Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Ten Dazzling Timepieces of 2009!

Smothered with diamonds, accentuated with rubies, dripping with emeralds, purring with complications, roaring with cutting edge materials: the ostentatious, the superb, the grandeur, you gotto love a luxury timepiece. So now as the year draws to a close let us capture the finest of the finest and listen to our heart beat quicken in delight.1) My personal favorite, Hublot's Black Cavier Bang. The Black Cavier won the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve prize for jewelery watch of the year 2009. A mosaic of over 500 rare black diamonds, the Hublot Black Cavier Bang took over 2000 hours to create. Everything about the watch is unique from its rhodium plated diamond polished skeleton hands, diamond encrusted power reserve indicator marking a 120 hour power reserve, eye catching tourbillon, manually wound HUB Solo T Tourbillon and sapphire crystal treated with interior anti-reflection treatment. The most unique aspect of this watch ,aside for its one million dollar price tag, is the fact that it is one of its kind. No other Black Cavier Bang will be produced.2) How would you like a diamond wrap. Piaget loves to go all out when it comes to haute joaillerie. After all when one wants to create a masterpiece, one wants to create something magnificent, something that will cause a stir among the people. This horological bedazzlement is part of Piaget's Limelight watch collection for 2009. After hours of craftsmanship involving diamond cutting and setting, working the 18k white gold to achieve the swirling effect, and assembling the watch, the effect is mesmerizing. The watch dial is hidden behind the diamond curls when the watch is not being read, thus increasing the jewelry effect. All in all 40 carats adorn the luxury timepiece meant to dizzy the senses with extravagance.
3) Got $300,000 to spare, well if you do the Sarcar Carrousel is quite an option. What caught my eye was the blatant "in your face" diamond exposure. This watch is a creation of Sarcar, a Swiss watch company founded in 1948 by Carlo Sarzano. The 12 half carat diamonds set in gold float freely against the mother of pearl backdrop. More diamonds pave the bezel and the area beneath the watch hands of the 40mm watch case. The watch boasts a total of 399 diamonds. A black alligator strap renders a comfortable fit and closed with a gold folding clasp.4) Where the diamonds? You may ask. Well their are no diamonds on this extraordinarily unique Tag Heuer Monaco V4 timepiece, but it is a gem of a watch none the less and we have been waiting awfully long for its appearance. At a point I had my doubts that we would ever see the final product. But 2009 is the year. The watch is fashioned from no less than 170 grams of platinum, but it is its movement that really raises eyebrows. I am told this watch is fashioned after a car engine, since I know little about car engines and would much rather tinker with a watch movement.

5)This latest men's masterpiece from Dior is pure eye candy. The crimson mineral glass baths the underlying manually wound tourbillon movement in red light. Diamonds dotted with rubies smother the bezel in a lavish display. Diamonds and rubies parade along the stunning bracelet. The hands are simple so as not to mask the beauty that lays beneath. The 42mm case is crafted from white gold. The skeletonization of the dial displays the fine gears and exceptional craftsmanship.
So how much does a beauty like this cost? Well you will have to dig deep into your pockets. At 1.3 million Swiss Francs this watch is quite costly, but if acquired you do get the bragging rights that this exceptional timepiece has been nominated in the awards for the 2009 Geneva Grand Prix d'Horlogerie.

6) And what of complications? Zenith provides as always with a spectacular Full Set Lady Moonphase Watch. The vertical diamond paved bezel gives this chronograph timepiece a sense of adventure. The shape of the 37.5, 18K white gold watch case is a diamond encrusted port hole displaying a magnificent mother-of-pearl dial baring a moon phase, chronograph, date and hours, minutes, seconds and day indicators. As always we must have a diamond total, and Zenith doesn't disappoint. Approximately 4.88 carat comprise of 533 round diamonds The Full Set Lady Moonphase Watch is powered by a Zenith’s El Primero 410 automatic movement with 50-hour power reserve. This watch is deliciously infused with serious watch craftsmanship and elegance.7) The Golden Bridge Lady by Corum is the height of elegance. One almost doesn't know where to look first. Corum has taken a new position in regard to its iconic Golden Bridge collection by placing the he hand-wound mechanical baton movement horizontally. 2.5 carats of diamonds cluster on the bezel like flood lights illuminating a grand spectacle. And grand it is, the wheels in motion are captivating beneath the exquisitely engraved bridge.
The sultry curved lines of the bezel, perpendicular to the bridge provides exudes a sense of liquidity and elegance. The angled rows of diamonds are set with incredible precision.

