Tag Archives: Orologi inglese

Optik Instruments

On Friday afternoon I received an e-mail from Marloe watches announcing their second kickstarter project, these distinctively styled watches.

Optik Instuments

Normally, I am not a huge fan of these alternative dial designs but I think this British designed/Swiss made watch is pretty cool looking.

The Kickstarter page  goes live on February 27th. Maybe worth going for the early bird offers.

 

Time4apint – British Watches

My posts have been a little infrequent of late. This is broadly as a consequence of real work, tax returns and another holiday.  To try and put this right and buy myself a little time to write my next review I thought I would share my latest horological discovery – the “time4apint”podcast. Chris Mann produces these charming little chats on what seems like a monthly basis. They are an excellent way to pass a little dead time waiting for trains and other idle moments.

In particular and the most pertinent to the British theme of this blog was podcast 39 that was published last week, entitled “Jonathan’s Modern British watches” in which Chris discusses with collector Jonathan Hughes some of his watches. A Schofield, a Pinion, a CWC and a Bremont.

You can listen to it yourself following this link :

Enjoy

Schofield Telemark – the first review

After several years of admiring the distinctive watches from Sussex’s most famous  watch company, I managed to exchange a few words with the founder Giles Ellis.  On an off chance, I asked if there might be the opportunity to do a review.
Just after the Christmas break an e-mail arrived out of the blue. Giles had remembered and asked if I would like to do the first review  of their new Telemark, a watch I had admired at its launch during the Salon QP week.
Schofield Telemark
 
The Telemark sits within the ‘Markers’ family of Schofield watches, which was originally pioneered by the Daymark. This model being inspired by the 1960s war film ‘Heroes of Telemark’. 

This watch has features common to previous watches however, the Telemark stands alone as a bold addition to the Markers collection. It is Schofield’s first white dialled watch, Schofield’s first fully numerated dial and even Schofield’s first design to be inspired by a coastline outside of the British Isles.

Before giving more details I think it is important to describe what this very particular watch is like to wear.

But before covering the watch I cannnot ignore the very impressive black Osmo Ash box, below. Though it does make you wonder whether someone with a collection of several watches can find space to store the increasingly large and impressive packaging.

The Telemark Box
After a lifetime of relatively regular sized watches I have recently got used to my slightly larger than my usual, Pinion. The  44mm Telemark takes my “large experience” to another level, especially the case height.
To my surprise once on my wrist it actually doesn’t feel that large and it is perfectly possible to almost not notice your wearing it and I didn’t even once risk bashing it on walls or furniture which I frequently do with my personal Speedmaster. The watches distinctive character though does not really come from it’s size but the design itself and the white dial in particular. The white/grey/brushed steel combination  does express a wintery “Telemark” vibe.
Telemark on the wrist
The first thing I did then was to put the watch to my ear, The dial does not mention automatic and I had not yet read the specifications, I wanted to understand wether it was an auto or manual. To my surprise I couldn’t hear the sound of a rotor inside the case. To be sure I then checked the spec sheet and discovered it was in fact an auto. I imagine the case thickness keeps the watch quiet.
Design wise there are some many details to be appreciated. The most obvious on my particular watch being the fucsia lining to the grey strap and the design of the caseback.
The reverse of the Telemark
Should this strap not be to your taste one of the wonderful features of the Schofield range is the wide choice of straps available making the watches even more individual. Then we shouldn’t forget the customised straps from Schofield+Cudd. I kept thinking this watch would be great on one of the Harris tweed straps, something I would never consider for any other watch I can think of.
Once turned  over the more design details become visible, for the first few days I continued to see something I had not noticed. For example the Schofield brand name being written very discretely in the number 6 position on the dial. There are so many little quirky features I will resist the temptation to list them but for me the dial hand combination works really well.
Then there is my favorite detail of all the crown and the groove in the case that makes it really easy to operate.
Schofield Telemark Crown
 The Technical Details Are:
  • Fully numerated submarine dial
  • Dimensions – 44mm diameter base, 42mm bezel, 15.1mm high
  • The word ‘Schofield’ replaces 9 minute marks on the chapter ring
  • The hour markers in the chapter ring are black anodised appliqués filled • with Super-LumiNova C5
  • Case – Vapour-blasted stainless steel
  • Weight – 134 grams with strap
  • Date disk reprinted for horizontal readability at 4:30
  • All the parts of the hands and the windows line up when overlapping
  • The second hand tapers towards the tip and the counterpoise
  • The second hand counterpoise is filled with lume
  • The case has a nail rebate for pulling out the crown
  • The crown also has a groove for your nails to grip to pull out
  • The case has a slight radius on the outer edge of the bezel
  • The box is Osmo ash, the queen of English timbers
  • Colour – Silver
  • Crown – Push in, machine finish stainless steel, engraved
  • Dial – White, luminescent applied markers Super-LumiNova C5
  • Hands – Laddered baton, Super-LumiNova C3
  • Movement – ETA 2824-2
  • Power reserve – 38 hours
  • Functions – Hours, minutes and seconds and date
  • Case back – Stainless steel, engraved with Jomfruland lighthouse
  • Crystal – Sapphire
  • Water resistance – 200m
  • Strap – Your choice
  • Strap bars – Stainless, vapour-blasted
  • Buckle – Brushed stainless steel, engraved
  • Serialisation – Sequential numbering
  • Warranty – 2 years

