February 28, 2019
by Kenny Yeo
Baselworld might just weeks ago but some brands are already dropping teasers and releasing new watches. Swatch, for example, announced their incredibly funky Flymagic watch. Seiko, on the other hand, introduced an entirely new collection called the Elegance built around an equally new hand-wound movement. And who can forget the ‘Murph’ watch from Interstellar? If you have always been hankering for one, Hamilton has just granted your wish.
From around the web, we have a story about the origins and inventor of the balance spring. For so long, it has been thought that Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens was the first to create a watch with a working balance spring. However, new evidence now suggests that that might not be the case. And to round things up, let’s take a trip to Barbing, Germany, to visit the manufacture of Damasko Watches.
Seiko’s Prospex Samurai and Turtle watches are behemoths in the affordable dive watch space. Their sheer popularity has led Seiko to introduce new variants of the Samurai and Turtle every now and then. It’s a smart move and the new additions are often quite meaningful so I don’t see enthusiasts complaining. One of the most recent, and arguably most interesting, new releases to the Prospex line is the ‘Save The Ocean’ Samurai watch. This particular piece comes with a rather quirky dial treatment that is highly reminiscent of Patek’s Nautilus and Omega’s Aqua Terra watches. The full review of the watch is in the link below.
To be honest, influencer marketing isn’t a problem that plagues in the watch industry alone. Like any subject related to the internet and modern culture, it is a complex one. But to put it very briefly, influencers are an attractive avenue to watch brands for a few key reasons. The top two being their reach and also their ignorance to some of the things that they are asked to promote or market. The latter isn’t always true but it is something you will notice frequently if you are social media savvy and that can be a problem, especially in the long-term, for the industry and this hobby of ours.
It has taken over four years but Hamilton has finally given watch enthusiasts and fans of the movie Interstellar the Hamilton watch that featured so prominently in the film. It’s particularly meaningful not just because it appeared in the film, but also because time plays an important role in the plot. It’s aptly called the Khaki Field “Murph” watch and it is reasonably priced and will be a regular production piece in Hamilton’s Khaki Field lineup. But most importantly, it is an almost exact one-to-one reproduction of the watch from the movie. How cool is that?
One of the coolest new watches released in the past month has got to be the new Swatch Flymagic. The Flymagic is based on the Sistem51 and it essentially features the Sistem51’s movement but laid in reverse such that the going train is on the dial side. As a result, one quirky thing about the Flymagic is that the running seconds is actually spinning in reverse. Additionally, the rotor is mounted and spins over the hands. It’s an unusual but visually arresting watch and I think it’s a great way to get people excited about mechanical watches, especially given the wide appeal of the Swatch brand. Pity then it is produced in limited numbers and it isn’t exactly cheap.
One common complaint leveled at Grand Seiko watches is that they are thick. There is some truth to that because most mechanical Grand Seiko watches with a 9S movement are around 13 to 14mm. This makes them less elegant than they should and could be. To address this, Grand Seiko recently unveiled its new Elegance collection, which features watches with slim cases and a new 9S63 hand-wound movement. As you can see, these are clearly dressy pieces but the big news here is that case thickness has been reduced to a much more svelte 11.6mm. This isn’t exactly what you would call thin, but it is considerably thinner than most other Grand Seiko watches.
Our waters are under threat. Overfishing, pollution, and changes in the weather and temperatures are but some of the most pressing issues that our seas and oceans face. This provides an interesting opportunity for watch brands. By collaborating with marine conservation organizations, watch brands can come up with unique pieces that not only celebrate the beauty of the seas but also raise awareness to important marine ecological issues as well as raise funds for conservation efforts. Here are five examples of well-executed watches that have made a difference toward marine conservation.