As a result of the incredible complexity and craftsmanship required to manufacture a luxury watch with this degree of excellence, only a few Golden Bridge for ladies will be crafted each year. The watches will be available in either 18k red or white gold.8) Okay you can breath now. Ulysse Nardin Moonstruck Watch takes Moonphase to an entirely new level.
9) Yes, I admit you are quite familiar with the Cartier Balon Bleu, but do not be deceived as the packaging of this Cartier masterpiece is unique. The name Cartier has bestowed on its newest creation is quite mysterious: ID One Concept Watch. The name has a detached cold ring to it. Oh well, it is likely Cartier wants to show its technological side of watchmaking. The watch is crafted from Niobium Titanium, which is harder and more resilient than titanium. This is truly a watch material of the future reducing long term maintenance and initial regulation. Many watch companies have been striving for the perfect material requiring minimal lubrication (as over time deterioration of lubricants impede watch performance). 
10) Angular Momentum's Belle Epoque Eternal Time Watch. A splash of diamonds tendrils create a star. Two large baguette diamonds rest at the 12 and 6 o clock position . Time is displayed via two gold orbs, the larger for the hours, smaller for minutes. The entire watch is powered by an automatic movement.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Omega's Museum Collection's Latest Edition.

Omega is releasing modern versions of watches from its past. The latest of which is the Omega Milestone 1941 (above), the ninth in Omega's Museum Collection. Based on the original CK 2080 (inset) which was released in 1938, the newer version has a busier face which includes a tachymeter ( to compute speed based on travel time or measure distance based on speed), telemeter just below the bezel (to measure the distance of a phenomenon which is both visible and audible i.e thunder and lightening), 30 minute chronograph and the time. Although the face is quite busy, the hour ring is immediately discernible with aid of the large bold 12, 6 and hour indicators and hands coated in SuperLumiNova. The minute track is between the telemeter and the tachymeter. The two sub-dials at the 3 'o' clock and 9 'o' clock displays a the 30 minute chronograph and seconds counter respectively. The inner concentric circles are related to the tachymeter measurements.
At face value, the Omega Milestone 1941 or Number 9 as it sometimes is reffered to is quite similiar, both have a black face, white dial markings and really cool lugs; however beneath the surface the difference is quite marked. The CK 2080's newer counterpart sports a modern Omega Caliber 3203 Co-Axial manually wound movement with a column wheel for the chronograph complication. The Omega CK 2080 from 1938 was a stainless steel watch quite popular among the high ranking military officers. The Omega Milestone 1941 is crafted from 18k white gold with a limited edition of only 1941 pieces meant for collectors and watch enthusiasts.
Omega's vision in presenting the Omega's Museum Collection is to combine its long standing tradition of fine watchmaking and its dedication to cutting edge technology.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rev Up your Engines with Panerai Ferrari

Panerai FER00011 Ferrari Granturismo Stainless Steel Yellow and Black Dial Leather and Rubber Men's Automatic Tachymeter Chronograph Chronometer Watch
This explosive collaboration began in 2006 at a Ferrari test track in Maranello, Italy amidst the smell of burnt rubber and race fuel, blending two iconic Italian brands: Ferrari and Panerai. The result is a watch encapsulating a powerful energy baring the "Cavallino Rampante" or "Prancing Stallion". The watch I have chosen to depict embodies the colors of the Ferarri race team - black horse on yellow background. Ferrari was founded as Scuderia Ferrari in 1929 by Enzo Ferarri originally as a manufacturer of race cars. Drivers were sponsored and Ferari tucked many Formula One, Grand Prix and other championships under its belt. In 1947 Ferrari began production of street legal vehicles.
The prancing horse is a symbol of good fortune first used by Count Francesco Baracca, a national hero of World War I and an exceptional fighter pilot of the Italian Air Force who would paint a horse in red on a white cloud on the side of his planes. Later he adopted the black stallion as a personal emblem. He died in 1918. On June 17, 1923, Enzo Ferrari raced to victory at the Savio track in Ravenna, where he met Count Francesco Barraca's mother who presented Enzo with the Count's emblem. Enzo chose the black stallion, which was originally painted on the Count's squadron planes as a tribute to the Count's former cavalry regiment and a fallen pilot. Ferrari used the canary yellow background as it is the color of the city Modena, his birthplace.

The black stallion an iconic symbol now adorns the dial of the Panerai Ferrari watches, a perfect watch for a sportsman.
Ferarri was at one time in agreement with Girard-Perregaux but when that expired, Panerai stepped in. This new partnership made the utmost sense, two Italian brands deeply entrenched in Italian tradition, both striving for technical excellence, superb craftsmanship, exceptional quality and distinct design.
" We took inspiration for these watches from the Ferrari cars and we took inspiration from Panerai. You can recognize the shape and designs from Panerai , but it is a totally new case expressly made for Ferrari. Every time, step by step, we showed our work to Jean Todt and the Ferrari team, and they approved it or they asked us to go back and look at the cars, to provide us with inspiration. They were very kind to us, because they allowed us freedom to work; they allowed us to adapt the DNA of Ferrari and Panerai. We cannot forget Panerai, because it comes from our heart, but on the other side we need to show the face of Ferrari. You have to recognize that this is Ferrari. When we see the watch, you can tell it is a Panerai watch, but you also recognize that it's Ferrari."
Jean Todt, chairman of Ferrari said in 2006 in regard to this partnership, "Made in Italy is very important to us. I have followed the development of the watches very carefully. I want Ferrari people and Ferrari drivers to be wearing these beautiful watches."

