Hello, My name is Reg & I have a problem… ( that is step 1 of 12, isn't it?)
Today I had the DHL guy and the Fedex guy turn up almost back to back.
And there is more on the way.
Last week there was one
There were two more a few weeks ago
The problem is with the last batch of new arrivals, the case is full and I'l have to put some watches in a draw
Or I could get an additional case…
Enough of being maudlin!
I've been hunting one of these at a decent price for ages.
I got a great deal and great service from Dontan at Collector's Time
The still shots of the watch do not do it justice. The slightest movement sets the turbine blades that are the front of Perrelet's twin rotor system spinning. The contrasting colours underneath make for a mesmerising visual treat.
The display back shows off a nicely decorated in house movement. The case is deep and wide but doesn't feel like it thanks to a deeply curved lugs, a flatish back and a nifty folding handle and recessed crown. The proprietary rubber strap flows smoothly from the profile of the lugs and case and is held with a double deployment clasp that is itself finished and decorated on its inner surfaces. The DLC seems up to the task as I went through the nerve wracking task of cutting the strap to size.
Yeah the strap ends butt up into the clasp so sizing is a one time deal. I did check that replacements were available if I screwed it up, but using he old measure once, cut twice adage ( no wait, is that how it goes?) I was certain I had the number of section to remove correct. Trying to persuade the pin to release from the buckle proved a challenge and one slip had me cursing until I saw there was not a mark on the clasp despite my mistake. After a few more anxious moments it was all done. Each side of the clasp has 2 holes so there is some small scope for minor adjustments, but only of the order of about 4mm or so.
The Up side to no going back is that there is no extra flap of excess strap to worry about controlling.The clasp is solid and smooth and slim with the two buttons releasing it easily. I usually find double deployment clasps a bit fiddly due to trying to thread the extra end through loops somewhere. This is not a problem here and it goes on smoothly and wears smoothly. Once settled on my wrist it fit easily under a sleeve despite being 44mm wide ( crown depth irrelevant, remember its recessed) and about 13mm high. It really is quite streamlined.
I do have a history of liking impractical - my wife would say - illegible, watches. Something Douglas Adams would be proud of with a black case, black dial, black hands, black numerals. All they need is a little black light that lights up black when you push a button. The Red on black Perrelet Turbine is not that bad. Yes, it is black, but the numerals are angled around the bezel, so that the view of the dial is not interrupted and the hands have a gloss and matte finish and are infilled with Superluminova as are the digits, so in reasonable light it's okay. But I didn't get this for critical time measurement, but for the spinning turbine!
The package as delivered is pretty slick too. The presentation box has a matte slip case with gloss lettering of the brand name and its heritage and the inner case is thick and heavy and covered in silicone rubber, the inside of the case is all black too. It really is an exercise in blackness, with several harmonious shades and textures of black that just ooze appeal of various sorts.
Next out of the box was another long term planned and agonised over purchase. As a bit of a space nut I had been agonising over a Sturmanskie Gagarin Anniversary watch for a while. Which model, which colour etc, etc
Having gotten feedback from several sources I went with the 50th Anniversary model in the white face at 38mm. Several others have had them and while not totally authentic ( the original Yuri was presented with on graduating fighter pilot school was 33mm) it was pretty close and didn't look odd by today's standards and does contain the same Poljot 2609 movement made on the same equipment as Yuri's from what I understand - maybe even by the same old russian watchmaker, who knows?
I was pretty nervous about this still, as the only other Russian watch I own is a $65 Vostock Amphibian and this cost 5 times as much. The eBay dealer, Watchtime24 from Poland was great, the DHL shipping was included in the cost, tracking details were supplied, it was well wrapped and protected. All was quite reassuring. The eBay and Paypal protection was some peace of mind for a first time purchase of this type.So it looked pretty promising.
The box it comes in, while not on a par with the Perrelt or major Swiss brands is about on par with the Seiko Arctura I got a few weeks ago, but with a huge cool factor of being a.) Russian and b.) enclosing a little Vostock space capsule shaped presentation case. Okay, so its only plastic, but it still made me smile.
