Tuesday, December 28, 2010

2010 Brought Renewed Hope For the Luxury Watch Industry

2010 saw the slow but steady recovery of the watch industry. After a huge luxury industry nose dive in 2008 and the gut wrenching descent in 2009, the watch industry entered 2010 with much trepidation. However 2010 proved to bring a sigh of relief to many luxury watch companies with the reports of better earnings. Richemont Group who owns a portfolio of leading international brands such as Jaeger LeCoultre, Piaget, IWC, Baume & Mercier, Vacheron Constantin, Panerai, A Lange & Sohne & Roger Dubois, report a "very convincing six months" and a "strong sales growth". Swatch Group which owns Watch Brands including Breguet, Omega, Longines, Rado, Tissot, Hamilton, Tiffany & Co as well as ETA, a producer of mechanical and quartz watch movements claims a huge resurgence in sales. Bulgari reports "business is picking up, while Hermes reports an excellent first half year. Swiss watch exports show a vigorous recovery in the first half of 2010 as well as heightened confidence of the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry.

2010 saw a large amount of new luxury watch boutiques worldwide. Omega opened nine new boutiques in the United States alone, and Corum set up shop in china and opened the doors of its very first store in Switzerland. Raymond Weil opened three new stores in India. In 2010, both Ulysee Nardin and Richard Mille opened their first boutique stores in the US.

Although the watch industry, has still ways to go in terms of recovery, the prospects are very good indeed. Watch companies are being more conservative with research and development opting to reintroduce older successful collections rather than an entirely new line of watches. In addition, many watch companies have taken high end expensive watches and made them more affordable by using steel or ceramics rather than gold and diamonds. For example Breguet has taken its high end Reine de Naples timepiece for women, usually crafted in gold, lined with jewels and sporting a complication, and downsized it to more affordable steel version with no jewels and only the time on the dial. Breuget's elegance, craftsmanship and precision still remains whilst the luxury watch becomes more affordable.
Cartier ,as well, opted for utilizing cheaper materials such as steel and rubber for its Roadster Collection. The Roadster S is much more affordable with a definite mass appeal, which is exactly what the high end luxury watch companies need to survive. Mass appeal, that is, without damaging the integrity and quality of the watch brand. At a going rate of $4,600 for the steel version and $4,600 for the combo, this watch is much cheaper than the original Roadsters thereby enabling young aspiring individuals to own a watch worn by millionaires and noticed by all.
Luxury Watch Companies are looking to 2011 with a renewed vigor and hope, and just like the recovery from the Quartz Scare of the 1970's, they have survived.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Inspiration of Van Cleef & Arpels

Whenever I lay my eyes on a Van Cleef & Arpel's timepiece, something catches in my throat triggering an emotional reaction I cannot quite grasp. The work is so fine, almost magical; it is as though Van Cleef & Arpel luxury watches have been crafted by a workroom full of angels.
A collection seeming to stem from a whimsical world of fairy tales is Van Cleef & Arpels "Poetry
of Time"
The latest addition is inspired by Jules Verne's 1863 tale "Five Weeks in a Balloon" where three men float in Hydrogen hot air balloon above darkest Africa. Jules Verne, the father of science fiction, weaves a tale of harrowing adventure, great explorations and remarkable inventions.
The story is depicted upon the dial of this men's rare timepiece where a bright yellow balloon is floating above a thunderous gray cloud. A soaring bird indicates the hours and an anchor tied to a rope indicates the minutes. In 2011, the clouds will part and the "Five weeks in a Balloon" Van Cleef & Arpel's timepiece will appear in the wondrous world of Horology.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Really Safe Watch Winder!

Check out this Watch Winder/ Safe. For around $24,000 this tiny watch winder/ safe can be yours. The Döttling COLOSIMO Safe is fashioned after the early 20th century bank safes when James Colosimo , an Italian American mafia crime boss and bank robber, was ruling the streets of Chicago. It is quite an oxymoron to have a safe named after a thief.
The safe is not just a safe named after a mob boss, it is also a watch winder.
Watch Winders are quite useful when one has two or more automatic watches which require the constant motion of the wearers arm to wind the watch. Invented by the Luxury Watch Company, Perrelet, the automatic watch does not require regular winding of the crown, but has a semi-circular rotor disc which winds the watch with the swinging motion of the wearers wrist. Most mechanical watches nowadays are automatic. An automatic watch requires regular arm swinging motion to keep the watch movement operating; however, if not worn for a long period of time the watch will stop.
In addition, watches with complications such as the perpetual calender or moon phase take some time to readjust after the watch has stopped, thus for watch collectors a watch winder is a worthy investment.

The Colosimo as compact as it is, is a lovely gift for a person who has it all and is in need of something out of the ordinary which won't just take up space but will be useful too. My only concern is that the safe and not the contents may be the object of interest to a would be thief. What would early 20th century robber James Colosimo do? Would he try pick this cute little safe or would he simply pocket it?
Crafted with utmost perfection by the well known German safe maker Döttling, the Colosimo is a work of art.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cartier Captures A Croc

There are a very few watch companies who can create a diamond encrusted crocodile, place it apon a dial, and make the look work. No. Not just work, but absolute mesmerize. Of course you must be wondering about the crocodile. Why would Cartier place a bejeweled crocodile on the dial?
The crocodile is part of the history of Cartier associated with a certain diva, Maria Felix. Maria Felix was a highly popular Mexican actress in the 1940's. It is well known that she adored crocodiles. As legend has it, she strode into a Cartier's Boutique one day and ordered a necklace in the likeness of a crocodile, and if by chance Cartier had difficulty visualizing a crocodile, she had one right ... here. And then much to everyones horrified amazement, she hauled a lively baby croc from her things. 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 - The La Dona Collection.

