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Always"watching"

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  1. We've suddenly got badge-fever.... New "virtual" badges and now the real McCoy!
  2. I can tell you that T-Winner is a brand owned by Guangzhou Ruixue Watch Company Limited, also known as the Forsining Watch Company. The company manufactures and markets mechanical watches under the brands Forsining, T-Winner, and Jaragar, and in my personal classification of mechanical watches, these are well-known brands of what I term, "Chinese Cheapies". I have written quite a few times about various Chinese Cheapies on the Forum, and have purchased a number of such watches - mainly for inexpensive fun rather than for study or serious appraisal. I can say that you may be lucky and become the proud owner of a cheap mechanical watch that keeps surprisingly good time. Obviously, you can't really expect too much of these watches, in terms of materials, overall quality and mechanical sophistication, and most of them with rotors are not genuinely "automatic" but require winding at periodic intervals.
  3. Thanks so much everyone. This has got to be one of the GREATEST threads on the Forum! The pictures are a real joy and the text isn't bad either.
  4. Dear @Shanepeter, I do feel that an introduction to yourself would have been nice before making your enquiry about the watch. Also, I am puzzled as to the title of your post, which doesn't appear to relate to the subject matter. In making an identification, decent pictures and as much information as possible are very useful, and if you could provide that then more headway may be possible in answering your question. So far, the only Woodward watch I can find is the M1 Woodward Chronograph which was produced a few years ago by the Detroit Watch Company. This watch has a classic vintage feel to it and is powered by a Valjoux/ETA 7750 movement.
  5. My dear @Tazor, I didn't want you to think we were ignoring you... I have tried to find out something about Legia watches but with no success, I'm afraid. Your watch probably dates to the 1930s and the numbers on the back may be a serial number of some form, but the brand name is still something of a mystery, at least to me.
  6. Dear @AndrewMacdonald, my erstwhile colleague @WRENCH is quite correct that Seizenn is a brand owned by the Merkur Watch Group. This latter concern is also responsible for a number of other brands, viz. Red Army, Pierre Paulin, FOD, and, of course, Merkur. Although Merkur is the headline brand of the company, with Seizenn being acquired in 2019 along with FOD and Pierre Paulin, all the Merkur brands are owned by Beijing Time Unlimited Technology Co., Ltd.. I trust that this info is useful.
  7. Yes indeed, a nice find, so well done...
  8. Keeping time accurately comes at a price; the maximum accuracy of a clock is directly related to how much disorder, or entropy, it creates in the universe every time it ticks. This discovery was the result of work by Natalia Ares at the University of Oxford and her colleagues using a tiny clock with an accuracy that can be controlled. The clock itself was a 50-nanometre-thick membrane of silicone nitride, vibrated by an electric current. Each time the moved up and down once, and then returned to its original position, a tick was counted. The regularity of the spacing between the ticks was used as the measure of the clock’s accuracy. The researchers found that as they increased the clock’s accuracy, the heat generated in the system also grew, increasing the entropy of its surroundings by jostling against nearby particles. According to Ares, “If a clock is more accurate, you are paying for it somehow.” In this case, the price is paid when you pour more ordered energy into the clock which is then converted into entropy. According to Ares, “By measuring time, we are increasing the entropy of the universe”, and the more entropy in the universe, the closer it may be to its eventual demise. “Maybe we should stop measuring time,” muses Ares, but she concludes that the scale of the additional entropy is is so small that we need not worry about its effects. According to Marcus Huber at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, who was part of the research team, the increase in entropy from timekeeping may be related to the “arrow of time”. It has been suggested that the reason that time only flows forward, and not in reverse, is that the total amount of entropy in the universe is constantly increasing, creating disorder that cannot be put in order again. The relationship found by the researchers is a limit on the accuracy of a clock; it is not the case that a clock which creates the most possible entropy is the most accurate. Thus, a large and inefficient grandfather clock isn’t more precise than an atomic clock. Huber puts it like this, “It’s a bit like fuel use in a car. Just because I’m using more fuel doesn’t mean that I’m going further or faster”. Interestingly, when the researchers compared their results with theoretical models developed for clocks that rely on quantum effects, they were surprised to find that the relationship between accuracy and entropy