INTERVIEWS WITH CEOS OF MEISTERSINGER, VELDT, ERROYL, FROMANTEEL, GAVOX, TAG-HEUER, STAUDT, LUMINOX AND A SPECIAL INTERVIEW WITH
JEAN-CLAUDE BIVER, CEO TAG-HEUER FEATURING WATCHES BY PHEIDIPPIDES | ALVIERI | AUGUSTE REYMOND | CJR | VELDT | ERROYL | ORIENT | FROMANTEEL | ARCHIMEDE | ALACHIO | ORIS |SWATCH | TIMEX | GUCCI | AVI-8 | GAVOX | TAG-HEUER | STAUDT | SUUNTO | LUMINOX | REGIA | POIRAY | CERTINA | CLAUDE BERNARD | NAMFLEG | UNIVERSAL | TISSOT | HUBLOT
WELCOME One of those golden oldies that still puts me immediately in the summer mood is “Summer Madness” by Kool & The Gang. It just makes we want to get in the car, drop the top, and take a leisurely spin. Another thing that gets me instantly in a summer mood is one of those original Hublot’s on the vanilla scented straps, and fortunately we are reviewing one of those in this issue of Watchisthis?! Magazine. We are also fortunate to have had an extended conversation with Jean-Claude Biver, the man who resurged the success of Hublot in recent years, and is now in charge of TAG-Heuer. Of course we are also reviewing the brand’s new smartwatch, the TAG-Heuer Connected. Smart watches really changed the industry, and that became especially clear when I met Jin Nonogami, CEO of Veldt watches which has an outlook of his own on the matter. Where Smartwatches try to give us as much information as possible, MeisterSinger became legendary by doing the opposite and created a watch where only one hand does all the time telling. It’s all these opposites that make the watch world in general so interesting, and we love to show you all this delightful “Summer Madness” in this issue of Watchisthis?!
NO.1 AUGUSTE REYMOND DIXIELAND:
Martin Green VELDT
ERROYL REGENT STYLE FROM
AVI-8 HAWKER HURRICANE
WATCHES TO CLINCH ON TO SUMMER
60 JEAN-CLAUDE BIVER
YVO STAUDT TAG-HEUER
78 BARRY COHEN
DALE VITO BOOM
96 LUMINOX F-22 RAPTOR
BRAISED CHICKEN SATAY WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES
REGIA SKULL DIAL
CONTENTS CLAUDE BERNARD
THE SHOCK SYSTEM EXPLAINED
NAMFLEG, AS BEAUTIFUL AS MOTHER NATURE
103 TISSOT ROCKWATCH
UNIVERSAL GENEVE POLEROUTER
BUYING AFFORDABLE WATCHES AT AUCTION
110 AFTER THOUGHTS
C CO ON N TT E EN N TT S S
wearable piece of art is the best way to describe The Porthole by Pheidippides. In fact, the watch looks and feels so sophisticated that an affordable price tag does not seem to be in the cards.
Yet, despite the fact that it houses a Swiss automatic caliber by Swiss Technology Production within its polished bronze case, that is in turn made by a German workshop specializing in jewelry. Although modest in character, the Porthole will delight its owner with fascinating details, such as the miniature seconds hand in the middle of the watch, shaped like a drop of water, or the fact that the hands are coated underneath with Superluminova, giving off a mysterious glow after dark.
We were actually most taken by the blue lacquered dial that gives this watch a true dose of personality, not that it needs it, but itâ€™s always nice.
Apart from the movement (which features by the way a personalized rotor) and the strap, nothing is standard with this watch, and that is truly a rare feat for a microbrand at this price-level.
Yet a Kickstarter campaign earlier this year failed to generate enough funds to get the production started. With a retail price of around 795 euroâ€™s, Dutch based Pheidippides might have been outside of the Kickstarter sweet spot, but when you look around in todayâ€™s market, very few (Swiss) brands will give you such a unique and well made watch for this amount of money. The name of the brand refers to myth of the Greek Pheidippides, who ran 26 miles from Marathon to Athens to announce the victory of the Greek army over the Persians. This marked the birth of the marathon as a sporting event. We for sure hope that Pheidippides the watch brands, shows the same endurance, because The Porthole is an absolute asset to the affordable watch landscape.
P H E I D I P P I D E S -WAT C H E S .C O M
C CO ON N TT E EN N TT S S
reating a great watch is all about details, and the team at Alvieri seems to understand that like no other. They have just been able to celebrate the successful launch on Kickstarter of their inaugural model; the Alvieri.
Kickstarter is swamped these days with timeonly watches that promote a simplicity that also results into a lot of look-a-likes. Not with the Firenze! Alvieri has succeeded in creating a very appetizing watch, with a solid build quality, that looks like pretty much nothing that is already on todayâ€™s market.
The Firenze is a dress watch with character. The 40 mm case has an elegant design that, just as the dial, doesnâ€™t get too classical. The slope inner ring, right below the sapphire crystal was a clever move to amplify the rounding of the outer part of the dial even more. The guilloche center of the watch adds to the feeling that you are in fact holding a quality timepiece.
Powered by a quartz Ronda movement, the Firenze is available with or without moon phase. We actually have a hard time picking a favorite. The time only version is so pure that it really shows off what a strong design the Firenze actually is. The moon phase is a rare complication at this price level, and very well executed. It also comes with a date function, and here Alvieri shows off their eye for detail once again. By going for white text on a black background, they ensure that it matches all their designs, no matter if you went for a black, blue, or silver dial, or opted for the PVD case, or the stainless steel case.
Die hard watch connoisseurs might see a bit a De Bethune and a dash of Julien Coudray in the Firenze, but that is only a compliment since these brands have straps that retail for more than the Alvieri might have reason to celebrate now, but entire Firenze. with this success also comes an obligation to Also, they might have influenced the design of perpetuate it. We for sure cannot wait to see what the Firenze on a micro-level, but the watch is for they have in store for us next! sure not a copy! A LV I E R I WAT C H E S .C O M
C CO ON N TT E EN N TT S S
e i s t e r s i n g e r â€™s founder Manfred Brassler had a few minutes for Watchisthis?! so we could ask him some questions: You founded MeisterSinger 15 years ago. What made you want to make a watch with only a single hand? Enthusiasm for watches is one thing, but developing a watch with the potential to be economically successful is quite another. Since even back then I already had the feeling that watches were also become more complex and complicated, I was determined to follow my inclination for simplicity and clarity in the product design. Why not develop a watch that is as clear and simple as possible? With this in mind, I soon discovered that watches had only one hour hand until the middle of the 18th century. The idea of developing a new watch modeled on the oldest watches electrified me.
Did you back then have an idea that single hand watches would become so popular?
My possibilities have always been limited by wanting to do exclusively the things that please me. When I held the first prototype of the NÂ°01 (1Z at the time) in my hands, I was very satisfied, and I realized that others might also like it. However, had someone told me then that some 10,000 customers per year would opt for a MeisterSinger, I would have thought he was crazy.
Where do you get your inspiration from, in terms of design, and further development of the brand?
The first mechanical watches let you virtually feel the great craftsmanship of their creators. They put the priority on function. They were blinded neither by the bling nor the “Look how different I am from the others”, unlike what we experience with many brands today. I find the simplicity and clarity of these very early timepieces and pocket watches before and around 1900 particularly appealing. They have remained my models to this day. When developing the N°01, my goal was to create a watch that looks like an original measuring instrument. My approach has not changed with all the later variants. In my work with MeisterSinger, what inspires me is creating something unique within a very restricted framework. In the development process, I put on blinders and try to focus on aligning all the elements in such a way that they are in perfect harmony with each other. If you take that approach to heart, you can put together a good portfolio and hence a good brand.
MeisterSinger has won over the years a lot of awards, including several times the IF Award, and the Red Dot award. How important are these awards to you?
It is of course always a great acknowledgement and surely helps some customers make their purchase decision. But I find the customer letters or posts on the Internet that often exuberantly praise their MeisterSingers to be an even greater acknowledgement. And when they have been wearing the watch on their arm for 10 years - what more acknowledgement of your work can you ask for?
What are things you still want to achieve with MeisterSinger?
We are a relatively young company at 15 years of age. Today, just as 15 years ago, I am still inspired by the idea of making the one-handed watch understandable to people. We don’t need the seconds and minutes in daily life. Nor do we need any additional acceleration. What we need is to become more centered and You recently introduced a new mechanical remember to take time out for the important things in movement, caliber MSA01. What made you life. Perhaps a MeisterSinger can remind us from time to time to use our time in a purposeful way.
decide to develop this movement?
A person with character and heart. It should be exactly the same with watches. Whoever manufactures watches automatically dreams of developing their own small motor for the watch. It was a long road to get to that point, but I am quite proud that it ended up like that. This is the accolade and one simply has to do it. Above all, it opens up entirely new ways of achieving product variety. It is on this basis that so many new product ideas are now being generated.
In 15 years of MeisterSinger, what is your most favorite watch and why?
Of course, I always wear the latest models. But my favorite is still the N°01 from the first hour. After 15 years, it is still not showing any signs of fatigue and sales are growing. Just as the one-handed watch is the mother of all watches, the N°01 is the mother of all MeisterSingers. 13
A Horological Revolution
hen the MeisterSinger No.1 was introduced it was not only the first watch by this German brand, but also the very first affordable watch featuring only one hand. A rarity by itself, even amongst far more expensive brands, it all of a sudden became mainstream. While a watch with only one hand sounds crazy to begin with, it makes a lot of sense when itâ€™s around the wrist. That one hand seems to take all the hurry out of your watch, despite the fact that with the cleverly designed dial you can still tell time with a minute precision. Yes, it does take some getting used to, but that is part of the fun. 14
The dial of the MeisterSinger No.1 is key to this. It is designed in a way that Germans seem to have a patent on: straightforward, clean, yet not at all boring. It is a perfect match with the 43mm case. This does seem quite large, and it looks even larger on the wrist, since it is almost all dial and no bezel, but you will appreciate this. Wearing comfort is not compromised thanks to well designed lugs, and the large dial makes it easy to get used to reading the time with only one hand. With a design like this it does not come as a surprise that the No.1 won both the prestigious Red dot design award, as well as the iF design award in 2004. The MeisterSinger No.1.is powered by a movement from Sellita. Although MeisterSinger also offers this watch with an automatic movement, a manual wind seems to be more fitting to the concept. The daily winding of the watch gives you more of a connection with it, which is already strengthened by the unusual time display. MeisterSinger makes the winding a true treat, by fitting the No.1 with a large crown that gives good grip for the fingers.
Finishing touch is the domed crystal that gives the No.1 a slight vintage look to it, especially when you order yours with a suede strap. The crystal is however crafted from sapphire, so no worries about scratching or otherwise damaging it. While originally only available with an ivory dial, MeisterSinger has expended the color pallet for the dials a bit over the years.
Now also a lighter silver-white is available, along with two stunning sunburst dials. One is in anthracite and the other one in a velvety purplish blue. For these watches, the hands and numerals are in white so that legibility is not a problem. Although now the market for long over a decade, the MeisterSinger No.1 has marked a horological revolution, and that is the return of the single handed watch, and fortunately that came along with a very affordable price tag! 15
AUGUSTE REYMOND DIXIELAND: A Connoisseursâ€™
uguste Reymond is one of those hidden treasures that crafts affordable watches of such a high quality that they offer an amazing value for money. They have been around forever, being made for over a century in the Swiss village of Tramelan. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the big cities, they created refined, classical inspired watches like the Dixieland. Dixieland is one of the earliest styles of Jazz music, and the Auguste Reymond with the same name delights with style elements that go back to a time when watches were not only timekeepers, but elegant as well.
This starts with the tonneau shaped case that seemed to be almost sculpted, especially the way the lugs are integrated in the design. A stunning framework for the dial, which boasts a guilloche of a quality that you normally only find on watches with a much, much higher price tag not only give the different levels on the dial a stunning play of light, but between the levels there is a small
ring of guilloche as well. These details make the watch feel and look much more expensive than it actually is. Another one of these details are the hands. Here Auguste Reymond did not opt for what is readily available in the market, but designed their own.
The tonneau case wears larger than its diameter of 37mm would make you think. It has a pleasant wrist presence, with some weight to it, but it is never overpowering in either way. A modern day classic, which thanks to the curved case back, also wears very comfortably. Inside the case ticks Sellita 200, a reliable Swiss made automatic movement, that you can admire through the curved sapphire crystal with Auguste Reymond crest. That same crest can also be found on the folding clasp.
This is actually a feature you can see on many of their watches. These blued sword hands, filled in with Luminova, are all of sudden topped off, only to continue as a little needle shape. It not only adds character to the watch, it also allows for very precise reading of the time. Even the date function is perfectly integrated in the overall design.
