Tag Archives: bespoke

Ming 37.05 Is Just Pure Stealth Technology

Here’s the latest watch from Ming, who have created a minimalist watch with some interesting features. What we love about this moonphase is the dedication to being differnt, creating something unique and understated, that marries old school tech with an almost smartwatch dial.

Here’s the press kit blurb;

A moon-phase is an old complication, and perhaps one of the least useful for modern life, yet one that still holds a special place in the hearts of collectors for reasons we’re not quite sure of ourselves, despite owning several. A date is at least a bit more useful. We opted to combine the two and keep the old-school whimsy going by opting for a manual wind movement – once again, offering the enthusiast more opportunities to interact with their watch.

Love that sliver of light moonphase detail.

NOT YOUR NORMAL MOONPHASE WINDOW

Our continuing use of multi-layered sapphire dials offered a solution: the apertures for date and moon lie in the lower layer dial, which is metal, textured and carries a midnight blue to black
gradient reminiscent of the night sky, with a seamless sapphire dial above that carries the hour indices (laser etched, and filled with HyCeram) and a central mask for the moon to mirror our peripheral ring forms.

A full moon thus forms a complete ring, which is luminous, with partial phases being portions thereof.

The date window preserves symmetry at 6 o’clock, and is as subtle as possible with a background color-matched to the dial, and our usual font in light grey. The net result can be seen in the accompanying images and is one of the most dynamic dials we have ever created: it inverts completely from a seamless silver mirror to a solid blue-black
with moon and date displays. The transition is gradual and most of the time, the watch presents a bit of both: a calm, reflective serenity above and a lot more visual texture below.

We knew we didn’t want the semicircle moon aperture, but what we had in mind would require a centrally-driven moon disc to offer a sufficiently large display to allow the ring display to work. Only a custom module or the Sellita SW288 offered this possibility, and
selection of the latter allowed us to improve overall accessibility of the watchl.

But to make it worthy of a display back, it was then further reworked in a similar style to the 7001.M1 as used in the 27.01 and 27.02; it is skeletonized, matte-blasted and anthracite coated, with a
contrasting portion on the main train bridge in circular-brushed rhodium.

Creating the next generation

The 37-series case family will form one of our core product lines, spanning from entry level to Special Projects and everything in between. It has a flexible architecture that can accept a wide range of movements, is scalable to thickness, and can be produced in a wide range of materials.

At the same time, it is a highly refined case design that has complex compound curves – such as the line from case side to lug tip – and multiple finishes. We have also increased the visual presence of the case with a significantly larger dial opening than the 17- series and domed front and rear crystals. However, wearability and comfort for a wide variety of wrist sizes is maintained with the same 38mm maximum diameter and 20mm lug width.

In short: it looks bigger than a 17-series, but feels the same on the wrist. We of course continue our partnerships with Manufacture Schwarz-Etienne for construction, production and assembly; Jean Rousseau Paris for straps, and Studio Koji Sato for the pouches.

Can lugs be sculpture? Yes they can.

One last thing: no more keepers. The 37.05 will be one of our first watches to be offered on a keeperless buckle system that tucks the unused hole portion of the strap underneath the opposite end. By doing this, a given strap length works for a wider range of sizes because the unused portion effectively increases the diameter of smaller wrists. We find the overall configuration to be neater,
more comfortable, more secure and more visually harmonious.

Finally, the buckle also has built in microadjustment simply by moving the middle springbar.

Pricing and deliveries

The MING 37.05 is priced at CHF 4,950 and will be available exclusively at www.ming.watch. Existing customers will be allotted preferential access to 150 pieces at 1PM GMT on 25 November 2021, with the balance of 350 pieces available to the general public at 1PM GMT on 26 November 2021. A 50% deposit is due at the time of order, with the balance on delivery – expected to begin July 2022.

Armin Strom: California Dreamin’

The latest from Armin Strom;

The Armin Strom Tribute 1 California, which continues the brand’s eye-catching fusion of tradition and transparent mechanics, features a California-style dial created in a choice of five fumé colours that offer a striking contrast to the black guilloché plate. Each colour option has been produced in a limited edition of five pieces.

The California dial: reviving a design icon

The newest interpretation of the Armin Strom Tribute 1, the brand’s popular modern dress watch, takes its name from the so-called California dial, which is distinguished by its alternating Roman and Arabic numerals.

