Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Only Watch Auction Raises a Whopping 6.2 Million Dollars

Its Official - the Only Watch Auction, held on September 23rd, 2011 brought in 6.2 Million Dollars (4.5 Million Euros) to raise funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. 
The highest bid went to the the Patek Phillipe Reference 3939A, which sold for 1.4 Million euros (almost 3 times Antiquorium asking Price.) The timepiece's minute repeater tourbillon encased in steel and sporting an enamel dial is the epitome of Patek Phillipe unparalleled craftsmanship.  The Patek Phillipe minute repeater tourbillon powered by a mechanical manual wind movement Caliber R TO 27 PS and COSC featuring two gong chimes activated by a discrete slide piece was up till now only available in platinum and gold making this one of a kind steel version quite unique and desirable.

The De Witt No. 3 – X-WatchConcept watch featuring 535 components  was another big sale bringing fetching $558,381 or 410,000 euro.  This is the 3rd of De Witts experimentation and 3rd in-house movement (Calibre DW 4806)with reversible watches - a concept first inspired by a concrete mixer! The unique addition to this latest De Witt creation was the addition of an X shaped "bonnet"  partially obscuring the watch face and sparking ones curiosity as to what breathtaking  mechanism  lies beneath.  Push pieces situated at the top and bottom of the watch case activate the "bonnet" which smoothly opens with measured speed like the sliding doors of a space ship and  exposes the watch face enabling the rotation of Titanium Grade 5 -used mostly in Aerospace, Medical, Marine, and Chemical Processing and is stronger than pure titanium and is distinctive for its combination of strength and corrosion resistance, (Grades 1-4).  Of course the "bonnet" can be shut again.  Although the "bonnet" is partially concealing the dial, the dial sporting a bi-retrograde hours and minutes on either side of the "bonnet" and a toubillon at the lower part of the "X" remains perfectly visible. Another scintillating aspect to the watch is the fact that it is a Chronograph with a patented Automatic Sequential Winding (A.S.W.) device activated by a peripheral oscillating rotor.

Other sales included a Van Cleef & Arpels, Poetic Complication “From the Earth to the Moon,” No. 1/1 which sold for 215,000 euros ($292,673).

The Auction was highly successful as Luis Garcia, directeur dr Recherche at the CNRS said, “Thanks to Only Watch, we are going to be able to finance ICE (a program that was started in 2008),” This program brings together 15 leading teams worldwide who work on therapeutic strategies on Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, in particular exon skipping, gene and cell therapies.”

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Greubel Forsey Wins Two Awards at Watch Gala Event In India

Greubel Forsey won two prizes at the second "Watch World Awards" at the Jaypee Greens Resort in greater Noida, North India. To receive this award, Greubel Forsey Co-founder Stephen Forsey attended the gala event organized by a well known and  most respected Indian  horology publication.  Greubel Forsey won the prize  for “Limited Edition Watch of the Year” for Invention Piece 2, and also an inaugural individual award for Stephen Forsey's “Special Contribution to Haute Horlogerie”.
The P2 is a wondrous timepiece and an asset to the history of horology.  This remarkable timepiece has four asynchronous tourbillons, comprised of two double tourbillons systems presented head to tail and joined by a spherical differential. The time display is located at the 5'o'clock position. Hours are indicated by a red arrow originating from the Greubel Forsey signature logo. Minutes are marked by a rotating disc. Beneath this display is triple mainspring barrels which allows for a 56 hour power reserve in addition to sustaining the tourbillons. Seconds are discretely displayed at the 10 'o'clock and power reserve at the 11 'o'clock. The tourbillons hold the prominent position on the dials bulging out into the bezel as if the case alone cannot contain their memorizing rotations.
Tourbillons were originally invented in 1795 by Abraham-Louis Breguet to eradicate the effect gravity had on the functioning of the pocket watch. Greubel Forsey has decided to focus on Tourbillons - an extremely complicated function. In a Tourbillon the entire escapement assembly ,comprising of the balance wheel, the escape wheel, hairspring and pallet fork, rotates within a cage.
As Steven Forsey Said, " We chose to concentrate initially on tourbillons as we felt that as there had been relatively little experimentation and innovation in that field in relation to wristwatches, we had a good chance of discovering and contributing something new."

