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Cloud Mining Suffers as Hash Rate Plateaus

Nermin Hajdarbegovic | Published on January 25, 2015 at 16:15 GMT

The latest bitcoin price crash has started a new debate on the long-term viability of many aspects of the mining industry.

Notably, one of the first segments to take a hit in the days leading up to the crash was cloud mining – services that lease out hashing power from usually large-scale mining enterprises based in data centres.

On January 12th announced it would suspend cloud mining activities due to low prices. In a blog post, the company said cloud mining is simply no longer profitable.

Number of bitcoin miners goes down

Over the weekend, Organ Ofcorti published a comprehensive analysis of weekly bitcoin network statistics.

The anonymous miner and blockchain data analyst pointed out that reported a drop from 34,000 active user accounts to 6,000 user accounts on January 13th. The number then went down to 5,500 users. The drop was attributed to’s decision to pull the plug on cloud mining operations.

As a result, the estimated number of bitcoin miners plummeted by almost 30,000 in a matter of days. However, this does not mean the hash rate went down. Following the crash, the hash rate recovered and returned to peak levels in less than a week, after hitting a low of 229,513,534 GH/s on 14th January.


Ofcorti shared his thoughts on the demise of cloud mining with CoinDesk, concluding that the effect of the drop is negligible:

“I think cloud mining has had negligible effect on the network hash rate. Take for example (the only cloud mining entity sufficiently transparent to prove this data) – their recent ceasing of cloud mining removed about 28,500 user accounts – but had almost no effect on their hash rate.”


Ofcorti went on to explain that cloud mining tends to appeal to those who could not afford to invest a lot in order to purchase and run miners.


“Further, there are just too few cloud mining block makers and making too few blocks. If they were having a significant on the network, they’d have a larger share of it,” said Ofcorti.

Digital currency consultant and entrepreneur Jonathan Levin described cloud mining as a good concept with some drawbacks:

“The cloud mining market seems like a good idea in theory ensuring that the ownership of the hashing power is distributed among many participants. However the market suffers from a lack of transparency and operational risk which currently the industry from pricing the contracts efficiently.”

Hash rate to plateau or decrease at current prices

While the hash rate recovered shortly after the crash, long-term projections are difficult to make at this point. Four months ago CoinDesk examined a number of problems facing the mining industry in the long run, concluding that growth rates at the time were unsustainable. Assumptions were based on substantially higher miner revenues and bitcoin prices.

Since then, things have taken a turn for the worse. Although difficulty and hash rate have continued to go up, the price of bitcoin has more than halved. The cost of ASIC development, tape-outs and manufacturing is bound to go up as chipmakers transition to new FinFET manufacturing nodes.

“Assuming no significant [order of magnitude] improvements in chip cost and efficiency, at the current price the hash rate will either plateau or decrease slowly. Most of the smaller players and those without low-cost electricity will leave the network once it’s clear they won’t recoup any losses,” said Ofcorti.

Ofcorti shares Levin’s concerns about the possible centralisation of hash power:

“I think the main problem caused by the low BTC price is increased centralisation.”

While the question of centralisation looms over the industry, there are a number of influential industry leaders who consider the matter overblown. Gavin Andresen, the Bitcoin Foundation’s chief scientist, downplayed the risks at the annual Web Summit three months ago.

Andresen argued that centralisation is likely to occur in waves and therefore can be rolled back. He said economies of scale are currently forcing companies to create huge mining farms, but as mining ASICs become commoditised, the trend could reverse and the industry could decentralise again.

Mining companies remain bullish

However, a number of mining companies remain bullish and see a lot of potential in cloud mining. The pre-order business model is all but gone – as the market for individual and hobbyist sales dries up, cloud mining may be the only way for mining companies to move forward.

At the same time, some companies are exiting the cloud mining market, with being the biggest player to pull out so far. Last week cloud mining service ZeroHash also announced that it may be forced to shut down its service due to unprofitability.

