Wristwatch Updates: Vulcain Diver, Explorer II, & Much More!

The new Vulcain Nautical Cricket diver below is fantastic, definitely cool and out of the ordinary. A nice Flickr pool of vintage Heuers. Stunning little Lange collection. Don’t miss the Inside Nivarox article. Be sure to check out the guide to Collecting Vintage Omega Watches. (pic via aBlogToRead)

Here’ a nice thread of pics of mechanical chronographs.

Dive Watches: New Diver arrived: After waiting for months on which watch to choose finally settled on a Vulcain Nautical. The movement is the Vulcain cricket V10 manual winding with alarm and decompression table. The history behind watch was another thing that really got my attention. The fact that it is the exact reissue of the 1961 model, the first diver watch with alarm functioning underwater, also was used by the US Navy for the deep dive of 177m for the first time.

Inside Nivarox – The Heart Of The Swiss Watch Industry: Nivarox is probably the most important company in the entire world of Swiss watch making. Now owned by the Swatch Group, Nivarox makes the vast majority of the parts that make mechanical watch movements function. Today the company’s official name is “Nivarox FAR” and I finally now what that means. The term allows you to understand the industrial nature of the group’s goal. Comprised of about four plant locations around Switzerland, “Nivarox” is a contraction of “ni variable, ni oxydable.” In other words “neither variable nor oxidable.”

Rolex Explorer II – The 40-Year Evolution Of An Understatement: We thought it would be time to compare the new Rolex Explorer II Ref. 216570 to the much sought-after vintage Explorer II ‘Freccione’ or ‘Steve McQueen’. The Explorer II has always been a watch that sat in the shadow of the GMT-Master and Submariner models. Undeserved in our humble opinion.

Best Watches of 2011 – Monochrome Watches: AskMen asked me to write about the Best Watches of 2011. Something I did with pleasure of course! Check out my article at AskMen to see the entire top 10. Here at Monochrome I want to share the photos I made of the number 1 Best Watch of 2011. And the winner is… the MB&F Legacy Machine 1. Hands-down, no doubt about it, the most beautiful watch of 2011 and I think one that will remain high on every watch aficionado’s wish list for a long, long time.

Sinn, EZM.7 mission timer – in2watches: The EZM.7 with its colour-coded bezel is an easy to operate watch for people using breathing protection apparatus, like fire brigades or rescue services. The captive bezel can even be set when wearing gloves.

Collecting Vintage Omega Watches: A little while back I wrote a defense (or justification, depending on how you look at it) of vintage watch collecting for aBlogtoRead. Following up on that, I’d like to share a bit more of my passion for all timekeepers vintage by presenting a “state of the market” article. My personal interest, and the bulk of my collection, is in Omegas made before the 1980s, so I shall cover that which I know best.

Initial Impressions: Maratac Pilot Watch: We’ve talked a lot about the Maratac Pilot watch on worn&wound. It features a Miyota 8245 21 jewel automatic movement, domed sapphire crystal, great looks and sells for just $200. Let me say that again, its sells for just $200. That’s an unreal price for a watch with this styling and components, so it wasn’t too hard to convince myself to pick one up.

Review: The Vianney Halter Watch For Goldpfeil: You would be forgiven for thinking that the big number in its own box is the date, and the two hands on the dial are for the minutes and hours; and perhaps that strange little stubby hand in its own round window off to the top is in fact for power reserve, or perhaps continuous seconds. You’d be wrong.

Horological Meandering – Grand Seiko VFA Story: As I posted briefly a few months ago, I have acquired a Grand Seiko VFA by pure luck. I love Grand Seiko and the VFA was/is THE ultimate Grand Seiko. Many of you may be wondering “what is the fuss?” understandably. I did some research and the summary of the history of SEIKO’s endeavor in 60s to improve itself by entering the Competition and the surprising result, and the story of VFA pieces. VFA stands for, pardon the weird English as it was made 40 years ago, “Very Fine(ly?) Adjusted”.

Review: Carrera Day Date Calibre 16 – Calibre 11 -TAG Heuer Watches: Since its release back in 2008, the Carrera Day-Date Calibre 16 has become one of the most popular watches in the TAG Heuer range: bigger, bolder and more intricately designed than most of the Carrera models, the Day-Date model is the Alpha Male of the Carrera pack.

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Diving Chronograph GMT Navy SEALs Watch Review: Then the Jaeger-LeCoultre Navy SEALs watch was borne. The idea was that JLC would work closely with United States Navy SEAL soldiers to design and develop watches that would live up to their expectations in training and combat. The hoped result would be super cool watches with famous Jaeger-LeCoultre movements inside of them that every guy wanted to have. Especially since it was “performance tested and designed,” versus just made in a design studio. With a goal like that JLC again set the bar very high.

A Week On The Wrist: The Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph – HODINKEE: Baume & Mercier used to make some really beautiful chronographs in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Then, they just kinda stopped. But, in this Week on the Wrist review, Jason Heaton makes a convincing argument for Baume’s latest flagship chrono, the Capeland Flyback, and says this may be a brand reborn. In fact, our very own dive-watch expert almost sounds like a man converted. For Jason’s excellent feature review of Baume & Mercier’s awesome new Capeland Flyback chronograph, read on – you might be surprised by this one.

Watches by SJX: Up close with the Rolex Explorer II 216570: The only new steel sports Rolex launched at Baselworld 2011 was the Explorer II ref. 216570, which by definition makes it one of the most desirable watches of the year. Between the black and white dial versions of the new Explorer 2, I very much prefer the black, though I own the discontinued white dial Explorer II 16570.

Watch Review: Vacheron Constantin Quai de l’Ile Date – Vacheron Constantin: It has now been three years since the Quai de l’Ile was launched in the North American market. The line was debuted at SIHH 2008 and was ready for limited distribution that autumn. I wrote a detailed review of the titanium Quai de l’Ile Day-Date-Power Reserve in the summer of 2009. I still stand by my conclusions from that review, principally that I find people have a love-hate relationship with the design.

The Quartz Revolution – Calibre 11 -TAG Heuer Watches: It’s been called the quartz crisis and the quartz revolution. Not without good reason either, it saw a good deal of market share in world watch-making migrate from Switzerland towards the east and a multitude of mergers, acquisitions and even long-standing companies disappearing forever. Some would later re-emerge in slightly different guises; others have remained lost to this day. Some of those mergers created very large groups such as what was to become ASUAG/Swatch, which later would cause some monopoly issues for the rest of the watch-making companies in Switzerland. Suffice to say, the effects were widespread, significant and long-lasting.

Additional links:
Swatch Group to Trim Sales of Watch Parts to Rivals – NYTimes.com
Weekly Watch Photo – Ochs und Junior Due Ore
Impressions of the Seiko SRP043
Wristwatch pictures: De Bethune DB1 chrono monopoussoir
The Story Of The Hanhart 417 Chronograph: Steve McQueen’s Other, Other Watch
A Submariner-esque Selection
Breaking Down The 2011 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Geneve Awards
nah there’s nothing more i want… well except perhaps one of the best damn tourbillons out there ;)
ochs & junior breakfast event – in2watches
A few macro shots of the Montblanc Villeret Vintage Pulsographe