Hermle has a long tradition of making beautiful timepieces – they’ve been at it since 1922. They have a willingness to challenge design and quality standards while still remembering the past. We’ve been happy to sell their clocks for quite some time, but they’ve released a truly spectacular clock that’s worth taking some time to talk with you about. Hermle calls it their Tellurium II. It is a stunning mechanical mantel clock whose name is derived from the latin word “tellus”, which means “earth”. This clock also shares its name with the early scientific apparatus designed to demonstrate the motion of the planets within the solar system. True to its name, the Tellurium II displays the relative motion of the sun, moon, and earth under a hand blown glass dome atop the clock. The earth’s tilt on its axis is accurately represented, as is its rotation. The moon accurately represents its phases across a 29 ½ day lunar cycle. Each orbits the sun, finishing their full motion in a year. A plate forming the base of the mechanism is engraved with days, months, and the symbols of the zodiac, through which the earth’s motion is demarcated. The mechanism of the clock itself is built with Hermle’s traditional standards in mind. It is an 8 day spring driven movement utilizing an 11 jewel Swiss deadbeat escapement. It utilizes four polished bells to play the Westminster chime quarterly and hourly. These nested bells have a sweet tone that is entirely unoffensive. The Tellurium II’s mechanism is housed in curved beveled glass, and finished with a black piano gloss wood base. The entire mechanism is nickel plated brass, offering a durable finish that will resist tarnishing. Hermle’s Tellurium II is a beautiful clock that we’re proud to sell, and is sure to become an heirloom your children will cherish.

We’re quite pleased to bring in a new line of watches produced by Vostock Europe. Vostock Europe is made up of an alliance of Lithuanian and Russian watchmakers aiming to produce watches that celebrate the biggest and the boldest. All of their watches are designed with that theme in mind, and each has a story. Today I want to tell you the story of the Energia.

Energia Rocket Liftoff

The Energia’s design is inspired by the Energia super heavy-lift launch vehicle. It is the most powerful launch vehicle ever built, capable of putting a 100 ton payload into low earth orbit. The watch it inspired comes in several finishes and metals, but all of them use a Seiko NH35 24 jewel automatic movement.

The Energia comes in a large durable locking dry box. Inside you’ll find your manufacturer information and manual. A hex key is included to facilitate changing bands from the beautiful leather strap to the durable water-resistant silicone strap included in the box. In a bit of forward thinking, all of the foam insulation in the dry box is cut to allow you to turn it into a four-watch holder with room for four additional straps and the strap tool, saving you the cost of purchasing something additional specifically for the task.Vostok Europe Energia watch with box

The Energia watch case comes in stainless steel, PVD plated rose tone over stainless, PVD plated black over stainless, and solid bronze! The particular one we’re looking at is the solid bronze model. It has a great natural tone that is like a dark rose gold. Because there is no plating on this watch whatsoever, the natural surface of the metal will, over time, develop its own one-of-a-kind patina. Given time, no two bronze watches will look the same. Beyond the aesthetics of the case, specific attention was paid to the more useful features. A screw-down crown and helium release valve are incorporated into the case, as well as a unidirectional bezel. The Energia has an excellent water resistance rating of 300 meters. The lugs are designed for easy strap removal and replacement with a hex wrench, not that you would have to replace it often; the leather strap is thick and stitched in all the right places.

Inside the case, the dial is clearly designed for legibility. Oversized bronze-tone dial markers and hands make legibility a nonissue. Each of these markers has a t-25 tritium tube affixed to it. The hands are differentiated at night by not only the length of the tritium tubes, but also by the twin tube arrangement on the hour hand. The cool blue of the dial matches the band, and is an attractive contrast between the warm bronze case and band hardware.

Last, but most importantly, let’s talk about the movement. The Energia uses a Seiko NH35R movement. Unlike lower cost automatic movements, this one is hackable and manual wind capable. It is a durable workhorse movement that offers great timekeeping. It is hard to overstate the quality Seiko produces.

If this brief overview hasn’t quenched your thirst, drop by the shop and see the watch in person. It’s hard to appreciate this scale of the watch until you have it in your hands. We’re happy to show you not only this watch, but the entire range of Vostock Europe watches.

Reviewed by George Black July 11, 2017

Introducing our newest watch brand: Tense watches. There are many wood watch options on the market, but we have hesitated to sell any because of our experience with quality problems. Cheap wood watches are prone to break and leak, are difficult to adjust to size without damaging the bracelet, and can lose pin attachments as the wood expands and contracts. Because it was a living material, wood is much trickier to make into a functional watch. Through research and comparing different products, we have found Tense Watches to be a brand that we are comfortable recommending. With over 40 years’ experience, they are one of the oldest wood watch manufacturers, and as a result have worked out the difficulties of manufacturing a quality wooden timepiece that will stand up to real world wearing conditions.

Here is a little about the brand from their web site:

Tense (noun): A set of forms taken by a verb to indicate time; One moment in time in relation to another moment in time. Past, present, future.

