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  8. Those keeping a watchful eye on my byline (and perhaps my Instagram) will know that I have become somewhat obsessed with the sheer fun and bravado of gold watches, especially those in yellow gold and of the vintage persuasion. While my chances of ownership could be represented by a number rapidly approaching zero (there are so many cameras I'm yet to own), when given the chance to preview some of the highlight lots for Christie's upcoming Geneva Rare Watches Auction, you know I couldn't help but put together a list of my favorite gold options. From pocket watches given new life to two-tone numbers with pop provenance and some solid gold from the Crown, these are just a few picks from an impressive offering slated to hit the block later this month. Rolex Oyster Chronograph Ref. 3525 – Once Part Of The Andy Warhol Collection Dating back to 1943, this lovely 35mm steel chronograph has a two-tone treatment in pink gold for the crown, bezel, center links, and the side elements of its riveted stretch bracelet. Originally owned by pop art icon Andy Warhol, this ref. 3525 is a gorgeous example of an incredibly collectible pre-Daytona chronograph with a lovely silver-tone dial and rose gold accents. Pre-auction estimates put this piece of chronographic art at a cool $195,000- $300,000. Vacheron Constantin Five Minute Repeating Single Button Chronograph (That Used To Be A Pocket Watch!) Two lifetimes of history cased in 37.5mm of 18k yellow gold, this gorgeous Vacheron has a heart that dates back to 1899, when the movement was originally installed in a pocket watch. Fast forward to 1956 when Vacheron re-cased the same movement in a period dress watch with a lovely two-tone dial (with a salmon center, no less). Undeniably special, the movement in question is Vacheron Constantin's RA 14, making possible a repeater slide on the left case flank and a monopusher chronograph pusher fitted into the crown at three. With supporting paperwork from Vacheron, this subtle but very complex piece carries an estimate of $195,000 - $400,000. Patek Philippe Ref. 2499 Perpetual Calendar Chronograph One of my favorite Patek Philippe chronographs, this third series 2499 dates to 1977 and it's just head-shakingly good. At 37.6mm wide in 18k yellow gold, this hand-wound chronograph also boasts a full perpetual calendar and moon phase. Originally born in 1950, the 2499 matured across four series, with the third series being identifiable for its baton markers, pump pushers, and the lack of a tachymeter scale. With an estimate of $490,000 to $790,000, this 2499 may not be as rare as some of its siblings, but it's still a remarkably special watch. Rolex Daytona Paul Newman Ref. 6241 In 14k Yellow Gold Did you think I'd do this list without a gold Paul Newman Daytona on a riveted expanding bracelet? Shame. While I'm not generally a chronograph guy, I do love an early Daytona and none more so than those in solid gold. This mega cool example is a reference 6241 that dates back to 1969 and has a 37.5mm case and a bracelet that ensures near endless smile-value. While this example had its bracelet un-pinned (likely to keep non-landowners like myself from trying it on), I have had the pleasure of wearing a vintage gold Daytona, and for me they are an absolute grail. I know it's little more than a cliche, but I love this watch and choose to ignore its $350,000 to $540,000 estimate. Patek Philippe Pocket Watch Once Owned By Jean-Adrien Philippe (Co-founder Of The Brand) Talk about provenance, this pocket watch dates back to 1888 and was once owned by Jean-Adrien Philippe, aka the "Philippe" in Patek Philippe. At 50mm wide in 18k pink gold, this classic looking pocket watch sports a keyless lever and a complex two-train dead-beat center seconds complication. With an intricate "JAP" engraving on the outer case back, the initial hinged cover opens to show an inner case back signed "Jean Adrien Philippe, 5 Janvier 1894." If you ask nicely, someone might pop open the inner case back, offering a view of the Cal 19 hand-wound movement within. This piece of horological history has a pre-auction estimate of $50,000 to $100,000. Rolex Perpetual 'Padellone' Ref. 8171 It's hard to say with this auction, but I may have saved my favorite lot for last. Just look at it. This is a 1950 Rolex ref. 8171 triple calendar with moonphase. It's 38mm wide with a paper-like white dial and a sub-seconds register over a lovely moon phase display. Fitted to this period-correct high tan Rolex leather strap, it just calls to me. On wrist, this 8171 is a very special mix of casual, elegant, and entirely over-the-top. Beautifully proportioned and entirely low-key, this 8171 is the epitome of my idea of "grandpa charm." Nothing this cool is cheap, and this 8171 carries an estimate of $250,000 to $540,000.
