Thursday, May 6, 2010

666 Barcelona Watches of Spain - Brand New Cool Collection From Spanish Designers Ferran Serra & Oscar Vera

Always on the hunt for the coolest new timepieces, we discovered this very unique watch brand on a recent trip to Barcelona Spain. Don't judge by name alone, this is not the Devil's brand of choice (he wears a Rolex Daytona by the way) - this collection is instead built upon the mystery of numbers, the order of all things and that timing is everything.

1 +2 +3 +4 +5 +6 +7 +8 +9 +10 +11 +12 +13 +14 +15 +16 +17 +18 +19 +20 +21 +22 +23 +24 +25 +26 +27 +28 +29 +30 +31 +32 +33 +34 +35 +36 = 666

From the creative minds of Spanish industrial designers Ferran Serra & Oscar Vera of Serradelarocha, they have assembled an entirely original wristwatch collection for men and women with unconventional tastes in timepieces. Each watch different from the next but all with distinctive design, personality and soul.

D+C+L+X+V+I = 666

The "Under Pressure" series - inspired be an antique pressure gauge. Out of the ordinary, in both size and style, the UnderPressure wristwatch features an over-sized single-hand analog seconds counter in the center and a digital time display at six o'clock.

The design is minimally substantial yet slyly industrial. It blends varieties of textures (either brushed colored metallic or deeply textured dials) with simplicity -- it demands a unique individual to share its time with...

View 666 Barcelona Under Pressure One Handed Anadigi Collection

The "Megabyte" series is what is commonly called a "mystery dial". Two dots rotate the outer circle revealing the hours and minutes. One hand is distinguished by the other with one solid and one outlined dot-marker. The cases are blackened steel allowing the obscured hands to literally pop right out of the watch face...

View 666 Barcelona Megabyte Mystery Dial Collection

The "Hardcore" is one killer watch. A case built as boldly as any civil engineer attempting to construct a solid city bridge. It rises with steely curvature that also fits snugly to the shape of your wrist. The curved metal plates are bracketed together around a mechanical automatic movement and feature an exposed rotor through the porthole crystal caseback. You can watch the motion of the power source that does not need batteries, ever!

A true machine with stylish bravado that continues to the uncommon dial featuring a very unusual layout of numbers and markers. The asymmetrically placed digits lead from zero to the mysterious three sixes indexed by two very thin multi-colored watch hands tipped by dots.

View 666 Barcelona Hardcore Automatic

The "Colour" series is minimal design with maximum information! Three separate time zones are exhibited on the dial with your primary timezone on the left and two smaller locales featured on the right side of the dial. A substantial watch with an simple yet stylish modular display. Three colored brushed metallic registers pop right out of the blacked-out dials.

View 666 Barcelona Colour Multi-Timezone Collection

The "Satellite" series are true time machines. Featuring mechanical automatic movements requiring no batteries ever. The watches are powered by a rotor that can be viewed in motion from the case back crystal. Each model indicates two timezones as detailed below:

Big center hand = minutes
Right/Left registers = hours of two time zones
Bottom register = seconds

A big blackened steel square case and dial allows each register to pop off the face with brushed colored metallic circles.

View 666 Barcelona Satellite Automatic Dual Timezone Collection

The "Urban" series are true time machines. Featuring mechanical automatic movements requiring no batteries ever. The watches are powered by a rotor that can be viewed in motion from the caseback crystal. Each model indicates two timezones as detailed below:

Big center hand = minutes
Right/Left registers = hours of two time zones
Bottom register = seconds

Each Urban features a uniquely designed dial, either with unusual graphics of overlapping circles, extreme triangles or more simply composed solid colors and a freeform yet exact placement of numbers within the registers.

View 666 Barcelona Urban Automatic Dual Timezone Collection

Automatic movement visible from back of Urban (and Satellite)

The "XXL HAND" series is another unique concept from 666. A variety of displays featuring hours spelled out around the bezel and a stark layout of digits for the minutes & seconds.

A big blackened steel square case and leather strap completes the modest yet unusual design.

View 666 Barcelona XXL Hand Collection

The "Adventure" series is truly unique with an unusual layout of numbers that revolve around the dial from upright to upside down. A big watch with an ingenious display. Minimalist thin hands tipped with dots navigate the dial with style.

View 666 Barcelona Adventure Collection

The "BAD" series is quite modern with an minimal crosshair / segmented layout. A substantial watch with an simple yet stylish modular display. The leather strap contains metal links pulling the case design into the bracelet with gusto!

View 666 Barcelona BAD Collection

The "James" series is bold, brash and bombastic. A digital timepiece built inside a brushed metal vault of a case...the time displayed as off-center as the unique individual who wears it. Big protruding buttons control the watch as if you're about to launch an assault. 12 or 24 hour display options.

666 Barcelona James Digital Collection

The "John" series was created for a unique woman. A large watch case and thin leather strap that wraps around the wrist perhaps a dozen times. The dial incorporates the strap by leading a ridge down the middle amidst a carefully designed yet random group of markers. And the final perfect touch from the extra long thin hands tipped with dots... The world's longest watch!

