March 23, 2012

New Tudor Pelagos Diver Baselworld Review

New Tudor Pelagos Diver Baselworld Watch Review

  Tudor (relative of Rolex) released a serious new diver for 2012, the Tudor Pelagos Diver. This is about as close to a perfect diver as they get. Tudor used the snowflake hour hand on the Pelagos and square hour markers, both Tudor throwbacks to days past. Done in blue lume that sets the watch off nicely. While the case is made of brushed titanium. Beyond this, it is not difficult to see the Rolex influence in the case and bracelet design. 
  The Pelagos has a helium escape valve (HEV) and non-cyclops date window at 3 o’clock, very reminiscent the classic Rolex Sea Dweller. It is also rated to 500m, that is 200m more than the Rolex Sub. Pelagos does not stop there, the bezel has a scratch resist Cerachrom insert, basically ceramic. THE BEST aspect of the Pelagos is the all new proprietary clasp. Not only does the clasp have a divers extension and micro adjustment, it has a free adjustment zone. What this means is as a diver goes deeper the wrist contracts, as the wrist contracts or gets smaller the free adjustment zone automatically changes with the wrist. The watch does not become loose as the wrist changes with the environment. This aspect of the clasp is spring loaded and is the key to the new technological break through. Genius! Tudor uses a basic ETA 2824 automatic movement, granted, it is a proven reliable movement. For those in the United States, still no love, no US distribution. Tudor did a great job of making a classic looking dive watch, with modern improvements. The Pelagos appears to be every bit of a winner!

Pros - Great looking diver, very cool lug design

Consideration - Basic ETA movement

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Titanium
Case Diameter: 42mm
Case Back: Solid
Bezel: Cerachrom 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Titanium
Lug Width: N/A 
Movement: ETA 2824
Power Reserve: 38 hrs 
Water Resistant: 500m

March 20, 2012

Locman Montecristo Professional Diver Review

Locman Montecristo Professional Diver Watch Review

  Locman, a somewhat newer brand starting out in the later 1990’s, released a really nice looking new diver this year. The Locman Montecristo Professional Diver is an aesthetic stunner and should do quite well for Locman.
  The red accents have an excellent “pop” against the stark black dial and bezel. Many times on dive watches in particular the hands are not to W&R’s liking. The Montecristo hands have a nice shape, while adding a nice contrast. The watch is rated to 120m, this will strike some as odd for a diver, usually dive watches start at 200m. Not to fear, this watch has been tested extensively by S.I.O. and is even referenced at the 9 o’clock position. An awesome oversized crown adorns the Montecristo Professional Diver at the 3 o’clock position, along with a magnified date window. The lugs are skeletonized, adding a very unique look to this Locman. In the world of the over “saturated” dive watch market a little uniqueness goes a long way. The Montecristo is available with an automatic movement or quartz, with many dial and strap choices. Definitely worth checking out, the watch comes in on the lower side of 1K. 

Pros - Great looking diver, very cool lug design

Consideration - Extremely limited strap options do to lug design

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 44mm
Case Back: Exhibition
Bezel: Unidirectional 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Strap: Black Rubber
Movement: Auto or Quartz
Power Reserve: N/A 
Water Resistant: 120m

March 19, 2012

Omega Seamaster James Bond 50th Anniversary

Omega Seamaster James Bond 50th Anniversary Watch Review
  Omega has officially unveiled the new James Bond 50th Anniversary Seamaster seen at this years Baselworld. This is the 41mm version being released as a limited edition of 11,007 pieces...not sure how limited that really is? This latest James Bond 007 edition keeps the same classic Seamaster styling that has defined the watch, along with some aesthetic differences. Most notably the dial has “007” monogram repeated consecutively at an upward angle. This has gone over with some mixed reviews. Not much middle ground here, either like or you don’t it appears. On the bezel, the “50” is highlighted in red, representing the 50 years of James Bond. Good idea, though, seems a bit out of place. If you are a diehard Bond fan, then it is probably perfect. The case back is gorgeous, it reveals the rotor that looks like the butt of bullet. Great attention to detail done here. Under the hood is a C.O.S.C. 2507 Co-axil self winding movement, with a 48 hour power reserve. Overall, the watch will have its place in the market, those that own one will surely love it.

Pros - Classic watch with James Bond twist

Consideration - Is it to much Bond?