Hardware makers are feeling the pinch too. CoinTerra is the latest bitcoin mining hardware company to default. Earlier this year, the company found itself unable to service its debts and last week it was forced to default on roughly $ 4.25m of secured notes. CoinTerra CEO Ravi Iyengar said the industry downturn was unpredictable, both in terms of price and mining difficulty.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, some mining companies are still expanding, attracting investors and clients. They are not bucking the trend – they are simply doing what has to be done to maintain competitiveness at a time of crisis.

Hash rate charts via Organ Ofcorti

Cloud MiningJonathan LevinOrgan Ofcorti

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Bitcoin is a digital currency that is being used increasingly all over the world. Find out more about how it works and how you can use it with our straightforward guides.

  • It’s a decentralized digital currency

  • It’s fast, cheap to use, and secure

  • From an exchange or an individual

There’s a bias against the new – we think nothing of handing over credit cards to a restaurant waiter, just because it’s established behaviour.

Marc Barach, chief marketing officer at Jumio

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My First Grail Watch: Kari Voutilainen

by Patrick Kansa

My First Grail Watch: Kari Voutilainen


Welcome back to an original aBlogtoWatch feature, “My First Grail Watch.” In this series, we ask prominent people in the watch industry about the first timepiece that they lusted after. Today, we’re speaking with Kari Voutilainen, a watchmaker who owns his exclusive brand, Kari Voutilainen.

aBlogtoWatch (ABTW): Who are you, and what is your relationship to the watch industry?

Kari Voutilainen: I am first and foremost a watchmaker. I also have a watch company in which we are making our own in-house movements, as well as dials and hands. My production is extremely exclusive and I will keep it this way. My relation is good with watch industry – actually we are part of it – but we are very independent. This is because we don’t have suppliers – we do everything by ourselves.

ABTW: When did your fascination with watches start?

Kari Voutilainen: When I was a child, we had a family friend who had a watch shop, and was also a watchmaker.

ABTW: A great way to be introduced to a wide variety of watches! What was your first grail watch?

Kari Voutilainen: It was a Leijona diver watch, which I got when I was 12 or 13 years old. I would admire the watch during school lessons when things turned a bit boring…

ABTW: What drew you to this particular watch?

Kari Voutilainen: It was a gift from my parents. I, of course, did like the look of it.

ABTW: Is the Leijona still part of your collection?

Kari Voutilainen: I never sell my watches which are personal.


ABTW: Since then, have there been any other grail watches for you?

Kari Voutilainen: I think one of the most beautiful watches today is Urban Jürgensen perpetual calendar in rose gold. I had been dreaming about it, and I was able to purchase it as a gift to myself on my 50th birthday.

ABTW: It seems you have had some great fortune getting your grails. Have there ever been any that slipped away?

Kari Voutilainen: I have missed two watches. The first was 20 years ago when I was on a summer holiday. While on the trip, I found a beautiful marine chronometer, which I bought. A few days later, I accidentally went in to antique shop and they had a very rare tourbillon demonstration model from Glasshütte watchmaking school, dating from the early 1900s. So, I bought that one as well! Then the seller told there is one similar one in another shop, which I went to see.

As I was completely broke after these two purchases, I decided to decline the purchase because my travel budget was ruined. This escapement model had been lying in the shop for years, and I kept thinking about it, even after I was back at home. I ended up changing my mind and called to the shop, but it had been sold the day after my visit. So now, If I find something, I won’t let it go. This is still bothering me after all these years.

The second watch, that happened 15 years ago. It was a stunning Breguet marine chronometer. The balance staff was broken, and the repairs would have been rather expensive. So, the owner asked whether I would be interested! Of course, I would be, but I had just bought machines for my workshop, and just did not have the money. If this happened today, I would go to the bank!

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Searching for a Cryptocurrency Security Standard

Last updated on Jan 25, 2015 at 12:02 GMT. Based on the following values:

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Danny Bradbury (@dannybradbury) | Published on January 25, 2015 at 11:15 GMT


search pen

Bitstamp’s recent hacking woes suggest that security in the bitcoin world seems to be getting worse, rather than better. Whether it’s down to external attacks, or internal irregularities as alleged at Mt Gox, it’s clear that something has to change.

