All good things...

... come to an end, yet not today! What I will be doing is moving to a bigger place. Over time blogger has given a great service in sharing my rantings regarding horology on the net. As with real life itself there is a time when one outgrows his/her car, his/her home an sometimes even one's job. Today "blogger" has become too small and I feel that it is time to move on and grow beyond what this great service can offer. It has been over 5 years now and it was great, unfortunately the problem with this service is that the very same nature of being a free service limits its use for something more advanced.

There are two reasons why I have decided to move on. First; the new system allows me to post pictures in full size and resolution without compromising picture quality. If you have followed me in the past you know that the accurate representation of the material was one of my main concerns. Not only pictures but video without commercials and the ability to have the video material sent as a Podcast to iTunes, etc... The options are simply worth the trauma. Second; personally I have also decided to join a new venture, "The Watch Enthusiast". This will enable me to diversify my involvement in watches while keeping it fun and independent. The challenge to join a team implicated in something unseen in the industry (open yet fair criticism and lack of censorship) is one that I simply could not resist.

This will be my last post on this blog. From today on I will we posting on the new blog as "DFV". I will also migrate some post, provided I have the material in high-res, to TWE's Blog.

I hope to see you all there soon, and please let yourselves known... Cheers!


RESSENCE "Zero Series"


These days there are very few times where you can really say that there is something "new" in horology. Whenever there is a new complication or method to display time somebody somewhere has done it before. Either directly mimicking an old invention or simply contributing to an evolution/modification of an existing complication. The reason is simple, being that watch makers are contaminated by the past. It is not only human to look to the past for inspiration but it is also a way to honor the work of countless geniuses behind it. So it is only predictable that when one first becomes seduced by horology and then goes throughout the learning process the past weighs heavily. Knowing that, understand my surprise when at last years Basel fair I came across Ressence. I recon I have made the mistake before in jumping to the haste conclusion that something unusual was indeed something new. As a result, and to cover my back, I researched (within my possibilities) as to how original this idea really was. Guess what... It actually is "really" something new! Now, the mystery remained as to how somebody that I assumed (my mistake) had gone through the classical route of horology came came up with something new and different. My first assumption was flawed since Benoît Mintiens actually did not go through the classic horological route. Instead, Benoît not being "contaminated" had the benefit in this case to open a whole new way to tell time. To display all indications on the same plane while maintaining legibility throughout. Bravo!

Needles to say I was taken by Benoît's "Zero Series" form the start. The flat-face rotating disks, front and back, together with the two enveloping sapphire glass worked an ergonomic wonder. The fixed crown and modular/configurable watch case for left handed owners was only confirmation that it was a very well throughout product. The delay/wait was a long one (although expected…) but certainly worth while. For all those fortunate enough to have one of the original "Zero Series" and have not got it yet, here is a little something for the road...

NOTE: I am having difficulty generating an acceptable video/audio file with the tools at my disposal here. Although the material is properly filmed the computer I am currently working with has little "punch" and therefore has difficulty in creating smooth video and sound. I will wait to upgrade the internal memory in the next few days before posting the video... if that doesn't do the trick I will try to find a computer with enough power to properly render the video and audio. Sorry.

NOTE 2: I have solved technical issues regarding the quality of the video. However, it seems that "YouTube" has been adding commercials on my footage and I simply will NOT stand for that. I will keep trying to find a solution to go around that, in the mean time I am debating if I should cancel my YouTube account...


