Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Live Pics of Rolex 2013 Basel Offerings The Yachtmaster and GMT II and some comparos

Rolex does things on their own terms, which mostly means they take their time, don't really listen to what people might want and innovate or evolve at a glacial pace vs some others in the industry. The reason they do that is because they are Rolex and they don't have to move for anybody ;)
 
So what disappointed me for the 2013 offerings was no new Daytona model on the line's 50th Anniversary.. A wasted opportunity.. perhaps something slightly more beefed up (what they did for the gmt and subs) would be good... and no nods to the great past panda dial models, the 6263 / newman cosmographs (black on white or white on black dial/subdial combos) which the team from tudor may have done if given a crack at it ;) the one new version they did come out with, plat watch in blue and brown, is sooo meh. ok moving on, they did do some nice white/black and blue watches and some live pics of them follow...

Rolex GMT II 116710BLNR with Black and Blue Bezel. So now we know they can put 2 colors on the ceramic bezel. Yay! Apparently it's such a difficult process they patented it. So it starts off life as a full blue ceramic bezel and they add the  red black at some point of it and voila!
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on the wrist, this watch has always had a very good size to it even at 40mm. [Retail price is 8,500 CHF. In Singapore it's probably 10+k and I believe deliveries have started globally]
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the Yachtmaster is offered in Steel for the first time but the price is still rather high noting the fact that it has an in-house regatta countdown movement
[Retail price 12,650 Eur (excl VAT) for the 116680. In Singapore over 20k and check with your Rolex Authorised Dealers if they have got pieces in if thou hast to have it ]

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white on blue is nice but I haven't warmed up sufficiently to the dial design for this model. slightly bigger on the wrist at 44mm and has presence with the larger diameter and dial color
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Now all I have to do is wait for them to get it right and do a ceramic pepsi bezel which may be a couple of years since they want to sell some of this black and blue version before bringing out what many enthusiasts would desire more.
 
chant with me... Pepsi Pepsi Pepsi! hopefully not another 7/8 years for that... 2, maybe 3 is doable... using all my jedi mind control powers to broadcast to Rolex lords in their emerald towers in Geneva
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One thing that I am thinking of right now though is a gold Rolex Daytona... which is why these pix follow... other than the now svelte size/look for a sports chrono, these Daytona's do call to me...  

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sporty and classic looking
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warmer and louder coz of the RG color. I must say that the color ages well...
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and the winner between them for me is this one... now where can I find S$30+k lying abouts... hmm
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 finally some pix of the yg yachtmaster for those who can carry it off. YG just doesn't seem to go well on some complexions impo but some don't care as a colored gold rolex says something loud and clear ;)
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hmm there will definitely be more Rolexs in my future. Just waiting for the right ones to pop up and hope it won't take forever is all :) cheers, raph

Monday, 22 July 2013

Richard Mille RM053 Pablo Mac Donough made for Polo, The Sport of Kings (NOT the Mint with The Hole)

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Before I talk about the watch and the fact that Richard Mille is about to be majority owned by a lux group(Kering sounds like caring, which is also noted on their site ;) actually that's all there is to say about that so I won't be saying more about it later), the one thing that stands out in my mind about this RM piece and a number of their tourby offerings with APRP (Audemars Piguet Renaud et Papi)movements is that it makes a statement... and that statement is 'I have screw you money" :)

raphmeister's definition - screw you money: excessive amounts of money wielded with utter lack of care or interest to show that the possessor of it does not have to give a flying fudge about anything logical / reasonable / sensible / practical and chooses to do whatsoever they wish to do with that money, no matter how inane, foolish, unnecessary, incredulous etc etc etc it may seem to all others[be they aristocats or hoi polloi ~ note all misspellings are intentional].  
It speaks not only of excessive wealth but of the owner’s attitude in the use of that excess and a self developed perspective of value. Your taste or likes do not matter to them and they can afford and will buy whatever it is they wish to even if it is not 'beautiful' or 'worth the $' in others eyes.

