Tech Watch Trend?

As the world becomes increasingly high-tech, it is only natural that some tech timepieces hit the watch industry.  As I have hinted in previous blogs, I doubt tech watches will catch on for an extended period of time, but it will be interesting to see if the fad catches any steam.

The Meta Watch is meant to give people more of a practical reason to wear a watch.  It can apparently sync with Android OS to provide users with the ability to read emails, send text messages and get weather updates.  With the Meta Watch, people will not have to reach into their pocket to use their phones…  I am not buying this one.  The recent NYTimes article on watches argues that the cell-phone generation appreciates fine timepieces more than ever at the moment.

The Rock by Linde Werdelin is a little more appealing to me.  The instrument securely attaches onto any Linde Werdelin watch or can be used independently.  The Rock is an amazing tool to have while skiing or hiking in the mountains; it can measure the air temperature accurately and employs aerospace algorithms to offer highly intelligent readings.

The sensor-based device employs basic functions such as an alarm, stopwatch, the time and logging capabilities.  It is extremely easy to use as it operates with a 4-button menu system.  The Rock can be connected to a GPS device and has an optional wireless heart rate monitor that wraps around your chest.

I have yet to see The Rock in person and definitely hope to be able to mess with one sometime soon.  I have heard good things.  The Meta Watch I am not as excited to see in the flesh…

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One Thumb Up, One Thumb Down

Versace just recently launched the DV One Cruise limited edition watch that has what might be the most aggressive color scheme I have ever seen on a timepiece.  The case is matte black ceramic, the bezel is blue aluminum, the dial is red and the strap is half purple and half blue.  I’m not sure it all works, but maybe the Versace name will power it through.  I am not a fan of non-uniform straps; I think it makes the watch look like a dysfunctional mess.  I guess not all limited edition pieces can be winners…

One limited edition piece I am digging is the Graham Silverstone GMT.  The watch has a carbon fiber dial featuring orange Arabic numerals, luminescent hands, the date at 7 o’clock and a GMT hand.  The model is offered in two different versions, one with a 24-hour bezel and one with a knurled bezel and 24-hour interior ring; these 24-hour indicators are there for the second timezone function.  Both versions have an exhibition caseback and will be made in a series of 15 pieces.  The best part is the price tag of $3,995.  That is some solid bang for your buck!

Another Patek Gem

Any Patek Philippe annual calendar is extremely prestigious.  Patek is widely regarded as the best brand in the world, and their product is the top of the line.  The new Patek annual calendar coming out later this year is going to be particularly special, and I absolutely cannot wait to see it in person.

In addition to being an annual calendar that only needs to be reset every leap year, Patek Philippe Reference 5235 is a regulator.  Regulator watches are timepieces with hands positioned on different axes of the dial to enhance readability.  As you can see in the picture of the watch, there is only one center hand, which indicates the minutes.  The subdial at 12 o’clock then displays the hours, while the subdial at six o’clock shows the seconds.

The placement of the date, day and month round out the watch perfectly.  What a clean watch!  This Patek Philippe Caliber 31-260 movement is clearly no joke.  It has a micro-rotor, a 60-hour power reserve and is 2.43mm thin.  That is ridiculous!!!  I am sure the price tag will be pretty substantial for this 18kt white gold beast, but it is truly incredibly in many different ways.

Old School Gem

A new limited edition model that Breitling will launch soon is the Superocean GMT with a green bezel.  The 41mm model houses the Breitling Caliber 32 movement and is available on either a rubber strap or a stainless steel bracelet.  I have seen the standard production version with a black bezel in person and think it is pretty nice.  The price tag is reasonable at $4,105 too.  GMT models from some other brands go for twice as much.

While I think the Superocean GMT looks like it will be pretty cool, it is definitely not my favorite Breitling with a colored bezel.  I am still currently in the midst of my vintage obsession, and I cannot stop looking at the blue dial Brietling 2016 Sprint Chronograph.  This bad boy looks like it has some serious pop to it!  I absolutely love the blue bezel, and the red hands and white hour markers go together with it perfectly.

The 1970s model uses the manual-winding Valjoux 7730 chronograph movement and is 40mm in size.  The watch was originally designed for runners and is extremely light; it was named the Sprint for that reason.  While this Breitling does not have the brand’s signature slide rule, the bezel on the watch is calibrated to read your pulse.  Not too shabby of a watch, huh?

Vintage Vegas

I went out to Vegas last week with the intention of making some memories and checking out some sweet timepieces. I know, it is a tough life I have… Needless to say, the trip lived up to my expectations and then some. I could not believe how many cool watches were out there in Sin City! For those Breitling lovers out there, you really would have been heaven. I got to try on some incredibly classic models.

