Tag Archives: watch

Christopher Ward Launches Ultra Slim C5 Malvern 595



Here at GNC, I don’t usually cover old school things like watches, but I get the feeling there’s been a little bit of a renaissance in analogue time pieces. Certainly there are plenty of Fitbits and Apple Watches on people’s wrists but there are still plenty of watches out there going tick-tock. Anyway, let me know in the comments if watches are of interest and I’ll do more. – Andrew

Christopher Ward have announced the C5 Malvern 595, a new ultra-slim mechanical watch at just under 6 mm thick. Using a hand-wound mechanical movement, the ETA 7001 which itself is 2.5 mm thick, the designers managed to fit it into a slender case that is just 5.95 mm, hence the 595 moniker. The ETA 7001 has a 42 hour power reserve, meaning it’ll need wound every other day or so.

Christopher Ward’s Co-Founder Mike France explains: “I knew immediately that it would be a significant test for us to create a truly ultra-slim watch. But I felt that it could be possible. And so, my challenge to the team was, can we create a mechanical timepiece, under 6mm high, at a Christopher Ward price point?

The design comes in two Opalin dial variants, pearly white or cool grey, with a choice of three straps (black, brown, camel) and a Milanese mesh bracelet. The case is 39 mm in diameter, which is very much on trend and wearable for both men and women.

Adrian Buchmann, Senior Designer, explains: “Because the 595’s most important quality is that it’s very slim, it was important we didn’t distract from that – which mostly meant removing clutter. So the dial is very simple with no raised elements or extraneous detail, and we needed exceptionally pure, clean hands. The main detail, in fact, is on the rear of the watch, where we have used a crystal exhibition caseback, so the movement can be viewed.”

For comparison purposes, a Rolex Submariner is 13 mm thick and if you are wondering what the thinnest watch in the world is, then for a mechanical hand-wound it’s the Piaget Altiplano at 3.65 mm. Mind you, they cost a bit more than the Malvern.

Talking about the price, Christopher Ward is milking the 595 theme for all it’s worth. Not only is the C5 Malvern 5.95 mm thick, it costs GB£595. The watch is available now from their boutique and online store.

For those that don’t know Christopher Ward, it’s a British company that designs watches in the UK but are then manufactured in Biel, Switzerland. The company’s been around for 11 years and has a reputation for producing good value watches, both mechanical and quartz.

There’s the obligatory promotional video below.


Timex Metropolitan+ is an Analog Watch and Activity Tracker



Timex Metropolitan+There’s been a real convergence in wearable devices over the last year. It’s a logical progression for consumer technology, especially when it comes to devices like watches and activity trackers that you’d wear on a wrist. Timex, a long-standing name in the watch industry, is embracing this trend with the release of its new Metropolitan+ watch/activity tracker.

The Metropolitan+ probably doesn’t fit the image you’ve already conjured up, based on other similar products. The Metropolitan+ isn’t some bland-looking digital clock with a small readout that just also happens to be an activity tracker. The Metropolitan+ features a stylish analog clock face and the watch can be customized with a number of interchangeable bands.

Along with the time, the Metropolitan+ also displays your activity information right there on the watch. The device employs a special fourth watch hand that’s used to measure your progress. There’s also a special register that shows how close you are to achieving your daily activity goal.

The Metropolitan+ can sync your activity information with a mobile device via Bluetooth. From there, you can share the information with most popular fitness/activity tracking apps. The watch also comes with a replaceable battery capable of holding a charge for over a year. No need to plug the watch in and let it recharge overnight. The Metropolitan+ also includes an Indiglo backlight for viewing the watch in dark environments. The watch is water resistant as well.

The Timex Metropolitan+ watch is available for purchase now starting at $125.00. Additional bands typically run $20.00 each.


Where Are The Smart Watches?



Michael KorsQueuing for rides at theme parks is a great opportunity for sizing up the fashions of fellow thrill seekers. Everyone docilely shuffles along and the folding line passes lots of people both in front and behind. As a watch fan, I enjoy checking out the timepieces around me and at Disneyland, Paris, there was plenty to see in the warm weather.

The wrists of Disney’s guests provided a good selection of horology from Rolexes and Omegas to Tissots and Casios. Michael Kors must be selling watches by the truckload: there were probably more of these fashion watches than anything else. What slightly surprised me was the dearth of smart watches. In five days at the House of Mouse and hundreds of people, I saw two Apple watches, one Sony smartwatch and a handful of Pebbles.

