July 18, 2014
by Kenny Yeo
Ask any watch lover what they think is the “correct” or “optimum” watch size and you will get many different answers. While it is unquestionable that watches have gained significant heft over the last two decades or so, watch lovers cannot seem to agree on whether it is a matter of natural progression or simply just a fashion trend. While we believe that the trend of larger watches is partly dictated by fashion styles, there is also some evidence that suggests that it is simply a natural evolution of watch design based on consumer demands.
Elsewhere, we learn about the history of Longines and also visit the many fascinating depths of the incredible manufacture that is Audemars Piguet. You will find an inside the manufacture look in the brand’s Le Brassus headquarters as well as their high-end movement making facility in Le Locle, APR&P (Audemars Piguet Renaud & Papi) and their Heritage & Restoration Department. Had you been longing for a comprehensive look inside “AP?” Look no further, we have got you covered with these three special articles in our selection.
As for new watches, we check out F.P. Journe’s unusual Octa Sport, Omega’s new X-33 Skywalker as well as Christopher Ward’s Harrison C9 5-Day Automatic sporting the brand’s very new and very promising in-house caliber. Finally, we have a chat with LVMH’s Head of Watchmaking, the legendary Jean-Claude Biver and learn more about not just the early days of his career but also about his amazing watch collection.
1. F.P. Journe Octa Sport Watch In Aluminum Review
While F.P. Journe is rightfully known for their more traditional pieces – even if they always offer some unique “twists” in their designs – thanks to their Octa Sport line, fans of the brand can get to know the sportier side of the Geneva-based brand. The Octa Sport watch is the company’s first sports watch, and as befits a company that is well known for its somewhat quirky but unique design, the Octa Sport has a dial with a big date complication, power reserve and day/night indicator, all laid out asymmetrically. One interesting thing to note is that while the watch reviewed has an aluminum case, manufacturing complications has forced F.P. Journe to ditch aluminum for titanium, which could make earlier aluminum models extremely collectible.
2. Revisiting Le Brassus: Audemars Piguet Watches Mix Serious Horology With Iconic Designs
Often regarded as one of the Holy Trinity of Swiss horology, Audemars Piguet is one of the few watch brands that are independent and still, at least to some extent, in the hands of its founding family. In fact, the brand still makes watches in the very same building that its founders, Jules Audemars and Edward Piguet did when they started the business. Recently, Ariel had the chance to revisit their manufacture in Le Brassus to learn more about Audemars Piguet’s history, what they are working on, as well as their plans for the future.
3. What’s The Deal With Big Watch Sizes? The Large Timepiece Explained
There can be no doubt in that watches are larger today than they have ever been. The exact reasons behind this trend however are more difficult to point out, as numerous different factors affect this complex issue. Read on to find out what these reasons are and to participate in the heated discussion that this topic has provoked!
4. Omega Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker Watch Hands-On
If you did not like the Speedmaster Z-33 from last year, fear not, the new Speedmaster X-33 Skywalker watch is finally here, saving the day! In hindsight, Omega realized that the Z-33 was too controversially styled because of its thick Flightmaster case, and the new X-33 Skywalker watch rectifies that by having an evolved original X-33 case design. It is therefore a more honest modern interpretation of the original, making it a worthy successor that professional aviators are likely to rely on. If you are hankering for a high-end quartz watch, be sure to check out our review here.
5. Christopher Ward C9 Harrison 5-Day Automatic Watch Review & Debut
Christopher Ward is a brand that should not be a stranger to most readers. Based in London, it has been offering reasonably priced and high value for money mechanical and quartz watches for quite some time. However, following news that ETA is about to completely stop supplying its movements to external companies (with a few exceptions), the brand decided that it needed to take matters into its own hands. The result is Christopher Ward’s brand new and very own in-house made caliber SH21, as debuted in its new C9 Harrison 5-Day Automatic watch. It does not happen everyday that you see a new in-house movement, let alone at such a competitive price point. Watch out, NOMOS!
6. How The Most Popular Watches Can Be Recognized By Just Their Hands
Come to think of it, there are several key design elements to a watch that separate iconic pieces from their more ordinary counterparts. Some watches have iconic cases for example, with Panerai’s Luminor and Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak case immediately coming to mind. But we at aBlogtoWatch have a theory and that is if you were able to take just the hands off the faces of the most popular and well-designed watches, you would still be able to recognize them with ease. Take our little test and see how many of our selected 17 iconic watches are you able to identify just by looking at their hands.