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THE WATCHISMO TIMES WATCH BLOG A reliquary of obscure timepieces from bygone eras as well as the cutting-edge watch designs of today.

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Diesel Shows Their Bad Ass! Creative Director Wilbert Das Talks With The Watchismo Times

BEHOLD THE BEHEMOTH!

Diesel, a brand that pushes envelopes, or rather sleeves with their constantly revolving motley crew of watches. Just introduced is the Super Bad Ass Collection. Above, the DZ7127 with laser blue crystal changing color from blue to yellow depending on the angle and FOUR separate timezones - one main chronograph, a digital display and two other analog clocks.


A watch that lets you keep tabs on the bedtimes of your illegitimate children around the globe. Comes in both Black DZ7125 and Brown DZ7126.

I had a Q&A with Wilbert Das, creative director of Diesel and asked him about the direction of Diesel Timeframes...

Watchismo: Why and When did Diesel start producing watches? How did that begin?
Das: Diesel launched the timeframe collection with Fossil in 1999 . Renzo Rosso, the founder of Diesel wanted to truly make Diesel a 360° lifestyle brand. Timeframes were the next step in making that a reality.




The other series of Badass watches are part of the Black Label Collection, the Three Time Zone with asymmetric case coming in the black dial steel bracelet (above) DZ9052 or brown Dz9053


Watchismo: Will Diesel continue to push the envelope with adventurous designs? Is it important to stand out in the watch world?
Das: Diesel will always push the envelope when it comes to the design. We like to make people stop and think about the product. Of course, we love it when we are featured in the watch world but what’s more important is that Diesel stick to the brand DNA and continue to keep things new for our customers.




Diesel's latest Timeframes Video

Also introduced are really adventurous new designs like the DZ9043 Hinged Triple Time Zone, the hardware allows for the watch to hug to the shape of your wrist and look good considering its massive size.


One of the more controversial models just announced is this (above) No Face watch DZ9044 & DZ9045 which at first glance looks to be a block of steel but is in fact, four separate watches located on the sides of the watch only (shown below). I would love to be a part of these brainstorming sessions at Diesel, they are obviously trying to challenge what a watch is and what it can be.


No Face Sideview Displays

And satiating my mechanical tastes, they are also producing some very beautiful skeletonized timepieces (watches with exposed movements). Up until recently, interesting mechanical watches were only for the rich but Diesel has introduced some really great designs with visible Automatic mechanics, rotors, balance wheels, the works!

Watchismo: With mechanical timepieces being more and more popular, will Diesel keep developing new higher-end automatic watches?
Das: We'll definitely keep developing new higher-end automatic watches as we think it's the future!!!



Another remarkable mechanical watch is this Black Label DZ9017 Automatic Retrograde. The case is suspended on bars that penetrate all the way through the watch and the dial features two retrograde date displays (when they get to the bottom, they "jump back" instead of going in a full rotation) and an exposed balance wheel seen from the front and a rotor from the back. Really love how Diesel has been advancing their designs to reflect complexity in both mechanics and design!

And making a huge impact with people recently, the Freak of Nature DZ4160 aka "Frankenwatch". People either love it or hate it, nothing in between. What appears to be a touched-up photo is the actual watch, a Frankenstein timepiece cross-breeding two entirely different watches into one. A hybrid wristwatch fusing a steel oval case with a gold square surrounding a split-faced multi-colored chronograph dial. Best of all, check out the half leather strap, half metal bracelet. There is a tamer version too, the DZ4159.

Watchismo: What are some of the likely directions in the future for Diesel watches?
Das: Diesel generally seeks a point of difference and wants to keep an edgy feel to their products. Thanks to the collaboration between Diesel and Fossil we want to keep on offering our consumer a solid know-how and a very creative touch, keeping on developing and introducing outstanding watches.


