A new TAG Heuer Aquaracer 300 meters men’s Watch

TAG Heuer invented waterproof case in more than 100 years ago, which opens the door to the underwater world path for human. Aquaracer Aquaracer series founded more than thirty years, the first name to Aqua (water) and Racer (game), as its name implies, it has been a faithful interpretation of the TAG Heuer Replica Watches proud tradition of water sports. In 2014 September, Aquaracer Aquaracer with a new look again set sail: younger, more leisure, more refined.

 

Aquaracer series and world-class sailing events and occupation diving has a deep origin in twenty-first Century, tabulation craft, followed TAG Heuer Replia Watches avant-garde watchmaking tradition.TAG Heuer Replica Watches classic yacht design table is modeled, be good to hear or see, wear comfortable and pleasant, become the necessary choice for many people love table. Aquaracer is a sports watch, from the world famous sailing event of the best warrior draw inspiration, for them to create special; it is the courage to challenge, and constantly go beyond expectation. Aquaracer Aquaracer with water sports There is nothing comparable to this lineage, initially to meet the professional sailing and scuba diving watch sports on the stringent requirements of creating, for its strong resistance and stable traveltime performance become at that time the leader in diving table. The new Aquaracer 300M watches Aquaracer meters — with its 300 m water depth named — performance reached a new height, but shows increasingly thick elegant sports charm. The atmosphere and elegant appearance, contemporary design element fusion gene and the most avant-garde movement, and excellent waterproof and shockproof performance, each Aquaracer Aquaracer new sailing and scuba diving are called perfect equipment. This means that the seaman, and divers can completely trust Aquaracer Aquaracer watch, because they also tough and reliable pressure, fearless.

The first Aquaracer watch pioneered diving table necessary “tag heuer six professional function”. Now, these essential elements by the luxury treatment, quality improve. Unidirectional rotating bezel with large polished convex pins, the twelve o’clock position dot coating with Super-LumiNova (SLN) luminous coating, easy to read the diving time. Digital etching and become, instead of coated with black lacquer. Table 6 convex ring on the pin after fine grinding, spaced increase, make reading more clear. Located at the noon position time scale enlarged to triangular, covered with luminous coating. Luxury H shaped Bracelet collocation safety buckle folding table, extension length. Aquaracer new Aquaracer provides refined steel and rose gold and gold material selection.

Aquaracer Aquaracer Calibre 5 Automatic Watch – 40.5 mm

The atmosphere of the outdoor watch by Swiss senior tabulation process elements, including hand inlaid facet scale, faceted hour and minute hands, are covered with luminous coating; oblique calendar window; charming dial horizontal stripe texture. The stainless steel case polishing and fine is more a good seat design. This exquisite automatic watch offers a choice of black, silver, black or navy blue and other colors of the dial.

Aquaracer Calibre 5 Aquaracer gold automatic wristwatch 40.5 mm

This large luxury sport watch dial provides rose gold or gold options, using the ring, hand pressing and embedding gold-plated scale gold table fine grinding; innovation of H shaped chain gold and stainless steel ingenious combination. Rose gold and gold low-key introverted stainless steel and polishing bright match, bloom the graceful charm.

HUBLOT Replica Watches Online Store

Snowflakes fluttering value interpretation of starry night beauty, when numerous smile light of happiness, in this happy Christmas time, full of passion and desire gifts come in a throng. HUBLOT Replica Watches gracious recommend personalized christmas watch collection, dazzling diamonds, luxurious materials and superior technology Big Bang UNICO Wang Jin diamond, recording the most sweet bright Christmas time in the wrist.

Big Bang UNICO series design and well renowned HUBLOT Watch Big Bang series come down in one continuous line and major optimization. Big Bang UNICO Wang Jin diamond has a proud diameter 45.5 mm, densely many diamonds inlaid with Wang Jin case, fashion show mechanical appearance; surrounded by dense set number of shining diamond bezel to mark the 6 H type screw locking, fashion design, ingenious and more prominent luxury charm; hollowing dial that precise UNICO column wheel timer movement clearly visible, take in everything in a glance, scale and Arabia figures are redesigned, more show hollowed out and covered luminous coating. Black natural rubber strap, let the skin feel the ultimate comfort and durability of bonding.

