CONCEPT "Thematic"

I must say that I find myself very lucky to be able to have seen and Photographed one of these in the flesh. This particular "Thematic" is the number 12 out of 16. The engraving on the back is based on the HMS Royal Oak vessel from the British Navy. Yes, the very same one that the RoyalOak was inspired upon. Even if the whole Concept Thematic is a series of 16 all are branded "Piece Unique" since they have been had decorated with different motives each time. The case is just like the predecessor, Alacrite 602. The bezel is in Titanium and curved with a concave glass. Thank god the original Kevlar strap is back!

The variation over the original Concept is the nano-fiber baseplate on these. The same as on the Richard Mille High-End models. If the Concept One was stunning, this one will blow your socks off! Surprising is the price, despite being a Piece Unique, it's the same as a "Carbon Concept Watch".

I sincerely hope that this case of the Concept One will continue be and not be replaced by the flat bezel on the "Carbon Concept Watch". What I really wish for 2009 is to NEVER see that cheap, tacky, unforgiving,tasteless, gaudy and ungraceful crocodile bracelet on the Carbon Concept, ever.

Audemars Piguet...


Last week AP opened its Madrid Boutique, the "Don Ramon de la Cruz". Larger than most other AP Boutiques and with a philosophy that will set precedents. Part of the new approach to the new Don Ramon Boutique is to invite AP fans as well watch lovers to come in and have a drink to enjoy the atmosphere amongst people that share the same passion. The first drink will make you not be able to buy a watch on that day. The unwritten rule on the first day is to introduce the boutique to a guest and not sell a watch to a customer. If you like something you have to come back the next day. Apart from being able to see the watchmakers at work there is a dinning area downstairs where VIPs and good customers will get dinners hosted by AP. The dinners will be prepared by Star Chefs for a maximum of eight people at a time. The first dinner (test) was prepared by Sergi Arola (two Michelin stars). Spectacular...

The displays will change once a week and will be themed with several and very watch unrelated materials. As you might see from the pictures the first week they had a "vegetable" theme and this week it was automotive. There are few watches on display for two reasons; the first, is to give more emphasis on the watch and the second is when you ask for something you will be able to see the whole collection. The selection is quite impressive, I do not know of many places where you will be able to see the Grande Complicacion in its RoyalOak and Jules Audemars version. I have no idea what the theme will be next week. It is very likely that you will not see the same displays twice ever.

An oddity is that the team headed by Ignacio Piera all speak English. Quite a rarity amongst my fellow Spaniards only several years ago. Furthermore, Ignacio (the director) has watchmaking skills and actually knows what he talks about. A rare bird in the trade...

The most peculiar (and my favorite) aspect of the Don Ramon Boutique is a small library that will accept, now hear this, books and catalogues from other brands! Now, to my knowledge there is NO boutique from any brand that will allow this. I guess they are the first to have the guts to do this. I would really love to see a book on Jaeger, Rolex or SINN inside an Omega store. Actually, I double-dare Patek to do this at their boutiques... I think that to be very difficult to say the least. Probably this might be the "anecdote" that best resumes the character of the boutique.

Audemars Piguet...

Richard Lange "Pour le Merite"

Wow. What a piece. Thankfully, after last year's Cabaret, Lange & Soehne have decided to redeem themselves. Even if it is limited and most are already allocated, whit this Richard lange they have done quite an impressive work of art. Striping the watch to the bare essential (Hours, minutes and seconds) and concentrate on what is really the achievement. The "fusée-and-chain transmission". The predecessor like the "Turbograph" did not play too much emphasis on the FCT complication once you had the watch in hand. Yes, you got a lot of schematics and pictures but little interaction with the complication since you could not see the chain. Now you can very well see the chain from behind. Observing it while winding is really something... The downside to this little work of art will undoubtedly be the price. Expect it to be close to the 100k mark in Euros and well over that in dollars.

Physically the Richard Lange "Pour le Merite" feels well proportioned. Personally I would have added one millimeter to the case and maybe the traditional German 12 in red, but you can't have it all. When holding this Richard Lange you do get a sense of quality and care that is very present when you hold, a Dufour, Voutilainen or Greubel Forsey. It is almost mystical to hold them. Even if the movement is not as spectacular as the Double-Split (still unparalleled in the industry) this Lange has more magic. An unequivocal sign that this one will hurt your valet big time! Either run far, far away or entrust your wife with the key to your cash safe (not sure if that is too smart either...).

