I asked to review one of their simpler watches, but when Rich countered by offering me a 160 to review, I jumped at the chance.
Let me first apologize for failing to get a photograph of an important (to some), yet subtle, detail on this watch. The crown on this new Pierre Arpels watch - on all versions - has an inset diamond. OK, I feel better now knowing that you'll be aware of that fact despite my incomplete coverage. Now that I've glossed over that, let me show you a new men's collection of watches from Van Cleef & Arpels. That is sure to be a statement you don't hear very often.
Chopard's racing themed watches are part of a few families. I am a bit confused by all the names, but they all seem to be part of the "Classic Racing" collection. That even seems to include very modern looking pieces like this one. So yes, the irony is that this non-retro watch is called the Classic Racing SuperFast (Super Fast). I just hope it doesn't run super fast. The majority of Classic Racing watches are in the Mille Miglia collection, while the rest are SuperFast, and Grand Prix de Monaco Historique pieces.
Sinn has announced the release of a limited edition chronograph in partnership with Paul Parey publishing. For those not in the know (myself included), Paul Parey is a German publisher of a wide range of hunting and fishing magazines. Sinn has essentially customized their excellent 756 chronograph with a dark green dial and earthy brown strap to make a hunting watch.
Upon being asked, Brown had answers to just about every durability question I had when it came to their safes. That seemed to imply the safes had been tested against explosives, rockets, heavy machine gun fire, being dropped off cliffs, being submerged in water, exposed to intense fire and smoke damage, and more. I eventually discovered a scenario where you could theoretically disable the safe, but not actually gain access to its contents. They also had a lot to say about the ineffectiveness of their competition's products.
A new limited edition version of the Hamilton Ventura XXL watch will be worn by major characters in the new Men In Black III (3) movie that will open this month. I believe that previous Men In Black (MIB) movies also featured other versions of the famous Ventura watch. This newest version is the Ventura XXL model in polished steel, and it is a limited edition.
Straumann balance spring with Breguet overcoil and low-mass escape lever
The triple date is a super useful complication, though to be honest I don't much use the moon phase.
There are very few tech specs on the actual watch itself, and we don't know exactly where the "original HMS Victory material" will go. It could very well be on the rotor of the automatic movement. I am guessing that the steel watch case is about 43mm wide. Done like an old ship's clock, the dial is very legible and classy. I love the white dial with black hands and hour markers.
For 2012 Omega released a new 18k red gold version of the Seamaster Planet Ocean three-hand and chronograph models with a new type of "Ceragold" bezel. Ceragold is more or less the gold version of Liquidmetal (that I discussed in more detail here). It is a special process that Omega uses to inset gold in the engraved ceramic bezel. In a sense, this is Omega's answer to Rolex's Cerachrom.
The Nike+FuelBand is device that you wear on your wrist which tells the time but I certainly wouldn't call it a watch. The time telling aspect is really just an added bonus since you can't simply glance at your wrist to take note of the time. It's more of a lifestyle item with the primary function of keeping you active. Its goal is to track that activity over a 24-hour cycle and motivate you to keep going. For that use alone, the Nike+FuelBand meets and exceeds expectations. However from a watch-lover's perspective there may be a few quirks preventing it from being the ultimate fitness accessory.
The six color versions are truly a stroke of marketing genius as applied to timepieces. You see, the 1:Face watch ("changing the world 1:Face at a time.") isn't about just one charity, but six. The charity you want to benefit depends on the color you buy. Pink goes to breast cancer, red goes to AIDS, yellow goes to water, and so forth. 1:Face of course doesn't run it themselves, but rather gives a portion of each sale to a list of existing charities such NationBreastCancer.org, and CharityWater.org. The list of these actual charitable organizations are offered in an amusingly small font at the bottom of the 1:Face website. What I find interesting is that in companies such as this, there is virtually no accountability when it comes to the stated charitable cause. It is extremely rare for them to get audited by consumers to prove that monies are actually going to the charitable purpose mentioned. I am not suggesting that 1:Face is like that, but merely that the brand belongs to a huge category of companies attempting to market their goods from a "good cause" angle. Charity is big friggin' business these days. What amuses me the most are the salesy promoter types I have met who appear to be the biggest supporters of philanthropic missions. In the US alone the business of raising money for "charitable purposes" is worth billions. Consumers more often than not have no idea where their money is going. By the way, an excellent source for choosing charities, seeing where their money is going, and overall audits is GuideStar.org, as well as CharityNavigator.org.
The modern Omega Seamaster Ploprof 1200M holds those principles true - at least it emulates them well. No longer is a mechanical dive watch necessary or even used often by professional divers. But if you want to SCUBA dive deep with this watch then it is ready for duty anytime. Side by side with the original Ploprof watch, the modern incarnation is very similar with notable changes and upgrades. In a sense, the new Ploprof is the original Ploprof that Omega always wanted to build.
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