When bitcoin wallet Blockchain experienced its own security problems in December, decentralised cryptography expert Emin Gün Sirer noted that the standard security practices among technology companies would not stand up in the bitcoin world.

Too much was at stake, he said. Social media companies may hold pictures of your pets, but your bitcoin account holds something more valuable. It seems reasonable that the cryptocurrency world should be held to a higher level of account than, say, Twitter (although a hacked Twitter account can still have pretty devastating results).

“We certainly need better security practices, as we have seen from the constant stream of spectacular failures of bitcoin exchanges,” he told CoinDesk more recently. “These services have been failing at the rate of one major failure every two months, leaving many distraught people in their paths.”

So, if we accept that companies holding real live funds for customers should have higher security standards, what should those standards be?

Advice from bankers

If bitcoin companies shouldn’t be looking to the general technology sector for their security, then they’ll need to look elsewhere. Perhaps the banking industry might be able to offer some sage advice. Banks have been valiantly trying to stop hackers from pilfering their customers’ data for years. Could bitcoin companies learn something from them? Given JP Morgan Chase’s recent losses, maybe not.

The JP Morgan Chase hack was undeniably bad, but there’s a key difference between that and a hacked bitcoin account. JP Morgan customers lost personal information, but not money. If a hacker targets your bitcoin account, your funds are gone.

Former digital forensics investigator Michael Perklin is president of the CryptoCurrency Certification Consortium (C4), which has developed a certification for cryptocurrency professionals. He argues that bitcoin companies must go beyond even banks in terms of security:

“If someone breaks into a bank and someone edits their database to say ‘Now I have a million dollars than I have before,’ or they wire transfer funds out of the bank to go to another bank – then all of that is traceable and reversible.”

Conversely, he argued that on-blockchain bitcoin transactions aren’t, as some exchanges and other bitcoin services have found to their cost.

“With bitcoin, once you’ve taken the keys and transferred them someone else, there’s no way to get them back without relying on traditional law enforcement,” he warned.

If bitcoin companies can’t look to Silicon Valley or to banks, then where can they look? Perhaps to themselves.

“It’s high time for the exchanges to realize that they are in this together, that a perception that bitcoin is insecure hurts the entire ecosystem, and it’s in their best interest to establish practices (like the use of strong databases, multisig wallets, real-time proof of reserves, and trustworthy computing) for the entire industry,” Sirer said.

Better software needed

One area where exchanges could improve is software development, argues Charles Hoskinson, cryptography expert and former CEO of Ethereum, who is now working on an educational project around cryptocurrency.

“Exchanges need to clean up their acts and create a standards body for proof of solvency, along with smart contracts to regulate behaviour and restore trust, he said, adding that many exchanges are startups with limited resources. “That’s the other problem, which is that the software is pretty crummy.”

Building secure software is difficult. In 2003, Microsoft froze its entire development cycle for months, and effectively retrained its developers from the ground up to write more secure code. It began outlawing functions in different software libraries, forbidding its developers to use them.

Microsoft even designed a whole process, called the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL), to create software that was bulletproof (or, at the very least, contained fewer holes than the average lump of Gruyere).

Software development alone is not enough, however (and in Bitstamp’s case, it isn’t entirely clear where the vulnerability lay that allowed hackers to steal bitcoins from the company). There are other issues to consider, too, including infrastructure management. Elements such as change control and security patching are crucial for the operation of a secure environment.

Internal processes must also get better, experts say. Performing suitable background checks on personnel responsible for keys is one example, argued Perklin.

The good news is that some of these secure processes can be hard-wired into the technology used. Multi-signature technology is a good example. You may vet your senior executives responsible for accessing private keys, but having a system that requires several of them to authenticate a transaction would help to minimise, if not entirely eliminate, the risk of corruption and blackmail.

Taking care of business

If they don’t get their heads around this, the danger for organisations holding peoples’ cryptocurrencies is that they end up having someone else regulate it for them. Too many big thefts may draw interest from policymakers who may take matters into their own hands.

