Los Angeles, CA
Watch expert & blogger. Owner of aBlogtoWatch.com and watch editor for various important publications.
@emoonshot I like to give Niklas a venue for his creativity. He wanted to experiment and I thought it was worth giving art a chance. I think what most of us wanted from this were actual revisions to the watch itself, not artistic patterning. I am sure next time his ideas will be totally different.
15 hours, 5 minutes ago on Watch What-If: Rolex Sea-Dweller 4000
@BigMike213 That is entirely possible. Note that we do in many instances suggest to people who offer off-point responses that they might want to rethink their answers.
1 day, 23 hours ago on My First Grail Watch: Elie Bernheim Of Raymond Weil
@daveryan56 You know what, we feel that there is value to reading that and I will tell you why. We pretty must ask the people we do these "My first Grail" pieces the same questions. Some take a very personal approach while others integrate their marketing people into it. We feel that in addition to what they say, the tone they take helps people understand a bit of the personality behind the brand. It can perhaps be "reminding" when a more corporate brand offers a more corporate response (to confirm what people already think about something, and it can be very surprising when a larger brand offers a very personal response. Thus, even when someone answers as though their responses have been filtered through a marketing person, it still offers some insight into how the brand or individual operates.
@TWadeJ Thanks for the note. Our writer David drafted this article, and English is his second language. He is getting better, and we applaud him diligently working to write in English more and more as he learns. Also, our understanding, compounded by a few sources indicates that the Sheik never paid for the item in full, even if the referenced article does not support that particular fact. We will see about linking to other evidence in support of the non-payment. Thanks so much for the helpful comment.
2 days ago on Sotheby’s To Re-Auction The Patek Philippe Supercomplication, The Most Expensive Pocket Watch Ever
@Ulysses31 @aBlogtoWatch We actually encourage brands to send us retail watches that we "review." Reviews tend to be (as much as possible) retail models that show the final product people can buy. One of the reasons we separate "hands-on" from "wrist time reviews" is that the latter category is often populated by timepieces that we saw for a few minutes in their prototype form. Of course we like to report on it, and doing so with immediacy is something we probably aren't going to stop doing.
Having said that we do actively encourage brands to send us watches that are ready for sale for reviews. That means it is entirely possible down the road we will take a more "review" style look at the Casio G-Shock MT-G pieces, and other models that we cover in various forms.
The idea of having a tag to designate makes a lot of sense. Only we don't always really know what is a prototype and what isn't and brands don't always explain properly. So in my own personal interest of being as accurate as possible, I prefer not to mention it all the time until we know for sure. Thanks for the great feedback.
2 days, 21 hours ago on Casio G-Shock MT-G MTG-S1000 $1,000 Metal Watches Hands-On
@emenezes A common topic of discussion among us is editorial direction, what to cover and not cover, and how our selection is interpreted by the readers. When it comes down to it we try to discuss a range of topics from interesting news, important watch releases, unique items, and watches that we really want to buy ourselves or are excited about. Included in that are items that help illustrated emerging areas, and one of those is smartwatches. Let me be clear that none of the editorial staff has yet to find a commercially available smartwatch we want to wear, but it is an emerging area that we are personally interested in because it combines two things that most of us like - watches and technology.
We will never stop writing about mechanical watches, but we will incorporate discussions on important or at least noteworthy developments in the smartwatch world as they apply to the greater love of watches that we have. At the end of the day the ultimate test of whether we cover something or not is whether we as a staff want to read about it or have something important to say about it. As you know there will be no deficit of interesting mechanical stuff to consume on a very regular basis. Thanks for voicing the concern.
2 days, 21 hours ago on SpeedUp SmartWatch For iOS And Android Phones
@Ulysses31 These are non-retail prototypes that aren't going to be as high-quality as the retail models. These are often assembled and disassembled a few times and taken through the ringer. I actually like that the screws show wear because at least it means they aren't just decorative - a design feature that I really don't like. Often times aBlogtoWatch meets with brands and takes pictures of prototype pieces which aren't gonna be as nice as the final ones. We keep pushing for brands to show us "retail product" so that misconceptions like this happen less and less.
3 days, 1 hour ago on Casio G-Shock MT-G MTG-S1000 $1,000 Metal Watches Hands-On
@HawkKat That is a good question. They are honestly two very different watches from the perspective of the case design and fit. While the MR-G has a titanium case and more advanced movement, the MT-G has perhaps a more modern case design with its sophisticated lugs. I would simply suggest that people torn try them both on.
