New Microbrand Showcase Coming to Chicago October 18-19

News

Tell me if this sounds familiar: you’re perusing the internet late at night or scrolling through your Instagram feed, when you spot a good-looking watch from a brand you’ve never heard of. You quickly realize you’ve discovered a new microbrand, and while you’re tempted to make a purchase, you also don’t want to drop a large chunk of change on a watch you’ve never even seen in person before.

Well, Rich Park (YouTube: whatsonthewrist) also kept encountering this problem, and heard of others with the same problem. So, he decided to do something about it. Enter MicroLux.

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IWC, A. Lange and Panerai Boutiques Open in Chicago

Business News

While there’s plenty of places in Chicago to go shopping for watches (see my list here), there’d always been a certain lack of brand boutiques that meant Chicago could never compete with cities like New York, London, or even Miami or Los Angeles as a watch shopping destination. In almost an instant, that’s changed, with the opening of three boutiques from Richemont’s stable of brands.

IWC, Panerai, and A. Lange and Sohne have all announced the opening of brand boutiques at 11 E Walton Street, in the Waldorf Astoria hotel.

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The Zenith x Farfetch Defy Classic, Exclusively on Farfetch

Drops

Earlier this year, Zenith announced its Zenith Defy El Primero Boutique-Exclusive Limited Edition. It’s a cool modern watch, and an astounding technical achievement: the Defy El Primero 21 beats at a frequency of 360,000 vph (50 Hz), ten times that of its El Primero predecessor, enabling 1/100th of a second precision. But still, I didn’t think much of it — brands try to do boutique exclusives all the time to get people into their stores. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

The Zenith Defy was originally launched back in 1967, but Zenith revamped the line in 2017 (thanks, Jean-Claude Biver). Since then, it’s become a staple of Zenith’s collection and a platform for some of its most innovative experiments and concept watches.

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Tom Ford Releases Its First Automatic Watch

Drops

As I covered just last week, Tom Ford has some rules for wearing watches in 2019. We knew from his recent runway show and release that his eponymous brand was gearing up to release its second wristwatch, this time a round model. It comes just a year after releasing the Tank style, quartz powered Tom Ford 001 collection (covered in-depth in the previous link).

Well, the Tom Ford 002 collection has been officially released, and it’s about what we expected. There’s some stuff to like and a lot not to like, so let’s dig in real quick. As promised, the 002 collection has a circular case, measuring 40mm in diameter. This seems a bit big for a bezel-less dress watch, but whatever. I also haven’t seen any thickness measurements yet, but I doubt it sits thin: the straps do this weird nato-like thing where they loop through the lugs. This is surely because Tom Ford is intent on selling you multiple straps, and making straps easy to change like this will encourage such additional purchases.

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Timex Goes 'Made in America' with Its American Documents Series

Drops

Of course, just a few days after I write about my favorite “made in America” watches, everyone’s favorite American-based brand releases its own Made in American collection. But that’s what Timex has done with its new American Documents collection.

Timex was founded as the Waterbury Clock Company in 1854 in Waterbury, CT, and has called that area of Connecticut home ever since. Today, even though Timex USA is a subsidiary of Dutch-based Timex Group, there is still a strong corporate presence in Middlebury, CT, the home of its US headquarters.

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Why Do I Want this French Field Watch So Bad?

I first came across Merci Instruments through an Instagram post by @mrgrandseiko. He was showing off this trio of beautifully simple field watches that I’d never seen before. Sure, they looked a little like the Timexes or Hamiltons I so often see, but there was something about these that made me stop scrolling for just a second (no small feat). The guy behind this account is always taking great photos, but even this one caught my eye. Turns out the group of watches I was looking at is made by a 10-year old French brand named Merci. It’s a retailer with one shop in the Marais neighborhood of Paris.

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