Watchuseek Blog

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Linde Werdelin’s new collection available to try at home!

Linde Werdelin’s new collection available to try at home!

Linde Werdelin, always at the forefront of innovation, is now giving its customers around the world the chance to experience its new collection through the ‘Test Set’ option. A hassle free way that ensures the trial of a Linde Werdelin watch, for five days, from the comfort of one’s home at no obligation.

As the only watch brand using analogue and digital technologies to their best advantage, the Linde Werdelin Test Set is a unique private viewing opportunity to put the functions of the Linde Werdelin watches and the Rock through their paces. By simply completing a short loan form on the LW website, Linde Werdelin will ship the chosen watch model plus the Rock to be experienced and enjoyed for five days. There is no obligation of purchase and the return of the set has been made hassle free for the recipient.

“Since the launch of the new collection earlier this year, we have seen a lot of interest from people around the world” says Jorn Werdelin, Managing Director and co founder of Linde Werdelin. “We wanted everyone to be able to hold our products in their own hands, feel the
craftsmanship of the watch on their wrist as well as how light and easy it is to use the Rock. The Test Set allows potential customers to have all that for five days no matter where they are situated in the world”.

The Linde Werdelin new collection Test Set is available though (models subject to availability).

** For more information on the Terms and conditions of the Test Set option please visit

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

CORNELIUS & CIE presents the new Chronosome 46 XY/RDM

CORNELIUS & CIE presents the new Chronosome 46 XY/RDM

Responding to strong demand, Cornelius & Cie proudly presents the new Chronosome 46 XY/RDM,with a 42mm diameter case. The 46 XY/RDM shares the same strong visual features as its 49mm stable-mate, including the characteristic bulge in the case at 2 o’clock, the shape of the blued-steel hands and the shape of the dial, the latter inspired by classic designs from the 1940s.

The bulge of the 46 XY/RDM neatly accommodates the indicator for a very generous five days of power reserve provided by double mainspring barrels, and is aesthetically balanced by the retrograde date at 2 o’clock. The use of only even numbers on the dial allows for maximum legibility and a light, clean look that highlights the rich hand-decoration that characterizes all of Cornelius & Cie’s timepieces.

And as with all Cornelius & Cie’s timepieces, the customer has the option of creating a truly unique watch with a special engraving, logo, monogram, message or even portrait. The possibilities are endless!

Technical Data Chronosome 46 XY/RDM
Indications: Hours, minutes, retrograde date, power reserve
Case: Platinum or 18K pink gold
Hand engraved crown with logo and wood-like decoration
Corrector pusher for date at 2 o’clock
Dimensions: 42mm x 12mm
Dial: Solid silver with applied ruthenium-plated numerals
Open center with view to movement
Optional plate at 9 o’clock for personalized engraving
Movement: Automatic winding with 22K gold skeletonized rotor, 5-day (120 hours) power reserve. Double mainspring barrels, Hand-engraved bridges, ruthenium and rhodium plated 43 jewels
Water resistance: 3ATM / 30 meter
Crystals: Anti-reflection sapphire crystal front and display back
Strap: Alligator leather, custom design folding buckle in metal to match case

Cornelius & Cie
54, rue Ernest-Bloch
CH-1207 Geneva
+41 (0)22 735 1876
pictures made by Atsuyuki Shimada

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice Damascus Steel Dial Watch

Swedish watch makers Gustafsson & Sjögren present their newest timepiece called Ice, probably the most refined watch in their line up. As a pair, Johan Gustafsson and Patrik Sjögren excel at complex metallurgy and the creation of sophisticated styles of Damascus steel unique to their shop.

Gustafsson & Sjögren have been making watches for a few years, likely a decision made after being asked to supply parts for other watch makers interested in their skills. Both are Swedish - Gustafsson is a well know bladesmith (where use of Damascus steel is common), and Sjögren, among other things, is a certified watch maker.

Ice uses the special hand made Damascus steel in a few key ways, including for the dial and crown. Ice uses an manually wound ETA 6498-1 movement. Though, on other Gustafsson & Sjögren watches I believe that Damascus steel is also used on automatic movement rotors in applicable timepieces. Given then nature of how Damascus steel is made, no two pieces are the same. This means that each dial for Ice will be totally unique giving each piece an individual character.