Ok, this is my favorite of the bunch, the DZ1242 Sonar Seconds Triple Time Zone. I don't believe it comes across in the photo but this is the Godzilla of the bunch. You don't wear this watch, IT WEARS YOU! Shot a little video of the radar style seconds in action below.



Video of Sonar Seconds in action

Anyone that knows me knows I have a tremendous nostalgia for the sideview LED watches of the seventies, models like the Bulova Computron, Mido Swissonic, Girard Perregaux Casquette, Synchronar and others. So obviously I must feature the DZ7091 with it's steroidal nod to that era of vintage digital LED timepieces.

Watchismo: Diesel watches have always a spirit of both vintage and modern looks, what are the sources of inspiration for all the designs, especially the Black Label collection and the watches with side time-zones, hinges and see-thru dials.
Das: Diesel is a unique brand that attracts people that are creative and have the same sensibilities. Diesel takes that idea and incorporates it into all aspects of the brand. We’re a global company and our customers are as well, hence the time zones on our watches. Vintage is also really important to our consumers, especially in the denim world which translates into their lifestyle.

ABOUT WILBERT DAS
Diesel's long-time Creative Director Wilbert Das was born in Holland in 1963. He grew up working on his family’s dairy farm before departing at the age of 19 to study fashion design at the Academy of Fine Arts in Arnhem, a school which has produced many noted international designers. Upon completing his degree in 1988 Wilbert drove to Italy for an interview at Diesel. Company founder Renzo Rosso offered him a job on the spot and literally had Wilbert working that same afternoon. Thus started one of fashion’s longest-running and most successful collaborations. In 1993 Wilbert was recognized with the official title of Diesel Creative Director, with broad responsibilities ranging from directing all clothing & accessory design to following advertising & communications, retail & interior design.


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Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of Cabestan

Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of Cabestan
An interview on the watchmaking video channel Time TV with the creator of one of most interesting watches of all time, the Cabestan Winch Tourbillon Vertical-->Video Link

Check out the new Cabestan site where the brand has gone into its first real production of a variety of styles (prices begin at $350,000)-->Website Link

And all previous posts of the Cabestan on The Watchismo Times-->Link


Video Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of CabestanVianney Halter's original Cabestan



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Chronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)

Chronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)
Another "monstr-oddity" from the Basel Fair - the Chronoswiss Wristmaster. Proclaimed as the First Automatic Board Watch for the Wrist, the straight jacket of a watch features a double strap and display. A chronograph (ETA 7750) on the right and a standard 2892-A2 on the left.

Measuring a whopping 84mm x 42mm, this baby ain't for the babysitter to calculate her hours spent with with your screaming kids.

Chronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)The Wristmaster hanging by a thread of wearability

Chronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)
Chronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)
Chronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)

For more information about the Chronoswiss Wristmaster-->Link
All 2008 Chronoswiss releases at Basel-->Link
Chronoswiss website-->Link

And be sure to read Alex Doak's Watchismo Times feature on the Chronoswiss collaboration with Spyker car company-->Link


See Also;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link

Related posts;
Two-timing Bastards
Multi-function Monsters
Arnold & Son True North
Michael Jordi Double Deckers
Andy Warhol Five Time Zone Watch
World Time Watches
Compass/Thermometer Watches
Bullhead Chronographs
Math Watches
Dual LED-LCD Watches



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DeWhat? DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1Selling for 400,000 Euros at the OnlyWatch auction before it had been shown to anyone, the DeWitt Concept No.1 was a beast to behold last week at Baselworld. Devoloped with French architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte, this gothic pirate spaceship of a watch is taking the steampunk oeuvre to new heights with its expanding riveted case, flying tourbillon, five barrels and a 21 day power reserve.

I had a private viewing of the watch and took these shots...

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1
DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1Some perspective on the size from the DeWitt watchmaker

DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1The entire time I wondered why this watch looked familiar
...then I figured it out!

