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Posts posted by Always"watching"

  1. Nash Motors Company was an American car company based at Kenosha, Wisconsin, from 1916-1937. In January 1937, Nash Motors became the automotive division of the Nash-Kelvinator Corporation, with George Mason of Kelvinator taking over from Charles Nash (who retained a controlling share in Kelvinator) as head of the now combined firm. In 1954, Nash and the Hudson Motor Car Company merged to form the American Motors Corporation with George Mason as CEO, although Nash-branded vehicles continued to be made after that date, coming to an end in 1957. In the case of the Nash Metropolitan, we go back to the Nash Motors Company as it was in 1949 at which time the firm was examining the market potential for an economical alternative car, contrary to the then current automobile trend for larger vehicles.

    In the process of working out the nature of this proposal, the Nash Experimental International (NXI) concept car was built and largely designed by Detroit-based independent designer William J. Flajole for Nash Motors’ parent company, Nash-Kelvinator. The design was intended as the second car in a two car family - for shopping, the school run, or as a ride and park commuter car. The NXI design resembled the larger Nash vehicles but on a small scale and incorporating some innovative features such as interchangeable front and rear components (which barely survived into eventual production) and Nash’s advanced single-unit body construction. In order to gauge public opinion as to the likely success of such a vehicle, Nash displayed the car at a number of “surviews” (surveys/previews) starting on 4 January 1950 at the Astoria Hotel in New York, the result of which indicated that was a market for this type of car. These “surviews” also suggested certain improvements, many of which were incorporated in subsequent prototypes, such as roll-up glass side windows, a more powerful engine, and a column-mounted gear shift with bench seat (rather than the bucket-type sets and floor-mounted transmission shift featured in the concept car). 




    A 1954 Nash Metropolitan Hardtop (pics from conceptcarz.com)









    Nash now named the new model - which featured revised styling incorporating a hood blister and rear wheel cutouts - the Nash-Kelvinator International (NKI). The car was aimed at the emerging post-War market for small personal-use vehicles as a second car for women or a means of economical commuting. In addition, it was hoped that the car would return Nash to overseas markets. At this stage, however, management at Nash Motors and Nash-Kelvinator calculated that it would not be economically viable to produce such a car from scratch in the US because the tooling costs would have been prohibitive. The only solution, it was decided, would be to build the car overseas using existing mechanical components (engine, transmission, rear end, suspension, brakes, and electrics) while US manufacture would take on only the tooling cost for body panels and other unique components. In view of this decision, Nash Motors negotiated with several different European companies, and on 5 October 1952, they announced that two English firms based in the Birmingham region had been selected for the project. The Austin Motor Company (then part of BMC) would deal with the mechanicals and final assembly while Fisher & Ludlow (part of BMC from September 1953 and later operating as Pressed Steel Fisher) would produce the bodywork. By this token, the venture was to be the first time an American-designed car for sole marketing in the US, sold and serviced by Nash, had been entirely built in Europe.

    It is believed that Austin Motors completed the first pre-production prototype on 2 December 1952, followed by four other pre-production prototypes, all of which were tested prior to production. Tooling costs for the new car, dubbed the NKI Custom until just two months before its public launch, were far lower than would have been the case if the car had been an all-American-made product. Interestingly, although the styling of Nash vehicles was an amalgam of Pinin Farina and in-house Nash designs, with the firm claiming Pinin Farina design for their larger cars, Farina refused to allow his name to be associated with the Metropolitan on the grounds that this would damage his reputation with other car companies to be linked with such a small automobile.

    Production of the Metropolitan (nicknamed the “baby Nash”) at Austin’s Longbridge factory started in October 1953. The car was tiny, with an 85 in (215.9 cm) wheelbase. Overall length was 149.5 in (379.7 cm) and gross weight was only 1,785 lb (810 kg) for the Convertible and 18 kg more for the Hardtop; the wheelbase and general size were smaller than a Volkswagen Beetle. The two models - Convertible and Hardtop - were both powered by the OHV 1,200 cc straight-4 Austin ‘A40’ series engine driving the rear wheels through a three-speed manual transmission. The initial order was for 10,000 units, with an option to increase the order if justified by sales. An initial hitch concerned the badging of the car due to the late-in-the-day decision to rename the vehicle; new “Metropolitan” nameplates had to be made to fit where the previous “NKI Custom” script badging would have gone, and some factory manuals had already gone out bearing the car name as NKI Custom. Anyway, the first examples of the Nash Metropolitan went on sale on 19 March 1954 in the US and Canada, with an apparently low production rate of 400 cars a week. Prices in 1954 were $1,469 for the convertible model 541 and $1,445 for model 542, the hardtop, both of them two-door but only the hardtop having two-tone paintwork as standard.




