October 2010

Among the Swiss Watch companies developing their own watch movements is Alpina. This Alpina Nightlife Club Regulator is pretty cool, and looks better than most Alpinas I’ve seen in the past, while still preserving their trademark look.

Their new Nightlife Club Regulator features the Alpina AL950 movement which features:

25 rubies
Glucydur Balance
Alternances 28,800 /h
Nivarox A Spiral
Regulateur Hour Hand decentered at 10:30
Date-by-Hand at 6 O’Clock
Bridges decorated with Côtes de Genève
Platine and bridges Rhodium plated
Blue screws
42-hour power reserve

The unique rotor resembles the bumper winds of yore, and has a very nice asthetic. The Alpina Nightlife Club features a 44mm stainless steel case, sapphire crystal and 100m water resistance. A very pleasing and wearable watch from Alpina. In my opinion, a nicer overall design than many of their past efforts.

Also known as the “Nicolas Cage Watch”, the Mont Blanc Timewalker Chronograph Automatic is a very noticable watch when on the wrist. It never fails to catch someones eye, and garners a compliment quite often. It is probably one of Mont Blanc’s most striking case designs, with immaculate attention to detail.

This particular specimen features beautifully polished rose gold hands with a thin slit of lume, and matching rose gold arabics and indices on a semi-gloss black dial. Mounted on the strong, yet lightweight hollow chain-style bracelet, the watch really has a unique style to it that is 100% Mont Blanc.

As you can see, the sapphire crystal is not AR coated on the Timewalker Chronograph, but it is domed and mounted in a very thin bezel giving the 43mm diameter watch a larger wrist presence than similar sized watches. The watch features a very high quality three-piece case construction that I was not expecting initially. The quality of the case is very impressive to me – Mont Blanc did a great job with that.

As you can see, Mont Blanc did not miss any opportunities to insert their logo on every piece of the watch that they could – even the lug ends have a bead-blasted Mont Blanc star on them! A very nice touch and done very tastefully in my opinion. The machined-out lugs look great as well, with the interior surfaces all bead blasted as well.

Any of course no Mont Blanc watch would be complete without the signed Mont Blanc crown. While I’m not a big collector of Mont Blanc products, I do have to admit that the signed crown adds level of prestige and pedigree to the watch that is desirable. The watch overall achieves a unique and pleasant identity which is often rare in the watch world.

The Sapphire exhibition back shows off the decorated Valjoux 7753 movement modified by Montblanc. It is pretty standard with the date change mechanism mounted at 10 o’clock via a recessed pusher.

And finally the wrist shot! Shown on my 6.75″ wrist, the watch really does “pop” out and demand your attention. The lugs are short on this model compared to other similarly sized watches, making the watch fit well on even smaller wrists. After wearing this watch for a while I don’t think that it is for me. The watch has a style that is perhaps a bit shiny without being entirely dressy yet without being “tool” enough for me, like Breitling. Beautiful watch, but it won’t be a keeper for me.

If you’re one of the people in the world that can prove your certification of recieving a Black Belt, you are eligible to purchase a Black Belt Watch. The website states that you need to provide authorized certification of having received a black belt, but it does not explicitly state which disciplines you must have one in. I wonder if a Black Belt in eating Pizza counts? If so, I think I am eligible!

At any rate, these are very cool watches. They currently have two models, with only the automatic available from the website currently. A quartz Chronograph will be available soon. Black Belt watches is a Swiss-based company, and the Automatic model sells for 3000CHF.

Given to me by a well-meaning relative, this fake Rolex from Asia does come scary close to the real thing, especially for the majority of people out there. Its no wonder so many regular non-WIS are so captured by this fake rip-offs. It kind of pisses me off a bit, but what can you do. They are affordable enough that people just buy a new one every month. This Rolex Turn-o-Graph Datejust looks to be the lower-end of the high-level fakes. Probably has an Asian movement in it, and possibly Sapphire Crystal, but true collectors will be able to tell the difference quite quickly upon handling it. I don’t condone the purchase of fake watches, and have only posted this video to help warn collectors of how well the fakes can be made.

Graham and Mercedes team up again! This time launching the new Graham Mercedes GP Silverstone watch, which celebrates the spirit of Formula 1 Racing.

Functions: Chronograph (seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours counter). Date at 9 o’clock Hours, minutes, seconds Tachymeter
Calibre: Calibre G1735, automatic tri-compax chronograph, 28’800 A/h (4Hz), Incabloc shock absorber 25 jewels
Power reserve : 48 hours
Case: 48 mm steel case
Steel right hand start / stop and reset pushers with “Clous de Paris” high grip pattern
Steel bezel with tachymeter scale
Domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating on both faces
See-through sapphire crystal case back with Mercedes GP Petronas logo, secured by 6 screws

Download the Graham Press Release PDF

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