The ETA 6498 movement is actually a pocket watch movement that has here been modified and decorated by Soprod and done in chronometer grade quality. It features a subsidiary seconds dial that on the Ice watch takes the shape of a three-curved blade style icon that is used on other Gustafsson & Sjögren timepieces - a good little touch of character.

At first glance the attractive but simple looking 44mm wide steel case may look a bit bare. Gustafsson & Sjögren call the look "simple" with the idea being that your attention should focus on the Damascus steel elements of the watch. The dauphine hands are nicely cut with a slice going through the middle of each. Hour indicators are each applied diamond jewels in white gold settings. The dial is covered with a sapphire crystal, while the caseback exhibition window has a mineral crystal. You'll find another diamond set into the end of the crown.

Gustafsson & Sjögren chose to pair the watch to a mesh steel bracelet which accentuates the look of the watch, though it would look equally nice with a variety of bracelet or straps that the owners can easily attach. The simply styled Swedish watch gives you the thrilling look of Damascus steel, popular among many including most collectible blade lovers. Price for the Gustafsson & Sjögren Ice watch will be about $8,000 and it will be made in strictly limited quantities.

By Ariel Adams

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Disposable watches, yuck!

Sometimes, I can still be a bit surprised by people who don’t have a decent wristwatch. I know, it is a bit naïve probably, but when I have a proper hunch that someone makes some serious (or enough) money I can be amazed by the fact that they wear a 25 euro wristwatch. Not that I immediately link it to status, but simply because they probably can afford a nice watch.

Perhaps I am spoiled with the people around me, of which most have a very good taste in watches. However, I do have to admit that some of them probably got years of indoctrination by me :) For example, after a few years of living in a students’ house, they all bought (or got) nice watches for themselves. Ranging from vintage Omega watches to Sinn, Chopard Happy Diamonds and Rolex watches. In general, I think that people my age (around 30) are more into watches than the same age group -let’s say - 10 years ago, when the run on fine watches was already going on (since early 1990s). It probably also has something to do with clever marketing by the watch brands. When I browse through a random magazine that my girlfriend buys for example, I see big watch brands advertising for mechanical wrist watches for ladies. Watch advertisements are everywhere anyway, in all kinds of magazines, at events and some even have TV commercials. I don’t remember that this was the case 10 years ago, at least not in this quantity.

I also think it is more common these days to have more than one watch as opposite to former years, where you just bought one decent watch that had a write-off period equal to the rest of your years to live. And although not every watch buyer shares the same interest in watches as the average WatchUseek visitor, it seems to be commonly accepted that you have more than one nice watch.

Anyway, to get back to the first paragraph of my rant, some people don’t seem to care at all. No matter what amount of income they have. Some people drive cars of 100.000 euro but still wear a cheap plastic watch. Also from the perspective of durability I’d expect that more people wouldn’t buy disposable watches anymore. Brands like IWC advertise like crazy about their green production facility in Schaffhausen. Living durable and being aware of our precious environment should be reason enough to buy a durable wristwatch, preferably one with a mechanical movement.

Perhaps my surprise also comes from seeing these people wear expensive suits and shoes and on their wrist sits a plastic wristwatch. That does not make any sense to me. A matter of interest you might say, but it repels me everytime I am confronted with such a sight.

One of the solutions I can think of, besides indoctrination on a personal level, is to spread links to interesting articles about watches or ‘accidentally’ leave a watchmagazine here and there.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Bremont's Martin-Baker project

Thinking of getting a pilot's watch? Consider the Bremont watches from the United Kingdom. Bremont is a relatively new watch brand from the U.K. by brothers Nick and Giles English. Both are professional aviators who have a passion for wrist watches.

Their latest watches are a joint venture between Bremont and Martin-Baker. Who? Martin-Baker, the world's longest established and most experienced manufacturer of ejection seats. For over 60 years, Martin-Baker has saved over 7,283 aircrew lives in more than 93 Air Forces.

The Bremont MB1 watch (the MB2 will follow later on) has to go through the following tests by Martin-Baker:

1. Catapult phase 12 - 15G
2. Rocket motor 12 - 15G
3. Drogue Stability 30G (600kt sled test)
4. Parachute deployment 15G

Furthermore, this watch will only be available to those who have ejected a Martin-Baker seat. Your ejection number will be engraved in the caseback of the MB1 watch. At first I thought this probably had something to do with the English sense of humour (which I like), but Bremont is dead serious about this. Luckily for the people who have some form of common sense, the MB2 will be available for the less brave buyers as well.

Bremont uses Soprod/ETA movements and have them chronometer certified (COSC = Controle Officiel Suisse des Chronometeres). Bremont refers to their movements as BE-xx. These movements are assembled and tested in the watchfactory in Bienne / Switzerland. Unlike the other Bremont watches, the Martin-Baker models will be further assembled in the United Kingdom, making it a 'Made in Great Britain' pilot's watch.

The MB1 and MB2 watch both will feature the same caliber BE-36A movement, as written before, chronometer certified. The Trip-Tick case design is, like in the other Bremont watches, also used for these new models. The sapphire crystal is applied with 9 layers of anti-reflective coating as untreated crystals can allow light to reflect back, which has - in most cases - a negative effect on the legibility of the dial.

And the size? 43mm. In my opinion a very decent / acceptable size for a pilot's watch, especially when compared to the vintage looking pilot's watches that a few companies seem to produce these days. However, it is still a bit larger than its obvious competitors, like the IWC Mark XVI, which has a diameter of 39mm.

These watches are delivered on either a leather strap or the so-called NATO canvas strap. The Bremont MB1 watch will become available early November 2009 and has a £2,900 pricetag. Oh, and an ejection in a Martin-Baker ejectionseat.

Details on the price and availability of the MB2 are not yet available.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Angular Momentum Dive-Tec/500 Watch

The release of a true diver's watch is a stepping stone for most watch companies. The majority of serious watch makers today have at least one diving or nautical watch model. The ubiquitous Rolex Submariner, the luxurious Patek Philippe Nautilus, the historical Blancpain Fifty Fathoms, and the classic yet Modern Breguet Marine are all excellent examples of this concept. Now Switzerland based Angular Momentum meets this need with the release of (arguably) their first serious diving watch specially designed with unique features for ocean depth plummeting.

The new Angular Momentum Dive-Tec/500 is a marvelous tool timepiece with a hip style and is Angular Momentum's ticket to acceptance from a whole new demographic of watch lovers. When combining the non-traditional artistic style of Angular Momentum with the functional needs of a diver's watch, the result is almost a modern classic which offers a total alternative to other modern dive watches. Instead of an overly complex and technical design, the Dive-Tec/500 is a step into refreshing simplicity. The timepiece stresses the four major needs of any diving watch: 1) telling the time, 2) being highly legible in low light and under water, 3) having a rotating diver's bezel, and 4) being able to survive the depths. Everything else is tangential, and probably better provided via other dive equipment. Take for example the mechanical depth gauge of certain luxury dive watches. Would you rely on them for accuracy over a trusted dive computer? Not likely. Instead, a timepiece is more valuable than a dive computer for telling the time. Not from an accuracy standpoint, but rather from a visibility standpoint. Find one dive computer that is as easy to see and read as the Dive-Tec/500. The case is 500 meters water resistant, while the large case and incredible luminant are heaven for under water clouded vision. See the large round screw placed on the bezel? That allows one to secure the bezel so that you do not accidentally turn the hefty ring which is done with 'fresh from the laser-cut' steel. The more raw finish to this component of the watch assists with grip and has an industrial look to it which enhances the watch's style. Other parts of the case are nicely polished.

Details for the Angular Momentum Dive-Tec/500 are impressive. The case is 46mm wide by 17mm thick. In response to the fact that most diving watches are met with salty, not fresh water, the case is made from special 1.4435 NCu StayBrite steel. The higher than 316L grade stainless steel is specially resistant to the corrosive effects of prolonged exposure to salt water. As a matter of style, the crown of the Dive-Tec/500 watch is made in the form of a valve screw - a part found in most manners of life sustaining, air providing underwater equipment. In a brass tone, the crown is actually lemon gold coated steel.

Angular Momentum's ace in the sleeve is their proprietary Èmail Lumineuse luminant. A special formulation created by Angular Momentum, the compound is a mixture of enamel and high grade luminant material. As applied by Angular Momentum, Èmail Lumineuse is a superior luminating material able to sustain a light charge brightly for many hours. The Dive-Tec/500 employs two colors of Èmail Lumineuse for the best possible function and appearance. The compound is applied on the dial of the watch as well as in the bezel (plus optionally on the caseback).