Greubel Forsey has achieved greatness in the horological world by pursuing the science of invention just as the great thinkers of the past centuries. This greatness was acknowledged by an an international panel of judges including renowned Swiss watchmaker Antoine Simonin.  Greubel Forsey's success is not random by any means - read an excerpt from my 2010 blog ,below the You Tube clip, briefly  describing the experimental design of the companies quest for perfection.
Stephen Forsey words in regard to his double win “It’s very exciting for Greubel Forsey to be in India and to receive these prestigious awards from the biggest specialist magazine, Watch World.”

Extract from Blog I wrote before Greubel Forsey first appearance at SIHH 2010.

Greubel Forsey has made great strides in the realms of complicated watches by inventing and reinventing new ways of complicated time display. Last year the Quadruple Tourbillon (image above) was awarded "Best Complicated Watch" at the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie Asia. Two other great achievements include the 24 Second Inclined Tourbillon and the Double Tourbillon 30°
Robert Greubel and Stephen Forsey success is partly due to their methodical scientific approach to the process of watch making. Striving for perfection can potentially lead watch manufacturers on an endless quest, without a specific goal in sight. This prompted Greubel Forsey's introduction of its innovation platform - Experimental Watch Technology or EWT. This empirical approach utilizes experimentation and resulting data to determine the performance of the watch whilst manipulating different variables and verifying the unknown. This approach is time consuming, but extremely effective, and provides Greubel Forsey with a definite edge in watch technology.
EWT has provided Greubel Forsey with the tools to formulate new inventions, two of which are currently in the works: The Binomial, and a cutting edge isochronically stable material used to craft the balance and the spring as well as a spherical Equality Differential harboring its own energy reserve that can offer a constant force to the oscillators.
However, scientific approach cannot vouch for the undeniable aesthetic designs and superb finishing of their timepieces. That aspect is acquired by creative minds and exceptional experience.
I look forward to Greubel Forsey first appearance at this years SIHH commencing on Januar

Monday, September 26, 2011

Two New U-Boat Watches to Surface Soon

Two new Limited Edition U-Boat watches are about to break surface.  The  Golden Crown Arrow is a strikingly large timepiece coming in at a whopping 51mm in diameter and 19.6mm thick and looking more like a submarine gauge then ever. The Golden Crown arrow is about the classiest U-Boat watch yet, probably because its all done up in black and gold (can't go wrong there). The gold screw down cap, which fits above the crown, is a signature U-Boat component adding a ruggedness to the overall image of the watch. An automatic chronograph movement has a 44 hour power reserve and limited to 99 pieces. No word on the price yet.

The second watch is the Classico Titanium IPB Chronograph - the most streamlined U-Boat watch I have seen.  First of all I must admit - I love it.  I think it is the titanium case in a vacuum-deposited IP coating that does it for me. The watch case is not as thick as the Golden Crown Arrow coming in at a slender 16.6mm; however, if you like big,  the large dial 53mm makes up for what is lacking in girth.  The "black on black" hands accentuated by orange sub dial hands and chronograph indicator exude a bold discretion. A high quality Swiss automatic ETA caliber Valjoux 7750 movement provides utmost precision and extreme efficiency. This movement is the preferred choice for many watch brands such as MOMA Designs - which I blogged about last week.  The price for this watch is $5,750 and will be produced in a limited edition of 300.
Both these watches are definitely for people who like big watches which take command of the wrist.

