Sunday, August 17, 2008

Precista 300 metre Automatic Diver

The Precista 300 follows the tradition of paying homage to military and military-style wristwatches of the past, in this case it follows and improves on the specification of British Ministry of Defence Standard 66-4, Part 1 Issue 2. This revision is dated 1 January 1971.

This is arguably the most popular military dive watch today and good examples are keenly sought and command a high price.
This edition bearing the Precista name has been faithfully manufactured to the original specification, improving on it where appropriate. The most significant improvement is the addition of an anti-magnetic movement cover, movement holder and soft iron dial giving the watch anti-magnetic resistance to 80,000 A/m (Amp metres), the same as modern day IWC and Sinn watches. This has increased the thickness of the watch by 3mm over the original.

Solid stainless steel case with brushed steel sides, polished top and back. Unidirectional bezel with luminous numbers in the bezel insert sealed with hardened acrylic. Screw back and screw down crown; the crown assembly is identical to that employed in the "Dreadnought" and has been tested to 2000 metres. Domed acrylic crystal in keeping with the original design. The dial is soft iron anti-magnetic and the polished steel sword hands are filled with Super Luminova, as are the indices.
Each watch has its own unique serial number, which also identifies the date of manufacture, engraved on the case back.

40mm diameter across the bezel and 46.6mm to the tip of the signed crown. 47mm lug tip to lug tip and 14.3mm thick tot he top of the domed crystal. Lug spacing is 20mm and the watch head without strap weighs 90 grammes.

ETA 25 jewel automatic, calibre 2824-2 (standard). Supplied in box with 12 months guarantee and choice of Time Factors Aviator, Rally or Carbon strap. Also supplied with a spare crystal and tube of Polywatch.

for a very good review, check

Precista watches available at

Monday, August 4, 2008

Watch Brands History - Article 12 (Bell & Ross)

1993 • Bruno Belamich and Carlos A. Rosillo, two boyhood friends, joined forces for one of the most beautiful adventures in watchmaking of the late 20th century. They decided to launch a simple idea: “function shapes form.” Efficiency, legibility, and reliability were the three words that would define the Bell & Ross brand.
Indisputably the most brilliant idea of the two young inventors – when they started out as watchmakers – was, from the start, to closely collaborate with Sinn, a highly reputable manufacture. Sinn specialised in the production of dashboard meters.

Space One and Hydro were the fruit of this collaboration.

The second key idea was to get the adventure off the ground by giving the brand a strong identity as an efficient chronometer, to meet the needs of the most exacting user. Immediately adopted by NATO and the Air Force, Bell and Ross also found takers within the French security service’s bomb disposal squad. To make the point, they created Hydromax, the most reliable watch in the world, for deep underwater work, with the world abyssal record for water resistance to 11,000 meters. They also managed to restore with great success the taste for pilot watches that had flourished in the 50s and 60s, but which had since been forgotten.

1994 • Bell & Ross re-issued the Space 1, the first automatic chronometer to be worn in space, by the German astronaut Reinhart Furrer on the Spacelab mission in 1983.

1996 • Creation of the Bell & Ross Bomb Disposal Type, ordered for use by the bomb disposal unit of the French Security Services. The watch had an anti-magnetic, A-magnetic case, and the legibility, reliability and precision to meet the very special needs and constraints of bomb disposal operations.

1997 • World water resistance record awarded to Bell & Ross for the Hydro Challenger (11,000 meters in Guinness Book of Records).

1998 • The Space 3 chronograph brought together all of Bell & Ross’ know how. It is equipped with a screwed down, telescopic retractable winding crown, known as the T-Crown system, which enabled the winding crown to be fully incorporated within the depth of the case. Chanel Horlogerie took a shareholding in the capital of Bell and Ross.

2000 • Second increase in the Chanel stake, but Bell & Ross retained a majority holding.