There are two main lines of Ferrari watches one is Grantourismo - the elegant sport models and the other is the heart pumping, engine revving tire squealing aggressive sports model - the Scederia line.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A Difference in Time

Every once in a while, I peruse the net, for truly original watches.

It is amazing the versatility of an object such as the watch, and to think in the end the integral function remains the same: To track the passage of time. A watch that does not track the time is not a watch, but an entirely different instrument. Now Romaine Jerome's "Day & night" Watch has no numbers, but does track the time by dividing Day and Night, just like the ancients. When the world consisted of hunters and gatherers, there was no need for hours, minutes or seconds, the only time that mattered was powered by the earths rotation on its own axis providing us with night and day, and its orbit around the sun providing us with the seasons. A timepiece such as Romaine Jerome's night and day has reached into the essence of time, free from the boundaries of man , and providing us with the passage of time tracked since the beginning of time.

The Earth Watch WN-1 introduced by Think The Earth group and Seiko back in 2008, would be the perfect watch for the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, which started yesterday and goes until December 18th. The time on the watch is indicated by the globe making a full rotation every 24 hours. A tiny indicator on the edge of the globe displays the hour, and a little dot rotating around the globe indicates minutes. WN-1 Earth Watch’s case is made from a titanium body with a resilient Hardlex crystal dome to protect the earth’s climate. The watch is powered by Quartz with a custom set of 3 reducing gears in the drive train.
The watches black band is made from Sophista, a sports type synthetic fabric that absorbs sweat. In addition the watch is water resistant up to 100m. The ‘Think The Earth’ WN-1 Earth Watch is a constant reminder to us that the world is a orb unto itself and us as its inhabitants must do the best we can to protect it.

It seems these watches are still in the concept stages, but the idea is pretty cool. Designed by by PLAYOFF and Balykin Pavel from Behance.net. Sand+Time Watch is awarded by reddot design and it’s also the winner of watch design in 2006. I love the idea of a digital hourglass. While you can still have time in digital, you can also enjoy pixar animated sand flowing through the hourglass. Perfect for Pictionary.

This Hologram watch is kind of spooky and kind of funky. The time is displayed on a hologram surface through the negative space, but only when you want it too. Most of the time the watch just appears to be a bracelet.

Give the Faceless LED Watch as a gift and you may have your gift recipient turning the watch over and over desperately trying to find the time. The Faceless Led Watch is crafted by Hironao Tsuboi. The red numerals cast the relevant glow of numerals according to the time. Quite mysterious and highly original.

With my busy schedule the About Time Watch won't cut it for me. One rolls the watch around on a flat surface, and the time is the area that touches the table, but there are no real numbers, but rather vague suggestions as to the time frame. Phrases such as "it may be more like around eight, but if you want, it could be nine."

Binary Time Watches. To me they are just a couple of colorful lights, but to Geeks out there these watches are excellent time displays. I have seen a number of different versions of Binary watches and each one looks ,well, binary.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jewelery Watch of the Year Hublot Black Cavier Bang Out of This World.

Hublot won the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Geneve prize for jewelery watch of the year 2009, and I am not surprised. Limited to but one piece, the Black Cavier Bang is strictly black tie with a Solo T Tourbillon and Power reserve of 120 hours making this watch a power house. Hublot ,however, thinks it rather resembles caviar and has provided the watch with the title,"Black Cavier Bang."
At One million Dollars it does not matter what it is called, it matters what it costs.

The cost may have to do with shipping of the raw materials; specifically the Black Diamond. Hundreds of precision cut black diamonds totaling 34.5 total carats (322 on the case, 179 on the bezel, and 30 on the clasp), pave this watch and thus the surprising origins of the black diamond is quite pertinent.
What if I say, black diamonds have journeyed from outer space? No, this is not some cheap sci fi fictional notion that I have concocted. This is real.
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.
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.
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.
Black diamonds were once the size of asteroids, a kilometer or more in diameter when they first landed on Earth.

