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Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

Until now, blank is what my list of Watches I Could Recommend Everyone & Anyone had been, featuring a total of zero watches. No matter how over the years I tried to think of something that I would consider with its style, comfort, value, aesthetics, functionality, and detailing I could reasonably recommend to every watch lover on this planet, let him or her be old or young, conservative or crazy in taste, seasoned or inexperienced with watches… No watch could come bearing absolutely no reason for reservations, ifs or buts – small or large. Now, that has at last changed because the Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue I want you, whoever you are, to try. That’s how amazing it is.

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

I mean, really, I don’t think I have ever been this impressed by a watch, ever. If finishing or detailing or functionality were impeccable, pricing or some other aspect would add an “if only” element to the equation. If pricing was fine, then minor or noticeable corners were cut. If the design was the trick, it was reasonably deemed unwearable by many – and if it was safe, I found myself bored even before putting it on, let alone wearing it for an extended period. This minesweeper game of watch specs left the aforementioned list of mine blank for so long, and this Vicenterra nails it not because it was designed with the goal of making it onto this list, but because it simply is such a neat coming together of thoughtful, creative, and scrupulously executed ideas and details.

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

I’ll begin not where you’d likely expect – the globe, the specs, or some other usual aspect – but with a more intangible, yet just as important element of the Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue: that it is extremely well made. If I was working at one of the big brands and I saw this watch made to this standard for 4,259 CHF (VAT excluded), I’d cry myself to sleep every night. Because here’s the thing that I felt I need to stress before any other details would be discussed: this watch feels and looks great. In fact, in a long, long while it is the first watch I have handled that feels and looks way more expensive than it actually is. While everyone (even those for some reason biased) will have to feel deep inside how most big brands have abandoned the idea of a truly luxurious feel and look in this sub-$5k price range… often all the way up to the mid-10-thousands. In fact, it is only when handling this piece and maybe a select few others that one gets the idea that yes, even for under $5k, you should be getting something that is absolutely stellar all around.

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

I have had this watch on me throughout all of Baselworld 2018 and, from the corner of my eye, I paid close attention to how industry representatives approached this watch. Not simply because they didn’t know the name, but because this watch looks so darn valuable that in today’s upside-down industry it could easily be priced anywhere between $10k to $20k. I remember last year how people reached for my Grand Seiko (which is about twice as expensive and twice as complicated) and, as expected from Swiss snobs (not every Swiss person is a snob), they couldn’t be bothered to appreciate it for what it was. That’s their loss, not mine. Here however, without a shadow of a doubt, a lot more care and curiosity had been generally shown by industry insiders when picking this watch up.

But what others think about it should be the least of your concerns – because 99% of the time it will be you looking at it, not somebody else. If you behave like any reasonable luxury product customer, you’ll want to feel you got what you wanted for your money… or more, preferably. Now, that is exactly where this Vicenterra shines, but to see where and how, let us at last dig into its many details.

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Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

The Globe

Watches with 3-dimensional globes are as cool as they are rare – very. I can’t be bothered to count all obscure examples, but I’d venture saying there are no more than 5 around these days and all are priced into the 5, sometimes well into 6-figure price range. Let me reach back to the previous point on execution and say something that may, I know, lead you to question my sanity – but here it goes, anyway. I have had the privilege to wear and photograph the truly incredible Greubel Forsey GMT 5N (a different version to this piece) a number of times now, and while I still can’t imagine wearing a $600,000 watch on a daily basis (the most expensive watch I’ve worn for weeks retailed for around $150,000), this little Vicenterra had so much depth to its details and execution, that I, for a passing moment, considered it to be on par with that $600k piece.

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

Trust me, I get painstaking anglage and perfect black mirror finishing and the complexities of an inclined tourbillon – but for a one-man shop to come up with a concept as farfetched from a base ETA as this Vicenterra Tycho Brahe, pay attention to details to an extent that puts pompous big brands to shame, and put it out there for this sort of money… I can’t consider it to be anything but a comparable achievement. And whoever can do this to a base ETA, I’m sure has the smarts to understand how to create a base movement (maybe not with inclined tourbillons) and hire a movement finisher to drizzle it with lavish decorations. Bear in mind that I am not belittling Greubel Forsey – I am rather explaining this weird situation where I, for the first time, feel I found someone whom I looked at and thought of Greubel Forsey as a comparison. Praise, in a way, doesn’t get much higher than that. For the record, Vincent Plomb, the man behind Vicenterra told me he works with some 30 suppliers and one watchmaker lady who helps with the assembly of the modules and of course the watches themselves.

Update: I had written this review before taking some more images and it was only then that I realized that the globe actually sits in a blue hemispherical bowl, with tiny yellow stars apparently hand painted on it, as seen on the image above. I had not seen this with bare eyes before, because light hardly finds its way in there, so this isn’t something you’ll see often – but it’s a little detail that was a lot of fun to discover.

