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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.
2013 February 11
Sometimes you have odd moments of serendipity, even working in this weird industry that is watches. We deal with a lot of preowned and vintage timepieces, but can have lulls of long periods where we may not have any leads or offers to trade in new pieces. Then, suddenly, you will have a rush of items come in within a span of several weeks. Such was the case where we ended up with two exceptional vintage Breitlings. Both came from completely different sources, but ended up in our store in the same week. Both are exceptional, hard to find, and well preserved – and both have interesting histories behind them.
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 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 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 13
So far in the Watches in Depth series I’ve given coverage to the most important and most popular forms of complication – chronographs, tourbillons, calendars, and repeaters. These complications are well served in the current market. What about the odd complications, the one offs, the rarities that never became widespread? This feature is to highlight the forgotten complications that are often overlooked and under served in the modern market.
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 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.
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 October 21
In the realm of big watches, U-Boat is king. Starting around 10 years ago, U-Boat was the first company to produce huge watches in 50mm plus diameters. At the time big watches were just beginning to come into vogue, since then big watches have become the norm and U-Boat has flourished. However, there are some folks (myself included) who just don’t have the wrist size to pull off a massive watch. Up until now there have been the 45mm Classico and Flightdeck models for people who want a big watch without going into the 50mms, but the limited edition pieces were always in the bigger size range. This year U-Boat has addressed this by introducing several new series of 46-47mm limited editions, including the U-1001, U-42, and the subject of today’s blog, the U-51.
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 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 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 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 April 04
In part two of his profile of the Rolex Daytona, Jason explains why the Daytona has become one of the top collector's pieces in the vintage watch market.
2011 March 28
In part one of three part series, Jason gives a brief history of the Rolex Daytona - a watch that is celebrating 50 years of production in 2011.
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 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.
2010 July 16
Graham Silverstone GMT Jason profiles the beautiful Graham Silverstone Flyback GMT Chronograph in this week's blog.
2009 October 01
Bell & Ross has always manufactured watches to be fit for professional use. To assure this its designers and engineers adhere to four guiding principles. These are water resistance, precision, readability (legibility at a glance), and performance. The help of military, safety, and health professionals is often enlisted to ensure that these aspects are incorporated in each watch. The BR-01 94 Pro Titanium is a symbol of the French manufacturer's four guiding principles.
2009 September 04
Many new U-Boat models will be available at the beginning of September. One in particular sets itself apart from the rest. The U-51 Rattrapante offers, as the name suggests, a split-second chronograph as well as a massive 51mm case and an extremely fine brown alligator and rubber strap.
2009 July 30
Bell & Ross' release of the BR-01 Tourbillon was very successful and has stemmed into the release of several other complicated models. Three new variations of the BR01 Tourbillon are now available as is the most complicated watch of the manufacturer's line, the BR Grand Minuteur.
2009 July 21
A Closeup of the Classico Chronograph and the Classico 1001 At the last Baselworld exposition in Switzerland, U-Boat released several new models. Now that two of these models are on the verge of being delivered, it is a good time for me to introduce them to you.
2009 May 11
For every luxury product, there are fakes and replicas, so I guess it was only a matter of time before the counterfeiters turned their attention to the popular U-Boat watches. One particular vendor situated in Montreal uses a link to MattBaily.ca to promote his products on Craigslist. The watches that he shows are replicas of the Flightdeck MSG and MSB with different colour combinations. The watches display what looks like a Unitas manual winding movement, but some have the word 'AUTOMATICO' etched into the back of the case. Some models also mention 'CRONOGRAFO' on their case-backs. This is pretty suspicious, as non of the models shown are chronographs! The vendor sometimes claims that they are pre-owned and prices range from $700 to $1,000.
2008 November 09
Corum has enlarged its iconic Admiral's Cup line with a new boldly designed model - the Challenge 48 Black Flag.
2008 November 09
The Corum Admiral's Cup Black Hull 48 sporty chronograph has been developed as a handy and stylish tool for measuring short time intervals.
2008 October 17
In these economic times of uncertainty, there are exceptional watch brands that are comparable to those of the Haute Horlogerie. There are many watch brands that are at par as far as quality and style is concerned. Watches like Hamilton which are owned by the Swatch group, who also own the movements that are supplied to watch manufacturers around the world.
2008 June 15
These exquisite time pieces are probably the hardest watches to try and purchase. The craftsmanship and pure beauty of these pieces in person are exceptional. If you ever get a chance to see one of these pieces, take the time to see the detail and feel the substantial craftsmanship. Production this year will be around 700 pieces.
2008 February 22
The Basel Fair is coming up in April, and there will be a lot of new products coming out later this year. Bell & Ross is giving us a teaser with the new Bell & Ross BR02 94. The Bell & Ross BR02 line came out late last year and is designed for the true deep sea diver.