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watchisthis . com

INTERVIEWS WITH CEO’S OF EDOX, NOMOS, DEFAKTO, JUNGHANS, 88 RUE DU RHONE & FREDERIQUE CONSTANT! TALKING WATCH DESIGN WITH

ERIC GIROUD FEATURING WATCHES BY; 3THIRTY3 - 88 RUE DU RHONE - APPLE - BRAUN DEFAKTO - EDOX - FREDERIQUE CONSTANT - JUNGHANS - LIP - LONGINES 1 - LOUIS VUITTON - MIANG - NOMOS - PILO & CO - RADO - STOCKER & YALE - STRATON - TRIFOGLIO ITALIA - VICTORINOX- AND MORE!


WELCOME

In front of you is the premiere edition of Watchisthis?!, and many have asked: why start a magazine? Why now? In this digital age, a magazine seems to be full of yesterday’s news. But with the fast pace at which most of us live our lives, I think that there is more then ever a need for relaxation and reflection. Life passes by at lightning speed, smart-watches constantly reminding you of new emails and whatsapp-messages the moment they get in, and online there is a blur of watch news and articles that many of us actually read quickly when we are on the move. This hyper-connective lifestyle is almost impossible to forgo when you need to balance the different responsibilities most of us have. But especially then it is great to take a moment for yourself, pour your favorite drink, sit back and relax with a magazine which we took our time creating. A magazine allows for longer and more in-depth stories, and unique topics that would have been lost when published online. That is why we started a magazine, and that is why we started it now. We hope you enjoy it, and let us know what you think of it on our Facebook page!

Martin Green Editor-in-Chief

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CONTENTS 6 8

NEW MEN’S WATCHES

MIANG The Danish benchmark for affordable watches

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STRATON Driven by passion

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3THIRTY3 Making a difference through watches

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INTERVIEW EDOX, Alexandre Strambini

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12

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DESIGNING AFFORDABLE WATCHES Eric Giroud

34 INTERVIEW JUNGHANS CEO, Junghans

INTERVIEW NOMOS Uwe Ahrendt

JUNGHANS Max Bill

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VICTORINOX I.N.O.X. Tough Bargain

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WRITER’S CONTEST

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CONTENTS BRAUN BN 0076 Less is best

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44 47

JEAN ROUSSEAU

PILO&CO Diatto Competizione RAYMOND WEIL Rhapsody of Time

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DEFAKTO Review

INTERVIEW: DEFAKTO Raphael Ickler

56 APPLE WATCH Green as Grass

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62 PHOTOGRAPHER’S CONTEST Review

RITMO MUNDO Review

Rough & Tough: 6 watches that will get you out of the woods

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70 INTERVIEW PIERRE BERNHEIM CEO, 88 Rue de Rhone

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88 RUE DE RHONE


CONTENTS NEW LADIES WATCHES

WHAT’S IN A NAME? The “Double Twelve” From Glycine!

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FREDERIQUE CONSTANT SLIMLINE MOONPHASE

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RADO CENTRIC The Strength of High Tech Ceramics

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A WATCH SERVICE

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CIELO Social Media Star

The Look

LONGINES The Search for Elegance

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AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

100 LIP It’s time to ReWrite the Story

102 LOUIS VUITTON A Rare Unicorn

106 AFTER THOUGHTS CREDITS THE BRANDS

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IN THE TOOLBOX Stocker & Yale Sandy 490 Series I

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CONTENTS

N E W M E N ’ S WA T C H E S

New ambassador for Alpina Snow, speed, and precision are three items that form the basis of professional skiing at the highest level. So no wonder that Alpina has announced that the French FIS World Cup skier Victor Muffat-Jeandet will join the brand as ambassador. Participating in one of the most difficult and competitive types of skiing, Muffat-Jeandet has shown exceptional talent, especially since he was not born in the mountains, making it more difficult for him to achieve this high level. Around his wrist is of course Alpina’s Horlogical Smartwatch, which features support him to stay as competitive as possible. www.alpina-watches.com Oris knows Jazz A velvety deep blue dial, dots as hour markers, dashes as minute markers and two slender hands; with this elementary addition to the Artelier-collection Oris honors one of the most expressive pianists and composers in Jazz history; Thelonious Monk. This 40mm automatic watch seems to blend in perfectly with the style of this Jazz giant. Limited to 1.000 pieces, the back of this watch is signed with “Monk always know” as was engraved into the ring worn by Thelonious Monk. www.oris.ch

ARCHIMEDE Klassik Chronograph re-touched

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Details make all the difference, and at Archimede they are pretty picky about them. Ever since its introduction, the Klassik Chronograph has not been changed, but Archimede thought the overall look of the watch would benefit by changing a few details. While the crown shrunk from 8.8mm to 7.3mm, the watch got a slightly more imposing look by re-designed pushers for the chronograph. Although the overall diameter of the watch hasn’t changed, it looks larger through an optical illusion Archimede achieved by making the bezel a few tenths of a millimeter more narrow. What hasn’t changed is the price and the trusty ETA/Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph movement. www.archimede-uhren.de


N E W M E N ’ S WA T C H E S Bulova’s Manchester United Club watch CONTENTS

As official timekeeper of one of the most famous soccer teams in the world, Bulova introduces the Manchester United Club watch! The vintage looking chronograph is packed with details referring to the glorious history of both the city of Manchester, as well as its beloved club. Like the 1878, that marks the 18- and 78-minute, as well as the Club’s beginning as a team of railway workers and its original green and gold colours. But although it looks vintage, the technology inside is anything but vintage! This is thanks to Bulova’s unique high-performance UHF quartz movement, which at 262 kHz has a frequency 8 times greater than most quartz movements. The results is super accurate timekeeping, and as soccer fans know; accuracy can make all the difference when trying to score that decisive goal. www.bulova.com

D.M.1936 introduces the “SS-269 Flasher” aka “The Bronze” A bold statement; there is no other way to talk about “The Bronze” by D.M. 1936. Crafted from, and no you cannot guess, bronze, the watch is a formidable machine for around the wrist. Fitted with a reliable Miyota movement, it has a date and power reserve complication. For extra wearing comfort, the crown is placed at nine 0’clock. At three o’clock you find what looks like a large hinge, but in fact it is a very clever, hidden strap change tool! No matter where you go, you simply unscrew the tool, change your strap, and screw it back on. Why didn’t anybody came up with this idea before? http://www. dm1936.com/

Alessandro Baldieri ready for action with the M-48 Carbon Carbon fiber cases always give watches something interesting. Each watch has a unique texture, yet often it is only offered in one color; black. Alessandro Baldieri introduces his latest watch, the M-48 Carbon, also in black carbon, but also in green and brown carbon! The case of this watch is 48mm in diameter, and is carved from a solid block of carbon. With the angular planes it is by all means a utility watch. The 120 click bezel allows for a precise countdown of events, while the dial features innovative hour markers, making it a true Baldieri. A Miyota caliber 8215 ensures not only accurate timekeeping, but is also as robust as the watch itself. www.alessandrobaldieri.com

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MIANG

CONTENTS

THE CRADLE

The Danish benchmark for affordable watches

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alling the beautiful capital of Copenhagen its home, Miang is a watch brand unlike any other. First of all the brand had to deal with a huge obligation; Danish design has quite a reputation, to which the brand needed to live up to, to be taken the least bit seriously. Secondly Miang had to add something to the mix, something no other brand had. Founder Jens Ole Miang was up for both. After having a career of over 20 years providing customized logo watches to corporate clients, he decided to found his own brand, empowering customers with the best he had to offer; customization. For most people this is somewhat of a dream; to actually have influence on the look and feel of your watch, that goes beyond a different strap. There are brands that offer this type of customization, but none of them offer this at the $300 range in which Miang operated, or come even close. By allowing customers to choose from a polished stainless steel, or PVD coated case, they set the stage for a customization bonanza with near endless possibilities. With 3 different crowns, 10 dials, 7 different color hands for hour and minute, 9 different color hands for the seconds and 12 different straps, you have about 400.000 possibilities to create a different watch. And let’s not forget the 9 different color hands for the GMTfunction, when you pick that version over the time-only.

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THE CRADLE

CONTENTS

The whole look and feel of this watch, does not match its modest price.

The fact that all these 400.000 different watches still have that indistinguishable Miang look, is thanks to designer Jan Egeberg. With designs created for Bang & Olufsen, Georg Jensen and Gense, he knows Danish design like no other, and actually his work is even part of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. His design for Miang is refreshingly contemporary, yet timeless. The base of the 43mm watch is wider than the opening for the dial, with short lugs for added wearing comfort. The crystal on the dial side is actually sapphire, with an antireflective coating on the inside. The movement is visible through a mineral crystal and comes from Seagull, not only China’s largest movement manufacture, but also the one with the best reputation amongst watch aficionado’s. The movement is customized with blued screws and topped off by a stunning blue Miang Copenhagen rotor. The whole look and feel of this watch, does not match its modest price. While the Chinese movement might turn some people off, its finish will entice probably even more, and any worries about performance or reliability are met with Miang’s 2 year guarantee. Jens Ole is actually so convinced that you will love your Miang that he even offers to engrave your name on the case back, and even that is included in the price, making Miang the Danish benchmark for affordable watches.

9 VISIT MIANG


CONTENTS

THE CRADLE

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t Watchisthis?! we love cars, but just as with watches, we know that great cars can also come in more affordable packages. An opinion shared with Kyle Schut, owner of a stunning 1977 Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT (the 1985 GTV version of this model actually assisted James Bond in a brief getaway in “Octopussy”) and founder of the watch brand Staton. He poured all his love for vintage cars into Straton’s debut watch model, the NyloNato Vintage Driver. Resembling the tachymeter of a serious vintage sports car, the watch is very readable with a clean yet bold design. Although the initial design is from Kyle himself, he shared it at an early stage on social media, looking for feedback to improve his design. This not only allowed him to take his watches a step closer to perfection, but also gave consumers the opportunity to really contribute to a watch that will actually be for sale. The NyloNato part of the name of this Straton, refers to its straps. Each Vintage Driver comes with three Nato-straps; one uni-colored and two others featuring stripes inspired by famous race cars. These Nato-straps also allow for wearing the watch over the sleeve of your sweater or jacket, so that you can easily and safely check the time while taking on that winding road, wind rushing in your hair, engine roaring.

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Straton offers the NyloNato Vintage Driver in two versions, both are chronographs and almost look identical. Recognizable by the date function, is the quartz-powered chronograph. While the mechanical chronograph offers a slightly cleaner look without it. The logic behind this is that the quartz version will cover the needs of the more cost conscious buyer, who wants a good looking, practical, watch. While for watch collectors and purists, a mechanical watch is often the only option they will consider. Both will be pleased, with the Ronda 5030.D powering the quartz chronograph and Seagull’s famous ST1902 doing the same for the mechanical version.


THE CRADLE

CONTENTS

That Seagull movement is an especially pleasant surprise. The manual wind movement actually features a columnwheel, a device that allows for more precise operating of the chronograph functions, yet that is often only found in the higher end Swiss chronographs. The 44mm case of the NyloNato Vintage Driver features a knurled bezel, reminiscent of vintage cars, and is offered with a black PVD coating, as well as in a brushed steel version. Five different dial colors ensure that you can always find one that matches your favorite car.

VISIT STRATON 11


INTERVIEW

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CONTENTS

e had a moment with Alexandre Strambini, CEO of Edox, and asked him a few questions about himself, and of course Edox!

Watchisthis?! (W): You played tennis at the highest possible level (Strambini was part of the Swiss Davis Cup Team for 5 years, together with Roger Federer). Was it always your plan to return to the family business? Alexandre Strambini (AS): Yes, it was always the plan for me to go back to the family business after my tennis career. But the challenge is as high in the watch business as it is in the tennis world. W: What makes an Edox an Edox? AS: An Edox timepiece is different for its design, its details and its history. Edox is one of the few remaining independent watch companies (not belonging to any watch group) with more than 130 years of history. Our watch design has always been different; we pay very much attention to the small details that makes every Edox timepiece special (rubber strap with tire imprint, oversized pusher, MasterLock devices, etc). W: Your collection features both quartz as well as automatic movements; how important is this mix?

AS:the mix between quartz and mechanical allows us to propose a certain category of timepieces to specific markets. Some markets are more sensitive to mechanical watches; some are more fond of quartz watches. W: You joined Edox yourself in 1998; on what accomplishment are you the most proud? AS:I am very proud to be part of the development of the company as it is nowadays. We employ now more than 50 people, we are increasing our office and workshop floor capacity, and we are selling our watches in more than 70 countries in the world‌ W: Which Edox are you currently wearing yourself ? AS: I am wearing the Hydro-Sub automatic timepiece. I like the design with its special MasterLock device and I like the history of the watch.

Edox Delfin 12


ED OX

Edox Delfin Open Heart

CONTENTS

Edox is very future-focused, releasing watches that can manage the harsh environments of the extreme sports the brand associates with. This is a tradition they started in the 1960’s when they released the first version of the Delfin. Today the Delfin is one of the few expressions of vintage sentiment Edox shows, but you would hardly know it. Even in 2015 the Delfin Open Heart looks familiar, but refreshing at the same time. It’s twelve-sided case with the six visible screws give the watch a distinct look, but the curves toward the bracelet are the things that really set the Delfin apart from the rest. For the version with an automatic movement, Edox decided to go for an “Open Heart” version. This means that the dial shows a cut where the balance wheel of the movement can be seen. Being the regulating organ of any mechanical movement, it is one of the most important parts of the watch. A visible bridge keeps the balance wheel firmly in place, while giving the dial an extra design element. The Delfin Open Heart is a so-called “lefty”, featuring the crown on the left side of the watch, instead of the right. Although mainly associated with people who wear their watch on their right wrist, people who wear it on their left wrist might actually start to wonder why not all watches have the crown on the left side of the case. The crown on the left side means that your wrist can move more freely, and never have a crown digging into your skin. This really increases the level of wearing comfort, and makes the watch especially suitable for a more active lifestyle. The bracelet of the Delfin is not only distinct but also very comfortable to wear. The relatively small links follow the curves of your wrist closely. Those who prefer a leather strap are in for a surprise. Attached invisibly under the case, the strap will look just as integrated with the watch as the bracelet. However, it brings out the dressier side of the watch, making the Delfin Open Heart a great all-round sports watch.