The dial, which is offered in five different colours, also features bar markers and a railway track minute ring. The California dial design, which is a favourite among watch aficionados, dates back to the 1930s and with its distinct presentation on the coloured dials, it offers each proud owner a timepiece of distinction and a touch of exclusivity.

The visibility of the barrel on the dial makes the Tribute 1 California resolutely modern while the California dial gives it a pleasing vintage flair.

What we like about this; true handcrafted watchmaking. Got a real Fritz Lang Metropolis feel to it.

Price: $19,000 or so. Who’s counting?

Marloe Watch Celebrates Donald Campbell’s 100th

The Centenary of Donald Campbell’s birthday is something that Marloe Watches, and speed fans everywhere, can celebrate. Campbell junior lived in the shadow of his father to an extent, but carved his niche in the world of speed record breaking, becoming front page news in Britain back in the Sixties.

Watch the land speed Bluebird CN7 story here;

Here’s the word from Marloe Watches on their special edition;

The Centenary Edition is a celebration of a man borne of speed obsession who would travel firmly and resolutely into the annuls of speed history. His achievement on land and water captivated, inspired and motivated people to be better, to chase harder and love stronger. This 100 piece edition marks the 100th year from the day Donald Campbell was brought into this world, and with this unique conduit of memory we celebrate the inimitable speed master.

The design of the Centenary Edition is unique – we’ve taken a back seat – our logo is printed in clear gloss whilst Donald’s iconic Bluebird logo is centre stage. Glistening salt-white, gold and Bluebird blue, the Centenary Edition is heavenly in its presentation – classic, clean and uncomplicated. The gold-edged dial is surrounded by a moat of lume which is startlingly bright in vivid blue – Donald’s lucky colour – and just wait until you see the Bluebird icon at night.

We’re also honoured to be permitted to use the great man’s signature on our exhibition case back, and sign off this edition with the etched and paint-filled markings “Speed Record Breaker On Land And Water – Official Commemorative Edition – Donald Campbell”. A final unique touch to an already incredible watch. Supplied on a salty sand rally strap as standard, and numbered 001-100.

 

Two Variations on the Tribute 1 From Armin Strom

We had some info from Armin Strom, here’s the press release;

Luxury watch manufacture Armin Strom has announced the launch of two new models of its ground-breaking Tribute 1. The brand’s post-modern interpretation of the classic dress watch was introduced in June of this year in an edition limited to only 25 pieces, which sold out quickly. Watch aficionados who missed the opportunity to acquire the Tribute 1 First Edition in grey with an 18k white gold barrel bridge now have the chance to add one of the new models to their collections. The two references – one with a black dial and one with a blue dial – are available in limited editions of 100 each.

Armin Strom’s unique twist on time

From a distance, the Armin Strom Tribute 1 watch may appear to be a classic manually-wound dress watch. It has an exquisitely proportioned 38 mm stainless steel case with an enticingly slender profile. It is presented on an elegant alligator strap. So far, it’s everything you would expect in an haute horlogerie dress watch. But a closer inspection immediately reveals that while Master Watchmaker Claude Greisler has embraced time-honoured watchmaking traditions, he has, in fact, again redefined the genre with a watch that will appeal to men and women who treasure the brand’s unique twist on time.

A study in three dimensions

Like every Armin Strom watch, the Tribute 1 is a study in three dimensions. It starts with an understated off-centre dial displaying hours, minutes and seconds. In attractively stark contrast to the dial is an adjacent plate whose grenage finish subtly transitions the hue of the dial from one shade to another as the light changes. The already distinctive face is rounded out with a barrel bridge, a feature that has become a hallmark in Armin Strom’s exclusive timepieces. The Tribute 1’s crown is located at 2 o’clock, a detail that enhances wearer comfort.

With a highly efficient motor barrel, whose arbor turns around the mainspring, the in-house Calibre AMW21 delivers a jaw-dropping 100-hour power reserve.

Exceptional hand finishing

The Tribute 1 watches are also characterized by Armin Strom’s commitment to exceptional hand-finishing of its movements. Claude Geisler says, “I’m obsessed with every detail of this watch, particularly when it comes to finishing. For example, the barrel, visible on the dial side of the timepiece, is meticulously hand-decorated, which is extremely time consuming. We also manufacture, polish and decorate the hands in-house, which is painstaking but ensures the quality while keeping the price reasonable.”

