Monday, December 18, 2017

Different People Want Different Watches

Piaget have set a record for the world's thinnest mechanical wristwatch -- and not for the first time. Their Altiplano Ultimate Automatic 910P is just 4.3 millimeters thick.

And I don't care. Those of you who do care about thinness in watches may enjoy this article about the new Piaget in Hodenkee.

You know what's even thinner than the world's thinnest watch? NOT WEARING A WATCH AT ALL!

From an engineering standpoint, I can appreciate the fascination of getting the most possible into the thinnest possible space -- but when it comes to watches, I get even that appeal only somewhat abstractly.

Laptop computers are a different matter. A thinner laptop will take up less space on a shelf or in a backpack. With watches, though, the thing is -- even the biggest, fattest watch still doesn't take up all that much space. It's hard for me to believe that you were actually inconvenienced, and had to pick and choose which possessions to carry with you -- because your watch was too big.

Also in Hodinkee is a review of the new Jacob & Co Astronomia Solar

Now this is a little bit more my style. As Hodinkee's Jack Forster says of this model, the Astronomia Solar, and the original Astronomia, which was released in 2014, and the Astronomia Sky, which appeared some time in between, "Obviously the point of these watches is not to be unobtrusive daily companions, but spectacular showpieces." I can appreciate subdued styling too, but, at least when it comes to watches, I often like excess a bit more. With cars it's different: if I were extremely rich, I'd want to get a subdued-looking new car along with some outrageous watches (I'm talkin Hublots that look out there compared to other Hublots, and Urwerks). No doubt some people would giggle about how my watches didn't match my car. Maybe some would giggle because, extremely wealthy as I was, I had only one car, and no yachts whatsoever. The giggling wouldn't bother me.

The Astronomica series are not in the running for world's thinnest watch: the original one is the biggest, 50 millimeters wide and 25 millimeters thick. The smallest Astronomica is the Sky, 44.5mm x 21mm. This new one, the Solar, is a mid-size.

I'm pretty sure that 25 millimeters is not the thickest new wristwatch available to day, but it's in the extreme class. 25 mm is about twice as thick as average. But there's a point to the thickness with the Astronomica, as you can see: there's a lot of cool stuff to see inside that see-through case.

Since I added mechanical watches to the subjects I blog about a few years ago, I've come to appreciate some things about watches which I didn't appreciate at first. The Jacob & Co Astronomia Solar is a clear case of that. Maybe, eventually, I will also really, really like the ultra-thin approach a lot, too. But it's hard to imagine that right now.

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