Laurent Ferrier Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral Watch
I am proud to present you with an interesting and highly desirable luxury watch that I recently learned about. I was introduced to Mr. Laurent Ferrier
at the 2010 Geneva Time Exhibition. Language barrier aside (you can blame my lack of speaking French), I was told that he is the proprietor of a new brand, and he was wearing the proof. What I saw was of the most impressive artifacts from my trip to Geneva, on that occasion.
The watch has the polished finish (both visually and mechanically) of a Patek Philippe and the classy refinement of a Rolex. In fact, the case of the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral watch reminds of me sleek shape and curved edging of the Rolex Datejust case. Looking at the images you can tell just how cohesive and fluid the case of the case it. This design combined with its high quality finishing makes for a beautiful timepiece. It is unfortunate that my on-the-spot images of the piece did not come out, but these images from Laurent Ferrier give you an adequate understanding of the watch.
My glowing impression of the watch must be tempered with the statement that this is a classy timepiece, in traditional form and design. The dial is simple, with just the time and a subsidiary seconds dial. Though there is a chic modern elegance to design. The Roman numerals are thin and elongated, just as the hands are. Laurent Ferrier presents two genius dials. One in a white enamel with black markers and hands (and a tasteful red for the markers on the subsidiary dial), and another with a black onyx dial and white hour markers and hands. The result are two beautifully high contrasting dials that do justice to a philosophy of pure legibility. While the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral is a beautiful watch, its main purpose is to be the finest classic looking luxury watch available. It competes very well with its more mainstream competitors in my opinion.
The dial has a soft and barely visible "Tourbillon Double Spiral" label on the dial. To my knowledge this is the only watch with just such a complication. It remains a fact that while the theory of a tourbillon movement is to make a watch more accurate, this is often not the case. Laurent Ferrier wants his watches to all perform within Chronometer grades of accuracy. As such, he has crafted these watches with a level of performance precision that is hard to find in other tourbillon based watches. Aside from immaculate finishing and fine engineering, the Ref. FBN916-01 movement has a special double balance spring system. As part of the tourbillon carriage, where the balance spring typically is (aka hair spring), there are now two on top of one another, and they beat in opposing directions. In fact, the purpose of them is to regulate each other and provide the most consistent rate possible.
Aside from the small note on the dial of the watch, you need to flip the Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral over and look through its sapphire caseback to see the tourbillon in action. This is similar to the stealthy tourbillons found in some Patek Philippe watches. The manually wound movement is beautifully decorated, and has a power reserve of about 80 hours. The movement is very accurate and is a serious mechanical creation in a very classic looking package. Something for the serious watch lover to appreciate. The movements are apparently made for Laurent Ferrier by La Fabrique du Temps, and contains other impressive features that Laurent Ferrier will no doubt wish to explain to interested clients.
While the watches are not strictly limited, Laurent Ferrier watches will have a very limited production each year. This assists with the exclusivity of the brand, and likely helps ensure high quality in each piece. The Galet Classic case is 41mm wide and available in 18k yellow or white gold. The watch hands are also gold. The watch can be paired with a 20mm wide black or brown alligator strap (in various finishes), that is hand-sewn and has an Alcantara leather lining.
Laurent Ferrier watches will remain rare timepieces, but I predict will be highly cherished pieces for their fortunate owners, and collectors in the future. Price for the watch is between 185,000 - 190,000 Swiss Francs.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: double spiral, galet, geneve, Laurent Ferrier, Tourbillon, watch
Kees Engelbarts Mokume Gane Dragon Watches
One of European watch making's greatest artists is Kees Engelbarts
(Dutch born) who has mastered the technique of Mokume Gane - a traditional Japanese artistic technique that literally means wood grain metal. The technique utilizes an incredible level of effort and hand engraving to achieve such pictured results. You see metals such as platinum, gold, and silver, as well as chemically colored steel used together in the creation of his mostly piece unique works.
