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Aloha Everyone,
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Well the countdown to Baselworld 2009 had begun, which means I’m spending a lot of time up late nights on Skype talking with my guys and gals in Solothurn. They are such a great bunch – it’s just sad that we only get to go out for beers a couple times a year since I only see them in person 1-2 times during a 12 month period.
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But we spend hours emailing and Skyping each other and I am really proud of the work they do. If you consider how many decisions must be made and small things must be done perfectly to have a watch run properly under demanding conditions – every function, every dimension, every material, color, texture, font, movement, specification – everything must be discussed in detail before anything gets made. And these folks get everything right.
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So coming to our retailers within the next 2 weeks is the Benthic Ti (see below). If you haven’t heard about this new timepiece, it is a Swiss-Made 48mm, all titanium quartz Diver watch constructed in the classic, simple Bathys style.
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Our design goal with this watch was pretty straightforward – build an indestructible timepiece. Boom – that’s it. Just something you could beat on, bang on, whack on stuff, drop, slam, any damn thing, and it would keep on running. And while we’re at it, let’s add in a large date and a retrograde day.
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Truth is, I went straight for the movement on this one. The Ronda 7003.N Mastertech. This is the largest Swiss-made quartz movement on the planet and makes me feel all proud when I look at it. It’s huge, brass, heavy, jeweled, runs 40 months within 5 seconds a month, has the very complex date mechanism that changes correctly through 30, 31 -> 01. It’s just a killer piece of engineering. The large size and mass of this movement combined with the light Ti case gives the watch a somewhat ‘pocketwatch-like’ feel in the hand.
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We made the case out of solid Grade 5 titanium – the same stuff they make jet turbine blades with. A material you can bet your life on…and that if you’ve ever flown in a jet, a material you have bet your life on. The case is 48mm in diameter and 15mm in height. Big, but not crazy big. And not heavy or bulky because of the Ti construction. I wear the case samples, then the prototype watches around for weeks before I sign off on the cases. (If you own a Bathys, check out the way we require the backs of the lug tips to be flattened ever-so-slightly on all our watches to make them more comfortable.).
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As for the crystal, it’s pretty special too: 3.8mm in thickness, 37mm diameter, 42 grams, optical grade 1 (Kyropoulos method), internally antireflection coated, this is one impressive piece of synthetic sapphire! It takes 2 weeks just to grow the giant sapphire monocrystal from which these watch crystal blanks are cut.
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Price? The Benthic Ti sells for $995 and comes in three dial
versions: matte black (shown below), brushed bronze, and real carbon fiber.
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What else?
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Ah yes, this year we’ll be showcasing the first production Damascus Steel watch: The Damascus Benthic.
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And I just got word last night that the prototype will be ready for Baselworld ’09! (It makes the long trip over worth it when Markus comes up to me and hands me some new prototype sample on the day before the Fair begins).
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I am hoping to get some media attention for this amazing timepiece…though they tend to ignore the smaller brands in Hall 5 since we don’t have free champagne and $10,000,000 exhibits.
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We are only making 10 in the first edition, they are tentatively priced at $9000, and will be powered by an ETA 2892 movement. Each watch will be milled from a single piece of hand-forge stainless Damascus steel.
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In other words, one man, Herr Schneider, will have spent 6-8 hours making the single piece of steel that goes into each Damascus Benthic. No two pieces will be the same – each will have it’s own unique “grain” to the Damascus. And one very important thing to mention – this is stainless Damascus steel…which is virtually unheard of. Damascus steel is generally a high-carbon steel and would rust if not carefully kept oiled. So this is special stuff.

Email me if you want to learn more or be added to the waiting list – we are taking small deposits to hold one of these. No photos or even renderings of this watch are yet available – trying to render Damascus on a computer is not really ‘realistic’ enough. I’ll post from Basel in late March once I have this in hand.

Maybe I should try Twittering while in Basel this year?
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Looks for the new 2009 catalogs to be in stores soon. Please email our US distributor, Brad Hendrich ([email protected]) and he can get one off to you in March.
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Let me wrap up by saying mahalo for all the continued support from you guys! Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, or swing by a website that carries our product such as thetimezone.com, edmarshalljewelers.com or picciones.com. In Hawaii you can find them at Ben Bridge Timeworks Ala Moana Center or Grandes Gems on Kauai or Maui.
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If any of you are planning to come to Basel, please send me an email, and I would be happy to get you into the Fair. We are located in Hall 5.1, A33.
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All the best.
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Mahalo nui,
John Patterson
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Owner, CEO
Bathys Hawaii Inc.
 

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