Friday, 12 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Roger Dubuis

Ladies' watches made up almost the entire line-up unveiled by Roger Dubuis at SIHH 2016, with the Velvet wristwatch presented in a diverse range of styles. Here's all you need to know about its new watches, complete with original photography and prices. 

For a brand best known for its oversized men's watches with tourbillons, Roger Dubuis' about-face to focus on ladies' timepieces at SIHH 2016 is significant, perhaps implying there are limits to the market for high-end men's watches. All of the ladies' watches introduced this year are surprisingly diverse variants of the Velvet, ranging from one in carbon composite to others decorated in enamelled blossoms.

Thursday, 11 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Piaget

Piaget presented a small collection with two unusual watches at SIHH 2016, one being the thinnest high jewellery watch, and the other a novel mechanical movement with an electronic regulator. Here's all you need to know about its new watches, complete with original photography and prices. 

With the luxury watch market lacklustre, Piaget's SIHH 2016 line-up of watches was compact, with its new jewellery additions more numerous. Unsurprisingly, one of the new watches was a record-setting ultra-thin watch. Being the maker of the thinnest mechanical watch, and also the thinnest chronograph, Piaget claimed yet another title in the slimness stakes with the Altiplano 900D, the slimness high jewellery timepiece. 

Hublot Introduces the Big Bang Unico Sapphire

Hublot has just announced its first ever all-sapphire Big Bang Chronograph, with the case middle, bezel and back made of clear sapphire crystal. Here are the details, including the price.

In a preview of what it has in store for Baselworld 2016, Hublot has revealed its first ever chronograph in sapphire crystal. The Big Bang Unico Sapphire is an almost completely transparent watch, with most of the case machined from clear sapphire crystal, with a few components in titanium and clear resin. 

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Parmigiani

Parmgiani continued to impress with new in-house movements - including the 70-day power reserve Senfine concept - as well as exceptionally elaborate haute horlogerie complications at SIHH 2016. Here's all you need to know about its new watches, complete with original photography and prices. 

Being a vertically integrated and financially independent watchmaker, Parmigiani has the liberty to do what it likes, and the results are usually admirable. True to form Parmigiani's line-up at SIHH 2016 was heavy on top of the line high complications, but also included two impressive new movements.

Speake-Marin Introduces the Resilience Limited Edition in Black Enamel

Featuring a dial in glossy black enamel, the new Resilience in red gold is a limited edition of just eight watches. You'll find specs and the price below.

Named "Resilience" because its vitreous enamel dial is fade resistant and lasts almost forever, the original model bearing that name was fitted with a white enamel dial. Now Speake-Marin has made a small run of Resilience watches with a black enamel dial, a colour scarcely used because of the difficulty in producing it.

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Panerai

Panerai stayed true to form for 2016, with a new line-up comprising watches inspired by "tropical" dial vintage originals, as well as a new, entry-level and in-house movement. Here's all you need to know about its new watches, complete with original photography and prices. 

More than most Panerai is a brand heavily reliant on its heritage, and so it was at SIHH 2016, with Panerai taking inspiration from the past, near and distant. And in line with its recent direction of the brand, much of the focus is on aesthetics, rather than new movements.

Eberhard & Co. Creates Chronograph for Omani Armed Forces

Eberhard & Co. has been tasked with producing a series of chronographs for the officers of the Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces, featuring a desert camouflage dial.

With the Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said of Oman a recognised watch collector with a significant collection - not to mention the Rolex wristwatches with Omani crests that command huge premiums at auctions - the fact that officers of the sultanate's armed forces will be issued an Eberhart & Co. chronograph is no surprise. The Sultan of Oman's Armed Forces has commission a limited series of the Camouflage Contograf featuring a desert camouflage motif dial, with the emblem of the Omani armed forces on the case back.

Monday, 8 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Montblanc

At SIHH 2016 Montblanc continued its strategy of classically styled watches, back by fiercely competitive pricing, including with its new 4810 range. Here's all you need to know about its new watches, complete with original photography and prices. 

Of the brands that exhibit at SIHH, Montblanc has been the most aggressive in pursuing a strategy of affordability, ensuring all its watches are priced competitively. Each year sees Montblanc introduce a new complication that's the lowest priced in its segment, something that continued at SIHH 2016.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Jaeger-LeCoultre

SIHH 2016 was all about the Reverso, with Jaeger-LeCoultre giving the line a makeover that included tweaking the signature case for better ergonomics. Here's all you need to know, complete with original photography and prices. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre celebrated the 85th anniversary of the Reverso at SIHH 2016, marking the occasion with a streamlined line-up of Reverso watches, with the option of customising certain models. While the classic Reverso look remains, the new watches have a distinctive new character, along with a slightly redesigned case. Also notable is that fact that Jaeger-LeCoultre did not present a significant new complicated timepiece, as it did at past fairs. The prudent and measured approach to the 2016 line-up echoes what was found at IWC.

