Timezones I: United States of America
Just think, as you gulp down your ridiculously overpriced morning coffee, someone, somewhere in the world, is gulping down his final #thirstythursday pint with a crippling hangover on the horizon. Yes, it’s a big bad world out there and shockingly enough, our international compatriots hold many points of difference – including what they’re churning out for the wrist. Introducing to you TIMEZONES, our six-stop tour of everything horological on good old Mama Earth.
In this day and age, Apple has made a breeze of recognising international timezones – for example, have you ever wondered what time it is in Bucharest? No, me neither, but such information can be found at the click of a button alongside innate Google searches and looking at your ex-girlfriend’s Instagram. But, what exactly lies in these timezones abroad? And what implications do they have for your wristwear? Although not considered a horological hotspot in manufacturing regards, we look to the land of the star spangled banner for some watch inspiration, the nation of Hollywood dreams and a somewhat problematic healthcare system: the United States of America.
Stateside manufacturing has always been a thing across the pond but instead of the Euro-centric fine craftsmanship we’re used to, America offers typically ‘big’ industry (shock): big cars, big aeroplanes, big weapons and big pharmaceuticals. This high volume approach isn’t easily translatable to the world of watches yet times are indeed a changing – thanks in no small part to Shinola. The trailblazing Detroit revivalists have successfully sparked the concept of American manufacturing once more with local individuals learning the watchmaking craft. Pieces made in (or at least influenced by) America often hold a certain ruggedness or statement that we lack on home shores – there’s something incredibly fun about brazen oversized dials and a liberal use of colour. Sure, such watches might not be known as arbiters of elegance but they sure are fun. God bless you, America.
Although manufactured by one of the Swiss greats, the BR01 B Rocket has much to thank the US for – chiefly the Harley-Davidson. Inspired by the most iconic motorcycle on the planet, subtle motifs make reference throughout; the quilted strap gives a nod to the Harley’s seating upholstery whilst a 12 hour accumulator mimics a motorcycle dashboard. Granted, it’s hardly the same as racing down Route 66 but it’s the next best thing (promise).
Key Features: Limited to 500 pieces worldwide, 46mm diameter, stainless steel case, anti-scratch sapphire crystal glass, 100m water resistance.
Perfect For: The petrolhead in need of a good quality non-conforming timepiece.
Bold, classic and brilliantly American, the Shinola Runwell harks back to a golden era of Betty Page pin-ups and roadside diners. As a perfect weekend choice, the Runwell is designed to fit with a simple jeans and tee combo – no fuss, no messing.
Key Features: Chronograph function, green rotating bezel, SuperLumiNova dial, luxury Horween leather strap, pin and buckle fastening.
Perfect For: Post-office attire and activity (chiefly, dinner and the pub and everything in between).
The Bremont Wright Flyer is a seamless hybrid of British design celebrating a legendary American duo – the Wright brothers. As the inventors of aviation as we know it, the Wright Flyer immortalises this world-changing discovery by incorporating muslin used from the very first plane. Pretty impressive stuff.
Key Features: 50 hour power reserve, exemplary precision, seconds sub-dial, SuperLumiNova coating, domed crystal glass, luxury black leather strap.
Perfect For: Without sounding too sycophantic, the Wright Flyer lets anyone place a priceless piece of history right on the wrist.
TAG Heuer is arguably one of the most iconic watch brands out there, and when a piece is designed with the iconic Steve McQueen in mind, brilliant things are going to happen. Case in point, the Monaco. American actor McQueen forged an identity through immaculate style and quintessential stateside acting and the Monaco is a befitting tribute to Le Mans – quite possibly his most influential film.
Key Features: Swiss made, 28,800 vph, chronograph function, 39mm polished case, date aperture at 6 o’clock, luminous markers and luxury blue alligator strap.
Perfect For: Securing that first statement.