Saturday, 28 November 2015

Bryan Ferry Designs Wristwatch For H. Moser & Cie.

Designed by the English musician, the H. Moser & Cie. Endeavour Small Seconds Bryan Ferry is a limited edition modelled on early 20th century pocket watches.

Frontman of the 1970s British rock band Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry worked with H. Moser & Cie. to design a wristwatch bearing his name. For inspiration Ferry and H. Moser turned to the vintage pocket watches in the watchmaker's museum, resulting in a white lacquered dial with blued steel Breguet hands.

Friday, 27 November 2015

Hands-On with the Patek Philippe Nautilus Ref. 5711/1P in Platinum

One of the rarest contemporary Patek Philippe watches, the Nautilus ref. 5711/1P is entirely in platinum, with only a handful sold each year. We go hands-on with one of these rare beasts.

Introduced some time in 2013 but not listed in the Patek Philippe catalogue, the Nautilus ref. 5711/1P is not especially well known and almost impossible to see in the metal. The platinum Nautilus essentially a precious metal version of the classic ref. 5711/1A - and it costs five times as much - the modern remake of the original Nautilus "Jumbo", but with a few minor tweaks to distinguish it. One specimen of the ref. 5711/1P will go under the hammer at Phillips' Hong Kong auction in December, an uncommon opportunity to see a special watch.

Thursday, 26 November 2015

SevenFriday Introduces the P2B/03 "Woody" Clad in Laminated Hardwood

SevenFriday dresses up its signature P-series wristwatch with laminated hardwood in the 450-piece limited edition P2B/03 "Woody". You'll find details and pricing below.

Just months after the launch of the V-series, SevenFriday has returned to its original model, the cushion-shaped P-series. The P2B/03 "Woody" is clad in a ring of laminated hardwood, made up of several layers of American walnut, beech and cherry bonded together and sliced lengthwise to reveal the contrasting grain and colour.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

Management Turmoil in Swiss Watchmaking as CEOs Depart

Hautlence co-founder and chief executive Guillaume Tetu is the latest in a string of departures from prominent watch brands in the last quarter, a consequence of the slowdown in the luxury watch business.

Eleven years after he helped establish the brand, Hautlence chief executive Guillaume Tetu is leaving to join the Ralph Lauren Watch & Jewelry Co. as the head of products. Tetu follows Pierre Jacques, Emmanuel Vuille and Jean-Marc Jacot, the former leaders of De Bethune, Greubel Forsey and Parmigiani respectively, all of whom have recently moved on for various reasons - within the last two quarters. Most prominent amongst the recent departures was that of Cartier's Stanislas de Quercize, who was reportedly suffering from "burn-out".

Monday, 23 November 2015

Hands-On with the Jacob & Co. Astronomia Tourbillon

Equipped with impressively constructed movement that rises upwards and outwards, the Jacob & Co. Astronomia is a double axis tourbillon, a complicated watch with a brash dose of showmanship. Here's a look at the timepiece, with original photos and pricing.

Jacob & Co. is best known for its ostentatious, bejewelled timepieces beloved by musicians and sportsmen. The Astronomia, in contrast, is an entirely different kind of watch. It's an orbital, double axis tourbillon combined with an orbital time display, powered by a movement rendered in three-dimensions that rises up from the baseplate.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Up Close with the MB&F LM101 Frost in Yellow Gold (Original Photos & Review)

Uncharacteristically classical for an MB&F wristwatch, the LM101 Frost is inspired by 18th century pocket watches with its finely frosted finish in yellow gold gilt.

Arguably the most classical wristwatch from MB&F, best known for its timepieces that resemble spacecraft, the LM101 Frost takes its cues from vintage pocket watches. It is decorated, front and back, with a fine frosted finish, the only MB&F watch to date finished in this manner.

Thursday, 19 November 2015

Ten Highlights from Phillips' "The Hong Kong Watch Auction: One"

Phillips brings its watch auction to Hong Kong on December 1, with a diverse offering of timepieces ranging from a prize-winning Patek Philippe observatory tourbillon pocket watch, to a Harry Winston Opus 1 by F.P. Journe.

