All posts by Insurance Edge Editor

Editor and Publisher at Insurance Edge magazine, over 20 years experence as a journalist. Always keen to cover industry news, new insurtech products, regulation and we accept opinion & comment articles.

Watches & Wonders: JLC Goes To The Stars

Swatch may well be cleaning up financially with their Moonswatch-Omega tributes right now, but Jaeger LeCoultre are creating a unique piece of art in the shape of the Hybris Artistica Calibre 945.

Is it just me, or do those spokes look like a rebuilt wheel on an Enfield 350?

That is quite a name and not that catchy, but then this bespoke JLC watch is the plaything of millionaires. For starters it runs on sidereal time, not the standard 24 hour day we all know and live by. The dial is spinning, almost Antikythera in its execution. If you want to see where JLC might have sourced some inspiration then check out the Clickspring channel, where Chris has spent years painstakingly re-creating this fable ancient Greek chronicler of the stars and planets.

Link here;

But what JLC have done goes way beyond a homage to an Orrery, or the Automata which was all the rage when Breguet was designing the first tourbillon.

The Cal 945 not only has a tourbillon spinning away as the heart of the movement, the whole thing rotates slowly, over a sidereal day. Then they added a soundtrack, with a chiming complication as well. Very trick, add some old school enamel painting on the planetary dial plate and voila, a masterpiece.

We have no idea on the price, but let’s assume it’s over £150K and there won’t be many of them made.

Verdict; fantastic to see JLC reach for the stars. The new clock looks amazing too. 99.9% of us can never afford this stuff, but then a Space X landing can inspire a thousand dreamers to become the next Elon. It’s all good.

 

Top Picks From The Timex UK Sale

We spent a few mins browsing the Timex UK site today, these are our top picks from the Sale section.

WATERBURY

Couple of Waterbury automatics reduced to under £160, which is a fair price we reckon.  Black dial model with traditional pocket watch numerals and a decent size crown is a winner.

WATERBURY QUARTZ

All black dial, bold numerals with a 24 hour display, plus a day/date window and steel bracelet. This is quite a dressy everyday Timex and at £83 won’t break the bank. Got the Indiglo feature too. Just one left says the website.

 

ALLIED COASTLINE

This quartz model has a nice red splash of colour, 43mm case, plus the famous Timex Indiglo push-button night light. Nice reduction down to £79.99 almost tempted us, but we resist paying over 50 quid for modern quartz watches as there are so many bargain ones out there from Sekonda, Ali Express, Lorus, Pulsar, plus all the fashion brand stuff like Ben Sherman, Superdry, Calvin Klein and so on.

 

 

 

New Dive Watches: La Touraine Subnautica

La Touraine have a new dive model called the Subnautica, which is a great name for a dive watch, very Jules Verne.

It’s top value at $299 and comes with a 200m depth resistance rating. Inside there is the trusty Seiko NH35 automatic unit and it’s a steel case, with steel bracelet or leather strap options if you just want to wear it every day.

Here’s a little promo video from La Touraine;

The Art of Watchmaking, Pinchbeck Style

Sometimes inspiration for watch design is on your doorstep and that’s the case with English watchmaker Harold Pinchbeck. The Cathedral at Lincoln is one of the great medieval churches of Europe and this limited edition watch has a landscape picture on the caseback.

Featuring the classic Swiss ETA 2824 movement, the watch retails at £2499, comes with a signed print and is available in a limited run of fifty pieces.

HP teamed with an artist to commission a unique design, here’s the word;

We thought our customers would value a special watch uniting these elements, particularly as it would be hand-assembled within a stone’s throw of the Cathedral.

Of course (remembering the watchmaker analogy), no watch can actually design itself, so our in-house stylist Guillaume set to work, transforming the Bishop’s Eye image into a dial: the tracery’s subtle shadows make it a pleasure to tell the time. Then we asked Dominic to create an oil painting: our first artwork commission, and the first time Dominic had painted for a watch. As a subtle finishing touch, the Fleur-de-Lys symbol on the crown also represents Lincoln.

We also decided to include an archive-quality print (personally signed by Dominic) with each Lincoln watch, so as well as containing a miniature artwork, it comes with a print you can frame! To our knowledge this is the first time a watch has been offered in this way.

Finally, to make the Lincoln watch really exclusive we are making just fifty examples. The number of your watch is machined into its caseback, and the associated print carries the same number.

Veo World: Sustainable Watches, At a Price

As COP26, also known as the Annual Festival of Private Jets, draws to a close in Glasgow, many people are asking, `where can I buy a watch made from recycled ocean waste and Joe Biden’s huge methane production?’

OK, they’re not, but in the spirit of placating the Woke Inquisition, we offer this peek at Votch, Ksana and other watches on the Veo World site. To be fair, they are taking a load of waste and making it into a new watch, plus giving a fair wage to people on the other side of the world. Which is good, right?