OPEN HEART

VISIT EDOX. 13 13


CONTENTS

3THIRT Y3

3THIRTY3 Making a difference through watches

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ong before Cecil the lion rose to worldwide fame owing to tragic circumstances, bringing renewed attention to the legal as well as illegal side of hunting Africa’s impressive wildlife, 3Thirty3 was already focused on contributing to a solution. James Henderson, founder of the initiative, has traveled to Africa to admire these wonderful animals in their natural habitat, and has talked to the people living there. Given the harsh circumstances most of these people have to live under, selling off their natural inheritance often seems to be the only solution. Being a veteran in the watch industry, Henderson dreamed up a watch concept and made it reality. The 3Thirty3 watches owe their name to the fact that ⅓ of their price will be donated to causes that protect wildlife in Africa and support the local population. That is also one of the key ingredients for success that is shared by the many causes 3Thirty3 donates its proceeds to; not to target one problem, but to target them all. In the case of 3Thirty3, that means that they have two watches;

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3THIRT Y3

3thirty3 James Henderson

James Henderson, founder of the initiative, has traveled to Africa to admire these wonderful animals in their natural habitat 15 15

CONTENTS

both feature an elegant 40mm case, stick hands and roof shaped hour markers. The watches are powered by a reliable Ronda 515 quartz movement, and feature a strap by well-known strap-maker Hadley-Roma. The strap is made of Lorica – completely animal free. The difference between the two standard models is the color of the dial. A white-dial-version features a red drop (which symbolizes a drop of blood) as well as the 3Thirty3 logo in red. This is known as the ‘Animal Watch’ and the proceeds go towards the support of the International AntiPoaching Foundation, and VETPAW. The second watch is a black-dialed version of the same watch, yet here the white drop represents a drop of water, and the purchase of the watch will result in ⅓ of the proceeds being donated to “Drop in the bucket”, a foundation that works towards providing clean, safe drinking water to African communities.


CONTENTS

Want your product be known to the world?

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Watchisthis?! accepts watch, watchrelated as well as non-watch related advertisements. Contact us now at sales@watchisthis.com


3THIRT Y3

CONTENTS

VETPAW founder Ryan Tate

One of the organizations that 3thirty3 is supporting is VETPAW, and it is a very special group of people. VETPAW stands for Veterans Empowered To Protect African Wildlife. It was co-founded by Ryan Tate, a veteran from the US Marine Corps. He saw African countries struggle with protecting their wildlife from poachers due to lack of experience and equipment. At the same time he also saw that many of his fellow veterans where unemployed or underemployed. Despite their carefully honed skills and experience, it is sometimes difficult for them to find a place back in civilian life, but this experience also makes them the perfect trainers for park rangers in anti-poaching tactics. They do this by sharing their experience and expertise about everything from marksmanship to surveillance and communications. They train on the job by joining park rangers on patrol. But that is not all they do. Poaching comes not only from greed, but also from hunger, and that is why VETPAW also supports local communities. To accompany these veterans, 3Thirty3 has created a third watch: a 42mm chronograph, powered by a Ronda 5040.D quartz movement. The case is PVD coated so that no unwanted reflections can alert poachers, or scare wildlife, which can both create dangerous situations. A matching Hadley-Roma NATO-strap makes the watch able to fit on any wrist, or even over a combat-jacket. Like the time-only watches, the chronograph is also Swiss made. So by giving us what we like best - high quality watches with affordable price tags - 3Thirty3 allows us to make a difference; for the veterans who protected our freedom, for African communities in search of clean water and ways to make ends meet, and for the beautiful wildlife that still roams the African savannas.

To accompany these veterans, 3Thirty3 has created a third watch: a 42mm chronograph, powered by a Ronda 5040.D quartz movement. VISIT 3THIRTY3 17 17


CONTENTS

INTERVIEW

NOMOS

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omos is a relative youngster amongst watch manufacturers, yet already an established name amongst collectors. We asked Uwe Ahrendt, CEO of Nomos, what is Nomos’ secret to success? NOMOS timepieces are crafted in the world-famous town of Glashütte, the birthplace of fine mechanical watchmaking in Germany. All of them exclusively feature in-house movements, and are characterized by a unique combination of German engineering and German product design. The overall impression of our timepieces is one of slender elegance and mechanical excellence. Offering high-quality watches from Glashütte with iconic, timeless design from Berlin is our secret to success with customers. You make your watches in Glashütte, but design them in Berlin. Why is this? The unique combination of fine watchmaking from Glashütte and prize-winning design from Berlin is central to our brand. NOMOS produces mechanical timepieces in Glashütte; the complete watchmaking company works there. Berlin, however—the European capital for art and design a two hour and ten minute drive north of Glashütte—is where the NOMOS in-house creative agency Berlinerblau is based. This is where short films are shot, catalogs drafted, websites developed, stands and packaging created, and— most importantly—watches are designed. The reason for this is simple: We want to find the best talent, wherever it is. And when it comes to designers and other creative professionals, Berlin offers a spirit that is quite exceptional.

Interview with Nomos CEO

Nomos designs follow the principles of Deutscher Werkbund. What are the challenges your design team faces with this approach that in essence is all about ‘less is more’?

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Being a member of the Deutscher Werkbund, a predecessor of the Bauhaus movement, we aim to make beautiful and functional products with the most suitable production techniques.


INTERVIEW

CONTENTS

Uwe Ahrendt

A certain minimalist aesthetic characterizes our watch designs which are also affected by the cultural influences prevalent in Germany and Northern Europe—such as German industry design, the Arts & Craft movement, or Scandinavian minimalism. For us, design is not a question of fashion, but of what is beautiful at the second, third, and hundred-thousandth glance. After all, a mechanical wristwatch must serve its wearer a whole life long, and not be merely a transitory style trend. Our watches are renowned for their restrained dials, slender hands and narrow bezels—and it works: We have won well over 120 prizes for design and quality over the last few years, with some of our watches being considered classics already. Nomos has won numerous design awards, including the famous Red Dot award for the Metro. How important are these prizes for a brand like Nomos? In a word: very! We may have won over 120 prizes in past years for design, innovation and value-formoney, but each one is very valuable to us. They help customers to make their choice and be confident with it, and are a great source of positive feedback for our hard-working designers and watchmakers. 19 19


CONTENTS

INTERVIEW

For us, design is not a question of fashion, but of what is beautiful at the second, third, and hundredthousandth glance.

Apart from design, yo also focus a lot on advancing your movements in a technical sense. What for Nomos is the perfect movement? When it comes to timepieces from NOMOS Glashütte, the movements (or calibers) that are at work within are just as crucial as their design. Our calibers are developed, designed, and produced in-house by us in Glashütte. We have an in-house research and development department dedicated to advancing our capabilities in this area, and we collaborate with the Technical University of Dresden and the Fraunhofer Institut für Werkstoffund Strahltechnik (Fraunhofer Institute for material and beam technology) from time to time. Thanks to our R&D department, we have three patents so far. When it comes to technology, we are blazing trails. Our latest caliber, DUW 3001, which we revealed at Baselworld this year, is a good example of this: an incredibly slender automatic caliber that is both chronometer-standard and ready for series production. This set of attributes is unique in the watchmaking world—not forgetting that DUW 3001 also features our proprietary 20

escapement, the NOMOS swing system. It is the part of the movement that sets the pace—without it, there is no time. Only a handful of watchmaking companies worldwide can adjust, classify, and calibrate accurately enough to create such an assembly, a perfect interaction of all the parts. Watches from Glashütte are known for their exquisite craftmanship, but usually this comes at a price. How can Nomos deliver the famous Glashütte craftmanship at such affordable prices? NOMOS timepieces are full of Glashütte craftsmanship and the latest in research and development. However, our watches are fairly priced: Material and labor costs are always the basis of our calculation. NOMOS watches cost as much as necessary. Furthermore, we do not spend huge sums on flashy marketing campaigns or celebrity endorsements—rather, we let our watches and our many satisfied customers do the talking. And— most importantly—we’re based in Germany not Switzerland, which has implications on pricing as well.


REVIEW

CONTENTS

NOMOS REVIEW

The secret to the success of Nomos might very well be that their watches are designed in Berlin, the capital of Germany: a vibrant, modern city, a true melting pot of cultures and people from all walks of life, the perfect birthplace for timeless, functional designs like Nomos watches. Don’t call this design Bauhaus by the way, as it is in fact German Werkbund, the predecessor of Bauhaus, which is all about practicing restraint in design and having a keen eye for detail.

The watches are not built in Berlin but in Glashütte, a small city in the German Ore Mountains, and for over 150 years the home of fine German watchmaking. Although Nomos is a relatively new brand, founded as recently as 1990, it has not only adopted its standards but has also set the pace. Up to 95% of Nomos movements are made at the place of their manufacture in Glashütte, and often crafted by hand. Concerned about the world around them, Nomos supports Doctors without Borders, the organization that provides healthcare at the front lines of human misery, whether it is the Ebola outbreak in Africa or the war in Syria. Doing what they do best, Nomos has created a selection of limited editions of their most iconic watches. The watches differ in subtle ways from their regular counterparts: the case-back is of course especially engraved, and at the bottom of each dial a small inscription reminds you of this unique limited edition. 21


CONTENTS

NOMOS

NOMOS Tangente 38

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NOMOS

In 1992 Nomos conceived the Tangente, which is in many ways a very deceptive watch. As simple as it looks from a distance, it is so full of details when you get up close and personal with it. The angles of the case, the shape of the numerals they are all created to look as simple as possible, and with that become timeless in appearance, an achievement that shows the skill of Nomos designers, because making something look simple is often the most difficult to accomplish. Nomos offers the Tangente in the Doctors without Borders limited edition in different sizes. The Tangente with a diameter of 38mm and 33mm are dedicated to Doctors Without Borders USA, the 35mm and 33mm Tangente to the Doctors Without Borders UK, and a 38mm model to Ärzte ohne Grenzen, the German organization of Doctors without Borders. All them can most certainly qualify for being called uni-sex. Because of the relatively small bezel, the Tangente is almost all dial and wears larger than its diameter might indicate.

also indicated by the fact that it comes on an 18mm wide Horween Genuine Shell Cordovan black strap. The approach that Nomos takes in the design of their watches is also what they apply to their movements: a mix of traditional Glashütteelements, yet modernized where it would increase performance or reliability. All watches are powered by Nomos Alpha-caliber. This is a hand-wound caliber that is made in-house by Nomos in Glashütte. Just as the Tangente was their first watch design, the Alpha-caliber was the first movement Nomos developed. It is an elementary manual wind movement, sturdy, reliable and beautiful. It features the typical Glashütte three-quarter plate, decorated with Glashütte ribbing and NOMOS perlage, which offers a nice contrast to the tempered blue screws. Also stunning is the play of light of the Glashütte sunburst that is applied to the ratchet and crown wheel. Less visible is the Incabloc shock protection and the balance spring from Nivarox, and the fact that Nomos have adjusted the movement in six positions, all to ensure that the watch keeps excellent time, even under rougher and tougher conditions, which makes it indeed a fitting tribute for the people of Doctors without Borders.

The same can be said of the Tetra that Nomos also made for Doctors without Borders Germany. This square model really brings you back to the early decades of the 20th century, with its stepped lugs. Once again, the size might seem small at 27.5mm wide by 27.5mm high; it is a square watch and will wear considerably larger, VISIT NOMOS 23

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More essential to the design of the watch is that the hands are actually oxidized in black, instead of tempered blue as on the regular Nomos-models. But visually the most important difference is the numeral at 12, which is now in red, the universal color of international, humanitarian aid. Deliberately or not, the red 12 was also quite common with the first wristwatches ever made. Many models from the 1910’s featured this numeral in red, making these modern Nomos look more vintage.


CONTENTS

VICTORINOX

“W

hen the going gets tough, the tough gets going” a saying that certainly goes for the Victorinox I.N.O.X., one of the toughest watches currently available.

When I say tough, I mean really tough. Created to celebrate Victorinox 130th birthday, the watch had to endure 130 tests, of which each single one can only be described as diabolical! The result is a watch that redefines the word tough, and can survive the most extreme lifestyle where you probably wouldn’t. You can forget that you put it into the pocket of your jeans when you started painting, and it will come out of a two hour, 195 °F (90 °C) washing cycle as if nothing happened. In fact you don’t even have to take it off when handling paint or solvents, because the Victorinox I.N.O.X. can handle the most extreme toxins, solvents and acids, for long periods of time as well. Eight hours in sulfuric acid and the watch still comes out as new.

VICTORINOX I.N.O.X. Tough Bargain 24 24


VICTORINOX

CONTENTS

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VICTORINOX

With all this punishment, you would expect a very extreme looking watch, but the Victorinox I.N.O.X. looks actually quite normal. Normal enough to strap on for desk duties, or even a romantic diner. With a diameter of 43mm, it is not even oversized, while the bezel with the six slope edges give it a character of its own. Quite frankly the Victorinox I.N.O.X. is a like a Navy Seal veteran with numerous tours and Black Ops assignments under its belt, dressed as a boy scout. Available with a black, blue, green or red dial, the Victorinox I.N.O.X. can appeal to the taste of many. A natural rubber strap, matching the color of the dial, ensures comfortable wear especially in tough situations. Each Victorninox I.N.O.X. come with a removable protective cover made of nylon and silicone that provides additional endurance to the watch. Does the watch need this? Probably only when total armageddon is afoot. However, it is a nice addition to an already very complete watch, making it look less Jason Bourne and more like a member of The Expendables.

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VICTORINOX

CONTENTS

Of course is the Victorinox I.N.O.X. powered by a quartz movement. As much as I would like to see a mechanical movement in this watch, it would not make sense. While a quartz movement has no problems handling the extreme range of temperatures the Victorinox I.N.O.X. can withstand, it would deteriorate the oils in a mechanical movement in no time. Ronda’s 715 quartz movement is therefore the right choice.

In the title I call this watch a bargain, a term we don’t take very lightly here at Watchisthis?!, but with a suggested retail price of $500,- there is really no other manner of calling this watch, especially since there are many watches made well enough to see the end of times, but this is probably the only one that will survive it.

