Archive | May, 2014

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Watching the Web for May 31, 2014

Posted on 31 May 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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Welcome back to our weekly installment, where we have a quick look at some interesting watches and articles that have popped up over the last week, as well as taking a second look at what some of our more popular articles this week were. Today, we’ve got a very nice Seiko that features a GMT complication, and a look at a watch brand I’ve not heard much about, Szanto.  After those, we’ll highlight (as usual) some of our more popular posts from the last week. Read on to see what we’ve got in store for you.

grand-seiko-hi-beat-36000-gmt-collection

The Grand Seiko lineup is one that many of you likely don’t need any introduction too.  Sure, when you first hear about the line and the prices they go for (you don’t expect a four-figure Seiko, at least not when you’ve just picked up a Monster), you’re stopped in your tracks.  Do some research on them, and you may change your tune a bit, realizing the quality (and accuracy) they’re building.  While they’ve been a curiosity for me before, I’ve never given them too much thought.  That changes with the introduction of a GMT complication.  The team over at Monochrome give the watch a rundown, including word on the price (fortunately for my watch box, well out of my price range).

szanto

Going over to the opposite end of the pricing spectrum, TheTimeBum has a look at a brand I’ve not seen much attention on before, Szanto.  This looks to be a pretty massive watch (46mm) that wears a tad smaller, with some rather vintage looks (inspiration is supposedly drawn from the 1940s).  What I found the most interesting about this quartz chronograph was the fact that none of the subdials, or the date window, cut into the main numerals.  Sure, if makes things a bit “squished” in the middle of the dial, but it does give you full-size numerals, which is a common complaint on chronos.  Check out the review right here.

Christopher Ward C65 03

Now, let’s head back to our own pages.  First up, we’ve got Matt’s look at the newest model in the Christopher Ward Trident lineup, the C65.  We’re big fans of CW here, and I really enjoyed my time with the C60 Trident.  This latest version (well, when it’s available in June) takes the basic design in more of a dressy direction.  Sure, I miss the inclusion of a GMT complication, but for a clean three-hander for the office, this is a compelling (and affordable) option.

Bremont MBII 2

Next up we’ve got another of Matt’s articles, this time talking about a Bremont that most of us will never have the chance to own.  The reason being is that we’ve not ejected from a plane in a Martin-Baker ejection seat, which is a pre-requisite for owning this particular watch.  Should you like the styling, there are some civilian-ready variants, of course.  Check out Matt’s article for more details on the lineup.

AVI-8-Hawker-Harrier-II (8)

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget that you have a day left to enter our May giveaway!  Head on over here and get your entries in.

With that, we’ll wrap things up. As always, if there’s something you think we should be covering, feel free to drop us a line. If you bring something up that we end up writing about, we’ll be sure to tip our hats (electronically, if not literally) in your general direction.

Pictures courtesy of the source site

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A Leica Watch?

Posted on 30 May 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Valbray EL1 01

Well, not exactly.  Fans of Leica cameras now have another object to drool over, this one from a collaboration with a small boutique Swiss watchmaker, Valbray, the EL1.  Valbray has been making their Oculus Chronograph which uses a unique iris diaphragm to hide the chronograph functions from view when not in use.  There are several variations on the watch already in production, all in limited numbers, and all with variations on colors and materials. Continue Reading

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A Dive Watch for the Office

Posted on 29 May 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Christopher Ward C65 01

Both Patrick and I are fans of Christopher Ward.  And we both like dive watches.  But as a diver, I see the days of needing a dive watch as long gone.  But the ruggedness of a dive watch, that is something which should stick around.  And if you take that ruggedness, and tone it down so it works as a true business watch, then you have a nice product for the real world.  Which brings me to the Christopher Ward C65 Trident Classic, available as a pre-order right now. Continue Reading

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James McCabe Master Review

Posted on 28 May 2014 by Patrick Kansa

 

James-McCabe-JM-1011-03-01

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the second James McCabe model that was sent over for review. While the first one we reviewed was a bit of a mixed bag for me, today’s model I found to be a better option – at least for my tastes and wrist size. As we saw before, James McCabe doesn’t go in for fancy names on their lineup. This watch line is known simply as the Master; our specific reference for the review is the JM-1011-03.

