On The Newsstand: August 2012


Over the years, I’ve seen many watch magazines come and go. That’s why, when I just saw Issue 1 of Wrist Watch Magazine in Barnes & Noble, I approached it with skepticism. Even though the cover, with its large photo of an RGM movement, was beautifully executed, I figured it was yet another entry into this crowded field. Boy, was I WRONG!

After thumbing through a couple pages of ads from major brands, I landed on the opening editorial page and saw a game-changing photo. It was none other than Gary Girdvainis, probably the most influential guy in the watch publishing business.

For roughly 21 years, he was editor-in-chief and group publisher at International Watch Magazine. Over those years, he gained the respect and admiration of all the movers and shakers in the watch industry, let alone all the fans. For reasons I am unaware of, he left to become publisher of Watch World. I wrote about the premier issue of this magazine several months ago, and I’ve been waiting in vain for the next issue to arrive. No such luck.

Once again, I don’t know what happened with Gary, but I’m glad to see him back as group publisher and editor-in-chief of this absolutely superb magazine. Unfortunately, it’s a quarterly, so we won’t be able to look forward to a new one every month. Needless to say, the articles are very interesting, well written, and accompanied by mouth-watering photographs.

As I mentioned before, the cover shot is an RGM movement, their tonneau shaped Caliber 20, to be precise. This kicks off the lead article: RGM Celebrates 20 Years of American Watchmaking. It’s the RGM story in all its glory.

Every issue of Wrist Watch will have a “Gallery” section that’ll feature today’s hottest and most interesting new watches. The current issue is loaded with 24 enticing watches: from the outrageous Harmonious Oscillator from Rudis Sylva (a mere $268,000.) to the Alexander Shorokhoff 2 register chronograph, a gorgeous entry for a slightly more affordable $1650.

Another eye candy section is a report on SIHH 2012 where 37 dazzling watches are depicted and explained.

Don’t miss the in-depth article on the art of Guilloche. You’ll see delectable examples from the likes of RGM, Breguet, Ralph Lauren, Voutilainen, Jochen Benziger, Urban Jurgensen, and Jean Daniel Nicolas. Phew!

You’ll also find mind-tingling articles on FP Journe, Frank Muller, Hermes, Zenith, Bell & Ross, IWC, Ulysse Nardin, Tutima, Voutilainen, Yvan Arpa (strange as hell!), Maurice Lacroix, collectable vintage Heuers, and Kobold. Speaking of the latter, you’ll see their great new Himalaya 3-hander that’s made in Nepal at Kobold’s Kathmandu subsidiary.

Well, do you think that’s enough for the premier issue of a watch magazine? As far as I can recall, Gary Girdnainis has ended his lead editorial with his trademark saying: Keep Watching. That’s what I’ll be doing, and I’m sure you will too!


I would have been satisfied with Wrist Watch alone, but, no, that was not to be the case, for the latest WatchTime and International Watch were there as well. It’s always a distinct pleasure to see old friends again.

WatchTime greeted me with a cover shot of the Luminor Panerai. Of course, this beauty, the 1950, 3-day, 47mm with in-house movement, is thoroughly tested. Yep, kinda a nice watch!

For all you TAG Heuer afficianodos, this is the issue for you. There’s a whole grouping of inter-connected articles, including a thorough test of the Carrera Mikrograph 1/100, detailed looks at the Microtimer Flying 1000 and the awesome Microgirder (7,200,000 bph!!!), an interview with CEO Jean-Christophe Babin, and more.

On the subject of mind-blowing chronographs, I’d advise you to thoroughly digest the article on Montblanc. You’ll learn all about the development of the movement in their milliseconds (1/1000 of a sec.) watch. In fact, you’ll read it twice! By the way, it’s only $305,900. Order yours today!

WatchTime thoroughly explores Patek Philippe’s trilogy of in-house chronograph movements. Highlighted is their incredible, split-seconds Reference 5204 movement, an engineering feat of incomparable brilliance.

Another watch that’ll make your jaw drop is the new Harry Winston Opus XI. The article is titled, Controlled Chaos, and for good reason. I quote, “Every hour on the hour, in the span of 2 or 3 seconds, the hour display – a system comprised of a multitude of wheels, pinions, arbors, bearings, and tiles – disintegrates into utter chaos and then returns to order for the remainder of the hour.” You’ve got to see the photo of this thing. If you’ve got an extra $254,700. in your checking account, it’ll be a small price to pay for madness.

On a much more affordable note, read all about Zenith’s new Pilot Big Date Special in a comprehensive road test. Then catch your breath and resd the FP Journe story. It’s really really interesting, as you can well imagine.

Last but certainly not least, WatchTime has provided us with something insanely useful: a comprehensive pronunciation guide to the names of a huge variety of watch brands. Now you’ll be able to ask to see that ——- in complete confidence. The guide includes everything from Frank Muller (FRAHNK MYOU ler) to Parmigiani Fleurier (pahrm ih ZHAH nee FLUR ee ay).


Now…..let’s tackle International Watch (iW). The watch on the cover is MB+F’s incredibly magnificent, brilliantly engineered Legacy #1. In iW’s own words, this watch “is an ode to Victorian-era watchmaking that melds science fiction and reduced friction.” The article covers the Legacy #1 as well as other MB&F marvels. READ IT!

What’s new in the industry? Find out in the Market section where 7 watches are shown and described. No, they’re not all unaffordable. You’ll find a pretty cool Officina Del Tempo chronograph for $925 and a down-to-earth Reactor Chronograph for $450. Of course, for about $85,000 more, you’ll find an even cooler De Bethune.

I was stopped dead in my tracks by a watch in the Historical Perspectives section. It’s a magnificent Breguet pocket watch, a two movement, resonance chronometer that brought down $4.6 million at a Christie’s auction. Although it’s a roughly nineteenth century piece, it looks quite contemporary. Feast your eyes!

Now for a question: Have you ever heard of Technotime? Well, it sounds like you’ll be hearing a lot about them. They’re a Swiss-based, Chinese (majority) owned manufacturer of manual and automatic movements, modules, and, of course, tourbillons. In iW’s own words, “In just eleven years, Technotime has earned itself a reputation as a credible and reliable independent movement supplier that is an alternative to established Swiss movement manufacturers.” Read their whole story here, and understand why 60 – 80 customers, including some significant brands, are using their movements. Sounds like a great ETA alternative.

Like Hamiltons? Read the article titled “Lancaster Born – A look at Hamilton’s U.S.-bred watchmaking legacy as it celebrates 120 years.” If you don’t own a Hamilton, you’ll want one after reading this. On the heels of this article is another titled “The American Story.” It highlights 36 brands, all U.S.-based watch companies. Lots of surprises here!

Since I never get tired looking at watches, I made an easy transition to the Certified Chronometer Guide. Twenty six watches are highlighted, from a price-on-request Breguet to a $1250. Tissot. Actually, there are several very affordable watches in this guide, and I congratulate iW for including them.

Now here’s an article you’ll get a kick out of. It’s a female journalist’s take on the totally masculine 53.3mm x 47mm Devon Tread 1. Yes, she actually wore this beast. In her own words, “I walked into the bar and was instantly the most popular girl there. Was it my looks? No. Was it my winning personality? Decidedly not. It was the watch I was wearing. Indeed, for the month I had the outstanding opportunity to sport the Devon Tread 1 on my little wrist, I felt like a prom queen.”

In this time consuming (and worth it) issue you’ll also find articles on Xetum, Bulova, Omega, Kobold, Ressence, Vacheron, Raymond Weil, and Movado. Is that it?? Of course not. There’s lots more.

Happy reading!

by John Weiss

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