Velociphile's Journey into Watches

Adhoc stuff about wristwatches. The technology of horology, escapements and patents to the industry and the market. Try me in Japanese or Chinese

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Straight Lug Speedmaster Bracelet Breakthrough


Problem with straight lug Speedys has always been finding a modern bracelet to fit - with no help forthcoming from Omega either..... And, not everyone wants to use the very nasty, cheap, but admittedly original, flat, stretch bracelets (7912, 1039, etc).

Dedicated research cross referencing from within the infamous Omega 'redbook' has unearthed that the 1125 bracelet with 617 end pieces not only fits the straight lug Speedmasters it is THE end piece for the case. At last we know now.

The 1125 is an old school style bracelet with the bent steel end pieces, the simple clasp with the big Omega logo stamped in and the cheesy authentic vintage rattle. It's more comfortable than my modern Speedmaster bracelet found on the modern Moonwatch (3570.50) due to more flexibility (a bit like a Seiko or Rolex Jubilee) and not least because it does not have the slab effect created by the solid end links. It's da schnizzle 19mm solution we've been waiting for. It's still available new, but maybe not for long.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Adieu for now

After five years a lot of things have changed in the blogosphere. There are now a lot of us and most doing a much better job than me. It has been a long journey and it seems as you may have guessed by the posting rate that it has to end as my life has steadily taken new turns.

I've learned a lot driving the blog, one thing of interest is how google prioritises 'newness' over 'fact' – a very worrying find now that so much of our lives is driven by what google delivers forth on search or request.

Along the way, we've investigated the watch market, the grey market, shilling, how to get a deal, predicted a few pieces, dissected some designs, caught out IWC and JLC on their movements, seen appalling disloyalty, been plagiarised without credit and had also quite unbelievable, disgusting and threatening behaviour beyond belief from some senior watch executives. All because of my skaiwy lickle bwog? Oh and I like to think I had a bit of a hand in the rebirth of Polaris. ;-)

Yet, I've also learned many things from many patient and generous people - particularly former members of Watchrap such as SuitbertW and of course Dr Thomas M. Thanks also to supporters Dario, Chuck, Chris, A Fan, and others along the way. I have also been in receipt of quite astonishing graciousness and generosity from both JLC and AP. I thank you both.

Over the next few weeks I will cut down the content to the important minimum, so save what you will otherwise! I intend to keep things like comparison of JLC 1000 hours versus COSC test data, but anecdotal and diaryesque entries will disappear. Here's to you subscribers and your patience, I hope you appreciated that I deleted the ad feed to you. So for now adieu and A toute a l'heure.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Explorer II: Childhood Sweetheart Rediscovered

There’s been a lot of controversy over the direction Rolex have taken chubbing up their new case. It’ll suit some and change always taps up new markets (cf. JLC Compressor success). I recently had a chance to size up the now old-news new GMT IIc and was less struck by the podgy case so much as the awful pumped up maxi dial and hands. If Rolex wanted their new face to resemble a Prospex diver, well, then they succeeded. In doing so I think they lost their audience of fans of versatility. I don’t believe these developments allow the new versions to subtly slide under a suit cuff or dinner jacket physically or aesthetically like their forebears.

This year they have pursued the relentless rollout further by going all Kate Winslett on the Submariner in steel. Time is running out; the last of one of the great original tool watches will surely be gone soon. Long missing from the website, or e-brochure, the completely McQuool no date variant is still around co-selling alongside the inexplicably different date version. In a world of reissues at every turn, with the old school bracelet rattle and embarrassingly ill fitting quirky bent steel vintage end pieces, it’s actually pretty much the original Sub' still on sale; like finding a NOS piece in a closeout jeweller.

The only other example like this I can think of is the ‘proper’ Speedmaster Professional but even that has a modern bracelet now. Anyhow, what struck me when I was in the shop was the subtle aesthetic still afforded by my childhood sweetheart - the current Explorer 2*. The combination of the thinner bezel sunk below the crystal in side view and making it brushed silver achieves a more complex 3d effect while keeping the subdued versatility of restrained hour markers and slim case. SEL bracelet, bang up to date Parachrom movement and subtle Rolex rehaut engraving complete the perfect sleeper in the range. Perfect old case, latest internals and the best looking 40mm sports watch Rolex still makes.

*a leaked video has already shown a new orange hand version with maxi dial and hands that was ready for 2010 but delayed coming 2011 to coincide with its 40th anniversary.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Memovox International


The gorgeous new piece coming in Jan 2010 first announced by Dario here. The "Worldtime" feature is an alternative use of the central disk of the dial. The alarm disk carrries the major cities, with (in this case of the official photo) Paris corresponding to the triangle on the disk. You align the triangle with the hour hand, and you can read what time it is in the other cities of the world. However, this only works if you are in the timezone where the triangle is! I do not know if JLC plan to offer different dial options for different markets, e.g. Shanghai, KL, etc. Clearly that would be a good idea! (Of course you can choose to align any city as the relative time remain the same. London is 1 hour behind Paris etc) The downside is you lose your alarm time setting if you check a time - but you do 'interact' with the watch which has its charm.

So a good piece for checking international phone call timings in the office, much like the Geographic is, but arguably less practical in the field as a dual time watch where a 'Hometime' style watch is still better for this I think.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Chronometrie 2009 - JLC wins

Well it's great to see that as predicted enough interest has finally led to a modest return to testing watches under scientific conditions in an accuracy shootout.

Balls on the block time, and everyone who has turned up to this to be named or shamed deserves a pat on the back.

But as might have been expected there was only ever going to be one winner - Jaeger-LeCoultre taking the first two places.

Congrats to everyone at Le Sentier

Chapeau!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Watchrap 2.0 - MIA or RIP

And so I forlornly click on my link for Watchrap 2.0 and it repeats the same depressing message. "Watchrap is closed until further notice." And then, I always click on my saved login details, just in case, in hope....... "No access privilege groups are currently available." I guess only 'The 38' or so of us out there have even noticed or are concerned. I'm sure most have contacted TM, as I have, only to hear the grave news that the code of silence was broken - that what happens in Watchrap stays in Watchrap. Thus Watchrap 2.0 has been suspended until it can determined how to operate it successfully; maybe never to reopen. So we wait.

Watchrap was the last place on earth where one could discuss the finer points of everything from aesthetics to the nuances of drawing and locking angles of escapements without the incessant noisy drivel that plagues nigh on every other watch site. Oft accused of elitism, it was in fact a most inclusive watch discussion board if you gave it a chance.

It is a cliche but appropriate to state that you don't realise you're living in a golden age until it has passed and we became complacent and took Watchrap for granted. It could only get better couldn't it? And then suddenly -disaster- the last oasis of horology was taken from us.

Monday, November 03, 2008

SIHH 2009 - JLC Navy SEAL Diver

So what could it be? Well, having already 'done' Polaris and knowing there isn't enough space for three crowns with full compression keys; (half keys were adopted on the chronograph for this reason.)  How about they relaunch the Memovox Deep Sea Alarm? But with two changes:
1 Rotating conventional diving bezel - like the current JLC diver.  Good idea.
2 Ruin yet another otherwise good looking JLC watch with the stupid compression keys.  Bad idea.




 


Copyright 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 Dr Velociphile - all rights reserved.
Disclaimer:
The opinions posted on this blog are solely those of the author. Velociphile does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any message, and Velociphile is not responsible for the contents of any post. I mean come on people, get a grip. I take no responsibility for comments posted on this site. Views expressed within it are not necessarily representative of those of Velociphile. Any offensive or abusive content will be removed.

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