Saturday, September 24, 2016

A "Smart Watch" that Might Actually be Smart

I have been sitting on the sidelines of the great connected / smart watch debate over the past several months.  Apple continues to set the pace in terms of sales, and continues to befuddle and further confuse the deluded thinking of the brain trust over at Tag Heuer.  Sorry, I am not buying the sales figures being reported.  When I finally see one "in the wild" I will be a lot more likely to believe it.
Moreover, the Apple watch costs a hell of a lot less.  It is, however, essentially an iPhone strapped to the wrist.  Too much information for many of us, and like an iPhone is more of an "of the moment" thing.

For me personally, I am still a fan of the connected watch being offered by Frederique Constant & Alpina.  Many argue that it is, essentially, a Fitbit bundled into a watch, but it does provide some basic functionality that makes sense for the majority of us.  I have not personally tried one out, but I have heard from many that it is quite good, but perhaps a bit ambitiously priced, at north of $1,000 US.  And I would, regrettably agree.  I do feel it is a bit more expensive than it should be.

But there is something out there, not yet released, that might be offering a more personal solution for the person who will actually be wearing a smart / connected watch.

Courtesy of Kronaby

A few weeks back, a Swedish technology company known as Anima sent round a brief press release and some images.  They are clearly playing their cards close to the vest, but what can be gleaned from the pictures is that it is a traditional looking watch.

The watch line has been named Kronaby.  It will be officially launched in late January of 2017 -
or as the count down clock on the Kronaby site informs as of 9:30 this morning:

123 Days
19 Hours
30 Minutes

Courtesy of Kronaby
Okay, other smart watches have nice, classic design.  So what's the big deal?  What will make Kronaby special?

Well, I can only go on what is in the release, but it was the statement by co-founder Saran's Kalogeropulos that stood out.  Now although he does use the dreaded "T Word" (Timepiece), it is the very last sentence that has piqued my curiosity.  

Courtesy of Kronaby


“We have created a timepiece that honours our love for classic watches,says Sarandis Kalogeropulos. A simply beautiful timepiece on the outside, with high-quality materials, a classic dial and hands. On the inside, however, nothing is typical about it. We have developed a new and unique movement, that coupled with the app, can be tailored to individual needs,says Sarandis Kalogeropulos. 

And that last sentence again:

We have developed a new and unique movement, that coupled with the app, can be tailored to individual needs

Okay, you've got my attention!  We have just under 124 days to go, but this could actually be the first "smart watch" that is actually smart.  

Stay tuned!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Learning the Philosophies of Failure

Yes pals and gals, the export numbers are in for August, and yes, they really suck.

Courtesy of the FHH
This has been discussed beyond endurance, and frankly, I'm talked out (at least for now).

Like the quartz crisis, it will take some outside of the watch box thinking.  When Hayek engineered the Swiss watch rescue he was not coming from inside the industry.  And the Young Turks from that era are now the old guard, and they are having a particularly hard time recognizing and accepting that they clearly do not understand the current world that they are living and working in.

A new brand ambassador, raising retail prices in the UK, continuing to keep dead weight in the sinking boat.  Charisma, flash, or as one rather misguided CEO referred to it as "the sizzle that goes with the steak".  Give me strength...

As that other great watch commentator mused -

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. 

Albert Einstein

Maybe it's time for some different ideas, some different solutions.  Or we can keep watching the numbers slide.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

The New Startimer Pilot Automatic Chronograph

From Alpina -

Courtesy of Alpina
Available in three different dial color options in recognition of three different aviation enterprises.

Courtesy of Alpina
Air Force (black), Naval Aviation (blue) and bush pilots (green).  

44 mm stainless steel case, bi-compax chronograph.  Here are the pertinents -


Reference AL-725GR4S6
Courtesy of Alpina
Case

Stainless steel, 44 mm diameter Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
10 ATM/100m/3300ft water-resistant Engraved back-case
Screwed-in crown


Movement 

AL-725, automatic chronograph movement 25 jewels, 46 hours power reserve, 28,800/h 


Dial 

Green military matte dial with applied light beige luminous indexes Date window at 3’ o clock 


Strap 

Brown genuine leather strap



Functions 

Hours, minutes, seconds, mechanical chronograph, and date at 3 o’clock 





Reference AL-725B4S6
Courtesy of Alpina
Case
Stainless steel, 44 mm diameter Scratch-Resistant sapphire crystal 10 ATM/100m/3300ft water-resistant Engraved back-case
Screwed-in crown


Movement
AL-725, automatic chronograph movement 25 jewels, 46 hours power reserve, 28,800/h 


Dial 

Black matt dial with applied white luminous indexes Date window at 3’ o clock 


Strap 

Black genuine leather strap



Functions 

Hours, minutes, seconds, mechanical chronograph, and date at 3 o’clock 




Reference AL-725N4S6


Courtesy of Alpina

Case
Stainless steel, 44 mm diameter Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal
10 ATM/100m/3300ft water-resistant Engraved back-case

Screwed-in crown 


Movement
AL-725, automatic chronograph movement 25 jewels, 46 hours power reserve, 28,800/h 


Dial
Navy blue matt dial with applied light beige luminous indexes Date window at 3’ o clock 


Strap
Brown genuine leather strap 


Functions
Hours, minutes, seconds, mechanical chronograph, and date at 3 o’clock 

The Diver Chronograph Monaco Limited Edition

From Ulysse Nardin -

Courtesy of Ulysse Nardin
They could have given us something new, exciting and interesting.  But they've given us so much more...

sigh...

