Just don't take the Apple Watch swimming yet. In the future, the Apple Watch will become more durable - though we haven't seen any real-world experiences to determine how it holds up to abuse. While Apple hasn't released specific details yet, they explain that the first generation Apple Watch is "splash resistant." That more-or-less translates into 30 meters of water resistance measured by traditional watch standards. The translation is that the Apple Watch can put up with a reasonable amount of sweat and dirt, but don't expect to snorkel or shower with it. Furthermore, I think it is safe to suggest that you shouldn't take it where you think it might be subject to extreme shock or damage. I have a feeling that some of the biggest future improvements in the Apple Watch will be durability and being able to wear it during even more activities.
Now, very recently, we have been seeing a developing trend where some brands are tuning down their "non plus ultra" models, ridding them from the tourbillon, but leaving all other design elements – which made these pieces great – intact. This allows brands to deliver their trademark models to a (somewhat) wider audience – Richard Mille could arguably be considered to be one of the more successful brands who started offering some of its top references without tourbillons, say, for example, with the "Baby Nadal" and "Baby Bubba" pieces.
The IWC Aquatimer Deep Three contains IWC's mechanical depth gauge system that does two things. It measures your current depth to a max of 50 meters, and it also indicates your max depth for a particular dive. 50 meters might not sound that deep, but it is more than OK for recreational dives. The system is easy to read and uses a red and blue indicator hand around the periphery of the dial. A pusher allows you to reset the max dive depth hand.
Pushers on the side of the case are used to adjust the second and third time zone indicator faces on the dial. The good news is that the Bovet Recital 16 case doesn't have a lot of extra crowns on it, but the bad news is that you'll need a small tool to adjust the watch as your naked fingers will not be able to do it. Bovet isn't the only brand to do that, and I wonder how owners feel when it comes time to adjust their watches. Actually, to be fair, most watch makers supply little pusher tools to adjust the watch which will not scratch the case. Then again, how many owners carry these small tools around with them? I've always thought it would be good to have a small tool in the strap buckle if a watch relies upon inset pushers to make adjustments to the movement.
Chanel still flirts with high-end horology, as they continue to produce watches like the Premiere Tourbillon Volant (hands-on here), as well as other tourbillon models. While men's models do exist, Chanel's focus has and will continue to be women's watches. I've actually always been a fan of their men's watches, and hope that they do release some new ones soon. At its heart, Chanel will always be a very powerful women's brand. Last year in 2013, I said that in my opinion, the best women's watch collection of the year was the Chanel Premiere (hands-on here). Pieces like the Chanel J12 G10 play on those strengths rather than try to reinvent the notion of what desirable women's luxury is.
When we rejoined everyone downstairs, Jean-Louis had one more surprise for us: he decided to bring out some of the watches from their safe. To be honest, after seeing the F.P. Journe displays, I couldn't fathom what they kept in the safe... but I wasn't disappointed. We got to go hands out with some of the special black label, boutique only editions of F.P. Journe watches. After being given some limited edition materials, we thanked Valencia & Jean-Louis and made our way back to the car. It was a good thing we didn't go anywhere else, because it would have been a tough act to follow up. We made our way back to the hotel for some much needed rest before dinner.
Bugatti's test driver, the affable Andy Wallace, took me out of the parking lot and down the main way to Carmel Valley Road, all the while explaining features and sharing development notes from the many versions of the Bugatti Veyron and how they affected the configuration of this Grand Sport Vitesse. He explained that the active aerodynamics and ride height of the car change with speed, braking, and whether or not you've opted to remove the roof (which limits the top speed to a barely-acceptable 229 mph).
ABTW: What is Los Angeles best known for? What do visitors have to do, see, or eat while there?
Page and Cooper take enormous pride in offering exclusive and deserving watchmakers. If your definition of luxury extends to objects which are made with integrity, craftsmanship, style, and a sense of history, head over to pageandcooper.com and check them out.