    A very early Nash Metropolitan Convertible, delivered to the USA in March 1954 and completely restored in 2007; the original 1200 cc engine has been replaced by a 1500 Austin A55 example (pictured) (pics from barrettjacksoncdn.azureedge.net):









    The Nash Metropolitan in both convertible and hardtop body forms came with several features as standard that were generally available only as optional extras. These factory-installed features included a map light, electric windshield wipers, cigar lighter, directional indicators, and a “continental-type” rear-mounted spare tyre with cover. A rather nice feature was the use of “Bedford Cord” upholstery trimmed with leather, in keeping with larger Nash vehicles. All the cars that left the Austin factory included a heater and a radio; nevertheless for the US market, an AM radio, “WeatherEye” heater, and whitewall tyres were actually offered only as extras. It is notable that the Metropolitan was the first post-War American car to be marketed specifically to women. Miss America 1954 (Evelyn Ay Sempier) was the first spokesperson for the car, and it was prominently advertised in “Women’s Wear Daily”. When Nash-Kelvinator merged with the Hudson Motor Car Company on 1 May 1954, the Metropolitan was also branded for Hudson although most sales were under the Nash banner. It has to be said that the American public’s affirmation of a desire for an economy car like the Metropolitan, was not reflected in subsequent sales, and relatively small numbers of the car were sold. Nevertheless, 7,072  Metropolitans had been sold by the end of six months and a further order was placed with Austin. 




    YouTube video uploaded by Cardiff333UK at youtu.be)




    After the first 10,000 cars had been sold, a number of modifications were made to improve the Metropolitan. The engine was changed to a B-series, but still of 1,200 cc, as used in the Austin A40 Cambridge, and the car was given a new gearbox together with hydraulic actuation for the clutch instead of a mechanical linkage. This added 50 lb (23 kg) to the weight of the vehicle, which was now referred to as the Series II or NK2, commencing on 19 August 1954.

    Early reviews of the Metropolitan were mixed although an owners’ consensus was that the car was a good thing in a small package. Floyd Clymer, an industry veteran and publisher of automotive books, put a Metropolitan through more than its fair share of testing and was surprised at how well the car performed and how safe he felt when driving it, concluding that, “it may well be that Nash has started a new trend in American motoring. Perhaps the public is now getting ready for a small car.” In December 1953, George Mason took two Metropolitans to Raleigh Speedway in North Carolina for some tests. The first Metropolitan did a 24-hour endurance run, achieving a distance of 1,469.7 miles (2,365 km) without a tune-up. The second Metropolitan underwent an economy 24-hour run and averaged 41.7 US mpg (5.64 L per 100 km; 50.1 Imp. mpg). Mechanix Illustrated editor, Tom McCahill, reported in 1954 that the Metropolitan, “is not a sports car by the weirdest torturing of the imagination but it is a fleet, sporty little bucket which should prove just what the doctor ordered for a second car, to be used either for a trip to the movies or for a fast run to a penicillin festival.” He was impressed with the handling and control exhibited by the Metropolitan, and its “poke” in spite of having such a small engine. He also liked the nice finish but bemoaned the difficult access to the boot which required the back of the rear seat to be pulled down (the Metropolitan was more realistically a two-seater although it did have a rear seat). McCahill’s test car accelerated from 0 to 60 mph in 19.3 seconds and was able to exceed 70 mph (110 km/h). It has to be said that the car did come in for criticism in certain reviews, most notably concerning its high degree of roll and wallow in corners and the time it took for the car to get its rear end back in line. Nevertheless, it is clear that the Metropolitan was an effective and economical vehicle to run, easy to service and able to take considerable punishment. 