As the level of effort in each of these watches is so high, Kees Engelbarts only makes a few pieces each year. Earlier in his career Engelbarts was called upon to work on watches for other brands - decorating movements, and creating his beautiful dials. He still does work for a limited number of brands, but most of his efforts are involved in his own brand, as well as the related Cornelius & Cie
watch brand whose Chronosome watch is based on Kees Engelbarts flagship creation (pictured at the top) "The Dragon Gate Legend" watch. A few notable brands that have had piece unique timepieces with Kees Engelbarts iconic efforts are Harry Winston and Peter Speake-Marin.
Kees Engelbarts prefers to include NOS (new old stock) watch movements in his timepieces. A. Schild movements are popularly found in his creations. Movements from the 50s, 60s, and 70s are acquired, highly finished and decorated in his watches. Sometimes he uses even older movements such as the 1935 A. Schild Calibre AS 690 movement found in The Dragon Gate Legend watch. Each of his watches have sapphire crystal caseback that provide views to his beautifully hand engraved movement work.
One of Kees Engelbarts preferred subjects are dragons. Many of his watches and engraving work display the fascinating mythical beasts that most always appear proper on a watch dial. Multifaceted in his approach, you will find Dragons images in both Oriental and European styles. Such variety is a clear message that Kees Engelbarts is interested in representing the iconic beast as it has been captured in many different cultures. Note that the pictured watches are but some of his many dragon-themed creations. He also enjoys engraving other powerful mythical or real beasts such as unicorns, horses, and tigers.
For example, The Dragon Gate Legend watch depicts a Chinese style Dragon and a legend where a carp fish turns into a dragon through a tough swim upstream. The allegorical story is a message about the necessity for drive and effort in life. The large Ref. 0667 piece unique watch features a 49mm wide 18k rose gold case, movement with 8 days of power reserve, and a solid gold dial with silver as part of the special engraving work. Kees Engelbarts used uncommon cayman alligator leather for the strap.
Other watches in the Kees Engelbarts family share similar design aesthetics and comparable levels of detail and decoration. Both manually wound and automatic movements are employed by Kees Engelbarts, who also provides all the after service work on the watches. Given the extremely complex efforts and time involved in the luxury watches - as well as the fact that most of his pieces are one-of-kind watches, prices are predictably high (and via request only). Kees Engelbarts also performs custom work for those who have specific desires, as well as the means to afford them. For most people, Kees Engelbarts watches remain untouchable pieces of art that epitomize a beautiful yet masculine engraving and decorative design aesthetic.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: cornelius cie, Dragons, engraving, Kees Engelbarts, mokume gane, watch
Perrelet Turbine Watch Collection Recap
It was almost a make or break design for luxury watch maker Perrelet
. A new sporty watch with a turbine styled dial was hoped to hail in a strong level of acceptance for the brand that was treading its way into the United States. While the brand would have been fine if the Turbine collection was a flop, it would have lost that valuable "good first impression" it needed with US watch lovers. A second look at a brand in the US once it has already been dismissed is a tough, and expensive marketing endeavor. Future plans for the brand include making its own movements and competing head-on with the already mainstream luxury watch brands in the US. Perrelet had the product and the quality, but not the notoriety yet.
Earlier in the year I was one of the first people to break news about the Perrelet Turbine watch. The relatively wild design has an obviousness to it. "Why hasn't anyone done that before" was a perception I recall having. For years before that Perrelet was known for its double rotor designs. A system where the automatic rotor in the rear of the watch was connected to another rotor in the front of the watch. The idea was to showcase what Perrelet debuted long ago - the first automatic watch.
The concept of extending the front rotor into something more whimsical wasn't too difficult from a technical standpoint. Some clever designer eventually obliged the idea that a spinning rotor could be part of a jet engine style turbine look on a watch face. A mass of concept art and meetings likely resulting in enticing images, and the project was green-lighted. When the final production ready images were completed more than a few people at Perrelet knew they struck gold with the Turbine watch - but would finicky US watch buyers agree? It has been true for a long time that one could make that argument that European and Asia watch consumers are more forgiving when it comes to "freshness." Avant garde design in the US - no matter how novel or genius - can fail without cause.
