Diesel fashion

I’ve said it before and no doubt I will again, Fashion Houses are definitely into the watch business.  Diesel is one Brand that I quite like and whilst many of their dial designs are perhaps over the top and often over-cluttered for me personally, every so often they come out with a model that is really rather smart.

The Diesel Arges DZ1660 disk date watch.

The Diesel Arges DZ1660 disk date watch.

The Diesel DZ1660 featuring a Japanese Quartz movement is one which shows off a practical dial layout and a decent build quality.  The red date wheel idea is quite striking and looks great in contrast to the dark look dial, and is complimented by the colored center seconds hand.

Class detail on this stainless gunmetal finish case

Class detail on this stainless gunmetal finish case

Well proportioned hands and markers again give a pleasing balance to the overall dial layout.  The case is Stainless Steel in gunmetal tone and measures at 46 mm diameter by just 12 mm depth.  The Tan strap is 24 mm wide with gunmetal stainless buckle closing and again in a nice complimentary tone to the case.

Tan & gunmetal Stainless steel complimentary buckle layout

Tan & gunmetal Stainless steel complimentary buckle layout

This watch is also Water Resistant to 10 ATM or 330ft.

I’ve seen it here in the UK recently discounted to £94.49 and if I was looking for a gift watch for someone, this would definitely be on my short list and to my mind looks well above it’s price point.  Very elegant and yet has that neat and rather subtle fashion edge with the red accented date wheel and the overall dial color combination really works.

For me this is a grown up Diesel model and not before time – I’m hoping for more . . . .

Hippie Chic . . .

Now OK I don’t really know what that means either – but this is the Indie Watch from yes you guessed it Hippie Chic of California.  I suppose it’s a sort of fashion accessory watch geared towards those Hippie and chic young folk out there, though “hip” for me has visions of a much needed replacement variety and “chic”? – well maybe once upon a time . . . I do remember Woodstock!

Indie Watch by Hippe Chic

Indie Watch by Hippe Chic

Anyway I can certainly see the attraction of this for the young “hippie” style guy or girl and purely co-incidentally, a friend was here recently and her daughter is I’m reliably informed into Goth? – Well whatever, but she had on her wrist amongst other stuff, a neat watch strappy affair and this was it – the Hippie Chic – and I suppose she was just that!

I have to say it looked great and suited her, so this Watch Company seems to have found a market and good luck to them.
Now the watch part is pretty basic I suppose, though it does have a Seiko quartz PC21S movement and the case is 25 mm x 25 mm x 7 mm and located in amongst the split leather strap, wood/alloy/ceramic beads and metal studs.  Only has a Water Resistance to 1 ATM (supposedly 10m) , but throwing yourself into the pool probably not the best idea, but hey it’s a fashion thing, so why should it be in the pool with you anyway.  The split strap arrangement seems to be adjustable (with snap studs) from around 19 mm/22 mm, though obviously is worn loose bracelet style.

Not the first of these modern young guy/girl things I’ve seen but it looks OK and I like the fact the little watch has a centre seconds hand – and that’s a bonus as many don’t.

Another bonus is the price at around £18.00 here in the UK and that’s cheap enough to be an attractive proposition to any youngster and is also pretty good value for a little piece of Hippie Chic fashion.

Perhaps not for me of course, even though I could look out my old buckskin outfit, with the wide leather belt (with 12 harmonicas in their respective keyed holsters).

Trouble is whilst the Hippie Chic Indie might fit, the flared tight leather jeans certainly would not!

Those darned hips!   ;-)


Iconic Nite is a winner

To be more precise it is actually the Nite Icon 2011 T100 and certainly lives up to it’s name as a watch you can definitely see in the dark!

Nite Icon 2011 T100 Tritium.

Nite Icon T100 Tritium.

As many of you will know I love my Tritium watches, and have a good few of them today and none have ever let me down.  In fact I when I used to be on “nights” in military service for 6 months at a time my Tritium light source models were an absolute must.  In fact since those day Tritium models apart from some small cosmetic changes have hardly changed ever since GTS Light Source was first introduced, such as the colors available for example or in the basic watch model design.

I’ve always liked Nite watches but never actually owned one, mostly because I preferred other case/watch/dial designs from other Brands and also as price was an issue.  However the Nite T100 has the advantage of an updated GTS capability with the altered light source construction feature – flattened Tritium tubes.  These spread the light more evenly than the more common round tube design and do away with any surrounding reflector ideas of older design watches.

Flat tube Tritium at it's very best.

Flat tube Tritium at it’s very best.

In fact the tubes look very like traditional dial markers but at night appear much brighter, yet at the same time much easier on the eye.  There are in fact the more traditional round Tubes on the Hour, Minute and center Seconds hands, where they are ideal with their narrow light line acting more as pointers.