No wonder the Hublot Black Caviar Bang is a world "first". Hublot says it is both a technological and artistic achievement. The setting is completely invisible and only the black and deep tones of rare black diamonds are visible.
Creating this exceptional watch demanded over 2,000 hours of meticulous work, from design to final adjustment. 544 VVS TW-IF quality baguette diamonds adorn the watch’s case, dial, crown and deployment clasp.
Now putting the black diamond in perspective, the One Million Dollar Price Tag doesn't seem that cosmic.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The Many Hues of Armand Nicolet Luxury Watches

Armand Nicolet is a company deeply embedded in the Swiss tradition of luxury watch craftsmanship. Situated in Tramelan in the Burmese Jura, Armand Nicolet captivates the precision, craftsmanship and perfection of watchmaking that has occupied this region for centuries. Armand Nicolet's Women's Watches evoke a sense of whimsical fantasy. The dials shimmer with hundreds of gentle shades provided by the composition of the mother-of-pearl.
Queen Elizabeth gave mother-of-pearl its name in the 15th century. The use of mother-of-pearl has a long history. In the 1920's tombs of Sumerian Royalty from ancient Mesopotamia yielded a grand treasure of gold, silver, gemstones and wooden ornaments and musical instruments inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Mother-of-Pearl was used in many cultures for various reasons, but one cannot help but notice the iridescent beauty of this material. It is created by the bivalves (two-part) mollusk who secrete in in the event of injury or the invasion of foreign particles. The secretion is comprised of calcium carbonate (derivative mineral of Aragonite) and conchiolin (a binding protein). Mollusks cannot regulate their own temperature and are extremely vulnerable to changing environmental conditions.
Armand Nicolet's use of mother-of-pearl stems from a tradition spanning thousands of years, and the result is as intriguing and mesmerizing as the artifacts found from past civilizations. Each watch is crafted with care and precision thereby providing an end product of extreme quality. Powered by the motion of ones hand, these watches require no batteries. The skeletonized hand add a delicate touch to the dial.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

IWC Da Vinci - The Shape Shifter

IWC IW376402 Da Vinci White Dial Leather Alligator Men's Automatic Chronograph

Traditionally, IWC Da Vinci, has housed its movement in a round case; however, true to the collections namesake, Leonardo da Vinci, a 15th century, multi-talented painter and inventor best known for his "Mona Lisa", IWC has reinvented our Da Vinci perspective with the 2007 introduction of the Da Vinci Collection baring a barrel tonneau case. The effect is remarkably appealing with a sense of fluid contours and timeless elegance.

View the video below to learn about the ingenious Da Vinci chronograph.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Come on Baby! Roll the Dice! And other Georgous Audemars Piguet Timepieces

Audemars Piguet does Las Vegas, dressing up its Royal Oak dial in pulsating "strip neon" red. The particular model depicted above is the Audemars Piguet Las Vegas Strip Manual Wind Tourbillon with Chronograph Watch. The versatility of the Royal Oak, is especially noticeable in this extraordinary timepiece. The watch is limited to a mere 35 pieces. However, bare in mind when purchasing this watch, you are by no means taking a gamble.

The Royal Oak was unveiled at Basel World 1972 as a high-end steel sports watch with the Octagon shape and became an immediate success. Designed by Gerald Genta, the flexibility of this case design is endless whether in movements (either quartz or mechanical), complications, colors or materials

An Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Timepiece adds a explicit sense of style to ones attire. It takes but one second to make a first impression; enhance it with an Audemars Piguet Royal Oak

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

U-Boat Luxury Watches from thousands of feet below to thousands of feet above.

So I am sure you are wondering what these two images have in common. Well the first image is just one of an amazing selection of watches crafted by the Italian Luxury Watch Company U-Boat. The watches looked familiar not because I recognized them, but because I recognized the rugged solid feel. The watches reminded me of beeping gauges, shrill sirens, soldiers urgent calls, and explosions. The watches are so set in their style These watches give me a sense of history. War History. Anyway I had no idea what a U-Boat was, so with a click of a mouse, I quickly discovered that it was a type of submarine the Germans had in World War I. U-Boat from the German word U-boot, which is a abbreviated form of Unterseeboot - Under sea boat i.e. Submarine. So now I have come to my second picture, the control room of a U-Boat. If you noticed on the far wall, there hang a couple of gauges, with a mounted face and thick bezel. The guage hands are stark and give a sharp contrast to the face so that they may be read with accuracy in times of imminent danger. Once I saw the gauges, I understood the U-Boat watches.

                                  U-Boat 45-AS-2 Classico Cream Dial Calf Leather with Steel Plate Men's Watch

Italo Fontano six U-Boat Collections, Flightdeck  ,Nightvision,Thousands of Feet,Classico ,Precious Metal and Eclipse, have become popular among countless celebrities. Tom Cruise,Sylvestor Stylone, Ralph Lauren, David Beckham, John Legend and the list goes on. U-Boat was started by Italo Fontana who was inspired by the work of his grandfather, Ilvo Fontana, who designed timepieces for the Italian navy. The company has only been around since the turn of the century (this century), the year 2000; however, it is forging ahead with its new historical designs and gaining a steady following.