“If there are enough customer complaints, regulators might just be compelled to step in with their usual heavy-handed approach,” said Gun Sirer, adding that he hoped the industry pulls itself together before that happens. “I’m in favour of getting the industry to clean up its own act.”

There’s certainly enough money floating into the bitcoin community to pay for some grown-up programmers. CoinDesk’s State of Bitcoin report in January documented venture capital investments in bitcoin reaching $ 433m, and $ 335m of that happened in 2014. That’s a lot of salaries for technical security leads.

Search image via Shutterstock


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Bitcoin is a digital currency that is being used increasingly all over the world. Find out more about how it works and how you can use it with our straightforward guides.

  • It’s a decentralized digital currency

  • It’s fast, cheap to use, and secure

  • From an exchange or an individual

Banks are a pain in the ass for a homeless person, so I immediately embraced bitcoin!

Nomadic bitcoiner Justas

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TOP 10 Watches Of SIHH 2015

by Ariel Adams

TOP 10 Watches Of SIHH 2015


Attending the SIHH watch trade show in Geneva, Switzerland, is as much an exploration of geo-politics and economics as it is experiencing what’s new in luxury watches and jewelry. 2015 was another slow and restrained year that will be historically relevant because just days before the opening of the show the Swiss National Bank decided to immediately change the valuation of the Swiss Franc making it more valuable against the Euro – and thus also against most other world currencies as well. In one fell swoop the Swiss Franc – which most watches presented at the SIHH are based on – increased in value by 20%. The ramifications of this were not insignificant, as buyers from around the world suddenly had to face the reality that they had less buying power, and the Swiss watch brands faced the reality that they would sell a lot less product.

SIHH is, after all, a sales event whose main goal is to attract retailers from around the world to order the newest luxury novelties that will later be sold to consumers. We journalists who are there to cover the fresh product are a distant second in regard to the perceived business importance of selling. Was it doom and gloom in the ritzy halls of SIHH as retailers froze spending in light of currency uncertainties? To some degree yes, but we further understand that major markets such as the United States did not see retailers dramatically restrict spending on new inventory. Nevertheless, the Richemont brands and those few others showing at the SIHH made an important tactical decision in regard to the immediate “currency crisis”: wait until later in the year to show a lot of their new products.


Watch brands know that in many instances they have one major shot to impress retailers and the press alike when it comes to presenting new products. If the environment is not right, then the conservative luxury industry merely waits on presenting major new products, and instead relies on new products which are mostly “line extensions.” That translates into watches which are really just new colors and minor updates to existing models. Timepieces with new movements, completely new collections, and more interesting models in many cases were excluded from those novelties officially presented at the “Salon.” What aBlogtoWatch’s team kept hearing over and over again was “we have a really major announcement later in the year.”

While it is frustrating for us to travel to Switzerland and not see new watches, we do legitimately want the watch industry to be economically healthy – so, if waiting for lots of new product is what we have to do, then so be it. That isn’t to say the 16 presenting brands at SIHH 2015 were empty-handed. Even though many of their newest watches were already debuted via images in the months before SIHH 2015, there were lots of interesting things to see. That is especially true for buyers who exist in the wealthiest buying demographic. In a sense, you could say that SIHH 2015 was a return to serious luxury as the majority of compelling new products are extremely limited in production and priced very high.


Outside of a few exceptions from brands such as Montblanc and Cartier, men and women whose budgets are $ 5,000 will not find too many new watches that we really recommend taking a serious look at. This, of course, is the most difficult market segment to get right, and brands are loathe in uncertain economies to dedicate massive production and marketing costs to enticing more “mainstream” consumers with fresh watches to get excited about. Instead, they rely on existing products to continue selling which focusing on the richest demographic who has increasing amounts of disposable income and is vastly less price sensitive. What does this mean? Well, the difference in price between $ 5,000 and $ 5,500 can certainly influence a lot of sales, whereas the difference between a $ 200,000 and $ 250,000 price makes less of a difference to consumers at that level. We, thus, see SIHH brands focusing as much on the ultra-elite consumer as possible. If you like diamonds, precious metals, and highly complicated timepieces then SIHH certainly has something for you.