VISIT VICTORINOX

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CONTENTS

F E AT U R E

DESIGNING AFFORDABLE WATCHES Eric Giroud

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hile most of the watch industry’s designers work anonymously in the highly secured (because they are regarded as top secret), design studios of the major brands, some are able to walk a different path. One of them is Eric Giroud, who has grown to become a watchmaking legend in his own right. Although especially known through his work for very exclusive brands like Urwerk, MB&F, Romain Jerome and Harry Winston, he has also designed quite a few watches which are more attainable by mere mortals. Many of these watches are protected by non-disclosure agreements, preventing Giroud from ever identifying himself as the designer. Yet it is known that he designed Tissot’s PRS 516 and the 2003 version of the Seastar 1000, as well as the Swarovski D:Light, a design that earned him the Red Dot Design Award in 2010. Watchisthis?! sat down with Eric Giroud to talk about watch design and affordable watches.

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Have you always wanted to become a designer / watch designer? I’d dreamed of becoming an industrial designer since my teens, but I studied music and architecture. I practiced as an architect and I turned to industrial design at the age of 30. Then, from industrial design I opted for watch design and this has been my main activity for 18 years now.

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Where do you find your inspiration? There are two sides regarding inspiration: a part that comes from the brand’s DNA, its history and its vision, and another part that is related to my background. The part that comes from the brand is of a rather rational nature, and the personal part is often emotional. This is the balance of these two aspects that are the characteristics of my work. Music, movies, books and contemporary art inspires me a lot.

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F E AT U R E

ACE Jewelers Ad

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F E AT U R E

What are the steps of the design process? The first step is to understand the project before drawing, followed by the stage of drawing, and sketching to become familiar with the project, its constraints and different volumes. Then comes a stage of scale drawing that integrates all the various elements. Finally we arrive at the mockup stage where we make a scale model in order to understand how the watch would come out and the effect the light has on it. On average, how long does the design process take from beginning to end? The process regarding the research of the different directions and proposals is quite fast since the understanding of the project is very important. This is followed by the development of the 2D & 3D images which do not take very long; however, the stage of prototyping and refining can be relatively long depending on the expectations and objectives of the brand.

The designer profession is also very important during this stage of production because the realization of the object means making choices, modifications and adaptations which, from my point of view, are part of the design process. What do you find exciting about watch design? The idea of an object so small and complex that can have its own character - that is endlessly fascinating to me. What aspects do you need to consider when designing a watch? The first element is the understanding of the project and to become ‘friends’ with the different constraints before you can create a great design. Also, a very important aspect is the team that is in charge of the project. A watchmaking project is first and foremost a human adventure. What advice do you have for people aspiring to become watch designers? Be curious and love to learn each passing day... What is more difficult to conceive: a luxury watch of which only 50 copies will be made ​​or a watch with a final price of $1,000, which will be produced in thousands of copies? Neither one nor the other, because each project has its own characteristics and its own constraints. What is your favorite watch design (less than $ 2.500, which can also be a vintage piece)? A watch from the brand ‘Junghans’ - for example the ‘Max Bill’ automatic.

It takes 8 to 9 months from the first meeting, with the project information briefing, to get the prototype ready for production. On the other hand, I follow the development up to when the watch is produced and finished, because as each element is designed, a supplier will have the task of making it. VISIT ERIC GIROUD

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What makes a good watch design? It must not be forgotten that originally this job has been developed to make objects/products more beautiful, that’s true, but mostly in order to make these objects commercially desirable. Therefore, the primary objective of a design is that this one can be sold. From an aesthetic point of view, it is true that the playing field is small because the object is small, but the proportions and the interaction with light are very important. The quality of details and choice of endings are not insignificant elements, not forgetting ergonomics and overall coherence, which are decisive.


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WRITERS

WRITER WITH A PASSION FOR WATCHES? WE WANT YOU! Ever dreamed of having your story about watches in a magazine like Watchisthis?! Well, this is your chance, because we are looking for writers who have something to say about watches. What do you have to do? Send us an article with a minimum of 300 words and a maximum of 500 words, to writingcontest@watchisthis.com before January 22nd 2016

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WRITERS

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What do you get? When selected by us, your article will get published in the next issue of Watchisthis?! with full credits to you! But that is not all….. We will also pay you US$50, so you can go out and celebrate your achievement, and to really do so in style we also let you create a custom made watch strap from Jean Rousseau in calf, shark, lizard or ostrich on us! Requirements: - The watch in your article may be a new men’s watch, ladies’ watch or vintage watch as long as the (retail) value is US$2,500 or less - The article is written in English by you and only you - You need to have a valid Paypal account

Conditions; - The article has to have been written by you; by sending it to watchisthis?! You acknowledge this, and waiver any responsibility to watchisthis?! In any case when the article is not the intellectual property of the person who sent it in - When selected by watchisthis?! The us$50 will be paid through paypal. Watchisthis?! Does not cover any transaction costs that paypal might charge you - Of the article(s) of the winner(s) watchisthis?! Will obtain the rights to use them as their own, now and in the future, with credits to the writer

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INTERVIEW

MATTHIAS STOTZ CEO, JUNGHANSS

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unghans is a true innovator when it comes to high precision quartz movements, most recently with making caliber 615.84 available in a smaller diameter for ladies’ watches; how important is this innovation for Junghans?

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INTERVIEW movement, a bit more color. But most of all we have to honor Max Bill. We have an historical link and therefore we also have a long term contract with the Max Bill foundation to keep that connection. What do you want to accomplish with Junghans in the near future? The brand is re-established in a great way. We are back at top jewelers like Wempe, we are back on the famous German cruise ships, people know us again in Germany. Now we want to bring our designs further abroad and be successful internationally. Currently we are present within 25 countries with positive development, but still with high potential. For that it is important that we continue to do what we do best: making nice watches, of good quality, with a long tradition which offer honest value from a good, traditional brand.

For the future of our product lines we would love to combine the two technological faces of the company Junghans offers high-tech quartz watches as well as in a more common face for the entire brand: Based classic mechanical watches. These seem to be two on the design of today a radio-controlled movement different worlds; how do you combine these in the cannot be forced on the Max Bill design. DNA of the company? We also want to continue to be unique; we take They are basically different worlds that appeal to a Swiss movement, but print our own rings and different types of customer. On one side we have the dials, giving for example the Meister Calendar a solar-powered radio-controlled watches made from completely different face than other full calendar scratch-resistant ceramic that change automatically watches in the market. It is all about the details. We from summer time to winter time. People like this, use a Hesalite crystal because it is more authentic because it is a very stylish, carefree watch. and looks better. We protect it with a special lacquer At the other end there are the collectors; they that is used to protect the headlights of cars. We want mechanical watches. For them we started have the exclusive use of this coating in the watch the Max Bill and the Meister-collection, which in industry.

the beginning were mechanical only. We do merge Replacement of a hesalite crystal is also less expensive, the worlds, but only when it can be done invisibly. 30 or 40 euros, so all the details are managed. You Some ladies prefer quartz movements, so we made like the watch but you don’t really know why. the Max Bill also with a quartz movement. Max Bill uses both types of movement themselves, so that is Which Junghans are you currently wearing yourself? no problem, as long as the design stays pure. The Telemeter. Still my favorite! An historic piece, The Max Bill watch is a horological landmark; how yet also the next evolutionary level of Junghans. It’s is it to be the torch-bearer of such an important an elegant watch with sports elements. Tie or jeans, design, and how do you make sure that it keeps it goes with everything in style. Of course, when there is a new piece in the future I’ll need to change. connecting with the customers? I am a watchmaker, I can visualize it already on my At Junghans we love traditional long-term designs, wrist, when we are not even in prototype stage, long watches that age with grace. We want a long future before it is out. for the Max Bill designs, so we move in small steps to meet the requirements of the customer: quartz 35 35 VISIT JUNGHANS

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Innovation is what drives Junghans. In 1951 we were the largest chronometer producer in Germany, in 1956 the third largest in the world, while in the 1960’s we were already capable of cutting our own quartz crystal, based on the former in house production of ruby stones.. We were also the very first European watch manufacturer to focus fully on quartz alone in 1976. This allowed us to introduce the world’s first radio-controlled clock in 1985 and the world’s first radio-controlled wrist watch in 1990. But with Junghans, technology and design are historically always combined, not only with the Max Bill, but later also with the first radiocontrolled wrist watch, the Mega 1, which was designed by Hartmut Esslinger, who is most famous for designing the Apple IIc. Sometimes we are also a bit too far ahead, like in 1998 when we already introduced a “smart” watch that had a chip in it that could be used as a railway ticket, for other payments or even to open doors..


REVIEW CONTENTS

JUNGHANS

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Max Bill

unghans is not exactly your average watchmaker. They were founded in 1861, in the German town of Schramberg deep in the Black Forrest, by Erhard Junghans. The brand had a progressive nature, combining a high quality product with an affordable price. That customers could appreciate this became clear in 1903 when Junghans was the largest clock manufacturer in the world and employed more than 3,000 people. It was also then that their production facilities had to be expanded and a step-like building was created to ensure that all the watchmakers had enough natural light to do their work. This building remains a landmark in Schramberg to this day. Junghans had a tradition of being very future focused, which they would later on prove with their early and full adaptation of high precision quartz watches and solar powered watches, yet in 1961 it made them decide to collaborate with Max Bill. Born in 1908 in the Swiss town of Winterthur, close to Zürich, Max Bill first studied to become a silversmith, before joining the Bauhaus art school in Germany. Under the wings of Bauhaus-founder and well-known architect Walter Gropius, his talents bloomed like never before. A multi-talented man, Max Bill would later work as an architect, sculptor and painter and co-founded the Ulm College of Design, for which he designed the school’s building and served as its first rector. But it is of course his work as a product designer that forged an unbreakable bond with Junghans. The clocks and wristwatches he designed for the brand have changed very little in terms of design over the years. True to the Bauhaus design principles are the very pure and essential design, and because of that they still look remarkably contemporary. From the 1960’s and onwards, its clocks graced many a kitchen (with a built-in egg timer!), while its watches kept everybody who was on the move on time.

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That the Max Bill is still an important part of the Junghans collection is not strange, given the fact that the design is captivating even today - no longer as a kitchen clock, but as a stylish table- or wall-clock. The watches remained largely the same, with Junghans only updating the parts that would mean a technical improvement. Available with either Arabic numerals or dashes to indicate the hours, the Max Bill collection offers both date and non-date versions powered by an automatic movement.


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Very importantly, the crystal is made from hard Plexiglass with SICRALAN coating in a convexshape. The shape and material of the crystal mean that the light breaks less harshly than with a sapphire crystal, giving the dial a more vintage look. The Max Bill is incidentally all dial, with only a very small bezel, giving it its modest size and creating quite a large impact when on the wrist. The watch is also available as a chronograph, or as Junghans prefers to call it: Chronoscope. Depending on the version, it has either a date window, or a day and date window. This might seem a bit strange because the movement of the watch is based on the ETA/Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph caliber, for which they decided not to display the running seconds that are normally at 9 o’clock, so that the watch would look more symmetrical. Why have a date, or a day/date window undo this? Because the design of the Max Bill is not only about being aesthetically pleasing, but also about being practical for everyday use.

Junghans had a tradition of being very future focused, which they would later on prove with their early and full adaptation of high precision quartz watches and solar powered watches, yet in 1961 it made them decide to collaborate with Max Bill. 37 VISIT JUNGHANS


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JUNGHANS

While the running seconds adds little to a watch with a chronograph-function, the day and day/date-function does. And that is perhaps the best way to describe the Junghans Max Bill-collection: practical pleasing design.

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J E A N R O U S S E AU

JEAN ROUSSEAU

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ure luxury hidden in the rolling hills surrounding the medieval city of Besancon, located in France, at near spitting distance of the Swiss border. A place where century-old traditions are practiced in hightech production facilities, all to indulge watch lovers with the pleasures of custom-made, hand-crafted watch straps. The building of Jean Rousseau is like many others in the area: flat, non-descript and surrounded by fields and forest. The creation of a watch strap starts when the hides enter the manufacturer. They have already received their first treatment, preparing them for transport to Jean Rousseau.

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In the case of alligator, still the most popular to make straps from, these hides are greyishwhite and feel a lot like thin cardboard. The first thing that is done when new hides are received is to check them for quality. This is a very repetitive process within Jean Rousseau, because after each and every step in the product process the quality is checked, just to make sure that the straps can live up to their name. For private customers that is Jean Rousseau, but the manufacturer also makes straps for some of the biggest names in the watch industry. If the hides meet Jean Rousseau’s quality standards, then they are first washed in large washing machines.


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This prepares the hides to take in the color of the paint. When the hides are washed they are dried on racks, where they are also stretched. The color of the alligator hide is built up in three steps. First the hide will receive a base color; on a finished strap you can still see this between the scales. Then the main color will be applied, followed by a top color that mainly touches the higher parts of the hide, giving it depth. Painting the hides is done in a modern paint cabin, where a robot applies just the right amount of paint in just the right color.

Even then this is a tricky process that requires the skill of an experienced operator, because every hide is different in the way it absorbs the paint. From one hide, only so few straps can be made, so it is absolutely vital that the same color can be exactly reproduced multiple times, but also a year from now. That is why Jean Rousseau keeps a sample of every single hide they process, so that they will always have a factual reference to the color it was. 41

VISIT JEAN-ROUSSEAU

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They even go so far that these colors are graded under special light, much like the way jewelers grade the color of diamonds. Care for the environment is an important issue at Jean Rousseau, which they approach with the same dedication as their quality control. Of interest is that it’s not the rules and regulations that determine what they do, but their own peace of mind. The manufacturer has their own water treatment facility, cleaning the water they use from the vast majority of chemical and paint residues, putting them far ahead of what water emission laws require from them. When the hides have dried after their final color treatment, they are ready to be cut. While Jean Rousseau deploys computeraided cutting machines for larger pieces, the straps are being stamped out. These stamps are made in-house, allowing Jean Rousseau to make virtually any style of strap you can possibly imagine, with great precision. These cutting stamps are placed in such a way that the texture of the hide will give a goodlooking strap, with the scales not to small or too big, and of course perfectly aligned for the best end result. After stamping, they are manually matched on their texture, so that both sides of the strap give a sense of unity. After that it is on to the assembly room. Here skilled employees, the vast majority women, make the final product by giving the top leather a lining and a filling, using glue and sewing machines to bring it all together. Each strap has to be perfect because Jean Rousseau has a zero tolerance policy for poor quality, and actually employs a team that examines every single product that leaves the manufacturer for overall quality before they release it for shipping. 42 42


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Getting a custom-made strap may sound like getting Pirelli P-Zero’s for your minivan: a bit much. But the truth is actually the contrary. Most brands offering affordable watches focus on what they do best: making nice watches, investing little money in good straps. But like cheap rims on a nice car, it often does not show off the true potential of the watch. A custommade strap can not only give the watch that unique and personal touch, but it will also give your watch a far more expensive look and feel, living up to its full potential. And for those who think that such an indulgence is out of their reach, they might actually be surprised by the affordability, since Jean Rousseau’s custom strap couture starts around $100 for a calf skin strap.


