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 :
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.
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.
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.
I don’t think last week was officially know as “watch week” but that is how it turned out for me, a few events growing out of the Salon QP.
Although maybe “week” might not be quiet the right definition as for me everything started mid-October when I met Nicholas Bowman-Scargill for a catch-up. We had first met a year earlier, before he re-launched the Fears brand at the Salon QP 2016. Nicholas told me all about his first year and the three new watches he would be announcing at this years show. He revealed these in order of significance. The first being an additional colour to the existing Redcliff range this time a pretty striking Passport Red.
Next I was expecting a “mechanical Redcliff”, which seemed to be the obvious development. But no, the next watch Nicholas showed me was the quartz Redcliff Continental. The Continental version has a window just the “6” position enabling the wearer to display a second time zone. A very useful feature for international travellers or people with far flung families.
Then came the news I had been expecting the Fears mechanical watch, not however as I was imagining a Redcliff but a completely new watch – the Brunswick the first mechanical watch for the new Fears.
At this time Nicholas was only able to show me a drawing of the watch as the prototype had yet been delivered. The finished watch was due to be shown at the Watchmakers Club evening before the Salon QP. I will dedicate a post to this interesting new watch.
This brings me to the start of “Watch Week”; the first event being the Watchmaker’s Club “Night Before” evening in a private club in London on Wednesday. The Watchmakers Club is a new platform, intended to bring watch collectors and industry experts together via intimate, exclusive events and regular social gatherings. The team behind this unique organisation consists of watchmakers, independent brands, industry influencers and journalists.
It all started in 2012, Andreas Strehler exhibited for the first time at SalonQP in London. On the night before the opening of SalonQP, he invited a few friends and watch enthusiasts to share a drink, talk about watches and the world in general. The idea of The Night Before was born.
On the first evening only a handful of what would become a band of friends showed up at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair. Over the years, The Night Before became an institution: A gathering of interesting people interested in the world of watches and as the guest list began to grow the Lansdowne Club became too small to host the event.
This year the event was held at The Libary in St Martins Lane. There were two sections, one of which, upstairs, was dedicated the British brands, Fears, Garrick and Pinion. It was a great opportunity firstly to see the Fears Brunswick and Pinions new Atom finally in the metal.
The Atom doesn’t disappoint at all. As you can see the design clearly says, Pinion. As we have come to expect, Piers presented a really nice well built watch. Differently to previous Pinions you first notice the slimmer (11mm) steel case, made possible by the use of the Japanese Miyota 9105 automatic movement. Using this movement also enables Pinion to offer a watch at a much lower price point than we are used to from this brand, £790. It will be very interesting to see how this bet goes.
After Fears and Pinion I managed to squeeze through to the table where Garrick’s Simon Michlmayr was displaying their watches, I was especially keen to see the new S1. This watch is built by master watchmaker, Craig Baird, and finished entirely by hand. This is Garrick’s most complicated timepiece to date, featuring a skeletonised dial and incorporating a power reserve indicator. Only five S1 timepieces will be made per annum.
Unfortunately due lack of space and light I couldn’t get a really decent picture so to give an idea of how the watch is I have taken this picture from Garrick website.
Giles Ellis of Schofield was also present that night along with Simon Cudd, of Schofield + Cudd straps, neither was displaying their products other than those they were wearing. I did manage a dingy peek at Schofield latest watch – the Telemark.
All in all it was a very pleasant evening but being a “school night” I thought it wise to make my way home.
After “the Night Before” comes the actual night- the first evening of this years Salon QP. The big difference between the two evenings was the lighting.
I managed to say hello again to Simon Michlmayr and to get a shot of the Garrick range.
I then found the two British stands together firstly, the Fears Departure lounge that was proving very popular with the new Brunswick attracting a great deal of praise. Then next door Schofield overseen by Giles Ellis himself and Simon Cudd with his straps. Again thanks to better light I managed to get some more useful pictures.
