November 22, 2013

Press Release C1000 Typhoon from Christopher Ward

C1000 Typhoon from Christopher Ward
  Nicely done! An affordable watch with a Swiss automatic movement from a known brand. Practically unheard of anymore as watch prices have gone to levels not worth discussing here. The new C1000 comes in at a little over 2K USD. What is shocking is the watch is comprised of a ceramic and uses a modified Valjoux (ETA) 7750. 
Press Release:
The sweeping delta wing configuration has inspired some memorable and iconic aeroplanes in recent times – from the elegance of Concorde to the awesome Vulcan – but today’s most powerful expression of this classic silhouette is undoubtedly the Eurofighter Typhoon.
The current version of this mulit-role master of the skies, the Typhoon FGR4 – and the pilots who fly it – has provided the inspiration for the latest aviator’s watch from Christopher Ward; the C1000 Typhoon.
In keeping with the technical sophistication of the computer-controlled jet fighter, the C1000 Typhoon marks another technical advancement for the British luxury watch company, being the first of its watches to boast a ceramic outer case. In a further refinement, a titanium case supporting the movement sits inside the ceramic. The protective carapace of ceramic is fitted around the inner case through intense pressure. The appeal of this advanced composite comes from its light weight, scratch-resistance, durability, smooth touch and deep opaque appearance, especially in the matt black finish used for the C1000 Typhoon. Today’s advanced ceramic is probably six or seven times tougher than steel; it is so tough that only a diamond can scratch it.
“Each season we are pushing ourselves and our factory in Switzerland to come up with innovative advancements to enhance the performance and appearance of our watches. We used titanium for the first time this year in the case for our C11 Titanium Elite diver’s chronometer. To create a watch to do justice to the RAF’s Typhoon, one of the most sophisticated pieces of machinery ever built, we knew we had to stretch the boundaries of watch case construction beyond anything we had done previously.
A modified version of the revered ETA Valjoux 7750 movement has been used for this stylish new chronograph.  The backplate, crown and twin pushers are IPK black-coated titanium, complementing the predominant colour scheme of the watch, and this identity is carried through to the rugged leather and webbing strap options.
Details taken from the plane itself have enriched the appearance of the watch. The outlines of the chronograph eyes echo the twin circles of the jet’s after-burners. In one variation, the lower eye is modelled on the official low-visibility RAF roundel of baby blue and salmon pink. The SuperLuminova white numerals are rendered in the font used on the Typhoon’s HUD (Head Up Display), part of its sophisticated Cockpit Information Unit (CIU). These, and the sky blue indexes are luminous, providing highly effective standout against the charcoal black dial.
Although the Typhoon aircraft itself has no dials, using only LED displays, the aero theme is further developed through the elegant shape of the titanium minute and hour hands, which are inspired by the traditional hands on an aircraft’s dials.  In a very neat touch, the counter balance of the second hand displays the unmistakable silhouette of the Typhoon while its tip carries a canard-delta reference.
On the detailed backplate a full rendition of the wonderful shape of the FGR4 is seen in the form of an intricate 3-D raised coin effect. In a high-precision stamping, the plane as seen from above sits in the centre of the case back and makes a smart contrast to the matt black ceramic case. The plate is engraved with ‘Typhoon FGR4 Multi-Role Combat’ and the RAF motto ‘Per Ardua Ad Astra’ (‘Through Struggles to the Stars’).

  W&R is very impressed with the specs and price point of this watch. Certainly worth looking into if you are in the market for an affordable Swiss watch.

Press Release Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Tattoo

Linde Werdelin Oktopus Moon Tattoo

  This new masterpiece by Linde Werdelin will set you back roughly 46K USD! You can purchase now to be one of the lucky few. No doubt a stunner, W&R would be to scared to wear it. Making it a "safe queen", no fun in that.

Press Release:
“Testifying to Linde Werdelin’s commitment and skill, the latest addition to the dive series represents the most prestigious and lavish piece of our collection yet”, says visionary co-founder Jorn Werdelin. 

