Monday, 31 January 2011

A pair of Seiko "shrouded" watches

 The SDBX011 1000 m automatic diver's and the H601-5480 "Arnie". They are apples and oranges but the familial resemblance is immediately clear.

On the one hand the SBDX011 is a mid-range diver with the 8L35 automatic movement that is similar to the more refined 9S55 of the Grand Seiko. It also has a titanium case and ceramic shroud. In contrast the Arnie has a plastic shroud, replaced here with an aftermarket one in powder-coated aluminium, and a dual analog/digital, multifunction movement.

The Arnie, however, has more celebrity provenance as it might have been worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger in some of his 1980s and 1990s action flicks. Also known as the Arnie is the almost identical H5558-5000 which was definitely worn in Commando and Predator.

These shrouded watches are probably the closest Seiko has to an iconic sports one, albeit one that is recognised by a very small audience.


My full report on SIHH 2011

Covering 20 brands in 500 photos and 10,000 words.

Click here to see it.


Friday, 28 January 2011

Panerai at SIHH 2011

One of my favourites from Panerai's SIHH 2011 range is the Luminor 1950 PAM372 in steel with the new in-house P.3000 calibre (left). The PAM382 Submersible in Bronze is even more intriguing though when new it resembles rose gold. More in my full report soon.



PAM382 Submersible Bronzo

Thursday, 27 January 2011

IWC Portofino at SIHH 2011

IWC unveiled the new Portofino 8 days Hand Wound at SIHH featuring a new in-house calibre, along with a revamped Portofino line. 

Notably the new watch comes on an antiqued Santoni leather strap. More soon.


De Bethune in Geneva

De Bethune exhibited concurrently with SIHH 2011 in Geneva. Three new models were shown, the DB25T dead seconds tourbillon (left), DB28 and DB10. The DB10 is an entry level model that harks back to the first De Bethune watches. More in my full report soon.


The DB10

The stunning DB28

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Cartier at SIHH 2011

I am still working through nearly 2000 photos from SIHH 2011 but here is a peek at Cartier's offerings. I especially like the Santos Dumont Skeleton in ADLC titanium, the Pasha Tourbillon and the Tortue Jaguar. The Tortue is part of the Metier d'Art series and features a hand-engraved relief dial and case depicting a jaguar with incredible detail.

See my full report on my Cartier forum soon.


Monday, 24 January 2011

Cartier in the New York Times

Luxury goods writer Sonia Kolesnikov-Jessop writes about Cartier's move towards becoming a respected, technical watchmaker. There is a even a quote yours truly inside. Click here to read the article.


Saturday, 15 January 2011

Panerai Radiomir Tourbillon GMT PAM325 for The Hour Glass

Made in a limited edition of eight pieces for Singapore retailer The Hour Glass' 30th anniversary, the PAM 325 is a Radiomir Tourbillon GMT in rose gold with tobacco dial.

The most striking difference between this and the regular Panerai tourbillon is the lack of a subdial at three o'clock, an improvement in my opinion.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

IWC presents the new Portofino

IWC will present two brand new Portofino models in 2011, with the flagship of the range being the new Portofino Hand-Wound Eight Days (Ref. 5101). Available in rose gold or steel, the new Portofino Eight Days displays the date and power reserve on the dial, while the cal. 59210 movement is visible from the back. That movement is a variant of IWC's admired cal. 5000 automatic 8 days movement. This new addition to the Portofino line turns the Portofino line from an afterthought into a serious contender in the overall IWC line-up.

The other new Portofino model is the Portofino Dual Time (Ref. 3610). Both the current models in the Portofino line-up, the Chronograph and Automatic, will be revamped for 2011. In addition, all Portofino watches will be available with the optional Milanese mesh bracelet as well. And the two new models, the Eight Days and Dual Time, will also be presented on antiqued leather straps made by Italian shoemaker Santoni.


Above: The new cal. 59210 of the Portofino Eight Days

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Hublot Big Bang King Power

A few photos of the Hublot Big Bang King Power in rose gold. This watch possesses a great level of detail in its construction, particularly on the case and dial.


Saturday, 8 January 2011

Explaining How Hairsprings are Made at A. Lange & Söhne

One of the most interesting processes at the Lange factory in Glashütte is the manufacture of hairsprings, a surprisingly labour intensive process for a small and seemingly simple part. Lange is one of only a handful of brands which are able to manufacture their own hairsprings.

The hairspring workshop at Lange Uhren

Since 2003, starting with the Double Split, Lange has been making hairsprings in its manufacture in Glashütte. Production is only sufficient to for portion of its production, so the in-house hairsprings mainly end up in high-end, complicated models like the Tourbograph, Datograph Perpetual and Zeitwerk.

Friday, 7 January 2011

Just in from La Chaux-de-Fonds: A new clip of the Astroregulateur

This was just sent to me by Cartier. Earlier I posted a clip of the Astroregulateur prototype, here's a video of the refined 9800 MC which will be shown at SIHH later this month. Note the smooth motion of the rotor compared to the earlier video.


Thursday, 6 January 2011

Photo essay: Chopard L.U.C. Tech Fleurier

A quick look at the beautiful cal. 9.96 of the Chopard L.U.C. Tech Fleurier. Certified with the Qualite Fleurier seal for timekeeping and finishing, the 9.96 movement is based on the 1.96 movement which was Chopard's first in-house calibre. With a distinctive micro-rotor, It is only 3.3 mm high with double barrels and a 65 hours power reserve.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

The Zenith Christophe Colomb Tourbillon

Featuring an escapement mounted on gimbals, as in a marine chronometer or gyroscope, the Zenith Christophe Colomb Tourbillon is a unique beast. It keeps the escapement level at all times. An interesting and innovative concept that takes the idea behind the tourbillon further. This is a limited edition of 25 pieces.


News: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Roue Carrée Seconde with square gears

To be presented at Baselworld 2011, the Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Roue Carrée Seconde features a pair of rotating, enmeshed square wheels on the dial. Conceived by watchmaker Michel Vermot, who is now head of Movement Development at ML, the wheels are made by LiGA technology, a photolithography technique also used to make silicon parts for movements.

This is the first time square wheels have been used on a production watch. According to ML, "The square wheel, whose corners and contours mesh with the same precision as its circular counterparts, is activated by a toothed clover-leaf wheel and turns continuously to create an extremely dynamic visual effect."

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Introducing The Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour Le Mérite, A Regulator-Dial Tourbillon With Chain And Fusee

Lange has just unveiled the the Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Merite, a tourbillon with a regulator dial inspired by a pocket watch created by 18th century Saxon horologist Johann Heinrich Seyffert. 

The Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite features a tourbillon, chain-and-fusee mechanism as well as a patented hack seconds device for the tourbillon. And like all the tourbillons in the Pour le Mérite series, this has a diamond endstone.

Hands-on with the Laurent Ferrier Genève Galet Classic Tourbillon Double Spiral

A newly launched independent brand that has made waves for its classical watchmaking, Laurent Ferrier, was named after the former head of Product Development at Patek Philippe. He set up the company collaboration with Michel Navas and Enrico Barbasini (the "N" and "B" from the now defunct BNB Concept), who designed the brand's first movement, the Galet Classic Tourbillon.

The watch is utterly elegant and clean on the dial, while the back reveals the glories of the movement crafted and finished in traditional Geneva style. Notice the traditional details like the click for the barrel.