It is also important to mention that many of the most exciting watches we saw at SIHH 2015 were simply not new for 2015. We chose to include some new models debuting for 2015 which are attractive line extensions, but we did not include models which might have been announced a year or more ago and are finally ready for production now. If that would have been the case you would have seen a different list below.


aBlogtoWatch likes to represent the perspective of the successful, yet price conscious consumer, and as such, we are sensitive to the notion of products which we feel are overpriced. There are a few new timepiece models that we would have certainly added to our top 10 watches of SIHH 2015 list which we did not, simply because their prices made them less appealing options for most people. We don’t feel the need to apologize to the luxury industry for making a big deal about price, because at the end of the day, we demand real value on behalf of consumers no matter the price level. It is our opinion that luxury watch makers are doing themselves a disservice by following the lead of fashion companies by attaching a “premium” for their brand name. Instead, brand names should be indicators of quality and history versus lifestyle and prestige.

If you are a seasoned watch collector with an enviable budget and are in the market for a complex or aesthetically pleasing new timepiece, then SIHH 2015 will have a lot for you. While prices are high and selection is low for SIHH 2015 products, we did find many pretty things, as well as old favorites which have been given exciting refinements for this year. Also, don’t forget what I said earlier about brands holding off on “major announcements” for later in 2015 that should prove interesting later on into the year.


Audemars Piguet Royal Oak 41mm 15400 Two-Tone

Okay, yeah, it is just the larger (more jumbo?) version of the Audemars Royal Oak in the 41mm wide case (debuted in 2012) presented in a two-tone style with steel and 18k rose gold elements – but it is still a really cool Royal Oak. “Line extensions,” as the industry refers to them (variations on existing models), are pretty much the cornerstone of new releases at SIHH 2015 and one of the ones we all seem to want is the iconic Royal Oak in a 41mm wide case (there is a smaller ladies’ version as well) in a mostly steel case but with an 18k rose gold bezel and bracelet links. This is actually the first ever two-tone steel and rose gold Royal Oak (even though years ago, the brand had some two-tone steel and 18k yellow gold models), and with the larger case and silver/white dial it looks particularly handsome. At $ 25,600, here is just one more daily wear luxury watch for people to choose from.


Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500

It is limited to only 10 pieces (for now, at least, in this execution) and it is priced north of $ 350,000, but the brand new Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500 watch is a timepiece pretty much everyone agrees is both lovely and desirable in the most classic of means. Set as the flagship for Vacheron Constantin’s new Harmony collection, this new watch collector’s dream sits thin and bold on the wrist, with a dial that tells no one but the most knowledgeable of aficionados it is something special.

A few years, ago the notion of “stealth wealth” was pretty popular – meaning a very high-end piece that only a select group of people could recognize as being special. Today, bling is back in a big way, but that doesn’t need to apply everywhere. In platinum, this new ultra-thin self-winding (with a peripheral rotor) chronograph features just the time and power reserve with a split-second monopusher controlled chronograph. Those in the know are aware that split-second chronographs are among the most difficult to assemble mechanical complications around – which, coming from Vacheron Constantin, helps explain the intense asking price. The caliber 3500 movement is beautiful, with a new element we find in a series of novel Vacheron Constantin calibers – a hand-engraved 18k gold balance cock. At $ 369,200 the limited edition of 10 Vacheron Constantin Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph Caliber 3500 is sublime, and destined for the very few.


Montblanc Meisterstuck Heritage Chronometrie

One of the most difficult “new” things to find at SIHH 2015 was more affordable watches that people who want value under $ 5,000 can get excited about. Montblanc continues to build out their Meisterstuck Heritage collection with the very thin “Chronometrie” model that charmed us with its simple two hand dial and dress watch proportions available in both steel and 18k rose gold. Let’s be honest that there is nothing inherently unique or “Chronometrie” about the watch, but it does have a pleasantly familiar dressy design with a very thin ETA 7001 manually wound movement that makes for a reliable design that will be relevant for years to come. Priced starting at $ 2,260 for the steel model.


Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton

Often misunderstood or dismissed by seasoned watch aficionados, Roger Dubuis is a serious “manufacture” brand that is working hard to rediscover itself after one of the most interesting and tumultuous modern histories of all major luxury watch brands. Each year, we know that Roger Dubuis will attempt to amaze and shock us with an avant garde booth and messaging campaign at SIHH, and their models focus very much on overt displays of wealth and wild design. It certainly isn’t for everyone’s taste. Where Roger Dubuis excels, however, is in the production of interesting skeletonized movements that until now have, for the most part, featured tourbillons. For 2015, Roger Dubuis has finally decided to produce a tourbillon-less version of their cool skeletonized movement in the Excalibur 42 Automatic Skeleton watch.

This year, Roger Dubuis has started to use the “Spider” term to refer to the distinct design of their web-like, dark-colored skeletonized movements. What is important is the “Roger Dubuis” star-shape that is present in the design. The Roger Dubuis Excalibur Automatic Skeleton is a big deal because the fashionably cool high-end design of their skeletonized movements is finally available without a tourbillon, and with an automatic micro-rotor. Available in black-colored titanium or 18k rose gold, this reasonably sized 42mm-wide Excalibur collection watch is wild and also legible, yet suitable for much more frequent wear than a delicate tourbillon. In our opinion, Roger Dubuis has hit a sweet spot opening up an interesting look to a whole new group of people not interested in going way over $ 100,000 for the novelty of something cool. Priced starting at $ 63,900 in DLC black titanium to about $ 80,000 in 18k rose gold – the Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Automatic Skeleton is finally a bit more wearable and consumer friendly.


Cartier Clé de Cartier

Cartier is the most important brand in terms of revenue for the Richemont Group, and each year, the famous watch and jewelry maker does not screw around when it comes to new releases. The new Clé de Cartier collection is perhaps the only new mainstream –oriented new collection that we saw during the entire show which presented both a new case and movement. We also fully expect Cartier to further flesh out the Clé collection in the years to come with additional material choices and complications. For 2015, the Cartier Clé (which stands for “key”) is available exclusively in gold cases, but we feel that Cartier will more than likely add steel versions in the future. The largest Clé case size is for men and is 40mm wide in a sort of tonneau-shaped case with a round dial.

The simple three-hand dial is immediately “Cartier” in style but here matches black Roman numerals with black – versus blued steel – hands, which we find to be rather sharp looking. Inside the Clé is an in-house made Cartier automatic movement with traditionally laid out central seconds, hours, and minutes hands. This is a bit distinctive from the layout of the also in-house made 1904 MC movement which has a subsidiary seconds dial. Going back to the “key” part of the watch’s name, Cartier developed a pretty cool new crown for the Clé, which they say is inspired by the winding keys from old clocks. While not round, it is simple to use and has a nice turning and locking action which is difficult to describe, but very pleasant in its operation. Cartier even offers a new bracelet design which has thin links and is very comfortable. In the end, the Clé is yet another tasty flavor of Cartier watches for mainstream luxury consumption which adds to the brand’s existing portfolio of attractive models. The 2015 models in only gold are priced accordingly (which is a lot, with the optional bracelets), but be sure to keep an eye on the evolution of the Clé as Cartier likely adds steel models in the future. Priced at $ 21,000 in 18k white gold.


Panerai Radiomir 47mm 3 Days Firenze Acciaio

We all agree that this new limited edition – exclusive to Florence – Panerai PAM00604 watch is a great way to enjoy the core design aesthetic of the historically Italian dive watch brand with a new artistic angle. Panerai has taken its most seminal Radiomir case and dial design and combined it with a reliable Panerai P.3000 manually wound hours and minutes only movement, as well as a case which has been totally hand-engraved. At 47mm wide on the wrist, it wears boldly but comfortably in the Radiomir case, and the black-filled engravings are tasteful yet something most people would not expect from the typically simple Panerai wearing experience. It isn’t cheap at 17,000 Euros, or easy to buy, given that only 99 will be made for the Panerai flagship store in Firenze, Italy (Florence) – but this is a piece we think Panerai collectors will fawn over with ease.


