Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Introducing the De Bethune DB27 D Polo Edition in Hardened Steel (with Pricing)

Conceived for polo players, the De Bethune DB27 D Polo Edition is made of DLC-coated hardened steel, a material resilient enough to withstand the rigours of a polo game.

While the DB27 Titan Hawk is De Bethune's entry level timepiece, the DB27 D Polo Edition is a decidedly more elaborate variant. Limited to just 10 pieces, it was made to mark the 2015 De Bethune Princely Polo Cup, a tournament held in Liechtenstein. The key feature of the DB27 D Polo Edition is the case, made from diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated steel boasting exceptional surface hardness. 

Lange Facelifts the Entry-Level Saxonia with a Dark Grey Dial (with Pricing)

The most affordable A. Lange & Söhne wristwatch just got a bit more interesting with the addition of two variants with grey dials exclusive to its boutiques.

Starting at well under US$20,000, the Saxonia is the entry-level Lange timepiece, equipped with the hand-wound L941.1 movement. And till now, the Saxonia was availably only with a conventional and modest silver dial in a smallish 35mm case. Now the entry-level Saxonia is offered in a larger, 37mm case with a dark grey dial that's just been introduced at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong.

Introducing the Panerai Luminor 1950 Titanium DLC Special Editions PAM617 "Logo" and PAM629 "California" (with Pricing)

Panerai has just announced a pair of Luminor 1950 wristwatches in DLC-coated titanium: the PAM617 with a "logo" dial and the first ever Luminor with a "California" dial PAM629.

Only just unveiled at Watches&Wonders 2015, the Panerai Luminor 1950 PAM00617 and PAM00629 are a pair of Special Editions (which mean limited edition in Panerai-speak) featuring titanium cases coated with diamond-like carbon (DLC). Both are heavy on vintage Panerai style but with a decidedly modern twist, 
continuing Panerai's recent inclination of iterating elements from vintage Panerai watches in novel combinations. The PAM629, for instance, is the first Luminor model with a California dial.

Lange Brings Back Honey Gold with 1815 Limited Edition (with Pricing)

An extra-hard yellow gold alloy exclusive to A. Lange & Söhne, honey gold makes a comeback with the 1815 “200th Anniversary F. A. Lange” limited edition.

With 2015 the bicentenary of the birth of Ferdinand Adolph Lange, founder of the eponymous German watchmaker, A. Lange & Söhne has introduced not one, but two 1815 limited editions. The first anniversary edition was in platinum and introduced in February, and the second is a very similar 1815 in honey gold that just made its debut at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong.

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Inspired by the Dark Knight, Introducing the Romain Jerome Spacecraft Batman (with Pricing)

Romain Jerome and DC Comics join forces to unveil the Spacecraft Batman, a wristwatch inspired by the "Tumbler" Batmobile. 

Made entirely from black-coated titanium, the Spacecraft Batman is the second Dark Knight-inspired wristwatch from Romain Jerome. It indicates the time via a horizontal jumping hour on the front, with the minutes shown on the top of the case.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Ten Highlights From Phillips "The Geneva Watch Auction: Two", Including Roger Moore's Submariner from "Live and Let Die"

Phillips' The Geneva Watch Auction: Two takes place in November 2015, with a compact but impressive line-up of watches slated to go under the hammer, including the Rolex Submariner Ref. 5513 with a buzzsaw bezel worn by Roger Moore.

The up and comer in the world of international watch auctions, Phillips is holding its second Geneva watch auction November 7 and 8, 2015, alongside the Only Watch charity sale. Led by Sam Hines and Aurel Bacs, the auctioneer will offer some 200 lots at the The Geneva Watch Auction: Two, including James Bond's Rolex, an Hermes Paul Newman Daytona, and a stainless steel Patek Philippe Ref. 1436 split-seconds chronograph. Here are 10 highlights from the sale, the second after the successful inaugural Geneva sale in May 2015.

Hands-On with the Vacheron Constantin Harmony Dual Time, the Entry-Level Anniversary Limited Edition

The entry-level timepiece in the Vacheron Constantin 260th Anniversary line-up, the Harmony Dual Time is an easy to use travel watch with a finely constructed movement.