Person A (overbearing, believe they know-it-all type): That is just not practical. That makes absolutely no sense! Who would buy that… blah blah blah
Person B: Yup, he’s got screw you money
left dial is seconds and tourby cage and right dial is hours and minutes
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To the watch itself then... it differs from the typical RM watch face in design and it's dial angled layout is similar to that of a driving watch(this one at a 30 degree angle) and it has a look of race car dials but it's actually designed for the sport of kings, polo. tonneau shaped titanium case, mix of micro blasted grade 5 ti and diamond hard titanium carbide hard shell to withstand the hits and shocks, which it kinda needs as it is a decent sized 50mm 42.7mm 20mm case size. 48 hours power reserve & the kicker, the retail price is US$580k :)

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not my best movement shot but just wanted to show light flowing thru from the front of the watch to the back
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Polo Tie-up ~ Richard Mille has been highly successful in his marketing tie-ups with sports folks. In tennis(Rafael Nadal), running(Yohan Blake), F1 (Felipe Massa), golf (Bubba Watson), his brand ambassadors actually wear their tourby watches while doing their sport of choice. With Pablo Mac Donough in his ambassador stable and requesting for it, a RM watch to withstand the extremes of the sport of polo was kind of a matter of time. so 2012 sihh saw the birth of the numbered, 15 piece, limited edition, manual wind tourbillon timepiece.

i must say it does have some very nice angles
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and that movement is killa
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the movement which is a treat to me eyes is also inclined at 30 degrees too and it's a beauty. free sprung balance wheel with variable inertia, fast rotating barrel at 6 hours per revolution vs the typical 7.5 hours... whatever... just LOOK AT IT! ;)
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note this is the bit that can't be seen when worn on the wrist which more or less means hiding your best bits... [which may actually work for some ;)]
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while the back is really really nice looking, the front is a bit ho hum in a way for RM what with it being so covered up... yuh I get the whole polo smashing and breaking your watch thing but still... (wondering about diamond hard sapphire cover and other outline-y bits in the carbide thingy)
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but as noted in the earlier part of my post... the purpose of this watch is not to say 'I make sensible and practical choices in life' or that and so for the purpose I have noted for it as a tourby LE RM, with no bling no colored gold or plat... it serves it's purpose well enough ;)

signing out, raphmeister 'baller whilst he has a RM053 on his wrist' too 
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Sunday, 14 July 2013

Omega On My Mind ~ 2013 Basel Novelties, An Exhibition in August and the Omega Dark Side of the Moon

Omega Dark Side Of The Moon ~ Ceramic Case and Dial
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first off, my thanks to the fine marketing folks in Omega Singapore for getting these watches to me for this review of some of the 2013 novelties but before getting to that, I would like to inform readers about an Omega Co-Axial exhibition coming to Paragon from Aug 23 to Sep 1 (1030am-8pm) so mark your calendars. Some press release info:

The nine-day exhibition will celebrate the innovative technology found within each of OMEGA’s exquisite mechanical timepieces and give members of the public an opportunity to witness the level of precision involved in creating each component. Invented by the late master watchmaker, Dr. George Daniels, in the 1970s and industrialized by OMEGA’s engineers and technicians in the 1990s, the Co-Axial escapement was a vast improvement on the Swiss lever escapement and addressed the problems of lubrication that had perplexed watchmakers for centuries.

It was the first practical new watch escapement in some 250 years – featuring an intermediary wheel, a double coaxial wheel, an escapement wheel and its components- and signaled a revolution in mechanical watchmaking. OMEGA enthusiasts along with watch connoisseurs will be able to enjoy an informational guided audio tour through the evolution of the escapement from its revolutionizing debut in 1990s, to its integration into present-day OMEGA Co-Axial calibers.  