Despite its very affordable price of US$920 it is unlikely that you will see many Dixielands around. During its continuous existence Auguste Reymond has always been a very modest brand, lets its watches do the talking, and is content with the niche of collectors they sell their watches to. They are not obsessed with growth, double digit profit increases or opening up new markets, and that allows them to focus on their watches. This really shows, because the Dixieland is a thought through watch, that doesnâ€™t have an ugly angle, or something where you see quality suffered in favor of the bottom line, and that makes this Auguste Reymond a true connoisseursâ€™ delight! AUGUSTEREYMOND.CH
CJR AIRSPEED The SuperSonic Success
eing successful on Kickstarter the first time around is one thing, but duplicating that success is a whole different ball game. Yet CJR was ready to take on this challenge, and had just the watch for it: the Airspeed.
With the Airspeed, CJR cooked up a whole different concept, although maintained some family resemblance with their previous watch, the Velocita. What makes the Airspeed unique is that it is a regulator with a 24-hour dial. This means that each hand (hour, minute, and seconds) has its own (sub)dial, and that the sub-dial for the
hour hand doesnâ€™t show the usual 12 hours, but all 24. This allows you to very easily determine whether it is AM or PM, and was originally used in submarines and on polar expeditions. The design of the Airspeed draws its inspiration from aviation clocks and instruments, but it is not a blatant copy of it. In fact, it is an eye-catching and refreshing watch, that consists of a very slim case, with a domed hesalite crystal on each side. This gives the watch a bit of a vintage look because it breaks the light in a less hash way as a sapphire crystal would. Another advantage is that the Airspeed is a relatively light watch to wear. Downside, at least for CJR, is that everything about this watch is visible. There is no place where they can sneak in a plastic part or skip on finishing, because it will be noticed.
What CJR did, was to play with that fact. To accentuate the case, CJR placed a colored ring inside, red in the tan colored Airspeed and blue in the black PVD one, which mimics the colored neon-lights that you could find in the case of old fashioned jukeboxes. At the back of the watch you can see the automatic Miyotamovement, which features Geneva-stripping. The diameter of this movement is much smaller than the 43mm of the case. This means that you need to use a spacer that fills up the excess space in the case. Normally with affordable watches, this spacer is made out of plastic, since it is out of sight anyway. But with the Airspeed this is not the case, so CJR opted to craft the spacer from steel, curved like an oval track and use it to engrave some specifications of the watch on.
The result is not only very good looking, but it also draws all the attention towards the movement. Where most affordable watches come with straps that are not the most comfortable, the Airspeed surprises with Italian made straps from very supple leather. Combined with the well designed lugs, this means that the watch sits comfortably on the wrist. Nice detail is that even the buckle is custom designed to match the overall design of the Airspeed. And with details like this it is no wonder that it is a â€œsupersonicâ€? success. C J RWAT C H E S .C O M
INTERVIEW WITH THE CEO
in Nonogami did something quite unusual: he developed his own smart watch brand. Watchisthis?! Magazine sat down with him to talk about the why and how
What inspired you to start VELDT in 2012? I’m originally from the IT industry, but have always liked design and fashion. I have been wanting to create wearable products that equally act as the ultimate personal assistant for a long time now (this wish first manifested in 2000). The “Wrist watch“ category, seemed like the right one to host my idea of creating a product well balanced between analogue and digital, craftsmanship and technology, design and engineering, fashion and functions. In 2012, technology was maturing rapidly and the smartphone was showing up everywhere, I knew it would become the platform for wearable products. I felt I might be able to produce some products like Steve Jobs, in Tokyo. 20
What is the principle behind your product development? “Concept first, Function second” When it comes to most smart watches, one can observe many similar display based products with a wide array of different functions, which sometimes act very intrusively. We created our smart watch with the concept of “creating time away from the screen”. Our goal was, and still is, to let people spend more time looking up and experiencing new things, instead of looking down at their smartphone or smart watch screens. Then, we developed a watch, that by design well accompanies both professional and casual fashion, equipped with selected and customizable smart functions, that are truly useful and comfortable in our daily routines.
The market for smart watches has some very large and powerful players in it, with near endless resources. How can a much smaller brand like VELDT compete with this? I think it will take some time until many people recognize VELDT as a viable player in the market, since we indeed are very small, but we are getting a lot of very positive feedbacks on our unique concept and design approach. In order to promote and grow our brand, we’ll launch an OEM and licensing business for watch players and IoT players, partnering with an electronic company. This will generate revenue and support us, in establishing VELDT as a brand from the business aspect.
The design of VELDT watches is very original. How did the design process take place? As mentioned above, design must reflect our concept: “Create a time away from the screen”.Usually, people are looking down at the smartphone screen when the smartphone vibrates, and then check another application such as SNS while they’re at it. Showing an entire incoming message on the smart watch, would have you staring down at the display for a long time – same effect. So, we found that it’s essential to inform the user at a glance, from whom and what kind of message is being received—only this would give them peace of mind. We first and foremost wanted our smart watch to be a beautiful watch, by design. Then, we developed our unique LED based interface—the “Vivid Loop”—embedded into the analog face of the watch to make displaying the information more efficient, simple, and intuitive.
What do you think the future will hold for the smart watch? I believe the high-end luxury watch market will not be affected by smart watches but that connected function will become popular in other markets of different price ranges, sooner or later.
And what can we expect from VELDT in the near future? Our goal is to develop the “ultimate personal assistant”. We’ll enhance software and sensors for the next generation, and would like to further sophisticate our product design. In addition, we may release new products of a different concept in the future.
SERENDIPITY Indeed A Pleasant Surprise
hen visiting Baselworld I always try to keep at least one morning or afternoon free of appointments and cruise the halls, looking for new brands and new watches that somehow have escaped my attention. While doing so I came along a modest booth, sparsely decorated. Usually this means a cash strapped brand that tries to get attention just by being at Baselworld (not even such a bad strategy) but as I reflect on it now, I see that this was deliberately done to draw as much attention to the watches as possible. I guess it worked because it drew me into the booth, where I made my acquaintance with Jin Nonogami, and Veldt watches. It is impressive to see a relatively small brand enter the arena of smart watches. Getting a brand up and running in the watch industry is difficult enough, but with the fast pace of technological development in the smart watch sector, this is exponentially more difficult. However, Veldt might just be the right brand to pull this off. Currently only huge players dominate the market, and that creates room for a niche brand that offers their product to people who do want a smart watch, but who also want to have something different from anybody else.
That is exactly what you are getting when you get a Veldt watch. Made in Japan, their Serendipity model is first and foremost an analogue watch. A display at the bottom of the dial and LED lights all around the dial make this watch truly smart. Text can be displayed in the display, varying from the current temperature to incoming messages.
Where most smart watches tend to send you into hyperactive mode, the Serendipity seems to push you into a more considerate mode, where you can act instead of react.
The display acts like a digital ticker tape when the information is longer then the amount of characters the screen can display at once. The LED lights are actually my favorite feature. In a blink of an eye they can give you an overview on how the weather will be for the next 12 hours, or where you still have room in your planner. Where most smart watches tend to send you into hyperactive mode, the Serendipity seems to push you into a more considerate mode, where you can act instead of react. In a technical sense Veldt also separates the watch from the additional features. 27
Of course the Serendipity has all the usual features you expect from a smart watch. It can track your activities, and syncs up with any of your iOS devices. It only has a few buttons, and those are to access the most frequently used functions. This is perhaps also the biggest difference between Veldt and the competition.
Although the case is steel, the case back is actually crafted from a high-end antibacterial plastic. This not only helps to bring the weight of the watch down to a very comfortable 76 grams, but also to fit a more active lifestyle.
Veldt offers the Serendipity in a variety of colored cases and dials, some with three dimensional Most smart watches let their watch be a small textures like the Riplet, or the watches for which Veldt teamed up with Kyoto Denim. This unique smart phone that can everything but call. denim brand applies an ancient and traditional Veldt lets the watch be a watch, and the phone be Japanese dying technique called Kyo-Yuzen onto a phone and takes both their individual strengths, jeans with a very surprising result. puts them together, and creates synergy. The Serendipity shows the necessities in a convenient In the collaboration with Veldt hand dyed denim and intuitive way, while your smart phone will is used for not only the strap of the watch, but hold all the in-depth info when needed. To me, also the dial. this is the way smart watches are supposed to The result is unique, making this niche smart function. watch brand in more than one way a serendipity; a pleasant surprise.
Made in Japan, their Serendipity model is first and foremost an analogue watch. A display at the bottom of the dial and LED lights all around the dial make this watch truly smart.
Each has their own power source, with the watch Veldt also takes a stand in terms of design. Since it doesn’t feature a touch screen, it has far more running up to 3 years on its battery. freedom in terms of design. The additional functions run their power pack down a little faster. Because the Serendipity This resulted in a 48 mm case with a hexagonal doesn’t have a touch screen, it’s not that thirsty sapphire crystal that merges with the soft and depending on its use can go without charging hexagonal shape of the case. This case is by the way polished to perfection by hand. from a couple of days up to a week.
This unique denim brand applies an ancient and traditional Japanese dying technique called Kyo-Yuzen onto jeans with a very surprising result. In the collaboration with Veldt hand dyed denim is used for not only the strap of the watch, but also the dial.
WEW V LD WT. .AJ P LV I E R I WAT C H E S .C O M
atchisthis?! sat down with Knight, CEO of the Australian watch brand Erroyl, and where able to present him with some questions: 32
Thank you for taking the time to speak with usÂ today. Would you please tell us a little about yourself and your background in the industry? I have been an avid watch collector since my late teens. My purchase of a Seiko Kinetic in the mid-90s was my first introduction to automatic watches and I have had a love affair with these mechanical masterpieces ever since.
The interest I have had since I was young led me down the path I am on today with the launch of ERROYL in 2014.
We don’t want to reinvent the watch industry or anything like that, we simply aim to offer high quality dress timepieces with a focus on guilloche dials that offer something a little different.
I have always been somewhat entrepreneurial but have never really followed this path due to work commitments. In late 2013 I decided that if I did not follow a dream and launch a watch venture then it would never happen. ERROYL is the end result of many years of planning a business and over 12 months of planning and refining our designs before launch. As you are the CEO you were also the originator of the brand and of the design. Where did you get the idea to create this brand? What inspires you when it comes to design?
The clincher in turning ERROYL from an idea into a business was the commitment of my two business partners in ERROYL, one with a deep focus on logistics and supply chain management and the other a designer with a penchant of watches.
With ERROYL we wanted to create a watch company based on providing innovative designs at an affordable price inspired by simplicity and refinement. We don’t want to reinvent the watch industry or anything like that, we simply aim to offer high quality dress timepieces with a focus The idea to create a watch company had been with on guilloche dials that offer something a little me for many years. It was only late 2013 when the different. timing worked out for this to become reality.
The textured guilloche dials are something that I have personally always loved and I think this is where the big Swiss brands excel in their designs and refinement. The textured guilloche dials are something that I have personally always loved and I think this is where the big Swiss brands excel in their designs and refinement.
Identifying a suitable manufacturer was perhaps the most challenging part of business. There are so many manufacturers, mostly in Europe, Hong Kong, and mainland China but identifying one With ERROYL, we want to capture an element that could bring our product to market as we of this and make our timepieces accessible for envisioned it took over 12 months of planning, those that appreciate the attention to detail and analysis, and communication. finishing that the big Swiss and German brands The key challenge in bringing ERROYL to life adhere to but either can’t justify the expenditure was ensuring that any manufacturing partner or can’t afford to make such a big investment in a could bring our vision to reality and it required timepiece. a considerable investment in time, money, and resources to ensure that we were able to bring our You live in Australia and we know there are not first collection to the market. many watch brands in your beautiful country. Could you explain us what were the most complicated things during the phase of creation and What caught my eyes when looking at your technical studies? timepieces is the fact that they have a classic look We are lucky in Australia in that we have with great finishes and that they measure 40mm so many talented and innovative people but in diameter. Why did you choose this type of retro starting a watch company with a virtually non- design? Do you think the time for very big watches existent local watch industry was challenging. is over? 34
I have always thought the sweet spot for classic dress watches is 36-42mm and the 38-40mm case being the optimum sizing in the modern era. In the design process we wanted to do something different with the roman numerals. We love watches without roman numerals or numbering but we saw so many doing this with a quartz movement and we wanted to do something different with how we displayed our roman numerals. Most, if not all, watches with roman numerals display them quite differently to our first model and we wanted to make this our point of difference.
that want to be able to have a nice watch but also see the time.
But, we also have to acknowledge that people are getting taller and they are bigger now and their wrists are more suited to 40mm and above so this is a major factor in the larger designs in recent years. That said, our next design will be sub40mm and we have no plans to make any model larger than 42mm. In terms of strategy, how important is the social media for Erroyl Watches?
I think you underestimate the power of social media at your own peril in this information age. Social media is our major springboard for engagement with our customers and many of our first time buyers have seen our watches through social media.
