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It's really interesting that these are on the 31xx movement, in use since the late 80s, and not the 32xx movement we just saw in the new Day-Date.

I'd have expected them to start migrating whole lines to the 32xx ground-up redesign.

1 month ago on Rolex Oyster Perpetual Watches New For 2015 Hands-On


Yes. Everything about these, yes. I wasn't a huge fan of the laser etched dials at first glance, but new rotor, 1000 gauss anti-magnetic? Yes.

I'll just be over here, looking through the gallery again.

1 month, 1 week ago on Rolex Day-Date 40 Watches & The New Rolex 3255 Movement Hands-On


@Chaz_Hen If you liked that 90's S/El series, you should own one. I personally think it's pretty awful, and doesn't typify the best of TAG or Heuer. 

I will agree, it was the first (or nearly first) TAG design effort after the Formula 1 and the Heuer-inherited Professional diver. But it, like the Kirium, are better left in the past. If you want one, find one and wear it proudly.

I don't know that they should re-issue everything - they need to simplify the product line. The Link may be boring to you, but to me, it's the best iteration of TAG's experiments with bracelets and lugs.

TAG needs:

* sub-500.

* sub-1000.

* a limited range of dial options (black, white, silver, markers, 3-6-9-12/date-6-9-12)

*quartz, and a limited offering of automatic.

* one chronograph

* one monaco (with a few dials)

It's time to go back to a TAG that is pricier than SWATCH, but affordable, attainable.

We don't need Cailbre 16, 11, 1887, CH80,  We don't need over 30 SKUs in the range. What we need is a simplified range with some affordable options that represent the best of TAG with some homage to the Heuer era in design. It has to be models that aren't so polarizing that they won't sell.

The way I think of it, there need to be a maximum of 20 SKUs including men's, women's, and all dial combinations. Look at past sales and choose the styles that have sold the best.

I'm not kidding when I say I've interviewed TAG owners, asking them why they wear one. It's important to know this, and TAG ignores it at their peril. They should interview owners, not just ones in watch forums, but regular people who don't have any special fascination with watches. 

4 months, 1 week ago on TAG Heuer Interim CEO Jean-Claude Biver Confirms TAG’s New Pricing & Brand Strategies


Taking TAG up-market to the 8000 price range was always going to be a difficult strategy.

1. Who are TAG's customers, and what do we know about them?

2. What are the most successful products in TAG's run? In Heuer's run, pre-TAG?

3. Ignoring the belt-driven works, what are the best of the products that match with who TAG wants as consumers going forward?

I would argue that the line-up has to be:

* Formula 1 (tasteful 90s iteration, after plastic, before bling WAC111A.LC2459)

* Link (in its best iteration, squared off links, not the rounded atrocities WJ1111-0 )

* Aquaracer (tasteful, diver WAF1110)

* Carrera (re-create the 2447 SN)

* Monaco

That list is in order of price point from low to high. It doesn't attempt to be all things to all people, but there are products at a broad range of price, and it honors the best pieces of TAG and Heuer in the process. I would be willing to eliminate Aquaracer as superfluous in that range, but it gives you Good, Better, Best, Chronograph, Monaco (which you can't eliminate - it's iconic.)

Does TAG need CH80? No. It was an amazing idea, but it's not why customers buy TAG. Interview people who wear TAG watches they've had for ages - I have.

You'll hear answers like, "It was my first good watch." "I was working for an oil extraction company in Africa, and my watches kept breaking. I bought it in a duty free, and it was the only watch that's held up and not broken in my line of work." "My children bought it for me." "My husband bought it for me."

TAG needs to be positioned so it can be the answer to the question: "What watch do you buy when you only know Rolex as a brand, and aren't spending Rolex-money?"

And, TAG needs to maintain a line of quartz movements. As much as watch people rubbish quartz, ask yourselves about maintenance, reliability, and what makes a watch a "good watch" for these types of customers? 

4 months, 1 week ago on TAG Heuer Interim CEO Jean-Claude Biver Confirms TAG’s New Pricing & Brand Strategies


I think one of the questions here is: who is Tudor's customer?