    The extraordinary 1956 Astra-Gnome concept car built around a Nash Metropolitan (see text) (Pics from oldconceptcars.com and, below, i.kinja-img.com):







    In late November 1955, the Metropolitan Series III (NK3) came on stream, and this was more of a redesign than Series II had been. The Metropolitan’s B-series engine was now increased in capacity to 1,498 cc (91.4 cu in) as used in the Austin A50 Cambridge. Polished stainless steel sweep spears on the body sides enabled the use of a new two-tone finish (with a few additional colours in the range) that effectively gave the impression of a longer, lower and slimmer vehicle. The grille was also redesigned and the previously non-functional hood scoop was removed. As for the interior, the seats were upholstered in a houndstooth check pattern with white vinyl trim, and the dashboard was painted black instead of being in the body colour as was the case for Series I and II Metropolitans. American Motors now designated the car as the “Metropolitan 1500” and prices were $1,527 (Hardtop) and $1,551 (Convertible). Changes and additions were made to the available exterior colours in April 1957, and in September 1957 American Motors (AMC) announced that it was dropping the Nash and Hudson brand names in favour of subsequently marketing the car under the “Metropolitan” name only; the Nash and Hudson grille badges had seemingly been discontinued in October the previous year in favour of an “M” style grille medallion. Also in October 1956, Austin Motor Company obtained permission from AMC to sell Metropolitans in areas where the American company did not have a presence, including the British Isles, and this necessitated the production of right-hand drive (RHD) cars in addition to the usual left-hand drive (LHD) vehicles so far manufactured. In fact, in early brochures for the Austin Metropolitan, Austin were forced to use a reversed photograph of a car parked in Chipping Camden because no RHD vehicles were yet available.




    A 1958 Austin Metropolitan 1500 Series III Hardtop - note the single-piece rear window used from Jan. 1958 (Pics from simonscars.co.uk):






    The production of Austin Metropolitans began in December 1956 and the UK list prices for a Series III Metropolitan were £713 17s 0d for the HE6 Hardtop and £725 2s 0d for the HD6 Convertible. From 2 April 1957 over the next four years, approximately 9,400 additional units were sold in overseas markets, with the UK taking an estimated 1,200 [or perhaps as many as about 5,000 according to one source] of these in four years. UK Series III sales ran from April 1957 to February 1959, by which latter date production of Series IV cars had commenced. From February 1959, the Metropolitan was not available for UK sale, until September 1960, because all production was for US and Canadian sales during that period. When the “famine” ended, the cars, now Metropolitan Series IV, were sold through Austin dealers; with the price for the A-HJ7 Convertible having risen slightly over the Series III cars while the A-HP7 Hardtop had fallen slightly in price. Also, the Austin badging and branding had disappeared (apart from the Austin chassis numbers) in favour of just the “Metropolitan” name. In May 1960, Car Mart Ltd. (a large London Austin dealership) presented Princess Margaret with a special Metropolitan finished in black with gold trim and gold leather interior as a wedding present; in February 1961 the car was stolen. 

    The Series IV Metropolitan came into production in January 1959 and represented a major redesign. An external decklid was added to provide easy access to the boot, as well as vent windows. Also, since October 1957, the engine had been upgraded by increasing the compression ratio from 7.2:1 to 8.3:1, providing an output of 55 bhp (as used in the A55 Cambridge). The Series IV Metropolitan featured a diamond pattern for the seats, with white vinyl trim. 1959 proved to be the Metropolitan’s best-selling year with 22,209 units sold; the MRSP for Series IV models at this time was $1,672 (Hardtop) and $1,696 (Convertible). In 1961, “The Autocar” magazine tested a 1959 Metropolitan that had all ready wracked up 27,124 miles (43,652 km) and recorded a “reasonable cruising speed of 60 mph, “fairly high” oil consumption of 125 miles per pint, “adequately good” roadholding, and “pronounced understeer” in corners. Other comments from this test included “good directional stability”, “decidedly vague steering”, a turning circle that was “stately for such a small car”, “effective” brakes and a steering wheel that was positioned so high that it interfered with the driver’s view of the rod. The test car accelerated from 0-60 mph in 22.4 seconds, and did a standing-start quarter-mile in 21.9 seconds.




