The 'briefcase with something important in
it' is a film trope as old as time, but when the stakes are high - who
do you trust to carry your cash, nuclear codes, extra terrestrial
samples, diamonds, or biological weapons? Why Zero Halliburton of
While the name Zero Halliburton might not ring any bells, I can
guarantee that you have seen one of their luxury cases in action, more
specifically, in action films. In fact, their cases have appeared in
over 200 notable films which includes Inception, Quantum of Solace, Men
in Black, Independence day, Mission impossible, Ocean's 11, Air force
one, The Big Lebowski and too many others to list. Often acting as a Macguffin,
these cases and their classic brushed aluminium design have become
iconic on the silver screen and beyond. Zero Halliburton even helped to
create the cases that were sent on the Apollo 11 mission to retrieve
lunar samples, and carry the precious cargo back to Earth. They are the
ultimate 'handle anything' travellers cases.
With strength, durability, and dependability at the forefront of their
products, who better to pair with than a company who stands for the same
very thing with their products - Seiko. Using one of Seiko's newer
releases (the Presage sharp edge series) as the base, they designed the
dial, and the bezel colour scheme around this collaboration. With the
dial having the iconic double-ribbed pattern of Zero Halliburton's
cases, and the bezel having the deep blue colour accent of their
'Pursuit Aluminium series' handles.
To commemorate the collaboration, the watch
is also packaged in a Zero Halliburton polycarbonate case, with the box
having the same iconic double-ribbed design of a classic Zero
Halliburton case. This is the perfect little travel case for a watch,
protected with thick foam padding, and with a pocket on the inside for
tools and extra straps as well.
On offer today is two limited edition Zero Halliburton Seiko, with only
2000 pieces in each release, both the GMT and the classic time only
sharp edge Presage. Please note that we only have one of each.
Model reference: SPB269J. 42.2mm case size.
Sapphire crystal. Automatic movement. Date function. Power reserve
function. GMT function. 100 metres water resistance.
Limited Edition 2,000 pieces worldwide.
Model reference: SPB277J. 39.3mm case size.
Sapphire crystal. Automatic movement. Date function. 100 metres water
chain is only as strong as its weakest link. Last week our weakest link
abruptly made itself known. An M6 bolt roughly 60mm long, corroding
away very slowly in the rusty bowels of an old dental compressor.
How could a three cent bolt (probably from
China) bring to a grinding halt, the well oiled machine that is Nicholas
Hacko Watches you may ask? Put philosophically, an old dog just
couldn't learn new tricks. In reality, the haemorrhaging compressor in
question that used to supply our water pressure tester with beautifully
dry, high pressure air, could no longer cope. We upgraded our water
pressure testing equipment from the Witschi Proofmaster S to the
Proofmaster Pro shortly before this happening. The increased accuracy of
the new machine meant that the system remained under pressure for a
little longer. Our 'little engine that could', never stood a chance.
Alas the unit could not be salvaged. So we
were forced to upgrade our compressor as well. Until such time, we were
unable to release any sold or repaired watches. This was priority numero
uno for the entire business, and certainly contributed to several hours
of sleep lost. Fortunately, Witschi also sells compressors,
manufactured by a formerly German now American partner. The price of the
compressor certainly reflected the quality, but can you really put a
price on customer confidence? The compressor was here in no time. Crisis
averted! However, the outlet to our pressure tester featured a random
quick connect fitting that would not work with what we had. Crisis
reverted! After what seemed like several hours of anxious scouring
online, we found a supplier who could ship the connector we needed in a
single business day. Crisis re-averted. We have since fitted and set the
new system, and are now back in business. But why so much stress?
Without the ability to pressure test our watches, we can not relay the
confidence to our customers that the watches we make, sell, and service,
are fit to be worn.
Water pressure testing a watch is not the end of the story, though. It's
highly likely your vintage Submariner may only pass a 3 bar test after
servicing. And that's not a problem. Because if you are deep sea diving
with a vintage Submariner, you might have big problems coming.
I'll explain: 1 Bar of pressure is what you
feel when you are at sea level. Barely perceptible, but your watch is
under the same pressure. A watch that fails a 1 Bar pressure test will
allow humidity to seep in as you are walking around at sea level.
