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Bringing you the latest news, reviews and interviews from the world of watches - plus much more
News: Moritz Grossmann Atum Skelett
The origins of Moritz Grossmann date back to the 19th century, when the brand’s namesake, Karl Moritz Grossmann, set up an atelier in a small town nestled within the Ore Mountains of Glashutte. Fast forward to 2008, and watchmaker Christine Hutter revived the brand for the 21st century, drawing on the traditional craftsmanship of the brand’s originator and adding some modern innovation into the mix.
Review: Urwerk UR-110
It's every boy's dream to own a Lamborghini, but of the few that go on to achieve the kind of success that puts one in reach, very few realise that dream and take ownership of their boyhood fantasy. The ever-practical Porsche 911 scoops up the sales from the Lamborghini's maturing audience, the nagging voice of sensibility overriding exuberance, excitement and ultimately, satisfaction. But on the other hand, what's so exuberating about a £6,000 clutch replacement every few years?
Video: Inside the Watchfinder Service Centre
If you’ve ever had the chance to get a look inside a Swiss-made mechanical watch, you’ll know that it’s not the sort of thing you can just ‘have a go’ at tinkering with. The sophisticated micro-engineering of both the watch exterior and the movement inside requires the use of proper tools and manufacturer techniques in order to prevent damage to the watch’s delicate component parts. In the same way you wouldn’t want to take your car to a dicey garage, it just makes sense to have your watch serviced at a facility with the right credentials—which is why Watchfinder has invested so much time, money and expertise into its in-house service centre.
Feature: The Anatomy of Swiss watchmaking
Forget Area 51, forget the recipe for Coca Cola; the Swiss watch industry holds some of the best-kept secrets in the entire world. In a business worth over £14 billion, image and reputation are everything, and one false move could spell disaster—yet we know so little about the companies that make up its core. Join us as we scrub up, don our surgical gloves and choose our scalpel as we delve deep into the anatomy of the wristwatch and reveal just what it is that really makes them tick.
News: Panerai Radiomir Brevettato 3 Days
As both the end of the year and SIHH 2017 steam toward us at an alarming rate, we’re starting to see teaser previews trickle out to us in dribs and drabs to pique our interest for the international watch trade fair. Panerai’s sneak peak of the Radiomir 3 Days Acciaio Brevettato PAM685 and PAM687 special edition watches have certainly done just that. Not surprisingly, the pieces draw from Panerai’s substantial and impressive history with the Royal Italian Navy and are beautiful examnples of the brand playing to its strengths.
Review: Rolex Air-King 116900
Remember that kid at school who was, let’s say, slightly left of centre? He’d sit at the back of class, wearing a neon green and orange sweatshirt and listen to obscure Swedish prog-rock on his portable CD player. He might not have been the most popular, but if you could say anything about him, it’s that, in a sea of normality, that kid dared to be different. The funny thing is, 20 years later, he stands out in my memory more than any other classmate, and that’s because conventionality gets boring. People are interesting because of their quirks, because there is something unusual about them—and I think that’s what Rolex is trying to embrace with the 2016 Air-King.
News: MB&F Astrograph
We quite enjoy horological madhouse MB&F's partnerships, which see master craftsman of other trades bring to life the wild imagination of MB&F founder Max Büsser. This time it's Maison Caran d'Ache and its exquisite pens that get branded with a touch of the MB&F crazy. You could be forgiven for being cynical about the idea of a cross-branded limited edition pen, and normally that cynicism would be well-placed, but with the Astrograph, seeing is believing.
Review: Rolex GMT-Master II BLNR
Christmas Eve, 1995, and every kid in the land was lying awake, wide-eyed and excited, imagining various scenarios that all involved unwrapping the newly launched Playstation. Most of those kids went on to experience a euphoric Christmas day, whilst the remaining few suffered at the hands of well meaning, but ultimately confused parents. There were no Playstations for those children, only a 16-bit game bundle that was similar enough to confuse the unwitting progenitor.
Review: Oris Aquis Depth Gauge
Since the introduction of quartz movements, programmable computers and micro-sensor technology, the mechanical dive watch has become to diving what the horseshoe is to motoring. The day of the tool watch, with its ticking, clicking, pulsing innards, is done, dead, gone. Or is it?
Technical: The Fusee and Chain
Chances are if something isn't working quite right in today's world, all it needs is a bit of software tinkering. The speed of technological development has rocketed since the birth of the personal computer in the 1980s, making the software industry worth over $300 billion. Rewind back over half a millennium, however, and problem solving required a much more hands on approach.