- Maria Felix wearing her crocodile necklace.

The Crocodile on the black dial is curled around, almost protecting, a flying tourbillon. Sharing the dial with the croc, are two lotus flower resting at the 6 'o'clock position. Cartier's distinctive blued steel hands display the time above Cartier's in house mechanical manually wound movement Calibre 9458 MC which is placed off center to make space for the croc.

If Maria Felix were here today, she would greatly approve of this watch.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A.R Luria on My Mind

To all my vanished friends, I have become submerged in Luria, a Russian neuropsychologist. I read him with feverish hunger and when reading is done, I think Luria, until part of my mind has succumbed to his works. This is all on a very intellectual level - no romantic notions involved. Luria explains the brain functions in a hierarchical manner, which develops as such the most primal functions developed prior to birth and up to one year. He divides the brain into Blocks. The first involving the sub cortical structures. He focuses on the RAS which controls the tone as well as the level of alertness of the brain. Although it is located in the Medulla, atop the brain stem, it has strong connections to the hippo campus and frontal lobe. It is responsible for alerting the brain to receive new stimuli, thus increases overall alertness. After a bang on the head, a sign of drowsiness or loss of consciousness can signal diffuse brain injury and since that area of the brain is responsible for respiration and heart beat, any pressure from the brain swelling onto that part of the brain can be fatal.
Luria describes a second block which receives, codes and stores sensory information. That 2nd block he further sub divides into primary, secondary and tertiary levels. These areas are for the most part on the lateral portions of the cortex. The primary visual cortex (occipital lobe), the primary auditory cortex (temporal lobe - Hershyls (wrong spelling) Gyrus , somatosensory cortex (parietal lobe). The olfactory cortex in our frontal lobe is quite underdeveloped compared to our relatives in the mammalian world. So we not the best smellers in the animal kingdom - and a good thing to; especially when they haven't picked up the garbage on a hot summers day in NYC. All the neurons in the primary sensory areas are modality specific meaning they only deal with the sensory input for that specific sense. Such as the primary visual cortex has neurons specifically for receiving visual information. Damage to that area will result in loss of vision. The secondary portions code the information and are critical for organizing information from that sense. As per Anne Treisman's Feature Integration Theory, stimuli in the very early stages of perception and of which we are not consciously aware is first perceived as parts such as colors and shapes and then put together as a whole (this is bottom up processing - explained in every Cognitive Psychology textbook) - an inability to do this resulting in damage to an area in the parietal lobe where a flurry of sensory integration activity occurs results in what is known as Balint's syndrome which is an inability to consolidate the different characteristics of objects.
Anyway my good vanished friends, I am not done. I still have to describe the tertiary level of Block two as well as the much popularized Block 3 encompassing the pre frontal cortex; however I am tired and without sleep my newly formed long term memories in my hippocamopus will not consolidate in my cortex and I will be left the worst for wear.
Sleep as Shakespeare so rightly puts it (and doesn't Shakespeare have a splendid way with words) ... Sleep Nature's Soft Nurse.
I will post when I have the urge and the information in my head leaks onto the keyboard.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Introduction to the Watch Watchers Watch Blog

I am eager to continue blogging about luxury watches. Although this is my first post on this blog, this is by no means my first ever luxury watch blog. I have blogged for the past 3 years about luxury watches and I will continue to do so without a particular affiliation to any watch company.

I hope to accomplish many things through this blog.

  • Dig up some long forgotten watch history - such as the time Harry Winston went rummaging through the garbage to find a lost gem or the Santos-Dumont story.
  • Review cutting edge watch materials and watch movements.
  • Describe new watch designs.
  • Watch companies as time keepers of sporting events.
  • Who's wearing what watch.
  • Watch competitions and the winners.
  • Watch Fairs like Baselworld and SIHH.
  • Descriptions of Watch Movements such as the tourbillon, minute repeater, sonnerie, perpetual calender, chronograph and astronomical measurements.
  • Weird watches
  • Weird Watch stories (which I hope will be taken with a grain of salt)
  • Important Watch Maintenance Techniques
  • and so much more.
Please follow my blog and add comments.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Piaget Black Tie

Piaget's Black Tie Collection defines elegance and exceptional craftsmanship. Among them is the Piaget Emperador Coussin Regulator which I have blogged about in much detail; however, I cannot turn my back on the Black Tie collection thinking that I have blogged about one watch in the collection, and now can march off to other domains.

Another heart stopping beauty is the Piaget Emperador Cushion Watch presenting an exceptionally accurate moon phase indicator, with only a one day difference in 122 years.
... and presenting Piaget's Millionth Watch,

Piaget Emperador Tourbillon Skeleton Luxury Timepiece boasts the Worlds Thinnest Tourbillon. A mere 3.5mm thick, the tourbillon ensures that any slight time tracking discrepancy due to the force of gravity is annihilated. Then again the lightness and transparency of the skeleton 600p mechanical skeleton tourbillon movement seems to defy gravity. Softened angles and streamlined case is elegantly aristocratic. By far one of Piaget's finest. The Piaget Emperador Timepiece is also available encrusted with diamonds making this particular timepiece the world's only gem-set skeleton tourbillon.

