Barracuda Point, from Ocean Crawler.

The Barracuda…is on Point.

Good watches are all about character. As in, the character of the watch is front and center. The embodiment of the brand is on full display and that “cult of personality” is unequivocal. It’s what makes a great watch brand stand out in the marketplace.

Ocean Crawler has that character in great abundance. In fact, Ocean Crawler goes beyond character…to charisma.

 

These are cool watches. Their personality jumps off the wrist, the page, the screen. They demand to be noticed. And once noticed, they never fail to impress.

 

Headquartered in Rochester, New York, Ocean Crawler is an American watchmaking company, with an aesthetic to match. Ocean Crawler watches are both sophisticated yet rugged, adventurous and sophisticated. They are clearly contemporary, but have designs that feel nostalgic, as well.

These watches are high-quality and high-end with an emphasis on reliability, durability and accuracy.

 

Did we mention durability? These stylish timepieces run the gauntlet before finding a lucky owner. As in, harsh environments that include ten shock tests, impacts equivalent to six thousand Gs, hundreds of times more powerful than a car crash.

 

Not only do Ocean Crawler watches survive, they thrive.

 

I was lucky enough to experience an Ocean Crawler Barracuda Point firsthand, or should we say, first wrist?

 

The first thing one notices is the weight. This is not a lightweight in the ring. That durability is reflected in the muscular nature of the watch. It sits on the wrist with presence, yet it’s also comfortable and one quickly becomes accustomed to the weight, and welcomes it.

A Seiko 4R36b movement, a rugged piece of work in and of itself, powers the watch. It’s been modified slightly for added accuracy and shock resistance. It has a power reserve of 44 hours.

 

The dial is clean, elegant and stylish. In stylish orange script, it reads Barracuda Point. Below that, the 1,000 feet rating, Champion Diver, and below the “6” it says GET OUT THERE.

 

Personality, right? Gotta have it in a great watch.

 

The bezel is coin-edged and the minutes hand and seconds hand feature orange borders. The crown features a custom design pattern that adds an even greater cool factor.

We have to talk about the sapphire crystal, though. It is THICK. As in, 4.5 mm. Which, in my mind, is absolutely beautiful. It’s like looking through gorgeous, turn-of-the-century windows, where you can see the craftsmanship in the glass. If you are lucky enough to become the owner of an Ocean Crawler Barracuda Point, you will probably, like me, spend hours contemplating light and reflections in the sapphire crystal.

 

My Barracuda Point features a handsome leather band with a black metal buckle.

 

Priced at just over $900, the Ocean Crawler Barracuda is an impeccably designed, handsome and rugged watch. It looks at home in the middle of an adventure on the high season, or on the wrist during a high-pressure corporate meeting.

 

If you’re looking for a great watch, don’t crawl…run…and get yourself an Ocean Crawler.

The impressive specs:

 

  • True water resistance to 1000 feet or 300 meters.
  • Powerful shock resistance to 6000 G.
  • Automatic, precise diver watch – no batteries needed. Watch winds itself with the movement of your wrist.
  • Thick domed sapphire crystal glass with 4.50mm thickness. An anti-reflective coating is applied to the domed glass to prevent any reflection under water.
  • Includes 2 straps: a black NATO PVD strap and an extra brown leather band.
  • Guaranteed to keep precise time for at least 5 years.

 

Technical Specs:

  • Case Diameter (excluding crown): 44.2mm
  • Case Thickness: 15mm, Lug-To-Lug: 51.8mm, Lug Width: 22mm
  • Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel
  • Bezel: Unidirectional Rotating Bezel with 120 Clicks and Swiss SuperLuminova Marker
  • Movement Accuracy. +/- 5 seconds/day in 3 positions
  • Water Resistance: 300 meters, 1000-feet or 30 ATM

 

 

Visit OceanCrawler.com

 

 

 

 

Legendary Future…and Past.

One of the most fascinating aspects of my trip to New York for the Breitling Road Show was the presentation by Fred Mandelbaum on the history of Breitling watches.

Fred Mandelbaum

As CEO Georges Kern discussed, even he wasn’t aware of some of the incredible firsts in Breitling’s history.

