Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Timepiece, Weekend Style, Weekender Fashion

Oris Artix GT Watch

Sometimes it is not always about having the newest and in this case we are looking at watch that was introduced in 2012. Sometimes the best things fly under the radar until its re-discovered.

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Our spotlights is on the Oris Artix GT Chronograph. This particular watch was produced to build on Oris’ motorsport heritage and resemble true classic motorsport through the design of a unique seconds counter that mimics a redline rev limiter. Some people might not know this company; all we can say is they have been around for over a hundred years and are a sponsor of the Le Man winning LMP1 Audi team. Oris has a long tradition of being involved with motorsports and it makes perfect sense to continue that movement with this timepiece.

The Artix GT Chronograph watch is a multi-piece construction with a stainless steel case and a black ceramic bezel that comes with a rubberized edge. The bezel is etched with a tachymeter (minute) scale. The etching and red 12 o’clock triangle provide an easy mark for the user to set the starting point. The rotating bezel is adjustable forward and backwards. Like the face of the watch, the backside of the case has a sapphire crystal displaying the inner mechanics of a fine automatic watch. The inner workings of this watch are provided by a 44mm Valjoux ETA 7750 movement.

The watch face only comes in black, which contains three other dials. Two dials at the 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock track 30 minutes and 12 hours, respectively. Then the unique dial located at the 9 o’clock position will display the smaller seconds with a mechanism that looks like a building RPM gauge. In the industry it is known as a linear retrograde seconds dial. The watch even manages to squeeze in a date window located within the hour counter at the 6 o’clock position.

Another feature is found on the hands of the watch. These polished hands are finished with a Superluminova inlay that means you will never be left in the dark when you need the time. The watch can be configured with either a rubber strap with folding clasp or stainless steel bracelet. This watch is priced around $2,000 which is what you can expect for a quality automatic chronograph that is versatile for business or pleasure.

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Photo credit: Mastersea and Oris

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Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Motor Racing, Timepiece

How About a Flyback

Following Tudor’s repatriation to the United States means we are showing off new watches headed our way. Specifically we will have the opportunity to purchase their newest line of watches designed for the motorsport enthusiast.

Shortly after the introduction of Tudor Heritage Chrono, Tudor has done it again with their newest racing inspired collection: the Grantour, where one watch even comes with a flyback feature. This watch collection was produced in association of their sponsorship for the FIA World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

FIA WEC Tudor Partner

The Grantour collection brings three new watches that share race-inspired features, but the one that has caught our eye is what Tudor calls the “two-register” automatic chronograph, representative of the two smaller dials at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock positions. This chronograph provides the wearer a true flyback feature, not found on the other Grantour watches. What this means is when the 4 o’clock pusher is pressed the second hand will whip back to the 12 o’clock position to start another timing interval. The flyback feature acts like a true stopwatch, where the user does not need to stop and reset the second hand for each additional measure through a series of pushes; it can all be achieved in a single push.  This is especially useful for those wanting to measure individual sector times, during a single lap. It is this feature alone that truly makes a chronograph worth owning.

Other accents for this piece include the date function located at the 6 o’clock position. The fixed outer bezel has fairly large arabic numerals ensuring time does not get misread in the split second glances at this face. Other special features include the ability to lock the pushers to prevent the accidental starting of the chronograph when the user is driving or reaching into their pockets. Locking of the pushers is achieved with a simple quarter turn.

The 42mm chronograph flyback comes in three distinct colors: black face, white face or two-tone black face with 18k rose gold. The watch can be configured with a black leather band, steel bracelet or two-tone steel and 18k gold bracelet. The automatic movement is handled nicely with an ETA 2892 while a sapphire crystal protects the hands and face from the elements. Pricing has yet to be confirmed, but the steel bracelet is estimated to be priced around $4,725 to under $5,000 USD. If there is one watch worth considering we would say this is it.

Grantour Black Face Grantour upclose Grantour black leather strap Grantour steel bracelet Grantour full rose gold

Photo credit: Tudor

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Automotive, Cars, Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast

Caterham Delivers a One-Two Punch; Strong Left Jab

The Seven 160. The numbers are meaningless without context; how about the Caterham Seven 160? Now we are getting somewhere. If Caterham were a boxer hitting at the excitement of motoring enthusiasts their newest introduction to the market would be a strong left jab directly at a motorist’s jaw.

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It should be too, a small but direct car that puts the roads literally back in the driver’s hands. This is a throw-back to old school British motoring from the 1950s.  It is a raw, unedited feeling delivered through this car directly to the driver’s hands that many so-called motoring enthusiasts would NOT be able to stand. Do not get us wrong, there are no plush seats or creature comforts – its just you, the car and the road.  There is nothing fancy about this ride. It is a direct extension of the driver to the road and feedback is delivered instantly. The 160 still comes with double wishbone suspension upfront and semi-independent rear axle. The wheels are small, classic and definitely let drivers know they are designed for classic style motoring only.

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The car is very unassuming and does not come with much: powered by one of Japan’s finest motorcycle company’s – Suzuki. The engine comes turbocharged which helps deliver a modest 80hp at 7000 RPMs with 79lb-ft of torque at 3400 RPMs. While it doesn’t sound like much, having equal torque levels to match the car’s horsepower does deliver a more engaging motor, which swiftly moves a user through any street or road (minus full on highways). Getting the most out of this engine is the same application as a motorcycle, rev until your close to redline – 7700 RPMs in this case. It should be noted some motoring journalists say the sweet spot is between 3000 – 5500 RPMs.