Piaget's timepieces are among the top watch brands mendaciously crafting watches since 1874. The tradition of watchmaking is bound to the very essence of Piaget, so much so that every timepiece is crafted with exceptional care and meticulous precision. In addition, Piaget keeps up with today's technological advancements. Piaget has launched a touch screen version of its website, so users of the iPad and iphone can easily navigate Piaget's website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Artya Bone Chilling Halloween Watches

Artya Halloween Special Collection Masks of Evil Watch sends chills down my spine. The bezel has been slashed like wounds on skin. On the dial a screaming deathly white skull appears from a slithering blackness as the time is marked in red razor sharp hour markers. The strap is a “Crazy frog” tanned toad skin. The watch is automatic mechanical movements with water resistance of 50 meters.

" Scared of spiders little one?", the evil green monster says through a row of pin like teeth. It is waving Artya's spider watch. Green blisters bubble, pop and ooze a thick yellowy goo from a leathery outstretched feeler.
The dial can send one with arachnophobia running for cover as the corpse of a real spider lies among cleverly crafted rubble of a long forgotten world. The battered bezel is emblazoned with demons. Hauntingly artistic, the watch has been subjected to 17 different artistic techniques to resemble that lone artifact to survive "the day after tomorrow".

As far as Halloween watches go, these two watches are about as unsettling as you can get. No candid shots at horror. These watches are the real deal.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Artya - Unbridled Watchmaking Creativity Unleashes Mezmerizing Watch Creations

Artya Tesla Squelette Quadri-Rotor Watches are quite different in a cool artsy way. Kind of like those sculptures designed from useless left over electronic junk and stuff, and believe me with all those new improved gizmos and gadgets out there and disdain for older models and styles, there are plenty more from where these electronic "has beens" came from. Artya vision is to merge contemporary art and watch making whilst employing unbridled creativity.
As Artya's brain child and watch making wizard, Yvan Arapa says " “Imagination running wild leads the artist, and the watchmaker has no choice but to follow”.
Yvan Arpa knows a thing or two about being quite unique. He is responsible for Romaine Jerome's DNA of Legends. He was the managing director of Romaine Jerome for just a short while and in that time he unveiled watches comprising of steel from the Titanic, dust from the moon and no time. Yes! The day and night watch told no time.
Now his passion is Artya ,Yvan Arpa being the founder and owner, and just by looking at these watches one can see his creativity bursting forth in even greater abundance.
The new Artya Tesla Squelette Quadri-Rotor are a mixture of mechanical and electronics. I would say the watch is a completely automatic mechanical Swiss ETA movement, but then you would indicate that there are some capacitors and wires and coils and such and such and these electronic components are right there on the dial, not even covered up by a steel case. Then I would have to acquiesce, as you are right. The mechanical watch does have some electronic components which serve an artistic function quite different from the electrical function making this watch collection excruciatingly unique.
The strap is well ... toad skin. Just in case you were thinking the strap was the usual plain jane leather. The 47mm case is steel and chemically colored and zapped. Yes! Zapped. The cases are shocked with some sort of lightning produced by the Tesla coils and end up looking like they weathered a mighty storm.
I wonder what next Artya has in store for the watchmaking world.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

10 Year Anniversary of de GRISIGONO's first Collection

At, Baselworld 2000 we were spoiled to the sighting of the first de GRISOGONO collection : InstrumentoUno. Now unmistakable by its sleek bold design. In commemoration of this, Fawaz Gruosi, founder and chairman of de GRISOGONO, has unveiled a trendy colorful take on its original collection. A vibrant aquamarine watch band fashioned from Galuchat, shark or stingray skin first used in luxury watch making by de GRISIGONO, compliments the matching hour numerals and the elegant band of paraiba tourmalines (aquamarine gems).
If you notice the watch band is bumpy - these bumps are calcified papillae called "placoid scales otherwise known as Denticles and are small outgrowths which cover the skin of many cartilaginous fish such as sharks and sting rays. In watch straps the placoid scales are polished down until the denticles are rounded and pearl like.
De Grisogono has taken the natural texture of the Galuchat and enhanced it with exceptional colors and polishing, creating a timepiece where the strap commands as much attention as the watch.
The iconic InstrumentoUno dial sports a a dual time zone display and a large date display in the 7:35 position. Beneath the sleek dial lies a premium automatic movement.
Once again, de GRISIGONO has swept watch lovers off their feet in another remarkable vision of perfection.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Richard Mille and Tennis Champion Rafael Nadel Launches the Tourbillon RM027 - One of the Lightest Watches Ever.

Back in May, Richard Mille celebrated the partnership with 24 year old Tennis Champion Rafael Nadel with the Launch of the Tourbillon Watch RM 027. Wimbledon begins tomorrow and Rafael Nadel will enter the court wearing the RM 027.
In regard to his partnership Rafael said,
"It is an honor for me that someone like Richard has chosen me as one of his ambassadors. Since the moment we met there was a special feeling. I know that has worked very hard to create this special watch. I am honored and I am sure it will be a special and successful partnership."

Weighing in at just 20g (without the lightweight strap) the RM 027 is specially designed so as not to add any extra weight to Rafael's wrist. Thus the RM027 has achieved a remarkable feat of becoming one of the lightest watches ever produced.

The watch is equipped with a tourbillon, in invented in 1795 by French watchmaker Abraham-Louis Breguet, a century after Newton defined gravity. Breguet reasoned that as a result of the constant position of the vertical position of the pocket watch, the balance spring is confounded by the effect of gravity effecting the accuracy of the watch. This error could be compensated with a tourbillion whereby the escapement, balance wheel, and balance spring is placed in a rotating carriage which turns once per minute on its own axis. It seems not only does the tourbillon defy the effects of gravity, but the watch as well, by weighing a mere 20 grams.
Richard Mille reduced the weight with absolutely no reduction of efficiency and accuracy. Richard Mille worked in close collaboration with Rafael Nadel while developing the RM 027. During his training sessions, Rafael wore the RM027 testing its weight and accuracy and will now wear it to his tennis matches.

