Tuesday, 30 September 2014

VIDEO: Cartier "Shape Your Time"

"Shape Your Time" is a short video inspired by Cartier's watchmaking, with clever animations, dramatic music and many references to the brand's history.

Cartier regularly creates lavish short films and the latest is "Shape Your Time", a 90-second clip that begins in the brand's historical watchmaking workshop in Paris, before a journey into a future depicting a Ballon Bleu-shaped space station.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Introducing The A. Lange & Söhne Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite In White Gold With Blued Steel Hands (With Specs And Price)

For the first time Lange has made the Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite with chain and fusée available in white gold, combined with blued steel hands, as a boutique-only edition.

Unveiled at the opening of A. Lange & Söhne's boutique in New York City, the new Richard Lange Tourbillon Pour le Mérite is in white gold, a metal never before used for this model. In fact, the only other Pour le Merite tourbillon in white gold was the desirable first edition.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Now In Black DLC, The Self-Monitoring Urwerk EMC (With Specs And Price)

The world's first mechanical wristwatch with an electronic rate monitor and user adjustability, the Urwerk EMC is now available with a DLC-coated steel and titanium case in the brand's signature all-black aesthetic.

Launched last year, the Urwerk EMC combined electronics and traditional watchmaking. Originally available only in steel, EMC buyers now have the option of a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated steel case with a titanium back. This combines an matte black case with neon yellow markings to create a look favoured by fans of the brand.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Richemont Posts Flat Five Months Results, Reflecting Continued Weakness In Watch Market

Richemont recently announced its results for the five months to the end of August, showing tepid sales growth, with a contraction in Asia and Japan.

Echoing the slowdown evident in Richemont's 2013 results, the figures for the five months to 31 August, announced at its recent annual general meeting, are similarly desultory. 

Revenue at actual exchange rates grew just 1%, due to the weakness of the US dollar and yen versus the Euro. Sales in Asia and Japan both fell, by 2% and 14% respectively. Growth in the Americas, Europe and the Middle East made up for the weakness in Asia. Wholesale sales (meaning product sold to retailers) fell by 1%, though retail sales (items sold through Richemont's own boutiques) rose 3%. 

Notably, the report mentioned strong performance at Van Cleef & Arpels, along with slow watch sales at Cartier. We predicted this slowdown in an editorial earlier this year. And we expect this to last for some time more.

Also announced at the AGM was the retirement of the 80 year old Franco Cologni from Richemont's board, after 45 years at Richemont and its predecessor companies. One of the key people in the formation of the company and its philosophy of luxury marketing, Dr Cologni has left behind an impressive machine.

Presenting Jewellery Time 2014 in Singapore - The Biggest Display Of Jewelled Watches In SE Asia

On 26 September, Cortina Watch will inaugurate the seventh edition of Jewellery Time  in Singapore. One of the largest collections of jewelled timepieces in the region, Jewellery Time includes several timepieces created just for the event.

Since 2000 Cortina Watch has Jewellery Time in Singapore to bring together some of the most lavished gem-set watches. Jewellery Time 2014 starts on 26 September, with 12 brands participating and over S$30 million dollars of timepieces on display.

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Introducing The A. Lange & Söhne Langematik Perpetual, For The First Time In White Gold With A Black Dial (With Specs And Price)

Unveiled at the inauguration of its Moscow boutique, Lange has now made its Langematik Perpetual available for the first time in white gold, with a black dial, a colour combination typically found only in platinum models.

Historically black dials have only been available with platinum-case Lange watches, like the Datograph for instance, or limited editions. The vast majority of Lange timepieces have silver-tone dials. But now Lange has unveiled the Langematik Perpetual in white gold with a striking black dial (ref. 310.026). 

Hermès "Of Mastery and Time" Exhibition Of Artisanal Crafts Opens In Singapore

Of Mastery and Time is an exhibition of timepieces featuring several rare artisanal crafts, including a handful unique to Hermès in watchmaking, like engraved crystal and millefiori glass. The exhibition runs from 25 September till 5 October. 

Hermès will present its metier d'art timepieces in an exhibition titled Of Mastery and Time, running until 5 October. Rather than complications, it is a showcase of Hermes timepieces decorated with a variety of techniques. The exhibits include exquisite timepieces with enamel dials by Anita Porchet.

Monday, 22 September 2014

REVIEW: Loupe System - The Quest For A Perfect Loupe

Conceived by a watch collector for fellow enthusiasts, Loupe System is a 6x magnification loupe. Here our contributor Eric Ho reviews the base model in the Loupe System line-up, the Model 01, and compares it to the competition from he likes of Leica, Zeiss and Nikon. 

