Sunday, 31 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: HYT H2 by Renaud & Papi - hydro-mechanical watchmaking

HYT has just premiered its second hydro-mechanical wristwatch, the H2, created in collaboration with AP Renaud & Papi. This is essentially a more elaborate version of the earlier H1, with added functions conceived by AP R&P like its crown function selector.

As with the HYT H1, the hours are indicated by the meniscus of two fluids in a tube running around the edge of the dial.

Baselworld 2013: Chopard L.U.C Engine One H

Chopard took the LUC Engine One tourbillon, flipped it lengthwise to create the new LUC Engine One H. Not especially creative but it works, the new Engine One H looks much more attractive and original than its predecessor which resembled a cross between a Daniel Roth and Richard Mille.

Inside is essentially the same calibre as the original Engine One, but with cosmetic improvements. The L.U.C 04.02-L movement is styled with the groves on the bridges and base plate inspired by cylinder heads.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Hands-on with the Piaget Emperador Coussin Minute Repeater - the world's thinnest minute repeater (with live photos and price)

Piaget's flagship of its SIHH 2013 collection is the Emperador Coussin Minute Repeater, the brand's first in-house minute repeater. It also has the distinction of being the thinnest self-winding repeater on the market, standing just 9.4 mm high.

Piaget is of course well known for its ultra-thin calibres, and this repeater is based on the 1200P movement. With the minute repeater integrated into the movement - the 1200P was constructed to allow for complications - the calibre becomes the 1290P.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Explaining the innovative and long-awaited Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement

First mooted several years ago, the Girard-Perregaux Constant Escapement has finally arrived. Though it appears inordinately complicated, the GP Constant Escapement actually works on a fairly simple principle thanks to a silicon blade.

A miniscule blade of silicon, inside the buttterfly-shaped silicon frame is linked to the escape lever. As the escape wheel locks and unlocks, the silicon blade flexes, with each side of the blade buckling in the opposite direction.

Friday, 22 March 2013

IWC Introduces Unique IWC Portuguese 7 Days in Platinum Tribeca Film Festival

IWC has made it a habit of turning out numerous limited editions of its Big Pilot in various colours, most recently with the Big Pilot Perpetual in red gold. Perhaps too many editions have been produced. So for the upcoming Tribeca Film Festival IWC has created a unique Portuguese Automatic 7 Days with the same incomparable cal. 5000 movement as the Big Pilot, which will be auctioned at Antiquorum in New York on April 10.

This platinum 7 Days has a slate dial with maroon sub-dials, and rose gold numerals. And the logo has a gold medallion with the logo of the Tribeca Film Festival.

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Bulova Calibrator with user adjustable regulator

At Baselworld 2013 Bulova will present the Accutron Calibrator. By inserting a key into the socket at nine o'clock, the wearer can adjust the rate of the watch. Bulova calls this the External Fine Adjustment System (EFAS).

I don't have the details of exactly how this works yet, but I assume the mechanism allows the regulator index to be moved by the key. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Breva Génie 01 with altimeter and barometer

Breva is a new independent watch brand founded by clothing entrepreneur Vincent Dupontreué. The brand's first watch is the Génie 01, constructed by Jean-François Mojon of Chronode, whose works include the MB&F Legacy Machine 1, the HYT H1 and the Urban Jurgensen P8.

The Génie 01 is the first wristwatch with mechanical altimeter and barometer, both of which are displayed on the dial.

Baselworld 2013: Hublot Big Bang Caviar in red gold and steel

The Hublot Big Bang Caviar - bling on a budget - is now available in red gold or steel. The bezels are faceted and polished, and also available set with diamonds.

News: Hublot Big Bang Depeche Mode

Depeche Mode and Hublot have collaborated to create a watch to benefit charity: water, an organisation that works to bring drinking water to the poor in third world nations. The Hublot Big Bang Depeche Mode is part of the Depeche Mode 2013-2014 Delta Machine Tour.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Tourbillon cufflinks in new colours

The tourbillon cufflinks from TF Est. 1968 are now available in new, brighter colours, including red and  purple carbon fibre.

