Former professional racer Stefan Johansson started making watches for himself and his racer friends. For a while he would work with watch brands until he finally decided that he wanted to make his own. Race fans would probably be impressed with the roster of individuals who are owners of Stefan Johansson Vaxjo watches. The growing brand now has an array of models each designed by Stefan and his team. The pieces are all racing inspired, without being the type of watches to look like car parts. Instead, they celebrate the sport and the participants thereof. The watch I have here for you is the Stefan Johansson Vajxo Mark VIII D 033 watch. Limited to 250 pieces, the watch is inspired by a collection that Stefan likes, the Corum Admiral's Cup. You can see the similarity in the flags around the dial. Instead of yacht racing pennants, they F1 in origin.
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Then you have the EasyDiver Chronograph version with feels more like older EasyDiver watches, but is still really interesting and fun to wear. Black, orange, and steel tone are all given justice as they play together with a watch that is about as bold in design as you could comfortably wear on a regular basis. The steel case is also 46mm wide, 300m water resistant, and in steel. One thing I really love about the watch is inside of it. The Roger Dubuis made Caliber RD 78 automatic chronograph movement is a real good looker. Once again, you can click that link for details about it at Roger Dubuis' website. The movement reminds me of older chronograph movements where a lot of the gears aren't hidden behind plates or bridges. Yet, the movement is still an automatic. This is due to it having a micro-rotor for the automatic winding (placed under a neat looking skeletonized bridge that is shaped like a Celtic cross). The chronograph features a column wheel adjuster inside the movements, as well as also having the Seal of Geneva. I love how instead of having a series of blued screws, they have just one large blued steel screw as a testament to the aesthetic.
About two years ago after the release of the first Iron Man movie (not animated that is) I wrote a little article about the various watches that Robert Downey Jr. wore as character Tony Stark in the movie. I was actually pretty surprised that the article was so popular, but it was my most viewed article for over 6 months - you can check out that article on watches in the original Iron Man here. Iron Man 1 was all about Bulgari as the brand was heavily featured in the film. Tony Stark wore a few of their new watches for 2008. Now, two years later Bulgari (Bvlgari) is out, and Jaeger-LeCoultre is in. Clearly the Richemont Group brand has more money that the troubled Bulgari group, and realized that popularity of the placement.
Mvt: Automatic ETA 2826-2 encapsulated in a movement capsule and further protected by an anti magnetic dust cover.
Beat: High beat 28,800 A/h
Function: Big Date. Automatic with 46 hour power reserve.
Case: 56.5mm x 46mm x 20mm (LxBxH). One piece high grade Titanium equipped with Helium Gas Escapement Valve.
Crystal: Double domed Sapphire, double coated.
Sapphire thickness: 4.00mm.
Winding Crown: Screw down waterproof Titanium crown.
Bezel: Single directional ratcheting bezel with Super Luminova depth markings.
Dial/Hand Set: Super Luminova filled markers and Hands.
Strap/Bracelet: Rubber strap with Deployment buckle.
Waterproof: 2,000m / 6562ft.
Speaking of carbon fiber, many of you know that I am not so fond of the material for dials a lot of the time. Often because the look of carbon fiber can make a dial hard to read. Here however, the tighter woven look of it is topped with proper dials, and those famous Ananta diamond polished hands. Lume is placed on the hands and hour markers, making for a very easy to read, symmetrical, and attractive dial. I quite like the insertion of the white seconds marker ring as part of the flange that helps break up the black tones. The sapphire crystal also has a lot of AR coating - so seeing the dial is really a breeze.
The idea for URWERK came in 1995 over a meal with Felix, his brother Thomas (no longer with the company) and Martin Frei, an artist and designer. Two years later, after many sketches and technical refinements, there was a prototype inspired by the 17th century Campanus Night Clock.