Tense Watches designs high quality wooden watches. They are made from 100% recycled or reclaimed wood, and are powered by Miyota Watch Movements from Japan. Each watch is manufactured by hand in our workshop in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Our products are designed and built around our core beliefs in quality and craftsmanship. In 1957, Ken P. Lau started his profession as a clock designer. He pioneered experimentation with natural components, such as wood and stone. In 1968, Ken moved his focus to wristwatches, and in 1971 Tense Wooden Watches was founded. To this day, Ken brings his almost 50 years of experience as a crafter of timepieces to the office.

We like the fact that Tense Watches are made in North America and as a result we can get repair parts if necessary. We like their design, for the quality aspect, but also because they are great looking watches. If you have never tried a wood watch on your wrist, you are in for a surprise. A solid wood case and bracelet makes a unique feeling product that brings a smile to your face. A recent addition to the Tense Watch lineup is their hybrid collection. Made of surgical steel with wood accents, these watches utilize the best of both materials. With sapphire crystals, Swiss movements, and water resistance from 3 ATM to 5 ATM, Tense Watches continue to show their commitment to quality. Oh, and they look great too!

We’re pleased to announce that Hermle Clock Company has released a new catalogue, and it’s full of brand new designs. Today, we’ll be showing you one of their newly introduced table clocks; one that is created for the person who appreciates fine workmanship and mechanical design.

It’s conservatively sized, standing only seven inches high and five and-a-half inches wide at its base. The base is solid walnut with a smooth natural finish. The clock is encased in a superbly made 5 part beveled glass box. The glass case is a small part of what makes this clock beautiful, but its quality of construction is worth spending a moment on. Each of the four corners perfectly matches. It is very neatly assembled with a U.V. glue – there’s no kind of smearing or globbing, just a precise amount for the task. The mechanism is really where this clock shines, though.

Two heavy brass plates encase the movement front and back. As much excess as possible is cut away, leaving the gear train visible. Both plates have a clean brushed finish. Top and center of the front plate is the escapement. It’s a Swiss 11 jewel deadbeat escapement – not only efficient but also excellent for timekeeping. The rest of the mechanism features four ruby jewels for increased durability and reduced friction. All of this is visible because the dial is simply two stainless steel rings that strategically cut away to present the best view possible. The winding arbor extends beyond the dial, easing the job of winding once per week.

Hermle consistently makes excellent clocks, and the ones released in this year’s catalogue are no exception. This mantle clock, however, is likely one of the most attractive additions. Come by the shop and we would be happy to show it to you.

 

Reviewed by George Black September 21, 2016

Today, we'll be reviewing the solar powered Casio EQB-500DB-2A. We're pretty excited about this watch because it has some unique functions we haven't seen anywhere else yet. We'll look at the build quality, functionality, and usability of the watch.

The case and band are both solid stainless steel. The band features polished center links and brushed outer links and uses a standard fold-over push button clasp. It has micro-adjusters in the buckle – a feature we always appreciate. The end links for the band are, again, solid stainless steel instead of stamped sheet metal, which is great for the longevity of the band. The attachment of the bracelet to the case is excellent, and it has no play in the end links. The case itself is designed to offer protection for the screw-down crown, and its shape offers some protection for the four pushers as well. The bezel has been I.P. plated an attractive cobalt blue that matches the dial. Standard hours, minutes, and seconds are shown on the dial, and three asymmetrical sub-dials display 24-hour time, day, and a second time zone. Each of these sub-dials performs a secondary function that is cleanly integrated. It looks surprisingly clean and simple.

The functions and ease of use are where this watch particularly shines. These kinds of watches tend to be difficult to use, often requiring memorization of esoteric button sequences for changing its multitude of settings. Instead of making you memorize the manual – though this option is still available – you can control all the functions on the watch using an application your phone! The app is freely available for Casio, and works with both Android and Apple devices. I'm using it with an iPad. The manual and explanation of the usage of each of the watch's functions is clearly displayed with accompanying graphics. Some of the options you can edit from this menu are the timekeeping, stopwatch, lap times/distance (used for the average speed per hour sub-dial), alarm, and world time. Since the watch pairs with your phone using Bluetooth, it will keep incredible time. As long as your phone is in range, the watch will update to local time every day. One of the coolest features is that the watch can be set up to cause the phone to ring with the press of a button, allowing you to find a lost phone!

Nowadays, there's no shortage of watches filled with features. What sets this one apart is how easy it is to control using Casio's app. The watch becomes significantly more useful. You spend more time actually using the watch and less time getting frustrated trying to set the time.

 

Reviewed by George Black August 9, 2016

2017 Moon Cycle

August 7 Full Sturgeon Moon
August 21 New Moon with US Solar eclipse
September 6 Full Corn Moon
September 20 New Moon
October 5 Full Hunter's Moon
October 19 New Moon
November 4 Full Beaver Moon
November 18 New Moon
December 3 Full Cold Moon
December 18 New Moon

Important Dates and Info

HOURS: M-F 9:00-5:30
Sat 9:00-3:00
Sun Closed

First Day of Autumn September 22
Daylight Saving Time Ends Nov 5
CLOSED for Thanksgiving Nov 23
OPEN regular hours Nov 24-25

Christmas 2017