Richard Mille RM 11 Bracelet

Like most other “new” watches for SIHH 2015, this Richard Mille RM 11 isn’t new – but the RM 11 is one of the most iconic pieces in the larger Richard Mille collection which has experienced countless executions over the years. So why is it on the list here for 2015? Well, for the first time, Richard Mille has added the option of a titanium bracelet for a men’s watch. 2015 actually sees two other Richard Mille watches for women with bracelets – though none are quite as impressive as that for the RM 11. Cool looking and comfortable, the RM 11 on the bracelet immediately feels like something which has been in the Richard Mille family for a while. It’s mostly brushed surfaces are given delicate, polished beveled edges, and the clever spring-loaded deployant Richard Mille fans have enjoyed on the brand’s bracelets for a while.


Greubel Forsey Tourbillon 24 Secondes Tourbillon Vision

A discreet Greubel Forsey watch? It can happen, and it did happen, with the new Tourbillon 24 Secondes Tourbillon Vision. This is the most basic looking Greubel Forsey timepiece ever, and it even comes with an actually totally round case without the brand’s typical “asymmetrique” bulges – well save for the tourbillon bubble on the caseback (which you can’t even actually feel while it is on the wrist). Of course, the Tourbillon 24 Secondes Vision isn’t actually simple, as the dial uses a pantheon of complex construction techniques only a brand like Greubel Forsey would even consider putting so much effort into. The Vision uses a modified version of the existing 288-piece movement with an inclined tourbillon that rotates once each 24 seconds. The dial display only has the time with subsidiary seconds dial and a window shows a rather discreet view of the tourbillon which can be better viewed through the rear of the watch. At 43.5mm wide in 18k white gold for 2015, this limited edition of 22 pieces is a unique selection of design elements and masterful technique that shows the range collectors can expect from one of the most meticulous timepiece makers around. Price is north of $ 300,000.


Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Grand Tradition Grand Complication

The watch so grand they named it twice? For what Jaeger-LeCoultre lacks in clever product naming they make up for in sheer horological excellence. The Master Grand Tradition Grand Complication for 2015 doesn’t offer a new movement, but it does offer a highly refined, fresh way of enjoying this existing Jaeger-LeCoultre collection model that contains the extremely admirable in-house made Caliber 945 which, like the Duometre family, contains a movement with German Silver plates. Want an exotic mix of high-end complications? How about a sidereal orbital tourbillon that, in addition to oscillating like a normal tourbillon, makes a full rotation around the dial once each day – according to sidereal time (which varies from “civil” time just a little bit). In addition to the tourbillon and astronomical complications, that Grand Master Tradition Grand Complication also just happens to have a rather impressive minute repeater that uses Jaeger-LeCoultre’s crystal gong system that help gives the chimes the best sound possible. Price is north of $ 200,000.


A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1

Wait, didn’t the A. Lange & Söhne Lange 1 watch come out when the brand “re-launched” in 1994? Yeah, and for the brand’s most basic yet iconic watch, little has changed in over 20 years. For 2015, A. Lange & Söhne revisits the Lange 1 not with major design changes, but with a freshened-up movement that is fully in-house, including an A. Lange & Söhne produced hair spring. The dial of the 2015 Lange 1 offers a few of the modern touches A. lange & Söhne has recently given to the Lange 1 collection. At 38.5mm wide, the Lange 1 is modestly sized, and there is the larger Grande Lange 1 as well. We appreciate that A. Lange & Söhne is putting a lot of effort into strengthening their core collection models as well as ensuring that even at their beginning prices consumers are getting the most bang for their buck when wanting to enjoy this premiere German luxury watch brand. Price is 29,800 Euros in 18k rose or yellow gold and 42,300 Euros in platinum.

See more articles about:SIHHSIHH 2015


5803822 5pts6 minutes ago

Those Panerai just go from bad to worse –  engraved cushion – just about the most abhorent idea yet – and the Greubel Forsey is possibly their most lame tame offering ever – ( at the usual gobsmacking price )

Apart from Monblanc everyting here seems to be directed at persons of  exteme wealth , but perhapa ABTW readership is not what I imagined – interesting stuff but really of only passing interest to mere mortals.

