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Horology

Jason Pitsch

Why "The Wristwatch Handbook" Succeeds?

Jason Pitsch

When Ryan Schmidt first started promoting his book The Wristwatch Handbook A Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches on social media before it hit shelves last year, I noticed and it really piqued my interest. I wondered if it would be a true “Comprehensive Guide to Mechanical Wristwatches.” And now that I have read it cover-to-cover, I can undoubtedly say that it is. I love watches and have always enjoyed breaking down basic movements and putting them back together, as well as completing a number of watchmaking workshops, but I don’t purport to be a watchmaker. In a similar context, this book is written by an excellent writer, but not a watchmaker. He clearly worked with many watchmakers, though, in creating the 470 pages of images, illustrations, and encyclopedia style explanations of the complex inner workings of mechanical watches. Ultimately, unlike

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Laurent Ferrier x Urwerk Arpal One for Only Watch

Two well-known watch companies – Laurent Ferrier and Urwerk – have to come together to create a one-off timepiece to be sold at Only Watch 2017, with all proceeds going to aid in fighting Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. The case design was created from sketches by Laurent Ferrier who said this about the watch, “It’s a cleanly cut watch. My friends know my love of cars, a predilection expressed in this watch. This new creation is like streamlined coachwork, fluid and without any affront to the eye.” This case is an alloy made from ARPAL+, which is a special material made by Cendres+Métaux in Biel, specifically designed for this unique timepiece. Originally developed for the electronics industry, ARPAL+ consists of 75% precious metals and resists wear and scratches better than white gold or steel. Its color never fades, nor does it

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Jason Pitsch

A chronograph designed for the track?

Jason Pitsch

California-based, Singer Vehicle Designs, a company that specializes in tasteful Porsche 911 restorations – has teamed up with watch designer Marco Borraccino, and watchmaker Jean-Marc Wiederrecht, to create a mechanical chronograph for use at the track. Presented in a tonneau-shaped titanium case that measures 43 mm by 15 mm, the Track 1 exterior features brushed and polished surfaces along with a leather rally-style strap with metal eyelets. Under the hood, is the AgenGraphe movement (that is currently only used in one other watch, the Faberge Visionnaire), produced by Agenhor. Consisting of 477 components and beating at 3Hz the automatic movement (caliber 6361) measures 34.4 mm x 7.18 mm and features a central chronograph display that, as you might expect, focuses on the chronograph, not the time. It is a wristwatch, though, and so while the timekeeping has been deemphasized, it

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Alex Lee

Czapek - Past, Present and Future

Alex Lee

In case there are some out there that are not familiar with the name Czapek & Cie, you might want to sit down and take a quick read at least of the first couple of parts of this. Most collectors and experts agree that Patek Philippe is the gold standard when it comes to the highest end of watchmaking. Not only do Patek Philippe timepieces continuously sell for incredible record-breaking prices in the auction markets, but collectors keep clamoring over their watches with good reason. However, contrary to what some may think about Patek Philippe’s origins, the company was started in Switzerland, but by Polish immigrants, Antoine Norbert de Patek, and his partner Franciszek Czapek (of Czech origin). Although it’s not exactly clear whether Mr. Patek was actually a watchmaker himself, he certainly did have a good eye for quality

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Jason Pitsch

Hands-On with the new Casio G-Shock Gravitymaster GPW2000

Jason Pitsch

Casio’s latest pilot watch, the G-Shock Gravitymaster GPW2000-3A, features the most accurate timekeeping technology ever presented in a watch. Using its 3-Way Time Sync feature, the Gravitymaster automatically calibrates the time with redundant military-level precision. First, the watch automatically utilizes Bluetooth to connect to the time server via your phone. This low-energy Bluetooth connection requires the least amount of power and so that is one reason it is always the default method for calibrating the time. Second, if the Bluetooth calibration fails, multi-band 6 radio-controlled atomic timekeeping is utilized. Third, if those aforementioned two methods fail, GPS calibration is activated. Finally, if the 3-ways mentioned do not work you can manually set your watch. However, considering the redundancy of the 3 methods, you will virtually never have to manually set the watch, ever. In addition to the unprecedented timekeeping technology