Vicenterra Tycho Brahe Tome 2 Blue Watch Review Mens Watches Wrist Time Reviews

Okay, so the globe. The globe is linked to the base ETA 2892 caliber with a rotating axle that spins the globe, you guessed it, once a day. The tricky thing about it is that the “V” – the Roman 5 hour marker, crafted from white gold, mind you – points at the globe where it’s noon at the moment, while two sapphire discs carry a 6AM and 6PM designation left and right of the globe, respectively. Now, with the pusher at the 4 o’clock position of the case, you can adjust this globe in one hour (one timezone) increments by every push, totally independently from the movement’s timekeeping. Giving this extra option of interaction with the watch is as fun as it is gimmicky. Frankly, I have had this watch for about a month now and I don’t expect to ever grow tired neither of the globe, and perhaps neither of this adjustment system. Flip the watch around and you’ll see that not only the base – though decorated – ETA 2892 is on display through a sapphire window, but so is the globe, with a thoughtful, small text in French around the round window that states “A l’autre bout du monde,” as in “The other side of the world.”

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  • Framlucasse

    I’ve met with Vincent Plomb several times, he’s a great guy, doing a great work on his watches. And he developp himself all complications, he make all the design…

    I’m very happy to see Vicenterra here, the brand really deserve it. Well done.

  • ProJ

    Whoa! $4k is not bad at all for this amount and degree of hand craft. Excellent review David and really good read. Only change (to the watch) I would suggest is taking away the date window. It ruins an otherwise nice dial in my opinion. It still looks nice though.

    • David Bredan

      Thank you for your kind notes regarding the article! Ah, the date window – never really quite alright!

  • The globe is gimmicky and essentially worthless as a 2nd time zone indicator. But it doesn’t matter – I WANT THIS WATCH BADLY!

  • Raymond Wilkie

    Yes, the globe is gimmicky but very well executed. The date window does feel a little out of place, but what a lovely overall look. Looks way more expensive than it is ( and i don’t say that much ) Really wish i could see this on. Very well done.

  • Sheez Gagoo

    Lovely.

  • IanE

    Well, I like the Globe, but hate almost everything else.

  • Louis Winthorpe III

    Hey David, can you recommend an inexpensive watch?

    Until now blank is what my list of ‘Watches I could Recommend to Everyone & Anyone’ has been, featuring a total of zero watches.

    Behold the unique? conversational style of ABTW.

    Who talks like this?

    Who writes like this?

    You guys need to hire a copy editor. Here’s my edit, offered free of charge—noblesse oblige!

    ‘Until now I could not recommend a watch to include in ABTW’s ‘Watches I Could Recommend to Everyone & Anyone.’

    • David Bredan

      I don’t talk like this but I do, apparently, write like this occasionally. I appreciate your unsolicited edit, even if its only redeeming feature is you not charging for it.

      • TheChuphta

        And David Brendan silences all challengers with an absolutely savage double bitch-slap!

        • David Bredan

          I very much appreciate the support, but please let’s just talk watches.

      • Louis Winthorpe III

        Well you’re a good sport, that’s for sure. Sorry, someone p——d on my corn flakes this morning. I generally like your reviews. And I envy your head of hair.

        • David Bredan

          I appreciate this response very much. My corn flakes in the morning means a lot to me so I can certainly relate — keep your head up, tomorrow is another day, another bowl.

        • I think David writes and speaks English exceptionally well considering it is not his first language.

          • David Bredan

            Thank you, Mark!

          • Thomas John Woodward

            Well, I didn’t know that. I thought he was some young American hipster stationed in Budapest. Danish for me is my mother tongue and what I ate when I was young.

          • David Bredan

            Nope, never lived abroad.

    • Marius

      I’m slightly confused.

      So, should the Vicenza Terra be included in the not recommended list of watches to be included in ABTW`s “Watches I Could Recommend To Everyone & Anyone”, or alternatively, should the Vicenza Terra be included in the list NOT recommended to be included in the recommended watch list of ABTW`s “Watches I Could Recommend To Everyone & Anyone?”

      Another question: Don’t you perceive ABTW`s recommended list of “Watches I Could Recommend To Everyone & Anyone” as being a little too Bolshevik-sounding? I mean, “Everyone & Anyone” reminds me of Stalin’s famous quote “Mankind is divided into rich and poor, into property owners and exploited; and to abstract oneself from this fundamental division; and from the antagonism between poor and rich means abstracting oneself from fundamental facts.”

      • David Bredan

        I’ll give you this: I’m genuinely baffled by you being “reminded” of a – mind you, embarrassingly irrelevant and forcefully applied – quote from Stalin when seeing this topic. Let’s get back to talking watches instead – and when doing so let’s make more of an effort when trying to make fun of their names… or just get it right.

