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TokyoFlash and the Future of Watches

TokyoFlash watches have made their way around the Internet for their creative watch faces and amazing design. They’ve just launched a new watch that may be the most straight forward watch in their inventory, but it is so smooth. The LED powered digital watch displays the time in an easy to read format (have a look at some of their more math oriented approaches to telling the time) and is beautiful and bright. It’s true, the Japanese are living in the future. Maybe if we’re really nice Josh can pick up a couple while he is in Tokyo.

Timex 80

When I was a child, I saw an episode of That’s Incredible where they tested Timex‘s claims. The watch company, which has been around for 50 years, had a famous slogan: “Timex: takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’.” They put the watch through its paces and (for the most part) it came out perfectly able to tell time. Timex was, in many ways, the G-Shock of yesteryear. It’s an everyday man’s watch that you could wear to the jobsite and not have to baby it or worry about it getting scratched or banged against the sink. In what seems like perfect retro timing, the company has recently reintroduced their Timex 80 watch. Available in both plastic (my favorite) and metal versions, the watches have time and date features and, of course, that infamous Indiglo backlight. The straps are the exact same color as the face for a uninterrupted visual loop around your wrist. To round out the package, they come in cushioned slide boxes. Get yourself a Timex 80 and a Casio calculator watch and you’ll be set!

Hodinkee: Ultimate Watch Site?

Like the comeback of three-piece suits, what’s old is now new and watches are no exception. Started by two young professionals, Hodinkee is not your average watch site. The name comes from a modified Czech word for watch. Structured in a blog format, the site highlights timepieces that Benjamin Clymer and his partner Dan Wieder find through meticulous combing of the internet. Frustrated by the lack of information on vintage pieces, the pair started the site as both an information center as well as to promote watch styles and fashion that may have been forgotten. While sites like Timezone and Watchuseek can keep you occupied talking about the latest and greatest models and features, a casual one-time visit to Hodinkee might yield something you’ve never seen before; a real gem. Most entries are links to actual watches for sale so the site is perfect for impulse buyers. Personally, I appreciate having a resource such as this. It saves me time and energy from having to look all over the Internet for that special wristwatch. Though only approaching their three month anniversary, the pair have big plans in store for the site including collaborations with companies to highlight items that may be tucked away in their vaults.

Watch Cufflinks

Ricky at watch-cufflinks.com brings together two of my favorite elements — the mechanical watch and French cuffs — together in a twist on formal dress. Each pair employs a set of matching authentic watch movements set on links, ready for a business lunch or family dinner. I’ve been known to remove my watch and look at the movement through the display back, and with these links I can appreciate the details of Swiss and Japanese craftsmanship. Plus, they’re bound to get some curious looks. My advice: pick a movement with lots of jewels (17 is standard) to contrast the metal.

Big Ticket Tuesday: Nooka Watch

They said it couldn’t be done. They said it shouldn’t be done. But, we’re doing it anyway. After a few all-nighter meetings at JoshSpear.com HQ, the team came to two conclusions: 1) people like free things, 2) people like their free with a bit of value. Hence Big Ticket Tuesday. Each week we’ll submit an excellent, expensive item for your perusal and pick the winner Friday afternoon.

THE PRIZE: The first Big Ticket item up for grabs is Nooka’s ZenH COTN Camo Green watch. Stylish, modern, and practically invisible in dense brush, this would be the hotness on any reader’s wrist.

THIS WEEK’S RULES: Here you see an aesthetically pleasing use of camo. Suggest the tackiest, most awful camo style you can find (No trucker hats or bikinis. For an example, see here) and drop the link down in the comments section. We’ll be scoring based on originality, cringeability, and use of the theme ingredient.

Good luck!

Magrette Timepieces

When I think of the small businesses I’d open up, I keep them limited to the realm of practicality. I’m talking clothing boutique, small restaurant, etc. When I hear about someone who starts their own car, shoe, or watch company, I am intrigued. Over the years, my interest in watches has progressively increased while my counterparts ditched them for cell phones. I think of the timepieces as work of art, both aesthetically and mechanically. It’s only fitting that a watchmaker would be considered an artist.

