Tag Archives: made

In Profile: Winton Watches Capture The Pioneer Spirit

Two guys from the NE of England had an idea about ten years ago and this year, Winton watches has launched.

The brand name was inspired by Alexander Winton, who emigrated from Britain to the USA in the 1890s and built a car called the Bullet. He was recorded covering the mile at an average speed of 68mph – that was Bugatti Veyron stuff back then. Flat cap n goggles, no tarmac roads.

The Swan automatic (above) is a classic dress watch, with a sapphire crystal, 39mm case diameter, 100m water resistance and a steel bracelet. You also get a see-thru caseback so you can check out the ETA 2824 movement inside. That is a classy engine at this price point, which is just £495. Great value we reckon. And no, we aren’t on commission.

The Anning (pic above)  is a more sporty number, with a 42mm case that features a pair of bumper lugs near the crown, offering some chamfered steel protection when you’re out exploring with this watch.

It’s a neat little touch on this sapphire crystal, steel watch, which again is Swiss powered, this time with a Ronda R150 movement. The rotor is decorated with the Winton logo and script by the way, which is viewable via the see-thru caseback.

The Anning has a choice of straps, which cost an extra £15, very reasonable when many Indie brands are asking £30 or more for extra straps.

Two dial colors, Jet Black or Sunburst Blue on the Anning. Price is £475, which is Tissot entry level, Seiko Presage or Citizen Red Arrows territory.

Verdict; An interesting alternative to mainstream watches and if you like the idea of buying British then you are getting some genuine Swiss quality without the VAT and import duty on top – that’s handy.

More here at the Winton watch website.

Brew Retrograph Is a Cuppa Joe To Go

Brew have a limited supply of their Retrograph model in stock right now. Designed to help baristas time the perfect espresso, the dial has a little yellow section on the markers between 25-35 seconds. Here’s the word from Brew;

In the early 1930s a specific category of chronograph watches were nicknamed telephone timers. They were designed with special markings that highlighted a range between every 3 minutes on the subdial register. After each 3 minute marker was reached, it would remind the wearer that they would need to insert another coin in the meter to continue their call.

Similar to this method of counting seconds and minutes with a direct correlation to the wearers action – the Retrograph has specific markers that specify when the optimal espresso shot has been extracted. The time for this ranges from 25 to 35 seconds – depending on the barista and the machine.

It’s a 38mm case meca-quartz watch, sapphire crystal and has a really pleasing red/white/blue colour combo going on. Blue leather strap too. Cost is $350 plus UK VAT and import duty. More here. 

Charlie Concordia: A Very Cool Customer

We had an email in France recently, telling us about Charlie, a Paris based watch company. This is a new brand for us, but worth looking at, especially the new automatic model, the Concordia.

This tool watch has a 300m depth rating, comes with a blue, white or black dial, and a range of straps or steel bracelets. It has been thoroughly road-tested by a polar explorer Matt Tordeur who trekked solo across the Antarctic ice shelf wearing a Concordia. He was the fastst, youngest Frenchman to make the trip too, so fair play! Featuring an automatic STP movement this 40mm watch has a 3mm thick sapphire crystal and is actually made in France. So many Indie watch brands are designed in Europe but assembled in Singapore, China or Hong Kong, so this makes a refreshing change we think.

For 595 euros on pre-order, you get a very tough watch for the money; 316 grade stainless steel case, screwdown crown naturally, with plenty of Superlume on the dial and traditional dive watch hour markers and unidirectional bezel. All round, everyday durability and no problems over swimming or diving on holiday with 300 metres to play with.

The only variation we would love to see is a Red/White/Bleu dial edition, just to celebrate that Made In France feeling. It’s great to see watch manufacturing come back to countries like France, UK, Netherlands, Poland and other European nations. As much as any enthusiast admires the Swiss brands, it should always be possible to add a watch from your home country to the display box.

Delivery is expected in May, pre-order here. 

Ltd Edition Nomos Automatics Offer Understated Elegance

There is something to be said for the classic, minimalist timekeeper. A watch that just has bold hands and markers, maybe a sub-second dial, and does the job. No fancy bezels, no chrono pushers. Just a 1960s gents watch, utilitarian and elegant at the same time. Versatile even. At the same time, enthusiasts want a watch that can last a lifetime, made to high standards with accuracy as the foundation stone. Nomos Glashutte are on the case, here’s the word from their press office;

Distinctively fine watches have been produced in Glashütte for 175 years—an anniversary the watchmaking company NOMOS Glashütte celebrated with the release of two special limited-edition models.