This watch is a break through design on may levels: First, I have always advised not to wear a luxury watch during high impact sports like tennis ,where the wrist makes abrupt extreme movements, as the movement may not be able to withstand the shock and thereby become damaged; however the RM027 is super shock absorbent and the movement not be damaged during the match.

Secondly, the watch is extremely lightweight even with the tourbillon complication.

A remarkable design, and what better man to wear the watch than Rafael Nadel, who has won the French open, his fifth title in six years at Roland Garros and who is overtaking long time Tennis great, 29 year old Roger Federer. Nadal has beaten Federer 14 of the 21 times they have met, including six of the last seven matches. Although Federer has a long list of tennis victories, it seems Nadel has just begun to warm up, and 2010 Wimbledon is the perfect arena to achieve greatness.
The RM027 is Richard Mille's victory, and the perfect companion to a competitor striving for the Wimbledon title.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Listen Up FIFA! The First Watch Movement to Measure Football Time

Amid the zzzzizzing (Yes I know its not a word!) from the vuvuzelas, crowds pack Soccer City and other stadiums beneath the glorious electric blue of the South African sky to witness soccer history - FIFA World Cup 2010.
Although it is Hublot, who is the official timekeeper of the FIFA World Cup 2010, it is Ebel who has crafted the only watch specifically designed for the sport. Ebel has created the first proprietary movement to track football match time. The in-house caliber 245 chronograph movement measures match half times and code named "245" standing for 2 times 45 minutes - even capable of tracking over time. A large 45 minute counter situated at the 12 'o'clock position measures elapsed time while the small disc at the 6 'o'clock position displays hours in periods of 45 minutes. The revolutionary football movement will be housed in Ebel's 1911 Tekton case A signature football shaped oscillating weight is personalized with the football clubs insignia will be viewable via a scratch resistant sapphire crystal case-back as well as the number of the watch in its limited division. The skeleton construction ; alternating satin brushed and polished finishing plus chamfering present a timepiece that is both sporty and elegant. A combination most often hard to achieve. Ebel is passionate about football and is devoted to achieve the honor of becoming the official timing partner of a leading football team in each major market in Europe.

will be quite selective, only including successful, admired and prestigious football clubs. The creme de le creme of soccer. As in timekeeping, Ebel is looking for teams unparalleled excellence. To date Ebel has already chosen six clubs and in their honor has crafted watches representing their name. All Watches sport a Automatic COSC certified Ebel Calibre 245 movement housed in a 48.50mm case. The Dial is protected by a scratch resistant sapphire crystal with anti reflective treatment on both sides, thus if the sun is high over the stadium one can still view the dial without the sun reflecting off the crystal.

1) Rangers Football Club or "Light Blues" a Scottish premier Club- won more major trophies than any other football club in the world.
Home Turf: Ibrox Stadium, Glascow Scotland.
Distinctive Rangers Watch Features: Dial is Silver Skeleton baring 12 applied indexes. The band is deep blue alligator with white stitching matching the blue and white colors of the club. Limited Edition of 150 pieces.

2) Real Madrid Club de Fútbol or better knows as just Real Madrid is the most successful team in Spanish Football and was voted by FIFA as being the most successful club of the 20th century having won a record 31 La Liga titles, 17 Spanish "Copa del Ray" Cups, eight Spanish Supercups, one Eva Duarte Cup, a record nine European Cups, two UEFA Cups, one UEFA Supercup, three Intercontinental Cups. It is little wonder why Ebel has added Real Madrid to its repertoire of outstanding football clubs.

Distinctive Real Madrid Watch Features include a brushed titanium case with singly piece crystal/bezel construction. Dial is black skeleton with 12 applied indexes. Black alligator band with gray stitching. Limited edition of 500 pieces. Yellow, white, blue accents on the dial matches the colors of the clubs crest.
3) Arsenals Football Club or if you prefer "The Gunners" based in Holloway, North London plays in premier league and is recognized as one of the most successful clubs in English Football winning 13 first division Premier League titles and 10 FA Cups and achieving the feat of holding the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the English top flight and are the only side to have completed a Premier League season unbeaten.
Arsenals Distinctive Watch Features: Case Material is Stainless Steel with a band of deep blue with white stitching. The silver skeleton dial has 12 applied indexes. This watch too has anti reflective treatment on both sides of its sapphire crystal. The colors on the watch reflect the gold, red and blue of "The Gunners" crest. Limited edition of 350 pieces.

4) Olympique Lyonnais sometimes refereed to as just OL is a Fench Football club based in Lyon. and is one of the most popular football clubs in France. Not surprisingly it is also one of the most successful, the 21st century being. In 2002, the club won their first ever Ligue 1 championship, which began a national record-breaking streak of seven successive titles. Lyon has also won a record 7 Trophee des Champions, four Coupe de France totles and 3 Ligue 2 Championships as well as many other successes doing better in the 21st Century than ever before. The watch Ebel has chosen to represent this Football Club sports a Titanium and black coated steel case; black alligator band with blue lining and blue stitching, sapphire crystal with the anti reflective treatment. The blue, red and white accentuations represent the colors of the French Flag, the colors on the logo, and the teams colors. Limited to 250 pieces.

