Watch Review Detroit Watch Company 1701 L’Horloge

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Company: Detroit Watch Company

About:

For the past 11 years, I have been developing and designing original timepieces for various watch brands complementing my career and passion for designing cars over the past 30 years. Together with my wife Amy, also a designer for the past 25 years and a Michigan native whose family is from Detroit, it has been our dream to ultimately create our own timepieces thus the Detroit Watch Company was born.

From original sketch to timeless design, the Detroit Watch Company celebrates the history of Detroit with each timepiece characterizing a time and a place in Detroit and honoring all that is enduring about the city and Detroiters.

Together, Amy and I have partnered to create a watch brand like no other, bringing together our passion for design, love of timepieces, and our esteem for the city of Détroit as founded by a Frenchman, Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac.

Patrick & Amy Ayoub

The Detroit Watch Company is offering a new 39mm collection aptly named L’Horloge, French for clock.

The L’Horloge design is influenced by nostalgic old world clocks and holds significance for Old City Hall’s clock tower, once the centerpiece of the city of Detroit and now part of Detroit’s forgotten past.
Dedicated in 1871, the clock tower was once the largest clock in the United States and was designed especially for Detroit with its four dials illuminated at night so that thousands of Detroiters could see the time and set their watches.
At ground-level, a floral timepiece display in front of Old City Hall would become a popular Detroit symbol and destination for many getting their photo taken as would be the clock tower, the site of Detroiters ringing in the New Year until the landmark’s demise in 1961.
Likewise, the venerable Union Depot, an ornament to the city that once stood downtown at Third Avenue and Fort Street in 1893, with it’s massive four-clock tower, served as a proud landmark and offered the first views and impressions of Detroit. Union Depot received visitors from all over the country to work at Detroit’s factories, whereas others bid farewell to loved ones on the depot’s train platforms as they headed off to war.
Union Depot served Detroiters for more than 80 years and although it too was destroyed in 1974, L’Horloge commemorates the illustrious history of the old world clocks of Detroit’s past landmarks.

Limited to 50 numbered pieces per model. You may reserve a specific serial number when ordering based on availability.

Price:$1100 USD

 

The Packaging:

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The 1701 L’Horloge comes in a nice black box set that features an inner box and an outer box. The outer box is hard black cardboard that features a large silver Detroit Watch Company D logo. The inner box is vinyl coated that has a hinged lid that is stamped with Detroit Watch Company and the D logo. The watch inside the vinyl box is attached to a watch pillow and additionally protected by foam padding. The watch includes two booklets, one is the specifications & instructions and the other is the warranty & instructions. Both booklets feature some beautiful pictures and drawings of Detroit Watch Company watches. The last page of the Warranty book features the warranty card, and information when the watch was assembled. I like this information, it adds personality to the watch. When I read the date, I immediately personalized the date because it is very close to my birthday and that is what I think adding the assembly date does. Anyone can immediately personalize an important date that is close to the written date and it also allowed me to visualize the finishing touches being done to the watch on that date. I love it.

The Case:

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The 39mm x 11mm high classic stainless steel case has a nice high polish finish on it, which creates a dressy appearance to the 1701. If I had to classify the 1701 it would be a dress style watch with a classic and regal refined beauty. The entire case has the same high polish finish including the plain rounded bezel. The sapphire crystal is flat and is slightly raised from the case itself. The bezel has some simple lined detailing and rounded edges that really adds a great deal of beauty in a very simplistic manner. I like what they did here very much. I thought for sure that the 39mm case would seem small and lost on my wrist since I have grown accustomed to the 42mm-44mm case size. But I was pleasantly surprised that wasn’t the case here. Case ha ha ha, no pun intended. It really balances on the wrist and I believe is the perfect size for this style of watch. It accomplishes what Detroit Watch company set out to do in my opinion.

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The crown is an excellent example of what I am talking about. The signed crown features the Detroit Fleur-de-Lys logo which is quite stunning.The edges of the crown has gear style edging that are larger and further spaced apart. The crown is very easy to operate, extremely smooth when winding and setting the time. Pictures don’t truly give the crown justice until you see it in person. The crown operates as a push/pull style crown and serves as the operating center for winding the watch when it is fully pushed in. Pulling the crown out to the first position allows the wearer to set the date and when the crown is pulled to the last or fullest position it allows the wearer to set the time.

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The lugs feature a sharp angle as opposed to a gradual curving. The underneath of the lugs are rounded where the strap pins connect into. In addition to the angling on the lugs it also features some very nice detailing with edging that flows along the entire lug. The photo below shows this beautiful feature.

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The solid caseback features an engraved Detroit Fleur-de-Lys logo. The engraving is very well done and is very smooth with no sharp edges whatsoever. The case back is held in place by by 6 flathead screws that encircle the outer edge of the case back. I am happy with the solid casebook for the 1701, it is refreshing sometimes to have a solid case back.

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The case back also features some text/info about the watch itself. What Detroit Watch Company did that I really like is that the engraved information is quite small and does not distract from the beautiful engraved center of the case back. The text includes the limited edition number out of 50, swiss automatic movement, sapphire crystal, stainless steel, water resistant 5 atm.

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The Dial:

The dial is what immediately caught my eye when I first opened up the box to see the 1701 L’Horloge. The ivory white dial is quite exquisite. There is some 3D texturing to the dial that makes it really stand out and it is packed full of details that make it an instant classic. There is a date window at the 3 o’clock hour marker that is printed in black on a white wheel. It is very easy to read and I like that the 3 o’clock hour marker itself wasn’t removed to include the date window.