@Ej214 @aBlogtoWatch Those are all great points. Sometimes there is an assortment of "too similar" watches during the same week despite us trying to mix it up. For example, this Breitling posts was scheduled over a week ago, but the Breitling Cockpit B50 was fresher news that we wanted to get up right way. The result was two during the same week. That the Seiko quartz was scheduled as well was a coincidence. We try to vary the content for the most parts, but sometimes we mix up fresh news with items that have been scheduled a while back. We hope that people can look at the whole mix of items over the course of a month or more to get a better idea of all the things we like. Please don't hesitate to share this type of feedback as often as you feel it is necessary to get our attention. Thanks for being a great reader.
4 days, 11 hours ago on Breitling Colt Watches For 2014 Fully Embrace High-End Quartz
@MarkCarson @aBlogtoWatch A real Cholex aspirationalist right there...
4 days, 12 hours ago on Breitling Colt Watches For 2014 Fully Embrace High-End Quartz
@MarkCarson @aBlogtoWatch The CHOLEX watch will be designed to be 100% compatible with the concerns and lifestyles of Cholex professionals around the world.
@MarkCarson @aBlogtoWatch Oh, I know why they don't do it - you know that. And I know exactly why watch prices are what they are. But I'd like to imagine a world, at least for one day where the prices of wrist watches are a function of their production cost + development cost + marketing cost + reasonable margin (10-20%). That would make sure a lot more people could have cool watches. There could still be luxury brands, but perhaps they wouldn't parade their products as though they were humble sport watches for your everyday blue-collar soldier, fireman, pilot, or commercial diver.
@MarkCarson @aBlogtoWatch And yet I still find it remarkable that on a retail basis $1,000 isn't enough to get an amazing Swiss timepiece.
@MarkCarson I am with you in regard to the price. If this was a $1,000 watch (and maybe it should be) I think they would do vastly better.
4 days, 13 hours ago on Breitling Colt Watches For 2014 Fully Embrace High-End Quartz
@Ej214 There are some watches that we get excited about for one reason or another. I happen to be on a "high-end quartz" watch kick right now and am exploring the concept, and a collection of watches such as this really hits home what I like about this type of watch right now. There is no marketing angle here at all. I just happen to feel that this watches prove a point I am trying to make, and quite honestly Breitling is among the only "high-end brands" that focus on high-quality watch movements at all (in company with only a few other brands). Happy to see about changing who I work things in the future if my emotions come across this way if you can offer more specific feedback though.
@Borys Bozzor Pawliw @aBlogtoWatch Yea, Pierre looks like a guy I want to hang out with and then have run a laboratory :)
6 days, 21 hours ago on Will The Genequand System Regulator Disrupt The Traditional Balance Wheel? 30 Days Of Power Reserve With Traditional Mainspring
@Borys Bozzor Pawliw I agree that inventors should be given credit for the things they create. My statement about a better name in the future referred to that fact that the name could be more descriptive of what it actually does. "Genequand System" could mean anything, and does not even sound like something related to watches. A more descriptive name could retain Pierre Genequand's name and still describe what it is such as "Efficient Genequand Silicon Regulator" or something like that.
1 week ago on Will The Genequand System Regulator Disrupt The Traditional Balance Wheel? 30 Days Of Power Reserve With Traditional Mainspring
@5803822 Just saw this comment and was curious to ask - what is your impression of the relationship between Romain Jerome and Nubeo? Because from my understanding there is none. Just checking to see if you know something I don't.
1 week, 1 day ago on Romain Jerome Titanic DNA T-OXY III Watch Review
@Shawnnny Haha! Too soon?
1 week, 4 days ago on Vulcain Aviator Instrument Chronograph Watch Review
@arielfatams You know, comments like this make me feel like a real celebrity. I mean I am getting flamed from people who prefer to keep their name secret and with just pure angst. You made my day sir.
1 week, 4 days ago on How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch?
@thornwood36 FYI to all, even though I took the pictures of the watch on my wrists. Our Matt Diehl reviewed the watch and wrote the article.
I like all the bare knuckle fighter comments. I have been boxing for about 2 years now (taking out watch industry stress on the bags is remarkably cathartic) - so I do try to wrap my hands properly, but that doesn't always work out.
@Shawnnny Haha. True story is that I wrapped my hands "differently" at boxing and tore up my knuckles.