Inside each cufflink is the carriage of a flying tourbillon; these do not run, they are fixed. Such  tourbillon cufflinks are fun novelty items for the watch aficionado.

Monday, 18 March 2013

News: Laurent Ferrier and Meissen Italia partnership

Laurent Ferrier has entered into a partnership with the Italian subsidiary of German porcelain maker Meissen. For a start two unique Laurent Ferrier Galet Secret Tourbillons with Meissen porcelain dials, one with the dragon motif pictured below, will be unveiled at Baselworld 2013.

Customers will also be able to order custom porcelain dials, and next year Laurent Ferrier will unveil the first collection created together with Meissen Italia.

News: Lange Pour le Merite Tourbillon white gold hammers for record CHF338,500

A Lange Pour le Merite Tourbillon in white gold just hammered for CHF338,500 at the Antiquorum Geneva sale on Sunday. That's equivalent to about USD358,000, EUR276,500 or SGD447,000. 

Only 19 Tourbillon Pour le Merite were made in white gold, with another 130 in yellow and rose gold (most were yellow), 50 in platinum and one in steel.

This is a record for the timepiece, which has seen steadily rising values at auction, as evidenced by recent sales of platinum and yellow gold specimens.

Baselworld 2013: Antoine Martin Slowrunner with oversize 24 mm, 1 Hz balance

Antoine Martin, the independent co-founded by Martin Braun (who formerly ran his eponymously named firm that was part of Franck Muller Watchland), has just premiered the Slowrunner, a wristwatch with both the largest, and slowest beat, balance in the world.

Equipped with a free-sprung, 24 mm diameter titanium balance wheel, the Slowrunner runs at 1 Hz or 7200 bph, a quarter the frequency of the typical 4 Hz or 28,800 bph mechanical movement. And in addition the escapement and hairspring are made of silicon.

Introducing The IWC Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph Laureus Edition

IWC has just announced the seventh Laureus Sport for Good Foundation watch. This year the distinctive metallic blue dial of the Laureus series is applied to the Portuguese Yacht Club Chronograph in a limited edition of 1000 pieces.

As with the earlier Laureus editions, the Yacht Club Laureus has the engraving which reproduces a drawing done by 12 year old Hakkini Hasanga Sandumal De Silva from Sri Lanka. The boy won the Laureus contest for drawings based on the theme "Time to Move".

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Girard Perregaux Bi-Axial Tourbillon DLC Titanium

Girard Perregaux offers a sneak peek at its Baselworld 2013 - the brand's first year at Baselworld after being acquired by PPR - line-up with the announcement of the Bi-Axial Tourbillon with a DLC coated titanium case, in a limited edition of eight pieces.

Equipped with twin cages, the inner one rotating once every 45 seconds and the outer one in one minute and 15 seconds, it draws on the brand's history with the Three Gold Bridges tourbillons with two straight bridges for the barrel and centre wheel and a third bridge on the tourbillon cage.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Hands-on with the Montblanc Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours (live pics and pricing)

At SIHH Montblanc presented the Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours, the latest in the Rieussec line of chronographs that is arguably Montblanc's most distinctive wristwatch range. The Nicolas Rieussec Rising Hours has the same chronograph mechanism as its siblings, what sets it apart is the wandering hours display with an integrated day and night indicator.

At 12 o'clock is the aperture showing the hour display which is a brushed, silver disc with Arabic numberals and a red arrow that points to the current hour. 

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Introducing the Jaeger-LeCoultre Atmos Hermès clock

Jaeger-LeCoultre has just announced the Hermes edition of its famed Atmos clock. Housed in a crystal ball made by Les Cristalleries de St. Louis, the luxury glassmaker owned by Hermes, the clock is a limited edition of just 176 pieces.

Lined with white enamel, the 10 kilo crystal housing of the clock is made with the complex double overlay technique; several layers of glass are laid over each other, including a coloured layer.

