Visits to watch manufactures are always exciting, and we are kickstarting this round-up with our James Lamdin’s report about the manufactures of Parmigiani Fleurier. Notice the use of the plural form of manufacture? That’s because Parmigiani Fleurier is actually made up of five different facilities and under different names that manufacture a wide range of watch components, including their own balance shafts and even hairsprings.
The visit to Parmigiani Fleurier aside, we also checked out a couple of new watches in the past weeks including the ever popular Rolex Explorer II 216570, Patek’s mega Reference 5270R perpetual calendar chronograph watch, and the limited edition Sinn U1-D. Finally, we turn our attention to some vintage digital Casio watches and also find out what the servicing process of an Omega Speedmaster Pro with Omega is like.
1. Rolex Explorer II 216570 Watch Review
The Rolex Explorer II is one of the brand’s most popular watches, and that’s not without good reason. For starters, like all of Rolex’s other watches, it is extremely well made and hardy. The added GMT complication also makes it a practical traveling watch. The latest iteration of the Rolex Explorer II comes in two versions – white and black dial – and I much prefer the white version. Here’s how the Rolex Explorer II held up in a month-long trip to East Asia.
2. Patek Philippe 5270R-001 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Watch Hands-On
The perpetual calendar chronograph complication is one of Patek Philippe’s most important, and so it should be no surprise that the Reference 5270 is also one of the brand’s most desirable and sought after pieces. First launched in 2011, Patek Philippe has expanded the reference with new versions over the past couple of years. New for this year is the Patek Philippe Reference 5270R in rose gold which you see here.
3. Sinn U1-D ‘Dune’ Limited Edition Watch Review
The Sinn U1 is a very popular dive watch for many reasons. One of the main reasons is because its case is constructed using special German submarine steel, which is harder and more resistant to saltwater than your regular stainless steel. And on top of that, the case is specially treated using a process called TEGIMENT, that makes it even harder and more resistant. As a result, it’s one of the hardiest watches around, which makes it a great choice for a daily beater. If you have been considering a Sinn U1 but find it too common or bland, the limited edition Sinn U1-D watch is a good alternative.
4. Inside The Watchmaking Machine: A Visit To The Five Parmigiani Fleurier Manufactures
As a watch journalist, one of the most exciting writing assignments you can undertake is the manufacture visit. It is during manufacture visits that you get to the source of the watch and you get to see how a particular watch is made. In this article, aBlogtoWatch paid a visit to Parmigiani Fleurier, a relatively young and often misunderstood brand. Hopefully, after reading this, you will have a better understanding of the brand and its capabilities, and perhaps also some other lesser-known stuff that goes on in the watch industry.
5. Why You Need To Know About The Wider Spectrum Of Watches
As much as we would like to believe in a watch brand’s advertisements and marketing materials, the fact of the matter is that the watch industry is one that is shrouded in much secrecy. Brands with dubious origins and manufactures claiming to be vertically integrated are all aspects of the watch industry that we, not just us watch journalists, but also as customers, have to contend with. In this article, we hope that we can stimulate your minds a little and get you to think a little bit more about the watch industry at large. Think about some of the motives of these watch brands and why they do the things that they do, and also how we can be more discerning watch collectors and buyers.
6. Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe Watch In Ceramic For 2015 Hands-On
Ceramic is one of the hottest materials in watchmaking right now, mostly because it takes on an attractive, smooth look and that it is virtually impervious to scratches. This means that unlike stainless steel or precious metal watches, your watch will look almost brand new even after years of wear. Well, that is the idea, of course. In reality, ceramic has its share of weaknesses too, the most pressing being that it is brittle, and if it cracks, it is non-repairable. This last issue is a big problem that goes against the idea of having a watch that can last a lifetime. Nevertheless, Blancpain saw fit to release a new version of its Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe watch in ceramic. Find out how this watch fares in our hands-on.