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B R AU N

BRAUN

BN0076 Less is best 44 44


B R AU N

Because I am so focused on Cartier’s watches, the majority of the quartz watches are lost on me. Even quartz timepieces that bear the Cartier-logo can barely hold my attention. But there is one exception, and it is not even an Cartier! In 1978 Braun, the company that made fame with their electric razors, produced a really cool looking digital watch, the BN0076, that I used to have and wore for a couple of years, before I unfortunately lost it during a holiday. The watch had an attractive metal case, a digital LCD display that could light up and a very different and good-looking leather strap and buckle. It was designed by top designer Dieter Rams, who is responsible for most of the good designs that were released by Braun. Just 3000 pieces of this watch were made. The work of Dieter Rams has always been famous among people interested in design and especially amongst graphic- and industrial designers. Not only were Rams electric razors and coffee machines were great pieces of design, also his audio products were very popular and often seen around 1975, in homes and apartments where furniture by Le Corbusier, Eero Saarinen or Eileen Grey ran the show. Rams joined Braun in 1955 at the tender age of 23. This did not stop him from infusing Braun’s design department with a new style. A style so successful that it even influences designers today. Compare Apple’s products to Ram’s, his designs for Braun are decades earlier and the similarity is frightening. 45 45 VISIT BRAUN

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Please join Geo Cramer, one of the industries most prominent Cartier experts, on a trip down memory lane, featuring Braun’s digital BN0076 watch - Martin Green; Editor-in-Chief


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Apple wasn’t the only company that adopted Rams vision toward stylish and functional design, also the famed Danish electronics brand of Bang & Olufsen applied his ideas to their products. How good his designs really are, becomes clear when you realize that the original Braun BN0076 is almost 40 years old, but looks so contemporary. The matt stainless steel case features two buttons that make the watch easy to set, since user friendliness was also part of Rams design principles. He actually called it “less but better”.

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The BN0076 has a great wrist presence and it comes on a leather strap that is very differently stitched and it can’t be found on another watch. Although, when you check out the leather strap on the new Apple watch you get an idea from who they drew inspiration for the design. Braun has re-released the BN0076 and the watch can be purchased for $250,- from Braun’s website, or from one of their local retailers.


PILO & CO

Diatto Competizione

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keleton watches are always something special because you can see the watch movement in motion. Most skeleton watches are quite classical, so for those who prefer a more sportive watch, it can be really complicated to find a good sporty skeleton watch. But this new Pilo & Co “Diatto Competizione” might just be what you are looking for!

The Diatto Competizione is a typical Pilo & Co watch: a combination of creative design, Swiss watchmaking, and an affordable price tag. Adding to that is a kind of exclusivity because this sporty watch is limited to only 111 exemplary worldwide and also marks a partnership with the legendary Italian automotive brand “Autocostruzioni Diatto”. This company has a large sporting reputation from the beginning of the last century and traded on the slogan: Queen of lightweight vehicles, fast, comfortable, elegant. Created with an elegant round case made in Stainless Steel with a black PVD treatment, this piece lets discover its Swiss “engine” thanks to its sapphire glasses. Priority was given to the readability of the dial, which is quite unique for a skeleton watch. That’s really important because you don’t really need a watch if you can’t read the time on it.

However, the fun does not stop there. A large crown makes the watch easy to set, and the exhibition case back allows you to also admire the back of the movement. Also, the watch has some extra character thanks to its red touch that we can also find on the rotor. The black leather strap, equipped with a folding clasp, also features a red stitching. Sporty, Skeleton, affordable, and stylish ... This new timepiece will necessarily please all motorsport as well as watch enthusiasts looking for something different. 47 VISIT PILO

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R AY M O N D W E I L

Rhapsody of Raymond Weil

Time

Maestro Frank Sinatra

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Although the six screws in the bezel give the watch a casual touch, the watch does not break away in some freestyle dancing. Just as the passionate Tango has a form that has to be followed, so does this watch. Roman numerals and the intricate guilloche at the inner part of the dial make sure of this. Raymond Weil carefully and successfully balances the Tango chronograph between formal and casual, and it is actually up to your choice of leather strap of metal bracelet that lets the balance fall one way or the other.

But it is not their love for music that is the secret to Raymond Weil’s success. Another legendary Raymond Weil is the Founded in 1976 it is a relatively young Tango-collection. With as a reference to watch brand, yet it achieved success the Argentinian dance, this collection has already early on in its existence. The key powerful lines, a slightly bolder look, yet to this was combining the high quality is still in tune with the life most people craftsmanship the Swiss are known for, live. The quartz-powered chronograph with an affordable price tag the Swiss of this collection has a 40mm case that are not often known for. For Raymond gives plenty of room to the chronograph Weil this unique mix has actually function, but can still go easily under the become a hallmark of their brand, and cuff. Being as beautiful as practical it also because the brand is still family owned features a big date function, as well as an and operated, you can count on it that they anti-glare coating on both sides of the will keep it up in the future as well. sapphire crystal.

Tango Chronograph on Strap

In their Maestro collection, they have devoted a watch to perhaps the greatest maestro of all: Frank Sinatra. The reason for this limited edition is the centennial celebration of the singer’s birth year. True to the character of this legendary singer and entertainer, the Raymond Weil Maestro Frank Sinatra is a stylish watch, 39.5mm in diameter and fitted with an automatic movement. The blued hands and hour indexes refer to Frank Sinatra’s nickname “Ol’ Blue Eyes”. At 12 o’clock is the only Roman numeral on the entire watch, a direct tribute to Sinatra’s birthday, which was on December 12th. For that reason, this edition will be limited to 1.212 pieces.

Tango Chronograph on bracelet

or almost four decades, Raymond Weil has had a close connection to the world of music. So close that is has become part of their DNA. Some of the brands most famous models carry music inspired names. Like the Parsifal, named after an opera by Richard Wagner and for more than 20 years one of the most iconic and recognizable Raymond Weil collections. Or the Nabucco, which shares its name with one of Guiseppe Verdi’s master pieces. But it is not only classical music that drives Raymond Weil, it is all kind of music!

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DEFAKTO

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INTERVIEW

What was your vision when you created Defakto?

The first idea was to find a different, more intuitive way of telling time with the aim of getting the pressure off time. This idea set the backbone of Defakto and was finalized with our first model in the Eins series – a skeletonized one-hander, offering 15 minute indexes only. After studies in communication-science and obtaining my masters in digital-art, much of my ex-pertise is melted down into each and every model you see in Defakto’s watch collection and of course the brand’s sheer behavior. Looking at Defakto after 5 years of existence, it has become an honest, direct contact brand of high quality, puristically designed, German-made timepieces. It is interesting to see a brand grow sustainably – every friend of Defakto is part of that spirit.

Raphael Ickler CEO, DEFAKTO 50

Looking to future development, my aim is to keep Defakto flexible and modular, bring in cooper-ations with external artists and to stay independent. There are so many watch brands. What sets Defakto apart from the rest? From an external view Defakto is a small, special interest “design-thinking“ watch brand with an outstanding timeless aesthetic. Feedback from our internationally-spread customers is proof that Defakto quality and minimalistic design shines out of the wide range of available watches or even products in general.


INTERVIEW

It is about playing with the wearer’s perception of time. It is very interesting to see what happens especially with our Eins and Mono series to your feeling for time. The biggest difference to other one-hand watches is that Defakto does not try to show the "exact" time – as they stay playful and always ask for the wearer’s intuition. This seriously leads to a more relaxed experience and interaction with time.

What is for you the most special watch in Defakto watches are powered by Swiss quartz the collection? movements, and both Swiss and Japanese At the moment I like mechanical movements; what are the main our Modular bronze arguments for you when you decide on a setups available for the movement for a new model? Eins and our two-hand All our movements are very reliable model Akkord most – not workhorses and help us to offer watches only does the sheer material in different de-signs and price categories. have a warm yet industrial Akkord Bronze Looking to the super puristic Struktur or aesthetic, it further-more Mono quartz models for ex-ample, you will develops an individual patina with find a very flat watchcase for a nice price the processing of time. Somehow the watch that’s only possible with this specific Swiss- appears to get older with time. By using a glassfibre-brush, the watch surface can easily made Ronda movement. be reset to its orig-inal "shining" state. We In your opinion, what aspects set a great unfortunately have not found an adequate watch apart from a good watch? "youth now" option for the wearer yet. A great watch is a mirror of your character and What are the plans for the future of Defakto? represents your mindset regarding time, life and social groups. A great watch is reliable and Interesting new models are being realized fits every situation you might enter because it at the moment – a new automatic watch is al-ready fits you perfectly. A great watch can coming in the autumn. Plus an interesting be a friend and a conversation starter. With project of open-sourcing Defakto is in Defakto a great watch is always with you. If the making. Defakto is seen as a platform you have found your “great watch" there are for cooperating one-to-one with external designers and artists within special limited no good watches anymore. editions. The most interesting aspect herewith Single hand watches play a big role in is that innovative materials and "not thought Defakto's collection; why is that? yet" methods will meet the watch scenario. 51 51

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Looking at the inside, Defakto is a Berlin based one-man company so to speak. I personally do everything you see and hear from Defakto - all the processes from concept, research to design, direct communications to customers, marketing, administration and final shipping. Furthermore, Defakto watches are produced mostly on demand in-house at our manufacturing site Ickler GmbH in Pforzheim. As a Defakto watch is sold via its own website www.defakto-watches.com it can offer a price/ratio that’s hard to find elsewhere.


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D E FA K T O

Uhren Eins Modular Stahl

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Defakto Struktur

t is hard to stand tall in the world of watches; creating your own watch is doable when you are persistent, but building up a whole brand, with a balanced collection — that is a different league. Yet Raphael Ickler did just that since he founded Defakto in 2009. His story started with the Defakto Eins, a one-handed watch. Although not a new concept, Defakto’s approach is.

The hand on the Eins is almost oversized, yet the markers around the dial do not allow for extremely precise time reading. This is done intentionally, to give the owner of the watch a sense a time, but not the precise time, creating a more relaxed approach towards the day. But one watch does not make a collection, and after the Eins came the Akkord.

Defakto Mono

DEFAKTO 52


D E FA K T O

Defakto’s next addition to the collection may have come as a surprise, because unlike the au-tomatic Eins and Akkord, it is powered by a Ronda quartz movement. Named Detail, the watch is housed in a very slender case only 6.6mm thick and has a diameter of 40mm. Of the two versions of the Detail that are available, the Mono will draw the most attention. Once again a watch with only a single hand, but a different concept than the Eins. A thin, needle-like hand points at a ring of indexes featuring three different heights; the longest to mark the hours, the in-termediate indexes for the quarters and the smallest indicating 5 minute intervals. This means that with some practice the time can be read not only with ease, but can also be pinpointed to the exact minute.

The Detail Struktur is Defakto’s only threehanded watch. A black or a white dial, with again simple yet very functional markers and hands. However, this watch has a sub-seconds at six. Although available in the same color as the dial, the Detail Stuktur is also available with exactly the opposite color, creating a nice contrast on the dial. Defakto like that contrast incidentally, because all watches are available with either a brushed stainless steel case or a black PVD-coated one. A more recent addition to the collection is the Modular, which is available for the Eins as well as the Akkord. Here Defakto offers the three-piece-watch cases with a stainless steel caseback and middle element, and a PVDcoated bezel for extra contrast. Even more interesting is the version where the middle element is made from bronze, resulting in a watch that shows a lot of contrast but still unity of design. That design was born in Berlin, where Defakto resides in the stunning “Brückenmeisterei”, a building located on the former Tempelhof Railway yard which was shut down in 1952. Deserted, it was reclaimed by nature and was donated to the Berlin Senate in 1995 by the German Rail-road. The area was redeveloped as a nature park which opened in 2000 with only a few signa-ture buildings like the “Brückenmeisterei” preserved. While this serves as Defakto’s main office, the watches are crafted in Pforzheim, famous for its watchand jewelry industry. Since 1924, the Ickler family has been known for their high-quality watches and they own, amongst others, the watch brand Limes. Focused on offering value for money, in particular their expertise on crafting watch cases is second to none. From the casual time-telling of the Eins, to the high contrast versions of the Detail Struktur, all Defakto’s show a dedication to detail that is aimed at functionality and purity of design in true German fashion.

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The Akkord is all about lines: straight lines that make up the hour and minute markings, and the straight line that forms the minute hand. The hour hand is shaped like an open box. This not only makes it easily recognizable, but the minute hand can cover exactly the space inside the hour hand that is left open — a small, visual treat and that is actually what Defakto is all about. Their watches look very straightforward, but they entice you with little details that set them apart from the rest and make having a Defakto around your wrist a very pleasing experience.


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D E FA K T O

DEFAKTO

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t is hard to stand tall in the world of watches; creating your own watch is doable when you are persistent, but building up a whole brand, with a balanced collection — that is a different league.

Yet Raphael Ickler did just that since he founded Defakto in 2009. His story started with the Defakto Eins, a one-handed watch. Although not a new concept, Defakto’s approach is. The hand on the Eins is almost oversized, yet the markers around the dial do not allow for extremely precise time reading. This is done intentionally, to give the owner of the watch a sense a time, but not the precise time, creating a more relaxed approach towards the day. But one watch does not make a collection, and after the Eins came the Akkord. 54


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The Akkord is all about lines: straight lines that make up the hour and minute markings, and the straight line that forms the minute hand. The hour hand is shaped like an open box. This not only makes it easily recognizable, but the minute hand can cover exactly the space inside the hour hand that is left open — a small, visual treat and that is actually what Defakto is all about. Their watches look very straightforward, but they entice you with little details that set them apart from the rest and make having a Defakto around your wrist a very pleasing experience.