Price is about £11,000 by the way. Then you have VAT and import duty on top. That said, it’s cheaper than a Patek Calatrava.

Mustonen Fires Up The Rocket Boosters

Yes, we love a new watch brand here at the Northern Watch Co magazine, so say hello to Mustonen and their debut watches. Definitely different and available at pre-order prices.

So what’s the story behind the launchpad? Martin Mustonen, the founder and designer of Finland based Mustonen watches was inspired by Mars exploration for the company’s debut timepiece.

IS THERE LIFE ON MARS? ELON MUSK IS GOING TO FIND OUT

This theme was chosen due to his passion of studuying the space and the opportunity to commemorate with the first Mustonen timepiece the achievements reached by people working in mars mission of the present and the past. Most recent major achievement was
the successful landing of Perseverance rover in Jezro crater on Feb. 18, 2021.

After  eighteen months of investment and effort, the first Mustonen watch was born. The M-1 collection features three Made in Finland Limited editions with Swiss movements: Launch edition, Bespoke edition and Apex edition (Tourbillon) each limited to 999, 500 and 15 timepieces respectively.

Precision machined from 316L stainless steel with 3-5 microns of tolerance, the case measures 39mm in width, 10mm in thickness and has a 52mm lug-to-lug distance. The mirror polished finish of the case is treated with plasma coating process resulting in 700HV surface hardness which is highly scratch resistant. Thickness of the coating is 0.1 microns.

For the bespoke edition Mustonen also offers Brushed finish and Black DLC coating for the case and clasp.

M-1 features exceptionally rare martian meteorite (NWA 6963 Basaltic Shergottite) on the side of the case covered by sapphire glass that is set on 18k gold sheet. A Martian meteorite is a rock that formed on Mars, was ejected from the planet by an impact event,
traversed interplanetary space and finally landed on the Earth as a meteorite and is one of the rarest materials on earth.

The movements for each edition were chosen with care, the most impressive of the movements being the Tourbillon movement by Concepto manufacture installed in the M-1 Apex edition.

For the M-1 Bespoke edition the customer can choose either Soprod A-10 with exceptional precision of +/- 4 seconds per day or the classic 2824-2 movement by ETA. For the movements of Bespoke and Apex Editions Mustonen offers a bespoke service for unique rotor design. STP Calibre 1-11 was chosen as the movement to be fitted to the M-1 Launch Edition.

There is the option of having a true one-off model produced, by an in-house designer too.

As for the concept of M-1 Launch Edition Martin Mustonen explains: “The concept for M-1 Launch Edition is to offer the M-1 with a reliable Swiss automatic movement for under 600 euros , without compromising the impeccable craftsmanship that goes into each M-1 timepiece so that as many watch aficionados as possible would be able able to afford and therefore enjoy the first Mustonen timepiece”

This was made possible with a steep 60% discount off the future MSRP for pre-orders and producing larger amount of timepieces for
the Launch Edition totaling 999 watches.

TOURBILLON

The M-1 Apex edition is a true haute horlogie timepiece that features exceptional Tourbillon movement by a well-known manufacture Concepto, located in La Chaux-de-Fonds. Concepto caliber 8950-A has 27 jewels, beats at 28,800vph (4Hz) with a
60-hour power reserve.

Apex edition will be limited to only fifteen watches and each timepiece’s bespoke design specified by the customer is processed by our in-house designer and includes bespoke features such as hand engraving on the caseback,
custom rotor design and more without additional charges.

PRICES

The introductory pricing structure for M-1 pre-orders is 595 EUR for Launch Edition (-60% off future MSRP) , 765 EUR (-55%) for the Bespoke Edition (for bespoke options cost extra) and 9850 EUR for Apex Edition (-40%) The delivery of the timepieces will be in January.

More info at; www.mustonenwatches.com

Titan Black Offers Bespoke Rolex Designs

Here’s a custom watch house we just discovered, but they have been around for about ten years; Titan Black has been producing amazing Rolex, AP, Patek and other luxury watches that are true one-off models. Famously, they designed the Chronolight Rolex for a Sheikh which has his name in illuminated script on the dial.