To complete the design, we wanted a unique guilloche design that is rarely used to add that extra level of refinement.I have always been inspired by some of the great companies in the Glashutte region in Germany and feel these The power of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram companies are very under-rated compared to can’t be underestimated. their Swiss colleagues. Personally, I feel the growth in Instagram in recent We wanted to bring a touch of Glashutte to our years has brought a whole new level of interest and company in a way with the style of watches we are engagement for businesses like us. We only have designing— symmetrical, guillouche dials, and to look at the success of some of the big watch attention to detail. Instagram accounts like WatchAnish to know I would not say the end is near for big watches but the power of social media and clearly how many I think it has certainly peaked. Big watches have watch fans are scouring social media for the latest a considerable amount going for them, they are innovative designs and affordable timepieces. great for those who are visually challenged and
I feel the emergence of smart watches will really change the dynamic in the next decade.
Over the past couple of years, changes in the global economy have had a significant impact on the watch industry. Aside from the changes in the economic climate, what do you see as the most significant challenges for many brands over the next few years? And of course for the young brands in your price range? As I mentioned previously, I feel the emergence of smart watches will really change the dynamic in the next decade. We are already seeing the Swiss watchmakers move into this space and the latest realizes are starting to look much more like traditional watches. This poses significant challenges for watch companies the world over. How we continue to innovate and market our companies will be the biggest challenge and I personally feel we will see considerable consolidation over the next 5-10 years in the industry. I feel crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo are reaching saturation point on watches these days.
It’s important that we offer timepieces that deliver outstanding quality and that our customers are totally happy with their purchase. When I first looked at this option in early 2014 there were relatively few watches being launched but now at any point in time there is often 20-30 or more campaigns running at once, many from first timers.
What do you personally look for in a timepiece?
The key to survival for established and micro brands like us is to have a very clear business strategy and to know your current and future customer base. What they want, expect, and anticipate the curve. These are not easy but some of the watch companies have continued to do this for over 100 years, the challenge for all of the micro brands is to learn how to do this most importantly to stay focused during the lean times which we will all have whether big or small. How we ride out these hard times will define our future in the industry.
the market for watches in general is huge and increasingly so in the affordable luxury timepiece sub-sector. We aspire to carve out a small niche over the next few years and hope to be able to steadily grow our customer base and brand. There are many factors we can’t control but what we can is the quality and designs of our timepieces, the packaging, customer experience, and our prices. These we have to continue to do well and ensure we continue to remain relevant with fantastic designs that appeal to our prospective customers.
I love guilloche dials, the level of refinement and exquisite design in some of the guilloche patterns fascinates me. I also like minimalist designs but they have to have a textured dial in my book, for No doubt there have and continue to be huge me less is often more when it comes to watches. success stories but sooner or later we will hit the saturation point where these crowdfunding sites What are your goals for the company over the next will no longer offer the opportunities to budding few years? watch companies like ours. Our team at ERROYL are pretty realistic,
What is the most important aspect of an affordable watch in your opinion?
Simply put it is maintaining a high degree of attention to detail in the quality control process of each timepiece. Often to keep a timepiece affordable companies will need to take short cuts, whether this be with packaging, quality control, the choice of movement or after sales support. In my opinion it’s important that we offer timepieces that deliver outstanding quality and that our customers are totally happy with their purchase.
In our forward design schedule, we have our next four collections mapped out and will release this in a staged approach over the next several years. We released the Heritage Collection in late 2014, followed by the Regent Collection in late 2015 and we intend on releasing the Duke Collection in the second half of 2016.
Style from Down-Under
ith a group of friends from Canberra, Australia, Wes Knight brought dress watches from his home country to the attention of the world.
James Barling (photographer and video man), Brad Wilton (cocreator), and Michael Phanprachit (graphic designer) are part of the team behind Erroyl Watches. At the start of the adventure, they have sold about 130 watches with the help of a crowdfunding campaign that gave them the opportunity to raise around $41,000 out of an original target of $15,000. We can easily see that Erroyl watches have a classic and elegant style – they come in white, rose gold, and black with simple brown and black leather straps.
At the heart of each watch of the first model, the E30 Heritage, you’ll find the hand-winding automatic movement Miyota Cal. 9015 which is really effective.
They have sold about 130 watches with the help of a crowdfunding campaign that gave them the opportunity to raise around $41,000 out of an original target of $15,000. 39
The Regent Collection takes its cue from the Heritage Collection with a polished bezel and case providing a rich and vibrant lustre.
The sleek design of the timepiece carries over into the details of the dial, which is decorated with fine texture guilloché of concentric circles that gives a really nice effect depending on the light.
The new model, named The Regent Collection, goes further and shows a triple date display, which is a nice add to the Erroyl Watches range. The Regent Collection provides form, functionality, and style and is available in three models.
Each timepiece has been meticulously designed and manufactured with the utmost attention to detail. The Regent Collection takes its cue from the Heritage Collection with a polished bezel and case providing a rich and vibrant lustre, perfectly sized at 42mm to accommodate the day and month sub-dials. The tapering lugs, their signature blue dauphine hands, and the Italian crazy horse (saddle) leather strap add the finishing touches to an eye-catching design. The Regent collection features a white or black sunray dial with a unique guilloché concentric circle design. 40
The dial is decorated with applied stainless steel hour markers and is made even more striking by the white recessed day and month sub-dials. The Regent collection is powered by the Japanese Miyota Cal. 9122 movement with more than a 40-hour power reserve, providing reliability and functionality. Featuring scratch resistant sapphire crystal with an anti-reflective coating on the underside and an exquisitely designed stamped case back, this watch is the perfect demonstration of what a “timeless dress watch” should be—well-balanced, elegant, and with a harmonious composition. The attention to the details can be seen also in their extensive packaging. A dark grey box with the logo of the brand that contains another luxurious black leather box, which also bears the logo and that contains the watch. It’s just impressive for a small brand and that’s a real joy to open one box after the other to finally find the watch. Even some big brands have bad packaging, so that’s a good point for Erroyl Watches.
The Regent collection is powered by the Japanese Miyota Cal. 9122 movement with more than a 40-hour power reserve, providing reliability and functionality. ERROYL.COM
Regal on a budget
he literal translation of the Italian word Bambino is â€œsilly little oneâ€? but that does not do any justice to either Orient as a brand, and the Bambino as a model.
Orient may be the little brother of Seiko, who owns the brand, in terms of size but stands on equal footing in terms of quality and value for money. That is perhaps the greatest asset of the Orient Bambino: it simply does not feel, nor look like a watch with a suggested retail price of US$260,--for the steel version and slightly more for the gold plated ones. In fact, when you hold the watch for the very first time, you might suspect a price tag much greater than that. The Bambino seems to easily feel at home in a boardroom or a Bentley, and would not stand out in either one of them. This watch is the slightly tweaked version from the first generation of the Bambino, which as the most noticeable difference the Roman numerals, and the slightly more elegant hands. 42
With a diameter of 40.5 mm it is not a small watch, but it also does not commend respect based on its oversized looks either. That respect comes from a well made case and a balanced dial, that has a vintage look to it because of the domed crystal and the raised numerals. The Orient crest on the dial makes the watch look regal, with the font of the remaining text on the dial elegantly classical. The thickness of 11.80 mm makes it wear nicely on the wrist, and the crown fits the overall theme of the Bambino. In fact, the Orient Bambino is so well made and well designed that when reviewing it, we hold it to higher standards than should be justifiable based on its price. The watch is powered by automatic Orient caliber 48743.
With a diameter of 40.5 mm it is not a small watch, but it also does not commend respect based on its oversized looks either.
A solid and reliable movement, but it is lacking a hack function and the ability to manually wind the movement. The first is not such a problem, but being able to manually wind the movement would be nice, although the rotor moves so smoothly and the movement winds so efficiently that the watch often starts running as soon as you pick it up. The date function makes the watch very practical, but how beautiful would that dial have looked without it?
These points of criticism are really unfair when you take into account the value for money that the Bambino offers, however they also show how close Orient has come to designing the perfect dress watch. A watch fit for a king, and that you can obtain it on a budget makes it all the more desirable. O R I E N T WAT C H U S A .C O M
ALFREDO SILVA Fromanteel
alking with the energetic Alfredo Silva is always a joy, especially when the topic is Fromanteel. We sat down with him to ask him a few questions
M: “What inspired you to start Fromanteel?” A: “The reason why my companion, Martijn van Hassel and I created the Fromanteel brand seven years ago is actually quite simple. When it came down to watches, it seemed that they could fall into two camps: well made and expensive, or affordable and disposable. So basically, the idea to start our watch brand came from an unmet need we spotted – an affordable alternative for affordable luxury. In our search for a brand name, we came across the 400-year-old Amsterdam-based clockmakers family: Fromanteel. Nowadays, we make a vivid connection with the Fromanteel history, and that everything from the past has its influences on the present.” M: “Fromanteel has achieved quite a bit in a relatively short period of time. What do you think is the brand’s secret to success?” A: “Well, I don’t believe it is pinned down by just one thing; often more factors are in place to achieve success. Trying to understand the needs of your customer, remaining close to yourself and holding on to the core values of your brand are three important ones. Overall, passion for quality has always been a significant handhold for us. It’s like an internal quest for quality.”
M: “What can you share with the readers that is unique about Fromanteel, yet not many people know or are aware of?” A: “Setting up our very own watch brand has always been a childhood dream - and, no matter how much we’ve grown so far, this ‘boyish’ character has actually never left us. The way we enjoy our job and the informal atmosphere at our offices is a good reflection of this aspect.”
M: “The market for affordable watches is quite crowded. What do you think make people choose for a Fromanteel and not any of the other brands?” A: “The time that men bought watches purely for its functionality is far behind us. Today, we read time from our mobile phone, our laptop, etc. Therefore, I believe that a watch is something that we wear to distinguish ourselves from the masses. Men who choose for a Fromanteel watch will have the need for quality, but are also looking for an affordable price. The current market we serve noticed this and we’re starting to see that they are willing to express their confidence in our brand more than ever. They are willing to buy quality over other products. Our watches are luxurious because of our extensive eye-for-detail and they all have an understated timeless design, making it very stylish and something to be enjoyed by its wearer.”
Nowadays, we make a vivid connection with the Fromanteel history, and that everything from the past has its influences on the present.
M: “With the Pendulum, Fromanteel has recently introduced its very first mechanical watch. How important was it to offer a mechanical watch next to the quartz-powered collection you already have?” A: “We have dreamt of this for a long time, but up ‘til our latest series, we weren’t able to realize this. With The Generations Series, just one and a half years ago, we designed a multipurpose watchcase, which made it possible for us to house different movements at a relatively low cost. Our first automatic movement, The Generations Pendulum, just hits the price bracket of 1000 euros simply because we don’t need to calculate in hefty overhead costs to our end consumer.” The launch of the Pendulum was quite an ‘emotional’ moment for us [Alfredo laughs]. We reached a level of maturity as a company, so to say. We always knew we wanted to design our own mechanical movement one day. So the question was not whether we were going to do it, but when.”
We always knew we wanted to design our own mechanical movement one day. So the question was not whether we were going to do it, but when.
M: “How do you see the future of affordable watch brands in general, and Fromanteel especially?” A: “Technology helped us to reach what we are now. However, conscious usage of technology means working with gifted people that understand what technology can do for us, without crafting products that are only about the technology. So, no more ‘badge’ products to show off your expenses, but understated watches to compliment who we are. Our ideals of craftsmanship and classic sensibility for design are mere guidelines to help remind us we are still here to make watches for real people.
So, to design watches that are made for men to wear and to enjoy as an expression of their individuality. And, it is all for the better – we know we have to deliver quality more than ever.” M: “Which Fromanteel is currently on your wrist?” A: “If I’d say The Generations Pendulum, would you be surprised?”
ow marvelous must it have been for Ahasuerus Fromanteel to lay eyes on the current Fromanteel New Generations Pendulum wristwatch. Of course he never had the opportunity, being that he lived in the 17th century, but his pendulum clocks have eventually evolved into the modern day mechanical wrist watches. For Fromanteel, the brand, the New Generations Pendulum is the very first mechanical wristwatch in their collection. In terms of design, the Pendulum is pretty straightforward. This is also the strength of Fromanteel: you don’t buy one to make a design statement, you buy one because you want a well made, affordable watch with a design that entices yet doesn’t over-indulge. The Pendulum is just that. The stainless steel case is 42 mm in diameter, with a relatively thin bezel, and a silver dial. On that dial Fromanteel applied something that is referred to as “Clous de Paris”, a geometric array of tiny pyramids that give the dial a unique texture. Although very subtle, it is one of those details that will please its owner every time he looks at his watch.
It’s easy to admire the blued seconds hand, or the leaf shaped hour and minute hands. With an overall height of just below 10mm, the Pendulum will also discreetly go under your sleeve. The Pendulum is Swiss made, actually made in Bienne, Switzerland, so the movement is of course also Swiss. In this case one of the most robust and reliable automatic movements they have ever created, ETA caliber 2824-2. A movement that winds itself thanks to the gold plated rotor engraved with Fromanteel logo, it has a power reserve of around 38 hours, and offers next to displaying the hours, minutes and seconds, also a date-function.
