Saturday, 31 July 2010

OT: decisions...decisions...decisions...Aston V8? Maserati GT? GTR? M3? 911 Turbo?

not one i'm faced with as i dun have the dosh for it but a cool watch + mad sportscar lovin' mate in the US posed this question on his facebook recently and it is worthy ;)

fb status - RW needs help from friends:
(A) Nissan GTR (0-60 in low 3s but 80% of people think its a Sentra with bodykit)
(B) Aston V8 Vantage (0-60 in 4.8 but looks and sounds mean)
(C) Maserati Gran Turismo (0-60 in 5 but ferrari engine sounds mean and has backseats)
‎(E) 911 Turbo (997.1) Coupe (0-60 in 3.6 but ive already had 2 Porsches)
(F) BMW M3 coupe (0-60 in 4.1 but looks like a normal BMW just wider)
(G) Lotus Exige S (0-60 in 4.0 but super small, yet super sporty (can add 100hp to wheels for cheap)
thats the main choices for the time being, i wont say which way I'm leaning to get unbiased results.lol.

car porn at its best... so beautiful... V8 Vantage...
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options not in there which were thrown up by mates were (H) an early Gallardo [may have to be a bit older maybe, 5-6 years if sticking to the price range] (I) Bentley Continental Supersports [bit out of the range] (J) Audi RB V8 (K) Ferrari 430 [bit out of the range] and you can't buy a 430 now that the 458 is out there ;)

interior of the aston... i think u can guess what i'm leaning towards ;)
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back to the original contenders then, A-G and for style the 2 that stand out are the maserati and the aston. the aston is the better one based on the looks, the great sound the v8 makes and... uhm did i mention the looks? it looks utterly amazing. the maserati is not such a great drive and i am not too fond of the front to be honest although from certain angles it does look great but it loses out to the aston for me.

so the style & overall winner is... the V8 Vantage (roadster or coupe will do the job nicely)
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the GTR is just all business and some say too digital & soul-less with all its computer wizardry and playstation designed screens... in Singapore though the choice is the GTR as it and the Aston are in totally different price brackets, one costing 1.5-2 times the price of the other [eg. brand new from Authorised dealers S$333k and S$475k for the coupe manual. 2nd hand mid 2008(about 2 years old) S$220k and S$440k]. the only contender against the GTR in Sing at a similar but slightly higher price point is the M3 [brand new coupe is S$367k and a close to 2 year old M3 at about S$260k].

oh and since he's a watch lovin mate... one of my pics of a watch he got recently (and is selling already ;) that was super fast...) [for more AP 2010 ROO pics click here... ]
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and somethin in black in case white ain't your thing ;)
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lookin at the BMW M3 vs Nissan GTR then... which does one choose if one is in the small island of Singapore?
[ click to know the answer... expand or collapse ]

i got me a family car i'm real happy with (story in link) so whats the best car with 2 doors and a bit of zip in SIN? at a budget of about S$250k, there can only be 2 real choices in Singapore... the BMW M3 or the Nissan GTR... so which will it be?

top down goodness... the M3 convertible may be the right one but it'll cost a bit more than the coupe... hmm
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going on the following factors then...
- engine, 0-60, power, torque: GTR wins on all fronts. the M3 is higher revving though up to 8300rpm
- transmission: M3 has the option of a 6 speed manual gearbox or a DCT flappy paddle auto and the GTR is a full automatic or one could use the paddle shifters too
- comfort and ride: both have adjustable settings for ride comfort and such but M3 is comfier than the GTR overall
- day to day sports car: M3 has the bigger boot. both have rear seats (GTR is 2+2) if u fancy bringing more folks about but both are very cramped at the back, so more for kids or real small sized folks...
- looks: the M3 actually doesn't look that good because well its a 3 series innit and the 3 series doesn't look too good... the GTR is no stunner too but it does look purposeful and mean... and so on the looks front the GTR wins out just because it looks like it was born to kick some :) GRRRR!!!
Singapore factors
- stereotypes: in the GTR you are either a petrolhead or chow-ah-beng or perhaps you are an ah-beng who is a petrolhead? [ah-beng=colloquial expression for chinkified Chinese wanker... uhm wiki of it here] :) in the bmw, u are a bit of a wanker with some money and well... also a petrolhead. if u had a bit more money we would find u in an Audi R8 probably ;)
- annual road tax: both are high... about S$3.6k for the GTR and S$4k for the M3
- insurance: too scared to check :) i think the 4 door M3 may be the best for this... and register it under your wife's name :)