News: MB&F Horological Machine 8 Can-Am
The concept behind the Horological Machine series stems from MB&F founder Maximilian Büsser's childhood, and draws inspiration from science fiction and steampunk in the form and functions of each piece. In line with this grand tradition, the latest in the collection, the HM8 Can-Am, is a fun and futuristic creation that really pushes the limits of watch design.
Brand Focus: Urwerk
If there was a word that best summed up the Swiss watch industry, it would be 'conservative'. With manufacturers such as HYT, MB&F and Urwerk on the scene, that might seem a little contrived, but bear with me, because haute horlogerie hasn't always been this fruitful. Before HYT, and before even MB&F, there were two men who shared a passion for watchmaking: Felix Baumgartner and Martin Frei. Felix, whose blood flows with horology, had just completed his training at the prestigious Solothurn School of Watchmaking, and Martin, a graphic design graduate from the Zurich School of Visual Arts, had founded a group called United Swiss Artists. In 1995, the two men met, establishing a partnership they would later call 'Urwerk'.
Technical: Hydro-Mechanical Movement
There is something of the steampunk about Vincent Perriard's HYT H1. The ambiguity of the company’s name, (which can either be pronounced ‘H-Y-T’ or as ‘hit’), alludes to a duality that is evinced in the retro-futuristic styling of the H1 and new sequel, the H2. HYT have claimed variously that the initials stand for ‘Hydro Technology’ or ‘Hydro Time’. Name aside, the fiendishly technical case is breath-taking- a marvel that appears to house breathing bellows at its core, recalling H.R.Giger’s bio-mechanical Promethean universe. Somehow, HYT has brought liquids to horology.
Review: Richard Mille RM 035
Apparently you should never meet your heroes. It's an axiom that transposes well onto the thinly-veiled sickness that is the hunt for the perfect watch, the journey that can build an inanimate object to god-like proportions through endless late-night browsing sessions and obsessive longing. The hero is the watch you'll never be able to afford, and the chances of meeting them are slim to none. And maybe it should stay that way.
News: DeWitt Academia Skeleton
If you’ve not heard of boutique Swiss watchmaker DeWitt, you might wonder why the brand’s logo features the very distinctive bust of Napoléon Bonaparte. A quick look at the brand’s story reveals the answer: founder Jérôme de Witt is a direct descendant of the famous Corsican emperor. But rather than world conquest, de Witt is apparently more interested in conquering the horological landscape. He created the eponymously named watch company in 2003, and since has released a collection of sophisticated pieces that feature a selection of rare and difficult complications.
News: Urwerk Time Hunter X-Ray
From self-driving cars to increasingly sophisticated computer AI, technology is moving further towards autonomy with every passing year—and now, with Urwerk’s Time Hunter X-Ray, horology is apparently getting in on the action. If there’s one thing you can say about Urwerk, it’s that it’s a watchmaker that likes to think outside of the box. Whether you love or hate its quirky, alternative style, you can’t deny that Urwerk is most definitely an innovator—and this piece if a spectacular example of that. The Time Hunter X-Ray allows its wearer to find out the rate of their watch and then adjust it to compensate.
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Feature: 3 Contemporary Watches
Not every watch should look like an old one. Vintage styling is nice and all, but choice is even more so. The world would be a boring place if we all liked the same thing, etcetera, etcetera. And so, for those looking for something a touch more contemporary, here are three different avant-garde alternatives for three different budgets.
Feature: The Dream Watch Collection
Not everyone has been blessed with a casual means to buy whatever watches they like, but that doesn’t mean it can’t still be fun to dream. The same way you might ogle a LaFerrari or a Leica M, it’s enjoyable to experience incredible luxury watches and wonder, what if? Well, wonder no more as we assemble what just might be the dream three watch collection—one that’s got a bit of a theme.
Feature: 3 Vintage-Inspired Chronographs
Since the whopping $17.8 million sale of Paul Newman’s Paul Newman, the world’s—or what seems like it—attention has been turned to vintage chronographs. Thing is, vintage chronographs can be pretty expensive. There are some great options out there if you’re willing to do a lot—a lot—of research, but even those can be costly. A Longines 13ZN can fetch as much as £15,000 for example. If all that sounds too much like hard work, then perhaps we have the answer for you…
Feature: Omega Speedmaster vs Rolex Daytona
Walk into your nearest Omega boutique and chances are very high you’d be able to walk out again, wallet lighter, with a Speedmaster on your wrist. Not so Rolex’s Daytona, not unless you’re willing to pay the premium for precious metals. But is history about to change?
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