The Sony owner was next to me at one point and I engaged him in conversation about the watch. He confessed that it had been a gift and he didn’t use it very much. Interestingly, both the Apple watches were on women’s wrists. I’m not quite too sure what to take away from that…perhaps they were gifts too, or perhaps Apple has made the watches sufficiently fashionable and appealing that women will be the leaders here. Or perhaps it was pure coincidence.

Where are the smart watches? They’re not at Disneyland, that’s for sure.


Apple Watch Edition is a Mistake



Apple Watch EditionThe Apple Watch Edition is a mistake. There, I’ve said it. Apple fans can leave vitriolic comments below without reading any further.

The Apple Watch Edition is too expensive. Way too expensive. Apple fans can leave additional vitriolic comments below without reading any further.

The Apple Watch Edition will sell plenty. Not record breaking numbers, but well enough. Apple fans….just a sec, hold on…how can it be a mistake, too expensive and still sell? It’s because the problem is not the Watch Edition itself but rather what it represents.

In many ways, Apple and the late Steve Jobs embody the American dream. Although there were setbacks along the way, persistence, hard work and great products from the iMac to the iPod and iPhone led to success, fame and wealth.

On the other hand, Apple was egalitarian. While their beautiful, well-designed products were aspirational, they were also affordable. Not impulse buy affordable but if you too worked hard, saved your pennies, you could afford the Apple product of your dreams. The relationship was reinforced with iPhones and iPads in the hands of celebrities and fashionistas; you could have the same phone as your favourite pop star or actor. In an era of mass-produced mediocrity, you could have something a little special.

And this is why the Watch Edition is a mistake. Apple now has a product which is unaffordable for the vast majority of its fans and owners. There’s now Apple haves and Apple have nots and never wills. What you have is no longer special. The equality of product between the rich and (relatively) poor, the famous and the unknown, has been lost.

That’s why I think the Apple Watch Edition is a mistake. It’s nothing to do with its looks, functionality or value but rather the change in perception of Apple by its supporters.

What do you think? Is the egalitarian nature of Apple’s product line important?


Grovemade Wooden Accessories



As a jaded IT hack, it’s not often my jaw drops but when I saw the sheer beauty of this desk arrangement, I had to put my dentures back in, metaphorically speaking. Grovemade handcraft truly stunning monitor stands, keyboard trays, iPad covers, iPhone cases and other desktop accoutrements. My desk doesn’t look anything like this, though I really want it to look like this.

Grovemade Desk Collection

 

The products are available in both maple and walnut, but I think the walnut really goes well with the brushed aluminium and the grain of the wood stands out that much better. There are some further cool touches with a little storage space underneath the keyboard.

Keyboard TrayAs you might imagine, these unique pieces aren’t cheap but they aren’t stratospherically expensive either. The monitor stand is $119, the keyboard tray is $79 and the pen cup is $39. Choosing carefully, these items could last a lifetime and provide a great deal more pleasure than a $5 plastic pen holder.

Walnut WatchAnd if you want wood on your wrist too, Grovemade are eschewing the trend to smart watches with a wooden twist on a traditional timepiece. It might be bucking the trend but at least it will still be compatible with your phone in 10 years time. With a choice of round or rectangular, light or dark, it’s on pre-order at $239 with delivery expected early in 2015.


Casio G-Shock with iPhone Mobile Link



Casio G-Shock GB6900AAFor digital watches, there’s really only one range to look at – Casio G-Shock. From day-to-day wear to aviation and snowsports, there’s a G-Shock watch that will fulfil your needs. The GB6900AA takes this to a new level, providing incoming call and email notifications from your iPhone. Don straps it on.

The GB6900AA has all the features of a rugged digital watch, but it also has a low-power Bluetooth transceiver, allowing the watch to connect to the Apple iPhone and display or buzz on incoming phone calls and new emails. As a security feature the watch will alert the owner if they get too far, reminding them not to leave their phone behind.

The GB6900AA is currently only certified to work with the iPhone 4S and 5, and there’s Casio’s “G-SHOCK+” application to be downloaded from the App Store. However, an Android version is expected later in the year. Available now in limited numbers for $180.

Interview by Don Baine, the Gadget Professor.

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World Pride’s Spy Gadgets



Bluetooth WatchWorld Pride is unlikely to be a name that you’ve heard of, but once you see a few of their gadgets in the video, you’ll recognise them from the gadget stores and catalogues. Jeffrey and Jamie chat with Jim.