The watch is a nicely finished piece, the case is a quality item and the dial and numerals nicely done withe good lume. the hands are also good quality with sharp edges and tips. It looks like a precision instrument a pilot of the 60's would use. The lume on the hands is even brighter than the numerals. The case back is inscribed with the details of the flight, the anniversary and Yuri's famous "Let's Go!" quote as well as the limited edition number.
The band is simple plain, but quite thick black calf leather, with an inner coating. It's quite stiff but not uncomfortable and with only a 38mm slim watch to support easily fits under sleeves. The edges of the crown are a bit sharp, but don't come near your hand or arm so its not really a problem. Visibility of this is really good. and its aviation heritage shows, with the minute almost all and second hands extending all the way to the perimeter track.
This is a classy and subtle watch. It doesn't scream for attention, but anybody who notices will pick up on the Cyrillic script and the conversation flows from there. Well worth the money and I don't know why I was so anxious about it.
Next came a surprise in one sense. I'd always liked the square cased Bell & Ross look, but with what I thought of as skinny wrists I never thought I would get away with a BR01 46mm model. Several weeks back I went to the local dealer to look at its smaller brother in the blue numerated, aviation styled face but only 42mm wide. Turns out they didn't have the model they said they had, but they did have the Red Radar in the window. Just for giggles and to avoid having wasted the trip I tried it on. It fit fine!
So the search and the wait began. I finally tracked one down and haggled with Eric from Chrononation to get a great deal FedEx to my door for well under half what the local dealer was prepared to go to. He was very patient and the deal was great.
The watch is soooo much fun to wear. It is way above the level of useless that some of my aforementioned all-black numbers fall into. It is merely mind adjusting. You have to make a mental adjustment to the concept of looking at three concentric discs, seconds in the centre, then minutes in the middle and hours on the outer edge. The dial does have small indices for the hours and the prominent if thin cross hairs. There are even numbers inscribed along the cross hairs 12, 3, 6, 9 in the middle of the hour discs's sweep, 60, 15, 30, 45 in the path of the minutes. The second hand also moves in a nice continuos sweep to further the Radar illusion. What is hard about that?
I don't know what is under the red dial, but it does a convincing job of looking like it is glowing from within. It doesn't go "ping" nor have I achieved tone lock on any valid targets yet…
As to wearing it, It was just as I remembered from the store weeks ago. The watch is big and heavy, but the case is very flat and the lugs very short and slightly below the case back. The black finish is very matte and goes well with the very broad black rubber strap. The wide flat pin and buckle has lots of holes, so finding a comfortable spot was easy. Once done up the weight is really well distributed and the watch so flat to your wrist ( okay, it's not an ultrathin, but hey) that it does not feel heavy to wear.
Inside is an ETA based 2892 movement, but the case back is black coated steel so we don't get to see what has been done to it. The quality of the case though is first rate. It really looks and feel solids and finished. The crown, screws down for sealing and once undone is easy to use.
The presentation case was an elongated card outer, again matte, with embossed logo. Inside was a leather ( real or not I'm not sure) case that opened to reveal the instruction in the lid and a neoprene divider with an embroidered patch sitting on top. I guess that's for those shy types who've bought the bright red faced 46mm watch but think they might have to let people on the opposite side of them from the wrist they are wearing it on know about without having to mention it? It was cute and cool in equal measure. Mine will stay in the box.
Under this is another neoprene tray with the watch laid flat.
Below that is another with some tools and an alternate nylon NATO style strap that was an unexpected surprise.
Another fun watch to wear and a design that has, I keep hearing, reached iconic status in record time. Even non-watch people recognise the black square case with the round instruments inside. Not bad for a relatively young company. I just like it because it makes me smile. How cool is that?
The last box that got opened today I can blame on watchforumitis. It was whilst seeking opinions of which of several variants of a completely different brand and style of watch that someone who shall remain nameless posted a picture of it and said "what about this?"
It fair took my breath away.
It was amazing, and it was affordable and it had a jumping hour as well!