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The hour markers are roman numerals that are printed in black on raised white applied markers. This small detail really creates something special on the dial of the 1701. The dial is where the magic truly happens on this watch. The raised applied markers creates a channeling system on the dial in two different ways. The inner circle channel features small hash markers with bold printed markers at each of the hours. The outer circle channel features hash marks and at each hour marker is printed minute markers that count by increments of 5.

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The hands on the 1701 are amazing to say the least. The hour and minute hands are silver and the second hand is blued. The hour and minute hands are tapered which at the base they start quite wide and gradually taper to the point. The center of the hands are cut out in two separate cut outs. The cut out at the base of the hour and minute hands is a complete cut out that you can see the dial through which is really cool when the hands get to the D of the applied Detroit logo under the 12 o’clock hour marker. More about the logo in a bit. The top cut out of the hour and minute hand isn’t really a cut out at all though it appears this way at first glance. Upon closer examination you can see that there is small white lume applied in the cutouts. The white perfectly matches the dial of the 1701, so that what gives the illusion that its cut out completely. I love this little detail, as it had me tricked for awhile until I was doing macro pictures of the dial is when I realized this.

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The blued second hand is quite amazing in itself. Not only does it fully extend to the extreme edges of the dial, but it also features a beautiful Detroit Watch Company D logo on the end of it that is a great match to the applied silver D logo under the 12 o’clock marker.

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The dial features subtle text that is not in the least bit obtrusive to the dial itself. At the 9 o’clock hour marker printed is 1701, just above the 6 o’clock hour marker is L’HORLOGE Automatic. Printed very small at the very top of the dial is Detroit Watch Company and at the very bottom is Detroit Michigan where the watch is manufactured. I really like how they managed to get this information included on the dial without it being in your face or obstructing the flow of the dial by overcrowding it. The dial is really the highlight of this watch, it is absolutely beautiful.

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The Strap:

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The smooth black leather strap is very soft and is a perfect addition to add to this classic style of this watch. The strap features white stitching that holds the double layer of leather together. Each stitch is perfectly spaced and is straight as can be. The leather is soft from the get go and forms nice to the wrist when its strapped on. The strap is connected by a butterfly deployment buckle. Deployment buckles are nice because they add longevity to the strap itself because you fit the strap to your wrist size once and then when you put the strap on it slides over your hand and then clasps into place. The buckle itself is polished and is unsigned. The stainless steel buckle operates as it should without any problems. The underneath of the strap is stamped with Detroit Watch Company and the D logo.

The Movement:

Inside the 1701 L’Horloge watch is ticking Swiss Sellita SW200 which is basically the ETA 2824-2 movement. Since ETA tightened the reigns on who can use their movements, etc.. companies now have to look for alternatives to these movements and the Sellita SW200 is an affordable alternative. The movement is an automatic movement that features a rotor to wind or you can manually wind it via the crown. It also features a full date wheel. It has a 38 hour power reserve, frequency of 28,800 A/h(4Hz) and 28 rubies. It is a very reliable movement and I think it is a suitable alternative to the ETA 2824-2. During my time with the 1701 it was running at a +/- 8 seconds per day.

Wrist Shot:

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Conclusion:

The 1701 L’Horloge is an example of classic beauty in the world and history of watch making. This watch is packed full of details that give nod to the roots of watchmaking of yesteryear. I really enjoy and respect companies that still respect where the modern watch came from and that is what the Detroit Watch Company has done with the 1701 L’Horloge watch. The dial is absolutely remarkable and quite beautiful, from the detailing of the hands, to the rasised markers with the choice of using Roman numerals. It all works in perfect harmony.  This is a truly classically designed watch. I would recommend this watch for sure and especially if you are looking for a dress style watch. What I found refreshing about this watch is that is it a dress style watch. I gravitate towards dive watches because those are what I typically wear and I like. The 1701 L’Horloge really took me by surprise. Pleasantly surprised.

Every detail of the 1701 L’Horloge watch was thoughtfully planned out and you can immediately see this when you first open the box. When I first open the lid to the box, I was pulled in. My eyes where drawn to this dial and I couldn’t look away. I am not being dramatic, I am being 110% honest with you all. The dial is that stunning and it took my mind to a place where it hasn’t been in awhile. I am talking about the history and roots of watch making, John Harrison is one name that immediately popped into my head when I first laid my eyes on this watch. Its something wonderful to always look back to where the modern watch came from. Watch making has a great and deep history.

I want to personally thank Patrick and Michael for the excellent communication and for allowing me the honor of doing this review for a company assembling watches right here in the United States. I have respect for all the countries of the world and each offer their own beautiful interpretation of watch making. As many of you can relate, there is something special when a watch is assembled in your country of origin. This doesn’t make one country better than another by any means, but it just adds something special and personal. What I truly love about this hobby is that it has allowed me to connect with people all over this world and it is truly remarkable that we are all a world apart, but we connect over our love of watches.

Thanks for reading!

Additional Pictures:

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Watch Review: Zinvo Blade

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ABOUT ZINVO

Founded in Geneva, Switzerland, ZINVO’s automatic watches are designed to move in sync with our fast-paced lives. Designed for comfort and functionality, this is the principle to which the brand has remained faithful since inception. ZINVO’s various models, entirely designed, tested, and assembled inside its own workshops, aim to push the limits of precision and style.

While ZINVO only established itself in 2013, it has become a watchmaking influencer among it’s competitors. The brand is driven by a passion for details and progressive trends in style, inspired with a hint of quality and uniqueness. Its watches embrace a new distinctness in a spirit of sportiness and sophistication.