2001 • Bell & Ross unveiled the modern multifunction men’s watch Function, combining classic style with the modern movement’s analog and digital display.

2002 • First jumping hour hand watch with power reserve indicator. The Vintage 123 Heure Sautante was the fruit of cooperation between Bell and Ross and the Swiss master watchcraftsman Vincent Calabrese. Equipped with an automatic movement, this grande complication offered an easy, original way to tell the time. End of the collaboration with Sinn and autonomous production at Chatelain in Chaux des Fonds.

2003 • Bell & Ross paid timely homage to the ladies with the Mystery Diamond, that magically concealed the secret mystery of its weightlessness: A diamond floats and turns between the crystal and the dial to show the time.

2005 • Introduction of the BR 01 Instrument, the wristwatch born of an airplane clock.

(model on photo: Pilot 10th Anniversary Limited Edition)

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33

Omega Speedmaster Professional X-33
Ref TS.186.1998 (PIC 3990.50) produced from 1998 up to 2001 : The fist version of the X-33


Movement: ETA 988.431 devellopped exclusivly for Omega caliber number 1666
Type : Quartz multifunction

Dimensions : 13 1/4 ligne, 30mm
Precision : +/- 0.1 seconds per day
Jewels : 9
Power Reserve : 2 year to 3 yrs depending upon use of alarm and light
Battery : lithium
Light : 8 LUX
Sound intensity : 80 dB minimum (that ought to wake the dead!)
Water resistance : 3 ATM
Shock resistance : 3500 g's maximum

Basic Functions:
Hours, Minutes, Seconds
Day, Date, Month, Year. Perpetual calendar to 2099AD
Battery end-of-life indicator (second hand jumps in 5-second intervals)
Countdown Timer
Chronograph - 1/100sec up to 99h59′59″99/100
Special Functions designed for NASA Mission Requirements:
Mission Elapsed Time (MT) - up to 999 days
Mission Elapsed Time Alarm (MA)
Universal Time (UT) - including day number or “Julian” date
Universal Time Alarm (UA) - second alarm for a specific time & date only

X-33 in Space
The X-33 is used by NASA and many space agencies for in-flight mission requirements. It is issued as one of four watch models approved by NASA for mission use. The others are the original Omega Speedmaster Professional, a Casio G-shock, and a Timex Datalink. The original mechanical Speedmaster Professional remains the only watch authorized for use during EVA "spacewalks." The X-33 is most often seen worn on the black kevlar strap, though the titanium bracelet appears sometimes as well. Rarely it can also bee seen worn on a one-piece white velcro strap similar to (or the same as?) that used to fit around the spacesuit. The watch is issued to NASA astronauts and is often worn on the ground as well to build familiarity with the interface and operation of the watch, much like the astronauts of the Apollo program in the 1960’s and ’70s wore their NASA-issued Speedmaster Professionals on the ground.

X-33 Cancellation
In the summer of 2006 Omega announced that the Speedmaster Professional X-33 would be discontinued for regular retail sale, but shortly thereafter it was determined that the X-33 would still remain available to space agencies like NASA and to military aviators under under the Military Pilot Program.
While Omega never provided any definitive reasons for the cancellation, there was much speculation (as always!) among enthusiasts and collectors. Its namesake NASA X-33 program had already been cancelled in awkward embarassment years previously, and unfortunately for Omega it was probably getting increasingly hard to maintain credibility selling a watch bearing the same tainted name. Moreover, despite its aviation and space pedigrees the X-33 was sadly never a blockbuster seller in the retail market, with pricing being perhaps among the biggest reasons. At its price point (MSRP about US$3400) it was relatively expensive for a sport/tool watch when similarly featured models from the competitors like the Casio G-Shock could be had at a fraction of the price. And though technically superior and well-matched to its intended flight/space applications, quartz technology can be a hard to sell at those prices. Though very functional it lacks the prestige and nostalgic tradition of a mechanical movement, something consumers who would spend such a sum on watches still seem to want in a "luxury" watch.

based on info from and

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Watch Brands History - Article 11 (Breitling)

From Past to Present

1884 · In St. Imier, in the Jura mountains of Switzerland, Leon Breitling opens a workshop specializing in making chronographs and precision counters for scientific and industrial purposes.