US insurance is apparently pretty crazy... the insurance for a GTR is 3 times the insurance for a brand new Porsche...
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and then there was a winner...
the M3 is definitely a great drivers car with the manual gear shifter, poised/balanced, great handling and control but the choice for me is the GTR... power and a great system to deliver that power... it is a game changer... brute force with a smart computer brain & science that will smoke cars worth 3-4 times its price... bellows defiantly at the laws of physics... a mechanical monster! its GODZILLA!!!

...hold up a second though
problem is u can't buy the pre-2010 GTR second hand as u don't know how many times the previous owner(s) have done launches with launch control and VDC off and screwed up the transmission... [old launch control - put the transmission and suspension into R mode, turn the VDC off, left foot on the brake pedal and right on the throttle, push it to 4,500 rpm and BLASTOFF!! but there was a bit of a problem with this and it laid out a fair amount of undue stress on the car's rear-mounted transaxle and replacement costs could be a lot of $$$]

so its gotta be a 2010 GTR that u get with the VDC never turned off / brand new one from authorised dealers here are out of reach at S$333k... hmm looks like i won't be getting a GTR anytime soon [unless perhaps if i end up workin in a country where its sellin cheaper than... possibly maybe... hmm] but one can dream and save up for it till then :)
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GTR 2010 version specs and info
  • new launch control at a lower rpm around 3000rpm and VDC doesn't get turned off, so reduced stress on the transmission - low 3 seconds for 0-60mph
  • shifts even faster (2/10s of a second!)
  • better suspension - bilstein dampers/shock absorbers
  • dual clutch transmission
  • brakes - 20" forged alloy wheels, 15" discs brembo racing brakes - 6 piston calipers in front and 4 in the back, cross drilled rotors
  • drag coeff of 0.27
  • lil more power - 485 bhp twin turbo charged 3.8litre V6 engine with 434 lb-ft of torque (588Nm) at 3200-5200 rpm, weighing in at 3829pounds=1737kg, top speed of above 315kmh(above 200mph). redline is 7000rpm
  • rear bias AWD system, vehicle differential control - skid management.
  • bridgestone potenza tires (255/40 R20 front, 285/35 R20 back) knurled wheels (knurling on the rim to stop the tyres from comin off! swweeeett...)
  • 2+2 style seating
  • high gear boost control - broadens the cars torque by 14lb foot for 80 seconds between - 3500-5200revs. manual mode, switch on the boost control switch
  • hmm gotta get the black edition with the BOSE sound system and the black wheels with nice white body paint or a matt black cover for awhile :)

Friday, 23 July 2010

amphibians, reptiles and other mechanical creatures

before sharing a couple of pics taken recently, i just wanted to note that if you see watches or other expensive toys here, please know that MOST of them do not belong to me... unfortunately :) just that i had the opportunity to take pics of some of these fantastic pieces due to the kindness of others, some of 'em friends. so onto the the pics... a frog prince... a deadly cobra... a singing bird... and something i have never laid eyes on before ;)

a wonderful three dimensional art time piece... mb&f pushing boundaries and daring to dream of new ways to display the passing of hours and minutes. a gorgeous piece frog prince for true connoisseurs...
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a frog waiting in the lilypads for its next meal to fly by... ribbit... ribbit... great aesthetic quality and continuity of design themes from previous HMs...
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shh... did u hear that rustling sound... can u see it... a cobra in the tall grass nearby eyeing the frog... an urwerk cc1...
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a bird tried to vocalise this to the frog and burst out in a skittish song to try and warn the frog...
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uhm ok... amd then there was a dome... hmm yup... thats the end of that :)
this is much more than a nice shiny dome of course. it bears a name that should be familiar to my readers... Vianney Halter... the dance of a whirlwind and dispensation of power... ...
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the tourbillon a détente by Vianney Halter... calming as it slowly discharges and dances... but there was a bit of a sticker shock... this one will set one back around S$100 grand iirc...
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and thats it for now... more pics of cool *to me* timepieces to come :) cheers, raph

time to pam it up.. the PAM360... one can dream of getting one ;)

i like panerai of course otherwise i wouldn't buy em and they've come out wif a bloody good new model for the 10th anniversary of paneristi.com ... the pam 360, limited to 300pieces and an instant grail for hardcore paneristis :) its got the looks...