Age and eyesight have an inversely proportional relationship well demonstrated over time. Presbyopia hit me at the moment I turned 40, and the first years of adjustment were trial and error experiments with various eyewear, mobile phone, and computer font configurations. The usual eyesight constraints were made worse by an addiction to all things miniature and their accompanying details.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Hands-On With The Patek Philippe 5940G, A Tastefully Detailed Perpetual Calendar (With Live Photos And Price)

One of the Baselworld 2014 introductions, the Patek Philippe Ref. 5940G is a cushion-shaped perpetual calendar in white gold with a tastefully executed dial, powered by the calibre 240 Q.

First introduced in yellow gold as the 5940J two years ago, Patek Philippe added the white gold ref. 5940G to the collection this year. The case is carré-shaped (French for square) with the perpetual calendar laid out in the 3-6-9 format typical of the calibre 240 Q. 
Even though the 5940G has little novelty in design or mechanism, it is a very attractive timepiece. 

One-Of-A-Kind Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra For 50th Anniversary Of Goldfinger Sells For $114,000

To mark the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film Goldfinger, Omega created a unique Seamaster Aqua Terra in yellow gold which sold for 70,000 pounds sterling, all of which went to British charity NSPCC.

50 years ago Goldfinger was released, becoming one of the most memorable in the James Bond series. To mark the anniversary Christie's and film studio Eon Productions held an online-only sale of objects created for the occasion on 17 September , including a one-of-a-kind Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra made almost entirely of 18k yellow gold.

Friday, 19 September 2014

EXCLUSIVE: Introducing The Zenith El Primero 410 Singapore Edition, In Blue With A Vintage-Style Logo (With Live Photos, Specs And Price)

To mark the opening of its first boutique in Singapore, Zenith has created a limited edition of its signature triple calendar chronograph, the El Primero 410, featuring a deep blue dial with the retro-style italic dial script. Here's an exclusive first look at the watch in the metal.

A rendition of Zenith's classic triple calendar-chronograph with a subtle twist, the the El Primero 410 Singapore Edition is a 45-piece limited edition made for Zenith's first store in Singapore. The Singapore Edition has two unique features, the more obvious being the striking deep blue dial, a darker shade of blue than found in other Zenith timepieces. 

A more subtle detail is the "El Primero" in italic script, exactly the same style as found on vintage Zenith chronographs. The El Primero 410 Singapore Edition is the only timepiece in the Zenith collection now with this retro-style logo.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

Introducing The MB&F HM5 CarbonMacrolon, The First Ever Machine In Carbon Nanotube Polycarbonate (With Specs And Price)

MB&F has finally unveiled its first timepiece in an exotic material, the HM5 CarbonMacrolon in polycarbonate resin reinforced with carbon nanotubes, a dense and hard material that looks and feels like steel.

Though MB&F has made black coated timepieces in the past, they were made of traditional alloys like titanium and gold. Now for the first time the brand has turned to alternative materials of the sort popular with its peers with the HM5 CarbonMacrolon.

Inspired by the seventies Lamborghini Miura and styled as the driver's watch of the future, the HM5 is now available in polycarbonate, a hard plastic also known as Makrolon and used to layer bulletproof glass, strengthened with carbon nanotubes.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Hands-On With The Longines Heritage 1935, Compared With The Czech Air Force Original (With Live Photos And Price)

Modelled on the wristwatch made for the Czech Air Force in the thirties, the Longines Heritage 1935 is the latest addition to the brand's successful line of reissue timepieces. The Heritage has all the key characteristics of the original, with some prominent differences.

Longines, as it is wont to do, unveiled a remake of its Czech Air Force wristwatch at Baselworld 2014. Like the original, the Heritage 1935 is a large, cushion-shaped timepiece with a typical pilot's watch dial. 

Though little known outside military watch collecting circles, the Longines Czech Air Force is one of the most distinctive pilot's watches ever made. Supplied to Czech aviators from 1935 to the mid-forties, the timepiece was 41 mm in diameter, enormous for the time. 

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Introducing The H. Moser Endeavour Dual Time Special Edition - A Monochromatic Travel Timepiece Sold Only In Hong Kong (With Price)

Created for the brand's Hong Kong retailer, the H. Moser Endeavour Dual Time Special Edition has an unusual monochromatic aesthetic, with a DLC-coated titanium case and matte ruthenium-plated dial.

H. Moser & Cie. timepieces are typically spare, offering the bare minimum but functional. Based on the Nomad, the new Endeavour Dual Time Special Edition strips even the colour from the timepiece, leaving behind a starkly simple timepiece.

Monday, 15 September 2014

Introducing The F.P. Journe Chronomètre Bleu Byblos Limited Edition, In Tantalum With An Open-Worked Dial (With Specs And Price)

Created for the opening of the tenth F.P. Journe boutique worldwide in Lebanon, the Chronomètre Bleu Byblos features an open-worked dial revealing the guilloche base plate, inside a tantalum case.

