Tudor Pelagos self adjustment clasp explained

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The following video illustrates the self adjusting mechanism in the clasp of the newly launched Tudor Pelagos 500 m diver in titanium, essentially a pair of springs that allow the clasp to expand and contract as the wearer descends and ascends in the water. The change in pressure due to the changing depth causes the neoprene wetsuit to expand and contract, so the bracelet will adjust to ensure a snug fit always. A very clever mechanism.

– SJX

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Speake-Marin unveils the Serpent Calendar

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Speake-Marin Serpent Calendar 42 mm in rose gold

At Baselworld 2012, Peter Speake-Marin has just unveiled his third new model in as many months, following the Renaissance Tourbillon Repeater and the entry level, sporty Spirit Pioneer

The Serpent Calendar derives its name from the snake-shaped calendar hand, which along with all the other hands is blued steel. While classical in style, the watch is distinctively Speake-Marin with its recognisable Piccadilly case, and even more so with the serpent hand.

Unlike the previous iteration of the successful Serpent Calendar in the Piccadilly line, this version is a slim 12 mm high, thanks to the new Eros 1 calibre as well as the multi-level, white lacquer dial (as opposed to fired enamel which is thicker). The Eros 1 is automatic with a blued steel rotor in Speak-Marin’s trademark topping tool shape. Additionally, the Eros 1 has a useful five day power reserve.

Two diameters are available, 38 mm and 42 mm, in either steel or rose gold. I expect this to be an accessibly priced entry into the world of independent watchmaking that is both distinctive and well made; a good product.

– SJX 

Speake-Marin Serpent Calendar 38 mm in steel
Speake-Marin Serpent Calendar 42 mm in steel
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More on the Hamilton Navy Pioneer limited edition

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Previewed here before Baselworld 2012, the Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer is a homage to the marine chronometers of Hamilton’s history. It can be worn on a strap or displayed in a box like those which house marine chronometers. Like the 2011 Pan Europ limited edition, the Navy Pioneer looks like it’s going to be a well priced, attractive buy. This video shows details the features of the watch. – SJX

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Basel 2012 preview: Hamilton Khaki Navy Pioneer inspired by marine chronometer

Introducing the Hamilton Jazzmaster Face2face, a Swivelling, Twin-Movement Chronograph

At Baselworld 2013 Hamilton will launch the Hamilton Jazzmaster Face2face, a reversible, double-faced wristwatch. Inside the massive 53 mm by 44 mm oval case are two automatic ETA movements, placed side by side. 

Rolex Baselworld 2012 teaser for Sky-Dweller

Video illustrating the Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch

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There has been quite a lot of buzz about the Seiko Astron GPS Solar watch, which automatically syncs with four GPS satellite daily, which was just launched at Baselworld 2012. This video illustrates its capabilities quite well. – SJX

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Qlocktwo launches a watch

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Qlocktwo, designed by Biegert & Funk, makes a clever, minimalist clock that requires reading the time – literally. They have just unveiled the Qlocktwo W at Baselworld 2012. This is the wristwatch version of the Qlocktwo clock and works exactly the same way.



The Qlocktwo W

Press the button at three o’clock and the dial lights up to tell the time. But press the pusher twice and the calendar day is displayed; press it three times and the seconds are indicated. Currently the only languages available are English and German.

The case is 35 mm by 35 mm in brushed steel, with the option of a black coated steel case. And there is a choice of rubber or leather straps. Delivery will be in autumn with a price of about EUR550. Those interested can sign up on the Qlocktwo website to be notified when it’s available. – SJX

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Introducing The Rolex Datejust II 41mm In Steel For The First Time

Rolex unveils the Datejust II in stainless steel, making it more affordable.
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Though watches like the Sky-Dweller annual calendar and Sub no-date are more interesting, the most important model launched by Rolex at Baselworld 2012 is probably the Oyster Perpetual Datejust II ref. 116300, a 41 mm Datejust in steel.

I would not be surprised at all if Rolex sells more of these than all the new 2012 sports models combined.

The Datejust is the Rolex staple and a well recognised status symbol the world over. At 36 mm the Datejust I was getting decidedly old fashioned, even amongst old fashioned people. So in 2009 Rolex introduced in the Datejust II in Rolesor (steel and gold). It had a 41 mm case and although it retained the same Rolex styling, the Datejust II looks a lot more contemporary thanks to its size and some design tweaks to the dial. This year sees the launch of a Datejust II entirely in steel, with a smooth bezel and Oyster bracelet. It actually looks pretty sporty with the large luminous baton indices.

Now with the steel Datejust II, I reckon Rolex will sell a lot more of them. Beside looking somewhat sporty, this is a quite a bit more affordable than the steel and gold version. Although absolutely unexceptional visually, the Datejust is a great everday watch. The case and bracelet are top notch, and the Rolex 3136 will assuredly keep good time for a long time. That is why Rolex sells so many of them.