PENDULUM The Gateway Watch 48
This is also the strength of Fromanteel: you donâ€™t buy one to make a design statement, you buy one because you want a well made, affordable watch with a design that entices yet doesnâ€™t overindulge.
The only place where the Pendulum is quite flamboyant is the inside of its strap, which features a bright yellow lining. This is invisible when you actually wear the watch, but serves as an extra reminder for its owner that he is not just wearing any watch, but he is wearing a Fromanteel. In many ways we can see the Pendulum as a “gateway”-watch, bought by people who want to enter the world of mechanical watches, yet prefer to make that entrance a good, yet discreet one with a watch that can accompany them through the paces of life. This is a watch you get when you graduate, or get married. A watch that doesn’t take center-stage at the catwalk, yet will also never be out of date either.
For Fromanteel the Pendulum might also be a â€œgatewayâ€?-watch. It is the first mechanical watch in their collection, and given the success of the brand as a whole, and the Pendulum especially, it is highly unlikely that it will be their last. FROMANTEEL.NL
ost people like to c l i n c h on to the last bit of summer, to keep those summer vibes as long as possible. Here are 6 watches that can help with that!
Archimede Outdoor Exploring the great outdoors is what the summer is all about and the Archimede Outdoor is built to do just that! Available with special hardened steel, it can take a beating without consequences. Our favorite is the Kalahari with a sand colored dial that reminds us of the beach, or a camel-trip through the desert. €705,88 (without VAT) www.archimede-watches.com
WATCHES TO CLINCH ON TO SUMMER
Valachio Pantiam Sometimes summer is all about laying back and relaxing. For that you want a watch that blends in with everything, a watch like the Valachio Pantiam. Fine mesh bracelet, reliable Ronda quartz movement, laid back styling, and a sapphire crystal, the Pantiam has it all at a bargain price. US$99.10 www.valachio.com
Oris Sixty-Five Divers’ watches always seem to be in tune with that summer vibe, especially the ones inspired by vintage models, like the Oris Sixty-Five. Now this one is also available with a matching stainless steel bracelet, making it even more stunning! €1.900,- (including VAT) www.oris.ch
Swatch Dots in Rio This is also the summer of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Enjoying your favorite sports, with your favorite teams, while wearing your favorite watch. The Swatch Dots in Rio, is fun, funky and colorful, keeping your summer going Brazilian style! US $80,- www.swatch.com
Timex Expedition Scout Fitted with a comfortable Nato-strap, the Timex Expedition Scout is ready for actionâ€Śor not when you decide to kick back at the beach instead of playing another round of beach volleyball. Timex Indiglo-technology ensures visibility at night as well, just for when you want to make it a late night. US$60,- www.timex.com
Gucci G-Chrono For some people summer is a never ending fashion show and that asks for an equally fashionable watch! Gucciâ€™s G-Chrono blends style with the functionality of a chronograph in that typical Gucci-style! Looking good! US$1.895,- www. gucci.com 53
AVI-8 HAWKER HURRICANE
Spinning Roundel Editions
A TRIBUTE TO HISTORY
VI-8 is an aviation inspired brand that through its watches pays tribute to some of the most iconic aircrafts ever created. One of these aircraft was the Hawker Hurricane, a single-seat fighter fitted with a RollsRoyce Merlin engine that was known to be able to take a beating and often provided cover fire for returning
The top layer with the camouflage is irregularly cut out, revealing a lower level where at 12 o’clock the roundel disc is located. The new Hawker Hurricane Spinning Roundel Edition consists out of three chronographs, each with a different color camouflage dial. Because the Hawker Hurricane could easily be modified for different tasks and surroundings the British also used it in Northern Africa, and even on aircraft carriers. Each color pays tribute to this.
With its different levels the dial of the Hawker Hurricane Spinning Roundel is really something you don’t see at this price level very often. The top layer with the camouflage is irregularly cut out, revealing a lower level where at 12 o’clock the roundel disc is located. It is styled as the roundel that the RAF used in the middle of WWII and its purpose was so that other fighters could determine friend from foe during engagements.
On this watch it’s used to read the 1/5th of a second measurements when the split time chronograph function is being used. The rest of the lower level features colored striping in a way to match the camouflage.
The screw down caseback features an engraved Hawker Hurricane as fitting tribute.
The 42mm case has a very utilitarian design, and because of that it is actually quite attractive. What also might help in this case is that the pushers are styled in a vintage fashion, positioned on each side of the union crown which is also decorated with an RAF roundel. The AVI-8 Hawker Hurricane has a 22mm strap. This is relatively wide for a watch with a 42mm diameter, but it visually also makes the watch look smaller. The screw down caseback features an engraved Hawker Hurricane as fitting tribute.
Prized at 195 Pounds Sterling is should be no surprise that the watch features a Japanese made quartz chronograph movement. This also allows AVI-8 to incorporate a split time chronograph function. Next to being a fitting tribute to one of the most formidable airplanes in military aviation history, it is also a very cool watch offered at a competitive price level. The entire watch has been infused with this theme, with lots of details and most of all a very interesting dial.
OWNER OF GAVOX
ichael HappeĚ has a passion for details, yet his brand Gavox still makes affordable, valuefor-money watches. We talked with him about how he brings these two aspects together What is your idea behind Gavox? With GAVOX I want to make watches of high quality at a price point that makes them exceptional value for money. The watches should all have some sort of innovation in them, and be above all, practical. I find that very important and I also invest a lot of time, effort and resources into this. Before anyone else, I want to be pleased with the outcome. I am very critical, so only then I know that my clients will love the watches as well!
Which aspects makes a Gavox a real Gavox?
This is a good question, I want my watches unique and with a purpose. No detail is left unthought, and I know that my customers like Gavox for Leonardo da Vinci was not only a painter but its unique details, unusual design, and technical also an anatomist, an engineer, an adviser... I am innovations. I think that this sums up pretty much extremely curious and love to approach an idea from what makes Gavox so unique. a wider variety of angles. I do think it is important Your watches are also used in active service by for me to make a lot of different watches, since this some military units. What is the story behind that? is how I am, Life is not complete if I have not tried everything and good is not enough, I want each I am born in a family of Pilots from my motherâ€™s side. My grandfather was in the Flying Tiger with project to be great. the AVG in 1942. I always loved to fly, as I have flown myself in gliders, and private planes.
For such a small brand you have quite an extensive collection with everything from divers to dress watches. Do you think that itâ€™s important that even smaller brands should offer a lot of choice?
A pilot friend introduced me to a Belgian fighter squadron and they were looking for affordable and quality watches for their squadron. I propose to make watches according to their needs and for personalized dials and cases. That is how this connection resulted in such a unique watch. Your designs are quite unique. What inspires you when designing a new watch? Iâ€™m quite inspired by the technologically advanced, yet still simple. I want to create the ultimate watch for myself. Perhaps selfish, but I want to have fun, I want to try different things. I want to astonish myself. All my watches need to be innovative and different, I want to innovate and play around with ideas. Gavox watches sometimes needs explanations as even though they look simple they are often packed feature to be discovered.
With the Aurora you also created an incredibly complex and clever quartz watch. What made you do this, and how did the development, for which you enlisted Soprod, go? The thing is, I was introduced to the movement manufacture by my cousin. I wanted to do something complex. He mentioned that a movement made by Soprod might be worth looking into, which I did. I saw that this movement could indeed be the platform I was looking for, on which I could base the modifications that I had in my mind. I took my ideas to Soprod, they liked it and they went with it, and we started to develop the movement together. Once they provided me with the first sample, I had Soprod change the production of the movement, to increase the quality of it since I saw room for improvement. They use my knowledge and expertise to redesign the movement, since I requested 6 major modifications. It took over a year to get it right, but it was worth it.
Watches need to serve the purpose, and not the fashion. I wanted to create a mix between an aviator watch and a divers watch. That is also why the watch is named Avidiver. To create this watch, I had to respect the needs of both professions, and that is why I used super-luminous hands. Next to that I used a sandwich dial to ensure that the numerals also had sufficient luminous material so that they are brightly visible in more difficult lightening conditions. I had a specific idea about the font that I wanted, so I got that incorporated as well. Both divers and aviators need a high contrast dial to be able to check the time fast and without error. That is why I went for high contrast dial and hands combination. Black is a classic choice, I am personally a fan of the white, and being a diver, blue is always beautiful.
I went for the principle of what divers use. It’s a mix between an aviator and diver. It needs to respect code of aviator and diver super luminescent hands are needed. That’s why I used sandwich, but I wanted my own font. They both need water resistance and resistance to dirt. I needed a very high contrast so it’s easy to see. I wanted to have a blue version as a reference to the water. I also like the contrast between black and white. Last, the fact that every aviator needs a turning bezel, and they want it bidirectional. Divers also need this, but unidirectional. I was hesitating making a bezel clockwise or counter clockwise? Or should I put a chronograph function in it? But I I wanted a timer that can also count more than one hour. With the Avidiver I can place the marker on the hour or the minute, I can place it in front, so it becomes a countdown. It’s also a marker. But you can use it as a different timezone as well.
Place marker at GMT +2, I know that I am two hours ahead of GMT. Then the triangle becomes 12 o’clock, so you can see the different time. The hour is readable by hand, and the minute is always true on the non-rotative bezel. That is why I have For an aviator it is important that they can move the fixed bezel inside the watch. I also created a the marker both ways, while a diver only wants screw down crown so that the diver can never be to be able to move it counter-clockwise. At first longer. I was thinking of a bezel, but I ended up making the marker on the inside of the watch, with its own screw down crown that allows it to move it either clockwise or counter clockwise. Which model from the Gavox collection do you wear the most often, and why? The reality it that I always wear my latest watch. I noticed that even though the watch has already been fully tested, I keep on testing it, until I create a new watch. One of my watches that I love the most is the Gavox Legacy, because its so beautiful. But I also like to wear a watch when doing it for the purpose it was created for. So the Aurora when I travel or fly, and for heavy duty, the Avidiver. But I always love seeing my Legacy, because to me it is the most beautiful. I’m also working on a new watch and I am looking forward to test that when we receive the prototype.
The Avidiver is one of the more recent additions to the Gavox-family. Diving watches have been very popular for quite some time, to the point that many start to look like ones already on the market. How did you tackle this when creating the watch?
he Avidiver is a bit of a strange watch, and when you first get it, you will probably do two things; a) recheck the amount of money you paid for it b) google Gavox to indeed confirm that it is a small, Belgium microbrand, in no way affiliated to one of the larger groups. When you have done both, you can finally do what you want to do: say â€œWOW!â€?
Although it is a sports watch, or to be more accurate, it’s a diver and an aviation watch morphed into one, the Avidiver is so refined on so many levels it is bound to blow your mind. A few of the most notable examples: where most watch brands toss in the ever-so-popular NATO-straps as an inexpensive crowd-pleaser, the one from Gavox actually featured matching hardware with their logo engraved. Also the NATO-straps seems to be far more supple than most others. The same goes for their silicon strap, which comes actually very close to what the perfect strap should be like. Not only does it meets the case perfectly, but the rigged decoration on the strap cleverly incorporates the Gavox logo. The end of the strap has a little lip that locks it neatly behind the last strap keeper, a case where clever design meets perfect execution.
Fortunately the type of innovation and eye for detail that went into the straps of the Avidiver, also went into the watch itself. It combines the hallmark features of both a diver as well as an aviator watch into one single design. It’s the modern reincarnation of the classic compressor watch, with two crowns tucked away nicely between protective shoulders on the right side of the watch. The lover one, marked with the Gavox-logo, to operate the movement, the top one, marked with the orange triangle, to operate the…. orange triangle!
Yes, the Avidiver doesn’t have the traditional turnable bezel, but instead only a turnable triangle in bright orange. This can be used for a wide variety of functions, and meets the demands of both divers as well as aviators. In fact, when you set it ahead or back in time the amount of hours another timezone is different from yours, and you use the triangle then as a 12 o’clock reference, it can even serve as a travel watch. The hour hand will tell the hour in a different timezone, while the minute hand will stay the same.
But every once in a while, a brand like Gavox seems to mix up all those navigational barriers and indeed reminds you that the world is round!
When you handle a lot of affordable watches, like us, you are bound to get a bit used to it. You know what type of quality to expect at which price range and where most manufacturers cut corners to actually generate an income (yes, watchmakers also do need to eat). But every once in a while, a brand like Gavox seems to mix up all those navigational barriers and indeed reminds you that the world is round!
Apart from being very handy, that movable triangle also looks very good, not only as a bright contrast to the black, white or blue dial, but also because under some angles you can see the orange ring under the slope 60 minute markings, as it being a neon halo around the dial. That is not the only halo the dial has to offer, because Gavox has been very generous with the Superluminova, the sandwich dial glows up even when the light conditions diminish only slightly. Some might point out that the used numerals look a lot like those used by Panerai. In fact they are a different font, but we don’t mind the casual similarity, because the Avidiver is such a completely different watch from the Panerai. The Avidiver is powered by the automatic Miyota caliber 9015. A robust and reliable caliber, but also one often used by watch companies that make affordable watches. By creating a personalized rotor, Gavox puts some distance between itself and those brands.