Defakto like that contrast incidentally, because all watches are available with either a brushed stainless steel case or a black PVD-coated one. A more recent addition to the collection is the Modular, which is available for the Eins as well as the Akkord. Here Defakto offers the three-piece-watch cases with a stainless steel caseback and middle element, and a PVD-coated bezel for extra contrast. Even more interesting is the version where the middle element is made from bronze, resulting in a watch that shows a lot of contrast but still unity of design.

Defakto’s next addition to the collection may have come as a surprise, because unlike the automatic Eins and Akkord, it is powered by a Ronda quartz movement. Named Detail, the watch is housed in a very slender case only 6.6mm thick and has a diameter of 40mm. Of the two versions of the Detail that are available, the Mono will draw the most attention. Once again a watch with only a single hand, but a different concept than the Eins. A thin, needlelike hand points at a ring of indexes featuring three different heights; the longest to mark the hours, the intermediate indexes for the quarters and the smallest indicating 5 minute intervals. This means that with some practice the time can be read not only with ease, but can also be pinpointed to the exact minute.

That design was born in Berlin, where Defakto resides in the stunning “Brückenmeisterei”, a building located on the former Tempelhof Railway yard which was shut down in 1952. Deserted, it was reclaimed by nature and was donated to the Berlin Senate in 1995 by the German Railroad. The area was re-developed as a nature park which opened in 2000 with only a few signature buildings like the “Brückenmeisterei” preserved. While this serves as Defakto’s main office, the watches are crafted in Pforzheim, famous for its watch- and jewelry industry. Since 1924, the Ickler family has been known for their high-quality watches and they own, amongst others, the watch brand Limes. Focused on offering value for money, in particular their expertise on crafting watch cases is second to none.

The Detail Struktur is Defakto’s only three-handed watch. A black or a white dial, with again simple yet very functional markers and hands. However, this watch has a sub-seconds at six. Although available in the same color as the dial, the Detail Stuktur is also available with exactly the opposite color, creating a nice contrast on the dial.

From the casual time-telling of the Eins, to the high contrast versions of the Detail Struktur, all Defakto’s show a dedication to detail that is aimed at functionality and purity of design in true German fashion. 55 VISIT DEFAKTO


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A P P L E WA T C H

REEN AS RASS

APPLE WATCH THE

Article & images by Geo Cramer

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A P P L E WA T C H

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There hasn’t been a product launch in ages that caused such a tumult like the Apple Watch. The Watch Industry, the press in general, electronic nerds, and the hardcore Apple fans, everybody had his own ideas and dreams about what Apple was about to release. Apple in the first place is of course not just a brand, but one of the few companies that always succeeds to get into the spotlights, making it to the many News Channels around the world, when they’re about to launch a new product. And that was exactly the case with the Apple Watch. So everyone’s expecta-tions were high.

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A P P L E WA T C H

From a design point of view, the Apple watch is top notch, whether you go for the aluminum, or the steel version.

When Apple decides to produce something, they do it well. And while there are a few smart watches around, that were released earlier than the Apple watch and a few launched just now, it is the Apple watch that’s clearly different and the only one that has an image of its own. Thanks to Apple's brilliant designer Jonathan Eve, who was so clever not to do this project on his own, but together with Marc Newson, who joined Apple’s design team recently. Marc Newson, incase his name doesn’t ring a bell yet, has designed a very special Atmos clock for JLC. He was re-sponsible for the Ikepod watches, and he designed a camera for Pentax as well. It is Marc Newson who really puts his signature on the Apple Watch. Some watch details like the shape of the rubber straps have a lot in common with the Ikepod watches.

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The way the straps slide in and out the case is however a new and unique construction and makes it possible to switch straps in less than a second. Next to rubber and leather straps, there is also a really stunning steel bracelet available, which is so well-made that it belongs in the top ten of best steel brace-lets available. From a design point of view, the Apple watch is top notch, whether you go for the aluminum, or the steel version. The case has very strong lines, looks like no other watch and sits well on the wrist when……... you have picked the right size. This is actually quite important! There is a 38mm and a 42mm model and since these cases are rectangle, I will not be sur-prised when the 38mm fits you better, even while you’re used to a 42mm round watch. Rectan-gle wears differently!


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So what’s the fun, besides the fact that it tells the time, like your regular watch. Well that varies from person to person and it’s up to you how far you allow the Apple Watch to let you know you have new emails, or new messages, Instagram notifications, appointments in your agenda, or even an incoming call, that you did not hear, because your iPhone was in your bag or in another room. So many things are possible and more will be possible in the near future with software updates. Really cool is the Passbook app, since your boarding card now also appears on your Apple Watch and let’s you pass the security at the airport, just by showing your wrist to the scanner. All these apps are controlled via the Watch App in your iPhone and it’s very easy to switch off a few, before going into a meeting, or attending dinner party.

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A P P L E WA T C H

The Apple watch starts at US$349. for the aluminum sports watch. But no matter which model you choose, the functions of the models are all the same. The difference in price depends just on the material of the case and the strap or bracelet you select. Even the full gold version does not do anything more or better than the least expensive aluminum sports model. The only ver-sion that has something extra is the Hermes edition. Hermes teamed up with Apple and the re-sult is a watch that is available with a choice of very well made Hermes leather straps and some extra Hermes dials, to set the watch apart from the Apple version. This version is only available at selected Apple and Louis Vuitton stores. The fact that Hermes, a brand that produces its own collection of watches and just launched their own In House caliber, teamed up with Apple, says a lot about how seriously the Apple Watch is taken in the high end luxury world. Starting at US$1100, it also makes a Hermes watch affordable for a larger group of people.

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Whether you see this watch as a watch or as an iPhone extension, is not really important. Sure it’s not the timepiece to show off at your next watch get together with friends, but it is in fact a very sweet and very personal gadget to wear regularly that could live its life next to your me-chanical watches. Oh, one more thing, like Steve Jobs used to say; with regards to all the com-plaints about the fact that the watch needs to be charged almost every day, you should know, that after a full day of using the apps intensively, it does indeed need to be charged. No escape. But if you’re in a situation where it is not possible to charge, remember then, that the watch will still give you the exact time, for another two weeks, without any charging! Just time, no apps. So Apple’s Watch will make sure you’re on time, since after all, it is a watch!

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PHOTOGRAPHER? WE WANT YOU! Ever dreamed of having your photos illustrate a story in a magazine like Watchisthis?! Well, this is your chance, because we are looking for photographers who have a talent for photographing watches. What do you have to do? Send us a minimum of 3 and a maximum of 6 photos of a watch, to photocontest@ watchisthis.com before January 22nd 2016.

What do you get? When selected by us, your photos will get published in the next issue of Watchisthis?! with full credits to you!

But that is not all….. We will also pay you US$50,- so you can go out and celebrate your achievement, and to really do so in style we also let you create a custom-made watch strap from Jean Rousseau in calf, shark, lizard or ostrich, on us!

Requirements: Watch in photos may be a new men’s watch, ladies’ watch or vintage watch as long as the (retail) value is US$2,500, or below We are a digital magazine, but we plan to print so please submit your photos in the largest image size possible and at 300ppi. The images are taken by you and only you.

You need to have a valid Paypal account.

Conditions: You can use photos that you have taken yourself, by sending them in the state that the photos were taken by you, and Watchisthis?! is not responsible in any cases when the images are not the intellectual property of the person who sent them in. When selected by Watchisthis?! the US$50 will be paid through Paypal. Watchisthis?! does not cover any transaction costs that Paypal might charge you. Of the 62photos from the winners, Watchisthis?! will obtain the rights to use them as their own, now and in the future, with credits to the photographer.


RITMO MUNDO

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RITMO MUNDO

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itmo Mundo was born in one of the most unlikely places for an affordable watch brand: Rodeo Drive in Los Angeles, California. It was here that Ali Soltani, owner of the famed David Orgell jewelry store, dreamed up the brand and made it a reality. Do expect a generous dash of Hollywood glamour in any Ritmo Mundo! The Vintage World Time looks like it could have been worn by Indiana Jones, yet with the 46mm diameter it is more the size Sylvester and Arnold wear. All that space is not going to waste because Ritmo Mundo has packed this watch with a chronograph, second timezone and even an alarm function, all thanks to the Seiko YM26 quartz movement. The black gunmetal case gives the watch a modern touch, while its lugs are reminiscent of an era when pocket watches were swapped in favor of wrist watches. Those lugs also have a practical side, because they follow the shape of your wrist closely, meaning that even people with a modest-sized wrist have a chance at comfortably wearing the Vintage World Timer. Although don’t expect that to go unnoticed, because this watch will attract as much attraction as Johnny Depp entering the room in character as Captain Jack Sparrow. 63 VISIT RITMOMUNDO.COM


CONTENTS

ROUGH&TOUGH

ROUGH & TOUGH: 6 WATCHES THAT WILL GET YOU OUT OF THE WOODS

GARMIN EPIX $549.99

Having an Epix around your wrist is kind of like cheating. You don’t have to be able to read a compass, just look at the 1.4-inch high-resolution color touchscreen, on which your surround-ings emerge in relief basemaps, unless you prefer the satellite Birdseye images. Die-hards might still want to show off their navigation skills with the builtin compass, but when they are not up to par anymore, the built-in GPS receiver will ensure that you will always come home in time for dinner. 64


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TISSOT T-TOUCH EXPERT $1195 The T-Touch, any T-Touch, is already a formidable machine to have around the wrist but the latest T-Touch Expert makes the list of functions near endless. Vital for getting out of the woods is of course the compass, although you might also appreciate the weather forecast with relative pressure. The T-Touch Expert charges by sunlight, so don’t worry when it takes you a few years to find your way back home.

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ROUGH&TOUGH

TIMEX TIDE TEMP COMPASS $170 Although this Timex can get you out of the bush with its electronic compass, it also feels very much at home on the water. Equipped with a tide indicator, it shows the current tide, while a temperature sensor keeps track of the current temperature. The stainless steel case has a dark titanium look to it, which will make it blend in perfectly with your survival gear! 66


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SUUNTO ESSENTIAL COPPER $800 The Suunto Essential Copper seems to have no business being taken out into the wild, yet that is where it was created for. It might look nice as a companion for your boardroom attire, but this watch also aids survival outside the concrete jungle. A compass to ensure that you get where you want to go, a barometer to monitor the weather, and a storm alarm that gives you enough time to find shelter. If only that last function would also work at your work enviroment‌. 67 67 VISIT TISSOT


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ROUGH&TOUGH

CASIO G-SHOCK AVIATION GRAVITYMASTER $250 G-shocks have been the obvious choice for modern Indiana Joneses around the world, not only because of their extreme shock resistance but also because of the wide variety of functions they pack. The Gravitymaster adds to the usual timers, calendars and alarms a digital compass that even compensates for magnetic declination. And for when you’ve finally reached a phone, a world time function ensures that you don’t call anybody out of bed for your rescue!

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ROUGH&TOUGH

Although it looks like a fearsome beast, the Promaster Altichron is actually a gentle spirit that features an electronic compass to help you get where you want to go. Hopefully that is up, be-cause one of the main features of this watch is the altimeter. Citizen’s signature Eco-Drive tech-nology turns sunlight into electricity to power your Promaster Altichron, while the titanium case ensures that the weight of this 50mm watch remains wearable.

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CITIZEN PROMASTER ALTICHRON $995


INTERVIEW

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By Martin Green

ecently I had a chance to catch up with Pierre Bernheim, CEO of 88 Rue du Rhone, but also known for his work at Raymond Weil, who was actually his grandfather. With Pierre we discussed how his brand is developing after being founded 3 years ago;

88 Rue du Rhone has recently partnered with the BAFTA, the international film festivals in Miami and Geneva, and teamed up with Lionsgate for an ultralimited edition dedicated to Mad Men. What is 88 Rue du Rhone's connection to the movies and why are these partnerships so important for the brand? 88 Rue du Rhone is only 3 years old, and for us it is important to connect to an environment that we feel comfortable in. The movie industry does not only mean glamour, but also connects to our young entrepreneurial spirit because which each new movie you risk it all, almost like with each watch, yet both are also a form of art. So we share the same values. You are the grandson of Raymond Weil, how was it to grow up in a famous watchmaking family? I often feel like I wake up talking about watches, go to bed with watches. Because of the passion, 99% of my time is dedicated to watches. Raymond Weil was a real grandfather to us, but now I am a real entrepreneur that creates watches, jobs, tries to build a new brand, I get more understanding and respect for the businessman he was. My respect has doubled because now I understand what he had to endure in founding his own company, the sacrifices he had to make.

Pierre BERNHEIM

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CEO, 88 RUE DE RHONE


INTERVIEW

We wanted to maintain the entrepreneurial spirit, we wanted to maintain growth, and we love the challenges, it is who we are. The watch industry is our business, it is what we know so it wouldn’t make sense to start anything else but a watch company. Since 2005 I have been traveling on a weekly basis for Raymond Weil. Over the years Raymond Weil has positioned itself in a slightly higher segment and we felt a need in the market for watches that cost 300 – 500 euro. We saw an opportunity, a niche, and we decided to pursuit this, with high quality watch but a different finish. We also saw an opportunity towards retailers because we are not a group, so we don’t have to apply pressure, pushing stock and we can have a more flexible approach. You named the brand after the only house number in Geneva's famed Rue du Rhone that does not exist; why is that? Currently 88 Rue de Rhone has 62 shop-in-shop’s in China, and we are expanding to Taiwan and Hong Kong. The Asian market is where the opportunity is, and the number 8 has a special meaning there. 8 is a lucky number, and since we are two brothers (Pierre founded 88 Rue de Rhone with his brother Elie) so double 8. At first we wanted to call it 88 Geneva, but the Geneva Canton in Switzerland is very protective of that name. Since we wanted a connection to luxury we thought about the Rue de Rhone, Geneva’s most prestigious shopping street, but of course we needed to see if 88 Rue de Rhone was not already the address of a store or watch boutique. It turned out it was the only number not used in the entire street, so we adopted it.