Related Posts;
All New 2008 Watch Posts-->Link
All Steampunk Posts-->Link

See Also;
DeWitt website-->Link


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Impressions of an Early HM2 Owner (MB&F Horological Machine No.2)

Impressions of an Early HM2 Owner (MB&F Horological Machine No.2)One of the very first owners of a MB&F Horological Machine No.2 has shared his images and thoughts-->Link

Impressions of an Early HM2 Owner (MB&F Horological Machine No.2)
"It’s an object which I can’t stop staring at. It is anything but tactile (unlike the HM-1 which was all in curves) but I can’t stop touching it."

Impressions of an Early HM2 Owner (MB&F Horological Machine No.2)A thermometer watch box for the HM2!


See Also;
All MB&F Horological Machine Posts-->Link



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Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2An exciting evening out on the town for the reclusive Watchismo Times! I had the honor of meeting Maximilian Büsser and his new child, the Horological Machine No.2! And for some strange reason, Max trusted me enough to hold his bolted baby even though I almost dropped it into the Bolognese sauce...

Personally, I think he just pulled it out of an antique alien submarine control panel and put a strap on it.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2After decades learning and conforming to the rules of corporate watchmaking, Maximilian Büsser broke the chains and started a rebellion - a rebellion called MB&F.

MB&F is an artistic and micro-engineering concept laboratory in which changing collectives of independent horological professionals are assembled each year to design and craft radical Horological Machines.

The ramifications of these audacious projects are profound. By respecting tradition without being shackled by it, MB&F acts as a catalyst in fusing traditional high-quality watchmaking with cutting-edge technology and avant-garde three-dimensional kinetic sculpture.

MB&F's first timepiece, Horological Machine No.1, wrote the first chapter in the story of the revolution, Horological Machine No.2 continues the adventure.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2Each of HM2's twin portholes allows the viewer a different perspective of time. On the right, the Jumping Hours and Concentric Retrograde Minutes reveals time up close and 'now', while the Retrograde Date and Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase on the left dial allows the viewer to take a step back from immediacy and relax.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2Horological Machine No.2 (HM2) is a holistically conceived and engineered three-dimensional timekeeping machine for the wrist. The functions and indications were specifically conceived to tailor to the strengths of HM2's chief watchmaker, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. The bespoke architecture of the highly technical movement was developed to both fit and complement the radical form of the modular case. HM2 is the world's first mechanical movement offering: Instantaneous Jump Hour, Concentric Retrograde Minutes, Retrograde Date, Bi-Hemisphere Moon Phase and Automatic Winding.

With over 450 components making up its case and movement HM2 is an incredible sophisticated machine; however, its complexity has been engineered for simple and trouble free functionality.

The movement features an extremely energy efficient Jump Hour/Retrograde mechanism developed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. Wiederrecht's exclusive (and patented) asymmetrical-tooth gear wheels ensure high precision and play-free functionality.

The realisation of HM2’s complex case shape - with its architectural volume, bold flying buttresses, bolted portholes and sliding crown guard - was only made possible by using an innovative modular approach: a method inspired by the Meccano sets (similar to Erector sets) of Maximilian Büsser's childhood.

Horological Machine No.2 is full of dynamic tension between apparently incongruous elements. Tension between cutting-edge technology and sculptural art, matte textures and mirror-polishes, high-tech alloys and precious metals and tension between traditional watchmaking and 21st century micro-engineering. This vibrant tension is amplified by the interplay of light and colour off the varied finishes, textures and shapes, and gives the machine its pulsing vitality.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2
Inspiration and Realization: MB&F is first and foremost about people and the key person behind Horological Machine No.2 is Jean-Marc Wiederrecht. It was 9 years ago, in Maximilian Büsser's former position as Managing Director of Harry Winston Timepieces, that Büsser first began working with Wiederrecht and found him to be imaginative, inventive and sharing in the same human values. Wiederrecht and his company Agenhor are world leaders in Retrograde and Jumping Hour mechanisms and Büsser conceived HM2's functions specifically to play to these strengths.

