February 2008


I’d seen an occasional ad here and there for a brand called Wyler, but noticed that there were very few if any dealers in North America. For a brand that carries such a hefty price tag and has such famous brand ambassadors such as Richard Gere, you’d thing they’d have better brand recognition.

Wyler is based in Geneva, and produces some very beautiful and unique manufacture movements including their new Wyler Geneve Zagato, which is produced in a limited edition of 25 peices. It is powered by a 10-day power reserve movement with indicator, and unique crown guard that is something of a Wyler signature.

Front:
wyler1.jpg

Back:
wyler2.jpg

Specs:
Manual Wind 8-day power reserve
Titanium Case
Exhibition Back
Power Reserve Indicator

Bell & Ross, Seiko, Vianney Halter, Azimuth and Zenith are among the brands that have jumped onto the Instrument watch bandwagon. Bell & Ross has arguably brought the look to the forefront, with many brands such as Invicta and Debaufre (formerly Steinhart) copying the style of their popular Bell & Ross BR01 series Instrument watches.

The instrument style dials know no limits as far as prices go, as cheap as several hundred for a Seiko or up to half a million for the new Zenith Defy Zero G Tourbillion! Like it or not, the instrument style dials are popping up everywhere, and I’m still not sure what to think of them.

Seiko Sportura Kinetic Chronograph:
seikosport.jpg

Zenith Deft Zero G Tourbillon:
zerog.jpg

Vianney Halter Antiqua:
vianney-halter-antiqua.jpg

Azimuth Chrono Gauge Mecha 1 BMF:
azimuth.jpg

Bell & Ross BR-01 Tourbillon Phantom:
bell_ross_br01_phantom.jpg

Well, I finally got my Breitling Black video review up! This is a very nice watch, and while does not have the polish of the Chronomat Evo, still looks pretty darn amazing on the wrist! In fact, the faceted bracelet might make it look more impressive. I really do like this Blackbird.

When they first came around in a few years back, I thought some of their stuff was just incredible, and now I’m really starting to appreciate it more and more as I see how well their cutting-edge designs still provoke, yet maintain an air of class.

Their name is cool, their logo is cool and their watches are limited to a handful of top-shelf boutiques, which allows them to control the distribution channels much better than bigger brands. You’re not likely to find their stuff heavily discounted on the grey market 🙂

Hautlence has 2 lines of watches, the HL and HLS and all of the watches use the same movement in it, which is quite a unique movement to begin with. It is something of a regulateur with a retrograde minutes complication. If they were in my price range, they would quite possibly be one of my watches of choice for a classy night on the town in a suit.

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I look forward to seeing what this unique brand brings to the table next. There are many small specialized watchmakers out there in the mountains of switzerland, producing watches in 200+ year old heritage homes, continuing the art that their country made famous, and the stuff coming out is phenomenal.

Check out their site:
http://www.hautlence.com

For some watch brands like Panerai, straps are part of the whole subculture of being a Panerai owner. However, there are brands like Breitling which excel at making very nice bracelets that are also very attractive and comfortable – albeit expensive.

I personally prefer bracelets, however, with a Panerai I do like the straps. I’ve never tried a Panerai on a bracelet so I can’t say which I prefer. Some other brands where the Bracelets do look substantially better include IWC and Rolex, though Rolex bracelets have only recently become something to be impressed by.

In the Breitlingsource forums there is a term that comes up often, and that’s the “FULL LING”. We often use this term to describe a very larg ling with a 24mm lug width on a bracelet. In my opinion, a Breitling is always more desirable on a bracelet, though many of them do look quite nice on a strap as well. Here are a few shots of Breitling Motors on a bracelet and strap. I think it looks great on a strap but the Bracelet does appeal to me more.

bentley_motors_wb_01.jpg
Motors on a Leather Strap

bentley_motorst_01.jpg
Motors T on a Crocodile Strap

bentley_motorst_05.jpg
Motors T on a Bracelet – The FULL LING as we refer to it 😉

Choose wisely, but always pick the one that calls out to you. That’s important in picking a watch!

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