I've finally joined the ranks of the many, many Luminox watch owners. On my wrist, is the new Colormark Chrono (Chronograph) - in a delightful green on black color scheme. The Colormark line started with a three-hand model, where Luminox took their standard look, and switched up the colors for something more fun. As such, you have options such as green, blue, orange, and white.
The subsidiary seconds dial has a large arrow hand, but also three small cutaways in the dial. These have a disc underneath the colored red and white. As the seconds move these move from white to red and back again rather quickly. It looks awesome! The power reserve indicator is of the fanciest out there. Basically it is a series of disks. It goes from green to red at the power runs out. When you wind it, the power reserve indicator fill up with green again. The execution of this system is joyous to operate.
It is entirely possible that my warped mind sees watches differently than other people do. Over the course of my writing about Bertolucci watches, they have always looked interesting, but a bit strange to me. I finally connected a few of the things that some of their common Chronograph models remind of me. Maybe you agree? You can tell that these watches are all part of the same family. Some or all are Bertoluccia Giro (All-Black Giro see here), and some are just called Bertolucci Quartz Chronograph watches. No matter the name, they each have large, gaping mouths. Why? I couldn't tell you. Though here are some of the possible design influences. My favorite is near the bottom of course. Each is highly disturbing in its own way. Bertolucci might need to occasionally revise their "Mediterranean Inspiration" slogan... to something else.
Digital jumping minute counter with two discs,
Central second’s hand,
Accuracy: up to 1/8 of a second,
Counting up to 24 hours,
Column wheel mechanism,
Vertical clutch system,
Two pushbuttons with rubber-covered, L-shaped security arms
Dial design is really superb. The Portuguese style isn't what one would call exciting, but is excels in function and grace. Applied Arabic hour numerals and each conceivable marker ring give you all the information you need, without anything you don't. For example on the chapter ring flange IWC could have placed a useless tachymeter, but did not. Instead is a useful counter for the seconds and minutes. Hands are classic in style and all the right length. The chronograph centrally mounted seconds hand is a sporty red and easy to see. Don't forget the useful addition of the lume on the hour and minutes hands as well as for the hour indexes behind the numbered hour indicators. Also note that IWC matched the color of the date disc to the dial color.
The watch is in steel and 43mm wide and water resistant to 100 meters. Like I said, the movement is an automatic, and visible through the sapphire caseback window. The studded crown retains the nifty onyx stone cabochon in it. The Bi-Retro name comes from GG7722 movement having two retrograde counters. The watch has a jumping hour complication using in conjunction with a retrograde minute hand. Thus, the window located closer to 12 o'clock is for the hour, while it is surrounded by the retrograde minute scale. The lower retrograde scale is for the date. Overall I think the design is satisfying. It won't get current Gerald Genta Octo owners to trade their models in, but it won't disappoint future buyers either.
OK, so before you begin reading this I need you to start the above video of a choir rendition of "America the Beautiful." The video has some cheesy imagery of course, but interestingly sums up my swelling patriotic pride in America's first made (and designed) tourbillon movement. It is no surprise that this comes straight from Pennsylvania at RGM. The brand recently announced America's first made and designed watch movement (in a long time), and now its very first tourbillon. Hailing from Lancaster county, it is funny how this innovation in the American watch industry stems from a place where much of its population is living in the past. I am of course referring to the wealth of Amish that live out there.
Casio loves hooking up with talent such as this. Urban, relevant, and thought provoking. It isn't as much a way to sell watches, as it is a way to get Casio into pop culture. And in that they have succeeded. The watch seen here (ref. GA110DR-1A) is a version of the new GA110 line of G-Shock watches. I reviewed a cousin model to this, the Casio GA100 here. Ricky & Dee embark on adding their own mixture of colors to the watch - and Casio seems happy to oblige. It is a series of bold, contrasting colors, and it sticks out. A watch for people who want attention - which many do.
Few watches show the automatic rotor on the front of the watch, and none that do, do it like the HM3. MB&F's signature gold "battle axe" style rotor is very well polish and probably the second most noticeable feature on the dial. So much so that it is easy to miss the date disc that goes around it. The date disc turns and is read via a small indicator arrow on the case. The sapphire crystal over the movement section is not only an extremely high quality crystal (measured by clarity), but looks almost transparent. It creates a satisfying effect. With all their playing around with sapphire crystals, MB&F are quickly becoming serious experts on pushing the limits on using interesting sapphire crystal shapes.
It all started with the Martin Baker project - where Bremont needed to make a watch suitable not only for professional pilots, but also to survive an aviation WCS (worst case scenario). This basically meant be thrust out of an aviation seat at god knows how many G's and making it to the ground OK. All with your watch still working. Thus, the Bremont Martin Baker watch (MB1 and MB2) needed to withstand magnetism, vibrations, shock, high pressure, low pressure, fast movement, and still needed to look good in the process. You can see video below that touches on the testing the watches went through.
U-Boat watches are a lot like classic American Muscle cars - expect for the American part that is. They are big, made with lots of metal, have cool designs on them, and make you feel good being around them. At the same time, they aren't very practical, don't always have what they look like they should under their hoods, and aren't the most comfortable machines to use on a daily basis. Italo Fontana's U-Boat brand has come very far since being a pure fashion brand of big watches with a design scheme that vaguely resembles its namesake German submarines. Public love and strong sales led to quality improvements for the brand and a series of designs so often copied, "original" U-Boat watches are a watch lover favorite and status symbol in the right circles.
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1 Commentby Ariel Adams
If you look closely that the new Bulgari watch in comparison to the older model you can tell that the design differences are minor. Most notable is the ceramic bezel with its "bolts," dial changes, and the new strap. The new strap is my favorite part actually. It is a textured rubber done in a segmented style, with a steel folding clasp. The dial design has taken a less art deco theme, and is more Bulgari in tone, but still feels very much the same. Even the hands are the same. I expect future models to stray a bit more from the Gerald Genta classic.
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