Led by Sam Hines and Aurel Bacs, Phillips' first watch auction in Asia takes place in Hong Kong on December 1, 2015, with 357 timepieces slated to go under the hammer, including the headline lot of a Patek Philippe reference 3450 in white gold, one of just two known. 

Richard Mille Introduces the Tonneau-Shaped, Extra-Thin RM 67-01 Automatic

At SIHH 2016 Richard Mille will officially unveil its first ever extra-thin, tonneau-shaped wristwatch, the RM 67-01 Automatic Extra Flat, powered by a new, in-house movement.

Best known for its exceptionally light, and occasionally over the top, timepieces, Richard Mille also has several extra-thin watches in its collection, including the rectangular RM 016 and the more recent RM 33-01. These are the closest thing Richard Mille has to a formal dress watch, but they have never been offered in the brand's signature barrel-shaped case, until the RM 67-01, just announced as a preview of what's to come at SIHH 2016.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Urwerk Combines Its Unique Self-Monitoring Mechanical Calibre with Gun Engraving in the EMC Pistol

Urwerk gives its high-tech EMC wristwatch an elaborate, hand-engraved case decoration done by Austrian gun engraver Florian Güllert.

Introduced two years ago, the Urwerk EMC combines a traditional mechanical movement with a novel electronic rate monitor, allowing the wearer to regulate its timekeeping. Now Urwerk has utilised the large steel case of the EMC as a canvas for hand-engraving of the sort used to decorate high-end rifles, resulting in the EMC Pistol, a limited run of just five watches.

Artisanal Crafts Take Centrestage with the Vacheron Constantin Fabuleux Ornements

Vacheron Constantin combines skeletonised, ultra-thin movements with enamel, precious stone inlays and delicate hand-engraved in the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornaments.

While the recent SIHH 2016 preview revealed the Métier d'Art Year of the Monkey intended for men, the Fabuleux Ornaments is something for the ladies. Comprised of four elaborately decorated ladies' watches, the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornaments "New Horizons" combines various artisanal techniques favoured by Vacheron Constantin, including enamelling and open-working of movements. Each model in the Métiers d’Art Fabuleux Ornaments collection is inspired by specific decorative themes, namely Ottoman architecture, Chinese embroidery, Indian manuscripts and French lacework.

Introducing the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield in Black and White Ref. 42000CN (Specs & Price)

Tudor has just unveiled the latest version of its black ceramic chronograph, the monochromatic Fastrider Black Shield in black and white, inspired by the Ducati XDiavel motorcycle.

Characterised by its one-piece, black ceramic case, the Tudor Fastrider Black Shield was originally introduced in 2013, with red or khaki accents on the dial. Now with the launch of the all-black Ducati XDiavel cruiser, Tudor has stripped all the colour from the Fastrider Black Shield to match, leaving it stark in black and white. 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Hands-On with the Panerai Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm PAM574 and PAM575 (Review & Price)

A men's dress watch or ladies' timepiece, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm PAM00574 and PAM00575 are the first watches to feature Panerai's new calibre P.1000, a hand-wound movement with a zero-reset seconds.

A recent addition to the Panerai collection, the Radiomir 1940 3 Days Acciaio 42mm is the smallest watch in its line-up, and it's equipped with the new P.1000 movement. It's also notable because the steel version, the PAM574, is paired with a lime green strap, making it a ladies watch in all but name.

Roger W. Smith Introduces New Quartet of Wristwatches, Including Retrograde Date and Triple Calendar

Roger W. Smith has facelifted and expanded his collection of hand-made wristwatches, presenting the new Series 1, 2, 3 and 4, which include complications like a retrograde date and triple calendar.

Based in the Isle of Man, English watchmaker Roger W. Smith is best known as the protege of the late George Daniels, inventor of the Co-Axial escapement now used by Omega. Up till now, Roger W. Smith's offering of serially produced timepieces comprised of just a single model, the Series 2. That has now grown to four watches, starting with the time-only Series 1, a redesigned Series 2, the Series 3 with date function, and the instantaneous triple calendar Series 4.