2 Bar is the pressure you would feel if you were approximately 10m below sea level.
3 Bar is the pressure you would feel at 20m below sea level. So on it goes in similar fashion the deeper you swim.
A 'deep dive' is considered to be any dive deeper than 18m. This can
only be legally and safely achieved with a professional scuba diving
certification. In this way, if you aren't an open water deep sea dive
certified scuba diver, any rating over 3 Bar is completely superfluous
in regards to what strain you will be putting the watch under.
When you are buying a brand new James Cameron Sea Dweller from Rolex
(almost as likely as seeing the Titanic from the Deepsea Challenger with
the man himself), you'd be fair to expect it to work to its rated
pressure plus 25%. However when you get your Grandfather's vintage
Seamaster back from its ninth service, just because it says 300m on the
dial, doesn't mean you should rush to get your PADI certification
(keeping in mind the sun's light doesn't even go that deep).
If you do desperately want it to be able to go that deep, mentally and
financially prepare yourself for the possibility of having the original
plexi, crown, crown tube, and maybe even the entire original mid-case
and case back replaced. This is obviously not really a possibility in
2022, for independent watchmakers without access to time capsuled spare
parts. Most big brands might even have to remanufacture some components.
A ship of Theseus issue indeed, assuming a big brand is even going to
do that for you.
Water resistance is a feature that must be
maintained. Seals must be regularly replaced, the watch should be
regularly tested. More often than its minimum service interval. After
years of wearing the watch, maybe even a few drops here and there,
screwing in and unscrewing the crown, pressing the pushers, you are
slowly degrading the integrity of your seals, of your threads, and the
seating of your plexi or crystal. You may not lose the rated pressure
resistance entirely, but it is being slowly eroded much like the bolt in
our old compressor. It worked until it didn't.
All this really just to say: your Grandfather didn't have a cool
'vintage' diver. You do. Maybe he wore it in the surf, maybe in the
shower. You shouldn't.
So what do you need to do? Get your watch serviced before it starts
showing issues. Generally it's every five years for a big brand Swiss
Second, do not wear a vintage watch in the shower, or the ocean, or a
pool. The heat, salt, and chlorine will eventually destroy your seal
integrity and that will certainly happen before your five year service
interval is up. Rinse any watch (new or old) that's been in a pool or
the ocean with fresh water, and then dry it as soon as possible. If you
get your watch wet, do not pull out/unscrew the crown or press pushers
until you have dried it.
Lastly, be realistic with your expectations and where you take your
watches. Can you take your 1937 Bugatti Type 57 race car through a Pikes
Peak rally? Of course you can, it's your car. Should you do that?
The simplest way to describe this watch is
understated sophistication, with such an incredible story hidden in the
Arita, a small town on Kyushu, the third largest island in the southwest
of Japan, came to prominence in the early 17th century when clay
suitable for porcelain manufacture was discovered there. Its porcelain
products soon became highly prized in Japan for the high quality of
Within a generation, Arita porcelain, also known as ‘‘Imari ware’’ after
the port from which most was shipped, became known overseas. It was
exported, first to Europe and later across the world when Japan opened
its doors to international trade in the 19th century. Today, Arita
porcelain is still highly prized worldwide. Many porcelain makers still
thrive in the town of just 20,000 people, thanks to its long tradition
of craftsmanship, to the rich variety of its products and to the
uniquely Japanese sensibility that they embody.
The heritage of Arita porcelain is respected
in the colour of the dials, white with a trace of blue, which was the
colour of the earliest Arita porcelain. The dials, which are made in
Arita itself, have the rich texture and depth which is the signature of
all the finest porcelain.
Arita porcelain was therefore a natural choice for the dials of a
Presage collection but the Presage team needed to be 100% confident in
its durability and strength. A new type of Arita porcelain material,
created just three years ago, provided the solution. This new porcelain
is more than four times harder than the usual material and has both the
strength and flexibility required for a Presage watch dial.
Producing the dials involves a challenging
combination of skill, patience and artistry. First, the base material is
put into a special mold which gives dials depth, especially in the
version where the power reserve indictor is recessed into the dial with a
The dials are dried and then fired for the first time at 1,300 degrees to harden and whiten the material.
