Friday, April 30, 2010

Chapter One Round

The Chapter One watch from Maitres du Temps is now available in round case. The watch was introduced in the recent Basel 2010. Now the Chapter One is available in both Tonneau and Round case. I have to say that I personally prefer the new round case of the Chapter One. Why? Well it looks more robust or more muscular as compared to the Tonneau case. I like the way the rectangular forms of the two roller windows merges into the round case. It looks very industrial and bold. At the same time the rectangular forms seamlessly integrate the straps of the watch.

As with the earlier Chapter One Red Gold Limited Edition, the Chapter One Round is a Limited Edition watch of only 11 pieces. Hurry if you want one. This watch is again developed by two well known Master Watchmakers, Christophe Claret and Peter Speake-Marin. As with other Chapter Ones, this watch will feature a number of complications: tourbillon, chronograph, retrograde date and GMT and the very beautiful rolling indicators indicating the day of the week and moon phase.

Basically let me bore with one final detail and let the photographs do all the talking. The basic specifications:

Functions: one-minute tourbillon, mono-pusher chronograph, retrograde date indicator, retrograde GMT indicator, day of week, moon phase, hours, minutes and seconds
Case: 18K red gold, 62 X 59 mm and 22 mm thick
Movement: 58 Jewel hand wind mechanical movement, 60 hours power reserve

The watch.

The dial is just awesome. We can see the central coaxial hours, minutes, and chronograph 60-second counter; tourbillon and day of the week roller at 6 o’clock; retrograde GMT at 9 o’clock; 60-minute chronograph counter and precision moon phase roller at 12 o’clock; and retrograde date at 3 o’clock.

The case back with the octagonal display window.

The movement. This is the dial side.

The case back view of the movement.

Exploded view of the movement, all 558 components.

For more information:

Project Watch update

Finally the replacement crown arrived. So off to my watch guy for some work and testing. Am very happy with the result. I do like it, wish I could afford the real one. There is one available in Taiwan for USD 12,000. SIGH!!!!!

The new crown.

The watch with 'local' made leather strap with crocodile print.

With the new crown water resistant to 6 ATM (tested).

I might polish the top portion of the crown. We will have to see.

The lume is not great but not that bad. I was pleasantly surprised.

The basic ETA/ Unitas movement.

The next modification on the watch is to replace the blue screws as the blue finish of the screws were slightly damaged. Note the damage on the ratchet mechanism and also the transmission wheel screw.

Overall, I am happy with the watch and will become part of my daily watch rotation. Review soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Toy Watch Army Jelly Collection

Toy Watch has released a new watch collection under their Jelly range. This new range is called the Army Jelly collection. The collection consist of 5 watches. I have to say that it is pretty cool. All the watches have the same basic specifications and features the Pop and Swap technology.

The Pop and Swap is where you can select the basic watch module and 'pop' it out of the strap and 'swap' it with another strap. That is just cool. You can see a couple of video of the Pop and Swap here:

Here are some photographs:

You can see the module and the strap.

Anyway back to the Army Jelly collections. The watches:

Jelly Army Black and Green.

Jelly Army Hunter.

Jelly Army Pink.

Jelly Army Sandy.

Jelly Army Blackout.

Photographs: Toy Watch

All the watches features the camo theme except for the Blackout. If you are wondering where is the crown, it is protected by the rubber/ silicone cover at the 3 o'clock position and can be accessed from the back of the watch. The interesting aspect of the watch is the Pop and Swap capability and the lightning design second hand. The other interesting aspect of the watch is the use of Tritium on the hands and dial as the luminous material. Most watch companies are now using Luminova or Super Luminova.

The basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds and date
Case: coloured plasteramic, 44 mm diameter, screwed case back, uni-directional bezel (plasteramic)
Crystal: mineral crystal with cyclops
Movement: basic 3 hand quartz movement
Water resistant: 5 ATM

For more information:

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stowa Chronograph

Looks like there are some very interesting watches are coming out of SIHH and Basel 2010. I have to say that the German watch brands are coming out with some very very nice watches. This is from Stowa. I have to say that it is a very pretty watch. The Stowa Chronograph is a long time coming with many of the brand fans asking for it. I have to say that Stowa took their time and it was worth it.

The Stowa Chronograph is based on a 1930s pocket watch made by Stowa. According to Stowa they were hard pressed when it came to making the watch. They could have just made a chronograph model of their current watches but they decided that was not the way they wanted to go. The design they adopted is a two dial chronograph, which seems to be very popular at the moment.

The dial, which is very beautiful (based on the photograph). The dial is made of bronze, is silver plated and the numerals are diamond cut and polished. The dial is of the pressed design and makes the watch and dial look very beautiful. Hopefully the local distributor here in Taiwan will bring it in.