Metaphysically, the first impression is that of holding the beginning of an adventure. The first chapter of a book that only 50 people around the world will be fortunate enough to own. Being part of the very first watch in the birth of a new brand can only be described as something special. Physically, the front and back sapphire glass that practically wraps around the whole watch gives an incredibly smooth tactile feeling. The first contact is so smooth that you get the feeling of a massage when you slide your fingers across the front and back sapphire glasses. Seriously, you just don't want to let go! That brings me tho the first obvious benefit and I can't help but like the fact that the watch will have very little sign of wear over a long period of time. Due to this case construction there are no exposed metal parts other than the crown or the edges of the strap fasteners that are prone to scratches. Especially those micro-scratches that inevitably appear over a period on metal bezels simply with the use/friction under a shirtsleeve. The full-plate rotor and the six screws on the back complete the design in a stunning manner. Right of the bat I can say that I am not too happy with the strap/ deployment buckle combo. I am not particularly fond of "straight" straps with no or little difference between the width at the watch case and width at the buckle. This more modern way to size straps simply falls short of class… or rather what I mean to say is that while it might look great on a Panerai Luminor I am not to keen in seeing that on more classic watches. The second part I am not to impressed by is the deployment buckle. It is a standard yet banal deployment buckle well beneath this wonderful watch. I don't know about you but this watch SCREAMS for a classic ardillon buckle that can be reversed at any time (I will reason this petition later…) However, all this is something that can easily be fixed.

Day 1: I am holding it in my hand more than on my wrist. The winding of the crown is hard even if the grip is quite acceptable. Since it is an automatic watch the issue is not that problematic should the power reserve be we longer than an overnights rest. The strap and buckle... well, let's see how the feel in a couple of days.

Day 2: Can't stop looking at it and playing with the crown to set the time over and over again. Really cool watch. At night the readout is much better than anticipated even if contrary to classic watches the Super LumiNova is applied everywhere except on the hour indices and five-minute intervals. Hmmm, interesting...

Day 3: The watch turns out to be a real conversation starter. Thank good for the iPhone App that shows how it works since setting the time over and over again to demonstrate is really getting tiresome.

Day 4: I love the back! To bad that the lugs are not immediately reversible, I would be cool to be able to wear this the other way around. Hence the need for an ardillon buckle that would permit such an action...

Day 5: Did I mention that the watch box is really something out of the ordinary? Well, I still wonder how they managed no do this thing. There is a tool supplied for the strap change... will be playing with that tomorrow.

Day 6: I just could not help myself. The strap and deployment buckle needed to go. Did not have many options on hand where I am right now but the result makes a world of difference. With a more classic strap approach there is more focus on the watch than on the strap. That works much better for me. Can't wait for an ardillon by Ressence to harmonize the whole ensemble.

Day 7: Regarding the strap changing I must confess I was not too happy with this method at first. It takes time and very good eyesight to change the strap. However, after completing my first strap change I can only see benefits to this system. You will need patience since it take longer than a standard "strap pin" but the the benefit is that unlike the classic method you are less likely to scratch or damage the watch case. As many of you know, even a skilled watchmaker will scratch the inside of a watch case when changing a strap. It is inevitable. This approach might be more laborious but it not only reduces the risk of damage considerably but also allows for a modification of the angle of the lugs for more comfort if required. There is one thing that I do recommend to Ressence... adding one set (at least) of spare gaskets and pins would be very welcomed. Even if I have managed not too loose any of these they are very small and in risk of getting blown of the table to not bee seen again, ever.

Day 8: The "twilight" effect of "tunnel-drive-through" effect looks like a party. Love it.

Day 9: Wearing the Zero Series is a real treat. Very comfortable although downward angled strap lugs (like the Panerai Radiomir) could and would make it even more comfortable.

Day 10: Sill conformable and pleasant to wear and visibility is quite good in all lighting conditions despite not having anti-glare treatment on the glass


  • Seconds-stop function: yes
  • Date change: n/a
  • Alignment of hands at 12 o'clock: perfect
  • Alignment of chronograph hands: n/a
  • Anti-reflective coating: none
  • Contrast Day: *****
  • Visibility Night: ****
  • Watch Case: *****
  • Strap: ****
  • Deployment Buckle: ****
  • Crown: *
  • Watch Case: *****
  • Bracelet/Strap/Buckle: *
  • Dial & Hands: *****
  • Crown: *****
  • Movement: n/a

Price: Aprox. 12,000 €


F.P. Journe "Centigraphe Souverain"