  9. When I say the phrase "it's auction season," your mind probably goes straight to the catalogs of Phillips, Christie's, Sotheby's, and the like. But it's important to remember that those aren't the only sellers in the game and that digging through the online listings of lesser-known houses can sometimes yield some pretty fun results. Case in point: this is a stainless steel Rolex Datejust once owned by legendary actor Marlon Brando, and it's engraved with a nod to his most storied role on the back. Are there some unanswered questions? Sure. But is it still a cool little watch worth taking a look at? Absolutely. First up, the watch itself: What you're looking at is a pretty standard steel Datejust with an engine-turned stainless steel bezel. This style pre-dates those DJs with a fluted white gold bezel, and this example dates to the late 1960s or early '70s. Condition looks pretty good, with the dial's lume plots intact, the open-sixes and open-nines date wheel, and no obvious re-finishing to worry about. There's no steel bracelet paired with the watch, but that's easily fixable later if you want one. The auction listing says that the watch is 31mm across, which is definitely not the case – make of that information what you will. The important thing with this watch, though, is the provenance. According to the Beverley Hills–based GWS Auctions, this watch was given to Marlon Brando after he won the 1973 Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Don Vito Corleone in The Godfather. Brando famously declined that award, though the film won two other Oscars that year (Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay) while being nominated for an additional eight awards. The engraving reads "Vito's/MB," so you've got both the character and the actor represented. The watch comes to GWS from an owner who says they acquired the watch from The Godfather costume designer Patricia Norris, to whom Brando gifted the watch in 1976 after they had developed a friendship. There is a letter of authenticity from the current owner, confirming they bought it from Norris's family after her death, though there is not any letter confirming how the watch got to her. When provenance is the main contributor of value to a watch, establishing the chain of possession is important – without any paperwork confirming that Brando owned the watch or gave it to Norris, you do have to take a small leap of faith here, but unless prices go totally crazy it shouldn't be too big a jump. This watch is Lot 10 in GWS Auctions' Archives of Hollywood & Music auction, with live bidding opening at 10:00 AM PST on May 11. At time of publishing, the pre-bidding is at $2,600.
  10. For the most part, when flipping through auction catalogs you're greeted by variations on themes. Sure, this season's top Submariner might be a little nicer than last season's (or not) or the dial on that Patek Philippe ref. 2526 is double-signed and paired with a stellar bracelet. Those watches are great, believe me, but sometimes I find myself searching for something new. I want something fresh to sink my teeth into. This go-around, Phillips delivered big time, offering up two watches by 20th century master George Daniels, just two lots apart from one another, in the same auction. On the more extreme end is the one and only Daniels Grand Complication Pocket Watch, which has only been seen once before at auction, and on the ever-so-slightly tamer side of things is one of just 35 Co-Axial Anniversary wristwatches. If you like independent watchmaking, crazy historical horology, or even just things you probably haven't seen before, you should be excited. Like, very excited. Let's take a look at each one. Grand Complication Pocket Watch George Daniels pocket watches are arguably the horological masterpieces of the 20th century. Personally, despite the practical constraints, I'm inclined to say that they are. Among the Daniels watches, there are two that stand out from the rest: the Space Traveller and the Grand Complication (technically three, since two Space Travellers were made). What we've got here is the latter and it's...well, grand. When you first look at the Grand Complication, the main dial is pretty straightforward. You've got a large time display with a dramatic sub-seconds register at the bottom; an instantaneous jumping perpetual calendar that includes a retrograde date display on a silver track that swoops from eight o'clock to four o'clock; nested month and leap year indicators at 10 o'clock; a day of the week indicator at two o'clock; a moonphase at 12 o'clock; and, most unusually, a Centigrade thermometer arching across the top of the seconds sub-dial. It's all right there, easily spelled out on the stunningly finished dial with its guilloché and engine turning. Looking at the side you'll notice a repeater slide too. No big deal. When you turn the watch over, you'll find a little window giving you a glimpse at a few more important indicators. With the keyless works facing up, you've got the equation of time at left, the annual calendar at the top, and the power reserve on the right. At the bottom, you get a glimpse of the one-minute tourbillon, which has a co-axial escapement at its heart. You might assume that all Daniels pocket watches have a co-axial escapement, but you'd be wrong. In fact, more than half of his pocket watches used detent escapements or double wheel chronometer escapements. Opening the caseback of the pocket watch gives you a better look at the gilt movement and the large tourbillon. Everything here is typically English, looking nothing like a high-end watch you find from the Vallée de Joux. Finished in 1987, this watch was made in the signature Daniels way, which means he did absolutely everything himself. The hands, the dial, the movement components, and even the chain were all made by Daniels. The only two components he didn't make himself on the Isle of Man are the crystal and the hairspring. Not bad. This watch was kept and worn by Daniels during his lifetime. It only came up for public sale as part of the Daniels estate collection at Sotheby's London in 2012. I was actually in the room for that sale and can safely say it's one of the more memorable horological events I've had the pleasure of attending. The Grand Complication sold for £914,850, which was over $1.4 million at the time. Phillips is not giving an estimate for the watch this time around, and I honestly have no idea where it will land. I could equally see it selling for a comparable $1.5 million or $10 million. It really depends who is in the room and who's hunting for something special. The George Daniels Grand Complication is lot 34 in the sale and you can see the full listing here. Co-Axial Anniversary Wristwatch George Daniels didn't make many watches during his career. He only completed 27 of his entirely hand-made watches, and less than a handful of those were wristwatches. Toward the end of his life, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of inventing the co-axial escapement, he teamed up with his protégé, Roger W. Smith, to make a limited series of 35 wristwatches. They were co-designed by Daniels and Smith and then made by Smith's workshop to Daniels' specifications. So, sure, this isn't technically a full-blown, 100% George Daniels watch, but as a co-production by Daniels and Smith some would consider it just as compelling (if not even more so). The Co-Axial Anniversary watch has a 40mm yellow gold case in a traditional, reserved style. The dial is decorated with true hand-done guilloché in a mix of overlapping patterns punctuated by gold chapter rings for the hours/minutes, seconds, power reserve, and date. It looks like only a Daniels or Smith can look. The details are wonderfully executed, but with just enough slight imperfection so as to give it that wabi sabi vibe that tells you it was actually made by hand and not "made by hand." The movement is similarly fashioned, with old-school frosted finishes that recall the golden era of British watchmaking and, of course, a co-axial escapement. Phillips has this Daniels Anniversary watch listed with an estimate of $181,000-363,000. Last time one sold at auction was at Bonhams in 2016, where it fetched approximately $293,000 (converted from Pounds Sterling, since the auction was in London). And, in fact, it was this exact piece that changed hands back then. If you're skeptical, check out the serial number engraved right onto one of the bridges – this watch is No. 24 out of a series of 35. With prices for high-end, small-batch independent watches steadily rising over the last few years, it's hard to imagine this watch hammering close to the top of its estimate range, if not a bit above it. Remember, there are only 35 of these and the people who own them tend to be some of the more die-hard collectors around. I don't think we're going to start seeing one pop up per auction season or anything like that, so if you want one your opportunities to make ownership a reality are few and far between.
  11. What is Breguet known for? For the majority of readers of this site, this question will probably bring a few answers to mind: Certainly, it's known for its eponymous founder, one the greatest watchmakers of all time and probably the single best known practitioner of the horological arts. It's also known for its classical designs, some of which have been adapted from historically interesting pocket watches in order to function as wristwatch designs. It's known for its complications – chief among them the tourbillon, which A.L Breguet himself invented. And it's known for its dials – most often of the hand guilloché type, made by artisans in-house in the Vallé de Joux on antique rose engines. (I've never seen a place, in Switzerland or elsewhere, where so many of these machines are in use.) Less frequently talked about but equally impressive in the Breguet catalog are its grand feu enamel dials. Today, we're going hands-on with a watch equipped with one such dial made in a beautiful blue tone. The Classique 5711 Grand Feu Blue Enamel came out earlier this year, but it's quite possible you missed this release; Breguet did not participate in Baselworld, and this reference was rolled out in a soft launch back in February. It's a 38mm white gold automatic dress watch with a finely fluted case and a crown signed with the Breguet "B." While this specific take on the Classique 5177 with its dial in blue enamel is new, the reference itself has been around for over a decade and is a mainstay of the Breguet catalog. With its straight, narrow lugs, minimalist aesthetic, and its use of open-tipped Breguet hands, which Breguet calls "moon-tipped," the 5177 is easily among Breguet's best-known modern watches. While certainly not an uncommon quality for a Breguet dress watch, there is a restrained, conservative aesthetic at play here that I for one find calming and reassuring. The dial seems to be where this aesthetic is most deeply felt, starting with its rich blue color, which was inspired by the blued steel watch hands typically found on the 5177. That color has effectively been transposed to the dial itself, and rhodium-plated steel Breguet hands have been employed to provide visual contrast and optimize legibility. Similar to traditionally blued steel watch hands, this watch's dial is achieved through the application of heat, in this case extreme heat. The unique grain of a grand feu enamel is achieved by subjecting the enamel powder to kiln firings in excess of 800 degrees Celsius; during these firings, the pigments have to remain constant. Moreover, the enamel itself mustn't warp or crack. This of course can and often does happen, and dials with errors have to be discarded. I think our photographs here capture the essence of this special dial quite well, but a grand feu enamel dial, with all its nuance, really is one of those things that you have to see in person to fully grasp. Near the six o'clock position, there is a "secret signature" etched into the dial. Such signatures have been a feature of certain Breguet timepieces since 1795, when it was created by A.-L. Breguet himself. You can't see it just by casually looking at the dial, of course. If you could, it wouldn't be a secret. You have to closely inspect it and tilt it the light just the right way. There is a rigid adherence to design language that marks many Breguet dress watches. Beyond the dial, with its open-tipped hands and its Breguet numerals, there is the already familiar 5177 case. The two most prominent aspects of this design are its fluted caseband and its lugs, which lend an antique look to the watch, as if recalling a pocket watch whose lugs might have been fused on as an afterthought. And indeed, these lugs are not part of a single block of metal with the case. They've been welded on to it to achieve a look that is right in line with the Breguet Classique range. The caliber 777Q is a modern take on classic watchmaking. It's nicely decorated and finished in the traditional manner that marks Breguet watches, but it has some modern updates in the form of silicon components, including for the hairspring, the escape wheel, and the lever. These lend an amagnetic quality to the watch as a whole and also help the movement to run more smoothly with less lubrication. Breguet was an early adopter of silicon technology, and the company has fully committed to its use. There is a dichotomy at play when you see an enamel or a guilloché dial sitting atop a movement with silicon components, but Breguet, for its part, embraces it. Caliber 777Q runs at a standard frequency of 4 Hz and has a power reserve of 55 hours. The rotor here is in white gold, and it has a nice wave pattern that makes up for the lack of guilloché decoration on the dial. I had the chance to try the Classique 5177 on for a few minutes during a visit to New York's Breguet boutique, and I found that it wore quite comfortably. If you've never tried on a 5177, the lugs have what you might expect would be a fairly rigid, unergonomic structure to them. You might be a bit surprised by the watch's comfort; it felt great on my seven-inch wrist. The Breguet Classique 5177 Grand Feu Blue Enamel ticks all the boxes that lovers of Breguet design codes want and expect, but with a bit of a twist on what has been done by Breguet in the past. The retail price is $23,700.
