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This is more uninspired than the usual TAG offering, and that's really saying something.

4 days, 22 hours ago on TAG Heuer Formula 1 GMT Watch With Black & Blue Bezel

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Ugliest. Watch. Ever.

2 months, 4 weeks ago on Graff Diamonds Hallucination, The $55 Million Quartz Watch

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I think this watch looks best with the black leather strap, though I am usually more partial to metal bracelets.  I like this watch for its slim, simple design and bold markings on the dial.  It is a nice example of the aesthetic concept of "basic black."

4 months ago on WATCH GIVEAWAY: Serket Telson PVD Manual Wind

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@Panagiotis And those other chronographs you mentioned still have the date window and seconds hand!

4 months ago on Christopher Ward C1000 Typhoon FGR4 Watch Review

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There are many niche industries that have publications that serve as shills for the companies that essentially run those industries.  In many cases, the publications are owned by the big fish industries in these little ponds, and so have no true editorial content.  These niches are insular and rarely face outside challenges from real competition, so are run like little fiefdoms.  The people that run them are nasty in ways that outsiders never see, even though a friendly and folksy demeanor is always presented publicly.  The publications are basically advertisements that enthusiasts pay to read, even though anyone with a jaundiced eye can see that they are rubbish.  E-zines will eventually wipe them all out.

Free press in these niches is the only legitimate threat to their respective industry leaders, though in the luxury watch industry, I would think that to treat free press as a "legitimate threat" would be perceived as a weakness on the part of the brand, that to do so would be to lose face amongst their peers.  That is because it is very likely that the leaders of this industry will affect the manners of their biggest customers, and that they must maintain them in all or most of their dealings.  So here we are likely to see civilized cutthroats; these brands will dance with ABTW, and it will be sophisticated, courtly nuance as they seek to subtly manipulate all that they can control without over-reaching and exposing their necks to their competitors and the ire of the ABTW readership.  Undetectable influence is what is most desired.

Financially, ABTW is a weakling among (relative) giants, but their real cachet is their influence with their readers, and the brands know this.  They need to maintain a good relationship with ABTW, without being perceived to bend their ear too much.  There is a set, comfortable distance for all of them to maintain; too close and they tarnish ABTW's reputation and lose face amongst their peers for trying to buy or coerce influence; too far and they lose the access and influence amongst the ABTW readership they crave.  When all of the big competitors are circled around ABTW at exactly the same distance, there is fairness in coverage where the real greatness of their successes and the follies of their failures can come to light.  Nearly equal in importance are the discussions generated by the articles about the offerings from these brands; they provide unbiased feedback from actual or potential customers.  ABTW readers also have a keen eye for what is tasteful and what is gauche and they aren't afraid to give their unvarnished opinions. ABTW on the other hand, needs to be truthful in its content, but not so "unvarnished" in its presentation.  To me, this appears to be substantially greater value to the brands than the access to their products and the occasional backstage glimpses that they provide to ABTW.  But really, they can't give ABTW anything more than that without ruining things, and they don't want to let on just how valuable it actually is, either.  "Thank you for your support" may be a subtle acknowledgement of this asymmetric exchange.


ABTW is a liaison between the brand and the consumer and have to be respectful of the customary aspects of how their respective relations are maintained.  These brands are accustomed to a certain amount of respect and deference, though they will bend a bit to accord a certain level of maverick-style journalism so long as ABTW meets them half way.  The maverick aspect gives ABTW credibility among its readership that is valuable, so it's not in their interest to meddle with it too much, even if they voice their displeasure with it.  "Thank you for your support" in this regard is a tip of their hand; they have to respect ABTW, and as long as ABTW is respectful in their criticism, they will take their lumps along with their accolades without much saber-rattling.  On the reader side, frequent commenters will let it be known if they think ABTW is losing too much of its edge.


