Monday, March 1, 2021

Moonphase Monday - A Speedmaster Steel with Yellow Gold

From Omega -
Courtesy of Omega
Truth be told, this may be a unicorn.

It is listed on the Omega site as currently unavailable, i.e. contact a boutique to join the waiting list. And for all I know, it's discontinued or an as yet-to-be delivered model. Long story short, I am not on the Omega PR Christmas card list ; )

But I am discovering as I get older and keep writing this "bloggy-wog" that I am a bit contrarian. So it seems fitting that this (let's be honest) anomaly caught my eye. I have no doubt that it is not everybody's baby, but I kinda' dig it.

Here are the pertinents, straight from Biel/Bienne -

WATCH CASE & DIAL

Case: Steel - yellow gold Case Diameter: 44.25 mm Dial Colour: Grey

WATER RESISTANCE

10 bar (100 metres / 330 feet)

MOVEMENT

Calibre: Omega 9904

Self-winding chronograph with column wheel and Co- Axial escapement. Certified Master Chronometer, approved by METAS, resistant to magnetic fields reaching 15,000 gauss. Silicon balance-spring, 2 barrels mounted in series. Central hour, minute and chronograph seconds hands, small seconds hand, date indication by hand, 12- hour and 60-minute recorders and moonphase indication. Rhodium plated finish with Geneva waves in arabesque.

Power reserve: 60 hours

CRYSTAL

Scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with anti-reflective treatment on both sides

Sunday, February 28, 2021

Things I'd Love To See In 2021 - A Mechanical Mach 2000

Growing up a Northern Youth, I found Sundays were typically spent daydreaming. I would imagine leaving my small Ohio town and seeing the world. I would pour over books about Japan, Finland and Sweden, and imagine what it might be like to visit, or even live in such places. 22 years later, I can answer those questions. But I still wonder about things not yet seen, or things that went away that I wish would come back.  

This past year Swatch miracled many of us with a reissue of Keith Haring Swatches in partnership with Disney. But having spent some time in France, and Besançon in particular, I keep hoping for one specific watch to come back in a mechanical or self-winding format, and that would be Roger Tallon's iconic creation, the Mach 2000 from Lip -
Photo kindly shared by a collector who prefers to remain anonymous
This is an example of the "original" version. It sports 
the red, yellow and blue color code that is now synonymous with the Mach 2000. Under the hood is a manual winding Valjoux movement.

Now point of full disclosure, although I have visited the Lip HQ and factory in Besançon, I do not have any "inside info" on any possible reiteration of the Mach 2000. The team at Lip play their cards very, very close to their vest and as far as I know, the hope for a new mechanical/automatic Mach 2000 is probably just my own late winter Sunday daydream. But wouldn't it be cool?

Now I realize that we are living in different times than the 1970s, and the cost of a Valjoux chronograph is far loftier (when allowing for inflation to current prices) than it was back when the Mach 2000 made its debut, but my hope is that the team at Lip will find a way to bring back a mechanical/automatic Mach 2000 and offer it at a price that stays true to the ethos of Lip - great watches at a fair price.  Here's hoping that 2021 will flip the script on 2020 and we'll have some positive surprises!

For now, there is still a great option that in many ways perhaps out-Tallons the original -

Monsieur Tallon was, at his heart, a modernist.  And when we go back to the birth of the Mach 2000, a quartz movement was like water from the moon. A Valjoux chronograph made a great deal more fiscal sense. But I suspect that being a modernist, he would have been interested in the latest technology.

Sorta' funny how things change! In many ways, I suspect that the current model is what he would have designed and what Lip would have made if it would not have been so shockingly cost prohibitive. That's just my take on it, but there you go.  

At any rate it's Sunday, and I'm going to return to my daydreaming ; )

Enjoy your watches!

Saturday, February 27, 2021

Some Urushi Goodness

From Minase -

Courtesy of Minase
As previously mentioned, I worked for Minase to help bring them to North America. As of the turn of the year, I am no longer an official team member, but absolutely an unofficial brand evangelist! And therefore, after nearly 2 years, I can put on my enthusiast's hat and write from the heart.

The Divido is a huge favorite, particularly in North America. In many ways it sums up the thesis behind Minase's watches, extremely well executed design combined with painstakingly extensive hand finishing. And as with the other dials (particularly the blue/purple), the Urushi dial is the crowning touch to an already impressive time machine. And as much as the blue/purple dialed Divido was a rare find, the Urushi dialed Divido is a true unicorn, selling out in the blink of an eye. 

But don't worry, the folks in Akita-ken are hard at work to make some more! For now the replenishment pieces are available for pre-order.

Here are the pertinents -

Model : Divido Deep Blue Urushi Silver Maki-e dial

Case Stainless steel 316L. Domed box type sapphire crystal (non reflective coating) on top, see-through sapphire case back. Water resistant up to 50 meters (5 Bar).

Dimensions 40.5 mm. Thickness : 12,0 mm.

Lug to lug: 48 mm

Weight total 150 g.

Movement KT7001/1, power reserve 38 hours, Swiss ebauches, customized by MINASE with hand-made polishing and « perlage » on plates and bridges. Minase customized rotor, treated in black or.

Face Deep blue, Urushi sprinkled in silver Maki-e

Hands : polished, luminous material on hours’ and minutes’

Functions Hours, minutes and central second hands. Date at 3.

Bracelet : 316L stainless steel with deployment buckle. MORE concept.