At this point I must thank Lange for not doing yet another senseless Tourbillon. I sincerely hope that one of the casualties of the crisis is the Tourbillon in general. Honestly, 90% of the Tourbillon out there are garbage. If you don't believe me, see the prices you get for them in the second hand market. There are exceptions (RM and the Concepts by AP) but the general rule is that you will loose quiet a bundle if one day you decide to part with it. The dumbest complication to transit from the pocket watch to our wrists has been milked to the max in order to justify prices in the 200 Thousand range. The down side to this behavior is that the industry has complicated their own future. With that greedy strategy they have led people to understand that expensive watches MUST and only CAN be a Tourbillon. The result is that many other more elaborate, interesting and useful complications are a hard sale. Now, when you quote a price somewhere above 100 thousand you get the automatic; "Is it a TOURBILLON?" If the answer is no, then you are looked at as if you where retarded. Can't blame the industry for doing their marketing, yet doing it right is another mater. Every monkey out there knows that such thing as a Tourbillon exists. They know that it's expensive yet they have no clue as to what it does, why it does what it does, why it is so hard to make and why it has come to be in the first place.

A. Lange & Söhne...

Silent Arrival

In case there are any doubts... yes, this is the first picture of the RBIII on the net. As far as I Know there are no official pictures of this piece yet. So for now this "improvised" shot will have to do to quench your thirst for information.

Nothing has been filtered to the press and few people really knew this was coming. Many rumors but no pictures and even less certainty about price and delivery times. The Barrichello IIIs are hitting stores as we speak.The list in the EU is 48,000 €, I guess that in the US you will be close to the 60's mark.

Once I have better and oficial pictures I will post them as soon as I can.

Audemars Piguet...

Motorola "AURA"

Since we are close to Christmas this review might be a little off topic regarding watches but in season regarding the holidays. Just received the "Aura" as a present last week (I guess it pays being well connected...).

Let me start at the end of my review... Is it worth 2,000$ or 1,500€? Well, yes and no. On one side it is quite a piece of hardware but it will not make me drop my iPhone for it. The reason being that the iPhone as a tool and everyday companion is simply unrivaled. In a few words the iPhone is "Mobile Phone 2.0" while all the rest, including the Aura, are still 1.0 mobile phoning. While some have dramatically increased the level of hardware (Vertu, Mobiado, Meridiist, Gresso...) the software is the same ol' unhelpful crap that we have been blessed with for the last decade. Remove color, fancy sounds and you just have the same software they "all" made a decade ago. The problem is not so much related to a larger screens and more resolution but much more related to common sense. For now only Apple have managed to get close to what we as users really need.

Now back to the Aura. The first impression is that it's a very sexy piece of kit. Not as sturdy as a Vertu but with a screen that will, dare I say it?.. blow you nuts off. Literally. This thing has a resolution of 300 dpi (dots per inch)! In layman's terms, this resolution is what you get out of a printer. Right now, the resolution that you are using on your monitor (while wasting precious time reading my blog) is approximately 72 dpi. In some cases you will get a whooping 120 dpi. I have never seen this kind of resolution on a commercial screen before. Only commercial and military planes have better quality screens on their flight instruments. This makes anything on this phone look like butter. Seriously, contrast and light is so good that it looks like a fake. Like a prototype where the screen is printed on a transparency and lit with an LCD bulb. Eery feeling...

Now, after a week here are my impressions;

I like:
- The screen. So good it's scary.
- The size makes it a much more pleasant alternative to other "high-end" competitors.
- It is a very atractive phone. The graphics have been somewhat improved compared to previous products of the brand.
- You can update the Firmware yourself. Believe me, you will need to do that in the future...
- Reception is quite strong. Motorola do that quite well.
- The clocks as screensavers. Simply magnificent. Just close it and spend 30 seconds looking at it...
- It is not 3G. Completely useless feature in a "glam-phone". Puts a lot of unnecessary strain on battery life. EDGE and GPRS are more than sufficient for wap, sms, and mms.
- The screen. Again, it's so good it's scary.

I don't like:
- Menus are slow. Obviously. The screen has quite a large resolution at 16 million colors. It would take a very large amount of processing power to drive it properly.
- Icons are jumpy. Again, if you don't have enough CPU power just stop making moving icons! It's better to have them fixed instead of jumping around.
- Bluetooth is less than stable when syncing.
- Sound quality is a bit too crisp.
- Interferences can be heard through the speaker when speaking. A big NO NO at this stage of development. This "might" be resolved with an upcoming firmware update.
- Menus are still too clumsy. You need to touch too many buttons to go where you ultimately want to be.
- The center navigation button should have been a wheel. It is a bit too close to other buttons.
- The mini-USB connector. Complete bullshit! (I hate micro and mini USB ports!) Unless they become a standard everywhere they are but a nuisance.
- The battery life is barely 24 hours under moderate use... about 2 hours talk time. It will hold if you charge it every night though. If it had a regular USB port and not a mini-USB you could emergency charge almost anywhere. But no, they HAD to put that mini-USB connector...
- The supplied headset is not worth unwrapping.
- I suspect a black PVD version soon. Yes, they guys over at Motorola are soooo predictable sometimes...
- The battery indicator has only three segments. At least five would be adequate.
- The motorola icons are still on the "crapish" side. They urgently need a good designer to redo them.

