What is a Tourbillon? Aren’t they really expensive?
The tourbillon mechanism was introduced by Louis Breguet in 1795 and later patented on June 26, 1801. Inside this movement resides a cage where the escapement and balance wheel are housed in order to negate the effects of gravity on a watches performance. This leads to a more consistent, and accurate movement. Tourbillons range from $300 all the way to hundreds of thousands of dollars. There are Swiss Made tourbillons from large houses, as well as very good Asian produced Tourbillons.
ERA LEATHER TRAVEL POUCH - VERY NICE!
The Prometheus is housed in a solid polished 316L Stainless steel case with nice proportions that allow for some wrist presence, to show off your tourbillon. The lug to lug width comes in at 50MM while the thickness isn’t too bad at 12.5MM. In terms of lug widths we are looking at 24MM. The case itself features a pull/push onion styled crown along with 50 metres of water resistance. However, I, Myself would not take this watch Swimming or submerge it in water. You should be okay whilst washing your hands or getting caught in the rain. The finishing seems good enough for their asking pricepoint of $1500 - without any blemishes or sharp surfaces. If we flip the watch over, a nice screwed in caseback which is Sapphire allows the end user for a really nice look into the inner mechanics of this manual wound Tourbillon. I think, they got it down just right to match the pricepoint they are asking.
The blue dial which is covered by a flat AR coated Sapphire crystal is rather captivating at first glance, with a good ammount of decoration and a few useful features. If we look at the 3:00 position - a nice sun/moon indicator with gold accents really adds a luxurious and classy look in my opinion. Now at 9:00 we get a second time zone if you wish to keep track of two time zones on your Prometheus. The real star of the show is the tourbillon above 6:00 which is an absolutely beautiful sight to gaze at. Another nice feature is that there is actually lume on this watch, and it’s Good! The long blued Sword style hands are lume filled as well as the hour markers on the outer rim. Overall, it gives me a good and warm feeling taking a glance at this finely decorated movement when I am wearing it.
The Tourbillon movement itself is an Asian built
HZ3360A manual wound caliber. This tourbillon has around a 42 hour power reserve when fully wound - certainly good enough for myself. It also contains 20 jewels and beats at 28.8K / 4 HZ. The stated accuracy of this movement is + / - 25 seconds per day. Now, the cage itself at 6:00 will rotate completely every 60 seconds - which can be used for a seconds subdial
if you really wanted it to..Overall, the bridges and hears and finely decorated in a delightful manner - much better than many Swiss brands I must say at this pricepoint.
Supplied Leather Band
The 24MM Leather band straight out of the box conformed to my wrist and was a breeze to adjust with the butterfly extendable clasp. I like the small details such as the blue stitching, which really pops. It is comfortable, features quick release pins, and gets the job done - So I do not really see any issues here.
Furthermore, expensive Tourbillons are out of reach for most of us Watch collectors and enthusiasts. However, this is living proof that you indeed can own a real Tourbillon for under 2 grand. It is something many small brands are simply not doing - and that is where ERA came in to solve this issue. Sure, there are many cheaper Chinese tourbillons on various outlets - But can you really be sure of what your getting when ordering overseas? I like the overall original design, features, and the complete package. I think it is a Win - and they did an outstanding job funding and producing this model.
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The Carrnegie models feature a wide variety of case finishes and strap combinations for your liking. They do only have one current model, and I think it is a fairly decent piece for the coin. The solid 316L stainless steel cases feature integrated lugs and a 41MM diameter with a 12.5MM case thickness. In terms of finishing, they have a smooth brushed finish, with zero blemishes or errors on the two models I have been wearing for the past couple weeks. The case itself features a screw down caseback along with fifty meters of water resistance, suitable for shallow swimming and hand washing. Some nice details include the drilled lug holes and concealed downward curved concealed lugs, for easy strap swapping. Carrnegie offers a few different straps such as genuine rubber, Italian leather, and standard leather as extras if you take a peek at their webshop. It most definitely is smart looking on the wrist and certainly one that can be dressed up for any occasion. For you spec freaks, the lug to lug distance measures in at 49MM which wears real nice on my 6.5 inch wrist.
