Monday, 24 November 2014

Introducing The Girard-Perregaux Vintage 1945 Large Date Moon-Phases, Featuring A Clear Sapphire Dial (With Pricing)

Girard-Perregaux has given its popular Vintage 1945 model a smoked sapphire dial, revealing the mechanics of the oversized date and moon phase of the in-house calibre 3300.

One of Girard-Perregaux's signature timepieces, the Vintage 1945 has for the first time a clear sapphire dial, tinted a light grey, that allows a look into the movement. The dial side of the calibre 3300 inside the Vintage 1945 Large Date Moon-Phases is almost entirely exposed, showing off the striped base plate and the gears that drive the big date and moon phase.

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Hands-On With The Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Carbon (With Photos And Price)

Featuring a tourbillon, chronograph and unusual peripheral winding rotor, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Carbon combines the sporty Offshore and the ingenuity of movement specialist Renaud & Papi.

Though the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore line is usually about sporty aesthetics, there are exceptions, like the Royal Oak Offshore Tourbillon Chronograph Carbon. Oversized and chunky with a carbon composite case, it looks like the typical Offshore but the movement is special.

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Pre-SIHH 2015: Introducing The Piaget Black Tie Vintage Inspiration, A Remake Of The Beta 21 Wristwatch Owned By Andy Warhol (With Specs And Price)

Piaget has recreated the look of its chunky Beta 21 wristwatch of the seventies with the new Black Tie Vintage Inspiration that takes the same shape but with an extra-slim, mechanical movement.

Andy Warhol famously owned a Piaget wristwatch with the Beta 21 quartz movement, inside a stepped case in a shape typical of the seventies. Piaget has remade that distinctive ovoid case with stepped edges as the limited edition Black Tie Vintage Inspiration that will make its official debut at SIHH 2015.

Introducing The Cartier Crash Skeleton In Platinum - Reimagining A Legendary Wristwatch (With Photos, Specs And Pricing)

Cartier has taken its legendary Crash wristwatch, born of a car crash in sixties London, and equipped it with a skeleton movement inside an enlarged, platinum case. The first of a new line of reimagined historical timepieces, the Crash Skeleton is a limited edition of just 67 pieces.

At SIHH 2015 the most gorgeous iteration of the iconic asymmetric Cartier will make it debut. The Crash Skeleton is identical to the classic Crash wristwatch, the Crash Skeleton is slightly larger than the original, while the 9618 MC movement inside has been skeletonised in an appropriately Dali-esque manner to match the case.

Legend has it the original Crash was inspired by a ruined timepiece retrieved from a car crash involving an executive at Cartier London. The impact and heat of the Crash turned what had been an Maxi Oval wristwatch into something straight out of a Salvador Dali painting.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Pre-SIHH 2015: Introducing The Richard Mille RM 33-01 Extra-Thin Automatic

Richard Mille will unveil the RM 33-01 at SIHH 2015 in January. A facelifted version of his round, extra-thin automatic, the RM 33-01 has a slightly sportier case and dial, along with the addition of a subsidiary seconds dial.

A slightly redesigned version of the original RM 33, the new RM 33-01 is still a round, slim automatic wristwatch, but with some variation. Though the case remains round, its details have changed. The lugs are more pronounced and angular, while the dial has italicised hour numerals inspired by a speedometer.

Monday, 17 November 2014

Pre-SIHH 2015: Introducing The Panerai Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica PAM580

At SIHH 2015 Panerai will unveil the Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica, a variation of its Luminor chronograph, in matte black ceramic.

Two years ago Panerai unveiled its P.9100 in-house chronograph movement, a self-winding calibre with a condensed chronograph display featuring just two central hands. First available only in steel or gold, the P.9100 has now made its way into the new Luminor 1950 3 Days Chrono Flyback Automatic Ceramica PAM580 with a black ceramic case.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Introducing The Sinn U1-D Limited Edition (With Photos, Specs And Price)

Sinn has created a limited edition version of its signature submarine steel dive watch in grey and tan shades with a black coated Tegiment case, in partnership with its Asian retailer The Hour Glass.