Here are the pertinents -


Reference 

1503-151-7M/93-MON 


Limited edition   -  100 Pieces


Movement 

Caliber UN-150
In-house designed movement Silicium escapement 28’800 v/h 



Power-Reserve 

approximately 48 h 


Winding 

self-winding 


Functions
chronograph with seconds hand in the centre small seconds counter at 9 o’clock
30 minutes counter at 3 o’clock
12-hour counter at 6 o’clock

Date at 6 o’clock 


Case 

stainless steel 


Dial 

blue with diamond pattern, index and hands with the Monaco’s flag colors and counter with the logo of the Principality of Monaco 


Bezel 

rotating and fluted, in stainless steel covered with rubber minutes figures in red 


Crown


screw down security crown, with rubber 


Diameter 

44 mm



Water-resistance 

300 m



Crystal 

anti-reflective sapphire crystal 


Case-back 

sapphire crystal decorated with the logo of the Principality of Monaco 


Bracelet 

stainless steel and folding buckle 



Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hublot Shocks the Sporting World...

with yet another professional sports team partnership!  Looking for something new and interesting from Hublot in the way of promotion?  Well this ain't it.

Have you ever desperately wanted to see something interesting, daring, challenging or just plain different in terms of a partnership?  Well, don't worry, this isn't it ; )


So drop everything pals & gals, here's the latest "cutting edge" pr move from the folks in Nyon -

Courtesy of Hublot

Hublot announced a marketing partnership with the New York Giants making the Swiss luxury watch brand the Official Watch and Timekeeper of America’s famed football team. In celebration of the partnership, Jean-François Sberro, Managing Director, Hublot of America, alongside New York Giants wide receiver and fashion icon, Victor Cruz, hosted Manhattan’s first luxury “tailgate”, and unveiled the Classic Fusion Aerofusion timepieces inspired by the New York Giants and which Cruz co-designed.


Courtesy of Hublot

A luxury tailgate?  

Clearly, Hublot is not making watches for most of us.  Maybe that could be a new marketing slogan - 

Hublot, not for most of you!  

But as I've learned over these past years, watch brands are not required to do things that necessarily make sense or resonate with me, or most of the potential buying public for that matter.

Having said that, Hublot seems very excited to have written a check and made some watches.  And they splashed out a ton of money on a ridiculously over-priced cocktail party to allow the rich and famous to imagine what it might be like to be "average Joe's" in the parking lot of the "Met Life" Stadium.  Of course the average Joe is drinking beer, burning hotdogs on a portable Webber grill, and has to drag his ass to work on Monday, but Hublot was able to give some poor rich folks the opportunity to imagine what it might be like...

Giants wide receiver and fashion icon, Victor Cruz, hosted Manhattan’s first luxury “tailgate”, and unveiled the Classic Fusion Aerofusion timepieces inspired by the New York Giants and which Cruz co-designed.

the event took place on a lot nestled between iconic New York City streets, Fifth Avenue and Broadway, with a stellar view of the Empire State Building rising above the skyline, where Hublot hosted friends of the brand, fans of the team, and media. The night offered an elevated take on tailgate traditions, from champagne, Hennessy cocktails, and fine craft beers from AnheuserBusch InBev served from the trunks of classic convertibles, “cornhole” beanbag toss tables, some attendees in Giants jerseys, and a makeshift yet formal bar atop Persian rugs holding flutes of champagne. The food leant itself to the elevated nature of the tailgate, with catering by award-winning Executive Chef Jean-Paul Bourgeois of Danny Meyer’s Blue Smoke barbecue, with grilled menu items including roasted oysters, lobster rolls, shrimp and vegetable skewers, in addition to a selection of smoked items including the chef’s acclaimed baby back ribs, pork shoulder, and whole smoked hog. Music was provided by native New York DJ and Giants fan Paul Sevigny, while guests enjoyed the party under brilliant “Hublot Loves Football” marquee lettering in true New York fashion.

Yes, just like a "real" football fan ; ) 

So as this is supposed to be a blog about watches, here are the details on the actual watch -

ABOUT THE CLASSIC FUSION AEROFUSION TITANIUM LIMITED NEW YORK EDITION 


Reference:
525.NX.0123.VR.NYG16

Limitation:

XX/40

Diameter:

45 mm

Thickness:

13.40 mm

Water Resistant:

5 ATM (50m)

Case:

Satin-finished and polished titanium

Bezel:

Satin-finished and polished titanium

Bezel Lug:

Blue composite resin

Screws:

Polished titanium

Glass:

Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment

Crown:

Polished titanium with engraved Hublot logo

Pushers:

Polished titanium

Case back:

Satin-finished titanium engraved with "SPECIAL" + "EDITION" + "XX/40"

Case back Glass:

Sapphire with interior anti-reflective treatment + vintage imagery

Dial:

Sapphire with anti-reflective treatment; Blue lacquered appliqués


Hands:
Blue lacquered hands; Blue and red lacquered second hands



Movement:
Caliber Hublot HUB1155


Type:
Self-winding skeleton Chronograph



Dimensions:
Dia. 30 mm (131/4’’’); Thickness 7.10 mm



Date:
Skeleton day-disc, window at 6.008


No of Components:

207


Jewels:
60



Frequency:
4 Hz (28'800 A/h)



Power reserve:
42 Hours

Strap:

Blue rubber and blue calf with blue stitching 

Buckle:

Stainless steel deployant buckle clasp