Watch Review: Bausele Pilot

Recently it was the anniversary of the Normandy invasion during WWII as I read articles and gazed upon the pictures, it caused me to do some deep reflecting. As I reflected I thought about the bravery, courage, fear, that the people involved in the invasion must have felt. I sat in astonishment as I read facts that these articles brought awareness to. An example of this was that Hitler was staying in his Bavarian home at the time of the invasion and his generals were afraid to order reinforcements without his permission and they were also afraid to call him to wake him, thus giving the allied forces the ability to overtake the beaches. The other thing that I learned that astonished me was that the weather almost canceled the allied invasion but the weather report stated that there was a 12 hour window in the weather that they acted upon. It amazes me that given the limited technology in the 1940’s, the weather report was that accurate, that trusted. I love history and it never ceases to amaze me as I learn about the past. Bausele did exactly that, reflected upon the past, learned from the past and set out to use this knowledge of the past to infuse it into our modern world.

The Bausele pilot watch is a blend of designs of yesteryear and designs of our modern world. The dial is the perfect visual example of what I am speaking of. Inspired by the watches of aviation pilots back in the day the 12 on the face of the watch is situated at the traditional 2 position, allowing the advantage of telling the time without having to move your wrist. The same applies in the modern era of performance cars and motorbikes” Pilot watches of yesteryear had dials positioned in this manner so that the Pilot didn’t have to remove his hands during flight to tell the time. Especially when timing is absolutely crucial during a military mission. Once this watch was on my wrist it makes perfect sense. It took a minute to become used to this layout, but once I did, I was hooked. The large metal hour markers lend assistance to the ease of reading the time. I absolutely love how the silver catches the light and allow the black printed numerals to have an almost 3 dimensional appearance. There is an incredible amount of detail/depth on this dial but not too much to allow unnecessary busyness/clutter.

The Guilloché detail that is beautifully decorates the hour markers, it can also be found on the top side of the movement which is visible through the circular cut out in the center of the dial. The red X detailing on the dial is quite magnificent as it perfectly lines up with the hour markers at 11, 1, 5, and 7. Bausele commitment to uniformity can be seen in the use of red found consistently and subtlety. The second has my ideal length because it reaches the outer edges of the dial and with it’s red tip it makes it easy to time to the exact second. The tip of the second hand always matches the red stitching on the Kangaroo leather strap. Bausele got all the hands on this watch consistently perfect in my opinion because the hour hand reaches the hour markers and the minute hand reaches the minute track. The hands being generously sized makes telling the time extremely easy which when telling time matters especially when all you have is seconds time to glance at the dial.

The matte black ceramic case is beautifully badass. It’s extremely light weight, durable and stealthy. The case is quite simple in detail which plays well off the many details of the dial. One cool detail that I love on this case and it’s a detail that I have never seen on a watch before. Inside of the crown is red sand from Australia, home to Bausele. It’s such a unique and thoughtful detail that sets this piece apart for other pilot watches at this price point.

The watch wears extremely comfortable on the wrist with no wrist overhang whatsoever that the smaller lug to lug length. The lugs are slightly curved and are not drilled, but the kangaroo leather strap features quick release spring bars. The caseback displays the automatic movement via the sapphire crystal perfect for the people who like to watch the rotor spin.

Adding detail to the caseback are the 6 flat head screws that hold it in place. Some more detail worth mentioning here is that the crystal has the Bausele logo and name printed on the inside. Thankfully Bausele was mindful to give us some added detail to look at on the movement with the guilloche art that finishes the look brilliantly and it can be appreciated from dial side as well. Consistency through details.

I absolutely appreciate Bausele’s take on the pilot watch. They have taken all the good details of pilot watches of the past and merged them perfectly with modern details. It is a great little package with lovely details found at every angle. It’s nice that Bausele didn’t just rehash a pilot watch that we have seen a million times before. I am not a purist by any means and my blog is not for the purists out there. Most people understand that, unfortunately the fuck knobs at watchlords will never understand this. But hey, keep holding onto the 90’s with that 20 members forum. But I do appreciate the added traffic they give me to help bring you all my reviews. It’s only fair that I mention those miserable cynical fuck knobs.

Bausele has definitely given us a great option for an alternative to all the Bell and Ross clones out there. They used imagination and creativity which is sadly lacking in the watch industry. It’s all about the rehash right now and it’s so mundane. If I had to change anything on this piece I would have had drilled lugs with flat head screw bars to tie in the screws on the case back. I would have made the case larger as well despite the current trend going with smaller cases again. But there are a lot of great design details on this watch that the size really doesn’t matter honestly.

Bausele has produced a winner in my opinion. The ceramic case is badass which made my choice harder because the white dial version of this watch is beautiful in it’s own regards. I want to personally thank Arron from Bausele and of course I want to thank you all for your continued support. I couldn’t do this without all of you.

https://www.bausele.com

Watch Review: Achtung Shuttle

I have always been drawn to the Eastern cultures for as long as i can remember. Even as a small child I was drawn to cartoons/shows like Tesujin 28, Mazinger Z, Ultraman, Godzilla, etc…. I was in consistent awe of these shows, blown away actually. As I got older, it wasn’t just the shows that gave me these feelings. The cultures, the religions, the people, began to as well. Absolutely beautiful and awe inspiring. It eventually inspired me so much that I started and continue to practice Buddhism, meditation, martial arts.