Thus it was that the Perrelet Turbine watch needed a positive reaction in the US for the brand to establish a sure footing in the important market. Bloggers such as my self were relied upon to break the news and offer our educated insight into the new collection. In June of 2009 I got to see prototype models of the watch. Functional pre-production mock-ups that communicated what the watch would be like. Three initial models were made available. An all DLC black model, one in black with a red trim behind the turbine rotor blades, and a steel version. Each very well made and on sporty rubber straps.
Watches like this haven't been done before. The reaction on the Internet was impressive. Even before real life images of the Perrelet Turbine watches were posted by the likes of me
, plenty of new fans pledged their vows to buy the new watch collection once it was available. This would be months from the time of their announcement. Feedback was looking good for Perrelet, and the watch looked to be slated for success.
Perrelet Turbine watches are luxury timepieces through and through. Priced at about $5,000 to $5,850- these are unlikely to be someone's "first luxury sport watch." Also, due to high demand and new ways to internally make parts, the prices of these Turbine watches are actually lower then initially reported last year when the watches were announced. Still, part of the allure of the item is the straight forward nature of its operation. Maybe luxury sport watches require an entire debriefing to understand what they do, and why you should be impressed with them. Perrelet managed to make these concepts self evident with the Double Rotor Turbine collection watches.
At 44mm wide, the watches are a good sporty size. The watches all start with a smoothly tapered titanium case meant to look like a jet engine structure. To suggest a seamless look, Perrelet designed the crown to be flush with the case. There is a little handle the folds out, and then pull out to operate the watch. A strong point of the design is that the hands aren't too difficult to see - meaning that you don't need to sacrifice comfort for style.
It is easy to appreciate the Perrelet P-181 automatic movement. It is visible through the sapphire caseback window with a level of decoration you'd not expect from a sport watch. One area that I can easily say Perrelet excels at, is attention to detail and decoration. The Turbine collection features two watches that Diamond Like Carbon (DLC) coating. The trendy application of a very hard, and very scratch resistant black coating makes a good deal of sense when trying to protect an expensive investment against wear and tear. This materials is quickly supplanting PVD as the black application of choice. Only high-end makers like Perrelet have a good grasp of how to work with the coating still. Don't expect to see DLC in too many lower end watches for a few years.
Once the Perrelet Turbine watch became commercially available it was clear to Perrelet that they had a hit. My understanding is that the watch now leads their US sales, and it is a welcome chore for them to keep up with demand. US watch lovers are charmed with the luxury, the novelty, and the clear "gee whiz" nature of the innovative watch that feels so obvious in design. It goes to show that with a good design, something that hasn't been quite done before can still feel natural. The Perrelet Turbine watches are a good example of how a watch brand can penetrate a market with a single good item. Better yet, is that Perrelet has a whole collection of impressive timepieces to show off now that they have more attention.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: automatic, collection, DLC, double rotor, p-181, Perrelet, turbine, watch
Virtual Ideas Watch Designer Concepts
is watch design firm based in Geneva Switzerland. Their job is to assist existing watch companies come up with new ideas for watches to be labeled under those particular brand names. Virtual Ideas is what is considered an outside design firm - but fully qualified to design timepieces from the ground up. Their favorite pastime? Making interesting watch concept creations to attract the eyes of watch lovers and companies alike.
Seen here are three of their latest watch concept creations. A rugged man's watch and who interesting women's watches. Often times Virtual Ideas will "adopt" the thematic look of one brand, and come up with a new creations that might fit into the product family. You might notice that these watches may fit the designs you associate with one or more brands - this is done on purpose.
The first watch is known as the Virtual Ideas Concept 3. The case is meant to be made mostly out of Gibeon meteorite. The interesting material is sometimes chosen as a fantastic looking watch dial, but this is the first time I've noticed it as the material for a watch case. This would make for a very interesting looking watch. Such meteorite material is mostly iron with smaller amounts of nickel, graphite, trolite, and traversite in the rock. Not only that, but the crystalline structure of the rock is amazing to behold, and would be truly dynamic looking in this black color (meteorites can be chemically dyed all sorts of colors). The watch would have a chronograph movement with a large date display. This fits the mold of several popular watch movements out there (both mechanical and quartz). Of course this is designed as a luxury watch, but could be "scaled down." Note how the rubber strap is integrated into the case while the textured large pushers make up for a large part of the watch's personality. Done in the now hip tonneau shape case, this watch would be a hit for urban warriors and alike.