Friday, 13 November 2015

How Good is the Most Affordable Gent's Wristwatch from A. Lange & Söhne, the Saxonia?

A concise dose of the qualities that make A. Lange & Söhne watches special, the Saxonia Boutique Edition is the most affordable gentleman's wristwatch from the German watchmaker. How good is it?

A. Lange & Söhne is beloved for its beautifully made watches that exude quality. But beautiful as they are, Lange watches are mostly often complicated and consequently expensive, sometimes extraordinarily so. Fortunately, the German watchmakers does think of the less well heeled, with the Saxonia Boutique Edition, the most affordable wristwatch in its line-up.

Up Close with the Clé de Cartier Mysterious Hour (Review, Photos & Price)

One of the complications synonymous with Cartier, starting with its iconic mystery clocks, the Mysterious Hours is now found in the Clé de Cartier, a cushion shape distinguished by its key-shaped crown.

Unveiled just earlier this year, the Clé is Cartier’s newest case design. A gently curved affair, the Clé de Cartier was only available as a simple, time-only wristwatch until recently, when the Clé de Cartier Mysterious Hour was introduced. The second mystery hours wristwatch after the Rotonde de Cartier Mysterious Hour from 2013, the new Clé de Cartier is equipped with the same cleverly constructed calibre 9981 MC that has hands seemingly floating over nothingness.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

Up Close with the Ralph Lauren RL Automotive Skeleton Wristwatch (Review, Photos & Price)

Ralph Lauren frequently takes inspiration from his Bugatti 57SC Atlantic for his timepieces, with the RL Automotive Skeleton the latest timepiece to be modelled on the convertible. And it happens to be powered by a skeletonised IWC movement.

An extraordinarily successful designer and notable watch collector, Ralph Lauren has his own line of watches that draws heavily on his hobbies, most prominently, vintage cars. Specifically, the gorgeous Bugatti 57SC Atlantic convertible - worth some US$40 million - is the inspiration for the Ralph Lauren Automotive collection of watches. The flagship of that collection is the RL Automotive Skeleton, the brand's first open-worked wristwatch and one that's powered by an IWC movement.

Introducing the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d’Art Chinese Zodiac Year of the Monkey

As is tradition, Vacheron Constantin has created a pair of limited edition timepieces for the upcoming Chinese Zodiac year, featuring a hand-made enamel dial and the watchmaker's novel self-winding movement without hands.

As a prelude to the upcoming SIHH 2016 watch fair in January, Vacheron Constantin is marking the Year of the Monkey that starts in February 2016 with a Métiers d’Art La Légende du Zodiaque Chinois limited edition. Featuring a fired enamel dial with a golden monkey in relief, the Year of the Monkey timepiece is equipped with the caliber 2460 G4 that tells the time with no hands at all - the only hands on the dial are those of the monkey.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Five Facts to Know About the Lange 1815, a Simple Watch with a Complex Story

Despite its simplicity, the A. Lange & Söhne 1815 is intriguing and diverse, being line of watches that encompasses both the first entry-level Lange wristwatch and also the most complex and expensive Lange watches ever.

Named after the birth year of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, the namesake founder of A. Lange & Söhne, the 1815 is one of the most unusual model lines in the German watchmaker's line-up. Originally introduced as the entry-level Lange in 1995, the 1815 is now a diverse collection of timepieces ranging from basic, time-only watches to the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar.

Despite being the simplest Lange wristwatch when it was introduced (though the 1815 has been succeeded in that respect by the Saxonia), the 1815 aesthetic actually originates with the Tourbillon Pour le Mérite when Lange was reborn in 1994. Now an exceptionally valuable timepiece, the Tourbillon Pour le Mérite (pictured above) was flagship wristwatch introduced by the then fledging firm, and it established the signature 1815 look.

Hands-On with the Newest Longines Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph (Original Photos, Review & Price)

Longines introduces the latest version of its popular Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronograph, featuring a larger case and appealing, vintage-style dials, while retaining the L788 self-winding movement. We take a look at the new trio of chronographs.