To convince people that although the name is not old, they do buy quality and perfection in this price range. We are a new brand, with limited marketing means but we need to show our added value to the public, so the question is, how do we make the biggest noise? How do we make the biggest impact on the market? It takes time, it needs to grow our customer base. 88 Rue de Rhone often combines classical elements with more playful details. What, in terms of design, makes a watch a real 88 Rue de Rhone? We are classic contemporary and still Swiss. We combine the classic look, like a round case, and an elegant strap, with an original dial and new ways of decorating the watch. Details really matter, so for example, we mix VVS-quailty diamonds with topaz for ladies. What we are really trying to do is offer a classical line with a younger look. We are not about the latest innovative complication, but more about having quality at a more affordable price. The challenge for me personally was actually to stop thinking about Raymond Weil, and start thinking like 88 Rue de Rhone. You recently introduced quite a few new models at Baselworld 2015. Where do you get your inspiration from?

Travelling, you need to be on the road, have contact with your retailers. In that matter, inspiration also comes from listening to criticism, which is hard but valuable. Meeting a jeweler in Kentucky, that has been there for 35 years and really knows the industry, really gives valuable feedback. Although it is not always Swiss watches are in general not known for their what you want to hear, it does can help you forward. affordability, yet you made it a cornerstone of the The challenge with creating new models is also that concept of 88 Rue du Rhone that they remain you need to think 2/3 years ahead, because that is the accessible in terms of price. Why is this so important time that you need to actually make the watch. to you? Which watch from the 88 Rue du Rhone collection do you currently wear yourself? How many people buy a gift at a value of 580 euro? We rarely spend that on one gift. Is not a lot for a watch, but it still a lot of money. So when you sell a watch like that it needs to offer value, and we want people that are proud to wear our watch. It is affordable luxury, it is less expensive than most Swiss brands but to 99% of the people it is still a lot of money.

An 88 Rue du Rhone with PVD case and yellow accents with a Selita 200 automatic movement, but when it comes out I will be switching to our new chronograph, with a rose gold plated case and a diamond at 8 o’clock. The first diamond watch for men of not only 71 VISIT 88RDR

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Raymond Weil is one of the leading brands in What is the major challenge you face when creating a watchmaking. Why did you feel the need to start true, high quality, Swiss made watch for an accessible something new? price?


REVIEW

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Being a young brand, 88 Rue de Rhone also has a young spirit, and that shows in its collection. It is not afraid to make choices, and offers not only very feminine watches but also more robust-looking sports watches. The key is that they all share a familiarity between themselves: the lines of the case, the use of colors, small details that make the watches instantly recognizable as being an 88 Rue de Rhone.

Perhaps a watch that represents the spirit of the company best is the “Luminary”. This remark-able ladies’ watch is dedicated to a remarkable lady: 11 year old Alexandra, who fought a long, hard battle with cancer. Her wish was a watch designed especially for her. Not only did 88 Rue de Rhone do just that, it is also donating the entire revenue of the “Luminary” watch to Cou-rir…Ensemble, a non-profit foundation that supports children suffering from cancer in Genevan children's hospitals. Apart from the great cause that it is supporting, the Luminary is also a stun-ning watch. A pearly black dial shows the 88 Rue de Rhone motive in a fine filigree. On the dial are 28 pink topaz, representing the stars at night, and one diamond representing the moon. This combination of elements give the watch a casual elegance, especially in the ladies’ collection, a hallmark of 88 Rue de Rhone that we often see return.

Double 8 Origin Mens

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The Encounter is a model from the other end of the spectrum. A chronograph with a PVD-coated case and yellow accents, it is a typical men’s watch. Yet despite a formidable diameter of 45mm, it is not a hardcore sports watch. Subtle details like a dial with once again the 88 Rue de Rhone motive in a fine filigree make the watch look more sophisticated than most sports watches. Also the height of 11.7mm makes it a substantial watch, but not overly bulky.


Encounter

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Double 8 Origin Automatic

RUE DE RHONE

REVIEW

Like most watches within the 88 Rue de Rhone collection, the Encounter can also handle the casual as well as the more formal sides of life. That is also part of the idea that the brothers Bernheim have behind the brand: to create a companion that suits your everyday life, no matter where it takes you.

RUE DE RHONE

Double 8 Origin

Double 8 Origin Ladies

RUE DE RHONE

To accomplish that, details make all the difference. For example, many of their chronographs feature a large date function at six o’clock. These are the same color as the dial, allowing them to blend into the overall design of the watch. Accent colors used on the dials return as the thread in the straps. The use of intricate filigree details give the dials more depth and the watch a more sophisticated look. It also sets 88 Rue de Rhone watches apart from the rest. Another aspect that does this are the use of gemstones. Diamonds are quite common on ladies’ watches, but blue Sapphires, pink Topaz and smoky Quartz are not. Yet 88 Rue de Rhone makes clever use of the beautiful colors of these semi-precious gemstones, while keeping the prices still modest. A pleasant combination that also forms one of the core values of 88 Rue de Rhone.

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WHAT’S IN A NAME? THE “DOUBLE TWELVE” FROM GLYCINE!

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t BaselWorld this past March, Glycine presented something that many watch fans have been missing from their collection. This year, Glycine finally addressed the wants and desires of those with more modest bank accounts with the Airman “Double Twelve.”

This is an extremely welcome addition to the Airman family. Like the other Airmen it offers a second time zone thanks to the rotating outer bezel engraved from 1 – 12 and the famous and instantly recognizable locking crown at 4 o’clock. And with the “Double Twelve”, Glycine delivers these features at an entry-level price point that makes it much more realistic for watch fans to have a version of the iconic Airman for their own.

But more than just affordability, the “Double Twelve” offers a departure from the typical 24-hour layout of the other Glycine Airmen. If you only wear one watch, a 24-hour dial orientation is a look and feel that you will get used to. Having said that, an hour hand that travels around the dial only once per day is not “everyone’s baby”. We are somewhat “hardwired” towards a 12hour layout. We do not typically think about time in 24 hour or “military” time segments – we generally tend to say 1:00 PM as opposed to 13:00. In essence, this Airman provides 24 hours of time in two separate twelve-hour segments – AM and PM. So while the price makes the “Double Twelve” more accessible, the use of a more “standard” 12-hour orientation makes this version of the airman one that will be instantly appreciated without any “learning curve”. But Glycine wasn’t done there. It is safe to say that the world is not “black and white” and neither is the new “Double Twelve”.

Available in three different color options – a “basic black dial” for the traditionalists. And Glycine did this by utilizing ETA’s 2824 as for those out there with a bit more daring? the movement’s basis. Switching to a time Glycine has you covered with either a blue or date movement as opposed to one with an red dial option. additional 24-hour and GMT/second time zone function, it stands to reason that a less complicated movement will be less costly to produce. Owing to this, Glycine is able to offer the the “Double Twelve” at a more reasonable price point.

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NEWS Seiko signs Misty Copeland CONTENTS

Is there anything as graceful as a ballerina? Seiko didn’t think so and signed Misty Copeland, soloist at American Ballet Theatre, as the new face of the Coutura and Tressia collections for ladies. Timing, precision, and being able to endure great physical stress is greatly important when being a ballerina, and these happen to also be the hallmarks of these elegant Seiko watches. While Copeland is breaking the mold in terms of ballet, Seiko does the same with ladies watches, with for example the Coutura with mother-of-pearl dial that is charged by solar power. An innovative approach to an ancient art. www.seikowatches.com

Movado introduces the 1881 automatic for ladies There is hardly a more recognizable watch than the Movado Museum watch. With the eye-catching circle, representing the sun, at 12 o’clock it cannot be mistaken for anything else. The most recent addition by Movado is the 1881 automatic. A 27mm large steel or gold-plated steel, watch featuring a stunning mother-of-pearl dial set with 29 diamonds in a crescent shape. And for those who want a little less glamour a dial with diamond numerals or no diamonds at all are also available). But it is not only the dial that is beautiful. Through the exhibition back you can admire the beautifully decorated automatic movement that keeps this Movado going. www.movado.com

Mido’s Baroncelli Donna Rosa blossoms! You want this watch for its dial! Beautiful guilloche that looks like the petals of a white rose! The dial is highlighted by the rose gold PVD coated case and bracelet that gives the Baroncelli Donna Rosa a glamorous look. Inside is an automatic movement with a more than impressive power reserve of 80 hours. The only thing missing is the sweet smell of these flowers, but a trip to your favorite perfume store can fix that easily. www. midowatch.com

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NEWS

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Gc Ladychic Blue; the power of contrast A statement of modern femininity is how Gc refers to the new Ladychic blue, and for once this is not an overstated expression created by a marketing department. The rose gold PVD bracelet shows a great contrast with the deep blue ceramic inserts. The same goes for the case and the bezel, but it is the dial that is the real eye-catcher; dark blue motherof-pearl with in the middle of the dial a stunning guilloche pattern. The chronograph function gives the Ladychic Blue a sportive touch www.gcwatches.com

Raymond Weil tunes in with the new Toccata Elegant and sober, classic but timeless, in short one of those watches any woman needs to have at least one of in their collection. The new Raymond Weil Toccata was introduced by the brands latest ambassador; internationally renowned violinist Nicola Benedetti. With a diameter of 34mm it is contemporary sized, while the elegant case and the rounded sapphire crystal gives the watch that touch of classic style. Available in stainless steel, rose gold PVD or yellow gold PVD plated steel, it equally tunes in with your own style as well. www.raymond-weil.com

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F R E D E R I Q U E C O N S TA N T

Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase

Everyday is special 78


F R E D E R I Q U E C O N S TA N T

Eight of the hour markers are set with a brilliant cut diamond, while some versions also have a diamond set bezel for a more glamorous look. Unusual on a ladies watch is the moon phase indicator, just above six o’clock. Although its practical use is limited unless you are an astronomer, it does look romantic. When occupied with romance you do not have to worry that the Slimline Moonphase will come to an unexpected halt. It is powered by a quartz movement, ensuring about 60 months of worry-free wearing. A generous onion-shaped crown, set with a sapphire, also makes setting the watch and easy task that is kind on the nails. Straps for the watch come in the classical black and brown tones, as well as some pastel colors. They have a shiny finish and an alligator print. For a more contemporary look Frederique Constant also offers a metal bracelet, for both the stainless steel model, as well as the yellow gold plated. The links are very fine, making it comfortable to wear, and that is exactly what you need from a daily companion that makes every day feel special. 79

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D

oing justice to its name is the Frederique Constant Slimline Moonphase, a very slender watch. An important ingredient, making this watch the perfect everyday companion. With a diameter of 30mm it has that timeless appearance that never seems to be out of fashion or style. With a steel case, the watch has a more contemporary look, while the yellow gold plated version will undoubtedly appeal to women who have a more classic style. Both versions have a Mother of Pearl dial that shimmers in different pastel tones when the light hits it right.


CONTENTS

F R E D E R I Q U E C O N S TA N T

Frederique Constant

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atchisthis?! had the honor of interviewing both Peter and Aletta Stas. They founded Frederique Constant in 1988, and have since built it into a full-blown, innovative manufacturer that is still very much committed to offering true horological masterpieces yet for modest prices. One of the few power couples in the watch world, Watchisthis?! asked:

You and your wife built Frederique Constant out of nothing. What was the biggest challenge to accomplishing this?

Peter Stas: We have had many challenges in the past 25 years. In the beginning, we had to learn watchmaking from scratch, find suppliers, solve technical issues, find our first customers. Later, the development and production of our in-house-manufactured calibers stood out. We started in 2001 in collaboration with the Watchmaker Schools in The Netherlands and Geneva, as well as the Engineering University of Geneva. It took three years of development. Last year, we celebrated our 10 years Manufacture Anniversary. Aletta Stas: The challenge which remains is to make your brand more known to the end con-sumers and compete with brands which have existed for much longer than we have.

How does the design-process of your ladies’ Aletta Stas: With regards to the ladies’ watches, we will also make sure we choose feminine strap colors. watches work? We also pay attention to a feminine packaging box. Peter Stas: Design is an iterative process at Frederique The ideas are just in our head and often ideas come Constant. We start with ideas from cus-tomers, check out when I am not at work but at night or during a trends in the market, and determine the best ideas for holiday. new watches. Aletta Stas: The designs of both gents’ and ladies’ watches are done 90% internally by Peter and myself. We work with internal graphic designers who will make 2D drawings from our input. After some back and forth with small adaptations and when we are happy with the design, we start making prototypes.

You recently teamed up with Variety and UN Women’s HeForShe campaign to host an event about gender equality within the film industry. How important is gender equality within Frederique Constant?

Peter Stas: Our company was started by Aletta and myself, we are still the majority sharehold-ers. From Peter Stas: When the first prototypes are made, we see the top, we have men and women in our company; it if the design comes out as expected - often we need to is an important part of our DNA. We see the diversity adjust a number of times until all is well proportioned. as an advantage.

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F R E D E R I Q U E C O N S TA N T

Aletta Stas: We believe that men and women must be treated equally, so first and foremost they have the same salary. Secondly they have the same opportunities. We also offer the possibility of working less than 100%, which is of value especially for young mothers.

Peter Stas: Our thinking is that we also build watches with quartz calibers as we can create beautiful watches with them, i.e. the Slimline Collection, smaller ladies’ watches.

Quite recently you stunned the watch world by introducing the most elegant Peter Stas: Sometimes the men (incl. myself ) want Horological Smart-watch. Can we expect a to take too much risk, the women (incl. Alet-ta) look ladies’ version in the near future?

at new projects more carefully. It is the balance that Aletta Stas: For the moment we have indeed only creates the best results. gents’ Horological Smart watches. The rea-son is Your ladies’ collection offers both that the movement inside the watch is quite big and mechanical and quartz movements. How not suitable for a Frederique Constant ladies’ watch. important is it to of-fer both? Do you notice It is very possible that in the future we will come up a preference for one or the other? with a ladies’ version. Aletta Stas: We do sell more quartz ladies’ watches than mechanical watches. One reason is the price. However we do see a trend that business women are showing an interest in mechani-cal watches. With our ladies’ automatic watches, especially the Double Heartbeat, we have been selling very well for over 7 years. This collection is linked with charity. So for each watch sold we donate 50USD to heart- and child-related charities.

Peter Stas: We are working on future Horological Smartwatch developments, but it is too early to say what will come in the next few years. Right now, we are shipping the first generation Hor-ological Smartwatches with Activity and Sleep tracking. First reactions to these watches are ex-tremely positive.