Tudor has to be aware that people can buy competing brands for less, and can buy used-well-cared for Rolex for the same money as a new Tudor.

So, Tudor needs to find a consumer that will only settle for being the first owner, and can't or won't afford an Explorer.

Are they ignoring the used market entirely, starting from the RRP of the Explorer and saying, "If the Tudor customer is the same person who would wear an Explorer, it needs to be nominally 2000 dollars less," rather than working up, they're starting high and coming down?

It makes me wonder, what are the most expensive ETA-powered watches? Is there a sort of natural cap on how expensive an ETA-powered watch can be, based on its movement?

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tudor Heritage Ranger Watch Review


@MikeinFrankfurt I think the other thing is that the tips of the lugs are beveled. The tips of a DJ or Explorer are cut straight. All of these things lead you see the lugs as thinner. The side of this case is cut straight and brushed. The side of the Explorer is rounded and polished.

I definitely would wear the Tudor, but at 4000, it's out of budget.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tudor Heritage Ranger Watch Review


@Grinnie Jax OK, I've figured out what I'd *really* like - The case of the SARG009, with the dial and date wheel from the SRP043K1, arriving at a 3-6-9-12 dial with Seiko's high quality lume and a date at the 4-o'clock position. I'd either like stick hands or mercedes hands, but would also source from Seiko so that the lume matches... The "diver 300m" script would be wrong once transplanted, but that's easy enough to get over.

Now I just need to find someone who's modified the SRP043K (Spork) and no longer needs their dial...

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tudor Heritage Ranger Watch Review


@Grinnie Jax That Seiko with a dial and hand mod (MKII if you could find it, Yobokies if you can't?) would be very, very nice. Good find!

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tudor Heritage Ranger Watch Review


@MikeinFrankfurt Looking at this closely, it feels to me like they've scalloped the lugs as it comes away from the circular body of the case. On a 36mm DJ or Explorer, the lugs don't scallop in as they extend, they're almost a straight line from the center of the diameter to the end of the lug. I think they needed to leave a little more metal on the outside edge of the lug. 

The bezel does seem a little narrow. It needs to almost overhang the side of the case ever so slightly, and it needs to have a slightly smaller diameter dial / rehaut / crystal to get a wider bezel. Apparently, Rolex has a hard time scaling up proportionally.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tudor Heritage Ranger Watch Review


This is a perfect enlargement of the classic Tudor Ranger I. The Tudor Ranger II had an integrated bracelet, similar to the Oysterquartz.

What's good to note when looking at this watch is, the numerals are almost the same as those on a classic 1016 Explorer I - if you want a Rolex-made 1016 and don't have 8-10 thousand dollars laying around, this is a way to get close.

Also worth noting is that the hands are the correct length here, with the minute hand reaching the minute track and the hour hand getting close to the numerals. On the 214270 Explorer I, they used smaller hands on the enlarged case and dial, making it suffer from short-hand-syndrome.

This is how you do it. Yes, if it were made by anyone else it might cost less, but it's not.

4 months, 3 weeks ago on Tudor Heritage Ranger Watch Review


There are other models than just ads, sponsored posts (ads) and freemium. They don't always work, but can be appropriate if you've got enough traffic.

1) Sell subscriptions to the RSS feed. This works if your readers are sophisticated enough to use RSS.

2) Sell ABTW-supporting swag (t-shirts!) once a year. The limited nature creates demand and isn't something you have to work with more than once annually, so it's not a distraction.

3) Sell sponsorship, but not through the advertorial sponsored posts- instead, let someone pay 5000-7500USD for a week's sponsorship. In exchange, they don't get to write an article, they get you writing a paragraph thanking them for their sponsorship and mentioning the product they'd like to highlight, once at the beginning of the week, and again at the end of the week. This has the benefit of not overwhelming your reader, and doesn't mix advertising and editorial policy the way an advertorial does.