The hands matches the overall design and is pink/ red gold plated. The hands are well made (in-house) and matches the polished Arabic hour markers. All these are cased in a Stowa made 41 mm stainless steel case.

The watch comes with a Napa leather strap, available in black or brown with white stitching. Options include crocodile leather straps, deployment buckle or even a Milanaise metal bracelet.

Basic specifications:

Functions: hours, minutes, seconds on sub-dial at 9 o'clock and 30 minute chronograph
Case: stainless steel, 41 mm diameter, 14.5 mm thick, 22 mm lug width
Crystal: sapphire, front and back
Movement: ETA 7753 automatic movement, customized with STOWA engraved rotor
Water resistant: 5 ATM

For more information:

The watch. I am liking it.

A closer view. I have a Stowa and can say that their (in-house) watch case are very well made.

The movement.

Photographs: Stowa

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Van Cleef & Arpels Le Pont des Amoureux

This has to be one of the coolest watch around. It is the Van Cleef & Arpels Le Pont des Amoureux watch. In English it is called The Lovers' Bridge. The bridge actually exist and it is a bridge spanning the Thiou River in Annecy, France. It is important to note at this point that the bridge depicted on the watch dial is not a rendition of the actual bridge.

So what is so cool about this watch? Well the watch has two retrograde display, one showing the hour and the other the minutes. Nothing new there, but the way the time is displayed is unique. The hour is displayed by a delicate figure of a woman carrying an umbrella, while the minute is shown by a man holding a flower (rose?) behind his back. Twice a day (at 12) they meet atop the bridge and have a fleeting kiss.

The man is depicted as more eager to meet the girl as he goes up and down the bridge 12 times before he is finally rewarded with a kiss from the girl who takes her time to go up the bridge.

The watch measures 30 mm in diameter and is made with white gold. The bezel is decorated with diamonds as is the lugs. The watch is powered by the Jaeger-LeCoultre caliber 846. The dial itself is a work of art as it is hand painted. The enamel dial is baked in a furnace and the result is a beautiful three dimensional scene. The watch is part of the Poetic Complications series and is expected to retail for USD 116,000.

Photograph: Van Cleef & Arpels

For more information:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Casio G-Shock Catalogue On-line

Casio has published the Spring and Summer 2010 G-Shock catalogue in digital version. This is very cool. The catalogue pages turn just like a hard copy catalogue (with the sound of page being turned_. Check it out and see what tickles your fancy.

Photograph: Casio

Project watch

Wow the past couple of days was tough. I was down and out with Vertigo. Am feeling a bit better now. Hope it will get better soon. Was told it can last a much as 10 days. Anyway, I got back my project watch from my friendly neighbourhood watch guy.

This watch is a homage to the very popular Panerai model, the PAM 0249 or the Radiomir Special Edition 1936. I got the parts from my usual source. The overall quality is not bad, I figure it is good for the price. The watch has the popular California dial and is powered by a basic ETA/ Unitas 64XX movement. The sub-second wheel has been replaced with a shorten pinion.

My watch guy has timed the movement and made the necessary adjustments. The watch has had a look over by him as well. The only thing he could not do was to do the water resistant test as there was a problem with the crown. The crown could not be attached to the winding stem as the attachment part is 'rotating' within the crown. The 'water resistant' 26 mm strap has been canabalised to fit my PAM 0183 as I do not want to use the original strap.

The culprit. Basically the part (inner tube) that attaches to the winding stem should not rotate within the crown when it is extended. This is to allow us to wind or adjust the hands when you unscrew the crown. Once the tube is depressed, it will rotate so that we can screw down the crown to the case. Anyway a replacement crown is on the way. I hope to get this completed by this week.

The watch. Note the lugs have been removed.

The California dial. I love the 'ladder' hour hand.

Closer view of the hands.

No way to mistake the dial.

The winding stem, waiting for a new crown.

The base ETA/ Unitas movement. It has blue screws (which I scratched.....sigh).

The lug attachment point. The best and safest way to store the screw is to leave it in the case.

I will post a short review once I get the crown and fix it up.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Tudor 94110

Well my Tudor 94110 is back from its spa treatment in Rolex Service Center. Let me tell you that it did get a spa treatment. I was surprised as to the amount of work done on the watch and I have to say that I am pretty happy with the work done by RSC. I am not the original owner of the watch having purchased it pre-loved. But between the former owner and myself, a lot has been done to the watch.

What was done you ask. Well here is the list of items that had been changed since January 2010.

Items changed by the former owner. The former owner requested these items changed but did not ask for the watch to be serviced.

The hands as the old hands had cracked and missing luminous material.
The bezel insert.

Items changed in this service.

