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Vario’s Empire Automatic Watches are Selling Fast

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Like a good watchmaker, Vario definitely takes its time. Based in Singapore, the nascent brand produces limited edition models in small batches and rolls out each collection one by one. Just as impressive is the company’s extraordinary range of custom watch straps, bracelets, and accessories. The straps, in particular, have already become the stuff of legend. In fact, the brand was born out of a desire to inject more personality into the straps and accessories arena. Mission: accomplished.

Previously, Vario introduced the Eclipse Collection, which delivered minimalist design and striking colour at an affordable price point. Now, the brand is back with its second model to date, better known as the Empire. Taking direct inspiration from the Art Deco period, the new collection first launched as a limited edition hand wound unit with Miyota 6T33 movement under the skin. Upon selling out the hand wound model and then soaring past its first stretch goal, Vario debuted an automatic variant, which comes powered by Seiko NH38A movement. Units are still available, but they’re limited in supply and selling out fast. In other words, if you like the look of this watch, stop reading right now and head over to Kickstarter to make a pledge.

Distinguishing Vario’s watches from the competition is not just a commitment to quality and affordability, but to wearability as well. It’s then no surprise that each Empire model features a diameter of 38mm. As such, it makes for the ideal modern dress watch, eschewing oversized gestures in favour of subtlety and refinement. On the purely visual front, the Empire duly captures the Art Deco vibe, combining two layers on the dial face to brilliant effect. The word “Empire” itself consciously makes reference to New York’s Empire State Building and the watch design follows suit, drawing upon a retro urban aesthetic.

Meanwhile, every single component (except the movement) is custom-made, ensuring the utmost tier of quality control. What’s more, Vario offers a slew of colourways and combinations. That extends to dial details and straps alike, giving you plenty of room to find the iteration that speaks to you on a personal level. Choose between combinations like a white dial with heated blue hands and black Italian leather strap, or a gunmetal tuxedo dial with silver hands and a maroon Italian leather strap, and so on. Of course, if you want to swap out the strap, Vario is happy to abide. Offering a variety of premium straps is, after all, the very principle that this company was founded on.

Should Vario soar past its second stretch goal, it will produce yet another automatic variant, this one hosting a cream dial with rose gold hands and numerals. If the third stretch goal is reached, the brand will introduce a sapphire exhibition caseback on the automatic model. Like the existing Empires, these new variants will run on Seiko NH38A movement, feature water resistance to 5 ATM, and come backed by a one-year global warranty.

Breathing new life into Art Deco design, Vario’s Empire Automatic is already a huge hit. If you like the sound of an elegant dress watch with a slim body and vintage aesthetic, then don’t hesitate to back this remarkable project. Oh, and even if you don’t like the watch, you can still pledge US$24 for an Italian leather strap. Available in a variety of sizes and colours, each strap is thick but pliable, and all around excellent. It’s yet one more reason to head over to Kickstarter to back this incredible campaign.

Back Vario on Kickstarter

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Watches

The Wind Up – Watch News #100

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Another week has come and gone, and to celebrate we’ve got the 100th instalment of our weekly series focusing on all the happenings in the world of watches, the Wind Up! In this centurial round-up we have some epic pieces from the likes of Breitling, Bremont, Omega and Blancpain, just to name a few. So, as always fellas, sit back and enjoy!


The Wind Up – Watch News #99
The Wind Up – Watch News #98
The Wind Up – Watch News #97


Bremont Jaguar D-Type Chronograph

Styled after the iconic 1950s Jaguar D-Type sports car, the Jaguar D-Type Chronograph presents itself as a highly wearable, very good-looking bit of kit. Combining a striking blue dial, a sublime COSC certified movement and a heritage-driven look, the Jaguar D-Type Chronograph is extremely cool. The exposed chronograph pump-pushers, tyre-tread-patterned crown and tachymeter dial markings all lend their look to the Jaguar D-Type. The heritage Jaguar logo just above the date window is a cool addition, as are the red chronograph and real-time seconds hands. An interesting marriage of passions.

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Breitling Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition

Announced at a recent clean-up at a beach in Bali, the Breitling Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition celebrates the wonderful initiative between Breitling and Ocean Conservancy to keep the oceans and beaches clean. Supported by the likes of Kelly Slater, Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore, the Breitling Superocean Heritage Ocean Conservancy Limited Edition combines the soothing colour palette of the ocean and her shores with the functional nature of a Breitling Superocean Heritage. It’s a rugged, durable watch that looks like it can handle the worst that life can throw at it, and that mainstay look is the perfect analogy to its cause.

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Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon

Created in a limited run of only 25-pieces and made in platinum, the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is incredible. Combining a semi-inverted dial, an insanely meticulous eye for detail and the wonderful complexities associated with a tourbillon, the Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon is every bit of the German atelier that we’ve come to love and expect. The Glashütte Original Senator Chronometer Tourbillon exclusively combines a flying tourbillon with a second-stop mechanism, a zero reset and a minute detent. What does this mean for the potential customer? Absurdly accurate timekeeping and precision. Very appealing to the eye.