From November 1, 2014 to December 15th, HUBLOT Watch of China’s 11 stores and 3 shop will provide “shining Christmas, for the love of table polished” free polishing service. Hublot, customers can go to is located in Shanghai, Hang Lung Plaza Shop Hublot, after-sales service centers, or will be sent to the city watch HUBLOT Replica Watches stores or counters enjoy exclusive privileges. Limited launched the “Christmas welfare service will be nuanced customer HUBLOT Replica Watches, comprising a metal component bezel, watchcase, watch ear pressing, table buckle and strap, meticulous polishing a full range of. Well versed in the ways of the Swiss watchmaking professional maintenance division, will be the first part watch apart, using advanced instruments by Switzerland imports respectively on the grinding and polishing, and assembled watches in a professional environment, assembly of good HUBLOT Watch to ensure waterproof testing by the last step, will be in the perfect state of new return the hands of the guests. The polishing service from the early to the late detection of communication needs 4 to 6 weeks, the customer need 1 to 2 days in advance to call after-sales service center service. At the same time, taking into account the watch polishing will produce a certain loss to the raw material, HUBLOT Replica Watches maintenance engineer will also according to the wear condition you wear watch with you to fully communicate polishing the most professional proposal, provide home after sales experience.

Victorinox Swiss Army Original And Chronograph Limited Edition Watches

In 2011, Victorinox Swiss Army released a new version of their classic “Original” watch (debuted here) that retained the same affordable, plastic-bodied theme of the… original, but with a slick modern look. For 2013 Victorinox Swiss Army releases two new versions of the Original which includes a limited edition chronograph each on a neat looking bund-style strap. A big fan of these attractive and inexpensive watches, we take a hands-on look at both the Original three-hand and Original Chronograph LE (limited edition).

From a technical perspective, these Original watches are the same as the other “new” Originals, but with new color options. Swiss Army already released both the three-hand and chronograph versions, but they are sill “newer” models. What really struck me was how nice looking the pieces are from a design perspective. Swiss Army is known for having a keen eye for details such as legibility and style, but they’ve done a lot here with a sub $500 model. It is true that plastic-cased watches can be purchased for much, much less, but the overall presentation here makes it worth the money in our opinion.

So let’s discuss these straps right away. Bund straps have a cuff-like piece (sometimes detachable) that goes completely under the case – ensuring that the case does not touch your wrist. They are usually leather, and taper to a more narrow width towards the strap part of the watch. Depending on the design, bund straps function like NATO-style straps in the sense that if one strap spring bar breaks or comes off, the watch won’t fall off your wrist. Though that is not universally the case, especially in instances such as with the Original because you can remove the thick middle section.

I actually like the strap with its bund-style segment. In tan brown, the leather strap looks fashionable with its cuff-style appearance. The wide section also helps the watch case appear larger. That is because the Swiss Army Original has a 40mm wide case – which while not small, is not as large as many men want. However, on this style of strap you can remove the bund section for smaller wrists and put it on for larger ones. The case is made out of “nylon fiber,” which is a form of plastic. Not exactly black, the cases on these versions of the Swiss Army Original are a deep gray.

TAG Heuer Link Calibre 18 Watch: Mid-Size Chronograph

Need another flavor of TAG Heuer Link? The newest chronograph version of the iconic collection will be this Link Calibre 18 watch – a new Link with a new movement for TAG Heuer. The Swiss brand revamped the Link collection with an updated case and bracelet back in 2011. Since that release we aren’t aware of too many new Link models until now with the Calibre 18. So what is new? TAG Heuer adds to the three register Link Calibre 16 chronograph with this two register model. The Calibre 18 automatic movement is a base Sellita SW300 (ETA 2892 analog) with a chronograph module produced by Dubois-Depraz.

The Calibre 18 is very similar to the Calibre 12 movements (found in Monaco collection pieces for example). Unlike the larger Link Calibre 16 watches (with base 7750 movements) that are 43mm wide, the Calibre 18 watches are 40mm wide, and considered slim at 14.4mm thick. That isn’t slim per se, but “slimmer” for a chronograph watch. These new mid-sized Link models feature fresh dials and fit into the popular bi-compax (two register) chronograph look that many brands are gravitating toward.

TAG Heuer will offer the Link Calibre 18 in both a black dialed (ref. CAT2110) model and a silvered dialed (ref. CAT2111) version. In a big way you can see these mid-range two register chronographs as being more affordable versions of TAG Heuer’s ultimate two register chronograph movement, the Calibre 36, which you can find in some high-end Carrera models and is essentially a Zenith El Primero high-beat chronograph.

Swatch Random Ghost SUOK111 Watch Has 15,120 Possible Dials

Timepieces like the Random Ghost (ref. SUOK111) are examples of how Swatch made inexpensive timepieces cool in the 1980s, and how Swatch’s artistic way of approaching wristwatches is still extremely relevant today. The Random Ghost is in the New Gent collection and is a totally transparent watch with a colorful, exposed quartz movement. The reason Swatch calls it the “Random Ghost” is because the pieces of the movement are colored and chosen at random when the watch is produced resulting in 15,120 possible color combinations.