Today’s review watch is definitely influenced and inspired by the culture of where it was conceived. The Achtung Shuttle is that watch and you can immediately take notice of it’s unique design. The large black case commands instant attention right out of the box. The red and black color combo has always been one of my favorite combinations since I was a kid. Voltron and Snake Eyes(his tattoo) immediately jumped into my mind.

The angles of the case give the Shuttle that space themes industrial feel. The case has these dramatic angles that being paired with the overall thickness adds some serious wrist drama that easily makes the Shuttle a conversation piece. Not to mention the two smaller dials that are located on the non-crown side of the case. I got the initial inspiration feeling of a cockpit instrument panel when I saw these smaller dials. Now the main dial is powered by a Miyota automatic movement and the two small dials are powered by Miyota quartz movements.

The two sub dials can be designated for multiple time zones if you do a lot of traveling for example. For me personally, I used them for my profession for timing my patients treatments. Operating the small crowns are a little tricky, especially for my wide fingers. Eventually I did get the hang of manipulating them, pulling them up first, them rotating the crown to set the time. The main crown is definitely easier to operate because of it’s edges and because of the size of the crown.

This watch is appropriately named because it’s the size of a shuttle, a 53mm diameter. 15mm thick shuttle to be exact. The red silicone strap does a nice job of balancing the large watch on your wrist and luckily the shuttle isn’t a watch that carries around much weight. This is definitely a good thing especially if you are one of those people who don’t like wearing a heavy watch. It’s a fun watch to wear, I really enjoyed pairing it with a cool t-shirt, jeans and some raw sneakers. It adds that extra detail to the outfit.

Speaking of details, the case has some nice little details that are definitely worth mentioning here for example the double screws that are strategically located at 12, 3, 6, 9 on the fixed bezel. I like the detail created by the 2 sub dials on the side of the case and that Achtung added some engraved detailing in between. For those of you that enjoy looking at the movement inside of your watch, the Shuttle will definitely tickle that fancy with a sapphire caseback.

The dial is as robust and full of detail just like the case itself. The hour markers are beautifully integrated into the chapter ring, with 4 large sections that ‘jet out’ which feature multi-color numerals 2, 4, 8, 10. The shape this creates on the dial is pretty awesome in my opinion, especially at the 3 and 6 locations on the dial. Don’t worry if you are the type of person who likes all 12 numbers represented on the dial, because Achtung has you covered. The rest of the numerals are printed in small white print along the inner sections on the chaper ring. Achtung choice of hands for the shuttle are perfect in design. They complement the depth of this dial brilliantly.

The hour and minute hand are matte finished with lumed white tips, semi skeletonized, and the second on is a beautiful shade of blue, simply straight featuring a “honeycomb” style center. It may be a very small detail, but it definitely has a big impact in my opinion. A common theme found throughout this watch which makes me truly appreciate this piece.

The deeper and longer that I immerse myself into the watch industry and community, I find my tastes changing/evolving. I also find myself becoming bored with the same old tired designs. These countless sub mariner clones make me wanna vomit from the absolute lack of inspiration and lack of individuality. That’s why my blog will always feature the obscure, unique, not for everyone kind of watches. These types of watches intrigue me, inspire me and completely earn my respect for the out of the box approach to design. The limited edition of 28 Achtung Shuttle falls into this category. I appreciate it’s large, robust design.

Achtung has really been focused on improving the quality of their pieces and it is quite apparent in their Shuttle watch. Is it perfect? No. Is there room for improvement? Yes. I would have made all 3 of the crowns larger to assist with ease of operation. The strap integration is extremely limiting where you can’t change up the look with strap changes which is kind of a big deal to me. Changing the straps always breaths new life into a watch. Are any of these deal breakers? Not to me honestly because the pros heavily outweigh the cons on this watch. $664 USD gets you a extremely unique and limited watch that is full of character. It’s a watch that has individuality and will definitely be a killer accent piece for those who love mixing it up in their personal style. I love matching my watches with my skateboarding hats and sneakers. That’s my jam. Perhaps the Achtung Shuttle will accentuate your style jam.

https://achtungtime.com/products/shuttle-red-and-black

Thank you all for reading and for the support. Thanks to Alex and Achtung.

Watch Review: Memphis Belle Heritage

My grandparents came over from Sicily many moons ago with a few possessions, a small amount of saved cash and a big stash of hopes & dreams. As they took root in their new country, and as the years went on in constant pursuit of tapping into that stash of hopes and dreams, my grandmother was extremely raising their 7 children and my grandfather was busy working in his barbershop and putting himself through law school. My grandparents never lost sight of those hopes & dreams. They both did everything with love and passion, something that I continue to draw great inspiration from. I am drawn to drive and passion in a lot of aspects of my life. I will narrow it down to our subject at hand, watches. Recently Wes from Nodus watches brought something that I have often thought about. That thought is how the big names in the watch industry have replaced that drive from passion with the drive to make money. That’s why I am drawn more to microbrands, independent watch makers, ect. They are still driven by passion because they have more to lose and have heart, they have a face, they aren’t hidden behind huge marketing bullshit. At Basel this year ROLEX made something quite apparent, the shift away from big brands has made them take notice. Quite apparent by the new meteorite dial ROLEX. Unfortunately in my opinion simply taking design cues from microbrands isn’t enough to fill the void of that lost passion.