I miss:
- More options to personalize themes further.
- The front light, around the logo, can't be modified to light in certain conditions etc...
- It would have been awesome to add a chime, repeater, sonerie, etc... function. Synthesize a the sound of a hammer and repeat away!
- A weather forecast.
- A charging stand. this would make you drop it there when you go to bed and take it back fully charged in the morning.

Like I said, the Aura will not make me drop my iPhone as a day-phone, yet it will make me get a second card and use this when I go out at night. The iPhone is a bit large, clumsy and less than sexy. Leaving it at home while going out for the evening and preventing you from checking your email, weather or the latest news will be very welcomed by your date and friends.

My Aura...

P.s. Does Motorola have one of the slowest loading sites on the net or is it just me?

Linde Werdelin "Black DLC"

Definitely on the right track. Linde Werdelin have been traveling a difficult road to say the least. When you start a project with two goals in mind it is very likely you will get halfway through both and go bust rather soon. Going luxury watch and high-end sports electronics would undoubtedly create some conflicts amongst possible Luxury watch customers that don't care about electronics and electronics fans that don't see the need to spend big money on anything else that the gadget. Despite both product being much more than acceptable one of the two sides was the excuse not to get the other. Both are actually great products, especially the "Land Instrument" or computer. Wireless, weighing only 41 grams (!) and giving you weather forecasts, heart rate, avalanche alerts, temperature, altimeter, frostbite alarms, compass... and the list goes on. The watch itself is not a Patek but it does what it is supposed to do as a sports watch. It is rugged and has a reliable and easily serviceable movement. Personally, I would not choose anything other than an ETA in a sports watch, it just makes no sense. Regardless if you have a virtually indestructible watch case the movement inside is just as susceptible to bad treatment as if inside a gold dress watch. While you can fight corrosion, pressure and wear the movement is still subject to inertia and impacts.

Now, what was missing? I would guess that only with the arrival of this DLC version it has become really apparent. Dare I say it? Yes, glamour. More accurately... a reason for you to buy the watch that sets it apart from the rest. The DLC treatment does just that. A bulls eye! It hits the mark to the point of making even the hardest critics put this on their most wanted list. Pictures do not do this DLC Linde Werdelin any justice. There will be only 22 of these in black and 22 in green. I understand the decision to make only 22 in green yet there is room for 222 in black, they would have been gone quite fast. The grayish finish of the DLC gives the watch an aggressive quality without being over designed that is rarely seen on other similar products.

So, what's next? Quite frankly I think that the black DLC version should be included in their general catalogue. Furthermore, it would be time to revise the faces and maybe look into matt version and stop at least the shiny ones. Playing around with different Luminovas like black, orange, green or yellow could also be interesting. The deployant buckle also needs revision. It is actually the only thing in all their concept that does not feel quite right. I don't know if it is the "butterfly" folding or that it is a bit too large. It just feels clumsy and not in sync with the rest of the watch. The case, hands, straps and general design are more than well conceived. Despite the case being similar in shape to a RoyalOak it has a character of its own. The watch is at 42 millimeters just the right size for most plus the fixed strap and inner shape of the watch envelops your wrist to perfection.

Together with the Land and Sea Instruments this black DLC Linde Werdelin is a very cool piece of kit. If it where to be added to the regular collection I suggest a very urgent visit to a photo-studio, the current pictures do not reflect the watches' character in any way.

Linde Werdelin...

Welcome Back!

It was about time to rescue the "Jules Audemars" from the pits. Being absorbed by their star product, the RoyalOak together with an enormous (but futile) effort to place the Millenary in the market, there has been little attention set on their Jules Audemars line. This has been so to the extent of having a gap of over 50k between their simple hour-date and the second option, the "Equation of Time". Surprising to say the least, since the Jules Audemars is one of better classic watch cases together with Patek and Jaeger. Very well balanced and quite comfortable due to the lack of sharp edges. A real treat to the wrist yet completely forgotten when it comes to options.

Now, the once discontinued Jules Chrono is back for January. Since its disappearance two years ago it has grown 3 millimeters wider. Enough for most mid to large sized wrists out there to consider this a very interesting option. Personally I would have gone 44 mm instead of 42 mm. Or maybe making it 2 mm thinner would have helped in the proportions. (Many of us would not mind a re-edition of the "Double-X"). From the pictures I get the impression that the watch is a bit on the "chubby" side. I remember the 39 mm version thiner, not certain though. Since the new and larger version carries the same movement there is no reason why it should be thicker. I have not read any information in the press release that suggests there is a new soft-iron antimagnetic case. I suspect increase in thickness could be due to the designers wish to maintain proportions with regard to the predecessor.