An 18K solid rose gold case, intricately engraved with a hand drawn octopus, this masterpiece reflects the mystery and intrigue surrounding this powerful creature.

"The Oktopus Moon Tattoo is the perfect balance of contemporary art, technology and innovation; transporting poetry and imagination into the world of time keeping”, explains  Morten Linde.

September 24, 2013

Suunto Ambit 2 Watch

Suunto Ambit 2 Watch
  Any Suunto watch is always packed full of handy features especially if you’re a fan of the outdoors whether as an athlete or an explorer and the Suunto Ambit 2 Watch is no exception.  This relatively lightweight watch with an uncomplicated sleek design houses everything you could want to plan any training routine or outdoors journey.  
  The case is a reinforced glass fibre, the glass is scratch resistant mineral crystal and the bezel is made from steel and is waterproof to 100 metres making it durable and perfectly suited to the outdoors.  The entire display is an LED backlit digital face making it nice and clear to read wherever you are and makes accessing and reading the multi-sport menu easier.  The Suunto Ambit 2 watch has full GPS features that allows you to plan routes and track and log each step of the way which also works in conjunction with the rest of the features like the altimeter functions that can give up to date barometric information, the temperature, a storm alarm and tide information.  
  Each Suunto Ambit 2 sports watch gives you the ability to plan your route with multiple coordinate systems, waypoint and route navigation and more, but some Suunto Apps you will need to download to your watch via a computer.  You can view all of your training and sports data to your computer and charge the battery via USB so it’s easy to see your progress as you go.  The Training and Multi-Sports functions help you with running, cycling and swimming but certain key functions and apps that are the handiest require the use of  Suunto ANT/ANT+ or a Suunto Dual Heart Rate Belt in conjunction with the Ambit 2 but overall this is quite probably the best sports watch currently available.
Pros – Durable, incredibly versatile, multiple sports training functions, water resistant.
Consideration – Requires other items to operate fully, needs recharging regularly.
Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Reinforced Glass Fibre Polyamide.
Case Diameter: 50 mm.
Strap: Elastomer.
Crystal: Mineral.
Bezel: Steel (Black/Sapphire), Aluminium (Silver).
Movement: Digital, Dot-matrix display.
Battery: 50 hours with 60 second interval, 15 hours with 1 second interval, 30 days with ABC functions.  USB rechargeable Lithium-Ion (480mAh).
Illumination: LED Backlight.
Water Resistant: 100 Metres. 
Authorised Retailers: Suunto Extreme Watches

MTM RAD Watch Review

MTM RAD Watch Review
  If there is one thing that stands MTM watches apart from the rest it is their technical innovations used for some of the most incredible features.  For the better part of half a century MTM watches have gone from being an exclusive brand only sold to US armed forces and emergency services to available worldwide and are largely recognised as one of the premium military watch brands around.  
  While most military watch manufacturers make specific models for certain branches of the armed forces like the Army, Navy SEALS and the Air Force; MTM have gone one step further with the MTM RAD Watch which has been designed to meet the needs of units that may potentially have to deal with radioactive hazards.  The main key feature on the MTM Radiation Detection watch is the integrated Geiger-Mueller tube which can detect radiation up to a threshold of 9999 mSv and can detect single doses of radiation and cumulative exposure over time.  It also has the ability for you to set an alarm for the limit on the amount of gamma rays you are exposed to so you know exactly when you’ve reached your safety limit.  
  The RAD allows you to switch between the reading setting easily thanks to an electronic backlit display and like all MTM watches it is pretty tough.  The case is made from solid titanium making it extremely durable while the glass is both anti-reflective and scratch resistant hardened sapphire crystal plus it has a locking, screw down crown and is water resistant up to 100 metres.  The backlit digital display has different date formats to choose from and the tritium gas tubes on the hour and minute hands glow continuously in zero light conditions while the replaceable lithium battery will last for 2-3 years.  
Pros – Tough, reliable, long battery life, water resistant, detects radiation threats.
Consideration – Main RAD feature only truly useful if you are potentially being exposed to radiation.
Specifications & Dimensions: 
Case: Titanium.
Case Diameter: 46 mm (not including crown).
Strap: Black DLC plating, Solid titanium and Neoprene bands available.
Crystal: Anti-reflective, scratch resistant Sapphire.
Bezel: Unidirectional, titanium ratcheting.
Battery: 2-3 years.
Illumination: Tritium lights on minute and hour hands.
Water Resistant: 100 Metres. 
Authorised Retailers: MTM Watches