Christie's to Sell Wristwatches Worn in James Bond's Spectre

A host of props, costumes and memorabilia from the latest James Bond film Spectre will soon go under the hammer to raise funds for various charities. Amongst the 24 lots are three wristwatches, including the Omega Seamaster 300 worn by Daniel Craig.

Christie's in London will soon offer for sale objects from Spectre at James Bond Spectre – The Auction, a thematic sale dedicated to the 2016 James Bond film. The most important timepiece in the sale is undoubtedly the Omega Seamaster 300 Spectre (lot 9) worn by Daniel Craig in the film, one of just eight prototypes made. Estimated at £15,000 to £20,000, history suggests it will sell for significantly more - the last watch worn by Craig in a film went for over US$250,000.

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: IWC

Traditionalists will like the new IWC Pilot's Watches, which made up the entirety of its offerings at SIHH 2016. The face-lifted aviator's timepieces are styled more attractively, and also more affordable. Here's all you need to know, complete with original photography and prices. 

IWC face-lifted its entire line of Pilot's Watches at SIHH 2016, giving existing models a makeover that tended towards the unfussy and practical. And IWC also adding a handful of new watches to the line-up, namely the Pilot’s Watch Timezoner Chronograph and a smaller pilot's watch for ladies. Importantly, the new Pilot's Watches are mostly priced lower than the models they replace.

Friday, 5 February 2016

Introducing the Speake-Marin Veshelda Gothic One-Handed Wristwatch

Speake-Marin's novel, single-hand Veshelda is now available in titanium, with a vitreous enamel dial featuring Gothic numerals.

One of the earliest wristwatches made by Peter Speake-Marin was the Shimoda, a one-handed wristwatch named after the Japanese client that ordered it. Two years ago Speake-Marin revived the idea with the Veshelda that will be face-lifted for Baselworld 2016. The Veshelda Gothic new and improved: the case is lightweight titanium while the dial is fired enamel.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Greubel Forsey

At SIHH 2016, Greubel Forsey made itself more accessible - relatively speaking - with the time-only Signature 1, presented alongside a variant of its double balance wheel timepiece. Here's all you need to know, complete with original photography and prices.

Best known as a specialist in exquisite, exotic and expensive tourbillons, Greubel Forsey introduced its first ever time-only wristwatch at SIHH 2016 - a sign of the times perhaps. Named the Signature 1, this entry-level wristwatch is hand-wound and features an extra-large balance wheel, and is naturally decorated to the usual exceptional standard typical of Greubel Forsey.

Bernard Madoff's Patek Philippe Ref. 130 Chronographs Up For Sale

A pair of vintage Patek Philippe wristwatch chronographs once owned by Ponzi schemer Bernard Madoff will soon go under the hammer, along with jewellery.

Photo Gaston & Sheehan Auctioneers

Seized by the U.S. Marshals Service from convicted fraudster Bernard Madoff, the two Patek Philippe ref. 130 watches will be sold at auction on February 16, along with jewellery that once belonged to Madoff's wife.

Introducing the Omega Speedmaster Moonphase Master Co-Axial

Omega has bestowed its latest generation Master Co-Axial movement on the Speedmaster, along with a moon phase so detailed it reveals an astronaut's footprint on its surface. You'll find details and the price below.

At Baselworld 2016 next month Omega will unveil the Speedmaster Moonphase Master Chronometer, an enhanced version of its classic with a moon phase display at six o'clock. It's powered by the newest Omega movement, the calibre 9904, which includes all of the brand's innovations, including exceptional magnetism resistance and an Si14 silicon hairspring.

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Up Close with the Patek Philippe Grand Complication Ref. 5951P-013

The most complicated, integrated chronograph made by Patek Philippe, the ref. 5951P is compact but offers much to admire. We go up close with it, complete with detailed photographs of the movement.

First unveiled in 2010 with a funky, and arguably ill-suited, red and black dial, the ref. 5951P subsequently evolved into a more pleasing version with Breguet numerals. Featuring the Geneva watchmaker's top of the line chronograph movement topped with a perpetual calendar module, the ref. 5951P is a example of what Patek Philippe does best - traditional, high-end watchmaking.

Hands-On with the Omega Globemaster Master Co-Axial (With Original Photos & Price)

Styled after the vintage Omega Constellation, the Globemaster may be vintage-inspired but it's powered by a cutting edge movement. Here's a hands-on look at the Globemaster, complete with review, photos and prices.

Introduced at Baselworld in March 2015, the Omega Globemaster is only just reaching stores. Though lacking the pop culture credentials of the Speedmaster Snoopy or Seamaster 300 Spectre, the Globemaster Master Chronometer is arguably Omega's most significant wristwatch of 2015, being the culmination of a decade long effort to develop a more robust and reliable movement.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Jaquet Droz Introduces the Grande Seconde Off-Centered in Onyx & Stainless Steel

The emblematic Jaquet Droz Grande Seconde will soon be available in a more affordable guise with the introduction of a stainless steel model at Baselworld 2016. Here's a quick rundown, including the price.