If ABTW thinks that the phrase "Thank you for your support" is an encroaching kind of thank-you-note, I would suggest that the onus is on ABTW to define the boundary of what is acceptable, so that everyone knows where the line is and so brand reps don't have to guess.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Answering The Question Of Who aBlogtoWatch Works For

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I really think this should be a monthly give-away watch.  It's in the right price range and would get people excited.  I don't exactly think it would top the Marice Lacroix one from a few months ago ('Cause that was the best one so far), but it would definitely be the best one since then.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tissot Seastar 1000 Powermatic 80 Watch Hands-On: Upgrades Increase The Want

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Why call it "entry level?"  It's still only for the 0.1% at that price.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on MB&F LM101 Watch Is Entry Level Legacy Machine: Hands-On

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I primarily wear sport watches.  This one is fairly conservative as sport watches go, though.  It could do double duty as a dress watch, too.

6 months, 3 weeks ago on GIVEAWAY: Victorinox Swiss Army Officer’s Day/Date Mechanical Watch

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I think white ceramic on a watch would be cool to wear if the watch looked like it were designed for Stormtroopers.  Otherwise it looks like the watch equivalent of costume jewelry.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Diver Watch In White Ceramic Hands-On

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This has been the best giveaway item so far on ABW.

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Watch Winner Review: Maurice Lacroix Pontos S

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These just don't offer any value for the cost.  Anodized aluminum isn't what I would use for the body of a $1000 watch.  Plus, no sapphire and the face and hands have a "stamped" look to them.

8 months, 1 week ago on Ritmo Mundo Quantum Watches Review

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@ynot678You mean like this time machine from the TV show Voyagers?  (I was thinking the same thing you were.)

8 months, 2 weeks ago on Konstantin Chaykin Lunokhod Prime Watch Hands-On

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All of the Hamiltons belonging to the astronauts in 2001: A Space Odyssey.  After that, I've seen Venturas a few times in MIB and recently on a TV show that I can't remember now.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on GIVEAWAY: Hamilton Khaki Field Titanium Auto Watch As Seen In Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit Movie

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I like the AP/Hublot-ish bezel and the strap-lug-bar design, which is uncommon.  For fashion brands, I like Marice Lacroix and Cartier.

9 months ago on GIVEAWAY: Gc Gc-3 Automatic Watch

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As excited as I am to hear about the return of American manufacturing, the American-assembly-of-foreign-made-parts story just doesn't have the same appeal, especially when it comes at a premium price for a ho-hum product.

9 months, 3 weeks ago on Shinola Launches “Great Americans Series” With Wright Brothers Limited Edition Watch & Bicycle

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Curses!  Foiled again...


9 months, 4 weeks ago on Watch Winner Announced: Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph

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Hand-made goods have the feel of something that is a work of art.  It's like the difference between owning an original and owning a print (though generally not as exclusive).  It also makes the item feel more personal, since it was made by a person and not a machine.  I'd like to tour RGM because they are the first American watch company in a very long time and at the forefront of what will hopefully be a renaissance in American manufacturing.

10 months ago on GIVEAWAY: Trip To American-Made RGM Watch Manufacture In Pennsylvania

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I like the orange accents on this watch.  It reminds me of my Dievas Timeattack.  I also like how the watch has a relatively large face without an accompanying oversized case.  I usually think of Lacroix as just a luxury brand, but I like the thought that went into this watch as a more practical piece.

11 months ago on GIVEAWAY: Maurice Lacroix Pontos S Chronograph Watch

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For occasions as formal as I get (which isn't very), I wear an all-black PVD coated Dwatch with a ceramic dial. 

1 year ago on GIVEAWAY: Egard Shade Black Automatic Watch

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I like the geometry of this watch, particularly from the side.  I saw one with the link bracelet, and I think it looks better with the rubber strap.  The bracelet makes it seem more plain-looking, whereas the black rubber gives it a nice contrast.

1 year ago on Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph Automatic Watch Hands-On

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It reminds me of the old Sanyo electro-mechanical alarm clock I had before the gears eventually wore out.

