December 30, 2020
by Kenny Yeo
I hope you all have had a good holiday. We’ve finally made it to the end of the year! In this roundup, we will be taking a look at the watches that the team here at aBlogtoWatch wore most of the year. Without giving too much away, there are some interesting pieces inside. We also take a look at how the year changed our watch-wearing habits.
From around the Web, we take an in-depth look at Grand Seiko’s new high-beat 9SA5 movement and learn about why it’s important and technically impressive. Still on the subject of movements, we also have the history of the venerable Lemania 2310, which some consider to be the most important chronograph movement in history. Finally, we investigate the history of Sylvester Stallone and Panerai. Did he really discover Panerai, as he claims he did? Or is there more to the story?
2020 has been a year unlike any other, and that fact has been reflected in the choice of watches we wore most for the year. For some of us, that meant wearing more functional pieces like tool watches for doing work around the house, or smartwatches to keep track of our activities. Understandably, some of us don’t even wear watches around the house, so, when we did, it was something truly special. Here are some of the watches the team wore most this year.
2020 will be a year that will go down in infamy. It sounds trite, but the pandemic has drastically changed our habits this year. For watch enthusiasts, it mostly meant that we had fewer opportunities to wear our watches out. Many of us were told to work from home and stay home as much as possible, which simply meant there was no occasion for us to wear some of our watches. If I’m spending most of my time at home working and doing chores, why would I wear my finely finished luxury Swiss piece? Happily, I’m glad to learn that I’m not alone, as our founder, Ariel, felt the same way.
Reissuing classics has been a successful formula for Seiko, and the brand is not letting up. The latest reissue is the 140th Anniversary Limited-Edition Re-Creation of King Seiko KSK — wow, what a mouthful. And, as its name suggests, it’s a re-creation of vintage King Seiko 44-9990 AKA the KSK. KS for King Seiko and the final K for kisei-tsuki, which is “stop-seconds” in Japanese. At 38.1mm in diameter and just 11.4mm-thick, and judging from press photos, the new KSK looks to be a rather faithful recreation of the original. But at its price of $3,300, I can’t help but wonder if fans won’t be better off just hunting down the original.
Sick of Submariners and Seamasters? Here’s the SeaQ from Glashütte Original. This is a dive watch from the most unlikely of brands and featuring an equally uncommon 39.5mm case size. How many dive watches, other than the Tudor Black Bay 58, can you think of under 40mm? But really, it looks sharp, legible, and handsome. It’s technically competent, too. Although you can’t see it through the solid case back, the in-house Calibre 39-11 beats at 4Hz, has an ample 40-hour power reserve, beveled edges, polished screw heads, and swan-neck fine adjustment. I like to think of the SeaQ as the dive watch for more discerning watch lovers.
The trajectory of Undone Watches has been interesting to witness. The brand launched on Kickstarter, and in the span of about four years, it has become a real force among microbrands. In fact, I’m not sure if it’s fair to even call it a microbrand, at this point. Collaborations are becoming a focal point for the brand, and the Batman Quantum watch is arguably its biggest to date. After all, it is the Dark Knight we’re talking about — one of the world’s most popular comic book heroes. Beyond that, the watch is a milestone also because it’s Undone’s first in titanium. Hit the link below to have a closer look.
A strong case can be made that Grand Seiko’s most important release this year wasn’t a watch but a movement. The movement I’m referring to is the 9SA5, which debuted a special anniversary limited-edition watch earlier this year in celebration of Grand Seiko’s 60th anniversary. The 9SA5 is really a technological tour de force. It beats at 5Hz and yet has an 80-hour power reserve. It also has a new escapement and a new architecture that’s designed to look more interesting when viewed through a sapphire caseback. Perhaps most impressive of all is how it delivers all this while being 15% slimmer than the current Grand Seiko hi-beat caliber. You’ll want to learn more about this movement in the link below.
Source: Fratello Magazine
Einstein proved that time is relative. For example, time passes more slowly the faster you are going. The way we experience time is also affected by our emotions and events happening around us. Many people commented that March seemed to last forever this year, and this can be explained by the fact that March was the month that the pandemic started spreading wildly in the United States. Researchers say this is because traumatic experiences can alter our sense of time. Find out via the link below how our perception of time can be altered by what’s happening around us.
Source: The Verge
The history of Panerai is shrouded in falsehoods. As the story goes, Sylvester Stallone discovered Panerai while he was filming the movie Daylight in Rome. The truth, however, is that Stallone had seen Panerai watches way before shooting in Rome began. Furthermore, it wasn’t Stallone who discovered Panerai. The person who actually did was actually a well-connected photographer who goes by the name of Monty Shadow. Just who is Monty Shadow? What exactly is Stallone’s association with Panerai? And what’s Richemont’s involvement in all of this? Dive into the whole story by clicking the link below.
This is the second part of a feature that analyzed and assessed movements based on their potential chronometric performance using a measurement called Horological Density Factor (HDF). It’s a measure of how much energy a movement can generate per unit of volume. Energy is important because it aids in chronometric performance. This analysis also aids in understanding a simple concept: balance power and power reserve are inversely related. If you increase one, the other suffers. Hopefully, after reading this, you’ll be able to better understand and evaluate movements. Specifications such as beat rate and power reserve are undoubtedly important, but they don’t always tell the whole story.
Source: Watches by SJX
The Lemania 2310 makes a very strong case for being one of the most important movements of all time. The history of the Lemania 2310 goes back to 1942. At the time of its launch, it was the smallest chronograph movement in the world. And over its lifespan, it would become used by the biggest brands in the world for all sorts of applications. Omega, for example, turned it into the Calibre 321 and sent it into space in the Speedmaster. The great Patek Philippe also turned the Lemania 2310 into the masterpieces that powered its ultra-desirable and highly complicated perpetual calendar chronographs like the Ref. 5970 and 5004.