And now the third is here: Club by NOMOS Glashütte comes in three new colorways, each limited to 175 pieces. The three names: Club automatic onyx, Club automatic navy, Club automatic olive. This popular model with domed sapphire crystal glass is available in beautiful shades of green, blue, and black (galvanized).

Club Navy Automatic

Within these timepieces, the NOMOS movement DUW 5001 is at work—the first self-winding caliber from the watchmaking company, introduced in 2005. The diameter measures 40 millimeters. All three watches are also easily legible at night. NOMOS Glashütte has crafted these long-lasting timepieces with the next generation of watch owners in mind. People, in other words, who will need a good watch on the wrist for decades to come.

First, there was Ludwig – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, which celebrated the town’s heritage as the center of German watchmaking. Then came Lambda – 175 Years Watchmaking Glashütte, which represented the very best of Glashütte handcraft. And now there is an entirely different watch: An automatic model with an in-house built caliber and the proprietary NOMOS swing system adjusted according to chronometer standards. Available for an entry-level price which many people will find attractive: “A group of customers that has always been of great importance to us,” says NOMOS CEO Uwe Ahrendt.

Each of these watches comes with its own beautiful accessory: The elegant and complementary strap—a light gray and blue-black textile strap for the olive green and navy models respectively, and the NOMOS Sport bracelet for the onyx version. These watches are available from March in select retailers and online in the NOMOS Store, starting from 1960 GBP.

Anonimo WRC Edition Is an Expensive Chronograph

Here’s one we missed from January, Anonimo’s WRC limited edition chronograph. We are motorsport fans here at NWC, so always keen to showcase stuff like this. Here’s the press info from Anonimo and apologies in advance for the annoying use of capitals – all brands are doing it now, kinda boring;

To mark the first rally of the 2020 season in Monte Carlo, ANONIMO, Official Timekeeper of the FIA World Rally Championship (WRC), presents a new version of its MILITARE chronograph bearing the newly unveiled championship colours.

Oliver Ciesla, managing director of WRC Promoter, said: ““The excitement in WRC revolves around battles fought against the clock for vital tenths of a second. We are delighted that ANONIMO has chosen to launch its new special edition, the MILITARE Chrono WRC, at the opening of the 2020 FIA World Rally Championship season in Monte-Carlo and that the WRC holds such a high-profile in the portfolio of such a prestigious Swiss watch brand as ANONIMO”.

On the new piece, orange replaces the green that has up to now been the WRC’s official signature colour. Subtle touches of the colour appear on the chronograph hand, the minute track on the flange, the 30-minute counter hand and indices, the chronograph start push-button and the strap stitching.

This MILITARE is easily recognisable thanks to its hand-brushed grey dial, its stainless steel case with PVD & DLC coating and its crown at 12 o’clock. The patented articulation system that protects the crown guarantees comfort and makes the piece water resistant. This Swiss Made watch is equipped with a Sellita SW 300 self-winding movement with an additional bi-compax DD2035M chronograph module developed exclusively for ANONIMO. In tribute to this partnership, the dial bears the WRC logo and the glass back is adorned with a special engraved design.

CW Sellors have it on sale in the UK at £4590.

Verdict; Expensive for a watch powered by a Sellita SW300 and the depreciation is likely to be much higher than say a Breitling, Rolex, Omega or IWC at this price level.

Ball Engineer III, Legend Dress Watch: Specs, Price & Dial Options

Ball have another twist on their Engineer III model, and this one is a slimline dress watch that you can wear every day. On a special pre-order pricing deal at just £1420 – though you need to add on UK import duty/VAT of course.. Here’s the word from Ball;

The Engineer III Legend II is built for conquering adversity with bright, multi-coloured micro gas tube luminosity and extreme resistance technology. The 40mm chronometer is a slim 11.5mm in height – providing ultimate versatility and strength in the most challenging conditions. Its robust engineering and expert craftsmanship are perfectly suited for your pursuit of greatness. Limited to 1,000 pieces each. Pre-order now at a limited-time price until 7 April 2021.

TWO LUME OPTIONS

Completely self-powered, the tubes are available in either a multi-colored lightshow or solid motif. But no matter the choice, the incomparable luminosity shines automatically from the first sign of darkness to the last, ensuring easy time-reading in all low-light conditions. Unlike any other form of luminescence used in watchmaking, the tritium tubes adorn each hour marker and all three hands. In total, 19 tritium tubes adorn the dial and hands with double tubes used at the 3, 6, 9 and 12 hour markers.

Measuring 40mm in diameter and only 11.5mm in height, the Engineer III Legend II delivers versatility and comfort for every occasion. The remarkably thin size fits exceptionally well under various gear as well as dress attire, while the stainless steel material excels in harsh environments. Under the anti-reflective sapphire crystal, the solid dial is available in black or blue in unapologetically utilitarian design. Only a practical date window has been added at 3 o’clock, magnified by a cyclops lens for easier reading.