Notably for a small scale independent watchmaker with an annual output is 700 to 800 watches, F.P. Journe has 10 boutiques worldwide, with the most recent opening in Beirut, Lebanon. To mark the opening of its first boutique in the Middle East, F.P. Journe has created the Chronomètre Bleu Byblos.

Hublot Pop-Up Store Opens Singapore 16-22 September 2014

Hublot Nation, a pop-up store dedicated to all things Hublot, is open from September 16 to 22. The exhibition includes timepieces like the Big Bang Ferrari White Ceramic and even accessories like pens and cufflinks. 

Timed to coincide with the 2014 Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix on the weekend of 20 September, the Hublot pop-up store includes the premiere of the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Firmament, with a dial made of osmium, an extremely rare metal. Other highlights include the Classic Fusion Tourbillon Skull, with a case in ceramised aluminium.

Hublot Nation runs from September 16 to 22 at Atrium 2 of Paragon Shopping Mall on Orchard Road. It is open to the public daily from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Explaining The Panerai P.9000 Automatic Movement - We Take It Apart And Put It All Back Together

As part of a Panerai watchmaking class, we took apart and then successfully reassembled the Panerai P.9000 automatic movement. The experience was revealing - both in terms of the skill required by a true watchmaker, but also in the details and construction of the calibre P.9000.

The calibre P.9000 is the Panerai's workhorse movement - self-winding with twin barrels and a three day power reserve. It serves as the base for several other complications, including a GMT and chronograph. Variants of the base calibre including the P.90001 to 9003, as well as the P.9100 chronograph.

At 13 3/4 lignes wide and 7.9 mm high, it is a large and thick movement, with similar dimensions to the Valjoux 7750 chronograph calibre. In fact, it is intended as a replacement for the 7750-based OP III that was once the movement inside most automatic Panerai watches.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

What The Watch Industry Thinks Of The Apple Watch

Unveiled two days ago to a global media frenzy, the Apple Watch is now the most discussed wristwatch in the world right now. What will it do to mechanical watchmaking? We ask the watchmakers themselves. 

Much has been said about the Apple Watch, but little from the watchmakers who craft pricey mechanical timepieces. So we asked an array of luminaries in mechanical watchmaking what they thought. 

Representing a diverse cross section of the industry, ranging from independent watchmakers like Max Busser and Stephen Forsey, to retailers like Michael Tay, to brand chiefs like Wilhelm Schmid of Lange and Zenith's Aldo Magada. Here are opinions from the key players at every level of modern fine watchmaking.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Explaining The Apple Watch From A Watch Nerd's Perspective

Apple has just announced its long awaited Apple Watch, a sleek, oblong touchscreen smart watch that functions as an extension of the iPhone. It's available in three metals, with the big surprise being models yellow or rose gold. 

Finally the Apple smart watch is here. Not the iWatch as many expected, but the more prosaic Apple Watch. It's loaded with features, including the usual like mail and messages, but also health apps and a mobile wallet. And most intriguingly, Apple also introduced versions in hardened, 18k gold.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Introducing The Nomos Zurich World-Timer True Blue, Featuring In-House Escapement (With Specs And Price)

Featuring a new, galvanised blue dial, the Nomos Zurich World-Timer True Blue boasts the in-house, Nomos Swing System escapement - all for the same price as the existing Zürich Weltzeit.

Nomos announced the Swing System, its in-house escapement, at Baselworld 2014, one of the key steps in its vertical integration. Now the Nomos Swing System been put in an automatic watch for the first time - it was previously used only in manual wind movements - inside the new Zürich Weltzeit nachtblau ("World-Timer Night Blue").

The Zürich Weltzeit shows local time on the main hands, and home time on a disc at three o'clock, just beside a red home icon. A button at two o'clock advances the local time and cities disc by one hour intervals.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

NEWS: Phillips Auctioneers To Introduce Watch Sales As Part Of Ambitious Expansion

Auctioneers Phillips, a distant third in the contemporary art market, will soon start watch sales as part of ambitious expansion plans led by new management and funded by Mercury Group, the largest luxury retailer in Russia. Talk in the industry is that Christie's watch department alumnus will soon join Phillips.

Acquired by Mercury Group in 2008, Phillips auctioneers is now gearing up to take on market leaders Christie's and Sotheby's in art, and also watches. Edward Dolman, formerly the chairman and chief executive at Christie's, took on the same roles at Phillips in July. In a story outlining Phillips' expansion plans, The New York Times quoted Mr Dolman saying that “class-leading” watch auctions will soon be part of Phillips' repertoire, confirming what many in the watch industry have believed for some time.

