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.