View 666 Barcelona John Collection for Women

The "Queen" series is unlike any ladies watch we've seen! Starting with the face, a "mystery dial" featuring two free-floating dots for hours and minutes. Both of which rotate around the minimalist dial with no hands, nothing visible except for the two orbs.

The straps are leather ropes leading around the watch case and bracketed together with bolted metal attachments and links. An industrial yet feminine look!

View 666 Barcelona Queen Ladies Collection

The "Space Worker" series is an ultra-oversize LED digital watch. Built into a case best appreciated from the side where you can see the "stepped" design, the variation of angles create a unique shape. The on-command light-emitting-diodes illuminate brightly against the black crystal display. 12 or 24 hour display options.

View 666 Barcelona Spaceworker LED Collection

PRODUCT PAGE -> See the entire 666 Barcelona Watch Collections

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Monday, May 3, 2010

The Horological Machine No 3 FROG from MB&F - Maximilian Büsser & Friends

Seeing a sneak peek of this prototype at Baselworld had my eyes pop out quite similarly to the Frog's bulbous displays. Originally based upon the HM3 Sidewinder & Starcruiser released last year, this alternative version features innovative domes for hours and minutes.

MB&F is the only "haute" brand I know that doesn't take themselves too seriously. They build fascinating machines blending humor and style. Sure it's an exclusive club to belong to but the inspiration is free.

MB&F will only craft 32 Frog movements this year: a limited edition of 12 pieces in black titanium (with green gold rotor) and 20 pieces of a non-limited titanium version (with blue gold rotor).

Haute horlogerie is (usually) a very restrained and serious business; however one of Maximilian Büsser main goals in creating MB&F was to bring a child's sense of awe and sense of playfulness into high-end watchmaking. There is no doubting that with the HM3 Frog, MB&F have certainly achieved that aim . . . and more! The protruding eyes of the (amphibian) frog enable it to see in many directions without having to turn its head. The bulbous domes of the HM3 Frog have the opposite, but no less important, feature of enabling the time to be easily seen from many angles without having to turn the wrist. The Frog differs substantially from HM3 in that it is the aluminum domes that rotate under the sapphire crystals in the Frog, whereas it is the hour and minute hands that rotate around their respective stationary cones on HM3.

Rotating domes of this size and shape posed MB&F with a number of technical challenges. The hour and minute domes are machined from solid aluminium - chosen for its optimal strength to weight ratio. The domes weigh in at just over 0.5g. They are milled first from the outside and then the inside to arrive at a paper-thin wall thickness of just 0.28 mm, which reduces their energy requirements to an absolute minimum.

Even the fabrication of the semi-spherical sapphire crystal domes was incredibly demanding and only recently even possible at all. This is due to the fact that any slight imperfection in the sapphire might introduce a disconcerting magnification effect. The sapphire has to be shaped and polished to be perfectly uniform.

The Frog's unusual method of indicating time necessitated the development of a new gear train for the HM3 engine. This was because the aluminum hour dome of the Frog rotates in 12 hours compared to the 24 hour revolution of the HM3 hour hand. And as the oversized date wheel is driven from the hours, the gearing driving the date had to be reworked as well.

The Frog may portray the time in a playful manner, but there is nothing but serious and meticulous attention to detail and care regarding the fine hand-finishing of the high-tuned engine purring within its lightweight high-tech titanium case. A close inspection of the case is rewarded with carefully thought out detailing including a figure 8 engraved around the domes that mirrors the form of the display back(revealing dual ceramic bearings); distinctive clover-head white gold screws; and an engraved arrow discreetly indicating the easy to read over-sized date.

If the viewer's gaze manages to break away from the obiculate indications, it is likely to be arrested by the brightly-coloured 22K gold battle-axe winding rotor or the intricacies of the thoroughbred movement beneath.
The HM3 Frog is available in Grade 5 titanium with blued rotor or a limited edition of 12 featuring mark-resistant black-coated titanium with green rotor.

HM3 Frog – Technical Specifications
Horological Machine No3 Frog

Three-dimensional horological engine designed by Jean-Marc Wiederrecht/Agenhor;
Girard-Perregaux oscillator and gear
Balance oscillating at 28,800 bph.
22K blued rose gold battle-axe shaped ‘mystery’ automatic winding rotor
Hour and minutes information transmitted via ceramic ball bearings to rotating domes.
Number of jewels: 36 (all functional)
Number of components: 304

Hour and day/night indicator on one dome (aluminium dome rotating in 12 hours)
Minutes on second dome (aluminium dome rotating in 60 minutes)
Date around the movement

Grade 5 titanium/blue 22K gold rotor; limited edition of 12 black titanium/green 22K gold (black treated with mark-resistant silicon oxide)
Screwed-down crown
Dimensions (exclusive of crown and lugs): 47mm x 50mm x 16mm
Number of case components: 53

Sapphire crystals:
Domes and both display backs with anti-reflective treatment on both faces.
Domes for indications: in aluminium, 0.58g

Rotating aluminium domes, stationary hands

Strap & Buckle:
Black hand-stitched alligator with 18K white gold & titanium custom designed deployment buckle

Visit MB&F Website

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