Frank Muller Fast tourbillon

Omega won that year with its tourbillon based watch movement (which oddly enough had more in common with older pocket watch movements as opposed to more modern wrist watch movements). Like I said, a few (12) were actually put in cases and sold to customers. One of those pieces is shown here in this article. A simple looking watch, it just says “Omega Tourbillon” on the dial and rest should be up to the wearer to understand. The movement itself is nothing fancy in appearance. It is a very industrial looking movement – super accurate and with a tourbillon. It was called the Omega caliber 30I and the tourbillon made one revolution each seven and a half minutes. Seeing (and wearing) it in person was a thrill.

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See that disc at 6 o'clock that sort of looks like a moon phase disc? It revolves around completely once a day (each 24 hours) and has four stones on it. Each is supposed to be from one of four different planets (sort of), all there for you to view each day. This is cool, and I like the "rare material" component of the watch. On the disc are slices of various meteorites found here on earth that came from space. These are really rare, so this isn't common rock on the watch. The stones are labeled "Sun, Moon, Mars, and Mercury." The sun one is a bit misleading. There isn't really rock or a surface like that on the sun. And pieces of the sun don't exactly break off and fly away. This stone is actually part of an asteroid that is said to have formed near the sun called an Itqiy asteroid. The Mercury stone is believed to have come from Mercury, but we aren't sure since we've never actually been there to collect samples. The Moon stone is rare and was found on Earth as well. The rarest of stones might be the piece of Martian rock. Apparently less than 75 Martian meteorites have been collected. It is neat to see all the stones next to each other, and they are on a sparkly aventurine plate. Of course, because each of the slices are unique, no two of them will look the same.

One neat feature I really like is how the curved flange ring on the outer dial is polished and done to match the case. This is also where the pulsometer scale is printed. Next to it is a tachymeter scale. Don't forget that (love it or hate it) you get Bovet's squiggly chronograph seconds hand. Sometimes, when I look at the dial, I like the hour and minute hands. Other times, I think I would like to see Bovet experiment with new hand designs.

Holy crap, what is this thing? I realize this is one of Fortis' edgy "Art Edition" watches, but wow. This is unexpected for even the art version of the serious tool watch brand's products. Limited to just 100 pieces and in a 42mm wide titanium case, this watch isn't just an (questionably bastardized) artist's rendering of a Fortis chronograph watch, but also tries to tell you how to enjoy and spend your time. How does it do that? Will look at the "suggestions" (in German) on the bezel. Set into four quadrants, with three words in each, you should have a new task each time you look at the time. Though you might disagree with the Andora watch's suggestions, and probably rightly so.

As a unique collaboration with the MIH (the Musée International d’Horlogerie), Zenith introduces a great new member of their Captain family of watches. With a base in-house made El Primero Chronograph movement, Zenith and the MIH have developed a special new module that adds a very legible and practical annual calendar complication to the mix. In total you get the high-beat El Primero automatic movement, a 60 minute chronograph, and an annual calendar with the date, day, and month. All that and a lit Ludwig.

Nivatronic laser soldered balance spring

It is easy to fall in love with Omega’s products — many have. Brands such as this make my job easier because when I write about them I don’t need to explain to people who they are. Omega already has a name for itself, it is simply my job to inform people about what they are up to. Product has never been better and, even with a strict focus on their own movements and mechanical pieces over all, Omega never forgets its more seasoned fans. For example, their CEO hints at a new “quartz based aviator watch” that will come later this year. This can only refer to the famous X-33 that contained a Superquartz movement and featured a lot of functions. Now a collector’s piece, Omega will revisit this product as there is a strong niche demand for it.

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There are at least seven versions of the Signature Perpetual Calendar. Each version of the watch has a different dial and bezel combination - while two versions are done in two-tone. Dial colors include, black, blue, silver, gray, and brown. The Signature Perpetual Calendar Chronograph comes in five versions. Two of them have crocodile straps - and I really like Citizen's crocodile straps for the price.

The MB&F Horological Machine Number 2 has enjoyed a really rich life. The 'wrist rectangle' is now going into its final limited edition production with two new models. These are the HM2 Black SV and Red SV. "SV" stands for Sapphire Vision, and are related to the original HM2 Sapphire Vision watch that I discussed here - and had a real-life image of here. The whole point of the Sapphire Vision watch was the massive sapphire crystal that made up the front plate of the piece. The crystals were ungodly expensive to make and a tortuous trial in patience as many would break in the manufacturing process. One you make the crystal and it is stable, they are relatively strong, but the weakness is in making them.

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Vibration frequency of the balance: 21 600 wph

Playing with the fact that silicium is blue, Clerc uses a blue tinted sapphire crystal over two segments of the dial to show the movement. Tinted sapphire crystal is going to be a hot thing in the next few years as watch designers have a new tool in their belt. Hublot is leading the way with their red sapphire crystals (read about the Hublot Monza watch here), and other brands are going to start following. The first to do this as far as I know was Rolex with the special green sapphire crystal on a Milgauss watch. In addition to the blue crystals seen here, Clerc will also offer gray ones. These will be matched to a DLC coated version of the titanium case.

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One version of this watch is the Ball Trainmaster Celsius - being done for Anders Celsius that created the world's most popular temperature scale. On this watch the temperature scale is of course in Celsius, and there is a sort of imprint/image of his face on the back of the watch.

Fan of high-end quartz watches? Breitling has a nice new piece for you. What is high-end quartz? Well not cheap quartz! The perception that all quartz watches are cheap is a bit of a shame. It is true that you can buy a quartz movement based watch for a few bucks, but high-end quartz watches are out there - and they have their fan following for sure. Breitling is one of the few Swiss brands that continually offers high-end Swiss quartz movement based timepieces in addition to mechanical watches (and not just in women's pieces).

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For comparison purposes, here's a shot next to my IWC. Notice how much better the anti-reflective coatings are on the Sea Hawk (The watches are nearly identical in size).

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Alpina Sailing Collection Chronograph

Alpina Sailing Collection Chronograph

In addition to the two limited edition watches (and a special auction of each), Audemars Piguet will auction off 40 AP wall clocks. Each of these clocks has been signed by a celebrity (from all over the world). Many of these are current Audemars Piguet brand ambassadors. The 40 clocks are currently on display in Audemars Piguet's Ginza boutique in Tokyo. The auction results of these clocks will also go to the Japanese Red Cross.

The Combat B7  is a lot like today's Jeep Wrangler. It certainly has a military vibe to it, but is refined looking, and focuses subliminally suggesting to you activities you should perform while wearing it. Put one on and look at the high-tech looking carbon fiber dial  in the dark matte gray case and tell me you don't just want to go straight in to a group of trees and get lost? The steel case is 43mm wide and PVD coated to a dark gray, but not quite black. It has a satin finish to it. The crown is large, and voila... I finally have in my possession a LUM-TEC watch with a signed logo on the crown. What prevented this before was LUM-TEC not yet deciding on a good logo in this size.

Signalman refers to a lighthouse. There is actually an engraving of one on the rear of the watch. The shape of the case as I recall is based on a special light used in a powerful lighthouse in England. The dial of the Signalman pieces are well done, and I think Giles spent due time polishing the design. Hands are a good length and it is very legible. There is applied SuperLumiNova for lume.

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From a marketing standpoint, Omega will never be happy enough with a good product. There are a lot of watch brands with a good product that you’ll never hear about. Omega’s power as a brand gives it the ability to offer the holy trinity of marketing which includes a quality product promise, awareness campaigns and wide distribution.

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Jewels

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