James-McCabe-JM-1011-03-15

This watch is another dress piece, there’s no doubt about that. You’ve got a polished case (this time in a rose gold tone; 43mm x 12mm), croc-embossed strap, polished numerals and indices, and the sword-style handset. Fortunately for my wrist, they went for a more conventional lug design and geometry, so this one fit on my wrist a great deal better – so we were definitely off to a better start. As with the Lurgan, we do have a cutout on the dial exposing the balance wheel, which is partially obscured again. In this implementation, though, it wasn’t as big of a deal in my eyes.

James-McCabe-JM-1011-03-12

That’s because you can actually see vast portions of the Sea Gull TY 2809 movement (customized a bit for the brand) through the translucent dial (in this case, in a shade of brown). This is one of the more intriguing, and readable, methods that I’ve seen for implementing a skeleton watch. On one hand, you can see a majority of the movement through the dial, and on the other, you’ve got a dial that’s very easy to read at a glance – no searching for the handset (which can sometimes be hard to pick out on a skeleton watch, as I’m sure you’ve seen).

James-McCabe-JM-1011-03-04

This just made for a rather interesting look – giving you some great visual interest when you want in, and an otherwise mostly brown-toned (the outer ring is black) dress watch for when you didn’t. Flipping the watch over, you see a good-sized exhibition window, which further exposes the skeletonized bits of the movement (and the rotor). Unlike the Lurgan, the Master also seems appropriately sized for the movement that it contains.

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Wearing the watch was without an issue. The sizing was spot on for me (though, it does have a generously long strap, so it should fit larger wrists), and slipped easily under a cuff. With the overall color scheme, it seems pretty much aimed at the office environment, though it would easily work with a suit or sport coat, should the need arise.

James-McCabe-JM-1011-03-05

If you couldn’t tell, this was definitely my favorite of the two watches James McCabe sent over. There’s no word on what the movement is, precisely – but since it’s not called out, my guess is that it’s of Chinese origin. Not that that’s a bad thing in my book, it’s just an educated guess. When it comes to affordable skeletonized movements, China is where the brands seem to go.

James-McCabe-JM-1011-03-09

In the end, this is another affordable option from the folks at James McCabe. Should you not like the earthy color palette used in this example, they do have a few other options (you can see them here(http://mccabewatches.com/products/jm-1011-03)). Coming in at a price of around $333, direct from James McCabe, this is a rather unique implementation of a skeleton watch that would probably be one of my top recommendations for someone looking for this style of watch. companyurl
Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: James McCabe Master (JM-1011-03)
  • Price: ~ $333
  • Who’s it for?: The guy looking for an easy-to-read skeleton watch that’s ready for the office
  • Would I wear it?: I’m not sure how much time it would get in the rotation, but I could definitely see wearing this one now and again
  • What I’d change: Well, let’s get clever here. How about a polarized layer that you could rotate to slide between completely obscuring and fully displaying the movement?
  • The best thing about it: The slick implementation of displaying a skeletonized movement

 

Backgrounds courtesy of Gustin

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Do Good With a Can (Watch)

Posted on 27 May 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Can Watch 2

One of the nice things about writing for a widely read site is that companies will send us notices of upcoming designs and products in advance of the public release.  This was the case with the Can Watch, who sent us a notice a while back.  I will be honest, my reaction at the time was not positive.  But in reflection, the watch project on Kickstarter is definitely unique and will give anyone who gets one of these watches a story behind the product, and the project does hope to do good on a couple of levels. Continue Reading

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Happy Memorial Day

Posted on 26 May 2014 by Patrick Kansa

trench_watch_1916_gold

Today in the United States, of course, it’s a day known as Memorial Day.  While military watches come and go (and we’ve reviewed quite a few here in the past), I’m still of a mind to focus in on a particular type of watch that spent a lot of time on the battlefield in the days gone by.  That watch is, of course, the trench watch.  While you won’t find them being carried in our military today, they were definitely in heavy use in the past.  For more on this topic (as well as some new ones being made today), check out our post from a year ago.