That passion made me take notice of the Italian company Memphis Belle Watches. Their Heritage line specifically is what caught my eye. (Alessandro provided the history of Memphis Belle which is posted at the end of the review. The “cushion” style case is a wonderful historic nod to those early Italian days of watch making. Alex’s design decisions on the Heritage watch definitely aren’t a mistake. The 46mm CuSn8 bronze “cushion” style case is such a comfortable size that allows room for some nice details. The short curved lugs assist in the everyday wearability of the Heritage, keeping it from any overhang on my 7 1/4″ wrist. If I wasn’t so obsessed with watches, I would easily forget that I was even wearing a watch. It makes me chuckle to hear grown men complain about the weight of a watch. If you are complaining that a watch is too heavy, you surely need to get your ass to the gym.🤷🏻‍♂️ The profile of the Heritage has some serious that are cushion deliciousness and are a great nod to the early days of Italian dive watches. The drilled lugs are a welcome function driven design detail. Ease of strap change and aesthetically pleasing to the eye, aka win-win set up.

As you can see in the pic above, the crown features one of my personal favorite images, a skull. The Buddhism viewpoint of a skull is my personal favorite and if you are interested I highly recommend reading more about it. Also while you are researching, I also recommend researching the Flottiglia Mas skull logo that is found throughout the Heritage watch(Case back, crown, dial). We know that the crown looks good, but how does it function? Function is very important and the crown functions without issue. Easy to grip, easy to operate. Now with the fixed bezel there’s no function to worry about but the design deserves mention. The raised letters and numbers on the bezel are done with absolute precision. They are the perfect breeding grounds for some beautiful patina as you can see in the picture below this paragraph. “Remember to dare” A great reminder to not allow yourself to fall into that dreadful daily routine which never changes, never challenges, never inspires……..

I definitely find myself gravitating towards those things that I know that I like and that I know that I am comfortable with, matte black dials are one of my comfortable happy places. Taking the “remember to dare” into a smaller account, I dared to go outside my comfort zone by choosing the textured brown dial. This was a choice I haven’t regretted once. The color of the dial plays so well off of the color of the blue-green patina and the darkened bronze. I also think that the details on the dial all work together brilliantly to add to that old, underwater treasure feel that the Heritage Predator watch encompasses. I see some dials that are just so flat, void of detail of depth, but this dial definitely doesn’t suffer from that. The texture and the coloring of this dial start the depth process for this dial. The off white/cream colored markers are slightly raised adding another layer of depth. I like the choice of Memphis Belle’s decision to go with a California dial for the Heritage watch. While on this love fest, I want to mention that I love the skull logo both in the light and in the dark! Yes that’s right, the skull received that same lume treatment as the markers and the hands.

The two hands on the dial are driven by a trialed and true engine ETA 2824-2. Nuff said. The Heritage has a nice depth rating of 300m of water resistant insurance. The Heritage possesses a great deal of Italian charm that is achievable without hurting the wallet like something from Ennebi, Panerai, vintage Anonimo, would. I was very impressed with the quality of this watch. The Heritage definitely has a place amongst my Italian watch collection because of it’s respect it pays to the past Italian watch makers yet Memphis Belle infused it with their own DNA which is done in a classy not gimmicky manner. I personally have found my tastes evolving and I now prefer my without a rotating bezel. How can a dive watch not have a rotating bezel? Well before you drink more Rolex flavored Kool-Aid, allow me to answer. I read an article about the Italian frogmen from the 1950’s and how their missions where mostly done in shallow waters approximately 6 meters of depth, carrying small oxygen tanks, and a breathing device that is uses treated air to prevent carbon dioxide retention. These shallow missions did not require decompression stops(as required by deep dives), therefore there’s not a need for a rotating bezel.

I definitely recommend the Heritage watch to those looking for that charm of Italian watches of yesteryear, but are on a budget. I would love to own a pre-public Panerai watch, but unfortunately I don’t have the depth of wallet to buy one at auction. (Panerai did not sell their watches to the public until 1993) The Heritage is executed extremely well both in terms of quality and in terms of overall design. If I had a say in the design of this watch I would have added a more oversized crown and slightly wider hands. But that is just catering to my own personal preferences. Memphis Belle watches are definitely worth a second look. I purchased my watch from my brother and friend Val from

Valentino Baielli Fine Watches

https://www.memphisbellewatches.com

Alessandro Roman, born in Genoa, but of Friulian origins.

What was your earliest memory of watches that influenced you?

“Since I was very young I was used to breathing the air of time – tells Roman, class’ 68, one of the two founders of Memphis Belle – I remember that the first toy was an alarm clock that I kept near the bed, and I learned to take it apart and reassemble it. Then growing up I felt the desire to change, to try other roads, I wanted to be a cook. It was my brother Massimo, who called me back to order, I did a watch-making high school in Switzerland, the Crenchen Wosp. An excellent base: in the morning we did theory and in the afternoon we went to practice “.