U-Boat 55 CAB O Flight Deck Black Dial Calf Leather with Exclusive Aero Design Men's Automatic Chronograph Watch

Monday, November 9, 2009

Honk Around the Clock: Sesame Street turns 40!

On November 10th, 2009, Sesame Street turns 40. Sesame Street is an educational television program precisely formatted to capture a child's attention, and hold it for 50 minutes a day. The content is positive, friendly and educational, featuring politicians, movie stars, musicians and even first ladies. Tomorrow First Lady, Michelle Obama, will appear on Sesame Street to mark its 40th anniversary.

40 years of toddlers have learned their numbers, their alphabet and their time telling ability via Sesame Street. Sesame Street has mirrored the changing times, and even has broached current subjects like the recession. Big Bird, Cookie Monster, Bert, Ernie, Zoe and Elmo have become lovable parts of a child's life. "Tickle Me Elmo", became a highly coveted item holiday season a couple years back, where parents actually fought over its red furry frame. These lovable characters have decorated kid's watch dials ,such as this 1979 timepiece featuring Bert and Ernie, for decades.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Yankees Have Won!

Yankee fans all over are rejoicing the victory after winning their 27th World Series, beating the Phillies 7-3 in Game 6. If you are a New York Yankee fan then this is the watch for you. Well for 100 of you since this watch is a limited edition of a mere 100 pieces worldwide. The watch created by a new Swiss company N.O.A ,an acronym for None of the Above, was commissioned by Joe Girardi, (Yankees Manager and official spokesperson for N.O.A. Hamilton Jewelers ), and the New York Yankess back in February when NOA partnered with Hamilton Jewelers for their most recent watch fair.

Joe Girardi, former MLB catcher and current New York Yankees Manager wears his NOA timepiece at a recent press conference.

On the white dial, each watch has the Yankees emblem , a copy of Joe Girardi's autograph as well as individual number of the watch. The watch comes with a Certificate of Authenticity signed by Joe Girardi himself. The watch comes complete with box, warranty card, instructions and certificate of authenticity. The 40mm case is stainless steel
40mm stainless steel case. The Crown is screw down thereby increasing the water resistance to 10 ATM/330 feet. The watch dial is protected by scratch resistant sapphire crystal. When I last checked the going rate for one of these watches was around $3,000, but with the Yankees win this watch has just become more desirable, and more collectible.

Although N.O.A is a relatively new company introducing its first collection in 2003, the origins of it date back to the late 19th century when Swiss businessman ,Federico Ruefly, established two factories, " Ruefli Federico Spa" in Coma, Italy and "Fabrique de Boites des Montres SA" in Chiasso, Switzerland. The factories manufactured brass and stainless steel watch components for the Swiss and Italian market. In 1922 his four daughters joined him when he moved the factory to Coma, Italy. The new N.O.A company has merged Italian style and Swiss Watch making expertise to create functional style. A watch that works for you.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Investing In Luxury Watches.

Blancpain 2188F-3618-53 Leman Ivory Dial Leather Alligator Men's Automatic Troubillon Chronograph Flyback Watch

Collectible Luxury Watches from highly reputable watch manufacturers like Blancpain, Vacheron Constantin and Pateck Phillipe, are being regarded by collectors as a worthy investment. Due to the recession, the luxury watch market has been effected significantly. Swiss Luxury Watch Exports fell by 25% since February, especially for high end watches crafted from gold and platinum. Many companies have had to downsize their production. However, collectible watches play by a whole different set of rules, and this the collectible luxury watch market have more or less remained unchanged. New investors rethink their investment strategy's, after being hurt by the stock market, rushed to invest in a collectible luxury watches. Auction houses such as Antiquorium, Sothebys and Christies brought in 90 million francs with the auctioning off of luxury collectible timepieces.

The return on your investment, when it comes to collectible luxury watches, is by no means immediate ,like many solid investments one has to be in it for the long term. A collectible luxury watch, especially limited edition, increases in value as time goes on.
Many watch companies such as Vacheron Constantin, Corum, Audemars Piuget, Tag Heuer create collectibles by producing limited edition watches; linking watches to famous movie or sport stars; sponsoring companies, movies or sporting events; becoming official timekeepers.