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CONTENTS

Slimline Moonphase


CONTENTS

S O C I A L M E D I A S TA R

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atches to me are a quintessential piece of jewelry. A watch shows how a person values time and is a great investment to give to yourself or someone special.

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S O C I A L M E D I A S TA R

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I absolutely love how a single watch can make an outfit. It can add instant elegance, a business feel, or a sporty look to an ensemble. I am really fascinated by how watch brands put in so much into the design and make of their watches. I would say my favorite kinds are bejeweled watches and professional sporty looks. As someone whose style may vary from extremely feminine to edgy, I must say I prefer watches that have a unisex design that can seemingly adjust to the dress code. A large watch face is also my preference. That being said, one of my go-to watch designs would be the Radio City by Trifoglio Italia designed by Alessandro Baldieri. This line is so elegant and can be so much fun with a wonderful dash of color. The Radio City is available in a choice of leather or colored straps. Whichever variation you choose, the style exudes elegance with a touch of edge and uniqueness. Just the way I like it. I really love this photoshoot collaboration with Watchisthis?! and am so excited to be a part of the premiere edition. Definitely a MUST subscription for watch lovers! Many thanks to the awesome team of Watchisthis?! for having me!

Cielo Fronteras www.mermaidinheels.com @mermaid.in.heels (Instagram) Photography by Jet

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CERAMIC

RADO CENTRIC The Strength of High Tech Ceramics

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F

ew things in life are forever. The wear and tear of everyday life will always leave its mark, or does it? Not when you wear a Rado. Made from high tech ceramics it takes a diamond to make a mark on one of their watches.


CERAMIC

Although Rado’s knowledge and expertise in the field of high tech ceramics is unchallenged, it is still not a walk in the park to make it. It not only incorporates extremely high temperatures, but also the slightest variation in temperature can ruin the result. To add to this, the ceramic elements of the watch shrink about 20% when baked. So 40% of all the watch parts are actually discarded after production because they do not meet Rado’s strict quality control requirements.

Because of these different colors and finishes, the same watch can look completely different. The Centriccollection is a good example of this. Round case, integrated bracelet, yet each version clearly has its own style! Rado combined their high tech ceramics with stainless steel for this collection, or for even more contrast; gold pvd coated steel. That last one is especially combined with white high tech ceramic. Quite the fashion statement! As futuristic as this Rado looks, at heart it is still old school; powered by the motions of your wrist an automatic movement keeps track of the time for you. Even when you take it off it will run for another two days. Although diamonds are optional, they do add a little extra to the Centric. Yeah, like this Rado needs that right?

The great thing about ceramic is more than just its very high scratch resistance. It also feels nice to the touch and heats up to your own body heat very fast, making it that you sometimes even forget you are wearing your Rado! Thanks to Rado’s expertise, they are able to create their high tech ceramics in different colors, as well as with a matted or a glossy finish.

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The first Rado that had increased scratch resistance was introduced in 1962. This Rado DiaStar was crafted from Tungsten Carbide, which is about 10 times as hard as regular steel. For Rado this was the beginning of a true dedication to making watches that are as tough as they are beautiful. In 1986, they made a big leap in this legacy when they created their first watch featuring high tech ceramics.


CONTENTS

MECHANICS

A watch service Assembling the movement

W

hat exactly happens when you turn your watch in for a service? We examine this together with Watchmaker Ron Sonders, when he performs a full service on an automatic Omega.

As soon as the watch comes in, all its data will be entered into the system, not only to follow it during the service, but also to have a service history when the watch is being brought in again. The first thing to be done is to visually inspect the condition of the watch. This includes opening the case back, taking out the crown with winding stem and completely removing the movement, dials and hands from the case. The bracelet or strap is also removed from the watch case and then the whole case is further disassembled. The glass, gaskets, bezel everything that can come off will be taken off. The case, and other metal parts, are then polished back to perfection, with their finish painstakingly restored up to factory specs. So your watch not only technically will get a new lease of life, but will look the part as well! Then it is time to take on the movement! The hands and dial are removed first, followed by the complete disassembly of the movement. Each part is checked individually for wear and tear, and those that show evidence of any will be replaced with new parts. When this is completed, a special machine will wash the movement, while another machine washes the case parts in spe-cial cleaning liquids. After a thorough inspection to see if all the parts are indeed clean, the movement will be assembled again. This also includes folding up the mainspring and placing it in its barrel.

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MECHANICS To make sure that the watch is waterproof again, all seals have been replaced during the ser-vice. To test its water resistance, the watch goes into a sealed chamber that is filled with pres-surized air. The distortion of the watch case indicates a leakage. When you put pressure on the watch, the case becomes slightly thinner. When there is a leak, the pressure inside the watch becomes the same as the outside pressure, making the case thicker again, which is measured by the testing equipment. The watchmaker will be able to see this on the report that the machine prints out and Before the dial and hands are being attached to the will check all the seals again to find, and fix, the leak. movement, and the movement is reunited with the case, the watch is regulated in five or six positions. Next up is an accuracy test. Here the watch is fully Then the crown is re-attached, as is the strap or wound and over the course of time accura-cy is tested, bracelet. Before the watch is closed up again, the rate as well as to see if the rate of the watch stays stable. of the watch is checked, and if needed, is adjusted. Also the power reserve of the watch is checked. When they are all up to par, the final, visual check takes place before the Omega is ready to be reunited again with its owner!  

Folding up the mainspring

Placing the gears

Placing the mainspring in the barrel

Polishing the Omega

Polishing the Omega

Setting the Hands

SPECIAL THANKS to Ron & Hedy Sonders www.Sonders.nl

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CONTENTS

Also important is that some parts of the movement are oiled. This is a very precise job, and do-ing it correctly is the sign of a master. Most watches use up to five different kinds of oil, together with epilame - a substance that ensures that the oil doesn’t go anywhere it is not supposed to. Yet too little and it will result in too much friction, increased wear and reduced performance. Too much oil, and it will run into places it is not supposed to, greatly shortening the time between service intervals.


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THE LOOK

The Look Shorter days, colder weather; winter is not everybody's favorite season, but with the right clothes and accessories you can be warm as well as stylish!

Dior Vernis In a new generation of nail polish, Dior introduces a “Gel Coat” resin with such an intense purity it looks as smooth and shiny as glass. Thanks to the organic silicon in the polish, Dior Vernis actually strengthens the nail surface for extra-long staying power! DKNY Turtle neck Nothing says winter like a warm, comfortable turtleneck. Ideal to get cozy on the sofa, close by the fireplace and a hot chocolate within reach. Made from a wool blend, it will also keep you warm for those occasions when you have to face the elements!

Senso Braided Suede Boot Since 1980 this Australian footwear brand does the same as Watchisthis?!; offering an high end product at an affordable price! No wonder it is now one of Australia’s most iconic brands! With this black braided suede boot, they give a contemporary twist to a fashion classic

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THE LOOK

Like a black dress, a black coat is amongst the most versatile items of clothing especially in the winter. This straight cut Bouclé coat by H&M combines the slightly casual look of the Bouclé-fabric with a more formal fit. The best of both worlds that makes you just want to live in your coat!

Hamilton Valiant Part of the “American Classic”collection by Hamilton, and that says it all; 34mm of timeless design, featuring subtle details and an automatic movement! The supple metal bracelet is a thing of genius, combining elegance with comfort

Miansai Bar cuff Crafted from sterling silver, this bar cuff by Miansai is more abstract than we are used to from this brand. That also makes it a statement with a casual outfit, and a perfect fit for the more formal occasions. And with the hinge closure you put it on and off with ease!

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H&M Bouclé coat


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LOOKS

Longines AND THEIR QUEST FOR

elegance

Elegance; such a beautiful word, yet so hard to capture it in a watch. For a watch to be elegant everything has to be right. Every line of the case, every detail, even the used materials and how they feel on the skin. Elegance is as much a feeling as it is an observation.

Dolce Vita

Le Grande Classique

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LOOKS

Longines has long focused on creating elegant watches, resulting in an impressive heritage.

A more contemporary way of elegance can be found in the Dolce Vita collection. Meaning “Sweet Life” in Italian, its rectangular case is softened by rounded curves. As one of the few ladies watches, many of the watches in the Dolce Vita collection feature sub-seconds. Combined with a dial with Roman numerals, it adds an extra vintage element, but with the mother-of-pearl dial it becomes a practical eye-catcher. A bit of glamour is given by the diamond hour marker, and for those who want to go all in, Longines also offers the Dolce Vita with a diamond set case. A classic on a strap, the bracelet is actually a piece of art by itself. It’s a combination of elegance with confidence, with its five link design. The tonneau shape of the Evidenza is elegant enough by itself, yet combined with the guilloche dial it becomes even more irresistible. While the Roman numerals give it the look of a classic, the polished steel case feels very much as home in today’s world. It is one of those watches that can transcend time and styles, a key element of elegance.

Kate Winslet

Visit:

Evidenza VISIT LONGINES

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However, you are only as good as your last watch, and that is why Longines continues to strive for perfection. Elegance does not come in a single shape or form, but is determined by a combination of factors. Longines has mastered the ability to play with these factors, allowing them to create elegant timepieces with different natures. The most classic of them all is fittingly named “Le Grande Classique”, featuring a round, yellow gold plated case, a white dial with black dashes as hour markers, and thin black hands. By making the watch very thin, it already gains the air of elegance, yet it is the way the strap is attached to the watch that shows the sign of the master.


CONTENTS

LOOKS

Aishwarya Rai

Elegance can come in a lot of shapes and forms. The Symphonette is for those who prefer a more petit watch. Ultra feminine, it also comes on a steel bracelet that, just like the Dolce Vita, has five links. But by giving the inner links a diamond shape, the result is completely different. Playing with seemingly unimportant details like this is one of the key ingredients to creating an elegant watch, because the impact on the overall design is quite significant! Symphonette

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LOOKS

Prima Luna

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The PrimaLuna has a more bold look, with its stepped bezel and integrated bracelet. Its round shapes and many details make it a beautiful watch from every angle. A date function adds a practical element to what can easily be your everyday companion. Because elegance is, unlike fashion, timeless. That might also explains why Longines heritage still carries on so strongly today.


CONTENTS

AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

Aircraft Clocks

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n today’s world, watches are often used as a fashion statement or piece of jewelry, although they find their origins in being tools. Just as on ships, they play a vital role in the navigation of aircrafts, especially the older aircrafts, while in bombers, they also served to time the bombraids. 94

Gallet Mark V


AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

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The earliest watches in airplanes were pocket watches that had an enlarged winding stem, so that they could be clicked onto the control panel on the plane. An example of this is the Gallet Mark V that was issued to British Royal Flying Corp (RFC) Pilots during WWI. These watches where amongst the most precious equipment supplied to the pilots and, in case of a crash, pilots were obligated to retrieve the watch so that it could be re-used. Of course, this was only the case when both watch and pilot survived. Airplanes developed fast, and it wasn’t long until their clocks where also specifically built for use in aircrafts. The Waltham XA is one of the earliest examples of such an aircraft clock. Issued to US Army Air Service Signal Corp (ASSC) in 1916, which would later turn into the US Army Air Corp and is now known as the US Air Force, it was standard equipment in many planes.

Even Charles Lindbergh had one attached to his control panel in the “Spirit of St.Louis” when he made his historic flight over the Atlantic. It did not differ that much from clocks used in cars or even homes, apart from the fact that the movement was regulated to achieve greater precision. One of the most legendary fighter planes of all times, the Spitfire, was also equipped with an on-board clock. This clock was crafted by British watch and clock maker S. Smith & Sons, who used a LeCoultre movement. WWII showed a great variety in aircraft clocks because each world power had their own. The German Luftwaffe used a variety of German made clocks, including the Junghans Bo-Uk-1 FL23885. In those days we also saw the first aircraft clocks that offered a chronograph function to emerge— in the case of the Junghans, one clock in specific showed a 15-minute interval. This was especially handy to time bomb-raids.

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AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

Breitling Wakmann A

Breguet with Valjoux Movement

Seikosa (Seiko) Type 93

Junghans B0

The Japanese used clocks from Seikosa, now known as Seiko, in their aricrafts. A prized possession, Kamikaze pilots often removed the clock from their control panel and wore it around their neck when they flew their suicide mission. Today Japanese aircraft clocks from WWII, like the Seikosa Type 93, are the most sought after, yet the rarest.

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Mathey-Tissot Type 12


AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

CONTENTS

S.Smith & Sons MK II

The US Air Force equipped their planes with an aircraft clock designated as A10-A. Initially JaegerLeCoultre supplied these clocks, but later on Breitling took over through their American importer Wakmann. It was one of these clocks with which Breitling made its impact in the world of aviation, because after WWII, it also became a common sight in many civilian planes. This particular version also shows the development of aircraft clocks, now showing not only the time in a 24-hour format, but also with a chronograph function and a sub-dial indicating the elapsed time. It was a valuable piece of equipment, costing about US$600 in the 1950’s.

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AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

Waltham XA

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AIRCRAFT CLOCKS

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From the 1960’s to the 1980’s, the Wakmann A-13A was a popular aircraft watch in both commercial and military planes. Although quite common, they are also amongst the most affordable aircraft clocks and a perfect starting point for those who want to start collecting them. They movements where supplied by both Lemania, as well as Breitling, and offer an almost amazing precision. The clock pictured here loses only 2 to 3 seconds a day, when it goes in 8 days from fully wind to completely unwound. What makes this even more exceptional is that this particular clock was fitted in the Saudi Airlines Flight 163, the cargo of which caught fire in 1980 at Riyadh, Saudi Arabia costing the lives of all 301 people on board, making it the sixth deadliest aircraft disaster of all time. The clock was later removed from the wreckage by an engineer from Saudi Airlines, with only a slight haze in the crystal due to fire as damage from the crash. It has never been serviced since. From the 1970’s to the late 1990’s Breguet and Mathey Tissot, but also Sinn, offered the Type 11 and Type 12 aircraft clock. They both feature a 15-minute chronograph, with the addition of a fly-back function for the Type 12. This means that the pilot only had to press the button on the left to stop, reset, and re-start the chronograph, allowing him to almost instantly start a new timing cycle. Although mechanical aircraft clocks can still be found in active use, the late 1990’s declared the end of their development, being surpassed by superior digital clocks. This has probably made them only more collectible, because with an aircraft clock people not only buy a piece of aviation history, but watchmaking history as well. Is also offers people the chance to own a piece by some of the most respected names in watchmaking, at prices often far lower then what their wrist watches cost. This article was written in collaboration with Ken McLean, aviation enthusiast and collector of aircraft clocks. Ken got his passion for aircrafts at an early age, interested in not only the technology behind them, but also the stories they represent. His collection is fueled by this passion, as well as an admiration for those who have served with their lives, to protect those of others. The clocks featured in this article are a selection from his collection.