Friday, September 23, 2011

MOMA Designs Watches

Men's Automatic Chronograph Black IP Titanium Case Black Rubber - $2,022.75 (55% off)
I was suitably impressed when I first laid eyes on the MOMA Designs Collections.  As to my nature and my vast knowledge of watch designs, my first reaction is always slightly critical.  What flaw can I see?  Does the watch portray a sense of aesthetic balance?  This watch surpassed my expectations.  All watch designs have a sense of rightness about them - a whole, which is more than the parts of which they are comprised (Gestalt's idea not mine)... and the MOMA Designs Watches sport the entire package - style, efficiency, functionality and supreme precision.
The MOMA watch I have chosen to depict in this blog is powered by the highly efficient Swiss made automatic chronograph ETA Valjoux 7750 Soigne movement - in case you did not know - ETA stands for Elegance, Technology and Accuracy - everything you want from a movement.  The movement is visible via an opening in the dial and and via the scratch resistant Sapphire Crystal Case Back.
A powerful looking watch case with formidable dimensions ensures maximum protection to the movement.  Crafted from black ion plated titanium, the case is highly resilient and corrosion resistant.  In addition, this timepiece is water resistant to 165 feet. which, together with its chronograph function as well as its hand and indices luminescent properties, make this watch an excellent sporting companion. The extra  large rubber strap length of 8.25 inches ensures the watch will fit around many a wrists.
Men's Anniversario Special Edition Automatic Chrono 18k Rose Gold & Black IP Titanium Case Black Rubber - $5,850.00 (55% off)
MOMA Designs Anniversario Special Edition Collection is a Collection with supreme elegance and high efficiency will add class and distinction to any ones image.  A glint of a slim 18k rose gold bezel and matching crown, a peek at the silky smooth black dial with 18k rose gold hands and indices and a long stare at the creamy rubber band only hints at the powerful efficient Swiss made automatic ETA Valjoux 7750 soigne movement that lies beneath. What you may not know is that the watch is water resistant to 330 meters, which makes this watch both elegant and extremely functional around water. The Chronograph complication enables you to determine an interval of time passed between two discrete elapsed time units and a very useful tachymeter is positioned on the inner bezel.  A Tachymeter is a scale which provides the speed of a moving object in conjunction, of course, with the seconds hand. A Tachymeter takes a value determined in less than a minute and converts it into miles per hour.

MOMA watches at the Watchery are reduced in price by as much as 71%.  MOMA Watch Designs make sure the watch you buy is of the highest quality and quality means longevity.  Whether you are a watch collector or looking to find that perfect watch, purchase a MOMA Designs watch and make yourself a deal of a lifetime.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsographe For a Physicians Use

Montblanc's contribution to the Only Watch Auction 2011, held tomorrow in Monaco to raise funds for the research and treatment of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, is quite relevant indeed. Beyond the bezel of the lower portion of the watch is a Pulsographe. A Puslographe is a vintage scale on a timepiece, usually displayed in red, which was used in conjunction with a chronograph and reduced the amount of time a doctor was required to check the pulse of a patient. The Pulsographe was most helpful in World War I, when a doctor had many soldiers wounded in battle and a limited amount of time. For instance in a pulsographe calibrated for thirty pulse beats, like the Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsographe, a Doctor would feel the pulse of the patient and at the same time depress the chronograph button. He would then count until thirty beats and stop the chronograph. The chronograph hand would point to the patients pulse per minute on the pulsographe scale.

The first watch to have this feature was the Heuer Pulsographe. It was when Charles-Auguste Heuer, son of Edouard Heuer founder of E.Heuer & Compagnie" went to visit his doctor. The Doctor checked his pulse for the usual 60 seconds. This procedure was slow and often prone to inaccuracies, Charles-Auguste Heuer decided that he could invent a better more efficient way to measure a heart beat. He set to work and in 1908 invented a Sphygmometer Chronograph. This Sphygmometer could measure the heartbeat with greater reliability. (Is the Montblanc then a Sphygmometer?) This Sphygmometer was too costly as a result of the chronograph function, and thus he developed a Pulsographe, which had the scale but no chronograph function.

The Montblanc Villeret 1858 Pulsographe will sit well around any doctor's wrist. An 18k gold 39.5mm case is a mere 12.1mm thick and protects a chronograph calibre MB 13.21, which is entirely visible via a Sapphire crystal case back. The hand-decorated components are polished and finished creating an eye catching performance of precision. The plates and bridges are crafted in rhodium-plated nickel silver. The bridges themselves are embellished with bevels that have been manually polished.
The enamel dial sporting Arabic Numerals reminiscent of vintage medical calibration machines; a red Pulsographe scale calibrated to 30 pulse beats, as well as the finely placed sub dials are protected beneath a domed sapphire crystal . At the 2 '0' clock position, a chronograph pusher executes the chronograph function as well as stops and resets it.