For more information and lots of really super images you should visit the Schofield website.

So in conclusion, I really enjoyed my time with the Telmark. The perfect location for a review would have been my February ski break, but I already had other horological commitments for that. At the same time I was really pleased to have the opportunity to write the first review which I did not want to postpone. Maybe I have another chance for next February.

My thanks to Melodie of Schofield for organising the logistics of this loan and for her cheery notes.

Hamtun Neon

After their first successful Kickstarter launch of the H1 diver’s watch  the Southampton based brand is coming back with a second watch.

Hamtun Neon

The difference this time is the new watch will use a Swiss automatic movment, an STP 1-11 from the Fossil Group.  It also features a 316L stainless steel case in a choice of brushed or matte black PVD finish, a ceramic bezel, and  grade-A Swiss Super-Luminova to aid legibility.

As well as the choice of case finishes the watch is available with a variety of different coloured Super-Luminova.

The Hamtun Neon Range

The watch is initially being offered for £269, with website accepting orders from January 30th.

https://hamtun.co/

Stylish Bargain

I received an e-mail from Christopher Ward today telling me about their sale.  I usually give the sale a browse to what bargains are on offer. Of the latest offers one really caught my eye, the C9 Pulsometer COSC.

 

This great looking chronometer is calibrated for use in measuring a person’s heart rate.

The tachymeter-style pulsometer scale of the dial is calibrated for 30 heart beats and both its red colour and the beautiful contrast of the optic-white dial make for easy reading.

Blued hands, a caduceus design on the second hand counter-balance and the finesse of the C9 case .  This limited edition of only 250 pieces is on sale for £525. If it wasn’t for it being just after Christmas and just before the tax deadline I would be surly tempted to press the button on one of these.

If you are of the same mind have a look https://www.christopherward.co.uk/events/januarysale/30-percent-chronometers/tbc-fafcb5

Pinion – future hint

Due to the usual real life commitments common at this time of year I have had little chance to think of anything in particular to feature this week.

Axis Pure – before my holiday

There are however two pieces of news I think is definitely worth mentioning appeared in the latest Pinion newsletter. Firstly, the original Pure range has come to an end but the new model line will feature vintage hand-wound movements in smaller cased watches.

In the same newsletter Piers also announces Pinions’s return to bronze watches with a revamped Axis II.

I am wondering now if these two announcements could be combined into a slightly smaller bronze cased hand wound Pure ?

Patrolman – Police Watch

Watch companies are often looking for a new niche to exploit, something around which they can build their own brand mystic and hopefully a  cult following. The masters of this strategy through their military watches is Bremont. Now a small British brand has identified the potential of the law enforcement market. The brand “Patrolman” is launching on kickstarter.

This video explains the background.

The watch looks like a valid shot at what a regular law enforcement officer might be looking for in a watch for their work. An inexpensive, clear and robust quartz timepiece. Not costing the sort of money that jet pilots might want to invest.

They are offering the watch at £110 on Kickstarter versus an eventual retail price of £185.

Pinion Atom etc

After what seems a relatively quiet time in terms of news from Pinion, Piers Berry has made several announcements recently.

The most imminent being the availability of the “new entry point to the Pinion family” the Atom.

Pinion Atom

The Atom inherits all of the design and production qualities seen in the previous watches in the Pinion collection, but priced at £790 (£658.33 ex.VAT).

