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, 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, Iconic, Motor Racing, Racing, Timepiece

IWC meets Formula 1

Here’s a mouth full: Ingenieur Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month, Ref. IW379201

IWC for 2013 has introduced a series of watches targeting the Formula 1 fans. This all comes with their announcement to partner with the Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team. It was actually announced in 2012. This partnership was founded on their commitment to push back the boundaries of mechanics and technology.

face upclose Mercedes-Benz-F1-engine

2013 launches of the new line watches entitled Ingenieur. From this line we will focus on the Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month. Immediately you will see that the watch face draws on inspiration from an F1 steering wheel. The layout mimics the dozens of displays, dials, and buttons all tediously placed within every inch of the steering wheel. And like all things this watch will take some getting used to. The watch face features four “circles” grouped around a central axis. A large number display make it easy for any user to read, but knowing what you’re looking at will take some practice. Luckily the two East and West circles are labeled at the bottom. The 4-year leap year cycle is shown digitally, which basically means the watch is programmed to show February 29th every four years.

The watch is constructed out of titanium aluminide for its strength and appearance. As in motor racing, titanium aluminide is used for pistons and valves: this is because the alloy is lighter and tougher than pure titanium and very well suited to the extreme temperatures generated in the combustion chamber.  For IWC, the watch was under construction for three years until the machining process was perfected to build the bezel from this strong metal. The push-buttons, screw heads and the crown and its protective shoulders are made of black ceramic, which is resembles brake rotors from F1 cars. The band for this watch is a black rubber strap with alligator leather inlay.

Another unique feature modeled from a Formula 1 car is the KERS system. In this case, IWC introduced a way for the watch to store energy from advancing he date display every night. Then at the end of the month this stored energy is discharged; which also happens at the end of every year when having to advance the watch date. Interestingly on New Year’s Eve, the five displays begin to move simultaneously to show its complex workings of craftsmanship.

All of this sounds like a pretty amazing watch, right? Well it should. The only downside is this watch comes with a Formula 1 price; $49,700 to be exact. That price makes this watch a true gift for those that can afford it. One will be paying for precision, styling and above all else, craftsmanship which is the same level found within the sport of Formula 1. Man this sport is great.

front back front side Back of watch IWC-Ingenieur-Titanium-Perpetual-Calendar-Digital-Date-Rotor-IW379201-620x541

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Automotive, Cars, Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Historic, Iconic, Inspiration, Rally, Timepiece, Weekend Style, Weekender Fashion

A RAID Suisse-Paris Wrist Watch

To commorate the relationship with a one of a kind rally, Oris produced a special edition Chronograph to help drivers achieve their times. To mark the occasion of the 21st RAID Suisse-Paris Oris has created the Oris RAID 2011 Chronograph Edition, limited to 500 pieces. This beautiful timepiece features innovative design functions which are instrumental in assisting the co-pilot to time the rallye legs.

This watch is the second in a series of RAID chronograph watches that started in 2010. For those not familiar with the race, the watch is named after the RAID Suisse-Paris which originated in 1991 and involves pre- 1975 classic cars in a 600-mile contest that begins in Basel, Switzerland and ends in Paris, France. Last year’s 2010 Raid watch was inspired by a 1952 Jaguar XK 120, while this years watch is inspired by the prestigious 1953 Austin Healey 100M. In fact, the 2011 Chronograph watch is paying homage to the honorable winner of the RAID 2010.

The intricate dials of the Oris RAID 2011 Chronograph Edition have been inspired by the characteristic dashboard design of the 1953 Austin Healey 100M (named after the car’s ability to exceed 100mph). This version of the watch dial come in a simple black and silver color and is held to the wrist by a black leather strap with a stainless steel folding clasp. Every detail was carefully examined when this watch was conceived as the top red painted minute hand is instrumental in aiding the copilot easily identify the seconds as they tick. Enhancing the resilience of each model, the chronograph movement is housed within a stainless steel case with double curved sapphire crystal and a non reflective coating on the inside, whilst the RAID Suisse-Paris logo is exclusively displayed on the case back. The number 21 of the date disc is printed in red, in respect to the 21st RAID Suisse-Paris.

Each piece is presented in a luxury wooden box to further notify the owner that his/her Oris RAID 2011 timepiece is elegant in design which is perfect for classic car and watch lovers alike.

Image Source: Oris and Topper Jewelers

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Clothing, Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Inspiration, Jackets, Timepiece, Weekend Style, Weekender Fashion

Weekender Fashion – Richard Hammond is American as Apple Pie

Richard is nothing but special to us because no matter how hard he tries is still a Brit with an American heart. His humor, his sense of automotive commentary and his love for NASCAR is all that makes him great. Hearing his love for American muscle cars makes us smile from ear to ear; there’s just something so fun about his passion. For this weekender fashion we will promote his very simple way of dressing. Sometimes you don’t want to be dressed head to toe in the formals when comfortably cruising the country roads in a muscle car. So Richard we salute you and your style.

1) The Elder Statesman – Rib Tuck Cashmere Scarf

2) Diesel Denim Jeans – Excess Straight

3) Barbour – Steve McQueen Jacket

4) Tag Heuer – Monaco Watch

5) Etro – Bar Stripe Sock

6) R.M. Williams – Durack Boots

7) Paul Smith – Tailored Fit Shirt

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Automotive, Driving Accessories, Driving Enthusiast, Timepiece

Not Just Day Date

Watches have always had a significant meaning or reason for their being. Many of the classics started out an instrument in the aviation industry or a gauge in the navy. As progress was made TAG Heuer discovered, or created, a watch for sports car timing. Everything in life evolves and so must the Carrera watch; introducing the latest Carrera Calibre 16.

This particular timepiece now has a larger 43mm face size, compared to the 41mm face found on other variants of the Carrera watch. The Calibre 16 is what I would consider the most modern variant of the Carrera family, as it is the only watch in the current line-up that contains numbers instead of the classic bars. These numbers are cues taken from TAG racing stop watches of its past. The creators really spruced up the dial face by drawing attention to the areas that really mattered, in case you decide to time your rally – the second hand. TAG delicately painted the tip of the second hand in bright red to produce a great contrast between the black face and silver/chrome lettering. The highlights of red can be found on the lettering of Automatic and the chronograph button.

Some argue that these styling touches are overdone and are not of the classic look; but I would beg to differ, since accents and attention to detail helps really set apart this watch from, say, an all silver watches. One downside is that the larger diameters does increase the weight of the watch which will be noticeable if one is not used to wearing an automatic watch. If you enjoy the modern look of newer exotic super cars then you can understand that the smallest accent means the biggest difference.

The Calibre 16 is a premium design that appeals drivers  looking for something bolder, larger and more modern. In other words, this timepiece will give the user a little “pop” on their wrist. The watch comes in either a steel bracelet, or a leather crocodile strap. But without fail, TAG Heuer created a brown version which provides a slightly different take on the standard colors of black and white. To top things off TAG Heuer created a “green” version which incorporates carbon fiber to match the unique green accents, where the green replaces all of the red accents on the Calibre 16.

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