  12. EYEFUL OF BLUE Exclusively available in the brand’s boutiques, this stylish limited edition revisits a classic which stands out for both its technical and aesthetic qualities. A Blancpain must-have, the Perpetual Calendar from the Villeret collection is unveiled in a new guise this year with a refined limited edition combining a 40.3 mm platinum case with a sublime midnight blue dial The ultimate in classic watchmaking, this complete calendar simultaneously displays the date, the day of the week, the month and leap year information in a rare easy-to-read format. The main advantage of these skillfully displayed indications is that there is no need to correct them until the next century. In this purely aesthetic advancement, the time information is located in the traditional positions at 3, 9, and 12 o’clock. These are completed with a moon phase at 6 o’clock. Despite these complications, adjustment is not difficult. The brand has patented an easy adjustment system using correctors beneath the horns which make it possible to move the hands of the calendar by simply pressing the small levers located on the back of the case. All the information of this sophisticated calendar including the central second hand and the delicate leaf-shaped hour and minute hands are powered by the 5954 caliber which is revealed through the sapphire case back. This self-winding movement provides an ample power reserve of 72 hours. The 88 pieces of this exclusive edition each come with an alligator strap in the same shade as the dial and a folding buckle. Price: 61,870 CHF blancpain.com
  13. THE OBJECT OF EVERYONE’S DESIRE If you haven’t experienced raptures of the deep, opt for a less perilous intoxication with this limited edition which has a unique composition: three rare and sophisticated materials. Unveiled in 1993, the Seamaster Diver 300M stands out through its ability to explore the underwater depths. Its helium valve, easy-to-read luminescent hands and index markers, 300-meter water-resistant case, unidirectional bezel and screw-in crown make this a true divers’ watch. During its launch, Omega used a material with a blue-gray tone rarer than gold: tantalum. Harder than steel and extremely resistant to corrosion, it is however difficult to work, and can be a true ordeal for some! Cast aside despite its attributes, this metal was reintroduced into production in this 2500-piece limited edition Seamaster Diver 300M Titanium Tantalum. The bezel is therefore in tantalum and tops a case back made this time of titanium. SednaTM gold, an alloy combining gold, copper, and palladium, has also been added to reinforce this pleasing aesthetic identity. Inside the 42 mm case is a decidedly contemporary caliber. The self-winding Master Chronometer 8806 movement is hailed for its performance (a power reserve of 55 hours) and meets the demanding criteria established by the Swiss Federal Institute of Metrology (METAS). It is also capable of resisting magnetic fields up to 15,000 gauss without impairing its function. Turning the timepiece over reveals its oscillating weight through the sapphire case back. The Seamaster Diver 300M Titanium Tantalum comes with a strap combining the three materials. Price: 12,200 EUR omegawatches.com
  14. AN INDELIBLE MARK 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission when Man first set foot on the moon, wearing a Speedmaster. Half a century later, the Bienne watchmaker is paying homage to the courage of the three space explorers by offering a 6969-piece limited edition. On 21 July 1969, three American astronauts soared into the night sky as part of the Apollo 11 mission. Buzz Aldrin was the second man to set foot on the moon, 20 minutes after Neil Armstrong, his Speedmaster strapped around the sleeve of his white suite. Approved by NASA in 1965, the Omega watch has now become legendary. Half a century after this moonwalk, the watchmaker is commemorating the anniversary with the release of the Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition, a model produced in only 6969 pieces. This new watch has a 42 mm steel case with a bezel in MoonshineTM Gold – an alloy that has a paler hue and a higher resistance to discoloration compared to traditional yellow gold – covering a black ceramic ring and a CeragoldTM MoonshineTM tachymeter scale. The back of this robust case has been blackened and then laser-engraved with a footprint of the astronaut, accompanied by Armstrong’s famous quote inscribed in gold: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind“. On the black dial dominated by a dark gray grained disk, the faceted index markers, including the number 11 in Arabic numerals symbolizing the Apollo mission, and the hour and minute hands are in MoonshineTM gold. The running seconds are displayed on a subdial at 9 o’clock forged from the same material then darkened before being laser-engraved with the silhouette of an astronaut descending from the module, in a scene captured some moments before setting foot on the moon 50 years ago. The chronograph function information is found in the center for the seconds, at 3 o’clock for the minutes and at 6 o’clock for the hours. The Speedmaster Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Limited Edition is powered by the self-winding Master Chronometer 3861 caliber which offers a power reserve of 50 hours. Price: CHF 9,600 omegawatches.com
  15. UPSIDE DOWN At the latest edition of Baselworld, the surprises kept on coming. This offering from Kari Voutilainen stands out through its unique reversed structure. The line dividing art and craftsmanship is sometimes very fine in watchmaking. Revealing the Voutilainen 28 Ti watch leads us to this position with no clear limit. With the dial-less time information, the beauty lies in the mechanics. Two Breguet stylized hands pass over a tiered composition. An impressive 13.60 mm balance wheel regulates its elegant and steady rhythm. In symmetry, the highly polished pinions and wheels placed on platinum reinforce the unique aesthetics of the watch. All this combined produces a visual harmony that is hard to take your eyes off. Each element plays a role in this artwork produced by hand by experienced craftsmen in the Finnish watchmaker’s studios based in Switzerland. But as if by magic, there is a further sense of mystery. For this, you have to turn over the watch to reveal it through the sapphire case back. A small second and a semicircular power reserve indicator can be seen in an arrangement giving pride of place once more to the mechanism. In the 39 mm titanium dial beats a manual-winding movement, composed of 299 elements, with a reversed architecture inspired by the remarkable series of 2011 which came from Voutilainen’s fertile imagination, the Vingt-8. Once wound, this precise caliber offers a generous power reserve of 65 hours. To complete this creation made entirely by hand, the 28 Ti comes with a comfortable crocodile strap. Price: 86,000 CHF
  16. ONE WATCH PER DECADE On the 50th anniversary of the Monaco chronograph, TAG Heuer has decided to mark each decade of its iconic model by unveiling a new limited edition. Here we focus on the first of its five watches. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of TAG Heuer‘s ultimate watch: the Monaco model. Launched simultaneously in New York and Geneva on March 3, 1969, this square automatic chronograph was swiftly adopted by Swiss racing driver Jo Siffert (1936-1971) then worn by the American actor Steve McQueen (1930-1980) in the film Le Mans (1971). Extending the festivities throughout the year, the brand has decided to celebrate this half century by releasing five timely series each inspired by a decade of the famous watch. The new Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition model available in only 169 pieces is the first of this anniversary series. Unveiled in Monaco on May 24, the time piece is powered by a modernized version of its original automatic movement, the 11 caliber. This engine, which offers a power reserve of 40 hours, is located in the famous square steel case (39 x 39 mm) and is water resistant up to 100 m with a crown at 9 o’clock and pushers at 2 and 4 o’clock. The khaki green dial is finished with vertical Geneva stripes and accompanied by a minute counter interspersed at five-minute intervals with yellow batons and mahogany. The hour index markers are silver, polished and faceted. In the center, the metallic and luminescent hour and minute hands are tipped with an arrow in brownish red, a warm shade which is also picked up in the second hand of the chronograph. Two dark gray counters with a sunray effect display the small seconds, highlighted in yellow at 3 o’clock, and the minutes of the chronograph at 9 o’clock. To complete it, the date is displayed at 6 o’clock. This Monaco 1969-1979 Limited Edition comes with an aged brown perforated calfskin strap and a steel folding buckle. Price: 6,400 CHF www.tagheuer.com
  17. OFF TO A GOOD START During the Voiles de Saint-Barth sailing competition, Pierre Casiraghi, patron of the event and Richard Mille ambassador, wore on his wrist this practical series made for sailing the Seven Seas. Let us explain. During a regatta, crossing the line first is essential to take advantage of downwind conditions before your competitors and take control of the race. To assist sailors, Richard Mille has drawn on its expertise acquired on land by developing the RM 60-01 Regatta Flyback Chronograph. In addition to its capacity to measure short time lapses with ease thanks to its flyback function and its automatic caliber, the watchmakers knew how to meet the needs of sport lovers no matter where they find themselves on the planet. A rotating bezel placed on the 50 mm titanium case provides a multitude of indications including a wind rose orientating the four points of the compass. Two colored scales, in yellow and green, provide important information at the start. One displays degrees up to 360, the other displays 24 hours. To use this feature, you need to know the local time and the position of the sun. To calculate your position, you must then move the UTC indicator in the direction of the sun using the pusher at 9 o’clock. The second step involves turning the bezel until the UTC hand is in line with the local time marked on the outer ring of the bezel. Once complete, the North, South, East and West graduations on the bezel will be aligned with the four points of the compass. This function works with ease in both the north and south hemispheres. The RM 60-01 Regatta also features a countdown timer at 9 o’clock in the form of a 60-minute graduated skeletonized disc. This totaliser displays the minutes elapsed and the minutes remaining. Ready to tack? Price: EUR 161,500 richardmille.com
  18. MECHANICAL RIFF This tattooed rebel spirit creation celebrates 10 years since the Swiss manufacturer opened its first boutique in the world in Paris. Switch on the guitars! It is now almost 10 years since Hublot opened its first store at 271, Rue Saint-Honoré. This choice did not happen by chance. For some years, Laurent Picciotto was working just a stone’s throw away in his den, Chronopassion, as a distributor of quirky and charismatic watches. The manufacturer called on his energy to open its boutique. Then, it was only natural for Hublot to ask him to design a commemorative limited edition. Passionate about fine watchmaking and a talented musician, Laurent Picciotto is also known for his rock ‘n’ roll spirit and his passion for guitars. He loves this instrument so much that he has invested in the Wild Customs venture which brings together highly skilled luthiers. Their craft for personalization was sought for decorating the Classic Fusion Wild Customs. As with a previous model, the Classic Fuente, the engraving is given pride of place. The timepiece mixes the Art Deco style of the Empire State Building with a rock ‘n’ roll spirit through the use of mini skulls. The second hand in the shape of a lightning bolt is also a glimpse into the electric universe that Laurent Picciotto holds dear to his heart. Its color is a nod to the characteristic surfgreen of the legendary Stratocasters. The limited edition is available in two materials, one in black brushed titanium, and the other in bronze. The 45 mm case of both versions houses a self-winding movement (with a power reserve of 42 hours). Price: EUR 14,400 (titanium) – EUR 16,500 (bronze) www.hublot.com
  19. FOR A GREENER WORLD In homage to Minerva’s prestigious past, the 1858 collection welcomes a new limited-edition traveler’s watch ideal for crossing the globe. You don’t have to travel thousands of miles in search of adventure. Simply place the khaki green 1858 Geosphere by Montblanc on your wrist for a breath of fresh air. The dial is colored green. More than just a trend, this shade symbolizes the link with nature and is combined with bronze to give this traveler’s watch an accentuated vintage look. The 42 mm bronze case has a polished and satin finish. Its bidirectional bronze and green ceramic bezel is characterized by the engraved compass points. The two hemispheres from the original model are also included. Both stylish and practical, they show world time at a glance using a scale with the 24 time zones and day/night display. While the North turns counterclockwise, the South moves in the same direction as the hour and minute hands. The second time zone at 9 o’clock and the date at 3 o’clock complete the time information. All these functions are powered by the MB29.25 caliber. This mechanical self-winding movement provides 42 hours of power once wound. It is also protected by a bronze-coated titanium case back engraved with the inscription Spirit of Mountain Exploration. Limited to 1858 pieces, this new version of the 1858 Geosphere is accompanied by a robust khaki NATO strap to follow you in your quest for exploration. To check their reliability and precision, they have all undergone the Montblanc Laboratory 500 Hours Test. Price: EUR 5,900
  20. DOUBLE IMPACT Switch to color and make a statement! That is the suggestion of this fully independent brand with its new series of chronographs in sharp lines. The Abyss collection has taken us to a sporty, technological and masculine realm since 2005. In 2014, hints of color gave the timepieces an extra splurge of dynamism. Continuing this contemporary approach, Hysek is enhancing its catalog with two new versions of its Abyss 44 mm Chronograph. The first combines a predominantly black color scheme with hints of yellow on the chronograph and small second counters. Its strap bears a double colored line with calf leather inlay in a sports car inspired color scheme. The same solar shades are used in the inner bezel to illuminate the center of the dial. The second version offers a completely different color scheme in predominantly purple. This style gives the watch an elegant yet quirky charm. Like the collection’s previous creations, the hour circle contains four Arabic numerals covered in luminescent material. The two models also have a bezel encrusted with a sapphire disc. The 44 mm titanium case houses a self-winding movement comprising 170 components. Once wound, this caliber regulated to vibrate at a frequency of 28 800 oscillations per hour displays the time, date and a short timer with a power reserve of 42 hours. To guarantee uncompromising comfort to the wearer, the rotating lugs mold to the wrist perfectly. The alligator strap is fastened with a folding buckle. Price: CHF 8,185 (black – yellow) – CHF 8,725 (purple) hysek.com
  21. A MUSICAL SCORE IN MAJOR MODE From the SIHH in Geneva until October, a 25-piece limited edition is being unveiled on the 24th of every month to celebrate a quarter of a century of manufacture. A philharmonic orchestra cannot function without talented musicians and a strict conductor who can lead them to perfection. Since 24 October 1994, the official date of its renaissance with the launch of the Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne has performed this role by using a collection of mechanical features to set the benchmark in fine watchmaking. To mark a quarter of a century, the German company is unveiling various limited edition models this year. One of these is the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar “25th Anniversary” topped with a solid silver dial. Like the original 2012 model, the time information, which is blue in this model, is displayed off center. This unique layout ensures optimum readability combined with an outsize date, the mechanical and stylistic signature feature of the manufacturer. It also conveniently tells the months on the rotating outer ring of the dial and the day of the week with a retrograde marker at 10 o’clock. A small window at 6 o’clock provides leap year information. The moon phases are displayed at 7 o’clock with precision for 122.6 years. This arrangement is masterfully directed by the L08.01 caliber (with a power reserve of 50 hours). The complex self-winding movement comprising 624 components uniquely incorporates a tourbillon visible through the sapphire case back of the 41.9 mm white gold case. Turning the watch over, the owner also discovers the oscillating gold rotor. Each piece is numbered and engraved from 01/25 to 25/25 and comes with a blue alligator strap with a folding buckle. Price: EUR 324,500