Montblanc has portrayed its commitment to fine quality, precision and finishing in its Only Watch 2011.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

de Grisogono Black Forever Collection

Occhio Ripetizione Minuti
 de Grisogono adds a dash of color and a burst of brightness to its latest Black Forever Collection Edition with the introduction of its Instrumento Tondo timepiece . This year de Grisogono will be displaying its "Black Forever" collection at a special showing in San Fransico on September the 26th & September the 27th.  This year will mark the 15th year, de Grisogono has been designing luxury watches and fine jewelry in black diamonds. 

Black diamonds are quite rare. According to geologists, black diamonds came to our earth from outer space. (Source: Astrophysical Journal Letters December 20, 2006) Otherwise known as carbonado diamonds, these diamonds contain trace elements of hydrogen which indicates an origin in a hydrogen-rich interstellar space. Infrared synchrotron radiation at Brookhaven National Laboratory was used to discover the diamonds' source.
Instrumento Tondo RM N56/A
In addition, black diamonds are found only in Brazil and the Central African Republic. In all the worlds mining fields whether it be South Africa, China, India; where 600 tons have been mined, not a single black diamond has been found. Another clue to the extraterrestrial nature of the black diamond is in its make up. The black diamonds Carbonado diamonds are typically pea sized or larger porous aggregates of many tiny black crystals.
Instrumento N° Uno
Early data from scientists Jozsef Garai and Stephen Haggerty of Florida International University, as well as new research support the theory that showing that carbonado diamonds formed in stellar supernovae explosions.
Whatever the source of the black diamonds, their ultimate destination is what really counts in the here and now.  In 1996, Fawaz Gruozi, of de Grisigono, laid his eyes on the 190 carat "Black Orlov" diamond and  was smitten.  He decided to use these rare gems in his jewelry and timepieces.  However black diamonds are fragile and prone to breakage if not handled by a person highly skilled in gems cutting.
To commemorate 15 years of  de Grisogono's use of black diamonds in its jewelry and timepieces, the company has launched a special edition of timepieces named " Black Forever", which includes watches from the brands first watch collection "Instrumento No Uno" to the highly publicized "Meccanico dG"

The Instrumento N° Uno is superbly crafted in stainless steel protected by a highly resilient black PVD coating.  An automatic movement winds the mainspring.  A dual time and date commands center attention upon a black guilloche dial sporting Arabic Numerals and grey dauphine-style hands.  A black rubber strap closes via a de Grisigono butterfly buckle also comprised of stainless steel and coated with black PVD. 36 black diamonds totaling 1.1 carats adds a sophisticated dazzle to complete the look.  

Instrumento N° Uno DF S42
If you have an irresistible yearning for the complete black diamond experience, de Grisogono can assist.  The Instrumento N° Uno DF is an 18k gold timepiece unabashedly smothered in 478 black diamonds equaling no less than 8.7 carats.  Even the black guilloche dial  is set with 365 diamonds.  The black Galuchat (sting ray) strap completes the pebbled look.  This exquisite high jewelry watch is limited to but 10 pieces.  Given de Grisogono's star studded following ,including Jennifer Lopez, Alicia Keys, Naomi Campbell, Salma Hayek, Demi Moore, Eva Mendes and Rihanna, it seems de Grisigono will have no trouble finding customers for its newest Black Forever Collection.

Black Forever Meccanico dG N09
The Black Forever Meccanico (left) is my all time favorite de Grisigono timepiece and I am quite pleased, de Grisogono has chosen to incorporate this model into its Black Forever Collection.  The Meccanico is unique as it displays a digital read out below  the digital time display only utilizing mechanical white mobile microsegments.  Thus it is the mechanical movement of the watch which operates the second digital time zone display.  
 This particular model , limited to 10 pieces, is crafted from highly corrosive resistant and light weight titanium.  As with all de Grisogono timepieces, scratch resistant sapphire crystal protects the dial and ,in most models, the case back. In addition de Grisogono timepieces are water resistant to 30 meters.