So some quick research into the company, their history and their products had me searching for a way to get one. Some emailing and back and forth put me in contact with Jacob at International WG, another dealer who was great. In fact they were so responsive fast and efficient I was almost suspicious there for a period - why were total strangers being sooo nice to some guy asking for big discounts? After looking, they checked out okay. From first contact via Chrono24 I had the watch in my hands via DHL around the planet 5 days later. It would have been sooner if it wasn't for a weekend in the way. They were great, happy to do a deal and helpful with suggestions. Definitely good guys.
The Azimuth was a complete impulse buy. I'd never seen or heard of it before the forum suggestions, but I just had to have it. And it wasn't the same as the Hyt or Urweks or the like that then plunged me into the depths of despair because they were completely unattainable. Here was a manual wind ETA movement that has been rebuilt with some interesting complications and nice decoration to the movement to give a planetary jumping hour on the tail of the minute hand with a seconds sub-dial. Doesn't sound like much, right?
But the satin brushed and polished case with the prominent 12 o'clock crown and deeply convex crystal over a stone dial that looks like stars and the minute hand skeletonised to look like a sleek 50's space ship suspending a segmented hours disc visible through a porthole in its tail and the seconds pointer looking like a miniature "Asteroids" ship. The only dilemma was there was one with a rotating planet earth seconds marker - which to chose? The InternationalWG guys helped and the stone faced Azimuth Spaceship is now mine!
It is a fascinating and pretty watch to look at, but hard to photograph thanks to that high domed crystal. The surface of the stone dial sparkles as a quite convincing star-field and the little rotating ship in the seconds sub-dial just seems to be waiting for those asteroids to appear. The numerals on the jumping hour disc are unambiguous with 11 of them mimicking a 7 segment display, while "Six" is lettered vertically to avoid confusion with "9" since the disc is attached to the minute hand, it's orientation is constantly changing. There are small pips around most of the bezel, but 9,10 and 6 miss out. the seconds sub-dial is in the 6 position ,but I'm not sure why it was thought better to put some text in french instead of the other two. It is still pretty readable, for all that. "Mysterious Jumping Hour" just seems a little redundant. The reworked movement is visible through a large Crystal back and is nicely decorated and fills the case.
The profile of the domed crystal flows into the case fluidly. It reminds me of the love child of the Jupiter 2 and Forbidden Planet's ship. The finish on the case is excellent and fits well with the finish on the dial and hands. It's not perfection, but its not a hundred thousand dollar watch, so it is great value and quite beautifully done. The band is another fitted rubber item with a double deployment clasp. The strap has holes punched at moderate intervals, but my 71/2 inch wrist used up the second to smallest hole, so be warned if this takes your fancy. The inside of the clasp is machined and decorated and the outside is an open worked rendering of the company logo. The pushbutton and pin part of the clasp are slightly less robust than the Perrelet, but it is not flimsy feeling. The rubber is pretty stiff though, so doing it up and feeding the extra length through the loops ( also embossed with the Azimuth logo) is a bit of a fiddle for now. I guess I'll get used to it with practice. The 12 O'clock crown is taking some getting used to also. It just isn't were you expect it to be, but it is unobtrusive and looks the business. Once extended is easy enough to use, with the warning in mind to avoid reverse rotations thanks to the jumping hour mechanism.
Once seated on my wrist, though it is another very comfortable watch to wear. The deeply curved lugs and wrist hugging case all hide the watch's wide proportions, so like the Turbine, it wears smaller than it's dimensions of 45mm would suggest.
The presentation box starts out well, a nice matte card outer reveals an inner box with a brushed aluminium plaque inset into a wooden grained case. The inside is nice, but the velour material isn't the same as good as the Perrelet or similar cost watches. It's not cheap, just a step down IMHO. If it had not arrived in a group of 4 deliveries at once I might not have made the comment.
This is one seriously different and ubercool watch. If you didn't know better you'd swear it was worth way,way more than it cost. it really is something to see that sparkling dial under than big dome with the sculpted hand. Another one to put the smile on my dial.
This is what happens when you hang around home recovering from a bodged shoulder surgery on drugs and with the internet on tap. The orders were all placed at different times in different parts of the world. It was just coincidence that 4 of them arrived together. Biggest problem for the day was swapping between them all day :)
Still to come are the…. but more on that later (they are more practical than these,I promise!)