Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wear your loved one on your watch?

Have you ever heard of a company LifeGem? Iit is a company with quite a unique product. They turn pure carbon derived from the remains of loved ones and turn them into man made diamonds. The concept may sound a little bizarre, but people are buying it.

In fact as reported on LifeGem's website, a lock of hair Micheal Jackson's hair, which was salvaged by his executive producer ,Ralph Cohen, when Jackson's hair became inflamed during a Pepsi commercial, will be transformed into diamonds. John Reznikoff, a highly regarded collector who has hair from Einstein, Lincoln and a host of other famous individuals who have now passed on, and LifeGem are expecting to collect a small fortune for the gems. It is not the first time. LifeGem and Reznikoff joined forces and produced a diamond from Beethoven's locks which fetched Two Hundred Thousand Dollars. Of course they are expecting quite a bit more for a diamond produced from Micheal Jackson's hair. One of the diamond's will be presented to Jackson's family free of charge.

LifeGem had this to say:“We specialize in creating diamonds from locks of hair. Our plan is to give people an opportunity to own a diamond made from Michael Jackson’s DNA,” said Dean VandenBiesen founder of LifeGem. “We are currently evaluating Jackson's hair sample to determine how many diamonds can be created. This will be a limited collection and we anticipate great interest.”
I must say once I got over my initial objections, I found the diamonds to be quite pretty, and the concept intriguing. LifeGem embraces the sensitive issues of loss with compassion. They even have a LifeGem for pets. It seems the website only has diamond rings, but imagine a luxury watch covered with diamonds from a loved one. The timeless factor is endless.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Swarovski Enters a New Dimension

As I mentioned in previous blogs, Swarovski the highly famed crystal company has introduced a line of exceptional watches. Many larger companies begin to manufacture watches in addition to their clothing and jewelry lines; however Swarovski has something new to add to the watch market, its superior knowledge of crystal craftsmanship. The latest in a arresting array of watches is the Oceta Sports Ladies Watch.
The Octea Sports Ladies Watch has a 39mm wide case, which is quite the fashion. The bezel is shimmering with Swarovski faceted crystals lending a light and airy look to the watch. Based on a diver's watch ,complete with a rotating bezel, the Swarovski Octea Sports Ladies Watch, is quite appealing both in look and functionality. The Octea Sports is available in numerous appealing colors such as dark blue, black, pink and magenta. The movement is Swiss Quartz and the watch is available with a rubber or metal bracelet. Priced in $800 range, this watch will looks great in the summer sun.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Corum Golden Bridge for the Ladies

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.

This watch is a true testament to Rene Bannwart, Corum's founder. Since Corum's establishment in 1955, Brannwart vision was to have highly unusual and aesthetically pleasing luxury watches. It was a given that movement of the watches were perfect, it was the perfect design Bannwart sought.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

First in House Movement for Louis Vuitton

This is probably one of the most beautiful watch designs I have ever seen. The Louis Vuitton Tambour Mysterieuse. The movement within this luxury watch is Louis Vuitton's first in house movement, making this watch collection a rarity. Louis Vuitton watches are hard to come by; but, the Louis Vuitton Moet Hennessy or LVMH group owns Zenith, Hublot and Tag-Heuer.

The Louis Vuttion Tambour Mysterieuse manually wound LV115 movement is suspended in the center of the dial between two layers of Sapphire Crystal. One cannot determine how the movement is attached to the crown or the rest of the watch. It is a mystery. Which we will leave unsolved.
The hands of the watch jut out from the edge of the movement adding to the illusion of complete suspension. These watches remind me of Cartier's famous mystery clocks of 1912 where the hands seemed suspended in mid air hence the name mystery. Both Louis Vuttion and Cartier are French Companies founded in Paris in 1854 and 1847 respectively.
The watch is crafted to expose the vibrant palette jewels. The Tampour Case might have been quite bulky except it is tapered providing an elegant unique look. The lugs balance the Tambour case.
Although the manual wind may seem like a burden, Louis Vuitton has crafted the watch with an 8 day power reserve.
Being that the Louis Vuitton Tambour Mysterieuse will cost you about $265,000, you can customize the watch to suit your style. You can choose to purchase the watch with its 42.5mm wide case in red,yellow or white gold or platinum. You can choose either diamonds, rubies or sapphires for your power reserve indicator and have the cut of your choice. If you are looking to purchase this watch anytime soon, you had better hurry and customize your choice. From the time you order until the time the watch is ready to ship, you will have to wait a year, but once the year is up you will have one handsome watch and quite mysterious too.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Urwerk's King Cobra UR-CC1

Although so many watch companies captivate the horological world, Urwerk latest masterpieces always cause a flutter of excitement. Each piece is so "out of the box" and refreshing, bending and experimenting with the ways of time display and watch movements. However,Urwerk's watches are vaguely familiar and the familiarity derives from shapes already within our schema, the shapes of members of the animal Kingdom. The new URWERK King Cobra UR-CC1 and the previous Tarantula Urwerk UR103T.

