Some brief research on Olio resulted in extra excitement merely based on the members of the Olio development team. Steven Jacobs - Olio's founder - heralds from Apple and Hewlett Packard in their hardware development groups, and other members of the Olio team come from places such as Box, Oracle, Amazon, NASA, Rise Robotics, Movado, and Pixar. This did not seem like typical idealistic list of start-up freshman eager to make a loud splash with investors and nothing beyond a six month plan. Olio looked serious.
Additionally, a low train count could have been selected to conserve power, as higher operating frequencies drain a watch's power reserve. The V-11 already features 2 barrels out of necessity - the alarm needs its own power source - and the movement designers might have dropped the vph in an attempt to reduce the strain on the mainsprings. That's a decision I can't really fault, given this watch's primary complication is the alarm.
Rolf felt that a good enough answer was to suggest that novelties such as new movements are often first purchased by watch collectors, and it seems like most watch collectors tend to have rather traditional tastes. OK, that makes sense. I was happy with that answer, but I still think that a lot of other watch lovers who are more into sport watches would be happy to jump on something like the Caliber 110 showing up in say... an aviation-style watch (something Oris happens to be good at producing).
Pricing has also been an important element in Bremont’s strategy. While the concept and scale of “affordability” is at best a sliding metric, Nick and Giles were adamant from the start that their core range remain attainable and consistently priced competitively to their market segment (00- 00 on most pieces). This makes them an attractive alternative to other options from other name brand competitors who have played the “luxury card” in an attempt to justify increased price points. While many independent brands have fallen victim to poorly thought out pricing strategy, Bremont’s five year development period and thoughtful planning is clearly evidenced here as well, with strong values on the secondary market proving their strategy a success.
In terms of setting the time and calendar, everything is done via the crown, so there are no unwelcome in-set pushers around the case. Actually, there is one sort of exception that you will find useful. Under one of the lugs is a corrector you can adjust with your finger that I believe is for adjusting the month, in the event the watch has been sitting for a long time and needs to be corrected without you wanting to sit there for a long time turning the crown. This shows the ergonomic-mentality Francois-Paul has when designing his movements.
The PanoMaticLunar packs a moon-phase indication into the blank space at 2, accompanied by the "Panoramadatum" and the two sub-dials for the time – all courtesy of the 90-02 in-house made automatic movement. As we have seen from Glashütte Original on a few other occasions – say with the PanoInverse, for example –, moon phase indications are matched with automatic winding while the hand-wound version receives a power reserve indication on the dial side. That is the case with the PanoReserve as well, whose in-house 65-01 caliber provides 42 hours of power reserve.
Looking at the Dewitt Academia Grand Tourbillon makes me think of something about how people judge watch design to day. I love how, from time to time, the luxury watch industry somehow inexplicably feels the need to apologize for producing ostentatious products. There is such a big push for "under the radar" and "stealth wealth" that each time certain types of watch collectors see something with a wild design they freak out. These people need to chill and recall that, like traditional art, timepieces are artistic as well. They also serve a double purpose to express both taste and status. You might not like the design of a watch but there is no need to yell from the hilltops that brands are wrong to attempt original or fresh designs. Luxury watches are about showing off (something), and whether or not you agree with what that thing is let's not delude ourselves that many high-end timepieces are meant to have a place on someone's wrist who feels as though they have afforded themselves the right to "say" something to to the world.
Explaining Richard Mille as a watch brand to horological novices is challenging. The first thing you notice about the brand's products is the distinctive modern, technical designs of their timepieces. The second thing you notice (if you ever get that far) is their extremely expensive prices. Richard Mille himself doesn't talk about prices too much. Typical in his French demeanor, discussing price feels like a topic he has distaste for - partially because in the French cultural-operated Swiss watch industry, costs are not always part of genteel conversation, and second, because brands know that many of their customers simply don't understand how much money can be sunk into the development and production of such small things. Nevertheless, with many watches priced far north of 0,000, Richard Mille is certainly making money. The question at the end of the day to me is always "are they worth it?"