lets see, vintage-y luminova, DLC case and modeled after the original 5218-201A... kick ASS!!!
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one thing though is its probably allocated based on how involved you are perceived in the paneristi.com community by the mods (i think thats how they're doin it) which means chances of me gettin one is nigh impossible.
the price is reasonable too at US$6.7k / HKD52.5k / 630k JPY / 5.5k Euro. top job by the mods and panerai for rewarding a vocal & knowledgeable fan base
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Thursday, 15 July 2010

cai guo qiang's head on... a wonderful installation art exhibit in singapore

if u have a bit of time someday and like some of the images noted here, do pop by to see this installation art work called 'head on' by cai guo qiang... it'll be at the national museum of singapore from 2Jul to 31Aug 10am-6pm...

"99 life-sized wolves are leaping en masse towards an unseen wall, with those at the front falling from striking the wall while those bringing up the rear continuing surging forward, undeterred."
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"Seen from afar, the leaping wolf pack forms an arc full of force and power, their fierce courage and spirit of warrior camaraderie seemingly serving as a reminder to people: humanity is easily blinded by a kind of collective mentality and action, and is destined to repeat such error to an almost unbelievable degree."
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The crux of this installation lies just before the glass wall, as the artist reminds people: invisible walls are the hardest to dismantle.
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i love this work... for me the wolf is a symbol of survival and ferociousness... not majestic but rough... unpretentious... wild and free...

[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

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i recall seeing the work in a magazine a long time back but recently i saw it again in visionaire issue 55 and it struck a chord...
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some of the best wolf references popped into my head as i was doing this post and thought to share them...

lone wolf and cub...Kozure Ōkami created by the writer Kazuo Koike and the artist Goseki Kojima... if u're into comics than this is definitely one of the best out there...
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Stalked in the forest, too close to hide, I'll be upon you by the moonlight side, Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do
High blood Drumming on your skin it's so tight, You feel my heat I'm just a moment behind, Do do do do do do do do do do do do do do
In touch with the ground, I'm on the hunt I'm after you. Scent and a sound. I'm lost and I'm found, And I'm hungry like the wolf.
Strut on a line it's discord and rhyme, I howl and I whine I'm after you, Mouth is alive all running inside, And I'm hungry like the wolf. ~ from the modern day poets, duran duran ;)


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Full wolf pack speech by Alan from The Hangover :)

I’d like to… I’d like to say something that i prepared... tonight:
Hello... how bout that ride in? I guess thats why they call it Sin City... hahaha... You guys might not know this but I consider myself a bit of a loner. I tend to think of myself as a one man wolf pack... But when my sister brought Doug home, I knew he was one of my own. And my wolf pack, it grew by one... So were there two... there were two of us in the wolf pack... I was alone first in the pack and Doug joined in later...

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And six months ago, when Doug introduced me to you guys I thought "wait a second, could it be?" And now I know for sure, I just added two more guys to my wolf pack...
Four of us wolves, running around the desert together in Las Vegas... looking for strippers and cocaine... So tonight, I make a toast! yeahaha... ooooooooooohhhhhhh... blood brothers...

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Sunday, 11 July 2010

Flight of the MB&F HM4 Thunderbolt

i had the good fortune of meeting Max for awhile today at L'Atelier at Ion and thanks to the staff there, MB&F and the team at Hour Glass for letting me spend some time with the latest MB&F HM4... so onto a quickie review and live pics then :)