Dion McAsey started Magrette Timepieces while he was still a Managing Director of a creative agency. Surprisingly, he says it was an easy transition because he took it slow, learning along the way. He’s formed partnerships on a global scale, using straps from Canada, hands/dials from Germany, and a Japanese movement. Everything gets assembled by hand in New Zealand and tested (water and regulation).

Last year’s release, the Regattare Valencia, sports a 21-jewel Miyota movement, 2mm sapphire glass, a beautiful dial and luminescent hands, and two leather straps to match any occasion. Like all the Magrette watches it’s nautically themed, with this particular model displaying the America’s Cup colors. What impresses me most about Magrette is that you are buying a total package. Customer service, the packaging (you have got to see the leather roll case), and the extras (straps, tool, handwritten warranty card) make for a very pleasing experience. If you’re looking for a dependable watch that can work at both the office and a the post-work bar, check them out.

[EDITOR'S NOTE: Yes, this watch looks strikingly similar to the historic Panerai, one of my favorite timepieces. It is, however, significantly cheaper for those of you without rich girlfriends, good jobs, or a taste in extraordinary time keeping. Thanks for all the comments, we love them.]

Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch Alaska Project

With consumer space voyages looking more and more promising, and freak kitchen accidents an ever looming possibility, Omega is bringing back – in a limited release of under 2000 units – its Speedmaster Moonwatch “Alaska Project” timepiece. This design was cooked up in the 70′s during the early days of NASA forays into the void, and boasts temperature resistance encompassing more than 400 degrees Celsius (from -148 to +260) thanks to it’s red-anodized aluminum construction. You get one of these on your wrist (price TBD), and you’ll set the standard both on Mars and at Burning Man– same difference, I guess.

Via men.style.com

Orb – Time Orbit Watch

Italian industrial designer Djordje Zivanovic submitted a fascinating orb-like watch concept to the Signity International Watch Design Competition. Inadvertently, he has created an entirely new graphic representation of time. First there was the wall clock, then came digital, and now we have the linear orb. As Djordje explains, “The idea for this watch is a classic plastic bracelet, with incorporated lines inside the watch that show the current time. Those three line are rotating around the watch and show the time, while the seconds line is going around all the time. Adjusting the clock is easy because the watch is the touchscreen. All you have to do is to touch the line, click the adjust icon, and slide current time line to correct time.” Swatch would be lucky to get this one …

Each week, JoshSpear.com explores the latest projects by top creative professionals in the Behance Network and highlights a few that are pushing the edge of creative industry. Josh Spear also serves as an Advisor and Guest Curator for the Behance Network.

Bell & Ross: The Big Jump

We’ve championed Bell & Ross brand timepieces for quite some time now. The Swiss watchmakers build instruments for those whose professions force them to withstand physical trials well beyond the everyday commute. Did you know a Bell & Ross watch was the first automatic chronograph worn in space? Or that their Hydromax model holds the world record for water resistance? Seeking to build on their reputation for breaking records and enduring extreme conditions, Bell & Ross is teaming up with skydiver Michael Fournier on The Big Jump.

On Fournier’s wrist will be a BR 02 Instrument watch, as he attempts to break the altitude world records for skydiving and balloon flight (as well as the records for longest free fall and fastest skydive) with his 40,000 meter stratospheric jump, taking place between May 24th and May 28th over North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Both Fournier and the watch will have to withstand -120 degree Celsius temperatures, cosmic radiation, and variations in atmospheric pressure. We’re sure the BR 02 will hold up. Mr. Fournier … uh, TBD.

F1/Carbon GMT Watch

Ever since Back to The Future, Part II, our vision of things to come have always involved inventions like shoes that could tie themselves and hoverboards. That changed when we took a look at the conceptual design for the F1/Carbon GMT watch by designer John Pszeniczny. This Formula One Racing inspired digital watch is constructed of Swarovski crystal, carbon fiber, metal, and rubber, which makes it look more like a flux capacitor than a wristwatch. It also contains 18 rubies that representing the 18 cities on the F1 circuit, from Britain to Bahrain, and can tell each city’s local time. The watch is still a prototype, but we’re hoping they start rolling out with a consumer model some time in the…er…future.

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