christopher heiser <christopher AT heiser DOT net>
Date Published: April 1st, 2012
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Weekend Roundup

There's been a lot of press on James Cameron's trip to Challenger Deep making him only the third human to do so. However, his vision, technical expertise and willingness to fully fund the effort has led to a seacraft of extraordinary excellence. He's a model of what can be done by wealthy patrons similar to Richard Branson and Elon Musk who are willing to gamble their fortunes to do things that governments and public companies simply cannot do.

Now, for a less than high-minded transition to one of my own passions, timepieces. Rolex--in a marketing coup--designed a watch that went along for the ride with Cameron, but outside the craft. A clear record for watches, and something that makes the Oyster line that much more important. I also love how the design (especially the extremely thick plexiglass) owes much inspiration to the massive 60mm Panerai GPF 2/56, one of my all-time favorite watches.

I love vintage watches. This is becoming a bit trendy recently, and mainline brands like Bell and Ross have jumped into the fray with timepieces that have been vintagized right from the factory. In fact, I think a lot of the vintage watch movement stems from extremely accurate copies of "halo" watches like Baselworld came and went last month, and there are a few things that caught my eye. Asymmetry in watch dials is usually botched, but there's something about the Greubel Forsey Tourbillon that I like. The blue color is stunning, but the stepped arc is really striking. It reminds me of one of my all time favorite brands FP Journe but adds a real three-dimensional aspect.

Other highlights: a watch with a fluid-filled dial/crystal volume, a much more attractive Perrelet Turbine with curved blades, a Devon tread watch that I don't mind, a solar GPS watch from Seiko that's quite attractive, and a few other gems especially a new Omega with a smashing red dial. To finish it off, the 80th birthday salute to the Heuer name is easily the nicest watch they've made since the Monaco and Monza watches.

I'll put all the automatics into Hublot's outrageous $200,000 combination watch winder and safe that's completely over the top. I love it.

by Christopher Heiser on April 1 21:55
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