This Version 2 is based on the CGK205 which I first covered here and then did a hands-on article with the CGK205 among other pieces here. As far as I can tell the new version has merely a new dial - which is almost a hybrid between the CGK204/205 and the earlier CGK203.
It was crowded at HYT during the press conference. Lots of people went to hear Vincent Perriard discuss the inner workings of the H1, the new watch from his new brand called HYT. Teased for months and then recently debuted, the HYT is a high-end geek watch that aims to combine traditional mechanical watches and liquid. The H1 is the brand's first release, with more liquid-themed watches to come in the future. I caught up with Perriard after the conference to get a special hands-on look and presentation from the man himself on the new watch.
Collectors can opt for one of four versions of the new PAC-MAN watch. In each, PAC-MAN is situated at 9 o'clock on top of a 3D depiction of the game play maze. The yellow color is applied with a special glossy lacquer. The ghost enemies are available in gray or colors, each with eyes looking at PAC-MAN. The other two models mimic these but contain two pairs of the iconic extra point cherries. An official PAC-MAN logo is located over 6 o'clock. The tips of the watch hands and character are applied with SuperLumiNova luminant. While PAC-MAN is static, I think it would have been fun to have him function as the subsidiary seconds hand and spin around.
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.
List price on the Rado D-Star is ,695. Given the ETA movement and durable, well-finished case, that seems reasonable to me. I see this as a nice Swiss watch for the man or woman who just wants a handsome classic watch that will last for a long time given the durable, highly scratch-resistant case material.
Inside the watch is a modified (some registers removed) Swiss ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic movement. The attached leather strap is something I wouldn't have guessed to see on a Sinn timepiece. Nothing wrong with it, but it isn't the type of style I usually associate with the brand. This is a special product meant to fit into a certain vintage theme. While uncharacteristic for Sinn to do this, it came out quite nicely. Sinn will produce just 100 pieces of the limited edition Chronograph Tachymeter watch. They have done so for a German online and catalog retailer called Manufactum.de (see the Sinn Chronograph Tachymeter watch via them here). Price is 1,350 Euros.
Tag Heuer and SpaceX's relationship likely started with Elon Musk - whom the brand worked with on his other company Tesla. I don't know if you recall, but Tag Heuer had a neat branded electric Tesla Roadster S car that they took around the world on a large tour. I actually don't know if there was ever a Tag Heuer Tesla watch - I don't think there was. With SpaceX there is, and Tag's relationship with Musk's ventures continues.
Recently he officially handed the CEO reigns over to his number 2 man Ricardo Guadalupe. Stepping aside to be Chairman, Mr. Biver now takes a less active role in the future of Hublot. A future he has helped to build with his tenacity, creativity, and sheer energy. Admired and envied by many others in the industry, Biver is a master at what he does, and connecting Ferrari and Hublot is one of his proudest achievements. You can see it right on his face.
The watch is called the Black Sea Chronograph and as a diver, it is water resistant to 200 meters with a rotating diver's bezel. While few people actually go underwater with a watch like this, the dial does represent its utilitarian theme with bold hands and hour indicator. One thing that surprisingly seems to work are the skeletonized hands. Lately I have noticed a huge personal dislike of skeletonized hands. Mainly because they often serve no purpose other than to make reading the dial more difficult. Designers use them for two reasons. First for the practical reason to make seeing dial underneath the hands more visible. That makes sense, and is often a balance of trading off legibility for being able to see dial information more of the time. The second reason is purely for design. This I hate. This is when designers think skeletonized hands look cool in CAD drawings and computer renders. They could care less that it takes the utility level of an actual watch down a few steps - not knowing that the materials used to make the dials and hands drastically effect what it looks like in real life as compared to the computer images. This is especially bad when there is nothing under the hands on the dial you need to see. Keep away from those watches. In this case, Ulysse Nardin takes a much more practical approach. The hands are skeletonized in order to make viewing the chronograph subdials possible more of the time. This is because the hands are really fat. So while they are skeletonized, the fat lume-coated tips are large enough to see easily. So this is a case when someone actually put time into the dial design to consider the right balance as best they could.
At Baselworld 2012 I got to check out an early version of the new P'6540 Heritage Chronograph. You'll note that Porsche Design made a lot of dial changes between the prototype and the final version shown in the marketing photographs I have included. While the prototype I checked out is more like the original, I think the final version is the best looking. The original Chronograph 1 used a Lemania chronograph movement and not the ETA Valjoux 7750 used in the modern version. This required a slightly different design for the prototype model, but it lacked a bit of sexiness. The final version cleans up the dial and makes it a lot more elegant, in addition to adding some "nice watch" elements.
Orient's signature complication is the power reserve indicator, here seen at twelve o'clock. They are not common, making it a nice differentiator for the brand. It indicates in hours, the amount of power in the mainspring. Here you can see about 30 hours of running remains. The movement should have a maximum power reserve of about 42 hours. With its bidirectional winding, about an hour per day of active wear (walking and such) will keep it topped off, but it's a nice bit of interaction with the mechanics. I quite enjoy watching it climb while I handwind, reminiscent of feeding an electronic Tamigotchi pet.
I didn't have much time to take highly detailed photographs of the dial - but you get the idea. It really is a neat piece of artwork thanks to engraver Michele Rothen. The dials are solid gold, and engraved by hand to replicate the Mayan iconography as well as to give the dial the appearance of aged rock. The hour indicators are blue, which are hand-applied blued steel pieces. The most special aspect of the dial in my opinion are the hands. Here you get to see some De Bethune DNA in their shape. They are also made from sapphire crystal with blued tips. This is not only an exclusive De Bethune process, but the clever hands allow you to see the dial details mostly unobscured while reading the time.
Seiko did not invent the GPS controlled watch. Actually, last year, its rival Citizen came out with the Citizen Eco-Drive Satellite Wave watch which also used GPS signals to control the time - but in a different way. These are two very different looking watches and have distinct features. Though they are both high-tech Japanese watches priced similarly, the Seiko Astron is probably a more apt everyday wear. I'd have to do a long-term review to fully find that out. Seiko also claims that the Astron is able to track multiple satellites to determine the location of the watch. This is unlike the Citizen which apparently only takes the time from GPS signals after you indicate where you are located. This is at least how I understand it and according to Seiko the Astron is a "watch with satellite controlled time and date with GPS time zone adjustment on demand."
As quirky as the UR-1001 is, the device is resolutely charming and fun. Visually fascinating it proves to be endlessly fun to play with and is physical testament to your horological dedication. I hope URWERK makes more of these. Each is/was priced at over 0,000.