Black or blue dials, cyclops date window, 40mm case size. Classic looks.

The Engineer III Legend II runs on the automatic BALL RR1101-C movement – based on the renowned ETA 2892-A2 caliber – and features high-quality components, superior engineering and exceptional finishing. Its precision has been tested and certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC) over the course of 15 days in different positions and temperatures. To achieve chronometer certification is no easy feat. The average daily rate on the first 10 days of testing must be from -4 sec to +6 sec., or up to 10 seconds per day – an extraordinary requirement achieved by the Engineer III Legend II.

 

Kickstarter Watches: Ten Eleven Nine Is Minimalist Perfection

There are a ton of watch projects on Kickstarter, but some just stand out and this no-nonsense, old school automatic watch is one of them. It’s made in Germany, has a decent depth rating if you want to go underwater on holiday, and a classic dial that simply tells the time. No messing, no sub-dials. Not even a date window.

There’s a Sellita SW200 movement inside the 38mm case, sapphire crystal and some handy lume on the markers and hands. Three different steel strap options.

Here’s a little bit of the philosophy behind the project from its creator;

“The aim was to create a timeless, very robust case, a quintesence of the very balanced watch cases I really liked from the heyday of mechanical Swiss watchmaking in the 50s and 60s. A case, on the one hand is elegant and self-contained, but on the other hand also exudes a certain robustness and serenity. Water resistance of 200m / 660ft was also very important to me, because I wanted to design a watch that can master all activities and that you don’t even have to take off for diving (important, always screw on the screwed crown….:-)). And if you asked yourself why “TRUTH BEAUTY LOVE” on the caseback? That’s what we  stand for, “TRUTH, BEAUTY, LOVE“. I will explain further down. But if you like it more clean and minimal – easy – it’s only an option.”

HOW CAN YOU CALCULATE IMPORT DUTY ON EU WATCHES NOW?

Good question.

The Ten Eleven Nine watch is priced at 923 euros, with no VAT levied on UK sales of course, but you will get stung by HMRC on import taxes however. How much? Nobody seems to know. There is no information on products over £630 on the UK gov website, no handy calculator to let buyers work it out. Worse still, once you pay the duty, there’s VAT on the total cost, including postage and the import duty, so it’s impossible to know in advance what a watch from Switzerland, or the EU will actually cost. Your parcel courier company or Royal Mail will just email a bill and you either accept it, pay up, or reject the parcel. Crazy.

Verdict; It’s a handsome, clean design that will attract anyone who likes 50s/60s dress watches like the Omega De Ville/ Geneve, or the Seiko Sportsmatic. It’s an added bonus that it has 200m dive resistance as well. The potential retail price in the UK with all import duties and VAT on top could be about £1250-£1350 and at that level there are some tempting alternatives on Kickstarter, and from brands like Yema, Baltic, Tissot or Hamilton, although the Jazzmaster Thin only has a depth rating of 100m.

Seals Launch Sea Storm Skin Diver – $300 Pre-Order Deals

Seals have a new model on pre-order. The Sea Storm is a sports/casual dive watch with 150m depth rating, optional date window and six different dial colur choices. It’s due to be delivered in April and the pre-order cost is $300. There is a $15 US-UK shipping charge too, plus any taxes that Customs levy too of course.

Here’s some spec details from US brand Seals;

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Case Diameter 38.00mm
  • Case Height 11.10 Without Crystal
  • Sapphire Crystal Boxed With Anti-reflective Coating On The Inside
  • Lug To Lug Length Is 47mm
  • Lug Width Is 20mm
  • Rotating Bezel 120 Clicks, Unidirectional
  • Water Resistance 150 Meters
  • Screw-down Crown, Signed and 7.00mm Diameter
  • Case Material 316L Stainless Steel
  • Hands are Rhodium plated with C3 SuperLumiNova
  • Bezel Markings employ the typeface Decimal by Hoefler & Co
  • Date Complication

MIYOTA 9015 MOVEMENT SPECIFICATIONS

  • Power Reserve 42 Hours
  • Vibrations 28800 Per Hour
  • Jewels 24
  • Functions Include Stop / Hacking Seconds, Quick Date Set
  • Winding Automatic or Manual
  • Stock Accuracy -10~+30 sec per day

FINISHING NOTES

The case finish of the “Sea Storm” will be comparable to its classical inspirations but more modern, consistent with our brand’s DNA. The case sides will have a vertical satin-brushed finish. Between the lugs to be sandblasted as to protect from spring bar scuffing. The top-down facing case surface will be circular satin-brushed and have a slightly polished bevel outside the lug edges that tapers toward the case centre.