The case, with its flying buttresses, bolted portholes and sliding crown guard, was so complex - over 100 components go into its construction alone - that it could only be developed with an innovative modular method inspired by the Meccano sets of Maximilian Büsser's childhood. And in line with best engineering principles, this modularity also simplifies future refurbishment of the case should it ever be necessary.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2Architecture: The principal feature of Horological Machine No.2 is the holistic symbiosis between the three dimensional architecture of both the case and the movement. The sheer complexity of the case design necessitated a modular approach to construction. More than 100 components go into the assembly of the case alone - that is more parts than make up many complete movements! While extremely complex to fabricate, this bolted-not-welded engineering allows maximum flexibility in design and enables a rich variety of materials and finishes to be used.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2Technical Innovations: The principle technical challenge in developing the movement was ensuring that the jumping hour functioned both instantaneously and simultaneously when the retrograde minute flies back from 60 to 0. And not only instantaneously, but also without using excessive energy. The usual method of activating Jumping Hour indications is to store energy in the minutes before the change to power the jump; however, while this energy is being accumulated it takes power from the balance causing it to loose amplitude - an effect detrimental to time-keeping precision. Wiederrecht's solution was as brilliant as it was simple: he designed a ingenious mechanism so that when the minutes fly back, a snail on the minute mechanism hits the hour star causing the hour to jump. The hour jumps instantaneously with the minutes because it is triggered by the minutes and, as the jump is powered by the energy of the minutes flying back, it has virtually no effect on the amplitude of the balance.

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2The complication has another very special feature. Specific gears in HM2's movement are manufactured to extremely high precision using Mimotec's UV-LIGA technology. These gears mesh together with a virtually a no-tolerance/no-play engagement. Normally, gears interacting this tightly would bind; however, Wiederrecht's patented asymmetrical-split-tooth gear design ensures this does not occur. The high precision of this gearing enables very accurate time-setting and offers high reliability.

To maximise the efficiency of MB&F's already iconic double Hakken automatic rotor, one of the 22kt gold blades was machined down to a razor sharp edge of just 0.2mm - a dimension which pushed the very limits of micro-machining.

The innovative sliding crown guard clearly indicates its position (in or out) and facilitates access to time-setting and quick date correcting.

And now for some candid shots of the new brood. (photographed by and courtesy of Felipe Jordão, the independent horology moderator at Timezone.com - all his photos can be seen here-->Link

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2The MB&F Clan (HM1 & HM2)

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2
Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2
Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2
Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2What watch do I wear to such an event?
Well, my cuffbusting vintage Desotos

Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2Max, Watchismo, and the HM2

Priced at $59,000 (US) and in larger editions than the $150,000 HM1.

MB&F website-->LINK

All MB&F related posts-->LINK

Want more? Jack Forster's HM2 article for Horomundi-->LINK



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Wyler Genève Chronograph

Wyler Genève ChronographSome good shots of the new Wyler Genève Chronograph by Alex of Horomundi. When first seeing this watch introduced earlier this year, I didn't feel compelled to write about it, mostly because I didn't respond to it in gold. But seeing this titanium version, it just resonated a bit more. It's an enormous ergonomic 52mm case that "sandwiches" a carbon-fibre frame and shock absorbing system with visible titanium screws on the corners.

Wyler Geneve-->Link

Wyler Genève Chronograph
Wyler Genève Chronograph
Wyler Genève Chronograph
Wyler also has a Tourbillon version here-->Link
Both press kits-->Link



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Diesel Shows Their Bad Ass!  Creative Director Wilbert Das Talks With The Watchismo TimesVideo Interview of Jean-François Ruchonnet of CabestanChronoswiss Wristmaster - Or the Double-Wide (for you trailer park enthusiasts)DeWhat?  DeWitt Incognito Steampunk Concept No.1Impressions of an Early HM2 Owner (MB&F Horological Machine No.2)Haute Steampunk! Attack of the Horological Machine No.2Wyler Genève Chronograph

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