Fondly regarded for its near indestructibility and affordable pricing, the Sinn U1 is the German brand's signature dive watch. The latest variant of the U1 is the U1-D, a limited edition in grey and khaki with a scratch-resistant Tegiment case.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

LIVE FROM GENEVA: Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication Sells For Record 23.2 Million Francs

Sotheby's has just sold the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication for 23.2 million Swiss francs, or US$24 million, to a unsurprisingly, victorious bidder - making it the most expensive timepiece ever by a wide margin. We bring you a quick rundown of the sale right here.

In one of the most anticipated watch sales ever, the Patek Philippe supercomplication made for American collector Henry Graves Jr. was just sold for 20.6 million Swiss francs. With the buyer's premium the new owner will have to pay 23.2 million francs, or about US$24 million. 

The sale took place in a packed room, with luminaries from all corners of watchmaking, including representatives from major brands like Audemars Piguet and Vacheron Constantin, and even Philippe Dufour himself. 

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Introducing The Chanel J12-G10, Equipped With An Alligator And Diamond NATO Strap (With Specs And Price)

The Chanel J12-G10 sports a double-loop strap inspired by the British military issue canvas band. Known as the NATO or G10 strap, Chanel has transformed it into a luxury accessory in alligator hide and diamonds.

Finally the day has come when the humble NATO strap, originally a British military watch band, has made it to the big time. Chanel has appropriated the NATO strap and fitted it to one of the most successful ladies' watches ever, the J12. It made black ceramic watches sexy and fashionable, and is now a timepiece that is significant beyond watchmaking and relentlessly copied. The new J12-G10 will likely result in a dramatic proliferation of NATO straps on all sorts of watches.

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Introducing The Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot, A Chain-And-Fusée Chronometer (With Specs And Price)

Zenith marks its 150th anniversary with a chronometer wristwatch equipped with a chain-and-fusée constant force mechanism, based on its signature El Primero movement.

Named after its founder, the Zenith Academy Georges Favre-Jacot is essentially a slimmed down version of Zenith's top of the line timepiece, the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane. The Georges Favre-Jacot limited edition is equipped with a 
chain-and-fusée mechanism that delivers constant force to the escapement, keeping timekeeping stable throughout its power reserve.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Introducing The Nomos Doctors Without Borders USA and UK - Limited Editions For A Good Cause

Nomos has created limited edition Tangente timepieces for humanitarian NGO Doctors Without Borders, better known as Médecins Sans Frontières with 100 Euros, dollars or sterling pounds from each watch sold going to MSF.

Nomos first created the edition for Médecins Sans Frontières Germany, which was only available in its domestic market. That has now expanded to Doctors Without Borders in the United States and United Kingdom, with additional editions for each market. US$100 and £100 from the sale of each watch in each market will go to MSF.

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hands-On With The IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar In Steel (With Photos And Price)

Introduced in steel for the first time earlier in 2014, the IWC Portuguese Perpetual Calendar combines its flagship, seven day caliber 5000 automatic and signature perpetual calendar mechanism with a four digit year.

Till this year IWC only made the Portuguese Perpetual Calendar in gold or platinum. But earlier this year a limited edition steel version was announced, making the Portuguese perpetual available at a significantly lower price point than before.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Hands-On With The De Bethune Imperial Fountain Chinese Zodiac Pig

Inspired by the bronze heads of the water clock at the Old Summer Palace in Beijing, De Bethune created a series of timepieces based on the 12 animals of the Chinese Zodiac. Here a gentleman collector shares his recently acquired Pig Zodiac wristwatch.

De Bethune relied on the bronze fountain heads of the water clock at the Old Summer Palace, or 圆明园 (Yuan Ming Yuan), for the
 DB25 Imperial Fountain Chinese Zodiac. Destroyed during the opium war, the Old Summer Palace and the heads scattered, though in recent years several have been returned to China, after fetching tens of millions at auction.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Introducing The Konstantin Chaykin Genius Temporis - A Single-Handed Watch Showing Hours & Minutes (With Specs And Price)

Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin's latest creation is the Genius Temporis, a wristwatch with only one hand. But intriguing it can indicate both the hours and minutes on the single hand.