They have also thought through the entire supply chain thing, here’s the word from their website;

Created in London in 2019 Ksana is a vegan, cruelty free and environmentally sustainable watch brand. Our watches are well designed and bold.

At Ksana, our true core value is and always has been the environment. We are a cruelty free company and  strive to leave the smallest  environment footprint possible.

All of our watches are 100% vegan and cruelty free and produced in a solar powered factory which recycles both waste and water where possible. The workforce also have high standards of work and safety and are of course fairly paid.

Our boxes and packaging materials are also made from 100% recycled materials and can either be upcycled or recycled once they have completed their job of protecting our products en route to you.

VOTCH

The Votch brand at Veo World also has vegan straps, plus watches made from reclaimed materials. There are some nice minmalist designs on show here but they are a tad dull to look at. There are fans of the Braun watch designs or Mondaine, but these are miles away from those black polo neck designer watch legends.

OK we’ll say it, they look a bit budget and for just under 100 quid, your watch should really look half decent. We applaud the greener production, but come on, let’s have some styling too.

THE PROBLEM

All this green idealism costs big money. £75 for a basic quartz watch is expensive, although people pay lots more for something similar which says Boss, Armani or Michael Kors on the dial.

The gents Votch pictured is £96 and for that money, you can get a nice Lorus, Accurist, or about 10 quartz watches from Ali Express.

Herein lies the problem with sustainable living; it excludes and penalises the working class poor in Europe and the USA. Maybe that’s the idea?

 

Autodromo Prototipo Limited Edition

Autodromo has sent us info on their 10th anniversary Prototipo model. Here’s the word.

As we approach our 10 year anniversary this month we are pleased to announce the first in a string of re-issues of classic Autodromo watches. Some will be old colourways we are bringing back, and some, like this Worn and Wound Edition Prototipo, will be exciting new twists on old favorites.

This new numbered edition is extra special to us because it celebrates both 10 years of Autodromo and 10 years of our friends at Worn and Wound.

Fans and collectors of the Prototipo will notice 3 new elements that differ from past versions of this watch:

  • The case is plated in Gray finish
  • The rally strap is suede for the first time ever (and now made in Italy)
  • Those troublesome hex screws on the caseback are now polished flatheads! All the new versions of the Prototipo will have these screws going forward.

The Worn and Wound Edition Prototipo is only available via the Windup Shop, so please click the link here to secure your pre-order. Ships in Mid December. Priced at $625 USD.

Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Wins GPHG Prize

The word from Grand Seiko and we say well done, takes some doing beating the Swiss brands;

On November 4, the 2021 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève award ceremony took place at the Théatre du Léman in Geneva. Fourteen watches were prized for specific categories and five other prizes were also awarded for a range of other horological achievements.

From the six nominated watches in the Men’s watch category, the jury of 30 selected the Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 80
Hours as the best men’s watch of the year.

The Grand Seiko Hi-Beat 36000 80 Hours 

The Hi-beat 36000 80 Hours watch offers a new perspective on the brand’s philosophy, The Nature of Time. Its dial is inspired by the slender and strikingly beautiful white birch tree forests that thrive in northern parts of Japan, and that grow in profusion near the Grand Seiko Studio Shizukuishi where this and all Grand Seiko mechanical watches are made.

The design is true to the Grand Seiko Style defined back in 1967 with the celebrated 44GS, but its heritage is combined with a powerful contemporary feel that points towards a new era.

The watch is powered by the revolutionary Hi-beat Caliber 9SA5, which has a precision rate of +5 to -3 seconds a day and achieves a long power reserve of 80 hours.

The precision, power and slimness of Caliber 9SA5 are the result of the radical re-design of key structures including the entirely new escapement and free-sprung balance developed in-house. Caliber 9SA5 will be the foundation upon which a whole new generation of Grand Seiko mechanical watches will be created in the future.

Wait, LIV Watches Just Raised $2m On Kickstarter?

Yes, that’s the astonishing total – and increasing daily – as LIV gears up to deliver on its new P51 Titanium, which retails at $1370 on the early bird offer, with delivery expected early December.

It is a remarkable achievement for LIV, with the P51 tapping into both the military vibe and the vintage market, since the P51 Mustang was one of the THE fighter aircraft of WWII, especially in the Pacific theatre.

The watch has a Swiss Valjoux 7750 movement, 43mm case, beefy chrono pushers and that Mustang logo embossed onto the dial. Wide range of colours and we like the teal/sky blue one best, just because..it’s different.

1000 pieces of each variant; yellow/black, sky blue and deep blue.

One of the best value ways to acquire a Val 7750 engined watch we reckon, as many Swiss makers and some Indie brands are asking over $2500 apiece.

More here at Kickstarter.