The first one was an 18kt rose gold vintage Chronomat from the 1940s. This bad boy features the Venus 175 movement and is incredibly clean. I absolutely love the use of the Arabic numerals to indicate the hours, and the red chronograph is simply money with the rose gold case and brown strap.

I also saw a stainless steel version of the Chronomat with the manual-winding Venus 175 chronograph movement. This model is from the 1960s and features a silver dial with a rare outer black bi-directional telemeter ring. Talk about another ridiculously sharp watch! Little did I know that it would only get better.

I then laid my eyes on a 1959 “AOPA” Navitimer. Members of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association would have literally lost it. This watch was the sickest vintage Breitling I have ever seen. I want it! The whole watch is perfect. I absolutely love the dark brown strap with white stitching on the black dial. The dial speaks for itself.

For all those left-handed watch lovers, I then tried on a vintage Chrono-Matic 8806 from the early 1970s with the crown on the left side of the watch. It was a very sharp and unique watch. I am surprised there are not more watches with crowns at nine o’clock instead of three o’clock.

Lastly, I got to handle two rare 809 24-hour stainless steel Cosmonautes. One was in stainless steel, while the other was in 14k gold. These watch are from the 1960s and were used during the days of intense space exploration. With the 24-hour dial display, astronauts could distinguish between am and pm while in space.

Not bad, huh?

Vintage Spotlight: Rolex Split Second Chronograph

The trip to the Breitling boutique and a look at their vintage pieces has really gotten me on the vintage train.  As I said in my previous blog, I have never completely loved the vintage game, but I am quickly turning the corner.

I just read an article about a vintage complicated Rolex the other day that I am absolutely in love with.  Rolex does not make any super-complicated movements nowadays, so I was shocked when I saw this bad boy.

The watch was an incredibly rare Rolex split second chronograph made in 1942 that was never available to the public.  Only 12 pieces were ever made, and only eight are accounted for today.

Apparently, I am not the only one who finds the watch pretty awesome, as one of them just broke the world record for the most expensive Rolex ever to be sold at auction.  The timepiece brought in $1.16 million at Christie’s Important Watches sale in Geneva on May 16!

Back in the early 1940s, the watch was made as a gift to famous race drivers in Italy and the United Kingdom, who needed to keep track of their racing times.

I am off to Vegas for the holiday weekend for a couple of watch shows and hope to run into some more watches that I never knew about.  I will be sure to bring a camera and post them if I do.  The great thing about the watch world is that just when you think you have seen it all, you see something else that completely blows you away…

Happy holiday weekend to all!

Vintage Appeal

I am not a crazy vintage guy.  There are some watch collectors I know who are head over heels when it comes to vintage watches.  I am not one of them, at least not yet.  I could definitely see myself getting there, but I have not quite gotten into that craze at this point in my life.  Generally speaking, I like vintage watches, but I don’t love them.  For whatever reason, however, I love vintage Breitlings.

 When I was at the Breitling boutique last week, I could not stop looking at the vintage collection they had in their small museum section of the building.  I found the timepieces simply fascinating.


I kept asking myself, are the vintage Breitling Datora and vintage Breitling Chronomat models not absolutely awesome?  There really is something about them. 

 The dial of the vintage Datora is incredibly clean.  I absolutely love the layout of it; the Arabic numerals, day and month windows just below 12 o’clock and then date hand circling the interior of the bezel go together great.

The dial of the vintage Chronomat is much of the same; it is very clean and simple.  I like how it has the moonphase at 12 o’clock.  Meanwhile, any vintage Breilting chronograph is special, because it reminds you of how Breitling developed the first independent chronograph pushpiece back in 1923.  Prior to that year, chronograph functions were controlled using the crown.

The vintage Breitling that may take the cake for me is the Top Time.  It is absolutely money!  I love contrasting subdials.  It is the reason why I like the limited edition Superocean Heritage Chronograph so much, regardless of which of the three dial configurations you are looking at.  This Top Time bad boy then has the red chronograph hand that really puts everything together.  The white stitching on the black crocodile leather strap does not go unnoticed by me either.

I definitely want to add a vintage Breitling to my collection on day.  I am sure that I would really enjoy it.  The question is, which one would be the watch to add if I had myself the choice of the litter.  I can only hope that I would ever be faced with that decision one day…

Family Series: Breitling for Bentley

Cheers once more to all of those people who have taken the time to vote and comment this week!  We have gotten some great results this week!  I am pumped about it.  I will announce the winner of the giveaway next week.

The fifth and final family Breitling has labeled some of their watches under over the last few years is the Bentley series.  Breitling has a partnership with the prestigious Bentley car manufacturer, and all of the watches in the Breitling for Bentley line show that link between the two manufacturers in some form.