Could;nt agree more with Mike Carson’s assessments. – VC a big zero on price /nasty cushion shape- JLC scraped a pass.

MarkCarson 5pts26 minutes ago

What a weak year when you have the most boring looking watch possible for over $ 300K (the hole which displays the tourbillon looks like it was just punched out of the dial). While I appreciate the GF does fantastic finished of every component, even the ones you can’t see, it in no way looks like a $ 300K watch. Greubel Forsey: fail.

Yes split second chronographs cost more. But with only a chronograph and a power reserve, it take a lot of balls to charge $ 370K for a watch, let along naming a watch with only this number of features a “Grande Complication”. A nice Habring split second chrono will only set you back $ 8K USD, so there is no excuse for the VC price based on this complication alone.

Vacherson Constantin: fail.

The JLC Grand Grand at least looks like a $ 200K watch. Jaeger LeCoultre: pass.

Some of the best watches this SIHH were the more affordable ones, but there were not enough of them. Too many line extension as noted in the post. Sure hope these brands do as promised and show us more interesting stuff later in the year.


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Is this idea so crazy that it just might work?

My Usual Game

Is this idea so crazy that it just might work?

By David Owen

Not long ago, I received a promotional email from a golf course my friends and I have often played during the winter, called Lyman Orchards. That got my hopes up — but the email wasn’t an announcement that the course had re-opened; it was an invitation to celebrate “National Pie Day” with “a Free 6-inch Pie.” And the pie wasn’t really even free, since you had to buy $ 25 worth of other crap in order to get it. And then the weather turned almost vengeful: driving rain and sub-freezing temperatures. And then we got snow.


I’ve been passing this golf-free period by working — or “working” — and, when I think of it, throwing birdseed onto the hill outside my back door. And one day I noticed something interesting: the birds, with all their frenzied wing-flapping and hopping-around as they pushed and shoved each other to get at the seed, had cleared almost all the snow from the area where I’d been feeding them:


That made me wonder: could bird power be harnessed to keep golf courses open during the winter? Spread birdseed with crop-dusting planes, which can’t have anything better to do until spring, and let birds take it from there? Fairways and greens only, to keep costs down? I don’t know; I’m not an ornithologist. But let’s try it.


When my wife was in third grade, her Brownie leader didn’t believe her when she said there was a bird with “tit” in its name, but my wife was right, and the photo above is proof. Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, on a day when there was no functioning golf course within a hundred miles of where we live, the Sunday Morning Group went out to dinner, at a sports bar called 1st and 10. 


Hacker (real name) ordered something that isn’t on the menu anymore but that the chef will make for you if you know to ask for it:


It’s two hot dogs split the long way and wrapped in a tortilla with chili, bacon, cheese, and some other stuff, then dipped in batter and deep-fried — and it comes with fries. I asked our waitress why it wasn’t still on the menu, and she said they took it off because no one but Hacker had ever ordered it.


Quite a few guys showed up that night. One who didn’t was Stanley. The day before, he had reported, by email: “Had a golfer’s knee installed on Monday. Now rehabbing. Legs the same length.” Hacker visited him a couple of days later:


Golfers who have knee replacements often figure they ought to get more handicap strokes. But shouldn’t they actually lose strokes, to make up for how much better they feel? When I suggested that to the group, Stanley disagreed. “I have no doubt that the U.S.G.A. will soon ban this device,” he wrote from the rehab center. “However, my knee was installed prior to the change and is therefore grandfathered.” We’ll see.

The other thing we’ve been doing this winter is working on our relationship with our first (and, so far, only) official sponsor: Jagermeister. Our sweatshirts are at the embroidery shop right now, because we’re having our names and some other stuff added to them. Even so, we’ve had a measurable impact on sales. A bridge partner of mine in Mississippi, who doesn’t play golf but does read my blog, wrote to say that he is seriously thinking about buying a bottle. And Other Gene’s wife, Diana, recently ordered some in a restaurant.

Just the beginning, my friend. Just the beginning.



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