Next is the Virtual Ideas Concept 4 haute joaillerie women's watch. Shaped like a large heart, the timepiece is carefully designed to allow for the set diamonds to help make up the shape of the watch, rather than just adorn it. he diamond dial looks clean and crisp, as though it may have a mirror surface to it. It reminds me of the dance floor in a fantasy ball room. The classic hands are elegant but not too minimalistic, having a ornate design to them. The watch would be made of white gold most likely, and uses large diamonds to frame the dial on the perfect heart-shaped case. Diamonds vertically oriented around the sides of the case give it a deeper and more substantial look. One lug for the strap at the bottom mixed with two lugs at the top connect a thin galuchat strap. The dainty crown emphasizes the horological character of the watch, while enhancing the inherent femininity of the design. While heart-shaped watches have been done before, this take on the theme feels fresh and refined.
Last is the Virtual Ideas Concept 2, another women's watch with a new type of complication that epitomizes the goal of novel haute horology. This impressive women's watch is broad and meant to be relatively thin. It also calls for a rather complex movement - akin to something a mind like Christophe Claret might imagine. The main dial of the watch is functional but straight forward. The time, date (on two discs) and AM/PM indicator are displayed. You can see that Virtual Ideas is keen on this particular hands design that is also exhibited on the Concept 4 watch in a similar style. The inner dial has guilloche machine engraving, while the outer part of the time dial has traditional looking thin Roman numerals. This entire watch dial is set off-centered on the face of the watch.
The rest of the face is dedicated to three rotating rings, that each rotating opposite one another. So the inner and outer rings rotate counter-clockwise, while the inner ring rotates clockwise. The idea is for the three segments to make up numbers at the top of the watch face and for the number to accurately read "12" when the time is 12 o'clock. Such a system would require a novel movement that is able to power all of these functions properly. The thin bezel of the watch would be diamond decorated, while the rest of the case is relatively sober in style and has a Cartier like blue jeweled cabochon crystal in the crown. Strap in this case looks comfortable as white rubber.
Together the concepts are but three of Virtual Idea's creations. The irony is that once these designs are released for public viewing they are considered "dead." Why? Because brands that end up releasing designs from firms like Virtual Ideas must keep the design's secret as to prevent competing brands from "borrowing" the design ideas. As such, while elements of these watches may show up in future timepieces, these designs are strictly concepts made to wet your appetite.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: concept, Swiss, Virtual Ideas, watch
Xetum Tyndall And Stinson Watches
is a new watch brand based in San Francisco, California with watches that are assembled in Switzerland. Arriving with two initial models, Xetum timepieces are modern in style with a designer twist. Brand emphasis is on simplicity without lacking in emotional substance. Xetum describes the aesthetic as "accessible modern design." Xetum is also about traditional watch making. It was important to founder Jeff Kuo that his watches feature quality Swiss movements in a package that was recognizable to watch lovers but unique at the same time. Xetum is also mindful of the environment, and from the start has inserted a number of ecologically friend policies and practices into the company as well as the watches.
I sat with Xetum's founder before the brand was launched to discuss the brand vision and prototypes. The watches are generously sized and invigorating in character, while being inviting in style. Jeff Kuo ensured that no detail was overlooked while the designs enjoyed continuous refinement. With the watches now available I can fully appreciate the quality of the models.
The entry level model is the Xetum Stinson, which is in steel and 40mm wide and 11mm thick. The case is designed without lugs to have the strap secure directly to the case for a more seamless look. It has an AR coated sapphire crystal over the dial with a choice of three dial colors (white, black or gray). The case is finished with a brushed polish while vertical strips are done in a mirror polish. The screw-down hexagonal crown is shaped like the brand's green hexagon logo. On the rear of the watch you can find a mineral glass display back looking into the Swiss ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The dial is easy to read with ample sized hands and Arabic numerals while the major hour markers and hands are coated in SuperLumiNova.