Vacheron Constantin marked its 260th anniversary this year with the most complicated watch ever, and also the cushion-shaped Harmony collection. That encompasses the exquisite US$369,200 Harmony Ultra-Thin Grande Complication Chronograph, but also the more affordable Harmony Dual Time seen here.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

VIDEO: In Conversation with Georges Kern, CEO of IWC Schaffhausen

IWC chief executive Georges Kern discusses a variety of topics with candour and clarity, speaking on subjects as diverse as IWC's evolution into a "warmer" brand as well as pricing in the era of volatile exchange rates.

Having led IWC to exceptional success since he took the helm in 2002 - IWC is now the largest, pure play watch brand in the Richemont luxury conglomerate - Georges Kern is the subject of our first video interview. 

Jaquet Droz Introduces the Petite Heure Minute with an Eggshell Mosaic Dial

Jaquet Droz brings the art of eggshell mosaic to watchmaking with the Petite Heure Minute Mosaic Elephant, a limited edition of just eight watches.

Inspired by the eggshell mosaic technique found in Vietnamese lacquerware, the dial of the Petite Heure Minute Mosaic Elephant is comprised of some 2000 tiny pieces of quail eggshell. In the tradition of elaborately decorated dials characteristic of Jaquet Droz, the dial entirely created with minuscule fragments of eggshell, depicting an elephant against an expanse of paddy fields.

Hands-On with the Manufacture Royale 1770 Voltige - Elevating the Balance Wheel and Escapement

Independent watchmaker Manufacture Royale recently introduced its entry-level timepiece, the 1770 Voltige, featuring a self-winding movement that has an oversized balance wheel, along with the escapement, on the dial.

A time-only wristwatch with an unusual movement, the 1770 Voltige is the simplest watch to emerge so far from Manufacture Royale. French for aerobatics, Voltige refers to the balance wheel and escapement that are elevated into prominence on the dial. Extra-large with a diameter of 14mm, the balance is thin and made from a lightweight alloy, beating at a serene 21,600 beats per hour.

Friday, 25 September 2015

Panerai Unveils Radiomir 1940 42mm with New P.1000 Movement That Just Might Be a Ladies' Watch (with Pricing)

Slated to be officially introduced at Watches&Wonders 2015, the new Radiomir 1940 3 Days is 42mm, and paired with a lime green strap on the steel version. And it's also the first model equipped with the new P.1000 movement featuring a zero-reset stop seconds.

A year ago Panerai brought us the Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM587, a replica of the transitional model that formed the bridge between the Radiomir and Luminor wristwatches. Now at Watches&Wonders 2015, the Radiomir 1940 will be introduced in a completely new guise with the Radiomir 1940 3 Days 42mm, offered in steel (PAM574) or red gold (PAM575).

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Up Close With The Cartier Rêves de Panthères, a Charming "Feminine Complication" (With Original Photos & Price)

A dazzling, diamond-set wristwatch with a charming day and night time display, the Rêves de Panthères is one of Cartier's latest "feminine complications". 

Rêves de Panthères, "Dreams of Panthers", is a charming ladies' wristwatch that combines Cartier's signature panther motif with a day and night complication. Instead of an hour hand, half of the dial is occupied by a disc that indicates the hours.

Chopard Revives Ferdinand Berthoud, Introduces Tourbillon with Chain and Fusée (with Pricing)

A tourbillon with a chain and fusée constant force transmission, the FB 1 Chronometer is the first wristwatch from Ferdinand Berthoud, a grand old name in watchmaking that has been resurrected by Chopard.

A long dormant name in watchmaking, Ferdinand Berthoud is now back in business, thanks to Chopard. Conceived as a specialist manufacturer of top of the line complications, Ferdinand Berthoud makes it debut with the FB 1 Chronometer, a wristwatch powered by a newly developed movement featuring a tourbillon regulator as well as a chain and fusee constant force mechanism.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Trio of Patek Philippe Dome Clocks Sell for Record Price, Raising S$2.45 million for Charity

Three one of a kind cloisonné enamel Dome Clocks created by Patek Philippe for Singapore's Golden Jubilee have just sold for a total of S$2.45 million, with one going for S$1 million, setting the world record price for its category.

The million dollar Dome Clock

Unveiled just three weeks ago, the Patek Philippe Dome Clocks made for Singapore's 50th anniversary, collectively known as SG50, were just sold at a dinner auction overseen by Christie's on the evening of September 23, 2015. The trio raised a total of S$2.45 million (equivalent to US$1.72 million), with one record price being set with the first clock that went for S$750,00, only to be broken moment later when the last of the clocks sold for S$1 million - to a buyer who immediately donated it to the National Museum of Singapore.