        • Marius

          À propos getting the names right. You might want to correct the article because the “…small text in French around the round window that states “A l’autre bout de monde” is incorrect. The correct expression, as can be seen on the case back is “A l`autre bout DU monde.”

          • David Bredan

            Thank you, this was constructive.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        You’ve completely lost me.

        • Louis Winthorpe III

          Given the erudition you display on a regular basis, that is surprising

      • Louis Winthorpe III

        You’re dizzy with the success of your logic. You’re blinding me me scientific socialism.

        • Playboy Johnny

          I was blinded by science once.

          • Louis Winthorpe III

            Tell me more, tell me more…

  • SuperStrapper

    It’s nice. I’m not as enthusiastic about it as the author, but to each his own. Titanium outs any watch as a very serious disadvantage with me, and this is not exception. A style would have to be just so very perfect for me to look past it and I’m not getting that here. I agree the hand are nice in design and look to be well made, but they’re too short. And I’m struggling with the date window (bowl?) as well. A good amount of thought and execution went into it for sure, but the same can be said about the Magnoit line, and we all know how well that worked out. It just appears to be stuck in the bottom of a crater, as though exploring the site of a meteor impact and now in need of a rescue.

    • Swidjin

      “Maginot”

      • SuperStrapper

        Bizarre autocorrect. That must be an actual word.

  • Alexander Hilsbos

    “a semi-melted scrapyard” – I liked that expression in this context, immediately images of some skeleton watches come to mind. Excellent article!

    I’ll be in Bud next week, any must-sees? Perhaps even watch-related? Ta!

    • David Bredan

      Thank you for the kind comment on the article! Glad you enjoyed. Not much watch-related stuff to see here – there usually are some cool/rare Grand Seiko pieces at the local AD that carries the brand, one new-gen Rolex boutique with lots of stuff and a great staff, for everything else you have Marquise and WDL.
      OFF I’d say just walk around in downtown as much as you possibly can, it’s such a beautiful city with many different vibes that it’s highly recommended to see as much of it as possible. When tired, just try one of the many baths (some of their water sources had been used since the Romans – the many Roman ruins in Buda are worth checking out if you find the time). As much as I wish to, I know that a quick search online will give you a much more thorough guide than I possibly could here – especially since tourism has picked up so much in the last number of years. ON

      • Alexander Hilsbos

        Thanks much, David, for your exhaustive response. Will try the Rolex boutique to hear the line I always hear, albeit with a different dialect, “Sorry we don’t have the Daytona in steel, waitlist is five years” or similar. The fine gentleman in Munich last week tried to talk me into a precious metal one instead, but hm, well, …

        • David Bredan

          Haha, well… If I were in the market for a Daytona, I’d just get it on a two-tone bracelet (and end up paying less than the steel one once the premium is applied).

  • Raymond Wilkie

    People that feel the need to point out little misspelt words or small grammatical errors just annoy me.

    Moving on™

    • SuperStrapper

      I had a girlfriend briefly some years back that I secretly nicknamed Miss Pelt. Seeing that word always brings back… memories.

      • Raymond Wilkie

        I have to ask,…why the name? Was she a bad speller or did she pelt you with something? If it’s too difficult to talk about, i understand.

        • SuperStrapper

          Neither actually. Pelt has more than one meaning.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            That didn’t really answer my question.

          • SuperStrapper

            Understood

          • Swidjin

            Check the urban dictionary.

          • Raymond Wilkie

            Oh i see. She kept it real.

          • Louis Winthorpe III

            Beaver. He’s. Canadian.

    • David Bredan

      “People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.”
      — Isaac Asimov. Not exactly Stalin, but hey.

  • Daniel Harper

    Some seriously impressive work from an unheard of brand keeping it real with pricing to be the only attainable watch with full 3D globe that I’ve ever seen, or can remember at this level of quality.
    How freaking cool is this watch? Super cool, that’s how cool.
    So cool in fact, that I saw a lawyer with his hands in his own pockets.
    So cool that I would purchase this without a second thought.
    I cannot wait to see what else these guys can do—going to their website now.
    Great article, David!

  • Mikita

    Lots of fun for 4k for sure! Kinda gives you the haute horlogerie artisan-like feel in a segment full of simple as a brick (not saying bad bricks!) Tudors and Breitlings. I would definitely recommend it to some of my fellow WIS who are looking for some special, say – hitting above its weight, watches. If only it had a mechanical movement! Then it’d check all the boxes for me. As for now, two sides in me are fighting – one just screams get it just to show the fellow snobs with their obvious Omegas how much fun you can get for lesser amount; but the other says step back, there are still nuances you have to accept like 2892 auto which you already have, 43 mm cases usually sit not so well on your wrist, and the case is a bit too polished for your taste, you’d have preferred it more brushed.