As for the looks there is no doubt that it is a very attractive piece. Both of them this time. This is a first since most of the times it is one or the other. Personally, I tend to the white-gold piece yet I would not mind the rose-gold for once. The white has a more "vintage" feel to it with the cream dial and art-deco numerals. A very attractive watch. Unfortunately, there will be only 300 of these a year. Even if it does not have the "LE tag" it will be more rare that the last Limited Edition, the Survivor. This means that not every dealer in the world will be getting even one of these next year.

The question remains... Now, what's next? What about the same but with a manual movement? In-house, power reserve, thiner case, large date, rattrapante... just thinking aloud here. It would be interesting to have something in the 30k to 40k range to compete against Jaeger's Duometre, Lange's Datograph and Patek's 5070. Especially the 5070, since this is the last year that Patek is getting Lemanias delivered for their manual chrono. In a last attempt to maximize bucks, Patek have made the last 5070s in Platinum. Ironic that a powerhouse that pretends to be recognized for integrity and class would make such a tasteless and greedy move. It would be time now for AP to take up that challenge, God knows that if anybody can, it would be them.

Audemars Piguet...

The three faces...

For those that would like to see an approximation of what the different Luminovas look like, here a little exercise.

This is what the 1968 Polaris PROBABLY looked like:

This is what Jaeger INTENDED the Tribute to Polaris to look like:

This is what the first batch of Polaris (with the wrong face) looks like:

NOTE: This last picture is a "tweaked" version of the original stock photo by myself. I have attempted to get the color as close to the one I have as possible.


Jaeger leCoultre...

POLARIS "Tribute": Right or Wrong?

At last it's here, but with a little surprise... For those fortunate enough to be receiving the Polaris right now you will receive a letter with the watch stating that you are entitled to a change of face once they have received the final and official version. What happened is that the first few pieces that they received were not really the color they wanted. The first batch being delivered have a "fleshy" orange Luminova while the final ones should have a more "mustardy" tone (good, I sound like an interior decorator!). The yellow/orange tone of the Luminova is supposed to simulate vintage Tritium that has gone dark over time. All original pieces from the mid to late 60's started with a standard white to mint-green Tritium. Most of them, not all though, have turned to a mustard yellow tone over time. Even if the color is not really true to the original, mustard yellow is how a Polaris looks to most of us today. In any case color photography was of such poor quality in the 60's that there is just no accurate reference of how it really looked. This has just given me an idea... hmmm, time to hit the Photoshop.

The decision was taken so as to not let eager (pain in the neck) collectors wait any longer for their Polaris. I must say that this is a very gutsy move that has just set a precedent. I can only applaud this decision since I rather have them be honest about it and wait no longer for it. It would have been different story if they were to deliver a faulty or incomplete movement though. Since this is only an aesthetickal "flaw" it is only a minor problem, at least to me. Those fortunate enough receiving their Polaris right now will be twice as fortunate since one can be certain that it will be worth quite a bit more than the official version. From a collector's perspective one of these first batch Polaris watches together with the official letter will be a MUST to have. Right now I can't imagine anybody RETARDED enough to go ahead and send their "wrong" and very collectible Polaris to have it tweaked to get a "right" but less special Polaris. Mind you, the world if full of idiots yet I wonder how many will do the change. I am not certain but Einstein once said that "intelligence" is a constant on Earth. So, the more people in the world, the more you have to divide that constant amongst everybody... Back when he made that statement we where just shy off 2 billion people, now we are close to 6 billion. You do the math.

Now, to the piece itself... Impressive, the look and feel of vintage is down to the last detail. The box and papers are copied exactly from the original piece including the addition of a second Hexalite glass in the box. Not that you would need it since if it need to be changed you would send it straight to Jaeger for a new one instead of using the one in the box. The strap is very comfortable. It comes with a replica of the original "Ardillon" buckle. I see how it must have been quite a decision to leave the original (sort of crapish...) but true version instead of giving it a more modern (more sleek) but less true buckle. The only "but" would be the somewhat large gap between the holes to adjust your strap. Since they are part of the design they tend to be a bit far apart. If you are unlucky it could be that it is either too tight or too lose. However it was just like that on the 65 model. To be honest, even if awkward and correctable by todays standards, I respect that they kept to the replica plan until the end. The finish is like always impeccable. All hands are properly aligned and where they should be (not true of many brands...). The new Memovox calibre with the "quick-date" option is very welcomed. I am not certain but compared to my Compressor or the AMVOX1, the winding sound sort of... vintage? It is very smooth and tactile yet I wonder if this vintage sound when winding was made on purpose. If this is so, then "kudos" to Jaeger!

