Minute repeaters are arguably the most romantic of all complications and in this edition’s roundup, we listen to the enchanting chimes of nine Patek Philippe repeaters. We also check out Ball’s prototype annual calendar watch; learn about 10 technically important watches; visit Montblanc’s Villeret manufacture; and learn some tips about buying vintage Rolex watches.
1. Ball Engineer II Annual Calendar Watch Hands-On
You might know Ball as a brand that makes watches with Tritium gas tubes, but Tritium gas tubes aside, Ball has serious horological aspirations. This year at Baselworld, we had the chance to to try out their new annual calendar watch. The watch, still a prototype at this point, uses a base ETA movement but fitted with Ball’s unique annual calendar module. The movement was housed in an Engineer II case and Ball said that it would be the most affordable annual calendar watch in the market when it is released. Personally, I think it looks rather handsome. I just wish they made the month and day indicators larger.
2. Top 10 Technically Important Mechanical Wrist Watches
Not all watches, or brands for that matter, are created equal. Some are more important than others. For example, it was Rolex who was the pioneer in water resistant watches – thanks to its Oyster cases; while Zenith is prominent in the history of horology for having, arguably, the first automatic chronograph watch – the name “El Primero” means first. For anyone who’s keen on the history of watches, we have an insightful list here detailing the top 10 most technically important mechanical watches in the history of horology.
3. Omega Spacemaster Z-33 Watch Review
Some enthusiasts might scoff at the notion of high-end quartz watches, but if you need unrivaled timekeeping and multiple functions in a watch, quartz is still the way to go. The Omega Spacemaster Z-33 is the spiritual successor the X-33 which was discontinued years ago. Cased in grade 5 titanium, the Z-33 packs a whole lot of functions that would aid and delight astronauts and pilots alike. Here’s what we think of Omega’s latest high-end quartz watch.
4. Baume & Mercier Capeland Watch Review
Much like our Editor-in-Chief Ariel, I’m a fan of the recently “revived” Baume & Mercier Capeland collection. The new Capeland models are clearly vintage inspired, and are really attractive. We recently reviewed the Capeland ref. 10068 which has a two chronograph registers and is powered by a Swiss Ja Loux-Perret caliber 8147-2. Movement aside, the highlight of this watch must be its snailed telemeter scale on the dial and the warm feeling the watch gives.
5. George Daniels “Watchmaking” Book Is A Must Read For Budding Horologists
Although George Daniels made just 37 watches in his lifetime, he is often considered as one of the greatest watchmakers of the modern era. And his work has gone on to influence many others such as François-Paul Journe of F.P. Journe. And for those amongst you who like to read and would perhaps like to dabble in watchmaking, “Watchmaking” by George Daniels is a must-read. The story goes that young watchmakers who come up to him in hopes of being accepted as an apprentice were told to read this book, after which all questions would be answered.