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The Christophe Claret Maestro Mamba slithers on to the scene

Over the past few years, we’ve seen watches that commemorate nature in some form or fashion.  This could be from artistic interpretations (say, engravings, or interpretations like Frederic Jouvenot or Dietrich), or could even take simpler paths to this, by including materials from nature, like we saw with Khamama.  Or, you know, you could do something like putting the leather from an exotic animal on the strap of your watch (we’ve seen this on a few brands, and the real deal blows the embossed-leather stuff away).  Or, you know, if you’re a luxury Swiss brand, you can do all of that, and that’s what we’ve got with the Christophe Claret Maestro Mamba.

Ferro & Company Traditum: First Look

I’ll admit up front that I’ve not paid all that much attention to the micro brand Ferro & Company out of Vancouver, Canada. I’ve heard bits and pieces over the years, but never really taken a close look at their offerings. That is, until now. After several quite successful Kickstarter campaigns, Ferro’s latest project is the Traditum (Latin for “Traditional”), an aptly named Swiss powered, hand-wound mechanical time piece. Let’s take a look.

The Marloe Haskell has Antarctic style and class

The author, Jeffrey Donenfeld, standing at the Ceremonial South Pole, Antarctica while working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.

Marloe Watch Company is a new company, starting in 2015, but specializing in vintage-inspired, heritage-rich timepieces. Based out of Oxfordshire, England, they now produce four varieties of wristwatches, each with their own story. Their latest piece is the Haskell – inspired by British Antarctica adventure, this watch features a classic design, and most notable, an incredible etching of the continent of Antarctica on the caseback.

Big news about a little watch from Christopher Ward: the sub-6 mm C5 Malvern 595

Mechanical watches in the under-$1,000 price range tend to be thicker and larger these days. A 42 mm x 12 mm automatic can pass for a dress watch, and even the slimmer manual offerings are mostly thicker than 6 mm—until now.

A modern Genta: Hands-on with the D1 Milano

The D1 Milano is a mash-up of classic Gerald Genta designs that amounts to something more unique than just a homage to any particular watch.

Flipping coins with the R. Paige Duo

When it comes to watches featured reused, repurposed, or otherwise recycled movements, I am all ears.  I like the idea of new life getting breathed into these tiny mechanical machines which, if properly maintained, can live for quite a long time.  Sure, vintage movements may not have the accuracy of modern movements, but there is no doubt of the appeal of a 100+ year old movement ticking away on your wrist.  Which brings us to today’s watch. the R. Paige Duo.

Kickin’ it Octagon Style

Often, when a company is looking to drum up business on Kickstarter (or any other crowd-funding site), it’s because they’re not established or want to secure pre-orders, and generally do this by offering things at pretty affordable price points. Because, frankly, you as the buyer are shouldering a good deal of risk.  Well, this is not so with the latest project to hit KS from Mark Carson, with his new Mark Carson Octagon Watch.  Cause, you see, Carson likes to do things differently.

The Meistersinger City Edition 2017 single-handedly won my heart

The Meistersinger City Edition 2017 – a hand wound, exhibition caseback, limited edition, classic vintage styled single hander. In the Meistersinger tradition, it has only one hand – indicating both the hour and minute, and fully embodying the more laid back conception of time Meistersinger is known for. I was lucky to get my hands on one of the limited edition City editions, a very very handsome hand-winder with a 42 hour power reserve, and fantastic strap.

Heritage

Meistersinger has been making watches in the German city of Munster since 2001. Although a relatively new brand, they’re deeply steeped in traditional techniques and culture. Founder Manfred Brassler drew inspiration from single-handed clocks from the ages in creating the Meistersinger single hand watch, appreciating the indication of the time to the nearest five minutes, but not much more. The single hand encourages a sense of calm and relaxation – a true luxury in our quick modern world.

Tower Clocks of the Middle Ages – the original one-handers. According to MeisterSinger;

The tower clocks of the Middle Ages also needed nothing more than a single hand: Visible from far away for the town’s citizens and the rural population, they showed how the day progressed, when it was time to rest, or when to finish work in the evenings. They helped people to plan their time. It was only modern times and the advent of industrialization that made it necessary to think in terms of increasingly short time periods. The clocks were gradually fitted with minute and second hands, which made people aware of the constant passing of valuable time.

