A magnetic attraction: Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra 15,000 Gauss

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Recently Omega has announced the release of the world’s first truly scientist worthy timepiece capable of resisting up to 15,000 Gauss or 1.5 Tesla (and quite possibly many times more). A watch like this has been seen before hasn’t it… *cough* Rolex Milgauss anyone?

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But this isn’t just another anti-magnetic watch. It is special because it features a movement developed in participation ETA and ASULAB the sister company to Omega as well as research and development team responsible for developing the Omega Co-Axial calibre 8508.

The calibre 8508 is a break through movement because it features a solution to a problem that has long plagued mechanical watches throughout history: exposure to magnetism which directly affects rate stability and overall timekeeping accuracy.

This new movement features non-ferrous alloys which allows for lighter weight, high resistance to corrosion, and of course making it highly anti-magnetic. Key components such as the balance spring are made from silicon, the escape wheel, even the screws used in the movement are made from non-ferrous materials and unlike the Rolex Milguass which encases its movement in a Faraday cage (anti-magnetic inner iron case) this new movement is left unobstructed and is viewable from the sapphire exhibition case-back.

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Omega plans to release this model to the public by late 2013 and is probably going to be priced in the $9,500-10,000 USD price range. Omega also plans to integrate and streamline these anti-magnetic movements into all of their watches over the next few years. Finally a watch that can be worn by radiologists and CERN employees alike…

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Breguet Marine Royale Alarm Review

Breguet Marine Royale Alarm Model Reference# 5847 (Rose Gold)

Breguet Marine Royale Alarm Model Reference# 5847 (Rose Gold)

The watch I am reviewing today is the Breguet Marine Royale Alarm model reference # 5847. This watch was released in 2010 and is not your typical Breguet timepiece, for a company that is known for releasing classic, conservative pieces this model strays from the typical offerings that Breguet is known for.

Watch Case:

The case is constructed from solid rose gold and has serious wrist presence! Because it is made from solid gold it is very heavy, infact it is probably one of the heaviest timepieces I have ever worn. It is nearly 16mm thick with a ‘coin edge’ pattern on the sides of the case and features a rose gold uni-directional rotating bezel with machined number indexes etched right into the bezel, and an inverted luminous triangle marker at the 12 o’clock position. The case has a domed sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating and the case measures 45mm in diameter. It is currently the largest piece offered by Breguet and is available in either rose or white gold. This model is a diver’s model and is rated 300m water resistant. The case has a large button between the 8 o’clock and 9 o’clock position and is used to turn the mechanical alarm on or off. The movement used is the Breguet calibre 519R is self-winding, ticks away at 28,800bph and has a 45hr power reserve.

View of sapphire case-back with solid gold engine turned "wave pattern" rotor

View of sapphire case-back with solid gold engine turned “wave pattern” rotor

Close up of case-back

Close up of case-back

Dial:

Has elements that are distinctly Breguet such as the large moon shaped hands for the hours and minutes, hand applied roman numerals to mark the hours, and the beautiful black rhodium guilloche engine turned dial that Breguet is famous for. There is alot going on in this deep layered dial, great to look at but hard to read at times due to a lack of contrast between the different layers on the dial. The watch has a central sweep seconds hand with lume applied close to the tip, a date window at the 6 o’clock position, alarm power reserve indicator represented as a blue arc a the 10 o’clock position, a musical note marked in blue when the alarm is toggled on or off, and finally the Breguet name and model number between the 11 and 1 o’clock position. The dial features dot style markers around the circumference that are also treated with lume. The case is complimented by a thick rose gold bracelet with double deployment clasp which further adds to the weight of the watch.

Wrist shot

Wrist shot

Bottom Line:

This piece is over sized and attention grabbing. The pictures above do not do this watch justice, you have to see a Breguet timepiece in person to really appreciate the intricate engine turned dial and finer details that go into making this watch a piece of art. This piece is not subtle, it is flashy and imposing and not necessarily my first pick when I look at pieces to purchase from Breguet. The watch does fill the niche for ever increasing larger sized watches and granted it does grow on you the more you wear it, but not something I would wear everyday. This model retails for $67,000USD on a rose gold bracelet.

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Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean Review

The watch I am going to review today has been in my collection for a couple of years and has served as a rugged everyday timepiece that looks equally good while wearing a suit, or dressed down with jeans and a t-shirt.

Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer

Omega Seamaster Professional Planet Ocean Co-Axial Chronometer

Watch Case:

The case is constructed from solid 316L grade stainless steel and is HEFTY! (Definitely not a watch for someone who dislikes heavy watches, or has a smaller sized wrist). It is 14.5mm thick and features a distinct scalloped aluminum uni-directional rotating bezel. A slightly domed, double coated anti-reflective sapphire crystal covers the dial. The case measures 45.5mm in diameter and is the extra large version of the Seamaster Professional line which is also offered in a 42mm version. The case is modern and sporty and sits well on the wrist. The case is rated to 600m or 2000 feet water resistant and features a manual release helium escape valve at the 10 o’clock position. The movement inside the case is the Omega calibre 2500-C variant or the ETA 2892-A2 heavily modified, and fitted with the late master watchmaker Dr. George Daniel’s proprietary Co-Axial escapement. The watch beats at 25,600bph and has a 48hr power reserve. The watch is chronometer rated and keeps superb time.

*It should be noted that this model is now discontinued as Omega has created an in-house movement with a sapphire display case-back, for those looking for the newer model it is the "Omega Seamaster Professional calibre 8500."