The Genesis of a Legend - Hands-On with the Philippe Dufour Simplicity Prototype No. 000

Now a holy grail of independent watchmaking for many, the Philippe Dufour Simplicity is rightly regarded as the wristwatch with the most exquisite movement decoration in modern times. This is a look at the first Simplicity ever made, the prototype numbered "000" that's now always on Dufour's wrist.

Philippe Dufour introduced the Simplicity in the year 2000, but it had been in the works for several years before that. This very watch is the first ever Simplicity, the prototype of a series that would eventually number just over 200 produced. Now worn almost daily for 15 years, Simplicity No. 000 has the charm of a well worn but precious timepiece.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

How Good is Jaeger-LeCoultre's First Ever Ladies' Minute Repeater?

Complicated ladies' watches designed from the ground up are uncommon, but the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater is exactly that.

Complicated watchmaking is still a world dominated by men, which is what makes the Jaeger-LeCoultre Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater rare. It's a minute repeater freshly conceived for the female client, instead of being a smaller version of a men's watch. Moreover, rather than using a movement from a men's minute repeater wristwatch, the Rendez-Vous Ivy Minute Repeater is equipped with a new movement designed to fit into a smaller case (albeit a very thick one).

Introducing the Lumisidus Planetary Gear Watch Winder

Lumisidus makes only one product, a watch winder that functions like a planetary gear, with watches orbiting around the central axis.

German winder maker Lumisidus unveiled its first watch winder in 2015, the Lumisidus 11. Able to accommodate 11 watches, the winder works like a planetary gear: a rotating central cylinder turns each of the other cylinders, which orbit around the central axis. The motion is smooth, silent and leisurely.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Review: 36 Hours with the SevenFriday V-Series V1/01 and V2/01 (In-Depth Review + Pics)

Featuring a completely new case shape and an unusual method of displaying the time., the SevenFriday V-Series is the latest from the quirky-but-cool maker of affordable timepieces.

SevenFriday's formula for success, and it has been exceptionally successful, has been to combine funky, unconventional design with an elaborate dial, But thanks to low-cost manufacturing, SevenFriday watches are affordable, priced at about US$1000. Put simply, their key appeal is that they don't look like other watches in the price range.

The V-Series is a wholly new look, but it sticks to the same fundamentals that made the preceding P-Series and M-Series bestsellers. Big and bold, the V-Series has lots of wrist presence, though the time display is unexpectedly confounding. Importantly, most of the expense has gone into the dial, which makes it look more expensive than similarly priced watches. Consequently the satisfaction to price ratio is high.

Five Things to Know About Bovet, Straight From The CEO

Bovet chief executive Pascal Raffy is a man passionate about watches who bought a watch company, turning it into a manufacture specialising in high-end complications housed inside its patented convertible case.

A lawyer by profession, Pascal Raffy acquired Bovet 1822 in 2001. Based in Fleurier, also the home of Parmigiani and Voutilainen, Bovet was then merged with Swiss Time Technology (STT),  the dial and movement manufacturer Raffy took over in 2006.

Bovet's history, however, stretches back centuries. Founded in 1822, Bovet was established to manufacture high-end timepieces for the booming market in Imperial China. One of the most prominent names in China in the 19th century, Bovet's lavishly enamelled pocket watches, often set with pearls, are rare and valuable today. That distinctive, ornate aesthetic is echoed in the style of contemporary Bovet timepieces, the product of Raffy's vision for the company.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

EDITORIAL: The Rise of Personalisation For Luxury Watches

Luxury watches are less rare than they once were, with the cumulative quantity in circulation increasing every year. With the slowdown in fine watchmaking, watch brands need to make the client feel special.

Options for hand-engraved initials on a Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso

Luxury goods are supposed to be exclusive, perhaps unique, demonstrating the savoir-faire and patrimony of centuries old maisonsCritics, on the other hand, allege that is no longer the case. There is lots of evidence to back up those claims, since the biggest luxury houses like Louis Vuitton, Hermes and Chanel each do several billion dollars worth of business each year. 

Though the watch industry is smaller, it is equally prolific. The three largest watchmakers in Switzerland - Rolex, Omega and Cartier - between them produce nearly two million timepieces every year. Even the preeminent name in haute horlogerie, Patek Philippe, has an annual output in the mid-five figure range.