Longines is extending its successful run of vintage-inspired, monopusher chronographs with three additions to the line. Modelled on Longines chronographs from the 1920s, the latest Column-Wheel Single Push-Piece Chronographs are nonetheless more appealingly modern than their predecessors. 

Worthy Reading: An Interview with Ralph Lauren on Hodinkee

An insight into the mind of Ralph Lauren as a watch collector has just been published on Hodinkee, in an interview where Lauren explains what and why he collects, as well as the rationale behind his own line of watches.

American watch blog Hodinkee just published an interview with Ralph Lauren, offering an insight into the mind of a collector driven heavily by aesthetics, as would be expected with one of the most successful fashion designers ever. There's a distinct sense that Lauren values congruent aesthetics, like "1920s Bugattis and black cashmere" or "1950s Jeeps and work uniforms", that create a sense of time and place.

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Czapek & Cie. Returns with the Quai des Bergues 7-Day Wristwatch

A forgotten name in watchmaking who was once the partner of Patek, Czapek & Cie. has just been resurrected via crowdfunding, with its first wristwatch being a seven day power reserve watch.

Franciszek Czapek, or more appropriately for Swiss watchmaking François Czapek, was Pole who moved to Geneva in the early 19th century. He is best known for establishing Patek, Czapek & Cie. in 1839 with fellow Pole Antoine Norbert de Patek. Czapek and Patek separated in 1845, with Czapek finding success on his own, becoming clockmaker to Napoleon III. His former partner, however, would ascend into legend as one of the founders of Patek Philippe along with Jean Adrien Philippe. Czapek, on the other hand, was eventually forgotten, until now.

Montblanc Adds Sparkle to its Entry-Level ExoTourbillon Chronograph (Review, Photos & Price)

Montblanc gives a bit of flash to the Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph with the new Vasco da Gama limited edition set with diamonds. 

In the world of tourbillon chronographs the Montblanc Heritage Chronométrie ExoTourbillon Minute Chronograph is the most affordable yet. Unusual for its unique tourbillon that separates the cage and the balance wheel, it still costs €39,500 for the basic model, but that's half as much as the competition. At the recent Watches&Wonders 2015 fair in Hong Kong Montblanc debuted the jazzed-up version of the Heritage Chronométrie tourbillon chronograph, a 25-piece limited edition set with diamonds dedicated to Vasco da Gama.

TAG Heuer Introduces its First Smartwatch, the $1500 TAG Heuer Connected

TAG Heuer has just taken the covers off TAG Heuer Connected, a titanium smartwatch running on Google's Android Wear platform and powered by an Intel processor, but one that also features dials that mimic a mechanical watch. 

After several months of energetic promotion by its irrepressible chief executive, Jean-Claude Biver, TAG Heuer has finally introduced TAG Heuer Connected, a smartwatch similar in form to the mechanical Carrera Calibre 01 - essentially an Android Wear smartwatch packaged inside a TAG Heuer watch case. 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Phillips' First Watch Auction in Asia - Previews in Singapore and Taipei

Phillips will showcase timepieces from the upcoming The Hong Kong Watch Auction: One on Singapore and followed by Taipei, before the sale on December 1.

Led by Sam Hines and Aurel Bacs, the auctioneer's inaugural watch sale in Asia takes place on December 1 in Hong Kong, with 357 lots on offer. The Hong Kong Watch Auction: One will take place less than a month after Phillips' Geneva auctions, which saw several records set, including that of the most expensive wristwatch ever sold at auction

Up Close with the Omega Seamaster 300 SPECTRE (Review & Original Photos)

Prominent on Daniel Craig's wrist throughout the recent James Bond instalment Spectre is the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre limited edition. We take a look at the latest 007 wristwatch. 

At a critical juncture in Spectre the Omega Seamaster 300 on James Bond's wrist does it thing, allowing the spy a narrow escape from a painful demise. The Seamaster 300 Spectre available to the public lacks the volatile properties of the fictional version, but is nonetheless a satisfying combination of vintage-inspired styling and a high-tech movement.