What can I say? To be honest I feel that I should spare you my blabber and jump straight to the video. However, a proper introduction is in order. The "Centigraphe" has been open debate and discussion on many forums regarding its ability to indeed measure or not 1/100 of a second. Obviously for those not foreign to math there is something that does not add up when you have a 21,600 v/h (3hz.) movement that is meant to split 1 second into 100. Now the challenge here is how to explain how this is achieved without going into cryptic technical lingo. First let me explain that in order to rigorously split 1 second into 1/100 of a second you need 360,000 v/h, and that is equivalent to a 50hz. movement. Technologically we are NO-WAY-NEAR those figures. Actually the highest rated RELIABLE movements are and have been for the last 40-something years a solid 5hz. There have been developments lately where speeds have been increased to over 10hz. yet these are very doubtful (at least to me) over the sort-run. One of the main problems of higher speeds is the size of the balance wheel. The faster it goes, the smaller it has to be. The smaller it is, the harder it is to adjust and therefore be precise... So in other words, all that you gain on one side you loose on the other. Personally I very much enjoy "slow" movements with HUGE balance wheels that keep me hypnotized when I look at them from time to time. Personally I see no such emotion in an ultrafast micro balance wheel. To be honest, all that speed is really not necessary and improvements should be made in the longevity of the materials and precision of the manufactured parts instead. There are much more benefits to be gained here pushing quality instead of speed.

Now back to our 100th of a second Chronograph. As you might have guessed (or not if you do the math) a 3hz. movement will be able to split a second into six parts. The "Centigraphe" is a Foudroyante that does just that (like all other Foudroyante chronographs if I might add). The difference here is that the Centigraphe can stop the counter between any of the six 6th of a second transitions. The scale is set to 100 increments that the hand of the Foudroyante can be stopped at any time. So, yes, in a way IT IS and IS NOT a 100th of a second chronograph. The only drawback is that the hand of the Foudroayante remains a bit longer in its six pre-marked positions (as you will be able to see in the video) and the chances are that you will stop the hand on one of these is higher the the rest. If you play long enough you will see indeed that the hand of the Foudroyante CAN actually stop anywhere on the 100 marked spots. Enjoy...


NOTE: I have, and will in the future, deliberately skip any references as to the "chronometrical" aspect of the tested watch/es. The reason being that such test are futile, misleading and either unfair to the brand or the owner. Should a "particular" watch be deficient in its function that does not mean that all are. The same is true the other way around, if one works that does not mean that they ALL work. However, references about known issues with specific movements or a faulty after-sales service will NOT be left out.


  • WOW!
  • The box is beautiful but serves like most others little purpose after the initial "contact"
  • A very elegant watch despite its quite aggressive dial design
  • The crown is very easy to grip and handle as it should be for a manual
  • Movement finish is impeccable and in accord with the level of watch but I am missing at least one inward angle
  • The ardillon buckle is in platinum matching the case (not always a given in the trade)
  • The start/stop button is easy to grip and operate but feels a bit "flimsy"






    • Seconds-stop function: n/a
    • Date change: n/a
    • Alignment of hands at 12 o'clock: PERFECT
    • Alignment of chronograph hands: PERFECT
    • Anti-reflective coating: none
    • Contrast Day: ***
    • Visibility Night: none
    • Watch Case: *****
    • Strap: *****
    • Ardillon Buckle: ****
    • Crown: *****
    • Watch Case: *****
    • Bracelet/Strap/Buckle: *****
    • Dial & Hands: *****
    • Crown: *****
    • Movement: *****
    Price: Aprox. 55,110 €


    Few watches give the impression of being something special the very first moment you hold them. Wether it is the extraordinary finish or the heft of the platinum case combined with a solid gold movement, the Centigraphe transmits a feeling of superlative right from the start. Much like a dark grey Aston Vantage rolling slowly down Bond Street after short rain shower, it just transmits luxury and more important, taste like only few other items. An F. P. Journe has no need to be oversized or laced with diamonds to make a statement, and nothing makes a bigger statement than something that does not need to shout. Discretion and a strict abidance by it's horological philosophy makes Journe a joy to own. No bells nor whistles, just pure watchmaking.

