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IWC Watch Brand

IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition DFB Review

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The countdown to the Beginning of EURO 2012, the UEFA European Football Championship, in Poland and Ukraine has begun.

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As a part of its arrangement with the German Football Association (DFB), Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen is launching a special edition — for the next time. This signifies a hat-trick for the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition DFB from the run-up to EURO 2012, where it will be the”OFFICIAL WATCH OF THE GERMAN NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM”. By the way,”special” edition also signifies restricted: only 250 will be made.
“German football has forged ahead recently,” says Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen. “The team are not just fresh, dynamic and smart in their own tactics. They love the beautiful game. It is a source of complete pride to me that the German Football Association (DFB) and IWC watch Schaffhausen have renewed their partnership.” While the DFB team were working flat out on preparations for the last tournament in Poland and Ukraine, the Schaffhausen watch manufacturer has just unveiled the third edition of the”OFFICIAL WATCH OF THE GERMAN NATIONAL FOOTBALL TEAM”. The restricted Big Pilot’s Watch Edition DFB will accompany Germany’s finest footballers in their endeavor to lift the EURO 2012 decoration. This was followed by the Large Ingenieur Chronograph Edition DFB, which was selected for the World Cup in South Africa. And today, with all the Big Pilot’s Watch Edition DFB, IWC Schaffhausen remains yet another very masculine timepiece. read more

Watch Types Wrist Watch

4 stylish Japanese watch brands will make you rethink quality

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From cameras to cars, the West has often looked to the Land of the Rising Sun for the Innovation.

And Japan’s colossal watchmaking sector is no exception. But even the Japanese whisky industry is currently trumping the Scots at their own game.
While Swiss watchmaking has built its name on heritage, abilities honed over generations and jaw-dropping aesthetics above all else, Japanese watch brands concentrate on life-enhancing technology and operate more than lavish layout. read more

Richard Mille

New Released:Richard Mille Automatic Extra Flat Watch

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New Released:Richard Mille Automatic Extra Flat Watch

It requires a perfect storm cutting-edge design, perfectly functional, and providential time to create classic watches. In just opposite Richard Miller RM 010 automatic has – been accepted as a modern icon – instant identity, by the shape of avant-garde materials and employment. When you can identify the brands from two peace, you know you’ve succeeded. However, once you have achieved, how would you do next?

Some might argue that aesthetic consistency could breed apathy amongst consumers, but the longevity and success of manufacturers like Richard Mille proves that the marketplace has an appetite for established case shapes that never do more than tinker with a tried-and-tested formula. But every so often, the tinkering goes a little further than usual. Richard Mille has added complications before; he’s leant on brash colour schemes, bold decoration, and glittering ambassadorial partnerships. This time, however, Richard Mille has done something different with his new model. The release of the Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch sees a total remodeling of the case dimensions, while still retaining the classic silhouette and material harmony we’re used to seeing from the eccentric Frenchman.

If you pay even passing attention to the luxury watch industry, you’ll know how susceptible to trends it is. Manufacturers go through phases, each trying to outdo the other with a newer, bigger, smaller, faster, slower, shinier, duller, more complicated, or simpler watch depending on the flavour of the week. Twenty years ago, the world was obsessed with thinness and brands competed for years, trying to create the slimmest calibre possible.

But that got old fast. Improved manufacturing techniques, a snowballing resource of Swiss “know-how,” and massive leaps in material sciences made ever more attractive and intricate complications possible. In terms of performance potential, the roof was blown off overnight. And so, as the collective imagination of the watch industry ran away with itself, watches got bigger, brasher, and increasingly bizarre. It was only a matter of time before we took what the last twenty years have taught us and tried and shrink it down to a more manageable size. This pursuit has two desirable outcomes: Firstly, it will make the size of modern, complicated watches more flexible, meaning their appeal will widen; and secondly, it will enable even more complications to be jammed into the space made by the reduction in size of the movement. That’s progress.

And that’s why the watchmakers at Richard Mille have been working so hard to bring you the Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch. The appearance is similar to the old automatic. For that reason, it’s easy on the eye – it’s a silhouette with which we are already comfortable. To achieve a satisfying depth to what could have been a very two dimensional project, Richard Mille paid particular attention to the heavy skeletonisation of the movement. It was important when attempting to redesign such a classic case shape to not simply steam-roll the original.

Reducing its actual height without obliterating its visual presence was a challenge tackled head-on by the in-house design team. By suspending the hour markers, which are cut from solid metal and filled edge-to-edge with Luminova® on a floating frame, they have increased the depth that would have been afforded by a solid dial. Beneath the hour marker frame, myriad surface finishes provide a level of intriguing contrasts. Bare metal components sit side-by-side with DLC-treated pieces. Attention has been paid to every detail – even the screw heads have a variety of patterns and finishes to further compound the variety.

The Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch is far more than an aesthetic achievement, though. There are many watchmaking achievements packed into this modest case. The automatic CRMA6 calibre is just 3.6mm thick, designed especially for this watch by experts in Les Breuleux. The mainplate and bridges are crafted from grade 5 titanium and the rotor weight is made of platinum. From the back, the open barrel, going train, and winding mechanism bridges are all visible. Amazingly, the going train wheels feature involute teeth profiles as opposed to the standard cycloidal teeth normally used in watchmaking. This kind of gearing is more common in cars and usually eschewed in watchmaking because of immense stress placed on parts this size. That Richard Mille have been able to employ this tooth profile is a testament to the engineering quality and the pure strength of the parts. Such profiles facilitate a more efficient transfer of energy through the train, which theoretically results in superior chronometric results.

An indicator located between 1 and 2 o’clock shows which position the crown is in, with three letters, “W” for winding, “D” for date, and “H” for hand-setting, stacked atop one another. Richard Mille does advise hand-winding the watch when its power has run down, despite it being an automatic watch. It isn’t explicitly stated as to why, but I’d guess it might have something to do with the extra energy needed to get that involute going train running smoothly. The teeth may well provide a smoother and more consistent power transfer, but this could be due to the tight tolerances required for their engagement. This could take a little more power to kick start due to the reduction of play in the teeth.

The Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch has a power reserve of 50 hours (+/-10%), features a semi-vertical date display at five o’clock (placed within a luminous frame), a free-sprung balance with variable inertia, 25 jewels, and an operating frequency of 28,800vph. The case, made of titanium, is 38.7mm across, 47.52mm from lug to lug, and a gob-smacking 7.75mm thick. My favourite thing about this watch, despite its overall impressiveness, is the hour hand. Generally, I err on the conservative side when it comes to hand design, but this aggressive little number colours me converted. Price for the Richard Mille RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat watch will be available in January 2016.

Apple Watch

Apple watch sales soar as Swiss watch sales decline

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Apple watch sales soar as Swiss watch sales decline

While Apple and the ever encroaching slew of other smartwatches are generally regarded with disdain among mechanical watch purists, Apple are set to sell about 4 million of them for the September quarter. It is estimated that the Apple watch could generate $2 billion in revenue for what is already the world’s richest company, and it is claimed that while Swiss watch sales steadily decline, Apple watch sales are starting to soar. All of which could mark a major victory for the company that put an ‘i’ in front of phones, pads, and now watches. For it means Apple has successfully entered the hugely competitive watch hardware sector and already made a significant impact.

In fact the way Apple see it, within the span of a single quarter, it has established not merely a new product, but a new industry, with unit sales more than half of total Swiss watch production for the quarter. In the process, Swiss watch exports declined by 7%, with an even greater percentage of decline, around 9.9%, in the critical price range of an Apple Watch. Could this mean Apple is no longer merely a competitor for single companies, but for the entire watch industry?

Maybe, but Apple cannot entirely take the credit for the decline in Swiss watch sales. Several other important market factors have affected sales including reduced consumption in China due to the anti-gifting campaign, whereby expensive Swiss watches were proffered to company executives as inducements, and also the fact that the Swiss franc is no longer pegged to the euro.

Nonetheless, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry, most of the decline was in the price category of 200-500 Swiss Francs ($210-524), which is the same price category as the Apple Watch. It represents the greatest loss in sales for the Swiss watch industry since 2009. And for this reason, some believe that for the first time, the Apple watch has taken a bite out of the Swiss watch market.

Jon Cox, an analyst at Kepler Cheuvreux is quoted as saying: “Over two-thirds of the value of Swiss watch exports comes from watches retailing on average at USD17,000 each – if you can afford one of those babies you can afford an Apple Watch.”

While Apple continue to get excited,  it’s unlikely we will ever see a smart watch crisis in the same way there was a quartz crisis in the 70’s and 80’s. While some major American watch manufacturers such as Fossil has announced an Android smartwatch, and Swiss watchmakers TAG Heuer have one coming out in time for Christmas, it’s important to remember that smart watch technology is always going to be a radically different proposition to an intricately constructed hand polished, beveled, burnished, briolette, guilloche, mechanical watch. Mechanical watches have in-built longevity and sentimental value that spans generations, whereas smartwatches, like computers and cellphones, will be obsolete every couple of years.

But this time around, the Swiss watch industry is determined not to be caught out. By way of acknowledgement of the rise of the smartwatch era, last year Blancpain, which has always remained steadfastly mechanical and traditional, introduced the Montblanc Timewalker Urban Speed e-Strap, with smart technology built not into the watch, but into the strap. Mondaine, Frederique Constant and Alpina also have smartwatch offerings.