  22. Z IS FOR ZAGATO With this limited edition, Chopard is celebrating 100 years of one of the most creative designers of race cars to win the legendary Mille Miglia rally between Brescia and Rome. To mark Zagato’s centenary, Chopard is paying vibrant homage to this family business which also shares a passion for cars. This takes the shape of a 100-piece limited edition with curves and finery as elegant as those designed by the legendary Italian coachbuilder. The Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph 100th Anniversary Edition comes with an intense red lacquered dial, the signature color of the Milan-based studio, covered with a design using the Z of the company logo. The time information components are laid out in the traditional manner inherent to the collection’s timepieces. The faceted, rhodium-plated, baton-shaped hour and minute hands are coated with Super-LumiNova® and point to the markers arranged on the outer ring. Two counters, together with the red-tipped central second hand provide an easy-to-read short timer. A small second at 3 o’clock and a date window at 4:30 complete the set. A tachymeter scale adds a vintage touch to the creation. The 42 mm steel case contains a self-winding movement equipped with a stop-second function. The caliber is regulated to vibrate at a frequency of 28 000 oscillations per hour and offers a power reserve of 42 hours. As with all the watches in production, its chronometer is certified by the Swiss Official Chronometer Testing Institute (COSC). Another interesting feature is the cuff strap in black calf leather. Price: EUR 6,330 chopard.com
  23. Invicta, like many other watch companies make several varieties of watch, from entry level/fashion, to ultra high end models. Most automatics (current production) have unbranded Seiko NH35 (Seiko 4r35) movements. The high end automatics use the Swiss made Sellita SW200 or the SW500 for chronographs. Both the Seiko NH35 And The Sellita SW200/500 are world class movements currently in use by many top watch manufacturers. I would avoid the Chinese made movements, with the exception of the models equipped with the Seagull TY800 Tourbillon movement. The entry level/intermediate quartz models have the Hattori aka Epson aka TMI (Time Module Inc) aka Seiko PC32 movement. The higher end quartz models are equipped with the Swiss Ronda 515 movement and the ultra high quality Ronda 8040.N movement. I find it humorous that many of the avowed "Invicta haters" are in fact wearing watches containing the very same movement as the Invicta model they are criticizing!
  24. Good Evening, My fist time on a watch forum- but as an active user/reader on BMW forums for the last 15 years, I have seen first hand, that a great deal of knowledge for any purchase or brand can be learned on well respected forums. I currently own a Stainless Cartier Roadser XL (with 2 additional interchangeable straps, purchased new in 2009) and a Rose Gold Audemars Piguet Ref 15400 with black leather strap, no chrono (41mm). I also have a first generation Hermes Edition Apple watch (I believe its 42mm?) but I hardly use it. Currently, I am on the hunt for another watch- this time a 41mm Stainless AP, no chrono, Blue or Gray face. Ref 15400 or 15500, new/used doesn't matter, as long as it has box, papers and it is a credible seller I don't mind. Forgive the "newbie" question- but can someone please explain to me whats the deal with the resale price of these watches? What is the real reason behind the blue face going well over 10k over retail in the second hand market? Can anyone recommend a good second hand market or a push in the right direction for the next step? Regards, brchp
  25. While this is a watch that you almost certainly didn't expect to see from Laurent Ferrier, the Tourbillon Grand Sport is all about celebrating a trio of anniversaries that are integral to the creation and perspective of the brand. So forget what you know about LF – this watch is LF through and through. The three crucial events this piece celebrates are the 1979 running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, in which Laurent Ferrier and brand co-founder François Servanin placed third overall; the 2009 founding of Laurent Ferrier as a brand; and the 2009 conception of the brand's first tourbillon, which has become its calling card. Yeah, there's a lot wrapped up in this one. The watch itself is a 44mm stainless steel number with a new case shape that sits somewhere between tonneau and cushion, still with LF's signature curves and onion crown. In case you weren't sure about the "sport" in the name, it's mounted on a rubber strap and it has a dial punctuated by bright flashes of orange Super-LumiNova, so you can read it in any conditions. The dial is a smoked brown color that fades from almost silver at the center, to a dark warm brown at the edges. Turning the watch over, you'll find a caliber LF 619.01 finished in a striking ruthenium color (similar to a certain other Laurent Ferrier LE...) and with the brand's double spiral tourbillon mechanism down at the bottom. It's totally superlative and a nice balance between traditional watchmaking and modern aesthetics. The Tourbillon Grand Sport is a limited edition of just 12 pieces and the brand is saying that they won't be making anything quite like this in the future, so it's truly limited. Initial Thoughts All right, let's get this out of the way up front: Yes, the Tourbillon Grand Sport does have a bit of a Nautilus/Aquanaut look to it, but can you really be all that surprised that the man who spent more than 35 years in product develop at Patek Philippe would gravitate towards these kinds of shapes when making his first sport watch? If that bothers you, there's not really any way to argue, but I personally don't think that's a disqualifying factor for this watch. The shape of the case, in fact, is what I find most striking about the Tourbillon Grand Sport. The shape is kind of beguiling. It's not round, it's not square, it's not a pure cushion – it's something all its own. LF is a brand that tends to get the details right and I like the way the sharp edges of the lugs contrast with the smooth curves of the bezel, especially up around the corners. The balance is on-point. Likewise, the gradient of the dial and the way the color plays off the rubber strap is extremely elegant. I might have opted for a less dominating color for the lume, given my druthers, but that's very much a personal choice. At 44mm this guy is large, and I'd also have loved to see it closer to 40mm, but it wears rather well and much more like a 42mm