What made you decide to go into the business solo?

“In ’98, my historical partner Giovanni Panucci and I decide to found Memphis Belle, from the name of the historic plane, a legendary B-17 that in 1943 carried out 25 war missions without suffering losses, nicknamed the Flying Fortress . We wanted to make a high-end super niche product for the military sector in Genoa; a challenge that friends and relatives considered a bit crazy, but we were convinced.”

What was the toughest part for you during your years in the watch industry?

As soon as we were born we went to Switzerland using almost all our initial investment, about 30 million lira to buy 500 cases. We realized only after they were without movement, that is, the engine was missing, and was no longer on the market.”

Any features that you are particularly proud of in your watches?

“We use the same materials used for the hulls of submarines and spaceships, such as zero-rate oxidation steel or pure grade 2 titanium. We need to make resistant, amagnetic, and light watches. In fact, during the Frecce Tricolori acrobatics, due to the pressure, the perception of the weight of the watch also increases by 10 times. We use only scratch-resistant sapphire crystal, with anti-reflective coating, excellent for pilots.

What sectors of the military that use your watches?

“Aeronautica, Esercito and soon the Navy, from Folgore to Bersaglieri, from Gis to Nocs, we cover land, sea and sky. We are also very attentive to design.

How many watches does Memphis Belle produce a year?

We produce from 15 to 20 thousand pieces a year, today we have sold around 870,000 pieces in 21 years of history.

Of those watches produced what percentage are exported?

“About 20%, especially in Europe, Asia, and the USA.”

Any plans for future projects apart from watches?

“Open a clothing line with our brand, to bring military style into everyday life. For a company of our size it is impossible to remain still, but you have to handle everything with extreme caution, in short it is difficult to keep up with time, but it is part of our job.”

Watch Review: Unity Black Pearl prototype

I find that affordable diver’s that have their own personality make for great daily wearers/beater watches. They are the perfect watch for those who don’t cry with that first scratch or with that inevitable door knob/door frame bang. These watches are typically durable, typically are able to make seamless transitions between settings and typically are comfortable to wear. They definitely fall into that no muss no fuss category in my opinion. Today I am going to explore the Black Pearl prototype dive watch from Unity Watches.

The 43mm x 14mm Black Pearl falls into the middle of most size preferences of the current watch wearing community. It’s a pretty universal size in my opinion. Maybe it’s just me, but the Black Pearl initially appears smaller that it’s dimensions. This piece will definitely fit under a long sleeve shirt cuff. The relatively short lugs help keep the Black Pearl balanced and centered on the wrist. The 300 meter diver has an AISI 316L combination finish of brushed and polished. The bezel is also identical to the case in terms of material and finish. The bezel operation will feature unidirectional rotating action on the production pieces. The bezel also features diver friendly lume on the faux pearl and on the bezel markers. Obviously comes in handy while diving and in every day use when in low-light environments/situations. I personally prefer that companies treat the bezel markers with lume.

Before moving onto the caseback on the Black Pearl, I want to mention the screw down crown. The crown features the Unity logo which is done with a deep engraving adding a nice touch of design detail to the profile of the cushion case. The crown can be easily gripped thanks to the deep gear toothed edges allowing you to unscrew/screw/operate with fluidity. The screw down caseback is pretty badass in my opinion. Old school diving helmet, tridents, sharks, Sailor Jerry goodness decorates this caseback. ‘Born to Dive” is also engraved which is a simple but old school brilliant detail.

Simple, legible and function, that sums up the dial quite well. Set on a black backdrop which is appropriate for the Black Pearl. The dial features lume treated applied markers which are a combination of circles and rectangles. The chapter ring is tied in nicely with the large white minute numerals and line markers. One detail that I could live without is the date window. Some love that detail on their watch and some hate it. 🤷🏻‍♂️ A detail that I do love on this dial is an important one in my opinion, a detail that can make or all too often break the deal for me. That detail/s being the hands. Unity has done a fantastic job selecting the right size and shape for the Black Pearls hand set.

The Black Pearl is a great little diver that has a quality designed case, a simple legible dial and a tough movement. What do I like about this watch that makes me think it’s a good recommendation? It has a reliable movement, great legibility in all environments, inspired caseback, and a nice designed case. All these details in my opinion also justify the affordable $650 price tag. The Black Pearl held up well during my review especially wear it was designed for, the water, but more importantly for most the Black Pearl kicked ass in every day life. Indoors and outdoors. The campaign is live on Kickstarter right now which you can checkout by clicking on the link below.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1542410278/black-pearl-300-meters-the-definitive-dive-watch?ref=project_build

Thanks for reading my friends.

BLACK PEARL 300 METERS

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

AT UNITY WE`VE DEVELOPED A NEW DESIGN, OUR FIRST DIVING WATCH “BLACK PEARL” 300 METERS. BASED ON A SIMPLE AND FUNCTIONAL WATCH CONCEPT FULL OF DETAILS AND WELL DONE AND ACTUAL DESIGN. WITH 43mm OF DIAMETER & 45mm LENGTH BETWEEN SCREW BARS THE RESULT IS A WATCH VERY EASY TO WEAR, SUITABLE FOR ALL KIND OF WRIST.

