Rotation 1 turn in 80sec
Balancing By special Pininfarina screw
Tourbillon bridges Stainless steel, block polished, drawn flanks, chamfered and polished by hand, sinks polished by hand, fine-brushed underneath
Cage bridge Stainless steel, block polished, chamfered and polished by hand on both sides
Cage wheel Stainless steel, circular-grained, chamfered and polished by hand on both sides
Balance Inertia: 9.80mg/cm2
Arms in a figure of 8 shape within a 0 (evoking the 80th anniversary of Pininfarina)
Rim and 4 special Pininfarina screws in CuBé treated in blue Pininfarina
Total weight 0.48g
Dual-Ring-Case: Sandwich structured case with carrier-chassis and movement container,
Black zirconium ceramic bezel,
Sapphire glass on front and back,
Movement-container made of TiVan15 (exclusively used by Jaeger-LeCoultre),
Chassis materials: TiVan15 (Calibre 781) or 18 carat red gold (Calibre 780),
Diameter: 46.8 millimeters,
Height: 16.5 millimeters,
Pushbuttons with L-shaped security arms and rubber cover
Few watches show the automatic rotor on the front of the watch, and none that do, do it like the HM3. MB&F's signature gold "battle axe" style rotor is very well polish and probably the second most noticeable feature on the dial. So much so that it is easy to miss the date disc that goes around it. The date disc turns and is read via a small indicator arrow on the case. The sapphire crystal over the movement section is not only an extremely high quality crystal (measured by clarity), but looks almost transparent. It creates a satisfying effect. With all their playing around with sapphire crystals, MB&F are quickly becoming serious experts on pushing the limits on using interesting sapphire crystal shapes.
For history buffs, the Duoplan movement, which first hit the scene in 1924, is the precursor of the Calibre 101. During this time, pocket watches were giving way to the modern style of wristwatches. But miniaturization often caused problems with reliability. With the Duoplan, JLC proved that a smaller, compact, and more feminine design didn’t have to compromise technical soundness. In addition, the new shape of the watch, called the “baguette” for its resemblance to a loaf of French bread, opened up new possibilities for timepieces beyond the typically round shapes.
Then a few years ago the Swatch Group wiggled its way in deeper to Tiffany & Co.'s watch making arm. Swatch Group became a licensee of the Tiffany & Co. name, and would make and design their watches (probably with some approval rights from Tiffany & Co.). Although Tiffany & Co. made some nice watches prior to this relationship, I understand that they had issues with supply, service, customer service, and other issues relating to the production and service side of the watches. That and the fact that only a handful of key Tiffany & Co. employees knew anything about watches. They rest of their staff in stores were clueless.
The motion of this winder is the gentlest of any I've ever owned. It takes five minutes for the watch to rotate through 180 degrees and then it swings back and forth a few times and rest for another five minutes. All of the watches I put on the winder had ETA 2824s in them and they all continued to run for as long as they were on the winder. I wondered if there would be enough movement, as according to Orbita's web site, my watches with the 2824s in them need 650 revolutions/day. This Orbita's motor only makes 144 turns/day, but every 10 minutes the watch does swing back and forth. None of my watches stopped, but perhaps they were running down and eventually they'd stop... [Ed. note - Myself and Orbita have done lots of testing to ensure that the motion of the Orbita 1 Sparta Mini fully winds watches. It is true that it appears to wind watches less, but this is not actually the case. The momentum created when the weight drops is actually without and jerkiness, and results in a significant amount of force for the rotor to wind a good deal.]
I took one of my watches (the Glycine Lagunare 1000), shook it for a few seconds to get it going and set the correct time. I never manually wind an automatic watch, but simply get it going and then wear it. That's always worked well for me. I put it on the winder for 48 hours and then stopped it. The watch still showed the correct time. I then let it run until it stopped and it ran for about 26 hours. Perfect. The winder is slowly winding the watch. I know an automatic can't be overwound, but I'm sure there's more wear and tear happening if you're spinning the watch so quickly so that it gets fully wound in a matter of hours (like some I've seen) This winder would probably take a bit more than three days to fully wind this movement when it's completely unwound.
