When Chanel first released the J12 they likely had the same issue... where men simply could not take men's Chanel watches seriously. Nowadays, you have a lot of men wearing Chanel watches. Perhaps not all types of men. but enough to see how a feminine brand can successfully offer a male product. While not as revolutionary, perhaps the Octea Abyssal Automatic will be Swarovski's J12.
Stallone is well-known for being a serious collector of things from watches to belt buckles. He loves his gadgets and as an icon has helped make a lot of watches popular. Most notable of course was his role in getting Panerai watches popular among his peers in Hollywood. He was also one of the leaders in the "large watch" movement. The Carl F. Bucherer Patravi TravelTec GMT watch is 46mm wide and contains a base ETA movement which is modified by CFB. They call it the caliber CFB 1901 automatic chronometer movement. This model can display up to three timezones, has a chronograph, and the date. The design is an acquired taste, but I have to commend Carl F. Bucherer in releasing (what are in my opinion) watches with inherently useful complications. The movement has a lot of cool features, I am not going to discuss them all here, but if you are interested in the piece you should know that.
See, the story of Marcus Margulies and his contribution to the horology world stretches pretty far back. As a veteran of the luxury watch industry, his distribution company Time Products, along with the self-named Marcus boutique, was one of the first to back Hublot at a time when it had just been headed by Jean-Claude Biver, the charismatic former CEO of the brand, and the man largely credited with bringing Hublot's yearly revenue up from 20m Swiss Francs in 2004 to approximately 300m Swiss Francs last year. The faith put into the brand by Marcus, who acted as not only its first new retailer but also the UK distributor, is recognised to have been a significant force behind the brand's success. The store and its proprietor are very well known in watch circles, so the introduction of the then lesser known Hublot brand into the horological equivalent of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory immediately sparked interest from other retailers and collectors alike. The rest is history, and these two unique pieces have been created by Hublot to celebrate both Marcus' 70th birthday, and also the 10th anniversary of the Marcus boutique.
Aside from the larger size, the most distinctive difference with this Speedmaster is the two versus three chronograph subdials. Though, it does retain the functionality of a full 12 hour chronograph. The left subdial is for the normal seconds, while the right one has two hands that track the chronograph minutes and hours. The central seconds hand measures chronograph seconds. The caliber 9300 (9301) uses both a column wheel and vertical clutch for the chronograph. Operating it is smooth and precise. Though aside from the central seconds hand, the chronograph hands are not lumed. This makes tracking the chronograph in the dark not possible, for the small percentage of people who require that functionality.
Thickness: 16.55 mm
A neat feature is how the time satellite window system is open and you can see right through the Zeit Machine when the rear case flap is open. Aside from the satellites, the dial has a subsidiary seconds dial, day/night indicator and power reserve indicator. On the back of the watch are the amusing, but dubiously useful running indicator and service indicator. On the one hand those features could be seen as whimsical and fun. On the other hand they could be seen as a foreboding message that a several thousand dollar service is coming up, and that if properly maintained the watch will see you to your death... and beyond. Good ol' Swiss craftsmanship.
The Cross watch collection names are a bit general. What I mean is that under each name there seems to be lots of watches. The collection names include the Gotham, New Chicago, Arial, Cambria, and Palatino. Each has a steel case with sizes between about 41-42mm wide for the men's models. What you see before you is really just a small sampling of the many models they have. Note that the collections come with leather straps or steel bracelets.
The Rolex Sky-Dweller watch name is a curious thing as I don't personally see any connection to the sky or aviation. The name aside, this watch looks like an evolved Date-Just II watch. The Rolex Sky-Dweller has the fluted bezel of most Date Just watches and a similar set of hour markers. The case and bracelet is similar as well. The watch itself will be 42mm wide and initially available only in 18k gold.
When writing about less expensive watches I aim to ensure that budget options are fun and useful. Taking a host of design cues from both popular Swiss and Japanese dive watches, these two new collections from Nautica aren't too bad at prices which are likely to be under 0 each.
One of the most fascinating moments of the fair was during a meeting with several leading members of the Asian watch industry on the market as a whole. Representatives from different countries sat and spoke to each other forum style on the ups and downs of the business itself over the last year. They discussed everything from legal to labor issues, as well as the implication of new laws and tariffs on their business. There wasn't a sense of competition, but a friendly cooperative of people in the same industry discussing the issues that affected them. Surely this takes place in the European watch industry, but the media would never even be allowed to hear these meetings let alone be invited. It reinforced the knowledge many people such as myself already have that the European watch industry is more closed and manipulative, whereas the Asian watch industry is much more open and clear with news and facts. Though the reality is probably somewhere in the middle, but seeing the industry from both sides was extremely enlightening.
I recall that when I first learned about the SW watch I was excited to try one on. I always felt that the Grande Seconde dial design was elegant, and a youthful sport version of it really captured my curiosity. As you can tell, the dial captures the figure eight dial layout perfectly. A smaller dial is placed at the top which has hour and minute hands, while a larger dial for the subsidiary seconds is placed below. While reading the time is not necessarily as easy as on watches that use the entire dial, Jaquet Droz designed the look to be as legible as possible - as well as attractive. The rest of the dial is used for decorative and design purposes. I do feel that is a pretty cool thing.
What Burberry does however make clear is that the Britain watch is meant to be influenced by their iconic trench coat design. For those young people who don't know, Burberry is actually a coat company. The rest of that stuff came later. The design of the watches is a bit trench warfare looking, but you'll need to decide for yourself if you see a lot in common with the trench coat. I personally don't own one so I am not the best judge of their similarities.
Whether intentionally or not, Cecil Purnell makes less than 50 watches per year. Their marketing and promotional materials is that of a brand that hasn't figured itself out yet. They don't know their own strengths and weakness at this time, and are trying hard to find a client base. I applaud the efforts, but would caution them against sounding too desperate in their own materials. Oh, and to please make their website passably navigable with information people may actually be looking for.
The dials themselves are very well-done for what RJ is going for. Romain Jerome was able to create a three-dimensional display that looks as though it was built out of pixel layers. The characters/sprites on the dial are colored with a special lacquer. Nothing feels flat, and given what Romain Jerome wanted to do with the dial and the Space Invaders' theme, I think they did a good job. Reading the time via the hands is fine, but there are no discernible hour markers to help out.
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 108 here.
De Bethune attempted to educate me on the nature of the engraving, the meaning of the glyphs, and something about the Mayan "Long Count" calendar which is a lengthy period of 144,000 days. The character in the middle is called baktun, or represents baktun (whatever that is). The dial is rich with Mayan numerals and other symbols that have great meaning to Mayan historians. Also perhaps it has meaning to "end of days" lovers that think that in 2012 the world is going to go kaput. Or was that the Aztec calendar? I keep getting ancient calender systems confused. There are at least 12 of those people with enough love (and cash) to pick up one of these more than 0,000 watches right? Where do all the modern day Mayans millionaires reside? Good question.
This watch is the "limited edition" GV2 Corsaro Chronograph watch. GV2 is a sub-brand under the higher-end Gevril brand. In the last few years, GV2 has moved around a bit in terms of market placement, but has tried to remain an affordable mechanical watch. They apply the term limited edition without discussing the number of the limited edition in the marketing materials. What does that mean? It means they don't know and it will just be produced as long as they can sell units. That sometimes means not even a full series are made. In other situations it means a brand will produce more than the limited edition total. The fact is that most watches are limited edition pieces. Meaning they are made for a short run and then never made again. If you look really closely on the back of this watch you'll see that it seems to be a limited edition of 500 pieces - but not disclosing that fact in the marketing materials is usually something to be suspect of.