It is not unheard-of for a watch brand to issue a special edition of one of their watches to commemorate some special event - say, the 50th anniversary of a model being released, or the company having been in business for so many years. What is less common is to celebrate a milestone being hit by the master watch maker for the brand - but that is precisely what we have with the JS Watch Islandus 45 Anniversary Edition.
The light is powered by a Li-Ion integral battery that can be charged via a micro-USB slot set into the side of the watch. It has a 15, 60, and 300 lumens setting – which I presume tells a lot to experts in the field – in comparison, an iPhone's LED is said to have about 15-20 lumens when used continuously and about 45 lumens when it is used only as a flash. Now, what that tells me is that the 300 lumen power should be more than enough for everyday use – and quite possibly, it can be used to blind others when directed at them (but we would recommend you do not try this at home... or anywhere else). The light in its highest setting can run for over one hour, while in its lowest setting the battery is said to last for about 13 hours.
Stephen Forsey: Born in St. Albans, England, I inherited my passion for the intricacies of mechanics from my father. From 1987, I specialized in antique watch restoration, which led to a position as head of Asprey’s prestigious watch restoration department, and then furthered my horological education at WOSTEP in Switzerland.
Aloe Blacc: I think Jay Z is responsible for that; he gave everybody a sense of what real luxury and class was. There were other artists, though, who’d market products within their lyrics, down to the names of brands that they're wearing. IWC just isn't that way: they're not an overt, in-your-face brand – they're understated, and respected because of that. That really is cool.
Is that really a wrong thing? As far as I'm concerned, not at all; so long as athletes are not seeing the watch purchases as investments. If they view it like most of us WIS do, in the light of enjoying a luxury item and helping them with their sense of style, how can one argue with that? Watches from Hublot, while polarizing to many collectors, are natural to those, like affluent athletes, who are first getting into watches. Why? Well, Hublot watches are not that common (at least not when compared to some other names like Rolex, or Omega, or Breitling), yet have a variety of offerings covering a wide range of options – as well as novel materials – that make for the possibility of one finding his/her favorite model for self-expression, while not having to give up the "statement-factor" that comes with such an instantly recognizable brand. This, altogether, is a complete package that appears sure to attract a modern athlete.
Finally, at 7:30PM, I hopped into a cab and made my way to Chateau Marmont Hotel for the launch party. Walking into this historic venue was amazing, it felt very old-Hollywood and was something I would have never stumbled upon on my own. Getting there a bit early, I was able to talk to the Hublot representatives and get some 1-on-1 time with the pieces they brought. Having never seen the Hublot MP-05 in person, it was a sight to behold.
The people interested in the movement inside of a watch are the same people who are going to be looking very closely at the details provided by a watch company. Thus, watch brands have a distinct responsibility to themselves to ensure that the information they offer in regard to the origin and production of a movement is accurate. The danger is in having consumers feel misled or flat-out deceived. Luxury consumers can be rather skeptical, and for good reason. When a maker of expensive goods asks a consumer to pay a high amount for those goods, the most important sentiment between the two parties is trust: trust that the brand will honor their promises, and trust that the information the consumer believes about the product is accurate. Without this trust, very little luxury consumption would be taking place.
Oddly enough, two timepieces this year were designed to incorporate detent escapements - a form of escapement in the regulation system of a mechanical timepiece found almost exclusively in stationary clocks. One wrist watch to feature a detent escapement is the Christophe Claret Maestoso (hands-on here), and the other was the quietly announced Bulgari L'Ammiraglio del Tempo, that also contained a sophisticated minute repeater. Both the Christophe Claret and Bulgari watches are technical marvels, and they also combine a detent-style escapement with a constant force escapement system. It is really interesting how both of these watches seemed to be released around the same time.
The George Daniels 35th Anniversary Watch features the co-axial escapement, although one that Roger Smith modified, so that now the co-axial parts (where the two escape-wheels which were previously located on top of one another) are crafted from the same wheel. That is the part you see in the lower right corner on the image above: the escape-wheel features the more usual "boot-shaped" teeth while also having teeth raised to function as the secondary wheel that has previously been mounted on top, "co-axially."