CASE

CASE MECHANIZED FROM SATINLESS STEAL. AISI 316L WITH BRUSHED AND POLISHED FINISHED. DIAMETER 43 mm / LENGTH LUG to LUG 51mm / BETWEEN SCREW BARS 45mm / THICKNESS 14mm INCLUDING CRYSTAL.

BEZEL

BEZEL MECHANIZED FROM STAINLESS STEEL AISI  316L WITH BRUSHED AND POLISHED FINISHED. PEARL AT 12 HOURS WITH WHITE LUMONIVA. MARKS IN BLACK COLOUR FULL OF WHITE LUMINOVA.

BACK CASE

BACK CASE MECHANIZED FROM STAINLESS STEEL AISI 316L WITH BRUSHED FINISHED.

CROWN

POSITION AT 4 HOURS. STAINLESS STEAL SCREW CROWN WITH TOOTHED SURFACE AND BRUSHED FINISHED. WATERPROOF 300 METERS.

AUTOMATIC MOVEMENT

AUTOMATIC MECHANICAL MOVEMENT ETA 2824-2, CALIBER 11 1/2. OSCILLATION FREQUENCY 28800 A/h. SWISS MADE.

DIAL

BLACK BRILLIANT BACKGROUND WITH ROUND APPLIED INDEXS WITH POLISHED FRAME & FULL WITH WHITE SUPER LUMINOVA. WINDOW DATE AT THREE HOURS. APPLIED LOGO DETAIL.

SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL

FLAT SAPPHIRE CRYSTAL WITH ANTIGLARE COATING. THICKNESS 2mm.

HANDS H&M

H&M STEEL HANDS WITH RODHIUM BATH & MINUTES WITH RED FRAME BOTH WITH C1 LUMINOVA. SECONDS HAND WITH RED TIP AND C1 LUMINOVA.

STRAP

TWO STRAPS; SOLID METAL BAND WITH MATTE FINISHING & BLACK CANVAS WITH RED LEATHER BASE. WIDTH  22 MM. BUCKLES WITH ENGRAVINGS.

Watch Review: Kaventsmann Hadal II

How do you choose your next watch to buy? Do you base it on the brand? Perhaps your decisions are based on certain specifics on design, such as case material, case size, bezel (ceramic insert, lume, ect) For me personally I base it on the overall physical design. As many of you know my personal preference tends to go towards those unique pieces, those outside of the box thinking types. Of course there are some traditional designs that I do enjoy still as well, rare but I do. There is definitely a love affair that I have with bronze. As I have surely mentioned in the past, what I truly appreciate about bronze is that it doesn’t like to stay stagnant in it’s life. This is something that I have come to put into motion into my everyday life. In my opinion no other material used for a watch case ages as beautifully as bronze do. Even scratches are a thing of beauty on a bronze case. Then the real thing of beauty comes through, patina, bronze’s life partner. Patina is natural beauty at its absolute best which adds a depth of character to a watch case that no other material can even come close to.

Today’s bronze bombshell is no other than the Hadal II handmade awesomeness from the masters at Kaventsmann. For those of you unfamiliar with Kaventsmann, here is a bit of information about them from their website: Kaventsmann was founded by maverick watchmaker Michael Fernandez who started his new venture of creating his own watch in a small garage.

The watches are entirely handmade in Berlin Germany, the work of just one man wanting to hand build a watch for his father’s birthday.

While studying engineering & construction technology he started to build watches in 2011.

His first watch model in 2011 the “Bathyal” made of Bronze CuSn8 passed a pressure-test of 280bar.

In 2012 he developed the deepest dive-watch made of Aluminium with a pressure resistance of 300bar. This prototype was also known as C-4 proofed watch, it was tested by some guys in Fort Bragg.

In March 2017 we passed a pressure test up to 1200bar /12000m /39370ft with our Kaventsmann HADAL II Bronze, the deepest Bronze watch ever.

In September 2017 we passed the 2nd pressure test to 1200bar , this time with a watchcase completely made of high strength aluminum, the deepest Aluminum watch ever.

In German, ‘Kaventsmann’ is a term used colloquially to describe hefty objects. It is also used to describe rogue waves, relatively large and spontaneous ocean surface waves that occur far out at sea.

Since 2017 Immelmann and Kaventsmann produce together in one workshop to put their knowledge together.

Only a few watches leave the workshop each month.

The Hadal II has a commanding presence as soon as you lay your hands and eyes upon it allowing a quick understanding why it holds the record for deepest diving bronze watch at 1200 bar. I will save some of you time right here, right now, if you are one of those people who put your watch buying decision on the size of a watch, you can stop reading and move on to save yourself some time. If you admire handmade horological creations that follow a personal individualized journey, then please keep reading. Everyone can buy what speaks to them by all means, but my reviews for with those like myself who appreciate the unique, small brands that still have that passion for creating unique pieces, sharing that horological love, unlike the big brands that the soul drive is for the almighty dollar.

The Hadal II is a bronze beauty and beast measuring an impressive 49mm x 25mm. Like anything in life there are those negative stubborn people who actively choose to live a sad existence just to troll while wearing their horse blinders, with the belief that think simply buying a watch is contributing something positive to this hobby and that bashing anything that they don’t like is a real contribution. For you open-minded folks who like to expand their horological palate and appreciate listening to other things besides their own voice let us continue exploring the Hadal II together, shall we?