1 year, 3 months ago on 4N 4N-MVT01/D01 Watch Hands-On + Flash Sale

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@Ulysses31 @JasonDunn Because Bigger is Better.

1 year, 4 months ago on Made In Detroit, A Visit To Shinola Watches

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Now they just need to make one big enough to fit a 10-foot tall Robocop statue.

1 year, 4 months ago on Made In Detroit, A Visit To Shinola Watches

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Too generic looking to make any association with a DeLorean.  If part of the price goes toward the DeLorean novelty, then I would expect more DMC for the $-&-¢.

1 year, 7 months ago on Romain Jerome DeLorean DNA Watch

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The "mineral fibre" material is most likely a plastic with a glass filler, often referred to as "mineral filled plastic".  Glass fibers are added to some plastics to alter their mechanical strength, dielectric properties or abrasion and heat resistance.  They tend to be quite a bit more durable than pure material.

1 year, 7 months ago on ITAnano/iTime Phantom Carbonio Watch Review

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@MarkCarson @JasonDunn Yeah, it would ultimately harm him if he began trying to brand himself simply for the purpose of showcasing himself.  Recognition is useful for maintaining the balance of power in these odd relationships, but the appearance of objectivity and a serious attention to the craft can't be sacrificed to that end, or the serious readers and buyers will become disillusioned with their pied piper of the watch world and move on to the next blogger who thumbs his nose at the establishment.  There are many fickle and petulant debs at this ball; he's got to court them all, but ultimately leave them with the idea that each one stole his heart.

1 year, 10 months ago on What It’s Like To Be A Watch Blogger After 2,500 Posts

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The name of the game is leverage, and right now the industry has (or thinks it has) all of it.  There are enough media outlets that do or easily could offer what Ariel provides that the watch industry can afford to play this game.  Advertising isn't much of a subject for ransom since there are so many web-ad providers that Ariel could simply replace those advertising blocks with generic Google ads, Google ads that would basically try to sell you watches anyway based on the search histories of the blog readers, a thought that would terrify me as a watch company since I could wield more influence over Ariel than I could over a goliath like Google.  Access is really the only leverage they have, but the industry needs to be careful as well since many brands rely on the concept of the "discerning buyer."  Blogs like this are where we come to get the details so that we can make informed watch-buying decisions.  It's also where we go to find out about obscure brands that we would otherwise never hear of.  Rolex, Tag and Omega won't see much value in giving access to a critical reviewer; they've been coasting along on brand recognition and product placement for decades now.  To them, Ariel probably represents a threat since an uninformed buyer (guys looking for bling) is likely to only know about those three luxury brands.  If they realized how many choices they had, it could seriously erode their market shares, particularly Omega.  Ariel will have to ride the fine line for awhile until the "cult of personality" effect begins to give him an advantage.  Once Ariel is known far and wide as the go-to source for luxury watch opinions, he'll be able to hold his own as an essential institution of watchmaking; brands will begrudgingly acknowledge him as a necessary cost of doing business, but until that time he's forced to play the game.

1 year, 10 months ago on What It’s Like To Be A Watch Blogger After 2,500 Posts

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RJ's watches have been pretty gimmicky, but usually unique enough to partially justify their price, but this is bland and stylistically inconsistent throughout the watch.  It looks like a sticker stuck on a thematically unrelated watch that I wouldn't wear at any price.

1 year, 11 months ago on Romain Jerome Día de los Muertos Watch

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 @Kris C I'd be forgiving of the crown if it were actually machined from something like Delrin, which is exceptionally durable.  But, its cheapness is obvious when you can see where it was clipped from the sprue in the advertising photo.  When it's injected molded, that says "mass-produced."  Hell, even mass-produced watches don't leave those kinds of tell-tale marks.

