That said, something about this scale is throwing me off. For example, if we hear someone caused a crash and blew a .18, that would correspond to 0.18% BAC (wiki article), which would still register as mostly sober on this watch - it just doesn't compute.
When the original Bell & Ross BR01 watch collection debuted about a decade ago, it was a sort of manly dress watch and there was nothing like this BR01-93 GMT model. There were a few versions, but many of them focused on the piece's inherent luxury status and ability to not look like "just" a 46mm wide wrist instrument. As the collection evolved, Bell & Ross increasingly turned the BR01 into just that - a military-inspired instrument-style wrist watch without too much polish, and lots of matte surfaces. There are exceptions of course, but from a sales perspective I think that is what ended up being best for the line.
While De Bethune watches have an opening price of around ,000, this is not one of those pieces. While not the absolute most complex and expensive piece they've made, this is very much toward the top of their range. Unlike the DB28 with its wild spaceship style case design. The DB16 has the brand's original, more classic yet unique case which here is 43mm wide in 18k rose gold. You see a bit of that spacey design in the lugs, which on the wrist look cool. Much of this timepiece (and brand) seems to be fantasy spaceship inspired.
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If you were to pinpoint a brand that you'd associate with Iceland, it would likely be the JS Watch Company, who have been creating luxury watches since 2005. Today we're bringing you word of the latest Icelandic watch company, ARC-TIC Iceland - which just happens to be brought to you by the same people.
Sinn is known for over-engineering their watches. In this instance that happens in particular with the case. It's made from German Submarine steel and treated to increase scratch resistance. It's a hardening process Sinn calls "tegimentation". As far as I could see, this hardening works well as I had no issues with the case though my tegimented bracelet did see some minor scratches at the buckle while putting and taking off my BCD (buoyancy control device) jacket.
Another similar situation is the label, "T Swiss Made T, " which means that Tritium gas tubes are used on the dial. Again, there are plenty of watches with Tritium illumination that don't have the "Ts" on the dial.
The red colored crystal adds a certain "wow factor" to the watch. It hampers legibility just a little bit because it actually prevents some light from entering the dial to charge the lume. It is a small price to pay for the aesthetic in my opinion. If you don't want the red crystal, it certainly isn't required. A stickler for details, Dreifuss once illustrated to me how the difference between a domed versus flat crystal made a watch look. I was stunned at the difference. Our first look at a Maurice de Mauriac watch with a colored crystal was with the Chronograph Modern Tactical Vision with its rather impressive coloration.
Looking through the exhibitor list, I was most excited to see the pieces by the new independents. Companies like MB&F, Urwerk, Ressence and Slyde, that are pioneering new methods of displaying time, as well as taking horology in exciting directions. Then I was also excited to see some of the new emerging companies, and looking at how they were going to differentiate themselves from the crowd. The old faithfuls, like JLC, Vacheron Constantin, GP, were there as well, and established credibility to the event by their presence.
Ulysse Nardin has recently produced a beautiful corporate movie displaying the people and methods behind the production of watches at their facilities in Switzerland. We've broken down those movies into several parts which will be posted weekly for you to watch. Please enjoy part 5 of the series on how Ulysse Nardin makes watches.
Truly a cottage industry, literally and figuratively, I found within the small building the two main areas where the watches were made, the machine room and the assembly area. The machine room is where the parts are fabricated and where the processes requiring large machines are performed, such as dial engine turning and case fabrication.
Allow me to explain this latter function as it debuted on Christophe Claret's Dual Tow watch (hands-on here). You know how when you press keys on your phone, it beeps to let you know that the key was registered? It is sort of the same thing. When you press the chronograph pusher, a cathedral style gong is hit by a sonnerie hammer to let you know that you "did something." This is the same type of musical system used in minute repeater watches. Christophe Claret simply calls this function a "mechanical chime," which is more or less what it is. You can actually see the hammer through a window at 10 o'clock on the dial. Now you have a lot more reason to play with the chronograph. All that complexity for such simple auditory satisfaction...
The semi-finished components need to be decorated with the required markings, such as numerals, minute tracks, printed logos and other - often very intricate - shapes. A so called tampon is used to apply the paint. Shaped like a tennis-ball cut in half and made of rubber, the tampon first presses against an engraved metal plate on which ink is applied, and then against the dial, leaving the precise print it just picked up. The dial has to go to the oven every time a new marking is applied. All this makes for a very time-consuming and painstaking process, until the component can make it to the last stage.
At first I felt the hands were a bit too thin for the design. They may be, but after living with the Extreme Diver for a while I've learned to really like the dial as the watch's best feature - even though it isn't perfect. It is however very well visually balanced, legible, and without harsh areas. Those who know me are aware that I am not a huge fan of "open" date windows that allow you to see yesterday's and tomorrow's date. Yes, this watch has that but to be honest after initially getting over it, the window doesn't bother me much. I more or less consider it as part of the specific theme Alpina is going for in the watch. I would have liked for the rotating bezel to feature a ceramic inlay but for the price, the aluminum one is fine. The brushed finish works well with the dial, a finish that isn't ready to go with ceramic anyways.
Like the new Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 Annual Calendar, the Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 GMT comes in a 48mm wide case. Larger than the smaller 40mm wide size (three-hand) that will also be available this year, but smaller than last year's 57.5mm wide Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aéronef Type 20 watch. 48mm is still big, but seen on the wrist of a man, a large pilot watch seems sensible. They are after all, supposed to be large and visible. The expansive dial of the GMT is marked by a large red-tipped GMT hand, as well as a subsidiary seconds dial. I really love the large, heavy looking hands coated in lume. Note the dedicated GMT scale on the periphery of the dial for the GMT hand.
Hublot has been on quite a rampage as of late when it comes to design. The most recent example (prior to the watch we're discussing here, that is) is of course the 50-day power reserve MP-05. If you dial back into the archives a bit, you'll see that these design experiments started with the MP-01, where the first tonneau case showed up. Interesting side note on that case - it was literally Hublot trying to see what an Hublot mixed with Richard Mille design would look like.