From the prototype version we showed you in 2013, there haven't been a lot of changes. The overall styling remains intact, and dial layout is the same as well. We see a few more dial options coming into the mix, though (the carbon fiber one is particularly nice looking), and the hands (which are pretty short) have had a (to me) unfortunate change.
Like all ProTrek watches, the PRG270 is a rather large and hyper-masculine sports watch with a plastic resin case that measures 54.6 by 14.4mm and weighs in at a feathery 67g. Designed for avid outdoorsy types, the PRG270 offers a host of systems for quantifying the wilderness including: a digital compass; altimeter; barometer; and thermometer. All of the standard digital watch features like world time, chronograph, countdown timer, alarm, perpetual calendar, sunrise and sunset timing are also just a button press away. Fittingly, you're going to have to get off the couch and go outside to get the most from this watch.
Cosmetically, Casio Pro Trek watches can now feature smaller sensors and have large, easy to press buttons to activate the ABC function located on the right side of the case. Pro Trek models also feature Tough Solar Power generation which eliminates the need to change a battery as the watches are powered by light. Debuting late 2013, the Version 3 engine is available in the Pro Trek PRG270 (PRG-270) collection as well as the Pro Trek PRW3000 collection. With a new and improved sensor technology, Casio has shown a real dedication to the importance and popularity of what can easily be described as the world's most useful outdoors watch. Pictured is the Casio Pro Trek PRG-270-1, which is available now and retails for 0.
Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 Watch Celebrates The Wright Brothers
12 Commentsby Ariel Adams
Zenith Pilot Montre d’Aeronef Type 20 GMT 1903 Watch Celebrates The Wright Brothers
In this special feature article, we go on a quest to better understand what is behind the unremitting rise of luxury watch prices, and to do so, we will explore how and why Rolex prices have increased over the last 60 years. You see, while the steep increase of high-end watch prices has become evident to every discerning watch buyer on this planet, it remains difficult to point out exactly why and how things have changed so radically... or, if they have changed at all.
The other reason why it might be difficult for the masses to learn more about the manufacture is that in-house movements have become a major selling point for most mid- to high-end brands. Therefore, when it comes to a watch without a proprietary movement, the general method is to rename the ETA (or any other supplied) movement to a different code chosen by the brand. Surely, sometimes the base ETA/Sellita/Soprod, etc. movement is modified by the company that purchased it, but oftentimes the only thing "custom" about one of these calibers is the rotor with the particular brand's name on it.
And while the way a sonnerie and/or minute repeater movement is constructed is of such incredible complexity that it will have to have an article dedicated all to itself, we do have a great opportunity to better understand how it operates thanks to the video above. As you can see in the footage, as Ariel slides the slider upon starting the minute repeater the barrel on the left rotates a couple of times. This is done to put just enough power into the barrel to sound the minute repeater and its four gongs. While the repeater operates you can see the barrel turning continuously, giving away its power to the repeater and stopping completely as the chiming function terminates.
Then again, if you're familiar with bronze (CuSn8 in this case), you might be thinking you'd not want to get it anywhere near a large body of water, given the fact that the bronze will oxidize with the water (be it pool, lake, or ocean). Frankly, I say go for it. With a bronze watch, the patina and oxidation that develops is part and parcel of the character of the watch, and truly helps you to make the watch your own. I myself didn't get into the water with it at all, but I did see some patina developing just from my own skin chemistry and sweat (the humid Chicago summer probably helped a bit as well). Just bear in mind that you'll likely end up with some green on your wrists (but it washes off easily).
In fact, the color of the F.P. Journe Octa Sport aluminum case material is similar to that of an Apple MacBook laptop computer. The images in this article are a mixture of those that I took, as well as those by our Managing Editor David Bredan. He thought it would be interesting to shoot the Octa Sport watch next to his computer, and you can see how they match in a unique manner. I was rather wary of the F.P. Journe Octa Sport case at first, but once you feel how incredibly light it is in your hand, the choice of material makes perfect sense. F.P. Journe was able to make the Octa Sport watch weigh about 53 grams in aluminum. That is a "WOW" weight once you put it on your wrist and don't even notice that it is there. In titanium, that weight only goes up to about 60 grams (70 grams on the bracelet).
OWC, formerly known as Orange Watch Company, is a small operation in, you guessed it, Orange, Australia. Founder Dan Fock is one of the most detail-oriented and perfectionist people I know, so it's no surprise that customers are willing to wait a year or more for one of his watches. The watch shown above is a new model, the MS-1001, with a theme near and dear to Dan:
There are design elements about the Pit Lane that I enjoy and others that I feel could have been done in a more refined way. Then again, there are dozens upon dozens of design elements to the watch. Many timepieces today attempt to be elegant, simple, classic... Opting to go with a more modern sense of artistic expression that communicates a totality using as few lines as possible. While I have great respect for many of those watches, that really isn't what a piece like the Pit Lane is all about. In fact, while the design is of course contemporary, the aesthetic philosophy of the Pit Lane is ancient. It goes back to a time when a composition was judged more by its aggregated effort as opposed to the totality of its grace and poise. This is creation that wants to suggest, "I'm complicated."
