Archive

February 2016

Browsing

Once again this is the year for the perpetual calendar to shine. Leap year is when we distinguish the good from the not so good in watches. In two ways actually. Not only do we need the watches to show us the extra day in February, we also demand that they switch to March 1st on the correct day.

It may sound simple, but in real life this is af ormidable technical and mechanical challenge. A four-year interval need a program that differentiate a 48 month cycle. As a rule, this task is handled by a wheel with 48 teeth in which the durations each month during a four-year period are permanently stored in the form of gaps that have different depths.Perpetual calendar leap year

Perpetual calendar leap year

 

With the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual CalendarA. Lange & Söhne chose a totally different approach on the new L082.1 movement. They placed the month indication on a large circumferential ring that rotates about its centre axis once a year in twelve 30-degree steps. The month ring is driven via its internal gearing. It rotates about its own axis once a year. The inside of the gear rim features a circumferential contour with wavy recesses. A spring-loaded sampler lever glides along this contour and is deflected by a magnitude that corresponds to the depth of the respective recess. The more it is deflected, the shorter the month. The leap year indicator is in contact with the sampler lever and in February every fourth year the display is extended by one day.
Perpetual calendar leap year
Perpetual calendar leap year

 

All displays of the perpetual calendar switch forward instantaneously, so they deliver precise readings at all times. The force needed for the switching cycles is gradually built up during a period of 24 hours. For this reason, the switching process does not affect rate accuracy. This requires two mechanical energy storage devices – one for advancing the date, the day-of-the week, and the moon-phase display on a daily basis, and the second one to switch the month ring and the leap-year disc.

The mechanism is designed such that a first one-day correction is not needed until the year 2100. In 2100, the centennial rule of the Gregorian calendar omits the leap year and skips 29 February as an exception.

Read more about the watches at A. Lange & Söhne.

Perpetual calendar leap year

James Bond’s prototype Omega Seamaster 300 from the movie Spectre where sold in auction last night at Christie’s. This Omega Seamaster 300 went for 118.800 EUR (92.500 GBP).

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre Prototype

The watch is very much alike the limited boutique edition Omega Seamaster 300 “Spectre”, and it has the same Co-Axial 8400 movement, the same gray and black NATO bracelet and the same lollipop seconds hand. The watch that went at the Christie’s auction where used while shooting the Spectre movie. It also has an engraving – Proto No1.

The watch you and I can get was limited to 7007 pieces with a list price of 6400 EUR.

Read more on the Omega Seamaster 300 “Spectre” here.

Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre

Knife magician Harald Andersen and the online shop SkarpeKniver.com is at it again with beginners class in knife sharpening and honing. I went there with my camera to document it and summarize the 2.5 hour long class in a one minute video – see video above.

During the class Harald will first focus on the anatomy of a knife, then the theory of knife sharpening and last he will explain the different factors when choosing the correct sharpening tools. The last 2 hours of the class will be practical training the techniques on your own knifes. You are guaranteed to come back home with sharper knifes than what you brought in.

I participated in the class myself this winter. This led to knowledge about chef’s knifes that I never knew existed outside specialized online forums. Having a sharp knife is now a necessity in the kitchen. Where tomatoes and red peppers flew from the dull knife in my earlier kitchen life, I can now cut paper thin slices of tomato. The mandolin is gone from the kitchen, and the sharpening stones have been taken out from the dark corner of the kitchen drawer.

A class with Harald Andersen on knife sharpening is highly recommended.

There will be an advanced class with in-depth knowledge on steel, sharpening stones, advanced techniques and more geeky stuff on knife sharpening. These classes comes with a nerd alert. The advanced classes will be held on demand and will be presented by Harald.

Registration for classes you will find at SkarpeKniver.com

Rimowa Topas Stealth Electronic Tag

On March 14th Rimowa launched their new Electronic Tag which solves the last problem in the digitalization of travelling. We have had the opportunity to travel paperless for quite a few years now. We can even check in from our kitchen during breakfast on our smartphone. Now finally it is the end of the luggage tag with Rimowa’s Electronic Tag.

In the near future airlines will send digital luggage tags with your electronic ticket. Rimowa have now integrated a module in the suitcase where you can upload your luggage tag from your smartphone. The display on the module will show your tag directly on the suitcase and the information is identical to what was on the old luggage tag.