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 41mm
Case Back: Small Exhibition
Bezel: Unidirectional 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement: Co-axil 2507
Power Reserve: 48 hrs 
Water Resistant: 300m

March 16, 2012

Rado D-Star 200 Review

Rado D-Star 200 Dive Watch Review
  Rado has released a new diver for 2012, the D-Star 200. A nice and simple dressier diver for a change of pace. In the world of divers where the modo lately seems to be “go big or go home”, Rado delivers a great dressier sport watch. Coming in at a very manageable size of 42mm and a respectable 200m of water resistance, it will wear nicely. The dial is very clean for easy reading and is further enhanced by a ceramic external bezel. Ceramic has become a lot more popular as it is not prone to scratching and looks fantastic. The watch has that vintage Rado throw back vibe about it, with the lack of visible lugs and case shape. There is an ETA 2824-2 automatic movement powering the D-Star 200, with a nice exhibition case back as well. 
  If you like dive watches that can still be worn under a shirt, this should fit the bill. Rado generally offers a lot of watch for the money and the D-Star 200 should be no different.

Pros - New release, ceramic bezel

Consideration - Some feel exhibition case backs do not belong on divers

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm
Case Back: Exhibition
Bezel: Ceramic 
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Blue
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Power Reserve: 38 hrs 
Water Resistant: 200m

March 12, 2012

New Rolex New Sky-Dweller Review Basel 2012

New Rolex New Sky-Dweller Review Basel 2012
  Rolex unleashes an all new model for 2012, the Sky-Dweller. The name it’s self is drawing a lot of conversation on the watch forums and watch community. Seems you either like the name or you don’t, not much in between. 
  That said, this watch is special with dual time zones and an annual calendar. Another new all new is the the in-house Caliber 9001 automatic movement, with an astonishing 72 hour power reserve! The Caliber 9001 utilizes the Rolex Parachrom hairspring and has 40 jewels in the movement. What Rolex calls the a Ring Command Bezel is used to select one of three possible positions, used for the setting the date, local time, and second time zone. The Sky-Dweller has an annual calendar and recognizes months ending in 30 or 31 for example. W&R’s favorite aspect is the month indicator. In the picture above you can there is a black rectangle window at the 8 o’clock position signifying the month. These windows are at all 12 roman numeral positions. Very cool and innovative. Not a watch for everyone, but sure to pack a series punch. Coming in at 42mm, the Sky-Dweller is very versatile. Rolex continues to innovate, well done!

March 10, 2012

Omega Speedmaster Racing Chronograph Basel 2012 Review


Omega Speedmaster Racing Chronograph Basel 2012 Watch Review
 Omega comes out the gate swinging at Basel World 2012 with the all new Speedmaster Racing Chronograph, it’s a stunner. The Speedmaster is one of the most iconic watches, with a deep history, including being worn on the moon. When making changes to such a watch, it always carries critics. W&R is not sure there is much to complain about on the Speedmaster Racing, it looks great! 
  The Speedmaster Racing Chronograph will be offered in gray, gray/yellow, and gray red accent colors. Of course being a Speedmaster it has a tachymetre bezel, which also incorporates the accent color. The subdials are textured giving the dial that added bit of depth and contrast without being overbearing. Omega is using their Caliber 3330, with co-axial escapement that is housed in a very manageable 40mm case. If you like Omega and are in the market, this is one to definitely check out in person.

New Rolex Yacht-Master Blue Dial Basel 2012

New Rolex Yacht-Master Blue Dial Basel 2012
  Rolex appears to have nailed the design of the new Blue Dialed Yacht-Master! The red accents really help set this dial off against the blue sun burst dial. From the pics it appears the dial might sit a bit deeper under the sapphire crystal, this is unconfirmed. W&R always felt the Yacht-Master was to shallow from crystal to dial, not giving as much depth. Either way this watch looks sharp, can not wait to see it in the flesh! Platinum bezel of course!

