Archive for September, 2008

Richard Mille SG GP Event

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Here at tourBULLion we like to think we are all about the watches. You don’t visit watch blogs to see pictures of models parading the latest in horological fashion, right? Show me the goddamn watch! If you want to see beautiful flesh there are plenty of outlets on the Intertubes for that.

Random celebrity? Check. Can we see the watches now?

As a somewhat middling diploma holder from a local art school, I’m wondering if the target audience is sufficiently induced to buy a $100,000 watch just because its paraded in front of them by a sweet young thing (beautiful timepiece notwithstanding). I’m all for making the product the hero of the ad campaign, which irritates me that the only limited face time we get with the timepieces would be on the wrist of a model.

There’s bound to be a showcase you say? Why yes indeed.

Never lowered to eye level.

The marketeer’s job is to sell us a lifestyle. Get a watch endorsed by Felipe Massa or Tiger Woods and you’ll be driving down the road or fairway just like your heroes. No one wants to buy a watch from a toothless hobo with bad hygiene. I suppose we should be thankful to marketing for at least that much.

And now, the swag bag: Drawstring bag containing a Richard Mille cap autographed by Felipe Massa (very nice) and a classy looking tin of Japanese chocolate biscuits. No catalog. What?

The writer would like to clarify that he is not a particularly bitter person. Except when denied his horological porn catalogs.

Fortis IQ Watch

Monday, September 15th, 2008



I really suck at Mathematics. It took me forever to realise what the number ’5′ at the five-o’clock position in Fortis’ IQ watch stood for. Maybe the ‘IQ’ in the name refers to people like me, or maybe Rolf Sachs ran out of space when he was designing the dial of this masterpiece.

This is one cleverly-designed watch for sure. PVD-ed black steel casing with a dark green dial reminiscent of a classroom blackboard. The hour-markers and all other decorations on the dial are chalked, as accordingly explained by Fortis, in the way only Fortis can:

“Chalk is transitory, waking the childhood memories in everybody, leading from the sterile to the human.” Right. Whatever you say guv. Don’t you know that too much chalk will get you sterile and become less human? IQ indeed. But it gets even better. All decorations on the dial, including the Fortis logo are laced with super-luminova. That means you will be the coolest person during a power-failure as all those complicated maths-equations cum hour-markers continue to glow, as you ponder the answer to life’s mysteries.

This watch exudes pure funk and quirkiness, like a skunk who uses perfume or a chair that balances on three legs.The point? It has personality. And by putting the IQ watch on your wrist you too will have a personality instantly. You might almost be mistaken for an artist, an eccentric hobo, or a fashion-magazine critic. You and 998 other persons in this world that is. But just imagine: something that starts more conversations than that $100,000.00 Patek Philippe and the pink-Hawaiian shirt you have on. Go get.

Fortis Limited Edition Art Model IQ Watch, Ref 596.18.61IQ, Stainless Steel Case Black PVD, 40mm case, 20 atoms water resistance, Recommended Retail Price SG$ 1950.00.

Rendered Speculation: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore SGP F1

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Aah, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore. Favored horological implement of international arms dealers, rap artistes, basketball stars, Robotic killing machines from the future/Californian governors and Formula One race drivers. Little wonder then, that AP has created a special edition to commemorate – you’ve guessed it – Singapore’s inaugural Formula One race, to be officially unveiled and launched at a posh party on the 25th of September, of which tourBULLion has not gotten an invite.

Just the mere mention of a new Singapore limited edition APROO is enough to send orgasmic shudders coursing down the oaken bodies of our local AP aficionados even before we know what the watch looks like. Mind you, with only a limited production run of 150 pieces, you can bet a lot of people will buy this watch without knowing first what it looks like.

Fear no more. Our expert artists here at tourBULLion, working on speculative news, insider information, rubbished rumors and our own base imagination have come up with a rendered photo of what this new exclusive watch will probably look like.

