August 2011

Yet another new addition to the world of Online-based specialty dive watch companys.. enter Armida Dive Watches. Armida watches is a Hong Kong based designer of Dive watches that features both Swiss and Japanese movements. The choice is yours! The Swiss costs more, of course.

Currently the company makes two watches, the A1 and A2 Divers. The A1 is a more unique product with a very cool domed sapphire crystal and 1000m water resistance, whereas the A2 is more of a Submariner clone in a larger 42mm size and 500m water resistance. The A2 is also available in PVD black.

While there isn’t a whole lot here to excite me personally, there is some potential. Many of these boutique online-only companies put out some pretty cool stuff like Korsbek and UTS… but many fall into oblivion. I wonder which category Armida will fall into?

Boys’ toys – fast race cars and exclusive watches are typical status symbols of the mostly male MANSORY clientele. But until now, the refining specialist for luxury cars could only fulfil automobile dreams. Yet, with the presentation of the GRAHAM Chronofighter Oversize MANSORY, MANSORY changes this big time. And the name says it all – with 47 mm steel case diameter and the left hand fast-action start /stop trigger which is so iconic for GRAHAM watches, the Chronofighter Oversize MANSORY chronograph impressively accentuates its features. This instinctive mechanism activated by the thumb, guarantees a great precision with the most direct response of the chronograph functions.

Kourosh Mansory, CEO of the MANSORY Holding & Design GmbH: “The co-operation with GRAHAM-LONDON derives from my long-term friendship with Eric Loth, founder and board member of GRAHAM-LONDON. His passion for dynamic automobiles and my enthusiasm for high-quality chronographs are perfectly combined. The GRAHAM MANSORY Chronofighter Oversize confirms this in a very impressive way.“

Following the automobile core competences of the MANSORY Group, the dial is made of carbon, a material typically used for sports cars. The “Clous de Paris” decorated steel bezel echoes the artistic performances of MANSORY concept cars. On the case back, a smoked see-through sapphire crystal with MANSORY logo, allows an insight into the clockwork Calibre G1734 with 48 hours power reserve. The black rubber strap is “Clous de Paris” decorated and adorned with the GRAHAM and MANSORY logos.

Limited to 50 watches, the self-winding automatic chronograph developed by GRAHAM, is exclusively available from MANSORY or one of its world-wide sales partners.

Functions: Chronograph (seconds, 30 minutes counter), Date at 7 o’cloc, kHours, Minutes, seconds
Calibre: Calibre G1734, automatic bi-compax chronograph, 28’800 A/h (4Hz), Incabloc shock absorber, 27 jewels
Power reserve : 48 hours
Case: 47 mm steel case Steel with black PVD left hand fast-action start / stop trigger and steel reset pusher with “Clous de Paris” high grip pattern, Steel bezel with “Clous de Paris” decoration, Domed sapphire crystal, anti-reflective coating on both faces, Smoked sapphire crystal case back with MANSORY logo and serial number
Water resistance: 330 feet / 100 m / 10 bar
Black carbon dial with black snailed minutes and seconds counters
Black minute scale rim with red numerals
White MANSORY inscription at 5 o’clock
White Super-LumiNova hours and minutes hands, red chrono, minutes and seconds hands
Strap: Integrated black rubber with “Clous de Paris” decoration and GRAHAM and MANSORY logos
Limited edition of 50 Watches
Price: 8,900 € incl. German VAT

Many of you guys know that I am a sucker for a good PAM Strap, and now that I’ve got a Bell & Ross, I’m a sucker for a good B&R strap too! The thing is, more so than any other watches out there, Panerai and Bell & Ross are characterized by their straps. Without a good strap, the watch just doesn’t look as good as it should.

One of my recent acquisitions is a French Ammo Canvas strap by Micah of Vintagerstraps. I reviewed this recently on Paneraisource, and it is certainly worth a look if you are interested in something different:

The French Ammo Pouch Canvas is mounted on a medium-soft leather backing and looks amazing. I have to say this is one of the most fun straps I’ve worn in a while. Micah is a true artist.

Below is a strap by one of the most creative minds in modern strapmaking today: Shane Delaurian. This one is one of his tamer models, the Easy Rider. The tale is folded over on this model, which gives the strap a subtle uniqueness to it. Something about old school leatherworking gives these straps tons of personality and makes them a joy to wear.

Shane’s straps are always hand-signed on the back or the side of the strap!

This last one here is one from the famous ABP-Paris, which is considered the finest aftermarket strapmaker on the planet. They do custom EVERYTHING, and make Aftermarket OEM replacements for nearly every single watch available. A great choice if you’re having trouble finding a strap for a watch with odd lugs. ABP straps will cost you, however – a typicaly strap costs around $350-500.

Mounted happily on a Panerai PAM90. I love my Panerai Straps!!

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