July 4, 2014
by Kenny Yeo
The watch industry is a complicated one and it is in a unique phase right now. China, which has been a fertile ground for so many brands in the past couple of years, is slowing down. And this is a cause of concern to some industry watchers. But this is just one of the many problems that the industry is facing, and in this month’s roundup, we try to analyze and explain just what is going on in the watch industry right now. That aside, we also spend some time with new watches from Bulova, Seiko, Frederique Constant, Ancon and Rolex. And finally, we have a chat with the revered Kari Voutilainen, and also talk to Maria Doulton, the founder of The Jewellery Editor, to find out how emotions and stories play a part in our decisions to buy watches.
1. Explaining What’s Wrong With The Watch Industry In 2014
If you have been collecting watches or have been reading up on watches for any extended period of time, you would know that the watch industry is complicated, secretive, and hard to predict. The industry is in a pretty unique phase right now as the boom that it has enjoyed in China for the past couple of years has quickly subsided, leaving brands to now quickly look for that next “fertile pasture.” In this article, we provide a broad overview of what is happening in the industry – highlighting key trends and pointing out pressing issues that are worth considering.
2. Seiko Prospex Kinetic GMT Diver’s 200m Watch Hands-On
Some of the most interesting new releases from Seiko this year are their new Prospex Kinectic GMT dive watches. Seiko’s Prospex line refers to watches that are built to “professional specifications” and are among the best tool watches you can find anywhere in the world. The extremely popular Marine Master 300m and Sumo models are part of the Prospex line. New this year are a couple of GMT dive watches that utilize Seiko’s Kinetic movements. The GMT complication is useful, and these watches are available in a variety of color schemes and are built like tanks, well worth a look if you are looking for a rough and tumble travel watch.Source: aBlogtoWatch
3. Frédérique Constant Moontimer Watch Review
If you are looking for something affordable and Swiss-made, Frederique Constant is a name you cannot ignore. The brand has been steadily making a name for itself by offering reasonably priced Swiss-made timepieces and some of them even have in-house movements. Unfortunately, the Frederique Constant Moontimer does not have an in-house movement, but it does offer a moonphase complication, which I personally love, especially if its on a more dressy piece such as this.Source: aBlogtoWatch
4. Ancon Magnus Watch Review
I love bronze as a case material mainly because of its ability to develop a unique patina over time as it is being worn. And it just seems to look better with age and wear. Not only that, it is also a hardy material, as the patina that it develops actually protects the material underneath. As a result of all this, it is not surprising to find that an increasing number of boutique watch brands are offering bronze timepieces and one of them is Ancon. And amongst their bronze offerings, the Magnus is arguably the most interesting because of its lightning bolt seconds hand – a la Rolex Milgauss.Source: aBlogtoWatch
5. Bulova Precisionist Wilton Chronograph Watch Review
On first impression, the Bulova Precisionist Wilton Chronograph watch seems to have an exceedingly complicated and busy dial, but then upon closer inspection, you will soon realize that it needs to be, because inside it is a quartz movement capable of measuring to 1/1000th of a second. This watch is available in a variety of styles, but I think the one we have here with a rose gold case and leather strap is very interesting, if not a little polarizing. Some might scoff that its quartz movement, but like we said, this is one that measures to 1/1000th of a second and it also features a sweeping (not ticking) seconds hand. Furthermore, because it uses a three-prong quartz crystal, it operates at a heady 262.144 kHz, which in turn means that it is accurate to just a few seconds each year.
6. Unique Skeletonized Watches By Molnar Fabry: Hands-On And Workshop Visit
The name Molnar Fabry might be alien to you, but if you fan of skeletonized watches, you should take note of this name right now. Started by two jewelers, Michal Molnar and Igor Fabry, Molnar Fabry is a brand that specializes in creating unique skeleonized timepieces using heavily modified base movements from ETA, Unitas and others. The two make no more than eight watches a year and it often takes weeks, if not months, to finish a watch. As such, we would expect the level of detailing and craftsmanship is very high, and during a visit to their workshop in Banska Bystrica, which is nestled in the Slovakian countryside, we were not disappointed.