5) FC Bayern Munich or better known in Germany as: Fußball-Club Bayern München). It is a highly successful German sports club based in Munich, Bavaria. It is the most successful club in German football, having won 22 German titles and no less than 15 cups.
Distinctive FC Bayern Munich watch features include an attractive sporty techno fiber band; black steel case, black skeleton dial with 12 applied indexes and anti reflective treatment on both sides of the sapphire crystal. The complete black of the watch represents the Clubs "away colors"

6) Ajax - Amsterdamsche Football Club - is the professional football club from Holland, Netherlands. Ajax is a remarkable success story- a two time winner of the FIFA Club World Cup; 4 time European Cup Winner; Ajax is historically one of the most successful clubs of the world; according to the IFFHS, Ajax were the seventh most successful European club of the 20th century. The club is one of the five teams that has earned the right to keep the European Cup and to don a multiple-winner badge.
Distinctive Ajax watch features a black techno fiber band with white stitching, silver skeleton dial accentuated with red and black representing both the "home" and "away" colors of the team as well as the colors of the club logo which depicts of the Greek hero Ajax drawn with a mere eleven lines to symbolize the eleven players of a football team.
The watch is only available in a limited edition of 150 pieces.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Hublot King Power Commemorates Mexico's 200th Anniversary

All decked out in the Mexican National Colors, Hublot KING POWER commemorates the 200th anniversary of Mexico's independence. Engraved on the case back is the famous "Bell of Dolores". The bell priest Miguel Hidalgo y Castillo rang, on September 16, 1810 in his small town of Doloes Guanajuato. to encourage his people of Mexico to liberate themselves from 300 years of Spanish ruling.
4 days later, the Mexican People heeded his call and hence the Battle of Guanajuato. It took another 10 years of revolting for Mexico to finally become independent on September 27, 1821.
Hublot is paying tribute to those early days where passion for liberty rose above all.
The vibrant rich forest green hands and number indicators as well as the deep red red counter bridges and red minute tracks exudes this passion. Surrounding the dial is a micro-blasted black ceramic bezel with molded black rubber. Punctuating the bezel is 6 relief black PVD H-shaped titanium screws - a signature of Hublot. Highly resilient black composite resin make up the bezel lugs and lateral inserts. SuperLumonova coats the hands and counters enabling the wearer to discern the time in the dark.
A Hublot Calibre HUB4201 automatic movement comprising of 252 pieces and 27 jewels creates optimal precision. The "King Power" is water resistant to 100m and has a 42 hour power reserve.
Black Ceramic "King Power" has a limited edition of 150 watches and King Gold is limited edition 50 pieces.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Raymond Weil Freelancer Black 8 Watch

Raymond Weil's newest edition to its freelancer mechanical collection is a watch baring grace and sensuality. The figure 8 punctuated with 12 diamonds emblazon the black guilloché dial with a sense of infinity. A slender ring of diamonds frame the watch enhancing the symbol within. Crafted from polished and brushed steel, this 38 mm case harbors an automatic mechanical movement of exceptional quality and extreme precision. The top half of the figure 8 is open displaying a fitted balance and its brilliant ruby. Bold hands indicate the time.

Raymond Weil is renowned for its technical expertise and perfection. In addition Raymond Weil watches as exquisite and technically advanced as they are, are still within the budget of an affordable watch. A large selection of Raymond Weil watches are under $1000 making them a great gift. Raymond Weil was one of the first companies to mix gold and steel, a fusion still popular today. If you are looking for a luxury watch, Raymond Weil watches are an excellent affordable way to go.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Look at the new Cartier Roadster S Watch

I was so tempted to add S Class at the end of the new Cartier Roadster S. The name actually demands it like a pregnant pause, but of course the term "class" is distinctly reserved for automobiles, and although the Cartier Roadster is mighty machine, it doesn't exactly fit under the transportation category. In regard to the spanking new Cartier Roadster (I absolutely love the collection), the S stands for Sports. With the introduction of Roadster S, you will notice a couple of changes. Compare this watch with a typical Cartier Roadster and you will notice a couple differences.
a) The bullet shape crystal sapphire lens above the date has been scrapped in favor of a more simpler bullet shape indentation in the at the 3 'o'clock position.
b) The screws on the case have been removed creating a softer look. I must admit, with the removal of the screws, a certain rugged appeal is missing.

Still the Roadster S, is very much a Roadster with the iconic Roadster case shape, Roman Numerals, Unchanged Sword shaped dial hands and concentric dial markings on silvered Opaline white dial which reinforces the case shape. Two styles are available - stainless steel depicted above and a rubber and stainless steel combination. The latter model (inset) has a fresh young look combining traditional materials with a more modern take.
The Roadster S does have a certain mass appeal, which I am sure in the current economic uncertainty, mass appeal is just what Cartier wants. At a going rate of $4,600 for the steel version and $4,600 for the combo, this watch is much cheaper than the original Roadsters thereby enabling young aspiring individuals to own a watch worn by millionaires and noticed by all.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