    A 1959 Austin Metropolitan 1500 Series IV Convertible (Pics from simoncars.co.uk):






    Production of the Metropolitan ceased in April 1961 (final VIN - E95981, built April 19, 1961) at which time a total of 104,377 units had been made at Longbridge, with nearly 95,000 of these being exported to the USA; sales of the existing inventory continued until March 1962. As for the Austin Metropolitan subgroup, production for foreign markets including the UK had ceased in February 1961 due to poor sales, with two “one-offs” being produced in March and April. Total Austin Metropolitan production has been estimated as being between 9,384 and 9,391 cars. The Metropolitan concept had by then spawned compact cars from a number of major competitors, and AMC’s own Rambler series also competed against it in the USA. As far as British and Continental consumers were concerned, the barrier to major sales of the Metropolitan had been essentially one of style from both the exterior of the vehicle and from the quality of the ride. The fact that the Metropolitan was aesthetically redolent of typical American cars of the period put many European and British customers off and raised an opinion that the car represented the worst of all things American. As for driving the Metropolitan, the car also followed the precedent of larger American cars of the period and also did not really suit European taste; it had a very soft ride, and steering was hampered by the enclosure of the front wheels, a very wide turning circle, and a big steering wheel with slack response.





    oYouTube video uploaded by Cardiff333UK at youtu.be)




    Looking at the American reaction to the Metropolitan, it is interesting to report that although the car was never a major “hit”, it managed to garner considerable loyalty from those who bought and used it. Almost as soon as sales began, American Motors received many complimentary owners’ letters (and photographs) concerning the Metropolitan, and some of the comments made were later featured in Metropolitan brochures. In January 1957, James W. Watson (AMC’s Sales manager for the Metropolitan) decided to initiate a “Metropolitan Club” as a means of channelling this response and increasing sales. Membership freebies included a metal car badge and “The Met Letter” magazine (produced between May 1957 and January 1962); a special gold anodized car badge was awarded to members who recruited additional Metropolitan buyers. The Club was finally wound up around May 1962, with Floyd Clymer, a journalist and supporter of the Metropolitan attempting to keep the club going for a short while after this time.

    It is difficult to say whether the Metropolitan can be said to be truly ahead of its time, and my feeling is that this accolade is perhaps somewhat misplaced when considering the car, in spite of its notably small size and economy. That does not mean to say that the Metropolitan does not have a special place in motoring history. The Metropolitan is a dainty morsel - a comforting design, a cute miniature of a whole genre of glamorous large American cars, and almost the perfect small 1950s drive-around car to capture large scale car style on a small footprint. The car today also captures perfectly the desire for retro 1950s industrial/product design that is currently so popular. Indeed, the Metropolitan has become a collectible vehicle with prices having recently escalated. As a final note, especially for readers who have read my recent Forum topic on the SIMCA Fulgur concept car, the Metropolitan was the base vehicle used by industrial designer, Richard Arbib, to show his vision of what the automobile would look like in the year 2000. Arbib’s Astra-Gnome “Time and Space Car” was a modified 1955 Nash Metropolitan, with advanced features such as a “celestial time-zone clock permitting actual flight-type navigation”. The car was shown on the front cover of  “Newsweek” magazine (3 September 1956) and exhibited at the 1956 New York International Auto Show; it survives and is in a California museum.




    The Hot Wheels Metrorail Nash Metropolitan from 2000, available in a number of amazing different colourways (Pics from hwcollectorsnews.com):






    Note: The Hardtop model of the Metropolitan is sometimes labelled the "Coupe". The two terms are interchangeable, describing the same vehicle.


     Particular acknowledgements are due to the following three sources in the preparation of the topic text, in decreasing order of importance:

    "Nash Metropolitan", Wikipedia (last edited 19 March 2020).

    "Nash Metropolitan", John Baker; online article and detailed chronology chart/table - www.austinmemories.com/styled-31/index.html

    "The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Extraordinary Vehicles", Giles Chapman; Dorling Kindersley for The Book People Ltd., St Helens, 2009.



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  2. Dear James, As a (new?) member of the Forum, you are privileged to be able to access the advice of the Forum's own watch repair'restoration expert, Simon. Just go to his Forum section and post a query; I'm sure he will have good ideas and advice about balance wheel issues in old pocket watches. I am also sure that there are other Forum members out there who will post advice on this thread, although I am aware that your question is somewhat general rather than about a specific watch - answers may therefore begin with the words, "it depends ...".:) 

