July 19, 2013
by Kenny Yeo
In this roundup, Ariel explains the ramifications of the recently signed Switzerland-China free trade agreement, while we find out what was Jean-Claude Biver’s first “Grail Watch”. Harry Winston’s Opus 3 is finally ready for delivery (after nearly a decade), and we learn about the differences between “precision” and accuracy.”
1. Switzerland – China Free-Trade Agreement Will Greatly Disrupt Swiss Watch Sales Globally
Switzerland and China recently signed a bilateral free-trade agreement. It goes without saying that this move was partly motivated by the interests of the Swiss watch industry. Swiss watches make up roughly 32% of the total $26 billion trade value between Switzerland and China. While such a move is seen as potentially beneficial to Switzerland, our Editor-in-Chief Ariel believes that it will also have disruptive effects on global Swiss watch sales. Find out what he thinks in the link below.
2. My First Grail Watch: Jean-Claude Biver
It is a fair assumption to say that nearly anyone who is interested in watches has some form of a “Grail Watch”. A Grail Watch can mean many things to different people, but personally, I like to think of it as the ultimate watch that will be the jewel of my collection. It won’t satiate my desire to collect more watches, but it will be my most prized piece. In the first part of this new series of articles, we ask Jean-Claude Biver of Hublot what was his first Grail Watch. Curious? I bet you are.
3. Top All-American Watchmakers
The Swiss are not only ones with a great history in horology, America was also once home to some of the finest watch brands and watchmakers in the world. Unfortunately, the American watch industry is not as it was years ago. Few brands are truly American these days – Hamilton and Ball Watches are now owned by foreign companies and have their operations in Switzerland. However, a handful of true American watchmakers still remain and as part of our 4th of July special, we take a look at some of them.
4. Ball Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne Watch Hands-On
Some watches are instantly recognizable thanks to their distinctive crown guards. Panerai, Graham and Ball Watches instantly come to mind. This year, Ball is refreshing their Engineer Hydrocarbon lineup with a new model called the Engineer Hydrocarbon Airborne. This watch instantly reminds me of the older Ceramic XV, but with a highly-textured sunburst dial and an additional day window. Inside, the ETA 2836 is modified with Ball’s new SpringLock shock protection system.
5. Graham Tourbillon Orrery Watch With Christophe Claret Movement Hands-On
Man’s fascination with space dates back centuries and in the past, an orrery was a mechanical device that showed the positions of planets and moons in the solar system. The Graham Tourbillon Orrey Watch does exactly that, hence the clumsy-sounding name. Graham is perhaps more famous for its loud sports watches with oversized crown guards, so it came as a surprise to me that they produce such exquisite and complicated pieces too.
6. The Evolution Of Wristwatch Sizes
Watches used to be small, like really small. In the early days of the wristwatch, men’s watches were just around 32mm in diameter. Can you believe that? Today, most men’s watches begin at 40mm and more and more watchmakers are offering watches that are 45mm and above. Interesting then, how watches have grown, but is this a trend or is it a natural evolutionary process that is here to stay? Your guess is as good as mine.