Baselworld Day 3- Pita Barcelona, Claret & HYT
Aniceto is the watchmaker and his son Daniel, manages the business aspects of their atelier in Barcelona. I have been awaiting the Oceana, as have several guys I know. One difficulty that these small Independent watchmakers face is suppliers of parts, as they don't buy huge quantities! This has dogged my friends in Barcelona with respect to the Oceana, but I'm happy to say the first few pieces will be making their way out West shortly! The Oceana is made in both a 2000m & 5000m depth rating case, with the Pita patented TSM, the time setting mechanism, that uses magnets in order to preserve the total structural integrity of the case for the superior water resistancy down to these amazing depths.
Cased in Ti now rather than the original prototype & first tiny series that were made in steel. These are great sport watches and unique in design and construction. Rare is it that an Independent Watchmaker makes a sport watch, so I'm thrilled to be able to offer these.
Ti 5000m on left, Ti 2000m in middle and Ti DLC 2000m on blue rubber strap.
Ti Oceana 5000m on olive green rubber strap.
The backs, showing the rivets for ease of turning the case back for setting the time. When the watch is worn, these are held in place by the rubber straps, so that the time isn't changed. Although if one wants, this is the only dive watch I know of that one can change the time underwater.
The Ti Oceana DLC on a blue rubber strap
Daniel wearing the original SS Oceana 2000m on a black strap.
Final image of the Ti Oceana 2000m on black rubber.
We left Aniceto and Dani, marches across the plaza with the hordes of people for the relative relaxed atmosphere of the Palace, to find Christophe Claret's stand opposite Peter Speake-Marin. I know the worldwide sales director well, and so was able to sit down and look at some of the most extra-ordinary feats of micro-mechanical engineering and horology combined. Claret has been creating many of the more complicated pieces for a variety of well known brands for around 20 years in the background with no recognition. He recently decided to create watches under his own name, that are technical and massively complicated. Anyway here you go with some pictures of three of his offerings, simply amazing pieces.
The E-Xtrem-1 in Ti and 18KRG
The two winding and setting mechanisms in RG.
OK, returning to a bit of a classic look, this cathedral chime Minute Repeater with a second timezone and double digit big date is stunning. Even the dial is sublime and beautifully designed. What look like chrono pushers, are in fact the quick set correctors for the second timezone.
A beautifully hand finished classical minute repeating caliber.
The mighty Dual Tow tourbillon chronograph with a chime for each chrono operation. The hour and minute bands that are on rollers are quite something!
"And now for something completely different" in those time honored words of Monty Python...HYT, the company that calls themselves Hydro Mechanical Horologists. I had seen press releases of snippets of information prior to Basel, and was fascinated to see what this might be in the flesh. It is an extra-ordinary watch, and the technology involved in the telling of time and construction is like nothing else I've ever seen. Quite ingenious, and for those of you who like these types of watches, a dream piece.
I love it, and thought it very clever. Now it is huge 48.8mm and almost 18mm thick, so not for the faint of heart. Cased in Ti, DLC Ti and DLC Ti with 18K RG & all 18K RG, these are pretty outspoken watches. Dare I say it, a bit in the vein of the Big Bang if you know what I mean, this is the beginnings of a brand with some serious money behind it. So to the pictures of the H1:
It is a regulator style, so minutes are up top in the central dial, with the hour shown by the lovely fluorescent green liquid. The bellows at the lower part of the dial side are how the liquids are sent through the capillary glass tube, which has 7 different coatings on the inside by a local San Diego high tech company! At 6 o'clock, the hours retrograde back in about 10 seconds to start again.
The seconds are shown with a "water wheel" looking hand on the left of the minute dial and the power reserve balances it out on the right hand side.
I am at a bit of a loss as to why they chose traditional Swiss finishing (Geneva stripes) of the bridges, hence my alluding to a Big Bang concept; I think someone listened to a marketing chap, and in my opinion a mistake. There is nothing traditional about this, other than it does have a balance wheel and is manually wound!
The DLC Ti case version. The best looking one!
On the wrist, fun piece!
With this appointment over and being dismissed/ignored somewhat due to a "More Important" person coming into the stand, we left for more inviting climes of the De Bethune stand across the hall, to where a good friend from many years, back in the US watch world, Scott Rosen was situated. Please see my next report!