May 28, 2011

Pansar Supercharged Review

Pansar Supercharged Watch Review
 There is a new watch company in town, Pansar, a Swedish brand to be exact. Pansar has launched an exciting series of new watches for 2011, focusing on simplicity, functionality, and quality. Pansar proves that their focus has paid off with original designs, releasing the Supercharged, Moonracer, and X1 Airborne. Refreshingly, the designs are not “borrowed” or “me too”, unlike some other brands. 
  W&R was lucky enough to get a fresh Supercharged chronograph in hand to see what helps separate Pansar from the pack. Upon first look, it is clear this is not your typical “factory production” watch. What is evident is the amount of thought and design that went into delivering the Supercharged to market. 
  Watch dials generally tend to be one of two ways, busy or clean. Pansar designed the dial with simplicity and racing in mind. Besides the benefit of looking good, the time can be read at glance. In part, to a more minimalistic approach for a chronograph. Another key element in keeping the dial clean was the wise choice to rotate numerals and indices. With the subdials, they work very well fitting in between the numerals. There are some small splashes of yellow used on the seconds hand, minute subdial hand, and the “A”. Adding a good balance of contrast for this watch. The chronograph function itself is a bit unique. The 3 o’clock subdial displays the actual 24 hour time, with the date window cleverly tucked into this subdial as well. The 9 o’clock subdial keeps track of chrono minutes, with a big yellow pointer resting at 60 minutes. There is an interesting twist to the Supercharged chronograph function. The yellow “A” is actually the 60 second counter. Once the chrono function is initiated, the “A” begins to tick clockwise for the seconds function! Once stopped and reset, it spins back to its capital upright position. The minute, hour hands, numerals, and indices are all lumed adequately. The Supercharged uses sapphire crystal to protect the face and a quartz Seiko VD53 to power all the functions. Lastly, the dial has a very nice dimensional, tiered depth, that is hard to appreciate in pictures. W&R is currently working on detailed pics, hope to have done in the near future. 
  The Supercharged does not have your standard looking watch case and deserves special attention. Pansar uses a 5 piece construction for the Supercharged case, along with 4 hex screws. The hex screws are unique from other brands W&R has seen, they are actually more like hex bolts. These give the watch great visual dimension at the four corners of the watch’s case. Below is a side shot showing off the three dimensional case and the amount of machining involved to bring the Supercharged to life. The pushers and crown are appropriately proportioned for the watch. Pansar went the extra mile with the crown by engraving their logo. One backwards “P” and one normal, side by side. 




The Supercharged is presented in a black pelican style case, with Pansar logo. Inside are the instructions, warranty card, extra links, black leather strap, and the watch on a very substantial stainless steel bracelet. The bracelet has large original “T” shaped links on either side, that transition to smaller links nearing the butterfly clasp. The strap is extremely comfortable and has a Bell & Ross strap design about it. The strap comes off the lugs higher than most typical watch lug designs. In return, this provides better proportioned visual support for the Supercharged. 




Overall, the Supercharged chronograph would make a great addition to the watch collection, at a fair price. There is good balance of being different enough, without being in your face. Pansar offers different appearances out of the box, with the bracelet and strap options depending on ones mood or liking. For more information on Pansar, visit Pansar’s site at pansarsweden.com.

Pros - Fresh design, case construction, bracelet/strap, value

Consideration - A half link on the bracelet would be a nice additional option for sizing

May 20, 2011

Tag Heuer Monaco 24 Concept Review

Tag Heuer Monaco 24 Concept Watch Review


  The Monaco 24 (Twenty Four) Concept is no concept! It is here and Tag Heuer did not hold back on this contemporary take on the iconic Monaco. The Monaco 24 chronograph is of course heavily influenced by GT Racing. Specifically, the Gulf blue and orange striped Porsche 917K Steve McQueen drove in the movie Le Mans.  As seen in the pictures above, the dial and movement appear to be suspended in the watch by four shock absorbing arms, almost a floating effect. Tag Heuer has been very impressive in recent years, with their new designs and technical engineering. They continue to march forward and do not rest on their laurels. 
  What powers the futuristic Monaco 24? Only one of the most famous and renowned chronograph movements, the 36,000 BPH Zenith El Primero, known here as Calibre 36. The movement is protected by what Tag Heuer calls an Advanced Dynamic Absorber system, these are the four arms seen in each corner. Continuing the racing theme, the chronograph subdials echo that of car gauges. A little function is lost here to gain better visual appeal. The 24’s case has been PVD treated and the case back is almost entirely sapphire crystal for continued viewing of this beautifully crafted watch. The watch comes on an orange stitched crocodile strap, not sure this right fit for such a sporty watch. Especially, considering the case is PVD.
  Tag took a big risk messing with legendary and classic Monaco. No risk, no reward, Tag Heuer nailed this one overall. Anyone who is lucky enough to own this bad boy will be wearing one of Tag Heuer’s best designs and technical achievements in recent years. On the flip side, the first scratch put on this PVD finish would be enough to make a grown man cry...
  