Hands on with the Ulysse Nardin Freak 10th Anniversary limited edition (exclusive live photos and pricing)

Ten years ago Ulysse-Nardin unveiled what is arguably its greatest timepiece, the Freak. This carrousel tourbillon with the movement sitting on top of the massive mainspring has become synonymous with UN and its late leader, Rolf Schnyder. 

For the Freak's 10th anniversary, UN has created a 20 piece limited edition Freak in rose gold in collaboration with its Singapore retailer The Hour Glass, the first time UN has created a special Freak series for a specific retailer.

Monday, 11 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Introducing the Arnold & Son Time Pyramid skeleton (with specs and pricing)

Arnold & Son, which was acquired by Citizen of Japan last year, has just announced the Time Pyramid at Baselworld 2013. A skeleton watch with the movement laid out in a triangular form, the Pyramid is inspired by the standing English skeleton clocks of the nineteenth century which had a similar movement shape.

Sandwiched between two sapphire crystals is the open-worked A&S 1615 movement, developed by La Joux-Perret, the sister company of Arnold & Son (and also now owned by Citizen).

Baselworld 2013: Teaser for HYT H2 by Renaud & Papi

HYT caused quite a stir at Baselworld 2012 with the H1, a hydro-mechanical timepiece with the hours indicated by the meniscus of two fluids. At Baselworld 2013 in a month HYT will unveil the H1, created in collaboration with Giulio Papi and his team at AP Renaud & Papi (APRP). In the meantime here's a teaser. Stay tuned for more.


Hands-on with the AP Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication, the $750,000 Offshore with Everything You Need (live pics and pricing)

At SIHH 2013, Audemars Piguet presented the Royal Oak Offshore Grande Complication - with perpetual calendar, split seconds chronograph and minute repeater - as its flagship new product. It is the most complicated Offshore ever, though not entirely new.

Back in 1992, Audemars Piguet unveiled its Triple Complication, which had a perpetual calendar, chronograph and minute repeater. AP later added a split seconds function to the movement, turning it into the Grande Complication. This is the first time the Grande Complication cal. 2885 movement is used inside the Offshore case.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Up Close With The Greubel Forsey Double Balancier 35° - the only GF without a tourbillon

Officially the Greubel Forsey Double Balancier 35° is the first GF watch without a tourbillon, though the brand did quietly create an edition of six double, superimposed balance wheel watches for London retailer Marcus last year. Though similar in principle to the Marcus watch, the Double Balancier 35° uses a different movement.

The Double Balancier 35° has two inclined balance wheels, one at nine and at other at five o'clock. Though each is inclined at 35°, their position means they are on different planes. That means neither balance is likely to be in a vertical or horizontal position when the watch is stationary.

Saturday, 9 March 2013

Hans-On With The Panerai Luminor Submersible Power Reserve Bronzo PAM507 (live photos and pricing)

Two years ago Panerai unveiled the first Bronzo, the PAM382 Submersible. As expected for a Panerai with a unusual case material, demand was tremendous and outstripped supply. Unsurprisingly, Panerai has used the same marine bronze alloy once again for the Luminor Submersible Power Reserve Bronzo PAM507, which was launched at SIHH 2013.

The new Bronzo PAM507 is nearly identical to its predecessors. The case is identical to the PAM382, a 47 mm, bronze Submersible case with unidirectional bezel.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Up Close With The IWC Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance (with pics and pricing)

IWC uses carbon fibre, or more specifically carbon fiber-reinforced polymer, for the case and dial of the Ingenieur Automatic Carbon Performance, making it the brand's first carbon fibre watch. Launched at SIHH 2013, this is made as part of IWC's tie-up with the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team. 

Carbon fibre is light - a useful property for large watch cases - and has directional strength, though neither as shock resistant or malleable as steel. One way of manufacturing carbon fiber-reinforced polymer is laying the resin-soaked, carbon fibre sheets out in the required form, before being baked in an autoclave. This is the process IWC uses, and it is also the same method used to make the monocoque shell of F1 cars.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Corum Ti Bridge Automatic Dual Winder

As a preview for its Baselworld 2013 collection Corum has unveiled the Ti Bridge Automatic. Like the rest of the Corum Golden Bridge line, this has a compact movement laid out in a line, barrel, gear train and escapement run from one end of the case to the other. The calibre is suspended in the case by four titanium beams, giving it the aesthetic of a piece of industrial engineering.