Added beauty to this is that no one has to tax an art department to create banners, it's a simple "thank you to WATCHCO for sponsoring this week's ABTW, makers of fine watches. They'd like to introduce you, our sophisticated, handsome reader to their newest diver, fashioned in the purest unobtanium..." 

4) Sell the same sponsorships on HourTime.

--- note that there's a theory that says that in the future, people pay nothing at all to market online. Joseph Jaffe wrote a book called Z.E.R.O., with the theory that zealots (advocacy), entrepreneurship (innovation), Retention (customer-centricity), and owned assets (direct to consumer channels) are a way of lowering marketing budgets and not relying on media - that person to person and company to person dialogs become more important. This isn't an entirely new message - the Cluetrain Manifesto is 15 years old this week and we're still seeing companies that haven't figured out that dialog has to be personal, and that companies have to act like people if they want people to form strong affinities to them.

Companies that have built on this word-of-mouth, social driven buzz, customer passion are things like Google, Amazon, eBay (who did run adverts but since ceased) zappos, and Starbucks. Clearly not a watch maker among them. The notion is that companies are spending at 25%-50% of their ad budgets wastefully, and blowing up the budget in favor of low-cost high-reward activities works better, whether it's Oreo's instagram and twitter feed or Coke's "names" campaign, putting names on coke cans and bottles.

I imagine that much of the wristwatch industry is slower to adopt theories like this, so you've got a while before having to consider this as a problem. 

7 months, 3 weeks ago on Your Feedback Is Requested In Regard To The Future Of Watch Media


@MarkCarson @Fraser Petrick Strings and Sealing wax. Bailing twine.

8 months, 3 weeks ago on TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon Watch Hands-On


@MarkCarson @antjay Regular screws may be mis-aligned. Screws with special heads (Audemars Piguet hexagons, Hublot H-screws, may not. Or so goes the logic of the complainer.)

8 months, 3 weeks ago on TAG Heuer Monaco V4 Tourbillon Watch Hands-On


@zznhl1 Actually, Picasso and Dali are surprisingly affordable. 

10 months ago on Explaining What’s Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014


I think with the advent of the internet, the gray market eventually just becomes, "the market." These artificial restrictions end up going away. There's something very offensive about buying a legitimate product and being denied service or warranty because it was purchased through a non-blessed sales channel. Camera manufacturers have done this for years. If you bought the gray market version at a better price, you had no warranty, even though it was their product and they acknowledged it as such.

The problem that the manufacturers face is ending up in a world where the sales channel is, "You can buy this from anyone, and we're anyone!" Value is in part perceived from some scarcity, so they have to create the reputation of "you can't get this from anyone but us," which is the factory-owned boutique or direct sales route.

10 months, 1 week ago on Explaining What’s Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014


But what about what are essentially dead-brands-walking that need to re-invent themselves?

What about the process of establishing a new, different, reputation that is a split with the past?

I'm thinking of Bulova. Bulova had a long and storied tradition as one of the fine American watchmakers, with a claim to being approved for NASA instrument use on the Moon Mission, and they squandered it. Now they're going through the hard process of clearing old stock, changing retail channels (please, no more selling at Kohl's and Ross Dress For Less), and weeding out the ghastly designs and materials.

They have a harder mission than a young, new brand, because they have to not only stay true to their new selves, they have to change everyone's minds that they aren't their old selves.

Smartwatches are another difficult one to square with this "build and maintain the reputation that you are true to yourselves" position. The smartwatch reinvents itself with each new technology advance, and the real reputation work here is, "sport dedicated, vs dress - interact-with-it-all-the-time, vs. passive information when you need it" philosophies. It's nearly impossible to make a timeless smartwatch because the technology shifts require it to be timely.

I'm uncertain that the best prices are in the US Market. I say this because if that were true, Costco wouldn't have been able to make money on the arbitrage of supplying gray-market Omega watches to US consumers. A former employer who bought a Rolex Submariner would have bought one in the US instead of in a boutique in China. Although, the Chinese people I know are masters at knowing which market to buy in, Singapore for this, HK for that, Taiwan for other types of goods...