Fine watchmakers are also just as global as luxury fashion houses. Leading watch brands have outposts everywhere, even at the frontiers of global capitalism, boasting stores in Africa and Central Asia. Can luxury watches continue to be special?

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Explaining the Greubel Forsey Perpetual Calendar That's Simple But Complicated (with Original Photos & Price)

Greubel Forsey's first and only perpetual calendar, the Quantième Perpétuel à Équation is cleverly constructed perpetual calendar that is notably complicated, but simple to use, with all its functions controlled via the crown.

Greubel Forsey doesn't make simple watches. Its twin time zone GMT wristwatch, for instance, takes the travel time complication to another level. Similarly, the Quantième Perpétuel à Équation is no ordinary perpetual calendar. It features a full calendar with leap year and four digit year display, equation of time with seasons, solstices and equinoxes indicators - with all functions set via the crown.

Friday, 18 September 2015

The Verdict: Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire (Review & Price)

Equipped with twin power sources, one for the time and the other for the multiple displays, the Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire is a complicated watch with an unusual combination of functions, including a moon phase and a 1/6th of a second counter.

Rather than a single major complication, the Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire features several minor ones that together make it interesting; the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. The Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire features a moon phase, date, twin power reserve displays, and a lightning seconds, powered by what Jaeger-Lecoultre terms a "dual wing" movement with twin barrels and gear trains.

Highlights From the Largest Ever Breguet Timepiece Exhibition in the United States

Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking is a comprehensive showcase of the work of the great Abraham-Louis Breguet. Comprising over 70 timepieces, it takes place in San Francisco from September 19, 2015 to January 10, 2016.

Breguet no. 3066, a repeating pocket watch with oversized moon phase, sold in 1818

Abraham-Louis Breguet was one of the preeminent watchmakers of his time, responsible for inventions including the tourbillon regulator, with clients like Marie-Antoinette and Napoleon. Not only did he was he responsible for complications, Breguet also had his own distinctive aesthetic, one that still appeals three centuries later.

The largest ever Breguet exhibition in the United States, Breguet: Art and Innovation in Watchmaking celebrates his work, as well as that of the company bearing his name. Over 70 timepieces, including many originals from his lifetime, will be on show at the California Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco starting September 19, 2015.

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Explaining the Most Complicated Timepiece Ever, the Vacheron Constantin Ref. 57260 Tivoli with 57 Complications

Vacheron Constantin has just superseded all else in watchmaking with the Reference 57260 "Tivoli" pocket watch, a titanic timepiece with 57 complications, allowing it to claim the title of the most complicated watch ever. 

The last time a timepiece set the record as the most complicated ever, the Berlin Wall was about to come down. George H.W. Bush had just become president of the United States and Nelson Mandela was still in jail. That was 1989.

Now that record has been broken by Vacheron Constantin with the Reference 57260 "Tivoli" with an astounding 57 complications - the model name is a combination of the number of complications and that brand's 260th anniversary in 2015.

Eight years in the making and unveiled on the 260th day of the brand's 260th year, the Tivoli pocket watch is a bespoke timepiece commissioned by an anonymous client who wanted the most complicated watch ever. He got what he wanted.

Five Key Takeaways From Richemont's Five Month Results

Luxury conglomerate Richemont reported "robust" growth, primarily thanks to demand in Europe and Japan, as well as strong sales at its own boutiques, with jewellery outperforming watches.

Richemont, which owns brands like Cartier, IWC and Jaeger-LeCoultre, saw its sales increase 4% for the five months to August 2015, excluding gains from fluctuating exchange rates. A seemingly modest figure, but respectable given the overall climate in luxury watchmaking

The Swiss luxury group formally known as Compagnie Financière Richemont SA reported its five months results on September 16 during its annual general meeting. Here are the key takeaways from its results:

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Up Close with the $400,000 TAG Heuer That Never Was

In existence only for a brief, glorious moment, the Carrera Mikropendulum Tourbillon was TAG Heuer's most complicated and most expensive wristwatch ever, featuring twin tourbillon regulators. This is its tale.