For instance, in 1915 Breitling developed the first independent chronograph pushpiece.

In 1923, Breitling perfected the system by separating the stop/start functions from that of resettling. This innovative breakthrough meant it was possible to add several successive times without returning the hands to zero. As a feature, it proved invaluable for timing sporting competitions and calculating flight times.

In 1934 Breitling created the second independent reset pushpiece, something that was soon copied by nearly every watchmaker on the planet.

In 1969, Breitling presented the first self-winding chronograph movement.

Breitling has always been at the forefront of innovation, and the new Navitimer 8 has that heritage of creativity on full display.

To learn more, visit breitling.com

Von Doren says…checkmate.

One of the beautiful things about the game of chess is that when a player reaches a certain level of sophistication, the moves, the pieces and the strategy have a transcendent quality. Meaning, that the game itself can be applied to life itself. A true chess player begins to take the angles, the maneuvers and the tactics of the game, and lays them against the backdrop of the world around them.

It’s what makes the game so timeless.

Oyvind Von Doren enjoys his chess, and his timepieces are the better for it.

Newly released is the Grandmaster Mark II.

This was not a watch that was thrown together without thought and contemplation. Every detail, from the domed sapphire crystal, to the stunningly simple yet beautiful dial, to the logo itself, all show the work of a craftsman at the height of his game.

The logo, for instance. It isn’t just a design scheme sketched out on a cocktail napkin after work one day. It is the Norsemen’s and Viking’s rune JERA, the rune of Success and Continuity. This particular rune is No. 12 and represents the 12 months of the year. It implies fruitfulness, profit or achievement of a goal. It also means the cycle of seasons, implying movement and change. The Vikings believed it to be a good luck charm.

The Von Doren Grandmaster Mark II features a 43mm 316L polished steel case. Inside is a Swiss made (26-jewel) self-winding STP 5-15 movement, whose beauty is visible in an open-style design. The steel blue hands add a pop of color, and draw even more attention to the charismatic appeal of this fine Norwegian watch.

In the world of chess, the “Grandmaster” is the highest title possibly earned. And once it has been achieved, it is the player’s for life.

The Von Doren Grandmaster Mark II has earned itself a place in the discussion of fine mechanical watches, and its lucky owners will enjoy a lifetime of marveling at the strength of its game.

To learn more, visit VonDoren.com/GrandmasterMark2

 

 

 

 

 

A Legendary…Future

Georges Kern, the new CEO of Breitling, is an admirer of the book The Tipping Point. The key point of that book, greatly paraphrased, is that when a few key elements come together at the right time, the force created is unstoppable.

That Tipping Point may well turn out to be Mr. Kerns himself.

Daniel Ames, of WatchYouSay.com, on the left, and Mr. Georges Kern, CEO of Breitling, on the right.

As the man behind the stunning success of IWC, Mr. Kerns has set a clear and definite path for Breitling, starting with the past. The hashtag #legendary future is the key. It epitomizes Breitling’s incredibly impressive history, which will be the focus of a future blog post, and also points to the vision of the future.

Everything will be rooted in the brand. “An authentic brand for men and women of style, purpose and action.”

 

Breitling, in the past, has been about large, heavily accented timepieces. Some might say, a bit over the top. Breitling will stay true to its heritage, and its fan base, but it will also forge a bold path ahead. The lines will be simplified. The quartz watches will disappear, and the sweet spot for most of the brand will be between the $3,000 and $8,000 sweet spot.

First up is the Navitimer 8 watches. The “8” stands for the “Huit” Aviation Department of Breitling.  These watches, too, will be receiving their own post shortly. However, here is a quick glimpse:

 

In the meantime, a few words about the Road Show. It’s been to Singapore, Zurich and Germany, but touched down this past weekend in New York City. The main event took place in the Duggal Greenhouse in Brooklyn and featured some celebrities along with the true stars of the show, the watches.

Stay tuned for posts about vintage Breitling, a more in-depth look at the new watches, and a few surprises.

In the meantime, be sure to check out www.breitling.com

 

 

Bringing the BOOM.