Boom: Kevin Lyons Range Drops At UNDONE

The latest from UNDONE, who have a special Kevin Lyons range on the blocks and ready to go.

This fall, the world’s leading custom watch label, UNDONE,comes together with one of the world’s most prolific street artists, Kevin Lyons, for a uniquemonstrous collection showcasing, of course, his signature Monster characters.

Since first hitting the market, UNDONE has injected a dose of fun, personalization, and exclusivity in the watch world with a number of collaborations, such as with our latestcollaboration with streetwear icon Jeff Staple.

The Hong Kong-based team takes oneverything from cartoon characters to collaboration with Simple Union to modern homagesand vintage re-creations with infectious enthusiasm.

Lyons’artwork and Monsters have appeared worldwide from New York to Paris to Japan,from murals to backpacks to snowboards, and now to your wrist. As a creative director andartist, Kevin Lyons has worked with the biggest streetwearand sportswear names, includingNike, Converse, adidas, Burton Snowboards, Stüssy, Vans, and many more.

THERE’S MORE TO MONSTERS THAN JUST SEIKO

Lyons has been doodling his Monsters for years, but with the support from his kids, he began exhibiting his work, which eventually led to a show at colette in the early Noughties

The partnership with UNDONE and Kevin Lyons sees the conception of the UNDONE x KevinLyons collection-offering you two distinct pieces,

“UNDONE x Kevin Lyons Limited Edition” and “UNDONE x Kevin Lyons CustomizableMonsters.”

The UNDONE x Kevin Lyons Limited Edition is dropping on September 30th, here’s the spec;

The dial is paired with a fluorescent pink second hand to give the dial that final pop of color. You will find all of Kevin Lyons’ monsters under one lens and enclosed in a 316L stainless steelcase. The chronograph is fitted with a tachymeter bezel, born in an era fuelled by mankind’s obsession with speed and time; the vintage inspiration is the perfect finishing touch for those amongst us who enjoy a fast-paced life.

The UNDONE x Kevin Lyons Limited Edition is paired with a blue suede strap, silky smooth, the final touch for your indispensable everyday watch.

The UNDONE x Kevin Lyons Limited Edition will be limited to 300 pieces worldwide and will come paired with your personal Kevin Lyons monster mural.
THE CUSTOM OPTION
Yep, sometimes, as many watch Modders know, you get the urge to custom build your own idea what a watch model should be, whether it’s a Seiko Tuna or a Bamford London Zenith. UNDONE have thought of that, which is why you can choose from a variety of options.
The “UNDONE x Kevin Lyons Customizable Monsters” explores Lyons’ emotions asexperienced in relation to time. In true UNDONE fashion, you will be able to customize your piece from six clever phrases about time that can be mix-and-matched with one of six of his signature Monsters—leaving you with endless combinations to pick from. Well, thirty-six, to be exact.
Your customized dial will be printed on a matte white dial and housed in a black PVD coatedcase, paving the way to allow your monster to be the center of attention and stand out fromthe crowd.
The chronograph is finished with a ghost tachymeter giving you everything you need from form to function. The “UNDONE x Kevin Lyons Customizable Monsters” is paired with a black Cordura strap known for its durable property and perfect for combating your daily grind.
Turn both pieces around, and you will see Kevin Lyons’ monster munching on the UNDONE logo. The UNDONE x Kevin Lyons collection sports a wearable case size of 40mm in diameter and 47.6mm lug-to-lug, with the height coming in at 12.7mm from the caseback to the top of the hardened domed K1 lens.
Inside the incredible design is a Japanese TMIVK61 Mechanical-Quartz Hybrid Flyback Chronograph (supplied by SEIKO Manufacturing (H.K.) Limited), with a sweeping central chronograph second.
Water-resistance is guaranteed at 3 ATM/30 meters.
The UNDONE xKevin LyonsLE retails for $399 USD and the UNDONE xKevin LyonsCustomizableMonsters is
available for $349USD.

 

New Torgoen T48 GMT Model

Torgoen has launched a new model, the T48.  This is a quartz powered watch, with a silicone strap, GMT hour hand and a 44mm case width.

RRP is £218. Here’s the press blurb;

The T48 GMT Series was designed to honour the principles of functionality, durability, and sophistication. Constructed from solid high grade stainless steel and a K1 hardened crystal lens, the T48 GMT is built to last.

Its Swiss-made GMT movement provides simultaneous precision timekeeping for two time zones, and the classic color options add a touch of modern style. With easy-to-wear silicone straps and 100 meters of water resistance, the T48 GMT is ready to face any adventure thrown its way, from the office to the cockpit.

The T48 GMT is available in three sleek color combinations: the black silicone strap is paired with a cream dial and silver case, as well as a light grey dial and gunmetal case; the third combo features a slick all-navy monochrome design. All styles have a heavy duty stainless steel buckle to finish a watch that’s as durable as it is stylish.