2 years, 3 months ago on Gevril GV2 Corsaro Chronograph Is Example Of What To Watch Out For

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I'd wear it as a cheap beater, but I'd be embarrassed to admit to paying that kind of price for the quality delivered.  I'd also never quote the MSRP, since even a non-afficionado could spot the bullshit in that one if they looked at it in their hands for more than a few seconds.  One look at the crown alone is enough to satisfy that requirement.

 

2 years, 3 months ago on Gevril GV2 Corsaro Chronograph Is Example Of What To Watch Out For

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I like exposed movements as long as it doesn't make it difficult to tell the time.  The hands and hour markers should  stand out from the background.

2 years, 5 months ago on Giveaway: Breil Orchestra Automatic Watch

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I still need a watch where I work simply because phones or other PEDs (not performance enhancing drugs) aren't allowed.  I have a Casio G-Shock with atomic clock sync-up that's very useful for checking that our servers are synced up to their GPS timing sources.  But, I wear my mechanical watches every other day because I enjoy them.

2 years, 5 months ago on Get ‘Em Early: A Marketing Plan For Raising Watch Lovers

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10 Hz gives greater precision for sure, but greater accuracy is a dubious claim without some sort of test to back it up. 

2 years, 5 months ago on Breguet Classique Chronometrie 10Hz Watch Hands-On

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I'd like to see a watch like this where the hour and minute dials are on different planes from each other.  I like the retro aesthetics of it as well.

2 years, 5 months ago on mech6

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Sintered metals have been used for several years in custom-made knives.  I've been wondering if it would ever make it to the watch world.  David Boye, the knifemaker whose book essentially taught me the craft even developed his own proprietary recipe and process.  There are interesting bas-relief type effects you can add to the parts that aren't easily achievable by other means that could add a whole new dimension to watch parts.

2 years, 5 months ago on Watch Case Materials Explained: Ceramic

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 @DavidasaurusRex Sometimes the truth hurts, and sometimes it's just good for a laugh. 

 

Rolex is THAT BRAND: the one that says "Big Time" (cue Peter Gabriel) such that there's this societal expectation that once you make a certain amount of money that you go buy the necessary trappings of wealth.  Rolex is the label you wear when you reach that level; the one that says that you have money but not the exquisitely refined taste one acquires on the path to becoming ultra-rich.  Everyone's heard of Rolex: rich, poor, middle class, everyone.  But not everyone knows JLC, PP, and others.  No, you need a whole lot more money to buy that kind of taste, or you just have to be an aficionado of fine timepieces.  Rolexes are watches for people with money who don't care about watches, but who seem to have to spend a minimum amount of money on their accoutrements.  It's the coming-out present a newly-minted bond sales manager buys for himself, because the other managers tell him it's "about time."  Even though, it's never really "about time", it's "about bling."  As long as it has some gold, shine and flicker, that's all that's necessary for the requisite level of ostentation.

 

Rolex knows this and they align their product offerings, marketing and business practices to perpetuate it, because it absolutely works to their advantage.

2 years, 5 months ago on Watch What-If: Rolex Sky-Dweller

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 @DavidasaurusRex Rolex sells Luxury; not timepieces, inspiration or uniqueness.  Which I can understand from their perspective: they want everyone to know you're wearing a Rolex, so they make them all look the same.

2 years, 5 months ago on Watch What-If: Rolex Sky-Dweller

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 @Kris C That's kind of my feeling on most of the fashion-branded watches, even though some of them are well-made.  They don't seem serious because when I hear their name attached to these watches (in my mind) I just hear "accessory" and not "timepiece."

 

A Stihl watch could be serious.  If the bracelet links were like the saw chain, you could seriously injure yourself.

2 years, 5 months ago on Ralph Lauren Sporting Watches For 2012 Hands-On

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I've only ever worked with the USAF; they are the devil that I know, but despite the meddling of other agencies still manage to get things done even if the rules make it impossible to deliver a product that isn't wildly overpriced.