Introduced in 2014, the TAG Heuer Carrera Mikropendulum Tourbillon was an impressive watch, the culmination of the company's decade long effort to develop exceptional, fraction of a second mechanical chronographs. It was equipped with twin tourbillon regulators: the first a conventional tourbillon for timekeeping, and the other, an innovative magnetic tourbillon regulator for the 1/100th of a second chronograph. But the Mikropendulum Tourbillon never made it into production.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Introducing the $4000 Frederique Constant Moonphase That Looks Like a $250k Vintage Patek Perpetual

Frédérique Constant's latest in-house movement makes its debut in the Classic Manufacture Moonphase, visible behind the hinged hunter back. And it just happens to resemble a rare and expensive vintage perpetual calendar made by Patek Philippe.

Featuring a moon phase and date indicator, the Frederique Constant Classic Manufacture Moonphase is a simple and affordable timepiece modelled on classic calendar watches of the 1950s. Specifically, it looks just like the Patek Philippe perpetual calendars from the 1950s, the references 2438 and 2497. Not a bad look for $4000.

Introducing "Billionaire-Style" Watch Storage from Buben & Zorweg

Buben & Zorweg makes watch winders and cabinets, but for the wealthy client with too much but not enough, it also offers bespoke watch storage integrated into the interior of the home, or palace.

For the 0.01% - business tycoons, sports celebrities and presidents-for-life - with numerous outrageously expensive watches, Buben & Zorweg is here to help. What the Austrian watch winder maker terms "Billionaire-Style" watch storage is entirely bespoke, made to specification to suit any penthouse, palace or nuclear bunker.

Richard Mille Donates $775,000 RM 27-02 Tourbillon Prototype to Charity

The prototype of the Richard Mille RM 27-02 Tourbillon worn by tennis star Rafael Nadal will be sold for charity at the Only Watch auction in November 2015.

Introduced earlier this year, the RM 27-02 is the latest in Richard Mille's series of ultra-light wristwatches designed for Rafael Nadal. The tennis champion had on his wrist a prototype of the RM 27-02 during the 2015 tennis season, the very same watch that has been donated to Only Watch 2015, a charity watch auction raising funds for medical research.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Worthy Reading: A Lifetime Pass in a Pocket Watch Belonging to General MacArthur's Pilot

The New York Times tells the story of a gold LeCoultre pocket watch given to Lieutenant Colonel Anthony F. Story, the personal pilot of General Douglas MacArthur, that was also lifetime pass to Ebbets Field, once home to the Brooklyn Dodgers baseball team.

Photo The New York Times

In some ways the ancestor of today's smartwatches that double up as keys to digital vaults and even physical locks, this Jaeger-LeCoultre pocket watch was once assured lifetime entry into the stadium home to the Brooklyn Dodgers, as detailed in The New York Times. Given Lieutenant Colonel Anthony F. Story by the team's president, it's a a lifetime pass to Ebbets Field, once the stadium of the Brooklyn Dodgers base ball team (which became the Los Angeles Dodgers after moving to California in 1957).

Omega Unveils Speedmaster "First Omega in Space" in Sedna Gold (with Price)

A luxe version of the Speedmaster reissue, the "First Omega in Space" is now offered in 18k Sedna gold, a rose gold alloy proprietary to Omega.

First introduced in steel in 2012, the Speedmaster "First Omega in Space" is a remake of the watch worn by astronaut Wally Schirra on the Mercury-Atlas 8 mission to space in 1962. Not a Speedmaster Moonwatch strictly speaking, since the mission happened before the Moon landing, but well within the family. The latest edition of the Speedmaster "First Omega in Space" is in 18k Sedna gold, with the dial chapter ring, sub-dials and ceramic bezel insert in dark brown.

Five Things to Know the Girard-Perregaux Turnaround, Straight from its CEO

Less than a year into the job, Girard-Perregaux chief executive Antonio Calce has embarked on an all-encompassing new strategy to revitalise the haute horlogerie watchmaker. He explains his vision here.

At the helm of Girard-Perregaux since the start of 2015, Antonio Calce has already begun his revamp of the company and its products to restore the brand to its rightful place as a preeminent high horology watchmaker. Established over 200 years ago, Girard-Perregaux is the flagship high horology brand of luxury conglomerate Kering, which also owns Ulysse Nardin, but it's a brand that has been drifting for several years.