This effectively means that you’ll be hard pressed to find two which are exactly the same, and most all Random Ghost watches are unique. The concept is simple, but quite satisfying as the watch’s quartz guts are the most prominent feature on this totally skeletonized watch thanks to the clear plastic case. Visually interesting, this under $100 watch is arguably much more fun to wear than pieces costing many, many times as much.

Swatch Random Ghost SUOK111 Watch Has 15,120 Possible Dials   watch releases

I got to play with a Random Ghost watch recently and quite enjoyed it. The clear plastic case is strange for sure, but it feels appropriate with the design and Swatch brand. Swiss companies aren’t known for their ability to come across as easy-going and liberal, but Swatch certainly has a cheerful and simple approach to their designs which results in tons of interesting timepieces being released each year. Given the staunch conservatism of the Swiss watch industry that aBlogtoWatch writers experience on a daily basis, it is refreshing to wear a Swiss timepiece such as the Random Ghost that doesn’t take itself too seriously, but nevertheless celebrates the tradition of the Swiss watch industry.

At about 41mm wide this isn’t one of those small Swatch watches you are used to. When Swatch released the New Gent collection a few years ago I personally welcomed in a new era of cases sized for modern male preferences. The case is just under 10mm thick and like the strap, is produced in totally clear plastic. The fully viewable movement is cool enough, but with all those (random) colors, the design proves even more appealing. There is something very 1990s about this timepiece, in that colorful, cartoony sort of way. Swatch Random Ghost SUOK111 Watch Has 15,120 Possible Dials   watch releases

Swatch Random Ghost SUOK111 Watch Has 15,120 Possible Dials   watch releases

The chart above is an example but not a complete list of the various colors and parts that are randomly mechanically assorted for each watch. There are five different parts of the movement that come in random colors, and each part has a different amount of color options:

  • Electric Module (quartz) comes in 7 colors (blue, red, light blue, green, orange, and yellow)
  • The Reel comes in 8 colors (green, red, violet, yellow, light blue, pink, lilac (shade of purple) and dark yellow)
  • Stator / Motor comes in 9 colors (pink, yellow, blue, orange, green, light blue, white,  violet, and sky blue)
  • The Driving Wheel comes in 5 colors (orange, red, white, yellow, and blue)
  • Maintenance Plate comes in 6 colors (turquoise blue, orange, green, violet, blue, and yellow)

While it is cool that there are so many colors, it probably isn’t possible to order a specific combination. So most of these will need to be purchased either in a store where you can see the specific watch, or online if the specific piece is pictured. But then again people may just want to ‘roll the dice’ and see what Swatch sends them. Though, minor color differences can dramatically change the look of the watch making it either more masculine or feminine. In a way it is probably a very clever way of getting people into the many Swatch brand boutiques located all over the world.

Swatch Random Ghost SUOK111 Watch Has 15,120 Possible Dials   watch releases

For less adventurous types, the standard Swatch New Gent collection comes in a more predictable assortment of colors, but the personality of the Random Ghost collection gives it a distinct appeal. Swatch’s little tagline for the piece is “Take Your (Colorful) Chances,” but we think there is no risk in not enjoying a watch like this.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A-T

You have to love Citizen. Between Seiko and themselves, the state of the art in quartz timekeeping keeps improving. Solar power, radio-set time, Bluetooth, GPS… they lead the way.

This is the Blue Angels World Time Chronograph, reference AT8020-03L. Eco-Drive (solar power), sapphire crystal, radio-set, 60-minute chronograph, perpetual calendar, day/date, power reserve plus quick-change support for 26 time zones.

Citizen has long been a supporter of the Blue Angels team, so this watch is the latest in a long line. Long before I was writing here, I asked my wife to buy me one as I was learning to fly, so a Blue Angels was my first pilot’s watch:

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
New and old Blue Angels watches

They’ve advanced and changed quite a bit since then (2001). Mine was battery powered, mineral crystal (you can see the scratches), and non radio-set. The design evolved too, with the change to an inner slide rule computer bezel and the dropping of the LCD screens. Functionally, the new model lacks the alarms of the old, and is in general simpler to use. I’ve kept and continue to use mine, it still has the best movement I’ve found for air travel. More on this later.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen packaging

Nice simple box and packaging, which includes a QR code card, mini-CD and the paper manual too. Citizen proudly says that the packaging is made from recycled materials – a good thing.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Watch and manual

As a former pilot I have to say that the slide rule bezels are not usable in flight. Too small and fiddly. More of a reminder of your E6B and a nice conversation piece. On the A-T, the bezel is under the crystal, and actuated via the crown at eight o’clock. On the wrist, that’s very difficult. However, moving it under the glass makes the watch dressier.

