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2013 October 30
![H78615335 thumbnail](http://dev.mattbaily.ca/site-media/img/item/thumbnail/H78615335_thumb.jpg "Hamilton H78615335 Available at Matt Baily") "Holy dive watches Batman!" After discussing the ultra-competent, ultra-deep diving Bremont Supermarine S2000 last week, I want to dial back those Batman job parameters and look at what Robin does for a living. When taken out of Batman's shadow, you have to admit that The Boy Wonder is a pretty competent operator. He is capable of covering the Dark Knight's flanks in an ambush, answering the phones, and injecting a little levity into the working life of an otherwise dour blunt-instrument-of-Justice. Having a diver for beating around is a given in the male watch repertoire. Even if you don't need its capabilities, a diver makes a statement about the ruggedness and adventurousness of the wearer. For many, it's the only type of watch worth considering for daily wear. All deep divers are not created equal but, for our purposes, let's just call anything rated 500 metres or more, "Batman". Apart from extreme pursuits or sheer love of engineering prowess, we don't need Batman. Enter Robin.
2013 September 30
The second installment of Jeff Buchanan-Dorrance's guest column for the Baily Blog, this week Jeff profiles the Bremont Supermarine S2000. Last week, I shared with you the extraordinary capabilities of the Bremont MB (Martin-Baker) series of timepieces and their committment to building aviation-themed watches capable beyond any challenges you could ever hope to throw at them. Bremont has also made significant inroads into the military aviator community, issuing squadron- and mission-specific timepieces prized by their owners and the military units they honour, as well as collectors of interesting and durable watches. Bremont is winning fans worldwide with their quality, innovation, and friendly (gasp) and responsive (double gasp) customer service. (Part of me wants to write, "an industry first!") Clearly, they want us all to have an enjoyable experience.
2013 September 25
Today on the Baily Blog we are welcoming the first contribution from guest columnist Dr. Jeff Buchanan-Dorrance. Always on the prowl for interesting and significant timepieces, Matt Baily brought in a Bremont ALT-1C two-register chronograph early in the Summer and it was suggested to me as an unusual alternative to the "usual (Swiss) suspects". They were considering taking the brand on so--liking what I'd heard about Bremont--I had them order a couple of watches for me. "Tested Beyond Endurance" is the working motto for Bremont, an English watch company with its' roots in aviation. The company was formed by two brothers who shared a passion with their father for timepieces and piloting vintage planes. Their father died in a plane crash and both brothers have also been seriously injured pursuing their aviation passions.
2013 September 11
We here at Matt Baily like to think we have a knack for finding cool and up and coming brands. We like to stay ahead of the curve and seek out interesting marques before they hit it big, so that we can be on the ground floor to help them develop. We also pride ourselves on exclusivity. So when we were tipped off about an interesting Hong-Kong based brand called Ancon producing cool and affordable bronze watches, we thought we’d check them out and see what was up.
2013 February 18
The same week that we received the Navitimer, we also had a trade in of another iconic but seldom seen vintage Breitling. The Co-Pilot ref. 7651 Chrono-Matic is an exceptional watch in several respects – it uses the world’s first automatic chronograph movement (if we ignore Zenith’s claims to the contrary), and it has a massive 48mm case. It is imposing, eye catching, and a bit ridiculous. It’s a vintage watch for the extrovert.
2012 October 31
Founded in 1735 by Jehan-Jacques Blancpain in the Swiss town of Villeret, Blancpain has become one of the top haute-horlogerie brands on the market today. They produce a number of styles ranging from restrained elegance to bold sport, and a limitless selection of complications. Unfortunately it is often overshadowed by the “better known” players in the high-end Swiss watch market – Blancpain often plays second fiddle to sister brand Breguet, and has less recognition than the powerhouse manufactures of Vacheron Constantin, Patek Philippe, and Jaeger le Coultre. Thus Blancpains are often under appreciated, which is a shame as some of their timepieces - like the Villeret Dual Time we have here - are quite stunning and can offer impressive value on the used market.
2012 October 03
The WW1 series has been garnering a lot of accolades for Bell & Ross. A break from their “traditional” Instruments, the WW1 collection has a unique style that ends up being a very distinctive dress watch. Styled to resemble pocket watches converted into wristwatches (complete with add-on strap lugs) the WW1s are quite unique in the market – the closest comparison I can think of would be the Panerai Radiomir with its wire lugs and cushion case. This year BR expanded the collection by adding several new versions, including the 42mm Argentium and Jump Hour models, and the 45mm Monopusher (officially called the Monopoussoir). These models mark a significant step upmarket for Bell & Ross.
