FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Spending time with Jean Rousseau and brunch with Norqain FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Spending time with Jean Rousseau and brunch with Norqain

FRIDAY WIND DOWN: Spending time with Jean Rousseau and brunch with Norqain

Zach Blass

I have been saying for a while that I needed to look into Jean Rousseau straps for my own watches, so when the NYC Watch Crew enthusiast and collector group pinged me, letting me know the next meet up would be at the Jean Rousseau boutique, I was immediately excited. Jean Rousseau are known for fabricating some of the best watch straps in the world, with standard catalogue and bespoke options available.

When I say bespoke, I really mean it. Heading into the back room with all their hides and materials, you are instantly immersed in a rainbow of colours, and a wide spectrum of textures to explore. Whatever the lug width, or strap length, practically everything is on the table.

As you may very well know, I am quite particular about finding the perfect fit when it comes to the watches I wear – and it isn’t always easy with my smaller wrist. But Jean Rousseau was definitely up to the task, measuring the watch I was looking to accessorise and my wrist to ensure a perfect fit all around. And, to top it all off, when my straps are ready, I will actually head back to the boutique to not only pick them up, but to get custom holes punched into my bespoke straps as well – ensuring each loophole is exactly where I want and need it to be. You’ll have to wait and see which straps I ordered, and which watch they are for, but (spoiler alert!) they have quick-release tabs so I can easily swap between the pair.

A few days later I headed off to a brunch RedBar meetup with special guests from the Norqain team. It was nice to catch up with Norqain CEO Ben Küffer, and probe him over Coronas as to what we can expect from the brand this year. Unfortunately I can’t share everything just yet, but I can say that I was really glad I got to check out their new Adventure Sport 37mm in the metal ahead of its launch. Making its debut on International Women’s Day, this new “ladies-billed” Adventure Sport 37mm really stands out with its purple dial and bezel. You can thank the women of the Norqain team for its striking colour and aesthetic, as apparently this configuration was due to their direct input. Too often brands generating “ladies watches” have men making the ultimate decisions for their designs, which largely leads to the continued saturation of “shrink it, bling it, and mother-of-pearl it”. It shouldn’t be a shock that to best find out what women want in watches, you shouldn’t guess – just ask (and more importantly involve). Food for thought indeed.

Examining the watch, the hue of purple is just the right shade and the special Norqain pattern further elevates its look. The rose-gold accents suit the watch well, but I can’t help but wonder about the LA Lakers potential if the accents, or the watch as a whole, were made of yellow gold. Jokes (or maybe not jokes) aside, purple is a colour that we don’t see too much of in the marketplace. So, Norqain is definitely ahead of the curve, and hopefully other manufactures explore the colour more themselves. But, as a testament to their eye for detail, the calendar date disc perfectly matches the purple dial – a small, but important, design element that collectors love to see.

Gender aside, anyone who loves compact and classic sizing (37mm x 11.5mm x 44mm), and digs purple, should definitely check this watch out. Starting at $2,150 USD, this 100m water-resistant sport watch, powered by a tried and true SW 200 base calibre, is a distinct daily for any collection.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

– Zach

Watch meme of the week: Do you speak watch? Part 2

Because we are all so passionate about watches, we need an outlet to geek out. Fortunately #watchfam is tight knit, and the best part of the watch community is truly being able to make fast friends over a shared interest. Whether in person, or digitally over platforms like Instagram, Facebook, forums, Watch Crunch, and Clubhouse, make sure you engage with other members of the hobby.

Wrist shot of the week: Watch and learn with @watchstudies


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For those interested in watch photography, @watchstudies is a great profile to follow. Not only does he serve up great shots, like this moody Explorer capture, but he also often raises the curtain and lets you in behind the scenes to explain how the shot was taken. I have always preferred my watches on the snug side, and my spider-senses begin to tingle when I catch others wearing watches loose enough to sit in front of the ulna bone and close to the wrist. It just irks me, but hey personal preference is personal preference. Always do you – your money, your watch, your wrist after all. My personal fit advice: you should be able to slide your pinky in the space between your wrist and the clasp, snug enough that it doesn’t dance on the wrist but not too tight that you need olive oil to pull your pinky back out.

Time+Tide Weekend Watch Crossword #3 answers and winner of the “mystery prize”

For our third Weekend Watch Crossword, the theme was all things Grand Seiko. I concede that some of the prompts definitely required you to be a die-hard Grand Seiko fan, or have a photographic memory of my in-depth reviews, so I understand that this one was more challenging than I may have intended. Remember, we will never fault you for researching the answers – in fact, we encourage using the puzzle as a moment to further educate yourself in various horological aspects. But to ensure that the Crossword remains fun for everyone, at all levels of enthusiasm, for this upcoming puzzle we will scale back the difficulty level a bit.  That being said, we definitely had some contenders who completed the crossword. But only one of you can take home the “mystery prize” for this week. So, without further ado, the randomly selected winner of this week’s prize goes to none other than Anthony (@plus9time). Keep an eye out for a DM from us on how to claim your prize!

Time+Tide Shop select of the week: The William Wood Valiant Diver Automatic

William Wood, while a rather young watch brand, has a rich story and heritage behind its name. The brand is named after founder Jonny Garrett’s late grandfather, who, for more than 25 years, served in the British Fire Service, winning commendations for his acts of bravery. He was stationed at Pilgrim Street for the Newcastle & Gateshead Fire Brigade, serving on the Blue Watch. Sadly, he passed away in 2009, but his legacy lives on through Jonny and William Wood. The British watch brand is known for the way in which they upcycle rescue service materials into beautiful luxury timepieces, while donating to international firefighting charities. One of their most well-known collections is the Valiant Diver Automatic, which takes on a familiar diver format in a fresh way – with a wide variety of colours to explore, plus fire brigade-inspired elements such as its brass helmet crown inlay and upcycled rubber hose strap. To learn more about the watch, you can read our full hands-on review of the red model here or head straight to the Time+Tide Shop below.

Price: $1,925 AUD, click here to visit the shop and purchase.

Our favourite Time+Tide coverage of the week:

Taste the new Omega Aqua Terra rainbow and consider these (very strong) selling points

Omega Aqua Terra 38mm

When you really dig into the specs, it becomes clearer that this new collection of Omega Aqua Terra 38mm watches goes far deeper than the surface parallels. When everything is analysed and digested, there are some really strong selling points going for this collection – aspects that make this new line a serious candidate that anyone looking for a new daily wearer should consider. Click here to learn more.

“Instead of $90,000, the Daytona now cost almost a million. I still bought it” – The crazy life of super-collector Eric Ku

Our Editor Luke Benedictus sat down with super collector, watch dealer, and co-founder of the Loupe This auction platform to run through his journey as an enthusiast, collector and member of the industry. Click here to read more.

THE ICONS: The Panerai Luminor is a tool watch with heavyweight punch

The Icons is a series where we take a horological deep dive into the most legendary watches of all time. In the most recent installment of his column, D.C. walks through the history of the Panerai Luminor. Click here to dive in.