    It has been 3 weeks now with the Centigraphe and despite all the discussion regarding it's capability or not to measure accurately the 100th of a second being only a 3hz. movement, it is a stunning piece of work. In the end, who cares if it accurately measures the 100th of a second? It's not the point. I can't shake the feeling that all this discussion is distracting the general "connoisseurs" from what is a very impressive piece of craftsmanship. Quite frankly, I got this piece for many reasons and it being able to accurately measure the 100th part of a second had not ever crossed my mind... Furthermore, I would find it quite intriguing should there be somebody out there that did. Hell, if anybody thought they had the reflexes to make this complication really count... what a retard. Anybody with the need for such precision would most likely turn to sensor triggers and electronics, but definitely NOT an idiot's index finger. So, to that aspect I consider the matter closed.

    One of my first surprises at first contact with the Centigraphe was the rubberized back and sides of the strap. I was not acquainted with this strap version/model and it seemed a bit awkward at first, mainly because I expected a full crocodile front and back strap. Plus, the day that I picked it up it was over 30º Celsius. Rubber is not my favorite choice for the summer except for when you are at the beach. After only one week I can only recommend this version, the reason being: the weight of the watch itself, remember platinum and massive gold movement, make it a bit heavy on a leather strap. Heavy watches on leather straps tend to be uncomfortable. You either wear it tight or it will wear you out over time. Now, having the extra grip of the rubber on the inside of the strap fixes that issue completely. It helps maintain the watch in place without the need to "strangle" your wrist. This is especially welcomed in the summer. Almost forgot; the buckle is in Platinum. Normal you would say, but not all prestige power-houses match ardillon buckles or deployment buckles to the case. It is sometimes so that platinum watches get white gold buckles or titanium watches get steel buckles. For instance, I recall that AP's "Montoya" in titanium was fitted with a steel deployment buckle...

    Operating the watch, especially the chronometer takes a bit to get used to since it's not a classic chronograph disposition. Over time you become aware that this alternative to place the pusher is actually better than the classic chronograph pushers placement. This "rocking-lever" has excellent grip and is easy to operate due to the placement, however it feels a bit flimsy or loose. The crown is an absolute treat to use for setting of winding the watch. The grip of the crown is simply perfection. Unfortunately the winding has no slipping differential and could be easily damaged if wound with heft. Winding has to be done in a careful manner, too careful for my taste since the winding resistance is harder than average. There are no references as to power reserve or winding state so that you can stop before you reach critical. The lack of a power reserve is also a negative point in this case, mainly because there is quite a large disparity between the actual power reserve when the chronograph is activated or not. Mind you, it is a Foudroyante and it should not be left running without purpose. Measuring my tea or eggs four times in one winding circle (about 80-hours) will not influence the length much. Rather, it is a matter of "completing" the complication.

    I admit I have exceptional eye sight (and I am not bragging here...) so visibility issues are not really a problem for me. When I rate visibility I try to be as picky as I possibly can. Especially after crossing the 40's barrier things tend to go worse in the eyesight department. The reading of the chronograph I found easy but I admit that a regular chronograph is easier to interpret. The detail of the dial is simply breathtaking as you can see from the pictures. The contrast between the hours and minutes is good enough yet the front glass is not anti-glare treated on the outside. This attracts a lot of reflections especially on bright summer days. Mind you, I would not like this watch with anti-glare treatment since it would loose some of its flare.

    As a hole I would place the Centigraphe in the section of VERY special superlative chronographs. In that section I count; Lange's "DoubleSplit", Richard Mille's "RM004v2", Jaeger leCoultre's "ExtremeLab 2", Patek Philippe's "5950" and possibly AP's "Carbon Concept 1". A wonderful piece of work by F.P. Journe, yes Sir...