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Jason Pitsch

Baselworld 2017: Zenith Defy El Primero 21

Jason Pitsch

Zenith launched an all-new El Primero watch and movement under the “Defy” moniker at Baselworld 2017, and despite the fact that the aesthetics of the timepiece have been a polarizing topic of discussion amongst the watch community (due to the resemblance to Hublot), it is the horological importance of the movement that is sure to impress those that are serious about watchmaking. The Defy El Primero 21 borrows its movement architecture from its LVMH sibling TAG Heuer’s Mikrograph – which we did an in-depth review of last year – but this is not merely a shared caliber that has been aesthetically changed to fit another brand. There have been significant technical changes, which we will discuss below, and that foreshadowing what the future may hold for the venerable Le Locle-based watchmaker. Presented in either a brushed titanium or black ceramized

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Jason Pitsch

Armin Strom Online Watch Configurator

Jason Pitsch

Based in Biel/Bienne, which is home to companies such as Rolex, ETA, and Omega – Armin Strom is an independent watchmaker, and a true watch manufacture, with the ability to produce calibers fully in-house, and has already been offering customized features by special request for a long time. Over the years they have gotten very proficient at the process, and today, they are debuting a new interactive online personalization service called the “Watch Configurator,” which is similar to the customization options [TAG Heuer launched earlier this month] (https://professionalwatches.com/2017/03/hands-on-with-the-tag-heuer-connected-modular-45.html) with their Connected watch. However, these are purely mechanical watches, not smartwatches. Using the online Watch Configurator, you can select from multiple options, in real-time, such as movement/watch type, which can be a hand-wound, skeleton, tourbillon – basically anything from the Armin Strom. From there you can then choose different colors for

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Jason Pitsch

Photo Report: Beyer Clock and Watch Museum

Jason Pitsch

The Beyer Clock and Watch Museum is in Zurich’s most prestigious shopping district, located at Bahnhofstrasse 31 – in the basement of Beyer watch boutique. The exhibition includes 300 pieces from all fields of horology. According to Beyer Chronometrie AG, “The museum is home to one of the most important horological collections in the world. It recounts the complete history of timekeeping from 1400 BC to the present day. The exhibition comprises rare and precious exhibits such as shadow sticks, sundials, oil-lamp clocks, hourglasses, water clocks, grandfather clocks, table clocks, pocket watches, wristwatches and scientific instruments for timekeeping and marine navigation. Historical masterpieces that are rarely set running because of their fragile mechanics come to life in enthralling video clips. The exhibition is constantly being expanded and is widely regarded as one of the most important horological collections in the

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Daylight Saving Time

This is a reminder to set your clocks forward 1-hour at 2 a.m on Sunday, March 12, 2017 (Spring forward). You will lose 1-hour of sleep (Fall back) but gain an extra hour of light. “Daylight Saving Time” (also referred to as “Summer Time”) is observed across all US States, with the exceptions of Hawaii and most of Arizona, who instead remain on Standard Time. Daylight Saving Time reverts back to Standard Time on Nov. 6 at 2 a.m.

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Jason Pitsch

The History of the Breguet Type XX

Jason Pitsch

Overview Wristwatches have a rich history in aviation, and by the time World War II started (1939), soldiers and aviators used wristwatches – more than pocket watches – to calculate everything from flight time to artillery distances to longitude to troop movements. B-uhr, Navitimer & GMT Master In (1941), Lange & Sohne, who was the primary supplier of wristwatches to German combat pilots, could not deliver enough watches to fill the demand. So, the German government demanded five manufacturers to build B-uhr (“Beobachtungs-uhr” or “Pilot”) watches which were anti-magnetic, highly legible, and able to be chronometer certified. The five companies who produced the original pilot watches are IWC, Lange & Söhne, Laco, Wempe, and Stowa. 1911 Breguet biplane aeroplane Type R.U1 No.40. located at the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris Over a decade later, Breitling launched the Navitimer in

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