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The size of the engine is a tiny 660cc mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Manual is the operative word. The 160 is not designed for high speed, highway driving but rather scooting along quiet country roads and trips to the local farmers market in neighboring towns. If anything this car, with its k-engine, will help users enjoy a classic style of motoring without endangering themselves or others. From our perspective this is exactly what the car needs to do – deliver a user experience that’s unforgettable, and yet, patient. Why rush things? Sometimes you want to enjoy the long, slow journey of your aimless drive. With that in mind, the Caterham 160 is here to help you achieve your goal. The only downside we see is this car is yet to be slated for USA.

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photo credit: Autocar and Caterham

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Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration

Lotus Introduces Tron

Lotus Motorcyles C-01Actually it’s called the C-01 and this is why we love small motor companies and builders; creators are able to go from design to final product in a short period of time. On top of this, they actually listen to what the fans are saying and we’re not talking about those so called “journalists”. God knows they cannot say anything negative without fear of not getting a call back for the next test.

Small motors companies that act more like the video game community will probably prosper as the fans are not shy to share their thoughts and give direct feedback, which usually translates into a product people will want to buy.

Here Lotus-Motorcycles introduces the C-01 lead by Dr. Colin Kolles and designed by Daniel Simon (work seen in Tron: Legacy). 100 examples will be built and sold. According to Dr. Kolles: “We set out to create a bike that isn’t just great to ride but also represents a piece of art in motion. Over the years I have seen my fair share of style over substance, what this bike brings to the market is a unique combination of both: state of the art technology with a truly jaw-dropping aesthetic.”

Now enjoy 200HP of pure real world Tron.

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Need more check out their site: Lotus Motorcycles

Read the full press release here: Lotus-Motorcycles Press Release

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Automotive, Driving Accessories, Motor Racing, Racing, Timepiece

Title Sponsors Are Everything In Racing

You may have heard for 2014 there’s a new watch in town. Err… is it really new? Well the name back on the block is Tudor. Allow me to help you understand. Set your eyes on the Tudor Heritage Chrono. What’s that you ask?

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Cliff notes for Tudor watches

Who – Created by the original creator of Rolex, Hans Wilsdorf (England).

What – Wilsdorf creates the Tudor line to offer reliability and dependability of a Rolex at a more affordable price. Some believed the Tudor line was created to be his “own” line of watches. The main difference is the movement used within the watch and, later now, the introduction of “color” to their watches.

When – In 1946 Wilsdorf introduces Tudor to honor the Tudor period of England. These watches were sold in the USA until 2004 and have returned mid to late 2013.

What is the significance? Tudor replaces Rolex as the title sponsor for the newly combined sports car racing series: Tudor United SportsCar Championship which is organized by International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). This is the direct result of the merger between the American Le Mans Series and Rolex Sports Car Series (i.e. Grand-Am Road Racing).

This new combination is going to the forefront of sports car GT racing in the United States. Other series will exist, but this will be most regarded. Without this we would not have our beloved 24 hour endurance racing at Daytona or Sebring, along with Petit Le Mans and six hours of the Glen.

As Tudors return to the United States and takes over as the headline for motorsports racing it would only make sense to introduce a watch for racing fans that marks the beginning of a new chapter. Again introducing the Heritage Chronograph. It mirrors the original design from the 1970s but blends in modern movement and redefined shapes. What makes this watch less offensive is the inclusion of the nylon NATO wrist strap; thus giving the owner an option for cold steel or stylish colors. The price for this re-stylized piece of history starts at roughly $4,500, its a small price to pay for a piece of motoring history. The small details help set this watch apart from the rest. The nylon strap is matched with a Tudor buckle. The watch has a rotating bi-directional bezel that is different from the standard diver’s watch. Okay so you’re not sure you can use this watch in daily situations? How wrong you are. The watch has screw down pushers and crown making it water resistant down to 150 meters. Meaning doing dishes, showering or jumping in a swimming pool won’t damage the watch. Or better yet changing a tire in the rain you can be completely sure it will keep on moving. If you don’t like the black/orange you can opt for the blue and orange but we feel its more of a boating feel. If this is the new face of timing, I think we can accept it with open arms. See you at the races!

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Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration, Video

Its Not All About Cars

Here’s a guy who does what he loves. Its not about the money, not about the fame, but for the fact that he created something he can really enjoy; maybe even brings joy to others. If you listen to the words shared by  Todd Blubaugh you can imagine he might be talking about cars too.

Below are some of Todd’s photographs of the bikes he creates.

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Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Iconic, Inspiration

BMW Motorrad X Ruby

To celebrate BMW’s 90th anniversary of building motorbikes they teamed up with french manufacturer Ruby to produce epic retro / throwback motorcycle helmets. The collection is entitled Munich 90. Sure the cost is “higher than normal” but you cannot put a price on quality and limited editions. I could not think of a better conversation piece than to place one of these on your table at your next outing.ruby-bmw90-15-1 ruby-bmw90-14-1 ruby-bmw90-13-1 ruby-bmw90-12-1 ruby-bmw90-11-1 ruby-bmw90-10-1 ruby-bmw90-09-1 ruby-bmw90-08-1 ruby-bmw90-06-1 ruby-bmw90-05-1 ruby-bmw90-04-1 ruby-bmw90-03-1 ruby-bmw90-02-1 ruby-bmw90-01-1 ruby-bmw90-07-1

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