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Friday, November 30, 2012

Urwerk UR210: black or white?

Presenting the latest Urwerk...the UR210.

Last week, I wrote about how cool Urwerk watches were, and featured the progression of cool from the early years to the UR210. Today's post will provide some additional high resolution photographs of the UR201.

I find the visual impact of the watch to be quite amazing. It looks like a mechanical sclupture which looks macho aggressive with the exposed machine parts, and at the same time elegant.


A closer look at the UR210 in stainless steel case. Note the activity indicator at 10 o'clock. This tells the wearer how active he has been in the last 2 hours....interesting new feedback to the wearer from a watch.

And black anodized...they look like different watches. I prefer the black case...which one do you prefer?

The attention to detail and finishing is outstanding...see the following closeup, click on the image for a large 1920 wide wallpaper.

And on the wrist

And looks even better on the wrist of a lovely lady

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Lange for a queen

The Lange Arkade is an underated watch. The movement is beautiful...magnificent even. The case unique, the outsized date was an outrage when it was first introduced in 1994.

In many sense, this is an outstanding watch...with one small is a ladies timepiece. The ladies watch market, sadly, is dominated with quartz watches, which feature more for design and the jewellery it carries than for the movement.

Though, since the Arkade hit the market, many other manufacturers also began offering ladies watches which have great movements within. Amongst them, Girard Perregaux, Glashutte Originale, Jaeger LeCoultre, and even Patek Philippe.

The movement is without question to me, simply the best to be encased in a ladies watch

Lange even toyed with the idea of using the magnificent movement in a larger case...called the Grande Arkade targetted at the gentlemen...but found that the discerning customers who are looking at Lange as a potential purchase loathe a small movement in a large case syndrome...observe the ladies Arkade...the movement occupies almost the entire seen here

Note this is the personal watch of my wife's...and is well worn and loved. I intentionally photographed it as is, without additional cleaning to show how the watch wears the patina and daily knocks. Considering this specimen is almost 10 years old, and worn frequently, it is in rather good condition.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Pegoretti Responsorium

I count myself very lucky to have good friends who has good taste. Many lend me their watches to photograph. And one even loaned me his bicycles to ride and photograph.

In the world of bicycling, the master artisans are much like watchmaking. I already said that in the Zullo MaxSilenus article. In that article, I wrote about Tiziano Zullo...a master craftsman in handmade bicycles, and I hinted on the other great Italian, perhaps more famous maker...Dario Pegoretti.

The same good friend who loaned me the Zullo, has allowed me to swap the MaxSilenus for the Pegoretti Responsorium. Two iconic Italian steel bikes!

Click on the above picture for a full sized wallpaper of the magnificent bicycle.

Both bikes are as rare as hen's teeth. Whilst the MaxSilenus is drawn from a limited edition of only 20 pieces, the Responsorium is also almost as rare...though not limited by intent, the numbers are limited by production capacity.

The Responsorium is made from Columbus XCr...a stainless steel tubeset, which because it is stronger than regular steel, affords Dario to use thinner tubes, resulting in a very light bicycle. I didn't weigh it, but I guess it is sub 8kg...this is similar to what is reported by other owners who did weigh their bikes...the lowest I have seen was 15 lbs with pedals.

Dario is as equally famous for his paintwork and paint schemes as he is for the gorgeous bicycles he makes. This particular bike sports the Goze scheme. The frame is polished XCr, and small polka dot masks are put on the frame. The frame is then painted black, and the masks removed to reveal the shiny inside. Some of the dots are then filled with colour. One keen eyed reader wrote me to say that the sticker on the seat tube says Columbus Nemo. Indeed it does...but its just the owner's cheeky way of a joke. The tubing used is Columbus XCr.

The headset, proudly acclaims handmade, with the print of what I suppose is Dario's palm. The bike is built with 54.8 effective top tube, and a longish head tube, and parallel head tube and seat tube set at 73 degrees...though I have been told, this is approximate, as like the great American framebuilder Richard Sachs, Dario's angles are by feel, and the right ones.

The chainstays are marked with the birthdate of the frame. Also shown in this photograph, the Mig and Mag hubs by Tune - these are gorgeous hubs...smooth spinning, very light. Same hubs are used in the MaxSilenus build.

This build is magnificent. Every component carefully chosen. The wheelset is from vintage Nisi Lasers with Sapim CX-ray spokes with fancy colourful nipples. Most carbon bar, Most Tiger Extralight 100mm stem, Salle San Marco Regale saddle on carbon rails, and the superb Campagnolo Super Record 11 Ti drivetrain...hardly can get more fancy than Super Record 11 EPS.

My inexperience in photographing bicycles shows in this picture...I forget to move the crank so that the decals on the crankset saying "Campagnolo Super Record" are the right way up. But note carbon front derailleur, carbon crank and titanium chain rings.

Standard double front chainring...53/39. A bit to many gear inches for me to push. I managed to reach my personal best top speed of 52kph on a flat going 53/13 at cadence of 100, running out of breath, heart rate and power to go faster. Though I manage to hold this speed long enough to cover 1km, it was as much gear as I can manage. 53/12 and 53/11 is totally wasted on me.

