Watch Reviews

Archive for November, 2010


Exclusive – Inside Two Seiko Studios: Making a Watch the Japanese Way

by on Nov.17, 2010, under Review

Tucked away in a seemingly remote wooded part of Japan, near the town of Morioka, sits a world-class watchmaking facility that has been quietly producing some of the world’s finest mechanical watches for over 70 years.

Called the Shizukuishi watch Studio (watch.com/eng/movie/movie_enrichingtime.html” target=”_blank”>check out a movie about this studio here), the workshop is distinctly different from any other watchmaking atelier in Europe. Each watchmakers’ desk is custom made out of a local wood called Iwayado Tansu and lacquered to a bright polish. The benches are all made to different heights – custom made specifically to the height of the individual watchmaker. Outside the studio hangs a large sign in Japanese stating “Building in Quality with Painstaking Care”.

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AP’s Jules Audemars Extra-Thin Watches: What A Difference 1.55 mm Makes

by on Nov.16, 2010, under Review

What does 1.55 millimeters look like?  It doesn’t look like much at all.  In fact, a US regulation quarter is 1.75mm thick.  Now consider this: the Audemars Piguet Jules Audemars Extra-Thin watch features a self-winding movement that is only 2.45mm thick, less than two quarters stacked on top of each other.  The entire watch is only 6.7mm thick. 

Then, consider AP’s Jules Audemars Perpetual Calendar, a watch with a movement that consists of 355 separate components and doesn’t require setting until March 1st, 2100.  So if you are adding the functionality of a perpetual calendar to a 2.45mm thick movement (that’s 141 additional components, btw) how much do you think that would add? Probably a lot, right?

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A Manufacture Unlike Any Other: The Many Facets of Seiko

by on Nov.16, 2010, under Review

Hodinkee’s inside look at Seiko continues with an overview of the company’s breadth of production and the honor of being one of the most fully integrated watch manufactures in the world. Future posts will take a closer look at their workshops and some of their most recent horological innovations.

When visiting Seiko in Japan, I was shocked to learn the breadth of products that Seiko Holdings manufactures – watch and non-watch related.  Within the company’s horological DNA, first came mechanical clocks and watches, then quartz watches, digital watches, kinetic, spring drive, and most recently radio watches. From these watchmaking technologies, Seiko branched out into producing all different types of new technologies including semiconductors, optics, LCD televisions, scanners, computers, and integrated circuits. But that’s not all…

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Letters From The Editor: My Article On The James Bond Pre-Daytona On The FT’s "How To Spend It"

by on Nov.15, 2010, under Review

Never one to talk about number of eyes or where you’ll find my work, I thought just this once I could make an exception.  A month or so ago I was approached by the folks at the Financial Times about contributing to their award-winning luxury lifestyle publication “How To Spend It“.  I was honored, of course, and excited to get involved.

The question I had to ask myself was “what was important to the watch world but simply wasn’t going to get covered in the mainstream press?”  The newest releases from Hublot certainly would, the iPod Nano as a watch would, and of course the passing of Hayek. When I thought of our most recent work and what people seemed to respond to the most, I was left with one resounding answer; Bond, James Bond.

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Antiquorum’s Mission MS Charity Auction Raises Over $250,000

by on Nov.15, 2010, under Review

Last Wednesday Antiquorum held their first ever “Mission MS” auction in support of the National MS Society.  Jeff was there live-tweeting the whole thing, and updating you all on the action.  One of the most interesting watches that was sold was a #1 of 500 limited edition El Primero Striking 10th “Jean – Louis Etienne”.  It ended up selling for $10,000.

Another hot item was Hublot’s one of a kind Big Bang Aero, which was designed by US Sales Director Mike Margolis – that ended up selling for $23,000. 

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Introducing The Zenith Christophe Colomb: The Tourbillon Evolves, Sort Of

by on Nov.14, 2010, under Review

Some watches just catch your eye – this is one of them.  Coming from Zenith (who, btw, has been doing it pretty right as of late) is the Christophe Colomb. 

The giant bubble you see at 6 o’clock may look like it houses a tourbillon, but it doesn’t, at least according to Zenith.  Based on a previous design from the brand, this oversized escapement sits on gimbals, or a “Cardan suspensioin,” just as the compass aboard Christopher Columbus’s ship did way back when. 

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Arno Haslinger Explains His Collection of Vintage Heuers (VIDEO)

by on Nov.14, 2010, under Review

This past week, some of you were lucky enough to meet the author of Heuer Chronographs, Arno Haslinger.  He was in town to show off the 80 watches he will be selling in December via Bonhams, the same watches that are featured in his seminal title. 

Those of you that attended our preview of the sale on Saturday and Monday know just how passionate and engaging Arno is – but for those who weren’t so lucky, we have the first half of a two part interview with Arno below.  Enjoy!

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The Illinois Speedway: A Watch Made Famous by the 1929 Indianapolis 500

by on Nov.13, 2010, under Review

The Illinois watch Company is not a brand we have featured on Hodinkee before, but here we go!  Illinois wristwatches from the 1920s are considered by some collectors to be the apogee of American watchmaking. These watches were known for their distinctive case designs and beautifully detailed movements.

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The Milus Minute Repeater Key Chain: For The Man Who Has Everything, Or At Least The UN Chairman

by on Nov.13, 2010, under Review

Bet when you took delivery of your Ulysse Nardin Chairman you thought you’d be done for a while, right? Wrong.

Coming from Milus is a whole new level of timepiece-oriented accessory, the minute repeating key chain. Sounding the time of day when the button above the osciliating rotor is depressed, the Milus Minute Repeating Key Chain is syncable to your PC via USB, and comes in black anodised or silver colored aluminum. 

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