Friday, 28 December 2012

A Visit With Hajime Asaoka, Independent Watchmaking In Tokyo

Hajime Asaoka is a Japanese independent watchmaker who only recently began making timepieces. Entirely self-taught, he works out of a converted apartment in Tokyo which is equipped to make nearly all of the components required for his timepieces.

Best known for his manual-wind wristwatch with a 16 mm balance wheel, Asaoka recently he unveiled his collaboration with contemporary artist Takashi Murakami. A few weeks ago I managed to visit Asaoka-san at his atelier.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Introducing the Seiko Presage 100th Anniversary fired enamel dial (with specs and price)

A few weeks ago Seiko announced a pair of limited edition watches for the 100th anniversary of the first Seiko wristwatch, the Laurel. These Presage limited editions have fired enamel dials in white with a red XII, in a nod to the 1913 Laurel wristwatch. Think of this as a Credor Eichi on a budget.

Seiko Presage limited edition with the Laurel of 1913

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

SIHH 2013: Ballon Bleu de Cartier Tourbillon Double Jumping Time Zones (live photos and prices)

The most notable of the SIHH 2013 watches previewed by Cartier so far is without a doubt the Ballon Bleu de Cartier Tourbillon Double Jumping Time Zones. As the name implies, this is a flying tourbillon with twin, jump hour time zones.

Ballon Bleu de Cartier Tourbillon Double Jumping Time Zones in rose gold

SIHH 2013: Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph (live pics and pricing)

An addition to Cartier's Fine Watchmaking range for SIHH 2013 is the Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph. Using the 1904CH MC in-house movement with the addition of a perpetual calendar module, the new Rotonde fills a niche that was empty till now.

Rotonde de Cartier Perpetual Calendar Chronograph in white gold

Monday, 24 December 2012

SIHH 2013: Introducing the Calibre de Cartier Chronograph, equipped with Cartier's new in-house chronograph movement (live pics and pricing)

Next year Cartier will finally take the covers off the Calibre de Cartier Chronograph, the new entry level, in-house chronograph for Cartier, equipped with the new 1904CH MC automatic movement.

The Calibre de Cartier Chronograph is the brand's first in-house chronograph in the entry level price segment. In contrast to its predecessors like the Santos 100 which used ETA calibres, the Calibre de Cartier Chronograph utilises the 1904CH MC movement.

SIHH 2013: Introducing The Cartier Crash On Bracelet

Next year at SIHH, Cartier will unveil its iconic Crash with a tear drop-link bracelet. Previously only available with a strap, the new Crash will be available in two guises. Either with a diamond set bezel (150 diamonds totalling 2.15 carats), or with diamonds on the bezel as well as bracelet (471 diamonds totalling 4.27 carats).

Both versions will be available in white or pink gold. In each metal, the diamond set bezel Crash is limited to 267 pieces and the fully set Crash is limited to 67 pieces.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

News: Blancier Grand Cru Nespresso capsule watch

Blancier is a small brand that sells watches assembled from off the shelf parts that come from Asian suppliers. There are countless other outfits doing the same online. Their latest product, however, is unusual - the dial is a flattened Nespresso capsule.

News: IWC Big Pilot Perpetual red gold with gold dial

IWC has just announced a new variant of its Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar. This has a red gold case with a matching gold dial. The specs are identical to the regular Big Pilot perpetual calendar: 46.2 mm diameter and 15.8 mm height.

IWC Big Pilot's Watch Perpetual Calendar Boutique Edition

SIHH 2013: Thinnest automatic repeater in the world - Piaget Emperador Coussin Minute Repeater (with live pictures and pricing)

At SIHH in January Piaget will become the latest Richemont brand to boast of an in-house minute repeater. It will officially unveil the Emperador Coussin Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater. At 9.4 mm high, this is the thinnest minute repeater today. 

