Tag Archives: moonphase

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.

Ball Engineer Moonphase: Luxury Dress Watch

Ball has something different on the blocks; a moon phase dress watch. Rather than another variant on the dive/tool watch theme, this one has a classic style dial, plenty of gas tube lume, plus a day/month feature near the top of the dial that gives it that old school Swiss watch look.

It is still quite tall at over 13mm, so you won’t get that slimline feel and it has recessed pushers for the complications, bit like an early 80s digital watch, so you might find that a bit fiddly to operate.

At over £1800, it’s an expensive deal, even on pre-order. Limited to 1000 pieces but we can’t see this becoming a collectors item in the future.

Lovely see-thru caseback by the way, beautifully decorated movement.

Verdict; a Frederique Constant Moonphase Slimline does much the same basic moonphase job for £695, although it lacks the day/month features. An Oris Artelier Complication has an elegant appearance, does the month, day, date stuff and retails at £1240 – has that Swiss made kudos too.

Or you could buy a beautiful 1950s Hermes triple date from Japan that we spotted on eBay for under 800 quid – import tax on top. Yes, it’s an old vintage watch, but arguably will hold its value better than a new Ball. Just saying.

LIV Saturn Tribute Watch Is Cool as Space X

You have to hand it to LIV watches. They have launched another Kickstarter project and just about closed on the early bird offers within days, as well as passing the project funding target within hours. As popular as Tesla ? Maybe. As inspired as Space X? Definitely hit the spot with this tribute to the mighty Saturn V rocket of old, when astronauts were made from the The Right Stuff and they wore Omega Speedmasters.

The Moonphase Saturn has a quartz movement inside, but it is an ETA one, so you are getting a bit of Swiss quality for your money. Dial colours include a wonderful deep blue and a flame orange. Cases can be brushed steel, rose gold, bronze coloured or black. They are very punchy bold designs, with plenty of lume on the dials, plus that moonphase feature. It’s a physically big watch at 44mm case diameter, with a large winding crown too. The crown has an orange lined effect on it, so it pays tribute to the exhaust shields on the original Saturn V rocket. There are a few early bird models available at just under $400.

I’ve stood next to that rocket at the Space Centre musuem and it’s an incredible feeling seeing the char-grilled metal, in all its blackened glory.

The Saturn V automatic is called Moondust and has a Sellita SW200 workhorse Swiss auto engine in there, plus a sprinkling of moon dust on the dial. Colours include fume grey, green, brown and blue, with a variety of case colours as well. It features a see-thru caseback to show off the movement and the auto rotor has limited edition engraved on it. Both models are limited to 1969 pieces by the way. Yeah the moon landing year, LIV have really thought about this watch. price on the early bird is $470, about $300 less than the full retail – decent saving.

It has a 100m depth rating by the way, so you should be OK swimming whilst wearing this one. The winding crown has a gasket and it’s a screwdown crown naturally.

Flat rate $15 international shipping and a five year – yes FIVE – guarantee show that LIV are serious about offering good watches at fair prices.

I’m going out on a limb here but if a lesser Swiss brand like Hamilton or TAG started making entry level watches like this people would be falling over themselves in the watch press to say how bold, how innovative their designs were. Fact is, they should be, but instead they target older, middle aged buyers and collectors. That’s great, but you need younger consumers buying into the watch habit too, otherwise they will never buy Swiss because they see it as something their dad – or grandfather – might wear.

Hats off to LIV. Geat work.

Show Me The Patrimony! Vacheron Constantin Are Happy to Oblige

You want Kardashian level luxury and have about 65K burning a hole in your tax haven bank account right now? Yeah me too, Hellish isn’t it? OK then Vacheron Constantin have your prestige wristwatch needs covered. Here’s the news on the Patrimony Moon Phase, limited edition model, just launched;

The Patrimony moon phase retrograde date model is joining the Collection Excellence Platine concept. Launched in 2006, it offers collectors exceptional watches in 950 platinum limited editions. Case, crown, dial, buckle are crafted from this metal, plus the alligator leather strap is hand-stitched with platinum and silk threads.

Entirely faithful to the spirit of the Patrimony collection, drawing inspiration from the watches created by the Maison in the 1950s, this timepiece bears has a minimalist aesthetic, with a 42.5 mm round case housing the self-winding Manufacture 2460 R31L calibre.

Limited edition

The moon-phase disc, which can be admired through an aperture at 6 o’clock, is also in platinum with a polished surface on the stars and a grained texture for the moon circles imitating the visible irregularities of the lunar surface. The dial is slightly convex around its circumference and punctuated by applied 18-carat white gold hour-markers, appearing at intervals around a likewise white gold “pearl” minute-track. The baton-type hands are made of the same metal, blued for the date pointer for enhanced readability.
Vacheron Constantin patrimony 2

Precision moon phase and retrograde date

The self-winding 2460 R31L calibre movement features a 40-hour power reserve. The transparent sapphire caseback provides a chance to admire this 275-part intricate movement, including the circular-grained surface of its mainplate and its openworks 22-carat gold oscillating weight, inspired by Vacheron Constantin’s Maltese cross emblem.

The moon phases are displayed through an aperture at 6 o’clock, graduated from 0 to 29½, serving to count off the number of days elapsed since the last new moon. This horological complication, known as the age of the moon, corresponds to the actual cycle of this heavenly body, which rotates around the Earth in exactly 29 days, 12 hours and 45 minutes. The precision moon phases mechanism requires a one-day correction only once every 122 years.

The second complication – a retrograde date indication by means of the central hand – occupies the upper part of the dial. To ensure user friendliness, all operations are performed via the crown: winding, date correction, moon-phase adjustment and time-setting.

It is an unusual dial design, with the calendar dates stacked in an arc at the top of the dial. The platinum case and light grey dial colour isn’t everyone’s cup of tea either. For something so fabulously expensive, (about US$67,000) and produced as a limited edition of just 50 pieces, it is perhaps a tad too laid back to make a bold statement. But then your humble scribe isn’t in the Premiership watch buyer class and many wealthy people now avoid flashy Rolex, Patek, Mille, Audemars, Hublot, Cartier and other brands as they attract professional and amateur thieves and vagabonds alike.

Good point.