September 21, 2013

Luminox Navy Seal Colourmark Review

Luminox Navy Seal Colourmark 3051BO
Luminox Navy Seal Colourmark 3051BO Review
  Over the past few decades Luminox have grown from a small watch manufacturer to one of the leading military watch brands globally, primarily specialising in timepieces suited to the US Navy SEALS and the conditions they have to face.  Like the majority of watches issued to and bought by armed forces Luminox Military Watches make use of the Gaseous Tritium Light System (GTLS) to provide illumination making the time readable even in zero light conditions.
  The Luminox Navy Seal Colourmark 3051BO Watch is the Black Out version of the popular Colourmark Watch so other than the white tritium lights it is entirely black making it perfect for covert operations while still being able to see the time at a quick glance, plus it looks sleek and stylish as well.  The bezel, case and case back are made from carbon fibre reinforced Polycarbonate while the glass is constructed from a hardened mineral so it is quite resilient and is water resistant up to 200 metres which is essential especially if used in amphibious or nautical situations.
  Each model features a comfortable and durable polyurethane strap which is not only waterproof but also adds a minimal amount to the overall 40g light weight and is easily secured with a brushed steel signature buckle.  The bezel aside from being durable is also rotating with a tritium light at the 12 hour marking so if you have to set your time differently due to an operation or due to being in another time zone you can clearly see the exact time in the dark.  You get up to 50 months of battery life with the 395 battery and up to 25 years with the tritium lights all while being kept in time by the Ronda 515 HH6 analogue movement.

Pros – Durable, versatile, water resistant, lightweight, covert and readable in zero lighting.
Considerations – Only additonal complication is date, keeping white clean

Case: PC Carbon Fibre reinforced
Case Diameter: 44 mm
Strap: Polyurethane rubber
Crystal: Mineral
Bezel: PC carbon reinforced, rotating, tritium light at 12 hour marking
Movement: Ronda 515 HH6
Battery: 50 Months
Illumination: Night Vision Tubes
Water Resistant: 200 Metres.
Authorised Retailers: Nightgear

September 2, 2013

Traser H3 P6508 Code Blue Review

Traser H3 P6508 Code Blue
Traser H3 P6508 Code Blue Watch
 The Traser brand has a long history of making some of the most durable military timepieces currently available.  Famously known for designing the non-radioactive Gaseous Tritium Lighting System at the request of the US Military in the 1970’s they quickly became the most issued watch brand for US Armed Forces.  

