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Tuesday, 27 July 2010

New Rolex Submariner for 2010

Rolex have finally updated the design of the Submariner for 2010 and it is a fresh but no less captivating design. Keeping within the same dimensions of the original they have added a few curves here and there to make it immediately identifiable as a new model.

Further related reading:

New WATCH RADAR is online

The new look Watch Radar blog is now online. I hope it offers a better user experience for the readers. Enjoy!

Monday, 26 July 2010

New WATCH RADAR - Under Construction

In the next few days I will be making some much needed changes to the design of the blog so that it is alot clearer and easier for the reader to use and navigate around. I will also be adding some new features.

Back to normal very soon. Thank you.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

WATCH BRAND FOCUS - Tag Heuer Monaco Porsche Club of America

A new year, a new Tag Heuer Monaco model, which can't be a bad thing. It is a classic after all. Expect pricing around $5,500 and arrival in September 2010. Enjoy.

Monday, 19 July 2010


GLASHUTTE Some may be forgiven for thinking that quality watchmaking begins and ends in Swizterland. After all, the 'Swiss Made' monocle is the first sign of assurance most people look for when judging the quality of a timepiece. What they don't realise is that there are thriving watch making industries in several countries and the output, alot of the time is comparable to, and occasionally surpasses, 'Swiss Made' products. One such place is Galshutte in Germany. A sleepy town in the hills of Saxon Germany with a population of less than 5000. The kind of town you drive through to get somewhere else.

The town itself may be inconspicuous but the watches made there are far from that. In fact looking for 'Made in Germany' or specifically just the words 'Glashutte' on a watch dial gives similar quality assurances than the Swiss equivalent over the border. You may only print Glashutte on your dial if 50% of the value of the watch has arisen from work carried out in the towns uhrenwerks (watch factories).

A. Lange & Sohne, Galshutte Original, Union Glashutte, Muhle Glashutte, Nomos and Wempe are all conceived, developed and assembled in this sleepy town in the hills. This achievement is quite incredible. 120,000 watches per year are born here.

A LANGE & SOHNE Founded in 1845, A Lange & Sohne is Glashutte's, and therefore Germany's, most celebrated brand (note that Glashutte Original may take offence to this statement). The last 20 years have seen the brand rise from a derelict factory in Glashutte to what it is today through the help of the Swiss watchmaker IWC and the descendants of the company's founder Ferdinand Adolph Lange. A Lange & Sohne is now part of the Richemont Group. With their financial backing it continues to successfully increase its brand awareness and popularity as a luxury watchmaker.

GLASHUTTE ORIGINAL In 1994, engineer Heinz W. Pfeiffer created Glashutte Original from scratch after sacking the entire workforce of its previous incarnation, Glashutte, and starting again with just 50 employees. To this day they are one of the few watchmakers, anywhere in the world, to develop and use there own movements. This fact in itself marks them out as a luxury brand watchmaker of the highest order. Galshutte Original starting fellow Glashutte brand; Union (see below) in the late 1990s. In 2000 both companies where bought by the Swatch Group.

UNION GLASHUTTE This watchmaker was started out of the need for Glashutte Original to expand into a perhaps more lucrative, 'value for money' sector. A sector that would not directly complete with its current product whilst allowing the company to increase sales volume. Union is probably the least well known of the Glashutte watchmakers along with Muhle Glashutte. The aim of Union was to produce quality watches at reasonable prices, saving on materials and decoration. While they have been successful in this, the company seems to have taken a back seat in development as its older brother flourishes.

MUHLE GLASHUTTE A smaller, lesser celebrated brand in the town is Muhle. Originally founded in 1869, like most of the other Glashutte brands, it was only until the fall of the Berlin wall that the company resurfaced. In 1994 Hans Jurgen Muhle, grand nephew of the founder, started Nautische Instrument Muhle Glashutte which began producing ships' chronometers. In 1995 the company produced its first wristwatch using automatic movements from ETA in Switzerland. The company now produces 10,000 watches per year whilst still making nautical and shipping instruments.

NOMOS The watchmaker as we know it today started in Glashutte in 1991 by Roland Schwertner. An interesting side-note however is that it was originally a Glashutte company as early as the the beginning of the 20th century. The company used to import Swiss watches and rebrand them with the Glashutte monocle. A Lange & Sohne, having gotten wind of this, sued the company and Nomos went out of business in 1910. The 'new' Nomos watches are immediately recognisable as pieces of elegant and distinctive design in the Bauhaus style. Like Galshutte Original, Nomos produce their own movements in house.

WEMPE First and foremost Wempe is a celebrated jeweller and watch retailer with outlets around the world. They have, however, always been involved in timing instruments and manufactured for the shipping and nautical industries. This allowed them to become a manufacturer of movements and with this knowledge they produced their own wristwatch in 1997. The product line has grown steadily since then and they now market a number of own brand watches fitted with quartz and automatic movements from the likes of Unitas, Valjoux and ETA. Their flagship range of watches are in the Wempe Chronometerwerke line. Uniquely, the movements found in these watches are designed especially for them by fellow Glashutte watchmaker Nomos.

If there was ever a single mecca for the watch industry, it would have to be Glashutte. A town that pretty much only exists to create watches. They might not have the universal recognition or reputation of their Swiss counterparts but there is definitely a certain romance to the Glashutte story. This, along with the passion and quality of the watchmaking itself, marks out the Saxon Germanic town as a true master of watchmaking past, present and future.

Monday, 7 June 2010

WATCH INNOVATION FOCUS - Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos clocks

JAEGER-LeCOULTRE ATMOS Unless you studied physics or engineering at University the technology behind Atmos clocks sounds a bit like science fiction. It is however fairly simple. Basically, the mechanism uses changes in atmospheric temperature and pressure to expand and contract springs and coils suspended in a vacuum to wind the mainspring. A temperature change of only one degree or a pressure change of 3 mmHg is enough to keep the clock ticking for two days. It's pretty much perpetual motion at work.

The Atmos clock was invented by Jaeger-LeCoultre in 1932 although clocks that used temperature and pressure changes to run were being made as early as the 17th century. 

Australian designer Marc Newson has reinvented the Atmos clock for the 20th century. The Atmos 566 is housed in a hand blown baccarat crystal cocoon. The blue version is a limited edition of 18 and costs £78,500 ($113,000). 

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


XETUM Founded by Jeff Kuo and based in California, Xetum watches are in fact assembled in the Jura Valley, Switzerland, allowing them to display that all important 'SWISS' or 'SWISS MADE' monocle on their dials. There are currently two models in the collection. The Tyndall and Stinson both honest in their simplicity but still different enough to warrant attention.

The cases are all stainless steel with sapphire crystal (AR coated). Movements are either ETA 2824-2 or 2895-2. Prices start at $995. Good luck to Xetum.