March 2, 2012

Linde Werdelin Oktopus II Double Date Review

Basel 2012 - Linde Werdelin Oktopus II Double Date Review

  Linde Werdelin has a new Oktopus for 2012, the Oktopus II Double Date. This watch will most certainly be many a watch aficionados grail watch. Not only aesthetically a great looking watch, it is the ultimate luxury dive watch when used in in conjunction with Linde Werdelin’s Reef Dive Computer. 
  The dial is precision cut and resembles that of an octopus (oktopus in this case). The double date windows are featured predominately just below 12 o’clock. The Oktopus II uses a unique five piece case construction to ensure it’s water resistance of 300m. Under the “hood” the watch uses a caliber 14580 automatic movement in collaboration Dubois Depraz. The case back has a fantastic engraved octopus created by Morten Linde himself, the crown as well has an octopus. One of the many great aspects of this dive watch is the manageable size coming in at 44mm. The Oktopus II will be offered in three variants in a series of 88 worldwide. It will be available in titanium/ceramic, titanium/titanium DLC/with yellow accents, and finally rose gold/titanium. This is a hard watch not to like if you have the money to spend, starting point over 9K. 

Case: 3 variants to choose from
Case Diameter: 44mm
Case Back: Solid 
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: Sapphire
Dial: Black or Black w/ Yellow Accents
Bracelet: Black Rubber or Yellow Rubber
Movement: 14580
Power Reserve: N/A
Water Resistant: 300m

Close up of the double date window with yellow accents:



February 26, 2012

New 2012 Tag Heuer Formula 1 Review

 
New For 2012 Tag Heuer Formula 1 Watch Review
  A new Formula 1 (F1) series from Tag Heuer in 2012, no surprise here. It seems this line gets a makeover more than any other series Tag Heuer makes. As in the past, there are quite a few version being offered. The dial colors are toned down this time, being offered in simply black, white, or anthracite (grayish/black). There are aspects of this newest version W&R likes and some not as much. 
  Tag Heuer is still only offering the Formula 1 with a quartz movement. W&R would like to see an automatic limited edition, that would be cool. This is the black standard issue version (WAU1112), also available in white (WAU1113). The Formula 1 will be offered in 42mm only, with a Ronda quartz movement, and sapphire crystal. This is the most sterile dial offered by Tag Heuer in sometime, they did a great job making the dial less busy. The dial has applied hour markers and lume applied. The dial has a subdial seconds located at the 6 o’clock position, with a “grand date” display nicely integrated at the 30 seconds mark. The bezel is still in black titanium carbide, with more subdued numerals. Not a huge fan of the new style hands being used, would prefer hands more bold or masculine so to speak. Lastly, no lume on the bezel at the 12 o’clock position, maybe next time?

Pros - Dial layout, large date, titanium carbide bezel

Consideration - Price on higher side for a Ronda quartz movement

Case: Stainless Steel 
Case Diameter: 42mm
Bezel: Titanium Carbide
Crystal: Unidirectional
Dial: Black
Strap: Black Rubber
Movement: Ronda Quartz
Power Reserve: N/A
Water Resistant: 200m
Lug Width: 20mm

February 4, 2012

Bell And Ross BR03-90 Big Date Review

Bell And Ross BR03-90 Big Date Power Reserve Watch Review
  New for 2012 from Bell & Ross is the BR03-90 Big Date and Power Reserve. Back to what put Bell & Ross on the map, the instrument series. This likely to be one of W&R favorite stainless steel BR03’s for sometime. The BR01’s are great, but unless you have LARGE wrist, it tends to look like a large square plate at 46mm. The BR03 series at 42mm is the most proportional size for majority wrist out there on the streets. Keep in mind because it is square, it wears much larger than a more traditional 42mm. 
  Why is it a new favorite beyond the 42mm size? The date window has moved to the 12 o’clock position and is larger, hence, the name Big Date. Always love a power reserve indicator as long as it does not clutter up the dial. Bell & Ross stayed with a simple layout and it works very well on the BR03-90. The Bell & Ross name and logo has been shifted to the 3 o’clock position. Though, the watch might be better balanced without the 9 numeral and just have the 12 numeral. The watch uses an automatic movement, with a 40 hour power, and of course the indicator to keep you informed. If you have been a fan of the instrument series and have not taken the plunge, this might be the one for you.

Pros - Big Date, Power Reserve, 42mm

Consideration - Balance of the dial

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm
Crystal: AR Sapphire
Bezel: Fixed 
Dial: Matte Black
Strap: Black Rubber
Movement: Automatic 
Power Reserve: 40 hrs
Water Resistant: 100m

January 22, 2012

SIHH 2012 Jaeger LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph

SIHH 2012 Jaeger LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph

  Jaeger LeCoultre delivers another breathtaking beauty, the Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph. A simple and pure chronograph, JLC has nailed yet another looker. The watch largely uncluttered by eliminating a date window and keeping the bezel minimalistic leaving out the 15 or 20 minute markers. Powering the Deep Sea Chrono is a 715G, housed with a solid case back. A beige (ish) lume is used to help give a vintage patina overall look. Though, the name suggest this is a dive watch, most would likely not dive wearing the Deep Sea Vintage given the water resistance of 100m. More to come on this release, sure to be a hit among Jaeger LeCoultre enthusiast and the casual owner. 