Whether an automatic or a quartz movement, the brand offers a extensive choice of styles and compositions.

http://www.zinvowatches.com

Model : Gunmetal Blade

Price: $299 USD

SPECIFICATIONS:

CASE:
Sapphire crystal and stainless steel
DIMENSIONS:
44mm x 12mm
CRYSTALS:
Sapphire crystal on the dial to protect from scratches and shattering
MOVEMENT:
Automatic winding movement, 21 jewels
Power reserve 24 hours
Visible winding rotor
WATER RESISTANT:
10 ATM / 100 meters / 330 feet
COMPONENTS:
Total of 49 component + movement
STRAP: Italian leather with red stitching
WEIGHT:

WARRANTY:

110 grams / 3.9 oz

1 year

It’s very easy to settle into watches that are our “comfort zone”. For example, my “comfort zone” personally are dive watches. In my personal collection these are the watches I would gravitate towards because I know that I like that style. Therefore I found myself limiting only to that style of watch which creates a very safe and very static collection. There isn’t anything wrong with knowing what you like, but it is also important to try new things in life to avoid becoming one dimensional and routine.

This is what Zinvo set out to do when designing the Blade watch. Thinking outside of the box but also retaining a base structure that has stood the test of time. From a design standpoint Zinvo decided to try something different in their approach of the Blade Watch. I applaud that approach and I think they were successful in designing a watch that keeps a tried and true structure while changing what is the “norm” in physical design.

The Blade takes a stylistic approach that encorporates style and an industrial design. A rugged yet sleek watch that will definitely make a statement when on the wrist.

THE PACKAGING:

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The Zinvo Blade arrived in a long, slim rectangular black cardboard box. The top lid to the box has the Zinvo logo printed in metallic silver on it.

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Pulling off the lid reveals the watch that is nestled in foam rubber that has the perfect cut out for the watch to sit safely during shipping. The box is simple, effective that serves it’s purpose for protecting the watch, nothing more, nothing less.

THE CASE:

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Industrial and sleek. The first 2 words that popped into my head when laying eyes on the Zinvo Blade watch. The gunmetal color is quite striking and immediately pulls the eyes in. The round case, the lugs and the crown are all done in the brushed gunmetal, only the caseback is different and that’s done in higher polish gunmetal finish. I agree completely with Zinvo’s choice of the brushed gunmetal for the majority of the case vs doing a high polish finish. My personal experience with high polish gunmetal is it shows finger prints like you would not believe. Not only that, but a high polish finish wouldn’t give the Blade that cool industrial feel quite like the brushed finish does.

The crown is a non screw down crown, it is a push/pull style instead.

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The the crown is pushed in all the way, this allows you to manually wind the Blade. Pulling the crown out to the first position allows you set turn the date wheel to set the date, and pulling the crown all the way out allows you to set the time. The crown functions very smoothly and everything functions without flaw.

The crown is unsigned which is a little bit disappointing as a engraved Z or even the engraved Zinvo logo would have been a nice touch of detail. But rest assured the crown in not entirely without a touch of detail. The crown is shaped like a head and partial shaft of a bolt adding to that industrial feel. Instead of the traditional gear style edges that a lot of crowns encorporate, Zinvo used small round holes that go completely around the crown. It’s a great little detail that also matches the chapter ring which I will discuss in THE DIAL section.

 

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The edges of the case a three ridge finish that really adds some depth and detail to the Blade’s case. The channel of the ridge is a grey color that matches details on the dial. The ridges and the color difference adds some texturing to the case as well. I really enjoy running my finger across the case. Great look and feel.

 

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The lugs are another little detail of the Blade’s case that I am a fan of. They aren’t the typical style lugs that are molded from the case itself, these lugs are attached to the case by screws.

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The case has small cutouts that allows the lugs to fit into and all tack by flathead style screws. A very unique and cool feature. The lugs have holes for the strap set pins as well. Typically I personally think that this interrupts the natural flow/style of the lugs, but it works on the Blade due to it’s overall industrial look.

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The caseback on the Zinvo blade screws down and is also an exhibition style caseback.

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The high polish gunmetal backing has just a simple Zinvo Blade engraving. The crystal caseback allows you to see the Miyota movement inside. The caseback is simple, not over the top and gets the job done.

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THE DIAL:

The dial is what really sets the Blade apart from your traditional watches. From first glance it’s hard not to notice. The dial is covered by a circle of blades which I thought how will I be able to read the time on this watch?

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Let’s wind her up and see shall we? Once I wound the Blade up, I knew I really had something special in my hands. The ring of blades rotates clockwise acting as the seconds hand. Each blade is spaced apart perfectly allowing you to see the minute and hour hands underneath as the blades make their way around the dial. So cool! The blades are grey and match the grey in the channel of the ridges on the case edges that I mentioned earlier. The blades are printed on a round clear disc. I would have liked it even more of the disc featured one red blade, which would have added a nice timing feature.

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The minute and hour hands on the blade are long, slender and white which set against the black dial allow you to tell the time pretty easily as the blades are in action. The minute hand has an arrow style tail on it which is a detail that makes me happy. It’s little details on watches that always make me the most happy, just like a kid on Christmas.

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There is a date wheel at the 3 o’clock hour marker. The date wheel was chosen wisely as the wheel itself is white and the date is printed in black. This smart color choice was good because it can be read without problem. Not interruptions from the spinning blades.

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The dial is without text and it is without numerals. On the inside of the crystal itself is the Zinvo logo printed. The inner chapter ring has small round holes that act like the hour markers, with bigger holes at the 12, 3, 6, 9 locations. This is the dial detail I mentioned earlier that nicley matches the detail on the crown. Well done Zinvo.

The dial is simple, yet so full of unique details that it really makes the Zinvo blade refreshing. A real treat that is Industrial goodness at its very best.

THE MOVEMENT:

The Zinvo Blade relies on an automatic movement manufacturered by Citizen. The Miyota movement is unadjusted.

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The 8215 inside the Zinvo Blade has an accuracy rate of -20/+40 seconds per day. There isn’t much I can add about this movement that hasn’t been written about already.