  3. I can totally agree with you, dear @WRENCH and @Biker now that I have sorted out the eyepiece and cleaned the lenses. Amazingly, there isn't a scratch or mark on any of the external lenses and the coatings are in tip-top condition. I have tested the binos in the field, and they appear to be optically rather good. As with your own Soviet binos, Steve, mine are also 7 X 50 and therefore have a good light uptake; they also come in a nice leather case and, like yours, Biker, they have additional filters in pockets inside the case. If I didn't have arthritis in my neck, I would use these binoculars while walking, but they are just too heavy and will be used for static bird spotting where I can use them through the car windows or resting on a fence/ledge.:biggrin:

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  4. My dear Norman @spinynorman, I realized after writing my post that I had seemed to contradict what you said with regard to mass-production/rarity of mechanical chronographs. Please understand that  we are essentially in agreement, and I just wanted the OP to be comforted in the fact that vintage mechanical chronographs do not constitute the main fruit on the tree, so to speak, and are a little bit special in themselves.:biggrin:

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  5. Well, there isn't anything wrong with that watch as my colleagues have already indicated. As to its rarity, I would say that for those of us who are looking at (and into the history of) watches your chronograph may not seem to be a rarity or anything special but in the real world, vintage mechanical chronograph wristwatches are not the common run of watches we see every day.:)

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  6. Just a big thank you to EVERYONE who contributed to this thread. The member who came up with the correct winning solution was @Biker, followed closely by @al_kaholik in second position and finally @DJJazzyJeff, who did suggest heat but then wasn't so sure. I used a hairdryer to warm up the offending part of the binoculars and this immediately released the stuck focusing ring. The only problem is that when it cools, the ring becomes hard to turn once again, but I reckon that I can gradually ease the stickiness, perhaps using something like WD40. The main thing is that I now know what is causing the part to seize and it is evidently curable. :thumbsup:

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  7. I have found an interesting reference to a work by Georg Jacob GmbH (HG) on Abe Books. The book title is, "Ein Blick - Werk-Erkennung, IV, GTeil: Wecker", and it was published in 1943 by Eigenverlag, Leipzig, in 1943. The details provided (only in German, unfortunately) indicate that this document is some form of brochure or catalogue.

    I agree with @spinynorman that your watch does look as if it is a 1950s piece, almost certainly pre-1955, and it will be interesting to find out if Georg Jacob GmbH survived into that period.


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  8. Don't beat yourself up over that Xeric watch, dear @bdalg1. I can understand why you went for a Xeric, and perhaps you were unfortunate with that particular model. In the case of your watch, the printed globe and markers on the crystal completely obscures the rather good dial arrangement beneath, and a decent watch is thus ruined. Having looked at a number of Xeric watches, I feel that the firm is always on the verge of producing something both interesting and pleasing, aesthetically, but always just fails to carry it off. At least the fundamental specifications of the watches are sound, though perhaps continuing with large watch sizes is a bit Passé. Xeric is probably a watch producer worth keeping an eye on, in case they suddenly come up with an absolute winner.:)

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  9. I have noticed in reading posts on the Forum and elsewhere an increasing use of capitalized abbreviations, including some for various models of wristwatch. I do realise that as members of a watch forum, we are meant to be able to decipher watch-jargon, but some of us (well, me for one) sometimes have to spend a few minutes trying to work out exactly what an abbreviation stands for.  I believe that there is a standard protocol when using abbreviations that is quite useful; the word or phrase is written once in full, followed by the abbreviated form in brackets, then subsequent to that in the text, the abbreviation can be used on its own.:) 


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  10. I do rather like the design of this watch; in particular the hands, the shape of the lugs, and the minimalist handling of the dial. I am not too sure about the aesthetics and long-term practicality of that 2-part case with "floating" lugs, however, and I do not like the odd rendering of the "neucarl" logo/name on the dial and movement- it looks as if the start and end of the name have been faultily erased. I am glad that the crown has been modified as it does look a bit problematic in the photos.

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  11. Dear @grandaddy, you might like to know that I have written two Forum articles on Benrus, which you will find in my Topics section via the Forum search feature. They are as follows:


    "Benrus"; posted on 15 September 2014.

    "A Benrus Classic: The Dial-O-Rama Watches"; posted on 30 September 2019.


    Benrus is an interesting company and worth collecting, in my opinion. Balaton has already discussed the question of pricing when buying pre-owned Benrus watches and I would echo the sentiment that they were a mid-market company; also, not being very well known in the UK, you should be able to pick up reasonably priced examples among the more general run of models.

