I took a short break from WatchProjects.com these Winter Holidays to visit relatives across Northwestern Europe. Due to unforeseen heavy snow, my journey turned into “Around Western Europe in 80 hours”. Luckily I was able to reach destination sound and safe… with my luggage intact.
Winter Solstice is good news for residents of the Northern Hemisphere, as it marks the moment when the Earth axis starts tilting back towards its Summer position, making days longer in the hemisphere. This phenomenon has been celebrated by many cultures and embedded in traditions of the Middle-East, a region where the measurement of time was refined over centuries before being appropriated by the Western Vultures (…sorry I meant Cultures).
Less than two weeks after the Winter Solstice, I would like to express my best wishes for the Gregorian year 2011 AD to all WatchProjects.com readers, feed-readers and micro-blogging followers. Thank you all for your interest in WatchProjects.com and for your input and feedback.
Here is the top 10 list of topics that readers browsed the most on this blog during 2010:
1) Yobokies, International Man of Mistery
This successful entrepreneur became the Godfather of watch tuning while running operations from his secret lair located somewhere in Hong Kong. Answering to the nickname of Yobokies (the reverse order of Seiko boy), Harold (that would be his Christian name) always answers emails kindly and diligently; and only delivers quality products. Despite all my Google searching, that’s pretty much all the information I could collect on this mysterious man.
2) Military Watch Mall
The second most popular topic is my old review of a stainless steel diving watch based on a popular case design from the 1980′s. The Military Watch Mall has a good stock of watch designs based on iconic military watches.
3) VDB Watches
VDB watches puts the Mucho in Macho. Not only do their watches look vintage, they tick vintage: the workshop fits refurbished Universal microrotor or Rolex automatic movements in these thick diving cases.
The founders of VDB watches took the DNA of early diving watches from the 1950′s, sprinkled a pinch of testosterone on it and came up with rugged designs that break with the conventional paradigm according to which diving watches should fit under a tux sleeve.
4) Steinhart Proteus
This is probably the most remarkable independent watch project of 2010! I caught up with it afterhand through OceanicTime: the developers of Steinhart watches agreed to collaborate with Watchuseek forumers to create an original design that would be released as a limited edition. Judging by the specifiactions of this watch, I wonder how Steinhart still managed to break even with the tag price; which is a true testimony to their dedication to creating watches with a lot of added value. Read here for the whole story by Uwe W.
5) Corvus Watch Company
My translation of the Corvus Bradley review in French by Axel Frans Lemarchand received the attention of a good share of viewers. Founded by the brothers Cameron, Corvus watch has been offering watches and accessories where each of the components comes from the best suppliers in the field. Their nylon strap is manufactured on half-a-century-old looms from Scotland. The brothers have since added the option of a sapphire bezel to their diving watch.
6) Seiko Parts Mart
Seiko is possibly one of the best watch maker in the world. Their entry-level watches hold an awful amount of technology in a few cubic centimeters while staying extremely affordable. The Seiko Parts Mart is one of those places where one can find aftermarket parts to personnalize a watch. Seikokaki will answer all your questions regarding the customization of your timepiece.
7) Scott Wilson’s watch kits for iPod Nano
What if product innovator Apple Inc. designed a wrist watch? Well actually there is no need to try and answer that question. Just slap your new generation Nano on one of Scott Wilson’s watch kits and enjoy… The Master Designer and entrepreneur initially set up an account to receive pledges, which today amount to slightly less than USD 1,000,000. Once production starts, the kits will be sold through Lunatik.com.
8) Noah Fuller Aftermarket Parts
After working with aftermarket parts, Mr. Fuller set on creating the Tsunami, a contemporary watch modelled after vintage Seiko diving watches. Noah Fuller took great care in sourcing each single component from the best supplier in the field. OceanicTime has a gallery of pictures of this upcoming watch.
9) Kello 2
Watches collecting is already a nevrotic hobby per se, but to mark themselves as even crazier than their peers, some collectors feel the need to relentlessly keep track of their timepiece’s accuracy and compare resulting charts. For these desperate cases, a benevolent iOS developer designed Kello. Now in its second version, the application aims at turning any device running Apple Inc.’s iOS into an accurate ad-hoc watch timer.
10) CREPAS Watches
And last but not least: a Spanish watch project launched this year.
CREPAS is one of those examples that I like to report on WatchProjects.com. Entire product development departments from established brands are often clueless about meeting collectors wishes. In this case, it only took a complete outsider (from the field of finance) and his supporting wife for capturing the essence of an iconic vintage watch.
The year 2010 has been full of pleasant surprises in the field of Independent (budget) watchmaking. I wish success to these daring entrepreneurs and lots of horological enjoyment to my readers and followers for the year 2011!
I should also like to thank TLex of OceanicTime for bearing with my posts linking to his wonderful blog and for journalist Grégory Pons for relaying some of my article on his prominent newletter BusinessMontres.com and for allowing me to relay some of his findings.