This particular model is also very well specified and with some thought gone into regarding the choice of materials etc.  The case is a decent sized 44 mm diameter with a good dial diameter of 38 mm and overall the case is just 12.1 mm depth.  It is constructed of 316 Stainless Steel in black PVD and uses K1 Mineral Crystal with enhanced scratch resistance and hardness plus the advantage of Triple Anti-reflection inner coatings, so clarity is very, very good indeed.  It is also fairly light weight at 80 g, has a decent sized Screw down Crown @4 and a Water Resistance of 30 ATM or 100 m.  Incidentally the screw back has Nitrile Gasket/seals which are manufactured to withstand -40ºC to +60ºC so should last a long time.

Night use perfection = the Nite Icon T100

Night use perfection = the Nite Icon T100

Movement wise Nite have gone for a sensible choice in the Swiss Ronda Quartz 515, which has a Date window between 4 & 5 and a Battery life of between 3 and 4 years.

The price direct from Nite is £320 here in the UK for the strapped model and as I often do, I’d probably have an alternative for it, with a silicon/rubber deployment one. as it has conventional spring bar fittings.   I also tend to avoid steel bracelets these days as invariably they’re heavier than the watch and I don’t need that.

The higher price Point is maybe at the top end for a Tritium model, as personally I think high price & practicality could be viewed as a contradiction in terms – but the Icon T100 with it’s considerable advantage of the flat/tube illumination, is definitely worth it and represents very good value.

I’d go further and say that if you’re considering a watch for night use and certainly if you are involved in night work, then in my opinion for what it’s worth, it’s probably the best option available today.


I love my “Carlo”

I’ve never had many Italian watches in all the years of collecting, yet with the innate Italian flair for design I’ve often wondered why I didn’t own one.  It’s not as if the quality is any less good than Swiss watches as indeed many of the Italian brands either manufacture in Switzerland or use Swiss movements anyway.

Carlo Ferrara Regulator Classic

Carlo Ferrara Regulator Classic

Maybe it’s the premise, right or wrong, that Italian design and watches don’t go together as well as perhaps shoes or clothes or that their particular slant on watch design never really did it for me.

But of course and as always, these perceptions change and things move on and so it was and is with this particular model from Carlo Ferrara – the Regulator Classic.

Perhaps the whole concept of the “vertical elliptical dials” which fascinate and yet don’t detract one iota from either the readability, or indeed the clarity of the dial.  It looks completely different to most other dial layouts and fundamentally it’s like it is this owing to it’s intriguing technical function rather than just an odd dial.  The wonderful design element of this watch is in it’s technical movement set up and the use of a vertical linear drive chain.

I love it!

The Classic features a Swiss Automatic Cal.2892.2 movement and the stainless steel case measures just 39 mm which is such a sensible size, mineral glass, a magnifier Date window @6, centre seconds hand and 5 ATM Water Resistance and a very nice stainless deployment bracelet.  It’s also available in quite a few different dial layouts based on the same elliptical premise, and all of them are interesting in their our individual manner.  I know I’ve seen one like this but with a yellow dial – and it’s awesome!

So an Italian model at last for me and one that’s certainly different – and perhaps I’ll be having another look at Italian design after all . . . .

Practical “Moments”

As I already own and like very much my St. Moritz Momentum watch – the Format 4, I remember that there was another couple of their models that attracted me almost as much.  At the time I was after an Ana/Digi, so the Format 4 was ideal, but the other two models had a practical aspect to them that I found refreshing.

Momentum Steelix - a Daily beater if ever I saw one!

Momentum Steelix – a Daily beater if ever I saw one!

The first is the Momentum Steelix which is a solid stainless steel, very well made model that has “daily beater” written all over it.  Great clear dial layout with good luminous broad hands and numerals.  A triple Date window (which I’ve always liked) @3 and a decent sized screw down crown with 200 m Water resistance means you can take this virtually anywhere.  In fact it’ll survive the trip even if you don’t!

The second model that caught my attention is the Vortech Alarm GMT, which is ideal as a travelers watch, owing to the neat GMT pointer that you simply set as your Home Time and then adjust the hands to your destination time – what could be easier.

Momentum Vortech GMT, Alarm model in Titanium.

Momentum Vortech GMT, Alarm model in Titanium.

The yellow GMT pointer tracks your Home Time, targets the outer 24hr index and it’s what I call a runner – in other words it’s set by a constant push on the top push button, which motors the GMT pointer around the dial to wherever you want.
Neat and as I say a great travel watch without over complication and is both noticeable and yet unobtrusive too – and that’s clever.