Illuminated, not Illuminati. Important to note that.

We also love their skeleton dial Rolex Daytona in rose gold. There are designs in vintage sepia, teal – all kinds of options.

OK, you might not be in charge of assets from London to Lahore, but if you can afford a Rolex Sub or Daytona and want something unique, there is a dashboard at Titan Black where you can customise it your way, and get a quote. It isn’t gonna be cheap, but then again, nothing Rolex related that’s really executed to a superlative standard is.

More info here.

Life on Mars With Konstantin Chaykin

Do you need a watch that tells the time on Earth and Mars? Maybe so if Elon Musk has his way and we establish a Tesla factory there. So yes, this latest Russian watch could be just the thing to check if your Jonny Cab is ready for you at the Doug Quaid Memorial Uber taxi rank when you dock at the Red Planet for your vacation in 2055.

Here’s the press release.

The prospect of flying to Mars has never been closer. Konstantin Chaykin is certain that the conquest of Mars necessitates the thinking over of many different aspects in advance, including the development of a specialised mechanical watch that is reliable and capable of functioning autonomously both in space and on Mars. That’s why in 2017 this expert watchmaker and inventor launched his own Mars programme – “Mars Time”.

The new “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” watch points to the future – hence its futuristic design, seasoned with a clearly tangible militaristic touch. The terrestrial time is supplemented in this watch by the 24-hour time zone indicator hand, while the Konstantin Chaykin-invented “Martian” wheel movement provides the precise indication of Martian time.

A functional module entirely created in Russia by Konstantin Chaykin Manufactory. The complexities of the watch mechanics of the “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” are shown by the fact that the functional module is made up of 125 separate parts, each meticulously processed and finished by hand in full accordance with the traditions of haute horlogerie.

Konstantin Mars 1

The first Martian aviator watch in history

The “Mars Conqueror Mk3 Fighter” watch looks to the future, which is why one can find in its design the futuristic forms of the Martian space fleet as imagined and designed by Konstantin Chaykin. In the brutal yet at the same time ergonomic case of a dynamic, trapezoidal design, which is dominated by triangular edges, there is a bezel fixed to the case by 24 functional screws, resembling the mooring lock of a spacecraft docking system.

Watches of the first edition are made of titanium, traditionally perceived as an aircraft and space material, which is in the best way consistent with the purpose and functionality of the new watch. Only 8 pieces will be released.

The “Mars Conqueror Mark3 Fighter” watch is equipped with automatic caliber K.15-0 with indicator of local Earth time; second time zone (UTC) indicator with central 24-hour hand; Mars time (MCT); mode indicator of the functional (winding) crown. There are two vertical crowns with unique functionality set on the titanium case invented by Konstantin Chaykin, with genuine black leather strap with orange stitching and orange lining.

There’s no word on pricing yet, but the Chaykin watches currently online here,  start at about £23,000.

 

H. Moser & MB&F Team Up on a Technical Tour-de-Force

Here’s the word from H Moser, who have created something kinda mind blowing in partnership with MB&F. A cylinder shaped tourbillon is a real masterpiece of engineering in miniature – hypnotic we think;

H. Moser & Cie. has borrowed from MB&F the concept of three-dimensional movements, a strong element of the Geneva Maison’s identity, protected by a sapphire dome and featuring a one-minute flying tourbillon that rises above the main dial through a ventricular opening appearing at 12 o’clock.

Benefiting from the expertise of its sister company Precision Engineering AG, H. Moser & Cie. has equipped its tourbillon with a cylindrical balance spring, the same as that developed by Precision Engineering AG for MB&F’s LM Thunderdome. Invented in the 18th century, the cylindrical balance spring is reminiscent of a worm- or corkscrew, rising perpendicularly around the upper rod of the balance staff. Commonly used in historical marine chronometers at the time, it offers the advantage of developing concentrically, and therefore geometrically, since it works perfectly along the axis of its pivots.

This gives it a significant advantage over the flat balance spring, whose opposite ends tend to exert forces on the pivots, despite the Philips or Breguet terminal curves which were specifically developed to partially correct the non-concentric opening of the balance spring.

