Friday, December 26, 2014

IWC Big Pilot - A Big Deal

The IWC Big Pilot is a big watch - all 46mm of it! But for a good reason too as they need to be legible during flight in the days before auto-pilot was invented.

The "original" Big Pilot ref 5002 is more "pure" to me as the dial is reminiscent of the old pilots watch. With the newer ref 5004, the looks somewhat more "modern".
 photo IWCBigPilot5002T06_zps854e4a54.jpg

Stay tuned for another blog on this incredible piece - what they call the Big Pilot Transitional. Thanks to a good friend who allowed me to shoot this piece.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas & A Happy 2015!

It is coming to the end of yet another year.

May I take this opportunity to thank all the friends and visitors to my blog.
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Have a Merry Christmas and may the season bring love and joy to you and all your loved ones!

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

IWC Portuguese Jubilee - A Tale of Two Similar Timepieces

International Watch Company - not often heard anymore. Most if not all know them as IWC and ever since the Portuguese Jubilee, the name International Watch Company on the dials of their timepieces were not seen again. Not until recently when Revolution Magazine collaborated with IWC to reissue the Portuguese Jubilee.

To mark the 10th anniversary of the magazine, Revolution Magazine approached IWC and they collaborated on the reissue. Based on the reference 5441 which is the much coveted Portuguese Jubilee, IWC reissued the watch with some minor differences. On the left is the reissue Jubilee and on the right, the original Jubilee ref 5441. Notice the difference in the word Schaffhausen? The original 5441 has the words slightly italics. Under a loupe (pardon these pictures as I did not have the right camera), the words International Watch Company on the original is also more fine. It seems the reissue has "bold" lettering. The seconds hand is also different - one slightly slimmer than the other. The most obvious is the case colour - the reissue is more "pink". The original looks a little more yellow.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo01_zps26f57fa9.jpg

On the movement side, the original Jubilee houses the calibre 9828 while the reissue has the calibre 98200. Both calibres from similar base if I am not mistaken.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo02_zps4fc766d8.jpg
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo03_zps71ee943e.jpg

The timepiece is quite well made as one would expect from IWC.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo05_zpsfde1e03d.jpg

A closer look at the ref IW544001 - that is what they are calling the reissue.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo06_zps422a35b2.jpg

The movement is the calibre 98200 and it beats at 18,000 vph.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo07_zps27be2282.jpg

Rather well finished movement.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo08_zpsbe7c6213.jpg

Another comparison of the two movements side by side.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo10_zps68a253fc.jpg

And again of the two timepieces...
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo09_zps7c9bf2db.jpg

Priced at S$29,000 for the ref IW544001, the watch was mostly pre-sold as I understand. By the time I went down to the IWC Boutique in Ion, I was told there was only one piece left for the auction. There are only 10 in this limited edition series. The number 10/10 will be auctioned off to raise funds for charity.
 photo IWCPortJubileeDuo04_zpsd00fb6d1.jpg

In any case, which one do you prefer? The original Jubilee which was released in 1993 to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the founding of IWC or the current ref IW544001? Go down to the boutique to take a look at the IW544001. Should be there till the end of the year.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

MoVas Oceaner II - Edition Red

MoVas launched their new range earlier this year and recently I received a piece unique Oceaner II Edition Red.

Sean is a talented individual - not only is he a self taught designer and watchmaker, he is also known in the cycling circle as the first person in Singapore to make titanium bike frames. When I saw the red edition of Oceaner II, I had already told Sean I wanted one. And so here it is - a piece unique prototype for moi!

I like the box! Creative Sean, creative. See the message on the side of the box?
 photo MovasOceanerII01_zps19389111.jpg

First impressions - I like the style, the size and the colour. I chose red, remember?
 photo MovasOceanerII02_zpsa8e958d1.jpg

One shake and the watch winds well and runs for quite awhile.
 photo MovasOceanerII03_zps02245010.jpg

These are my first shots of the timepiece and I shall be taking a few more and doing a more in-depth blog. But on first impressions... I like it. Thanks to Sean for letting have the red prototype. For more information please visit the MoVas website.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