The main part of the case on the Hadal II is a handworked solid piece of bronze. The caseback is stainless steel and is secured by several hex nuts creating a tight seal. Like the case itself, the caseback is also quite clean, void of unnecessary jibber jabber. I am definitely a sucker for an oversized screw down crown so of course the Hadal II crown is amazing in my opinion. My only complaint about the crown is when it’s fully open it has a bit more wiggle/wobble that I prefer my crowns to have. Other than the extra play, the crown is extremely easy to grip and operates smoothly for winding/time setting. Kaventsmann was definitely mindful when designing this watch as evidenced by the position and placement of the crown. This piece is remarkably balanced in terms of how it wears with comfort despite it’s size and weight. Even with the location of the crown Kaventsmann was still conscientious of protection with the crown guard and lug as the active protectors. The shortening of the drilled lugs allowed the Hadal II to sit well on my wrist without much overhang.

The massively thick tempered domed plexiglas crystal gives a great porthole view into the Hadal’s dial. The crystal is amazing without a doubt but the dial is even more awe-inducing. Typically blue is not my first choice of a dial color but this blue works extremely well on this piece. The sandwich style just adds to my personal appeal that attracts me to this piece. The style gives depth and the orange color of the bottom portion of the sandwich looks like rust. That rust color emanates an unmistakable sunken ship soulfulness. The raw brushed minute and hour hands truly accentuate that feel and the shape/size fit this dial unbelievably well. The length of all three hands meets my personal approval which allows optimal dial legibility and hitting all their designated positions also aides in functional timing. Legibility/functional timing can be done with ease in all environments, lighting situations and wrist angles.

The Hadal II is a fantastic horological beast in every way. This watch definitely had adopted the mantra of “go big or go home!” The German craftsmanship can be easily found throughout the Hadal II. Kaventsmann created the Hadal for those of you who have an obsession with deep diving watches. Theses watched are very rare with only 10 of each variant made and as you would expect with a quality handmade piece price is also a factor. If you are unable to find one on the secondary market, head over to Kaventsmann website as the new Triggerfish watch is up for preorder. Yes the crown stabilization could be improved upon, but let your mind be eased by the lifetime warranty that Kaventsmann watches hold.

Strap: made of AK47 assault rifle leather sling, manufactured in Hungary…

Best history of Dobra straps from the master himself.

Used by a great warrior, an ex USMC, now special commando forces, the guy who gave me the Kaventsmann Acanthurus and his Zlatoust Diver as a gift to show me how much is appreciating my straps…

So a sling that came from war and returned to war after being transformed in a strap… A strap that is not afraid of water, sweat and blood… A strap that will never let you down in the most rough situation…

The brown leather strap in the pictures are that creation from Dobra. It’s one of the best made straps that I have ever owned. Handmade with hand tools, no fancy pretty boy machines here. 8mm thick, yet this strap is ridiculously comfortable on the wrist. It was tested in all environments from below zero temperatures, around water, 24 plus continuous wear on my wrist at work, at play (hiking, fishing, working out) Dobra’s work is so important to him that his straps carry the weight of a lifetime warranty. He is a true artist and a real life badass.

Thanks to Michael for creating these beautiful beasts of the deep! Thanks to Dobra Strap’s for the badass custom AK-47 strap.

Thank you all for reading.

http://kaventsmann-uhren.de

Badass skull ring from

http://intothefirejewelry.com

KAVENTSMANN Hadal II 1200 Bar

HANDMADE IN GERMANY

CASE – BRONZE

MOVEMENT – AUTOMATIC ETA 2824

DIAL – Royal Blue with Orange markers

CASE BACK – STEEL WITH INSCRIPTION

BEZEL – FIXED

CROWN – SCREW DOWN

CRYSTAL – TEMPERED DOMED PLEXIGLAS 15mm thick

LUGS – 24MM

WATER RESISTANCE – 1200 bar

DIMENSIONS – 49mm X 25mm THICK NOT INCLUDING CROWN, CRYSTAL OR LUGS

Watch Review: Schaumburg Viperfish

The Breitling Seawolf Avenger was the watch RESPONSABLE for opening my eyes to the world of dive watches. Of course I had a fondness of dive watches before, but the Avenger was definitely a world opening experience. I can still remember the feeling of holding it’s hefty stainless steel case in my hand. As I dove deeper into the world of dive watches I discovered all kinds of mystifying watches, I also discovered how many clones of dive watches. Quite a dead sea fille with unimaginative, uninspired rubbish. Even the big players in the watch world just rehash old designs over and over and over. I find myself becoming bored with the same crap dished out year after year with the almost unnoticeable changes that companies boast about at Basel each year. That is why when Shaumburg Watches explained to me their idea for a new dive watch, that instantly captured my attention and of course my interest! I must admit my friends that I was split down the middle though, 50% intrigued and 50% hesitant. Other thoughts and feelings that came to mind such as, worried, unsure……

Anything out of the norm intrigues me more so than ever this year which made me want to see this piece in person ASAP. But the other 50% was……If you look at the first pictures within this review maybe you may already know what my 50% hesitation was about. In case you don’t know, I will gladly explain. The skeleton dial was what initially caused the hesitation to swirl like a whirlpool within my head when Schaumburg told me their plans. We all know that I can’t stand a sapphire crystal exhibition case back on a diver, so when the information presented that the experience will now be on the Viperfish’s dial I wasn’t keen on this design choice. But you say, “Stephen you tell us all the time that different is a good thing”, and you are definitely right to want to throw that into my face like a cream pie.