Earlier this year, the Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie magazine wondered out loud - echoing what many in the business were saying - if Aurel Bacs, the charismatic former head of watches at Christie's, is returning to Phillips. Bacs was Phillips' head of watches until he decamped for Christie's in 2003.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Hands-On With The Hamilton Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono, A Convertible Bullhead Pilot's Watch (With Live Photos And Price)

A convertible bullhead pilot's chronograph created in collaboration with the Swiss alpine rescue service, the Hamilton Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono Limited Edition can be turned into a desk or aircraft clock with a simple twist. 

Secured with a twist and lock mechanism like those found in SLR camera lenses, the Hamilton Khaki Takeoff Auto Chrono is actually a convertible wristwatch. The movement is housed inside a removable case, which can also fit into a desk display stand or the dashboard of a helicopter or airplane.

Friday, 5 September 2014

CONTEST: Pit Your Reaction Speed Against F1 Driver Kevin Magnussen And Win A Pair Of Paddock Tickets To The Singapore Grand Prix

In the lead up to the 2014 Singapore Grand Prix TAG Heuer is running a contest where any member of the public can test their reaction speeds on a Batak machine. The top three contestants then go head to head with Formula One driver Kevin Magnussen on 18 September, with a prize of a pair of $9300 paddock tickets.

The 2014 Formula One Night Race in Singapore takes place from 19 to 21 September and TAG Heuer has installed a Batak machine in its Wisma Atria boutique to find the fastest pair of hands in Singapore. 

Used to develop Formula One drivers' hand-eye coordination and reaction times, a Batak machine comprises several LEDs on a steel frame that light up at random, with the player having to strike each LED as quickly as possible. A large LED screen in the centre counts each hit.

Introducing the H. Moser Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time, With Double Hairspring And Modular Tourbillon (With Specs And Price)

H. Moser & Cie has just unveiled its first ever tourbillon, the Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time, equipped with a new in-house movement that features not just the Straumann double hairspring but also boasts the world's first modular tourbillon.

The first glimpse of the new Venturer line from H. Moser & Cie was at Baselworld 2014, and now that includes the brand's most complicated watch ever: the Venturer Tourbillon Dual Time. Self-winding with a GMT function, the Venturer tourbillon is more notable for its interchangeable, modular tourbillon, which also features the Straumann Double Hairspring.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Introducing The Longines Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph (With Pricing)

Based on a vintage timepiece made for Swissair pilots in the fifties, the Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph combines both a 24 hour dial and a monopusher chronograph function, for an unusual vintage-style pilot's timepiece.

In the Longines museum sits an oversized watch created for the navigators of Swissair in the fifties. Featuring an unusual 24 hour dial, only a few dozen were made, but Longines created a reissue in 2011. Now Longines has combined that distinctive dial with its single button chronograph movement in the Twenty-Four Hours Single Push-Piece Chronograph. Longines excels at affordable, attractive vintage-inspired timepieces, and this is yet another.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Hands-On With The Ralph Lauren Black Safari Flying Tourbillon (With Live Photos And Price)

Powered by a movement made by La Fabrique du Temps, the Ralph Lauren Black Safari Flying Tourbillon has a black finished case and a burl wood dial inlay, an aesthetic inspired by a Bugatti 57SC coupe from the designer's legendary car collection.

Ralph Lauren is not a name synonymous with watches. Despite their technical and aesthetic merits, the brand's horological endeavours have met with a tepid response. Putting the branding aside, Ralph Lauren watches are well made and designed, with most equipped with respectable calibres from Richemont brands like IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

For its latest complication Ralph Lauren once again relies on outside expertise. The he Black Safari Flying Tourbillon has inside the RL167 movement, a self-winding, flying tourbillon movement made by La Fabrique du Temps. Now owned by LVMH, they are the outfit that brought you the wonderful timepieces of Laurent Ferrier.

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Introducing The Luminox SXC GMT In Carbon Fibre Reinforced Polycarbonate, For Under US$600 (With Specs And Price)

Created in collaboration with commercial space flight provider Xcor, the Luminox SXC PC Carbon GMT is a dual time zone wristwatch with tritium tube illumination and a carbon composite case.

Luminox, best known as the maker of affordable timepieces created in partnership with the US Navy Seals, will supply the official timepieces to the passengers and pilots on the Lynx space shuttle built by XCOR, a manufacturer of spacecraft for commercial space flight. Cased in carbon reinforced polycarbonate, the SXC PC Carbon GMT is a quartz, dual time wristwatch.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Pre-W&W 2014: Introducing the Vacheron Constantin Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Collection Excellence Platine (With Specs And Price)

With a platinum case, dial and buckle, the Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Collection Excellence Platine combines the precious alloy with useful petit complications, in a 100 piece limited edition.

Soon to be launched at Watches&Wonders 2014 in Hong Kong, dubbed the mini-SIHH in Asia, the Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Collection Excellence Platine (CEP) will be the second CEP timepiece Vacheron Constantin will present at the fair, the other being the World Time Collection Excellence Platine