Hashiguchi and his craftsmen then apply the
glaze by hand, after which the dials are fired again, this time
cementing the glaze on to the dial, a process which gives the dials
their deep, rich finish and the subtle blue tinge.
Next, the holes for the hands are cut by
laser. Finally, the dials are then fired again to render smooth the
surfaces that have been cut.
This watch is an incredible display of Japanese artistry and it
highlights and supports the highly specialised, niche tradition of Arita
Porcelain production. Not only are they produced by hand, but no two
dials are the same, with each forming their own specific hues of blue
and white and texture during the production process. You can get a
better look of the creation of the dial from start to finish in this
video below with craftsman Hiroyuki Hashiguchi:
Despite the many New Year wishes across the
state for just the opposite, Sydney crawled over the start line for 2022
- Omicron is sweeping through the city (and country) at a ravenous
pace, completely devouring any productivity brave enough to stay in it's
path. Several staff members, even in our small family team, have over
the Christmas break and early January been side-lined due to contraction
or close contact isolation.
Unfortunately this has affected both the manufacturing side of the
business in Brookvale, and the assembly and testing, here in the city.
However, despite the setbacks, the team in Brookvale is almost fully
back on track and making the last few components required to complete
our assemblies. The team in the city is now out of first gear and
beginning to make a dent in the backlog of repairs, and NH3 assembly and
delivery to our customers.
Whilst it would be easy to give in to our own internal deadlines, we
simply will not accept allocating less than one hundred percent of our
energy, concentration, and perfectionist attitude to the NH3 project. If
your NH3 isn't on its way already, it will be soon.
Thank you to our ambassadors. The biggest compliment for us is a happy
customer. Without your support in times both good and bad, we would
surely not have been able to keep going.
Today we will 'go back' into the many functions of the Breitling bezel
(really any pilot watch bezel) and how to read them. In the last part we
discussed simple multiplications and divisions. In this part, we will
explain some conversions (as most pilot bezels default in miles) from
miles to kilometres and vice versa.
First off, let's just reiterate that we are only using the outermost 2
scales on the watch. The outer sliding track printed on the bezel, and
the inner fixed track printed on the outer circumference of the dial.
The scales are logarithmic in spacing, and printed with very small text,
so most of these calculations are a fairly close approximation. Let's
also not forgot the decimal dilemma. 10 on the outer scale is also 0.1,
1, 100, 1000, etc, much the same as for the other numbers on the scales.
We use the same calculation on the bezel to convert miles to kilometres,
as we do for miles per hour to kilometres per hour (and vice versa, to
go from kilometres to miles etc.). For example, let's say we want to
find out exactly how fast Marty McFly and Doc got that steam locomotive
to travel, when they said 88 miles per hour.
First, 1 kilometre is approximately 0.621 miles. So we align 62.1 on the
outer scale, with the 10 (in red) on the fixed scale. Then on the outer
scale, find 88. The inner track will display the kilometres conversion
(either kilometres, or kilometres per hour) which for us says about
This obviously isn't the speed as that would have been very easy to
reach, even for a steam locomotive. So we move the decimal place to find
approximately 142 kilometres per hour (flat out on straight track, most
steam locomotives back then topped out at 40 to 50 miles per hour). The
exact answer is 141.6 kilometres.
In much the same way, if you have kilometres
you need converted to miles, you do the reverse, without touching the
bezel. To find out how many miles it is across Australia, you look for
3860 (kilometres across Australia) on the inner track, to read your
miles off the outer track.
Your scale doesn't have 3860? You're only partially correct. It does
have 38.6 which is the same number as far as our logarithmic scales are
concerned. Looking now to 38.6 on the fixed inner track, we read off the
outer bezel a hair under 24 (or 2400). The correct answer being closer
to 2398.5. Not too bad an approximation when you compare the width of
Australia with the circumference of your Breitling.
In this way, once you align 62.1 with the red 10 a shown above and
below, all conversions for all numbers from 0 to infinity can be
calculated at a glance.
We will return again with more Breitling Bezel tutorials as there are still many more uses for it.
Here it is: The long awaited Breitling 'how to' component of our reading time newsletter articles (or at least part one for Breitling).
How to use a Breitling bezel, or any other flight type bezel for that matter:
We should first start out by defining the points on the bezel and what
they mean, so as to ease our understanding of the calculations and how
to make them.
