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The Human Touch

11/29/16 4:18 PM

The Human Touch

When we think of machine made watches, what comes to mind is the multitude of watch components manufactured consistently to perfection; or as close to perfection as possible. While these are totally acceptable and even welcomed in certain instances, there are some who may find these watches devoid of soul.

Handmade watches, on the other hand, are different. It has the soul and character of its maker and reflects the watchmaker’s creative process. What may seem like imperfections or inconsistencies are in fact variations inherent in a handmade item. No two pieces are made identical as a result.

Let’s take a closer look at three handmade watches from Red Army Watches’ collection.

Traveller by Schaumburg Watches

The Traveller is aptly named, thanks to the GMT counter at the 3 o’clock position. It allows the wearer to keep track of time in a different time zone. The watch dial is legible without superfluous details on the dial, something German watchmakers have understood and mastered.

Flipping the watch over is where the magic unfolds. The flinqué, perlage and engraved balance cork combine to form a stunning view of the beautifully hand decorated movement. Much of this is credited to master engraver Jochen Benzinger. Jochen specializes in the art of hand finishing, be it skeletonising, engraving or guilloché. He is part of the dynamic duo behind Grieb & Benzinger renowned for their luxury project watches. Schaumburg Watches and Benzinger have worked on a series of watches and this beauty here is one of them.

Carrara by Giuliano Mazzuoli

The case of the Giuliano Mazzuoli Carrara is made of Carrara marble, universally regarded as the most prestigious marble in the world. It was the very same marble Michelangelo used to create the stunning sculpture of David that proudly stands at the Galleria dell’Accademia of Florence – incidentally also where Mazzuoli hails from. Carrara marbles are characterised by the white color and dark gray veins of varying tones.

Each watchcase is handmade in Italy by master marble workers; first milled to the desired shape before being polished and buffed till it is soft and smooth to the touch. As no two blocks of marbles are the same, the resulting watchcases are unique.

ChronoGears by Itay Noy

The ChronoGears is one of Itay Noy’s latest creations, fresh from BaselWorld 2106. Apart from telling time traditionally through the hour, minutes and seconds hands, there are two ChronoGears that rotate around the dial clockwise and contains a central hand, the pointer. While one ChronoGear indicates 24 hours (am-pm) on the lower half of the dial, the second ChronoGear indicates 8 time situations – dawn, morning, noon, after noon, dusk, evening, midnight and night – on the upper half of the dial.

Itay Noy takes pride in the creation of his watches in Tel Aviv, Israel. He personally hand makes his watches, from the cutting of the hour indexes, to painting the watch dial or refining the watch movements. The ChronoGears is limited to 24 pieces worldwide; the plate depicting the serial number proudly sits at the bottom half of the dial.

Posted in Stories By Red Army Watches

Beyond Watches

10/25/16 2:10 PM

More often than not, the watch is the star on the wrist. It receives the most amounts of envious stares, oohs and ahhs; less so for its trusty sidekick - the strap. Like any great film, the lead actor/actress is as important as his/her support. The chemistry shared and the ways they complement each other allow magic to happen. That is true for watches too. A cheap flimsy strap might not do the watch justice but a beautiful calf leather strap, for instance, can elevate an average looking watch to a great looking watch.

Switching straps is a cost effective way to update or refresh the look of a watch. The choice of strap type, material or colour is a reflection of the wearer’s character.

We curated a few watches from our Red Army Watches boutiques and switched up the straps a little. We hope you enjoy the combinations as much as we enjoyed putting these together for you.

Paloma Beach by Corniche Watches

The Paloma Beach is Corniche’s latest addition. Limited to just 499 individually numbered pieces, it features a steel and ceramic two-tone dial complemented by the classic tricolour at six o’clock. The watch is paired with a midnight blue calf strap with crocodile embossing. The strap complements the blue steel hands and balances the coolness of the stainless steel case and two-tone dial watch dial.

Paired with a dark brown Hirsch Osiris strap, the strap is discreet with its fine pored leather upper, tone on tone seams and slight sheen. The result is every bit classic and understated.

The vegetable-tanned Hirsch Lucca strap is hand-lacquered to give it a nice sheen. It has a pull up effect that reveals lighter shades of brown as evident in the upper half of the strap. The effect intensifies as the strap is used over time, lending some flamboyance to the Corniche Paloma Beach.

Avant Garde Chronograph by Alexander Shorokhoff

The Alexander Shorokhoff Avant Garde Chronograph can be regarded as a sporty watch with its two-counter chronograph configuration. The watch dial is clean with oversized indexes in an iconic panda colour way. The tumbled black leather strap with contrast stitching matches the sporty appeal of the watch. The strap is exceeding supple as it is made from the same leather used by revered French fashion house, Hermès.