One of the A-T features I like a lot is time zone changes. Pull the crown out one stop, rotate to select your new timezone, push it back in and the hands move. Done, and you can even manage it without taking the watch off. My older model has the same feature, implemented with buttons, and I still love it for jet travel days.

Functionally, the A-T has a one hour chronograph, a fixed 24-hour display at nine, perpetual calendar, Eco-Drive solar power, retrograde day display, power reserve, atomic (radio-set) timekeeping that works with six transmitters (US, UK, Germany, China, Japan). The world time support includes 30-minute-offset zones, but not the 15-minute oddballs.

Measuring 43mm across, it’s a modern-sized watch. 12.3mm thick, 49.2 lug to lug. Oddly, the lugs are 23mm, an unusual size that makes it harder to find replacement straps. Weight including strap is 87g.

If you look at the date window, you get a peek at the complex structure of the dial – printing layered on top of the photovoltaics. Citizen has advanced to the point that there’s no visible sign a dial is Eco-Drive.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020, dial closeup

The polished sub dial surrounds look like aircraft instruments, which is pretty darn cool. The sub dial at six is showing the day of the week – it’s a neat retrograde indicator that I like. It lets the spatial side of your brain see “where” in the week you are, just as the 24-hour dial at nine shows where in the day you are.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020, caseback and strap

The Blue Angels’ colors are blue and yellow, in case that wasn’t obvious already. I quite like how Citizen used the yellow as a subtle bit of panache: the strap backing is normally hidden, and the yellow stripe inset into the side of the bezel is only visible from off-axis.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020, side view

From the top, just shades of blue.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020 on wrist

It’s also available on a bracelet. The strap is excellent. Leather, layered with a woven middle section and what feels like sailcloth on the back. Nicely made buckle, too. Two keepers, one fixed, one floating.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020, strap and buckle

Lume is blue-green, and decent. I do wish they had either a LED or better lume.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020, lume

I’ve worn it cycling, playing volleyball and ultimate, and the 87g weight is easy to forget. At 12.3mm thick, it’s very shirt-friendly and goes easily under cuffs.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020, case detail

The case is well made, with a brushed finish and ergonomic curved lugs. There’s just a bit of polished highlight on the top edge.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020 on wrist, profile

I like the ion-plated blue bezel. That, and the yellow highlights give the watch just a bit of character and emphasis.

Citizen Blue Angels World Chronograph A T Review   wrist time watch reviews
Citizen AT8020 on wrist, angle

With a very unusual 200m-rated case, this is a great watch for “wear it everywhere and never worry.” No battery to change, never need to set the time; just no hassle. I think this is a great “nice watch” for anyone who doesn’t want to be a watch geek. It works great for travelers, is low-key enough for business wear, and tough enough to leave on when you jump in the pool. List price is $575, which all things considered I find quite reasonable.

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers

Yesterday in Monaco, the Only Watch 2013 auction was held and the results are in. The event is meant to raise money for a medical charity, to which 100% of the proceeds go. Each of the watches submitted are totally unique and donated by the participating brands. People get very interested in the results, as it is not only a sign of the economy when it comes to Monaco’s wealthy elite (and others), but also the interest people have in specific brands and models. The total yield of Only Watch 2013 was 5,066,000 Euros (most of which is thanks to a single watch).

For 2013 there were some major winners and losers. All the lots sold of course, with some going over estimate, and some under estimate. Most of the lots however sold within the estimated price, and those aren’t covered in this article. So let’s take a look at the major winners and losers of the 2013 Only Watch auction. This article will only cover select lots, and for a full list of all the watches that were up for auction you can see our original Only Watch 2013 article here.

Winners:

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

1. Patek Philippe 5004T

I’d like to say “wow, wow, wow,” but the super price fetched for this unique titanium Patek Philippe watch isn’t completely surprising. We first covered the Patek Philippe 5004T watch here in more detail. The no-longer-being-made 5004 series was always a winner at auction, but this version is perhaps the last of its kind and the only one ever produced in titanium. Sure to be an auction favorite (again) sometime in the future, the yield for this watch accounted for over 3/5ths of the total auction yield for the entire event. Getting almost $4,000,000 alone. Estimated price: 400,000 – 600,000 Euros. 2013 actual auction price: 2,950,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

2. Chronoswiss The Three Apes

The uniquely engraved dial and design made this Chronoswiss extra-special. I think at first glance many people felt it was something from Vacheron Constantin with a hand-made dial such as that which uses monkeys to portray the concept of “hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil.” Estimate price: 22,000 – 32,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 42,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