Pros - Well executed contemporary take on a classic, finish, Zenith El Primero

Consideration - This beauty has a price tag to match

Case Diameter: 40.5mm
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black 
Strap: Black Crocodile 
Lug Width: 22mm
Movement: Calibre 36 
Water Resistant: 100m

May 14, 2011

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Panorama Date Review

Glashutte Original Sport Evolution Watch Review

  Glashutte Original is a very well respected German watch company. Sometimes simply referred to as “GO”, short for Glashutte Original. While this is far from one their most complicated watches, W&R is a sucker for a clean sport/dress designed watch. The Sport Evolution Panorama Date is just that type of watch. Unlike many sport/dress watches the Glashutte Original has an added bit of class about the watch. 
  There is an unmistakable, beautiful “Panorama” date window. The date complication is unique, Glashutte Original uses a dual disc to display the date to ensure proper date change at midnight. A tiered dial, with the applied indices are set lower on the outer rim of the dial, giving the dial added visual depth. Red is used throughout the Sport Evolution to accent the watch. Blocky hour and minute hands are not typical styled hands. What is nice about the the use of these hands is how they mirror the hour markers. The unidirectional bezel has the standard dive watch layout. It is a 60 click bezel, but for a watch pushing 9K, a 120 click bezel would seem to be more appropriate. A comfortable red stitched sailcloth strap keeps the watch more sporty, the Sport Evolution is also offered on a bracelet. 

  Glashutte Original is known for their highly decorated movements, the caliber 39-42 can be admired through the skeleton case back for this very reason. The rotor is also skeletonized, using 21 ct. gold, and the double “G” logo. The swan neck is a regulating mechanism to adjust the rate of the watch and is clearly visible on this 44 jewel movement at the 6 o’clock position pictured above. When so many movements are hidden, it is nice to see what your hard earned money paid for.
  What do you get with the Sport Evolution Panorama Date? You get an incredibly well finished timepiece, timeless design, cross over sport/dress, unique date feature, and a highly finished movement. Worth looking into a GO if you have not had an opportunity to see one in person. Hard not to like...

Pros - Versatile, fit/finish, movement

Consideration - If you are truly wanting to use this as dive watch, the only lumed indices are at 12, 3, 6, and 9 o’clock.

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bezel: Unidirectional
Strap: Sailcloth
Movement: Caliber 39-42
Power Reserve: 40 hrs
Water Resistant: 200M
Lug Width: 20mm

May 7, 2011

Raymond Weil Nabucco Black Chronograph Review

Raymond Weil Nabucco Black Chronograph Watch Review

  Raymond Weil goes black, with the stealthy Nabucco Black Chronograph (ref. 7810-BSF-05207). One thing to understand from the start, this is one of Raymond Weil’s top of the line watches. The price is reflective of the execution of this masculine watch. Nothing was seemingly held back on Nabucco, from the design to the construction. The 46mm case showcases the the beauty of the Nabucco. This is a serious watch, with serious wrist presence. Not only in case diameter, but in part because the watch is a chronograph. The all black titanium case has a PVD treatment, with black carbon fiber sides. The carbon fiber sides are extremely well done, providing the added “cool” factor to overall appearance. Yes, the watch is large at 46mm, though, being titanium and carbon fiber the watch has a very manageable weight. 
  The matte black dial is appreciated through the double-sided AR (anti-reflective) coated sapphire crystal. The date window is black with white numerals for easier reading. This is a three subdial chronograph, with locations at 3, 6, and 9 o’clock. This particular subdial layout balances the dial very well. The Nabucco Black Chronograph has seductive blue subdial and chronograph hands, offering a glimmer of life into this otherwise mysterious watch. A jet black crocodile strap fits snug to the case, that is fitted with a deployant buckle. For Raymond Weil this is one of their more expensive pieces, evident through the well thought out watch. Overall, the Nabucco Chronograph is a visual stunner, with a price tag to match. 

Pros - Aesthetics, carbon fiber sides, great strap, Valjoux 7753 automatic movement

Consideration - Price point if looking at MSRP

Case: Titanium
Case Diameter: 46mm
Lug Width: 24mm
Bezel: Tachymeter
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Black Crocodile 
Movement: Valjoux 7753
Power Reserve: 46 Hrs 
Water Resistance: 200m