 The Traser H3 P6508 Code Blue Watch is a resilient watch featuring the pinnacle of Traser technologies, materials and features like a tough 45mm thick case with a hardened crystal mineral glass so you don’t have to worry about any minor impacts which are a frequent possibility if you’re in the military.  Also thanks to the push in crown with double O-ring the P6508 is water resistant up to 100 feet (30 metres) and has a handy rotating bezel with an aluminium insert as well.
 Like all Traser H3 watches this one uses the innovative tritium lights which come with a ten year warranty which is on average how long they will still illuminated but with this particular model it has 15 Traser lights that are coloured blue which is much brighter than the standard green and the light at the 12 O’clock mark is coloured orange so it can be easily differentiated at a quick glance.  Each Traser P6508 Code Blue watch has a 40 month battery installed so you get a lot of use from it and with the Ronda Quartz movement with central second hand so you know it is one extremely reliable timepiece.  Depending on your preference there are also a number of strap options available such as NATO Fabric, rubber, silicon or leather to choose from making it very versatile.
ProsDurable, resilient, reliable and easily readable in zero light conditions.
Consideration – Water resistance is quite low compared to other military watches.
Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Carbon Fibre
Case Diameter: 43 mm
Strap: NATO fabric, rubber, silicon or leather options available.
Crystal: Mineral
Bezel: Polyamide, unidirectional rotating, with trigalight® insert
Movement: Ronda 715 Quartz
Battery: 40 Months.
Illumination: 1-11 blue, 12 orange, H/M/SE Hand blue, bezel green.
Water Resistant: 30 Metres. 
Authorised Retailers: H3 Watch Shop

August 30, 2013

Mido Multifort Two Crowns Review

Mido Multifort Two Crowns
Mido Multifort Two Crowns Review
  Mido, you gotta love Mido. Seriously, an affordable Swiss brand and movement. Virtually unheard of in the over priced watch market that we all love so much. Straight to the point, this beauty will set you back $1,220 at list price! Mido is one of most underrated watch brands in the industry.
  The Mulitfort Two Crowns is a stunner right out of the gate. The hour and minute hands are perfectly proportioned for this watch. Speaking of proportions, the Two Crowns case is 42mm. With no external bezel the watch will wear smaller than other divers at this size. The dial has 3D like vertical Geneva stripes, giving the watch nice visual depth. The Mido Two Crowns earns it's name for just that, two crowns. The second crown operates an internal dive bezel. Both are screw down crowns for added water resistance. The two o'clock bezel moves and locks into place the internal bezel. The 4 o'clock bezel is used for standard time and date functions. 
  Mido is using an ETA 2836-2 under the hood, with a power reserve of 36 hours. The sapphire crystal is applied on both sides with anti-reflective coating for superior viewing. This Mido Multifort Two Crowns is water resistant to 200m. That is deep enough for must of you "desk" divers out there! All this for 1.2K?! Good luck finding anything at this price point, with these features, that is not a microbrand.

Pros - quality vs. price, nice design, internal bezel
Considerations - hard to try on prior to purchase due to distribution

Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm
Bezel: Unidirectional 
Crystal: Double AR Sapphire
Dial: Gray
Bracelet: Stainless Steel
Movement: ETA 2836-2
Power Reserve: 36 hours
Water Resistant: 600m
Lug Width: N/A  

Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph Review

Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph
Alpina Extreme Diver 300 Chronograph
  The new Alpina Extreme Diver is a good example of a clean divers chronograph watch. To many times W&R sees extremely busy dials in the chronograph market. The red outlined minute hand adds just a dash of color that watch needs to keep it from looking to mundane. 
  Cushion cases are very popular currently and the Alpina Extreme Diver 300 is ready for the masses. The bezel is coated with PVC with easy to read markers. As all dive bezels should be it is unidirectional, with countdown to the 20 mark. Would of liked to see larger indices used for the hour markers, more lume the better. Who does not like a ton of lume on a dive watch? The Extreme does actually have a good amount of lume, including on the bezel. Alpina calls the movement AL-725 and has an impressive (for a chronograph) 46 hour power reserve. The movement is visible through the skeletonized caseback. Some purist feel this should never be done a "true" dive watch. Why should it matter? Water resistance is water resistance. Might as well get to see what you paid for ever now and again! At list price the Extreme Diver 300 will set you back $2,895 USD. 

~ courtesy of Alpina Watches:

When you’re serious about diving
The all-new alpina Extreme Diver Chronograph is a professional diving watch. Everything about this model is designed to cope with the most extreme conditions any professional diver could ever encounter, starting with water resistance to no less than 300 metres. That’s almost 1,000 feet below sea level, which means the watch can go to depths no human ever could, without the aid of a submarine.