A very pleasant surprise was the above mentioned Luminova. Unlike many other (most) Jaegers this one is actually visible after several hours with the light off. This is a first, since for some reason Jaeger have been using a very white and smooth Luminova that looked good but lacked performance. Usually with altered colors in Luminova you tend to loose a lot of performance and with these being orange one could expect only a testimonial glow after half an hour of killing the lights. To my surprise this one is actually more visible than the Compressor that has much larger hands and markers. On the AMVOXes you really have to squint your eyes almost out of the socket to see the time. On the SQUADRAs it's as if there is no Luminova to begin with.

I like:

- They stuck to the "replica theme" as much as possible.
- The Package has also been included in the "replica theme".
- The "quick date" correction instead of having to go back and forth.
- The "vintage" feel when operating the watch.
- The unusually bright Luminova (for a Jaeger).
- The meticulously aligned hands.
- It is very comfortable.

I don't Like:

- The strap at the buckle is a bit too wide. I am not certain but I doubt it was that wide on the original Polaris.
- The wholes on the strap for the buckle are too far apart.
- The Luminova color on the hands does not match the one on the indices.

In short. The Polaris Tribute is a different animal. It's a collector piece and a chance to get a piece of history. The decision to not upgrade the plexi for saphire glass denotes just that. I don't recommend this as an everyday watch though. I would see this tribute more as a collectible or even investment. A perfect condition 1965 vintage Polaris goes today for well over the 20k mark. If you want an everyday Memovox you are better off with the Compressor Extreme or the modern variant which is the AMVOX1. Both are equipped with saphire glass thus making them much better companions over time.

I was sceptic at first but I must say that I am very impressed with the result. I would not be surprised if this could be "the" Jaeger to have and the first to hit over-price at sales introduction.

Jaeger leCoultre...

A Trulli misunderstanding...

Since my last post... right bellow this one. I have been bombarded via email for more info regarding the making of this piece and where it will be available for order (including two official dealers). Until now my reply stated that this was only a "wish" and nothing else. Apparently this post has caused a bigger stir than I thought at first. People have been running like possessed to their ADs and attempted to place orders for something that is not even in the oven yet. The commotion has been such that I have been kindly asked to REMOVE or EXPLAIN that this interpretation of the "Trulli" is just insane ramblings of a madman (my self). Since it is too late to remove than I will just explain.

The interpretation of what could be the next Trulli is just that...


It is simply a wish and desire of many (myself included...) of what we would love to see in the near future. In no way do I have any certainty that the next racing edition will be even close to this.

Several things come to mind;
1.- Far too many people visit this Blog.
2.- Too many just look at the pictures and don't read the text.

There is nothing certain regarding the JT1. What I do know is that the RB3 will be. It shall reach stores before end of the year. Don't expect any pictures until then. Since the successful un-secret launch of the "Survivor" the pictures will not be issued until the first pieces have been delivered by the ADs.

With all this I hope that AP start doing what customers want and not what THEY want the customers to like. Time to recap guys...


Here is something I did a while back. It is what I would have loved the RB3 to be like. A black DLC-Titanium version and a Tantalum version instead of gold and platinum...

Since it seems that the RB3 will be the JT1 (Jarno Trulli) instead, I really hope that despite changing Ambassadors the watch remains the same for many reasons. Here are a couple I can think of;

1.- The "racing theme" and details related to F1 on this watch make it viable for years to come. Even without any "name" or "brand" on it.
2.- The cost of NOT making or designing new pushers, bezels, protectors and crowns will keep the JT within "reasonable" bounds.
3.- In the long run sharing similar parts like pushers, bezels, protectors and crowns will make servicing easier in the future.
4.- It is less likely to suffer delays. For once it might reach dealers when it is supposed to...
5.- The RB2 is the best looking OffShore to date. Shame to see it die...

The ideal would be NOT to limit this piece and just make it as long as Trulli is Ambassador. This would make much more sense instead of playing with different straps, faces and metals. It would also bring the cost down quite dramatically, stop speculation and allow many to have a great piece of kit that is not over the 30k mark.

What do you think?

