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Tissot - Worth A Look

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on April 19, 2013 at 2:45 PM Comments comments (1)

Tissot have caught our eye recently with a couple of crackers that have really made us sit up and take a fresh look at this  famous Swiss brand, which now sits under the Swatch Umbrella.

First up we have the Tissot Automatic Visodate 1957, shown above, which  has been updated to suit the modern man with a bigger 40mm case and with a transparent back and scratch-resistant sapphire crystal. It comes in four versions, in steel with white or black dial, alternatively in gold PVD with white or black dial, each with crocodile embossed leather strap. Visodate was, when it was launched in 1953, one of the first automatic watches equipped with a date display. Prices start from around £385.

Next we have the  result of watchmaker Tissot coming together with Swiss Watch Manufacturer ETA to produce a brand new revolutionary Powermatic 80 movement timepiece that offers an extraordinary 80 hours of power reserve in comparison to the mere 36 hours of a standard watch allowing the watch to go for 80 hours without being worn or wound up. Together both companies have pushed the limits in terms of precision and  power to essentially give time a new status. Available in both men and women’s collections, with some models bearing the COSC (Contrôle Officiel Suisse Chronomètres) certification, the watches will be available from December 2013  with prices starting from £525

Finally, Swiss watchmaker Tissot is turning 160 and to make it special, they’ve created an anniversary timepiece. The Heritage Navigator Automatic is a remake of a model first made to commemorate their centenary back in 1953. Like all good designs, the styling of the classic chronometer looks just as good now as it did 50 years ago. This is available  from November 2013 and while I am not aware of pricing I would expect it to come in around the £1400 mark.

Christopher Ward C7 Bluebird Ltd Edition

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on April 16, 2013 at 2:30 PM Comments comments (0)

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There are without doubt some very exciting watches emerging from Christopher Ward lately and this is no exception. It's bold, brave and beautiful but bargain basement it isn't - from £499 upwards, which is a £200  premium on the standard C7MkII watch! We like it, we like it a lot but then we like a lot of watches at the £500 mark.

Christopher Ward Goes Racing

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on April 1, 2013 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (0)

To coincide with the new Formula One season Christopher Ward has released some very appealing new models to be seen wearing at the race track. There is the delicious C70 Vanwall shown above, or the distinctive and beautiful C7 MkII Italian Red limited to just 300 pieces, or the C70 British Racing Green model limited to 500 pieces.

The Vanwall is a COSC quartz watch in a limited edition of 1957 pieces to commemorate the year of the Vanwall's racing success and comes in at a not inconsiderable £600, while the Hot Red Italian model is £399 and the British Boy £425.

At Beastie Folly we believe you are onto a winner with any of these models though we would be hard pushed to choose between the Vanwall and the Italian Red for our personal collection. We love the Italian Job as it just revels in its redness but the Vanwall oozes class with its COSC credentials.  take your pick, but importantly just make sure you pick one.

Pictures from Christopher Ward.

JS Watch Co. - The Islandus 1919

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on March 13, 2013 at 5:25 PM Comments comments (0)

Three new colours for the Islandus 1919 from the JS Watch Company. Sunburst Silver, black and brown. This is not a review or anything like it, quite simply these popped into my mail box and I liked them a lot and wanted to share them. They are elegant and stylish and I would be happy to have one in my collection.

Islandus 1919 - The Airshow

“The first official Icelandic Air Show will be held at the airport tonight at 7 1/2,” sounded the advertisement on September 3rd 1919. “Tickets for admission are available on city streets and near the entrance. The price is 1 Kronur for adults and 50 Aurar for children. Commemorative cards are also available for all the shows this fall, and they are 5 Kronur.”

In the year 1919 few Icelanders got together to establish Flugfélag Íslands (Air Iceland) for passenger travel. After vigorous objections from Britain, the airline decided not to purchase a German made aircraft, but bought instead a three passenger English Avro. They also hired an extremely experienced fighter pilot by the name of Cecil Faber, who incidentally was highly trained to fly the Avro. Faber arrived in Iceland on the steamer, Ísland, in late July, but the aircraft came a month later because the box housing the aircraft was too large to fit on the ship. Many people made their way down to the harbor to take a gander at this enormous box as the papers had told that this was the biggest box to ever arrive in Iceland. After the plane had been assembled and the runway location found and approved by the town council, the decision was made to put on an air show. But before the air show, an unexpected and successful trail flight was flown over the city.