FIFA 2009 World Player of the Year, Lionel MESSI, joins Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet nominates FC Barcelona Attacker Lionel Messi to represent Audemars Piguet.
Audemars Piguet recognized Lionel Messi's strength of character. Strength to persue his dreams. As a child in Rosaria, Argentina, Lionel spent his time playing ball and he was good. His family realised a champion in him. At ten it seemed his dreams would come to a grinding halt when he was diagnosed with a hormonal disease that potentially could effect his growth. However, this would not deter his family ,who after doing much research into the various Argentinian Clubs, finally enrolled him into the recruitment testing at FC Barcelona in Spain. As a result of his football skills, he was admitted to the Masia. the Barcia training center who covered not only his football training, but also his various medical expenses.
Lionel’s family left Argentina and moved to Catalonia in order to witness Lionel Messi’s first steps on the Camp Nou football pitch. From those first steps Lionel Messi’s talent has grown in leaps and bounds. He is fast, creative and can dribble with mind boggling ease. His skill has bought him a well deserved position as a striker for the legendary FC Barcelona and for his national team. Like many of the world’s greatest soccer players, Lionel Messi dons the N° 10 shirt. His mastery of the game has earned him quite a number of titles: FIFA 2009 Player of the Year, the 2009 Golden Bell Award and Player of the Spanish League.
It is little wonder why Audemars Piguet chose Lionel Messi to join its team. As Phillipe Merk, CEO of Audemars Piguet said,
“ Lionel Messi is an exceptional man, the greatest player of his generation. This young and talented athlete not only embodies pure sporting genius, but also the courage and determination of a man who fights against all odds to pursue his dreams. Above and beyond his intrinsic value, we are welcoming a big-hearted man with valuable human qualities into the Audemars Piguet family.”
Audemars Piguet has had its own obstacles in its past 135 years, some of which were cleared only through raw determination and foresight. Both Lionel Messi and Audemars Piguet will join together and strive to pass this will to achieve and conquer obstacles to the next generation. Messi with his foundation, “Fundacion Leo Messi” created in 2009 uses his fame to gain public awareness to the plight of woman and children around the world.
He says, “ You have to believe in yourself and never lose sight of your dreams … but sometimes our dreams need a little helping hand.”
This year, Lionel Messi became a UNICEF goodwill ambassador.
Audemars Piguet has chosen well, and as per its three main virtues - tradition, daring and excellence – Lionel Messi lives up to all of them.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Hublot Unveils Official FIFA World Cup 2010 Watch

The watch is a beauty isn't it and unveiled not a moment to soon. The Fifa World Cup Games in South Africa begin in just 18 days (I checked the official Hublot counter on FIFA.Com). First match is between South Africa and Mexico. Hublot is on hand as the Official Timekeeper.
The Official FIFA World Cup 2010 Watch is an exquisite combination of rose gold and rubber and alligator strap. The coveted World Cup Trophy is emblazoned at the 6 'o'clock position as well as the case back. The Classic Fusion Hublot Timepiece evokes a sense of elegant luxury and serious sports. This watch does well to honor the prestige of the FIFA World Cup and the importance of achieving the ultimate victory - winning the World Cup. Limited to 100 pieces.

Since the World Cup is just days away, I'd thought I'd post a music video entitled BAFANA BAFANA produced by famous South African Comedian Leon Schuster, to get you in the FIFA World Cup spirit. Trust me it does the job.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Chopard turns A Century and A Half

To commemorate its 150th anniversary, Chopard unveils a new addition to its Happy Sport Collection - the Happy Sports Star Diamond Watch. The refreshing blue hue of the dial serves as the perfect midnight sky backdrop for five stars shimmering with diamonds. In line with the original Happy Diamond Collection ,introduced in 1976, the stars glide across the dial between two sheets of sapphire crystal to evoke the illusion of gems mysteriously suspended above the time.
Company History
Louis-Ulysse Chopard founded his company in 1860, fueled by a vision to create pocket watches and chronometers of superior quality. His vision created an empire and 150 years later, Chopard is one of the most sought after watch brands today. Chopard has consistently produced masterpieces. Still owned by the Scheufele family, purchased in 1963 by Karl Scheufele, Chopard is dedicated to precision, refinement, elegance, performance, design and technology.
Chopard Current News
Chopard's 150th anniversary was celebrated with gusto. On the eve of March 20th, Chopard gave a huge bash at the Musical Theatre Basel where a longtime friend of the Scheufele family, José Carreras performed with Spanish flamenco dancer Sara Baras to benefit his foundation against leukaemia. After the concert, the maestro joined all the friends of Chopard, for a cocktail dinner followed by an after party which took place in the back stage of the theatre.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Luxury Watches Are So In!

Just in case you hadn't noticed, luxury watches are so in. Picture this! Business suit, greased back hair, charcoal shirt, Ray Bans, lavender tie, behind the wheel of a a 2011 Merc; tinted window rolls down and arm rests on the door displaying a plastic digital watch - WAIT!! That's not right! Let's try again - window rolls down and arm rests on the door displaying a Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex. Yes! This guy has taste, because Daniel Roth Ellipsocurvex luxury watches are a hot item. Real hot, and this watch works. Works in more ways than you know it. It works with your wardrobe, and it works for you.

This particular model is especially unique as Daniel Roth utilizes its Ellipsocurvex shape to utilize jumping hours and retrograde minutes time display.
Jumping hours means the hours in the aperture at the usual 12 'o'clock position jumps from one hour to the next. Retrograde minutes start at 00 and end at 60. The central second hand utilizes the traditional time display.

The Barrel Tonneau Polished 18K Rose Gold Case protects a mechanical Automatic Self-Winding Movement with a Daniel Roth 115 Calibre. The movement is visible via a screw-in sapphire crystal case back. A power reserve of 45 hours adds to the many exceptional qualities of this Daniel Roth Luxury Watch.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Corum Sponsers Bol d'Or Mirabaud Inland Sailing Regatta