Initial Impressions

The City Edition 2017 comes in a very well made double box, and includes a certificate of authenticity, guarantee, and “Rituals of Time” MeisterSinger catalog. Overall first impression is great – and besides the bold white single hand, the first thing I noticed is the stiff, thick vintage leather band. It’s stiff and thick to begin with, but after a little wear, it softens up and conforms to the wrist. The leather is great feeling, and unlike other straps, the leather of this strap will almost certainly get better and better with time. The chunky stitches complete the look.

As a hand winder, the City Edition must be wound for a few seconds before the watch runs, and once it’s fully wound it has a 42 hour power reserve.

Fit and Finish

I initially loved the exhibition caseback letting me see the moving escapement, as well as etched limited edition number on the back. Dial registration and printing is perfect, and the polish and shape of the gold numerals is excellent. Polishing is perfect, and the lustre of the steel case accents the lustre of the gold numbers perfectly. Another fun detail is the “dot” of the MeisterSinger logo is completed as the parking detent for the prong on the buckle.

Feel On The Wrist

Stiff at first, but as soon as that vintage leather strap breaks in, this watch easily becomes a part of the routine. It’s comfortable, looks better with age, and its handsome good looks can be worn equally well with a suit as it can with a casual weekend outfit. I’m also beginning to love the attention the single hand gets – certainly something fun to talk about.

Hand Wound, Single Hand

The City Edition 2017 is powered by the Sellita SW 210 hand-wound movement, with a 42 hour power reserve. Notably, this movement supports hour/minute/second hands, with a “hacking” second or “stop” second. However MeisterSinger only uses the “hour” display feature of the movement.

This fits in line with the “No.01” series from MeisterSinger, although this is a special limited edition. Unlike the typical Meistersinger No. 01, the City Edition has an see through caseback, so the wearer can see the movement, and custom city graphics. From Otto Frei:

The Sellita SW210-1 is an improved clone version of the obsolete ETA 2801-2 movement. This manual wind watch 11.5 ligne movement, features 19 jewels and Incabloc shock system. Most parts are interchangeable with the ETA 2801-2. Hand sizes Minute 0.90 mm, Hour 1.50 mm and sweep 0.25 mm. 28,800 BPH, lift angle of balance 50.

 

Final Thoughts

Classic good looks, a traditional and reliable hand-wound movement, a limited edition, and global vibe make this both a collectors item and a versatile daily wearer. Sure, it take a bit more mindfulness to wind your watch every few days, but that small bit of fidgety maintenance becomes a pleasure. The strap is a surprise winner, and adds immeasurably to the watches versatile appeal.

Next..

MeisterSinger has impressed with their eye toward heritage, ability to craft a very solid piece, embed interesting history and global appeal, and stay stylish. The City Edition 2017 is certainly a versatile “around town” watch. When heading out into the field though, MeisterSinger has what looks like a competent and very interesting answer to the traditional dive watch – the single handed, “Jumping Hour” Salthora Meta X. Reach out if you’re interested in a rundown of the single handed diver…

Specifications

  • Stainless steel
  • Diameter 40 mm
  • Height 10,8 mm
  • Domed sapphire glass
  • Water resistance 5 bar
  • Selitta SW 210
  • Hand-wound
  • Diameter 25,6 mm
  • Height 3,4 mm
  • 17 jewels
  • 28.800 semioscillations per h – 4Hz
  • Power reserve 42 h

Tic Toc Goes the New TOC Watch

Based in Dublin, Ireland, TOC watch is a new Kickstarter Watch brand founded by two lads by the name of Max and Will. In 2016, deep discussion of what makes a watch great grew into action. Starting on July 26th, 2017 the Kickstarter campaign will begin on their watch, the TOC19. The TOC19 is inspired by the Bauhaus era and uses a hand wound movement for its simplicity. They were kind enough to send me out one of their prototypes to review.

Riding the Rails with the G. Gerlach PM36

Back in October, John brought you word of the new G. Gerlach PM36 series.  Now, we’re a few months down the road, and we are able to bring you our hands-on impressions of this beauty of a railroad watch.