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It’s an automatic movement with 21 jewels.

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Since ETA limited its surplus to most brands, watch companies have had to rely on movements like the Miyota 8215. It’s a reliable movement that is a workhorse like its ETA counterparts.

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THE STRAP:

The strap is black Italian leather with red stitching accents. The strap is very smooth on the top, bottom and around the edges.

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Each stitch is spaced perfectly and even in length. I really like the nice touch with the red accent. The small portion of the strap that has the buckle also has two keepers, one fixed and one that is free sliding.

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The traditional tang buckle is also gunmetal and is signed with an engraved Zinvo logo.

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The 22mm non tapering strap will fit a wrist of close to 8″.  The strap conforms to the wrist with ease and is quite comfortable. I have no complaints about the Blades strap whatsoever.

WRIST SHOTS:

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CONCLUSION:

The Zinvo Blade is a refreshing take on the modern watch. Offering a very unique dial and seconds hand style disc. I enjoy the industrial style case as well. The gunmetal color is striking and stealthy. There are a few things I mentioned above that would make the experience with he Blade even better. The only thing that I am going to be nit picky about is the main focal point of the watch, the blade disc. It is really uniuque and such a cool feature, with it being the main focal point, I would expect the disc to spin smooth and without flaw. Unfortunately the piece I had in to review, the disc spun choppy/jumpy and not smooth like I would expect. I have seen other Blade watches where the disc has spun extremely smooth, I believe it’s because that this is a review piece.

The case is very well made and has a great industrial feel/style. I love the lugs on the Zinvo Blade, from their shape to the way they are attached to the case. While the Blade was on my wrist during its review process, I received comments for strangers on it daily. It really catches people’s eyes. Which doesn’t happen very often I can say as a every day watch nut. Of course the WIS in me looks immediately at people’s wrists when there is a watch on it.

I thoroughly enjoyed reviewing the Zinvo Blade, I really think that it is an unique hit. Something that is definitely outside the box. You do get a bang for your buck. I would recommend this watch to anyone who is looking for a fun watch to wear. It’s a perfect jeans and t-shirt weekend warrior watch.

I want to personally thank Borys and Zinvo for the honor and oppurtunity to spend some quality time with the Blade. I had a lot of fun with this watch.

ADDITIONAL PICTURES:

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Watch Review: Gavox Aurora

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Company: Gavox

About Gavox:

Created in 2011 by Michael Happé, the grandson of one of the legendary Flying Tigers, GAVOX is a novel Belgian brand of high-performance timepieces designed and manufactured for professionals.In 2014, Gavox officially became watch maker for the 15th Wing and the 350 Squadron, two Belgian air force squadrons.

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GAVOX: easy to pronounce in every language, the novel name Gavox combines the Greek “galaxias” (our universe, the milky way), and the latin “vox” (voice). The mission of Gavox, “voice of our universe”, is to produce timing instruments
inspired by explorers who dared to go higher, farther, deeper.
As an engineer and pilot, the founder wanted a name that reflected his passion for technology, astronomy and space exploration and quality timepieces that could be used by professionals on the field.
HIGHER, FATHER, DEEPER.
The GAVOX collections take cues from instruments of exploration and offer various functions such as: chronograph, 24 hour time,mission timer, multiple time zone and perpetual calendar.

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The Aurora:
A watch for Pilots and Travelers
After 3 years of research and two major innovations, Gavox is proud to present the Gavox Aurora.

The Aurora is the world’s first multifunction quartz watch that handles all geographical and political time zones. It allows to keep track of a reference time and display a local time by increments of 15 minutes, in order to handle non-standard time zones with a difference of 15, 30 or 45 minutes. As much as 20% of the world’s population lives in non-standard time zones.

Designed based on the feedback of professional pilots, the watch also includes navigational features such as fly-back mission timer and countdown. Astronomical features include: perpetual calendar and moon phases.

The display borrow cues from aircraft instruments to allow a quick read of uncluttered information; and all functions are displayed in semi-circles, which prevents the hands from overlapping and hiding critical information.

Forged in surgical stainless steel, the case can be immersed to a static depth of 100 meter and is fitted with an anti-glare crystal that only diamond can scratch.

Technical Specifications :
Autonomy between 4 to 7 years depending on mode usage
Analog watch with 4 hands (1 for the mode, 3 for the information).
UTC time reference, and local time by increments of 15 minutes.
Countdown from up to 31 hours, with visual alarm.
Mission chronograph to 31 hours, with split and flyback features.
Perpetual calendar with simultaneous indication of date, day, month and leap year.
Moon phase.
Water-resistance to pressure of 10 ATM (333 ft).
Serial number.

 

 

I am very excited about this review because it is the first mecatronic movement watch that I am reviewing. The Aurora has several different motors that work in unison to create a very unique and special watch. Since this is a unique and special watch review I am going to approach it very differently, by explaining the functions first then I will dissect the watch from a physical standpoint.

So let’s take a look at each of the Aurora’s cool and unique functions shall we?

 

The Functions:

 

Chronograph:

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Enter the chronograph by advancing the hand by the pressing the crown until the ChR on the sub dial at the 3 o’clock hour marker. When you enter the chronograph mode the hour and minute hands advance to 12 and the sub-dial will advance to 0. To operate the chronograph function press the top pusher to start it, pressing the top pusher again will pause the counter. To reset the chronograph push the bottom pusher.

What makes the chronograph unique on the Aurora is that it’s a central minutes chronograph which means that the minute hand counts the seconds and the hour hand counts.  What is also unique is that the chronograph counts to 60 minutes once the first 60 minutes are counted, the hours are then counted are via the subdial which is located at the 9 o’clock hour marker. It’s quite astonishing that the Aurora can keep track of counting to almost 32 hours, clocking in the maximum at 31 hours and 59 minutes.