In addition, it has an unusual automatic winding mechanism, with twin, connected rotors like steam locomotive wheels. 

Hands-on with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Master Calendar from SIHH 2013 (pricing and live photos)

At SIHH 2013 Jaeger-LeCoultre presented a tidy collection of watches, with one of the standouts being the new Master Calendar. Taking inspiration from the Master Moon of the nineties (itself inspired by triple calendar watches of the thirties to fifties), the revamped Master Calendar is a conservative, but not boring, and well priced.

The silverered dial is sunburst brushed, with applied indices. All the calendar indications are legibly display, along with the moon phase at six; all the calendar displays are set by pushers in the case. 

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Breitling for Bentley Light Body Midnight Carbon

At the Geneva Motor Show underway now, Breitling announced the latest Breitling for Bentley watch, the Light Body Midnight Carbon. The 49 mm case is titanium with a black carbon coating. Compared to many of the earlier Breitling for Bentley watches which were large and shiny, this is positively quiet, perhaps reflecting a trend in car design as well.

Inside is the COSC-certified cal. 25B, which has a ETA 2892 base but with a chronograph module proprietary to Breitling. What makes it unusual is its 30-second chronograph: the central chronograph seconds makes one round in 30 seconds, instead of a minute. That means the watch can record up to 1/8 of a second.

Baselworld 2013: Maurice Lacroix Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse

Maurice Lacroix has just announced the Masterpiece Seconde Mystérieuse with an unusual mystery seconds. Seemingly floating against a stark white sub-dial, the seconds hand rotates on its own axis, around the seconds sub-dial.

The skeletonised ML215 movement is developed and made in-house, though I believe it uses the gear train of the Unitas 6498.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Tissot Heritage Navigator 160th Anniversary (with price)

For the its 160th anniversary, Tissot will issue a remake of its 1953 Navigator world time watch. To be launched officially at Baselworld 2013 in a month, the Tissot Heritage Navigator 160th Anniversary is a COSC certified chronometer displaying 24 time zones in addition to local time.

Two dials are available, silver and black. The silver version definitely looks more vintage.

News: Lange "State of the Art Tradition" Exhibition closes tomorrow (plus live venue photos)

Tomorrow, 5 March, is the final day of the Lange "State of the Art Tradition" Exhibition at ION Orchard mall in Singapore.

In addition to the entire SIHH 2013 collection which is on display, the exhibiton also includes live demonstrations of watch assembly, engraving and finishing.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Profile: Introducing Keaton Myrick And The American Chronometer

Doing his part to revive American watchmaking is Keaton Myrick, an up and coming American independent watchmaker. Having recently finished the first working sample of his own wristwatch, the Oregon native's fascination with timepieces started with the humble Swatch.

“These watches had the translucent cases, and sometimes dials, and you could just kind of see the inner workings,” he says, “This was enough to pique my interest and I can attest that more than one of those watches was sacrificed to satisfy my curiosity."

After high school he decided to pursue watchmaking as a career. Now 31 years old, Keaton attended the Lititz Watch Technicum (LWT) in Pennsylvania, after which he spent some time as a watchmaker with Rolex before returning to his hometown of Bend, Oregon, to set up a watch restoration business.

Friday, 1 March 2013

Baselworld 2013: Hamilton Jazzmaster Face2face

At Baselworld 2013 Hamilton will launch the Hamilton Jazzmaster Face2face, a reversible, double-faced wristwatch. Inside the massive 53 mm by 44 mm oval case are two automatic ETA movements, placed side by side. 

On the right is the small 10 1/2 '" ETA 2094 chronograph calibre (the same as in the Rado R-One) with a grey tinted sapphire dial, and on the left is the ETA 2671 automatic fixed to  silvered dial.