10 months, 1 week ago on Explaining What’s Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014


I'm very sorry about this. Please use this courtesy car to travel through time to the event. :)

10 months, 3 weeks ago on Omega Watches Event In Los Angeles: Join Us On June 14th, 2014


Che wore a Rolex GMT Master and a Submariner, not exactly timepieces available to the proletariat. 

1 year ago on Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Revolución Watches For South America


@Fraser Petrick  The problem making a device for diabetics is regulatory approval as a medical device from all the various government agencies around the world.

1 year, 1 month ago on Motorola Moto 360 Watch Debuts Google ‘Android Wear’ OS: The Smartwatch For Everyone Is Here


Simple, well-made, timeless are all words that describe the L1. I like it very much. I wonder if the minute hand might be a little longer, but this is very well executed.

1 year, 1 month ago on Maurice de Mauriac L1 Watch Designed By Fabian Schwaerzler


@LapYoda  AP Royal Oak screws actually are aligned. The screw slot is parallel to the side of the octagonal bezel all the way around the bezel. Why Hublot doesn't align the H slot in their bezel screws, I do not know. AP made the task easy by using the hex head.

1 year, 1 month ago on Hublot Big Bang Ferrari New Ceramic, Titanium, And Gold Watch Models For 2014 Hands-On


@mcv1973a  Could be– but then I'd want to see a Ricky Bobby / Kurt Busch themed one.  That'd be more tasteful (!) than something like the old Jeff Gordon DuPont colors, I suppose.

1 year, 1 month ago on Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review


@MarkCarson  Seriously, what are the great racing liveries that non-racing fans can identify at a glance? Gulf Racing, the Porsche Martini-Rossi... and the Porsche factory racing Pig-in-butcher-markings?

1 year, 1 month ago on Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review


@MarkCarson  Before they were Porsche 917 colors, they were the Gulf Racing colors of the legendary (I sense a theme here) GT40 that swept LeMans four years running. When Ford made the Ford GT a few years ago, they sold several in that livery. John Mayer, watch nerd and musician, bought one. 

There's also the Steve McQueen connection, which ties us back to watches, the TAG Monaco, McQueen's Submariner... I digress.

I would also wear this watch with red, white, and blue stripes and the numeral 53 on the dial. I would smile every time I glanced at my wrist if I had that.

1 year, 1 month ago on Maurice de Mauriac Le Mans Watch Review


@MikeinFrankfurt   @JosephW

Baume et Mercier describe the movement as:

Swiss Made
Movement Designation: Automatic, self-winding, IWC 35750
Finish: Circular-grained finished plate and bridges. Open worked oscillating weight adorned with "Côtes de Genève", snailed decor and PHI symbol.
Power Reserve: 42.0 hour
Frequency: 4.0 Hz / 28800.0 Vph

With the balance wheel at 12, and the large rotor bearing, this looks like it could be an ETA family movement. with IWC attention to precision. I believe they either order gear trains to a higher spec than ETA normally delivers, or they replace those parts with higher spec ones on their own.

1 year, 2 months ago on Baume & Mercier Capeland Worldtimer Watch Review


50 units a year is pretty substantial for handmade work. 


It's gorgeous.

1 year, 4 months ago on Voutilainen GMT Six O’Clock Watch Hands-On


Unapologetically Unadjusted™.

I'm glad to see such a tasteful dial, but one of the things I'm picky about is the NATO strap.

You can use the most supple leather in the world, but when you stitch with nylon thread and then melt the ends of the thread to secure it, you've ruined the strap. The hard melted ends then scratch my wrist and forever remind me of the poor materials choice.

Sure, I know the strap is replaceable. I don't care. If it has melted thread, It's a bad first impression. Every part of the consumer experience, even in a cost-reduced watch, needs to be paid attention to.

1 year, 4 months ago on AVI-8 Flyboy 4021 Automatic Watch Review

@SN0WKRASH I was in Kohl's a few months ago and found a ladies Bulova automatic in rose gold with a MOP dial. It had a cut out in the shape of a heart showing the balance wheel underneath. Certainly not my taste, but then, it wasn't for meant for me. My wife ended up having a Citizen. If Kohl's isn't exactly a boutique, they at least have a nice return policy.