Corum Admiral's Cup Chronograph 48 Bol d'Or Mirabaud

This shimmering beauty sports a dial so vivid blue, it is as though an entire miniature ocean washes against the bezel making soft foamy splashes. Of course its all in the mind, but doesn't our mind interpret what it perceives. A 48mm titanium and rubber case protects a COSC certified Corum automatic movement. A COSC certified movement is tested individually for 15 days, in 5 different positions at 3 different temperatures ensuring the watch can withstand varying conditions like those experienced in a regatta.
The Corum Admiral's Cup Chronograph 48 Bol d'Or Mirabaud is fusing its name to the world’s most important regatta on an inland lake by becoming Presenting Sponsor of the Bol d’Or Mirabaud, commencing on June 12 thus Corum is expanding its presence in the sailing sponsorship arena.
The Bol d’Or Mirabaud, is in its 72nd year. This prestigious race is a place where sailing stars are mixed with non-professional sailors, and the event is the pride of the Lake Geneva region and delights sailing enthusiasts.
However, there is another regatta linked to Corum - The Admiral's Cup. You are probably wondering what happened to that. Year after year, Corum has unveiled new additions to Admiral's Cup collection; the collection growing in popularity and the races future uncertain. To understand this one must understand a bit about the race.
The Admiral's Cup is an international yachting regatta. It was organized in 1957 by the Royal Ocean Racing Club based at Cowes, on the Isle of Wright in England. It was a biennial event, happening every odd-numbered years. From 1957 to 1999 the cup was competed between national teams, each having three boats. In the beginning only USA and Great Britain took part, but later other countries competed. The race was highly regarded and in 1971, British Prime Minister ,Edward Heath, captained one of the winning boats. The Admiral's Cup watches are being introduced year after year, growing in popularity. But what happened to the actual Admiral's Cup race? The race has not taken place in five years. It was canceled in 2001, 2005 ,2007, 2009.
In 2003 the competition was moved from Ireland to Australia for unknown reasons, and instead of being between different countries, it was watered down to a competition between different yacht clubs.
Yet, in 2011, the Admiral's Cup Regatta may be racing again. The Royal Ocean Racing Club is consulting with yacht clubs, boat owners and sailors from around the globe to to get their perspectives of holding the race, once again, in the summer of 2011. The RORC has secured support from Skandia, a UK leader of long-term investments and long time sponsorship of yachting, to research the feasibility of reviving the Admiral's Cup and restoring the the Admiral's Cup to prominence.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Run With It: Asics Active Running Watches

ASICS Watches are meant for runners who take their work outs seriously. Asics Active Running Watches are specifically designed to memorize 10 Training Sessions up to 80 Lap. The watch comes with a comfortable rubber straps ensuring the watch
stays put during vigorous training excessive. The dial is a handy elliptical shape enabling the runner to check the time without slowing him down.

The Asics Active Running Watches are inexpensive. Choose from a wide range of sporty colors including black and yellow, white and blue, red,black and white
- and many more.

Company Information

ASICS, is an acronym of the Latin phrase, Anima Sana In Corpore Sano - a sound mind in a sound body. ASICS strives to create products designed for sports enthusiasts who fuse mind and body to stretch the limits of their capabilities.
The company was founded back in 1949 by Mr. Kihachiro Onitsuka who started an athletic footwear company (Onitsuka Co., Ltd.) in his living room in Kobe, Japan where he walked tirelessly manufacturing basketball shoes. Mr. Kihachiro, Onitsuka believed fervently that the best way to create a healthy and happy lifestyle is to promote total health and fitness.In 1977, ASICS products came to the United States where the company has proved its impeccable quality manufacturing sports products in fields of sports such as running, volleyball, tennis and even catering to kids who have mighty aspirations.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Mom Must See This Watch

Now Breguet has another take on giving mom flowers for Mother's Day. Well just one flower actually, resting on a black satin strap. The Breguet Crazy Flower Haute Jewelry Watch . The watch has a kind of spunky flare to it, which makes it not as weighted as other diamond encrusted watches. The flower design is quite refreshing. The three layers of diamond petals (not really a bezel at all) consist of baguette cut stones, while smaller stones decorate the face like pollen. The entire watch looks as though it is in motion - a flower under clear blue skies on some remote mountaintop rippling in a soft breeze. Approximately 300 diamonds, amounting to 36 carats, cluster around a white gold case barely noticeable under all the razzle dazzle. The blued steel pomme style hands display the time which elegantly occupies the 6 'o'clock position.

Within the case lies a mechanical Breguet caliber 586 automatic movement providing optimal time tracking precision. This watch is definitely an eye catcher and meant to be the center of attention.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Breitling's Nigel Lamb Standing at 2nd in Red Bull Air Race

The Red Bull competition is in full flight. Competing are the greatest pilots flying with gut wrenching speed and mind blowing precision. Each pilot is individually timed, having to complete giddy ascents, tight turns and sharp dives through the pylon course , known as air gates. Breitling is the Official Timekeeper of Red Bull Air Race, timing the competition with definite precision. In addition, Breitling exhibits its colors with Nigel Lamb, a British pilot maneuvering his MX2.
Nigel Lamb has been with Breitling for over ten years creating the Breitling Air Racing team in 2005 as the partnership rose to the new challenge of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship. Born on a remote farm in Zimbabwe, on August 17th,1956, Nigel Lamb caught his passion for flying from his father an ex-RAF pilot.

He was just 11 years old when he first applied to the air force - and was ultimately excepted at 18. Lamb served in the air force for 6 years flying piston aircraft, helicopters and jets after which he became an Aerobatic pilot in UK. He stunned audiences around the world leading teams with a tremendous display of speed and agility. Lamb boasts major film affiliations being the aerial coordinator in movies such as " Hart's War, Dark Blue World" and "Waiting for Dublin". Loving competition, Lamb joined the Red Bull Air Race World Championships in 2005. His first and second year of competing, Nigel held 10th place, but he has been inching to the top year by year. In 2009, he grabbed 6th place.