Ball researched and developed a special function for the watch called the Amortiser. The allows you to lock the automatic rotor into place to prevent damage to it during high shock activity. To "amortize" the rotor, you need to take off the watch and physically twist the propeller shaped disc on the back of the watch. You can feel it lower a bit and lock down. This prevents the rotor from moving. To release it, you just twist the disc back the other way. Just don't forget to release it after your period of 'high shock' is over. The watch will still function when the rotor is secured off power from the mainspring, and you can still manually wind the watch if you like. This cool piece of technology is perfect for things you do everyday like:
Inside the watch is an ETA 2836 that has been modified a bit and is called the BE-36A movement inside the watch. The automatic Swiss movement has been COSC Chronometer certified in this watch. An important value added point that Bremont almost hides on the back of the watch. The native day/date display is on the dial with a polished metal frame around the information windows. One small suggestion I had for Bremont is to just slightly increase the height of the applied hour markers - just a little tiny bit.
Third is the Louis Moinet Meteoris Tourbillon Asteroid watch. You guess it, 18k white gold case, more diamonds and the dial here is from a meteorite that came off of an asteroid. The stone was found in the western Sahara desert in Africa. You'll notice that each of the watches has a small, but unique engraving mirrored and on the top of the watch at the apex of the mainspring barrel. Here the image shows a little meteorite said to be falling to Earth. The stone is quite lovely as the dial and is cut from Itqiy (the name of the meteorite). It was said to be formed near the Sun, and was authenticated by (my alma mater) the University of Arizona in Tucson.
Learn more or get one at SwissKubiK.com.
Uniquely used for the watches, and in retro fashion is the crystal. It is a very special type of Plexi-Glass. The idea is to look like the acrylic crystals of the past. It is domed, and specially treated to be quite hard and more scratch resistant that similar crystals. It also has a highly increased resistant to UV rays and chemicals, plus in to increase the "depth of shine" (not totally sure what that means).
RARE NATURAL FADED COBALF BLUE ROLEX SUBMARINER BLUE 16613 DIAL FOR RE FINISHING
Time Remaining: 54m
At ,000 the Devon Tread 1 is sort of alone in the the market. Other fancy luxury watches that tell time in unique manners are closer to, or above 0,000. Then again, those are purely mechanical pieces with different types of materials, and manufacturing practices. Can you compare watches that the Devon Tread 1 reminds you of, with the Tread 1? Not really in my opinion. I see the Tread 1 as a luxury gadget that tells the time. Being American, and California grown, it shares more in common personality-wise with luxury sports cars, motorcycles, airplanes, and other modern high performance machines, than say traditional watch making. Not everyone is going to love the Tread 1, but I think it is pretty cool. It will CERTAINLY grab people's attention, and you'll be impressed at how it isn't like all the things you see out of Switzerland - but rather an actually novel timepiece that will make a satisfying addition to any collector's treasure trove, who is beckoned by the design and technology that Devon has created.
For 2010 Junghans is going to release three new models of the classic Max Bill watch. A manually wound version, an automatic, and a chronograph (called the Chronoscope). One thing that I am not sure about is the movements actually used. Each mechanical of course, but not sure who makes them - possibly ETA. The cases are in steel and the watch is attached to a mesh metal bracelet with a folding clasp. There is SuperLumiNova on the hands and some of the major hour markers as well.
While it is hard to tell in the images bit, the surface of the bezel is brushed, but the sides are polished. Other than the crown and the screws, the rest of the case is DLC black -which is a really cool look. The watch houses a Swiss ETA 2893A2 automatic GMT movement. Dial is pretty great. No complaints there. The large hands are easy to spot and the dial has an interesting layout in terms of all the hour and minute markers. It is sort of minimalist, and not minimalist at the same time. The traditional looking red stem, arrow GMT hand is present and has a 24 hour scale to accompany it. The watch comes with a natural rubber strap, although an alligator one is available.
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 29 here.
Listen to HourTime Show watch podcast episode 38 here.