The Windup Watch Fair is where time stops to applaud the innovation and artistry of horology. As the annual celebration of timekeeping converged once again, brands showcased their marvels, each trying to steal a moment.
There was no shortage of great brands on display at the NYC fair this October, with lead sponsors including the likes of Bulova, Christopher Ward, G-Shock, Oris, and Zodiac:
Christopher Ward The Twelve - Credit WatchGecko
Out of all the great brands and watches on display, it was Casio's G-Shock that truly resonated with me. Here’s why…
Journey of the G-Shock: From Ruggedness to Refinement
Before diving deep into the star of the event, let's trace back to the birth of the G-Shock. Born out of the desire for the "unbreakable watch," the G-SHOCK model's inception in 1983 was marked by three foundational elements: a decade-long battery life, resistance to 10-meter drops, and 10-bar water resistance.
This "Triple 10" concept, as it is known, was a testament to absolute toughness. It’s no wonder that since its debut, G-Shock has traversed an exciting evolution, continuously challenging and extending the boundaries of time.
Today, while it continues to evolve, the G-Shock holds true to its basic structure, ensuring it remains as iconic as ever. However, while the brand is consistently known for its tough, no-nonsense durability, Casio continues to innovate, and an example of this was on full display at this year’s Windup Watch Fair
G-SHOCK MTGB3000PRB AURORA OVAL - Credit G-Shock
Aurora Oval: Glimmering in the Horological Skies
At the heart of my admiration stood the G-SHOCK MTGB3000PRB Aurora Oval, priced at a commanding $1,400.00. As a lover of all things purple, the vibrant purple band was what instantly caught my eye.
But this wasn't just any watch—it's a piece that seeks attention, demands to be noticed, and every gaze it captures is rewarded with an artful display of colors and design. Each Aurora Oval is unique in its coloration on the case, making it a singular piece of art.
The Aurora Oval draws its inspiration from the ethereal hues of the aurora borealis. The watch's bezel, a culmination of stainless steel, undergoes a meticulous process of recrystallization and deep-layer hardening, finally emerging with a rainbow ion-plated coating. The outcome is nothing short of spectacular, echoing the magnificent colors of the Northern Lights.
Yet, the brilliance doesn't end there. The MTG-B3000PRB also showcases a fusion of innovation and meticulous craftsmanship. The stainless steel case back, juxtaposed with a rainbow IP coating, is selectively repolished, creating a mesmerizing interplay between polished and coated surfaces.
Elevating the Aurora Oval's mystique is its soft urethane band, dyed in an enigmatic shade of purple. Complementing this is a rose gold-colored ion-plated band loop and a purple ion-plated buckle, enveloping the watch in an otherworldly allure.
Beyond the aesthetics, the MTG-B3000PRB is a powerhouse of features. Whether it's the Full Calendar, the 1-Second Stopwatch, or the Multi-Function Alarm, this watch ensures that form and function go hand-in-hand. And while its radio-controlled feature guarantees precision, I believe we all can concur that the Aurora Oval isn't simply about keeping time. This is not a watch for those who want a subtle-yet-classy, understated-yet-aristocratic timepiece. This is a statement piece, a conversation starter, and a unique work of art.
Honorable Mention: Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition
Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition - Credit WatchGecko
The G-Shock Aurora Oval caught my eye immediately and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. But there were several undeniably close runner-ups, including several pieces by Oris. My favorite piece was the ProPilot X Kermit Edition, which offers a delightful blend of tradition, innovation, and whimsy.
Founded in the Swiss town of Hölstein by Paul Cattin and Georges Christian in 1904, Oris quickly made a mark in the world of horology. By the 1960s, the brand was among the top ten watch producers globally, and they remain a top brand to this day. Their commitment to producing mechanical watches with unique features, combined with an independent spirit, paved the way for innovations that very few could rival.
Throughout its illustrious history, Oris has been at the forefront of producing watches that are not just technologically advanced but also accessible in terms of price. This dual approach has garnered them a dedicated following of enthusiasts and casual wearers alike.
A Dive into the ProPilot X Kermit Edition
Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition - Credit WatchGecko
The ProPilot X Kermit Edition seamlessly combines Oris' mechanical mastery with a touch of playful charm. Encased in a 39mm titanium body, the watch exudes an air of sleek sophistication. The green dial, a nod to the iconic Kermit the Frog, is both vibrant and understated, making it a versatile piece suitable for formal and casual settings alike.
The real magic, however, unveils itself on the first of every month. In a subtle yet delightful touch, the date window at 6 o’clock reveals a cheerful Kermit the Frog emoji. Dubbed "Kermit Day," this is a reminder from Oris about the joy of mechanics and the importance of not always taking life too seriously.
Beyond the unique aesthetics, the ProPilot X Kermit Edition is a marvel of engineering. Powered by the Oris Caliber 400, this watch boasts a remarkable 5-day power reserve. The 120-hour automatic movement, complemented by 21 jewels, ensures that the watch keeps ticking with precision, day in and day out. The removal of many ferrous components makes the watch highly resistant to magnetic fields, further testifying to its robustness.
Additionally, the ProPilot X Kermit Edition is water-resistant up to 100M, ensuring it can handle the occasional splash or a dip in the pool. The titanium bracelet, equipped with Oris’ patented lift mechanism, adds to the overall comfort, ensuring that the watch feels light on the wrist despite its sturdy build.
Oris' Ode to Joy and Precision
Overall, the ProPilot X Kermit Edition is a celebration of Oris' rich heritage, a testament to their mechanical prowess, and a gentle reminder of the simple joys in life. For those looking to wear their heart (and humor) on their sleeves, this timepiece is a perfect choice. Whether you're an avid watch collector or someone who's just starting their horological journey, the Oris ProPilot X Kermit Edition promises to be a cherished addition to your collection.
While G-Shock's Aurora Oval might have been the shining star of my Wind-Up Watch Fair experience, the ProPilot X Kermit Edition was undeniably a close runner-up, offering a delightful blend of tradition, innovation, and whimsy.
Final Thoughts: Anticipation for the Next Fair
The Wind-Up Watch Fair was a reminder of the incredible innovation that the horological world continually brings forth. While I was thoroughly captivated by G-Shock's Aurora Oval, I find myself already excited about what the next fair might unveil. The hope is to see even more brands pushing the boundaries of design, innovation, and engineering, continuing the time-honored tradition of watchmaking.
My hope for next year would be to see some innovative new designs from Citizen. This is a brand I know and love, and they’re very good at what they do, but I would also love to see them push the envelope as G-Shock and Oris did in their two pieces above. I love how G-Shock and Oris honored their traditions while also innovating and not being afraid to experiment with new cases, dials, and colorways. I think other time-honored brands like Citizen could also benefit from this spirit of innovation.
Who knows what mesmerizing timepieces await us next year? For now, the Aurora Oval and ProPilot X Kermit Edition will remain luminous memories of this year's Windup Watch Fair.
In February this year, we first looked at Ligure Watches and hands-on with the Tartaruga Black. It's almost the end of the year and we are lucky to have not another one, but three, Ligure...
Like so many wristwatches, the Pilots watch, as we know it today, originates in warfare. Since the days of the first aircraft, which were a challenge to fly, it was widely accepted that fumbling for...