Tag Archive | "Chronograph"

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Historical Horology: So, Who Made The First Chronograph?

Posted on 31 August 2014 by Patrick Kansa

Louis-Moinet-chrono-02

When it comes to watches, there are generally two camps – those who are interested in where our modern watches originated from, and those who could care less. Now, the second camp, I am guessing we lost those people as soon as they saw the title of the post. Those of you left, well, welcome to the first camp. In today’s entry in the Historical Horology series, we will talk about who created the first chronograph. Continue Reading

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JeanRichard Aeroscope Chronograph Review – Back In Black

Posted on 08 July 2014 by Patrick Kansa

 

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When it comes to the watches that JeanRichard is producing, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, as I noted in my earlier review of the Terrascope. While it might be tempting to think of the lineup as boring due to the similar case designs, I think it instead speaks to a cohesive brand language. With the JeanRichard Aeroscope Chronograph, we’ve got some more variety injected in. Continue Reading

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The Shinola Runwell Contrast Chrono Review

Posted on 13 June 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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Quick, how many watch brands are there producing products in Detroit? Two that I know of, actually (we wrote about the lesser-known one here). The most well-known one, of course, is Shinola. We’ve reviewed their watches before, and I continue to have a soft spot for the brand given my ties to the area. Today, we’ll be taking a look at a more complicated version of one of their most popular models, the Shinola Runwell Contrast Chrono.

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As you can tell from the images (and my reference to complication up above), we were sent over a Runwell Contrast Chronograph for review. This particular one carries the Contrast appellation due to, well, the high-contrast dial. In this case, it’s primarily grey, with white showing up on the subdials and chapter ring, and some bits of orange accent. Paired up with the grey leather NATO strap as it is, you might be tempted to call the monochromatic fellow boring.

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Perhaps it’s just my own personality and preferences, but I found it anything but. Rather, I saw it as a well-sorted (at least in terms of styling) outing, doing what they set out to do (making a not-quite-high contrast dial) in a slick way. Oh, and as long as we’re talking about the dial, I just want to touch on the one and only numeral on the dial.

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That number, of course, is eight. If you’re at all familiar with the Detroit area, you know that 8 Mile Road is one of the boundaries of the city of Detroit (yes, the same one that Eminem popularized). So, I dug into this a bit with the brand, and oddly enough, it wasn’t actually an intentional reference to the road. Rather, it was just a styling decision to try and balance out the dial (against the date window). Be that as it may, I’m surprised they didn’t jump for the 8 Mile reference, as it makes for a much better story associating the brand with Detroit.

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That’s probably enough of my editorializing on the styling, let’s have closer look at the watch. As with many in their lineup, the Runwell Chrono is no petite watch – it’s polished stainless steel case measures in at a hefty 47mm. Surprisingly enough for that, paired to the leather strap, it only weighs in at 120g. Some of that surprisingly low weight can certainly be attributed to the quartz movement inside the case, this time being an Argonite 5030 (assembled in Detroit, of course).

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Also surprising? How well the large case actually fit to my wrist – both literally and visually. For the former, I attribute that to the curvature of the wire lugs, paired with the flexibility of the 24mm leather NATO (made by Hadley Roma). As to the latter, well, that comes back to the styling again. The curved sides of the case drop off pretty quickly from the dial, and the wire lugs really reduce the visual “bulk” of things (as compared to what standard lugs would look like). In short, this is one of the most compact “big” watches I’ve reviewed as of late.