Many people dream of really thin mechanical watches. I've even had people tell me how awesome it would be to have this ultra wafer-thin watches. For me the idea wasn't super appealing in theory, and then I finally got to experience some ultra thin mechanical watches and the desire turned on like a light a switch. Most thin mechanical watches are manually wound, which sort of defeats the point for me - as what I really want are automatic watches.
Next is my favorite of the bunch, the Anonimo D-Date II (new style of the original D-Date watch). The watch is a bit smaller at 43mm wide and in black toned sand-blasted steel. The blackening process is not PVD, but uses something called Ox-Pro, as well as Drass. I honestly don't know enough about these exotic processes, but Ox-Pro is for making the steel black and Drass is supposed a process to make the sand-blasted steel highly anti-reflective and anti-corrosive. Then you have the polished and brushed 4N tone 18k gold (which it uses again on the crown a bit). Style here is a bit more classic Anonimo with the arrow style hour markers and the signature hands. Not to mention the four placed Arabic numeral hour markers. The watch is attached to a high quality Kodiak coated leather strap (for extreme salt water resistance). The watch is water resistant to 500 meters and I believe has a helium escape valve on the left side of the case. Inside the watch is a modified Swiss ETA 2834-2 automatic movement, that has the day and date moved to the top and bottom of the dial. A really nice clean military look with some added luxury and an attractive masculine look. Price is ,800.
Check out the Caspa watch collection via Storm here.
A while ago I met with the legendary Bill Yao. To some of you that name instantly evokes respect and attention, and for many of you that name is new. I will let Bill give you his total history but he is considered one of the finer watch modifiers in the US. He was one of the guys that would take a watch you already had and do things like change the dial, hands, bezel, lume, etc... Helping people to achieve their "dream look." Then Bill started MKII watches - his own brand that offers ready built watches, as well as ones with a number of customization options in the spirit of what Mr. Yao is most known for.
The Malton 160 Round watches are each 42mm wide in steel. Marvin also says that the watches are available in PVD rose gold. The size feels very appropriate for the design, and the watches are comfortable. The case design is well done - giving the watches a classic feel... with something a little bit more. The signature classic Marvin watch company engraving on the side of the case returns, but is placed in a more central position on the side of the case. The watches have sapphire crystals, and exhibition casebacks for the mechanical models. Dials are available in black or "grained opaline." Both look good, but I think I like black better for most of them. Each it connected to a black leather strap.
I was in Basel, Switzerland sitting in a van and I saw a man wearing what looked rather familiar. There on his wrist was a Christiaan Van Der Klaauw Planetarium. Of course, it makes total sense for the man to be strutting his stuff at Baselworld, but how rare is it for someone to have one of these? Pretty rare actually. The luxury watch done in an old world style displays the signature ultra complexity that Christian Van Der Klaauw is know for. I know of no other watch with a full planetarium on the dial. I talked to the man for a second to compliment him on the piece. You just don't see stuff like that very often.
Look closely and you'll see lots of little things that take this aviator style watch into a new direction. It looks different on many angles. This includes the curved lugs, different font used for the hour indicators, and the crown that is actually decently rendered. Then you have that wrap and wrap again strap that isn't at all aviator, but really fashion oriented. Though isn't that the point of this watch altogether? I admit that placed on the right ensemble, this timepiece would look grand. Nicely proportioned with good color tones, and a handsome look. Dedicated aviator watch enthusiasts might gall at the thematic rape, but they would be wasting their breath complaining on a runway watch like this.
The watch really resembles some of the Orfina or IWC Porsche Design watches of the 80's era. Eterna has been doing well though with the brand products (even if they are overpriced). The titanium bracelet looks more simple than it actually is, with the complex link structure hidden on the side. What you see on the outside is simple and clean.
A few years ago the Louis Chevrolet watch company sprouted up in Switzerland. GM was pretty irked about this and the use of the Chevrolet name by the watch company and some legal matters ensued. In the end GM backed down - realizing there was no point fighting a small Swiss watch maker that could only help the automotive brand, not hurt it. As such Louis Chevrolet makes about 1000 watches a year with plans on making up to 5000 a year. Prices for the watches aren't too bad at between about 00 - 00 a piece. You can see some images of the brand's watches that I snapped here in the article. Some of their watches have a really cool dark blue PVD coating that is really neat.