HANDS-ON: The Bausele Terra Australis

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The Worn & Wound Take: As part of Australian Watch Week we’re asking watch microbrand specialists Worn & Wound for their off the cuff take on every watch we review: “Clearly ‘less is more’ is not their design philosophy.” – Zach Weiss, Worn & Wound This review of the Bausele Terra Australis is going to be a little different. Mostly because the watch is a little different. And no, I’m not talking about the wrist-hugging bullhead design and innovative materials, though they are pretty different. This review is unusual because the watch I’m talking about is a pre-production prototype that has literally just arrived from Switzerland. This means we need to take a few things into account. The finishing is not the same as the final version (especially on the dial), the strap will be different, and in fact whole elements of the design will be changed. Christophe Hoppe, founder of Bausele has already informed me that another, further refined prototype is in the works which will be thinner and less bulky, with a smaller Bauselite component (more on that later) and with a matte, rather than polished finish. Basically what we’re looking at today is a preliminary sketch, compared to a finished painting. So, you… Read More

HANDS-ON: The Tangramatic 39 Alpha Brown California

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The Worn & Wound Take: As part of Australian Watch Week we ask microbrand haven Worn & Wound for their off the cuff takes on every watch we review: “It’s a quirky take on a Cali-Dial, but I’m not sure if that’s enough to make it stand out.” – Zach Weiss, Worn & Wound In a bunch of fresh-faced Australian brands Tangramatic is perhaps the freshest face of all – founded just last year by Sydneysider Francis del Mundo after he discovered the world of horology via the rabbit-hole that is Watchuseek. It’s a testament to the amazing opportunities of crowdsourced funding and golobalised production that del Mundo was able to express his love of watches by designing his own. The watches of Tangramatic lean towards the dressy end of the spectrum, with a distinctive design aesthetic that’s somewhere between Bauhaus minimalism and early ‘60s funk. The standout model for me is the 39 Alpha Brown California. Clearly Tangramatic are believers in the ‘what you see is what you get’ school of model names, as the most distinguishing feature of the watch is its (you guessed it) brown California style dial, in a 39mm case.  Now what, I hear you ask,… Read More

HANDS-ON: The Aegir Instruments CD-2 (Concept Diver 2)

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The Worn & Wound Take: As part of Australian Watch Week we’re asking watch microbrand specialists Worn & Wound for their off the cuff take on every watch we review: “A function over form tool diver that’s meant to be used in the water. Not one for desk divers.” – Zach Weiss, Worn & Wound The story behind how Aegir Instruments came to be is one of the most compelling and authentic I’ve heard for a long time – certainly one of the best I’ve heard from a brand without a marketing department. Todd Caldwell, the man behind the brand, is a commercial diver – and the inspiration for Caldwell to go out on a limb and make his own dive watch was hours of decompressing in a diving bell, with little to do but stare at his watch (I asked – it was a Panerai, and yes – he’s still got it). Caldwell wasn’t happy with what he saw, or with any of the watches on the market for that matter. He wanted something he could wear at depth that wouldn’t look like a tuna can on the wrist, jutting out from a suit cuff. So decided to design his own, initially just for… Read More

HANDS-ON: The Erroyl E30 Heritage White

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The Worn & Wound Take: As part of Australian Watch Week we’re asking watch microbrand specialists Worn & Wound for their off the cuff take on every watch we review: “A classically inspired dress watch with modern lines and a modest price tag… what’s not to like?” – Zach Weiss, Worn & Wound Now, Time+Tide has a strict editorial policy of being politically non-partisan, but we’re fairly safe in saying that nothing of any real worth or substance has come out of Canberra in recent years. Until now. Erroyl might just be the city’s saving grace. Erroyl are young, kickstarter-ing themselves into existence way back in December last year. Wes Knight, the man behind the brand has done a lot in a short time, offering three models in the signature heritage collection (plus a sexy blue dialled limited edition). I got my hands on the E30 Heritage in steel with a white dial, and of all the local watches we’re reviewing this week, the Erroyl turned out to be the biggest surprise. On paper (or screen to be more accurate), the E30 is a watch that looks familiar. Outside of the Rolex Submariner-esque dive watch variants, the most well-worn microbrand trope is that of the classic,… Read More

HANDS-ON: The Haigh & Hastings M2 Diver

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The Worn & Wound Take: As part of Australian Watch Week we’re asking watch microbrand specialists Worn & Wound for their off the cuff take on every watch we review: “With clean lines and obvious inspirations, the M2 looks like a solid, but conservative option for those in need of a watch that can go from the office to the ocean.” – Zach Weiss, Worn & Wound The Haigh & Hastings M2 Diver is everything an Australian sports watch should be – bulky, unpretentious, reliable and with a sense of humour. We’ll come to the humour in a bit, but first let’s talk design. The M2 doesn’t aim to break any new aesthetic ground, opting for the tried and true (and commercially safe) option of a classic, vaguely military looking dive watch. This style is a common option for small brands starting out because everyone loves them. The challenge of course is making your particular version stand out. Haigh & Hastings are using their brand story to separate them from the herd via some pretty cute nuances. Nuance is needed, too, because the M2 is a hefty (44mm) chunk of steel, with little in the way of fine detailing on the main section of the… Read More

HANDS-ON: The Melbourne Watch Company Portsea

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The Worn & Wound Take: As part of Australian Watch Week we ask microbrand haven Worn & Wound for their off the cuff takes on every watch we review: “The Portsea’s clever twist on the Marine style and gorgeous layered dial make it one of the most attractive releases in recent memory.” – Zach Weiss, Worn & Wound There are three reasons why the Melbourne Watch Company Portsea is the watch we’ve chosen to kick off Australian Watch Week. Firstly (and it’s important to get this out of the way early), home town bias – sorry rest of Australia, Melbourne rules. Secondly, Melbourne Watch Company is probably the most well known of the Australian Watch Brands on the international scene, partially because of the name but mainly because they’ve been very successful with their well-made designs. The final reason we’re starting off with the Portsea is because at the moment it sets the bar. It’s not a perfect watch, but as a complete package it’s hard to argue with. The Portsea is a watch in the deckwatch or marine chronometer style. The style comes from highly precise naval watches that were used as navigational tools. They are characterised by their clean… Read More

ANNOUNCING: Australian Watch Week

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Australia is renowned for a great many things; beaches, beer (but not Fosters, for the love of God, never Fosters) and a wide range of animals that can kill you for example. Australia is not, however, known for watchmaking . Or, lesser still, knowing anything about the traditional watchmaking houses that have shaped the history of horology over the last 300 odd years. All you need to do to confirm this is ask someone from Switzerland what they think of Jay-gar La Culcha or Blank pan and watch the politely veiled wince. But what we lack in the way of a sexy, continental accent we are beginning to make up for in a rapidly growing number of local watch brands. Homegrown brands like Bausele, Melbourne Watch Company and Haigh & Hastings are making watches marketed with a distinctly Aussie flavour with their eyes on not only the domestic, but also international, market. Other prominent microbrands such as Aegir Instruments, OWC, Erroyl, Tangramatic and Rebelde call Australia home, while popping up on blogs and Instagram accounts all over the world. The thing is, not much has been written about this nascent scene. In fact, nothing that we could find. And with a little bit of… Read More