OMEGA De Ville Co-Axial of 1999, numbered “0” and dedicated by OMEGA “To our friend George Daniels”. That watch represented the industrialization of the Co-Axial escapement and of the technology that has become such an important part of OMEGA’s story.
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Omega Speedmaster that Daniels himself fitted with an early version of the Co-Axial escapement. Daniels had chosen this watch without influence from Omega and had used it to persuade the watch industry to use the new escapement
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OK now to business! the 2013 novelties featured some interesting new additions so here's a quick run down on some of the new watches with a bit more info and comparisons for the speedys which are my fave watches in their range :)
first up, ladies first ;) I liked the look of these 2 watches from the 2013 lineup and took some pix of them. wonderful dials and dazzling diamonds make these cool watches for the elegant lady
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Ladymatic with Omega Co-Axial Calibre 8520 Shaded grey supernova pattern on dial... Snow setting 184 diamonds totalling 1.04ct on bezel (Retail: S$21,700)
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Boutique Exclusive De Ville Prestige White MOP with butterfly pattern on 18k gold (Retail: S$36,450)
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 Next up Aqua Terra Annual Calendar in RG and Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT
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Seamaster Planet Ocean GMT ~ OMEGA has committed a portion of the proceeds from its Seamaster Planet Ocean 600M GoodPlanet to fully funding a project to preserve the mangroves and seagrasses in Southeast Asia and educating the local population about the conservation of these important natural resources that are such a critical part of a balanced ecosystem. (Retail: S$10,550)
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Aqua Terra Annual Calendar in RG ~ Heavy Metal! Love the heft of all gold watches even if it will make you walk lop sided :) not sure about practicality but it's a looker in a nice shade of red gold (Retail: S$48,750)
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wrist shot of the good planet
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  Moving on now to the Seamaster Chrono GMTs
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In steel... Omega Co-Axial Calibres 9605, Tech-blue dial with lacquered blue subdials. Rhodium plated indexes, hands and logo (Retail: S$11,850)
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the red gold is really wonderfully executed and the color is very warm with a very rich tone.  (Retail: S$35,700)
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movement shots of the Omega Co-Axial Calibres 9615 ~ "Si14" balance spring on Omega free sprung-balance. 2 barrels mounted in series with 60 hrs of power reserve. NIVACHOC Omega column wheel chronograph mechanism
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I wish more of the movement was visible and not hidden under the well decorated bridges.
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and the main event :) the speedys! meeting up with its older brethren without the co-axial movement... from Left to Right then: 321 speedy pro, 57 speedy, modern speedy pro with the 1861, dark side
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the first thing you notice about the new speedys are that they are bi-compax instead of the three register format of the original Speedy models and that they house the co-axial movement. it does seem that Omega is trying to move more of its production away from non-co-axial movement watches but I do hope they can come out with a tri-compax chrono version so that if they do choose to stop using the non-co-axial movement, the original moonwatch three register dial design will not be phased out. with the bi-compax design, the subdial at 3 o’clock serves as both the 12-hour and 60-minute counter 
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speedmaster 57 and dark side... other differences between a speedy pro moonwatch vs the newer speedys are (1) date vs no date (2) automatic vs hand wound and in the case of the dark side, ceramic vs steel [sufficient differences for a moonwatch owner to buy the dark side perhaps? ;) ]
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Speedmaster 57 with 2 registers. it would seem that the rest of the 57 broadarrow design dna has been retained (Retail: S$11,650)
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57 Speedy etched on the case
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Omega The Dark Side of the Moon ~ The black zirconium oxide ceramic dial, complemented by a matching ceramic 44.25 mm case with a brushed and polished ceramic casebody, features striking 18K white gold applied indexes and hands as well as two blackened sub-dials that distinguish the timepiece from its legendary predecessor, OMEGA’s “Moonwatch”. it also has a matt chromium nitride tachymeter scale and ceramic pushers (Retail: S$15,500)
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omega symbol on the crown as with most models
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engraved on the polished ceramic caseback in matt chromium nitride, above the bevelled scratch-resistant sapphire crystal...
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Zr02 for zirconium oxide can be seen on the middle of the dial so folks know that it's ceramic... and looking at the chrono counter it's running at 1hr 29mins and 45.5seconds ;)
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movement shots... 9300 co-axial same as those found in the other bi-compax Speedys. note this watch does not have a quickset date so to adjust the date u will have to go to the 1hour jump setting and click through the 1 hours for 24 times to change to the next date... not ideal but not winding it through mins and hours...
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the calibre 9300 is equipped with a Si14 silicon balance spring. Silicon is non-magnetic so it is not influenced by magnetic fields. This quality combined with the excellent resilient coefficient of silicon allows the balance springs, which are etched on a silicon wafer, to deliver improved chronometric performance.
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Silicon also has a very low fatigue influence and ages slowly. The outstanding reliability delivered by the combination of Co-Axial technology and the silicon balance spring is such that OMEGA delivers its Co-Axial watches equipped with silicon balance springs with a full four-year warranty.
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The method to create this piece was to carve the case out from a single block of ceramic rather than inject it into a mould. This process is said to take 20 times longer than injection moulding, so production has been limited to 3,000 pieces a year. What this also means is that deliveries to dealers may be slower which may result in some build up demand if folks are fine on the price point and willing to be on waitlists...
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the pic above and below show the interesting look of the dial under different lighting conditions... the case, dial, bezel all reflect light in a very nice way
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 overall a great addition to the speedmaster lineup and a watch that will give current owners of the speedy pause in their consideration for their next sports watch purchase. main pros are that it's a good sized case for a black watch and the ceramic dial and case was done really well. the price point may cause folks to consider other alternatives though(in the black and/or sports chrono range) but if one has their eyes set on an Omega, than this would be a great choice to go with impo.  
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all in all, a good showing from Omega. thanks for making it this far and hope you enjoyed the post ;) cheers, raph

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