Designed see what you need to see, when you need to see it
The Extreme Diver 300 has been designed with all necessary features that allow owners to get the information they need, when they need it, for a safe dive.

The black, polished, PVD coated, unidirectional, turning bezel, turns in just one direction: anti-clockwise. With this “fail-safe” feature the number of elapsed minutes can never be accidentally decreased, only increased. In addition, the 1 to 60 minutes markers on the bezel are luminous, as are the circular indexes which perfectly contrast against the black dial. The watch’s hands are also flared and luminous for maximum readability in low visibility conditions.

Divers also appreciate the sapphire crystal, see-through case back, which allows a glimpse of the inner workings of this automatic chronograph, a feature normally not found on professional diving watches with a 300 metres water resistance.

Built-in features that are relevant to the professional diver
The extra-wide 44 mm stainless steel case, the screw-in crown and case-back, the robust rubber strap with a secure folding buckle, the 46-hour power reserve, as well as the additional nylon diving suit strap, complete the professional features package.

The AL-725 alpina Automatic Chronograph movement
The extremely reliable AL-725 automatic chronograph movement features a 12H-6H-chronograph counter layout with the 30-minutes counter at the 12 o’clock position and the 12 hours counter at the 6 o’clock position, in order to maximize the readability of the minute’s hand with respect to the 60 minutes diving bezel.

For the professional diver who prefers metal bracelets, the Extreme 300 Chronograph can also be fitted with classy “Milanese” metal mesh bracelet or the traditional alpina 3 link sport metal bracelet.

The special gift box
Each watch is presented in a uniquely designed gift box, which includes a model diving bottle and the additional nylon swimsuit strap.

June 21, 2013

Helson Gauge Bronze Review

Helson Gauge Bronze 1000M
  Helson watches offer some of the best micro-brand options and quality amongst the increasingly large number of micro-brands coming to market. Peter Helson continually puts out success after success. 
  Helson has been successfully capitalizing on the bronze rage and is now offering the infamous Gauge in all bronze. The Gauge Bronze has in impressive 4mm domed sapphire crystal. If you are a fan of domed crystal like W&R, this is a watch to consider for sure. The dial you either like or you don't. Personally, would rather see any of the standard layouts opposed to the 60 minute dial. This watch is not for the tiny wristed guys out there. Coming in at 47mm and 17.6mm thick, it's a beast! Of course, the Gauge has a HEV that most of us will never use, but we most of us have. No bezel featured on this watch, giving the Gauge Bronze a pretty straight forward good clean look. A 24mm lug width, with the strap tapering down to 22mm. W&R prefers no taper, easily fixed by putting on a nice leather strap! Helson went with the ETA 2824-2 automatic movement. The positive, a tried and true movement. The negative, it drives the price up. Currently being listed at 1,449K US.

Pros - unique, Helson's Customer Service is awesome, quality
Consideration - the watch has a very large wrist presence

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Bronze
Case Diameter: 4mm
Strap: Black Rubber
Lug Width: 24mm
Crystal: Domed Sapphire
Bezel: None
Movement: ETA 2824-2
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Water Resistant: 1000M