3.  Girard-Perregaux Chrono Hawk

New for 2013, it looks like Girard-Perregaux’s updated Hawk (Chrono) watches are going to do well. This unique black and red model beat estimates by an impressive margin. Estimated price: 14,000 – 18,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 32,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

4. Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral

A purist favorite, the still new Laurent Ferrier brand has classic watch lovers perpetually enthused with their Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral. This unique model narrowly beat estimates, but that is impressive for a small brand. Estimated price: 100,000 – 120,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 130,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

5. Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Seconde Mysterieuse

A quirky modern watch with a cool seconds hand, this unique all-black Masterpiece Seconde Mysterieuse watch shows that Maurice Lacroix is hot right now. Estimated price: 15,000 – 20,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 30,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

6. Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture

Aside from a few small differences such as “Only Watch” on the dial, this version of the new for 2013 Ulysse Nardin Marine Chronometer Manufacture with an in-house made chronograph movement is very similar to the retail version. Nevertheless, the strength of the brand shows as it beat price estimates.

Losers:

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

1. Chanel Premiere Flying Tourbillon

It is difficult to gauge the market strength of high complication ladies watches, but this is precisely what the Chanel Premiere Flying Tourbillon is. An inherently beautiful watch, it is competing in a very male dominated market. Estimated price: 150,000 – 200,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 75,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

2. Chopard L.U.C. Tourbillon Engraved

With a lot of unique decorative engraving and an in-house movement, it should have been a no-brainer for Chopard to see a price in the estimated range for their arguably well-priced L.U.C Tourbillon – but that didn’t quite happen. Estimated price: 120,000 – 160,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 65,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

3. Christophe Claret X-Trem-1 Pinball

Christophe Claret clearly makes impressive, albeit niche high-end watches. The colorful “Pinball” version of the already unique X-Trem-1 was polarizing for sure and had a color scheme that likely over-shined some of its more interesting technical achievements. Estimated price: 230,000 – 300,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 100,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

4. DeWitt Twenty-8 Skeleton Tourbillon

DeWitt has been struggling over the last few years, but they do have nice products. With a tourbillon and a lot pricey baguette-cut diamonds you’d think this watch would have gone for a pretty penny. Nevertheless, the market dictates what it wants. Estimated price: 250,000 – 300, 000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 120,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

5. Louis Vuitton Tambour Spin Time Regatta

Much of the time in Only Watch’s past, a strong brand name helps assure value. In 2011 Louis Vuitton’s Only Watch entrant did rather well. This sailing chronograph, with a sailboat on the dial is interesting, but it turned out not interesting enough. Estimated price: 60,000 – 80,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 40,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

6. Richard Mille Tourbillon Prototype Yohan Blake

It isn’t a secret that Richard Mille watches can be wildly priced, even for luxury watch standards. With the second highes estimated price, next to the Patek Philippe, the Yohan Blake prototype was asking for a lot – despite the fact that Mr. Blake wore it during the London Olympics. Even though it missed estimates by 100,000 Euros, it still got a lot of money for what it is. Estimated price: 450,000 – 500,000 Euros. 2013 auction price: 350,000 Euros

 

Only Watch 2013 Auction Winners & Losers   sales auctions

7. Roger Dubuis La Monegasque

Some part swapping put an existing Roger Dubuis automatic tourbillon movement inside of another case (La Monegasque). The result took something meant for Monaco and gave it one of the brand’s very nice tourbillon movements. This perhaps speaks more to interest in La Monegasque collection versus the brand’s tourbillons.

New Girard-Perregaux Book Brings Watches To The Movies

While you and I may not readily jump to a quick association between the movie and watch industries, they are disciplines that overlap and their histories during the 20th century are sure to have some unique parallels. To be sure, there have been plenty of watches and clocks that have shown up on the silver screen, but it can go further than that. Girard-Perregaux is helping to further demonstrate those connections for us with a book they’ve released in collaboration with the brand’s sponsorship of the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures. The forthcoming book will be named “Mechanics of Dreams.”

Book Brings Watches To The Movies

Book Brings Watches To The Movies

We did bring you news a little bit ago about Girard-Perregaux’s recently released watch celebrating the movies, their Hollywoodland Chrono Hawk (here), which was part of the brand’s focus on Hollywood. While that is obviously a very modern crossover, this new book actually delves into the history of the industries, and how we might see them overlap. For example, take a look at this image (below). This is actually a rare peek into the book that we’ve been given the green light to show to you, our readers. Go ahead, read through that text – it gives you a sense of what the book is all about.

