While work on this collaboration was kept pretty quiet (at least in the watch world), the curtain was lifted on the goings-on on the opening day of the Miami Boat Show in mid-February. While most of the press there was local and, for the most part, clearly boating-oriented, aBlogtoWatch was present as the exclusive wristwatch-oriented outlet to cover the launch. And while I was certainly there to talk with the brand about the watch and their extended collection, I want to start off talking about the boat.
Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, "My First Grail Watch." In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we're speaking with Hamilton Powell, the fellow who founded consignment site Crown & Caliber.
In 2013, Zenith updated the collection with the Hurricane Grand Voyage, a limited special edition piece that featured lavish decoration in the form of hand-engraving and enamel painting that depicts Christopher Columbus’ founding of the New World.
By contrast, the mind-boggling construction of the hands is a sight to behold and is a constant reminder of the engineering prowess that is present (and hard at work) in the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe. And with that, we have arrived to a point where this seemingly straight-forward and yet, in many ways, greatly (and very positively!) surprising watch can be concluded: the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe is an extremely niche product that, like most fascinating watches out there today, solved a problem no one really bothered to even consider – let alone solve at a price of such excessive effort and cost. For that, and for its wonderful overall design, I genuinely like the Parmigiani Ovale Pantographe – I just wish my wallet could say the same about the ,000 asking price for either the white gold or rose gold version. parmigiani.ch
For example, let's say that you purchased a watch because of an anniversary or achievement. Will you remember that fact 10 years down the line? What about 30 years down the line. What about if you pass away suddenly and your children get the watch and have no idea why you got it? That timepiece's sentimental value will be much more intense if they are able to look into the details of that watch in your digital watch journal and understand the story behind it and that you purchased it years earlier because of a business deal you closed. These are just some of the benefits of collectors taking a little bit of time to create such information about their timepieces and their collections.
Rolex Yachtmaster watches
When most watch lovers hear "Greenwich," they often think of Greenwich, England which is home to the Royal Observatory and the Prime Meridian (hence GMT being Greenwich Mean Time). But if you are an affluent watch lover in the greater New York City area, you might instead think, "that's where I live." Normally you would not expect to find a high end watch store in a quiet town of 62 thousand. But as a desirable community (rated in July 2005 by Money magazine as 1st on its list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States) within 40 minutes of midtown Manhattan, Greenwich, Connecticut and the surrounding area has more than its share of watch lovers. And the local store to indulge their passion is Manfredi of Greenwich, Ltd. Roberto Manfredi has operated Manfredi Jewels in downtown Greenwich since 1988. I had the pleasure of sitting across the table from Roberto at a dinner at BaselWorld 2014 (but too far apart to chat with him at that time).
Jack Ryan: Just like watch lovers anywhere else, but they are smart watch buyers and collectors. I am impressed every week with the young engineer or software developer that comes in the store looking to buy his first good watch. Most often, it is NOMOS, and they have really done their homework prior to entering the store for the first time. They know the movement calibres, they know the reference numbers, they know the history of the company; and they know what they want. The Internet has really changed the watch buyer, and you can see it reflected in this group of people. It has been said the Web has put an end to impulse shopping, and these guys make be believe it. It also appears that we may be ending the era of traditional retail “up selling.” Most of our customers know what they are looking for, in terms of functionality, brand, and price point.
“It was at a small dinner that Timezone had arranged to introduce Bremont to the US marketplace. At the time, Bremont was still very small, so rather than a full court press with a communications manager, regional brand director, etc., it was just Nick and a suitcase full of watches. Earlier that same day, I had taken delivery of a Rolex Deepsea, which had only just been released. As such, it was still a conversation piece of sorts, and Nick was practically bubbling with excitement at the prospect of getting it off my wrist and putting it on his. I mean, here’s a guy who’s in town to sell me on his brand, and yet he’s sitting three seats over wearing another brand’s watch and loving it. To this day, that still defines Nick to me.”
2. CHRONOGRAPH: Timekeeping and split time presented down to an accuracy of 1/10th second.
This all brings us to the Mechanical Module, which is probably what you'd be wearing if you are like most watch lovers. The simple three-hand-with-date dial is attractive, in a sort of Swedish minimalist manner. I wouldn't call it the design of the year or anything, but it isn't bad. My only major gripe is that the 12 o'clock hour indicator isn't unique, which makes visually orienting the dial when not looking at it head-on sometimes difficult. Inside the Mechanical Module is a vintage automatic movement likely from the 1970s, professionally decorated and restored by the Swiss workshop of Svend Andersen in Geneva. Halda apparently acquired a healthy lot of these interesting movements to work with.