The Occhio Rietizione Minuti (top image)  is simply dazzling.  167 black diamonds on bezel and lugs frame a black matt twelve-blade titanium diaphragm dial.  A minute repeater, which is an alarm complication sounds on the hour, quarter and minute on three separate gongs and utilizing a cathedral striking.   The Occhio Ripetizione was an innovative idea, developed on the same principle as a reflex camera. The Occhio Ripetizione Minuti has a twelve-shutter aperture revealing the movement while the watch is striking.  A matt alligator strap affixed via a three ply deployment buckle in 18 k gold coated with black PVD.  This highly unique timepiece is limited to 5 pieces. 

Black is in and de Grisogono, a company on the forefront of fashion and style, has provided.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Cricket in Vulcain's Anniversary Heart Watch for Only Watch 2011

The Only Watch Auction 2011 is an incredible opportunity for  fine watch companies to display a unique watch which incorporates individual achievements pertinent to that company.  For example, Vulcain's Anniversary Heart Watch harbors the Cricket movement - a movement unique to Vulcain's heritage - as well as a skeletonized dial - another Vulcain signature.  

If you are unfamiliar with the Cricket movement, it is an alarm function or reminder function specifically designed by Vulcain  for the smaller dimensions of a wrist watch. In this day an age with fancy electronic devices, alarms are taken for granted or even despised. Alarms appear everywhere from $1 digital watches to innovative allusive alarm clocks which actually roll around.  However prior to the quartz revolution, all watches were mechanical and relied entirely on the harmonious sequential functioning of multitudes of working parts.  At first watches displayed the time in increasing precision, then compasses, tourbillons, perpetual calenders, moon-phases, dual time zones and automatic movements increased the functionality and efficiency of the time pieces.  Prior to the early twentieth century, these complications were incorporated in pocket watches, but after Santos-Dumont popularized the wrist watch, pocket watches were laid down in favor of the more handy wrist watch.  Alarm functions were available  in larger pocket watches and with a larger watch case, the capability of producing a louder sound is evident. 
However an effective alarm function in a wrist watch was a quite a challenge to develop.  Being that the watch case is small,  it was hard to produce a loud audible gong which would arouse a heavy sleeper from slumber.. 
An alarm function had three problems within a wristwatch case:
1) Audibility
2) Effecting Dust protection
3) Effecting Water resistance
... then in 1947 the problem was solved and heavy sleepers could rest easy, Vulcain presented the Vulcain Cricket. The Cricket was so loud it could penetrate the dreams and arouse the sleeper. This new alarm function woke up the World of Horology.
So how did Robert Ditisheim of Vulcain resolve the alarm audibility dilemma?  Well as the name suggests, he turned to mother nature. Let me ask you this.  Have you ever tried to fall asleep while a cricket is chirping its nightly song outside your window? Did you hug a pillow to your ear inorder to drown out the noise, but still heard its persistent resonance. AHH! Now you have your answer.
If a tiny cricket could cause such a noise, than surely a wristwatch could do the same. Robert Ditsheim Incorporated a resonance-chamber like that of a cricket by fitting a two-part back to the watch case. The inner back encloses the watch case and serves to generate the sound. A hammer strikes the watch-case ,which oscillates and produces the sound-waves. The outer case has a twofold function: First it permits the sound-generating inner-back to oscillate freely as it has no direct contact with the wearer's wrist. Second it forms a small space between the inner case back which serves as a resonance chamber. Although many Watch Companies have crafted mechanical minute repeaters, none is quite as loud as the Vulcain Cricket.
The Vulcains's Anniversary Heart Watch is a slender mechanical hand wound 12.7mm thick 42mm rose gold case. Being that the watch is hand wound, an oscillating weight (required in most automatic watches) is absent, thereby leaving the exceptionally crafted movement including the skillfully handcrafted main plate, barrel bridge and movement barrel entirely visible beyond the sapphire crystal case back, as well as maintaining the thinness of the watch case.
The Vulcain Cricket sports a 20 second alarm function and a 42 hour power reserve. Ensuring the watch is securely fitted around the wrist, a rose gold buckle is affixed to a black alligator strap.   

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Swatch Group Breaks Ties with Tiffany & Co.