– SJX

 

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Hublot presents the Antikythera watch

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Hublot has just announced at Baselworld 2012 it will make four of the Antikythera watch, first announced a few months ago. 

One will go to the Athens Museum to be shown besides the original Antikythera mechanism and another will be sold to benefit the Athens Museum. The third will be exhibited at the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, and the last piece will be retained by Hublot.

The movement is based on the 2000 year old mechanical device found off Greece in 1901, that shows the calendar as well as the position of cosmic bodies. In addition the watch tells the time, and has a flying tourbillon. – SJX

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Introducing The Hublot Big Bang Ferrari, In Scratch Resistant Magic Gold

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Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver is a genius at branding; he knows how to leverage more famous brands, like Manchester United, to spread his mantra. Late last year Hublot announced its appointment as Ferrari’s sole watchmaking partner – for both Ferrari and the Scuderia Ferrari Formula One team – and now the new Hublot Big Bang Ferrari has been unveiled at Baselworld 2012.

The Big Bang Ferrari gets its various design cues from different parts of the Ferrari automobile. Hublot says this is the first evolution of the Big Bang, from the original 44 mm case this is 45.5 mm in diameter. It looks a lot like the Big Bang King Power to me, but then again what do I know? The movement is the in-house HUB 1241 UNICO flyback chronograph movement. Two versions are available. One is a 1000 piece limited edition in titanium, and the other is a 500 piece edition in Magic Gold. Magic Gold is an intriguing yellow gold alloy exclusive to Hublot that combines ceramic and gold into an 18k alloy that is exceptionally hard, so much so that it’s scratch resistant.

Magic gold (left) and titanium

Both cases have carbon fibre and resin inserts on the case side in the Hublot tradition of fusion; the case is actually a sandwich construction with metal top and bottom, and kevlar in between.

Regardless of the automotive details this watch still possesses the typical oversized and ostentatious Hublot aesthetic. And this is not high horology either. That being said I do like the look of this, as well as several other Hublot watches; they have a peculiar irrational appeal.

Notably Hublot is the fourth official Ferrari watch in about 20 years. It was preceded by, in chronological order, Girard-Perregaux (successful), Panerai (much less so) and Cabestan (did all right given the $400,000 price tag).

– SJX

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Seiko Brightz Ananta chronographs with hand-painted urushi dials

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Seiko Ananta Kumadori Chronogaph Limited Edition SRQ015

Seiko adds two urushi dial chronographs to its line-up this year at Baselworld 2012. Both are part of the Ananta range of mid-priced, sporty watches. They still have in-house mechanical movements, but are a step below Grand Seiko in quality (and price). 

The first is the Ananta Kumadori Chronogaph (SRQ015). The red swirls on the chronograph subdials are inspired by Kumadori, the exaggerated and colourful make up worn by Kabuki theatre actors. These red rings are hand-painted urushi lacquer, as is the deep, glossy black base of the dial. This is done by Isshu Tamura, a noted lacquer artisan. Urushi is a natural lacquer obtained from the sap of the urushi tree. It provides very deep and rich colours that are impervious to fading and wear, even fire, though it can fade when exposed directly to UV light.



The case is 42.8 mm in black-coated steel with a display back showing the in-house 8R28 automatic chronograph movement that features a column wheel and vertical clutch.



Black and red urushi lacquer dial



Seiko 8R28



This is a limited edition of 800 pieces with a retail price of EUR4000. This is not a bad looking watch, but the overall design seems a bit pedestrian.

Also with a black urushi dial painted by Isshu Tamura is the Japan market-only Seiko Ananta Brightz Limited Edition 2012 chronograph (SAEH011).  

Seiko Ananta Brightz Limited Edition 2012 chronograph SAEH011



This is limited to 800 pieces with a retail price of JPY367,500 in Japan, including domestic tax of 5%. The case is black coated steel with a ceramic bezel. Inside is the 6S28 automatic chronograph movement, which similarly has column wheel and vertical clutch.

I quite like the look of this one. The square subdials give it a retro seventies feel.

– SJX



Kabuki Kumadori

 

This book profiles a dozen watchmakers, including Kenji Shiohara of the Seiko Epson Micro Artist Studio.

 

 

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JLC to auction Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph prototype No. 1 for charity

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JLC Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph

Jaeger-LeCoultre will auction prototype no. 1 of the Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph online in a few days. All the proceeds from the sale of this watch will go to the Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park in the Philippines, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

The auction will run from  March 12, 2012 at 12.00 C.E.T. to March 15, 2012 at 12.05 C.E.T, on the official auction website.

Pre-registration has to be done on the JLC website in order to bid for the watch.

– SJX

Puerto-Princesa Subterranean River National Park

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