May 6, 2013

Boxer Zeus Watch Review

Boxer Zeus Watch Review
Boxer Zeus Skeletonized Watch Review
  Today I am taking a hands on look at the Boxer Zeus. This is Boxer's flagship watch and is not a typical style of watch reviewed here on W&R. That said, I have always found skeletonized watches of interest. There is something so pure about being able to see a watches movement in action. Often covered by the dial and case back. Especially, with the ever growing popularity of dive watches.
  The watch has a large wrist presence, coming in at 45mm. In this day of bigger is better in the watch industry Zeus fits the bill. The outer stainless steel bezel that surrounds the case has a skeletonized look of it's own. Makes the face almost look like it is floating. The movement is not anything special, nor would I expect it to be at a price point of around $157 US at today's exchange rate. That said, it never gets old watching a mechanical movement or showing a non-watch person a movement in action. Boxer's website states the movement has a power reserve of 24-36 hours. The Zeus I reviewed was around 26-28 hours of reserve. Definitely, on the low side. On a winder or as a daily wear, the power reserve is a non issue. Especially, since the watch does not have a date feature.
  Noticeably missing from the dial and case back is any Boxer branding. Rather refreshing to see a brand take a step back from sticking their name in any conceivable location. Making the watch, all about the watch. Their are gold indices applied to the underside of the mineral crystal. These definitely get lost in all the gold tone throughout the watch. The hands do have applied lume, giving them a white contrast against the movement beneath. I wish the hands were a bit larger. Would like to see the hour and minute hands extend out to the indices for easier legibility. The finish of the watch is lacking, mostly on the case back where you can see the different finishing lines in the stainless steel. All that said, I appreciate what Boxer is trying to do. Create an non-mass produced skeletonized watch at a reasonable price point. 

Pros - skeletonized, affordable
Consideration - fit/finish, legibility

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 45mm
Strap: Black Leather
Lug Width: 20mm
Crystal: Smooth Glass
Bezel: Stainless Steel
Movement: Chinese origin
Power Reserve: 24-36 hours
Water Resistant: 50M

May 1, 2013

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Basel 2013

Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Basel 2013
Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Basel 2013
  Blancpain is so well respected and the Fifty Fathoms line continues to strengthen on past success. Here is another representation of years past. More and more brands are marketing on history. For good reason, there is a lot of competition out there in this crowded market space. Anytime you can create further speperation from the pack, the better. Not all brands have such a great history, Blancpain continues to impress. 
Blancpain Press Release:
  Since its creation in 1953, the Fifty Fathoms by Blancpain has been the archetypal modern diver’s watch. 60 years on, two new models join a lineage that has earned iconic status. The vintage-inspired Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe presented in a 2013 men’s and women’s version incorporates the latest watch industry developments with the silicon balance-spring. Inspired by the abyssal underwater exploration of Swiss adventurer Jacques Piccard, Blancpain’s Bathyscaphe diver’s watches were introduced in the late 1950s as models for both men and women. Imbued with the spirit of these historical models, the new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe offers a reinterpretation of these two models featuring the integration of the latest technical innovations.
  Various elements of the 2013 version hark back to the first editions. The contours are as sharply defined as those of their predecessors. The hands feature the traditional look of the vintage watches and the date appears through a dedicated aperture. Loyal to the original Bathyscaphe version, the luminescent dot on the bezel serves to ensure the permanent readability of diving times. Testifying to the past while looking firmly to the future, the new models incorporate modern Blancpain calibres renowned for their robustness and reliability. The heart of each of the mechanical self-winding movements beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour.
  Another novel feature for Blancpain is the graduated scale in Liquidmetal®. This amorphous metal alloy avoids any deformation and ensures perfect bonding with the ceramic bezel insert. The hardness of these two materials serves to enhance the bezel’s scratch resistance. Like all diver’s watches worth their salt, each model is equipped with a unidirectional bezel activated by turning it counter-clockwise in one-minute increments. During dives, the seconds serves as an operating indicator, while a contrasting dial and luminescent gold hour-markers ensure optimal readability. The new Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe is naturally water-resistant to 30 bar, equivalent to around 300 metres.
  Each model is fitted with a triple-loop NATO strap. This broad and extremely practical wristband is as reliable and robust as the watch itself. Introduced in the 1960s when the British Ministry of Defence was looking for a sturdy strap to equip its military watches, its origins are echoed in its name that is a nod to its reference code: NATO G10.

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 43mm
Strap: NATO 
Lug Width: 22mm
Crystal: Sapphire
Bezel: Unidirectional w/ ceramic insert
Movement: Caliber 1315
Power Reserve: N/A
Water Resistant: 300M