The chronograph can also split time, not as advanced as splitting the atom, but is very unique accomplishment when talking in terms of watches. To play Einstein and split time you do this by pushing the lower pusher while the chronograph is active. There is also a fly-back feature that is fun to use. This is achieved by pressing and holding the top pusher while the chronograph is active, this will cause the hands to reset. Then by letting go of the top pusher the chronograph starts up again without hesitation.

Moon Phase:

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My personal favorite feature of the Aurora as I have been obsessed with the moon phase feature on watches since I was a young boy. The waxing and waning phases of the moon are represented on the subdial at the 9 o’clock marker on the dial of the Aurora, with the full moon dead center. The full moon is fully lumed as well, I would have liked to see every phase of the moon with lume I think that would have been a perfect little design bonus. There is some really nice circular texturing at both of the subdials that adds some depth to the dial. It’s really well done and a nice touch.

Seconds Function SEC:

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Pretty self explanatory feature here. When selected by pressing the crown in and pressing it until the hand on the subdial at the 6 o’clock position selects the SEC, this activates the seconds hand which counts on the subdial at the 9 o’clock hour marker position.

Date Function:

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Once again by pressing the crown continuously until the little hand is pointing to the DATE on the subdial at the 6 o’clock hour marker. Once highlighted you will notice that the hour and minute hands will move to point out the date. To decipher the date, the hour hand points to the correct day of the week that is printed in gray, while the minute hand points the months printed on the chapter ring. The chapter ring represents four full years and also represented is the leap year, this is deciphered by looking at the hand that pointing to a month in the last year that is printed in white instead of the grey. Pretty useful considering that 2016 is a leap year.

Home Function:

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Continue to press the crown until HOME is highlighted in the 6 o’clock hour subdial which allows you to adjust the time to all of changing timezones. To achieve this, pull out the crown, and then press the top pusher to advance the hour and push the bottom pusher to advance the minute hand. You can advance the time in either 15 minutes at a time or advance it by a full hour. Why would this be of any use you ask? This can be used if one was to travel to destinations of the world that their timezones change but only change by less than an hour.  Upon entering the  set mode by pullin out the crown the date hand on the subdial at the 9 o’clock marker changes to a 24 hour hand indicating am and pm. When you push in the crown, that same hand on the subdial point to one of the numbers from 1-31 which indicates the day of the month.

Timer Function TMR:

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Once again, continue to press the crown until the small hand on the 6 o’clock subdial highlights TMR. Once in the TMR function pull out the crown to reset the positions of the hands to 12 o’clock. By pushing the top pusher this allows you to set the minutes of the timer by advancing the small hand and by pushing the bottom pusher it allows you to set the hours of the timer which are indicated by the hand of the subdial at the 9 o’clock hour marker. What I love about the TMR function is the fact that the TMR counts down in a counter clockwise movement like a real timer should. The fluidity of the hands movement on the Aurora is so cool and perfect. My friends were mesmerized by the movement of the hands while the Aurora was on my wrist during my review process.

 

UTC Function:

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By pushing in the crown to advance the hand to highlight UTC is again how you enter the mode. By pulling out the crown you can adjust/set the time minute by minute instead of 15 minute or hour increments. When you are in this mode, the subdial at the the 9 o’clock marker now indicates 24 hour time, which is a really awesome feature and very handy when traveling. Another handy feature of this mode is that it allows you to calibrate the quartz movement which allows you to align all of the hands on the watch. If you are a true stickler for hand along,net then this feature is very important to you. How you achieve the calibration mode is by pushing and holding both the top and bottom pushers. By holding the pushers it makes the hands “reset”. Once the hands reset, pushing the top pusher allows you to adjust the hands in tiny increments until you align them where you want them. To change what hand you want adjusted, you simply press the bottom pusher to select the hand you want to adjust. A very cool and very useful function in my opinion and gives you the chance to play watch technician.

This concludes the functions explanations and now I will walk you through the physical attributes of the Aurora watch.

 

The Packaging:

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The packaging is very cool for the Aurora and it instantly reminded me of the first Indiana Jones movie. It has that 1940’s traveling the world look and feel to it. It’s a wooden box that has a large drawer that is secured by a leather buckle with tan stitching . It’s so awesome. I’m a big fan of this packaging. It’s unique, functional and small. Printed in black on the box top is Gavox MFG- Wrist Watch Waterproof and the Gavox logo. On the drawer is printed in black is the Gavox logo and Gavox industries Belgian design, Aviator Wrist Watch Waterproof. Inside the drawer is foam padding with a cut out for the watch which is attached to a foam pillow. Also inside is of course the watch and strap, and a strap changing tool. The tool is also very cool as its signed with the Gavox logo and has a mini ruler on it.

 

The Case:

Measurements Ø 43 x 50.5 x 12 mm

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The Aurora’s case is made from stainless steel and has a nice brushed finishing. I think that in terms of “tool” watches, having a brushed case is an obvious choice.  The bezel is fixed and is plain brushed stainless steel. This was a good choice because the dial is obviously the main focal point of the Aurora and by keeping a thin, plain dial allows no distraction from the dial itself. On the crown side of the case is a signed crown with a G engraved on it. Also on the crown side is 2 button pushers. The crown guards perfectly protect the crown without intruding or compromising the crowns function. The non crown side is devoid of any detail.

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The screw down caseback is loaded with information and dead center is the engraved Gavox name and logo. Also engraved on the caseback is the following information: Swiss made, Aurora, Model number, Limited edition number, Belgian Design in collaboration with Techne, Stainless Steel, Sapphire Crystal, Water Resistant 10 Bar, Twin Motion Quartz by Soprad.

