Deciding what wristwear should melt your plastic and enter horological rotation is like looking for something worth watching on TV, only worse. The Truth About Watches is here for you, separating the wheat from the chaff, giving you the inside dope on the best and worst watches competing for your time and attention. Here’s this week’s new watch alert . . .
Open heart surgery is a scary business, regardless of what kind of music you enjoy. Hamilton’s marketing mavens reckon buyers won’t feel fear by association at the Swiss brand’s new Jazzmaster Open Heart model (above and below). Skeleton watches are notoriously illegibile. This one less so. Better yet, the parts you see are the bits that move.
Hamilton is one of our Three Best Watch Brands Under $1000. Coincidentally, three of their 24 Jazzmaster Open Heart Autos clock-in at $921.48 (the rest top a grand). They’re a window into Hamilton’s H10 movement – slow-beating to achieve an 80 hour power reserve. The JMOH is neither horological fish nor temporal foul, but I’m sure it’ll find buyers who want their timepiece to say I’M A MECHANICAL WATCH DAMMIT!
I get the Hell part of the name. The watch is red. Well this one is (the other one’s a black cat). Actually, the red one’s burgundy. And come to think of it, there’s nothing hellacious about either $600 39mm Miyota 9015-powered timepiece. Except the watchmaker’s “you get what you get and you don’t get upset” attitude towards his customers. To wit:
Estimated delivery is April 2020. Production runs generally take around 5-6 months, but delays with things like customs or some unforeseen force are always a possibility. Delivery can be anywhere around 4-8 months, though, those are estimates and by no means firm deadlines. Please try to limit ‘what is the status of my watch’ e-mails. I understand the anticipation and excitement, but I will use the e-mail list to provide updates to the pre-order.
Nikon cameras are revered for whatever camera buffs revere cameras for. Quality, I presume. So it makes perfect sense that the Nikon museum would commission and sell a cheap quartz watch with a skanky leather band celebrating the Nikon F’s 60th anniversary. “In the center of the dial face is an actual-size shutter-speed dial as featured in the Nikon F,” the museum explains for visitors unfamiliar with ancient technology.
Apparently, the museum’s marketing department is unfamiliar with the supply/demand/price equation. They made just 100 of the $180 watches – limiting sales to one per customer. The watch sold out in a little under under a femtosecond. I assume the museum will eventually restock the piece, rather than leave money on the table. Or say F that and continue selling commemorative mugs.
This “selling out within hours” thing is getting a bit old. While it helps maintain Hodinkee’s rep as Watch Pimp of the Year, the now-you-see-it-now-you-can’t-have-it cycle gives new watch alert readers horological blue balls. That said, I can understand why this $2k Oris flew off the proverbial shelves.
The OBCPD80AE’s coin-edged bezel is made of bronze – the case material of the moment (what with future oxidation promising to up the faux vintage vibe to 11). The 40mm size suits the four-handed, number-intensive green dial. While the caseback reveals a hardy but aesthetically dull modified Selita movement, the lumed hands almost make up for it. The outrageous Oris Big Crown ProPilot X is still the timepiece that turns me green with envy. Just sayin’ . . .
Caffeine lovers rejoice! “The Mastergraph has specific markers on the bezel that specify when the optimal espresso shot has been extracted. The time for this ranges from 25 to 35 seconds – depending on the barista and the machine.” Yeah right. Just hold the watch up to your favorite Starbucks barista and shout ready? GO!
I kid. The Brew Mastergraph Steel is useless, except as a quasi-Steampunk re-imaging of an early ’60s refrigerator (a first for our new watch alert). I expected better water resistance – coffee nerds are obsessive espresso machine washers. On the positive side, the BMS only costs as much as 214.28 single shots of Starbucks espresso ($375).
Jaws is one of the greatest movies ever made. Filmed before Richard Dreyfuss snorted his career away, the Canadian actor nailed the character of marine biologist Matt Hooper. The company that made Hooper’s dive watch – Alsta Nautoscaph – was torn to bloody bits by the quartz crisis, then sank beneath the waves. To paraphrase another Spielberg classic, they’re baaaaaaack.
The $1,053 Alsta Nautoscaph Superautomatic 1970 (a.k.a., the Jaws Watch) is authentic to the original piece. Ish. It’s been upsized to 38mm and lacks Dr. Hooper’s watch’s date wart. It’s powered by a not-hugely-accurate Seiko NH35A automatic movement (-20 / +40 seconds per day) but it is dive rated to 300m. And ugly.
Let he without Sinn buy the first Sinn 836 WUH – providing he lives in Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein or Switzerland. Sinn’s only selling 125 of these green 6068’s – a hook-up with Germany’s Game and Dog hunting journal – in countries where hunting requires a separate college degree and numbered bank account full of money.
It’s a shame, ’cause Sinn’s $2637.49 timepiece really pops in green – the standard black face version is almost as dull as German philosophy. But at least the 836 WUH is vacuum safe (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve banged a watch against my Dyson). FWIW I’m in the hunt for the Sinn U2 Black EZM 5 on Strap, endowed with all of Sinn’s best tech (tegiment, submarine steel, inert gas, copper sulphate capsules, 2km water resistance, etc.).
Hublot Classic Fusion Cruz-Diez
Carlos Cruz-Diez was a Venezuelan abstract artist who used color to create the impression of movement. Hublot’s limited edition horological homage doesn’t just give the impression of movement – it moves. We end our new watch alert with a video of the Classic Fusion Cruz-Diez in action.
And a final word (or two). I’m red-green color blind – I’m not the guy to judge the color combo. Still, the idea of a moving dial has legs (so to speak). I’m sure Apple Watch designers could do something with that, if they haven’t already. Whatever Cupertino creates, it won’t cost $10k to $26k or have Hublot’s astounding caliber MHUB1100.H – partially obscured by a sticker. So there is that.
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