IWC Collectors' Forum Pilots Chronograph

IWC Collectors' Forum Pilot's Chronograph

In 2014, IWC in consultation with a group of forum members created the Pilot's Chronograph that will be sold through the forum and the IWC Boutiques only. It is officially called Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Edition “Collectors’ Watch” - Reference: IW387808.
 photo PilotChronoForumCollectors01_zps67d8bc3c.jpg

I like the contrast of the dial and the hands and markers. Something different.
 photo PilotChronoForumCollectors02_zps48ce353d.jpg

Limited to 250 pieces. But I must say the pricing is a little prohibitive. For those keen to take a look at the piece, one is available in the IWC Ion Boutique. Be quick though. I suspect it will go quickly.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

IWC Pilot Chronograph - Little Prince Edition

A friend of mine had come in to Singapore for a short visit and had wanted to visit some watch boutiques. Ion was the place and the first boutique we went to was IWC. And what we found there we a couple of surprises including the IWC Pilot Chronograph Little Prince Edition reference 3777.

What's so special about this piece? Well one year ago, IWC launched the Pilot Le Petit Prince and the Big Pilot to commemorate the book's 70th anniversary. This year, they unveiled the unlimited edition of the chronograph. As with the earlier LPP editions, the dial is blue in colour.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince03_zps1ccf4e68.jpg

However, unlike the other two earlier pieces this is not a limited edition. So one will notice the seconds hand does not have the star at the tip.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince01_zps426a9314.jpg
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince04_zpsc1440d03.jpg

The dial side does not indicate the LPP edition but it is shown on the case back.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince06_zpsdbad577f.jpg

The brown calf strap on this one is perfect for the timepiece.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince10_zpsff418ea2.jpg
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince08_zps2d814770.jpg

Under the sun, the sunburst dial becomes more evident and surprisingly blue.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince11_zps82d38cd0.jpg

And another wrist shot taken outdoors.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince12_zpsf0cf5475.jpg

A close up shot of the dial taken outdoors. The 12 o'clock indicator is particularly well made and together with the 3, 6 and 9 markers adds a touch of class to the timepiece.
 photo PilotChronoLittlePrince13_zps523b04a9.jpg

Priced just slightly higher than the regular edition, I think the Pilot Chrono LPP edition is a winner. However, it would have been nicer if they had used the seconds hand with the star at the tip. But then they would probably make that a limited edition and end up charging more too.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Solid Gold - Daytona with Black MOP Dial

The Rolex Daytona is a special timepiece - very iconic and even more so if it were gold.

I was traveling this year and met with an owner who loves her Daytona - solid yellow gold and with a very special Black Mother-of-Pearl dial.
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 photo LDPDXBRolexDaytona04_zpsa6ce8521.jpg

The MOP dial is rather special. My first encounter with this combo.
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 photo LDPDXBRolexDaytona03_zpsf5d2878b.jpg

The watch is well worn - and for good reasons too - its such a nice piece.
 photo LDPDXBRolexDaytona08_zpse5346519.jpg

But I guess it is time for a service and polish.
 photo LDPDXBRolexDaytona09_zps16dd4ef1.jpg

I wonder how much it will cost to have it restored back to its former glory.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Vianney Halter And The Antiqua Perpetual Calendar

Vianney Halter - an artist who became a watchmaker extraordinaire. His claim to fame? Well the Antiqua perpetual calendar of course!

I first saw the Antiqua way back when the Hour Glass was hosting Tempus in Singapore. And what a revelation it was for me. A totally unusual layout for a timepiece - with 4 windows. The watch can be described as somewhat “steampunk” style.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG21_zps3b53361d.jpg

At first look, the shape is somewhat odd and it needs a little time to grow on you. From the picture, the watch looks big but actually is fits well onto the wrist. If you know the size of the Vianney Halter Classic you can see from the photo how big the timepiece actually is.
 photo AntiquaandClassic02_zps3906fd1e.jpg

This example in yellow gold is rather rare… I understand there are more examples in rose rose.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG19_zps9a7fe646.jpg

First up the time “pothole”. At the top right hand corner is where the time is - the largest of the potholes. Typical Vianney styling.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG20_zpsa210e26f.jpg

The hands and dial is signature of VH.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG05_zps4b6065ef.jpg

