Long focused on crafting ludicrously intricate mechanical watches, Urwerk’s latest is still largely machine-driven, but now boasts an injection of electronics for higher precision. The EMC — short for Electro Mechanical Control — features an electronic monitoring unit that, when activated, tracks the rate of oscillation, helping compensates for changes in position, temperature, as well as bumps and shocks that can all affect timing by spitting out an estimate on the watch’s daily accuracy on the upper left dial. While this compensation isn’t done automatically, the estimate helps the wearer adjust its timing rate to obtain higher precision. Otherwise, it’s manually wound, has an 80 hour power reserve, Super-LumiNova-treated markers, a winding handle to charge the super-capacitor powering its electronics, and a price tag fit for a small house.
The splash made by Apple Watch temporarily distracted many from noticing another recently released smartwatch of the Android variety — notably, one that’s actually available for preorder right now. Motorola’s Moto 360 is a thriftier but just as functional timepiece, its internals contained in a round stainless steel case that’s capped with a scratch-resistant Gorilla Glass screen and attached to a Horween leather strap. Its default screen, a customizable watch face, displays time in an analog or digital manner, but quickly makes way for notifications, weather, flight alerts, traffic, its built-in activity tracker (including heart rate monitor), and third party apps from the likes of Facebook, Pinterest, and others. It also enjoys an all-day battery, widespread Android compatibility, working with any device running 4.3 or above, and a wireless docking station that lets it double as a bedside clock.
Preorder at Motorola starting tomorrow – $250
Long awaited and highly speculated, Apple’s iWatch is finally here, minus the “i” and plus a . The Apple Watch doesn’t simply replicate a smartphone’s features on smaller scale, and that’s a good thing, since gesturing on such a small display would be rather difficult. Instead, navigating through its home screen and apps is accomplished via a capacitive display — the first to differentiate taps and presses — plus a scrolling digital crown that acts to both execute functions, such as zooming in, and doubles as the home button when pressed. In terms of functionality, Apple Watch connects with your iPhone to display and respond to messages or mail using Siri, make phone calls, double as a fitness coach (partially thanks to specialized hardware like a pulse monitor and accelerometer), display directions via maps, control your music and iPhone camera, double as a credit card with Apple Pay, and much more — frankly, way too many to fit here so hit the features page. A variety of custom alloys ranging from stainless steel to rose gold, several handsome straps (including ultrathin link bracelets, leather, and Milanese mesh), and the ability to choose between a ludicrous amount of customizable faces all work together to make each watch surprisingly personal. Plus, it comes in two sizes to fit nearly any wrist just right.
Arriving early 2015. Read more at Apple – $350+
Can your watch capture the revolution of the earth while making you cognizant of time’s fleeting passage, pinpointing the location of the sun at a glance? The UNO 24 is a new, innovative watch that brings the wearer closer to understanding the 4th dimension. On the UNO’s face the entire day is displayed with a single hand completing a revolution every 24 hours. That one hand transforms the idea of minutes and hours into an ever-changing tempis event: one glance lets you see how much of the day has passed and how much is to come. A single delicate line marks one day’s transition to the next, and at that precise moment, the date jumps forward to announce the new day. Even more impressive is the accuracy with which one can tell time with this piece. Using the special scale on the UNO’s face, a wearer can tell the time to within five minutes and even more precisely after a short period of familiarization.
Find it at Botta Design – roughly $460
Found yourself a nice vintage watch but fancy the strap a little lacking? Upgrade with worn&wound’s Model 2. Cut from slightly tapered Horween leather, this rugged two-piece strap is available in three colors – crimson, russet, and black – and suits nigh any timepiece, from divers to military, to dress-casual. Besides, its raw cut edges and hand-tied knots make for a look that gains a nice patina and gets better with age, just like its wearer.
Pick one up at worn&wound’s shop – $59
Slowly building up you watch collection to cover every possible occasion? Kill 10 birds with one stone with Mijlo’s Everyday Watch, a timepiece set that’s easily customized to form 10 aesthetically distinct variations. The kit starts with two watches, both powered by a Japanese quartz movement, capped with mineral crystal, and built within either a satin-brushed rose gold or steel case with different faces. Throw in five straps – brown, tan, and black leather, plus one made of blue rubber and another of canvas and leather – and you’ve got the potential for ten combinations, helped by easy switch technology that makes swapping straps as simple as pressing the button on their spring bars. They even include in a handy watch roll to stash extra parts or carry it all.
Check it out at Kickstarter – roughly $200
Minimal and spirited, Miansai’s M24 boldly mixes a blue we’ve yet to see on a man’s timepiece with clean features and a fine Italian leather strap (of course it also comes with a black face but where’s the fun in that?). These sleek watches put a one-handed Japanese movement that makes two full turns per day behind a mineral glass face and in between PVD-coated stainless steel. It’s also water-resistant to 100 feet and measures in at just 5.5mm thin, making the M24 a solid choice for daily wear.
Check out the full lineup at Miansai – $185 to $215
Braun’s ultra-minimal timepieces are instantly recognizable, though their latest release pushes the brand’s iconic designs into uncharted territory, at least when it comes to choice of materials. The BN0171 features a ceramic face paired to a matching ceramic bracelet for a smooth, comfortable fit and far superior hardness (and scratch resistance) when compared to metal straps. Else, the watch boasts a round 38mm face underneath mineral crystal glass, 30 meters of water resistance, and a quartz movement spinning three hands – two understated and another not so much.
The essence of a fashionable, sturdy timepiece has often been captured by Omega, Brietling, Tag and other precision made pieces designed not only to reflect sophistication but to alleviate the heavy feeling in your wallet. Ritot not only delivers sophistication, it provides a link to the technological world in which we live. Ritot customizably provides its users with text messages, caller id, reminders, emails, alerts, Facebook notifications, Twitter updates, weather, alarms, and updates by many other apps, all without the large, bulky screen of a smartwatch. The unique projection technology enables day or night use with an extended operating life so there’s no worrying about preserving battery power: Ritot turns itself off after projecting for 10 seconds, lasting for up to one month in standby or 150 hours in projection mode. The unisex design is waterproof and the projection is changeable for left or right hand use. If you don’t like the look of the projection, just change the color with one touch. And if it’s just too much work to raise your other hand to your Ritot wearing wrist, just shake your hand to activate.
Hit up IndieGoGo to pledge – $120
Tempis fugit when you’re having fun. Now you can count the seconds on a fully mechanical, manually wound timepiece made in the USA. The Weiss Standard Issue Field Watch is comprised of over 100 precision parts and hand assembled in a solid piece stainless steel caseback. Sapphire crystals used on both the front and back of the watch showcase the masterful work inside, ticking away at 18,000 beats/hour keep to keep close to perfect time through a 46 hour power reserve. Securing this 42mm diameter piece to your wrist is an olive green Cordura canvas strap reminiscent of the type worn 75 years ago, while luminescent paint allows for easy reading of the sold steel hands in low light.
Preorder at Weiss Watch Company – $950