Inspired by a sundial, the Genius Temporis is the work of Konstantin Chaykin, the only Russian member of the AHCI, the respected academy of independent watchmakers. The maker of mechanically ingenious yet quirky timepieces - his last timepiece featured a miniature motion picture projector - Konstantin Chaykin has taken the concept of a single-handed watch and given it an ingenious twist.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

EDITORIAL: Who Is Going To Fix Them In The Future?

Last year Switzerland exported 20.6 billion Swiss francs of watches, or about 28.1 million timepieces, recording its best year ever. Fine timepieces last a long time, each additional year of production has a cumulative effect on the total number of watches in the world. Who is going to fix all those watches?

With the rapid growth of the luxury watch market in the last decade, there are a tremendous number of high-end watches in circulation around the world. There are likely tens of thousands of tourbillon wristwatches out there, the vast majority of which were made in the last 20 years. And they will need servicing in the next 20 years.

Timepieces, at least those that collectors pursue, are mechanical objects. And all things mechanical need to be serviced. The gears, wheels, pinions, springs need to be cleaned and lubricated once every so often. That needs to done by a watchmaker. Overhauling a watch in a proper manner requires time, practically as much time as assembling and adjusting (but not including manufacturing) a brand new movement from scratch.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Introducing The Romain Jerome Batman-DNA For The Caped Crusader's 75th Birthday (With Specs And Price)

To mark the 75th anniversary of the first Batman comic, Romain Jerome has teamed up with DC Comics to create the Romain Jerome Batman-DNA, a limited edition of 75 pieces featuring a glow-in-the-dark, Bat signal dial.

Batman first made his appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939 but Bruce Wayne's alter ego is still an integral part of pop culture. Romain Jerome's tribute to the Dark Knight's longevity is the Romain Jerome Batman-DNA, a limited edition wristwatch with a dark, edgy aesthetic and a dial that lights up the Batman emblem at night.

Monday, 27 October 2014

EVENT: Christie's Art Forum on Watch Collecting in Singapore on 1 November 2014

Four panellists will discuss watch collecting at the Christie's Art Forum on 1 November, organised by Christie's and Watches By SJX. The forum will take place alongside the preview of the Autumn 2014 watch auctions.

The panel will discuss the topic "What is the value in time?", exploring what value, or values, collectors seek in timepieces. Given the moderation underway in the luxury watch market, this is a particularly salient topic.

Moderated by SJX, the panel will comprises key personalities from all corners of the horological universe: Michael Tay, Executive Director of The Hour Glass, South East Asia's largest watch retailer; Timothy Yong, an investment banker by day and watch collector by night; and Alexandre Bigler, Consultant at Christie's watch department.

Taking place at 11 am on Saturday, 1 November 2014, the event is open to all registered guests. Due to the venue, space is limited, so register early with Christie's.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Hands-On With The IWC Portofino Midsize - Engineered For Ladies, Quietly (Review, Photos And Pricing)

IWC recently unveiled the Portofino Midsize, a trio of timepieces in smaller cases, even with diamonds and mother-of-pearl dials. Despite being engineered for men, the Portofino Midsize watches are intended for women in all but name.

Best known for its men's watches, IWC has a small selection of timepieces for ladies, though they are not widely known. The brand is famous for its tagline - "Engineered for men" - and has built its success on masculine timepieces like the Portuguese or Pilot's. The new Portofino Midsize watches is a well executed attempt to secure more real estate on the female wrist.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Introducing The Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, To The 20th Anniversary Of A. Lange & Söhne's Iconic Timepiece

For the 20th anniversary of its signature Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne unveils the limited edition Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, featuring a platinum case with a black champlevé enamel dial and hack seconds tourbillon.

