HANDS-ON: Aggressively monochrome – the blacked-out Bulgari Octo Ultranero

With its intensely angular octagonal case, it’s easy to see why Bulgari’s Octo collection is a cult favourite. And the latest versions take the model down a darker path. We looked at the crimson-accented version earlier this year, and today we go even darker with the full-black Octo Ultranero. The case is the same as always – 41 mm steel treated with a black DLC, and rated to 100m. But while its red-and-black companion plays with contrast, this version offers nothing but black. The matt black hands and indices all but disappear into the equally black dial, and leave the case to be the dark and brooding hero. In fact, unless the light is hitting the inky lacquered dial at just the right angle, you’re going to have trouble seeing those sleek, skeletonised, dauphine-style hands against it. But legibility isn’t the main concern here. This watch manages to be both bold and understated, a difficult trick to pull off. The attention is on the Octo’s iconic Gerald Genta designed case. With razor-sharp lines and multiple facets, it’s a somewhat sinister play of light and shadow, reminiscent of a stealth fighter. Each of the many brushed black sides contrast or highlight…

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EDITOR’S PICK: The most impressive quartz watch in the world and 3 other surprising things I learned about Seiko in Japan

Editor’s Note: Until relatively recently Seiko’s watchmaking – in particular their Grand Seiko and Credor lines – was something of an insiders’ secret, with their quality of finish and precision of workmanship not as widely recognised (or marketed) as those of the Swiss marques. That’s all begun to change, and looks set to change even more now that Grand Seiko is a fully independent brand. Last year I took a trip to discover more about the secrets of Seiko. This is what I found… I’ve always liked Seiko. One of the first watches I ever bought was a Black Monster, followed by an ever-rotating roster of rock-solid SKX divers as well as the odd vintage piece including an original Turtle, a 6139 ‘Pogue’ chronograph (sadly missed) and not one but two 4006-6031 Bell-Matics (neither of which are currently running, but that’s a different story). So when Seiko Australia invited me to tour the company’s Japanese production facilities (wearing an Astron), I jumped at the chance. It’s fair to say I had some pretty solid preconceptions about what I’d experience. I was super-pumped to see the Micro Artists Studio, and Morioka, where Grand Seiko is assembled. Turns out I was not prepared, at…

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VIDEO: Montblanc’s Orbis Terrarum UNICEF limited edition

When they’re done right, limited edition watches are great. They offer some exclusivity, membership to a special club, and that feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself. When they’re done badly, limited editions are merely a poorly thought-out logo whacked on a dial. Thankfully this UNICEF limited edition is very much in the former camp. Montblanc has taken one of their coolest models, the Orbis Terrarum, made some super-subtle design tweaks and wrapped it all into a very worthy cause. Who wouldn’t like it? Montblanc Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum LATIN UNICEF Australian pricing and availability Heritage Spirit Orbis Terrarum LATIN UNICEF, limited to 500 pieces, $8,400

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Montblanc's limited edition Orbis Terrarum for UNICEF, on the wrist for video review
Follower Reviews
21.06.2017  |  Andy Green

SPOTTED! BY AG: Dispatch 9, June 2017 – the collector’s edition

The past few weeks have been eventful, to say the least. With the team (again) scattered across the country (and the world), here’s what I’ve been up to. We’ve nicknamed this dispatch the “collector’s edition” – for reasons you’ll soon find out… To kick things off, Australian Race Car Driver and host of Top Gear Australia, Steve Pizzati, dropped past T+T HQ for a coffee. It turns out that Steve’s quite the watch fan, having flipped and flopped his way into a very respectable collection. I caught him wearing his PAM372, but he’s got big plans for his next acquisition. Favouring larger pieces, he’s now eyeing off an IWC Big Pilot or an Aquatimer. As we progressed through the month, it just so happened that Emmanuel Breguet (yes, of THAT Breguet) was in the country. Felix and I hit Crown Casino for a dinner hosted by Monards, at which Emmanuel himself gave a fun and educational presentation on the history of Breguet. It’s always great to hear these stories of a brand’s provenance, especially from someone who shares the name! Later in the month Sydney was calling, and the entire team (welcome, Ali) made the trip up for the opening of…

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