Perpetually Old

There is simply no excuse for poor work. To be honest I am a bit surprised if not disappointed even if I am not really a customer for a Ferrari PAM. for the last years Panerai has been looking quite good. However, this "Ferrari by Panerai" is a great example of poor work. Regardless of the marriage commercially not working, which is something everybody expected since historically it never has. This very sorry performance by Panerai for their Ferrari lineup is a big disappointment. I just can't understand that in 2008 somebody would have the balls to propose yet another Perpetual with just hands to indicate date. It's cheap, boring and no improvement or contribution to horology. At the current state of horology it should have windows, large dates, childproof functions, instant date change, a better moonphase indicator, etc... Anything like this "Ferrari Panerai Perpetual" should not be over than the 10k mark. The date is barely readable just for the sake of looking good. Big mistake. The whole looks no better than the crap Longines used to dish out under the ferrari flag in the 80's. Crap, crap, crap...

This poor effort is in fact so pathetic that it already is on most Panerai replica selling sites. Barely moments after its introduction copies can be had for about 300$ on the web (No, I am not linking you to these!). I really hope that something like this does not emerge in the regular Panerai production. I do think that Panerai have a vacant space for something like this in their catalogue yet Annual and not Perpetual would be my recommendation. The advantage of an annual calendar is that it's less problematic and cheaper than a full featured Perpetual. Definitely the way to go on a PAM.

Ferrari by Panerai...

History Repeating

Just had it on my wrist. Stuning. Very well balanced despite its first appearance. Unlike what you could perceive from the pictures it is not bulky or overdone at all. Still I would have made taken 2 mm off the crown and protectors... would have been absolute bliss. The finish of the face is so far the best by AP and the attention to detail is at an all time high. All that is thanks to the fact that it is in a regular size OffShore and not the T3. In an oversize case it would have been an aberration.

Unfortunately there is a BUT... It will reach stores at 31,000€ in Europe and in the US I guess it will be close to the 40's. I am perplexed to say the least. Apparently the high price point of the Survivor is due to a very complex ceramic bezel (three times the cost of the Barrichello's) and that there are no precious metal variants. Despite this, there is still a coherent need to justify a 8,000€ or 10,000$ price increase from a Barrichello II to a Survivor. Would you rather have a Survivor instead of a Safari PLUS a Jumbo? For a little more you could source an End of Days and have it restored to NEW condition. Which would you rather have? Thirty-one thousand Euros... a hard sale in the current times.

All this said... don't count on the Survivor being much of an investment. Sure there will be the initial fanatics and collectors that will make the first pieces fly away yet like the "Shaq" (hot the first month but a real downer up until now). This whole mater reminds me of the second Alinghi watch. After the huge and completely unexpected success of the first "City of Sails" they came out with the "Alinghi". Way overpriced (starting at 23,500€ when the regular OffShore was 10k less...) the Alinghi just never picked up while the City of Sails today sells used for over 20% of its list price. An unused, boxed and with papers Alinghi can be had for 17k. If you are in hopes of speculating be careful. If you are getting one of the first at no discount you might have problems getting rid of it. I could be wrong but looking at the current economical situation these might be sold at a discount sooner rather than later.

The Survivor is definitely worth having. However, it is a bit pricey so don't attempt to speculate, you might burn your fingers with this one.

Audemars Piguet...

A word from Richard Mille...

...and quite a word it is.

The PuristSPro...

I posted something to that regard several posts back... All I can say is that the things that he states in his open letter are true (I know first hand...). I would go a step further and would really make an effort in educating the sales points. If things remain like this then things will go worse and that will not only be an RM problem...

Personally I do not think that there is a "black" hand out there like he suggests but rather the arrival of rather "inexperienced" users to the world of watches.

I still love my RM004v2 and would not trade it for nothing. What I know for certain is that every time it would go for service, if need be, it will return a better watch. How many can say that in the industry?

Richard Mille...

Simply the Best...

In case you wondered what the absolute best finish I have seen so far... this is it.

I have had the chance to see one under the microscope and there are just no words to describe this. So perfect its almost obscene. Every single detail is simply spectacular. I was unable to find any flaws. A first for me.

Personally it's not my cup of tea yet I admit I have never seen anything like this. Ever. The invention piece has interesting visual concepts yet the price makes me want to get several other things instead. For one "Invention Piece" like this I can fit a 10-Days Tourbillon and a RM015. Although I must admit that the finish of this "beast" is way beyond the other two.

What a blessing that dreaming is still for free.

These picture will hardly give it any justice but still enough to enjoy the show.

Greubel Forsey...

Politically Incorect?

There have been many outspoken critics regarding the Survivor. Many favorable and some less favorable. As with many things post in forums adopt a positive or negative tendency very much depending on the few first impressions. Surfing through several forums of different languages you can safely state that in each case above 90% of the people posting agree that the Survivor is either beautiful or horrible. Are people sheep? Not necessarily. I have neither the time or resources to start a debate in this mater but I would rather explain this phenomenon with the idea that people "generally" do not like confrontation. Most people like to agree, while those that don't agree with the initial tendency simply won't participate in the discussion. Such behavior generally makes the balance swing either way in the beginning. If the balance is heavily leaning towards one point of view than this could influence and sway the later undecided stands towards that opinion. It's a snowball effect.