The crown.
The stem tube.
New spring bars.
New crystal.
The winding rotor (due corrosion).
The 'rehaut', the metal piece between the crystal and the dial.
The hack mechanism (balance stop lever).
The balance pivot.
The minute wheel.
The pallet lever.
The barrel (yes the barrel and the spring inside).
and finally the barrel bridge.

The only thing not done, the case is not polished and was told by the former owner it has never been polished.

The dial is on order, but RSC cannot confirm if it is available or not. Now that is plenty items changed. RSC said it is better to change the parts now, while it is still in stock. The best part about the watch is that it is powered by the ETA 2783 instead of the ETA 2784. RSC told me that the movement is correct as the ETA 2783 was used in the Tudor 9411, 9411/0 and 94110 as is the ETA 2784. The major difference, the ETA 2783 beats at 21,600A/h while the 2784 beats at 28,800A/h.

Anyway as I usually do, I stop by my friendly neighbourhood watch guy and timed the watch. It is currently running -2 seconds a day.

The watch in question.

The new crown.

I hope RSC can get the new dial so that the hands and the markers will look the same.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Smiths W10, the new one...

Exciting times for Timefactors and Smiths. They have just posted what the new Smiths W10 watch will look like. There is still not much news or information about the watch, but I will update once there is more information. I believe there are 2 sizes, 36 mm and 39 mm. It does look very much like the original Smiths W10. Have to keep an eye out for this one.

The watch.

The case back. Based on the information on the case back, looks like it will be powered by the hand wind ETA 2801.

Photographs: Timefactors

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bell & Ross Heritage collection

Bell & Ross is one of my favourite brand of watches. I just love their iconic square watches, the BR Instrument range. This year in Basel 2010, they released two new watches, and I have to say that I am liking them.

The watches are the Vintage BR 123 and BR 126 Heritage watches. I do hope that these watches becomes as iconic as the square BR Instrument watches. These watches were created by Bell & Ross as a homage to the pilots of the 1940s. In line with the cockpit instruments of the planes of the era, the watches are simple, functional and timeless. The thing that makes me like the watches, is the selection of the sand colour as the finish of the hands, index and numerals making it look like the watch is older than it actually is. This is matched with the natural colour leather strap.

There are two watches in this series, the BR 123 and the BR 126. The BR 123 is a basic 3 hand watch while the BR 126 has the chronograph complication. Both watches have the date complication as well. Both the watches share the same case design, colour and finish.

Basic specifications:

Case: 316L stainless steel, bead blasted with vacuum carbon black finish, 41 mm diameter.
Crystal: sapphire, curved with AR coating
Dial: matte black, numerals, index and hands coated with sand colour luminous material
Water resistant: 10 ATM

Vintage BR 123 Heritage
Movement: ETA 2895 automatic movement
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds (on sub-dial at 6 o'clock) and date

Vintage BR 126 Heritage
Movement: ETA 2894 automatic movement
Functions: hours, minutes, seconds, date and 2 dial chronograph (60 second and 30 minute counter)

For more information:

Friday, April 16, 2010

Renault F1 Team Pilot Watches

With TW Steel becoming a partner to the Renault F1 Team, it is only natural that TW Steel introduces watches to commemorate the partnership. The Renault F1 Team Pilot celebrates this partnership. The 4 model series is inspired by Renault's history in aviation and its success in F1.

For those who do not know, Renault built engines (design for cars) were used during the World War I fitted on planes built by Breguet (yes, Breguet), among others. In 1930 Renault buys the aviation company Caudron. In 1935, the company Renault-Avion was formed. The company produces the Caudron-Renault which was flown by legendary pilots like Raymond Delmotte (who held the air speed record in 1934 on board a Caudron C.460) and Helene Boucher (in 1934 became the fastest woman in the world and held 8 world record, some of which stood for 32 years). Fast forward to the 90s and Renault Sport co-operates with Aerospatiale to produce engines for light aircraft.

Anyway, enough of the history lesson, on to the watches. There is still not much information about the watches. There are 4 models in the series, which comes in 2 sizes, 45 mm and 48 mm. The collection consists of 2 type of watches, the basic 3 hand model (hours, minutes and seconds) and another with chronograph functionality. All the watches will feature aviation (Flieger) type dial design. All the hour markers and hands are luminous. All the watch will have black dial with the Renault F1 Team Logo and TW Steel 2 dot logo.

All the watches will share the following basic specifications:

Case: 316L stainless steel
Movement: big caliber movement
Crystal: hardened mineral crystal
Water resistant: 10 ATM

The TW670. Basic 3 hand with date, 45 mm diameter.

The TW671. Basic 3 hand with date, 48 mm diameter.

The TW672. Chronograph and date complication, 45 mm diameter.

The TW673. Chronograph and date complication, 48 mm diameter.

Photograph: TW Steel

For more information: