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

Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Basel

Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue Basel 2013
  Tudor! Yes, finally available in the United States. A much longed for and desired request. Now the US and the rest of the world will be able to get their hands on these handsome and timeless Tudors. Just released at Baselworld 2013 is this historic reincarnation from 1973. Tudor has done a good job with with their "throwback" watches to yesteryear. This Heritage Blue Chrono is no different. Extremely well executed and will look amazing on the wrist. The only gripe W&R has is that the watch will not be inexpensive and is packing a standard ETA 2892. Maybe with watch prices these days, this is the new norm...For the vast majority who do not even now what movement is in the watch, it really doesn't matter. This would be a great addition to most collections. Well done aesthetically, with history to back it up. 

Tudor Press Release:
  The TUDOR “Montecarlo” chronograph is an absolute icon. Since its launch in 1973, it has been produced in a number of different versions, the most fascinating featured distinctive touches of blue, grey and orange. This rare, historic chronograph was produced for only a few years. Today, it is greatly prized by collectors and is steadily increasing in value. To revitalise this legendary chronograph – imbued with the spirit of chic, sophisticated holiday destinations of the 1960s and 1970s, and reminiscent of carefree Mediterranean warmth and glamour – TUDOR has decided to reinterpret it and unveil the new TUDOR Heritage Chrono Blue. TUDOR’s approach to the design of this watch was exactly the same as for all the watches in the Heritage line since 2010. Far from being merely a new version, it is a unique reinterpretation in which past, present and future converge in both time and style.

  While all the aesthetic codes that contributed to the recognition of the historic model remain – a synthesis of the original spirit of the timepiece and a faithful reproduction of its key characteristics – TUDOR’s Style Workshop has added many modern touches to update the iconic spirit of this watch and endow it with a timeless strength to make it “tomorrow’s icon”. The royal blue of the original model (1973) combines with a slightly lighter grey than that of the original to give birth to a watch as much at home in water as on land, radiating the Mediterranean spirit and its warmth. Inspired by history, but completely redesigned, the dial now has three-dimensional hour markers with two bevelled metallic edges defi ning an area fi lled with SuperLuminova for a stronger image and optimal legibility. It also features two counters located inside two blue trapezoidal shapes, one at 3 o’clock for the small seconds hand, and one at 9 o’clock for the famous 45-minute counter that marked the history of TUDOR chronographs in the 1970s.
  Waterproof to a depth of 150 metres (500 feet), the steel case, 42 mm in diameter (compared with 40 mm on the original) has a bidirectional bezel with a blue anodized aluminium insert. Under its sapphire crystal, it houses a self-winding mechanical chronograph movement with a 42-hour power reserve. As an additional refinement, TUDOR’s new Heritage Chrono Blue comes with two bracelets, one in steel with a folding clasp, the other in reinforced fabric with a buckle. The fabric strap – the outcome of cooperation with a firm still carrying on the age-old art of traditional weaving – echoes the characteristic colours of the dial and provides exceptional wearing comfort: an extra touch for a chronograph that takes its inspiration from history but makes an utterly contemporary statement.

Specifications & Dimensions:
Case: Stainless Steel
Case Diameter: 42mm
Strap: Stainless Steel or Fabric
Lug Width: Not comfirmed, check back
Crystal: Sapphire
Bezel: Bidirectional
Movement: ETA 2892
Power Reserve: 42 hours
Water Resistant: 150M