Welcome to Watching the Web, our weekly look around the internet for interesting watch related articles and news, and our chance to highlight our most popular recent posts. This week, we have smart watch backs, an essay about HMT, and an overview on luxury watch complications. From our our site, the Ball Watch Night Train, the Manchester Watch Works Armada, and the Benarus Megalodon were the most interesting to you, our readers.
First up, we have an article that poses a question – do you need a smart watch, or just a smart caseback? This grabbed my interest, as I have become more interested in the sort of add-ons that can get vibrations and notifications added on to a regular watch, without the need to decide between a smart watch or traditional watch, or go the double-wrist route. In this article over at IEEE Spectrum, they cover a new startup called Chronos. With their new stick-on watch back, you can keep your favorite watch and still get notifications, and do things such as dismissing calls by tapping the front of the watch. This is a clever option (even more so than the add-on watch straps we’ve seen so far), and I hope that this is one that comes to fruition.
Next up, we have an essay that takes you through what is left today of the HMT Watches empire. Yes, once upon a time, it was quite the empire, creating a multitude of watches. From a high point of creating two million watches a year, they have stumbled now and only produce a few each day. I have been able to have a few HMT watches cross my desk, and while they are far from luxury watches, they are fun little mechanical timepieces. It is sad to see something like this happening to the company, but it seems like there are some plans to try and at least keep things humming along and hopefully keep the HMT name alive on wrists in India and around the world. For the full dive on what’s happened to the company, check out this article over at the WSJ.
Finally, we have an overview on the various watch complications from the team over at Wixon Jewelers. I’ve no idea how they are as a shop, but this is a rather nice roundup they have put together. While these focus in on the luxury brands, it is still a handy reference, especially if you are newer to the world of watches. The page runs through eight different complications, ranging from the simple date display, on up to the more complex complications like a minute repeater and tourbillon. Sure, many of the terms are likely familiar to regular readers of WWR, but a little review never hurt anyone, did it?
From our own pages, the Ball Night Train DLC was again one of the top posts of the week. Of course, it’s a great, more-or-less entry-level piece for the brand. Frankly, if you’re going for a tritium watch, Ball is certainly on the top of the heap when it comes to your options, with a wide range of styles. This particular aviator, while not my favorite from the brand, was a nice change of pace from what I’ve reviewed from them before. You can see the full writeup here.
Next up, we have the latest outing from the folks over at Manchester Watch Works, the Armada. They have put together some nice watches so far, and this latest offering, which brings solar power to the party, is a great iteration. Matt liked what he saw in the information we were provided, and I agree that the sapphire crystal and stem tube extension definitely separate it out from other solar-powered watches at this price point.
Last, but certainly not least, we have another crowd-funded watch that Matt covered, the always popular Benarus Megalodon. I have made no secret that I am a fan of what Benarus is creating, and though I have not seen the Megalodon in the steel (John has), I do understand the appeal of a massive dive watch like this. For me, what I really like on this watch are the lumed shark-tooth indices on the dial, it really sets it off. You can see Matt’s full writeup on the Benarus Megalodon right here.
The month is just about over, so there is very little time to enter our give-away for a fitness minded smartwatch from Wellograph if you haven’t already. We didn’t feature it here, but I reviewed it on A Blog to Watch back in January. If you are interested in this fitness tracker, head over to our contest page and enter to win.
We also want to put the call out for wrist shots of our reader’s favorite (or at least favorite of the moment) watches. Put together an email of your wrist shot and tell us a little about the watch and why you love it. If you happened to be introduced to it through our site (or won it through a give-away), even better. Just make sure the image is a JPEG and at least 800 pixels wide.
With that, I will 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.