I really enjoy the case shape (see above photos) which is clean and minimalistic but not in a way which detracts from the shape of the case itself. While I like the styling seen in the Vallelunga range, I cannot help but find the design of the handset to be flawed. My criticism is that the hour hand is the same color as the dial and, judging from the images on Autodromo's website, the hour hand literally disappears in some photos except for the small contrasting marker at its tip. Originally, I thought I was looking at a stopwatch or regulator-style watch which featured only a single long hour hand. It's unfortunate as I really like the other dial details like the big date display, the exposed screw heads which flank the center of the dial and the almost Mondaine-like simplicity of their designs.
The High-Performance Chronographs compete in price and style with Porsche Design, almost too much so. At first glance I could see many people confusing these for Porsche Design timepieces. They clearly aren’t exact analogs, but there is a lot of “Porsche Design flattery” going on here in the Chronograph’s execution. Inside the High Performance Chronographs are Swiss ETA 2894 automatic chronograph movements. You can see that Zegna uses decorated versions of the movement with custom Ermenegildo Zegna rotors. Attached to the High Performance Chronograph watches are the same rubber straps as on the Sea Diver, or black textile straps with red contrast stitching.
I'm not a big fan of integrated bracelets, because they make it very difficult to wear a watch with any other strap. Though this might just be a negative for me. At the same time, an integrated bracelet does add a custom look to a watch. Having said that, from the look of the lugs on this Rado, a semi-custom strap should be doable. The case shape is a tribute to designs from the 1970's, and I'm still not sure what I think of it.
Listen to the HourTime Show watch podcast episode 115 here.
The dial is very deliberate in its design. It mixes the simplicity of the Grande Seconde with the more architectural look of the SW case. There is a sort of screwed-down brushed metal bar that extends from claw to claw, while a raised and angled border lines the two overlapping dials. This version of the SW watch opts for a blue trim on the hands and indicators, while the original SW watch used orange. There is also a version with red trim. As I mentioned before, the dial is really about art. Tool watch purists will complain that too much space on the dial is being wasted, but I don't know why those people are looking at Jaquet Droz to begin with. This is an emotion rich high-end brand that waves a lace-ended sleeve at such silly notions.
Playing with the Slyde is the best part of the watch. Tap the screen for example and on most functions they perform a little animation. There is even a little video player. Slyde will work with a range of watch designers for new engines, and the opportunities are really interesting. Things you can't do with actual mechanics you can do on the Slyde. The idea is for all the "watch skins" to look like they could feasibly be mechanical. There just isn't all that pesky engineering to deal with.
Sylvester hasn't had the easiest last few months as his son Sage Stallone died of what I believe was a drug overdose in LA. That's got to be rough as I understand Stallone was a good dad to a kid that couldn't quite standup on his own two feet. It can't be easy living in Rambo Balboa's shadow.
A feature on the date adjustment that you'll appreciate is the ability to adjust the date both backwards and forwards. Trust me - this is a good thing. The dual time feature is indicated via a window that shows the time in 24 hour format. This is the same as a GMT function, but it uses a disc versus GMT hand to indicate the second timezone. When you adjust the time via the crown, both times change. The trick is in the two pushers on the left side of the case - these are used to change the local time (main dial) both forward and back in time. The result is an easy to read, easy to adjust GMT watch for traveling. The pushers even have handy plus and minus symbols on them. The ability to move the date and time zone in both directions shows a dedication to the user experience that is actually a bit rare in this industry.
Let's jump into the timepiece's innovations first. The new complication has been coined the "Winding Efficiency Indicator" by Urwerk. The name makes sense but is unlikely to explain exactly what the complication is meant to do (i.e. turn your watch into a whiny wife). This winding efficiency indicator is coupled to the power reserve indicator and measures the amount of power you are generating via the automatic movement over the last two hours. As you know, automatic movements use a weighted rotor to wind a mechanical watch while you move your wrist around. If you don't move your wrist around then you don't charge up the movement.
The feel is very dressy. Gorgeous mirror finishing, alternating with brushed on the links, and the same stepped bezel as my 151P:
Bovet offers the Recital 0 in five versions. This includes a case size of 41mm wide or 45mm wide. The one I reviewed was the 45mm wide version. In addition to the two case sizes, you get a choice of a clean 18k red gold case or one that is decorated with an inner bezel ring of large baguette diamonds. That explains four versions, but I am still curious about the fifth. One thing I also don't quite understand is the variation I have seen in the dial and movement finishing. This model has a super cool dark gray-toned movement with 18k red gold hands. Other models I have seen (such as those in the above linked article on the full range of Bovet Recital watches up to that point) have a lighter finished dial with blued-steel hands and blued steel screws in the movement. Like I said, I prefer those of the piece I reviewed as they help the dial look beautiful, being able to clearly see the many movement parts individually.
On the wrist the Stirrup large isn't what I would call large, but rather medium-large. On my wrist it actually looks quite proportional, but I have small wrists. I think they should eventually offer one size larger for wide-wristed men who want to sport this unique design. I am not saying the watch is small, but you need to try it on for yourself - especially because the unusual shape of the case can be hard to visualize on your wrist without actually wearing it. I do appreciate how the tapered strap does help the case appear larger than it is.
Carbon fiber was really starting to get overdone a few years ago when it started showing up all over the place. The worst was the legions of cheap watches with fake carbon fiber dials - yuck! The watch industry really put carbon fiber on the backburner as a material lately. Like I said, materials such as ceramic and titanium started to get so much more popular, and were so versatile, that carbon fiber just didn't get as much attention from designers.
While there is nothing radically different or innovative about this watch winder, it represents an interesting flavor as part of Orbita's Avanti watch winder collection. Watch winders do come in a lot of varieties, but consumers still have a tiny choice of decent brands compared to those who make watches. I find that interesting especially since making watch winders is arguably more simple than making watches. Nevertheless, the humble watch winder is still seeking to gain mainstream acceptance.
What do the Maitres du Temps Chapter Three Reveal and the MB&F Legacy Machine Number 1 watches have in common? First of all, they both celebrate high-end independent watch makers. Second, they are collaborative works based mostly on the efforts of two men. The MB&F LM1 combines the talents of Jean-Francois Mojon and Kari Voutilainen, while the Chapter Three Reveal is by Andreas Strehler and once again Kari Voutilainen. It goes without saying that thirdly, they both integrate work by Mr. Voutilainen. Last, they are both highly aesthetically unusual for what the respective brands have so far asserted their visual DNA to be. You could also add that they are both the first real round watches from each brand as well.
As a former materials science guy, 'plasma coated ceramic' is descriptive but unspecific. Equivalent to 'polymer coated metal.' Plasma is just a state of matter, kind of like an excited gas, and ceramic is a whole class of materials too. Given Rado's long experience with exotic materials, I expect this to be super durable, but I also wonder what it is!