Also, the cushion-shaped case is also water-resistant to 30 m, which is unusual for a minute repeater with a slide. This is the second striking watch from Piaget, the first being a grande et petite sonnerie developed by FP Journe for Piaget in the nineties.

Piaget Emperador Coussin Ultra-Thin Minute Repeater

Inside is the in-house 1290P calibre, which stands at only 4.8 mm high - that is remarkably slim. Built on the 1200P ultra thin movement, the minute repeater movement is a micro-rotor automatic, with a 40 hour power reserve.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Introducing The Hajime Asaoka X Takashi Murakami "Death Takes No Bridges" Tourbillon

Japanese independent watchmaker Hajime Asaoka has just announced his collaboration with contemporary artist Takashi Murakami, the result of which is the Asaoka × Murakami "Death takes no bribes" Tourbillon, a fusion of contemporary art and Japanese haute horlogerie.

Asaoka × Murakami Tourbillon

The Asaoka × Murakami tourbillon wristwatch was designed by Mr Murakami but made almost entirely by Mr Asaoka in his Tokyo atelier. This is a beautiful blend of top level watchmaking and funky contemporary art.

Friday, 14 December 2012

SIHH 2013: Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours

For 2013 Montblanc has another addition to the successful Nicolas Rieussec line of chronographs. The Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours with the MB R220 calibre features a novel day and night indicator at 12 o'clock.

Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours

In the aperture at noon is the wandering hours, but what makes this unusual is the integrated day and night display. The hours is comprised of two discs, the top one with the hour numerals cut out, and a lower disc that is shaded half in black and the other half in light blue.

News: Urwerk 202 to star in Jackie Chan's latest movie

Jackie Chan, as well as four of his co-stars, will sport the Urwerk 202 AlTiN in his upcoming film, CZ12, or Chinese Zodiac. The 202 is of course the predecessor of the recently unveiled UR-210.

Here are photos of Mr Chan with the 202, taken during the Beijing launch of the film.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Introducing the Döttling Guardian, bulletproof portable watch case

Döttling, the German maker of over the top watch storage, now offers a practically indestructible portable watch case.

The Döttling Guardian in its natural environ ment

The inner core of the Guardian is made from carbide, covered with aramide carbon fabric and polycarbonate. And the lid is actually a miniature safe door with a three digit key lock.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

News: Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio PAM530

Panerai has announced several new models since SIHH in January, most notably a pair of composite Radiomirs and the Luminor Submersible Amagnetic. It has just unveiled yet another new model for the year, the Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio PAM530.

Panerai Luminor 1950 Rattrapante 8 Days Titanio PAM00530

Hands-on with the Lange Grand Lange 1 Lumen (live photos and price)

Yesterday Lange unveiled the Grand Lange 1 Lumen limited edition. Similar in style to the Zeitwerk Luminous Phantom, which was a smash hit, the Grand Lange 1 Lumen retains the iconic Lange 1 style but looks thorough modern. Here are live photos of the prototype.

Grande Lange 1 Lumen

Compared to the Zeitwerk Phantom, which had an almost black tinted dial, the Grand Lange 1 Lumen has a grey tint, which easily reveals the date mechanism underneath.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Introducing the new Girard-Perregaux Sea Hawk and Chrono Hawk sport watches

Girard-Perregaux has revamped the Sea Hawk diver's watch. Water-resistant to 1000 m, the Sea Hawk has a 44 steel case with a helium escape valve. The bezel, case ring and crown are coated in rubber. The retail price is USD11,350.

GP Sea Hawk

Also new is the Chrono Hawk. It has identical specs as the Sea Hawk - 44 mm case, 1000 m water resistant and so on - but with the addition of a 30-minute chronograph. 

SIHH 2013: Grand Lange 1 "Lumen" with luminous big date

The first of Lange's new collection which will be presented at SIHH 2013 has just been unveiled. Obviously taking inspiration from the successful Zeitwerk Luminous "Phantom", the Grand Lange 1 "Lumen" features a tinted sapphire dial, revealing the trademark Lange oversized date mechanism.