1 year, 4 months ago on Van Cleef & Arpels “Cerfs-Volants” Kites Watches Hands-On


Seiko has been running advertisements on Hulu+ showing off the Astron, highlighting Solar, Kinetic, and GPS, explaining the different technologies a little.

It's been really interesting seeing a Seiko watch advertisement every 10 minutes or so.

1 year, 4 months ago on Seiko Astron GPS Solar 2013 Watches Hands-On


I wonder if OWC got the BBC licensing, or this is sort of a stealth homage. What's the packaging like?

I recognized the dial immediately as having been influenced from the pocketwatch David Tennant used in the episode Human Nature -, seen here:

1 year, 4 months ago on Are You A Time Lord? OWC Watch Honors Doctor Who


@Fraser Petrick Wait until 2017, and you can have the Aqua Terra without the bumblebee markers. I have no idea if they'll offer you the bracelet with polished center links, though.

1 year, 4 months ago on Hands-On With Omega’s Aqua Terra >15,000 Gauss Watch


@MarkCarson Have you given any thought to 3D printing some new platters for your music box? There's no technical reason they have to be made out of metal, although 3D printed ones might wear out more quickly.

I think it'd be entertaining to put on a platter of music that's more recent following the platters you inherited.

1 year, 4 months ago on MB&F MusicMachine By Reuge Hands-On: The $13,000 Music Box


The MB&F Music Machine is the modern day equivalent of the Jaquet Droz automata. There's no practical value, but it showcases the expertise and attention to quality that MB&F put into the Horological and Legacy collection.

The owner isn't using this as their only source of music or entertainment, but it is marvelous to look at, to ponder the mechanicals, to appreciate the precision with which it was made. 

1 year, 4 months ago on MB&F MusicMachine By Reuge Hands-On: The $13,000 Music Box


@Superstition @vmarks is the link to the patent application that Rolex filed in May. They haven't made a watch with this (yet) but it would keep the crown pointing up.

The point of the application is to be able to have the crown pointing up without having to do intense quality work involved in doing this without the invention - it would mean indexing the tap that cuts the threads in the case for the crown tube, indexing the die that cuts the threads on the crown tube, and indexing the die that cuts the threads inside the crown. That's a lot of work to get precisely right, and the invention in the application appears to solve the problem without making it this hard in production.

1 year, 5 months ago on 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches


@Superstition @vmarks It does. But they have a patent application on a crown that will always point up when you screw it down. They haven't made a watch with this implemented yet.

1 year, 5 months ago on 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches


@Ulysses31 @trj66 It's a good question why Rolex hasn't moved to silicon springs and parts. I don't know the answer, but I do wonder what are the failure rates?

Rolex has moved to their parachrom and paramagnetic branding around springs and anti-magnetic movements, and haven't done so across their entire line. Parachrom is Zirconium and Niobium alloy fused at 2400 degrees C. The research that was required to make a hairspring like this is nothing to sneeze at- surely its an innovation. 

I get it. Girard-Perregaux uses silicon. Patek Phillipe uses silicon. Ulysse Nardin uses silicon. Jaeger LeCoultre has a movement which requires no lubrication at all. 

But Rolex gets some of the credit here, too - The Spiromax balance spring made of Silinvar that Patek uses? this patented silicon-based material is the result of research financed in partnership with the Swatch Group and Rolex. 

1 year, 5 months ago on 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches


@Ulysses31 Investing in exorbitantly expensive testing equipment co-developed with Comex (who we last publicly saw as a Rolex-Comex relationship in the 70s with some dive watches) is too decadent to care? 

I'd say that there's a very conservative approach to outward design revisions, with Milgauss or the flowered dial Datejust representing the biggest visual move away from a traditional Rolex. But Yachtmaster II and Skydweller are engineering leaps away from the conventional Rolex, and Ariel's trip shows the investment in manufacturing processes back up these engineering innovations. 