    Patek Philippe: Regulator "5235G"

    It has been a while since I posted something from Patek. The reason being that there is a lot of rumors regarding the dismisal of hand finishes in all movements except for the very BIG pieces, the blatant manipulation of auctions and an alleged overlooked poor/irregular finish amongst the same watches further down the line. Well, all these things remain to be proven and until then they are just rumors. What is proof is that Patek know their trade and while the rather steep crisis hit most head-on in the luxury business they have managed to remain on top. Could this be the reason for these latest attacks? Maybe, but leaving all these battles aside I would like to remind everybody that Patek is still the "Ambassador" of the Swiss watch industry to the world. So a bit of caution is advised. Anyway, should any of these rumors be true, nobody will be able to shut me up...

    Well, on to the latest addition to their collection, and it is quite an unusual one. Who would have though, a regulator?!? Quite a surprise if you ask me and surely few saw this one coming. This "baby" comes with the latest Gyro and SpiroMaxes not forgetting that it is fitted with their window display annual calendar. The movement has a similar look to the 240 but slightly more attractive. Can't really critisize that at a list price of 36,150€, mostly when considering the garbage offered out there by others, this piece a real steal. Regardless, I have mixed feelings about this watch.

    At a first glance, I am somewhat confused with the overall design. Is it just me or does this look like anything else, but NOT a Patek? The angular watch case, slim straight hands, clean aseptic dial... Don't know about you but to me this is closer to NOMOS than to a Patek. On top of that, what is the point of adding the annual calendar when it almost disappears in the dial? Not a good idea is the relatively simple and uneventful dial. So simple that, I really hate to say this but, as I am writhing this right now you can bet your but that there is a counterfeit mogul somewhere in China nailing this sucker on the fly! By the time the first 5235G is delivered there will we about 20,000 cheap copies for sale at your local and favourite counterfeit dealer. Lovely.

    In any case, it is an interesting piece of kit if you overlook the somewhat lacking Patek DNA. The proportions are modern at 41mm and with slightly over 10mm in thinness you can bet it is comfortable enough under any shirt. I would have liked to see some more "spunk" in this piece, but taste is personal. No matter, if you like this dial design you should be aware that this should be a difficult piece to source the next few months. Good luck.

    10-DAYS: Glashütte Original "Sixties PanoDate"

    Many already are familiar with Glashütte Original and possibly the "Sixties" models. I have always wanted to have something that my grandfather could/would have worn, yet the standard sizes in the 60's ranged from 32mm to 36mm for gentlemen's watches make them just look ridiculous on me. The Sixties by GO has brought that look back and with the PanoDate at 42mm, straight to my wrist. Never expected to ever own a Glashütte but I could not resist. Here is the large date version...

    NOTE: I have, and will in the future, deliberately skip any references as to the "chronometrical" aspect of the tested watch/es. The reason being that such test are futile, misleading and either unfair to the brand or the owner. Should a "particular" watch be deficient in its function that does not mean that all are. The same is true the other way around, if one works that does not mean that they ALL work. However, references about known issues with specific movements or a faulty after-sales service will NOT be left out.

  • Perfect and "to-the-point" packaging. No unnecessary extras but a very useful and well thought travel/safe box.
  • Surprisingly well finished watch case at this price point with two convex sapphire glasses, front and back.
  • Exceptional leather strap quality and finish.
  • Very well finished and designed ardillon buckle.
  • The movement finish is well executed but a bit "coarse" at this level. Could be finer, especially on the edges of the bridges and peripheral bit on the main-plate.
  • Embodies the "Sixties" spirit to PERFECTION.

  • 10-DAYS...

    Day 1: Very well proportioned and comfortable to wear. The dial is very clean and pleasant The large date is well placed and proportioned on the dial. Nice piece!

    Day 2: First night with the Sixties and although the Super LumiNova is present it is not especially bright. The hours and minutes are very similar in length and position on the hands. I wonder if designers ever test the placement of the luminous material at all? One thing is to look at it fully charged in the day time when you are lucid... another is to wakeup at 4:00 in the morning and have to concentrate to discern the actual time.

