Salon QP visit 2017

Day 1

My journey began by coach from Leicester to London Victoria where I met James (itskibblewatches). Its been a while and it was great to catch up .Off we go to the Premier Hotel, set our bags and dig out the black suit and dicky bow for the Black Tie evening due, can’t wait to see what this years event has in store.We arrive a little early so take a short walk and snap a couple of pictures.

 gallery

The tickets are scanned and we’re in. To be met with champagne, very nice. In the first room we saw glass cabinets with Rado, Panerai from the late 50s.

Next a lovely lady showed us pieces made from the metal of old cars on show was a supercool P51 Mustang , a original Mini and finally a Porsche 901 really great dials and an interesting take on recycling with each piece unique some with more rust (Patina) than others .

 cars

 Next was MB & F James wore the Horological Machine No.1 incredible design as always.

Walking on we met Jane Burton from Czapek Genève she showed us some award winning pieces each built to a very classic design and beautifully crafted.

 

This year we noticed the rooms were more spaced with fewer Brands and the displays were much smaller than last year. Gone were the Travel case maker who used aircraft aluminium and the Chopard watch maker with his white coat and tools showing us the way in which to properly service a watch and some great advice? This was such a shame. 

Next came Arnold &Son wonderful Tourbillon pieces.

Manufacture Royale where they take skeleton design to another level.

manufacture royale  

On show in the cabinets next blew me away! Schwarz Etienne incredible La Chaux- De-Fonds using cut Moreno glass , stone , and Opel I had the pleasure of trying on the pieces and wow gorgeous the Opel just springs to life in the light . The Tourbillion showed off the micro rotor and the seconds hand that flicks back at 60 seconds.

 schwarz

Our walk continues to a very unique case design by Fugue who have created a system where you can push out the centre part with the dial and reverse it to protect it , they had 3 types of metals currently used Psd , stainless steel, rose gold . So you can change the outer part of your case to suit your mood. We spoke to Leopoldo Celi the Founder

 Next we spoke to the guys at Emile Chouriet Genève they had dress watches with a fantastic hand design in the shape of tuning forks and a dive watch 300m .

It was then time for the Black Tie, White Dial talking about dress codes and our interpretations, an interesting conversation each of the 3 panel members having their individual take on it. Personally I was disappointed not everyone was wearing a traditional Black Tie and suit for the event, next year it will be jeans and t-shirt for me.

Day 2

We met with one of James friends from Portugal Diogo (daily.diogocosta) such a nice guy made you feel very relaxed and he has the same drive and passion to succeed as James. He was wearing a wonderful 1996 Seiko 2 tone which was in excellent condition.

 diago

Off we go taking our time with talking to the designers and creators of the watches. Absorbing their conviction that they are making, some of the best horology in the world.Our first port of call was Konstantin Chaykin @k_chaykin a Russian maker inspired with DC Comics the Joker a very eye catching piece.

konstantin

Then back to Czapek taking more pictures and reveling in the shear quality of them. 

Following on we spoke to Estelle d’Hubert of Schwarz Etienne and tried on a Roswell inspired piece in the case shape of a UFO really cool.

 

 Fugue was next with their unique pop out case design where we spent time with the designers and creators taking pictures of the concept drawings to final production and at £1600 to £1700 I think they will do really well.

fugue

A highlight for me was meeting the guys from Carl Suchy & Sohne here they have a very long history of Suisse Horology with people such As Sigmund Freud owning a pocket watch and receiving a Royal seal and medal. The designer was able to explain his ideas and processes in creating their latest design where the seconds is a rotating disc at the 6 o’clock the dial has vertical lines one lighter than the other creating a pleasing illusion as it rotates.

The designer along with Robert Punkenhofer the owner, James on lighting and Diogo as photographer.

Fears came next and James had been speaking with Nicholas Bowman – Scargill the 6th generation of the Family now heading the Brand. It was fantastic to briefly meet. They launched some new pieces and were very busy with interest which was fantastic to see.

Kudoke a very talented silversmith who creates some of the most amazing dials you will ever see from Pandas, Peacocks, bears, dragons , lions to tattoo tools if you have a design in mind he will make it and bring it too life in a very time consuming incredibly unique way .

 

Day 3

It’s Saturday and sadly the last day of the event and my time with James. We are to meet some of the Redbar gang, great bunch of enthusiastic collectors who enjoy nothing better than to talk about watches. @Enthusiwrist , @degriffstraps .