1 year, 5 months ago on 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches


"One way of looking at Rolex is that they are an extremely competent and almost obsessively organized manufacturing company - that just happens to make timepieces."

This is a powerful statement. There's almost an unspoken 'want to buy one?' that follows it in my head, one that says, "We make the best manufactured things on Earth, we're fanatical about attention to detail and quality. Oh, and we make wristwatches. Wouldn't you like to have one?"

Not that I own one, I don't. This same kind of statement would be just as powerful from TAG with their new calibre. But Rolex clearly know why they exist and aren't afraid to invest in anything they perceive as quality. This shows in the application of robotization and in the research department where they have patent applications on better shock resistant movement mountings, down to the application on keeping the Rolex crown pointed up when you screw down the crown after setting the watch.

It wasn't always this way.

Prior to 2000, Beyeler, Singer, Lemrich, ZJ, Metelem and Stern all did work for Rolex as outside suppliers. Prior to this, Rolex did not make dials in house. It used to happen that dial manufacturers would create speculative dials and shop them to the watchmakers, bringing around albums (a catalogue) of dials with new designs for the coming year. It wasn't unusual for dial makers bring this round, let the buyers at Rolex peruse them and purchase an exclusive on a particular design.

In 2008 Jean-Pierre Jacquet was sentenced to four years in prison for his company's counterfeiting Rolex Daytona watches using some legitimate Rolex parts resulting in a counterfeit branded product that was assembled in Switzerland using real parts. The counterfeiting crime was discovered around 2002, but it's possible it could have been going on earlier. Nicholas Hayek likened it to the Cardinals robbing the Vatican bank.

It looks from my reading as if Rolex had already begun moves to prevent this kind of thing from happening, but this revelation probably accelerated their acquisitions.

Rolex severed its relationship with Singer and Stern, and bought Beyeler, bringing their operations in house. Rolex went on a buying spree, acquiring:

Beyeler - dials (cases and bracelets as well) - acquired 2000

Bonchini - crowns - acquired 2003

Gay Freres SA - bracelets - acquired 1998

I don't remember who they bought for making hands, or that they necessarily needed to- once they have the dials in house it's easy enough to use many of the same skills to make hand sets.

1 year, 5 months ago on 10 Things To Know About How Rolex Makes Watches


@DG Cayse @MarkCarson When you put an engineer in charge of a brand, you run the risk of getting a technically superior product, a technically identical product, or a carefully cost-reduced product, and you don't know which without knowing what the engineer values most. 

Of course, you can get the same or worse results if you put a marketing-type in charge and they value high margins at low MSRP/RRP which leads to flagrant, careless cost-reduction measures. Thank goodness that didn't happen here.

Frequently, engineers aren't designers. Perhaps that explains some of the familiar design cues you can see here and in the Confidence X line they make. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Kentex Marineman Sapphire Ceramic Watch Hands-On


@Kris C I understand what you're saying. The reason why they apply for a patent first is that they want the shock-resistant advantages to be a Rolex-only advantage (or to collect license fees from others who would implement it.) So they have to apply for the patent first in order for there to be any legal protection for the idea. Otherwise, competitors could buy a Rolex, copy it (I agree, there doesn't appear to be any great technical hurdle to copying here) and Rolex couldn't do anything to prevent it.

Having a 60% better watch in a drop to a hard surface does seem like a big deal. I can understand why Rolex would want it for themselves. The only other improvement on that kind of scale was the old Wyler Incaflex balance springs, where they dropped a watch off the Eiffel tower and it continued to keep time after impact. The Incaflex used spiral arms to connect pinion to the outer balance wheel instead of the more common straight spokes and the spiral arms would flex a little in a shock, absorbing the worst of it. 

1 year, 5 months ago on Rolex To Create New Shock-Resistant Oyster Watch Case?


@gleam True - but fitting a 20mm wide movement into a 28.5mm space would mean two very wide and flat rings in this invention, or a third ring to fill the gap.

It would also have to have hands that extended out past its 20mm diameter and a datewheel that would reach past. That would require the center mounted datewheel rather than the normal datewheel for a man's Rolex which has a retaining ring and jewels that overlap its edges.