seemed to be the same for both. Ares thinks that this is hinting at the universality of thermodynamic laws as they apply to clocks. We cannot yet be sure if these results are universal, because there are many types of clocks for which the relationship between accuracy and entropy haven’t been tested, and this includes real devices such as atomic clocks, which push the ultimate quantum limits of accuracy. Understanding the relationship discovered by Ares and the research team could be helpful for designing clocks in the future, especially those used in quantum computers and other devices where both accuracy and temperature are vital. It could also further our understanding of the quantum world more generally as to how the quantum and classical worlds are similar and different in terms of thermodynamics and the passage of time. Just how the newly discovered linear relationship between increased timekeeping accuracy in clocks and increased entropy might affect devices for personal timekeeping is yet to be seen, but it may be a matter of “when” rather than “if”. In the same issue of New Scientist in which I found Leah Crane’s article, is another article of potential interest in the field small-scale devices such as watches and phones. In “IBM’s new climate-friendly chip”, by Matthew Sparkes, we are introduced to the world’s first 2-nanometre chip which could use 75% less energy than those in use today. The working prototype contains transistors that are 12 nanometres wide, which is just 24 silicon atoms across, and IBM is planning to go into production with these chips in late 2024. According to IBM, the 2-nanometre chips can be used in everything from phones and tablets to very high-performance server chips and supercomputers - the decreased size of the transistors offers the potential of smaller, faster and more efficient chips. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Particular acknowledgment to “The cost of keeping time” by Leah Crane, in New Scientist, 15 May 2021. The main article for this research is at Physical Review X, “Measuring the Thermodynamic Cost of Timekeeping” published on 6 May 2021 and authored by A. N. Pearson, Y. Guryanova, P. Erker, E. A. Laird, G. A. D. Briggs, M. Huber and N. Ares. It is available as PDF download. Another synopsis of this story appears in Physics 14, s54 as “Keeping Time on Entropy’s Dime”, online at physics.aps.org/articles/v14/s54 There is a link on this site back to the main journal article cited here above.
  9. Could you not try to get hubby to narrow it down just a little bit more? Failing that, I think @richy176has the best solution so far if trying on both watches is possible. Leaving aside the enhanced collectability of a watch where all the components are made in-house by the company concerned, there is a distinct difference in basic style between the two chronograph watches your husband is looking at, and as a watch "for life" so to speak, rather than an investment, he might be able to plump for one or the other. When it comes to investment potential of Breitling watches, I don't feel sufficiently confident to pass a firm opinion and will defer to richy176 again in his above reply; I also feel sure that you will receive further useful replies on this thread.
  10. Thanks guys. I also came to the conclusion that the rotating balls feature was just a decorative device rather than having any meaningful purpose in regulating the clock. I must say that it does look nice and keeps excellent time.
  11. (Above pic from A Blog to Watch) “We are conscious of the fact that, today, Carrera and Monaco are probably having more attention - collectors and watch specialists get more excited with these watches. It’s one of the reasons for this launch. I believe there are great stories to tell with the Aquaracer and its whole history. We have a strong legitimacy in that segment and we are also looking at repositioning it so it’s more high-end than in the past.” “At TAG Heuer we don’t believe too much in the strict revival of historic watches. I believe, personally, much more in taking inspiration from specific references and good designs but blending them with modern techniques and also modern codes of design to build a new watch - but one that resonates with the past.” (Above two statements by TAG Heuer CEO Frédéric Arnault, quoted by Burton, Charlie, 2021) TAG Heuer has recently launched a new range of core dive watches that riff on the roots of the Aquaracer dive watch without becoming bogged down in a desire to re-create a vintage model. In addition to seven versions of this core diver, TAG have also launched a related single model limited edition, named the “Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Limited Edition”, and it is this particular watch that I have chosen to review here. Although the seven varieties of production Aquaracer Professional 300 are closely related to this limited edition model, especially the four versions sporting 43 mm cases, the tribute watch visibly takes its inspiration more directly from Heuer’s first out-and-out dive watch, Ref. 844, launched in 1978. This late seventies' diver, produced partly as a means of diversifying the brand