While the styling is certainly unique, and not for everyone these days, they certainly do have an interesting appeal – especially if you’ve had one handed down to you from your dad or grandfather.  For the rest of us, you’ll be looking for a “new” trenchwatch.  For those, you can see what Doughboy has on offer right here.

Once you’re done with your reading, get out and enjoy the day – and be thankful for our freedoms that so many have sacrificed for.

 

 

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The Sunday Video Rewind For May 25, 2014

Posted on 25 May 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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So, the last Video Rewind post went over pretty well, so I thought I’d scare up a few more for you to check out today.  First up, we’ve got one from the folks over at Timex that give a sort of artistic look at their Intelligent Quartz series:

Flipping to the other end of the watch-buying spectrum, the WSJ (Digital Edition) takes look at what goes on in a private watch shopping room in Hong Kong (including a minute repeater around the 4:30 mark):

And last, but not least, we’ve got a musical interlude.  Never quite sure what searching random videos will turn up, but I ran across this one called “Irish Wristwatch”:

(if you’d prefer a more studio-quality version, here it is):

And with that, we’ll wrap things up for today.  If you’ve got a video you think we should take a look at, feel free to drop us a line.

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Watching the Web for May 24, 2014

Posted on 24 May 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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Welcome back to our weekly installment, where we have a quick look at some interesting watches and articles that have popped up over the last week, as well as taking a second look at what some of our more popular articles this week were. Today, we’ve got a Kickstarter watch review and a treatise on sapphire crystals.  After those, we’ll highlight (as usual) some of our more popular posts from the last week. Read on to see what we’ve got in store for you.

ZELOS_HELMSMAN_DIAL5

So, first off, lets talk about the Zelos Helsman.  Matt wrote about the watch back in March, and now the team over at Worn & Wound have a hands-on review of a prototype version.  This is a great way for us to get a sense of what the watch is actually all about, with the potential for seeing areas that might see further refinement.  Check out what W&W thought of the watch right here.

Sapphire-Crystal-Growth

When it comes to crystals, I think we all like to see sapphire crystals in a new watch, both for durability as well as an inferred sign of quality.  That said, have you ever thought about how that crystal is made?  No, there isn’t some weird mine where freakishly large sapphires are dug up to end up on your watch.  As with many things these days, they’re grown – on an industrial scale.  For more on this, check out the informative writeup over at WoundForLife.

invicta

Turning back to our own pages, it seems some of John’s older writing has been striking a chord as of late.  One of the perennial top articles from our archives deal with some bad news around one person’s experience with Invicta.  While we all like to forget that many of us started with a cheaper fashion brand, it seems that Invicta draws a special kind of ire.  Then again, with the story outlined here, that may not be that surprising.

foursome

To end things on a higher note, let’s talk Seiko.  Specifically, some classic Seiko’s.  In this post from all the way back in 2006, John drops some knowledge on the movements contained in these pieces.  As with all things watches, you can really get down in the weeds if you want to learning all of the details and lineages of older movements.  If that’s your cup of tea, or you think it might be, this is a great primer on some affordable examples you’re likely to find.

AVI-8-Hawker-Harrier-II (3)

Last, but certainly not least, don’t forget that you have a week left to enter our May giveaway!  Head on over here and get your entries in.

With that, we’ll wrap things up. As always, if there’s something you think we should be covering, feel free to drop us a line. If you bring something up that we end up writing about, we’ll be sure to tip our hats (electronically, if not literally) in your general direction.

Pictures courtesy of the source site

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