After three years of research and development, Urwerk unveiled the world's first production wristwatch with true retrograde linear displays. Felix Baumgartner gleaned his inspiration for this horological endeavor from Patek Phillipe one and only prototype its 1958 King Cobra designed by Louis Cottier. Now after fifty years, Urwerk pays homage to this unique design. Another inspiration were the linear speedometers in old cars.

The retro case is over 47mm tall and 43mm wide. The seconds display ,in the upper window, is comprised of a large ultra-light disc and a spiral with Arabic numbers at the disc's edge. The progression of the seconds can be viewed in two ways: digitally and linearly: via a small window whereby every other second is displayed and via the spiral which seems to progress in a linear manner along the gauge. Two large cylinders display the hours and minutes in a retrograde manner. Both jumping hours and minutes spring back to the zero position once they are extended all the way..
The watch also features a honeycomb patterned rack (visible through a window on the side) used to rotate the minute cylinder that’s actually made from silicon via a photo lithography process in order to keep it extremely lightweight but also very strong.

Only 50 pieces have been produced: 25 pieces in 18k gray gold and another 25 in 18k black gold.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Automatic

Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Compressor Automatic Mens Watch

The guy who stepped into my office was wearing a pretty nice Armani suit and a pretty nice watch.

I craned my neck trying to get a look at his watch, but I couldn't make it out. I really have to visit my optometrist to get a stronger prescription for my lenses.

"I love your watch," I exclaimed with much enthusiasm, "What brand is it?"

"Jaeger!" he said,

"Ooh nice," I said "Which one?"

He unstrapped the watch and peered at the back,

"Master Compressor Automatic" he said.

This watch is quite cool as the wearer can control the water resistance. The crowns are equipped with an external butterfly collar displaying red and white enamel indicating arrows to indicate whether the watch is water resistance or not. The white arrow indicates the crown is water resistant and the red arrow indicates the crown is non-water resistant. The water resistance occurs as the collar compresses a gasket preventing water from entering the watch.
As with all Jaeger-LeCoultre timepieces, this watch is subjected to a Master 1000 hour test where rigorous testing ensures that once the luxury timepiece is released to the consumer, it is at optimum condition and reliability of the highest standard.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bell & Ross and the skull!

BOO! I hope I scared you didn't I? I mean not many blogs begin with a Boo, but hey it goes with the watch. Corum usually does the skull thing, but "Bell & Ross" has achieved a powerful Talisman Watch. The Limited Edition BR 01 Airborne was unveiled in Basel World. The watch is undoubtedly Bell and Ross with its square design and prominent screws. The skull icon originated in World War II and is accompanied by US Airborne motto, "Death from Above". A reminder of the courageous military paratroopers who jumped into enemy territory. The skull symbolized their incredible bravery . The skull motif was used by the military on fighter jets and patches. It was a symbol of strength and defiance of defeat even in the face of death. Today the skull is a tribute to all those brave men and women in combat who serve to defend this country.

The BR 01 Airborne is limited to just 500 pieces. The Automatic Mechanical ETA 2892 movement is powered by the swinging motion of ones arm. The case is 46mm and extremely resilient. 316L glass bead blasted steel with black finishing type carbon powder coating. The skull and hands are photo luminescent providing an eery night time glow and readability. The watch dial is protected by anti-reflection sapphire crystal - a hard scratch resistant material. The watch is water resistance to 100 meters.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Daniel Roth and the Moon!

The marvelous thing about the brand new Athys Moon 2134 is its stamina. The moon phase calender will not need to be adjusted for then next 125 years. One small hitch, the 125 year mark can only be achieved if you remember to wind the watch regularly. The Athys Moon 2134 is a manual wound watch meaning that it has no semi-circular rotor like that of an automatic watch and cannot be wound merely by the swinging motion of ones arm.

The uniqueness of the moon phase complication lies in its Daniel Roth Calibre 2300 (DR2300) which contains a large than normal gear with more teeth. The additional teeth and intricate mechanisms enable precise change of the moon phases for 125 years; although, one may have difficulty proving the longevity of the timepiece.