Thanks for bringing this up, I'm going to be thinking about it now.

1 year, 5 months ago on Rolex To Create New Shock-Resistant Oyster Watch Case?

@Ulysses31 @aBlogtoWatch There are plenty of opportunities for philanthropy in the watch world, but I can think of only a few who take advantage of them.
Just off the top of my head, Rolex has scholarships for students and philanthropy via the Rolex Laureates. "Since 1976, the Rolex Awards for Enterprise have supported individuals whose courage and creativity advance human knowledge and well-being."
Harry Winston, Inc. has TheHarry Winston Brilliant Futures™ Charitable Program, which supports leading organizations throughout its worldwide salon communities.

Omega’s support of Orbis International and its Flying Eye Hospital seems relevant. 

Omega continued to develop its partnership with filmmaker/ecologist Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his GoodPlanet organization. In June, the Planet Ocean film directed by Arthus-Bertrand and Michael Pitiot and produced by Omega was screened at the Earth Summit in Rio. This is from Omega's annual report, 2012.

I think it's entirely possible that watch companies are doing both the sport collaborations and the philanthropic work and we just don't hear enough about the latter.

1 year, 5 months ago on Manchester United Gets Bulova As Official Timekeeper And Global Watch Partner


I have Pebble, MetaWatch, Nike Fuelband, and Fitbit. I've owned Jawbone UP and Fitbit Ultra in the past.

I also worked on Renew SleepClock (which uses radar to detect sleep cycle rather than something you have to wear like UP.)

The main thing to remember with any of these Quantified Self devices is where your data goes and how useful it is to you.

That is, if you use Fitbit, your data is in Fitbit and maybe If your data is in Runkeeper, that's it. Similarly for Basis or UP. The most meaningful use of data is when it can be correlated with other data. If your food data that's automatically scanning barcodes is in Loseit, your weight info is in withings and runkeeper, your activity is in Nike or fitbit, then it's hard to really get a sense of what you're actually accomplishing or monitoring.

Note: Renew, the one I worked on, allows you to export to Runkeeper and CSV files readable by Excel and google docs. The point being, we have all these great devices, but your data has to be yours, not trapped in a silo, and especially not trapped in silos that don't talk to each other.

1 year, 11 months ago on What Are The Best Personal Analytics Smartwatches?


Where's the rotor? How does this differ technically from the 2842 used in the 1990s-present Swatch automatics?

1 year, 12 months ago on Baselworld 2013: Swatch Sistem51- Only 100 Swiss Francs for a Mechanical Watch!


The car comparison is worth looking at.

Maserati uses Ferrari engines.

The MINI started its rebirth in the early 2000s using Chrysler engines rather than BMW (family) ones.

The legendary DeLorean used a Peugeot-Renault-Volvo joint concern motor.

Lotus cars ship in America with Toyota motors installed.

Ariel Atom ships in its original form with a Honda motor installed.

This sort of companies-buying-motors-from-competitor marques is pretty analogous to the ETA situation. But there are other variations on this theme:

Tesla shipped initially using their own motor, but the body and suspension of Lotus.

Chevrolet Cavalier was sold and branded as Toyota Cavalier for the Japanese market.

And there was the NUMMI, which produced the same car labeled as both a Toyota and Geo (first) and Chevrolet (later, when the Geo brand was eliminated.) Pontiac Vibe = Toyota Matrix. Geo Prizm = Toyota Corolla. 

Porsche produced the Boxster both in Germany and outsourced to a non-Porsche-owned factory in UusikaupunkiFinland (Valmet) - Is a Porsche made outside of Zuffenhausen really a Porsche? Yes, but somehow one contracted out feels similar to watch houses contracting out to buy ebauches.

Toyota and Subaru currently have this relationship. When you buy a Toyota GT86, you're getting the Subaru flat 4 boxer engine. 

Conclusion: Car companies will sometimes source powertrains from their erst-while competitors just as Swiss Made watch houses will source ebauches from ETA, or perhaps Sellita when SWATCH group decide to cease all external movement sales.