Grand Lange 1 Lumen

Because the dial is transparent, the date mechanism is now luminous, and it glows through the tinted sapphire dial.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hands-on with the MB&F HM5 "On the Road Again" (with live pictures and pricing)

MB&F has just unveiled its latest horological machine: inspired by sports cars of the seventies and the brand's new entry level machine, the Horological Machine No. 5, in zirconium.

Being a child of the seventies, Maximilian Büsser's fifth Horological Machine takes inspiration from two objects from the seventies - sports cars like the Lamborghini Miura and the Amida Digitrend. 

The MB&F HM5 is many things: a driver's watch, a jump hour, a sports watch. But above all the HM5 is a tribute to the automobile. However, rather than having a steering wheel rotor and brake caliper pushers like all other car-themed watches, HM5 has been cleverly conceived in its entirety as an automotive watch.

News: Hermes palladium pocket watch "In The Pocket"

Based on a wristwatch Jacqueline Hermès wore as a child in 1912, the new Hermes In The Pocket is a pocket watch with a leather band that transforms it into a wristwatch.

Hermes In The Pocket

Housed in a 40 mm palladium case - which grows to 49 mm when in the leather holder - the In The Pocket contains the H1837 movement, developed by Vaucher for Hermes and first seen in the Dressage H1837 launched at Basel this year.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Hands-on with the Urwerk UR-210 (with live photos and pricing)

The Urwerk 103 was an Art Deco 1930s vision of the 21st century, and this, the recently unveiled Urwerk UR-210, is a 21st century vision of tomorrow. 

Compared to all preceding Urwerk watches the UR-210 has a more angular shape, one that is immediately reminiscent of a Lamborghini or the Tumbler from Batman (especially the black AlTiN version). 

Urwerk UR-210 in steel and titanium

The UR-210 is still obviously an Urwerk, but it is significantly different in terms of design style. Preceding Urwerk watches had more rounded shapes, akin to a space craft that comes in peace, rather than a menacing ship that has come to invade. Compare theUR-210 to the brand's next most recent wristwatch, the UR-110 Torpedo, for instance.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Pre-SIHH: Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Chronograph

Apologies for the hiatus, I was travelling. Now back to regular programming - Roger Dubuis has just announced the steel Excalibur 42 Chronograph as part of its SIHH 2013 preview. 

Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Chronograph

Shown here with a blue dial that will be available only at Roger Dubuis boutiques, the new 42 mm Excalibur chronograph uses the in-house cal. RD681 with micro-rotor. Naturally the movement is (new and updated) Geneva Seal certified, as well as COSC tested.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Introducing The Patek Philippe Annual Calendar Ref. 5293G For Tiffany & Co. New York

Patek Philippe recently announced a three limited edition watches to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the Patek Philippe boutique inside the Tiffany & Co. store on Fifth Avenue in New York.

Patek Philippe 5396G Tiffany & Co.

The highlight is undoubtedly the 5396G annual calendar in white gold. 

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Hands-on with the charming Van Cleef & Arpels Poetic Wish Repeaters, a High Complication with Automata for the Ladies (with live photos and pricing)

Van Cleef & Arpels is one of the most successful brands in Richemont, so much so that its CEO, Stanislas de Quercize, will be the next CEO of Cartier. VC&A has carved out a unique identity for itself, creating stunning jewellery with Art Nouveau leanings. In watchmaking, the company has created some of the most novel feminine complications of recent years.

Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight Poetic Wish

Earlier this year VC&A unveiled the impressive and beautifully conceived Poetic Wish five minute repeating watches - which rank amongst the most notable watches of the year, across all categories and brands. 

News: Döttling Gyrowinder - 360 degree watch winder (with pricing)

Döttling, the German maker of winders ranging from the small to the enormous, has just announced the Gyrowinder, a 360 degree watch winder which works like a gyroscope.