@mkinney59 Thanks for the note. You don't have to read sponsored posts if you don't want to. That is one of the reasons they are clearly labeled. It is like when you flip through a magazine and see an ad. You can either take a look at it or keep flipping until you see something that interests you. We've been doing sponsors posts from time to time for a long time now - so these aren't new. Even if we were full of sponsored posts requests we would never do more than 1 or 2 per week max. Assuming we did that they would equate to less than 10% of the content each week, and probably less than 5% of the content each month. We are a business and have people to pay in order to keep bringing you the editorial content you like. We'd love for aBlogtoWatch to be a "public service" but we haven't found bags of cash laying around to make that happen. We further ensure that sponsored posts bring some type of value or interesting content that is more than "buy this" or "this is great." If these promotional tools turn you off to aBlogtoWatch then we do apologize and hope you find more of what you are looking for. Have a great day and thanks for commenting.
1 week, 4 days ago on New Victorinox Swiss Army INOX Watches Tortured To Illustrate Durability
@htklun I think I actually brought up that issue a bit more here:
Let's face it, there are a ton of implications from the release whether or not people personally like the looks of the Apple Watch or feel that its functionality will benefit their lives. I also think that we are seeing a lot of textbook defensiveness when a new products comes out and people don't really have experience of how it will impact their lives. Also, we are still so new in the world of smartwatches, and while people are right to be picky and critical, I think it is important to judge the Apple Watch for what it is and what it will become, rather than what it is in an absolute sense right now - before it is even released.
Thanks for the great comments.
@Hacker4748 @aBlogtoWatch When we wrote about the Samsung Gear S with its curved screen, 3G, WiFi, and long list of features I was like "sounds great but can it deliver?" Samsung has no qualms about releasing products that look great on paper but simply don't work very well - which is a shame because some of the other products they release work well. I haven't had a hands on with the Gear S, but it is an educated guess based on their other Gear smartwatches.
Apple has less of a track record of releasing products that won't work well. Going by experience I am guessing that the Apple Watch's promised features will pretty well, as Apple isn't know for totally not being able to deliver functionality.
What I hope Apple did (and some of their functions even go to this) is produce a smartwatch simple and interesting enough for the mainstream consumer. Some of the features are gimmicky, but they are at least interesting to see how they will play out in people's lives. Apple still needs to convince people why they need to buy a notification device for an extra $500 or more that has a necessary relationship with an even more expensive phone. It can't do that with mere notifications. In the end the Apple Watch will be mostly a fitness and notification device making it easier to see incoming calls and messages and deal with some of them quickly. The mapping system looks interesting, and I think they really offered a lot in terms of the little details. This is their first such device and it could have gone A LOT worse. If you want better then give it a year - because we know there will be a follow up soon enough.
What the Apple watch has is being among the new crop of devices that doesn't feel like a toy, it has an interesting input scheme, it has the promise to be more than just a notification device, and it has a certain presumed reliability behind it because it should work pretty well within Apple's closed ecosystem that they control. I'm really just saying that it has the potential to be the first smartwatch that people look at and say "ok, this smartwatch thing isn't just some fad that bored tech sites and VCs made up to be the next big thing given that PC, phone, and tablets sales are dropping or not exciting."
1 week, 5 days ago on How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch?
@Hacker4748 That is funny you mention that because people know me personally know that I am anything but an Apple fanboy. I am however deeply excited by the promise of good smartwatches and Apple has pretty much beat everyone else that has thrown their hat in the ring so far.
I am so laser-focused on the case materials, sensors, and functionality that I almost don't even think about the design. It is as sexy or characterful as many Swiss watches I experience? Not at all. The Apple Watch at the end of the day is a gadget that will be replaced by the Apple Watch 2, Apple Watch 3, etc... What interests me is that if Apple did get it right then a whole new world of functionality is open to us.
Given the $200 - $300 price of most other smartwatches, the extra features and construction of even the aluminum Apple Watch does sound reasonable. Also, think of what you get in a Swiss watch for $350? That is the "retail" price of most of the fashion watches you see in department stores. So compared to those, I believe that this is a good value all things considered.
In regard to the competition, well they are mostly lackluster in execution. The Moto 360 probably looks the best, but it isn't getting amazing reviews. Samsung and Sony are struggling to even feel relevant given people's feedback.
This isn't the best Apple Watch that will exist and it won't be the best smartwatch ever made. But as of today is it an amazing item and I am trying to give credit where credit it due. I have both an iPhone and an Android-based phone that I carry with me at all times. I like things about them both. I don't use any other Apple operating systems, I don't even have Quicktime installed on my PC computer. I am more a tinkerer and prefer computers and devices that I can upgrade and inspect myself. Apple items are high-end computing appliances, and that works for a lot of people, but not everyone. With the Apple Watch they just sort of entered a new business, and I think it is fascinating as well as important in regard to how it will effect both the tech and watch industry together.