Also when you peek at an angle through the display caseback, you will notice that the movement is not secured by a cheap, plastic movement holder, but a stainless steel one.
Difficult to see, and easy to replace with a cheaper solution, it’s an indication that Gavox really went all the way to make this watch without compromises.
With a case diameter of 43 mm it is a large watch, but it doesn’t wear like one. Perhaps because of its relatively modest height of 12.8 mm, or the optical illusion given by its 22mm wide strap. The case is for all models available in either brushed stainless steel, or stainless steel with a black PVD coating. In the end, we found it hard to call a favorite between the two case finishes, since they both have their own appeal. In fact, we found it difficult to call a favorite at all, because even each dial color gives the watch a character of its own.
What doesn’t leave any doubts is the watch itself though. Priced just north of US$ 600,- you get an innovative, detailed, thought thru, well executed watch, that might be the best aviation watch you ever bought…..or the best diver……or just simply both.
G AV O X . C O M
JEANCLAUDE BIVER Let’s talk
watchmaking and connected watches
ean-Claude Biver is a man that needs no introduction: marketing-master, PRwizard and CEO of TAG-Heuer, and we had the opportunity to pick his brain for a little while
For this connected watch you have decided to use the existing design of the Carrera. Wouldn’t it have been interesting to develop a new design, which would have been the sign of a new collection?
No, it would have been a mistake to start on a new design. It had, on the contrary, that the connected watch makes fully part of our range, and that it carries all the DNA of the brand and of the Carrera collection, which is the spearhead of our brand. 66
Certainly we recognize Tag Heuer directly with this design, but can we say that this piece is still a luxury watch?
Yes, it’s a luxury watch by its finishing, its materials, its design, its quality, but also by its innovation, its price, its distribution, and its exclusivity.
What about the sales of the Carrera Connected in Switzerland and at an International level? Can we already identify a trend regarding your key markets?
Sales are well beyond our most optimistic forecasts and monthly demand increases, whereas we sell more and more. So we do not see any weakening in demand, despite our offer that is becoming increasingly important. What are Tag Heuer’s ambitions in a market of connected watches which becomes more and more competitive?
Our ambitions are to live up to our partners, INTEL and GOOGLE, which are the leaders of the “wearable”, and there is no reason that our ambitions are lower than theirs. What will be the biggest challenge for the connected watch of Tag Heuer in the months and years ahead?
The first challenge is to repatriate the entire production in our home. It will be a transfer of technology from Intel that will be very important for our region and for the TAG Heuer brand. The next challenge will be the same as the one we have set for all of our collection and brand; To remain FIRST, DIFFERENT, and UNIQUE.
The next challenge will be the same as the one we have set for all of our collection and brand; To remain FIRST, DIFFERENT, and UNIQUE.
According to you, what is your biggest asset against competitors?
Our greatest asset is certainly the fact that our connected watch is a CARRERA, that it looks just like a CARRERA, that it has all its DNA and that it is primarily a wristwatch rather than a sanitized computer on the wrist. Apple is the leader in this connected watches market. What could happen to the Swiss brands that sell watches between 300 and 2,500 francs if they don’t offer a response to the Californian giant?
I am not a soothsayer and hardly take care of what happens to others. I’m more interested in what can happen to us. However, if I might notice, I would say that quartz watches below 1,000 CHF will have tough competition from the connected watches that are in this price range.
What is the reaction of the aficionados and collectors of Tag Heuer in relation to this connected piece?
Generally, the reception is excellent, and everyone is aware that the TAG Heuer’s connected watch has given the brand its status as avant garde, innovative, young, and dynamic. This contribution should not be ignored because it is very important to my eyes because the buzz created by the connected watch made us sell not only the connected watches, but the entire collection of traditional watches.
Between ambassadors from the Football world or even tennis, and the addition of a connected watch to your range of watches, you find yourself away from the basic DNA of Tag Heuer, which is very mechanical. You’re not afraid that the fans of the brand will get bored of this and prefer to leave you for another brand?
The passionate fans of the brand are interested not only in mechanics, but are today very versatile. We still see more and more that our customers and fans are also interested in other sports, music, and lifestyles. We need therefore to adapt ourselves to our customers, rather than stay stuck in the past. Besides, I do not think we have ever been since the late 1960s more active in motorsports than today!
Having ambassadors that’s fine, you’ve applied this strategy for many years. Indeed, they are there to convey the image of the brand, but have they a real impact on the sales? Similarly, is it always financially worthwhile to spend hundreds of thousands of Francs to allocate the services of an ambassador?
If the impact was not there, we would have stopped…It’s not in the style of the house to continue in the tracks, or concepts, which are outdated and unprofitable. Today, the price of a watch is primarily a marketing position. At TAG Heuer, you seem very committed to reposition yourself on the segment 1000-5000 Francs. Is this strategy successful today? What are the first markers?The « affordable luxury » has before him the most promising future and this seems to be one of your concerns. How will this be retranscribed for Tag Heuer in the coming years?
The strategy is underway and we could even say that it is perfectly accomplished! We want to be the Swiss watch brand of “accessible” luxury with avant garde products and a perceived value three times higher than our public price. This objective is an ongoing concern, a daily work because in life nothing is ever definitively acquired.
We want to be the Swiss watch brand of “accessible” luxury with avant garde products and a perceived value three times higher than our public price.
2016 is a complicated year for the watch industry, but we see increasingly small brands wanting to offer some kind of “affordable luxury”. One of the accelerators is the crowdfunding with of course Kickstarter, a real nest of ideas in which collectors can find just about anything they want. What do you think of these crowdfunding platforms and about the small brands that are born with them? Is this a chance for the watch industry or a real competition for established brands? These are interesting platforms even if they are microscopic and these brands will never play a big role in the Swiss watch industry. But this is interesting because we always need actors in unexploited niches.
Between connected watches like yours or the Apple Watch, and the Activity Tracking watches that can be found with Withings or Frédérique Constant, we see the development of a completely new market. Do you think we are in front of a new watch revolution? Similarly, you think that these “movements” can become the major successor of the quartz? It is obvious that the connected watches are competing with quartz watches in these price ranges. But they don’t make any competition to the traditional art of watchmaking.
Let’s talk about distribution. One observes that the inventories have accumulated for the brands but also and especially for retailers who now find themselves with a noose around their necks. How does Tag Heuer face these distribution problems and the actual market downturn?
We have no problems of unsold stock in the distribution. And there’s only one way to control this stock: it’s to master and control the sell out.
The traditional strategy is increasingly replaced by new forms of distribution ... We know that you are working already on your future online store. How will it be implemented, knowing that our industry is very conservative, and in how many long approximately? The world moves and with it also moves the buying habits. There is no doubt that the watches will also be selling one day across the Internet. Itâ€™s just a matter of time...
More generally, we know the Jean-Claude Biver passionate about watches and master of the watchmaking marketing, but you are also an important collector, especially about Patek Philippe watches. Nevertheless, can we find in this collection some pieces that are priced under the milestone of $2500? If you would have one to recommend which one would it be? We have many watches under $ 2,500 at TAG Heuer and we have the advantage that they visually look and have the quality of a $ 5,000 watch. In these price ranges I really love the Aquaracer.
I still love the Haute Horlogerie, which is for me characterized by the ultra flat, and by the chronograph, perpetual calendar, and minute repeaters movements.
In your career, you have participated in the creation of hundreds of watches. Is there still a type of watch you would like to do? If so, what kind of watch would it be?
I still love the Haute Horlogerie, which is for me characterized by the ultra flat, and by the chronograph, perpetual calendar, and minute repeaters movements. These are the masterpieces of traditional watchmaking. Timepieces that only a small number of watchmakers know how to master and produce. Finally, if you would have one piece of advice for young entrepreneurs who wish to create a watch brand, what one would it be?
First learn the business by working for a few years for a great brand. I do not recommend to get into it without some experience because today the competition is too voracious and powerful.
ag Heuer is trying to conquer the world with its Connected watch. For this first smartwatch Tag Heuer has decided to focus on aesthetics. Indeed, the Carrera Connected takes, as its name suggests, the recognizable aesthetics of the classic Carrera watch, which is a pillar of the brand since 1963. With this design, the Swiss watchmaker clearly wanted its first connected watch to respect its traditional timepiece roots.
TAG-HEUER Get Connected!
This piece features the measurements previously unknown in the world of Android Wear, namely 46.2 mm diameter and 12.2 mm thick. Which, we must admit, looks quite big, but thanks to the titanium composition of the case, remains fairly light and therefore pleasant to wear. Indeed, the grade 2 titanium is a component as light as it is resistant which gives the watch a very robust structure and a weight of only 52 grams. 74
Moreover, the case is certified IP67, which means that the piece allows an immersion up to 1m for 30 minutes. That’s nice even if, of course, you’re not going in the water with it.
From the aesthetic side, the black, carbide-coated titanium bezel, boasting anti-fingerprint tech and raised numerals looks awesome. The lettering on the bezel is engraved with silver lacquer… It just looks so slick and nice.
And the 1.5-inch LCD display, with a 360 x 360 resolution is good enough at 240ppi. Also, in addition to some very nice pre-loaded watch faces, the Carrera Connected Watch offers some homemade applications, starting with Chronograph face complete with face tapping stopwatch timer whose animation seems particularly neat.
Tag’s custom watch faces are probably the best you can currently find because they put an incredible attention to the details that Tag Heuer’s fans, in particular, will love. There’s shadows under the hands, smooth skimming second hands, traditional Tag colors...etc. everything seems very nice and with more than a nod to existing popular Tag Heuer mechanical models. The design is finished off with a crystal sapphire, scratch resistant glass face. In regards to the screen, this one does not offer an AMOLED slab as we can find on Android Wear watches and watchOS these days, but a transflective LCD display, which allows better visibility outdoors. This is more than fine actually—its transflective display holds up really well under bright lights, even when in the black screen low power state.
Real watch lovers that we are, there is a very positive point on the side of the notification. Indeed, the live notification count, a small number that appears on the face when there’s an update for you to read, is unobtrusive and helps to keep Android Wear in the background. So, your smartwatch notifications are there if you want them but they won’t jump in and ruin the traditional watch ambience. With this, the Swiss brand respects, someway, its traditional timepiece roots.
I think that the Tag Heuer Connected is probably the first Android Wear watch that puts time-telling at the center of attention.
Don’t forget that the TAG Heuer Connected is built on the latest release of Android Wear with thousands of apps at the Google Play store and it is also iOS compatible. So do not worry, even if the feature “Ok Google!” is automatically integrated into your watch, as well as the Google Fit features, Google Translate and Google Search, at the end, you can also download thousands of apps that match your passions. Note that the Carrera Connected was developed in collaboration with Google and Intel. Thus Android Wear 5.1.1 commands for the OS, with components from Intel production line. The three companies have worked together on aesthetics, technique, and equipment. We need not have worried about this piece since Intel’s hardware is more than good. It’s a seamless experience on the OS and app front and touchscreen responsiveness, gesture controls, and voice directions all performed as they should.
On the specifications side, the Carrera Connected embeds 4GB of internal memory, 1GB of RAM, an Intel Atom dual-heart Z34XX clocked at 1.6 GHz, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, and a battery of 410 mAh supposedly strong enough to take 25 hours in normal use.
Sure we were expecting a more exciting efficiency at this point, since although we may end up with strong and long days but we are not sure that the piece will stay ON during this day. Note also the absence of a heart rate monitor and, as is often the case on this kind of products, a GPS. Two things that could be very useful.
I think that the Tag Heuer Connected is probably the first Android Wear watch that puts timetelling at the center of attention. It’s almost as if the real smartwatch aspects were an afterthought and Tag Heuer was more concerned with creating a kick-ass digital timepiece with the design and Well, Tag Heuer assumes a position in the aesthetic as the first preoccupation. affordable luxury market, but unlike the Apple Note that the owner of this piece will have the Watch, no gilding unnecessarily inflatse the price opportunity via the “Connected to Eternity” in the name of the bling bling. But more than program to exchange, after 2 years and with € 1,500 that even—by placing very well above the prices more, its Connected Watch against a mechanical practiced by electronics manufacturers, which watch.... This may sound weird but this may be a now offer smartwatches, Tag Heuer sends the solution to fight against obsolescence. message that the Carrera Connected is as much a jewel as it is a technological accessory.
TA G H E U E R . C O M
atchisthis?! Magazine had a moment with Yvo Staudt, founder and owner of the brand that bears the same name, but also a brand that has grown substantially when it came to life in 2014. We tried to find out the secret to this success and if perhaps it was Staudt’s background in music.