2 years, 6 months ago on USAgency Air Force One Watch Bundle Giveaway

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Apparently, Dievas or Gnomon picked up on the Speedracer theme.  As an additional gift, Gnomon sends another nato-style strap in white with a red stripe that runs the length.  This is in addition to the nato strap that comes in the box.

2 years, 6 months ago on Dievas Timeattack Chronograph Watch

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I would buy a Richard F. Burton-themed watch as he's my favorite historical figure.  A spear should be stuck on the face somehow (Burton had his face pierced and a few teeth knocked out by a thrown spear from a Somali.)

2 years, 6 months ago on Tissot PRC 200 Danica Limited Edition Diamonds Ladies Watch Giveaway

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This would be great for my girlfriend, who has a lead foot, passive-aggressive driving habits and a penchant for wrecking cars.

2 years, 6 months ago on Tissot PRC 200 Danica Limited Edition Diamonds Ladies Watch Giveaway

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Isn't extravagance without utility a Rolex trademark.  This seems utilitarian at first glance, but who needs a watch for their deep sea robot?  Well, beside Mr. Cameron of course.

2 years, 6 months ago on Rolex Deepsea Challenge Watch Goes To Bottom Of The Ocean

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@RandyTorres@cga I agree that prometheus looks to offer the best value of any of the ~$1k chronographs. Most of the others use a 7750, but chinese-made cases and chinese assembly and testing. Chinese manufacturing methods don't seem bad, but their QA/QC methods leave much to be desired. So to find one that offers chrono movement (which probably is a 7750) and swiss assembly as well as swiss-made case really is a steal.

2 years, 7 months ago on Dievas Timeattack Chronograph Watch

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@RandyTorres@cga Yeah, I knew that the GT Chrono used a 7750, but found it odd that it wasn't mentioned specifically in the specs for the Ocean Diver, what I would most likely be looking at. The movement price you quoted seems more realistic since there's no way that a profit could be made if they were over $700, assuming the usual 40% retail markup on the watch. That said, I'm still not entirely sold on the sub-$1000 chrono. If one was offered with the hardened steel at 1300Hv, I might be more tempted to consider it.

2 years, 7 months ago on Dievas Timeattack Chronograph Watch

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Is Dievas held in the same regard as the HK brands with 7750 movements? Looking at a comparable Prometheus (the Ocean Diver), they offer similar features, but don't specify that the movement is a 7750, just Swiss Automatic Chronograph and the watch as a whole is branded as Swiss made. I've heard that the cost of a 7750 movement is around $750, which leaves a lot less for the rest of the watch. How trustworthy are the ~$1k automatic chrono watches? I've been reading mixed reviews on the ones of HK origin for the non-movement pieces. A watch branded "swiss made" that promises that much for so little seems too good to be true. If not, it's got to be one of the best deals around, and by a substantial margin.

2 years, 7 months ago on Dievas Timeattack Chronograph Watch

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I've been researching chronographs for about a year in the $1k - $2.5k range, and none of them really jumped out at me, (except the Helson Blackbeard, but QC issues have me letting off the gas on that one) but I really like this one. It's diver-ish, but not so much that I'd feel guilty for not diving with it. Attached to my wrist, it would still be destined for a hard life, though.

2 years, 7 months ago on Dievas Timeattack Chronograph Watch

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Generally, when companies like this offer their products directly to the customer, they tend to sell for MSRP. (particularly for luxury items where MSRP tends to reflect the highest mark-up on price you will see) The biggest reason for this is to avoid backlash from the retailers who also carry their product. It's considered bad form to undercut your retailers, because they can drop you like a hot potato, and when the majority of your sales come from these establishments it would not be wise to so willingly shoot oneself in one's foot. Direct sales is seen more as a courtesy to customers who don't have reputable dealers in their area for the product who wish to procure it through official channels. It gets the product into more hands, and doesn't set the manufacturer up as a competitor to the very businesses it relies on to succeed.

2 years, 10 months ago on Montblanc Watches Offically Available To Buy Online

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