The team at World Pride visit factories in Asia and try to spot cool gadgets that haven’t yet made it to market in the US. They then work closely with the factory to refine the product for US consumers. On show here are examples of gadgets that World Pride has already brought or will be bringing to the market.

One of the watches in the interview has a Bluetooth receiver and when someone rings your mobile phone, the watch will display the name or number of the person calling. As Jamie mentions, great if you are in a meeting and want to know if you should take a call.

Other gadgets include a pen and a watch with a video camera built-in and finally, there’s a miniature digital camera. It’s only about an inch wide but it looks like a tiny point-and-shoot camera while still taking 5 MP pictures and HD video.

Interview by Jeffrey “Austin” Powers of Geekazine and Jamie “007” Davis of the MedicCast and the Nursing Show.

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Basis Portable Health Monitoring



Todd talked to Jeff from Basis at the digital experience event at CES 2012 about their new product for health monitoring.

Basis is coming this spring with a wrist wearable health monitoring system to help you keep track of your overall activity level. Different from the heart monitors you would wear for working out, this new system will track your heart rate, temperature, perspiration, sleep and activity level as you go about your daily life. It will take that information and upload it to Basis’ cloud service and give you all the data along with some recommendations of things you need to do to get into better overall health.

The device and service will be available in early 2012 for $199. This includes a lifetime membership to the cloud service.

For more information, go to www.mybasis.com

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GQ’s Watches for 2012



Time is the fire in which we burn” wrote Delmore Schwartz in Calmly We Walk Through This April’s Day, but fortunately a good watch can make time’s passing a bit more bearable. I’d love to be a watch connoisseur, or rather, I’d love to have the money to be a watch connoisseur. However, in the absence of the cash, all I can do is peruse the likes of GQ’s Watch Guide 2012 which shows off over 90 great watches. Not all of them are costly with both Casio and Swatch appearing, but there are some eye-wateringly expensive models in the collection.

Regardless if you don’t know a tourbillon from from a touchpad or a complication from a compiler, the designs of some of these watches depart considerably from the two hands and 12 numbers model. Here are a few choice examples.

The  Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri is modelled on a pressure gauge. Quite what happens when the dial reaches 12:30, I’m not too sure, but it’s great for those of us who has an “ish” view of time.

Giuliano Mazzuoli Contagiri watch

The De Grisogono FG One is in similar vein, but I’m uncertain which is the minutes and which is the seconds, or which is the hour and which is the date!

De Grisogono FG One watch

This relatively inexpensive Diesel model can tell the time in four different time zones, with three analogue dials and one digital. Not sure why you’d need to…

Diesel Watch

The Longines 24 Hours dispenses with the usual 12 hour dial, replacing it with a 24 hour one. What looks like 6 o’clock on this watch is actually 12 noon. Very cool.

Longines 24 Hour Watch

The Girard Perregaux John Harrison commemorates William Harrison’s four-month journey from Portsmouth to Jamaica in 1761-2 to test his father John’s H4 chronometer, designed to calculate longitude at sea. Simply beautiful.

Girard Perregaux John Harrison watch

Enjoy looking at the rest of the watches in the article.


Watch Me 911: iPhone Safety Application for Women



watch me 911
watch me 911

“For Women, by Women”, they tout. Although, anyone can use this application if they feel concerned or need help. The Watch Me 911 turns your iPhone into a security assistant. That way, you can continue with daily activities with a peace of mind.

There are three options when you download Watch Me 911:

  • Monitor Me
  • Panic
  • I’ve Arrived

Monitor Me is a timer activated alert. You set the timer before activities. If you don’t check in before the timer is up, friends are notified. They would then call you to make sure you are alright.

Panic is a simple button that you can use if you have to pass through questionable areas. Walking through the parking lot or a dark alley, for example. If you feel threatened, you double-tap the button and people are notified. You can also have 911 contacted.

I’ve arrived is an app that lets you get a message ready to let people know when you show up to your destination. When you get there, you send the message. That way, if you get right into business, you don’t have to stop your momentum to let people know where you are.

This application was created by Alice Armitage and Jill Campbell. As businesspeople, mothers and women, they felt the need to have an application like this. They also felt that other women (and men) might also need a personal assistant program.

The application is fee-based. You get a 30 day free trial, and if you like the app, you can either pay $9.99 a month, or $99.99 a year for all three products (with 2 months free).