It's not just ETA. JLC has sold movements to other brands for ages.

What I wonder is, does the impending restrictions on ETA movements lend itself to an opening in the market? Should a manufacture exist solely to produce ebauches and sell them to those who currently rely on ETA-Valjoux? Produce a clone or new design that happens to maintain the ligne, dial feet locations, stem height and canon pinion diameters, and you'd have drop in replacements. I think Hublot has already done this as an in-house for their chronograph, but no provider that I know of exists solely to produce replacement ebauches other than Sellita.

2 years ago on NOMOS Tangomat GMT Watch Review


I was surprised by the DateJust II recommendation - it's too large and the proportions look wrong, especially when compared with the classic DateJust. 

There's nothing wrong with the original DateJust size. If you want the bigger watch, Submariner, Milgauss GV or Explorer II with the large orange GMT hand are all better choices.

2 years, 2 months ago on Guide To Buying Your First Rolex Part 2:<br />What To Buy


This and it's grandfather, the 6541 Milgauss, are among my favorites.

2 years, 2 months ago on Rolex Milgauss 116400GV Watch Review


@geoffbot I hope you enjoy your new watch.

Manufacturing costs are not increasing, or not increasing dramatically. The BRAND that I had in mind when I wrote my comment has increased prices by 2000 USD since I began watching a specific timepiece at the local AD counter. It debuted at 6250 USD and is now at 8200 USD. For exactly the same watch that has been sitting below the glass counter.

Costs increase for a few reasons:
1) company needs increased margins to please shareholders/fill owners pockets/fund future development/marketing needs
2) company needs to increase costs to cover increasing replacement costs - this is why gasoline/petrol prices go up. The replacement cost for materials/labor is higher than the cost of what it was to produce the unit on sale today.
3) company raises prices to create a worth that isn't present or wasn't present in their initial go-to-market strategy.

I'll elaborate a little on (3). A 1950 Bulova Director (10K case, 15 jewel swiss manual wind) cost $33.75 when new. Adjusting for inflation, that's 288.27 USD in 2011 money. A watch that cost $950 in 1980 should cost $2,795.16 today. Instead, the price for that model's replacement costs $7,500.

A common practice in non-watch industries is to price goods at a price 80% of the target consumers can bear. This strikes a balance between selling enough and leaving some demand that people can strive for. In luxury goods I can see charging a higher price and setting that ratio so that less of the potential consumers are able to afford the product.

The problem is two-fold. 1) It's really disheartening to see a product that was within budget and reach get re-priced out of reach. Instead of making the consumer aspire to ownership, it makes the consumer turn away. 2) Especially when there's no apparent justification, such as the replacement cost mentioned above.

It's possible to say, "sure, you're just not their target customer." And I could live with that, although I would suggest that they're shrinking their market drastically.

Another user pointed out that buying used was a good solution. And it is, but it does nothing for the manufacturer who has essentially lost a sale. You could argue that they never would have made that sale anyway, but I think they would have had they not raised prices each year, widening the disparity between used and new. You can also say that they'll get service fees. Even if there's huge margin in service, it's not as high a profit as they make on the initial purchase.

2 years, 3 months ago on What About Value? Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Value!


Another interesting part of the "luxury AD experience" is the experience of going to the counter and being told "you should really buy now, BRANDNAME is raising the prices in the near future and we'll have to charge you $1000 more next month."

Contrary to pressuring ADs to not discount, they're pressuring dealers to raise prices so that even fewer in the market can consider their products an option.

I understand that ADs are at the mercy of their contracts with the brands, but the brands should understand that having their representatives have to say this doesn't make them look good. It makes them look like they view sales as an unwanted unnecessary evil they have to engage in. 

That experience doesn't increase desirability of their products, it's off-putting. It increases pricing, but not necessarily the value.

If manufacturers don't like customers, and they don't like service, and they regularly anger consumers by changing parts at service that consumers prefer to have been left well enough alone, it's a wonder they're in business at all.

2 years, 3 months ago on What About Value? Won't Somebody Please Think Of The Value!