The chestnut coloured suede strap by Jean Paul Menicucci personifies casual Italian flair perfect for the weekends. It pairs well with the eggshell colour of the watch dial but yet doesn’t clash with the black chronograph counters.

The Hirsch James strapped on might seem like an ordinary strap at first glance. It is, however, a highly technical strap newly developed by Hirsch. As part of the Hirsch Performance collection, classic leather is combined with premium caoutchouc to give high standards of functionality, comfort, aesthetics and longevity.

Q3/01 by SEVENFRIDAY

Part of its fourth collection, the Q3/01 by SEVENFRIDAY is given a slight facelift with the regulator style configuration and date window. The racing inspired piece is paired with a black calf leather strap. Its no nonsense restrained appeal allows the subtle details of the watch to shine.

We created a custom metal bracelet made to fit all SEVENFRIDAY watches for good measure. The sleekness and hypoallergenic nature is a big plus for wearers. The two types of finishings Рbrushed and polished Рalternating with each other on the links is similar to the finishing of SEVENFRIDAY watches. The heft of the bracelet is inherent from solid links making up the metal bracelet. 
Completing the metal bracelet is a top grade, two-sided DP buckle. The bracelet is available in black PVD (as pictured), stainless steel and rose gold.

Black and blue is a combination that shouldn’t work in theory, but if done correctly, it’s often to the benefit of both. Black looks more intense next to navy; that’s why we threw on a pair of Tunx Santo. Entirely handmade from start to finish, the strap is dyed to a deep shade of indigo with subtle shades of black, striking up a balance between the strap and the watch.

Now that you’ve had a look at some of the possibilities, what is the next strap change for your favourite timepiece?

Check out the range of watch straps we carry at Millenia Walk, Wisma Atria, ATRIX and Krasnaya at ION Orchard. Email info@redarmywatches.com with your enquiries.

Posted in Stories By Red Army Watches

A legend of Singapore comes alive in this second limited edition proudly brought to you by Red Army Watches in collaboration with German watchmaker, STOWA.

Singapura Red Hill by STOWA

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Posted in Stories By Red Army Watches

Introducing the caliber NE88, a potential game changer in the watch industry

A brief history of Seiko

Before going into the caliber NE88 bit, let’s talk very quickly about Seiko. Seiko produces a wide range of calibers, from the downright amazing 9S86 to the budget-friendly 7S26.  However, these calibers were made only for Seiko watches.

Enter the NH family, manufactured by Seiko to be supplied to other watch manufacturers, at a lower price compared to their Swiss counterparts. Their latest caliber thus far is the NH35, which is similar to the Miyota 9015, and to some people, the ETA 2824. With the help of rapid technological advancements, it’s no surprise that both Seiko and Miyota have slowly caught up with ETA.

Launch of the NE88 and its effects

In August 2014, Seiko unveiled its latest caliber, the NE88. It is a newly developed automatic chronograph movement to be supplied to other watch manufacturers. It has a beat rate of 28,800 vibrations per hour, a power reserve of 45 hours, a column wheel and vertical clutch built into it, and a three-point hammer.

The column wheel is often found in high-end chronographs, due to the complexity of the manufacturing of the caliber and intensive labour required. Unlike the cam-actuated chronographs, actuation of the column wheel chronograph is incredibly smooth, with no noticeable jerks of the chronograph seconds hand. The smooth action of the hand is achieved because the gearing is lifted in and out of place vertically, and the hand can stop and start precisely where it lays. The three-point hammer resets all chronograph hands to zero instantly when the rest button is engaged.

Apart from in-house chronograph movements, there are not a lot of suppliers out there that sell chronographs as ébauches or as finished movements. ETA is the biggest producer of such movements; for example, the more commonly used Valjoux 7750, Valjoux 7753 or ETA 2894. Due to certain changes in recent years, obtaining those movements can be very costly for watch manufacturers, which translates into higher prices for consumers. Another manufacturer of chronograph movements is Sellita. However, due to low production capacity, they are unable to meet demands of the industry. There are other players out there in the industry, but for various reasons, they are not readily available or favoured. The availability of the caliber NE88 gives manufacturers alternatives to work with, apart from Valjoux or Sellita.

Conclusion

In other words, watch manufacturers are able to produce chronograph watches with greater technical prowess, at a lower price point for consumers when using the caliber NE88. It provides a much-needed breath of fresh air in the watch industry.

The NE88 can be found in the new Vostok Europe Mriya Automatic Chronograph, launched to commemorate Vostok Europe’s 10th anniversary.

For more information on the Seiko 9S86 and 7S26, click here and here respectively.

Posted in Stories By Red Army Watches
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