So quoted our industry insider: “The striking opulent red colour contrasts against the sporty toughness of the ‘Klingonised’ rubber bezel and strap, which is ten times tougher than that weedy vulcanised rubber. Klingonisation is a new treatment process whereby the rubber is taken and beaten into a senseless pulp by wild, dreadlocked space-faring aliens; you can imagine its quite expensive.” But that’s not all, said the insider. “The Merlion logo, so iconic and representative of Singapore and its culture and a million cheap tourist souvenirs, is actually the roll-cage of a new revolutionary escapement specifically designed to counter the effects of high-speed racing, which the manufacture has decided to name ‘Tormerlion’”. tourBULLion will continue to bring you news and live pictures of this revolutionary watch with its tackymeter when it is launched.

Base graphic used courtesy of the Audemars Piguet website. Would you guys consider a Royal Oak Offshore tourBULLion edition anytime soon? Please?

Wacko Japs show how REAL watch mags should be like

Monday, September 8th, 2008

Them Japs, they just have magazines for everything. From Hello Kitty merchandise to aquatic pebbles no topic is of no interest to them; I’m sure that’s that’s excellent news for you nail-clippings collectors now that you can get the latest on your exquisite hobby at Kinokuniya’s.

Jap watch mags though, raise the bar of freak-journalism by several notches. In addition to their mind-boggling research and no-frills but highly-detailed photography, they can write about almost every aspect of horological horse-dung in their unpretentious and deeply honorable way. Hai Patek-san, I know I will never own you. But I will commit seppuku if I am merely looking after you for my next generation.

Anyways, from the same creative minds that brought you used-panties-vending devices and Battle Royale films comes articles such as “The Heavenly Order of Luxury Watches” (“Hai?! Four Heavenly Kings?! Patek, Lange, Vacheron and Audemars Piquet are most honorable, Bull-san!”), “Joys of Rolex Explorer One Screw-down Crown Maintenance” and “Which One of these Diver’s Watches will crack under 1000 feet of water first? Let’s Find Out!”

What we also find out about their magazines though: no matter how inane their articles may be, they’ve never ceased to be about the watches first and last. From the inside of the front cover onwards its almost always a near-total blow-by-blow dedication to the timepieces only, showing them off in exquisite detail and telling you what why where (and how much) you can get them for. Functional and packed full of details you never needed to know, but all the wiser for now that you do. What that gives you, you might find, is a very readable watch magazine (you CAN read Japanese, can’t you?).

tourBULLion recommends the following Japanese Watch Magazines: Tokijiki Begin -published quarterly; Shikijiki Oh – monthly; Goods Press Bible – monthly; Power Watch – published quarterly. All of these fine horological publications are available at Kinokuniya Bookstores.

my watch has a mouse problem

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

When I was young, I had a Mickey Mouse watch. Well not exactly. It was really a Chinese sewer rat who went to Michael Jackson’s plastic surgeon to try and look like Mickey. Anyway I bought my Meeekiy Mouse watch at a street bazaar in Hong Kong when I was five years old for HKD 50. Once I put on that watch, I knew I wanted to be a famous watchmaker one day.

Well time sure passes quickly when there’s a mouse in your watch. The next Mickey watch I was interested in cost about USD 9000; naturally I was quite shocked when I found out about the watch-mice inflation index had thrin-tripled when it was being made by this bloke named Gerald Genta who founded a company named after himself but whom is really no longer there. Er…

Gerald Genta has been making them fine Mickey Mouse watches since the early eighties, and for the upcoming inaugural Formula -1 Grand Prix in Singapore this month, GG has launched a limited -edition ‘Mickey Racing Singapore’ luxury wristwatch. It comes in steel with a calf-leather or rubber strap , measures 41mm in diameter and features GG’s instantly-recognisable automatic jumping hours and retrograde minutes mechanism. And there’s Singapore’s ‘Iconic’ Merlion head located at where the minutes arc (that’s the ’12 o’clock position’ for you) begins. The Merlion looks hungry but happy I guess. Its a pretty big cat and Mickey is a pretty big mouse. I call leg.

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