Döttling Gyrowinder

Unlike typical winders that work on a single axis, the Gyrowinder approximates the motion of a wrist by turning in all directions.

Friday, 16 November 2012

News: Winners of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève 2012

The winners of the Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève have just been announced.

MB&F was arguably the biggest winner of the night, taking home two prizes for its Legacy Machine 1, the Men's Watch Prize and the Public Prize.

MB&F Legacy Machine 1

Thursday, 15 November 2012

News: Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite in platinum sells for EUR248,000

A few days ago a Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite in platinum, no. 20/50, sold for EUR248,000 at German auction house Dr Crott's sale in Frankfurt last week. That sum is equivalent to about USD316,000.

This continues to prove the growing desirability of the original Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite tourbillon. 

Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite in platinum

Monday, 12 November 2012

News: Apple forks over CHF20 million to Swiss Railways for use of clock face

Apple will pay SBB, Switzerland's national train operator, CHF20 million for the right to continue using the distinctive SBB clock face on its devices, according to Swiss daily Tages Anzeiger (article in German), citing sources close to the negotiations. 

Apple was already using the Swiss railway clock face in its iPads with iOS 6, without SBB's permission, much to the ire of the SBB. It took only three weeks from SBB's announcement for this settlement to be published.

Mondaine Vintage SBB with ETA 2801 hand-wind movement

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Qatari Sheikh Who Owns $11 Million Patek Graves Super-Complication Can't Afford To Pay Sotheby's

The owner of the Patek Philippe supercomplication pocket watch made for renowned collector Henry Graves, sold by Sotheby's in 1999 for a world-record US$11,002,500, has been revealed to be Sheikh Saud Bin Mohammed Bin Ali Al-Thani, a cousin of the Emir of Qatar, amidst a lawsuit over unpaid bills at Sotheby's.

The Henry Graves super-complication

This was revealed in court documents because the Sheikh has pledged assets worth US$83 million to Sotheby's to cover debt stemming from failure to pay for lots won at auction. The Sheikh was formerly the Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage of Qatar.

Friday, 9 November 2012

News: Richemont six months results and management changes

Richemont just announced its results for the six months ended 30 September 2012 and they are superb.

Amongst the highlights:
  • Sales grew 21% at actual exchange rates to EUR5.1 billion
  • Operating margin grew to 27%
  • Highest rate of sales growth was in Europe, 23% at actual exchange rates
  • Highest growth rates were in own boutiques
  • Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels together posted 31% rise in profit and a 36.7% operating margin
  • Watch maisons posted 51% rise in operating profit and a 32.2% operating margin due to "Maisons’ pricing power and operating leverage in an environment where currency fluctuations were supportive."
  • Montblanc continues to underperform with a 10% rise in sales and a 2% drop in profit; most of its growth is driven by watches and currency effects

Thursday, 8 November 2012

News: SIHH 2013 will take place from Jan 21 to 25

The official announcement of SIHH 2013 was just published. The 23rd Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie will happen from January 21 to 25, 2013, at the Geneva Palexpo.

More than 12,000 visitors, of which 1200 will be journalists, are expected. I will be there to bring you the latest.

Alongside the exhibiting brands will be the Mastery of Time exhibition, which was in Mexico City, now in London and in Paris at month's end.

And with the purchase of Sowind by PPR, Girard-Perregaux and JeanRichard are no longer part of the SIHH (which is definitely welcome news since all brands are short of space). The slimmed down list of exhibitors are:

A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Cartier, Greubel Forsey, IWC, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Montblanc, Officine Panerai, Parmigiani Fleurier, Piaget, Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille, Roger Dubuis, Vacheron Constantin, Van Cleef & Arpels


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Introducing the Speake-Marin Spirit Mark 2 (with specs and pricing)

English watchmaking has a proud history of military timepieces - think marine chronometers and WWWs - so when Peter Speake-Marin presented his take on an entry level, sporty timepiece last year with the Spirit Pioneer, it was a nod to a long history.