The watch bears the name SIF - N.A.R.T. and is named after the rescue helicopter TF-SIF which serviced us Icelanders for about 22 years. Before the helicopter was put out of commission on june 17th 2007, it had saved the lives of over 250 people and gone on hundreds of ambulance flights. It owes that success to the fact that the staff of the Icelandic Coast Guard are not just any staff: they’re among the best in the world in each and every one of their fields. With this in mind, the name SIF was chosen for the our new watch. The name references the fact that with a strong will and hard work, it is possible to ac hieve great things that others might consider impossible. Those of us at JS Watch co. Reykjavík want to show exactly that with this watch; that a will and hard work can go a very long way.

A large crowd gathered by the runway and after the Chief Executive Officer had delivered his speech, thunderous applause and cheers sounded as Captain Faber took off into the sky. Very few had ever seen a plane take off, so many, humans and animals, could hardly believe their eyes when they saw the aircraft lift off the ground and fly into the sky. Some horses in a nearby field stood frozen, while one dog went berserk. Captain Faber performed a few aerial stunts, which were so daring that many children began crying. The Morning Paper described the event: “The evening of September 3rd, 1919, will not soon be forgotten. The people had a new “air” about them as they stared into the blue sky and saw the modern day magical craft gliding in the air, illuminated by the sunbeams that could no longer reach us on the ground.”

Not everyone was as impressed by this aircraft business and one of those less than impressed people was Guðmundur Magnússon from Þyrli. He was haymaking on his land near to the airport and could therefore see everything very clearly. He wrote a few quatrains outlining his experience of this event. His last one sounded something like this:


“Impressive is the flight to some

Iced up island’s masses

Seeking the latest craze to come

For squandering their assets.”

JS Watch co. Reykjavik Islandus 1919

The Movement technical specifications:

  • Mechanical “Execution Top”
  • Automatic winding.
  • 25 jewels
  • Custom decorations
  • Blue screws and Rhodium plated finish.
  • 38-hour power reserve when fully wound.
  • Fine tuning “Assortment Chronometer”.
  • Shock protection Incabloc.

For more information visit http://www.jswatch.com

Christopher Ward Has A New C70 - The Vanwall

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on March 2, 2013 at 1:50 AM Comments comments (0)

The Christopher Ward C70 range has long been admired here at Beastie Folly and in truth I am a collector of this range. I have 4 of them already, the C70 DBR1, the C70 IT, the C70 US and the C70 MC. Each one has been a limited edition of 500 so now it is a case of keeping my eye out for them as and when they pop up on the used market.

In keeping with the format of limiting them to 500 ,Christopher Ward has released a new C70, The C70 British Racing Green, which you can see below. This release comes due to the popularity of the green versions of the C70 but for my personal tastes the all green look, doesn't quite sit as well in the range as the new VW4 shown in the main picture. This one really works for me and in my mind I can justify putting it on my "Want" list because it would be the first COSC watch in my C70 collection. However, at £600 the cost of ownership is very high for a quartz watch. Confirmation that they are using the Thermocompensated Quartz movement rather than the one listed on the website might help me get over this high price.  Christopher Ward are so confident of the success of this watch that the edition will run for 1957 models, so you pay more for a less unique model.

Anyway, I have featured the watch because it has caught my eye, I like it and to my eyes it is as attractive as the best in the C70 range. The features and official blurb on the watch are below.