At the first look the Survivor is not especially aesthetically pleasing to me. Mind you, the "End of Days" was neither and since it is one of my favorite Oaks. lately I have been going towards more balanced watches. Anything over 44 mm is just not for me anymore. Critiques have been harsh on the design of the crown and protectors emulating the nozzle of a semi-automatic assault rifle or the tip of a flame thrower. I tend to agree. Believe me, I am far from being a pacifist but a winding crown inspired in a flame suppressor of a machine gun is taking it just too far. Who would have thought?!?... that the most politically incorrect person in the world (me) would actually agree with some of these critiques! What is the world coming to..?

In spite of that the Survivor has some interesting graphical components that roundup in an interesting proposal. I would have liked a more discreet crown and protectors on a Kevlar strap like the EOD. What do you think?

The watch that never was...

... and never will be. This was a project that I attempted by request of a Jeweler that wanted a Limited Edition of a Jaeger. Everybody loved the idea yet it was deemed unfeasible by Jaeger. Apparently due to the dual construction of the case and the fact that one pivots slightly inside the other, this makes a PVD or DLC finish inviable. The constant grinding between both components of the case would cause the blackening treatment to wear off quite fast. The idea behind this model was to make the watch optically smaller. The steel model is a bit large for most so PVD'ing would have compensated that.

Since the "Black Geovox" is dead, I decided to share this with you.

Would have loved to have one of these...

P.s. There will be something else though... will post it once it gets a green light by Jaeger.


I wonder that nobody has brought this up. Next summer, T4, anything in the oven? There has been no mention so far regarding the possibility of a T4 by AP. The latest release of the Terminator saga is on the way for next summer. The current "Survivor" would have filled that spot quite well if you ask me. Since it is unlikely that Arnold will play any role in this upcoming feature (busy schedule as well as sagging biceps I guess) The lead role is for Christian Bale as John Connor. I doubt there will be an oversize this time around.

Don't get your hopes up since at the moment there is no deal (as far as I know) for a T4. Yet, what do you think might happen? What would you like to see if a deal where to be struck between the producers and AP?


P.s. Rumors have been confirmed that there will be a Trulli. It is still not clear if the Barrichello 3 will in the end be the Trulli 1 though.

The death of "beep-beep"...

When was the last time you heard the chime of a digital watch on the hour? Ten, fifteen years? I was just commenting this with a fellow watch nut last week. I remember a time when it was usual to hear within a margin of about about 30 seconds between five and ten "beep-beeps" during final exams, the movies or at your local temple of worship. Now, looking back it has been a long time since hearing that chime. Granted, it was annoying but it signaled an era. Since, it faded away without anybody noticing.

Do not feel sad, for those of you that miss that function but have outgrown the digital era there is always the "Strike One" by Chopard. It wis give you just that in a much more classy and discreet manner. It will set you back quite a bit but nothing compared to a full featured repeater.


Love at first sight

I received Patek's magazine last week. As always I flicked through it without much interest with the intention to make the boooring modern art articles as painless as possible. As with all the other Patek magazines this one would end up in a special basket in my living room, with all the others right next to the sofa. Its main function none other than giving the impression that I actually am educated enough to appreciate modern art. Indeed, that magazine is a great way to fool guests into thinking that I actually give a horse's ass about modern art. Well, back to what matters... Little was I to know that those evil people at Patek with all their malice intentionally added the whole collection on a center fold. Like back in my youth, I found myself with both sides unfolded and staring at the pictures like it was a gentleman's magazine. Pathetic, considering they where just watches. Suddenly, up in the right corner... there she was! Wow, what a beauty! The 5124. White gold, champaign face, vintage look, manual, ultra slim, art deco look (...well yes, somethings I like). Breathtaking. Elegant. Something "50-Cent" would never own. Simply perfect.

First thing I did the very next morning was a visit to the closest Patek dealer and get better aquatinted with my "Poor Man's 10-days Tourbillon". Striking. No matter what people say Patek will always have something that others don't. Class. That it had a lot of. What was lacking on the other hand was finish. It was well bellow what you should expect from Patek, especially with the competition catching up in notoriety. I could mention over five "commercial" brands that have better finishes other than the mentioned in previous post L.U.C. and Lange. No mater, my intention is wearing it on my wrist the right way up. In that respect this Gondolo is simply something else. The price is also quite reasonable if you ask me at 14,500€. My only problem is the Rhodium treated white gold. Don't like that. As a mater of fact, I hate it. The patina Rhodium gets over time is simply awful. Even if it hardens the case it still scratches only with the friction of your shirt. This makes the edges and angles acquire a lighter tone due to wear. Under halogen spots this becomes a nightmare.

