Watch Reviews

Archive for March, 2011

Audemars Piguet Jump Hour Minute Repeater In Stainless Steel

by on Mar.18, 2011, under Review

Probably one of the sickest and cleanest watches i’ve seen. This thing has a little bit of old style flare but brings it into this century with its brushed steel and hard design. It kind of reminds me of the weight scale in my bathroom, only this is much smaller and I don’t get depressed when the numbers are accurate! The Audemars Piguet made a jumping hour minute repeater in a John Shaeffer case in steel….3 of them.

If you’re a heavy hitter who can drop some serious coin and really want your hands on this Audemars Piguet then I suggest you head over to the Antiquorum NY where they will be selling #1 of the lot of 3.

Pre sale estimate is at $27000 so I suggest you get your checkbook out and get to work. If I had a way to get this watch then I’d be all for it, just look at that thing! I bet the weight will sink you to the ocean floor, but wouldn’t that be a way to go? I wouldn’t mind death by this Audemars Piguet. Would you?Photo Credit: Paul Boutros / TimeZone

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Killer style meets the wood watch

by on Mar.10, 2011, under What's New

Ever see a watch that just caught the eye and you couldn’t look away without picking it up? Well check these out after you’ve hidden your credit card cause you’ll want one for sure. The guys over at MICA are crafting some definite gems. Clean designs, solid style and everything you didn’t think you would get from a hand crafted wood watch. Seriously good looking stuff!

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The Reverso is Almost 80, So Jaeger-LeCoultre Decided To Put It In A Museum…In Cyberspace!

by on Mar.09, 2011, under Review

A JLC Reverso Once Owned by King Edward VIIIIt’s not particularly groundbreaking for a watch brand to have a museum – indeed, if a brand reaches a certain age and level of prestige it’s practically de rigueur. A physical museum is a natural way for a brand to showcase the rare and beautiful things they may have hiding in their safes, and in performing this function, the museum serves a wonderful purpose to us watch fans. But this sort of museum has two main drawbacks; they’re often hidden away in the Swiss mountains, where only the truly dedicated have an opportunity to see them (not ideal in a marketing sense) and they are physically limited in what they can display.

Jaeger LeCoultre has gone all Web 2.0 (something we love seeing in a big watch brand) and launched a virtual museum. This virtual museum is a celebration the most famous JLC of all, the Reverso, a watch which is about to become an octogenarian (we showed you the 80th anniversary model a few weeks back).

What makes the Reverso museum such a great resource and marketing tool is the accessibility of it, and the way in which it encourages Reverso owners to add their own images to a special gallery section (a clever incorporation of the ‘wristshots’ beloved by watch fans), and to ‘love’ particular watches from the exhibits, giving a JLC fans and Reverso owners an unusual and direct interaction with the brand (plus some probably quite useful data).

The Reverso museum is a useful resource, with a detailed timeline of models, owners or events in the watches long history,  making it a great way for fans to research particular models and an ideal way for the brand to showcase the watches illustrious owners and exploits in an accessible, intelligent and meaningful way.  We particularly like cycling through the timeline to see some of the Reverso’s more illustrious owners (Amelia Earhart, anyone?)

To access the Jaeger LeCoultre Reverso virtual museum project you need to be a member of “LeClub” – which is free to join.

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A Jaeger-LeCoultre Memovox from the Korean War: Here’s One You Don’t See Often

by on Mar.08, 2011, under Review

While Jaeger-LeCoultre has a rich history of watches connected to military service, vintage Memovox watches are generally perceived to have had a greater connection with the boardroom than the battlefield. However, currently for sale is an early Memovox that is engraved with: “Presented By Officers of 6160th M & S Group Japan 53.”

The seller states that this was from a United States Air Force Hospital Group involved with the Korean War. The Korean War ended with the Korean War Armistice Agreement in 1953, so it is possible that this watch may have been a gift commemorating the end of the war.

The lugs on this Memovox positively accent the dial and the watch appears to be in nice condition. For more information on this Memovox with ties to the Korean War,″ target=”_blank”>click here.

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A Breguet Hits eBay For Charity: Support The NY Philharmonic School Partnership Program

by on Mar.07, 2011, under Review

The Breguet 5157 Being Auctioned Off To Support The NY PhilharmonicBreguet recently re-upped their relationship with the New York Philharmonic.  To celebrate, they have donated one of their Classique watches (the 5157 in gold) to benefit the NYP’s School Partnership program.  The watch will be auctioned off via eBay with all proceeds going to the program.

The NY Philharmonic School Partnership Program “is geared to promote students’ creativity and understanding of music through the experience of symphonic music. Students study great musical works, attend live performances of the New York Philharmonic and compose music of their own; opportunities students may not otherwise receive. They develop focused listening skills, performance skills on recorder, musical literacy both symbolic and verbal, strategies for group work, knowledge of cultural history and a personal relationship to the art of music.”

The 5157 in yellow gold was selected for the charity auction because it is the very same watch worn by New York Philharmonic Music Director Alan Gilbert. It is a 38mm, ultra-thin watch with self-winding movement.  Retail on this watch is $16,200.

Bidding takes place just like it would on any traditional eBay auction, and it will close on January 15th at midnight.  The actual watch in question is available to preview at the brand new Breguet boutique at 711 Fifth Ave in NYC.

Click here for more details, and here to be taken to the eBay auction.  Get bidding people, it’s a great watch for a great cause!

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GasGasBones: An Interview With The Man Behind The Straps

by on Mar.06, 2011, under Review

Killer straps, love these things. They look refined yet so practical and durable. At Hodinkee, we usually talk about watches and not so much about straps. But watch geeks tend to be as obsessive and picky about their straps as they are about their timepieces. Bespoke strap makers can develop cult followings and though these craftsmen are usually working with leather, one man specializes in nylon Velcro tactical straps and has developed quite a reputation.