to counter the effects of the Quartz Crisis, proved to be a great success and spawned a dynasty of Heuer divers; the Aquaracer name itself was not used until 2004. Before reviewing the Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Limited Edition, I summarize here below the new series of Aquaracer Professional 300 dive watches, including the limited edition tribute model: Reference Number Case diameter Details WBP201B.BA0632 43 mm Lined pattern blue dial/Steel case WBP201A.BA0632 43 mm Lined pattern black dial/Steel case WBP208B.BF0631 43 mm Lined pattern green dial/Titanium case and bracelet WBP201C.BA0632 43 mm Lined patterns ilver dial/Steel case WBP208C.FT6021 43 mm Grained matt black dial/Titanium case/Limited edition WBP231D.BA0626 36 mm Rippled pattern black dial/Steel case WBP231C.BA0626 36 mm Rippled pattern silver dial/Steel case WBP231B.BA0618 36 mm Rippled pattern blue dial/Steel case/Diamond hour markers The new limited edition tribute Aquaracer, of which 844 pieces will be made, can be seen as a bridge between the original Ref. 844 dive watch and the seven new core Aquaracer divers. Indeed, although TAG Heuer has a philosophy of not pandering to buyers who want deliberate recreations of classic designs, the firm has gone some way to do just that with the limited edition tribute to Ref. 844. Unlike the other watches in the Aquaracer Professional 300 range, the limited edition tribute has a (heavily) grained matt black dial, faux tanned lume, a red 24-hour scale on the dial, and a vintage-effect rubber strap (along with a full bracelet) - all passing nods to the past. In other respects the limited edition model has very similar specifications to its unlimited counterparts, especially the 43 mm versions, in the new Aquaracer Professional 300 line-up. So, let us look at those specifications here. The new Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Limited Edition on the right, with the original Ref. 844 dive watch for comparison (pic from Hodingkee): In terms of the shape, profile and choice of finish in the new 43 mm Aquaracer Professional 300 watches, including the limited edition tribute model reviewed here, a useful analysis comes from Lorentzen (2021) in “A Blog to Watch”, as follows: “The 43mm case of the new TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional series is still instantly recognizable as an Aquaracer, but substantially refines the look over previous generations. The overall design is still angular and modern, with traditionally curved forms translated into flat planes and abrupt corners. Where this new case really sets itself apart from its predecessors is through the case sides, where the fully polished flat surface has been changed to a brushed finish with a wide polished chamfer running from lug to lug. This breaks up the case sides visually and ctreates the illusion of a thinner case profile in images, although the actual case thickness is only marginally reduced by 0.35mm to 12.2mm overall. Like with last year’s revised Carrera Sport Chronograph, many of the geometric changes here are designed to make the large-on-paper 43 mm diameter wear more compact than the numbers suggest, and a large component of this is the new lug geometry. In addition to the slimming addition of the chamfer, the lugs themselves are markedly shorter than the previous generation, which will likely lead to a more compact footprint on the wrist for most wearers.” The Aquaracer limited edition tribute watch features the classic black and silver-grey metal (grade 5 titanium rather than steel in this watch) colour combination most frequently associated with dive watches, and the Aquaracer signature 12-sided bezel has been retained. To improve grip and appearance, the rotating bezel is now fully coin-edged, and in keeping with modern developments, the bezel insert is now ceramic and has a more elegant font. Consistent with the full name of the watch, water resistance is at a stated 300 metres, and the caseback is in solid titanium decorated with a twelve sided central image of a diving helmet. (Above pic from Escapement Magazine) (Above three pics from Monochrome Watches) Returning to the front view of the watch, we have a main handset comprising a short fat sword hour hand and a long sword minute hand, plus a sweep; all the hands are lumed with “old radium” Super-Luminova. It is notable that compared with the previous Aquaracer, the dial has been “decluttered” somewhat, partly by the new handset but also by the novel use of eight somewhat small octagonal applied hour markers, with bevelled wedge-shaped markers for the 12, 3, and 9 o’clock positions. The applied wedge marker at the 6 o’clock position has been truncated to make room for a date window at that position, which is accompanied by a circular magnifying window in the anti-reflective-coated sapphire crystal. All the hour markers are lumed with the faux radium Super-Luminova, and in furtherance of the tradition of the vintage Ref. 844, there is a “military style” inner ring of red hour numerals for 13 - 24 positioned on the dial. Note that in darkness, the lume is green and blue, with the blue lume being on the bezel, minute hand and sweep