January 20, 2012

SIHH 2012 IWC Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun
















SIHH 2012 IWC Big Pilot's Watch Top Gun

The year of the Pilot’s watch for IWC as it is being called brings us the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun for 2012. This IWC is following the on going trend of black watches done in a high polish ceramic. W&R is really liking the use of ceramic in more and more watches, much more durable than PVD (that is an understatement). The Top Gun has a lot going on in a good way. There is a perpetual calendar, a whopping 168 power reserve, moonphase indicator, year shown in 4 digits just above 7 o’clock, day/date, and month, all this housed in a large 48mm case. The watch is obviously amazing, though, could have passed on the “Top Gun” aspect. Instantly reminds us of the movie, which could be good or bad. More to come on this watch later.

January 18, 2012

SIHH 2012 Panerai Goes All Ceramic PAM 438 Tuttonero

SIHH 2012 Panerai Goes All Ceramic PAM 438 Tuttonero

  Panerai took the plunge into an all ceramic watch, the next logical progression with their use of ceramic. Utilizing W&R favorite case, the Luminor 1950. This Panerai is called the Tuttonero or likely how it will be referred to more often as the PAM 438. Coming in at the Panerai’s more standard size of 44mm, featuring the Panerai in-house automatic movement P.9001/B. A very unique GMT watch no doubt. Curious as to how heavy the PAM 438 will weigh in at. Better yet, the weight difference between the 438 and the PAM 441 (same version on leather strap). The watch is a looker for sure!

SIHH 2012 Richard Mille RM 56 Felipe Massa Sapphire



SIHH 2012 Richard Mille RM 56 Felipe Massa Sapphire

Likely to be the most talked about watch coming out SIHH 2012 is this beauty! The Richard Mille RM 56 Felipe Massa Sapphire. A 100% all sapphire case that can be yours for a mere 1.7 million dollars! This is a special watch, with according to Richard Mille with only 5 total pieces being produced. It would be an understatement to say this took countless hours to machine, just the case alone is machined out of a solid block of sapphire. Inside it houses a split second tourbillon, perfect for viewing through the all sapphire case. This is definite must see in person to fully appreciate, sadly most of will never be able to lay our eyes on this masterpiece!

January 4, 2012

Alpina Avalanche Extreme Review

Alpina Avalanche Extreme Automatic Watch Review
  Alpina is a lesser talked about brand and often overlooked, certainly in the watch forum world. Alpina deserves a good look if you are in the market for a sporty everyday watch. This is the Alpina Avalanche Extreme Automatic (ref. AL-525LBS5AE6) and is one of Alpina’s entry point watches, coming in around $1,500. 
  The watch offers a great value compared to other brands at this price point. It is definitely on the larger side at 48mm, this size works well for the dial layout. Keeping a more open, clean dial, the exaggerated textured dial steals the show. Aesthetically, this Avalanche Extreme is hard not to like, with the contrasting dial. The inner ring is reminiscent of an internal dive bezel, even has the 15 minute markers. Sadly, it is not a functional bezel, hence no additional crown. The fixed external bezel is done in PVD and secured by 6 bolts. There is a large crown, fitted with textured rubber for gripping, pairing up nicely with the rubber strap. The movement powering the Avalanche Extreme is what Alpina calls caliber AL-525, based of off an ETA 2824-2. There is an exhibition case back showing probably the best decorated movement/rotor you can find at this price point, very well done. The rubber strap is branded with Alpina, but not overtly in your face. It is a wide strap at 28mm and likely the only strap you could use with the watch do to design. The watch does have some drawbacks, though, at this price they can be easily overlooked. 

Pros - Price point, aesthetics, exhibition case back

Consideration - Larger hour and minute hands would have been nice.

Case: Stainless Steel 
Case Diameter: 48mm
Case Back: Exhibition 
Bezel: Fixed
Crystal: Sapphire
Bracelet: Black Rubber
Movement: AL-525
Power Reserve: 42 hrs
Water Resistant: 200m