YVO STAUDT You are a musician, and you own a watch brand; What is your goal with Staudt watches? how did that come about? Very simple. Make nice watches. As for the future, All my life I dreamed of becoming a professional I have a motto for that: ‘expect nothing, aspire to classical accordionist. When I was eighteen I everything’. got the opportunity to study in Italy with one of Your watches have a classical elegance. Where the best classical accordionists in the world. As do you find your inspiration for the designs? amazing as that was it was also quite a lonely time and as a diversion I started to study the mechanics I’m a classical guy. Not without a reason I studied of the wristwatch my grandparents gave me. I was classical music. I like things to be pure, simple dreaming up the perfect watch, only to find out and elegant. And I couldn’t find the right watch that it didn’t exist. So I set out to build it myself. that reflected my envies. That’s why I started Once finished, it got noticed by other watch sketching my own. Of course there are some enthusiasts, who asked me where they could buy well known watch brands that make watches in one. Well, with such an enthusiastic response I a classical style, but I just missed something. And that’s why I started my personal watch project, felt obligated to oblige them! which later became an entrepreneurial venture. 78
The watch industry is highly competitive. How do you deal with that?
Actually I’m not so afraid of competition, I also don’t care a lot. People will find my work when they appreciate my ideas and my story. Sometimes people ask me how I distinguish myself from other watch brands and I just refuse to answer that question. Because I don’t care. I’m just Yvo and I make the things I like. Hate it or love it.
Of course I need to think a little differently to build the brand. So I do think about how I can make clear what kind of brand I am building and how I could reach this. But the fundamentals of this rational process is the feeling described above.
That way I learned about their capabilities and what techniques I could use in my designs. The same for the rest of my components.
I also have all the time of the world, so I really have my focus on making the watch in my opinion This probably has to do with my history as perfect. I don’t need a collection of 20 watches a musician. The world I grew up in is not so within a year. competitive. People just appreciate and respect Your brand is still quite young, yet already quite others’ work, without a lot of competition. successful. What can we expect from Staudt What makes a good watch great in your opinion? watches in the next 10 years? For me a watch more than just a machine that I have so many great ideas and plans. But I only shows the current time, or more. It should reflect can build the brand step by step, which is cool. someone’s identity, just like a piece of jewelry It’s a very big venture and I like experiencing does. After all we don’t need devices that show that hard work pays off. I like to think that the the time anymore. There are thousands of clocks sky is the limit, so let’s get there and make some everywhere. Personally I like a watch that is seriously nice watches! ‘modest from the outside, shining from within’, which is also my motto for designing. It has to be clean, elegant, and distinguished. Made from the finest materials one could find, created by skilled craftsmen. A high level for detail. I like to feel that it’s made by a person that cared about it. Feel a little bit of soul. The finish and build quality of your watches is very high, yet you are a relatively small brand. How did you achieve this?
No shortcuts. All parts are made by partners, which I have very close contact with. Last November I went to England to work together with the guys that hand paint my watch dials. 79
STAUDT PRAELUDIUM A Classical Design Exercise
taudtâ€™s Praeludium is one of those watches that seems to have be a classic by birth. Its design is contemporary, yet at the same time it gives you the feeling that it has been around forever. The same can be said about Staudt as a brand, only they were founded in 2014.
The Praeludium comes in two varieties, one with a hand-wound movement and one with an automatic movement. The differences are subtle, yet result in a completely different look. The automatic version sports a center seconds hand and a date. With an eye for detail, Staudt is one of those brands that match the color of the date-wheel with that of the dial. Although it shares the same case as the hand wound version of the Praeludium, the automatic version seems to be slightly more sportive. Donâ€™t take this too literally though, because more sportive in this matter means being a vintage Ferrari, instead of a Bentley.
Just like the automatic version, the hand wound Praeludium has a recessed part in the center of the dial giving it two levels.
The hand wound version lacks a date function and has a six-eater, a sub dial on which the small seconds hand turns. This means that the number six is absent from the dial, hence its name. Just like the automatic version, the hand wound Praeludium has a recessed part in the center of the dial giving it two levels. Staudt applies two hues of the same color on the dial, giving it a subtle two-tone appearance, while a sapphire crystal fitted with an anti-reflective coating on both sides protects the dial. Seemingly subtle details set Staudt apart from the competition. 81
Of course a watch like this can only be finished off with a nice alligator strap.
The movement of the hand wound Praeludium is particularly fine. Decorated with circular Cotes de Geneve and pink gold plated, it is a feast for the eye. It gives a nice contrast with the relatively sober outside look of the watch, like a classical symphony that starts off softly, and suddenly entices all your senses when the entire orchestra comes together for a grand finale. Of course a watch like this can only be finished off with a nice alligator strap, which Staudt has.
So what is with the name? Praeludium means simply a short piece of music, usually played to introduce a symphony of a classical suite. With Staudt’s Praeludium we can expect a lot more in the near future from this young brand out of “Twente”, an Eastern region of The Netherlands.
S TA U D T WA T C H E S . C O M
for athletes & adventurers
uunto has released its next generation of multi-sport devices, while at the same time started using big data techniques to improve its online sports service. The Finnish brand has launched the GPSenabled Spartan Ultra, a digital watch perfectly suited to â€˜athletes and adventurersâ€™, while at the same time, introducing some new features to its online sports community, Suunto Movescount.
Featuring a color touch screen with a wide viewing angle, it offers great visibility outdoors, even in direct sunlight. The touch screen is optimized to withstand disturbances from the environment, and it can be locked fully if needed. During exercise, the watches can be operated using the three buttons. A feature which is very important for real adventurers in my opinion is the battery life; you never know how long you will be out, and if you get lost it gives peace of mind when you still have battery power left to use the GPS. The Suunto Spartan Ultra comes with up to 26 hours battery life with good GPS tracking accuracy, while its little sister, the lightweight Suunto Spartan Sport has a battery life of 16 hours with GPS.
Note that you can influence the power reserve by which features of the watch you use, and how often. The Ultra collection also offers GPS-guided route navigation, barometric altitude with FusedAltiâ„˘, a heart rate monitor, and a digital compass. The Spartan Ultra also has dozens of presets suited to numerous individual sports. With a sapphire crystal glass and a glass-fiber reinforced polymide case with titanium Grade 5 or stainless steel bezel you can be sure that you have a solid companion on your wrist when you start your adventure. With 80 sport modes pre-installed in the watch, the Suunto Spartan is ready to go for nearly any kind of activity right out of the box.
The Spartan watches provide sports specific metrics and rich ways to display it while training for sports like running, cycling, swimming, triathlon, and various adventure sports, such as hiking or ski touring.
Carefully designed sport-specific displays give you accurate feedback relevant to your sport.
For most popular sports like running and cycling, dedicated purpose specific sport modes such as interval running, obstacle race running, and treadmill are also available. The thing I like, because I often do the same route, is that in interval running, for example, you can see your latest interval times with average heart rate in the lap table display while running. It’s very useful to have this information if you want to improve performance. But when you have this information what can you do with them? How to you use them? For this Suunto developed “training insights”. You have them in the watch directly and also on the Suunto Movescount website – this will let you follow your training load, rest & recovery, and progress, and help you plan your next training. The watch monitors your activity 24/7, providing daily and weekly activity summaries along with training history… To follow your progress, Suunto Spartan watches also keep you up-to-date on your personal bests by sport. Personal bests can be based on duration, altitude, and cycling power—like fastest 5 km run or highest 20 min cycling power.
Now, sometimes you want to break your routine and change your regular route. Not easy when you don’t know the places around you. To help with this Suunto has been busy behind the scenes using big data methods to analyze ‘tens of millions’ of sports sessions to provide its audience, like us, with sportsspecific ‘heatmaps’ that suggest where they should train, how to avoid the crowds, and how best to make progress with their training via Suunto Movescount. It’s really easy to use, as you just have to create a route based on the heatmap and then transfer it to your compatible Suunto watch to get navigation guidance during your training. You can also share an interesting heatmap with a friend via social media. “Suunto Movescount is an essential piece of the Suunto offering. The service has today over 100 million moves and counting. We want to give back to the community by introducing new community-powered tools. In addition to the heatmaps launched today, we’ll bring further improvements and other tools during this year,” says Janne Kallio, performance business digital lead at Suunto.
“We have worked quite intensively together with our customers on this project, and we would like to thank everyone who participated. Their knowledge and feedback have helped us to create what’s going live today.”
A REASONABLE SIZE Dale Vito Boom
fter years of speculation as to when it would happen, the time is finally here: watches are seemingly returning to more reasonable dimensions.
Many possible reasons have been posed in trying to explain this phenomenon. For one, it is often said that the current political & economic climate has left many looking for more sober, timeless, and conservative designs – whether it’s in clothing, watches, or other fields. The huge rise in popularity of vintage watches is, depending on your view, either another explanation or a result: a vintage Daytona is no large watch by any means and if this is considered the pinnacle of good taste, why wouldn’t another well-designed sub-40mm watch be just as cool? Plus, let’s be honest: trends simply come and go like waves on an empty beach.
My own journey towards smaller watches started a few years back and had another reason: budget. When I got into watches at the age of 16, a Rolex Submariner—or any other Rolex sports model for that matter—to me represented a true grail. After a couple of years, the time was finally right. I sold of my Sinn, MeisterSinger, and Seamaster 300m, put in a little extra and got myself a perfect, used 14060 at the princely sum of EUR 1800. Wow! Ever the #WatchNerd, of course it didn’t stop there, and I was always on the lookout for the next piece, taking a particular fancy in vintage Rolex sports models. But as time progressed, prices kept rising and rising. Exponentially – to a point where it became harder & harder to keep up and see the value. So what to do? It seemed logical to once again broaden my view. To other brands, but also within the world that’s vintage Rolex. Slowly but steadily I fell in love with the Datejust. Sure, at 36mm it’s no large watch but the proportions are near perfect, and hunting rare dial variations, early references, and those with cool patina proved to be a fun pastime. And as an unintentional but pleasant result, I gradually got comfortable with conservatively sized watches. So while I’m still rocking my SevenFriday P1 or Omega Seamaster Chrono-Quartz with much pleasure, a 34mm Omega 30T2 or 35mm Seamaster Calendar feels equally at home on my wrist nowadays—and boy do they look good! Now only to get rid of that Nomos craving... 88
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LUMINOX CEO Barry Cohen
atchisthis?! Magazine fired a few questions at Barry Cohen, founder and CEO of Luminox, about his collection, and the self-powered tritium gas tubes for which his brand is known. You are the founder of Luminox; what sparked the But of course there are extra steps in producing such idea of starting the brand? watches that other watches need not go through. I was in the watch business already and needed some And there is licensing needed to handle and store sort of technology to allow my brand to stand apart, this material too. so when I found the self powered illumination we use in Luminox today, this seemed like the right thing to add to the watches to help them stand apart and be able to sustain an ongoing business.
You offer both quartz as well as mechanical movements in your watches. Do you see a preference for one or the other with certain kind of customers?
I t’s not difficult at all with the use of the self powered tritium gas tubes. They glow on their own for about 25 years so they just need to be installed into the watches and you get this unlimited visibility.
Luminox’s collection are built around the elements land, air, and sea. Now you are also conquering space with your more recent alliance with the Space Expedition Corporation that offers commercial space flights. How important is this for Luminox?
One of the key points of Luminox is that they offer W e are a predominantly quartz brand of watches visibility under any condition. How difficult is it to although we do offer a small percentage of achieve this? automatics in our range.
e are hoping it will ultimately be very important W but think this day will only happen after the space craft flies as this is when it will be in the public eye and consciousness.
Until then the work to prepare the craft to be ready for space flight goes on behind closed doors and as such will not get much publicity yet. Once it flies and begins to get press, then we expect the series to be strong for us. What Luminox are you currently wearing yourself ?
I usually wear a field watch for daily wear but have been sporting a new series made for the USA market called the Coronado series so I can “road test” it. I’ve also been wearing the new F-22 series too, and really love this.
LUMINOX F-22 RAPTOR
Stealth Perform 92
live up to.
The Luminox F-22 Raptor was created in collaboration with Lockheed-Martin, the manufacturer of the plane. This is why the dial features the outline of the F-22 Raptor, which is also engraved on the caseback. Crafted from titanium, the watch is light in relation to its diameter, which is 44mm. This space is used to display a wide variety of functions, first and foremost the chronograph. The pushers to operate them are shaped like blocks, so even with gloves on they can be operated at ease.
Because the tritium is contained inside the glass tube, there is no exposure to radiation. Even in the unfortunate event that one of the tubes should break, the potential radiation exposure is less than for example the natural radiation you would be exposed to when walking outside or flying on a plane.
To deal with the other end of the light spectrum, when there is a lot of sun, there is an antireflective coating on the sapphire crystal which will eliminate most glares.