The white dial is a bit more dressy, as you can see from the photo above. Some aspects I like are the symmetry of the three subdials, and applied faceted bold hour markers. The black dial variant is a bit more fierce and bold looking when on wrist, and even feels slightly sporty or casual in a way. A nice set of dauphine hands and a needle point sweeping seconds hand certainly look right at home on the Carrnegie timepiece. So, there are three complications on this model...at 9:00 we get the day of the week, at 3 the day of the month, and finally a 24 hour subdial resides at 6. It’s amazing they are able to fit all of this information packed into a 41MM case without it looking cluttered or distorted. In addition to this, a nice thick piece of genuine domed sapphire crystal resides above the dial, allowing for a classic luxurious feel.
I really do adore this Mechanical Quartz hybrid Seiko VH63 movement they decided to use. It has four ticks per second, along with a three year battery life. You really do get the feel of a mechanical watch, but with the upsides of a quartz caliber such as accuracy, robustness, and reliability. The accuracy on this piece is no exception and certainly is doing much better than some pieces with a standard swiss made ronda 515, gaining only 1 second in the two weeks I have owned it!
Genuine Leather Bands
Now, there are infinite strap options at different pricepoints with Carrnegie. The two I have in hand are the rubber tang buckle, and the premier italian embossed leather on a butterfly clasp. The straps are 20MM in width which suits the case diameter just fine, and certainly does not look out of place. Out of the two, I much prefer the rubber tang, as it is extremely supple, comfortable, and can get wet. It feels at home on the rose gold plated iteration, and suits the case and lugless design with ease. On the other hand, the Italian leather Premier band is a bit more classy and dressy - allowing for a completely different look and feel. It has a decent signed butterfly clasp which is super easy to adjust and fit. It really is a hard choice to choose permanently between the two, so Id reccommend grabbing one of each if your not certain.
Furthermore, Carrnegie watches have done a decent job on their first major release in my eyes, providing probably the best quality you can obtain for your money at this entry level sector. The movement is the real star of the show for me, and I think will be one of the main reasons many will choose a Carrnegie timepiece. The overall design and presentation is good enough, and I do like the fact that they have created numerous strap options to swap out. Some brands create a watch with a lugless integrated design, but forget to actually create more strap options, often leaving the customer hopeless. So, there you have it - the Carrnegie ! I did leave a link button above if you are interested in picking up one of these pieces for as low as $179 USD , AND I believe if you sign up for their newsletter you can save an additional ten percent...which is a real bargain.
Fleur De Lis is a relatively new watch company based in Australia. They have one model I have for review which is currently in stock dubbed the AL-01 which has a price of $435 AUD, and takes slight hints from watches such as the Patek Nautilus and AP ROYAL OAK. The second Automatic Moonphase model is quite a stunning piece and original in design which will be released in the coming months.
The AL-02 is crafted of solid 316L steel and is entirely brushed, feauturing a diameter of about 42MM across. The watch is certainly well cut and crafted and feels like it should cost a lot more than it actually does in my
opinion. Some nice features are the drilled lug
holes, and large crown guards. The caseback is rather solid and features a unique design which is quite subtle, but still noticeable. The case itself feels like it should be rated deeper than 50M, but that is what is stated from FDL on their website. This allows the end user to get the watch wet a bit, but not a piece id take for a dip in the pool if you know what I mean. Overall, I am
happy with the case cut and finish, and do not really see any errors here.
The dial itself appears to be a deep grey color and features horizontal elevated planks across. The markers themselves are lumed with superluminova which glows green in color, and is not that bad. A nice detail if you look real close is the printed text at 1:00 “No Guts No Glory”, not really sure what that means - but it sounds cool! Everything is very symmetrical which I do like and I think that is how a no nonsense dateless watch should look. Hovering over the dial is a nice piece of genuine sapphire crystal which really does not give off much glare, and is certainly legible when out and about.
If you did not notice already the words “Swiss Heart” below 6:00, this watch IS powered by a trusted and reliable Swiss Quartz no date Ronda movement. These are pretty much the go to movements in higher end time
only Swiss models, and for good reason. They are extremely accurate, have a 3-4 year battery life, and tough as nails.
The embossed genuine leather brown band is integrated into the lugs, just as a Nautilus is. It has a decent butterfly deployant which made it really easy to adjust the strap straight out of the box by gliding it into position. However, one must realize this pretty much is your only strap option considering these are custom fitted for this specific model. I can predict they will be releasing different bands in the future as this is a usual request from watch brands that use this method - such as Oris and Patek Philippe. Overall, it is comfortable and gets the job done.