany & Co. Streamerica have I seen rivets that look this nice on a watch. The steel case is brushed and in some models offered in black PVD. The rivets however are polished to standout nicely. You then have the hinged articulating lugs for comfort (and style). Over the dial is a sapphire crystal, and the case is water resistant to 100 meters.
The second watch in the High Performance collection is the High Performance Chronograph. Neither the name nor design are particularly original, but again it does look nice. I suspect that the case size is the same as the diver, but in this instance the material for the case is ceramic. That is nice enough, and if the cases are anything like those on the ceramic Girard-Perregaux ww.tc models then they will be lovely.
Over the dial is an AR coated sapphire crystal, which is nice. The case is only water resistant to 50 meters, which means it might be OK for a light swim. No i-Gucci diving for you. But i-Gucci hand washing is a-OK. It took a little while to warm up to me, but in the end I did enjoy the comfort and style of the watch on my wrist. Brand enthusiasts will love the engraved "Gucci" logo always welcoming them. Now what about using the watch?
This article was written to generally inform people about titanium as a watch case material and has been obviously simplified. A larger discussion of titanium would expand on each of these topics and include many more. Though as watch lovers you hopefully have a new perspective on the popular metal. In conclusion, if you buy a titanium watch, especially one with a good coating, you will be happy with your decision.