Watch Tips & Tricks


Not all of us have the fortune of being blessed with enough money to afford one of those beautifully crafted Grand Sonneries, so sometimes we have to live vicariously through youtube videos and the mouth-watering photographs in the magazines and watch blogs like these:

For me, I own several mantle and shelf clocks designed by Hermle that do a wonderful sounding westminster chime that can satisfy my appetite enough. Usually they can be had for $100-200 as opposed to the $100,000-$1,000,000!

Ever wonder what the difference in sound is between a Minute Repeater, Westminster Chime, Carillon and Grand Sonnerie is? They all have distinctly different chime sounds.

Watchtime Magazine has them here for you to hear:
http://www.watchtime.com/chimes/

Here is a video showing some of the processes and work that goes into creating a Sonnerie:

Another Limited Edition U-Boat is going to hit the streets soon, featuring a limited production of 999 pieces and a 53mm Titanium Case. This one harks back to the classic Italian Navy style watches, and one can’t help but compare it to the Panerai Egiziano in terms of looks.

The crown device is interesting on this one, and I’m not quite sure how it works from the description, but as I understand it, the crown flips out and can be turned when it is released by the lever on the bottom.

There is lever on the case at around 4 o’clock that when engaged, prevents the crown from turning, which is a pretty cool feature, especially if you’re going to use it for diving. The watch is good to 300m. The watch features a caliber U-BOAT U-28 automatic movement, which I assume is probably based on a [EDIT]ETA 2824, though I can’t be certain.

Dial is available in black or beige, and caseback is a signed solid back with some cool inscriptions. I kind of hate to admit it, but I like this watch!

Dubey & Schaldenbrand is quite unique from most other Swiss brands out there, and in my opinion, seems to derive much of it’s inspiration from Chronoswiss (or is it vice versa?). According to the website, D & S is also the only Swiss Watchmaking house to have a woman in charge, Cinette Robert.

I’ve always loved Dubey & Schaldenbrand with their tonneau shaped cases and hidden lugs. They are reminiscent of Franck Muller’s cintree curvex, but still able to create their own identity. I purchased the Aerodyn Date, as the roman numeral dial really called to me. I wish I had bought this watch on a bracelet, as I grew tired of the strap.

The dial is beautifully guilloche finished, which is typical of many of D&S designs. The dials are almost always beautifully textured, and this one is no exception. The deep blue dial is easy to match up, and is a nice relief from the usual white and black dials. This one has no lume, but the Romain numerals are painted on, as are the logo and other markings.

The big date movement in the Aerodyn Big Date is the ETA 2892-A2 with Big Date module. This is a great choice for the watch as it places the big date at the 12 o’clock position instead of the 3 o’clock position that is had with the ETA 2826-2.

One thing I did not like about the Aerodyn Date, and is likely the case with many D&S models is the laser-etched logo on the crown. I would think for this price range a machined logo in the crown is minimum. Ther laser-etched logo is more in-line with watches in the $500 range found in lower-end department stores such as Guess and Fossil.

The back, unlike the crown, is nicely and deeply machined with the logo, model and the serial number. The back is screwed in with 7 screws, and flat satin finished, just like Franck Muller watches. The watch is mounted on a Blue, Crocodile-embossed leather strap with an aftermarket deployant. The Original band is a blue genuine alligator strap, on a D&S Deployany, but I found the original deployant uncomfortable for my smaller wrists. The deployant is positioned slightly too far over on smaller wrists.

Here is a shot of the 33 x 44 mm case on my 6 3/4″ wrist. As you can see, its a beautiful watch and wears wonderfully. You can see the Double-AR coated and curved Sapphire crystal shows the dial beautifully, as does the organically curved stainless steel case. Hope you guys enjoyed the review!

It wasn’t that long ago that when you purchased a New Swiss Made automatic Watch, you were guaranteed at least an ETA 2824 movement in it. While the ETA 2824 movement is by no means a rare or exciting automatic movement, it is reliable and can be very accurate in it’s highest level of finish. The ETA 2824 is used by a very large number of companies including Breitling, Hamilton, Oris, Omega, Tudor, Eterna, Tag Heuer and many many others including most of the German Brands.

ETA 2824-2 from a Limes Watch

ETA 2824-2 from a Limes Watch

After that came the Sellita SW200 movement, a direct copy of the ETA 2824 that is mostly made in Switzerland. While it is unknown how much of the parts are made in China, they at least come close to ETA in their quality. They are cheaper movements, and many brands including Invicta, Oris, Enzo and Eterna have begun to use the Selitta SW200 in their watches. I don’t mind the Selitta too much, at least it is somewhat comparable to the ETA-2824. The next step is a bit more disturbing.

While its not a new thing, many people many not be aware that an Invicta brand named Technica Swiss Ebauches purchases chinese made Sea-Gull movements and final finishes them in Switzerland and badges them as Swiss Made. Swiss Made regulations only provide that at least 50% of the value of the movement must be from Switzerland. With the price of the Chinese Ebauches being so low, its not difficult to refinish the movements in Switzerland in order to meet the criteria.

Swiss Mechanical Invictas

Swiss Mechanical Invictas

This is an unfortunate situation, and devalues the Swiss Made brand. Invicta has done well by selling a large number of watches, purchasing higher end brands like S. Coifman and devaluing them as well. While I think that Invicta has some good value in their lines, the majority of their designs are either very ugly, or hommages. The Invictas above sell for $119, and claim to have Swiss Made movements inside them.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that the Swiss Made brand is being devalued and I think its a shame – hopefully its prestige can be maintained rather than be tainted by the likes of Invicta.

To supplement the Breitling The Book post I had earlier.. I have added a Breitling The Book video review for those that are interested in purchasing the book, but aren’t really sure what it is like given Breitlings some what limited information on it and highly stylized photographs that don’t really illustrate what it looks like.

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