When you arrive at the airport you may place your bag directly on the luggage belt at the check-in and move on towards security. The whole check-in procedure will be over and done with within seconds.

This new concept is called Smart Bag among all airlines but no one have yet to start the evolution of travel. Rimowa is the first luggage manufacturer to provide this concept to their customers. Together with Lufthansa they decided it was about time to implement the future of travelling with the Electronic Tag. All other airlines is expected to follow. Quickly.

Rimowa Electronic Tag

 

20 years after the debut of the first Porsche Boxster there is now the time for big changes in the concept. Porsche 718 Boxster will be launched with the new turbocharged boxerengine with considerably more power and less fuel consumption.

718-name is originally from the successfull sports car that Porsche launched in 1957 and who won several car races during the 50s and 60s. The original 718 had an effective four-cylindered boxerengine. Much like todays 718.

Porsche 718 Boxster

Porsche 718 Boxster

The car will be available in April.

Porsche 718 Boxster

Selected technical data:

Porsche 718 Boxster PDK: 300 hp / 380 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 4,7 sec (sport chrono pk), average consumtion at 0,69 and CO2-emission at 158 g/km

Porsche 718 Boxster S PDK: 350 hp / 420 Nm, 0-100 km/h in 4,2 sec (sport chrono pk), average consumtion at 0,73 and CO2-emission at167 g/km.

Porsche 718 Boxster

Coravin is the tool I have been waiting for. It will probably save my marriage.

In my house, when we open a bottle of wine, it is my responsibility to empty the bottle. My wife enjoys a glass for dinner. The rest is all mine. This may not sound like a big problem to you guys, but I like a glass or two of a good wine. More wine on a regular day will get me hungover. And I do not like to waste good wine. When I want that really special bottle from the cellar I certainly want to enjoy every last drop.

Greg Lambrecht, the american inventor of Coravin, have also had problems with left over wine. His background as a wine enthusiast and developer of medical equipment was a perfect combination to solve the problem. The whole intention of Coravin is being able to enjoy a glass or two without spoiling the rest of the bottle by opening it and exposing the wine to oxygen. It is being said that the bottle is perfect for months and even years after pouring a glass with the Coravin.

Coravin

I have seen reviews of Coravin and had it recommended by fellow wine enthusiasts for a long time now. But I have never tested it myself. Oslo’s best kitchen specialist store Howard Kjøkkenskriveri was kind enough to lend me one.

The geniality of Coravin is that it exchanges wine for gas. Argon gas is used by many winemakers already to prevent oxidation of the wine. What Coravin does is simply to give the bottle a fresh dose of Argon gas when you pour a glass.

The tool itself consists of a gas cylinder, a nozzle with a handle on, a clamp and a very thin needle. My first thought was that the needle would be a weak spot, but the whole thing reeks of quality. It feels solid and there is no play in expected weak joints. The needle is surprisingly sturdy. I find myself to enjoy the exclusive feeling of the Coravin. From the very first tests to daily use it feels safe and solid.

It is so incredibly easy to use. You just clamp the thing to your bottle and push the needle all the way through the cork. A gentle push on the trigger and Argon flows into the bottle, when you release the trigger wine comes out. It is just as easy as it sounds.

Coravin

Coravin

Coravin

Coravin

When you are happy with your glass you can just retract the needle, place the Coravin on it’s base and restock your bottle in the cellar.

I did some tests on a bottle ready for consumtion so when I opened it I could inspect the cork from all sides. I had then done three tests going through the cork. Underneath the cork I could find traces of all three perforations, but as promised they were like microcracks in the cork and had resealed perfectly.

Before my tests I was naturally very sceptical. I can still remember the Vacuvin winepump that stayed in my kitchen drawer for years unused. It was a dreadful product.

I was sceptical to the build of the Coravin and I was sceptical to how well a half full bottle of wine will stay good in the cellar. The first part I am no longer worried about. The latter I will test on a half full bottle of Burgundy that will stay in my cellar for a year.

No matter how that bottle hold up in a years time I am sure that Coravin will be my new wine toy. Finally I can enjoy one glass of wine and keep the rest fresh as new for another day. Viva Coravin!


 

In Norway you can get the Coravin for 3799 kr at Howard Kjøkkenskriveri or the online store Glass og Interiør.

International wine enthusiasts can find more information on Coravin and your local retailer here.

Coravin
Coravin standard needle (left) and Argon 65 gas capsule (right)