If you are interested in purchasing a "collectible" timepiece there are a few things to keep in mind:
  • Make sure you purchase your timepiece from a reputable seller. Private sales need to be thoroughly researched including any papers regarding the timepiece.
  • Authenticity must be established.
  • Research the watches and watch companies. To become a collector requires some knowledge of watch companies and the watch industry.
  • Antique masterpieces; especially those with multiple complications such as tourbillons, sonneries, minute repeaters, moon phases and perpetual calenders can up the value of the timepiece significantly.
  • Watches belonging to historical people are also of great value, even in less than perfect condition.
Finally, investing in a collectible luxury watch provides one with the knowledge that they possess a slice of history, the mark of perfection and an instrument that tracks time, but is unaffected by it.
To read more regarding this topic check out this enlightening article from CNBC

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The New Omega Constellation Collection Gets a Starry Welcome.

The Omega Constellation Collection has been around for a while, but now Omega has given the collection a makeover with some starry help. Nicole Kidman, an Omega ambassador for the Constellation line, attended the Omega Constellation Timepiece event at the Omega Flagship Boutique in New York City, where she met with OMEGA CEO Stephen Urquhart. She donated her Omega Constellation to the "Ambassador Collection Series" of Autographed Watches.

Cindy Crawford, an Omega spokesperson since 1995, and a long time promoter of the Omega Constellation was in London with the OMEGA president Stephen Urquhart, to promote the new Constellation Collection. She visited the OMEGA Boutique at London Westfield, and autographed a box containing a new Constellation watch. The box and its contents were placed in a transparent safe which was locked and placed on display.

Later that evening, Stephen Urquhart and Cindy Crawford hosted an exclusive VIP party at The Almada, a member’s-only club in London’s Mayfair district, to celebrate the new Constellation line. Olympic Gold Medalists shared company with renowned actors and popular singers. The evening was accompanied by a tinge of excitement when it became known that the Constellation ,locked in a safe at the Westfield OMEGA Boutique, would soon be the property of one lucky guest. Guests were given a key in an Omega Constellation Pouch as they left the party. Only one key opened the safe autographed by Cindy Crawford.

The Constellation Timepiece is a stylishly elegant women's timepiece. The new collection has added a lot of dazzle and intense color. Diamonds glitter on the bezel which bares the signature Constellation claws. Diamonds mark the hours amidst a delicate falling satin pattern on the dial. The purple timepiece depicted here lusciously appeals to all senses; it seems to smell of violets; sound like the wind breezing through a chandelier; taste like moist grapes and feel like the brush of silk curtains on bare skin.

The watch is also available in pristine white. The price is still shrouded in mystery as are the constellations of the universe.

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Sonnerie by Gerald Genta

The Gerald Genta Arena Metasonic Watch encompasses a complication rarely accomplished by even the most revered watch makers - the sonnerie. In addition Gerald Genta has incorporated a number of musical complications which heightens the level of complexity.

The Sonnerie is likened to a minute repeater; however, a minute repeater is set to chimes at the will of the wearer, on the other hand a Sonnerie (or sometimes known as a clockwatch) chime automatically. "Sonnerie" is French for "making sound" or "ring". The Sonnerie is like a tower clock which chimes on the hour (petit sonnerie) or quarter hour (grande sonnerie).

Both movements are extremely complex to create, and incorporate a large number of intricate parts. In the early nineties Gerald Genta created its first Sonnerie. The Arena Metasonic has utilized metallurgy to enhance the sounds emitted during chiming. The 46mm wide case is specially designed to carry the sounds. This timepiece is manually wound to power the extremely complex movement which includes a tourbillon escapement, and sonnerie. The face of the watch resembles a clock suspended on a building chiming the time to all the residents on the streets below. The hammers are visible on the lower left hand side.

The watches which will be available in limited edition, will arrive in a box worthy of mention. A light will illuminate the watch in the box, but to get at it you will have to place your hand on a bimometric reader. A wonderful playful edition.

Sonnerie's are quite rare compared with the prolific market of repeaters and minute repeaters. The Sonnerie requires a continuous power supply by the mainspring as it chimes automatically on the hour. The Repeaters are powered by a repeater slide and a spring mechanism, the Sonnerie requires a single strike train. In the past the watchclocks that striked at the hours and quarter required separate strike trains for each (the hour strike train and the quarter), the end-product being a "triple train: clockwatch with three mainsprings.Although these watches are quite rare, albeit rather pricey, they can be quite annoying striking on the quarter of an hour. However the watches are equipped with a rather clever "strike-silent, or Silence mode. Choosing to use the sonnerie complications means sliding the slide bolt on the case. The watch enters the sonnerie mode and chimes, clear and delicate, at the next hour or quarter. Some clockwatches are crafted with a repeater as well. The repetition function is powered by the second mainspring, and usually is operated by a button rather than the slide. The only setback in this case would be the use of the repeater will deplete the power reserve required by the sonnerie.
Gerald Genta timepieces are available at The Watchery for a whopping 75% off the List Prices

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

When You Just Gotto Watch!