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The curved lugs have some good angles that are very smooth and are solid which means there aren’t holes for the spring bars on the outside. The spring bars attach into holes on the inner side of the lugs for the strap.

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The case is a really good size and fits pretty darn good on my 7 1/2″ wrist. The case isn’t too big and every inch of the inside is utilized by its movement with no room to spare. The flat crystal is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal with inner anti-reflection coating.

 

The Dial:

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My oh my this dial and in one word? Stunning. In three words? Symmetrical Stunning Perfection. With all the functions of the Aurora it would have been very easy for this dial to become overcrowded and clustered. There’s a few things on the design level that Michael did that are truly brilliant to allow this dial to work without being a cluster of gibberish. Michael used several different colors to mark everything on the dial, some colors more bold than others which allows perfect symmetry allowing each function to be easily distinguished.

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First I will talk about the basics of the dial, the traditional hour markers, etc… The hour markers are in a nice white color set against the lovely black matte dial allowing the time to be easily read. The main 4 numbers are represented on the dial by bold, pilot watch style numerals, 12, 3, 6, and 9. The other hour markers are represented by large rectangular markers that extend out past the minute/seconds markers which are represented by smaller white hash markers. At the hour markers near the subdials the hour markers are represented by squares which was a smart choice as the squares still allow you to distinguish the hour/minute but also they don’t intrude on the subdials.

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The subdial at the 6 o’clock marker is the functions or modes of the Aurora. They are printed in white starting with HOME, SEC, UTC, TMR, CHR, DATE and ending with MOON. There is a small yellow and white hand that is used to highlight the mode/function and it is advanced by pushing the crown in. The hand is also coated with lume. The lume on the Aurora is so good unique and beautiful, wait until you see the lume shot pic.

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The subdial at the 9 o’clock marker is used for a large number of the functions/modes of the Aurora, from the SEC to the MOON it’s a very important subdial. The numbers are printed in white except for 25 & 30 which are printed in yellow. The waxing and waning phases of the moon are printed in grey, with the full moon represented in white. The grey color of the waxing and waning phases of the moon is the color choice that I mentioned earlier that I thought was so brilliant. It is still easy to view but it can become invisible at quick glances of the dial, which this helps keep the dial symmetrical and not overcrowded. The small hand at this subdial also matches the other subdial hand it is yellow and white and is the same size.

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The hour and minute hands are quite unique in shape and are very beautiful. The white minute hand in long and slender but not too sender where it gets lost. It’s the perfect size in my opinion are it stretches almost  to the chapter ring. The white hour hand is elongated diamond shaped with a long sharp tip that is yellow. All the hands are coated with lume which makes telling the time in dark situations easy to do. The ends of the hands are round circles, which I really like and like how they slightly extend past where they are secured.

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The chapter ring has the months printed on it and 4 years of months are represented on the chapter ring. Each January is printed in yellow, and each of the other months are printed in the grey with the exception of the leap year which are printed in white. The dark grey color again helps from that clustered overcrowded look.

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There is also some text printed on the dial which is printed in white. Under the 12 o’clock hour marker is the Gavox name and logo and the Aurora model name. Under the 6 o’clock hour marker is Mecatronic Swiss Made. All printed in the perfect size. The dial like I said works on a symmetrical level that is balanced and really is quite stunning.

 

Swiss Superluminova DGW9

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The Straps:

Measure between lugs 22mm

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Gavox has several strap options that are available for the Aurora from a leather strap to a NATO style strap. My personal favorite that I used mainly during the review process was a black nylon, NATO style strap. I was extremely comfortable and I really believe it best suited the Aurora out of all my choices a straps. Using the leather strap with deployment buckle with certainly dress up the Aurora. I’m a simple man, with simple needs and I enjoyed the black NATO style strap the best.

There is a black or a brown strap option with the Aurora. Both straps have white stitching and both straps are well padded. The brown strap has the engraved Gavox deployment buckle while the black strap has the traditional tang style buckle, which is also engraved with Gavox. Both straps are made of genuine leather and both are very smooth with an almost seude like finish. The straps are well made and are custom strap quality for sure. Both of these straps add a dressy element to the Aurora.

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The Movement:

picture from Soprod website.

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The movement was manufactured by Soprod and Gavox gave the strict specifications that make the Aurora the unique watch that it is. The Mecatronic movement has several different little motors that are in charge of different jobs, but they all work together like a team. The definition giving by Soprod is as follows: “An innovative “Mechatronic” movement enables the display to be customized with various functions.Two-directional micromotors (in any number) driving hands or disks offer revolutionary and limitless modularity”. I have never experienced anything quite like this movement. It keeps excellant time as you would expect from a highly developed Mecatronic movement. During my time with the Aurora it neither gained nor lost anytime after a month under the “microscope”. The way the hands move when jumping from mode to mode or when a certain function is activated, it is really quite stunning. I never grew tired of watching these hands move about the dial. The idea that there are more than one motors inside is really amazing when you think about it.

 

Wrist shot:

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The Aurora comes in different case material and finishing options. The matte black PVD case is very stealthy and so nice. I used the stainless steel watch throughout my review process, but I didn’t want to let the PVD case go unmentioned or unseen. The black case really makes the dial pop, especially all the white on the dial. The finishing on the case is so smooth and beautiful. I really love the matte finish. It reminds me of the stealth bomber. It adds a whole different sleekness to the Aurora.

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Conclusion:

The Gavox Aurora is a very unique and special watch. Housing a very cool Mecatronic movement that handles all of the Aurora’s many different functions with ease. The classic pilot/aviation themed dial is simply gorgeous, with perfect symmetry, lovely texture and great lume. You get a extremely unique watch packed full of great functions, for well under $1,000 USD. It’s pretty impressive the amount of watch you get for your dollar.

