Saturday, June 21, 2014

David and Goliath: rebelde N38/75 vs. Panerai PAM341 EGIZIANO

***la revolution

When a collector puts his $30,000 Swiss watch in to his pocket so he can strap on his new rebelde, such act is no longer about watchmaking - it is scandalous and inspirational.

But I didn't start la revolution.
I am just enjoying it.

Actually, he didn't buy just one rebelde, but two - and that itself was not a big deal neither. After all, addition of two more pieces to collection of over 200 high grade watches is hardly worth mentioning.

What did come as a surprise was his request: an open order for every new model of reblede I'll ever build.
And that itself has to be the most humbling experience for any watchmaker.

David vs. Goliath:
rebelde N38/75 [ 44mm, $2K] and Panerai PAM341 EGIZIANO (Egyptian) [60mm / $28K]

How to review a watch 'reviewer'

*** Bloggers and reviewers

Last week I got an email from someone in Adelaide who calls himself a 'watch reviewer'. He got my details from a Swiss parts supplier , who thought that rebelde would benefit from a locally written and published review.

It was pointed out that our mate has been successful reviewing both common watches and high-end pieces worth well over $600,000.

Of course, I was curious to learn more. However it quickly became obvious that his blog was all about selling advertising banners for $500 per month so I politely declined any prospect of business.

Then the phone rang - our reviewer form Adelaide wasn't happy. He was talking fast, trying to point out that he is not interested in my story nor industry issues. If he is going to do the review, my input would not be required. All I need to do is to ship the watch to Adelaide and he will tell the world his opinion.

At that point, I was really interested to learn more about his credentials.

'Since you are not interested in the project itself, but just the watch, I would assume you will perform numbers of technical measurements for the benefit of your blog readers. I guess you do have a precise and highly sensitive 'path-measuring-system' which continuously monitors and measures thickness of the watch case exposed to pressure and vacuum?" - I've asked.


"Understand. How about a device to measure daily timekeeping error, frequency of the oscillator and amplitude?"

"No...but I have been writing about watches far more expensive than yours" he said, fairly agitated.

"Fine. Do you have a calipers so you can at least measure case diameter and thickness?"

"No I don't - he was fuming - but I do have a RULER which would certainly do the job"

"Well mate, as far as I am concerned, you can use that ruler to measure donkeys ears."

What followed after was not for publishing. Let's just say I am not really good at making friends and that you won't be reading anything good about rebelde from this guy any time soon.

I have no problem with anyone trying to make money selling his wares, but if you want to make your name as a watch reviewer then at least do your job properly and honestly. Especially so if your blog proudly states that you've been a watch critic since 2014.

Any review for the sake of blunt advertising or mere entertainment is really useless.

Criticizing a precise instrument like a watch requires at least basic understanding of timekeeping, water resistance and micro engineering.

If you want to impress me - and more importantly provide a meaningful piece of technical information to your readers - then please review my watch from technical aspect.

For example, find out the amount of case deformation at 10 bar. That information would tell volumes to those who care about IMPORTANT stuff - like water resistance. Or if you want to be cool, then go a step further: measure the speed of deformation.

Take no prisoners: challenge my claims!

Test the water resistance of rebelde with crown pulled out to time setting position. That would be a great review on any watch, one I would pay money to read.

I understand that a young and enthusiastic reviewer may not have neither expertise nor equipments to conduct such tests, in which case I would be more than happy to invite him to spend an afternoon with me, learning about issues which are truly important.

I would be more than happy to pull the rebelde apart and talk about what makes it a watch. To show the finish of the side of sapphire crystal and how it sits inside Teflon seal. Or the thickness of the bezel-to-case rubber seal. It would be an exciting exercise beneficial to everyone involved AND online readers.

Sending a watch to someone for review who by his own admission is not interested in neither technical aspects nor industry issues is just waste of time.

*** rebelde water resistance testing

No, I don't recommend water related activities - after all, our watch is pilots, not divers. However for those who need to know: yes, the watch is fully water resistant to over 10 Bar ("100m WR").

Each piece is tested for pressure and vacuum. The testing process is fully automated and allows me to simulate performance under various conditions.

In short, when the air is pumped under pressure, the watch case deforms elastically. While such deformation is extremely small, it can be precisely measured. When the pressure is stabilized and air inside watch cools down, the case will continue to expand. That additional expansion is indicator of water resistance and it is then measured again. Typically we are talking about regress of 0.06um (0.06 thousandth of millimeter).

The sturdier the watch, the smaller the deformation, and correspondingly the measurement itself is more delicate.

Heaps of fun!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

rebelde: a watch designed, assembled and adjusted in Australia !

I can hardly believe that 4 months have passed since my last post! Finally, the first batch of rebelde watches has been completed and I can now slow down and unwind.

A very special 'thank you' to 263 customers who put their trust in rebelde by placing an early order.
Yes, with the current output of 3-4 watches per week, it would still take some time to complete all orders but I guess this is a small price to pay for a very unique, limited edition watch.

For those who are new to my blog: rebelde is bespoke watch based on Swiss manual wind mechanism with case, dial, hands, winding crown and everything else designed, assembled and adjusted by your Australian watchmaker. Case size is 44mm and two models are available: Pilots (the one with fancy bezel) and Control Tower with larger numerals and polished bezel.

The website is yet to be created, however I have just uploaded 60 images to rebelde gallery: