A Prodigal Week № 28
It’s Friday. It’s six o’clock in London. That means it’s time to down tools, pour yourself a drink and look back at what A Prodigal Week it has been.
Glass in hand? Let me offer you some canapés of news and views.
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🍎 Our despatch from Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote last Monday is here for you in case you missed it live: all you need to know about Cupertino’s latest announcements.
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Leo Lewis penned a fun piece for the FT this week about how the long, long wait for a PS5 has taken the wind out of his sails when it comes to justifying it to his family - and to himself. He writes:
“Japanese gamers determined to secure a machine are left relying on store lotteries, luck or a secondary market where ‘as new’ used PS5s trade at 70 per cent above the official retail price. This absurdity has killed the debate in our house. Since its launch, the PS5 has sailed through two Christmases and multiple Lewis family birthdays both hotly desired and defiantly unpurchased.”
I was lucky enough to pick up a PS5 in early December last year (thanks, Matt) - but even that was nearly 12 months after my kids were first given one (or the promise of one, once they were available). It seems insane to me that, even as I write this, a year and a half after Sony ‘launched’ the console, it’s still unobtainable.
Lewis’ article implies that - despite announcing this week that it is ramping up production - Sony might actually prefer to keep its console off the shelves. He says that the company is losing about ¥15,000 on every PS5 it sells in Japan and that could be an incentive for it to ensure that stores and online retailers are not flooded with machines.
Also worth your time
Apple iOS 16’s new features previewed: “The Lock Screen gets an all-new look in the iPhone’s coming update.”
Apple MacBook Air fondled: “It feels grown-up. Gone is the iconic slanting edge, replaced in favor of stout straight lines. Now the Air looks like the MacBook Pro, and with its larger 13.6-inch screen, more like the premium Pro than its smaller but M2-touting counterpart.”
Sonos Arc reviewed: “It’s the best soundbar at $900 or less, and better than many soundbars more expensive than that.”
This is the IWC Big Pilot's Watch Constant Force Tourbillon Edition AMG One Owners. Yes, the name is something of a mouthful but if you can get over that - and you already own an AMG (sorry, it’s only available to Mercedes-AMG One hypercar owners), I think it’s pretty damn cool. Monochrome has the story:
“The 46.2mm case is based on the classic BP design, with its oversized diamond-shaped crown and large dial opening. What’s new is the titanium aluminide (TiAl) material. Lighter and harder than conventional titanium, highly resistant to corrosion, and biocompatible, this high-tech material belongs to the group of intermetallic compounds. […] The material is used for the turbine blades of modern jet engines, where lightness and temperature resistance are essential requirements. Its specific properties also make it the ideal choice for components of high-performance engines in motorsport. The downside is that this material is particularly difficult to machine. It’s finished with polished and sandblasted surfaces combined with a titanium screw-in crown and Ceratanium caseback ring. A thin ring in AMG-Petronas green marks the transition between the polished and sandblasted parts of the case.”
I’ve ranted about branding partnerships in the watch world in these pages before. Broadly speaking, they’re almost always a disaster. But IWC and AMG makes a lot more sense than most. And this stunning Big Pilot’s shows us why. Sadly, I’m not one of the eligible 275 Mercedes-AMG One owners out there. But if I was, I could see myself picking one of these up to go with it.
Also worth your time
Tudor Black Bay chrono steel & gold fondled: “This evocative gold-coloured watch is worth your time (and money) as you still get a very handsome, strong watch yet with an intriguing twist.”
Blancpain Air Command Flyback Chronograph reviewed: “I love the movement. I love the case size and its wearability. The fact there is a scaled-down 36.5mm version makes the blue-dial Blancpain Air Command one of the best under-the-radar ‘couples’ options out there.”
Seiko Think The Earth wn-1 reconsidered: “It doesn’t look very wearable. It even doesn’t look like a watch that can display the time. These were two major reasons why I held back from it for a long time.”
In the world of vintage sport cars, they don’t come any more desirable than the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL ‘Gullwing’. This week the FT’s HTSI took one for a spin:
“Surpassing the Italians in the style department, the 300 SL’s design was a wonderful exercise in streamlining and stylistic expression, as well as a form that fitted neatly around innovative engineering. That said, its high, deep sills and unconventional doors mean getting into the Gullwing gracefully is an art that’s exceptionally hard to master. Helping ease the pain of entry — albeit very slightly — is a pivoting steering wheel that clips up into place once you’re sitting down.”
I like my cars modern and reliable so I’ve always eschewed the ‘classic’ market. That said, I could make an exception for the Gullwing. Sadly, like everything we’ve featured in this week’s missive, they’re pretty much unobtainable.
Also worth your time
Lotus Emira reviewed: “If you want weekend wheels with wow factor and an intricate, immersive, involving experience, then our initial encounters strongly suggest you should take a very close look at the Emira.”
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🇵🇹 Talking Hands № 25 is about the IWC Portuguese Chronograph, a sports watch that thinks it’s a dress watch. Or is it the other way around?
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