@bdekok @Ayreonaut We'd love to cover Dornbluth more but we've never actually had the pleasure of meeting with them or getting information. I've seen their watches a few times and have been impressed.
1 week, 5 days ago on Mühle-Glashütte R. Mühle & Sohn Watches Celebrate The 20th Anniversary Of The Brand’s Revival
@Zzyzx The minute hand issue that you are talking about is rather common with these pre-production prototypes. These aren't for sale and the brands usually rush them. They are slowly realizing that we take pretty close-up images and that the proto-types need to look as good (if not better!) than the final versions.
1 week, 5 days ago on Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 XXL Large Date And Moon Phases Transparent Dial Watch Hands-On
@jkim010100 I am on it with a keen eye! We will certainly keep watching the smartwatch segment closely.
1 week, 6 days ago on How Screwed Is The Watch Industry Thanks To The Apple Watch?
@ stephenk So weird that Apple would all of a sudden decide to use what most people assume is a width measurement and choose to use it for the case height. So yes, we don't quite know the width yet.
@X2Eliah It is honestly hard to say what the price will be. I've also heard that perhaps the gold versions are not solid gold, but perhaps just gold-plated. Apple has combined some watch industry terminology with their own lingo so it is difficult to get a fully grasp of what they intend to do with the pricing and what the materials will actually be.
@Invic I think it isn't fair to judge the product utility based on your personal feelings about the design. Like I've said, reasonable people can disagree about whether the Apple Watch looks pretty or not. I don't find it amazing, but I tolerate it. More so, I am interested in what it can do. When judging 10 watches that all do the same thing sure I am going to focus on which one does it in the most attractive manner. With smartwatches things are totally different as the conversation is mostly about utility and performance versus how nicely it stacks up against other devices that do the same thing. Give it a few years then we will have the luxury of picking a smartwatch we find more sexy than the next.
1 week, 6 days ago on Apple Watch Smartwatch Launches
@MarkCarson You might right on some of those points. There are a lot of mysteries yet to be answered.
@DG Cayse You are right, it sucks the least, and it might actually be sorta good. At least better than what else is out there right now. I am not at all an Apple fan, use a PC, and compliment my iPhone with an Android-powered phone. That said, I will stand behind who ever executes a smartwatch the best.
@emenezes I agree that reasonable people can disagree on the design for sure. I certainly prefer round-cased watches in general, but I don't think a round screen is the best solution for a smartwatch right now.
@donquixote1963 I don't hate the design. I don't compare it to beautiful round watches, but I don't at all hate it. If I did I would have said it looks bad. I think given the competition it is pretty nice, and you have to look at it as a hybrid between a traditional watch and a computing device. As smartwatches goes it is very elegant. I am sure round ones will come in the future.
@emenezes @aBlogtoWatch @Invic That is entirely possible. I am not a software engineer myself, but I am very interested to see how the device ends up performing in the real world. Now that Apple has got people excited it needs to deliver a remarkable experience and I hope they have the stuff to do it.
I agree that round smartwatches make more sense from an aesthetic stand point, but aren't as practical when it comes to screen utilization. This is just the Apple Watch 1, no doubt it will continue to evolve a lot over the next few years.
2 weeks ago on Apple Watch Smartwatch Launches
@Invic I don't think the Apple Watch is universally beautiful by any means but it is sexy as hell compared to much of the competition. I also appreciate how design flowed with function in a very obvious way. As a tech person I have different standards for a smartwatch versus a high-end mechanical watch. Does the Apple Watch design make my heart throb? No. Is it nice enough that I would wear it to experience the promise of a high-quality wearable computing device? Yes.
@Shawnnny Well Newson designs for himself so at least he feels that way :)
2 weeks ago on 10 Interesting Facts About Marc Newson’s Watch Design Work At Ikepod
@SanerDany I wasn't aware of the service issues because I was not an owner, but thanks for the information. That is what the comments are for. It is expensive and it is certainly quirky - but sometimes I like quirky. I also love how people (myself included) complain about features in many dive watches that prevent them from being strict professional dive watches when few of us actually ever intend on taking them underwater.
2 weeks, 1 day ago on Porsche Design P’6780 Diver Watch Review
@masqueman That is a really interesting point about not wanting to wear what everyone else is, and that is something that at least a few of the current crop of smartwatch makers are aware of. They are trying to deal with it by offering various strap and color options, but we know that in the future smartwatch product variation will have to go much better than that. Furthermore, like yourself many of us have significant investments both financially and personally in traditional watches. In the short run the best smartwatch devices can be used in tandem with those watches versus trying to replace them.