To achieve 500 meters of water resistance, the Dive-Tec/500 uses a 3mm thick sapphire crystal on the front and rear of the watch. The crystal on the back is specially applied over the automatic mechanical Swiss movement, and comes available either clear, or with a layer of Èmail Lumineuse over it allowing for an additional glowing part of the timepiece. The sapphire crystal on the rear of the watch is the access point for the movement and must be removed by Angular Momentum or its dealers if the watch movement requires repair or servicing. The watch will arrive with a silicon or calf leather strap. Price will be around $7,500 with each of the limited production timepieces being manufactured at the Angular Momentum atelier in Switzerland.

By Ariel Adams

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Introducing Guer Man

Introducing Guer Man

Like in plein-air Guer Man like to step out of the beaten tracks. The model “TRACE” was born after a long maturity thanks to the encounter of two enthousiasts: a technician and a designer. They have acquired, forged and ripened a fine and great watchmaking experience due to their atypical career path that was propitious and very rewarding.

Guer ManGuer Man

The concept of this “time-keeper” is to have an innovative and traditional style utilizing noble, precious and natural materials. Aside the ordinary, this style confers to the project a great complication.

Guer Man

The philosophy is to make relative the notion of “watch” integrating an ideology that strictly bonds with the idea of an “ARTISTIC CREATION”. Guer Man want to indicate in a simple manner the time that goes by (hours, minutes and seconds), endowing however the future owner of a Guer Man creation with a supplement of soul and happiness.

Guer ManGuer Man

An unusual and complex pattern accounts for the perimeter composed by 71 hand made columns.

In order to give life to this timepiece, Guer Man have integrated an automatic movement of proven track record and extended reliability.

The calibre is that of an ETA 2789:
• 4 wheel bridges angled in bicolour / gold 2N, 5N and white rhodium.
• The personalised rotor has the gilded “Guer Man” logo in 2N, 5N gold and white rhodium.
• A high quality ruby is found in its centre above the black engraving.
• The screws of the rotor and the bridges are in massif 18k gold.

Guer ManGuer Man

Related link: [The Guer Man Site will be up and running fully in the middle of September.]

Saturday, August 1, 2009

A. Mantei, handcrafted unique watches!

Independent watchmaking is a trend, but not for the watchmakers who are doing so. They have been working on these watches for many years, thinking over their designs, the use of certain type of movements, dials and new materials. It seems that the watchmakers who have been working on their watches for so long now, finally gain the respect they reserve. It seems that people are fed up with the same old same old that the large watch companies and luxury groups are putting them up with.

If you are interested in independent watchmaking, one of the shows you've just got to attend this year is the Watch 2009, organized by (a.o) WatchUseek. I've visited Watch 2008 in Maastricht and I was more than impressed by the laid-back atmosphere, the exhibitors and the location. A report on this event can be read here.

The WatchUseek blog team will high-light a few of the watch brands attending the Watch 2009 in Maastricht and Hamburg. Today, it will be the fabulous watchmaking skills by Armin Mantei (named after the founder himself). Affordable handcrafted watches, made all by the master himself. And more, there will be only one of each watch, the so called 'Einzelstücke'.

A. Mantei watches are available in stainless steel only, but the dials are either silver or gold, but finished with pulverized enamel, as shown in the model above (Merak). The stainless steel watch cases are fairly big (approximately 42mm) but flat enough to make it a useable watch for all kinds of occasions.

Mantei watches are truly handcrafted, which means that no CNC-machines have been used, and the hands, dials and lunettes are all labour by hand. Because of this, Armin Mantei is able to create unique watches entirely based on the customer's demand. Opposite to a lot of other watchbrands who have their watches assembled and crafted somewhere else, Armin Mantei does everything by himself, except for creating the mechanical movement. However, he does make sure they are getting the right amount of attention.

The movements used are automatic mechanical movements by ETA. The A. Mantei models with hours, minutes, seconds (and some times datewindow) are powered by the proven ETA 2824-2 movement. The 'Benetnash' model for example, a chronograph, uses the famous ETA Valjoux 7750 movement and is nicely engraved by hand (as shown below).

Armin Mantei (1961) is a master watchmaker (Uhrmachermeister in German) since 1977 and started his own watch brand on the 21st of August 2007, almost 2 years ago.

His firm is located in the nortern part of Germany (above Hamburg) and besides the possibility of giving his store a visit, you can also order his watches on-line.

Make sure to pay the A. Mantei booth a visit when you are visiting the Watch 2009 event in Hamburg.

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