The Aurora is very comfortable on the wrist and is quite rugged able to handle a lot of outdoor activities. I know that Michael posted pics of the Aurora in temperatures well below 0 and while the camera failed under the harsh conditions, the Aurora never faultered. That definitely gets some bonus points in my book.

I would definitely wear this watch myself and I would highly recommend it to someone who is looking for a pilot/aviation themed watch but looking for something a bit different. You will not be disappointed with the Gavox Aurora it’s a real masterpiece both in function and in design. The dial is a work of art in its self. I am genuinely shocked by its water resistance, shocked in a good way.

If there is anything that I would change on the Aurora if given the choice? Not really, everything has been well thought out for a long time when the Aurora was designed. In an updated version I would like to see a screw down crown and pushers to increase the water resistance. I understand that this would slow the ease of function, but it’s just my personal opinion.

I want to personally thank Michael for allowing me to conduct my review on the Aurora and allowing me to take my time to be thorough with it. I fell in love with this watch for sure. It photographs with such ease and finesse. Thank you Michael!

 

 

Additional Photos:

 

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Watch Review: Panzera Breuer 47 Limited

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Company: Panzera

Website direct link to this watch: http://panzera-style.com/b47-01/

Model: Breuer 47 Chronograph

The PANZERA Breuer Decore 2015 watch range is based on classic German Bauhaus designed time pieces that first became famous in the 1950s and 60s. This minimalistic and timeless design is as contemporary and popular today as it was then.

Bauhaus was a revolutionary design school that emerged in Germany in 1919 and still remains very influential in many areas of design and architecture today. Their primary intention was to integrate art,technology and craftsmanship creating a new design philosophy of exceptional beauty and function. They believed that design of any sort ought to be considered a high art similar to painting or sculpture.

Bauhaus designs reflect the modernist and often minimalistic style that made them famous and timeless.

The PANZERA Breuer watch ranges capture all the key Bauhaus functional and design influences:

Minimalist design with no superfluous features or text
Symmetrical and harmonious dial and index markers
Slim line smooth curved case
A contemporary large size diameter
The PANZERA Breuer B47 Chronograph Limited Edition Series has a 47mm diameter (excluding crown) and 9mm thick 316L stainless steel case, with a high polished finish. The movement is an accurate and reliable Seagull ST-1901 hand-wound mechanical with 23 jewels and 40 hour power reserve, that can be admired through the exhibition display case back.

The minimalist crown at the 3 o’clock, and chronograph buttons at the 2 o’clock and 4 o’clock position are faithful to Bauhaus design.

Water resistance capabilities are 30 metres / 3 ATM / 98 feet.

Straps include 22mm Genuine calf skin leather with deployment clasp or shark mesh strap in fine grade stainless steel 316L with fold over clasp .

Each Panzera watch is individually serial numbered on it’s case back and comes with a user manual and 2 year international warranty card in a high-quality presentation box.

The PANZERA Breuer B47 Chronograph Limited Edition Series is a high-quality “contemporary/classic” German Bauhaus style mechanical watch range that represents exceptional value for money with only 2000 pieces of each model available worldwide.
B47-01 Terros Ltd
47mm Mechanical Chronograph Bauhaus Watch
Limited Edition 2000pc Worldwide
Price: USD $700
FREE Shipping Worldwide

 

MOVEMENT Hand-wound Mechanical Chronograph
CASE Stainless Steel (316L)
DIAMETER 47mm
BACK Screwed in with exhibition display
JEWEL 23 Jewels
POWER RESERVE 40 hrs
LIMITED EDITION 2000pc available worldwide
STRAP Black Genuine Leather with Croc Pattern, Push Button Deployment Clasp
WEIGHT 100 gr.
THICKNESS 9mm
WATER
RESISTANCE 3 ATM (30 meters)
GLASS Hardened mineral crystal with
anti-reflective coating
SRP USD $700
WARRANTY 2yr International Warranty* (*Register warranty online to activate 2nd year)

The Packaging:

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The packages of the Breuer 47 is simple, sleek and effective. It’s a long & padded black case that is stamped with the Panzera name and anchor logo. The inside of the case is lined with soft velvety material that will keep the B-47 well protected while it stored in the box. The box was shrink wrapped and sealed which helped protect the watch during the shipping process. The watch itself inside the box was well wrapped in bubble wrap. One thing about it, Panzera ensures that the watch remains in perfect condition when it leaves the factory until it arrives on your doorstep. Also included is a warranty/authenticity  card, and of course the watch itself.

 

 

 

The Dial:

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Simplistic and elegant.
The dial is what gives the Breuer 47 it’s amazing retro feel. The dial itself has a blue-black color that is so deep and rich, and is the perfect back drop for the applied hour markers. Everything about the dial of the B-47 is balanced and works in perfect tandem. The subdials that are located on 3 and 9 are so symmetrical and functional, both are a main focal point of this dial. The subdial at the 3 o’clock position is responsible for counting the minutes when the chronograph function is initiated. It counts in 30 minutes durations, and will continue counting each minute at a time after it passes the 30, it’s up to you as the wearer of this watch to keep track of each 30 minutes that passes. The subdial at the 9 o’clock marker is responsible for counting the seconds. The large seconds hand rotates only when the chronograph function is activated by the button pusher on the crown side of the watch. It can be stopped and Flyback returned via the button pushers as well.

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The only numbers featured on the dial of the B-47 are within the subdials. The hour markers are marked by large rectangular applied markers that the main 12, 3, 6, 9 markers have lume applied to them as the other hour markers are rectangular polished markers. At the 12 o’clock marker on either side of the rectangular marker are two small lume circles that are also applied to the dial which makes finding 12 very easy in the dark or low lighting situations. All of the applied markers on this dial,made to depth of this dial. It’s so incredibly beautiful and detailed, in such a simple yet elegant manner. The hour and minute hands are long, slender, sexy and have lume on them as well. All of the hands allow reading the time and using the chronograph function very easy.