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Apple Hires Marc Newson, iWatch Smartwatch Watches Likely To Be Designed With His Help
@DG Cayse @aBlogtoWatch My pleasure. I think many of us can harbor reasonable levels of anger/resentment/frustration in regard to the industries we are interested in such feelings can translate into sentiments we don't always understand but nevertheless feel strongly about. Consumers looking for absolute or the best value have a harder time today than ever before in my opinion and only by talking and sharing will we be able talk it all out!
@baustard Thank you for the feedback.
@Shawnnny Ha! Someday I need to think of a fun way of covering some of those polarizing little details people obsess over like screw alignment, case size, hand length, etc... We all have our pet peeves that to other people are nuts :)
2 weeks, 2 days ago on Citizen Campanola Mechanical Watches To Use Swiss La Joux-Perret Movements
@spiceballs The execution is very "Japanese market" in its appeal and I think Citizen gets that. This isn't a story that they have promoted to the rest of the world and it isn't as though they sent a press release about it. This is one of those times we learned about a story that I thought was cool but not part of Citizen's "global push." I like that Citizen is being creative in their use of the LPJ factory, and I think that for the money these aren't a terrible value. Better designs will come and I think the novelty of having a high-end Japanese watches with a Swiss movement is certainly worth knowing about.
@DG Cayse You never need to apologize for not being impressed. But I think your statement speaks of deeper issues on the internet right now which involves both massive amounts of hype and over promising. When we speak about a traditional mechanical watch most people - whether or not they like the design - feel pretty confident that the product works. In the tech world there is so much novelty the consume is far more likely to be skeptical about whether or not something even works.
I recall in the 1990s most every piece of electronics I bought works as well as it could given what it did. Starting with early smartphones I began to make purchases of items that frankly were shit. I was curious about the notion that a legitimate company could release something that was so clearly not a flawless product. Then that became the status quo... and over just a few years (and even with the loud voices of the internet) tech companies started to release item after item that simply didn't work properly. My theory is that eventually the consumer mentality became one that assumes products are "not ready for prime time" unless proven otherwise. This is a major shift in the economy of products and one that is a natural side effect of extremely short product life cycles.
We've all likely spent thousand of dollars (if not more) as this point on stuff that shouldn't have really been released yet - which is more or less the fault of people having to deal with disparate software systems being asked to work together properly. So as buyers we approach everything with a lot of hesitation and respond to "huge promises" from product makers with the sentiment of "I have a feeling you are over-promising and under-delivering, and you'll have to go much further until you get my money."
In order to deal with all the hype and constant news of suspected products I personally just remain calm and open-minded until something is actually released and can be tested for its merits. Until then it is all just industry gossip and business stories. I would further advise people to simply take note of facts and news that applies to products they might want to buy, and just wait and see what happens.
2 weeks, 3 days ago on Apple Hires Marc Newson, iWatch Smartwatch Watches Likely To Be Designed With His Help
@marbstiu Well it is really a two way street isn't it? The hardware is just pretty looking metal and plastic without decent software to run on it. Good software stuck in an ugly shell that is meant to be worn or prominently shown to people won't enjoy the success it might deserve because people are naturally image conscious. Really need both and what is the most challenging about the smartwatch market right now is that even the biggest players have neither of these areas particularly well down yet. Thus, there is still a lot of work to be done, and I personally am more optimistic about the promise of these products versus what they actually do right now.
@Zeitblom Seriously though, can you imagine what this is going to do to the prices of Ikepod watches on the market in the short run? I would surprised if they don't go up in value at least 20% over the next few months given this news.
@MarkCarson It is my opinion that the reports of him "joining Apple" are a bit misleading. I don't think he has an office in Cupertino nor is he a full time employee. Rather he has been contracted as a design consultant and service provider to work on a series of projects and is free to do his own thing to the extent it does not compete. Managing him in that regard isn't as tough, and Newson has the ability to finally design stuff affordable by much more people that will in fact be owned by much more people than his previous work that tended to be much more high-end.
@Ulysses31 lol. You like that... Sometimes you just got to be redundant with terms to correctly indicate what you are talking about. I am pretty sure whatever Apple releases it will not be called the "iWatch" but rather something else.
I am with you in that my feelings about Ive's work is mixed. Some of his stuff is good, other stuff is a bit too high in the ivory tower of purist design. I think Ive's is the type of person who is at his best when countered by a smart product guy like Steve Jobs. I bet these men worked together well, but when left unchecked, someone like Ive's will go a bit far in one direction. In my experience the most creative people tend to produce the best results when put in a situation with a natural system of checks and balances.