With a retail price of CHF9800, the limited edition of 68 pieces swiftly sold out. This year the Peter is back with the Spirit Mark 2, which is literally bigger and better than the first one.

Speake-Marin Spirit Mark 2

The Spirit Mark 2 is 42 mm in diameter, while the Spirit Pioneer was 38 mm. This is an important improvement as the earlier Spirit Pioneer seemed a big small relative to its thickness (which was the case for the all of the first generation Piccadilly watches). These new case proportions of wider and slimmer are similar to what Peter has done for the rest of his watches like the enamel dial Resilience.

Record prices achieved at the George Daniels auction

The George Daniels auction by Sotheby's in London just concluded yesterday with spectacular results. Top of the tables was the double escapement "space traveller's" pocket watch with sidereal, mean solar time and chronograph which hammered for GBP1.33 million (about USD2.12 million).

Daniels Space Traveller's watch

And the Daniels Millennium wristwatches sold for between GBP85,000 to GBP145,000, while the tourbillon with chronograph wristwatch hammered for GBP385,250.

Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Hands-on with the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in platinum (with live photos and pricing)

Though it was the new Datograph Up and Down that got most of the attention at SIHH 2012, Lange's flagship complication for the year was actually the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in platinum. 

Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar in platinum

This is a brilliant execution of the perpetual calendar; unlike the other Lange perpetuals all the displays here are arranged unconventionally but legibly and sensibly.

News: Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport in DLC for The Hour Glass

A new version of the Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport with a ADLC coated case will be made for the brand's retailer in S. E. Asia, The Hour Glass. Limited to 10 pieces, this Bugatti Super Sport has a white gold case with a dark grey coating, while the regular edition is just white gold.

Parmigiani Bugatti Super Sport The Hour Glass inspired by the Veyron 

In addition to the coated case, the dial also differs from the normal version. Here the dial is a latticework that resembles the radiator grille of a car.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Pre-SIHH: Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication in ceramic and titanium

AP recently announced one of the new models that will be launched officially at SIHH 2013, the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication in ceramic and titanium.

AP Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication

The 44 mm case is titanium, with a black ceramic bezel and rubber strap. Inside is the 648-part cal. 2885 with minute repeater, rattrapante chronograph and perpetual calendar functions.

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Hands-on with the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Watch 1 in alacrite (with live photos)

Ten years ago for the 30th anniversary of the Royal Oak, Audemars Piguet unveiled the Royal Oak Concept Watch 1 (CW1). The design of the CW1 was a drastic evolution of the Royal Oak. Also novel was the case material, alacrite 602, a cobalt-based alloy; the bezel is titanium and the strap, kevlar.

AP Royal Oak Concept Watch

But the CW1 was also a dead end in the sense that the rest of the Royal Oak line did not evolve in the same direction. This year is the 40th anniversary of the Royal Oak but the CW1 was never repeated.

The larger Royal Oaks in the form of the Offshore now look like the latest Michael Schumacher Offshore, while the classic Jumbo was just reintroduced looking almost exactly like the original 1972 Royal Oak. Alacrite was not used in any other Royal Oak model either.

Though AP did introduce two subsequent Royal Oak Concept watches, the Carbon Concept and Concept Tourbillon GMT, neither was quite as distinctive as the original CW1.

Friday, 2 November 2012

The first George Daniels Anniversary wristwatch by Roger Smith has been delievered

Roger W. Smith has just announced the delivery of the first Daniels 35th Anniversary wristwatch. Though it bears the Daniels name, this watch is made by Roger Smith, George Daniels' protege and the inheritor of his mantle.

The Daniels 35th Anniversary wristwatch
by Roger W. Smith

This series was first announced two years ago for the 35th anniversary of the co-axial escapement Daniels invented. A year after the passing of Dr Daniels - just three weeks after he approved Roger Smith's prototype of the Anniversary watch - the first of a 35 piece limited edition is ready.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Renaissance Tourbillon Minute Repeater

Peter Speake-Marin's Renaissance Tourbillon Minute Repeater was recently nominated for the Complicated Watch category of the  2012 Grand Prix d'Horlogerie de Genève.