2012 September 14
2012 has been a year of vintage re-editions and retro designs. After several years of massive sport watches dominating the market, we are seeing a gradual increase in demand for timeless designs that just so happen to equate to the clean and simple appearance of models from the 1950s and 60s. Hamilton has been at the fore of this trend for the past several years, introducing several models that plumb the rich heritage of the (formerly) American brand. Last year we had the Thin-o-matic, this year we have the Intra-Matic, hot on the heels of the retro-sport Pan Europ chronograph.
2012 August 10
Another year, and another series of Bell & Ross Instrument limited editions are out. It’s been a tradition for the company to release a new series of variations on the BR01 theme each season to renew interest in the ever-popular collection and give something for collectors to drool over. This year we had three new versions to look forward to, all paying homage to genuine aircraft instruments – the Horizon, the Altimeter, and the Turn Coordinator. The Horizon and Altimeter are forthcoming; in the meantime we have received the Turn Coordinator, a model that takes the disc-based time display of the Compass and Radar models and updates it for 2012.
2012 July 16
Bell & Ross has been releasing many new and distinctive watches lately, departing from their tried-and-true Instrument series to offer some more unique timepieces. Last year we saw the release of the WW1 series, inspired by early wristwatches adapted from pocket watches often used during the First World War. This year they continue the vintage military theme with the introduction of the WW2 Bomber Regulateur, a rather strange watch designed to emulate a particular style of timing instrument used during the Second World War.
2012 July 02
Last year, Hamilton released the Pan Europ as a limited edition recreation of an iconic design from the 1970s. Produced in a run of 1971 examples with a blue dial, blue bezel and brown rallye strap, the model sold out in short order. It was one of the hottest Hamilton models of recent memory, and for good reason – it looked amazing, was priced really well, and had a distinctive style that set it apart from typical automatic chronographs. This year Hamilton is following up on the success of the initial run by producing two “unlimited” (regular production) versions of the Pan Europ. Available with either black and silver dials, these new Pan Europs are just as stunning as the original.
2012 June 15
Bell & Ross is best known for it’s Instrument series of watches, but they produce a number of interesting designs. It’s the price of their fame – the massive popularity of the Instrument has overshadowed a lot of their other offerings, which is a shame as Bell & Ross produces some very interesting watches - that aren’t square. One of my favourites outside of the Instrument collection is the BR02 Diver, a massive 44mm tonneau-shaped tool watch that stands out in a sea of ho-hum dive watch designs.
2012 May 21
As we have said before many times on the Baily Blog, Frederique Constant is one of the best value-for-money brands in the entry-level luxury Swiss watch category. They make finely finished watches with clean styling that look far more expensive than they actually are. Their Manufacture models are particularly noteworthy, offering a unique in-house movement produced in their own facility at an unbeatable price. Starting at just under 3000$, FC makes one of the most affordable in-house alternatives to the usual ETA/Sellita/Dubois Depraz offerings.
2012 May 16
For a limited time and while supplies last, we are offering the new Bell & Ross BR03-90 Reserve de Marche (Power Reserve, with big date) for 3995$ plus tax - regular MSRP 5280$.
2012 April 23
Omega is one of the top Swiss brands in the world today, and is increasingly becoming a serious competitor against Rolex. The brand has evolved considerably in the last 10 years, and is gaining in popularity each year. The new series of watches are making use of finely engineered in-house calibres that offer a lot of watch for the money. It used to be that Omega was the more reasonable choice for a fine Swiss watch – less expensive than Rolex and the like, but exceptionally well made and very reliable. This was especially true from the 1950 to mid 70s - Omega’s golden era.
2012 March 30
Matt Baily was the first Bell & Ross retailer in Canada, and we have witnessed the evolution of the company from a quirky producer of professional watches into a powerhouse brand driven by distinctive industrial designs. Their BR01 and BR03 Instrument series are still the benchmark for modern military-industrial watches. To keep the design fresh, Bell & Ross has introduced numerous colour variations and complications over the years; the Red Radar limited edition in particular has garnered a lot of press in the watch media as a seriously cool design that takes the Instrument to another level.
2012 March 08
The latest news from Bell & Ross - an updated Jump Hour model in the WW1 line available in 18k rose gold and platinum.
2012 March 07
New from Bell & Ross - the BR01 Horizon
2012 March 01
This week we share an interesting story of loss and recovery from one of our clients.
2012 February 23
Baselworld 2012 is approaching, and we have more news from Rado about a new series of ceramic watches for men and women called the Hyperchrome.
2012 February 20
I’ve written about Graham watches in the blog before. It’s an interesting brand that has its roots in classical English watchmaking (though nowadays everything is made in Switzerland). What I have here is the prototypical Graham Chronofighter RAC, a classic design that, along with the Swordfish, has come to define the Graham style. While most people are familiar with the Oversize series of gigantic watches, not that many are aware of Graham’s more modestly sized offerings. While the Oversize is a sport watch that will dominate the wrist, the classic Chronofighter is an elegant, distinctly English design that straddles the line between classic and sport.
