Tag Archives: twin

Reviewed: Ailang Twin Tourbillion, Rose Gold Edition

We love to review watches here at NWC magazine, so let’s take a look at this twin-tourbillon Ailang, which we bought on Ali Express recently.

At around £67 (inc postage) this is a typical budget watch, although there are a few extras included in the deal. For example, you get a proper box complete with outer sleeve, VIP warranty card, handbook – English as well as Mandarin – swing tag and protective covers on the crystal, caseback and clasp.

There is also a spare conventional leather strap, plus a wristband, kinda Harry Styles leather thing, with what looks a bit like an Iron Cross in the centre. Useful if you’re in the Vaccine Enforcement Stormtrooper Squad in Vienna I guess.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

This watch measures 41mm across – excluding crown – and some 13mm high. It does feel chunky on my slim wrists, but not too wide, in fact 40-42mm across suits me fine. You won’t fit this watch under a fitted evening or office shirt, but maybe that’s a good thing, as it is a conversation piece.

The watch was packed nicely with protective tape and padded box, bubble wrap etc for shipping.

The dial has a classic  tourbillon face with those twin barrrels standing out, then a small time telling dial above, almost like an old fashioned mantel clock; black chapter ring, silver Roman markers. The tourbillion wheels are held in place by two steel triangles, which are exact replicas of the rotor on the movement, but segmented – like a slice of rotor pie.

CAGE NOT FITTED CORRECTLY

The sad thing is this watch is not quite right. If you look closely the tourbillon cage on the right isn’t in situ. Hard to believe it slipped out of alignment during transit but it’s possible.

More likely it’s poor quality control at the factory.

The tourbillion cages hide most of the balance wheel spinning action, with the second wheel kicking in as I shook the watch after winding the crown to get wheel number one started.

Quite impressed it ran OK given the manufacturing fault. But so far it’s still ticking and telling the right time. However it will be returned for a refund.

It is visually very striking, hypnotic and apart from an uber-thin second hand, which looks quite fragile, the dial is impressive.

An AR coated sapphire crystal sits slightly proud of the bezel, which is rose gold tone, just like the case and crown.

Skeleton rotor is a nice touch.

TESTING

I wound this one for about ten turns, then shook it for ten seconds. After a day wearing it doing office stuff and one short walk to the shops it ran until 5.23am the following morning. Not bad. Most automatics I test from China tend to conk out in the early hours and I also own a vintage Lanco and Accurist which do the same thing.

By the way the one vintage watch I own which DOES continue to run through the night is a 20 year old Seiko 6309 basic gents automatic, which will run on the bedside cabinet for about 12-15 hours after being worn the day before.

One thing that does stand out is that changing the strap will not be easy. There’s no quick release slider on the pins and the strap is fitted very flush to the lugs, which means there is a risk of damaging the rose gold finish when you prise in a pin removal tool, to free the pin from the lugs.

On the upside the foldover steel clasp is well made and fastens with a reassuring, solid click, on both sides. The push button release works smoothly too. Many Chinese watches have less than perfect machining on clasps and retaining bands, but this leather deployment feels just as good as Rotary or Tissot in my experience.

VERDICT

This model comes with a silver tone case as well, plus blue, white or black dial options.

You know just 5 years ago I told people in the shop that I couldn’t try to repair Chinese watches as they were so hit & miss as regards build quality. Sad to say this is still the case, as the damaged tourbillon shows.

Very disappointed with this watch.

More here at the YJwatch store.

 

 

Baltic Twin Crown is a Win-Win

Baltic’s Aquascaphe twin crown is on pre-order right now and it’s a wel equipped tool watch that’s built to dive. With a serious 200m depth rating, sapphire crystal, 316 steel compressor case and dive time crown at the 2pm position, this model will do the job. The top crown moves the internal bezel, so you can set the minutes underwater accurately.

The second crown at 4 o’clock is used to wind the automatic movement and to set the time. The first 300 pieces are numbered on the caseback This watch is also slim, at just under 12mm in height from crystal to caseback. That might suit many watch fans who find the big chunky cases on say a Zelos, or some bronze indie watches just too much on dry land. 

You can also buy it with a black dial and black bezel, plus there’s a PVD coated case option.

The pre-order price is £660, which is reasonable for something this well finished and manufactured in Europe, rather than China or Singapore. There will be import duties and perhaps some BS delivery company admin fees on top don’t forget.

Rivals include much of the Zelos range, plus dive brands like Enosken (1000m depth) or Marloe, who are based in the UK.  There’s a great deal of choice when it comes to dive watches under £1000 these days, although twin crown models are not as common as single crown watches in general.

More at Baltic’s website here. 