    • SuperStrapper

      Did you mean manually wound? This is mechanical.

      • Mikita

        Oh, sure, meant hand wound.

  • Playboy Johnny

    A few ideas: Re-design the cheap looking hands, remove the date, cover the exposed jewels, do something with the area between the dial and case. Have an option of 18k white case.

    Having said all that – I still think it is kinda cool.

  • Sick macro shots David!

    • David Bredan

      Thank you, Zach!

  • Mischa

    A great review. If the finishing is so good as to impress GS-addict David Bredan (I mean this in a good way), then I am certainly impressed. At this price point! It’s very tempting. I find the black one even more tempting:
    http://www.vicenterra.ch/montre/tycho-brahe-tome-1-black-mate-en/

  • Agnar Sidhu

    First thing that came to mined when looking at the first picture and reading the name was” probably ridiculous expensive”. After reading through the article, great review by the way, really impressed by the value proportion on this. Would have bought this right away if I had the money lying around! Can’t help but think that the 99 pieces of each option will be quickly gone…

  • Tea Hound

    Lovely, and the DLC version is even cooler. With regards to the movement, I did wonder whether the pig had been given a bit too much lipstick, but then I thought how well the small ETA works here, giving decent space for the globe; the caseback is also a marvel of aesthetics. This one’s going to sell fast, so I suggest David that you scrounge the money off Arial right now. Let us know how that went!

  • MildPeril

    Excellent and enjoyable article that kept me reading for all 3 pages, thank you David. Like others I initially expected a 5 figure sum at the end of this and thought it wasn’t really my style of watch anyway, but you really sold me on it by the end. What a fun little feature that globe is!

  • Chazz

    Love it! Swap the calf skin strap for croc and it’s near perfect.

  • Dec

    Love it. Unlike many others, I dig the date window ‘crater’ too. Actually if you block that bit out (as I did, holding my finger over the screen) it seems to loose something of the ‘symphony of circles’ and the dial and globe then seem in a bit of a stand-off to my eye. It’s on the borderline of too dressy for my taste though, and the black a bit too sporty. I’d be very interested to see a couple more options, such as the polished/blue model with the area around the dial engraved like it is on the black model, rather than brushed.

    • Mr. Snrub

      >symphony of circles

      what a great way to describe it. I too like the date window, and the exposed jewels seem to be perfectly placed. It keeps your eyes constantly scanning the whole, finding a nugget of interest wherever you gaze without being busy.

  • Joe

    I think this is fun and amazing but a few things stand out to me.

    I think it would look better if the blue of the globe matched the blue of the dial (or vice versa).
    Similarly the different metals and surface finishing used (the white gold “V”, the titanium globe and the shiny hands) are different enough to make this incoherent.
    I also have a feeling that the brushing direction of the two top plates is ever so slightly different – and this is distracting to me.
    Lastly I agree with Mikita and would prefer to see more of a brushed finishing to the case. It’s not that I don’t like polished cases and this is a “dress” watch vs a “sports” watch but I think a finely brushed case would look awesome.

    Still, great fun and like others here I’d buy it if I had the spare $$ right now (or one of its descendents).

    Great review too 🙂

  • PR

    Wow very impressive indeed, but why only 99 pieces.

  • cluedog12

    Huge improvement on the tonneau case models. That’s my opinion.

    Happy for you, David, that you’ve found a watch that evoked a genuinely passionate reaction. Microbrands and independents are delivering exceptional value and they can really target the niche collector. It’s a pretty good time to be a watch enthusiast.

  • IG

    That globe looks so yummy I want to remove and eat it.

  • Ex-Ex-Pat

    Great watch and great article. Articles where the author’s passion shines through make great reads. Would love a series based on ABTC’s authors’ favorite personal watches, old or new, cheap or expensive. Probably would get a lot of comments from the peanut gallery, but a lot of us regular readers would enjoy it.

  • Carlos Trejo Vázquez

    Just when I was thinking this would be a Tudor year for me, this is so nice and I’m thinking hard on reasons on why not to yet it, oh well.
    Do you happen to know the lug to lug distance?

  • Svetoslav Popov

    Very beautiful watch really, but I don’t think that globe “complication” is useful at all. It is rather a gimmick feature. Not saying I don’t like it though.

  • Knightwatch

    What’s the point, at 99 pieces, the watch doesn’t exist in the real world.

  • Watch collecting with Chris

    David I litterally ordered mine 4 months ago when I first saw this article… It’s finally here and it is amazing. The dial, level of finish on the case , and the GLOBE!!! At this price!! Amazing.

    • David Bredan

      Hi Chris, just stumbled upon this comment. So happy to hear that! Wear it in good health, enjoy!

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