2012 February 06
This week we here at Matt Baily received a new line of Swiss watches – Oris. Continuing our tradition of seeking out interesting small brands that offer good value for nice timepieces, we took on Oris as a way to round out our collection of cool sport watches. And the brand doesn’t disappoint – they offer a number of interesting models that are well made, good looking, and reasonably priced. One model in particular caught my eye – the BC4 Retrograde, a pilot-style watch with a cool complication that sets it apart from the crowd.
2012 January 23
Alpina has been on a roll lately, after introducing several cool new models (including the Startimer and Extreme Sailing, and the upcoming Heritage Pilot) that have really put the spotlight back onto the brand. The new theme seems to be better design, better quality, and lowered retail prices overall. The new Extreme Sailing Automatic in particular offers exceptional value; it’s a clean, functional and good-looking watch that appears far more expensive than it is.
2012 January 16
When it comes to big, bold, haute-horlogerie sport watches Audemars Piguet is the brand to beat. Since 1972 their signature Royal Oak series has become a legendary model that has aged gracefully and received numerous evolutionary updates over the decades to keep it fresh. The Royal Oak Offshore, in particular, has become a huge hit for the brand since it was introduced in 1993, and it remains their signature model. This week I will be profiling one of the most popular Offshores, the so-called “Safari” edition.
2012 January 09
2012 January 05
Matt Baily is Montreal’s latest Rado retailer, and we brought in the brand in anticipation of their new releases for 2012 that promised to bring the brand into the fore of the high-tech watch market after years of conservative design. Now we have our first glimpse of the direction that Rado is going with the new D-Star 200 diving models, announced this week on the Rado website.
2012 January 02
When it comes to Rolex sport watches, the GMT-Master is one of the top choices among collectors and watch lovers the world over. More elegant and functional than the Submariner, and more popular than the Explorer, the GMT-Master is a modern classic that has been a brand favourite for over 50 years. The example we have here is the last of the traditional GMT-Masters, the 16710 with “coke” bezel.
2011 December 12
Last year U-Boat came out with the U-42 limited edition series, a 53mm titanium monster based on a diver’s watch designed in 1942 by Ilvo Fontana, grandfather of company president Italo Fontana. The U-42 was a very distinctive watch that offered a totally unique look in the U-Boat line, one that competed more with the likes of Panerai and Audemars Piguet (but for much less money). This year U-Boat has expanded the U-42 lineup to include an automatic chronograph, as well as a midsize 47mm model to suit more average wrist sizes.
2011 December 05
Bell & Ross watches have long been a Montreal favourite. We were the first dealer in Canada for the brand, and had them before they released their iconic Instrument series. Nowadays the Instrument is BR’s flagship, but they also produce a series of interesting round designs in the Vintage series. The latest additions to the Vintage line are the WW1 wristwatches, a series inspired by very early military watches that were adapted from pocketwatches.
2011 October 10
Rolex has many storied models that have become legendary among watch aficionados and collectors alike. There are the ubiquitous Submariner and Sea-Dweller models, and the pilot’s favourite GMT Masters, and of course the ever-popular Datejust and Day-Date models that have become symbols of classic style and distinction. But one model range is often forgotten in favour of its more glamourous siblings – the Explorer series. Reaching back over 50 years, the Explorer has long been an understated and rugged sport model that has a rich history that should put it into the pantheon of other Rolex sport models.
2011 September 26
Hamilton has long been a Matt Baily favourite here in Montreal, offering superb value for reasonable money. Hamiltons have elegant designs, are well built, nicely finished, and offer exceptional bang for buck compared to most Swiss brands. The latest Jazzmaster chronograph continues the tradition, while offering a subtle evolutionary upgrade of the existing series.
2011 September 12
Ceramic is the latest trend in watch technology, having been dormant for many years (ceramic watches first emerged in the 1960s). The recent popularity of ceramic watches like the Chanel J12, not to mention the ceramic accents on high-tech watches from Hublot and Audemars Piguet, has created a demand for more and more ceramic designs from a variety of manufacturers. Entering the fray is Bell & Ross with a variety of new ceramic models, including the BR03-92 Military Ceramic (green, as we have here, and blue due later this year) and the upcoming BR01-92 Ceramic.
2011 August 22
Frederique Constant (and sister company Alpina) have a history of interesting sports sponsorships. Alpina sponsors the 12 Hours of Sebring endurance race, while Frederique Constant has been a part of the Lake Geneva Regatta for classic boats (commemorated by the Runabout series), and has also worked with the Austin Healey owners club for the Healey line. The latest limited edition from Frederique follows that same idea of a classic watch for a classic event – the Peking to Paris chronograph commemorates the legendary automobile rally between China and France.