Even when not airborne, the Luminox F-22 Raptor proves to be a practical watch. The large date at six oâ€™clock plays a role in that, but also the fact that the watch is waterproof up to 200 meters. So no worries when you dip into the pool but forget to take off your watch. Luminox offers the F-22 Raptor on a strap, but you can also order it on a titanium bracelet. It features a five-link design in which two of the middle segments are cut under an angle, just like the wings of the F-22 The bidirectional bezel Raptor. takes up a generous part of The movement inside the F-22 Raptor is quartz the 44mm diameter of this, powered. While some may regret this, it is an and that is to ensure that the obvious and actually a logical choice given the slide rule scale printed on it can range of features the watch offers, as well as the still be read with some ease. This high-tech plane it pays tribute to. It will also allow slide rule enables the pilot to make the watch to continuously operate up to 4 years, quick calculations, without the aid before a battery replacement is needed. If only the of electronic devices. Visibility under F-22 Raptor could go that long before refueling. low-light conditions is guaranteed thanks to the use of borosilicate glass capsules on the main hands and hour markers, which emit a constant glow of light up to 25 years. This is achieved by coating the inside of the capsules with a luminescent material that is activated by the electrons from the tritium gas. You can compare this to the way old fashioned television screens used to work.
hen you name your watch after a stealth tactical fighter aircraft, you have a lot to
SKULL DIAL For Urban Privateers
hat if, back in the golden age of pirates and privateers, wrist watches existed? What would the captains of these vessels wear? Probably a Regia
Skull Dial. First of all, because Regia means Royal in Spanish. It was in those days often the Spanish Crown gave privateers their Royal consent to plunder the ships of countries they were at war with, so extending their naval presence as well as making some money on the side (and depriving the enemy of it). Second, because the Regia Skull dial seems to have been made for them!
This is of course because of the detailed image of a skull that is placed in the center of the dial. The skull is somewhat of a Regiatradition, because the brand also offers watches with a skull hand painted on the dial by renowned Australian artist Timothy John. The skull on this watch has a unique feature since its eye cavities are filled with luminova, giving an amazing effect in low light conditions. But despite this fun factor, the watch is not a gimmick. The brass case is very well constructed, with details that would not make it look out of place on the wrist of one of those privateers from centuries ago.
Modern day privateers will probably be using the watch in a more urban setting, but even their brass case and buckle will develop a wonderful patina over time. The caseback shows the bowels of the beast, which is in this case an automatic movement from Seiko. With a diameter of 44m the Regia Skull Dial has quite some wrist presence, but this also allows for the skull to show plenty of detail. With a price tag of US$390,- you donâ€™t have to take up privateering to afford one, although being limited to only 100 pieces you might do to be able to pick one up! R E G I A-T I M E P I E C E S .CO M
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THE LOOK BY BÉNÉDICTE LE BIHAN
fter enjoying beautiful summer days, the beginning of the autumn season rears its head! Below is our selection to be fashionable but comfortable at work. POIRAY MA PRÉFÉRÉE WATCH
Since 1985, Poiray has revolutionized the watch style with its interchangeable bracelets. Actually the brand enjoys a well deserved revival and ‘Ma Préférée’ will be our favorite for the next season! Composed of a quartz movement, a silver dial and four Arabic numerals, the watch is chic and feminine and available in several colors and materials.
Handcrafted in Paris, the head jewels of the brand Les Cerises de Mars can also be used as necklaces or a bracelet. Part of the new collection, the barrette Allie is made in brass gilded with fine gold. With its pretty details that makes us think of an interlaced knot, the barrette allows you to tie back your hair into a bun or other elegant updo.
L’ORÉAL COLOR RICHE LE VERNIS The range Color Riche is a revolution for beauty addicts! Because of its integrated gel top coat resin, the nail polish offers a brilliance for at least ten days. Many different colors are available, and we especially like the “Punchy Lychee” tone to remember the summer, and because you deserve it!
LES CERISES DE MARS FINE GOLD HAIR GRIP
MAGALI PASCAL PHOENIX SHIRT DRESS Burgundy is the new chic for this season. Magali Pascal, a creator who launched her own brand in Australia always designs the right clothes with delicate fabrics. This Phoenix dress is composed of an asymmetrical collar and it ends just above the knee, which allows for a stylish day-to-night transitional piece.
GIORGIO ARMANI TROUSERS Stay classic with Armani. Handmade in Italy, these trousers will be perfect with a black jacket or a jumper. Totally in silk, you will not commit a ‘fashion faux pas’ with this classic cut resolutely modern.
MANGO BLACK SANDALS It is not yet the autumn so you could wear these perfect black sandals at the office. With their shiny finish and wide heels, you will be comfortable all day. The Spanish ready-to-wear industry giant demonstrates again that it could create stylish accessories at an affordable price. 97
BRAISED CHICKEN SATAY WITH ZUCCHINI NOODLES
BY NATURALVROUW SERVES 2-4 COOK TIME: 45 minutes
his braised chicken satay is a great way to keep those summer vibes for just a little bit longer! The zucchini noodles make the dish not too heavy, and very healthy at the same time! INGREDIENTS Chicken/Marinade:
4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs One pinch of Fresh Ginger grated
3 Large Cloves Garlic minced or grated 1 tablespoon Fish Sauce 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
1 teaspoon Chile Sauce (optional) Peanut Sauce
⅓ Cup Creamy Natural Peanut Butter ½ Cup Coconut Milk (I use canned)
¼ Cup Agave Nectar (Palm Sugar also works well)
2 teaspoons Lemon/Lime Juice or White Vinegar
3 Zucchini and/or Yellow Squash (medium sized)Grated lengthwise or ‘Spiralized’ ⅓ Cup Coarsely Chopped Peanuts
DIRECTIONS: 1 In a poultry safe bowl whisk together the grated ginger, garlic, fish sauce, olive oil, and chile sauce if you wish to use it. Place the chicken thighs into the bowl making sure that they are all well coated with the marinade.
2 Grate and prepare the zucchini ‘noodles’ by placing them on a kitchen towel and sprinkle them with a bit of salt. This will drain them of excess water. Set them aside. 3 In large skillet preheated to medium-high heat, place the chicken thighs smooth side down, searing them for 6-8 minutes or until there is hardly any pink left on the upper side of the thighs.
4 While the chicken cooks prepare the peanut sauce. Whisk together the peanut butter, coconut milk and agave. (Be sure to shake or stir the coconut milk, as it tends to separate when using it from a can.) 5 Once the thighs are nearly fully cooked through, flip them allowing them to cook for one minute. 6 Lower the heat of the skillet then pour over the peanut sauce mixture. Allow this to simmer for 30 minutes. Your sauce will have reduce by about half. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice or vinegar.
7 Pat the zucchini noodles dry. Feel free to steam or warm them slightly, however, they may be eaten as is. Serve them in a dish or bowl. Place one to two of the braised chicken thighs over the zucchini noodles and ladle over the desired amount of peanut sauce. Sprinkle some chopped peanuts on top. This makes a great appetizer or main course. Eat and Enjoy!
Follow NaturalVrouw on YouTube and Instagram. This chicken satay should be enjoyed with an equally exotic watch, like the Certina DS Prime Shape. Square with rounded corners, the DS Prime Shape is different from many watches out there. Although elegant, thanks to its stainless steel case, crown protecting shoulders, and sapphire crystal it is ready to spring into action any time. So no need to take it off when you want to play another round of beach volleyball after the satay!
unglasses have never been so much fun! Earlier this year Swatch announced that they signed a five-year collaboration agreement with Italian eyewear creator Safilo. The result is a collection with Italian flair, combined with Swatch fun!
Swatch calls the collection “The Eyes”, and the fun thing is that you buy a frame, and can very easily change the look of your sunglasses by swapping out the front of them. This way you can always match your sunglasses with your bikini, purse, or even mood. Because the fronts switch out so easily, you can even have a couple of them with you when you are on the go, or on vacation for an instant style change when needed! Swatch sells “The Eyes” with a handy and stylish case, so when the sun is down, your sunglasses can be kept safe. That is of course if you want to take them off at all!
S WAT C H .C O M
ne of the most romantic complications is without a doubt the moon phase. That must have inspired Claude Bernard to put it into their new ladiesâ€™ models of the Sophisticated Classics collection!
Claude Bernard presented us with a 30mm elegant watch with Roman numerals in steel or rose gold PVD, with the moon phase, nice and large in the middle of the dial. The date is at six oâ€™clock, so this is not only a nice watch to wear to work, but also a practical one!
For us ladies, who want their watches to be slightly smaller, Claude Bernard also made this watch available in 28mm, again with a steel or rose gold PVD case, and a classic leather strap in black or brown. They are all fitted with a quartz movement, so the moon phase will always show right. We especially like the one with the mother of pearl dial and diamond hour marker. It is a nice touch of luxury!
Under the moonlight
AS beautiful AS MOTHER
amfleg is a brand that makes dreams come true! They not only create the most stunning watches with enameled dials or stone marquetry, but they also keep them affordable! They do this by working with steel cases, sometimes finished with a redgold PVD.
The crown is elegant and easy on the nails, and the leather straps match the dials so very nicely!
A Ronda quartz movement ensures accurate timekeeping. Even when you want sparkling stones on your watch, Namfleg offers you watches with a bezel set with zirconia. The watches are 39mm in diameter, and that means that they can easily be worn on any occasion, yet are still large enough to show off that stunning dial. The crown is elegant and easy on the nails, and the leather straps match the dials so very nicely! Their enamel watches show a base of guilloche on which a rich layer of enamel is applied. The result is stunningly deep colors, that give the watch a vibrancy that is bound to draw attention! That is one of the reasons why we like them so much: your eyes are simply drawn to your watch! Normally we would pick a watch to match an outfit, but with these watches by Namfleg we would pick an outfit to match our watch!
Stone marquetry is basically cutting very thin pieces of marble, coral, turquoise, onyx, jasper, amber, and mother-of-pearl into the right shape and bringing them together like a mosaic so that they look like a parrot, the Tuscany country side, blooming flower, or a lady from the Art Nouveau period. It requires an incredibly steady hand and an eye for detail. The result however, is graceful beyond belief, because you are wearing a little piece of art around your wrist. The only problem we haveâ€Śwhich Namfleg we like best!
N A M F L E G -WAT C H E S .C O M
V I N TA G E
THE SHOCK SYSTEM D E N I A L EXP
By Ron Sonders
ne of the most important parts that keeps modern, mechanical wrist watches so reliable and precise is the use of a shock system. Any mechanical timekeepers need something to control the precision of the movement. In a mechanical clock, this is the pendulum. Make the pendulum longer and the clock will move more slowly, making it shorter and it will run faster.
For a wrist watch you can of course not use a pendulum, that is why these use a balance wheel and spiral instead, so that the timepiece continues to work well in all positions.
The mass of the balance in combination with the stiffness of the spiral move the balance in a certain speed move back and forth
The balance needs to run as smoothly as possible so that the friction is minimized. In order to achieve this, the balance is fitted axle with extremely thin ends (the pivots) that run in synthetic rubies. A coping stone ensures that the height clearance is limited. The advantage is that the balance has little friction, and that it requires a low level of energy in order to keep moving. Drawback is that the pins are vulnerable.
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Due to the relatively large mass of the balance, compared with the thin ends, the possibility that one or both break off when the watch falls is very large. This is why through the years they invented all kinds of systems to protect the ends from breaking when the watch falls or hits something. The best known systems are Kif and Incabloc, the last of which is used in most watches. But all of them work in much the same way. The principle follows:
This chaton is located in a chaton-holder and is held in place by a small spring. If the watch endures a heavy blow the thin end of the shaft will press the chaton away and the blow is absorbed by the thicker portion of the shaft.
After the blow the spring pressed everything back into place and runs the watch again like nothing ever happened.
In addition to the thin end is a thicker portion of the shaft.
A balance staff jewel (made from synthetic ruby) with the capstone is fitted in a chaton. 107
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UNIVERSAL GENEVE POLEROUTER
The Affordable Genta
erald Genta is now a legend within the watch world. Before he penned down the designs of world famous watches like the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the Patek Philippe Nautilus, he had to get his foot on the ground in the industry. In fact, he did that by designing a landmark watch: the Universal Geneve Polerouter.
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to North America, a shorter and faster route. Special training was required for the flight crews, who all had to pass a special course at SAS’s “Artic Flight School”. All were also given a Polerouter to Actually the watch was called “Polarouter” when accompany them on their flights, since Universal it was introduced in the fall of 1954, and it was Geneva ensured that the watch could handle the Genta’s very first design that was actually up magnetic fields of the polar region. for sale to the general public. The name of the The Polerouter was a great success for Universal watch was as short lived as its movement, because Geneve, as it formally launched the career of although initially powered by caliber 138 SS, a Gerald Genta. Unless you go for the 18K yellow or bumper automatic, Universal Geneve replaced pink gold versions that Universal Geneva made as it in the spring of 1955 for caliber 215. This was well, the Polerouter is still surprisingly affordable, one of Universal Geneve’s famous micro-rotor with nice ones to be found under US$1.000,-.. movements. With it came also the name change And for that you not only get Genta’s very first design, but also a very high-end watch. Actually, to “Polerouter”. It didn’t get this name for nothing, since the when it was introduced it cost about the same as a watch was actually on the wrists of the pilots of Rolex Explorer. But in the end it’s the combination the Scandinavian Airline System, better known as of the solid build quality, that great micro-rotor SAS. They made history on November 15, 1954 movement, the sense of history, and yes, the fact when they started a new route with their Douglas that is a Genta design that makes the Polerouter DC-6 passenger planes to fly over the North Pole a true legend.