Schaumburg had a few magic tricks up their sleeves, not gaudy like a certain mind freak but more liKe tongue in cheek Penn and Teller style. What Schaumburg did with their dial is definitely different, but they also insured that they gave us the wearer something that is worth looking at. They didn’t just give an off the shelf movement with nothing “pretty” to look at. I never understood the point when companies boast about having an exhibition case back but just use an off the shelf movement with nothing done to it. What’s the point right? The whole point in my opinion of the crystal peering “window” is to give you something interesting to look at. This is what Schaumburg’s achievement was here, which in my opinion was done well. Schaumburg added a real nice pallet of color on the movement which begins nicely smack in the center. The red immediately pulls the eye into the dial and into the movement. I admit that watching the movement in action did remind me of the magic of my grandfather’s pocket watch. That pocket watch was the start of my fascination with watches. So having that reminder here on the Viperfish held an extra bit of personal magic for me.

Ok I will end the trip down memory lane here for all of you interested in the quality and execution of this watch. The moderately 45mm x 14.8mm PVD steel case has nice heft to it where it doesn’t feel cheap yet still remains comfortable on the wrist. The matte black sandblasted finish gives the case a magnificent appearance to the Viperfish. In my opinion it creates the perfect set up for allowing the dial to be the center of attention. You may wonder why this model is named the Viperfish. Well, use the picture below as a clue why and also use the Viperfish itself for another clue. This feature was extremely pleasing to the eyes at night, which was so relaxing to watch the beating heart with a soft glow. That beautiful glow is extended onto the hands of the Viperfish with the center of the minute & hour hand that is coated with Superluminova and bordered with brushed steel. Schaumburg insured dial legibility in low lit environments by also coating the generous sized markers and on the lollipop style second hand. After all this is a dive watch so underwater legibility is important to those you will actually dive with this watch.

The case on the Viperfish has some subtle details that cannot go without mentioning here within this review. Some examples of these details I am referring to can be found on the lugs. The PVD case does a fantastic job of hiding these details which made me want to spend more time examining this watch. As I spent more time with this watch the details began to reveal themselves slowly. At first glance the lugs reminded me of the sexy fenders from a 34’ Studebaker with their distinctive curvature and openness adding to the side profile beauty of the Viperfish. The torque screws that assist in holding the lugs in place are an excellent example of Schaumburg’s conscious effort to go up and beyond in the execution of engineering mindfulness. I want to point out another example of this mindfulness, located at the screw down crown a there is smaller torque screw assisting in holding the crown guard in place. These details add in the overall aesthetics of the Viperfish, but more importantly they add strength reinforcement.

This is what I am talking about when I say that I love when companies think outside of the box when designing watches. I don’t review watches that are intended for the great masses, I review watches that are geared for those who appreciate the different. If you are looking for a German made quality dive watch that isn’t a clone/homage/tired design, then the Viperfish may be the watch you are looking for. Everything on this watch not only looks great, but also functions without fail, each detail big or small is purpose driven. The Viperfish wasn’t drawn up over night, nor was it inspired by another watch, it is a well planned out unique design. Some very sad and very unhappy people recently pointed out to me that all my reviews are positive in nature and why don’t I ever give a bad review. The answer is quite simple, I don’t review uninspiring watches, nor do I review watches that are crap. Why waste my time or your time on those watches? In order to create, one needs to be inspired, at least that is how I work. Of course this is the same group of unhappy individuals that also said there are too many pictures in my reviews and that the pictures are over staged. Last time I checked, a watch review should have a lot of pictures and they should be well planned out. Who wants a review with limited shitty pictures? Well besides the mentioned sad individuals.

The Viperfish exceeded my expectations of design because I honestly didn’t think that a skeleton dial was going to interest me, especially on a dive watch. I was pleasantly wrong and that’s why I love having an open mind. Open mindfulness allows you to see the world in a beautiful and positive light. The Viperfish bezel is probably my favorite detail on this watch. It functions with smooth fluidity but it also looks killer. I love the textured detailing and I love where the brushed stainless steel meets the black PVD. Absolutely lovely. The SW-20AS movement keeps excellent time in all positions, during all my indoor and all my outdoor activities and it also handled below zero temperatures. It is beautiful and it is badass, just like the Viperfish itself.

Thank you so much for reading.

A very heartfelt thank you goes to Schaumburg for the honor of this review and for creating watches that inspire.