Speake-Marin Renaissance

Unveiled earlier this year, the Renaissance is Speake-Marin's most complicated timepiece. Housed in a 44 mm rose gold Piccadilly case, the movement is supplied by La Fabrique du Temps (who are also behind the Laurent Ferrier Micro-Rotor). Each piece is unique as the movement bridges are hand-engraved with different motifs.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Hands-on with the Rado R-One limited edition, inspired by the film Tron

Inspired by the film Tron: Legacy, the Rado R-One is the wristwatch to go with the light cycle from the film. The R-One is an all ceramic chronograph with blue luminous accents on the case. Rado is better known for retro styled watches in glossy black ceramic with gold accents - the R-One is totally different and plain cool.

Rado R-One

At 46.5 mm long and 34.6 mm wide, this is a large watch. And it is fitted with a matching rubber strap (which unfortunately doesn't glow) that has a ceramic and titanium clasp. 

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Introducing the: Zenith Aeronef Type 20 in DLC for Monaco retailer Zegg & Cerlati

Zenith recently announced a five piece limited edition of the Pilot Montre d'Aéronef Type 20 for Monte Carlo retailer Zegg & Cerlati. The case of this Monaco edition is titanium with black DLC coating (the regular, 250 piece version is just plain titanium), and the dial has orange accents as well as the Zegg & Cerlati logo - I wish they would do without the logo though.

Zenith Pilot Montre d'Aéronef type 20 Zegg & Cerlati

A brand that has been alternately neglected and on a pharmaceutical high, Zenith is now making a comeback with well priced and sensible watches, exemplified by the Captain Winsor Annual Calendar.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Hands-On With The Patek Philippe Ref. 5550P Advanced Research Perpetual Calendar - Patek's First Watch With The Full Silicon Treatment

Unveiled at Baselworld 2011, the Ref. 5550P Advanced Research is the fourth and final installment of the series of watches from Patek Philippe with silicon components. This is the first Patek equipped with all its parts - escape wheel, pallet fork, balance wheel and hairspring - in silicon.

Unlike the trio of preceding Advanced Research watches which were all annual calendars, the Ref. 5550P is a perpetual calendar. The Ref. 5550P uses the silicon parts Patek Philippe developed and used in the earlier annual calendar watches.

Using a modified cal. 240 QP, the 5550P has a GyromaxSi balance wheel with adjustable gold weights, Pulsomax escape wheel and pallet fork, as well as the Spiromax hairspring. All are made of silicon, and collectively termed 'Oscillomax'. 

Thursday, 25 October 2012

News: Romain Jerome Octopus diver's watch

Romain Jerome has a somewhat chequered reputation thanks to its infamous Titanic DNA watches that are made from a steel alloy that contains steel from the wreck of the Titanic. The origin idea was from Yvan Arpa, who has gone on to similar exploits at ArtyA while dueling with his previous employer.

Romain Jerome Octopus in steel and red gold

That being said, Romain Jerome makes some serious timepieces, including a Titanic version of the Cabestan Vertical Winch Tourbillon, and also some attractive watches, like the new Octopus diver's watch.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

A Panerai Bronzo PAM382 patina, six months on

In March I posted photos of a newly acquired Panerai Bronzo PAM382. Those photos showed a watch that was only a month old, with the barest hint of a patina. The bronze case still retained its bright yellow shade.

Panerai Bronzo after six months of wear

Here are photos of that very watch, six months on. This Bronzo has been worn regularly, but carefully. Just casual wear, no extreme sports or saltwater, which we have seen the effects of on the infamous Chronopassion Bronzo.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Introducing the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore Michael Schumacher (with specs and pricing)

Audemars Piguet just announced the new Royal Oak Offshore Michael Schumacher limited edition at a press conference in Berlin. Michael Schumacher is not only a seven time Formula 1 world champion, but also a serious watch collector according to industry sources. 