After introductions we walk through showing the guys around like tour guides.

I stood trying to take pictures of the incredible Bovet Recital 20 the second iteration of the Earth, Sky, Universe this time this piece is looking down from the skies to the earth  , I was unable to get a decent picture so in a rather loud voice made my observations and the guy very kindly apologised and said he would take it out of the brightly lit case and put it on a table for us to view and what an incredible experience I’ve never seen craftsmanship like it with its various complications. I videoed his presentation .Which I shall treasure.

 At 1 o’clock two talks would begin on what are collecting and the second on vintage collecting. So we all sat and listened to interesting views on the psychology behind collecting and the thrill of the hunt for that one special piece that we aspire to get one day.

 The vintage talk started obviously about the Paul Newman Rolex Daytona that fetched the incredible 17 million at auction just recently and whether we will ever see it again the panel believes it might come up for resale in maybe 3years time I personally hope we do see it again and it’s not going to sit in a vault for eternity. On collecting the panel suggested a few brands to maybe pickup as investments such as early Omega Speedmaster, Zenith El Primero,  Universal Genève , and many others as ones to look out for .

So my visit to SalonQP comes to an end I hope you’ve enjoyed my walk around and hope to catch you there next time.

 

 

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Swatch Sistem51 Review

Swatch Sistem51

 

As part of the 30th Anniversary of its inception in 1983 The Swatch Group in 2013 at Basel world introduced to the world the Sistem51 that demonstrated the innovative strengths of Swatch and The Swatch Group.

The Sistem51 had thrown down the gauntlet to the manufactures of mechanical watches with a manufacturing process completely by machine and uses just 51 parts compared to the 150 and up usually used in watch making.

Sistem51 3

The watch carries all the features we are familiar with a Swatch such as a plastic body a unique strap system and fun design combinations. At an affordable price.

The movement is a self winding Swiss made single screw design with the rota circling the outside and can be charged with just the movement of your arm just like any automatic watch but this one needs little movement to rotate it and has hand winding too . It is 19 jewels and has an incredible 90 hours power reserve.

The movement is made of a special alloy of Copper, nickel and zinc this combination is antimagnetic and needs no servicing once it has been set and hermetically sealed at the factory, this can be a plus and a minus in collectors eyes who like to tinker or have a watch that can be serviced. Therefore this watch does have a shelf life which is unusual for a mechanical watch.

Sistem51 4

Each dial has a constellation design with the white dots in the design representing 6 of the 19 jewels. The red dots represent the weld points of the movement. The open back shows off the movement and when you wind the watch you see the mesmerizing rota spin. It is extremely loud   . A very small and hard to read date window is at the 3 o’clock position.

Such innovations in design, technology and manufacturing really did get the industry to look at its own processes and stream line many operations. Since its launch in 2013 a full metal version has been introduced in the Irony line expanding its appeal.

Sistem51 5

http://shop.swatch.com/en_gb/collections/sistem51-irony-c111.html

 

Specification

  • ETA C10111 self winding movement
  • 51 Parts
  • 5 Modules
  • 1 Screw
  • 90 hour Power Reserve
  • 21600 bph
  • Plastic Case
  • Open Back
  • 42 mm Width
  • 50mm lug to lug
  • 13 mm Thick

 

Sistem52 2

I’ve had mine just over a year and it’s a fun piece to put on and not worry about it getting knocked or wet with its 30m water resistance. The rubber strap is very comfortable the 42mm case is round in shape with tapering lugs and at 13 mm thick versatile in most situations. I’ve found the movement to be fairly accurate only adjusting it occasionally without hacking it will never be spot on. For £108 you get a unique looking watch that will last you many years and when it does fail its cheap enough to get another one.

Nigel

 

Top 5 watches under £50

Top watches for under £50 series

I have seen many reviews of the best watches for under £100, £500, £1000, £2000 etc etc but I haven’t seen many reviews on the best watches you can buy brand new for under £50 making them affordable for everyone. Obviously you can pick up bargains in the used market for under £50 but can you buy great watches brand new for £50? I plan to write reviews on 5 watches that you can buy brand new for under £50 over the coming weeks. These reviews will be short, quick fire reviews as to not bore you too much!