Tiffany & Co's unremarkable watch designs failed to impress Swatch Group who eventually gave the company the boot.  In 2007, Swatch Group founded Tiffany & Co. Ltd, which was was responsible for the development, production and distribution of Tiffany & Co. branded Watches; however the resulting collections were bland and unassuming lacking a certain charm and color.  Where was the Tiffany & Co. which created exquisite jewelry designs dripping with gems and swirling with color?  Where was the Tiffany & Co. who created tender dragon fly broaches with elegant wings and tender craftsmanship? Where was the company who supplied magnificent jewelry to renowned New York Vanderbilts and Astors and whose creations are displayed in museums?   It seems Tiffany & Co. Ltd watches were left out of the creative company loop, and all that remained was a kind of apologetic collection of watches.  Tiffany & Co. can go two ways at this stage, either admitting the company is not ready for the extremely competitive and highly critical watch market and close the watch shop or revamp its collections and create unique  timepieces which actually represent Tiffany & Co. quality.

As per the original statement by Swatch Group, see below, both Swatch Group and Tiffany & Co, were highly optimistic about there vision of a long term alliance.  This partnership failed to such an extent that "Swatch Group and Tiffany Watch Co. LTD will press claims for damages against Tiffany & Co., New York, in compensation for the loss of planned long-term future business."  It seems to me, Swatch Group expected "more" from Tiffany & Co. - A "more" Tiffany & Co did not provide.  Tiffany & Co's watches are not bad watches.  They may suit the taste of some, and the watches would be quite fitting on the sales floors of less prestigious companies, but being Tiffany & Co. (established in 1837), the watches do not live up to the brand.  If their watch brand means to excel, I think they should look to Louis Vuitton,  Harry Winston, Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels - companies which have made waves in the world of watches.

Original Statement at Partnership Commencement:

In December 2007 Swatch Group and Tiffany & Co. announced a strategic alliance to further the development, production and worldwide distribution of Tiffany & Co. brand watches. Under the agreement, the new watch company, known as Tiffany Watch Co. Ltd and wholly owned by Swatch Group, will design and manufacture in Switzerland a complete range of high-end luxury watches.
The enormous prestige of the Tiffany & Co. brand and the Swatch Group’s watchmaking expertise and experience in the luxury segment form a powerful platform on which to build one of the world’s top luxury watchmakers.
Tiffany Watch Co. Ltd is a Swiss company. Its products are designed and manufactured in Switzerland and distributed selectively through Swatch Group and Tiffany & Co. retail distribution networks, including monobrand Tiffany & Co. watch boutiques in certain markets outside the United States. (Source:  Swatch Group. com)

Monday, September 12, 2011

De Bethune Only Watch 2011 Sensual Celestial Charm

De Bethune Only Watch seems as though it is a porthole to the heavens.  Unparalleled watch making expertise accompanied by exquisite renditions of a star filled sky make the DB25 a truly unique display of time.  The exact placement of the stars depicted on the dial are in the very same position as the night in Monaco of January 8th, 1297.  The very night Francois Grimaldi, Genoese leader of the  Guelphs, dressed as a Franciscan monk,  captured the rock.  De Bethune's Orion and Gemini Constellations are 14 invisibly set white diamonds, while 91 surrounding stars are touches of applied white gold upon a memorizing flame-blued titanium dial providing a sense of the incredible infinite expansiveness of the universe.
 Looking at the 6'o'clock position, one notices an aperture displaying a solid silver sandblasted hour and minute discs with Roman Hours and Arabic minute discs or wandering hours.  The use of silver as well as the use of both Arabic and Roman Numerals adds a subtle sense of mystery to the timepiece.
The elegant 44mm 18k white gold three body round drum case protects a  precise Cal. DB2105S comprising of a twin self -regulating barrel and a De Bethune silicon-platinum annular balance; main plate and bridges in beveled and hand-polished steel; balance spring with flat terminal curve. In addition, the watch is equipped with no less than 29 jewels, which ensure smooth seamless transfer of operations. The incredible movement is visible via a scratch resistant Sapphire crystal case back. Large hollowed lugs secure an alligator strap which fastens with an 18k white gold signature De Bethune buckle.
If you out bid the competition in the Only Watch Auction, which will be held by Antiquorium in Monaco at the end of this month to raise funds and awareness for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, you will receive this watch in a fitted box accompanied by a Certificate.  Wish price EUR 100,000 - 150, 000 (source  Antiquorium)
De Bethune was established in 2002 by David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet,  with the vision of upholding the watchmaking tradition.  Crafting mechanical timepieces with the aid of cutting edge technological advancements and longstanding watch making craftsmanship, De Bethune has succeeded in making a name among watch aficionados and acquiring 9 patent registrations, 11 in-house calibres validated by intense research. De Bethune has not only succeeded in crafting a timepiece with perfect precision and exceptional craftsmanship, but has created a piece of remarkable beauty and grace.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Jaeger Le-Coultre Raises Funds for Heart Center in Sudan

