Saturday, May 18, 2019

The Shell Star Automatic

From Delma -

Courtesy of Delma
For those readers here in the US, unless you are planning a trip to Toronto, Jamaica or ports farther afield?  Well let's just say you are not likely to run across this wrist rocket.  And that's a shame.  Delma makes some cool shit.  And the Shell star is certainly cool.

44 mm, stainless steel case.  Unidirectional divers bezel, blue aluminum.  The movement is the ETA 2824-2.  Water resistant to 500 meters.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Introducing Allemano

Now in fairness, you may already be acquainted.  But something new for me was found deep in the bowels of the less-than-fancy section of Hall 1  -

Courtesy of Allemano
Allemano.  And if you're scratching your head as you read this, you are not alone.  But I have to be honest, it kinda' caught my attention.

Allemano started out life as something quite different.  How different?  Well, you know that expression "all roads lead to Rome"?  Well, I can't speak to a Roman destination, but I can tell you that Allemano originally manufactured the machines that flatten the tarmac when roads are created, and here in the Northeast, repaired.

Courtesy of Allemano
From road work, the company went into gauges for cars, airplanes, and even wrist-bound depth gauges.  So the jump to watches is not as random as you might think.

Per the info I have received, the watches are assembled in Italy, using Swiss movements.

There are three models families, the one featured in this post is called, MAN.  No, I am not kidding ; ) 

Courtesy of Allemano

 It is available antique white (above), and black -

Courtesy of Allemano
The movement is hand-wound, and provides the basis for a regulator set-up with small seconds at 6 o'clock.

Courtesy of Allemano
Pretty basic, but then again, this is not a watch claiming to be something that it is not.  

Like I said, kinda' digging this one!

For those of you interested in such things, here are the pertinents, straight from Allemano -

44 mm
All 316L Stainless steel with sandblasted, brushed, polished finish
5 ATM water-resistant
Sapphire crystal case front and back

Swiss made manual movement
Functions: center hours hand, retrograde minutes hand at 12 o’clock, small seconds hand at 6 o’clock
21600 A/h frequency 

48 hours autonomy

Antique white or black
Traced serial number 

Matt black and red or matte rose gold and red 

Brown or black soft premium Italian leather
Steel buckle paired with the finish of the case 


Saturday, May 11, 2019

The Flying Grand Regulator Open Gear"ReSec"

From Chronoswiss -

courtesy of Chronoswiss
This was previewed at BaselWorld, but my understanding from Chronoswiss HQ is that is now ready for "prime time".

The case measures 44 mm in diameter, and is of stainless steel with a DLC coating.  The movement is referenced as the Chronoswiss caliber C. 301 which is automatic.

The design is a big point, and an inspiration for the name, Open Gear "ReSec".  In their own words -

The refined Open Gear construction makes the regulator mechanism a main design element. It is put into the spotlight at the face of the dial, where the train wheel bridges in charge of the off-centre hour display were skilfully skeletonized and screwed firmly to the dial, which in turn becomes part of the movement. The eponymous retrograde seconds hand sweeps along the tracks of a 120 degree scale and every 30 seconds jumps back to the start in a trice.

Limited to just 50 pieces.

The Pandial Marina 2

From Brellum -

Courtesy of Brellum
This was previewed at BaselWorld back in March, but now it is out and available!

The case measures 43 mm in diameter, and is of stainless steel.  The 3 register chronograph boasts a COSC rated (and verified) Valjoux movement.  Hours, minutes, seconds, date (at 6 o'clock), and of course chronograph.

As with all things offered by Brellum, it is very sensibly priced at CHF 2,490, and available direct, to the public from Brellum HQ.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Care and Feeding of the Watch Press

So it happens like this -

Brand plans a big press event. Brand marketing genius (excuse me while I die laughing) decides that invitations are only going out to the A list. Several A list outlets simply can't be asked, others hint that they could be "enticed" to come, well you know where it goes from here.

Now to a large extent, this is the way it's always been done (at least in recent memory) by small and mid-sized brands, and this is the way it continues to be done.  Needless to say, plenty of bottom-feeding outlets are ready to be there, solemn and sincere interest being feigned at appropriate levels to ensure that the business portion of this transaction is, well, transacted by both sides.  And you know what?  Fair enough.  There will always be confidence men (and women) out there, and there will always be watch brands ready to put something shiny in their hands. 

Now here is where the story takes an even more interesting twist.  Event happens, press release is provided to a select few outlets. And when the rest of the press reaches out to the brand afterward in the hopes of getting the press release, because, you know, that is how the press is supposed to work?  That same Marketing Genius (yes, still laughing) tells said outlets, in essence, to go screw themselves.

Marketing and promoting a watch brand is, contrary to the same self-styled marketing gurus beliefs, nothing that requires some weird Yoda-like approach, is actually pretty simple.  If you are in charge of marketing you have one simple job - make people like you, your brand and the brand's watches.  That's all.  When you treat the press badly?  They are far less inclined to like you, and they are most certainly not going to write about you.

Now I know just what these young sharps are convincing their bosses and themselves of - they are targeting their brand towards the cream of the watch press.  But consider this - when you, as a brand, have to pay (by coin of the realm or by shady gift) to get coverage? You are doing the equivalent of tying a pork-chop around your neck to get the dog to play with you.  And when you tell the press that is willing to cover you for free to go get stuffed?  You're a MORON.