inspired by the turbines of the A10 thunderbolt and Max's love for model aeroplane kits in his youth, the latest mb&f creation is launched in Singapore... its always a pleasure chatting with Max, who is of course passionate about the wonderful horological machines he has realised...
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he will be travelling to a couple of countries/cities, i couldn't catch all of em, and he will be sharing this latest HM4 with his authorised dealers and their clients worldwide... hmm i wonder if theres a button on the HM4 that could magnify this a couple of 100 times to make it an uber cool spaceship ;) he probably could use this to zip quickly from one place to another
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the back of the thunderbolt as Max does an airborne maneuver in it wif the sun off its back ;) kidding of course...
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movement shots comin up... & i do so love its movement...
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from the press release: "The striking transparent sapphire section of the case requires over 100 hours of machining and polishing to transform an opaque solid block of crystal into a complex, exquisitely curved panel allowing the light to come in and the beauty of Thunderbolt's engine to stand out."
yup i do wish all of it was in sapphire to show off the lovely movement but that would be nigh impossible :)
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HM4's engine was entirely designed and developed by MB&F over three years of intensive work with Laurent Besse and Beranger Reynard of Les Artisans Horlogers. Each of the 311 components were developed specifically for the Thunderbolt, no off-the-shelf mechanisms or parts were used at all due to the extreme nature of its architecture. Two mainspring barrels connected in parallel provide 72 hours of energy...
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[ click to read the rest of the post... expand or collapse ]

kudos to Max and his team for creating another wonderful piece of 3 dimensional kinetic art...Photobucket

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2 wristshots follow... most of the time you will be seeing the lovely top view...
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and all u got to do is angle it to tell whats the power reserve and the time...
ooh fuel tank is almost empty and its 2:49... time for a final jump into lightspeed ;)
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a lovely machine... i am now wondering what variants will come forth noting the ones that came out after the other HMs were released...
i am sure they will all be fantastic with such a strong base...
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lastly just a note that Max has 20 points of sale for the HMs so if he makes limited runs of 10s or 20s, it will be like 1 allocation per dealer. for some pieces, some dealers also fight for more pieces as some markets have strong demand for the HMs. annual production numbers are about 200 pieces iirc.

hope you enjoyed the short report and pics. cheers, raph

Saturday, 10 July 2010

get ready to reap it ;) some teaser pics first... more to come soon...

i have a fair amount of insights & words shared to do up an article soon which i hope will provide folks out there with further enlightenment on Greubel Forsey and their timepieces but till i sort that out and the better pics to share with it... a few photos first to whet the appetite ;)

the quadruple tourbillion in red gold... an amazing timepiece and one of my favorites next to the invention piece 1... marc bolan and t.rex cosmic dancer comes in my head sometimes when i look at this one...
"i was dancing when I was twelve... i was dancing when I was aaah... I danced myself right out the womb... is it strange to dance so soon..."
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the platinum tourbillon 24 second... simply exquisite...
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their latest timepiece... Double Tourbillon 30° “Edition Historique” more info of which can be found here...
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and the one i left the shop with... while nearly, before the security dudes jumped on me and pried it off me, whilst i was making my not so 'speedy gonzales' exit... damn! i really gots to lose the weight ;)
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so do look forward to the full report that i hope to publish in the next couple of weeks and which i will share with the wider community (online forums & such)... til then, prepare to reap the whirlwind ;) my thanks to the wonderful folks at Greubel Forsey & Yafriro for this opp

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

HOLY TOLEDO!! HM4 Thunderbolts Are A-Go!!!

the folks who aren't fans of mb&f on facebook should join as i think its a platform used to get the word out. so sometime yesterday, the 7 July it was released to the world wide web. the HM4 is upon us and what a fantastic piece it is.

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this is an aviation themed watch like no other... the 2 dials resembling the jet engine turbines on the A10 thunderbolt...

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i look forward to sharing more 'real' pics of this piece soon :)

Saturday, 3 July 2010

my question is... if they could make this in real life...

then why on earth have they not built it before? :) if u're asking wat i'm on about... check this out

it was also on hand at a recent comic convention...
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and the word is that the folks who have made the tumbler from the dark knight have made a road legal version of it... DAMN!!!
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the tron legacy light cycle... in your nerd face with blinkety light trails...
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i m happy to note too that it seems that there is one name in watches putting out some of the most cutting edge horological machines as well... and that the collectives latest creation is called the thunderbolt... i m speaking of course of the mb&f hm4... thunderbolts are go-go-go-go... [ok its thunderbirds but close enuff :)]

i do hope i can share live pics of this beauty with u as it looks AWESOME! :)
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