Images and text below courtesy of Christopher Ward

The C70 VW4 Chronometer has been inspired by the 1957 victory at Aintree of the Vanwall VW4 racing car that started with Tony Brooks behind the wheel and took the chequered flag with Stirling Moss in the driver’s seat. This was the first time a World Championship Grand Prix race had been won in Britain by a British car, driven by British drivers. As the Vanwall cars were constructed in Maidenhead, the home of Christopher Ward, the astonishing story of how this British team fought off and beat the then all-conquering Ferrari’s is particularly close to us, and we felt an overwhelming need to create a watch of equal style and panache to celebrate the achievement.


The movement, a rare chronometer version of Eta’s superb 251.272 calibre movement, sets the bar very high for yet another signature motor racing watch from the CW design studio. The Number 20 of the winning car occupies the 12 position on the face, while the 18 of the second machine is highlighted in Vanwall’s trim colour of yellow on the bezel. Moss’s astonishing 90.61mph best average lap speed is picked out in red on the tachymeter. The reverse of the watch enshrines the British achievement with a deep-etched engraving.


The C70 VW4 Chronometer is available in a limited edition of just 1,957 models.


  • Worldwide limited edition of only 1957 pieces
  • Swiss made 27 jewel Swiss quartz movement and COSC Certification
  • Convex sapphire crystal with anti-reflective coating
  • Adjustable quick-release butterfly clasp
  • Screw-in crown Chronographic dials with split minutes / seconds /tenths seconds
  • Tachymeter bezel
  • Water resistance - 10 atm
  • Spanish 'Toro Bravo' Italian leather strap
  • Unique engraved individual serial number
  • Deluxe box upgrade and owner's handbook


  • Diameter: 42mm
  • Height: 10.7mm
  • Weight: 80g
  • Calibre: ETA 251.272 COSC
  • Strap:22mm Leather

See more Christopher Ward Motorsport Watches here.

Friday Cool - Let's Do Bauhaus

Posted by Adrian Ainsworth on February 10, 2013 at 4:30 AM Comments comments (0)

What is Bauhaus

The literal translation is "house  of construction". Bauhaus was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. The Bauhaus style, also known as the International Style, was marked by the absence of ornament and ostentatious facades and by harmony between function and the artistic and technical means employed. The Bauhaus school was founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar and operated from 1919 to 1933.

The Bauhaus style with its all encompassing philosophical approach to design was hugely influential in modern design across a range of disciplines including architecture, crafts and  industrial design. Bauhaus design can be characterized by its functional minimalism and the rejection of ornament. The idea  that ‘form follows function’ is at the heart of the Bauhaus style and " art for art's sake"  is overtaken by the blending of art with function, or put simply, functional style. Although minimalism is prevalent in the manifestations of Bauhaus, do not confuse Bauhaus with pure minimalism. To explain this in terms of a watch face, minimalism might strip out the markings on the face to batons for 3, 6, 9 and 12 but in truth this would be the triumph of form over function, as telling the time on such a watch would be less accurate than having markers for all the minutes. Bauhaus seeks to achieve a clean minimalist form but not at the expense of function. The Junkers Power Reserve at the bottom of this feature might at first glance be dismissed as not Bauhaus by some, as it is too cluttered, having a power reserve and a  smaller dial for military time. These though are genuine functions, so the Bauhaus mission would be to include them but to achieve an overall clean and unadorned look. The watch does this beautifully.


The first watch here is a Junghans Max Bill automatic and a nigh on perfect example of Bauhaus design in a watch.

The second watch is a Nomos Orion which again is a very pure Bauhaus look. The first Nomos watches were designed in 1990 in the Bauhaus purist style by Susanne Günther and have won several design awards as a result of this "minimalist" style.

Finally two offerrings from Junkers, the overtly Bauhaus three hander which comes as a quartz with "Bauhaus" written on the face and a more expensive automatic version where "Bauhaus" on the face is replaced by the text " automatic". Clearly Junkers believe that the quartz purchasers need to be told that this is a Bauhaus style, while the more discerning automatic brigade clearly have the sense to work this out for themselves! A tongue in cheek observation, as in truth I would be happy to have any one of these Junkers in my watch collection, which is in fact also the case for the Nomos and the Junghans.

This for me is a case of style over brand as the style is a winner in all three flavours - just take your pick and go Bauhaus.

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