Firstly, the bezel is technically called a slide rule. Pilots have used
them for decades to calculate anything from simple multiplications, to
how far to turn the nose of their plane into a crosswind so as not to be
pushed off course. Below we can see an actual slide rule (or in this
very complicated case, 'flight computer') used in the training of
pilots, which was kindly donated to us by a loyal supporter.
This is a standard tool across the aviation industry and when Willy
Breitling first released his Navitimer in 1952 at the behest of
the US Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, he designed the slide
rule to be as similar as possible to the below training tool. This
instantly made the watch familiar to the AOPA members and is one of the
main reasons the Navitimer is the go-to for pilots worldwide.
The slide rule is made up of two rules or
tracks, the fixed (inner) and the sliding (outer). The fixed rule or
track is on the actual dial, and like the name suggests, does not move.
The sliding rule or track is on the bezel itself and is what you rotate
to make the calculations. Most pilot watches will also have a tachymeter
and then a minute track for the running time, printed inside the two
slide rule tracks. When making the calculations below, the only numbers
considered are the ones on the two outermost tracks.
Another thing we must understand is that the
decimal point is not found on a slide rule. For example the 16 on the
outer bezel also represents 0.0016, 0.016, 0.16, 1.6, 160, 1600, 16000
etc. A little bit of common sense is needed here, and will become
apparent in the explanations below. The slide rule is also not a linear
scale but a logarithmic one. This just means the physical distance on
the scale between similar intervals is different, for example the
distance between 10 and 20 on the outer ring is much further than
between 20 and 30. The best thing to do for practice is make different
calculations with your watch and check them with a calculator to gain
First off, let’s start with everybody's favourite calculation: Division.
This calculation is fairly easy actually. Let’s say we want to divide 75
by 12. Maybe it's a shared Christmas gift for someone (a little late I
know but a good example). Line up 75 on the sliding outer track with 12
on the fixed inner track. The 10 (in red) on the fixed inner track will
point to the answer which is 62.5. Now the decimal place dilemma comes
We know that 62.5 is much too large an answer for our question. So we
mentally slide the decimal place across to either 6.25, or further to
0.625. It’s easy to see that 0.625 is way too small to be the answer, so
we stick with 6.25 or $6.25 per person.
Percentages? Even easier.
Say we want to find 19.8% of 57,500 (keeping in mind a complex
calculation like this is difficult to find the exact number as there
just isn't enough room on the bezel). We line up 57.5 on the outer
sliding bezel with 10 (in red) on the inner fixed track. We then look
for 19.8 on the fixed inner track and the answer on the bezel reads a
tiny bit under 11.4 which with decimal place adjustment is just under
$11,400. A short trip to your iPhone calculator confirms the answer as
Without moving the bezel, you can see any percentage of 55,700 or 557 or
0.557. You just read from a different number on the inner track to its
corresponding number on the outer track, and keep the decimal place
dilemma in mind.
Second cab off the rank: Multiplication.
Remember your 17 times tables? Absolutely not. But now you've not only
got a Breitling Navitimer, you know how to use it. Slide your bezel so
that 17 on the outer track is lined up with 10 (in red) on the fixed
inner track. Now the result for any fixed number (inner track)
multiplied by 17, is displayed on the outer track. For example, 17 x 25 =
42.5. But we know that number is much too small to be the correct
answer, so we move the decimal point over to either 425 or 4,250 or
42,500. A simple calculation like 20 x 25 = 500 makes it easy to confirm
the answer is indeed 425.
For the case where the numbers do not line up exactly, either an
approximation can be made, or you can just mentally work around it. For
example 17 x 26 = looks like maybe 44.1 or 44.2 (441 or 442) by reading
off the bezel. Alternatively, you can just calculate 17 x 20 and 17 x 6
(6 being the MPH marker at the top of the dial, which reads as 10.2 but
is actually 102) as they are easier to see. Adding these gives us 340 +
102 = 442. Or you can just look around the bezel for the closest whole
number even multiplication and add or subtract the rest in your head.
I do apologise again if these explanations
are getting a little too confusing to understand. There are so many more
calculations that can be made with the sliding bezel but for this
newsletter I will leave you with these two most common everyday
calculations. We will get back into Breitling soon.