Check this out! A Video Watch with an impressive 8GB of internal flash memory and a full color 1.8" screen. This Watch/Video/Million other features is crafted from stainless steel. High pixel count and frames per second make viewing a joy. With a built-in voice recorder, built-in high quality speaker and earphone jack, the ability to view JPEG pictures and listen to music at the same time, etc. I wouldn't wear it to a business meeting, it may seem a little loud... but I think I could put this thing to good use.

This one has an OLED screen, and it is slightly more reserved. Sigh! Modern Technology sure is something turning a watch into a your very own cinema.

How far we have come from the times where moving black and white films were only available in vast ornate movie theatres. Where the thrill of the crowd was palpable as dramatic scenes lit up the wonder struck upturned faces.

Gizmos and Gadgets are being produced at a furious pace, and I must admit their is a definite Wow factor to them, not in reverence to the way they have been crafted, but merely as a gadget to fasten the pace of life.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Omega's Seamaster Planet Ocean Liquidmetal®

From being the only watch brand on the moon to the Official Timekeeper of the Olympic games, Omega is renowned for being a watch brand built to withstand tough and rough conditions. Now Omega has unveiled a watch fusing two of the most resilient materials: ceramic and Liquidmetal®.

Liquidmetal® alloys are a revolutionary material, twice the strength of titanium and as workable as plastic. This material can be specifically crafted to suit the need of a multitude of day to day items replacing much weaker and more expensive materials.

Liquidmetal® provides a high yield strength; extreme hardness; superior strength/weight ratio; high elastic limit, high corrosion resistance & high wear resistance.

To create a watch comprising of ceramics and Liquidmetal®, Swatch Group researchers collaborated with Omega's product development team. The result is incredible: silvery Liquidmetal® alloy numbers and scaling shimmer against the coal black of the ceramic diving bezel and dial. The bracelet and case are stainless steel. The watch is powered by Omega's Co-axial calibre 2500, a movement which has successfully undergone a battery of rigorous chronometric testing.
The Seamaster Planet Ocean Liquidmetal® is available in a limited edition of 1948 pieces, the year Omega launched the Seamaster line.

Undeniably Omega is at the top of its game, recently The International Committee IOC and The Swatch Group Ltd. signed a long term partnership in regard to timing, scoring and venue results services for the Olympic games. Omega and the Olympic games have had a long standing relationship since 1932 with no end in sight. The Swatch Group Ltd will be the Official Timekeeper and Results Service Partner for the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi in 2014, The Olympiad in 2016, Olympic Winter Games 2018 and the Olympiad Games in 2020.Timekeeper and Results.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DOW Skips to the 10,000 Mark for the First Time Since 10/03/08

What does this mean for the luxury market? The market is showing a definite improvement, which means a whole lot of people on Wall Street are doing better than around March of this year, when the Dow sunk into the mid 6000's. I am not an economist's, far from it, but I am a hopeless optimist sprinkled with a good dose of realism.

My feeling is those fellows on Wall Street and all the millions of businesses and families effected by its rise and fall, are suffering from spending deprivation. The sale of luxury items have fallen dramatically, but at the expense of the psyche of the unspendor. That much needed regular yearly trip to the Bahamas- cancelled; the Holiday office party- scrapped; large birthday bash- a tiny muted affair around a pool table; slightly over the top birthday present for a loved one- ungiven but not forgotten. All those things cancelled, and what is left is a slightly depressed, slightly wrinkled unhappy individual. Now there is a glimmer on the horizon - hope, and with hope comes a hesitant feeling of elation.

Stock portfolio's begin to unsag, and the tired person slowly shakes off the ashes of despair and awakens.

That Bahama vacation so terribly needed becomes a reality, and that shamefully belated gift for that someone special is within reach.

And it is on this vein I may add that a luxury watch is the perfect gift to give. A luxury watch provides a longevity that surpasses most other gifts. Electronics become so yesterday within the blink of eye; clothes - risky; jewelry- real pretty, but so much more with the function of a luxury watch.

It will take some time before the economy rights itself, and thus when you feel the desperate need to splurge just a little, splurge on a luxury watch.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

20,000 Feet Under the Sea

Its finally here, the worlds most resilient watch, The 20,000 Feet by CX Military Watch, tantalizing watch enthusiasts since Baselworld. You now can schedule your deep sea dive with a highly competent watch around your wrist, as this truly amazing mechanical timepiece can survive ocean depths of up to 20,000 feet.

Only thing is 20,000 Feet is a long way off from the exploration of man, where pressure at this depth is 5 tons on one inch. The deepest dive was performed in 2005 by French diver Pascal Bernabé who dove into the Guiness Book of Records at 1,083 feet. (Deep dives are no longer recognized by the Guiness Book of Records as a result of Health and Safety concerns.) I am sure those weird little fishes swimming near ocean trenches may like a mechanical companion.