    Day 3: As mentioned before the finis of the movement although perfectly executed and completely scratch free could be a bit finer. My eyes tend to go to the edges of the movement were the finish gives the impression to be a bit "raw".

    Day 4: The front and back sapphire glasses make this a very smooth and comfortable watch. You can't get caught up in anything since everything about this watch is very well rounded and polished. The "plexi" look of the front sapphire is very well executed and together with the dial really work the "sixties" theme to perfection.

    Day 5: The more I look at it the more I think they made a great job on the outside. The rear convex sapphire glass is very pleasant to the touch. To make this watch perfect it should have been manual and with a slightly more advanced movement finish. It is really starting to get hot here... I am thinking of putting it on a NATO strap. Hmmm, let's see what do I have in my strap arsenal...

    Day 6: I thought I mention this; It has been a long, I mean LONG, time since I have had a hand assembled watch with hands so well aligned (with the added challenge of the hands being so long and thin). Here I challenge any that read this to check their watches how well aligned they are. The procedure is simple... put on your reading glasses, align the hour hand at exactly 12 o'clock (or preferably another hour not to block the view) to the nearest micron and now check the minute hand. Is it it at 12 o'clock, or several minutes past? Here is a picture to illustrate;

    Day 7: Today it is 40º outside my doorstep. Finally equipped the Sixties with some summer clotting... Don't know about you but it looks surprisingly well on a NATO.

    Day 8: The night visibility is a bit better than anticipated at first although it could be better. I do not understand why the Super LumiNova was not applied to the whole length of the hands. I don't think it would have influenced in a negative way where the design is concerned.

    Day 9: Sourced a 22mm Glashütte Original buckle to fit it to the NATO strap. Looks great. I also removed the excess strap by sniping it away with a pair of scissors and melting the end with a lighter to prevent unraveling. Not difficult but recommend a bit of practice with the discarded piece before you go ahead with the good piece of strap. I do not remember where I got this particular NATO but it should not be too dificoult to source if you google "NATO STARPS".

    Nice option but unfortunately the original buckle is not available in 22mm. Too bad, the original 20mm buckle is much nicer aesthetically and finish wise.

    Day 10: Ten days are over and although I do not consider this as a "summer" watch (only waterproof to 3 ATM) it was quite a joy to wear. Very comfortable and pleasant to wear.


    • Seconds-stop function: yes
    • Date change: at 00:02
    • Alignment of hands at 12 o'clock: PERFECT
    • Anti-reflective coating: yes
    • Contrast Day: ****
    • Visibility Night: ***

    • Watch Case: ****
    • Strap: ****
    • Ardillon Buckle: ****
    • Crown: ****
    • Watch Case: *****
    • Bracelet/Strap/Buckle: *****
    • Dial & Hands: ****
    • Crown: **
    • Movement: **
    Price: Aprox. 7,050€


    I must say that I was quite impressed with the look and feel of the Glashütte Original "Sixties PanoDate". The case construction and dial finish really manage to convey that "sixties" feeling with modern day quality and construction. The added bonus of having it in 42mm enables it to be worn on medium to large size wrists, unseen so far in these genre of watches. The dial and hands are not what I would call complicated to make but they are so well executed that they are beyond reproach. The hands are aligned to perfection (other more prestigious brands seem to have trouble with that...). Very much like the movement, that I would rate as having mediocre finishes but they are executed to perfection without any signs of scratches, dented or damaged screew-heads, no oil stains and very minimal particles of dust. The strap seemed of way over average quality and the ardillon buckle very well finished and designed. The buckle gives the impression of being milled out of a piece of metal and not stamped. That is a very welcomed detail since many watches that are three times the cost have buckles that look like they where made in a Vietnamese "sweat-shop" with a bored looking individual pulling on a leaver while looking bored with a cigarette stump logged in the corner of his mouth... Here you go... 1,000 buckles... next... Get the picture?

    The only complaint I can make about this watch is that the crown seems a little awkward. It is a bit too prominent/tall and considering it is an automatic it is not absolutely necessary to have maximum grip on the crown. For some reason the finish of the crown does not look or go well with the watch. I do not know if it is the size, the polished surface or the design but something bothers me about it. If feels a bit like when you get a replacement that is not "quite" the original.