As usual with Patek, the platinum version could be introduced next year... will I be able to wait? Will it be just as balanced or better than this one? Not always the case with platinum Patek's though. Love the World Timer, can't stand the metallic blue on the 5070P and am not overwhelmed by the Annual Gondolo. I wonder if I manage to wait for next year's Basel Show.

Patek Philippe...

Why the Jumbo...

If you ever wondered why the (5,000€) diference between the "Jumbo" and the 15300. Here is a very interesting point of view. Without going into the details of the insides he explains the "mystique" about the Jumbo quite well. He comes to say that once on your wrist you only then see what the Jumbo is really about.

Forum a Montres...

Unfortunately it is in french. If you speak french, enjoy....

Audemars Piguet...

Supply or Demand?

Don't know if it's because Rolex has finally caught up with the manufacturing of the green sapphire glass or if the economy has caught up with Rolex. More and more green Milgauss are being readily available at no premium and at a discount in some markets. This is the occasion to maybe get one of these. With the recently discontinued steel Yachtmaster the Milgauss is my Rolex favorite. While I can tell you why the Yachtmaster is I just can't explain on the green Milgauss. I just do.

The movement on the other hand is not even close to the Yachtmaster but it does have a certain "something". I just can't stand how o the Milgauss the minute hand jumps two minutes back or ahead when you pull or push the crown back in. A green Yachtmaster would have been cool but we might have to wait another 30 years for an anniversary model.


ATMOS "561 by Marc Newson"

Always been a fan of the Atmos. This one has "something" about it. It has a certain late 60's early 70's look that really makes it interesting.

Unfortunately the cost and difficulty of manufacturing the square glass bubble by none other than Baccarat has increased its initial price by 40%. A bit steep if you ask me. They might be a hard sale considering we are in a "delicate" economic situation and there are 888 units of these. In Europe we are talking close to the 15,000 € and in the US you would be talking around the 20's. However, even if expensive now I have a feeling that you might regret not having bought one several years down the line.

Jaeger leCoultre...


I have been watching L.U.C by Chopard for some time now. I must admit that I was heavily biased by other products in the Chopard lineup. The "Happy Diamonds" and main media focus on beautiful models with extravagant jewelry has made me look the other way where Chopard and watches are concerned. Recently the latest developed models as well as technical achievements by L.U.C. have awakened my interest. The brand has caught my eye first with the Regulator Tech and then their Certified Chronometer Tourbillon. Finally faced with the collection I was very surprised not only at their finish but also at their proficiency in watchmaking.

In my opinion, from what I have seen so far, it is the best "commercial" finish in the industry. Yes, even above Patek... (Ouch, I am going to get slammed for that one). If you don't believe me and wish to be nasty, take your favorite loupe, grab your best Patek, go to a dealer that carries L.U.C. and compare. All this said, I recently fell in love with a Patek that I will comment in a later post. Remember that carrying Chopard does not necessarily mean that they have L.U.C. since it's considered a whole different ball game. I assure you that side by side you will be quite impressed. Notice, I say "commercial finish" and I do consider guys like Greubel Forsey, Kari Voutilainen or Philippe Dufour to be above all the previous. However, with such a limited production they can't be placed in the same bag. Making eleven per model allows you to do stuff that "large boys" only wish they could.

Their latest is the "Tourbillon Black Superlight" with a silicium escapement presented at the Singapore GP several weeks ago. I am still not certain of the benefits of silicium but what seems evident is that it has no negative short-term effects. Like the other Tourbillon by L.U.C. this one has two double barrels giving it a more than interesting torque curve over a period of 8-days plus an extra two days at a lower level of performance. At the moment having four barrels inside a watch is a patent by Chopard and can't be used by others unless permitted (I don't remember who was allowed...). All other 10 or 8-day manuals use three or sometimes even two barrels. This makes a constant supply of torque more difficult especially at frequencies above 21,600 A/h. In order to be certified a chronograph you must be above the 28,800 mark and few Tourbillons in the market will give you this. To this date ALL, with no exception, L.U.C Tourbillons have passed the "Chronograph Certificate" testing with flying colors on the first attempt. That is very impressive.

If I had to criticize the current L.U.C. collection I must say that the sport/diver models are very weak to say the least. Weak enough that they should consider either outsourcing the design or dropping the model all together. A "Mile Miglia" with a L.U.C. finish would make more sense. At the moment there is no intention of making L.U.C. movements for others, even branches within Chopard. Unfortunately there is a lot of stuff missing in their web pages. Many Tech models and most Twist models are not there. Time to update guys!


Greubel Forsey...
Kari Voutilainen...
Philippe Dufour...