Both watches have naturally tanned leather straps that have an eco-friendly Italian cork lining. The clasp is a push-button butterfly deployment that is signed with the Xetum logo.
The higher-end Xetum model is the Tyndall - another reference to a Bay Area locale - and features a Swiss ETA 2895-2 movement with an elaboree level of decoration. The Tyndall is also in steel and 40mm wide and a sapphire crystal. A complete hour scale up to 24 hours is located on the dial, which also features a subsidiary seconds dial for a more classic look. I enjoy the symmetrical design of the dial as well. The Tyndall is available with a black or off-white dial, both with SuperLumiNova on the hands and major hour indicators. Price for the Tyndall watch is $1,395. Available direct from Xetum.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: San Francisco, Stinson, timepiece, Tyndall, watch, Xetum
Ochs & Junior Anno Cinquanta Watches
Being quite unusual is what makes these watches also quite fantastic. Ochs & Junior
(Ochs und Junior) is no ordinary watch maker because founder Ludwig Oechslin has no desire to make "ordinary" watches. He takes Bauhaus design to its minimalistic threshold, with a collection a timepieces that expresses his personal ideal of what a watch should be, and what a watch should display.
If the sentiments he harbors sound a bit like the dedication of an artist, then you would be correct. This is art - functional, luxurious, and extremely time consuming, but still art. Ludwig runs with a very creative crowd that includes watch makers among many others. This affords him a diverse intellectual perspective, and his inspiration for the Anno Cinquanta collection of watches comes equally from the world of horology, as it does the greater industry of functional goods.
Each timepiece in the collection is hand-made using precision machinery and years of expertise. The movement is hand-made by watchmaker Paul Gerber, and is his own unique design. It uses a solid white gold rotor and has over 100 hours of power reserve. The beautiful movement is made completely in Zurich Switzerland, and is neatly displayed through the timepieces sapphire caseback window. If the rotor doesn't look like white gold, it is because it is unfinished and has developed a special gray patina.
The gray patina of the dial (like the automatic rotor) is unlike that which you will find on any other watch. The eccentric name of the timepiece comes from the 50 openings on the dial for the annual calendar. Sometimes the Anno Cinquanta watch is referred to as the Anno 50 watch. The 43mm wide case comes in either white or red gold, or in sterling silver. The case is quite simple, done in two parts. The lugs are connected to the caseback and the top part of the case is one piece.
Aside from the time (hours, minutes, and seconds), the watch displays the month, day, and date - though in a most eccentric of manners. There are no indicators, and no reference as to what you are looking at. Merely a dial that looks as though it were rendered from a sophisticated sort of code. Och & Junior is proud that their annual calendar watches use much less parts than those from most annual calendar watches. A fact that might make them less prone to requiring repair or service.
On the outermost dial you'll find 31 openings - this is for the date. A disc with an orange dot behind the dial moves to indicate the date. In the middle of the dial there are two smaller rings of small openings. The top ring has seven openings and is for the day of the week, and the lower ring has 12 openings, which is for the month. It is easy to disregard the Anno 50 as not being user friendly given the lack of visual instruction as to what you are looking at. This would be lumping the watch together with the rest of the world's timepieces. Ochs & Junior clearly does not fit this mold.
The design and construction of mechanical wrist watches is highly sophisticated, so it the person who is enjoys them. The type of person who wears an Anno 50 watch learns how to read the dial and relishes in the fact that most onlookers are unable to read the dial. It is part of the joy that accompanies teaching oneself a new skill that others do not have. The Anno 50 is an ideal watch for days when one wants to be at their most mysterious.