    A minor issue would be the 3ATM (20 meters) waterproof rating. It is a bit low for todays standards and could be slightly better yet I do not consider this a summer watch so this is a minor issue as long as it is at least shower proof.

    Overall, the Sixties is a very well balanced and finished product on the outside, which in the end is about 99% of your interaction with it. But, I do believe that at slightly over 7,000€ the finishes of the movement deserve either to be more refined or a 10% to 15% price drop would make this a much more competitive product. I found myself yearning for the same version (42mm with the large date) in a manual wound movement. That would have been perfect...


    At last the application that all watch lovers/aficionados/collectors have been waiting for! The Watch Enthusiast...

    A non-commercial version of a watch guide has surely been long awaited by many. Apart from the ratings and opinions (to each their own...) the sheer amount of the watch database supplied here is simply staggering. The initial release has over 600 watch models (dials and metals only count as one watch), over 30 brands and an estimate of over 3,000 high-quality pictures. Every several weeks a dozen brands with their complete collections (provided they are above a score of 50) will be added from here until sumer to roughly end up with well over 1,500 watches and 150 brands. Since only watches that rate over 50 overall score will be featured, what ever is on this guide can be considered as an "over average" product. There will be an estimate of about 10,000 high-quiality pictures in total considering different dial colors and case metals. All these watches can be filtered by aproximate price, complication, ratings, etc... Nothing in the watch world of this magnitude has reached the iPad yet.

    Initially "The Watch Enthusiast" was meant to be only a printed hardcover book/guide to be issued annually in the pure "Michelin" guide tradition. The first printed issue will appear next year as "TWE's 888" and will feature only the best 888 watches of the year. The iPad application was created in response to the potentially overwhelming database of watches that would or could not be featured in the printed version.

    Ratings are passed by panelists that are "specialized" on several brands. These ratings before being published can be vetoed by other panelists and once published the brands have the possibility themselves to veto these ratings by presenting allegations if they so desire. The criteria are transparent and as objective as possible. The ratings are subject to change if need be, nothing is for ever. For instance if a relatively new movement has "youth" issues in a negative manner or in a positive manner if these issues are resolved over time.

    The ratings and database will only be available through the iPap application (iPhone and Android are on its way...) and the printed annual guide.

    iTunes store...
    The Watch Enthusiast...

    10-DAYS: HALDA "Space Discovery"


    UPDATE: As I suspected at the beginning (and subsequently confirmed by Mr. Sandström this morning) the movement is a caliber by A. Shield (originally AS 1920). It has been heavily improved and modified by Mr. Andersen as you will se in pictures that I will post in the coming days. This movement is the "father" for the High Beat movements as GP, Zenith El Primero and then also the one used in the Daytona. It is quite a watch "connoisseur" movement.


    Day 1: Quite impressive feel. I find myself thinking about the production nightmare it must be to make components, in this case the two modules, to fit so perfectly in the watch bracket. The finish of the case and integration of the module "eject" buttons in the bracket is phenomenal. Can't stop pushing the buttons... The space module looks great in the dark.

    Day 2: Today is the turn of the mechanical module. My first impression is that it is much heavier on the wrist than the space module. Impeccable finish, built like a tank. The dial is elegant and offers very good visibility under any condition. Clean finish and a lot of depth perception with very large indexes. I am hypnotized by the elegant swaying of the seconds hand. I wish it were just a little bit longer in order to appreciate it even more.

    Day 3: I have noticed that the Super LumiNova on the mechanical module shines in a bluish tone and not green. Visibility at night is very good with the LumiNova on hands and indices properly placed.

    Day 4: I find myself wearing the mechanical module during the day time and the space module more at night. I am surprised since most of my focus initially was on the space module. The mechanical module turns out to be more attractive than I thought plus I have the confront of NOT having to press any buttons to read the time. Even if it is annoying to have to always press the buttons to see the time on the space module I doubt I would have it any other way. Performance wise, here they key is saving as much power as possible. Also, the full blackened screen does look very appealing...