Formerly the chief executive of Corum, Calce's turnaround plan is product-centric: "The products are the stars of GP. The focus will be on the products' coherence and structure of the collection." The strategy includes using the gold bridge of the brand’s signature Tourbillon with Three Gold Bridges as an element in a wide range of timepieces. At the same time Calce is also making Girard-Perregaux more affordable, with a new line of entry-level watches in steel. Here he tells us about the five key elements of his strategy.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

A Detailed Look at the Magnificent Philippe Dufour Grande and Petite Sonnerie Wristwatch

Philippe Dufour was the first watchmaker to put the most complex of complications into a wristwatch with his grande and petite sonnerie of 1992. Here's a close-up, exhaustive examination of one of these extraordinary timepieces.

A week ago we went up close with an extraordinary, 100-year old grande and petite sonnerie pocket watch, one of just ten Patek Philippe made. Today we take a detailed look at its modern equivalent, the first ever grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch, made by the great Philippe Dufour. He is best known for the brilliant Simplicity (a watch that made headlines again recently), but Dufour's masterpiece is undoubtedly the grande and petite sonnerie, a complication that chimes the time as it passes, just like a grandfather clock.

Up Close with the Lange Datograph Perpetual in White Gold, with the Face-Lifted Grey Dial (with Pricing)

Distinguished by its cleaner, more contemporary dial, the face-lifted Lange Datograph Perpetual in white gold nonetheless looks and feels much like the first generation model, with the same gorgeous movement.

The first generation Datograph Perpetual in white gold (ref. 410.030) was produced briefly from 2009 to 2011, with perhaps less than 100 were made. That short-lived but attractive combination of white gold case and grey dial was revived earlier this year with the face-lifted Datograph Perpetual in white gold (ref. 410.038). In recent years A. Lange & Söhne has face-lifted its Datograph, most recently with the new pink gold, Up/Down model. The same just has just been done to the new Datograph Perpetual.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Explaining the Ancient Technique of Gold Filigree

An ancient technique several millennia old, filigree makes its debut in watchmaking with the Ronde Louis Cartier XL Filigree Panthers, with the dial made up of intricately worked gold and platinum wires that form a panther motif. 

La Maison des Metier d'Art is a farmhouse beside the Cartier watch manufacture in the Swiss town of La Chaux-de-Fonds that has been transformed into a workshop dedicated to metier d'art, or artisanal crafts. The workshop employs well known techniques like enamelling and engraving to decorate timepieces, but also applies age old crafts that have never before been used in watchmaking, like gold filigree. This decorative art was used for the first time on the Ronde Louis Cartier XL Filigree Panthers wristwatch, featuring a pair of panthers formed with tiny twisted threads of gold and platinum.

Introducing a Spherical, Enamelled Pendant Watch from Hermès

Hermes brings its delicate and tasteful sensibilities to the Pendentif Boule, a ball-shaped pendant watch in white gold decorated with cloisonné enamel. 

A day after the Apple Watch Hermes, the Parisian leather maker unveils a timepiece at the other end of the spectrum. Pendentif Boule translates as "ball pendant", a simple name that belies the complexity of its decoration. Less a timepiece than a pendant that happens to include a clock, the Hermès Pendentif Boule is decorated with a flower motif executed in cloisonné enamel, with intricate white gold wires formed by hand comprising the outline of the flower.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

How Good is Jaeger-LeCoultre's Most Affordable Men's Wristwatch, the Master Control Date?

A solid gentleman's wristwatch, the Master Control Date is the lowest priced men's timepiece from Jaeger-LeCoultre, but it is still equipped with an excellent in-house movement boasting features typical of more expensive watches. 

Jaeger-LeCoultre's most affordable men's wristwatch is the Master Control Date, priced at just under US$7000 (or S$10,000). For that you get a stainless steel case and classical but functional design, as well as an attractive, in-house movement, the calibre 899. The same movement, in fact, that's found inside the pricer Geophysic limited edition. A movement of this quality at this price is only possible because Jaeger-LeCoultre is one of the most accomplished movement makers in Switzerland, able to blend high horology and production on a large scale.

Apple Introduces the Luxe Apple Watch Hermès

Apple has just announced the Apple Watch Hermès, a luxe version of its smartwatch paired with hand-made Hermès leather straps and dial designs inspired by Hermès wristwatches.

The question of whether the Apple Watch is a luxury good has been definitively answered with the new Apple Watch Hermes. It's an upmarket version of the steel Apple Watch paired with Hermes leather bands in three styles: Single Tour, Double Tour and Cuff. And the Apple Watch Hermes also comes with three dial options exclusive to the Hermes edition. This means the Apple Watch finally gets a leather band that is as well made as the watch case.