watch than a typical 44mm round watch. My favorite thing though? The pure "eff you" quotient that you get by putting a superlatively finished, tourbillon-equipped movement like this in a sport watch. The obvious way to go would be the typical automatic micro-rotor caliber, but no, LF went all-out here in a way that I can fully get behind. The Basics Brand: Laurent Ferrier Model: Tourbillon Grand Sport Reference Number: LCF041 Diameter: 44mm Case Material: Stainless steel Dial Color: Brown gradient with nickel opaline finish at the center Indexes: Applied white gold daggers Lume: Yes, orange Super-LumiNova on hands and hour markers Water Resistance: 100 meters Strap/Bracelet: Taupe rubber strap with stainless steel folding clasp The Movement Caliber: LF 619.01 Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, double-spiral tourbillon Diameter: 31.6mm Thickness: 5.57mm Power Reserve: 80 hours Winding: Manually wound Frequency: 3 Hz (21,600 vph) Jewels: 23 Total Components: 188 Chronometer Certified at the Besançon Observatory Additional Details: Special ruthenium treatment to plates and bridges Pricing & Availability Price: $185,000 Availability: From June 2019 Limited Edition: 12 numbered pieces
  26. Originally previewed earlier this year (hence the snow in a few of the photos), Oris has announced the official launch of the first non-limited Divers Sixty-Five chronograph. Essentially a mix of the format previously established by the bronze Carl Brashear chronograph of 2018 crossed with the general look and feel of the 40mm steel and bronze Diver Sixty-Five, the new Diver Sixty-Five Chronograph is 43mm in steel with bronze and rose gold accents. The Brashear limited editions (one chronograph, one time/date diver) have proven to be hot tickets within the Oris mind share so it was really just a matter of time until the brand decided to offer a non-limited expression of the design. Following closely to the bronze/steel three-hand Divers Sixty-Five, the Chrono has a bronze bezel with a black aluminum insert surrounding a no-date two-register chronograph layout. With a gilt application over a black dial, the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph is legible and offers 100m water resistance (the same as the original Divers Sixty-Five, which I have personally used while diving). Initial Thoughts Thanks to its twin register layout and lack of the date display, the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph is nicely balanced and home to a large handset, lumed markers, and even lume-tipped sub-dial hands (not common). While 43mm is quite an increase in size over the proportion of the standard Divers Sixty-Five, the larger dial leaves room for the chronograph display and I found the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph to sit nicely on wrist and feel sporty without being overstated, especially with the added bubble effect of that very domed crystal. Available on the leather strap (as seen in the photos) or on Oris' easy-wearing rivet-style steel bracelet, the Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph starts at $4,000 and uses a Sellita-sourced Swiss automatic chronograph movement. As the latest entry to the Divers Sixty-Five line up (and the first series-produced chronograph) this new Chronograph is a handsome, nicely made, and a strong take on the format previously established by the Brashear LE. The Basics Brand: Oris Model: Divers Sixty-Five Chronograph Reference Number: 01 771 7744 4354 Diameter: 43mm Case Material: Steel with a bronze bezel Dial Color: Black Indexes: Applied, rose gold PVD Lume: Super-LumiNova on hands and markers Water Resistance: 100 meters Strap/Bracelet: Brown leather strap or steel bracelet The Movement Caliber: Oris 771 (Sellita 510 base) Functions: Hours, minutes, sub-seconds, central chronograph seconds, 30-minute chronograph totalizer Diameter: 30mm Power Reserve: 48 hours Winding: Automatic Frequency: 4 Hz (28,800 vph) Jewels: 27 Pricing & Availability Price: $4,000 (leather strap), $4,250 (steel bracelet) Availability: May 2019
  27. A MIX & MATCH EXPLOSION Watchmaker Hublot and artist Marc Ferrero have joined forces for a new artistic endeavor: telling a story on a watch dial. A fusion between two worlds giving rise to two very colorful limited editions. When two talented masters of the art of fusion in their respective fields collide, it cannot fail to be astounding, explosive and, above all, a great success, as is the case with this pair of Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero designs from Hublot. The French artist who skillfully combines different techniques and artistic trends for the storytelling art movement which he created, has left his creative stamp on the dials of two watches decorated with bright graphics. Launched at the start of the year, both series are limited to 50 pieces and come in two different shades: pink red and turquoise blue. The black lacquered dials tell a story interpreted by a piece by Marc Ferrero, Lipstick. Dominating the dial is the face of a woman, eyes hidden behind large sunglasses, a lipstick placed against her mouth as if the act of painting her lips is frozen in time. Surrounding this, there are different depictions of emotions experienced by a woman throughout her day according to the role that she plays: mother, wife, friend, business woman, etc. Three rhodium-plated hands display the hours, minutes and seconds. The timekeeping is regulated by the HUB1710 caliber which offers a power reserve of approximately 50 hours. The automatic-winding movement is housed in a 39 mm steel case and topped with a bezel decorated with 42 blue topazes or red spinels, depending on the version. The Big Bang One Click Marc Ferrero comes with two easy-to-change straps matching the dial: one made of rubber covered with calf leather cut to form patterns and the other made of alligator with tonal stitching. Price: 16,400 CHF www.hublot.com
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