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LIP

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LIP

NAUTIC

SKI

It’s time to ReWrite the Story

Thinking of French watchmaking without thinking of the LIP manufacture is like thinking about Paris without the Eiffel Tower.

Founded in 1867 in Besançon, the heart of French watchmaking by Ernest Lipmann, the watch company was simply named LIP to avoid the German sounding Lipmann. The brand was off to a flying start, and in 1890, it already employed 35 people. Committed to precision, they even set a new precision record in 1936, endorsed by the National observatory of Besançon, and in 1948, they presented their first manufacture tourbillon in a form movement. In the 50s, now under management of Fred Lip, LIP represented the excellence of French watchmaking, in terms of size, expertise, and innovation. At the time, Lip was the most powerful watch manufacturer in France with 1,500 employees and 300,000 watches produced annually. They even provided the French Tibet expedition in 1950 and 1951 with a sturdy timepiece, which they quite appropriately named “Himalaya”.

HIMALAYA

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Also the early 1960’s where good to LIP with trade agreements with Breitling and Blancpain, many rewards for the precision of their movements, observatory prices, and their commercial success is at an all time high, with production growing to 500,000 units a year. This thanks to famous models like the Nautic Ski, introduced in 1967 and water resistant to 200 meters, as well as the more elegant Dauphine and Souveraine models.


LIP

like Roger Tallon (who designed the TGV high speed train), Rudi Meyer (Graphic designer who designed the logo’s of Prenatal, Banque National de Paris and Waterman) and Michelle Boyer (an interior designer who worked for Dior, Renault, and Moët et Chandon) create very progressive designs.

Sensemat also entered the world of sports, by signing as brand partner Patrice Martin, water skier, and one of the most decorated champions in France. A LIP was also given to Serge Blanco, one of the greatest rugby player in the world who was nicknamed “The Pelé of Rugby”. To further restore the prestige of the brand, vintage lines were revisited with the models that have made the brand famous, such as Himalaya, Mermoz, and of course the watches gifted to De Gaulle and Churchill. These timepieces will be equipped with mechanical automatic movements provided by the Japanese Miyota. Also their legendary designs with quartz movements, now manufactured in Villers-le-Lac (Doubs), are back. As the assembly of new LIP watches is performed in Besançon, so they benefit from the label "Made in France" and also feature the hallmark "Certifié LIP Besançon”, which ensures the reliability and accuracy of the watches assembled in their workshops and that will benefit all of the label "Made in France”.

With their new lines, LIP continues to work on resurrecting their old core values: Know-how, quality, tradition, avant-garde, technology Reconnecting the brand with the and accessibility—and doing so public, LIP watches were now by immortalize more than ever offered as a bonus when signing on the words of its founder: “Nothing for a subscription, started by the does well without passion”. magazine Nouvel Observateur and then followed by almost all of the French press. ROGER TALLON WHITE

TV

101 VISIT LIP.

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Unfortunately the problems were too large, and despite several rescue attempts in 1980, the company had shrunk to only 170 employees. Then in 1990, the brand was bought by JeanClaude Sensemat. He relaunched the President Charles de brand in a splendid Gaulle way; he first decided to reissue the historical models of LIP including one worn by General de Gaulle, but also the But success did not last. In 1967, LIP was faced with financial watch featuring the T18 movement troubles and the Swiss Ebauches that the French Government has S.A. stepped in as investor. In 1970, offered to Winston Churchill Fred Lip was relieved of all his in 1948. He also decided to reduties. This was the beginning of produce the pocket watch offered large social unrest, union problems, to Napoleon Bonaparte. Crafted in and more and more financial 1807 by the grandfather of Ernest troubles. Despite all this LIP Lipmann, the people of Besançon continued on the forefront of the gifted it to the French emperor development of electric and quartz during his passing through their movements, entering the field city. To build on this tradition, he quite early with its manufactured also offered the re-edition of the watches. Knowing that they were model worn by General de Gaulle entering a different market, LIP did to Bill Clinton to commemorate not use quartz movements in their the fiftieth anniversary of the existing models, but had designers Allied landings in France.


CONTENTS

LV

A Rare Unicorn

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L

ouis Vuitton’s incredible brand recognition is of course mainly thanks to its famed bags and leather goods, often adorned with what is one of the most recognizable logo’s in the world. A logo that, as most will know, can now also be found on an collection of impressive watches.


LV

103 103 VISIT LOUIS VUITTON

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LOUIS VUITTON


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LV

A collection that many think started with the Tambour in 2002, but few know that the first Louis Vuitton wrist watch was actually introduced in 1988. This Monterey I was a quartz powered world time watch, housed in an 18K yellow gold case. When its dial design wasn’t already setting it apart from the majority of the watches, the crown would. Placed on top of the watch, at 12 o’clock it made the watch look even more avant-garde. Next to the Monterey I there was also the Monterey II. The fact that it was less complicated and did not feature an 18K gold case did not make it any less precious.

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Just like its predecesor, the Monterey II was also designed by Italian architect and designer Gae Aulenti. The multitalented Aulenti is mainly known for supervising the conversion of the Gare d’Orsay train station in Paris into the Musée d’Orsay art museum and the uniquely shaped ‘Pipistrello’ lamp. That was not the only celebrity involved into the creation of this watch. Since Louis Vuitton, unlike now, did not have any watchmaking capacity in 1988, the production was handled by IWC. This probably also explains why the Monterey I features a ceramic case, that was offered in either black, or Louis Vuitton’s signature green.


LV

Despite its unique and progressive looks it was a very practical watch. The dial design made it easy to read, while the quartz movement also offered a pointer date complication as well as an alarm function. Being a watch from a premier brand in leather goods, the Monterey II of course featured leather straps, which Louis Vuitton offered in red, green, black and brown.

Their connection to the case was hidden underneath, so that the watch really sits on top of the wrist. With its crown sticking out so prominently, it earned the nickname “unicorn”. Probably because it was far ahead of its time in terms of styling the Louis Vuitton Monterey II never sold in large quantities and can be considered today a very rare watch, that hardly ever comes up for sale. When one does, they commence on average prices between $1,000 $1,500 – depending on its condition. For which one gets a unique piece of watch history by one of the worlds most recognized luxury brands.

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IWC was one of the pioneers in using ceramic for watch cases, offering them on their famed Da Vinci perpetual calendar chronograph.


CONTENTS

IN THE TO OLBOX

IN THE TOOLBOX

Stocker & Yale Sandy 490 Series I 106

In the toolbox, we discuss watches that were meant to be tools, created to get a specific job done. Because they are often not designed out of a sense of fashion, they come with interesting stories on how they came about, like the Stocker & Yale Sandy 490 Series I. The name Stocker & Yale is not familiar to many, but for decades, the firm has been supplying the US army with supporting equipment and amongst them watches. In order to achieve visibility in low light conditions, the numerals were applied with a generous amount of tritium. A bit too generous as turned out in 1988, when during a routine check a geigerteller showed that some of the watches were sending out radiation levels up to 100 times the maximum allowed.


IN THE TO OLBOX

CONTENTS

Stocker & Yale went on to solve the problem by using tritium tubes that contain the radiation. The first watch they introduced this in was the Sandy 490 Series I in 1989. This watch almost immediately entered into active duty when in August 1990 the first Gulf War broke out, with many active units actually having a Sandy 490 Series I strapped around their wrist. People who expect an utterly impressive watch in Expendables-style might be disappointed. The diameter of the Sandy 490 Series I is only 34mm, with the weight significantly kept down by the fiberglass composite case. The movement is however one that might impress. Stocker & Yale opted for the Swiss-made ETA 2801, a manual wind movement known to be reliable, accurate, and able to take a beating. Important given its military purpose is the fact that movement also has a hack function for the seconds. The dial is all business with Arabic numerals and the tritium tubes worked nicely into a slope inner ring, indicating the minutes. Discontinued in 1999 the Sandy 490 has become quite a rare watch. They were never made in such large quantities as its competitor, the Marathon 348, which was also supplied to the US army. For obvious reasons the wear and tear on many Sandy 490’s took their toll and many veterans held on to their watches for sentimental reasons. A few emerged on the market as military surplus, quickly to be scooped up by watch collectors. Finding a Sandy 490 Series I might be quite the task, but you will be rewarded by owning a piece of American military history with a Swiss heart.

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AFTER THOUGHTS

After thoughts

TO THOSE WHO MASS PRODUCE;

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AFTER THOUGHTS

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A

couple of weeks ago I was talking to the CEO of a major brand, and he said something very interesting; “we are not good at making highly complicated watches in low numbers, our strength is to make a lot of watches of a good quality for a price affordable to many�. What he said not only made sense, but it also shows that making high end watches is a different type business then making affordable watches, but neither one is easy. Making a lot of watches of a good quality is actually quite a feat, especially when keeping them at the same time also affordable. It requires a totally different approach, although there are similarities. Of course production is largely automated, but there is still that ever important human touch. It requires a keen eye and clear focus, because one error will not just mess up a few watches, but a lot of watches! Just as with more expensive watches, quality control is king. It ensures that customers are getting what they paid for in a consistent way. And in some case you are getting more than you might expect. Take a Seiko 5, even in the field of affordable watches a very inexpensive watch, that can new easily be found under US$ 100. Take a good look at this watch, its shape, the way the dial is made, the polish of the case; a remarkable quality for a remarkable price.

The result of decades of tweaking towards perfection. The result is that Seiko has created a watch that remained affordable, yet transcended in quality far above what anybody would expect for this price. This is also the main characteristic of a good watch. Also, or perhaps even especially, in the price range covered by Watchisthis?! there are plenty of brands that focus more on fashion than on quality. To seek out the difference you only have to look and feel the watch; does it have sharp corners, or not? How precise are the details on the dial crafted? How solid feels the bracelet? An inspection that only takes a few minutes, but will often reveal the true nature of the watch, and whither it is worthy of your money. When you realize this a new found respect grows for brands that not focus on complicated and precious masterpieces, but on larger volume, affordable watches. What they do requires a different approach, but one that rivals they other in terms of expertise and craftsmanship.

Martin Green Editor-in-Chief

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CREDITS CONTENTS

CREDITS

Martin Running ahead of the music, Martin is the driving force behind Watchisthis?! Always thinking a few issue’s ahead, he sees the magazine as a constantly evolving concept to give its readers the best. Although he spend most of his writing career focused on Haute Horlogerie, it was his passion for more affordable watches that resulted in Watchisthis?!

Jonathan A passion for watches, almost all watches, and an encyclopedic knowledge about them, that is Jonathan. With an eye for the exceptional, he knows where to find great watches and good stories. For Watchisthis?! Jonathan goes the extra mile, finding ways to bring affordable watchmaking as you have never seen before. And being French, of course with a healthy dose of savoir vivre.

TJ When you see TJ, you know a steaming coffee cup is nearby as well. Super mom, and designer extraordinaire, she is the one that makes Watchisthis?! look good. Events she tackles with wit and a smile because she knows that the magazine is her canvass.

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Audrey If style was a woman she would be named Audrey. Living and working in the most stylish place on the planet, Paris, the luxury industry is her world. For Watchisthis?! she guides the ladies section with sense and sensibility, where the words of Coco Chanel linger through the air: a girl should be two things; Classy & Fabulous!

James The nagging conscience of watchmaking; so passionate about it that he is the one that often says what others don’t. But he also puts his money where his mouth is. Graced with a big heart, his travels to Africa have inspired him to protect what needs protection; the African Wildlife, as well as providing safe drink water to local communities. With 3thirty3 he combines these two worlds into a marvelous symbiosis.

Geo Whoever thinks that more affordable watches are out of scope for Cartier-expert Geo Cramer is heavily mistaken. Intrigued by any good watch, regardless of its price-tag, he was one of the first to embrace Apple’s controversial watch. He also has a keen knowledge of vintage pieces that most have forgotten, but are still very interesting, not in the least because of their price. Generously sharing his knowledge, expect him to become a staple of Watchisthis?! Magazine!

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Miang http://miang-copenhagen-2.myshopify.com Straton http://www.stratonwc.com Edox http://www.edox.ch 3Thirty3 http://3thirty3watch.com Nomos http://www.nomos-glashuette.com Victorniox http://www.victorinoxwatches.com Eric Giroud http://www.ericgiroud.com Ace Jewelers https://www.acejewelers.com Junghans http://www.junghans.de Jean Rousseau http://www.jean-rousseau.com Braun http://www.braun-clocks.com/watches Pilo&Co http://pilo-watches.com Defakto http://www.defakto-uhren.de/en/watches Apple http://www.apple.com Timex http://www.timex.com Tissot http://www.tissot.ch Suunto http://suunto.com Garmin http://www.garmin.com Casio http://www.gshock.com Citizen http://www.citizenwatch.com

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88 Rue du Rhone http://88rdr.com Glycine http://glycine-watch.ch Ritmo Mundo http://ritmomundo.com Frederique Constant http://frederiqueconstant.com Sonders http://www.sonders.nl Hamilton http://www.hamiltonwatch.com Longines http://www.longines.com Louis Vuitton http://www.louisvuitton.com Lip http://www.lip.fr/en Rado http://www.rado.com Seiko http://www.seikowatches.com Alpina http://www.alpinawatches.com Oris http://www.oris.ch Archimede http://www.archimede-uhren.de Bulova http://www.bulova.com D.M. 1936 http://dm1936.com Alessandro Baldieri http://alessandrobaldieri.com Movado http://www.movado.com Mido http://www.mido.ch Gc http://gcwatches.com

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Profile for Martin Green

Watchisthis?! magazine winter 2015  

The premiere edition of Watchisthis?! Magazine, dedicated to high end watches prices $2.500,- and below.

Watchisthis?! magazine winter 2015  

The premiere edition of Watchisthis?! Magazine, dedicated to high end watches prices $2.500,- and below.

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