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REVIEWS

Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Grand Seiko GMT

Jason Pitsch

Overview Dating back to 1881, Seiko is Japan’s oldest watchmaker. Grand Seiko, which was founded in 1960, is the company’s high-end watch line. There is even a higher line called Credor, but those pieces are significantly pricier and very rare. Grand Seiko is amongst a very elite group of mechanical watch manufactures (including Rolex) that can produce an entire mechanical timepiece – meaning the case, hands, dial, movement, fully in-house – from start to finish. And like the aforementioned brand, Grand Seiko is able to use their absolute control over production, as well as their watchmaking know-how, which dates back to the late 19th century, to produce superb timepieces. Every detail of a Grand Seiko exudes high-quality craftsmanship. The dial The dial of this Grand Seiko GMT (Ref. SBGM023) is silvered, but in certain light, it looks almost cream colored.

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: TAG Heuer Carrera Calibre 18 Automatic Chronograph

Jason Pitsch

Overview TAG Heuer debuted an interesting retro chronograph at Baselworld 2015, called the Carrera Calibre 18. Largely inspired by a historic “Heuer” model designed by Jack Heuer in the 1950s, it is sure to appeal to those looking for vintage styling in a modern timepiece. The dial The Carrera Calibre 18 has a silver sunburst dial with a dual register layout. On the left is a 30-minute chronograph counter, and on the right is a continuous small seconds display – both decorated with an anthracite azurage finish. The original dial was white with black counters, and the look is reminiscent. Although, the modern version has a convex surface, unlike the flat dial of its predecessor. A printed a telemeter scale on the outer chapter ring was included instead of a tachymeter. The telemeter scale allows the wearer to measure the

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Seiko Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time

Jason Pitsch

Overview Seiko’s GPS calibrated Astron collection was first launched in 2012, with the caliber 7X. Then in 2014 the second-generation, caliber 8X, which added a chronograph, was introduced. In 2015, the Astron line gained a third movement, caliber 8X53, which powers the new Astron Dual-Time timepiece we tested for this article. The Astron GPS Solar Dual-Time is designed for the frequent traveler, who constantly changes timezones, and doesn’t want the fuss of always having to manually reset their timepiece. The Dual-Time watch features atomic timekeeping precision, without the reliance on radio signals from one of the 6 international atomic clocks (which have a limited range of 2000 miles), and that fades the further you are from the radio tower. With the Astron, instead of radio waves, the atomic time is communicated via military-level GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) signals, just like

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Josh Shanks

REVIEW: Jaeger-LeCoultre Geophysic Universal Time

Josh Shanks

Background This summer while vacationing in Turkey, I got the bug. Not just any bug, but the type where you get a watch stuck in your head and can’t move on with your life until you cure the fever. The watch in question was a world timer. While sailing on the Cunard Queen Victoria (which is a lovely experience), I sat on my balcony and dreamed of future travel. Southeast Asia, Egypt, Africa, or a world cruise? As a frequent traveler with a serious case of wanderlust, I wondered how I could find a way to travel continuously. Since I still have a full-time job outside of the watch industry, I settled on the next best thing. I would look into purchasing a world timer: a watch that displayed some of my favorite locales and dream vacation spots, and the

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Armin Strom Tourbillon Gravity Water

Jason Pitsch

Overview In 1967, after completing his watchmaking apprenticeship, Armin Strom opened his own shop in Altstadt (Old Town) area of Burgdorf. At first, he was selling and restoring watches, although he soon began working on producing his own timepieces. His first masterpiece was a gold pocket watch, with a hand-engraved dial in polished blue lapis lazuli. Strom’s manual dexterity and incredible attention to detail led him to hone his skills in skeletonizing and engraving. His desire to cut away all the non-essential parts of the bridges and plate (skeletonizing), allowed him to use his unique skill set to distinguish his timepieces. He started exhibiting his skeletonized creations at Baselworld in 1984, at which point he had already made a name for himself as a master skeletonizer and engraver. He even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records when