Historically available only in gold with lavish dials like paillonne enamel, Jaquet Droz will introduce the very first Grande Seconde in stainless steel at Baselworld 2016. It joins the Grande Heure Miunte Quantieme introduced last year as a more accessibly priced, entry-level model.

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Baume & Mercier

Baume & Mercier was all about chronographs at SIHH 2016, with a line-up that is made up of a new Shelby Cobra limited edition and the top of the line Clifton chronograph with triple calendar. Here's all you need to know, complete with original photography and prices.

Unusual amongst all the brands that exhibited at SIHH 2016 is Baume & Mercier for the sole reason that it is a brand focused on affordable watches, though more competition is up ahead as fellow SIHH brands reposition their wares in response to the market. The new additions to Baume & Mercier's collection of men's watches for the year were all chronographs and remain accessibly priced.

Monday, 1 February 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Cartier

With lots of affordable watches and a sprinkling of high-end complications, Cartier had something for everyone at SIHH 2016, with its flagship Drive de Cartier managing to be different yet traditional at the same time. Here's all you need to know, complete with original photography and prices.

Like many other brands at SIHH 2016, Cartier's offerings went back to basics, or more specifically, back to its roots. Much of its line-up was instantly recognisable as Cartier, including the newly designed, cushion-shaped Drive de Cartier. Even the watches with a more modern bent, like the Santos 100 Carbon, will please traditionalists.

Saturday, 30 January 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: Audemars Piguet

Audemars Piguet stuck to its guns at SIHH 2016, but nonetheless put out a diverse line-up. Here's a personal take on the offerings from Audemars Piguet, including original photos and prices.

Despite being heavily centred on the inescapable Royal Oak, the line-up Audemars Piguet presented at SIHH 2016 was varied and interesting, with the exceptionally sonorous Royal Oak Concept Supersonnerie being one of the highlights of the fair. The 2016 offerings from Audemars Piguet continues the strategy - capping production, models and distribution - that has put the brand in a strong position despite the slowdown in the luxury watch business.

Friday, 29 January 2016

Louis Vuitton Introduces Skeleton Tourbillon Wristwatch with Geneva Seal

Equipped with a new skeletonised calibre, the Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève is the first Louis Vuitton wristwatch to bear the Geneva quality hallmark.

Since it acquired independent watchmaker La Fabrique du Temps and installed the team at an expansive facility in Geneva, Louis Vuitton has been steadily growing its line of watches. While it just unveiled the entry-level LV Fifty Five earlier this month, the Parisian trunk maker  has just revealed its ambitions at the other end of the spectrum with the Flying Tourbillon Poinçon de Genève.

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

SIHH 2016 Personal Perspectives: A. Lange & Söhne

A. Lange & Söhne put on a good show at SIHH 2016, with a small but well segmented line-up that included the outstanding Richard Lange Jumping SecondsHere's a personal take on the offerings from Lange, including original photos and prices.

A. Lange & Söhne's line-up at SIHH 2016 stuck was business as usual: at the top of the collection a vastly expensive, highly complicated watch (the Datograph Perpetual Tourbillon), followed by timepieces that are progressively more affordable. At the affordable end the Saxonia Moon Phase is a likeable watch, but the real star of the range is the Richard Lange Jumping Seconds.

Monday, 25 January 2016

SIHH 2016: Personal Perspective and Highlights from the Independent Watchmakers

With SIHH 2016 having just closed its doors, it's now time to take stock of what happened during the weeklong Geneva fair. Here's a roundup of what took place at the inaugural Carre des Horlogers, the area dedicated to independent watchmakers at SIHH 2016.

Nine independent watchmaker were part of SIHH for the first time, exhibiting in their own area of the hall known as the Carre des Horlogers, or "square of watchmakers". Contrary to naysayers' expectations, the independents were given prominent billing, with the carre sitting near the entrance to the fair, nearby Greubel Forsey and Richard Mille, the two giants of independent watchmaking that have been part of SIHH for several years. There was no shortage of traffic to the square during SIHH 2016, and the independents inside were mostly pleased with the turnout.

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Bulgari Reimagines a Classic with the Serpenti Incantati

Shaped like a snake around the wrist, the Bulgari's signature ladies' wristwatch has been given a subtle twist with the Serpenti Incantati. Here's a preview before it makes its debut at Baselworld 2016, including prices.

One of the most distinctive ladies' timepieces ever, the original Bulgari Serpenti is an elegantly simple idea - a snake encircling the wrist as a bracelet, with a watch movement in the snake's head. Soon to be launched at Baselworld 2016, the Serpenti Incantati - translating as "enchanted snakes" - transforms the serpentine form into something more subtle, shrinking it to go around the face of the watch.