1892 · In response to his company's significant growth, Leon Breitling relocates in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the center of Swiss watchmaking in those days.

1914 · On the demise of Leon Breitling, his son Gaston takes over the firm.

1915 · Gaston Breitling creates the first wristwatch chronograph and subsequently provides pilots with their first wrist instruments.

1923 · Breitling develops the first independent chronograph pushpiece. Start and return-to-zero functions had previously been controlled using the winding-crown.

1932 · Gaston's son, Willy Breitling, takes the helm of the family firm.

1934 · Breitling develops the second return-to-zero pushpiece. This invention, making it possible to measure several successive short times with an add function using the first pushpiece, gives the wrist chronograph its definitive form.

1936 · Breitling becomes the official supplier to the Royal Air Force. This marks the start of a longstanding record of cooperation with international aviation.

1942 · Breitling launches the Chronomat, the first chronograph to be fitted with a circular slide rule. In parallel, the company broadens its professional clientele to include the American armed forces.

1952 · Breitling creates the Navitimer, a wrist instrument equipped with the famous "navigation computer" capable of handling all calculations called for by a flight plan. This super chronograph quickly becomes a firm favourite among pilots around the globe. By this stage, Breitling is already supplying the major international airlines with cockpit clocks.

1962 · Astronaut Scott Carpenter wears the Cosmonaute Chronograph on his wrist during his orbital flight aboard the Aurora 7 space capsule.

1969 · Breitling invents the selfwinding chronograph movement, in cooperation with Buren and Heuer-Leonidas. This technical feat represents a major breakthrough for the entire Swiss watch industry.

1979 · Ernest Schneider - a pilot, watch manufacturer and microelectronics specialist - takes over the Breitling brand from the founder's grandson, Willy Breitling.

1984 · Breitling launches the Chronomat, in close cooperation with the Frecce Tricolori elite flight team. With its sturdy case and famous bezel with rider tabs, the Chronomat marks the return of the mechanical chronograph and quickly becomes the best-selling line in the Breitling collection, a position it has held ever since.

1985 · The Aerospace, an innovative multifunction electronic chronograph crafted in titanium immediately appeals to many pilots.

1995 · Breitling presents the Emergency, a multifunction instrument watch with built-in micro-transmitter broadcasting on the 121.5 MHz aircraft emergency frequency.

1999 · The "all-chronometer" challenge: as the crowning touch to a century of watchmaking excellence, Breitling has set itself the ambitious goal of submitting its entire product range to the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute. A world first among major watch brands.

2000 · Breitling inaugurates its new headquarters in Grenchen, Switzerland, made up of an ultra-modern administrative building and a state-of-the-art production unit where Breitling chronometers are assembled in optimal conditions.

2001 · With the introduction of SuperQuartz&tm;, Breitling provides movements ten times more accurate than standard quartz. The brand thereby asserts itself as a benchmark in the field of quartz: its electronic movements are the only ones on the market able to meet the COSC requirements.

2002 · Breitling Chronometrie, a unit specializing in the making of mechanical chronograph movements, is established in La Chaux-de-Fonds, the town where Leon Breitling opened his first chronograph factory 110 years earlier.


Wednesday, April 2, 2008

My New Watch: Breitling Aerospace

for a great link about the Aerospace history and a online user manual, go to

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Secret Life of Machines - Quartz Watch

Check this videos on YouTube. They are worth it! Just do a "copy-past".

The Secret Life of Machines - Quartz Watch part 1

The Secret Life of Machines - Quartz Watch part 2

The Secret Life of Machines - Quartz Watch part 3