Ochs & Junior timepieces are sold in a handful of boutiques in Switzerland, but they are the type of brand that enjoys hearing from potential new owners directly - part of the service you get from just such a brand. The Anno Cinquanta timepieces start at about 35,000 CHF is silver, up to about 40,000 CHF in red gold, and up to 41,500 CHF for the white gold version. Prices exclude the VAT and shipping costs.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: 50, Anno, Cinquanta, Ludwig Oeschlin, Ochs Junior, watch
Donald Corson Dresdener Regulator Watch
Dresden and the surrounding regions in Saxony such as Glashutte are hubs of watch making in Germany. Many popular watch brands, as well as unique independents hail from this region. One such unique player is Donald Corson
, who produces finely hand-crafted timepieces in tune with the generations old tradition of watch making. He only makes 2-3 watches a year, and they are all specially made to order.
Donald Corson's most interesting timepiece in my opinion is Dresdener Regulator watch. A wonderful homage to the region, as well as a well-made timepiece with built-in German character. Aside from high technology cars and other modern instruments, few know that this region of Germany is known for their charming figurines and toys. It is an aspect of Germany that few outsiders are aware of, and it adds a distinct warmth to a culture that is not know for it.
I feel that the Dresdener Regulator watch has a degree of this fun and whimsical attitude, combined with the master work of a hand-crafted timepiece. The layout of the dial was inspired by a pocket watch made by Syffert in Dresden back in 1807. It used three equal sized dials, each with different style hands to tell them hour, minute, and seconds. This is the basic principle of a regulator style watch, but done differently here. Much of the watch's special character is in the design of the hands.
Some movement parts are base ETA, that Corson painstakingly decorates and reassembles to make suitable for the unique three-hand layout. The rest of the movement was design by Corson, and hand made and assembled to provide for the subdials. The movement is plated with ruthenium, that gives it that dark gray look, while Cotes de Geneve polishing is later applied. The gentle round curves of the bridges as well as the layout of the gears is almost artistic, while the exposed sapphire covered caseback provides the clear view.
At 39mm wide, the case is a solid size without being too large or too small. The final versions of the watch will be in 18k red gold. The dial is interesting being a combination of natural slate rock, as well as having Cotes de Geneve polished ruthenium plated metal on the outside framing the subdials.
You can visit the Donald Corson website (link above) to view more images of not only the Dresdener Regulator watch, but also images of the manufacturing process, and how a real "boutique" watch is made - a fascinating process that easily takes enough time for Corson's 2-3 watch a year output to sound reasonable. Working with watch makers like Donald Corson is an excellent want to have a truly unique watch, as well as a close connection with the individual making the watch. This adds an addition emotional layer to ownership that few large watch makers can replicate.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: donald corson, dresdener, german, hand made, regulator, watch
Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice Damascus Steel Dial Watch
Swedish watch makers Gustafsson & Sjögren
present their newest timepiece called Ice, probably the most refined watch in their line up. As a pair, Johan Gustafsson and Patrik Sjögren excel at complex metallurgy and the creation of sophisticated styles of Damascus steel unique to their shop.
Gustafsson & Sjögren have been making watches for a few years, likely a decision made after being asked to supply parts for other watch makers interested in their skills. Both are Swedish - Gustafsson is a well know bladesmith (where use of Damascus steel is common), and Sjögren, among other things, is a certified watch maker.
Ice uses the special hand made Damascus steel in a few key ways, including for the dial and crown. Ice uses an manually wound ETA 6498-1 movement. Though, on other Gustafsson & Sjögren watches I believe that Damascus steel is also used on automatic movement rotors in applicable timepieces. Given then nature of how Damascus steel is made, no two pieces are the same. This means that each dial for Ice will be totally unique giving each piece an individual character.
The ETA 6498 movement is actually a pocket watch movement that has here been modified and decorated by Soprod and done in chronometer grade quality. It features a subsidiary seconds dial that on the Ice watch takes the shape of a three-curved blade style icon that is used on other Gustafsson & Sjögren timepieces - a good little touch of character.
At first glance the attractive but simple looking 44mm wide steel case may look a bit bare. Gustafsson & Sjögren call the look "simple" with the idea being that your attention should focus on the Damascus steel elements of the watch. The dauphine hands are nicely cut with a slice going through the middle of each. Hour indicators are each applied diamond jewels in white gold settings. The dial is covered with a sapphire crystal, while the caseback exhibition window has a mineral crystal. You'll find another diamond set into the end of the crown.