20 years ago A. Lange & Söhne presented its first collection of four watches, including the timepiece that would become its most recognisable, the Lange 1. That put the resurrected brand name of A. Lange & Söhne back on the horological map, establishing it as the flag bearer of high-end German watchmaking. To commemorate that 20th anniversary, Lange has gone back to its archives and brought back a timepiece from its recent past in the form of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Introducing The Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve (With Specs And Price)

Baume & Mercier continues to grow its collection of mechanically sophisticated timepieces with the Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve, a limited edition for the brand's 185th anniversary, powered by a movement made by IWC.

To mark the 185 years since the founding of Baume & Mercier, the Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve joins the Clifton Flying Tourbillon in the brand's line-up of more complicated timepieces. The aesthetic is typical of the Clifton line, a look inspired by mid-twentieth century wristwatches, classical and clean.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Vacheron Constantin Opens Its Flagship Boutique In Singapore, Plus An Upcoming Minute Repeater Exhibition

Vacheron Constantin has just opened its boutique located in the ION Orchard mall in Singapore. At over 2000 square feet, complete with a resident watchmaker, the new store will be the brand's flagship store on the Orchard Road shopping belt.

Singapore, the city state that is the watch capital of South-East Asia now has a second Vacheron Constantin boutique. Located on the second level of ION Orchard, the new store will offer the complete range of Vacheron Constantin timepieces - both new and old - as well as services, with a watchmaker in-store. Several new timepieces from the 2014 collection will also make their premiere at the store, like the Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Collection Excellence Platine.

Up Close With The Breguet Classique Chronometrie 10 Hz Ref. 7727 - A 21st Century Precision Chronometer (With Photos And Price)

Breguet made history with the Classique Chronometrie Ref. 7727, the first wristwatch on the market with a magnetic escapement. Equipped with magnets to secure the balance staff, the Classique Chronometrie also has a silicon escapement running at 10 Hz, resulting in an exemplary daily rate of just -1 to +3.

Breguet unveiled the Classique Chronometrie 7727 in 2012, becoming first to market with a mechanical timepiece using magnets for the escapement. The concept is simple: tiny magnets on each endstone of the balance staff keep it in place, pulling it back upright when the balance is displaced by shocks. Where large balance wheels, overcoils and free sprung balance wheels were the norm in historic attempts to improve chronometry, the Classique Chronometrie is a distinctly modern approach.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Introducing The Chopard Mille Miglia Porsche Club of America, A Limited Edition For The PCA's 60th Anniversary (With Specs And Price)

To mark its 60th anniversary in 2015, the Porsche Club of America worked with Chopard to create a Mille Miglia chronograph for club members.

Founded in 1955, the Porsche Club of America (PCA) is the world's largest single brand car club. For its 60th anniversary next year PCA just unveiled the Chopard Mille Miglia PCA limited edition, a self-winding chronograph with blue dial and the PCA logo on the back.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Introducing The Patek Philippe Multi-Scale Chronograph, A Vintage Style Chronograph For Its 175th Anniversary (With Specs And Price)

One of the more affordably priced - relatively speaking - limited editions in the Patek Philippe 175th anniversary collection is the Multi-Scale Chronograph, References 5975 and 4675. Styled like a vintage timepiece, it's a self-winding chronograph with a single seconds hand and three logarithmic scales to measure speed, distance and heartbeats. 

As Patek Philippe took the covers off its much awaited 175th anniversary collection, significant interest fell on the Multi-Scale Chronograph (Ref. 5975 in the mens' version and Ref. 4675 for the ladies' model), for two likely reasons. For one it is amongst the most affordable of the 175th anniversary range, starting at 53,000 Swiss francs. And also because it is a chronograph, which is the most popular complication, especially for male watch enthusiasts.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hands-On With The Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM587 (With Photos And Price)

Panerai's most successful speciality has always been historical remakes made in small numbers, just like the new Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM587.

Panerai's history in watchmaking essentially boils down to two models: the wire-lug Radiomir of the thirties and the later Luminor with its signature crown locking mechanism that came in the subsequent decade. But in between the two was a transitional model, essentially a Luminor without the crown locking device. That timepiece is the basis for the whole Radiomir 1940 collection, including the brand new Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM00587.