The result is a set of two hands which effortlessly get longer or shorter as they reach the further or closer parts of the oval shaped dial. Interestingly, the length of the hands is set in a way that under no circumstances can they be mistaken for one another – this could have been a problem at, say, 3 o'clock, when, had the hands taken up a visually similar length, the reading could be mistaken for 12:15. When the hour hand is at its longest and the minute hand is at its shortest setting, the minute hand still is considerably longer, making it easy to tell them apart at a glance. One of the reasons why I find the idea of pantograph hands so interesting – beyond them looking new and, dare I say, fun – is that every time I look at them I am inadvertently reminded of the countless little invisible details in their construction and execution.
The story of Halvorson runs a lot deeper than these watches and my brief description of him. Once I get to know him better, I can share his tale with you. I mention this because stepping into his world and seeing what means a lot to him is enough to have you asking questions, because not everyone likes - for example - taxidermy as much as him.
The case is 42mm wide, rendered in white gold, and is fully mirror polished. The big unguarded crown sits at 3 o’clock and at 8 and 10 o’clock you have thick-looking pushers that are used to adjust local time. These pushers also feature patent-pending safety locks to prevent the wearer from unintentionally adjusting the time. The pushers must be released first with a quarter turn before they can be activated, and once adjustment is done, the wearer can lock the pushers in place by turning in the opposite direction.
While I have plenty of expenses that are of paramount importance before saving up for a Richard Mille, I am never shy to admit I am keen on the brand. It isn't that I want to rock a Richard Mille to inform people I can afford one - not at all. It is rather than I really appreciate the approach Richard Mille takes to producing modern, mechanical sport watches, and they appeal to the watch lover in me. Unfortunately, it turns out that I have expensive tastes.
This month on aBlogtoWatch, we are offering the chance to win a Martenero Model II: Founder automatic watch by New York-based watch brand Martenero. The great news is that this is a customizable watch, where the lucky winner will be able to visit the Martenero website and customize their timepiece, being able to choose the Martenero Model II: Founder dial color, hands, and strap. The watch itself comes in a 42mm-wide (12.5mm thick) steel case with a large range of options and includes a Miyota caliber 821A automatic movement with a sapphire crystal exhibition caseback as well as a sapphire crystal over the dial. Price for the Martenero Model II: Founder is 5. Enter below for a chance to win one this month.
As the strategic head of the watch division of LVMH, Mr. Biver enjoyed a pretty interesting job having no official office or even title – which actually meant he still spent a lot of time doing Hublot things. Part of his mandate was to help TAG Heuer - which was originally purchased for its heritage and rapport with younger consumers. TAG Heuer, however, for a series of reasons, started to abandon its strong position as an entry-level Swiss luxury brand and kept creeping up in price. That turned out to be pretty bad for business in the long term, and it was decided that TAG Heuer needed to “return to its roots.”
With the Apple Watch being released in less than two month's time, and with other renowned companies like LG, Samsung and Garmin coming out with ever-more-refined and ever-less-compromised smartwatches, many considered Pebble to be out of the game. Their answer to those claims is the Pebble Time, which they like to refer to as the "awesome smartwatch, no compromises."
An example I often give is how a product's quality tends to go up as the price goes up, but as you get closer and closer to "perfection," each graduation of quality costs more. The difference in quality from a 0 to 0 watch should be appreciable in most instances. The difference in quality from a 0 to ,000 should be similarly appreciable, but comes at a greater cost. To go higher up in quality, you might then need to go to ,000 and then to ,000 and then to ,000. As the price of items goes up, it takes more and more investment to get to the next step.
One of the most visually arresting watches at Baselworld was Sarpaneva’s Korona K0 Northern Light watch. And I think you can see why, simply by looking at the photo above. Named after the northern lights, or aurora borealis, these watches feature very colorful lume that light up like nothing else you have ever seen. That aside, the watch also features Sarpaneva’s unique case shape as well as its trademark moon face moonphase indicator. If you are looking for something off the beaten path, Sarpaneva seldom disappoints.
Ever since the smartwatch became a thing, I have been preaching that companies need to pool their resources and talents to create something that consumers want. A new type of smartwatch platform called MMT (Manufacture Modules Technologies) was just announced out of partnership between a series of companies both in Switzerland and in Silicon Valley. This isn't a big deal just because it means the small but crowded smartwatch market has a new face, but because, in my opinion, it represents a wise step in the right direction of how the Swiss luxury watch industry needs to integrate itself into the smartwatch world. Welcome to the MMT electronic watch movement family and the Horological Smartwatch.