Currently, after the first two flights held in Abu Dhabi and Perth, Nigel Lamb is in 2nd place, just 4 points behind Paul Bonhomme, former RAAF fighter pilot. It is proving to be an excruciating tight race with 2008 champion, Austrian Hannes Arch, rookie Australian Matt Hall and Canadian Pete Mcleod all tying just four points behind him. With 6 more races to go, one of which will be held for the first time, on June 19-20, over the Hudson River in NYC, it is still any one's race.
Nigel Lamb is well prepared for 2010, excelling on the difficult tracks and working tirelessly to mesh his flying skills with those of the MXS-R.
We may just see Breitling Flying Team Champions of the Red Bull Air Race World Championship.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

If Only ... $3.5 Million Dollar Luxury Timepiece

Imagine (unless you actually have $3.5 million to spare on a watch) you could get mom a Piaget Emperador Temple Diamonds Watch. Imagine what she'd say. You'd have to tell her the 1200 plus diamonds are all real, and although, you don't really want to tell her how much you spent on it, you cannot help but drop a hint or two. At first she won't realize it is a watch, but rather a dazzling bracelet resembling a tiny glittering version of a terraced stepped pyramid topped by a large emerald cut stone.
But then you can show her how the top opens to reveal an elegant mother of pearl dial framed with a delicate string of superbly cut diamonds.
"Piaget," she will say softly as she gently runs her finger across the top of the dial. Mother will want to give you a hug,
"but there is more," you say, anxious to show her the magical movement beneath. Up till now you were standing, but now you sit next to her as she cradles Piaget's exquisite masterpiece in her hand. This time the entire top portion of the pyramid opens revealing a larger diamonds paved face with a one minute tourbillon and power reserve indicator .
"Two movements," she marvels as she opens and closes the watch.

You may have to stop imagining now as Piaget has only crafted one such watch, which has been sold.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Romain Jerome Newest Watch Explodes With Volcanic Force

Romain Jerome has unleashed a smoldering masterpiece actually harboring some genuine ash from that great "travel hampering" Icelandic Volcano Eyjafjallajokull. Fit for the wrist of a vulcanologist, this one of a kind watch is part of Romain Jerome DNA Collection. This watch is undoubtedly my favorite Romain Jerome watch thus far. The resemblance to molten lava is brilliant - black carbon bursting forth with glowing fiery orange flowing over the dial and spilling onto the bezel. The hands end in tiny airplanes hinting at the travel woes resulting from ash clouds caused by Volcano Eyjafjallokull. Over 100,000 flights were canceled making this Europeans worse breakdown in civil aviation since World War II.
A perfect fit for the DNA Collection as volcanoes spew the very core of the earth; change the very landscape we tread and make land in an ocean where no land existed.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rado Sintra Gets Some Color and Loses Face

Well, well, well what do we have here - it seems a whole new Rado look. Rado, the watch company that boasts the Guinness Book of Records for the hardest watch ever (1996, Vision 1 Watch), has unveiled its first ever skeletonized dial. Utilizing its iconic resilient watch material - specially formulated ceramic-Rado has given us a glimpse of what lies beneath. The ETA automatic movement comprises of gold-tone segments ,black bridges and a dash of red , thanks to synthetic ruby stones. A rotor in the shape of Rado's anchor logo is placed on the underside of the watch and rotates while one walks, thereby powering the watch.

Certified as a chronometer, you can rest assured that this movement has been subjected to rigorous testing under numerous adverse conditions, and by the time you strap it on your wrist, this watch will provide optimal performance and maximum resilience. Rado is releasing a limited quantity of only 111 Rado Skeleton Sintra Automatic Watches (not sure the significance of the quantity).

Rado watches look new for decades and have an excellent resale value

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tag Heuer New Concept Watch

Tag Heuer loves suspense, as we all know from its first hint to its final deliverance, in 2009, of the Tag Heuer Monaco V4. Now Tag Heuer has unveiled a pendulum watch which has completely redefined the traditional mechanical movement of a watch. With this new concept watch, an important factor is not what is added, but what is omitted. Watch this video for greater clarity.

This watch has no hairspring. The hairspring is a fine coiled spring that regulates the movement of the balance wheel, and is quite sensitive to change in temperature. In place of the hairspring, Tag Heuer has implemented a pendulum “spring” regulated by magnets and beating at a frequency of 43,200/hour (6 Hertz). The pendulum is by no means a new idea, as the pendulum clock was invented by Christiaan Huygens in 1657, one of the first great horologists. It was a marine timekeeper which used a pendulum; however the great rolling waves confounded its accuracy and changes in temperature and humidity thickened its oils. Huygens, then patented the spiral balance spring as alternative to the pendulum. You could say Tag Heuer has returned to its watch making roots with the reintroduction of the pendulum as part of the watch movement.
I am truly excited by Tag Heuer's historic new endeavor as it has the potential to make great waves in the world of horology.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Hublot Official Timekeeper and Watchmaker for FIFA 2010

South Africa is a bustle of activity preparing for FIFA 2010, which begins in just 52 days. Soccer balls are literally everywhere; swaddling the Hillbrow Tower, flanking the airport walls and popping up on hundreds of billboards far above the noise of jack hammers and lawn mowers. Stadiums in iconic shapes loom under the bright yellow African sky such as Johannesburg's calabash (an African pot) shaped stadium and Cape Town's Green Point Stadium a stone's throw from Table Mountain. Soccer trinkets emblazoned with FIFA 2010's lovable mascot, "Zakumi"- a soccer ball toting leopard with bright green hair- herald the games approach. Bright yellow and green T shirts have become quite a fashion statements as entire families don their teams attire. South Africa counts their sleeps as watches and clocks tick the coming of the games; however, once the games begin Hublot will track the time. Hublot's name will be on all timekeeping devices and time displays; in addition, Hublot will release wristwatches for the occasion.
So grab your vuvuzela, paint your face and get ready for a GOOOAAAALLLL.