At the 68th Venice International Film Festival running from August 31st to September 10th, 2011, JaegerLeCoultre ,who has been sponsoring the festival for the last seven years and supplying Jaeger- LeCoulture finest glamor to the stars, has decided to use this opportunity to support a worthy cause.  On September 1st, on the 2nd night of the festival Jaeger-LeCoultre held an exclusive event: "Reverso for Emergency, Jaeger-LeCoultre Helps the Salam Center".
Just as there are ten glittering nights of the 68th Venice International Film Festival, Jaeger-LeCoultre ,with support of celebrities, will finance ten operations at the Salam Center.  The Salam Center was established in 2007 by Emergency Association in Khartoum, Sudan and specializes in children and adults suffering from heart disease.  The center provides these procedures free of charge to patients who otherwise would have no means of paying for their medical treatment. 
In honor of this worthy cause, Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled a Reverso featuring a red heart as if drawn by the hand of a happy child. The Reverso design is turning 80 this year.  First developed in 1931 at the fervent request of British Officers in India who enjoyed a hearty game of polo but feared damage to the crystal of their timepiece.

As the story is told:

Cesar de Trey, an influential businessman, who was a close associate of Jacques-David LeCoultre visited friends in India.
A polo player approached him, "Sir, I challenge you to create a timepiece that can survive a game of polo with its crystal intact."

This challenge founded the legend of the Reverso. A Patent for Reverso was filed on March 4, 1931: A watch capable of sliding in its base and of turning completely on its axis to turn the crystal inward.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Corum Admiral Cup Seafender 47 Tourbillon GMT

Corum combines supreme elegance & intriguing complications in its latest edition to the iconic Admiral Cup Collection.   This model is quite a far cry from previous Admiral Cup models featuring loud and brightly colored nautical flags emblazoned beneath the bezel.  Keeping with the Admiral Cup tradition, nautical flags are featured beneath the bezel; however quite a bit more discrete.  This down playing of the nautical flags seems to be the newer Admiral Cup trend, perhaps because the actual Admiral Cup international sailing regatta has been a no show for almost a decade.  All due respect to Corum, this is one of the finest Admiral Cup Timepieces I have ever seen.  The iconic twelve sided of the bezel has been softened slightly and crafted from glowing rose gold.  The 47mm dial is spacious sporting an exquisite tourbillon complication and a dual time zone.  The key of Corum is incorporated in the tourbillon movement and seems to unlock time with the rotation of the tourbillon within the signature key cage. The diagonal lines across the dial provide the perception of space on a dial which otherwise may seem cluttered.
Since this is a nautical timepiece, a second time zone is a critical especially if one is traveling across longitudes.  A handy pusher at the 4 'o' clock sets the second time zone, which is visible on a sub dial at the 6 'o'clock position, and just in case one is holed in the bowels of a ship, a day night indicator provides clues to the outside. At the 3 'o' clock position, the day of the month is perfectly placed.
Some say the see through case back is as alluring as the dial, since an exceptional large Corum caliber  CO397 automatic movement is entirely visible via a scratch resistant sapphire crystal treated with an anti-reflective coating.
A power reserve of 50 hours ensures the watch remains ticking off the wrist for at least 50 hours.  The timepiece is water resistant to 50 meters thanks to gaskets and a screw in case back, however 50 meters does limits its uses around too much water; however for $70,000 I would be quite careful where and when I wear the watch.
This watch is also available in aluminum for $47,000 in a  truly handsome  matt black.