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Josh Shanks

REVIEW: Bovet Dimier 19Thirty

Josh Shanks

History I have to admit when Jason gave me the Bovet 19Thirty to review I didn’t know what to expect. Having never spent any considerable time with Bovet and their lines, I made it my duty to find out as much as possible about this very old brand. What I found was actually fascinating, the brand was founded in London by Edouard Bovet in 1822. In the beginning, Bovet focused the efforts of his company on producing watches for a booming Chinese market. At the time, London was the perfect shipping port for sending goods to China. Eventually, demand exceeded the capabilities of their small London-based manufacture and the company started purchasing parts from Swiss manufacturers. Early on, Bovet produced mainly pocket watches for the Chinese market, who were at the time beginning to appreciate the quality of a fine

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic

Jason Pitsch

Overview First developed in the late 1940s, the original Panerai Luminor was made to be worn by commandos of the Italian Navy. And then for the Egyptian Navy in 1956, which eventually inspired the Luminor 1950 design. The Luminor Submersible 1950 47 mm, is a more robust professional 300-meter version of the Luminor 1950. In January, at SIHH 2015, Panerai debuted the Luminor Submersible 1950 Carbotech 3 Days Automatic 47 mm, made with a new high-tech material designed to for its unique aesthetic and performance characteristics, called Carbotech. The case According to Panerai, Carbotech is both lighter and stronger than ceramic or titanium, as well as being hypoallergenic. No two cases are the same due to each layer being compressed in a non-uniform pattern, so in addition to performance benefits, each piece is visually distinctive from one another. As the

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Josh Shanks

REVIEW: My Grail is a "Garage Door" aka the Patek Philippe Nautilus white dial reference 5711

Josh Shanks

Overview One of my favorite topics of conversation at watch events and RedBar Crew is the concept of grail watches. For those of you not familiar, many people in our community use the term “grail watch” to describe a watch that’s at the top of their wish list. What you may not know is that nearly every collector you’ll meet changes his/her grail watch regularly. Sure, some of us end up acquiring that grail piece, but as horophiles, many of us find something else that catches our eye. For me, the Patek Philippe Nautilus (Ref. 5711-1A-011) — a piece that I’ve owned for almost a year and a watch on top of many collectors’ wish lists — is my grail. My obsession with this piece started long before I had a moderately successful Instagram page about watches (@horologyandtechnology). Flashback to

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Oris Sixty-Five Diver

Jason Pitsch

Overview This year at Baselworld, Oris launched a vintage-inspired dive watch based on a model they produced in 1965 resulting in a timepiece that is basically an upgraded contemporary version of the original. The new Sixty-Five Diver has a larger diameter steel case with a sapphire crystal, rubber strap, and modern movement. Its predecessor had a chromium-plated brass case with a plexiglass and a plastic strap. Visually, they are very similar, but functionally the new model is far superior. Case The case measures 40 mm in diameter by 12.99 mm thick. The length is approximately 47.5 mm, and the lugs allow for a 20 mm strap. It wears very well, sitting nice and flat. At 78.9 grams, it is very light, which also adds to the comfort factor. Overall, this watch is a great size for my approximately 7.5” wrist.

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Jason Pitsch

REVIEW: Ralph Lauren RL67 Safari Chronometer 39 mm

Jason Pitsch

We have already shown you the Ralph Lauren RL67 Safari Chronometer numerous times, including HERE in the 39 mm case and HERE in the 45 mm size. But recently, we took it a step further and wore the watch for a weekend in Vegas, around town, at the pool, at the club, giving it a more thorough test. Read on to hear our thoughts. First off, having a 7.5” wrist or smaller, the 39 mm seemed liked the ideal size. And upon arriving and strapping it on, we confirmed this. When we asked Ralph Lauren Watch Co. if the 39 mm is marketed towards men or women, they said it does, in fact, target the former, but can also be worn by the latter, as seen by so many women nowadays, who wear bigger watches. If you have extra-large wrists

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