My buddy Amit lives in Nigeria now and just bought a Vulcain Cricket GMT to celebrate a new job. He wrote a bit about his experience and it was quite moving.
I tell you what, buying the Vulcain was a real
extravagance but I didn’t do it on a whim. I’ve always known that I would
buy a nice watch at some point and when I saw the thing in a shop window I
knew that would be the one. I then made an agreement with Claire that I
would only buy it if/when I got my next job. So that watch waited for me
in that shop window for five months. In fact, although we then bought the
watch when my new job had been agreed in principle, I didn’t wear it until
the paperwork had been completed and that took another three months!! I
had my wife hide it in the house and then had to try and forget about it.
It was agony!!
If you’re like me, that review we did a little bit ago on the Merci LMM-01 sort of came out of nowhere. Unless you’re local to Paris or travelled through there, I’d say it’s even money that you had never heard of Merci before. I, for one, am glad to have learned of them. Though, one always wonders when a new watch pops up out of nowhere, particularly when driven from an already established store. So, to that end, we conducted a quick interview with the CEO of Merci, Arthur Gerbi. Read on to learn how he decided that now was the time to introduce the LMM-01 to the world. As it turns out, he really is a watch guy at heart, from an early age.
When it comes to our Everyday Carry, we are often times relying on experts (such as those at EverydayCarry) to point us in the right direction for particular pieces of gear we might be looking to add. Of course, a lot of what you end up carrying comes to be through trial-and-error, just figuring out what works best for your preferences.
Go to Christopher Ward Watches, and see the work of a visionary. Chris Ward is an entrepreneur who returned to the watch industry, and has made a bit of a splash. His goal is to make “the cheapest most expensive watch in the world” at “the biggest ‘smallest’ watch company”.
He uses first rate Swiss movements, currently ETA 2824 automatic, ISA quartz, and Ronda quartz movements (but Valjoux may be on the horizon). Style and substance go together when these bits of quality mechanism are put inside tasteful cases with restrained dials and hands. The basic watches, in his Russell and Malvern lines are relativel small by modern standards at 38 mm, but some of the other chronographs and his dive watches are a little more typical at 42mm. The styling of the chronographs was also a pleasant surprise as it was not the customary Rolex, or Breitling homage, but a distinct designs that took a few risks without getting as gaudy as the fashion watches. The Russell line stands out as distinctive and classic, and one of the other lines was inspired by early IWC aviators’ watches, but still look good. The attention to detail comes through in the photos, and they certainly look like $500 to $1000 (U.S.) watches, but the collection averages about half that.
David McCready got into the watch business by accident. His father, a renowned engineer who built some of the first microwave systems, was an inveterate collector of arcane electronics. One day, when McCready was a boy, the son of a jeweler accidentally rang the wrong doorbell. McCready answered and the man peeked in and was amazed at the equipment that filled the McCready’s house. The jeweler’s son followed in McCready’s father’s footsteps and became and expert in electronics. McCready followed in the jeweler’s footsteps — at the age of 13 McCready took up the loupe and watch knife. The rest, as they say, is history.
We had a chance to sit down with Ted Brown of Berkbinder & Brown to talk about his Tool Watch. So far, we covered the beginning of the Tool Watch, Mr. Brown’s “watch cred”, choice of movement, and the case design, and some other “miscellaneous” items. Today we’ll conclude our interview.
The proprietor of Gnomon Watches, a Singapore based on-line watch dealer, Anders Tan wasn’t happy just selling watches, so he took the next step and started making them. Dievas Watches got off to a slow start with the now discontinued Mesopelagic line, and the Endurance and Noble lines which are still in production. The designs were conventional, but they used tritium tube illumination and looked like fairly robust dive watches.
Then he released the Oceantimer series. This was a little more dramatic and distinctive, and was worth a second look. The Vintage series came out as an homage to a certain Italian military dive watch from the 1930s, but in a price range mere mortals can afford. Then the Divergraph series hit the street, and I just had to talk with this guy.
After getting bachelor’s degrees in Computer Engineering and Business in England, he went into the watch business. He’s very humble about his position in the market, giving credit to the watchmakers, distributors, and regular customers, and is grateful for their guidance and everything they’ve taught him. Anders was quick to acknowledge the contributions to his watch designs from his friends and customers.
When asked about the inspirations for his designs, Anders said, “I love watches. And appreciate all things watches. From Vintage to contemporary watches. I have my fair share of vintage and military watches that I managed to gather throughout the years. And a lot of my inspirations comes from there.” The military look, both contemporary in the Divergraph series, and classic in the Vintage series shines through in his newest lines. He went on to say, “And most of my designs so far has been focusing on simplicity and usability with a splash of colors.” And the use of orange and blue tritium tubes in the Divergraphs, and the hands on the Vintage Kampfschimmer is subtle and tasteful, achieving this goal.
I wrote a profile of Blancier for InSync magazine, one of the best titles out there for U.S. watch coverage—I’m not just saying that, either. Go and get yourself a copy and read some of their great Basel coverage and to read my interviews with Willem Kamerman and Till Lottermann, two of the coolest watch ninjas out there.
Just talked to Yizhi at WatchLuxus.com, our latest advertiser and a man with a mission. We did a quick Q&A over email and here’s what I got.
Me: Tell me about WatchLuxus.com
Yizhi: Watchluxus.com is designed to become the ultimate destination for people interested in anything connected with the quality watch market.
The website offers a complete on-line catalogue of every high-value wristwatch collection, world-wide, to support everyone – from people buying a gift, to an expert looking for a collector’s item. The site also features a watch-finder, market-place for secondhand watches, watch forum and news blog.
Me: Hey, we’re a news blog too! But that’s OK. Now you mentioned something about helping in the purchase process?
Riedenschild is a small German watch company just starting out here in the U.S. Most famous for their Darksea Diver, the company is now increasing its presence and is offering quartz and automatics with Swiss and Japanese movements. We talked to U.S. rep James Newell about the company.
WWR: Tell me about the company? Who runs it? Where is it based?
Newell: The company is german based company from Munich. We design and produce the watches there. The company in Germany in Owned by Oliver Wolf. I am the Owner of the US based operations. My full name is Dr. James Newell.
WristWatchReview is the web's oldest watch site with a focus on affordable, exciting timepieces. We do not sell watches and we are not paid for reviews. The site is edited by Patrick Kansa and John Biggs.