The Bentley Motors features a whopping 48.7mm case and a knurled bezel inspired by the Bentley control buttons.  The model uses the Bretiling Calbier 25B movement and has a “30 second chronograph” with a center sweeping hand that circulates the dial every 30 seconds as opposed to every 60 seconds like a typical chronograph center hand does.  The model shows the date in between 4 and 5 o’clock and was made in a variety of dial colors.  The Bentley Motors was eventually replaced by the Bentley Motors Speed, which has an every so slightly different dial.

The Bentley Motors T and the Bentley Motors T Speed both have the same 48.7mm casesize that the Bentley Motors has but feature a bezel with an engine-turned motif reminiscent of the Bentley dashboards.  The Motors T models uses the same movement as the regular Motors with the Breitling Caliber 25B.  Once again, the dials are different between the speed and the non-speed versions.

 

The Bentley Supersports, another 48.7mm model, is a limited edition of 1,000 pieces.  The ultra-sporty watch features a 1/4th of a second chronograph and the date at six o’clock.  The model has a 12-hour counter at nine o’clock and a seconds subdial at three o’clock.

The Bentley 6.75 does not differentiate from any of the aforementioned Bentleys in casesize, but stands out from the bunch due to its large two-window date display at 12 o’clock.  The chronograph model is produced in a variety of different dial colors.

The Bentley GT is a 44.8mm watch featuring the day and date at three o’clock.  The dial of the model is adorned with a “diamond quilt” motif and was produced in black, gray, silver and bronze.  Pictured is the new “Ice” version.

The Bentley GMT is a 49mm dual timezone watch with a hand featuring a large red arrow pointing to one of the world’s 24 different timezones represented by a particular city around the interior of the bezel.

Only a few dozen pieces of the Bentley Mulliner Tourbillon model were ever produced, and each individual watch was customized by its owner.  The collector had his choice of the type of case, the dial color and the exact shade of the crocodile leather strap.

The Flying B models feature a unique rectangular case for the Breitling line.  The standard Flying B is 57.3mm x 38.5mm, while the Flying B Chronograph is 58.2mm by 38.5mm.  The time-only version has a very detailed dial and jumping hour mechanism at 12 o’clock.  The minutes are then read in a conventional fashion with a single central hand.  The chronograph version features the date at 12 o’clock and has conventional hour and minute hands.

The Mark VI models are all 42mm.  The standard Mark VI has a center 60-minute totalizer, a chronograph function and the date at 12 o’clock.  The Mark VI Complications 19 features the day, date, month and moon phases, while the Mark VI Complications 29 features a perpetual calendar taking into account the leap-year variations.  The Mark VI consists of almost 500 parts.

So, what is your favorite Breitling for Bentley watch?

Family Series: The Aeromarine

The fourth 2010-2011 Breitling family, the Aeromarine series, is the most extensive one with 17 different models.  All of the watches in the family are sporty, sturdy and reliable.  Deep breath, here goes…

The Avenger is a 45mm chronograph known for easy readability and user friendliness.  The model features a screw-down crown and is water resistant to 300 meters.  The model is available with Arabic numerals or baton markers in either a black, blue, gray or silver dial.

The Super Avenger boasts a whopping 48.4mm case with large sized hands and either Arabic numerals or baton markers.  It is available in either a silver, black or blue dial and was made in a limited edition blacksteel version, which was super hot.

The Avenger Seawolf is a 45.4mm diver’s watch that is water resistant to 3,000 meters.  The watch has a safety valve allowing it to balance pressure and release helium when needed.  The watch is extremely legible either in the dark or under water with Super-LumiNova luminescent hourmarkers, Arabic numerals and hands.  The model features a brushed case and is available in either a black, blue, gray or yellow dial.

The Avenger Seawolf Chrono is a quartz chronograph that is water resistant to 1000 meters thanks to Breitling’s patented magnetic pushpiece.  The watch is also equipped with a “Yachting” feature to count down the ten minutes prior to the start of a Regatta.  The model was just made in a blacksteel limited edition version.

The Superocean was initially launched in 1957 to be compatible with maritime depths.  The original Superocean was water resistant to 200 meters.  The latest Superocean is compatible to 1500 meters.  Like the other watches in this family, the model is extremely legible with its oversized hands and triangular hour hand inspired from the 1950s.

The Supreocean II has the same great functionally of the Superocean but with a new and unique appearance.  Breitling decided to give a fresh look to this model with a rubberized bezel and a colorized ring around the exterior of the dial.  As my avid readers know, I own an Abyss Black Superocean II and couldn’t be happier with it.