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  12. I just thought that I ought to add this Body Glove dive watch to this thread... They must be having a laugh, surely. Still, if you feel you are underachieving in a certain department then this watch is still available on Amazon UK for £39.99. I notice that a number of other, less phallic, NOS Body Glove dive watches have turned up for sale on Amazon UK, and I quite like some of them, especially the all-stainless steel "Billy" model in different colourways priced at £49.99 except the red dial example which is £69.99. 




    (Pic from images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com)



    (Pic from Indiegogo at c1.iggcdn.com)



    Aventi is a new horological venture, and the first watch to emerge from the brand seems (according to much of the media attention) to have as its raison d’être the production of a low cost/low price tourbillon wristwatch - a complication that tends to go hand-in-hand with high luxury horology. As a result of Aventi’s success in this ambition, there is a degree of triumphalism expressed, deriving from company publicity, in beating the Swiss at their own game by producing a luxury tourbillon watch that is considerably less expensive than Swiss examples, and on top of that, the production of a relatively inexpensive tourbillon model cased all in sapphire. Clearly, watch buyers and potential customers for these sorts of watches are appreciative of Aventi in its philosophy and success, as testified by the Indiegogo campaign for the Aventi A-10 being funded within just 8 minutes. 

    The Aventi A-10 tourbillon wristwatch, designed by Hannu Siren, comes in two basic varieties or models. The first of these is cased in Grade 2 titanium, and both the case and sapphire crystal are of unique, roughly trapezoidal, shape inspired by the world of supercar design - most notably the more angular shapes of cars by Lamborghini and Pagani. This titanium model is available in a raw colourway that has a completely sandblasted finish, as well as in several different colourways whereby the case is finished with a coloured ceramic coating called Cerakote, which lends the watch scratch resistance and keeps its weight down. In addition to the case colour, the titanium model is edged with, and has highlights of, Swiss Super-LumiNova BGW9 to provide a visual experience in the dark. The seven colourways (some of them quite vibrant) are Rosso Red, Nardo Gray, Riviera Blue, Pearl White, Modena Yellow, Nero Black, and Viola Purple. The titanium-cased G-10 comes with an NBR (rubber) strap having carbon fibre inlay on top with stitching, and water resistance is at 5 atm.








    (Pics from i.pinimg.com/originals and, bottom, ablogtowatch.com)




    The second variety of G-10 wristwatch is the all-sapphire model, following the same shape as the titanium variety and challenging once again the notion that only super-high luxury brands can produce such watches in all-sapphire form. The G-10 casing is completely transparent and is complemented by a translucent rubber strap. The “Pure Sapphire” model of the G-10 apparently has the most complex sapphire watch case ever assembled, with 68 individual facets and 144 edges, each hand-finished from a single solid block of pure sapphire crystal in a process lasting 100 hours. Each sapphire case is then treated with five layers of anti-reflective coating before being finally and thickly coated with transparent ceramic for enhanced appearance and toughness.







    (Pics, from top down: i.ytimg.com, ablogtowatch.com, and Indiegogo at c1.iggcdn.com)




    To enhance integration of the design, the Aventi G-10 in both titanium and all-sapphire forms has its crown at 12 o’clock rather than at the side of the case, and case size is a substantial 48.5 X 55.5 X13.5 mm. The watch has a fully skeletonized movement with bold bridges and featuring two hefty barrels which are visible and which provide the watch with a power reserve of 72 hours. The signature tourbillon sits in the 3 o’clock position on the dial and is nicely visible. The actual dial itself is a network of bridges connecting the movement to a multi-layer suspended ring containing the minutes track. These elements are in bare brilliant metal for the all-sapphire model of the G-10 and in a mix of black and the case colour for the titanium version. The two dauphine hands, for the minutes and the hours, are skeletonized and lumed at their tips; the G-10 is a “simple” two-hand timekeeper. The movement in the G-10 is a modified and skeletonized Caliber 3450 hand-wind tourbillon movement with 22 jewels, running at 28,800 bph, and is apparently carefully tested and examined for each watch to ensure utmost quality and accuracy combined with excellent value for money.

    As far as buying the AS-10 is concerned, the proposed prices for “early birds” in March of this year, just before the debut on Indiegogo, were $2,800 for the sapphire model and $999 for the titanium-cased colourways. Then, in an article dating to 24 April, the prices were apparently $1,099 (discounted from $2,000) for the titanium model and $3,300 (discounted from $5,000). Finally the Aventi website, with its fancy “concierge” booking system, states that prices are now from $1,999.