Gustafsson & Sjögren chose to pair the watch to a mesh steel bracelet which accentuates the look of the watch, though it would look equally nice with a variety of bracelet or straps that the owners can easily attach. The simply styled Swedish watch gives you the thrilling look of Damascus steel, popular among many including most collectible blade lovers. Price for the Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice watch will be about $8,000 and it will be made in strictly limited quantities.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: Damascus, Gustafsson Sjögren, Ice, metal, Steel, swedish, watch
Angular Momentum Dive-Tec/500 Watch
The release of a true diver's watch is a stepping stone for most watch companies. The majority of serious watch makers today have at least one diving or nautical watch model. The ubiquitous Rolex Submariner, the luxurious Patek Philippe Nautilus, the historical Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, and the classic yet Modern Breguet Marine are all excellent examples of this concept. Now Switzerland based Angular Momentum meets this need with the release of (arguably) their first serious diving watch specially designed with unique features for ocean depth plummeting.
The new Angular Momentum Dive-Tec/500
is a marvelous tool timepiece with a hip style and is Angular Momentum's ticket to acceptance from a whole new demographic of watch lovers. When combining the non-traditional artistic style of Angular Momentum with the functional needs of a diver's watch, the result is almost a modern classic which offers a total alternative to other modern dive watches. Instead of an overly complex and technical design, the Dive-Tec/500 is a step into refreshing simplicity. The timepiece stresses the four major needs of any diving watch: 1) telling the time, 2) being highly legible in low light and under water, 3) having a rotating diver's bezel, and 4) being able to survive the depths. Everything else is tangential, and probably better provided via other dive equipment. Take for example the mechanical depth gauge of certain luxury dive watches. Would you rely on them for accuracy over a trusted dive computer? Not likely. Instead, a timepiece is more valuable than a dive computer for telling the time. Not from an accuracy standpoint, but rather from a visibility standpoint. Find one dive computer that is as easy to see and read as the Dive-Tec/500. The case is 500 meters water resistant, while the large case and incredible luminant are heaven for under water clouded vision. See the large round screw placed on the bezel? That allows one to secure the bezel so that you do not accidentally turn the hefty ring which is done with 'fresh from the laser-cut' steel. The more raw finish to this component of the watch assists with grip and has an industrial look to it which enhances the watch's style. Other parts of the case are nicely polished.
Details for the Angular Momentum Dive-Tec/500 are impressive. The case is 46mm wide by 17mm thick. In response to the fact that most diving watches are met with salty, not fresh water, the case is made from special 1.4435 NCu StayBrite steel. The higher than 316L grade stainless steel is specially resistant to the corrosive effects of prolonged exposure to salt water. As a matter of style, the crown of the Dive-Tec/500 watch is made in the form of a valve screw - a part found in most manners of life sustaining, air providing underwater equipment. In a brass tone, the crown is actually lemon gold coated steel.
Angular Momentum's ace in the sleeve is their proprietary Èmail Lumineuse luminant. A special formulation created by Angular Momentum, the compound is a mixture of enamel and high grade luminant material. As applied by Angular Momentum, Èmail Lumineuse is a superior luminating material able to sustain a light charge brightly for many hours. The Dive-Tec/500 employs two colors of Èmail Lumineuse for the best possible function and appearance. The compound is applied on the dial of the watch as well as in the bezel (plus optionally on the caseback).
To achieve 500 meters of water resistance, the Dive-Tec/500 uses a 3mm thick sapphire crystal on the front and rear of the watch. The crystal on the back is specially applied over the automatic mechanical Swiss movement, and comes available either clear, or with a layer of Èmail Lumineuse over it allowing for an additional glowing part of the timepiece. The sapphire crystal on the rear of the watch is the access point for the movement and must be removed by Angular Momentum or its dealers if the watch movement requires repair or servicing. The watch will arrive with a silicon or calf leather strap. Price will be around $7,500 with each of the limited production timepieces being manufactured at the Angular Momentum
atelier in Switzerland.
By Ariel Adams
Labels: 500, angular momentum, dive-tec, dive-tec/500, Diver, watch