From left: titanium ref. 26568IM, pink gold ref. 26568OM  and platinum ref. 26568PM

AP says Schumacher himself was "personally involved" with the design of this watch, which is certainly an upgrade from the Omega Speedmaster limited editions that were churned out year on year when he was world champion.

As is usual for ROO limited editions, this will be available in titanium, pink gold and platinum (refs. 26568IM, 26568OM and 26568PM respectively). And like previous  ROO editions, there are many design elements that subtly refer to the theme of the edition. Though the watch itself, the sum of the parts, is remarkably oversized and loud, the design elements are subtle.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

News: Panerai Radiomir 10 Days GMT limited editions in Pt, white or rose gold (with pricing)

Fresh off the press is the precious metal trio of Panerai Radiomir 10 Days GMT in platinum, white and rose gold, PAM495, PAM496 and PAM497 respectively. All are housed in the 45 mm Radiomir case with the P.2003 movement that has second time zone, power reserve and date functions. 

Applied Arabic numerals on the dial of the Radiomir 10 Days GMT in white gold (PAM496)

Unusually all three watches have sandwich dials, but with applied hour numerals, which is uncommon for Panerai.

News: Artya Werewolf Blood and Bullet for Halloween

ArtyA, the company that brought us the Bye-Bye Euro with a dial made from shredded notes, has just announced its Halloween special, the Artya Werewolf Blood and Bullet.

The press release announcing it is worth reproducing in its entirety:

Against werewolves of the Modern Age.

ArtyA’s latest unique piece combines a cut-up silver bullet; renowned for its ability to kill werewolves, and the blood of its victim.

The look is absolutely scary. The 47 mm case features a target sight engraved on the bezel and a high end automatic Swiss made movement.

The dial contains a handmade silver bullet that is forged, engraved and rubbed with garlic in Geneva during a full moon night. It also contains its victims’ blood.

The watch is created especially for Halloween, to protect us from the werewolves of modern times.

The self-deprecating humour is priceless. ArtyA watches are fairly inexpensive, and sell for CHF2400 to CHF3900 on their webstore.


ArtyA Werewolf Blood and Bullet

Monday, 15 October 2012

Introducing two new Panerai Radiomir watches in composite, the PAM504 and PAM505 (with specs and price)

Panerai recently lifted the covers off two new Composite Radiomir watches, the Radiomir Composite 3 Days (PAM504) and the Radiomir Composite Black Seal 3 Days Automatic (PAM505). That makes it three new models Panerai has announced since SIHH in January, with the first being the Luminor Submersible Antimagnetic PAM389.

Panerai Radiomir Composite 3 Days PAM00504

Because they use the simpler Panerai calibres, both of these new Radiomir Composite watches are fairly reasonable priced at about EUR6500 before tax. The first of the pair is the Radiomir Composite 3 Days PAM504 is a time-only, Historic collection model.

Hands-on with the Speake-Marin Dong Son, a special edition for Vietnam

Made for the Speake-Marin retailer in Vietnam, the Dong Son features a solid rose gold dial depicting flying egrets and warrior figures. Unusually, instead of the usual hand engraving, the Dong Son dial is created by chemical etching.

Speake-Marin Dong Son

Because of the mechanical, rather than manual, technique, the resulting dial has a very precise surface with sharply formed edges.

News: Richard Mille's fancy cufflinks

Richard Mille recently announced its line of cufflinks. They are made from titanium, with brushed and bevelled surfaces, not unlike a watch. But these are no ordinary links, for the T-bars open and close via a pair of buttons on the cufflinks. Each cufflink thus comprises 38 components. And because they are Richard Mille the price will surely be extraordinary as well (think five figure Euro price); if you have to ask...