Inside the Guardian automatic models are Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movements. SISU opens up the back of the case with an exhibition window. There is no hiding that the case is much larger than the movement. It is a solid Swiss work-horse automatic, and nothing particularly more fancy is needed here. SISU also offers Swiss quartz movement-based versions of their Bravado and Guardian watches. Some large watches try to pretend they aren't so big, but SISU pieces are large and proud of it. It is their theme and the brand plays it well. They make large watches for guys who like large things.
At SIHH 2012 I painted the picture that conservatism was in, and that also meant fewer new products as brands try to gauge regional economies, tastes, and buying habits. What you see a lot of these days are “commercially viable” pieces. I wasn’t the first one to use that term. You are reading this, so I give you credit for putting the idea so eloquently. Basically it means you look at a watch and it looks pretty aesthetically familiar with a reasonably good design and features mixed with a reasonably good price. You then sort of shrug indifferently and think to yourself, “it bores me, but it will sell.” That pretty much sums up what your standard commercially viable watch is.
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Price on the titanium Gauge is 9 from Helson direct.
On the wrist, the case is comfortable and as always, the bracelet is top-notch in construction and design. Thank you Cartier for not letting the bracelet fall by the wayside like so many other brands who just throw straps on their watches. The dial design is hardly surprising, and hardly a let down. It offers the look Cartier lovers want. Here the signature Cartier dial is silvered with blued steel hands and some central decor. The case seems like it could handle more than the 30 meters of rated water resistance. The mixture of brushed and polished areas on the case is very becoming of the design.
How is the Tank watch like a tank (doesn't that sound like something Lewis Carroll would write)? Hard to say for sure. Some say that the shape of the watch was said to look like a tank. Other people say that the watch is supposed to look like tank treads. Others say the shape is less important than the fact that it was a French way of honoring American tanks that helped secure victory in World War I. And still others argue whether or not the tank was designed to honor American or French tanks. It is a fascinating little mystery and one that I enjoy as it shows even huge brands like Cartier had humble beginnings (with equally humble record keeping departments).
Tech specs from Xetum:
Straumann balance spring with Breguet overcoil and low-mass escape lever
High-Quality Touch & Feel
The Nike+FuelBand is device that you wear on your wrist which tells the time but I certainly wouldn't call it a watch. The time telling aspect is really just an added bonus since you can't simply glance at your wrist to take note of the time. It's more of a lifestyle item with the primary function of keeping you active. Its goal is to track that activity over a 24-hour cycle and motivate you to keep going. For that use alone, the Nike+FuelBand meets and exceeds expectations. However from a watch-lover's perspective there may be a few quirks preventing it from being the ultimate fitness accessory.
Dial legibility is quite good. Hamilton got the length of the hands right as well as the overall proportions. The dial style certainly hearkens back to "long ago", but doesn't feel old. There is a mix of sport and sophistication, resulting in an ambiguous hybrid design that still seems to "just work". The Arabic numeral "12" at the top of the dial helps ground the look of the face which otherwise has diamond style baton markers. The elements are all applied which helps the dial from feeling flat.
While the bezel is blue colored (aluminum insert), matching the dial, with a nice dotted lume pip at the 12 o'clock position, the remaining minutes markers are not lumed and the bezel structure is made of steel, not ceramic as is now done in higher-end diver watches. I've not had any issues yet with the bezel, but in time the aluminum will likely scratch - though it can be repaired with a relatively low cost replacement.
John Isaac calls the dial texture "Tablette de Chocolat." The raised squares cannot however be broken off or eaten. In blue, the dial looks quite lovely and deep, especially when mixed with the orange accents. The Rough Sea watch is also available with a ruthenium or black dial. I further like that the hour markers are applied on top of the already textured dial.
An important part of the R03 Chronographe RS is the mechanical automatic movement they call the caliber CH01. Revelation worked with Dubois-Depraz to produce the movement. Given the design of the skeletonzied movement I have a feeling it is a chronograph module built on to a base ETA automatic movement. The chronograph is built in a symmetrical manner and the laser-cut date disc is neat. Note that you need to make the dial transparent to read the date.
To charge and connect the Slyde to a computer you place it on the charging dock which can connect to your computer via USB. This same port can be connected to an AC adapter for basic charging. Attached to the watch is a very iconic HD3 "double" strap. This version has an alligator-print leather strap, but rubber straps are also available. The strap ends with a good looking locking fold over clasp.
Each dial is very much reminiscent of the Reverso's historical look. The brand is careful to ensure that detailing is impressive by giving the dials machine engraving and crisp printing. The black colored dial also has luminant for night viewing. The best part is that the overall Reverso look is not only highly art deco in style, but also very legible and useful. It is hard to not be a Reverso fan. The design is timeless, looks good on most people, and even after all this time the flipping case concept is still fun. Others have tried to replicate the idea of a double sided watch, but no one does it better than JLC.
Precision chronographs seem to be on the mind of many watch makers this year. Tag Heuer certainly has their share of innovations and everyone seems to want to push forth into a territory people once thought of as "well if you need that kinda precision then get a digital watch." But I digress! Montblanc this year came out with a concept watch that competes with the Tag Heuer Mikrotimer 1/1000th of a second chronograph called the Timewriter II Chronograph Bi-Frequence 1000.
One of the noticeable aspects of the Everest EH-1 Band is that it stretches slightly and has a somewhat spongy feel. Despite the sponginess, the strap is made of medical-grade silicone and is vulcanized like all other rubber straps found on quality Swiss watches. Additionally, the Everest EH-1 Band has two coatings; one that is a surface finish and another that is an anti-microbial coating. Unlike the RubberB strap which does not stretch much, the Everest EH-1 Band rubber gives/stretches slightly when there is tension on the strap which is great on hot days when wrists swell. Also, the silicone used in the Everest EH-1 Band is formulated to look new years down the road, and is impervious to heat. With the RubberB strap, I gently heated it with a stove lighter to make it conform around my wrist as the RubberB strap feels stiffer than Everest’s. In doing the same procedure with the Everest EH-1 Band, it sprung back to its original flat shape. In Italy, I discovered that the springiness was an advantage as the heat would expand and contract my wrist size and the strap would just accommodate changes in wrist size.
Position 0: Winding