Independent watchmaking is one of the most fascinating facets of horology and watch collecting. And thanks to the resurgence of mechanical watches, there are a good number of such watchmakers around today. These independent watchmakers are responsible for some of the most jaw-dropping pieces that we see in the market today. Obviously, it goes without saying that such pieces are prohibitively expensive, but that doesn’t mean we cannot admire them. Therefore, kickstarting this month’s round-up is our trip to a little known watchmaker in Hungary by the name of Aaron Becsei, who makes each of his watches by hand and by himself.
Following the Swiss National Bank’s decision to remove the cap on the Swiss Franc’s value against the Euro, most people are expecting watch brands to increase their prices – and some already have. However, Patek Philippe, one of the most revered and desirable brands of them all, has actually taken the surprising decision to introduce price cuts in most regions of the world. Of course, Patek Philippe has stated their own reasons in a press release, but is there more than meets the eye? Find out what other collectors and watch lovers think.
1. Movement Hands-On Series Episode 2: A Movement Conceived And Made Entirely By The Same Independent Watchmaker
Think high-end watches, and names like Patek Philippe, A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, or F.P Journe might come to mind. There can be no denying that these are some of the finest maisons around. But, the apex of haute horology, I think, belongs to independent watchmakers like Philippe Dufour, Roger Smith and Aaron Becsei. If the last name is unfamiliar to you, I don’t blame you. Though not as prominent, Becsei’s work is no less impressive. Becsei is the man behind Bexei watches and hails from Hungary. He makes every watch by hand and by himself, so production is limited to just a dozen or so pieces a year. Here, we take a look at a movement that Becsei has been working on.
2. Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon Moon Watch Hands-On
The Jaeger-LeCoultre Duometre Spherotourbillon from Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of my favorite watches from La Grande Maison. For 2015, Jaeger-LeCoultre has updated the watch by offering it in platinum and also by removing the date display and replacing it with a moon phase indicator that has a disc made of lapis lazuli. They also made some changes to the space surrounding the spectacular spherotourbillon, which spins on two axes and moves in such a way that it looks like it is also suspended in space. Few watches are as visually interesting to look at as this.
3. Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Orbital II Chronograph Watch Review
Ball is an interesting brand that I have been following closely over the past few years. At first, their use of tritium tubes intrigued me, but then I realized that there is more to the brand that just that. In this time, Ball has been actively developing ways to make their watches more rugged, dependable and shock-resistant. On that note, the new Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Spacemaster Orbitall II Chronograph is arguably the most hardy watch in their line-up. Legibility in the day and night is not an issue thanks to the extensive use of tritium gas tubes, but most of all, the watch also features a strong but light titanium case and Ball’s Armortiser anti-shock system. If you are a rough-and-tumble kind of guy, you should definitely take a closer look at this watch.
4. Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II Watch Hands-On
Zenith is understandably most famous for its El Primero chronograph movement. The El Primero is widely regarded as the first automatic chronograph movement and is one of the few mass produced movements to beat at a very fast 36,000 beats per hour. However, Zenith is more than just about chronographs, and their high-end Zenith Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane Grand Voyage II watch is a piece that I feel is mostly overlooked. The most unique thing about this watch is its gimbal-style gyroscopic escapement, which keeps the escapement level at all times regardless of the watch’s orientation – a technology adapted from marine chronometers of old. Admittedly this is not the first time Zenith has put this kind of an escapement into a watch, but this version might just be the finest yet.
5. Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar Watch Review
It’s hard not to be intrigued by Tissot’s range of T-Touch watches. Sure, they might be quartz watches, but they are highly functional and often have useful features such as altimeter, barometer and thermometer functions – great if you love traveling and the outdoors. Plus, its fun to tap the crystal and watch the hands zip about to give you a reading. And last year, they announced the new Tissot T-Touch Expert Solar watch, the first T-Touch that is solar-powered. Theoretically speaking, this could mean that you would never have to replace the batteries ever again. But how does the watch fare in the real world? Let us tell you in this review.
6. MB&F HM3 MegaWind Final Edition Watch Hands-On
All good things must come to an end. This saying is fitting because MB&F are closing the curtain on their iconic HM3 watch. The new and recently announced HM3 MegaWind Final Edition will be, as its name suggests, the very final variant of the HM3. Join us as we take a closer look at this watch and also recap why the HM3 is so important and special.