New Girard Perregaux Book Brings Watches To The Movies
Book Preface
I like how they’re working to emphasize the craftsmanship and passion that are present in both industries – while they may not directly overlap, I’d say they’re definitely complementary, with one being able to understand what drives the other. I’d say there’s even more mundane associations to be drawn, as of course timing is at the root of so many things.

Where I think this book is really going to shine for us watch folks, though, is the amazing pictures that are showing up in it. Both the museum and Girard-Perregaux have delved into their archives, and brought forth images that many of us likely have simply not seen before. While the text of the book can give us insight into the industries, I think the visual aspect of the book is really what makes this a collaboration we’re interested in.

engineering of a watch

engineering of a watch

Of course, that sort of naturally makes sense – the movies are a visual art, and while we enjoy knowing about the engineering of a watch, it’s really the visual presentation and artistry of how a movement is showcased that really draws us in.  In much the same way, I think this book will end up supporting the old “1000 words” analogy.  I know for me, it’s the most interesting book about the movie industry that I’ve run across.

TAG Heuer Debuts Carrera Calibre 1969 Watch With Black & Gold Limited Edition

TAG Heuer has just released the first watch to contain its new in-house made Calibre 1969 automatic chronograph movement (debuted hands-on here). It is the limited edition TAG Heuer Carrera 1969 ref. CAR2A60 and is a very modern watch for their most modern movement. While with TAG Heuer at the debut of the 1969 movement in late 2013 it seemed rather clear that the Carrera collection would be the first to enjoy the fruits of their newest manufacture movements. What was not clear was the direction TAG Heuer was going to take in either modern or retro styling.

It was a fair question because the name of the Calibre 1969 movement goes back to the year when TAG Heuer (along with three other brands) debuted the automatic chronograph mechanical movement to the world. It thus made sense that TAG Heuer may have wanted to debut the movement in a retro-inspired watch. We have a good feeling that pieces of that nature will show up in TAG Heuer’s collection before long, but for now the Calibre 1969 is taking the form of other high-end, new TAG Heuer timepieces. The case design is one that we have seen in a few recent TAG Heuer watches, most recently the TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 1887 Jack Heuer Edition.

TAG Heuer Debuts Carrera Calibre 1969 Watch

TAG Heuer Debuts Carrera Calibre 1969 Watch

Unlike those other models, the Carrera Calibre 1969 will have the crown and pushers placed in a more traditional space on the right-side of the case (versus the bull-head style layout of most others). The case represents a modern interpretation of the classic Carrera case from the early 1960s. We believe that the case should be about 44-45mm wide. The limited edition model will be in black PVD titanium carbide coated titanium and 18k rose gold. It is an interesting and thoroughly modern take on the Carrera and while it does not immediately come across as familiar, I think it is a handsome design that certainly grows on you.

When was the last time you saw a black and gold TAG Heuer uk by the way? There are some interesting design elements worth mentioning. The Calibre 1969 is a tri-compax chronograph with the date. But where is the date? TAG Heuer cleverly integrated the date indicator into the sub dial for the chronograph hours. How do you feel about it? It does help maintain dial symmetry nicely. With a mixture of both classic and modern design elements from TAG Heuer, the Carrera Calibre 1969 is a bold step in a new higher-end bracket for TAG Heuer that is firmly positioned over the Carrera models with the also in-house made Calibre 1887 movement. Having said that, we will see lower-priced Carrera Calibre 1969 movements debuting soon in 2014.

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up / Down Watch

This Datograph Up/Down is the stuff grail watches are made of. A sublime Teutonic expression of watch making perfection so timeless it escapes all notions of era, style, or trend. A watch for all times and ages, pieces by German A. Lange & Sohne are what many watch lovers strive to acquire. Sounds lofty? That statement isn’t so unreasonable considering our monitoring of what colleagues and your fellow readers have said and felt about A. Lange & Sohne watches over the years. Not to mention my and the team’s own feelings about A. Lange & Sohne as a brand. What it comes down to, is that Lange has a unique formula that attracts watch lovers like bees to honey. So before I get to the actual review I feel it is a good idea to discuss more about what we feel about this brand and why we feel it.

The funny thing is how different people are attracted to the brand. I don’t know anyone who dislikes A. Lange & Sohne, but everyone has their own relationship with it. For instance some people have a particular piece they fawn over and consider a real grail watch. Perhaps your dream timepiece is a Datrograph Up/Down such as this or maybe a Lange 1. Other people however don’t have any particular Lange watch they are currently pining for, but simply have an immense level of respect for the brand. In understanding the appeal of A. Lange & Sohne, I think it is more valuable to focus on this latter idea – that people identify and respect the brand’s values as a watchmaker.