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This all went a long way to comfort in daily wear as well. The watch performed just as you’d expect a new quartz to (flawlessly), and the grey contrast palette worked well, whether it was in the office or a more casual setting. In the end, I was surprised I liked this watch as much as I did. While it was a bit larger than I personally prefer, the overall fit paired with the color scheme really won me over. If we have the Runwell show up in a more compact size (which I’m told is on the way, and we’ll review when available), it will be a very tempting option, I think. For now, though, the Runwell Chrono – coming in at $775 – is what it is – a stylish (and relatively compact) big watch from Detroit.   shinola.com

Review Summary

  • Brand & Model: Shinola Runwell Contrast Chronograph
  • Price: $775
  • Who’s it for?: This is for the guy who’s been admiring the Shinola style, but has been waiting for something in a different colorway
  • Would I wear it?: Yes – but perhaps not as much as I would if it were sub-44mm
  • What I’d change: How about something even more different – let’s toss some lume into those subdials!
  • The best thing about it: For me, it was the overall use of grey in the watch, with the strap coming in as a close second

Backgrounds courtesy of Gustin and Renaissance Art

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The Steinhart Marine Chronograph – Blue as the Sea

Posted on 03 June 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

Steinhart Marine Chronograph 01

Steinhart is a brand that gets a lot of mention when one is looking for a value brand in Swiss watches.  Most of their offerings are well made and attractive, and come at price points that are reachable for the average beginning collector, or someone looking to step up from a quartz watch.  A new watch from the firm, the Marine Chronograh, fits nicely in that mold. Continue Reading

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Fjord Agna Chronograph – Hands On

Posted on 06 May 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

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I don’t currently own a chronograph, but have been temped to pick one up.  Fjord Timepieces recently lent me one of their chronos, the Agna, so I got to spend a bit of time with one.  The Agna is quartz driven dressy chronograph, so it works well when you have to time a business meeting or can’t let go of sports mode when you are wearing a suit. Continue Reading

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The Zenith of Lightweight Chronographs

Posted on 24 April 2014 by Matt Himmelstein

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There is a term for cyclist that applies to those of us who ride that are obsessed with getting a bike as light as it can get.  They are called weight weenies.  Well, for you weight weenies out there, meet your watch.  Zenith is releasing a limited run of their El Primero Chronograph that tips the scales at a mere 15.9 grams.  That is a bit over 1/2 an ounce, or to put it in another context, about 3 seedless grapes.

Continue Reading

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Bulova Marine Star 97B121 Review

Posted on 05 March 2014 by Patrick Kansa

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Ah, copper. It’s a material that surrounds us (just think about all the miles of wiring in your home and office), yet it’s something we rarely see. Which I think is a shame. Sure, you might see a brand new shiny penny, but that’s the exception. While today’s watch from Bulova is labeled as a rose gold tone piece, I think it might be more accurate to call the finish copper colored. Why am I so enamored with this particular finish? Continue Reading

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Historical Horology: The Chronograph

Posted on 02 March 2014 by Patrick Kansa

Chronographs-Explained

When it comes to the history of watchmaking, one of the most popular (and complex) complications that have come to be seems to be, time and again, the chronograph. While I myself seem to be personally moving away from an interest in chronographs, I certainly understand the appeal, and still believe it to be an amazing feat of engineering with the accuracy we’re able to get to these days. If you’d like to learn some more about the chronograph, and things like how it came to be, and how to use one, read right on.

First things first – this is a Historical Horology post, so we need to tackle some history. While a man by the name of Louis Monet created what we would consider to be the first chronograph watch (in 1815), it was actually Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec who created the first market-ready version that was commisioned in 1821 by King Louis XVIII. Why did the king want such an ability? To time horse races, a favorite pastime of his.

Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec

Nicolas Mathieu Rieussec

The watch proved popular, although it had an interesting quirk (by today’s usage of chronographs) – it was constantly running. It wasn’t until 1844 where we had a reset capability added by Adolphe Nicole. After that, while the watchmaking industry underwent massive changes, the chronograph itself didn’t see any massive innovation, until we come to 1958, when a rotating bezel tachmeter was added by Tag Heuer.

Of course, since that time, there’s been all manner of scales added to the chronograph, allowing for a variety of different measurements that are able to be captured. If you’d like to dig more into the history (as well as have a primer on how to read some of those scales), check out this article from Gentleman’s Gazette.

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