Piaget Altiplano

It was clear then that these oversized (because these chunky cases actually fit the term oversized) cases had no real future, at least not for the civil consumer. A more practical and more durable solution was needed and this meant there was no other way but to integrate all waterproofing into the watch's case. François Borgel, a Genevan master case maker had filed two patents, in 1891 and 1903, respectively, for two slightly different watch cases that had threaded parts. A major upside of this design was that it omitted the external case. Instead it would enable the "normal" case to achieve same levels of isolation. Speaking about the more advanced 1903 patent, it comprised a threaded ring that would go around the movement and bezel, and the case back would be screwed onto the outer, threaded surface of this ring. This resulted in a superior seal, without having to use a chunky external cover.

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Seen here is the patent for the early screw-down design by Perregaux and Perret. The part marked 16 is the seal, located on the outside of the case. Image Source: © David Boettcher

The Z-33 took a modern approach to the X-33 in regard to design, but kept much of what people liked about the original. A new black LCD screen used red numerals, and the overall functionality and dial design was very elegant. Omega decided to revive the classic Flightmaster case for the Z-33, which proved an unwise decision in hindsight. Omega admitted that it was not the best way to bring back the Flightmaster case because the resulting Z-33 was much too thick and controversially designed.

BEST FROM: aBlogtoWatch & Friends February 28, 2014 ABTW Round-Ups

Given the rotating bezel over the dial, the Midnight Planetarium watch does not look like most Midnight collection watches. The bezel actually moves the sapphire crystal as it rotates around and a small star shape on the crystal of course goes with it. What purpose does this serve? To indicate your "lucky star of course..." That is what they are calling it and the first step is using the peripheral calendar display around the dial and lining up the red arrow with a special day of the year. On that day (and around it), the Earth indicator orb will be under the star-shape helping to  highlight your special (poetic) day of the year. An element like that is really where you see Van Cleef & Arpels' DNA covertly sneaking its way into an otherwise technical and straightforward watch design.

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TAG Heuer Debuts In-House Calibre 1969 (CH 80) Automatic Chronograph Watch Movement

TAG Heuer Debuts In-House Calibre 1969 (CH 80) Automatic Chronograph Watch Movement

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BEST FROM: aBlogtoWatch & Friends 9 May, 2014

BEST FROM: aBlogtoWatch & Friends 9 May, 2014

Michele Sofisti (MS): I'm CEO of Sowind Group, as well as CEO of Gucci watches and jewellery. I entered in this passionate industry in 1995 and I served as President and CEO of Brands like Omega and Swatch, among others. I must say that after so many years in the industry I'm now definitely taken by watches which are objects of design and technical complications. I'm also drawn by those that push me in seeking to push our company's innovation and R&D in a very strong way.

What makes this particular ceramic case special is the finishing and this is a really important point with regards to understanding the larger appeal of the watch. Most ceramic watches have a single finish over the entire case. Most ceramic watches are polished, and some are matte finished. I don't think I've seen a ceramic watch that is fully brushed, but I have seen ceramic parts such as bezels which are brushed. What Omega did with the Omega Speedmaster Dark Side Of The Moon is mimic the finishing of their metal Speedmaster watches for the ceramic case. This means that the upper part of the lugs as well as the sides (flanks) of the case is brushed versus polished, which helps frame the personality of the watch and is a major element of the design.

At about 12 o'clock there is a small subsidiary dial for the seconds and under the main altimeter dial is a both a power reserve indicator for the movement as well as an indicator of whether or not the air valve is open. Unlike digital watches such as the Casio Pro Trek timepieces that have digital barometers and altimeters, the air valve on the mechanical Breva Genie 02 Terra must be manually opened to allow air into the watch to determine the altitude. Breva makes use of an osmotic Teflon membrane that they suggest works well to keep out dust and moisture. Still, it is a good idea to keep the value closed when not in use.

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aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?

The amount of people who will end up buying Artya's expensive, limited production products are small. These are mostly well-to-do collectors who have an eccentric take on life and are anything but novice watch lovers. After a lifetime of buying or seeing conservative timepieces, for many it can be incredibly refreshing to don something weird, wild, or just plain controversial. We feel that it is our role as a watch media destination not only to communicate with those niche buyers who populate our valued readership along with everyone else, but also to keep people informed of what is new and potentially discussion-worthy in the horological world. There are those of you who are strict "tool watch" types who would never consider something brazen and artsy such as this, and then there are the art collector types who are more interested in the look and story of a watch as opposed to what movement it contains or if the same features can be had for a lower price in a differently configured product. We celebrate the variety and oddity of the watch industry, we aren't here to claim that each item we write about is ideal for today's well-dressed gentleman. Well-dressed gentlemen have plenty to seek here and if we limited ourselves to "prudent buys" we'd probably end up being a much less interesting place to frequent.

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Citizen Women’s World Time A-T Watch Review: Good Enough For A Man?

Citizen Women’s World Time A-T Watch Review: Good Enough For A Man?
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BEST FROM: aBlogtoWatch & Friends April 11, 2014 ABTW Round-Ups

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With only about four dozen employees working at the company, the R&D department comprises only two engineers – one of whom was actually providing training to his younger colleague. On this note we will add that in the majority of departments of the brand there was one master craftsman at work who has been teaching the secrets of his craft to a trainee – hence keeping the know-how and manufacturing traditions alive.

I also believe that Claret influenced many other elements of the Chapter One design. A very important one being rollers, as well as the pushers. To my knowledge the Chapter One (and later on the Chapter Two) were the first watches in the world to use rollers to indication information in such a manner. Claret helped in this regard, and is always a go-to person when people want to indicate a traditional complication in a novel way. Claret expressed the roller concept in a slightly different way when he built the Shabaka watch for Jean Dunand a year later. Jean Dunand (currently in some type of a hibernation due to the untimely death of the person running it) was also distributed by Holtzman.

With a relatively thin bezel, the watch wears a bit larger than it is, and the bezel insert is aluminum. Ball does have ceramic bezel inserts, but perhaps none that is this thin, yet. Ideally in the future I'd like to see ceramic replace aluminum as much as possible. Over the dial is a curved and AR-coated sapphire crystal.

BEST FROM: aBlogtoWatch & Friends November 8, 2013 Feature Articles

The dial of the Sinn EZM9 is simple and attractive with needle, versus aviator-style, hands - that, I often prefer when it comes to strict legibility. The seconds hand is the only semi-decorative element, being colored in both white and orange. For the EZM9 TESTAF, Sinn offers both the two-tone black leather with orange stitching, padded and tapered strap, or a full tegimented titanium bracelet. It honestly looks pretty good on both. The Sinn EZM9 TESTAF ref. 949.010 watch retails for 2,950 Euros on the strap and 3,310 Euros on the titanium bracelet.

When I've taken a look at Archimede watches in the past, they've always presented themselves as refined watches, something that's perhaps more suited to an office, or a night out on the town. Which isn't to say that you couldn't head out to the backwoods with their watches, it's just that the styling seemed incongruent to that activity. Well, that all changes with one of their latest models, the aptly named Outdoor.

1. Watch Shootout: IWC Ingenieur 40mm 3239 vs. Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 8500