Fitted with a Breguet overcoil at both attachment points, the cylindrical balance spring reduces pivot friction and greatly improves isochronism. Due to its specific shape, the cylindrical balance spring is far more difficult to produce and takes ten times longer to make than a traditional balance spring.

HMoser-MBF_Lifestyle Endeavour

Another reference to MB&F’s identity lies in the tilted dials, which H. Moser & Cie. has adopted for its hour and minute subdial. This is inclined at 40° so that the owner of the watch is the only one to whom it reveals the secret of time, and mounted on a conical gear train ensuring optimal torque transmission from one plane to the other. As Edouard Meylan explains:

“We have Moserized the MB&F universe by developing a sapphire subdial, which melts into the background so as to highlight the beauty of our fumé dials. And to preserve the purity and elegance of this true work of horological art, we have inscribed our logo like a watermark on the sapphire subdial, thereby underlining the personal character and intimate relationship binding it to its owner”.

Available in five different versions, the Endeavour Cylindrical Tourbillon H. Moser x MB&F model comes in a steel case topped by Funky Blue, Cosmic Green, Burgundy, Off-White or Ice Blue dials, all of the fumé variety.

Czapek Micro-Rotor Antarctique Watch is Tech Tour-de-Force

One thing we love here is a unique in-house movement, because so many watches – even some that cost £20,000 or more – use a bought-in movement, with a few bells and whistles grafted on top. So take a look at the limited edition Czapek Antarctique, which the bespoke brand says is the next chapter in the history of Czapek & Cie.

Here’s the press kit info;

It combines sophisticated style and look with a genuine in-house power movement. The name was inspired by the trip to Antartica of one of the company historical shareholders and raises a host of associations, from intrepid explorers to the sheer breath-taking beauty of Nature. The Sixth Continent is also a symbol of the need for humans to preserve the planet and represents Czapek’s commitment to doing its part, using recycled gold but also safeguarding many Swiss watchmaking artisans.
The Terre Adélie is a tribute to the French explorer Jules Dumont d’Urville who named a slice of Antarctica after his wife, Adèle, during his daring expedition to the continent in 1840.

Watch the Czapek promo video here;

There’s more to haute horlogerie than virtuosic complications. Movement design, rare and fine finishing, select materials or intricate case surfaces, and attention to detail, are all key factors that increase a timepiece’s value. The Antarctique’s dial was designed and manufactured by Czapek’s partner Metalem using a unique handmade lamé technique, invented by them 30 years ago and revamped today for this project. This technique consists in creating a series of traits on the dial with a comb. These characteristic striations give the colours more depth and starker reflections.

On the dial, the date window is positioned at 6 o’clock to maintain the Czapek aesthetics based on vertical symmetry. The hands design is reminiscent of a sword, sporty and easy-to-read, as well as the three-dimensional indexes. The 40.5mm stainless steel case is integrated with an original double ‘trompe l’oeil’ curve, another unconventional design choice making this timepiece unique and exclusive.

CZAPEK watch Movement_lacquered_LR-1

Shades of Buren In That Micro Rotor

The SXH5.01 automatic calibre is the first to be entirely conceived in-house by Czapek from a blank page. Every part of it has been made with care to detail and with the help of the top Swiss manufacturing partners and craftsmen.

The microrotor, made of fully recycled 18-kt gold, is placed off-centre to allow a plunging view into the mechanism and its exceptional architecture. (We love a microrotor watch, it’s always a triumph of progress over manufacturing convenience – Ed)

A free-sprung balance wheel with variable inertia provided by four gold masselotte weights enables the highest level of precision tuning. The gear train is held in place by a series of seven handsome skeletonized bridges. Their original shape is reminiscent of lace, inspired on one side by XIX century pocket watches, and by the very modern Czapek Faubourg de Cracovie chronograph’s rotor.

The movement has superlative finishing with six hand chamfered inward angles and drawing of the flanks. The SXH5 caliber has a significantly longer autonomy than the average of high-end sports watches (typically between 40-45 hours), of 56 hours practical (and 70 theoretical hours). This movement proves that stringent watchmaking craftsmanship can be further enhanced with a hint of free-floating creativity, as if form were an equal party to function.

The price is 18,000CHF, which is around £15,200 and there are seven dial colours/designs to choose from, including deep blue, grey and a burgundy red. You can buy direct from the Czapek website too.