A Visit to a Watch Store
by Michael Sandler
I got out of work a little early last Friday, so I figured I’d pay a visit to my favorite watch dealer to see what he had to play with. Not only was he gracious enough to pull a whole bunch of stuff out of the cases for me, but he also let me take pictures of the stuff I got to see. The pictures below are from my visit. LOTS of fun!!
Holding the cursor over a thumbnail will tell you what watch is pictured. Simply click on the thumbnailed image below to see the full-size (640 x 512 pixels) image.
Blancpain is definitely one of my favorite brands….and their watches “grow on me” more each time I see them. Their elegant and simple designs, excellent movements, and great reputation are still available at what I’d consider a very fair price. The Half-Hunter models are awesome, and Blancpain did a great job making sure that the flip-open case backs did not add too much thickness to the watch case. The dial work is also phenomenal. The sunburst dial (see the last Blancpain picture) is outstanding, and the picture definitely doesn’t do it justice. As for that rose gold Fifty Fathoms on the bracelet….it feels like it weighs over a pound. A VERY substantial watch. I suppose the only good thing is that I can’t afford more of these watches, because I’m not sure I’d be able to resist the temptation otherwise.
BELL & ROSS
If you like big clunky watches, these are worth a look. The titanium model is surprisingly light given its size, and the dials are actually quite legible. I’m not too crazy about the shape of the cases, however…but that’s just personal preference.
Chronoswiss makes some pretty unique looking watches, and the Opus certainly stands out. It’s pretty to look at, but don’t expect to be able to tell the time at a glance. The other Chronoswiss models have really nicely executed dials, and are actually fairly attractive watches except for the “coin-edge” bezel, which I don’t like.
DUBEY & SCHALDENBRAND
These watches have some of the nicest dials I’ve seen, especially for the price. The guilloche dial on the Aerodyne Bid Date
(pic 1) is outstanding, and is actually very legible even though it is heavily textured. The chrono also has a really nice dial, and the movements visible through the display backs are all really well finished. I actually find them a bit too ornate…but there’s obviously a lot of work that goes into the movement finishing.
Looking for a big, legible watch with a display back? The Traversetolo is definitely worth considering. It’s a nice, conservative design and seems to be a pretty good bargain. It’s simply too big for me to wear, however, and I’d definitely suggest trying one on before buying. The Tazio Nuvolari chronograph is a really nice watch, and has a very unique machined bezel. The bezel isn’t great for legibility (tachymeter), but it really suits the watch. I could do without Tazio Nuvolari’s logo (a turtle) on the dial, however.
I used to really dislike these watches, but every time I see them, I like them a little more, which scares me. The dial work is actually really nicely done, and the movements are nicely finished. The dials themselves are also pretty unique, with retrograde hands and jump-hours. Definitely worth a look if you’re trying to find something out of the ordinary. Genta actually has some major designs to his credit, including the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the IWC Ingenieur (current).
The GP chronos are actually all really nice
looking watches. I’m surprised that I haven’t seen more of them around. I really like the carbon fiber dial on the 250TR, but I could do without the red hands and accents. The rubber strap on this watch is excellent, and much less expensive than the Blancpain rubber strap that’s found on the Aqualung and Trilogy watches. The Phil Hill chronographs are nice,
alt=”Ulysse Nardin Ladies San Marco Chronometer with blue enamel dial” src=”img/articles/itsabout631677496087202716/Nardin07_thumb.jpg” >
The Ulysse Nardin line definitely has a unique look to it. The dial work is terrific on the watched I looked at, and the cases are very well finished as well. The 1-button pulsometer is a really nice looking watch with a very retro feel to it. The Perpetual Ludwig dial, in my opinion, is way too disorganized, with the various displays seemingly haphazardly placed all over the dial. The movement looks terrific through the display back, however. The bright blue enamel dial on the ladies San Marco chronometer has to be seen in person to truly appreciate the color. It’s really unique.
Not much needs to be said about this brand, since everyone knows it. The Daniels Co-Axial is a really nice watch, but there too much information printed on the dial, which I find distracting. It would be on my short list of watches to acquire if it wasn’t for all the printing on the dial. The dial of the America’s Cup Seamaster is really nice, and I’m happy to
see a black dialed Seamaster. Even with the wavy lines, it’s a very legible watch, and I’m glad the skeleton hands were replaced by ones filled in bright white. Again….I could do without the “America’s Cup” printing on the dial.
Every time I see the RGM watches, I think they have a “Breguet” feel to them. The dials definitely remind me of Breguet, and I always wonder if Mr. Murphy did this on purpose. The chronograph pictured is a one-of-a-kind watch, and there’s no other one quite like it. The dial is really nice (guilloche), and the movement looks really well finished (to the naked eye).
I don’t really like the shape of the Roth cases, but they’re nice, elegant watches that look to be very well finished. The movements look good through the display backs.
The single-register Tutima chronograph (the “Commander” – see first pic) in titanium is actually a pretty unique watch, and is substantially more legible than regular chronos because of its lack of the extra chrono registers. Pretty nice of you’re looking for chrono functions without the dial clutter. The second pic shows the NATO chronographs in both left-handed and right-handed versions. The top watch is titanium, and the bottom one is
brushed stainless steel. As you can see by the third pic, these watches are really thick, and not likely to slide easily under most shirt cuffs. The titanium watches are unbelievably light given their size and thickness.
VAN DER BAUWEDE
I’ve never been a big fan of the
Tonneau cases, but the Van Der Bauwede watches pull off the shape pretty well. The Magnum Churchill is a BIG watch, and the case shape makes it seem even bigger than it actually is. The second watch in the first picture is the quartz version of the “Quarterback” watch. I have no idea what they were thinking when the put that silly grid over the crystal. The carbon fiber dial on the Magnum Churchill is really nice, and very legible. The movement are visible through display back on the mechanical Magnum Churchill seems relatively well finished.
I don’t really like the dial or the case thickness of the Loga…it’s simply too busy. It’s also a pretty heavy watch in steel, although it’s available in titanium as well. I’ve always liked the simplicity and legibility of the V-Matic dial, and have been tempted to buy this watch on more than one occasion. So far, I’ve been able to resist. In titanium on strap, it’s extremely light, and feels smaller than it actually is. I’m still not sure if I like the little black “button” in the middle of the crystal.
I personally don’t really find this watch too appealing, but if you’re looking for something a little different, it might be worth a look.
I hope you enjoyed this!
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