To the left is the pothole that displays the days of the week.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG06_zps537bdd3b.jpg

The pothole at the bottom left corner displays the Leap Year indication and the Months of the Year.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG08_zps5cb438d6.jpg
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG07_zps787758d1.jpg

And last but not least is the date display found and the bottom right to the right of the leap year/month indicator.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG09_zpsf0c349d6.jpg

A rather interesting was to display all the information - not typical of perpetual calendars from other brands whose sub-dials are normally displayed at the 3, 6 and 9 o’clock positions. In this case, the display is not traditional which makes the timepieces more alluring.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG17_zps65c7990c.jpg

The timepieces is also not as thick as one expects. Nice height too.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG16_zpsf4ca3328.jpg

As for the movement side, another interesting feature - the “magic” rotor. Vianney patented the magic rotor - a slight shake and the rotor spins and winds the movement. Very well done!
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG10_zpsc9ec3c5d.jpg

The ribbing on the movement base plate gives the movement a nice finish. I only have one issue - Vianney could have used blued screws. Would have given the movement more “color”.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG15_zpsf57d9e20.jpg
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A close up of the movement. Nice but not the highest quality finish - still good though.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG12_zpsf2cca5e9.jpg

Overall an interesting timepiece. One more look at the Antiqua perpetual calendar.
 photo VianneyHalterAntiquaYG01_zpse0a9acbe.jpg

If only I could afford it.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Two Faces of One Watch - The JLC Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu

Jaeger LeCoultre is famous for their Atmos but equally iconic is the Reverso range of watches. In 2013, JLC celebrated their 180th Anniversary and that was when they unveiled the Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu.

When one thinks of a rectangular face watch, the Reverso comes to mind. Invented in the 1930s for polo players to protect their watches during the game, the swivel case Reverso has blossomed into many a complications including my favorite the Gyrotourbillon 2. My dream watch - but alas, the budget is just not there. So I have a more modest Boutique Only Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface Bleu 1931 ref 378858J. Why Ultra Thin? Because it is only 9.14mm tall.
JLC Reverso UT Duoface Blue Dial photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionBlueDial13.jpg

The Duoface was first created in 1994 and features two time zone. It is probably one of the easiest two time zone watch to set - how more difficult than to just press a button. And with a day and night indicator, it makes it a lot easier to get it right.
JLC Reverso UT Duoface White Dial photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionWhiteDial09.jpg

The watch comes encased in steel and the front dial is blue lacquered with rhodium plated hour markers. The rich blue lacquer dial was love at first sight. Reminiscent of the Art Deco style, the dial is clean, symmetrical and visually pleasing.
JLC Reverso UT Duoface Blue Dial photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionBlueDial10.jpg

The back dial where the home time shows is white with the Clous de Paris guilloché. I must say that the guilloché is well done. The watch face with the overlapping Day/Night indicator provides a nice symmetry to the watch.
JLC Reverso UT Duoface White Dial photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionWhiteDial11.jpg

The watch comes with two straps - alligator and calf skin strap with a tang buckle. Pictured here with the alligator strap.
JLC Reverso UT Duoface Blue Dial photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionBlueDial15.jpg

The calf skin strap comes from the famed Argentinian workshop of Casa Fagliano who is one of the top polo boot maker in the world. Somehow, I still prefer the alligator strap.
JLC Reverso Ultra Thin Casa Fagliano Strap photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionFaglianoStrap.jpg

Even the case back is well decorated - perlage. The "Special Edition" watch has a power reserve of 45 hours. This is a Boutique only piece.
JLC Reverso UT Duoface Blue Dial photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionBlueDial11.jpg

The watch has been tested for 1,000 hours as with all JLC watches. In the 1,000 hours Control test, the entire watch (not just the movement) is subjected to tests approximating normal wear and the standards are said to be much stricter than the COSC as imposed by the Bureaux du Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres. And the wrist shot…
JLC Reverso Blue Wrist Shot photo JLCReversoBoutiqueEditionBlueWristShot01.jpg

I still say to many a friends looking to start a mechanical watch journey that JLC still represents great value for a in-house manufactured movement. Now with the 1,000 Hours Control testing, you possess a great timepiece that assures you of the quality that says Swiss Made.