*It should be noted that this model is now discontinued as Omega has created an in-house movement with a sapphire display case-back, for those looking for the newer model it is the “Omega Seamaster Professional calibre 8500.”

Dial:

Reminiscent of the 1950’s era Omega Seamaster models it features large Arabic numerals, arrow shaped hands for the hours and minutes, a sweep seconds hand and date window at the 3 o’clock position with a quick set mechanism. The hand applied index markers for the hours, minutes, and sweep seconds hand are treated with a generous amount of lume which glows brilliantly in the dark. The watch is large and easy to read and oozes masculinity, while still managing to look refined. The machined, sporty brushed stainless steel bracelet is solid and superbly constructed featuring a diver’s extension clasp to increase the bracelet size for application over a wet suit if desired.

Model reference# 2201.50.00

Model reference# 2201.50.00

Highly visible in darker conditions

Highly visible in darker conditions

Side view of case

Side view of case

Bottom line:

An all around great everyday luxury sports watch. This model was worn by Daniel Craig in the 007 movie Quantum of Solace and has been a top seller for Omega (right next to the iconic Speedmaster moon watch). Omega is a brand that appeals to a younger audience and isn’t afraid to take chances. In the last decade or so Omega has been releasing smart, modern designs drawn from the classic pieces of the past. Originally this model sold for $4500CAD, well built, accurate, and reliable. Exceptional value and a great addition to any watch collection.

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Jaeger-Lecoultre Master Ultra Thin Jubilee (Platinum)

Among the more simple, yet elegant offerings from Jaeger-LeCoultre this year at SIHH was the Master Ultra Thin Jubilee.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Jubilee in 950 Platinum

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Ultra Thin Jubilee in 950 Platinum

 

Watch Case:

The name says it all…ultra thin. The case measures a conservative 39mm in diameter and   is a mere 4.05mm thick. The case is constructed from 950 platinum which gives it a grayish shinny luster. The case houses Jaeger-LeCoultre’s in-house manually wound movement calibre 948. The movement is 1.85mm thick which makes it the world’s thinnest manually wound mechanical watch. The watch beats away at 21,600 beats per hour and has a 35 hour power reserve when fully wound.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 849

Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 849

Dial:

What makes this watch so special? Simplicity. It features a crisp, clean, uncluttered silver dial with hand applied markers, displaying only hours and minutes in fine dauphine hands that Jaeger is known for. The only writing on the dial is “Jaeger-LeCoultre” followed by “1833” directly underneath the 12 o’clock position, silently marking 180 years of watchmaking history. The watch is held together by a beautiful dark blue alligator leather strap and matching platinum buckle.

Bottom Line:

Every watch collection needs a simple, elegant dress watch for those occasions that call for something more than that Rolex Submariner. This piece fits the bill perfectly as it comes from a company that is foremost a manufacture of movements. Having supplied movement blanks for Patek Philippe in the early 1900’s, a long standing contract with Cartier, Audemars Piguet, and even Vacheron Constantin (and many more) movement reliability won’t be an issue. Priced at around $13,000USD it is by no means cheap, but then again it is cased in platinum.

 

 

 

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Tutima Grand Classic “Flieger Chronograph UTC” Review

I acquired this beautiful piece a while back and it has been a watch that I enjoy wearing in frequent rotation.  The piece that I am reviewing is the Tutima Grand Classic Flieger Chronograph UTC. Reference model # 781-03. The watch is German-made and features a heavily modified Swiss (ETA)Valjoux 7754 automatic movement which is a variation of the popular tried and tested 7750 chronograph movement but with an added second time zone complication. The movement has a 42 hour power reserve when fully wound and 25 jewels. Tutima has been known for making reliable time pieces since 1927, it comes as no surprise that they are the official watch used by NATO and have been since 1985.

 Watch Case:

Slightly on the heavier side due to it being constructed from solid matte brushed and polished stainless steel, it has a machined purpose-built feel to it. The case measures in at 43mm in diameter and is 15.8mm thick giving it a modern and aesthetically pleasing look. These dimensions seem to  fit the watch well as it is a modern interpretation of a vintage “Luftwaffe”  German fighter pilot’s watch and was produced as an 80th anniversary edition several years back. The vintage feel is even more pronounced with the distinct bi directional rotating coin edge bezel with red enamel paint index applied to it. The case has a convex sapphire crystal with anti reflective coating applied to it.

 Dial:

Easy to read and features a graduated 24 hour inner chapter ring. It displays large Arabic numerals, hours, minutes, running seconds at 9 o’clock, and a date aperture at 3 o’clock. There are two chronograph sub dials, one located just under 12 o’clock and the other just above 6 o’clock to track up to 12 hours and 30 minutes. In addition to these features there is also a (GMT) skeleton hour hand to track a second time zone. Hours, minutes, and Arabic numerals are treated with lume for easy reading in darker conditions. The case pairs well with the leather strap with white stitching detail and two large rivet screws on each of the two straps to complete the overall vintage pilot look that Tutima is known for.

Bottom Line:

Tutima is one of those brands that has stayed true to its roots by producing pieces that showcase its heritage, making well-built, high quality pieces at great prices. This particular model retails for around $4,000 USD, which is a bargain when you look at alot of other watch brands (IWC and Breitling come to mind) that produce similar pieces for thousands of dollars more. There are a plethora of other brands out there that offer pilot’s watches, but few can offer the same build quality and finish that Tutima can at this price point. Well worth checking out!

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