So when you think of budget watches, the brands that you may initially think of would be Timex and Casio, so of course I have a few of these on my list, and it is with a Timex that I begin with.

Timex Expedition Scout

Timex field

My first choice in this series is the Timex Expedition Scout. Now I do own this watch so I will try to remain impartial. This watch is AWESOME!!! I cannot fault it, everyone should own at least one, best watch in the world. Okay, only joking, but still, this is a decent watch.

As you can tell from the name you would expect the watch to have an ‘outdoorsy’ feel to it with its field watch styling. The styling of the Scout is something totally opposite to Timex’s other bargain range, the Weekender, which I also enjoy by the way. The weekender is aimed at young hipsters to wear with whatever hipsters wear these days.  However I believe that because of the Scouts simple styling and the vast colour schemes on offer, the Scout isn’t just a field watch.  Finding a colour scheme that you like shouldn’t be a problem. I settled on the Gunmetal grey case, white hands and markers with a yellow second hand.

Dimensions

The Scout is what I would call a medium sized watch with the following measurements. The case, which is made from ion-plated brass has a width 40mm with a 10mm depth so should sit nicely on most wrists. Lug to lug comes in at 49mm with the lug width measuring 20mm. It is fitted with mineral glass that sits flush with the case.

Features

Timex sea shot.PNG

As I mentioned earlier the dial is pretty simple, however it does offer you 12 and 24 hour markers and a quick-set date window at 3 o’clock. The markers are bright white in colour which makes the dial easy to read, and due to the Indiglo feature there is no trouble reading the dial at night. I’ve owned several Indiglo watches in the past but I have to say that this is the brightest I’ve seen. The minute and hour hands are lumed sword hands and as I mentioned earlier the second hand is yellow (on my watch at least). Now this is probably my favourite feature on the watch. Firstly the colour makes it really stand out from the dark dial but it also looks like an arrow with the counter balance looking like the fletching of an arrow Robin Hood would be proud of! It has a 50m water resistance, and let’s face it that is totally acceptable. The watch itself is not exactly heavy but you do know it’s there which I like in a watch. The Scout uses a quartz analogue movement which I have found to be very accurate, and I actually use it to set the time on my other watches in the mornings.

Timex indiglo.PNG

Final thoughts

In my opinion for around £39 this is a seriously good buy. I have read on some buyers reviews that they have had issues with the crown pulling out. I have had no issues at all and I wear it quite often. I have dropped it, banged it, and canoed in it with no problems. One thing I have noticed that could annoy some is the noise it makes. It does tick pretty loud but this doesn’t bother me in the slightest. However if you need complete silence to sleep, don’t wear it to bed. Of course there are much better field watches available on the market but remember this watch comes in on average between £30 and £40 on Amazon!  I really feel Timex, are upping their game and releasing some great quality, fun watches, so if you have a spare £39 I would suggest buying this watch as you will not be disappointed!

I hope you enjoyed this short review and be sure to check back in for my other picks!

Chris

Bulova Moon Watch

Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph 96B251

anti- reflective.jpgIt was on August 2nd 1971 when it came to be Bulova would be walking on the Moon. But you say ‘ I thought Omega Speedmaster was the only NASA  Approved Watch’ and you’d be right but under NASA’s own rules and regulations many of the Timing instruments were actually made by Bulova .The 46 missions and Lunar landings all used them . Therefore Bulova presented Commander Scott of Apollo 15 a Bulova prototype which met all of the NASA requirements and passed the g force tests etc, but was over shadowed by the Omega as the first choice of Time device, without telling anyone he brought it on board with him.

Presentation Box

A padded wooden box , booklet of a brief history of the watch, instruction manual, Authenticity card, removal tool ,2 cushions one for the Velcro strap with leather patch ,giving the mission date and frequency of the movement , the second cushion for the watch itself.

“Huston we have a problem”

lume shot.jpg

As luck would have it, his Speedy Crystal popped out so he slipped on his Bulova and he became the first man to use an unauthorised watch while driving the Moon Buggy on the lunar surface.

He made history this day.

Commander Scott in 2015 decided he would put up for Auction his beloved Prototype where it reached an incredible record breaking $1.6 million.

In response to this Bulova decided to make a Special Edition Lunar Pilot Chronograph .The Specifications were in keeping with the original case design alongside the dial and chronograph pushers but with a modern movement.

The dimensions are 20mm lug to lug, 45mm diameter, 48mm length.