The red pointer is for the Alarm and is easy to set using the Crown to set the position and the lower red push button to set ON/OFF.  The information says it’s a particularly loud Alarm (having a built in resonator?) but I really can’t comment, as I have a slight deafness these days and rarely if ever hear these things anyway!
The Crown basically sets the Hour and Minutes Time, the Date and the Alarm time, so the operational mechanics are pretty simple and easy to remember.  I also note that Momentum have instructional videos online for these so what could be easier than that.

This model like the Steelix is also a tough watch, this time with a solid Titanium case at 44 mm wide and barely 12 mm height and yet is only 53 mm lug to lug which means small wrists wearing is OK.  The strap is substantial at 22 mm wide so is proportional to the case and is available in a variety of NATO strap options and colors.

There’s also a Low Battery indicator (battery life is approx 5 yrs) and it has Grade A Super-luminova hands and dial detail so is a great night performer.  A 100 m Water Resistance also means swimming pools are no problem at all.

Currently the Steelix model (around£70) and the Vortech GMT (around £170) appear to be available here in the UK, which pleases me no end as there’s no question about it – these are my kind of watches.

Most of their range is available HERE in the UK.

What happened to Morgenwerk?

Perhaps the ultimate GPS watch, but which sadly to my knowledge yet to make a proper appearance.  The German made Morgenwerk Precision Mk1 – GPS watch.

Morgnwerk Precision Mk1.  GPS controlled watch

Morgnwerk Precision Mk1. GPS controlled watch

Understated full GPS function model with geographical co-ordinates, Compass, Altimeter etc. this is one VERY accurate watch.

No longer using what could well be described as old technology Radio Control, but instead feeding off a multitude of satellites, this model apparently will manage a staggering accuracy of under 1 second – per month!

Wherever you are in the world it will automatically display your Time Zone current time, day, date etc .  A travelers dream.

It’s under 14 mm depth, 44 mm diameter, Stainless Steel or Titanium cased, double anti-reflect coated Sapphire crystal, black dial with selectable discrete digital display.

Of real importance and a major breakthrough has to be the Battery life, which is specially enhanced with a reserve of up to 18 months, assisted by the use of a self correcting thermo-compensated quartz movement allowing variation adjustments and allowing amazing accuracy.

The actual GPS receiving system (between the lugs) is programmed to pick up 6 satellites and auto select the 3 with the strongest signals as the time source.  The synchronization and reception process takes anywhere from 8 to 90 seconds.

What I love is the fact that the watch is both understated and really easy to read and on wrist, seen to be just another “daily beater” albeit with great looks, but function wise does so much.  It appears to me that if the brief functional detail is true, it will out perform just about anything else on the market.

However the burning question is – where is it?

The first intimation of it was way back in 2012 and the latest information I have is that their web site is currently in the build stage.  One has to hope that once completed, the final watch details will be highlighted and models will be available for sale, especially as the price point quoted back in 2012 was from around $1100.  And that could be a real winner.

I hate to say the phrase “ultimate watch” – but it could well be – IF it hasn’t died a death along the way.  And that would be a real shame . . . as it could be my final “grail”.

Smart Vivoactive – brief look (2)

I suppose this model from Garmin really IS Smart – what with all the stuff it can do.

Garmin Vivoactive GPS Smart Watch

Garmin Vivoactive GPS Smart Watch

Will definitely suit the “wannabe” fitness freak, Golfer, Swimmer, Runner and Biker and general Health Nut (heart monitoring and all that).

It also tells you the Time, pairs with your Smart Phone for calls, texts and emails, takes widgets from the ConnectIQ store, has watch face options and has a 3 week battery life in Watch Activity mode (10 hours golf mode).

And it goes without saying this is a GPS enabled watch and it actually looks pretty good – and that’s praise indeed from me.

It’s the slimness that does it as it’s just 8 mm, easy on the wrist and I would suppose if you’re involved in any of the activities described, then this is the only watch you will ever need.   And I thought the Tom Tom Golfer watch was the business, but this is something else!   And I don’t really like “Smart” watches either – but . . . Wow!

In fact there’s so much in it I can’t even start to explain it all, except to say that it appears that Smart and GPS are here – perhaps to stay AND at a price that is actually affordable.  £199 ish from everywhere . . . . . .

I’ll direct you HERE for all the information you need – so get healthy and fit and  . . . . whatever.

Personally I’m going for a lie down!  (mmm wonder what my heart rate’s doin’ . . . .?)

Note – Whether anyone would need all the functions is of course highly debatable, but the miniaturization of the modules within such a small footprint case is pretty impressive.  So whilst I mentioned the Tom Tom Golfer Watch in the text, it is of course hardly comparable.  The Tom Tom is designed purely as a GPS Golfing function watch and as that it is ideal for the Golfer – and not all golfers are into the fitness – and I’m definitely one of them!