Specifications

* Case: PVD steel, matt sandblasted, Case back covered with Superluminova

* Case diameter: 45 mm, hight: 14,8 mm

* Water resistance: 500m / 50atm

* Sapphire crystal with AR coating

* Bezel dot: ceramic superluminova

* Base movement: automatic SW-20AS,skeletonized, red minute wheel and rotor

* Function: hour, minute, second, date,

* Strap: hightech & leather

* Option: steel bracelet

AQM 5 ViperFish

https://youtu.be/_ax2Vp77hA0

Inspired by the Viperfish the bizarre noctilucent predator of the deep sea. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water.We asked ourselves, the AQM 5 should just be a diver’s watch. The mainstream market for diving watches is large but often lacking in creativity. Why not a diver’s watch that opens your heart to the beholder. A diver’s watch that shows how she works during the day or night over or under water. The AQM 5 ViperFish has a skeletonized movement that has been perlated and rhodium plated. The movement is backlit by the Superluminova-coated caseback at night. Individual elements such as the hour wheel and the inside of the rotor have been red coated. So you see through the sapphire crystal as the rotor permanently rotates its rounds. Looking at the AQM 5 on your arm is an experience that almost makes you forget the time to read.

Watch Review: Zoid Zoomeister

I was hanging out with my kids at a local bookstore last weekend. Kids being kids(myself included), we all wanted to look through the toy section. I recently got my kids into Dragon Ball Z, which started after I took the to see the Brolly movie. As we strolled through the toy section I began to realize how many of the “new toys” there were from movies/cartoons/comics that I loved as a kid. Seeing these toys of course made me feel extremely nostalgic but it was the joy in my kids eyes that was the most awesome part of this trip. Reliving my childhood through their eyes cannot be explained in words. There was a gigantic lego Voltron, Star Wars models, Marvel/DC super heroes, classic movie monsters, Dragon Ball, Astroboy, Transformers………My oldest son picked out a Rubiks cube and my youngest son picked out a Gundam robot. It was the Gundam robot that made me realize something about today’s review watch which I will elaborate more on throughout this review.

The unique Zoomeister/ Blue from Zoid arrived on my doorstep and as soon as I opened the box I was instantly delighted at what I saw. The design is completely different from anything else that I have reviewed which of course immediately grabbed my attention and interest. For starters, the majority of the case is made up of crystal which allows you to view the inner workings of this watch from all different angles. Now Zoid inspiration for the Zoomeister is automotive inspired, but my personal interpretation of this watch is rather more of a futuristic robot inspiration. Voltron, Gundam, Soul of Chogokin, are just some of the inspiration I take from my interpretation of the Zoomeister. Now this is a large rectangular shaped case but the lug design and crown placement allow the Zoomeister to wear much smaller than the (48mm x 42mm, Case thickness: 9mm..)As you can see in the pictures the crown in located above the 12 o’clock position saving space and saving from any discomfort on the back wrist/hand.

I also like how Zoid has the lugs cut into the strap itself, and secured it with a functionally strong screw bar and an aesthetically cool oversized screw-head. You can see these sort of examples throughout this piece, which makes this Zoid’s best piece to date in my opinion. I love the details found on the inside of it’s crystal case. In each of the four corners there are piston/shock absorber style stainless steel securing pins. These are definitely some of those details that reminds me more of the oversized robots of my childhood and not that of automotive inspired. The same can be said for the cut outs in the textured dial which allow you to view sections of the automatic miyota movement. The colors on this dial, along with the texture and layers give an amazing amount of depth to the dial. This is where I truly came to appreciate the majority of this case being made of crystal which allowed me to really view this dial and all of the inner workings of this watch.

I love the blade style hour and minute hands along with the added skeletonized style of the lume treatment. The orange second hand is also beautifully done in length, shape, color and overall design. The cut outs on the second hand really make it a nice focal point on the dial. I also want to mention how this hand color matches the orange accents on this dial which are located not only at the hour markers, but also on the Zoid name & logo internally but also externally on the strap. Zoid did an absolute fantastic job of matching the colors throughout this piece. I can appreciate the uniqueness of this watch and I definitely applaud Zoid for going the individuality route, instead of blindly following the masses of watch clones out there. I personally will always be attracted to the out of the box style choices. I definitely understand why the highly popular and expensive brands don’t change the looks of their watches over years and years. Do I agree with it? No, but based on looks alone, the unique watch will always get my vote. A purist I am not.

Zoid’s limited edition of just 18 Zoomeister blue is an excellent unique piece that was made for the individual who wants something different. I personally don’t have any issues with someone who loves the traditional or with the companies that also go that design route. I simply don’t buy them. It’s that easy. Like anything, there are always those negative individuals that will insult brands and designs like the Zoomeister for being different, unique, out of the ordinary. My reviews aren’t meant for those individuals nor are these styles of watches. Save the negative breath, and simply move on. The world already has enough negative winds blowing throughout it, don’t add to it.

The Zoomeister is a great watch that is very well made in terms of overall finishing/completeness of the details. Like I mentioned earlier, this is Zoid’s best work up to date. The finish and quality on this watch exceeded my expectations. I love the functionality of the oversized crown, strap/lug designs and I love the aesthetics that give this watch it’s wrist presence. It’s just a fun watch to wear. For those individuals that share my love of the unique, this just may be the watch you have been looking for. It’s packed full of wonderful little details internally and externally. It’s one of those watches that you will find yourself staring at your wrist throughout the day, and still not be aware of the actual time.

https://zoidhours.com/collections/zoomeister/products/zoomeister-blue