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The Case:

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The case of the Breuer 47 is made of made of high polished finished 316 Stainless Steel which gives the B-47 a elegant and dressy look. The retro styling is very noticeable from first glance of the B-47, it immediately took me to the watches of the 1950’s and 1960’s. I could imagine Dean Martin rocking this watch while on stage with the Rat Pack. This watch has swag and style thoroughout. The simple, yet elegant case has sublttle details that add to that swag factor. The crown which is in charge of winding the mechanical movement and used for setting the time which is done by pulling it out, completely with ease because of the machined gear style edging around the whole crown. The crown is signed with an anchor which I am absolutely crazy about. This detail is one of my favorite additions that I commend Panzera for including. The pushers for the chronograph functions are work without any difficulty and are styled in that retro chronograph styling, simple and elegant, all matching in that high polished finish. The bezel is thin and is also polished matching the rest of the case.

There is a modern flare to the B-47 case that keeps the retro styling quite current and tha what I speak of is the size. The case is large, coming in at 47 mm it definitely gives some wrist presence with that large watch modern style. I actually like the size of this watch, as it adds a certain bad-assness to the B-47. If this case was 39mm it wouldn’t quite have the same presence on the wrist and I think it would make it just an average retro watch. The slightly curved, polished lugs are 22mm spaced and allow the B-47 to sit flat on the wrist. They are a perfect length that will fit most wrists without any significant overhang.

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The caseback is where the true beauty of the B-47 shines through. When I first handled the B-47 I could not take my eyes off the exposed movement inside. I thought I was over exhibition casebacks, but it absolutely works so well on the B-47. I will talk more about the look of the movement later on in this review. The outter ring of the caseback contains some engraved info: Panzera, stainless, 3ATM, Breuer 47, and the limited edition number.

 

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The domed crystal of the B-47 is breathtaking, as it is one of my favorite things about this watch. I don’t know if it stems from my personal love of dive watches or from other sources, but I do know that it is absolute perfection. It’s hardened mineral crystal with applied anti reflective coating and it is crystal clear at all angles(pun intended).

 

The Movement:

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Oh the beautiful movement of the B-47 is full of color and mechanical detail that I find myself getting lost in. From the blued screws, the red jewels, the wonderful spinning gears and the guilloche finishes, I love it all. There’s something magical about a mechanical movement that takes me back to when I first fell in love with watches. I was around 4 years old and I would look at my grandfathers pocket watch. From that first listen of the tick-tock emanating from within, to the dancing of the balance wheel, it was something so special to me and something I will never forget. The B-47 reminds me of this every time I turn the watch over and look through the mineral crystal caseback.

The winding of the mechanical movement is done by turning the crown back and forth, it winds very smoothly and will give slight resistance when the B-47 is fully wound. Be careful as with any mechanical movement not to over wind or force winding past the end feel when that slight resistance is felt. It approximately takes about 30 turns to fully wind.

The Seagull ST-1901 movement has a 40 power reserve and is 23 jewel, column wheel controlled, chronograph, lever movement that operates at 21,600 bph.

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The Strap:

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The black genuine calf skin leather strap adds so much to the overall elegant feel to this watch. The black outer part of the strap is detailed in alligator style and the black is as dark as night. The strap has a really nice black sheen finish to it. The buckle is stainless steel and is a deployment butterfly fold over style. What’s nice about a deployment buckle is that it protects the strap more so that the traditional tang buckle because it allows you to size the strap, you secure the buckle in place and then you fold both sides of the butterfly clasp into place until they click. With a traditional buckle system you are constantly pulling on the strap both when you buckle and unbuckle it, which puts more wear and tear on the strap. The buckle is engraved with Panzera. The underside of the strap is stamped with the Panzera name and log, and it is also stamped with genuine leather. The underside of each strap has uniform and precise white stitching and the top side the stiching is black.

 

Wrist Shots: 7 1/2″ wrist for reference

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Conclusion:

This watch is a prime example of what happens when you take an already classic vintage design and put some really nice modern touches on it without overdoing it. Panzera has done a fantastic job of merging these two elements together in beautiful symmetry. The B-47 is so fully of personality that is pulled off in a quite, under the radar manner. This watch can easily make the transition from work at the office, to date night, to a dress up affair such as a wedding.

I spent weeks with the B-47 and I can tell you that it wears very comfortable. The 47mm case wears smaller than you think. It’s not a thick watch which helps keep it feeling undersized in terms of being 47mm. The domed crystal is so nice, and I couldn’t stop tilting my wrist to gaze at it. From the top view down, it appears completely flat. Very, very cool.

The exhibition caseback is a perfect and very welcomed feature. I don’t think it would have the same effect if the B-47 had an automatic movement inside of it. The mechanical movement inside is beautiful and full of life & color. Winding this watch every morning was an absolute joy.

The retro dial has depth and simplicity. Every little detail on the dial is perfect. There is nothing that I would change on the B-47. You can tell when every detail about a watch is well thought out in the planning phase, that when you see it materialize in the finished product that it becomes so apparently clear. I do think that an optional retro style bracelet would be a great addition to the B-47.

If you are looking for a dress watch that won’t break the bank, the Breuer 47 is the watch for you. It has so much personality and underrated beauty.

I want to personally thank Roger from Panzera for allowing me to spend time with the Breuer 47. It was a wonderful experience and it brought back some cherished memories that are indescribable. Thank you again Roger.

 

 

 

 

 

ADDITIONAL PICTURES:

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