     (Pics, from top down: Indiegogo at c1.iggcdn.com, cdn.shopify.com, and ablogtowatch.com)




    My own reservations about the Aventi G-10 are primarily aesthetic rather than financial or technical; nevertheless, there is a smouldering question over whether in truth, you get what you pay for in terms of the watch and/or the movement. It is likely that in terms of pricing, Aventi have started well and they seem to have succeeded in their primary goal of undercutting similarly specified Swiss luxury watches in price; the firm should therefore be acquiring customers from a wide variety of financial backgrounds, including watch collectors, even though prices seem to already be rising sharply. I have to add a caveat here because I am not convinced that the Chinese-made tourbillon in the G-10 is of the same reliability/accuracy as those produced by luxury Swiss watch companies, and this quality difference could mean that the G-10 is not quite such a bargain after all.

    For me personally, the G-10 doesn’t hugely appeal, partly because of its clumsy size and shape and partly because of a certain ostentatiousness in its design; the G-10 is a watch and not a "supercar for the wrist"; it is meant to be worn on the wrist and not on the road, and it has none of the design flare seen in the finest supercars. I would have preferred it if Aventi had chosen to produce a more subtle, more beautiful, and more wearable, tourbillon wristwatch (including an all-sapphire version) while still keeping prices low - surely, superior aesthetics do not have to imply increased production costs. Having said that, I am aware that my own views will not be those of everyone, and the Aventi G-10 will surely appeal to many less pecunious luxury-hunters for whom this more affordable and strikingly bold tourbillon watch will be irresistible, especially perhaps when the watch is cased in pure sapphire crystal.

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  14. Thanks guys. I have checked the heights of the two eyepieces as you suggest, Steve @WRENCH, and there is a distinct difference, with the focusing ring clearly having been over-tightened in one direction. I don't reckon this is going to be easy but after lockdown, I may be able to chase up a guy I met a while back who restores binoculars and other optics. This is a safer bet than trying to deal with the matter myself.:biggrin:

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  15. Thanks for the suggestions so far.:thumbsup:  At Steve's suggestion and just in case readers might not have the complete picture of the problem, I show here below a picture of binoculars that are pretty much identical to my own:



    (Pic from bestofbinoculars.com)


    The offending component is the individual focusing ring for poor eyesight shown in the picture on the right-hand eyepiece. This focusing ring is jammed tight or seized and won't turn. There are three minute screws (as small as those in a watch movement) spaced at intervals on the knurled wheel of the focusing ring but I haven't dared try and remove them as yet. 

    Any further recommendations gratefully received and I will try them one by one, starting at the easiest.:)

  16. Hero.jpg?ixlib=rails-1.1.0&fm=jpg&q=55&a


    (Above pics from hodinkee.imgix.net and, below  i.dmarge.com)




    The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection goes back to 1992, and is named after the company’s 1000-Hours Control Certification, launched for the first time with the Master Control range and especially novel because it involved testing the cased-up completed watch rather than just the movement. The Master Control line has recently been revamped and at the top of the tree stands a chronograph calendar model that, within the confines of a classic vintage design for this type of complicated watch, sets a very high standard, both aesthetically and technically. If the style harks back to the middle of the 20th century, the movements have not remained static in technological modernity and have been upgraded across the Master Control range, with such features as silicon parts for the escapement and redesigned barrels in order to prolong power reserve. Given the long history of the company and its experience with horological complications, it may seem odd that the new Master Control Chronograph Calendar represents a first for Jaeger Le-Coultre in its triple calendar with moonphase combination of complications. And with this novel combination of displays, Jaeger-LeCoultre have logically provided a new movement for the watch, the caliber JLC 759.

    The JLC caliber 759 is not the most beautiful of chronograph movements in spite of its gold rotor bearing the JLC motif, Geneva waves, and blued screws; nevertheless, owners probably won’t feel too let down by the view of the movement through the sapphire display back. The new caliber 759 is based on the JLC caliber 751 movement and is a column wheel chronograph with vertical clutch. Caliber 759 runs with 41 jewels at a frequency of 28,800 bph and has a lengthy power reserve of 65 hours.






