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On the Newsstand: September / October

On the Newsstand: September / October

Thick. Extremely thick. That was my first impression when I got the Sept. 2012 issue of International Watch (iW). And with a total of 208 pages, it is to be sure thick. In reality, it would need to be to cover essentially every subtlety of the New York City extravagance watch scene. Officially named “The New York Issue,” it’s a book of scriptures for each watch crack who lives in NYC,  plans to visit, or just wants to fantasize about strolling down the many watch-loaded streets and avenues.

What’s on the cover, you ask? Vacheron Constantin’s Historiques American Boutique New York. That’s a long, rather off-kilter name for their decidedly rich, off-axis watch. Of course, there’s a point by point survey, as well as an article on Vacheron’s relatively new boutique. Which leads me to one of the fundamental features of the issue: company boutiques.

In their “ Watch Boutique Guide ,” iW  presents inside and out coverage of all these one brand wonders, complete with interior photographs and a glorious, full-page shot of one watch selected to represent the brand. So, from Breguet to Bulgari, they’re all here. Also, to help you discover them, there’s a definite street map with all the locations. The guide also pinpoints the numerous watch retailers, retail chains and auction houses. (Needless to say, it’s now my favorite NYC street map.)

source: iwmagazine.com

Speaking of retailers, retail chains, and auction houses, there are articles on the most prominent players in the field. Also, don’t miss “Collecting In NY.” It covers all the prominent collector’s forums, groups, and clubs. iW could have stopped there, yet there’s still lots of NYC to go.

I loved the article considered “Public Faces.” It’s about the numerous famous clocks that adorn the city, from Grand Central Terminal to Tiffany to the mind blowing Delacorte Music Clock in Central Park. There’s an ambitious article on “New York Watches:” 17 restricted editions and boutique-only specials. And…….if you’re anticipating visiting the Big Apple, there are short interviews with concierges from Manhattan’s most prominent, and need I say expensive, hotels.

No! That’s not entirely there is on the NYC watch scene. However, I think I’ve given you enough to spark your interest. I also need to mention some of the non NYC stuff in the issue.

iW’s market section (also called updates & debuts) features 7 watches worth a serious look. There’s another look for Ebel: a handsome, slim model in PVD dark; an Alpina Heritage Pilot that’s seriously decent; a Seiko GPS Solar that I’d own in a second; a clean Muhle Terrasport 1 pilot’s watch; and more.

In their Minutes Affordable Watch section, iW features 5 watches that won’t demolish your wallet. The one that truly got my attention was a PVD dark Seiko Sportura Aviation Chronograph with an alert and other goodies. $650.

Last however not least, don’t miss the Victorinox Infantry Mechanical audit. It’s a 40mm job with an ETA 2824 topped with a thick sapphire crystal. The article says it would appear that a vintage Rolex Explorer 1. I totally concur. $650.

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The October 2012 issue of WatchTime is not as thick as iW, but for all us watch nerds, it’s absolutely a hefty hitter. Let’s start with the cover: a compelling photo of a watch that almost everyone loves, the Rolex Explorer ll. Thoroughly clarified and tested, you gain proficiency with everything to know about this revered watch. There’s also an accompanying article named “Explorer ll Through the Decades.”

On the subject of tests, don’t miss WT’s “Chrono Test Fest,” featuring 7 mid-valued chronographs. Who’s included? Baume & Mercier Capeland, $4350 ; Frederique Constant Vintage Racing Chronograph, $2995 ; Hamilton Khaki Field Officer Auto Chrono, $1395 ; Porsche P’6620 Dashboard, $6100 ; Stowa Pilot’s Chronograph, $2000 ; Movado Datron, $2995 ; Montblanc Sport DLC Chronograph Automatic, $6105.

Also tested is a non-chrono: the Breitling Transocean, a tough, good-looking watch for $5495.

If you’re interested in the ETA calamity, and you should be, read the Editor’s Letter. “The Hairspring Dilemma” discusses how the Swatch Group is going to severely restrict sales for Nivarox FAR, their hairspring subsidiary. They supply over 90% of the hairsprings in Swiss watches. Is there a possible solution to this quandary? Peruse on.

A possible, yet halfway, solution to this problem is clarified in an exceptionally interesting article named “Mover and Shaker?” In the author’s own words, “The Festina Group, one of the couple of companies that make movements from scratch, down to the hairsprings, hopes to cash in on cutbacks by the Swatch Group.” Festina owns a lot of movement and movement component companies, most notably, Soprod. We’re going to be hearing lots more about them in the coming years.

This was bound to occur: the Smart Watch from Citizen. Named the Eco-Drive Proximity Perpetual Calendar Chronograph, it synchs with the iPhone 4S through Bluetooth 4.0. Not only does it indicate incoming calls, emails and upcoming events, it happens to be really nice looking.

Now here’s an article of vast importance. It’s named “Striking a Chord,” and it’s about a fresh out of the plastic new, must-have watch with a short and catchy name: Corum Admiral’s Cup Legend 46 Minute Repeater Acoustica. Yes, it’s brief repeater that strikes chords instead of individual chimes or notes. The lamentable thing about it is that they’re only making around nine of them. Order immediately, and you might be fortunate enough to snag the white gold, full-clear version for only $527,000. To complete the image, get yourself a spiffy admiral’s hat!

“A Rolex Lexicon” is a helpful article that will instruct you to speak Rolese. To quote the author, “The world’s biggest watch brand speaks a language all its own. In the event that you’ve at any point scratched your head over terms like Paraflex, Tridor, or Cerachrom, read on.”

“Name Dropping” is a pleasant article. WT took 16 watches, and removed all brand identification. Try to identify every one of them. Don’t worry, your score won’t be place on your lasting record.

Ten years ago, in the event that you had told a watch connoisseur that Cartier would present what would undoubtedly be the most technologically progressed mechanical watch in the world, they’d probably ask to attempt what you’d been smokin’. All things considered, THAT watch is the Cartier ID Two, and you simply must peruse the article named “Search For Tomorrow.” The watch is shockingly sophisticated, not to mention gorgeous. What’s more, the cost of developing it probably exceeds our obligation to China.

Question: What would occur in the event that you applied the full weight of a Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe on the crystal of an UTS 4,000m? Nothing! This delightful jumper will bring you down to over 13,000 feet where the pressure is equivalent to the heaviness of that vehicle. No, I didn’t make that up; I stole it from the article. Honestly, could anyone make up something that preposterous?

Getting back to the real world, this issue covers lots more than I’ve reported, including a look at new Ball Watches, Hanharts, and the grailish Bremont Victory Watch.

by John Weiss