    Day 5: Already encountered the first "conceptual" problem. It is very difficult to alternate often between both modules and wear them on a day to day basis. The reason being that the mechanical module does not get enough winding if you switch often between both modules. The mechanical module stopped at 5:07 this morning. Right now, there is no viable way to wear both at the same time and keep the automatic module wound. Either choose the mechanical module often and the space module on occasions.

    Day 6: I have had some time to play with the space module and the different functions. There is no doubt in my mind that this takes the X-33 concept several steps ahead. You can see from the functions that it was developed in close collaboration with somebody that "really" was going to use this for some really serious stuff. The timer function is my most used so far but my favorite is the countdown. A really cool function to set deadlines...

    I am very surprised at the mechanical module. Maybe because I did not expect much of it simply because my focus was mainly on the space module. Who would have known...

    Day 7: The alarm turns out to be quite loud when off the wrist. On the down side the sound is considerably muffled in contact with the wrist, as with all digital-alarm watches with the exception of the X-33 that has a double back casing. You will most likely not hear it on a busy street but probably under normal conditions. Omega's system allows for a VERY loud chime while having the watch on the wrist but has the disadvantage of accumulating dirt in the lateral openings as well as a quite bad water tightness rating for a sports activity watch.

    Day 8: I don't think I have worn a digital watch for such long time since my first in the 80's... Hell, it is going to be hard moving to the next watch in a few days. Unbelievable.

    IMPORTANT: If you are planning on wearing the watch primarily or initially on the Kevlar strap I firmly suggest that you have it fitted with the Velcro strap straight from the factory. It is not easy to put on the watch since you have little space between the leather and the watch case. The operation is not terribly difficult but requires some skill, especially if you do not want to scratch the inside or back of the watch case.

    Day 9: Back to the mechanical module... Still intrigued about the upgrades and modifications made by Mr. Andersen. That deserves a future post with detailed explanations. Until then, some pictures...

    Day 10: My Last day... nothing to report. Except that tomorrow I am ordering a couple more of these Kevlar/Velcro straps. They are fantastic and as with many things I would hate not to have a supply should these run out.


    The test has come to an end and my impression has been quite positive. There is some room for improvement in future models yet the "Space Discovery" is very, very impressive. Build quality is outstanding and unusual considering the price. The concept is innovative and fun (little of that in the watch world today under 10k...). The mechanical module reached much beyond my expectations and the space module gives a feeling of "high-end" unknown in a digital watch to date.
    On the downside the visibility of the space module needs some tweaking (in broad daylight there are too many reflections) and the mechanical module is a bit heavy when on the Kevlar/Velcro strap. Personally I think that the steel bracelet is redundant and is penalized by an "average" deployment clasp. The bracelet needs to feel "tighter" and would benefit immensely from a micro-adjustable clasp.

    The price is the real stunner here, especially after the latest hikes during the last 12 months. At 8,800€ it is much more than just competitive. When you look at the final result and take the price in consideration you can't but help feeling that you are getting a free ride somewhere in here. I guess that cutting two "middle" men has its advantages, not only cutting the final price but also controlling discounts. However, growth with this commercial strategy is immediate at first but limited at best in the long run. For now I can only congratulate HALDA for this first "journey" and can only hope that there will be many more to come.

    CHECK LIST (mechanical module):
    • Seconds-stop function: yes
    • Date change: at 00:01
    • Alignment of hands at 12 o'clock: perfect
    • Readability/Visibility day: *****
    • Readability/Visibility night: *****

    White/Blue Super LumiNova
    • Dial and hands finish: *****
    • Visible movement finish: ***
    • Watch case finish/construction: *****
    • Bracelet: **
    • Strap/Velcro: *****
    • Deployment buckle: n/a
    • Comfort: ****
    • Price: *****

    I have already reviewed the HALDA "Space Discovery" in a previous post. You can take a look at it further down.