The Chrono Superocean is a diving watch with a 1/4th second chronograph.  The model features the day and the date as well as contrasting subdials.  The watch is also water resistant to 500 meters.  Talk about a great bang for your buck!  The model was made in a black dial with silver subdials, a blue dial with silver subdials and a silver dial with blue subdials.

The Superocean Steelfish is a combination of technical and aesthetic refinement.  The model features a brushed finish and is water resistant to 2000 meters with a security valve to balance the pressure at great depths.  The dial has the date at three o’clock and luminescent hourmarkers.  It was made in a silver, blue or black dial.

The Superocean Heritage was made in a 46mm case size as well as a 38mm case size.  The 38mm case size is going to be replaced by the 42mm case size by the end of the year.  The 46mm version features the date at 6 o’clock and a center sweeping seconds hand.  The 38mm SOH features the date at three o’clock and a seconds subdial at six o’clock.  Each version was made in a black, blue, bronze or silver dial.

The Superocean Heritage Chronograph features a 46mm case with the date at three o’clock.  The watch is water resistant to 200 meters and is available in a black, blue, bronze or silver dial.

The Chrono Colt is the most complicated Colt model in the Aeromarine line.   It is superquartz and has the highest level of finishing.  The chronograph watch is able to measure time within the nearsest 1/10th of a second.  The model was made in a silver dial with blue subdials, a black dial with silver subdials and a silver dial with blue subdials.

The Colt GMT is a 40.5mm watch featuring Arabic numerals and a second timezone.  The second timezone is indicated by an extra hand with a red arrow at the end of it pointing to the military time hours listed in a circle around the interior of the dial.  It is automatic and available in a black, blue or silver dial.

The Colt GMT+ is a 41.3mm watch with a stainless steel integrated bracelet.  The military hours on the GMT+ aree listed in between the home-time hours and the bezel, as opposed to the Colt GMT which shows the military hours on the interior of the home-time hours.  The model was made in a blue, black, gray and silver dial.

The Colt Automatic is a 41.1mm watch that was made in a black, blue or silver dial with stick hour markers and the date at three o’clock.  The model is water resistant to 1,650 feet and equipped with a screw-down crown.

The Colt Quartz is the same size as the automatic version, but features luminescent Arabic numerals as opposed to stick markers.  It also features the date at three o’clock and a screw-down crown.

The Colt Oceane is an extremely popular ladies model in a 33.2mm casesize.  The model features the date at three o’clock and luminescent hands.  The battery-operated model was made in a black, blue or silver dial.

So, which Aeromarine does it the most for you?

Family Series: The Professional

Thanks so much again to those who have voted and commented thus far!  I think the results are extremely interesting to look at.  I hope that people find the watch descriptions interesting and informative.  Let’s keep her going!  It is never too late to vote if you have missed a day.

Breitling’s third family from the 2010-2011 era, the Professional series, features chronographs specifically designed for aviators.  The functionality that the watches in this family have is both practical and specialized.  These bad boys truly are instruments for professionals.

The Emergency is a 43mm watch with a built-in micro-transmitter broadcasting on the 121.5MHz aircraft emergency frequency.  I will never forget the story one of my friends told me when he had to activate his transmitter.  It definitely works!  The transmitter is activated by unscrewing a protective cap on the bottom right-hand side of the case and pulling the antenna fully out.  It will broadcast for two full days and has a range of approximately 100 miles.  Rescuers will hopefully be able to hone in on the signal in the event of a crash or accident.  The watch was made in a variety of cool dial colors and is actually the only watch from the Professional series that will no longer be made.


The Aerospace is a 42mm titanium watch housing a Breitling Caliber 79 quartz movement.  The model features a 1/100th of a second chronograph, a countdown timer, a second timezone and an alarm.  All of these functions are operated by the crown.  The dial is extremely legible and available in a black, blue, silver or bronze color.

The Airwolf Raven is a 43.5mm watch featuring a 1/100th of a chronograph, an alarm, a countdown timer, a second timezone with an independent alarm, a UTC and a perpetual calendar.  The model features a bidirectional rotating rubber bezel and is available with a black, gray or silver dial.

The Skyracer Raven is a 43.5mm automatic watch featuring a 60-minute totalizer that enables users to measure any event under an hour in duration.  The chronograph model also features a bidirectional rubber bezel and is available with a black, blue, gray or silver dial.

The Chronospace is a 48mm battery-operated model with great readability and functionality.  The watch features a 1/100th of a second chronograph, an alarm, a countdown timer, a second timezone with an independent alarm, a UTC and a perpetual calendar.  The double-caseback construction is designed to help amplify the audible signals of the watch.

So, which model is your favorite Professional instrument?