V I N TA G E
AFFORDABLE watches at auction
uctions usually only hit the headlines when truly remarkable watches come under the hammer. But even for those of us who have a more limited budget auctions can be a good place to get nice watches for a great price. Here are a few tips on how to do that: Do your homework When you check out an auction catalogue and see a watch you like, do some research on it. This will allow you to establish its value, and that way you can determine at what price itâ€™s a bargain, and when it becomes too expensive. Also read the description of the watch carefully and examine the photos in detail. Was the dial refinished? Does it come with box and papers? Does it show wear and tear? These are all things that can influence the value of a watch, and you should take them into account when you review the watch and determine what the watch is worth to you.
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Auctions can arouse the senses in much the same way as casinos do. Especially when you are bidding live, either online or physical at the auction house, this can turn up the heat! Therefore, set a maximum price beforehand and stick with it! That glorious feeling that you outbid your opponents fades away very quickly when you realize that you overpaid.
Read the fine print Each auction house has their own rules and regulations. When you are not on the premises when the auction take place, they can hold the item for you for a specific amount of time to allow you to pay and pick it up. After that period, most auction houses start charging storage fees. Shipping of items is often also available. The most important thing to check beforehand is the buyersâ€™ premium. This is a percentage that the auction house adds to every sale to pay for their services. It is paid by the buyer and added to their winning bid. So when you bid US$1.000,- for a watch and the buyersâ€™ premium is 8%, you end up paying US$1.080,- plus any applicable taxes.
Set a maximum price, and stick with it!
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Shipping might become importing Overseas auctions can have very tempting offerings, but there are two things that you need to take into account before you bid: check with customs to see what the import fees would be if you make the winning bid. Add an estimate of those costs to your maximum bid, and the shipping cost, to see if itâ€™s still a good deal. Also remember that many exotic leathers cannot be imported, so straps can cause a problem. Check on this as well before you bid, and when the watch you want comes with an alligator or other type of exotic leather strap, ask the auction house to ship the watch without it. Most auction houses even mention beforehand that they will ship watches with exotic leather straps without their straps, but it never hurts to specifically request this.
Know a good watchmaker It is often hard to determine what kind of life a watch had prior to the auction. Some might have recently been serviced, but this is not always the case. Make sure that you know a watchmaker that can service your watch. For this itâ€™s also important to know if he/she has access to parts for this model/brand. Especially with older models and/ or brands that are not around anymore, this can be a problem that often comes with a pricey solution.
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Follow some auctions Before you get your feet wet, follow some auctions. Check out the catalogues, do your homework, set a maximum price for each watch, but donâ€™t bid. Just see how the auction goes, and for what prices your watches were sold, and how that stands in relation to your own maximum price. This allows you to get a feel for the way things are going, and will make your first auction experience a better one! Happy bidding!
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e should not forget that exceptional memories are sometimes attached to objects, and thatâ€™s why vintage watches are so important.
Swiss watches that everyone wants to own one day because they are beautiful, high quality objects, and because they are made with love and with a strong sense for design. For many years the brand based in Le Locle tried to put creative innovation as a central importance without forgetting the respect for the past and their rich history.
Like an echo of life and nature, Tissot decided Born in 1853 Tissot is a Swiss brand known for in 1985 to create one of their most astonishing the art of creating and producing Swiss watches and innovative timepieces: The Rockwatch - A at an affordable price. high performance watch, allied to carefully styled aesthetics.
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A good joke or a brilliant idea, itâ€™s certain that the Rockwatch confirmed the fact that designers and watchmakers had awakened from their weirdest dreams. The case of this watch is sculpted from granite extracted from the Alps. An incredible idea produced in record time, although ultra-secret new machines were needed to manufacture it because as you can imagine the rock is not an easy material to use. However, you should take care when wearing one of these watches because even if they are robust, they can crack if banged on a hard surface; note that certain parts of the dial are almost paper thin.
When mid-80â€™s the idea of creating the first ever watch in stone was seen as a joke, it became a real success for the brand and today the Rockwatch is part of the big history of the Swiss Watchmaking.
Ultra-secret new machines were needed to manufacture it because as you can imagine the rock is not an easy material to use.
As mentioned, the granite used to make the Rockwatch cases came essentially from the Alps in the Grison, Ticino, and Valais areas. The most interesting thing is that each stoneâ€™s origin gives a special color hue to the case. Of course, Tissot wanted a large color palette, so the stones came not all from the Alps. They used Blue Lace agate from Scandinavian basalt, Jasper from the Kalahari desert, Quartz Crystal, Pink Rhodonite from Australia, Aventurine and Blue Sodalite from Brazil, and even Clamophyllia Coral petrified from the prehistoric Jura mountains. All these different stones were used to vary the case and some bracelets, Jade even having been used for one piece, while the structure and veins of the stone confer a completely unique appearance on each watch.
Generally, when it comes to creating a new innovative timepiece, brands have to take their time. Indeed, from the design aspect to the production, it may take one or two years, and even more depending on the development of what you want to do. But here, Tissot has achieved an unprecedented feat.
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The cost of the development has been at this time around 5-7 million francs, which, and we can understand that, was a consequence of the difficulty of creating machines capable of working small pieces of stones. No equivalent in terms of the length of the work as only six months were enough to implement the project.
It took several contributors to achieve this amazing result. Indeed, the projects were the fruit of intense research and development activity conducted by the ETA engineers and SMH company, with Asulab, the Neuchâtel research laboratory.
While the idea of the Rockwatch was thought up by the sculptor Peter Kunz, technical advisor for the choice of jewels, the implementation of this project was put in the hands of Jacques Müller and Mock &Cie. The series production of the case designed in a single piece were established with the firm of Pick, in Germany.
Note that, and it’s quite interesting when you think of our period and the economic crisis we have to face; before it was even launched in Switzerland, Europe, and Japan, the Rockwatch costing 300 francs had caused employment in the watchmaking industry to increase. To make this product, Tissot created no less than 50 new jobs. You will say, 50 is not much ... But here it is 50 for the development of only one new collection.
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Indeed, the projects were the fruit of intense research and development activity conducted by the ETA engineers and SMH company, with Asulab, the NeuchĂ˘tel research laboratory.
Rockwatch sales began with orders taken in December 1985, although the official launch of the watch on the Swiss market was set for the 15 March of the following year. The watch had previously been introduced on a trial basis in the USA. In September 1986, a bigger model of the Rockwatch was launched in five versions (instead of ten for the small model). The number of pieces sold at the end of 1986 is estimated at 50,000.
The piece which was seen as a good joke at first, was no longer a joke when the Guinness book of records mentioned a Rockwatch weighing 49 kg, which is another feat managed by the Swiss brand. For the record, between 1982 and 1983 the world recession brought the results of the Swiss watchmaking down to the level experienced before the second World War, and the recovery only beganÂ in 1984. So the creation of such an astonishing timepiece was a completely crazy bet. Like a mirror of 2016 and the crisis in the current watch industry, the time had come in 1985 to prove that, far from being dead, Swiss watchmaking is sparkling with new ideas.
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Premium On A Dime
oday they are around the wrists of the whoâ€™s who of the entertainment industry and world of sports, but Hublot actually got its successful start because of Royal interest in the brand. The story goes that the King of Spain strolled past a Hublot dealer and was captivated by it. He purchased one, wore it, and it got noticed. This greatly increased the public interest in the brand, and up until today Spain is one of the strongest markets for Hublot. But what captivated the interest of the King of Spain? 118
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He actually liked it very much and decided that this would be a perfect choice for his watch.
That rubber strap turned out to be not so easy to make, and it took two years for Hublot to create a way to safely connect the rubber strap to the case and folding clasp. They did this by merging little metal bars inside the rubber strap, through which screws can go to secure it safely. Another unique thing about the strap was that it had a very subtle, vanilla scent. In 1980 the watch was ready, and Carlo Crocco launched this unique combination of gold and rubber.
Due to its success the watch was soon also released in steel. The Hublot was available in five different sizes, with the model pictured right in middle with a diameter of 32mm. This version was back in the day referred to as the unisex model, with the two larger models marketed as men’s models and the two smaller ones as ladies models. Although mechanical movements were available in the larger sizes, most of them were quartz. In fact, this was even proudly printed on the dial of the watch. This seems perhaps awkward now, but back in those days quartz was Without a doubt it was the very unusual a very accepted, and often even preferred, type of combination of a yellow gold watch, with a black movement. rubber strap. Today that sounds like nothing When you can handle the smaller diameter of the special, but in the early 1980’s it was unheard of. Hublot, they are a great way to obtain the original That black rubber strap was actually more of an design made by Crocco and wear the grandfather of accident. Hublot’s founder, Carlo Crocco had today’s Hublot’s. You should be able to find one in designed a very unique watch shaped like a ship’s good condition around US$1.300,-, with a premium porthole. This is also where Hublot gets its name being paid for the largest, automatic models, and from, because it’s the French word for porthole. the ladies models with quartz movements going for He had all the details of the watch clearly in his slightly less. It’s not often that such an amount of head, except the strap. So he drew that smooth money buys you the watch of the King of Spain, and and solid black when he designed the watch. the brand of today’s entertainment royalty. This is really what you call premium on a dime!
CROSSROADS Martin Green Editor-in-Chief
Millenials view luxury in a whole different way than their parents, and you see that many brands struggle to find a connection with them.
he world of watches is giving off very confusing signals these days: Swatch group reported a steep decline in sales and profits, while at the same time a record breaking number of people try to start their own brand of affordable watches on crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Smartwatches are taking over, but at the same time rumors have it that the Apple watch doesnâ€™t sell as fast or as much as people thought. What is going on?
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The watch industry is at a crossroads. With the Asian markets returning to normal, it becomes all too clear that there are simply too many brands around. Many of these brands have sold pretty well over the last decade, and that made some of them lazy in terms of innovation and pushing the envelope to continue to give their customers value for money. The truth is, we don’t need a watch, it’s not a necessity, and that makes it always very easy not to buy it. Now the traditional brands are fighting a battle on multiple fronts. On one side there is the treat of the smartwatch. Apple might sell less smartwatches than expected, but the smartwatch is here to stay. Now that we have very well made products like the Ticwatch 2 for under US$200, especially the quartz watches priced below US$1.000, it will become a tough sale, unless you offer something extraordinary to compensate for that, and with that I don’t mean another celebrity brand ambassador.
The other front is with eager new brands. They might be small, they might only sell a few hundred watches a year, but the different internet platforms allows them to reach a worldwide audience without the need for any overhead. With each watch these brands sell, it is less likely that this consumer will buy another watch from an established brand. Also the customer is changing. A new generation is entering the market place, or actually isn’t. Millenials view luxury in a whole different way than their parents, and you see that many brands struggle to find a connection with them. All these different dynamics wreak havoc on some brands, while others thrive on it, because they somehow succeeded to get their finger on the pulse of time. For consumers this is good news: a lot of offerings, incredible variety, exciting new technology entering the marketplace and retail prices that are coming down. And for me as a watch journalist…. times have never been more interesting!
Running ahead of the music, Martin is the driving force behind Watchisthis?! Always thinking a few issues ahead, he sees the magazine as a constantly evolving concept to give its readers the best. Although he spends most of his writing career focused on Haute Horlogerie, it was his passion for more affordable watches that resulted in Watchisthis?!
Super mom, and designer extraordinaire, she is the one that makes Watchisthis?! look good. Not an easy task, because she has to endure not only our outrageous, and sometimes unfeasible design ideas, but she is also the one that suffers when articles are late or pictures coming after. Events she tackles with whit and a smile because she knows that the magazine is her canvas.
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.
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!
NaturalVrouw shares fun and easy recipes that turn familiar dishes into a creative and â€˜lighterâ€™ gourmet experience. All that is needed are a few fresh ingredients and of course a nice watch around your wrist to ensure perfect timing!
The luxury sector is Bénédicte’s natural habitat. As a specialist in perfumes, beauty products and horlogerie, she works as a brand manager with an international brand agency. When not building brands, she shares her passion with the world in her writings.
An eye for the extraordinary, and a love for the underdog, ensures that whenever you meet Dale he will have something unexpected on his wrist. Despite his strong personal style, his knowledge extends far beyond it, knowing the heights and depths of the watch industry like the back of his hand.
As a watchmaker certified for many prestigious brands, Ron works daily on a wide variety of watches. Not fooled by the high-status names and generous price tags on some of them, he has a passion for the technique behind it. When not working behind his bench, you can find him brewing beer or admiring vintage industrial architecture.
Just like a watchmaker, Laura has a passion for precision. She loves to make sure every word and comma is in place in hers and others’ writing. When not proofreading Laura is writing, reading voraciously, or learning something new (she’s a perpetual student). She lives in
watchisthis . com
Published on Sep 12, 2016
The third edition of Watchisthis?! Magazine with an interview with TAG-Heuer CEO, Jean-Claude Biver, as well as reviews and in depth article...