 

 

Armin Strom Pure Resonance, Art For Art’s Sake

The latest from Armin Strom who have launched the Pure Resonance Sky Blue recently. Yep, they are only making three examples. Pretty rare.

Clear Design
In general, Armin Strom carefully maintains a pared-down approach that keeps the brand’s style of watchmaking focused on its essence. How concentrated that style may be, this special-edition head further in that direction, squarely placing emphasis on the watch’s most remarkable feature: the visible dual balances oscillating in resonance. The special blue dial and the matt hand decorated finish are highlighting the swiss German style of this timepiece.

The dial offers a “Kari Voutilainen hand Guilloché” subdial for time displays: Roman numerals dominate the off-center subdial displaying hours and minutes in white with steel hands, while a classic railroad track marks the exact minutes. The smaller subdial at 7 o’clock displays seconds using only a baton-shaped hand and a simple track. The Sky blue colored hand made Guilloché dial from Kari Voutilainen has a special lack finishing (Email à froid) in order to reinforce the unique look of the dial. The Bridges are decorated with succinct, eye-catching côtes de Genève, applied for the first time in straight lines. It’s absolutely spectacular movement finishing is often overlooked as the hypnotic pulsation of its clutch spring and the synchronized motion of its two balance wheels provide a mesmerizing distraction that invariably captures most of the attention.

Technology in Service to Chronometry
The reason for this watch’s improved chronometry can be found in the straightforward approach to the movement: the fewer functions a timepiece must perform, the better it can concentrate on accuracy. In other words, with no superfluous functions this watch can focus fully on providing the time in marine chronometer precision. The time displays receive their portioned energy from the lower regulator, while the upper regulator remains in place to create resonance.

My primary objective was to improve chronometric precision via the consistent maintenance of a resonance state. But that consistency was also a prerequisite to sustain a kinetic spectacle on the dial side of our watch. With a great deal of time and effort, our technical and aesthetic ambitions were both ultimately achieved.” – Claude Greisler, Co-Founder and Master Watchmaker

Classic Size
The outward design of the Pure Resonance perfectly reflects the purity of Caliber ARF16. It is housed in a slim 42 mm white gold case with reduced lugs and crown and practically no bezel, though the characteristic lip at 6 o’clock remains – an homage to the ability of Armin Strom to customize any of its watches as well as to founder Armin Strom, who offered this space to clients for personal engraving (and it can still be used for that).

This special edition of the Pure Resonance looks and acts just like a “normal” three-handed watch. And this remains in line with the philosophy of Armin Strom as a brand: just good, proprietary mechanics presented in an impeccably finished and interesting way. The Pure Resonance Sky Blue is limited to 3 pieces.

New Omega Constellation Manhattan Range Capture the MadMen Vibe

Latest from Omega, who have a new range of Constellation models. The new models have the office style, dress watch looks that hold a timeless appeal. Not too flashy, touch of gold-plated bling, and that amazing twin barrel movement inside. Love the jewel work by the way, great to see larger jewels and that fan-cut automatic rotor adds a jet age touch. 
In the world of watchmaking, OMEGA’s Constellation has long been a symbol of exquisite precision and timeless style. Now, the next generation of models for men is proudly being launched.
omega constellation movement

The new 41 mm watches reflect a particularly bold and sophisticated spirit, while they also beautifully capture the Constellation’s most famous design traits – such as the iconic claws, and the half-moon facets at either end of the case.

Furthermore, OMEGA has integrated some of its finest and most advanced watchmaking materials into the designs. This includes models in stainless steel, 18K gold, or a combination of both. Additionally, almost all the bezels have been crafted in polished ceramic – replicating the look of the original Constellation Manhattan of 1982, which used shiny sapphire glass.

omega constellation blue dial

Only one model in the new collection features its own stainless steel bezel, which is enhanced by blackened Roman numerals. For the other models with ceramic bezels, the Roman numerals have been produced in either OMEGA Ceragold™ or Liquidmetal™.

See the promo video here;

Bevelling along the edges of the case and claws has provided the collection with a more slender look compared to models of the past, and even the crown has been subtly reshaped for added style. Adding to this effect, the hands have been given a slimline update, and the new indexes take their inspiration from the Manhattan skyline, most notably the triangular facets of the Freedom Tower.

Most of the new 2020 models will be presented on leather straps with an anti-bacterial rubber lining. A decorative metallic link connects each side of the strap to the case, creating a unique look of its own. Those who prefer an overall metallic look can match their new model with any bracelet in the Constellation 39mm collection, or its full leather strap.

Finally, the caseback features sapphire crystal that offers a view of the OMEGA Master Co-Axial Calibre 8900 / 8901 inside. All watches have been Master Chronometer certified by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS) at the industry’s highest standards of precision, performance and magnetic resistance.