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Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary LE

The Speedmaster aesthetic is something of lore in the world of watchmaking. It truly is iconic, and as much as that word is thrown around haphazardly these days, I find it difficult to find a better adjective to describe it. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary LE is the latest variation on the Speedmaster, this time featuring some very beautiful Moonshine Gold accents all in a very modern, very refined stainless-steel package. The Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary LE is limited to 6,969 pieces, with each piece being individually numbered. Behind the watch is a closed caseback featuring Neil Armstrong’s lunar footprint, along with his infamous quote, “One small step for man; One giant leap for mankind”. Regardless of whether the pursuit of space travel, the moon or NASA interests you, it’s hard to fault this watch in any degree.

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Blancpain Fifty Fathoms Barakuda

Revising one of Blancpains legendary 1960s-era Fifty Fathoms, the Barakuda was one of the first scuba-diving watches. The new Barakuda features a stainless-steel case measuring 40mm across and with a depth rating of 300m. There is a luminous unidirectional bezel with a scratch-resistant sapphire crystal covering it, along with faux-patina dial markers throughout. The red hour indices are a cool contrasting addition, as is the indiscreet date window at 3 o’clock. Form definitely meets function with the Barakuda

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Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette

Last but most certainly not least is the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette. Measuring 41mm across and a measly 7.70mm in thickness, the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette is one of the thinnest tourbillon watches available right know. Featuring 18k gold bridges, with the same material being used for the baseplate, the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette is exceptional to look at. The gaping hole on the left side of the watch is contrasted expertly by the technical mass on the right side of the openworked dial, including of course the stunning tourbillon. Far from inexpensive, the Breguet Classique Tourbillon Extra-Plat Squelette is definitely my watch of the week.

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If you enjoyed The Wind Up and would like to continue reading about watches, you can head on over to my blog, Haulogerie, where I delve a bit deeper into the wonderful world of watches.

VISIT HAULOGERIE HERE


The Wind Up – Watch News #99
The Wind Up – Watch News #98
The Wind Up – Watch News #97


 

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Watches

Omega Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

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Though Swiss watchmaking has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance of late, few brands can claim the legend-status of Omega. Their now iconic Speedmaster was, after all, the first watch to go to the moon.

And on that point, it’s been 50 years since Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon, and the Omega Speedmaster was there for the occasion. In honour of the historic event, the Swiss brand has released a Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition. Featured on the dial, caseback, and bezel is a patent-pending alloy known as 18K Moonshine Gold, which delivers striking colour and considerable durability.

Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition

Moonshine Gold, which has been patented by the Swiss watchmaker, is an in-house alloy made from copper, gold and palladium, mixed to a special ratio that is said to mimic the naturally golden lustre of the moon. It’s likely we’ll be seeing more of this material out of Omega’s sizeable, high-tech facility in upcoming collections.

Of course, that’s just one among this watch’s numerous distinctive qualities.

Within the 42mm stainless steel case of the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is a black ceramic bezel with an Omega Ceragold tachymeter scale. Splayed across the dial face are gradients of grey and black, along with flourishes of 18K Moonshine Gold. The 9 o’clock subdial features a laser-engraved image of Buzz Aldrin descending onto the lunar surface.

That visual theme continues onto the caseback, where one will find the image of a footprint as well as various commemorative engravings, including Neil Armstrong’s timeless quote: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

 

Perhaps most impressively, however, is the inclusion of an inset lunar meteorite stone: the wearer can carry a little piece of space on their wrist with them wherever they go.

Under the skin is Omega’s new Co-Axial Master Chronometer Calibre 3861, which hosts a stop-second function and anti-magnetic innovation. The watch includes a polished-brushed metallic bracelet (a Velcro strap is provided as a back-up, after all, that’s what they used in space) and comes in an extraordinary NASA-style box. Limited to 6,969 pieces, the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition celebrates history with unmistakable sophistication and style.

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Man of Many travelled to Time to Move as a guest of Swatch Group.

Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition Caseback

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The Glashütte Original Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date

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Just last year, Glashütte Original redefined the retro-chic aesthetic with the launch of its Sixties line, which debuted in a striking shade of green. For this year’s collection, the German watchmaker went with orange and the results are no less extraordinary. Inspired by the brand’s own 1960s predecessors, the new Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date bring the past into the present with signature flourish. Lending each model all the more distinction is a transfixing dégradé dial, which ascends across the curved surface in a spectrum of hot colour.

Glashutte Original Sixties

First up is the Glashütte Original Sixties, which measures in at 39mm in diameter and runs on calibre 39-52. Perched under a dome of anti-reflective sapphire crystal are Arabic numerals, diamond-cut indexes, manually applied hour markers and Super-LumniNova hands. It’s all set against the brilliant orange backdrop, which features golden yellow hues at its core, flaming outward through colours of fiery orange and red before arriving at the black perimeter. This is known as the dégradé effect and it was conceived and executed at the brand’s own dial manufactory in Pforzheim.

Glashutte Original Sixties Panorama Date

Distinguishing the Sixties Panorama Date is a larger case size of 42mm, a date complication, and a different movement (calibre 39-47). Otherwise, it flaunts a similar aesthetic, featuring a domed dial with embossed surface and the stunning dégradé effect. As with the regular Sixties, this one includes a brown Louisiana alligator leather strap with stainless steel pin buckle. Needless to say, both models duly encapsulate the bold and experimental spirit of the 1960s, hence the name(s). If you’re the type who likes to turn heads every time he enters the room, look no further.

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Glashutte Original Sixties and Sixties Panorama Date

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