The Atom is sized at 41mm diameter, with a slim height of 11mm and is encased in 316L stainless steel with a bead-blasted finish.

The design of the dial follows the graphic code established by earlier models and presents typographic numerals in white, coated with SuperLuminova and contrasting radium colouring. The watch is water resistant to 100-metres.

Unlike all other Pinion watches, the Atom uses the Japanese automatic  calibre (Miyota 9015) which provides accurate timekeeping and a 42-hour power reserve. The reverse of the watch features a solid steel case back that is engraved with the Atom motif and individually numbered.

The Atom is built and tested in England. The watch is available from the Pinion website http://www.pinionwatches.com

Then coming later in the year will be a watch in a new material for Pinion; the TT their first watch in titanium which almost halves the weight of the case when compared to the steel models.

Pinion TT

Weight aside the TT has the familiar design elements of the Pinion range, as you can see on this prototype above. A brushed finish 42mm case with an exhibition back. Offering 10 atm (100 meters) water resistance.

The movement inside being an ETA 2893-2 with a 24 hour hand (second time zone /GMT). The first GMT from Pinion. I am really looking forward to see the final version.

Then this week came the very interesting announcement. Pinion will return to offering bronze watches. After launching the Pinion brand  in 2013 with bronze watches at the core of his range Piers judged that bronze was becoming too mainstream and decided not to offer them anymore. He has had a re-think, done a survey of friends and clients and decided to return to bronze in 2018 with a re-worked Axis II automatic. The interesting he will this time use a bronze, rather than steel, crown. This I remember being a point of discussion, personally originally thought a bronze crown was the the best fit, now after a year with my Pure bronze I am a big fan of the steel crown. I find it links visually very well with the hands and strap fittings. I will reserve final judgement until I have seen the new version.

2018 looks like another interesting year for Pinion.

 

Fears Brunswick

As a promised here is a more specific look at the newly announced Fears Brunswick.

After quietly getting on with launching his reborn company around the original three watch Redcliff range and the fourth “pebble grey” variant Nicholas Bowman-Scargill has been dropping hints of a new watch since early October. Despite my questions he would not admit they would be launching a mechanical watch.

I concluded therefore this years Salon QP would see the launch of a mechanical Redcliff, probably with a Swiss movement. I thought this would follow the original Fears philosophy of good quality watches at a reasonable price. It was with this in mind I met Nicholas in mid-October for a catch-up and hopefully news of the new watches.

Over couple of beers and a general catch-up Nicholas then introduced me to the new watches, A “passport red” Redcliff, quartz, the Redcliff Continental,  again quartz. After covering the merits of these watches as worthy additions to the Fears range came the news I had been waiting for – the mechanical watch, the Brunswick.

At this point the actual prototype was not ready, but is was able to see the design. Here it is with the vintage Fears that inspired the design.

The Brunswick design and inspiration

What  a surprise, a cushion cased, hand wound watch. But still difficult to appreciate from the drawings. I would have to wait until the “Night Before” of the Watchmakers Cub, by which time the prototype should be ready.

So here it is on my wrist.

Fears Brunswick Prototype

As you can see the drawings did not do the actual watch justice. This is a very handsome piece that rightly was attracting compliments from everyone that saw it at the Watchmakers evening. A difficult public to win over.

The top grade ETA 7001 manual wind movement is installed in a 38mm cushion case, made in the UK from 316L stainless steel. The dial is cold resin enamel, which together with the thermally blued skelton hands are also made in this country. The front glass and exhibition case back are sapphire crystal. Around the exhibition back there is enough space for engraving and buyers will also have the option to engrave the movement. The final touch of class is the strap made from calf skin tanned by Bristol company Thomas Ware & Sons.

The rather un-English sounding name “Brunswick” is a reference to the address of the Fears export warehouse in Brunswick Square, Bristol.

Nicholas planned an initial batch of 14 watches, this being the number of the building in Brunswick Square. However, the reception of the watch at the Salon QP has been so good this will be increased.

For the moment this lovely watch is available for £1750 (inc. VAT) directly from Fears.

Considering the quoted water resistance of 100m this could be the “one watch” so many people say they are looking for. Ideally for all occasions, even beach holidays if you put it on a waterproof strap, maybe a perlon.

Well done Fears