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August 2013

Watchmaking: URWERK EMC (Electro Mechanical Control)

Today, URWERK unveiled “the world’s first precision mechanical watch in which the timing can be both monitored and adjusted by the user to suit their lifestyle.” The Electro Mechanical Control (EMC) movement was designed over the course of 6 years, with the goal to improve accuracy and precision. Their goal was achieved with a special balance and barrels. The balance wheel is made from ARCAP, which is a non-magnetic, corrosion resistant alloy of copper and nickel. The geometry of the balance wheel maximizes the aerodynamics and minimizes loss over time. It beats at 4 Hz and is powered by dual barrels that are vertically mounted on a single shaft. The result, is an 80-hour power reserve with consistent power delivery.

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Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel

Breitling has just announced a 1,000-piece limited edition Blacksteel version of the Navitimer Cosmonaute, which was originally launched last year. It is distinguished by a black matte PVD coating on the case, crown, pushers and bezel. The case measures 43 mm and is water-resistant to 30 meters. This watch is manually wound, just like the original 1962 Navitimer. Also true to the original, the dial has a unique 24-hour display, which allows the wearer to quickly determine if it is day or night.

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The Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditional 14-Day Tourbillon, Collection Excellence Platine

Vacheron Constantin recently announced a new platinum tourbillon, the Patrimony Traditional 14-Day Tourbillon. The newest Collection Excellence Platine model is presented in a 42 mm by 12.22 mm platinum 950 case. It displays hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock on the tourbillon carriage and a 14-day power reserve at 12 o’clock. Baton hour markers are in polished platinum, with an arrow shaped marker at 12. The minutes, small seconds and power reserve are indicated by black painted markings. The Vacheron Constantin logo and Maltese cross are located off center at 3 o’clock. In between 4 and 5 o’clock, ‘PT 950” is stamped on the dial.

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EDITORIAL: The Service Dilemma: Vintage Grand Seikos

In this article I will discuss a beautiful circa 1969 vintage Grand Seiko Hi-Beat Ref. 6146-8030TAD wristwatch that I recently sent in to Grand Seiko Japan to be overhauled and serviced. The timepiece needed a cleaning, lubrication, adjustment and new plastic crystal, but apart from that everything appeared to be original and in very good condition. Additionally, when I sent it in, the watch could not hold any power, and as I feared, it was due to a broken mainspring (which winds up and then releases the power to animate the watch). No worries, though, they can just put a new mainspring in when they service the watch and everything will be working again, right? After all, they are the manufacturer of the watch. Wrong.

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Oris Calobra Limited Edition

Oris recently introduced the Calobra Limited Edition, which is essentially a special race themed version of the Oris Artix GT Chronograph. Presented in a 44 mm stainless steel case, the Calobra has a ceramic bezel with a minutes scale. The sapphire crystal is domed and features an inside anti-reflective treatment. Inside, is Oris automatic Cal. 774 which is based on the Sellita SW500. It has 25 jewels, beats a 4Hz and has 48-hour power reserve. Oris has modified the movement to display retrograde small seconds (a linear continuous minutes subdial at 9 o’clock), and while this is not a major horological advancement, it is cool as not many watches have this.

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Hands-On With The Hamilton Khaki Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono

For 2013, Hamilton introduced an automatic version of the Khaki Pilot Pioneer, which was originally launched in quartz in 2010. The Khaki Pilot Pioneer is inspired by the aviation watches from the 1970s, specifically the model that Hamilton originally designed for the Royal Air Force. The new automatic version — the Khaki Pilot Pioneer Auto Chrono — has the same overall design as the quartz, except for a few changes which distinguish it as the version with the mechanical movement.

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Casio Introduces New Line Of Metal G-Shock Watches, The Metal Twisted MT-G Collection

Last night, at Basketball City in Manhattan’s Lower East Side — in front of a large audience of journalists, retailers and guests — Casio unveiled an all new line of metallic G-Shocks, the MT-G collection. The new Metal Twisted G-Shock collection (MT-G) will be available in three models: the MTGS1000D-1A in polished stainless steel & resin ($900), the MTGS1000BD-1A in black Ion Plated stainless steel & resin ($1,000) and the MTGS1030BD-1A 30th Anniversary limited edition in black Ion Plated steel with gold highlights and a red paneled bracelet ($1,100).

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EDITORIAL: Will The Real 'Shinola' Please Stand Up

Detroit-based Shinola is a brand that has been getting a lot of press lately. In 2010, they relaunched the brand, which includes a line of bicycles, leather goods, journals, and watches. The company, which derives its name from a now-defunct shoe polish company for which they bought the rights to, was started by former Fossil Group Inc. founder Tom Kartsotis. In a few short years, they have already setup an atelier (assembly workshop) in Detroit, as well as two stores: one in Detroit and the other in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. They are banking on people wanting to purchase their products based on authenticity and the appeal of being “American Made.” Marketing-wise, the concept is good as they have done research that concludes that consumers will pay more for a watch made in Detroit. Not to mention

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Chopard L.U.C. XPS

This is the Chopard L.U.C. XPS which was introduced at Baselworld 2013. It is presented in an 18K rose gold case that measures 39.50 mm x 7.13 thick. The dial has a sunray satin-finished silver-toned dial with gold-toned hour and minute hands and baton-shaped seconds hand. Hours and minutes are displayed via central hands, a sub-dial shows the continuous running seconds and there is no date.

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The Oris Aquis Depth Gauge

At Baselworld Oris launched a new professional diver’s watch, the Aquis Depth Gauge. Not only does it have a rating of 500 meters, it also has a very cool mechanical depth gauge. A display around the outer chapter ring of the dial shows your depth in meters. It works by allowing a small amount of water to enter through a hole near 12 o’clock, this is used to calculate the pressure and volume which then activates the depth gauge display.

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