Those values are plentiful and not wanting to sound like a Lange marketing person I will identify those that I think they succeed at the best. This is important because when it comes down to it, people freely spend their money on luxury products because of a sense of confidence in the brand. Confidence that the product is worth the asking price, and confidence that the brand has a collective sense of wisdom and skill gained from years of experience, and that few others are able to replicate their work output.

Allow me to mention three things about Lange as a brand and watchmaker that they do quite well. First, they produce products that are undoubtedly useful tools. That doesn’t mean their tools are necessarily modern or advanced, but rather that they are precision instruments designed to perform a task. That task being to tell the time and perhaps other related information. Lange watches are easy to read with properly sized hands and legible dials. The functionality is logical and easy to understand, while the tools sit comfortably on the wrist and are designed to work well and last a fair amount of time. You rarely get the impression that much on an A. Lange & Sohne watch is just for show. It holds true to what many people feel is the most important definition of luxury – a well made object of utility that is expensive because it was produced without consideration for cost rather than to merely be expensive due to the inclusion of valuable materials. The point is that Lange makes something valuable rather than assembles valuable things into a final product – and they’ve held true to this ideal rather well.

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up / Down Watch

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Up / Down Watch

Second, A. Lange & Sohne watches are designed without any focus on modern trends or contemporary style. In my opinion the surest way to destroy any hope a product has of being timeless is by designing it to be trendy. If you make something intended to fit in “right now” the typical result is making sure it is “out” tomorrow. I’ve never seen a Lange watch that looks like it is trying to be stylish or fit in with an upcoming runway show. Frankly speaking, in my opinion “fashion” is a dirty word when it comes to pure watch design. To me “fashion” implies form over function, and I believe that concept has no place in the design of a precision instrument.

Lange watches clearly have a style, a sense of traditional German design taken originally from pocket watches and other instruments, but that doesn’t mean they appear to be embellishing their cases and dials with too many decorative elements that don’t assist the core design. Sure there are rare exceptions such as the extremely uncommon A. Lange & Sohne Handwerkskunst pieces (with unique hand engraved dials), but when it comes down to it, there is a conservative cleanliness with simple traditional personality to these watches that few people take issue with. The worst thing in the world one could say about some Lange watches is that they are boring. I probably thought so at some point early in my appreciation of watches when I was new and looking to be wowed by wild designs. I think many people go through that phase. Eventually I came to appreciate, and finally prefer designs such as this which focus on purity and functionality above all else.  People used to wild contemporary designs intended to attract attention will perhaps feel underwhelmed by the conservative approach of Lange… but eventually all people with good taste will come around.

Finally, before I delve into the topic of the Datograph Up/Down itself (which is why you probably came here), I’d like to briefly mention the last reason we are discussing what makes A. Lange & Sohne an attractive brand. It is that they take the production of movements as seriously as watch lovers want to believe brands do. The allure of a luxury mechanical watch is really the allure of hand-made items of function and art. Purchasing a mechanical watch doesn’t require a large investment, but purchasing one produced with love, care, and a German sense of meticulousness is. Many mechanical watchmakers sell the idea of trained artisans sitting and toiling under magnifiers to carefully build small machines dedicated to telling time (relatively) accurately for their lives and the lives of their children. It rarely works that way, but it really does at A. Lange & Sohne.

The brand actually only makes movements. They don’t make dials or cases; their forte is purely in the mechanisms, and they do so wonderfully. What Lange offers is one of the finest operating and decorated mechanical movement in the watch market that is produced with any appreciable volume. Merely viewing their movements appears to be a validation of that fact. They look amazing, and A. Lange & Sohne is setup to producing them with German efficiency and detail. The manufacture is rather modern and growing. In the modern sense the brand began in the mid 1990s. Even though it is more historical than that, it was shut down for many years being located in the former East Germany. So their facilities are modern, but their techniques are quite traditional.

A. Lange & Sohne movements are primarily made of a material called “German Silver,” which actually has no silver it in. This metal offers a steely appearance with the ease of working like brass. Most watchmakers use brass, and later electro-plate the movements (often with rhodium). This doesn’t need to happen in a Lange watch, and so they have a distinct look to them. They also happen to gain a nice golden patina over time.