However, this timepiece is as tough as nails, and if diving is not your thing, "The 20,000 Feet" can endure a whole lot above sea level. This watch survived being shot at; being submerged by an airport fire engine (of all things); driven over by a truck and being exposed to 100 grams of explosives with a detonation velocity of 5,000 meters per second -enough to destroy a two ton vehicle.

This latter experiment was particularly interesting. Gamsit (the powerful explosive) was placed in a quarry. Two watches were placed on either side at 10cm from the explosive. One watch was "The 20,000 Feet" Watch, and the other a sturdy enough watch of another brand. With cameras in place; the fuse was lit and 120 seconds later, the explosion was heard. After the explosion, the men on the scene rushed forward and find unbelievably "The 20,000 feet was in full working conditions and suffered only minor scratches on its side; the other watch was completely destroyed and only a piece of the buckle and a bit of bracelet was salvaged.

The CX Military Watch has been recognized by the Guiness Book of Records for the timepiece with the deepest water resistance, but the tests for this watch has just begun.

The chronograph timepiece was subjected to three Real Life Tests:
1)Fired at by a Winchester rifle from a distance of just eight metres2) Placed on an explosive charge blasting at a speed of 5,000 metres/second3) Submerged by water spurting at 6,000 litres/minute.

The 20,000 Feet passed with flying colors, but its ultimate test is still undecided. At Basel World 2009, journalists and readers were asked to come up with their own real life tests for this indestructible timepiece. All ideas, no matter how ludicrous shall be considered. I wonder if it will last in a classroom full of three year olds or used as an ice hockey puck in a particularly rowdy ice hockey game. Anyway the ultimate test shall be performed at the end of 2009, so keep your eyes open and possibly your hands clamped tightly over your ears.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Richard Mille and Its Ceramic Ball Bearings.

Yesterday, I wrote about Richard Mille's new diving watches, and suddenly I realized I have never actually given quite enough attention to the wondrous, technological watch designs and functions masterminded by Richard Mille, in particular RM 016 and its ceramic ball bearings.

Richard Mille is a perfect example of futuristic movements. His watches are so ... mechanical. He is a watch manufacturer of the new millennium. After several years of intense technical design development, he presented his RM-001-1 privately. Very soon his watches were synonymous with extreme cutting edge and high tech concepts. The technological concepts and materials of the RM-001-1 tourbillon and its many high tech successors were inspired by the Formula 1 racing car. In the first model Richard Mille had a no nonsense, no superfluous frills ideal of a Timepiece. Richard Mille is passionate about Formula 1 and the tremendous technological power that drives it, he extended that power and passion to his watches. Whether watch or Formula 1 car, both are a symbiotic workings of high performance parts which must fulfill their function with a large margin of security and resistance to shocks and stress. So that in both cases perfection is reached thus ensuring the optimum performance results even under duress. Each and every part is individually developed and no standard parts will be found in a Richard Mille high performance time-piece.
Richard Mille has developed its own unique approach to watch-making thereby increasing its strength in the highly competitive watch-making industry. Many watch manufacturers order standard parts from mass suppliers to build a watch and many reinvent old watch concepts from previous models. Richard Mille is a young company and thus has completely fresh ideas, in addition no parts come standard and every part down to the last screw is designed with precise dimensions. Each piece has an individual requirement which will be crafted to the minutest detail. Richard Mille requires of its watchmakers many years of specialized watchmaking experience, materials are chosen with care.
The drive to create the image of perfection is displayed with incredible clarity in every Richard Mille Watch.
The watch above is one of Richard Mille's latest: The RM 016. It has the same movement as the RM 010, with a baseplate, bridges and balance cock of PVD-coated titanium. This watch has an astounding 55 hours of power reserve and its rotor is fitted with ceramic rotor ball bearings.

This is the back of the RM 007, those strange round things are actually 100 microballs of gold. These microballs are placed in a rotor weight fitted on a red-gold rotor. The balls allow for better shock absorption and more efficient winding, and it provides an interesting topic of conversation.
The RM007 is available from simple elegant precious metals, to completely covered in diamonds or diamonds and other precious gems in various colors and designs.
This is the RM012 Tourbillon with its unique tubular baseplate and bridge construction for a watch made with Phinox - chosen for its resistance to corrosion and fatigue as well as thermal and mechanical shocks. It has a power reserve of 48 hours, variable inertia balance with overcoil, platinum adjustment screws with blue movement jewels. It is the first watch crafted with going train wheels made of Anticorodal aluminum.
Richard Mille has many firsts in the watchmaking industry which just goes to show his incredible ability to blend old-world watchmaking traditions with futuristic materials and high-end technology for performance watches.

By R. Van Halem