The Athys Moon 2134 is crafted in either 18k red or white gold. The depiction of the moon on the moon phase disc is strikingly similar to its much larger counterpart. In addition the watch displays the time with a subsidiary seconds dial and a date. The Ellipsocurvex shape of the watch is a signature element of Daniel Roth. The blued steel hands are perfectly tempered to achieve the traditional sky blue color.
It comes at no surprise that Daniel Roth has unveiled such a remarkable feat of engineering, every Daniel Roth timepiece is crafted in its entirety in the Le Sentier workshop, where a team of 30 expert technicians and watchmakers craft a timepiece from an idea to the final product. They can make every possible complication and improve on previous complications. The Athys Moon 2134 took months of meticulous work to create striking watch with a remarkable feature, a feature that will be admired for generations to come.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Vacheron Constantin Completes The Collection Meiters d' Art "Les Masques"

The final four of the twelve masks chosen from Barbier-Mueller collection have been set in pure splendour on the dials of watches. The collection is complete and the result is inspiring. You can view the entire set of twelve timepieces if you are in the New York area. All twelve watches are on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York at an exhibition sponsored by Vacheron Constantin entitled "A legacy of Collectiong: African and Oceanic Art from the Barbier-Mueller Museum, Geneva" in tribute to Jean Paul Barbier- Mueller.
The Barbier-Mueller museum parted with its priceless artifacts for some time so that Vacheron Contantin could persue the magic of transforming the dial of a watch into atrwork.

The first mask in the collection originates from:

Oceania - Indonesia, a mask from the Island of Lombak, the Sasak People. The mask is carved from hard wood with traces of white pigment. The wrinkles on the forehead and beside the nose tell of an old man, and the wide staring eyes tell of terrified bewilderment. The mask was used in Balinese Wayang Topeng theatre, where the actors did not speak but held the mask by a leather thong between their teeth. It was up to the narrators and singers to describe tells of thrilling heroic adventures.

This watch bares a perfect reproduction of the Zangs-Bag facial Mask from the Tibet Region. The actual mask journeyed from the 16th-17th century where it was used in Tantric Buddhism. The mask is comprised partially of gilt copper and other pigments. The mask is shrouded in mystic mystery,an outline encapsulating what cannot be seen. A single painted eye surrounded by a mandoria marks the very center of the forehead above a carving of a human nose. The masks were worn by selected monks ,who were part of the dGe-lugs-pa yellow hat sect, while they performed dances linked to the cult of Kalacakra - Wheel of Time.

A sinister looking pendant mask was carefully chosen for the third timepiece. The mask originated in the State of Guerrero from the Mezcala Culture (300-100 BC). It is crafted entirely from Basalt - a fine grained volcanic rock. It is an artifact steeped in powerful ritual of the time - the burying of their dead. It was customary to bury the dead under the mud floors of their dwellings accompanied by small stone sculptures such as this mask.

The final mask came from Wester Gabon Africa. It is a Ngontang mask belonging to the Fang People. They crafted the mask from soft wood covered with white kaolin (a clay mineral) and specks of crystallization. The mask exudes a sense of sadness. It was covered with the white kaolin to symbolize the spirit of the dead. The mask was used in Byeri ritual dances to worship the ancestors. The dance was performed to protect the village from witchcraft and evil influences.

The watch is powered by an automatic Calibre 2460G4 movement baring the Geneva Seal. This unique movement does not require hands for time display, but rather a set of wheels and gears: four discs indicate the hours, minutes, day and date in windows set on the parameter of the dial leaving the center vacant for the mask. To ensure the masks were not masked by the movement, a team of expert designers cleverly concealed the movement by using transparency and treated glass creating an impression of a floating mask. Each sapphire crystal has a different tint which was achieved via a unique metal process to set off the color of the mask. In doing so the masks seems to jut out of the watch, and one only need to extend ones hand and touch the deep secrets within; however, this ,of course, is only an illusion.

Each set of four watches were meticulously crafted and released over three consecutive years: 2007-2009. The boxed set of four watches are presented in limited series of only 25 sets.
(Click here to read about 2008 "Les Masques" Collection)

Vacheron Constantin has yet again Incorporates history in four exquisitely finished watches. Vacheron Constantin Les Masques Collection 2008. A company that is two and a half centuries old has a strong link to the past and an even stronger presence in the future. Vacheron Constantin has fused the past with the presents ,and taking into account Vacheron Constantin superior quality, these watches will last deep into future. Juan-Carlos Torres CEO of Vacheron Constantin said, " We have an obligation to encourage centuries-old arts, evolving them into timeless masterpieces for future generations." and with these remarkable watches I think he has.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

From Speeding Ticket to Idea. Dunhill's Bobby Finder.

Alfred Dunhill Bobby Finder Men's Automatic Watch Stainless Steel

Take a look at this watch, which bares the name Bobby Finder. Truth be told, this watch hints to an actual incident that happened to Alfred Dunhill, the companies founder. Interested? Well read on.

