October 28, 2016
by Kenny Yeo
With dwindling sales and the threat of smartwatches, these are trying times for watch brands. In this roundup, let’s consider a more optimistic outlook on the impact of smartwatches and how they could actually boost and create interest in mechanical watches and even high-end horology.
And as usual, we will be offering close looks at new watches, beginning with Chopard’s new L.U.C Time Traveler One World Time watch, a piece that celebrates the 20th anniversary of Chopard’s manufacture in Fleurier; and then the Klokers Klok-01, a watch that proves that interesting and thoughtful watch designs can come at reasonable price points.
Finally, we revisit the roots of a modern horological icon – Patek Philippe’s Nautilus. If you have been following new releases lately, you’ll know that Patek Philippe recently announced two new limited edition pieces to mark the 40th anniversary of the revered Nautilus. Find out how the Nautilus came to be and the early history of this legendary model and more in our roundup.
1. Smartwatches Will Be A Highway To High-End Watches
Despite being in the watch business for just over a year, Apple has risen to be the number two watch brand in the world when measured by revenue. There’s a real fear that what we are seeing here with smartwatches will be a repeat of the Quartz Crisis, however, there’s another camp that believes that smartwatches might actually help grow and accelerate interest in mechanical watches; and that smartwatches might just act as a gateway to high-end horology for consumers who were never into watches before. Ariel explains why here.
2. Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One World Time Watch Hands-On
In celebration of Chopard’s 20th anniversary of its manufacture in Fleurier, the company has just released a new world-time watch that is sure to delight the jet-set. The new Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One world time watch is a true world-timer, as it features a rotating 24-hour ring and cities ring that allow the wearer to instantly tell time in all of the world’s major timezones. And unlike most world-timers which eschew the date in favor of a cleaner looking dial, the Chopard L.U.C Time Traveler One watch cleverly displays the date on an inner ring with what could be mistaken for a GMT hand at first glance. This is a very thoughtful touch from one of the most compelling brands around.
3. Klokers Klok-01 Watch Review
The Klokers Klok-01 is proof that affordable watches need not be uninteresting and dull. At first impression, the Klokers Klok-01 watch looks more like a measuring instrument than a watch, but there’s a perfect explanation for this. You see, the inspiration for the Klok-01 watch comes from slide rules, rulers with a sliding central strip marked with logarithmic scales for quick calculations. But that’s not all, the Klok-01 watch also features a patented strap-securing system that allows for easy swapping of straps. In summary, the Klok-01 watch is an example that thoughtful watchmaking can exist at any price point. All it takes is heart and dedication.
4. Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2 Vintage-Style Pilot Chronograph Watch Hands-On
It seems that the trend of vintage-inspired watches is showing no signs of slowing down, and brands are still looking to the archives for inspiration. A watch that exemplifies this practice is the Zenith Heritage Cronometro Tipo CP-2 vintage-style pilot chronograph watch (a real mouthful, I know). It’s based on a special military-style chronograph watch that Zenith made in the Sixties for the Italian military – hence the Italian-sounding name. The design is certainly attractive, and when coupled with Zenith’s legendary El Primero movement, it makes for a combination that is hard to resist, especially for fans of military watches.
5. Richard Mille RM 50-01 G-Sensor Tourbillon Chronograph Watch Hands-On
Richard Mille’s watches evoke opinions like few other watches can. While the styling of its watches is certainly a matter of taste and preference, what’s undeniable is the technical mastery and artistry of some of its pieces. And one of the most impressive watches, mechanically speaking, that Richard Mille makes is the RM 50-01 G-Sensor Tourbillon Chronograph watch. The name tells you all you need to know: apart from featuring the tourbillon and chronograph mechanisms, this watch also has a G-Sensor, which measures the g-force that it is subjected to. It’s a stunning piece of wrist machinery, but at the same time, completely superfluous. Classic Richard Mille, then.
6. ‘Cool & Fun’ Made In Japan: A Visit To Casio G-Shock Watch Headquarters
Some 33 years ago, the G-Shock was born, and it would forever change the way we think about watches. Prior to the G-Shock, watches were seen as fragile and delicate, and rightly so. But the G-Shock was proof that with some ingenious engineering, a watch could be made to survive virtually anything. So how exactly does Casio build its figuratively bulletproof watches? To find out, we visit Casio and their G-Shock headquarters in Japan.