In the night sky, there are stars at different stages of development: small young stars, growing stars, red giants, and then, as they grow older, white dwarfs, brown dwarfs and even black holes. Brands are like this: at any time, you can see brands at different stages of their history, glowing with different intensities but all contributing to the scintillating world of fine products.
Catarina Martins is a footwear brand from Portugal in a growth phase. Founded in 1993 as a creative and production supplier to international shoe companies, its owner Paulo Martins decided to create his own label, Catarina Martins, named after his daughter. Today their products, all made in Porto, are distributed in quality retail outlets throughout Europe, and they have recently opened their fourth own-brand store, in Cagliari, Sardinia, after boutiques in Porto and Lisbon. The store is in Via Vicenzo Sulis 19, 09124 Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy, tel. +39 070 656 275, www.catarinamartins.com
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New Britain is an American watch brand (New Britain Watch Corp.) that has launched this Swiss-made mechanical watch with a sort of Easy Rider motorcycle speedometer look. Instead of the hours being numbered, the dial features the minutes, with a subdial for seconds at 6 o’clock. The dial is black galvanic, with minute numerals and hands coated with SuperLuminova. The case is beautifully finished, with a coin-edged bezel. The case is machined from a single piece of steel, and the lugs (referred to by the brand as a “V-twin” case, presumably another reference to motorbikes) hold chunky hand-sewn leather straps. The cabochon crown is in red with the brand’s logo.
Inside the case there is a manually-wound Unitas 6498/1 movement, which New Britain has modified principally in terms of finish, with satin bridges, carefully bevelled edges and polished screws. It can be viewed through the sapphire caseback.
The watch retails at about €2,500. There are three models, in limited editions for a total of 100 units. It can be purchased in the USA or online at the company’s website, which actually shows how many are left (45 at the time of writing). A marketing ploy that is as cool as the watches.
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