The Alfred Dunhill, Ltd establishment was founded in Britain in 1893 when Alfred Dunhill took over his father's saddle business and looked to the future. The future beheld great things for the Dunhill Company which is now a global conglomerate. Dunhill saw motor cars as the wave of the future and decided to manufacture motor car accessories. Alfred Dunhill was a brilliant businessman who saw an opportunity and grabbed it by the horns. Car horns to be precise, overcoats and goggles. In 1903 he created the hanging dashboard clock. The Dunhill Company was prolific in unveiling unique and inventive car accessories. In 1937, a key watch was added to the list of car accessories. In the early 1900's, Alfred Dunhill created the Bobby Finder, a cross between motoring goggles and binoculars - able to spot a police from half a mile away even in plain clothes.

I suppose the Bobby finder was a slight jab at the police. Alfred Dunhill loved to speed, and on one fine day in 1903, he was clocked at travelling at a speed of 22.5 miles an hour, far above the lawful speed limit of 12 mph. He was booked, and perhaps while he had a moment to mull over his misfortune and indignation of getting caught, he came up with the Bobby Finder. Hence the name of the Watch. The dial has the outline of motoring goggles, and the bezel is a depiction of a roadway, complete with paving and dashed road line . The sharp white hour markers could be the Bobbys in the distance waiting to write a speeding ticket.
Looking at the Bobby Finder watch one perceives it as quite daring with a suggestion of cool alertness. The soft black calf leather band reminds me of the plush leather seats of a motor car. The watch is automatic so there is no need for batteries. The gentle swinging motion of ones arm will do the trick and power your watch. In addition, the watch is water resistant to 100 meters. A plus when one wants to wear this watch close to water. Summer months are upon us and water sports are so attractive in the midsummer heat. To add to its appeal. the watch is one of only 1500, and so one gets the unique factor as well.

Dunhill also custom made leather jackets for the stylish motorist, which blossomed in the Dunhill clothing line of today, of which Jude Law, an English actor ,is the apparel ambassador. In addition Dunhill carries a large selection of men's jewelry and cuff links, lighters and eye wear, writing instruments and gifts.

Dunhill is now owned by Richemont, and its timepieces are perceived as highly stylish. Currently Dunhill carries six core distinctive models:

1) A-Centric model - very similar to the original hanging dashboard clock with a round face displaying the days of the month and a revolving hand. These watches are automatic with an excellent movement. In 2006, Dunhill unveiled a similar addition to this collection - A-Centric Paragraph sporting five separated hands which revolve around the center of the dial.

2) Carwatch design - Automatic movement, rectangular in design as a two part case. Inspiration for this collection sprang from Edwardian driver's timepieces designed at the very beginning of the motor car era where it was thought that a watch would be easier to read if the dial faced the side of the wrist. All inclusive with this model is a tool kit featuring a spare screws and a screwdriver. The stainless steel band is interchangeable with a leather band for two unique looks.
3) Citytamer- features a rectangular face fashioned in the likeness of a period sports car.
4) Wheel Watches (above image)- the largest of the collections with a 42 mm face.
6) Petrolhead model resembles a fuel gauge and is a chronograph.

Dunhill also crafts unique models such as a vintage design, the Facet 1936 Dunhill and its most exclusive collection of just 250 watches - The Parody Stone. A stone from where Arthur pulled the sword Excalibur.

When one purchases a Dunhill timepiece, one purchases Dunhill style.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Cartier's Stunning La Dona Luxury Timepieces

La Dona Collection is a stunning collection of uniquely bold Cartier women's watches. The collection is named after a famous Mexican 1940's actress, Maria Felix. A Diva in her own right, she ignited the screen with her spirited, passionate and quite mischievous personality. The watches in her name are every bit bold and lovely, with a hint of naughtiness. It is well known that Maria Felix adored crocodiles. As legend has it, she strode into a Cartiers Boutique one day and requested that they make her a necklace in the likeness of a crocodile and if they had a problem visualizing a crocodile, she had one right ... here. With that she produced a lively baby croc from her things much to everyones amazement. Since then she became a creative ally with the house of Cartier. In 2006, four years after her death, she was 87, Cartier created a watch line in her honor.

Cartier La Dona de Cartier Ladies' Watch 18K Rose Gold Silver Dial Diamond Bezel

The case is distinctly trapezoidal, different just like Maria. The first watches in this collection were 18-karat white or yellow gold, available with or without a diamond bezel. Later the watch was released with either burgundy, pink or red alligator straps as well as steel. The watch has a Cartier calibre 059 quartz movement, Roman Numerals, sword-shaped blued steel hands.