second hand. (Above pic from Hodingkee) (Above pic from Revolution Watch) The new range of Aquaracer Professional 300 watches, including the limited edition tribute to the Ref. 844, is powered by the Caliber 5 automatic movement, which is based on the ETA calibre 2824-2. The Caliber 5 has been in production for some considerable time, partly because it is a solid choice - reliable and easily maintained, albeit with what are now somewhat unremarkable performance specs that include a 42-hour power reserve and a frequency of 28,800 vph. The Aquaracer tribute limited edition is paired with a vintage style perforated rubber strap which has decorative octagonal holes for “ventilation” and a clasp that allows for fine adjustment. Note that one review I have read indicates that the tribute limited edition watch is also supplied with a metal bracelet; the three-link metal bracelets of refreshed design for all the Aquaracer Professional 300 watches now have a clasp that can be micro-adjusted while the watch is on the wrist and which provides up to 1.5 cm of extension. The Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Limited Edition is priced at £3,600/US$4,350 and can be pre-ordered now for a September market launch. The unlimited versions of the Aquaracer Professional 300 - both 36 mm and 43 mm cases - are apparently for launch on the market this month, and apart from the green titanium 43 mm version all of these are considerably less expensive than the limited edition tribute watch. (Above three pics from Calibre 11) (Above pic from Watch I Love) This review is about the limited edition tribute Aquaracer Professional 300, and I am trying to stick to reviewing that particular watch rather than invade the territory held by the rest of the new Aquaracer Professional 300 series. This is something of a relief for me because I am not too keen on the unlimited versions of the Aquaracer Professional 300. For me personally, the limited edition tribute watch is the only model in the series that I could contemplate purchasing. It is not perfect, however: the watch is rather angular and a little “polygon-mad” with its 12-sided bezel, octagonal dial markers and octagonal strap holes; the case diameter seems a little on the large size, with no alternatives, at least for the moment; and the watch could do without the cyclops date magnifier. I am also not generally a fan of faux-aged lume. Nevertheless, the TAG Heuer Aquaracer Professional 300 Tribute to Ref. 844 Limited Edition makes a good fist at blending vintage looks with modern styling and function, and with its plain grained black dial in the mix, the watch has the presence in its own right of being something of a classic. References in the Text Burton, Charlie, “Depth Charge!”, GQ Magazine, July 2021. Lorentzen, Sean, “TAG Heuer Announces Aquaracer Professional 300 Watch Series”, A Blog to Watch, 7 April 2021.
  12. Fascinating stuff, dear @spinynorman. The world of words is like constantly shifting sands, and the art of perfecting one's text when writing articles or anything else for that matter can sometimes drive one (eg myself) mad.
  13. I'm afraid that I cheated and instead of bravely buying and setting up a vintage mechanical anniversary clock, I opted for a pre-owned Avia Quartz example. When I bought it, neither myself nor the charity shop knew if it was working. The battery was well within date, but nothing seemed to be happening. However, I took the plunge and came home with my prize, having also bought a new battery. The clock was made in West Germany and I reckon it dates to about the early or mid 1980s. A page from the Argos catalogue for Autumn/Winter 1983. Clock number 1 is an Acctim mechanical anniversary clock, while the other anniversary clocks are all quartz. Note that there is an Avia Quartz example at number 5 on the page (pic from Retromash-issuu): The clock itself has three adjustable feet and I soon had it sitting at a suitable angle on a cabinet in my room. The piece is in very nice condition and sports a plexiglas dome. Once the new battery was inserted, the clock worked, and it is now going strong. In looking at it, I have been prompted to wonder just how the four balls suspended by a thread work. As with a mechanical anniversary clock, the balls rotate one way and then the other, and although one has the gentle ticking of the clock itself, the balls rotate silently. I wonder if one of our electronic clock whizz-kids could tell me how the rotating ball feature works in a quartz anniversary clock.
  14. That's most interesting, @rhaythorne, and it goes back to what I said in my original thread-head that the so-called "American" spelling of caliber was used frequently in British writings until the modern spellings took hold. In the same way that I prefer the spelling "calibre" when used to denote a person's "worth", I also prefer the spelling "Honour" for my name, taking my cue from the French word, "honneur" where the "u" is preserved. I trust you approve of my decision; oh, and I have also decided to carry on using the word "caliber" as spelt the "American" way when denoting clock/watch movements.
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