The rear derailleur is also all carbon goodness. Never miss a shift. Smooth shifting...not Shimano smooth, but with great mechanical precision. Very positive feel.

Most comfortable hoods I have ridden. The hoods seem a bit wider than the Athena 11 fitted on the MaxSilenus...but this may be due to the thicker...and more comfortable tape on the Pegoretti.

How does it ride? Very stiff. Very responsive. The steering is quite direct...I am told this is to the low trail...the bike feels like it wants to turns on rails...very confident through corners. I have yet to take it to our "big" descent, but will try it out, and from reports I have read, it will decend beautifully and confidently.

The bike feels like it wants to go fast. Every input on the pedal, seems to transfer to a surge forward, and then it seems to me...maybe my imagination...but the frame then seems to give back, in a sort of harmony with the pedal strokes propelling the man and machine forwards with haste. The chainstays are only slightly smaller than Pegoretti's race machine - the Marcello.

Compared to the Zullo, I feel the Pegoretti is more racy, stiffer, less plush. But still yet comfortable. Great ride.

Note as these photographs are taken in situ on my ride, I chose the the Panasonic Lumix LX3...small enough to carry on a ride.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Where do you go from Uber Cool? The Urwerk wrist shots

What do you do when your early product is already uber cool...where do you go from uber cool? Felix Baumgartner (not the sky diving dare devil...the watchmaking genius) shows the way. I get to wear the Urwerk watches...all 3 super duper ultra cool watches in one evening...and lived to tell the tale.

The year was 2003, and the world was not quite ready for such a radical design...the UR-103 burst into the scene.

Truly a ubercool product even on made iconic...and still futuristic looking. Certainly my favourite Urwerk. White gold case, only 25 made.

From that, you open up the casework to show the owners a glimpse on how they do the wandering hours...the UR-103T

Redesigned the titanium cross, replaced by an ARCAP one which wraps the hour satelites in sapphire. Even cooler than uber cool!

And finally now...the UR210

Super ultra uber cool? Is there such a word? The 210 is the world's first wrist watch which provides feedback to the active the owner has been in the last 2 hours...perhaps not the most useful information, but seriously cool. I will run out of cool adjectives...but Felix whispered into my ear that come October 2013, another even more super duper ultra uber cool watch will hit the market...I await in anticipation.

Photonote: Lighting was extremely difficult in this environment...I was at Jaan restaurant...dim lighting...I went entrance to the kitchen to shoot these...but remnants of the warm restaurant light and the stark florescent lighting made photographs which are less than ideal.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Lange Arkade

A quick place marker for next week's post. Possibly the most beautifully made mechanical ladies watch in production...the Lange Arkade. This specimen is in yellow gold case, champagne dial.

Personal timepiece of my wife's.

Photographed simply in a restaurant, while we were having lunch, perched on a plate. One of the original watches introduced by Lange during the launch in 1994, this timepiece is specifically designed to show the seeming impossibility of the very large date in a small case. We are used to the way to do this double outsized date these days, of course, but it was quite a revelation in 1994.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Jaeger LeCoultre Platinum 2 in situ

Quick post again, for Tuesday...I know its Wednesday, but yesterday was I'd take this opportunity to wish Hindu readers a Happy Devali.

Two situational photographs...with the JLC...shall we be saucy with the Eastern with the spicy chilli sauce

This is a potent spicy chilli sauce from Putian Restaurant.

Or velvety Italian

A prize wine...the Amarone della Valpolicella 2004 vintage.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Credor Eichi: in the flesh...

I have written and photographed the amazing Credor Eichi before. See this post for the details. And I still hold this wonderful watch with the highest regard, this is the first I have encountered this piece on the wrist of an owner.

Beautiful, in a zen like way.

Quality of this photograph leaves much to be desired, but in mitigation, I took this photograph in a dark restaurant, with poor lighting, no flash, no associated lighting. Shot handheld. My apologies. But I am so excited to show this watch in the wild, so to speak, this had to be posted.

Apologies for late post (I usually post in the morning Singapore time, but this post is afternoon Singapore time) and only 1 pic...I am doing a couple of commissions which is keeping me busy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Singapore CBD walkabout in the hot sun

A walkabout the Singapore afternoon weather, harsh lighting.

Huge panorama of the entire CBD...the final size was 12800 pixels across...which when printed at 300 dpi without upsizing, will yield a print 30 inches across. Click on the pic for a larger photo...1080 pixels tall. Scroll to see details.

The former OUB Building, now acquired by UOB, so building is now called 1 Raffles Place.

And Caltex House, just across the park

Some sculptures of boys enjoying a dip in the river for relief from the hot sun

And everywhere, photographers abound...pointing their lenses in each and every direction

Friday, November 2, 2012

Guess the maker of this watch...

Just a simple quizzical post for today and the weekend...what watch is this???

Quite beautifully made. Movement is nothing to shout about, but very respectable. Nice dial. Photographed in a Food Court at Wisma Atria.