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The last few weeks have been a very sad time in the watch industry mainly due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Baselword and Watch & Wonders (formerly SIHH) announced they were cancelling their shows. This epidemic has had serious consequences for brands and RJ Romain Jerome has fallen the first victim to the virus. Even Hublot (LVMH) had announced a 70% decline in retail sales. However, it isn’t all bad news because there are many smaller labels like Iconic Timepieces that are making their mark on Kickstarter. Certainly, their distinctive Halocline Dive Watch has caught the interest of buyers, because the campaign is already funded. » Read more

One of the main pleasures of being a writer is getting the opportunity to review really cool products and in particular watches. In the last decade, the horological landscape has massively changed and designs are becoming more radical. Essentially, brands are trying to push the boundaries to survive in a very competitive industry. Certainly, Smartwatch technology has had a major impact. Another more recent factor is the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) reported from Wuhan, China, on 31 December 2019. As a consequence of this outbreak, Baselword and Watch & Wonders have announced they will be cancelling their shows. This could potentially have a devasting effect on small microbrands who rely on this type of publicity. However, there are small craftsmen like Igor Gudiy that have found other outlets to sell their bespoke timepieces. » Read more

Nearly a decade ago I became aware of an American inventor called David Forbes. He operates under the name of Cathode Corner and resides in Tucson, Arizona. Affectionately I would describe David’s products as eccentric as they won’t appeal to most people. His creations range from video coats to Leopard print bike boom boxes. Most of these novelties are made for his own pleasure and not for resale. However, he has enjoyed a lot of success with his Nixie watch, largely due to free publicity from Steve Wozniak (co-founder of Apple). I acquired one of these watches several years ago and published a review on my website. Since then many other brands have started producing there own Nixie watches including Click, which is owned by James Lau. » Read more

Approximately 5-years ago I met with a gentleman called Christophe Hoppe who had co-founded a brand called Bausele. Even though Christophe originates from France he met his wife in Australia and now resides in Sydney. At the time he showed me visuals of a really cool watch concept. This timepiece eventually went into production and is called the Terra Australis. One of the most distinctive features of this watch is the lightweight ceramic granite type bezel (developed with Flinders University in Adelaide). Interestingly this material (trademarked Bauselite) is formed by injecting nano-particles of ceramic into molten rock. At the time this was considered pretty radical. However, since then brands have become even more experimental, especially with lightweight carbon composites. A great example is Romago Swiss who have developed the first bright red forged carbon watch (I am aware of). » Read more

A few years ago I visited Singapore to meet a few industry contacts including Alvin Lye. For those that are not familiar with Alvin, he is the Co-Founder and Executive Director Of Azimuth Watch Co. I believe this Avant-Garde brand really put Singapore on the map in terms of watchmaking. I also feel they have inspired many other designers to launch their own microbrands. In the last few months, I have featured several labels from this region including Achtung, Lytt Labs, Spectre Time and Zoid. Recently, I received a press release from another Singapore brand called Advisor. They have just launched an exciting timepiece on Kickstarter called the SUPA Diver Bronze. » Read more

Approximately two years ago I passed my Australian Citizenship exam and feel really privileged to live in this marvellous country. Certainly, the outdoor lifestyle and glorious temperatures are very enticing and that is why people are desperate to relocate here. Where I live in Adelaide was rated the 5th most livable city in the world. However, Melbourne exceeded this and was crowned 1st for the sixth consecutive year. To me, that isn’t particularly surprising because of the overwhelming amount of culture it has to offer and a broad spectrum of wonderful contemporary architecture. A supreme example is 20, Linlithgow Road, which is located in the prestigious suburb of Toorak. » Read more