Brass is used in some parts of the movements, and blued steel screws and red synthetic rubies are also heavily relied upon. I believe many movements (or all of them) also use gold chatons. For this reason Lange movements are delightfully colorful and bold to look at. Many of their best looking movements are chronographs such as the caliber L.951.6 used in the Datograph Up/Down. This is because of the chronograph system which is what you see through much of the exhibition case back window. German watches tend to use a 3/4 plate system that means there isn’t much to see through the rear of the watch in most pieces. However, chronographs require a lot more distinct parts and what you get is a much more elaborate display. I like to call it a “city of gears,” and admiring their hand-decoration and fine finishing is a pleasure in Lange chronographs.

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Watch

A. Lange & Sohne Datograph Watch

The movement is at the heart of the Datrograph Up/Down which is actually a follow-up model based on the original A. Lange & Sohne Datograph. The Datrograph Up/Down debuted in 2012 (hands-on first look here), about a decade after the original Datograph. Lange had stopped making the original and due to consumer demand decided to come out with a new version. Three things changed from the original. First, the size of the case increased two millimeters to 41mm wide. Second the movement’s power reserve increased to 60 hours (from probably about 40-45 hours), and last, the dial now contains a power reserve indicator. “Up/Down” is a translation from “Auf” (up) and “Ab” (down) which is written out in German on the dial for the power reserve indicator.

Adding a power reserve indicator and some extra time between having to wind the movement really changed the nature of the Datrograph watch. I am not a huge fan of wearing manually wound watches unless they have a power reserve indicator. To me it is like driving a car without a fuel gauge. With 60 hours of power reserve you can easily go the entire weekend without paying attention to it and it will still be running when you pick it up. The name “Datograph” is derived from the fact that the piece contains a big date (“outsize date” as Lange calls it) and a chronograph. That is of course in addition to the time with subsidiary seconds dial.

Functionally the Datrograph Up/Down is very useful. The power reserve indicator makes living with it easy, and the big date indicator is handy. Thirty minute chronographs have limited use as many things we want to time are longer than that, but it is still a very useful feature. The dial is further beautifully appointed with crisp appliques and properly proportioned hands and hour markers. 18k white gold is used for the main hands and hour markers, while the sub dial hands are in blued steel. I quite like the subtle nature of the power reserve indicator as well – there when you need it, but hardly visually overpowering when you don’t.

Many people also know that A. Lange & Sohne rarely produce black dials. They have a few for sure, but they are certainly not the norm. I believe that the original Datrograph was the first one. This black and silver (“tuxedo”) dial is handsome and distinct for the brand. There is a sportiness to it that is still very composed and proper (yes of course it has a tachymeter around the periphery of the face). The hands even had luminant on them for darkness viewing – another rarity among the more formally-themed Lange collection.

At 41mm wide I very much enjoy the size of the Datograph Up/Down. I could probably take another 1-2mm easily, but not less. The case is thick which makes it feel even larger despite the thick and curved bezel. The original Datograph was just 39mm wide, and I’ve stated in the past this new larger size helped bring it into the modern era. The case comes exclusively in 950 platinum. It is entirely possible that Lange will decide the Datograph Up/Down deserves to be gold in the future, but for now it only comes in platinum. Sure it is heavy, but you want that in a watch such as this. The bezel and lugs are polished while the middle case and back is brushed. Excellent AR coating on the sapphire crystal as well, only downside is a relative lack of appreciable water resistance (OK for basic things like washing your hands, but I’d suggest you take it off for other water-related activity).

A few years ago A. Lange & Sohne were big on the idea of them epitomizing the concept of “stealth wealth.” For now that is perhaps still true. A watch like the Datograph Up/Down is a symbol of taste and success, but only when you are in the right social circles. Its handsome, calm nature doesn’t scream wealth or luxury. Some call it a watch of old money or for those more humble about their station in life. That is mostly true, but I can’t fully agree. The right watch lover will spot one and spark up an interaction rather quickly. Perhaps that is an unintended side-effect of what the brand has been doing right, but more and more, A. Lange & Sohne is becoming a known ultra-luxury brand. So even though their products are still conservative, they are doing a better job at communicating something about the wearer.

Still, I think the people who enjoy pieces like the Datrograph Up/Down do so because they appreciate the purity of fine traditional watch making with minimal BS. For the time being, A. Lange & Sohne is rather refreshing as a luxury brand. They don’t sponsor that many obscure high-society events nor do I find myself being annoyed by kitschy advertising campaigns that degrade what the brand is worth to loyalists. It is a brand that does a great job of communicating the right message because they are producing the right product. For many a piece like the Datograph Up/Down is a fantastic daily wear. It can certainly be that as much as it can be a piece in the safe for special occasions. It really is a “fine watch” in many senses of the term. It doesn’t get too excited but it will rarely let you down. Dependable and stately, this is what good watch pedigree is all about. I freely suggest any watch lover to aspire to own one.