    (Above pics  from hodinkee.imgix.net and, top, from static.watchtime.me)



    The Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control collection goes back to 1992, and is named after the company’s 1000-Hours Control Certification, launched for the first time with the Master Control range and especially novel because it involved testing the cased-up completed watch rather than just the movement. The Master Control line has recently been revamped and at the top of the tree stands a chronograph calendar model that, within the confines of a classic vintage design for this type of complicated watch, sets a very high standard, both aesthetically and technically. If the style harks back to the middle of the 20th century, the movements have not remained static in technological modernity and have been upgraded across the Master Control range, with such features as silicon parts for the escapement and redesigned barrels in order to prolong power reserve. Given the long history of the company and its experience with horological complications, it may seem odd that the new Master Control Chronograph Calendar represents a first for Jaeger Le-Coultre in its triple calendar with moonphase combination of complications. And with this novel combination of displays, Jaeger-LeCoultre have logically provided a new movement for the watch, the caliber JLC 759.

     The JLC caliber 759 is not the most beautiful of chronograph movements in spite of its gold rotor bearing the JLC motif, Geneva waves, and blued screws; nevertheless, owners probably won’t feel too let down by the view of the movement through the sapphire display back. The new caliber 759 is based on the JLC caliber 751 movement and is a column wheel chronograph with vertical clutch. Caliber 759 runs with 41 jewels at a frequency of 28,800 bph and has a lengthy power reserve of 65 hours.







    (Above two pics from timeandtidewatches.com)




    Although the movement powering the new Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Control Chronograph Calendar is a fine piece of micro-engineering with excellent performance parameters, it is the silvered white sunray dial of the watch that is the real joy, beautifully proportioned and laid out in such a way that readability is excellent. Close attention has been paid to the size, shape and finish of centre and register hands used, in addition to the size and clarity of the registers, in order achieve elegance as well as ease of visibility. Around the edge of the dial, between the minute marks and the bezel, Jaeger-LeCoultre have included a pulsometric scale instead of the more usual telemeter; the pulsometer scale is used in conjunction with the chronograph (or even an accurate central sweep hand will do) to measure pulse/heart rate and is somewhat old-school these days on watches. Advice is available online on how to use  this feature.

    The 40 mm case of the watch comes in either stainless steel or La Grande Rose gold, and the watch is 12.05 mm thick with a water resistance of 5 ATM; note the sporty-looking rectangular chronograph buttons. In terms of strap, Presto spring lugs offer a quick change between classical alligator or chocolate brown tanned calfskin Novanappa straps. The watch is guaranteed for 8 years and priced at $14,000 or £12,900 for the stainless steel version and $26,000 if you want to go for gold.

    In conclusion, I find this watch to be a very beautiful example of its style genre. Although it follows the best design practise of much earlier examples of this wristwatch genre, there is no hiding the fact that we are looking at a modern watch; it is all so well integrated that we feel no clash of conflict between old and new. Indeed, this watch gets pretty close to being “timeless.”




     (Above video from youtube.com)




     (Pic from swisswatches-magazine.com)


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  17. I am currently restoring an old pair of Russian binoculars and have encountered a problem. The eyepiece diopter focus adjuster  has become completely siezed in the completely down position, requiring it to be released and unscrewed in an anticlockwise direction.  Because this fitting is for adjusting the diopter range in the eye, it would have been "damped" to give some resistance, like the central focusing wheel on the binoculars. I have tried using spray silicon lube to no effect and even considerable force won't shift the siezure.

    I would really appreciate any bright ideas on how to free the eyepiece focus adjuster so that I can get these rather nice old binos fully working again. I should say that these binoculars are a hefty metal item in true Soviet style, and probably date from the 1960s/70s.

  18. Many thanks for those responses.:thumbsup:

    I was pleasantly surprised in the end when I contacted Microglobe to try and sort the matter of my ordered binoculars out and resolve the "pending" status issue. The admin staff member I reached on the phone actually suggested I telephone the boss of the company as he was working from home, and he gave me the name and mobile phone number. I rang Habib, the boss, and without any further ado he said he would resolve the matter straight away by sending me a link that afternoon whereby I could go through the Worldpay payment process again using my credit card, thus removing the pending status of the order. I received a confirmation notice that my payment had gone through, and if Habib has kept his promise of immediate despatch, my binoculars should be winging their way to my house.

    Given the above, I must thank Microglobe for excellent customer service and I am really looking forward to getting the binoculars. 

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