A sand blasted Stainless Steel case fits comfortably on my 7 ¾ “wrist on top of which a polished band sits the thick Anti-Reflective Sapphire crystal.

The Tachymeter bezel encloses the 40mm dial;

I love the high contrast of the Super lume

White indices, markers and hands against the pitch black face, making it incredibly easy to read.

The  Dial

sub-dials.jpg

Bulova has created a multi dimensional dial keeping the markers simple and the minute track easy to read with the large sweeping chronograph seconds hand . The sub-dials at 9 o’clock reads the minutes up to 60mins total, the 3 o’clock spins 10th of a second, to save battery this stops after 30 seconds but when you press the top pusher it will read the seconds as if it has been spinning all the time, a date window sits at 4 o’clock and finishing the compliment off at 6 o’clock the 60 seconds hand ticks at 2 ticks per second. To reset the chronograph you press the bottom pusher and the hands sweep back into position. The pushers have a tactile click which is very satisfying.

The Movement

Bulova decided not use the manual wind Universal Genève movement of the original but to use their highly accurate UHF 262 kHz quartz movement which gives the chronograph hand its distinctive sweep at 8 ticks per second, while the 60sec sub dial ticks at 2 ticks per second.

Unlike the standard quartz movement operates at 32748 kHz with an accuracy of a few seconds a month. The Bulova operates at 262 kHz which has an accuracy of a few seconds a year.

My Thoughts

mirror wrist shot.jpg

My overall impression of the watch is Bulova has created a well engineered and inspiring chronograph that belongs alongside the Iconic Omega as the only watches to have walked on the lunar surface.

The size of the watch will not suit those of a smaller wrist, which I hope Bulova will address in future versions. For those who love history and outstanding accuracy then this watch will for fill that need. I honestly feel that these 2 watches would sit comfortably in anyone’s collection

One thing to note when you buy this version because the position of the lug holes where the spring bars go  is in a different position you are unable to use the stainless steel bracelet that the 96B258 version uses .

I love it!!!!!

Nigel

 

 

 

The Three Watchateers – an Intro!

So here we are, our first blog post on WordPress! If you follow us on Instagram you may already know what we are about, but if you are new to us then welcome!!

For our first blog we thought we would give an introduction to who The Three Watchateers are and what we are about. So The Three Watchateers is a three man team team consisting of father and son Nigel and James and a lad from up north named Chris. We constantly chat watches at all times of the day so we thought we would share our passion with anyone that is interested. We are by no means ”experts” and are certainly not watch snobs! Just three guys enjoying our journey in the watch world.

Below is a little bio on each of us which will hopefully give you and insight into our lives and shared love of the watch industry! So here goes…..

Nigel said…..” Hi i’m Nigel Kibble. I live in the Midlands of the UK. I am a dad to two great kids, and at almost 50 I’ve seen a lot in my life! I have a long term illness that I have learned to manage. My interest of watches has been an amazing journey. I have a small collection pieces dating from the 1940’s to present day. I love the intricate details of the watch maker and how they can create works of art! I like to read articles and follow how the watch industry is evolving and changing the way we tell the time. I am forever wanting to learn and grow my knowledge of horology”

James said….. Hi i’m James Kibble and i am a watch obsessed 20 year old! Although I have loved watches for years, I have truly become obsessed with watches over the past year and a half, to the point were I have made it my full time job in a jewelers. I am also working on become a full time watch dealer (see my website itskibblewatches.co.uk). Lets just say my life is watches and all I do is talk watches…. I live the life!!!

Chris said….. Hi i’m Chris Clampitt, a 35 year old dad of twin girls and one boy, living on the Wirral (near Liverpool).  With three young kids, and working full time my life is pretty hectic, so when I get any spare time to play with my watch collection or chat watches to these guys, I jump at the chance! I met James and Nigel via Instagram about 18 months ago, and we share similar views and taste so I’m chatting to them a lot. My partner calls me a geek – I guess I am!! I have cut my collection from over 60 pieces to below 20. I love both vintage and modern and I am building a collection of character watches as well. #watchgeek

If you are on Instagram please follow us. James – @itskibblewatches . Nigel – @kibbsnk . Chris – @watch_this_space82. You can see our collections in all there glory!! Thanks for reading and I hope you stick with us!

Thanks

The Three Watchateers