For example, the Armin Strom Gravity Air has a titanium case, the Water, a steel case; the Earth, a PVD black steel case; and the Fire has an 18k rose gold case. At just over 43mm wide and 13mm thick, the case is hefty but not massive. The case has a fresh but simple look to it that frames the dial properly. People often ask about the "lip" on the lower part of the case. What they are looking at is actually a space intended for a unique engraving. Armin Strom recommends that buyers opt to have their initials placed there. It isn't that they are trying to prevent resale, but rather they feel that it is part of their particular buying experience, just like getting a shirt with your initials embroidered into the sleeves.
Jaeger-LeCoultre is famous for a lot of things. After all, it is not called La Grande Maison for nothing. That said, the Reverso is arguably the brand's most famous model, and this year saw the release of the new Grande Reverso Ultra Thin 1931 Chocolate, which features a chocolate brown dial that looks absolutely creamy. If you are looking for a classic dress watch, but with a unique twist, I think this checks all the boxes. Check out our full review here.
Speaking of double spirals, what does Laurent Ferrier mean? Well in addition to having a tourbillon, the balance wheel contains not one but two balance (hair) springs. They operate at the same time and average each other out. This is a form of trying to attain even more accuracy out of the movement. These systems aren't exactly proven to yield ultra-high accuracy results, but are really good in the scope of mechanical timekeeping. This is also a conservative style of tourbillon as it is not displayed on the front dial. This was seen for example in the Patek Philippe Ref. 5101 (that just said "tourbillon" on the dial) and costs almost 0,000.
What happens in practice is as follows. With every semi-oscillation (every semi-rotation) of the balance wheel energy is transmitted to the blades which snap from one position to the other, much like a snap hair clip (as per Ulysse Nardin's analogy). On the image above you will see the assembled frame which now has the pallet lever installed, which is that Y-shaped, fork-looking component in the lower left quadrant. What is unique about it is that it is installed onto the end of the blades and hence it is pivoted by the blades themselves. This means that the pallet fork is not held in place by a pallet staff which in turn is fixed between jewels but rather the fork is floating on the silicon frame, free from the friction that is caused when normal jewels are used. This is important because this "fork" plays a key role in transferring energy and every bit of fraction that is saved here can be transformed into better rate results.
Even though we have already discussed the ins and outs of this watch I think a hands-on look offers a distinct take on this modern luxury watch. When Audemars Piguet released it originally, it was for the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak watch in 2002. The idea was to present an evolved take on the classic. The 2002 version looked very different than the 2014 model. In fact, it was in 2011 when the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept CS1 Tourbillon GMT watch was released did this new style debut.
aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Before we get to the atomic watch, I'd like to cover a bit about the company. Many folks outside of the UK are likely not familiar with the Hoptroff name - can you tell us a little bit about who you are, and how the company came to be?
For me this watch embodies so much of the daring spirit our master watchmakers possess, as well as the luxury that scarcity, exclusivity and uniqueness bring. It is also a reminder for me a remainder of my discovery of a community that has one foot firmly in the future while drawing its inspiration in the origins of the craft.
At first glance the watch looks a bit like a toy, as it has a resin body, although on careful inspection there is an internal body that looks to be an alloy, the bezel is a PVD coated steel and the watch glass is sapphire, so the build should be pretty robust. This is further evidenced by the fact that the watch is capable of a 200m (660 ft) water resistance, so it could be used for diving.
Lange watches clearly have a style, a sense of traditional German design taken originally from pocket watches and other instruments, but that doesn't mean they appear to be embellishing their cases and dials with too many decorative elements that don't assist the core design. Sure there are rare exceptions such as the extremely uncommon A. Lange & Sohne Handwerkskunst pieces (with unique hand engraved dials), but when it comes down to it, there is a conservative cleanliness with simple traditional personality to these watches that few people take issue with. The worst thing in the world one could say about some Lange watches is that they are boring. I probably thought so at some point early in my appreciation of watches when I was new and looking to be wowed by wild designs. I think many people go through that phase. Eventually I came to appreciate, and finally prefer designs such as this which focus on purity and functionality above all else. People used to wild contemporary designs intended to attract attention will perhaps feel underwhelmed by the conservative approach of Lange... but eventually all people with good taste will come around.
In 2014 Bulova actually relaunched the Accutron name with the Accutron II. The Accutron II Alpha (hands-on here), is designed to look like many of the original Bulova Accutron Spaceview watches, and is a wonderfully affordable and new way to enjoy what many people loved about the originals. The Accutron II Alpha watches do not contain standard quartz movements, but rather Bulova Precisionist movements that are more accurate than standard quartz movements and also have sweeping seconds hands like the original Accutron tuning fork watches from the 1960s and 1970s.