In an age of interactivity, where everything is designed to make an individual a part of the process, BOOM watches arrived at the perfect time. What is it about the interactive process that makes it a worthy goal? It’s called vested interest and it’s the product of collaboration. In other words, when you buy a watch and wear it, you’re the consumer, nothing more. However, when you actually play a role in the designing, mixing and matching, using your creativity, even though it’s in a well-structured process, the consumer is now co-creator.

The consumer now has personal equity in the watch, which is a beautiful thing. With equity comes loyalty, passion, and inherent marketing. As in, “Check out this watch I helped put together.”

Niklas Dahlgren, the CEO of Boom Watches, agrees. “Consumer trends are still steering towards customized and personalized design. People strive to create their own, unique style, not least when it comes to accessorizing the outfit with a matching watch.”

A Boom watch allows the wearer to go from everyday wear to a sporty look, to more formal gatherings easily and seamlessly.

Not only is the strap interchangeable but so is the outer case, bezel and the inner case which contains the movement.

My BOOM watch kit arrived in a handsome leather bound case and I was immediately struck with the quality of the watch. Everything is well-engineered, solid, and comfortable.

It was easy to put the different combinations together, no tools required. The design is clean, elegant and sporty. It was great to fun to try the different combinations and enjoy the feel of well-crafted design.

BOOM watches come with a standard 2 year international repair warranty.  Register your watch online for an extended and unique 3 year warranty, unmatched by anyone in the industry, and BOOM guarantees an instant in-store replacement of any faulty or defective BOOM watch.

To learn more, visit https://www.boomwatches.com/en/

Also, check out some cool BOOM Watch video:

https://www.instagram.com/p/BeAymUvHu3K/?taken-by=jakobkonnbjer)

or www.youtube.com/boomwatches

 

MB&F is an MVP.

When I spoke with the folks over at MB&F, after expressing my appreciation for the incredibly creative talents, they mentioned their average numbers:

250 pieces per year.

Average price: $100,000.

With that price in mind, I picked out my five favorite MB&F watches:

The HM 4.

The HM3 Frog Face.

The MegaWind

The Legacy Split Escapement.

The HM2.

To pick yours out, head over to:

mbandf.com

 

Brooklyn Born

It was said that when Charles Bukowski sat down to write, he would grab a bottle of wine and set it on his desk. He would look at it, and think to himself, ‘yes, there’s probably a poem or two in there.’ And then of course, he would drink the wine and the poems would appear.

I’ve always thought that a carpenter does the same thing. In his workshop, he sees pieces of wood, maybe exotic, maybe not. His tools. His workbench. And of course, his imagination. Much like Bukowski’s vision, he sees the pieces he’s going to build.

 

Neil Carpenter has that same vibe.

A student of both industrial and furniture design, he creates functional objects of beauty. It came as no surprise to me that some of his early horological loves were brands such as Elgin, Illinois and Waltham.

 

One can see it in his powerful yet intricate designs. I, for one, was immediately drawn to the robust, masculine nature of the watches, the natural materials, and the obvious quality. In my mind, Carpenter watches are some of the finest yet affordable watches being sold today.

If you haven’t yet checked out Carpenter Watches, it’s time you did:

 

https://carpenterwatches.com

 

In addition to what’s on the site, Neil gave me a few tidbits of what’s to come:

-Carpenter watches will soon be offering the following products in order:

-The original M1 & M2 with very subtle changes simply due to an influx of demand (next week).

-The Carpenter Field Watch in the M1 & M2 style with an ETA 2824-2, custom rotor and screw-down crown that’s 3 mm thinner. Again due to popular demand (2 months out).

-The original Carpenter Field with 3 earth-tone dials (3 Months out)

-A new 36MM Carpenter Model called the “Brooklyn Gent” at 36MM with a vintage style acrylic crystal, screw down crown and a Miyota 9015 movement. Think Vintage Date-Just. This will be offered in Solid Brass, Solid Bronze and SS. Available with a bracelet (4 months out).

-All of these guesstimated dates are subject to change based on QC.

Stay tuned for the WatchYouSay interview with Neil Carpenter, coming soon.