Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Wrapping up the Terrascope

Okay, all good things must come to an end, and as I don't feel that I would do particularly well in prison, the Terrascope made its way back home yesterday.

I want to briefly sum up what the nearly two-weeks have been like with this watch.  First and foremost, this has got to be one of the nicest watches I've reviewed in some time.  A big part of that is that it speaks to what I consider a very undervalued demographic - a well made, good looking watch that performs well and can be worn in pretty much any circumstance.  It is rugged, and at the same time refined.  The lines are smooth, yet defined.  If Le Corbusier were alive TODAY and were to design a watch I think that this might reflect his feelings.  Strong, functional (while not being purely utilitarian) and beautiful.

So let's hit the facts:

MOVEMENT - the movement is a self-winding "industrial" movement - meaning something from ETA or Selitta.  No, it is not one of the in-house movements that are found at the higher end of the JR range and were formerly in more of the collection.  Thanks to the use of this movement, the price is kept at a level that is realistically affordable.

The movement performed flawlessly, with deviations in the +3 to +5 per day range.  Power reserve was a little better than I anticipated and was as advertised at 42 hours.   Here are the specs:

Movement JR60, self-winding
Calibre : 11 ½’’’
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/ hour (4 Hz)
Jewels : 21
Power reserve: minimum 42 hours
Functions: hour, minute, second, date

CASE - As I have been saying, the case along with the bracelet are truly wonderful.  It is not a small watch measuring 46 mm, but you don't really feel like you're wearing something that big.  

That is because of the design of the case itself.  It is smooth where it should be, with no sharp edges.  This allows the watch to seemingly conform to the wearer's wrist.

This is also true of the bracelet which apparently went through quite a few iterations before the design team was satisfied with it.

The watch is rated to 100 meters and accomplishes this without a screw down crown.  While I did not go down to the "briny deep", I did take it for a few splashes here in Santa Barbara, and nice and dry.  Here are the specs:

Polished and vertically satin-finished stainless steel case
Dimensions : 46.00 mm (3-9h)
Height : 12.60 mm
Antireflective sapphire crystal
Case-back screw-down, engraved
Water-resistant to 100 m

DIAL - The Dial is beautiful - black with a textured effect that really makes an impression.  The indices are clearly marked and it is a very easy watch to read in terms of hours, minutes and seconds.

The lume is (unlike my photography skills) beyond reproach -

My only suggestion/request would be to have a more legible date.  Now, when compared to similar watches I don't think it is any better or worse, but perhaps a slightly magnified date aperture without going the way of the cyclops?  Sadly some of us are not as young as we once were, and although Wendy hasn't had to size me up for a pair of Depends yet, my eyes had a little difficulty getting the date at first glance.

Here are the specs:
Black vertically satin-finished dial
Luminescent indexes
Rhodium-coated hands with luminescent material

BRACELET - for those of you with sensitivity to "blue language" please avert your eyes.  When the bracelet is combined with the watch the effect is (to quote Francis Zaneti, the Poet Laureate of Seregin's in San Francisco) "The shit that killed Elvis!"  Yes it is that amazingly, wonderfully, poetically good.  The looks are very nice, but the FEEL is beyond nearly anything I've had on my wrist for some time.  Strong, but flexible.  Smooth and not chunky.  It is the perfect match to the watch.  No fold-over clasp, but rather a butterfly clasp with two wee buttons to release and open it.  The bracelet does not hang, but rather drapes to conform to the shape of the wrist, not the other way round.

The watch is also available with leather, and I believe a rubber strap as well.  And the nice thing is that they have all been designed to be interchangeable.

So to sum up, I go back to one of my earlier points.  Executives in the watch industry are often mesmerized by the idea of million dollar watches, or "courting" that one special collector who will dig deep enough for their higher end offerings.  But what I particularly like about this watch is that in so many ways it underscores the reversal of fortunes at JEANRICHARD.  No longer a brand cranking out endless variations of different watches.  Now we can see what the brand is all about.  It seems (at least to me) like a watch company that is realizing that there is a nice, large market place of people out there who want A (as in one) really good watch.  It might be that one day they'll buy a Patek, or a Girard-Perregaux, but for the here and now this is what they want - and more importantly to my way of thinking - what they can reasonably afford.  Moreover, in taking this direction and particularly with this collection, JEANRICHARD realizes that there are a WHOLE lot more customers out there than the die-hard watch geek.  And I say that as a bit of a watch geek myself!  So in many ways JEANRICHARD have created a watch that covers both audiences, the serious watch people who appreciate the value, and the as yet to be "kissed" watch novice who wants a beautiful timekeeper for their wrist.  

So here's to that first kiss!

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