Coming in a few color styles, the Orchestra mechanical skeletonized watch comes on a leather strap or steel bracelet. The bracelet is fine, nothing fancy, but doesn't really integrate well with the case. I would have much preferred a fitted bracelet that does not leave gaps between the lugs. Breil has done that with some other watches and I think it would be really appreciated here. With the case and dial being as unique as they are, I think the best customers will simply find their own straps or bracelets to match with the Orchestra.
While Dzmitry Samal is French, the watches are said to be Swiss made. He does not claim that concrete is inherently a luxury material. He does however feel that their use in watches represents an urban fashion ideal, as well as concrete being a "modern, honest, and robust material." The watches are water resistant to 50 meters and the crystals are AR coated sapphire. At least I think it is sapphire. The Dzmitry Samal website seems to contradict itself on whether the crystal is sapphire or mineral glass. So who knows what it is? His website is attractive, but not very well written. I am very curious about the type of concrete used for the case, and the finishing used. I have a feeling it is well-polished and smooth to the touch versus overly porous and rough.
For the UNICO All Carbon, Hublot uses a King Power chronograph case. The 48mm wide case is actually carbon fiber, as is the bezel. There are PVD black titanium screws used for the case and bezel. A ring of rubber lines the side of the bezel. The black carbon fiber case looks cool, and the visual texture of carbon fiber is really at its best here with the high-quality material. The case is very light and strong despite the size.
On and off, Ventura models have been in the Hamilton collection for years. The Ventura XXL that was released a few years ago was meant to be a larger, more modern version of the classic. It is 46mm by 45.5mm in size and comes here in a polished steel case. The design of the 2012 model is almost identical to that of the outgoing Ventura XXL limited edition model, but this is in polished steel versus PVD black coated steel. There is also a similar new model called the Ventura Medium. It comes in men's and women's versions and is 32.30mm by 50.30mm in size - shaped more similarly to the original.
Article and images contributed by Michael Maximilien:
Breuget still uses a steel case for the 44mm wide Type XXII 3880ST watch. It is quite thick at about 17.3mm. Another new element on the dial is the "10Hz" label which is a bit of a logo at this point. We saw it as well on the Breguet Classique Chronometrie 10Hz watch (discussed here). These wonderful high-rate silicon-based Breguet watches are cool and beautiful. Are they useful from an horological perspective? To be honest I am not sure. Get them for what you think they could be, versus what they actually are. Price for this hummingbird of a Breguet is in the range of ,000.
For this watch, Bulgari offers the Octo case in a 41.5mm wide size. This will have the piece wear "largish" given the squarish shape. For now the piece will be available in an 18k pink gold or a steel model. This size is medium compared to what the Octo has been offered in at times during the past. I recall seeing Octo cases from 39mm wide to 43mm wide. I think 41.5mm wide is likely to be a very good size for most people given the shape of the case.
On the wrist, the V Series watches come to life a lot more than they do alone on a desk. While the steel case is 44mm wide it doesn't wear too large. For those wanting a substantially-sized timepiece that never feels massive, this just might be the right watch. One reason for this is LUM-TEC's use of a relatively narrow strap. The strap even tapers. It goes from 22mm wide at the lugs down to 18mm wide. These thin proportions work well to visually reduce the mass.
The steel case is cleverly designed. I like the shape and the brushed finishing as well as the design of the pushers. The case is also available in PVD black if you prefer. The pusher design consists of a rubberized ring around the entire case. On there are the four pushers (two on each side). It makes none of them stick out, but they are easy to see and press. The strap design is a bit strange with the strap being cut and then reattached with the metal pieces. I don't know how durable it is, but it does make the piece look a bit more cool. I think it is also to help the strap wrap around your wrist better. I've seen i-Gucci watches with a ton of strap styles. Some even seem to be in alligator printed latent leather. On these watches are rubber straps with a perforation style texture to them. They end with a push-button butterfly style deployant.
aBtR: What is your favorite feature or capability of the Touch Time?
DB: To be honest, the simple-to-use touch interface makes all of the features better. To be able to set an Alarm, Time, and a Reminder with a few swipes on a scroll wheel, versus a typical digital watch where you'd have to read a manual, is simply the way it should be. Of course to also be able to change to different dial faces with a swipe of a finger is one of the most compelling features.
First off, surprisingly comfortable. It's thick for a dress watch, but with the stepped bezel and matching bracelet you notice less. The balance and comfort are both good, and you could reduce the weight quite a bit by wearing it with a strap instead. Secondly, the first impression you get is "instant family heirloom." The triple-date is a look first seen in the 1950's and sixties with the Valjoux 72 and similar movements, and that combined with the guilloche dial and Breguet hands is just utterly classic.
aBtR: Many readers will know Phosphor for its use of E INK displays on models like the World Timer, why was E INK not used for the Touch Time?
DB: We are huge fans of E INK and we are the only watch manufacturer currently making watches with that display technology. On this particular project we needed a display which had a higher resolution on a small screen size than E INK displays are currently able to do.
Ernst Benz offers four dial styles of the Ernst Benz Chronolunar Officer. Two black and two white, with either steel or gold trim. The steel case is polished all over and has a classic, timeless feel to it. The lugs are on the longer side so people with small wrists should certainly try one on before getting one. I do appreciate the overall well-composed feel that the watch has. Luminant is really good and the watch has an AR coated sapphire crystal over the dial. I further appreciate the large, easy to operate crown and comfortable chronograph pushers.
Prices from Manufactum: 1.350, - EUR with leather strap, As of August 2012, technical changes
Ball BMW Classic NM3010D-LCFJ-SL
‧Automatic caliber ETA 2892-2, chronometer certified COSC
‧12 micro gas tubes on hour and minute hands and dial for night reading capacity
‧Patented Amortiser® anti-shock system
‧Anti-magnetic to 4,800A/m
‧Water resistant to 50m/160ft
‧Hours, minutes, sweep seconds and date
‧Ø 40mm, height 10.87mm
‧Anti-reflective sapphire crystal
‧Tapered stainless steel bracelet or crocodile leather strap with folding buckle
‧Black / Blue / Grey / Silver