Verdict: Great spec for the money and although it isn’t a serious dive watch this has all the right elements fro a durable life on holiday doing some snorkelling, plus daily wear just for it’s indie style. the Sea Storm is also a great name for a watch – just saying!

 

Maison Heron Sturgeon Dive Model Is a Kickstarter Bargain

You want a dive watch that can handle 500m? Check.

Then you want something that matches Rolex in the ceramic bezel department? Check again.

Finally, you would like a Swiss made Ronda automatic movement plus a helium escape valve.

Well the Maison Heron Sturgeon ticks all those essential dive watch boxes and it also looks the business. Superlume abounds, the 44mm 316 steel case gives this a tool watch functionality in the water, plus a solid presence on the wrist on dry land too. It has classic lines, kinda similar to a Submariner, and that’s no bad thing because a classic elegant dial and bezel design just works. It does what it says on the tin.

The Kickstarter journey began last year fior the Sturgeon and although the name conjures up images of a rather chippy little politician who enjoys controlling the lives of others, it is nevertheless a fantastic watch for the money. The Mainson Heron brand is based in Canada, although the watches are actually manufactured in Switzerland, so the CA$950 price for early bird buyers translates to just £545 or so. Wow, a 500m dive watch with a helium valve for one third of the cost of an Oris Aquis, that’s quite a deal.

Dial options on the Sturgeon are green, black or deep blue.

Find out more at Maison Heron’s Sturgeon watch Kick pages, and no, we aren’t on commission!

Manufacturing: XRby & Ansys Offer Cutting Edge Crystal Creation

Technology is changing watchmaking, and in many ways it is making the entire process more democratic, more inclusive, since almost anyone can set up a watch brand, use computer software to design models, 3D printing on prototype parts and source low volume manufacturing and packaging from Switzerland to Singapore. Here’s a press release that we missed a month back, but it shows how new tech is helping watch brands create anti-glare crystals…without even making a prototype sapphire crystal. Clever stuff.

XRby is leveraging Ansys’  cutting-edge optical design simulation software to innovate métiers d’art limited edition luxury wristwatches that are engineered with tremendous speed and affordability. Using Ansys software, XRby is radically simplifying the development and enhancing the aesthetics of the wristwatches by eliminating physical prototype testing.

Jura Mountains watchmaker XRby is producing a limited edition of high-end métiers d’art mechanical wristwatches, which will incorporate costly materials such as organic fibers and precious stones. Historically, these customized watches would require at least one physical prototype to attract customers. Facing extremely high production costs and stringent sustainability goals, XRby pivoted to produce virtual protypes using Ansys® SPEOS, through the Ansys Startup Program. Adopting this Industry 4.0 vision equipped engineers with a numerical optical simulation approach, helping them innovate watch concepts, analyze light reflection and rapidly test numerous aesthetic options to achieve their optimum design.

Using Ansys SPEOS, XRby selected sapphire thickness and edge angles to improve watch aesthetics, tested several watch assemblies and evaluated more than 100 materials and elements. Additionally, SPEOS generated physics-based, true-to-life images of digital prototypes throughout the development process. This empowered XRby to not only understand how watch designs would appear in real-world lighting and usage conditions, but also make design choices more quickly — substantially reducing development time and cost.

“Adopting an Industry 4.0 approach and using SPEOS helped our engineers design a beautiful canvas less than two inches wide, conserve natural resources and introduce a new luxury brand to targeted elite clientele in a purely virtual manner,” said Xavier Rousset, founder at XRby. “With SPEOS, our engineers selected the optimal materials, shapes and decorations for the watch’s designs in mere hours, compared to traditional simulations, which may require days to deliver the same results.”

XRby utilizes SPEOS texture mapping early in the development cycle to forecast how watch materials will behave in different lighting conditions.

“SPEOS helps XRby perform accurate texture mapping to create next-generation optical simulations that demonstrate how their material choices will behave across numerous environments,” said Yvain Ballini, CEO at CADFEM France, XRby’s dedicated Ansys channel partner. “This helps them perfect the physical appearance of their extremely unique watch under practically any possible lighting scenario.”

Prospective customers are able to view SPEOS’ high-definition simulations of the watch design and place orders on XRby’s website.

“Using SPEOS through the Ansys Startup Program equips XRby with a state-of-the-art, Industry 4.0 method for simulating photons’ path across physical matter and creating an image just as it would be perceived by the human eye,” said Shane Emswiler, senior vice president at Ansys. “This helps slash development time, drives enhanced decision-making during the design phase and delivers unique product customizations for a highly discerning market.”