2011 August 01
Since we introduced Alpina to the Montreal market some three years ago, we here at Matt Baily’s have seen the brand evolve from a small manufacturer of quirky sport watches into a well-respected marque producing very desirable watches for very reasonable prices. This year Alpina has introduced a slew of new entry-level models that are very reasonably priced while still showing a marked improvement in quality. Chief among these new models is the Startimer Pilot series, which was announced earlier this year alongside the Sailing collection. After several months of anticipation, we finally have the Startimer collection in store, and they do not disappoint.
2011 July 25
This week on the blog we introduce the U-Boat Classico U-1001 47mm Limited Edition, a scaled down and dressed up version of the U-1001 diving watch, now available in-store at Matt Baily's.
2011 July 15
One of the most popular complications in watchmaking is the chronograph, the watch that doubles as a stopwatch as well as a timekeeper. It’s been one of the most prolific complication in the 20th century, second only to the basic calendar complication, and are accessible from entry-level Swiss brands all the way up to the top of the watchmaker’s craft. The chronograph has a long history in fine watchmaking, and has long been a symbol of mechanical prowess combined with everyday functionality. After having become so popular and commonplace, many people overlook just how complicated a fine chronograph mechanism really is.
2011 July 04
New in-store are the latest offerings from Matt Baily favourites Alpina and Frederique-Constant. We have received a number of new luxury watches that run the gamut from supremely elegant to casual sport, including the much-anticipated Frederique Slimline Automatic and Alpina Startimer Chronograph.
2011 June 20
Not too long ago I wrote an FAQ on watches and watch technology for the benefit of our readers and clients... In the spirit of my original FAQ I have decided to begin a series of in-depth blogs on specific subjects – different complications and their variations, the engineering and mechanical work involved in a movement, how a watch is serviced, and other topics for people who wish to learn more about luxury watches.
2011 June 06
As I’ve mentioned in the blog before, we are seeing a return to classic and simple designs in the luxury watch industry after years of huge and bold sporty watches... A perfect example of this trend is the new Hamilton Thin-o-Matic, an updated re-edition of a classic dress watch from Hamilton’s golden age.
2011 May 30
Vacheron Constantin has always been a traditional luxury manufacture, preferring to make classic haute gamme timepieces rather than bowing to the market fads. They have made sporty designs in recent years, but they are still best known for their elegant dress watches that combine impeccable quality with a timeless understated style... Case in point – the Toledo 1952 annual calendar, which is part of the Historique collection of classically inspired timepieces...
2011 May 22
A video presentation of the new 2011 U-Boat Classico U-1001 limited edition watches in 47mm, from this year's Baselworld show in Switzerland.
2011 May 11
The U-Boat range is divided into three main models – Classico, Flightdeck and Thousands of Feet. One of the most popular models is the Flightdeck Chronograph which has become one of U-Boat’s signature designs, featuring an automatic Valjoux chronograph in a sporty case with very legible dials. Traditionally the Flightdeck features a stainless steel case, but a few lesser known variations exist – the ceramic and titanium models. What we have here is one of my favourite U-Boats and the latest addition to the Flightdeck line – reference 1881 in titanium...
2011 April 11
In the final instalment of his Rolex Daytona profile, Jason reviews three modern examples of the Daytona - two 116520s in stainless steel and one 116509 in 18K white gold.
2011 March 21
2011 March 14
This week Jason returns to his profiling of interesting pre-owned pieces with a look at the Vacheron Constantin Royal Eagle Chronograph.
2011 February 28
Alpina reveals a new series of Pilot watches - the Alpina Startimer automatic.
2011 February 26
In this week's blog Jason profiles the cool and quirky Azimuth Round 1 Retrograde Regulator, a very distinctive dress watch from a small manufacturer of interesting complications.
2011 February 17
Jason profiles the latest additions to the U-Boat lineup, including the new Titanium Ceramic Classicos, the U-51 Chronograph, the U-42 limited edition, and the U-1001 IPB.
2011 February 16
In this week's blog, Jason takes a look at the new Bell & Ross Vintage series of watches.
2011 January 12
For this week's review, Jason has a look at the unique Paul Picot Technograph. Read more...
2010 November 05
The Marvin Watch Co. LOEB Limited Edition has been revealed! Jason has the scoop and official photos of the new watch.
2009 August 05
Hamilton's new Khaki BASE Jump watch was released in April at the 2009 Baselworld fair. It will soon be available at the Matt Baily boutique. I had the chance to look at one at the store before I left for Switzerland. Here are some notes.