Carl Evans is the Englishman behind the GasGasBones straps, perhaps best known for his NASA-spec Speedmaster straps. But his work caught the eye of Bremont and now Carl’s straps accompany that company’s MBII watch.

I recently had a chance to ask Carl a few questions about his straps, how he got involved with Bremont… oh, and the story behind that name. Here’s the interview.

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Hublot Introduces A 38mm Watch That COULD Be Worn By A Man: Enter The Big Bang, Refined

by on Mar.05, 2011, under Review

Hublot has made a Big Bang at 38mm for while now, but all the variants were most certainly for women.  The dials were colorful, and the bezels were typically laden with sparkly things (sometimes even colorful sparkly things!). 

Hublot has just announced a 38mm Big Bang that not only could be worn by a man, but would actually look quite nice on a man.  Its technical name is the Hublot Big Bang 38mm Gold Ceramic.  The case is rose gold, the bezel is ceramic, and the dial is carbon fiber. 

This downsized Big Bang could be just what Hublot needs to bring in some new customers, the customers who have always liked the case design of the Bang but thought the 44mm+ size just a tad too ostentatious. 

This new release reminds us of the 37mm Royal Oak Offshore from Audemars Piguet, another unisex luxury sport watch in a similar price category. 

We’ll look to get some live shots of this smaller Bang soon.  Click here for details.

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The Tudor Submariners For The French Marine Nationale: A MilSub You Can Afford

by on Mar.04, 2011, under Review

While there is no debate that the Rolex MilSub is a highly-coveted watch, the Milsub’s current market value might exceed the budgets of many of our readers. An alternative and far less costly option is the diving watches made by Tudor for the French Navy (Marine Nationale). Many of the watches were used by the Marine Nationale for over two decades, somewhat reminiscent of the long service times for many of the Type 20 chronographs.

Some of the most desirable Tudor Marine Nationale watches include the original decommission papers from the French Navy. Essentially, you’re getting a vintage Submariner with proven military history, but for a fraction of the cost. 

To see a particularly nice example of a Tudor Marine Nationale issued in 1975 and with papers showing that it was decommissioned in 1999,’rx0752′)&Step=1″ target=”_blank”>click here.

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The First Review of TAG Heuer’s Carrera Caliber 1887: "The Rightful Successor to the Carreras of 1964"

by on Mar.03, 2011, under Review

People have been waiting for the TAG Heuer Carrera featuring the new Caliber 1887 for a long, long time. It is, after all, expected to be a game changer for TAG, and offer a tremendous value in a relatively affordable chronograph (it’s a fully integrated – not modular – chronograph with column wheel and oscillating pinion).  Just last month, watch-news/victory-at-the-grand-prix-de-geneve” href=”” target=”_blank”>it even won the “La Petite Aiguille” at the Geneva Grand Prix for the best watch under $5000. 

We showed you a prototype of this very watch all the way back in March at Basel.  Then, via our friends at Caliber 11, we showed you the slight modifications to the design of the coming Caliber 1887 Carrera in June.  Now we have the very first hands-on review of the Carrera Caliber 1887 published anywhere on the web, and it comes from one of the world’s best known TAG Heuer experts, Jeff Stein of OnTheDash.

So, what does a man who owns this many vintage Heuers think about the latest and greatest from TAG?  Some excerpts below:

A Modern Vintage watch

“The Carrera Calibre 1887 is a beautiful chronograph, taking the defining elements of the 1960s Carreras, and incorporating them into a state-of the-art chronograph. One by one, we see the key elements of the vintage Carreras transferred from the 1964 Carrera into the form factor required to house a modern movement.”

A Classic Heuer Design

“This chronograph looks as though it was drawn by the very same hand that drew the first Carreras, almost 50 years ago, and that is high praise indeed.”

In Regards To The Size

“But let me assure you — as someone who probably spends as much time as anyone wearing the Carreras from the 1960s — the geometry of the Cal 1887 is perfect, the proportions are right, the balance is there.

The Carrera 1887 As TAG’s Backbone

“I am confident that, just as Heuer had only begun when it introduced the Carrera in 1964, TAG Heuer has only just begun with the introduction of the Carrera Calibre 1887 in 2010. This is a perfect form factor, that will do well with the full range of finishes and complications.”

Jeff’s full review, including more details and photographs of his first 48 hours with the Carrera Calibre 1887 can be found here, at  

The New TAG Heuer Carrera with Cal 1887 is presently available in some markets (Japan, UK) and should be stateside in the spring.  While no official retail price has been set, it is expected to be around $3500, one hell of of a price for a true column-wheel, integrated chronograph. 

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The Heuer Luftforsvaret: Essentially a Heuer Bundeswehr, Except Norwegian Instead of German

by on Mar.02, 2011, under Review

As the Heuer collecting community regains consciousness from the monstrously successful Bonhams Haslinger Collection auction on December 15 in London, we thought we would show you a Heuer that rarely comes up for sale: a Heuer chronograph issued to the Royal Norwegian Air Force.

The watch is essentially the same as the Heuer chronographs issued to the West German Air Force (Bundeswehr) except with no red “3H” (to note tritium as the luminescent) like those featured on the dial of many of the Bundeswehr watches and a different engraving on the caseback. These watches were seemingly issued to the Norwegian Air Force around 1978.

Vintage watch collectors continue to grow in their appreciation of the Heuer Bundeswehr and Luftforsvaret military chronographs because of these watches’ great aesthetics and their flyback Valjoux 230 movements. You can count us as fans. For more information on this Norwegian military Heuer,’rx0734′)&Step=1″ target=”_blank”>click here.

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