After visiting the Brits I went a little of topic and had quick chat with two brands that I have admired for a while Habring from Austria and Switzerlands Czapek both really nice and like everyone super enthusiastic about their work.
On Saturday I visited the Salon again this time with my sons, in the hope of planting the seed of an interest in watches early. They were very impressed by the chocolate offered at the Fears Departure lounge.
If you have been reading some of my previous posts or maybe seen my Instagram stream, you will know I have a Bronze Pinion Axis Pure LE for which I been giving updates on the development of the famous “bronze patina”.
Anyway slowly slowly the case of my watch has been getting darker and I have been quiet pleased with the result.
Having read about and seen the drastic effect contact with sea water can have with bronze , some examples I have seen such as some bronze Panerais or the Oris diver of which have gone pretty extreme. I was interested and slightly concerned how my watch would react to my two weeks in Sicily.
Before I show you the effects of seawater I must say the Axis Pure with a couple of Nato straps works out as a pretty good holiday watch. It is water resistant to at least 100m which avoids worrying about swimming. It is tough and any knocks it might take can only enhance its “lived in” look. Finally you don’t have that worry of it attracting the undesirable attention, some more famous Swiss brands get, from street criminals. With the bronze version you get the added interest of how the case will react to different environments like the chlorine of the swimming pool to salt water of the sea.
The conclusion is chlorine seems to have the effect of slightly brightening the metal whilst the sea is the most fun.
The photos above and below where taken after the watch had been in the sea for an hour.
My first thoughts were “wow, that looks pretty cool” quickly moved on to “will that come off?” Now I was pretty confident there are ways to bring the watch back to its original finish but I did not want to return to the “as new look` – fortunately with a bit of a rub you can bring the watch back to whatever level of patina you like.
My next experiment will be to leave the watch a little longer before taking it back to normal.
Pinion still have a few of the Bronze watches left and they are now available a special price here
As I am sure you will have noticed I like the watches from British watch brand Pinion. I was therefore really pleased to receive an e-mail announcing their new watch, the Atom.
Rather than wait to get hold of an example I thought I should get the news out as soon as possible, so this is what Piers the owner and designer of Pinion watches says about this new model.
The Atom inherits all of the design and production qualities seen in the previous collection of watches, but priced at £790 (£658.33 ex.VAT) signals it as the new entry-point to the Pinion family.
Like the Axis II and Pure before it, the Atom is sized at 42mm diameter, (but slimmer in height at 11mm) and is encased in 316L stainless steel with a bead-blasted finish.
Central to the watch, is the dial, coloured black in a smooth satin finish, it features a dominant inner raised level, textured with a geometric machining. The design of the dial follows our graphic code established by previous models and presents typographic numerals in white, coated with SuperLuminova and contrasting radium colouring. For durability, the watch is water resistant to 100-metres depth.
In a new move for Pinion, the Atom utilises the Japanese automatic winding 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.
As with all of our watches, the Atom is built and tested in England and comes with a hand-made leather strap, leather and canvas watch roll plus international two-year warranty.
When Piers first mentioned the price I was a little incredulous given the price point of other watches in the range, you might notice in my earlier post mentioning this launch I mentioned a price of circa £800.
I am really looking forward to seeing this watch in the metal. I really hope it gives Pinion the sales lift they deserve.
An entry level three hander with a bead blasted case, citizen movement . Although the design is different to the Axis II it will carry lots of detail and value for the watch as case, crown components, dial very high quality and built in the UK.
No detail of a release date yet but they should be priced at the great price of under £800
Google analytics tells me that I do have some readers from outside of the UK. From a watch point of view you are lucky people because the recent Brexit decision has had a considerable effect on the value of the British pound.
Both GasGasBones and Pinion have recently communicated this.
Here is what Pinion have published.
That looks like quiet a saving. The same is clearly true for all watches priced in Sterling. I imagine though this will not last long though as soon British companies using Swiss parts will be hit by higher costs.