While this watch is no horological masterpiece, Bell & Ross has successfully developed this new range of large square sports watches (46 x46mm) in a variety of guises for the collector who wants something altogether different.
In brushed steel, Titanium, PVD Coated or Pink Gold - the current range of these watches are low production watches even though they are standard ETA ebauche for its three handed, power reserve, big date and chronograph pieces.
The case work is outstanding and the legibility is top notch.
Often the demand for this watch far outstrip supply - especially the PVD versions and
the limited Orange range. These watches are actually quite manly on the wrist even though they may look ridiculous on first glance off the wrist. Somehow on a good sized wrist the watch accentuates the forearm.
For the night out to town - spotting this watch is easy and its funky. Rumour has it that the PVD case production will be reduced or even cease for this range. The new additions will be 42x42mm coming out soon. Will that be even more successful?
Wait for it as it will be released quite soon.
(Click on the images to see larger versions)
After several hours of processing the photos taken at House of Lange, I have published two sets for visitors to enjoy. The first is a photomontage of the House of Lange itself at Sentosa and the second is a short movie of the Richard Lange (also photographed at the House of Lange).
The House of Lange is a wonderful concept for collaboration between Brands and Dealers. At some considerable cost, both came together to bring about a wonderful exhibition that celebrates the wonderful quality that Lange is known for.
I have been a fan of the brand from the earliest days but this exhibition brought to me a greater understanding how much work goes into each of their watches.
While I may not like all the designs of the Lange watches (but the Datograph is one of my absolute favourites), I have to affirm the level of quality that the brand is known for. This exhibition, I am sure, has raised Lange's reputation with local collectors.
To view the photomontage of the House of Lange
, CLICK HERE
To view the wmv movie of the Richard Lange watch
, CLICK HERE
Here is a movie file of the photographs taken of the Z1. Hope you like it. To view it, click on the image.
Recently I attended a most interesting seminar conducted by the Sincere Watch Academy
and delivered by Prof Nico de Rooji of University of Neuchatel. A thoroughly enjoyable presentation where I learnt how new nanotechnologies are being used developed new materials for use in watch making. A comprehensive report is found here - Unlocking the Silicium Code
about how the development and how Silicium has been used in Ulysee Nardin and Patek timepieces.
Uniquely, the silicium parts are manufactured in similar process as would be silicon chips in wafer fab processes. At the presentation, Prof de Rooji showed us images of three silicium parts - the pallet fork, the hairspring and the balance wheel. The attraction of these materials is its performance under different conditions. In almost every situation it performs better than the current materials. It is quite clear that the cost of using these materials is still quite expensive today but it is expected to become widespread and cheaper as it can be manufactured in great volumes as well as providing greater tolerances and ultimately higher accuracy.
While I am excited by how new technologies is bringing new designs and providing alternatives to the watch industry, the issue for me - as I always have questioned this issue - do we truly need the added accuracy from new materials?
Is the watch industry driven to innovation for innovation sake instead of asking collectors what they really want? Has the watch industry embraced the nanotech materials without realising its potential threat?
I realise that silicium as it stands today is nothing like the quartz movement. But watch out - a fully nano machined watch is not too far away (pun intended!). Watch houses have to be aware that the new nanotech materials and soon in the near future, nano machines can bring about another dramatic challenge to the mechanical watch industry and it may not survive another challenge.
Why would I say that? History will show that within a short time of the advent of the full quartz movement, many watch brands could not survive the challenge from cheaper and more accurate electronic timepieces. Those that did survive had stuck to its guns to keep manufacturing quality mechanical parts and movements.
Nonotechnology and nano materials is much more insidious in that it is now creeping into the mechanical movements. If their use become widespread, many of the old materials and methods used for traditional mechanical movements may risk disappearing altogether. With the potential risk of disappearance of the art of mechanical parts and dependence on new material and processes, bit by bit the romance of hand made watch disappears.
I am in favour of developing new technologies to improve our lives. However, watch brands must understand the psyche of the collector. Mechanical masterpieces are considered as masterpieces because they are hand made and assembled by master watchmakers. They may not be perfect but they are built and put together with rare skills.
If the Swiss watchmaking industry makes the serious error of replacing expensive skilled labour with cheaper parts and manufacturing processes, no marketing in the world can bring back the lost romance.