Urwerk Unveils Unique UR-106 for Only Watch 2015

Urwerk has created a one-off variant of its UR-106 for charity auction Only Watch, clad in its trademark colours with a black coated case and bright green Super-Luminova.

Urwerk's one of a kind timepiece for Only Watch 2015 is paradoxically a masculine version of the recently launched UR-106 Lotus ladies' watch. The UR-106 Only Watch features the same case and movement, except it's entirely finished in matte black, with striking green numerals and markings on the dial.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Up Close with the IWC Portugieser Perpetual Calendar (with Original Photos & Price)

Arguably IWC's signature complication, the ingenious perpetual calendar with four digit year display is part of the face-lifted and streamlined Portugieser collection, powered by the new calibre 52000 seven day automatic movement.

Not the most complicated or expensive, the perpetual calendar is nonetheless the flagship of IWC's Portugieser collection because it utilises the famous perpetual calendar invented by Kurt Klaus. Concise and clever, the perpetual calendar mechanism is set entirely via the crown, needing neither buttons nor pushers. And it has a four digit year display, useless in practice but a concrete reassurance of the longevity of this expensive mechanical watch.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Something New for the Ladies From Piaget, Featuring an Oversized Moon Phase Display

A ladies' wristwatch with an extra-large moon phase display, the Limelight Stella is Piaget's first complication watch developed from the ground up for the female wrist.

Piaget is a jeweller and watchmaker, making both complicated watches as well as fine jewellery. But it has not had a complicated watch specifically for ladies, until now. The Limelight Stella is powered by a new movement featuring an oversized moon phase display, a complication that's as much about aesthetics as it is about the mechanics. And it's also the first ladies watch that's been unveiled in advance of Watches&Wonders, the annual exhibition that takes place in Hong Kong in late September 2015.

IWC Appointed Partner of the Singapore International Film Festival

IWC will be the official partner of the 26th Singapore International Film Festival that takes place in the city state starting November 2015.

Singapore's longest established cinematic event, the Singapore International Film Festival (SGIFF) concentrates on Asian films, particularly those from South-East Asia. In keeping with its practice of supporting key film festivals around the world, IWC is the official partner of the SGIFF, now in its 26th year.

Up Close with an Epic Patek Philippe Grande Sonnerie Pocket Watch

Able to chime the hours and quarters as they pass, this Patek Philippe grande et petite sonnerie pocket watch is one of perhaps ten ever made. Not only is it an extraordinarily complicated timepiece, it is also a sterling example of exquisitely finished, classical haute horlogerie.

The grande et petite sonnerie is the most complex single complication possible in a timepiece, so much so that less than ten watchmakers have managed to fit it into a wristwatch. But before the grande sonnerie made its way into wristwatches, it was found in pocket watches, just like this magnificent Patek Philippe grande et petite sonnerie clockwatch. There are few timepieces that are truly great, great enough to send a tingle down your spine. This is one of them.

Monday, 7 September 2015

Lange Unveils Boutique-Only 1815 Chronograph with Pulsometer Scale (with Price)

A. Lange & Söhne has just taken the covers off the latest variant of the 1815 Chronograph, featuring a silver dial with blue numerals, pulsometer scale and a white gold case, available only at its own boutiques.

Due to be launched at Watches&Wonders 2015 in Hong Kong, the new 1815 Chronograph from A. Lange & Söhne harks back to the first generation model with the pulsometer scale on the dial. It's further distinguished from other versions of the 1815 Chronograph with its silver dial paired with blue numerals and markings, along with rhodium-plated gold hands, instead of blued steel hands. The 1815 Chronograph boutique edition becomes the second classically styled chronograph that will be unveiled at W&W 2015, after the Vacheron Constantin Cornes de Vache.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Devon Joins the Dark Side with The Star Wars Tread 1 Wristwatch

American watchmaker Devon has just unveiled the Star Wars Tread 1, an electro-mechanical timepiece inspired by Galactic Empire's Darth Vader and TIE fighter. 

Devon's original creation was the Tread 1, an inventive wristwatch with a belt time display driven by micro-motors powered by a rechargeable battery. That is the basis for the new Star Wars Tread 1, a 500-piece limited edition inspired by the sci-fi epic. 

Saturday, 5 September 2015

The History of Urwerk's Satellite Complication, Plus the Only UR-202S Platinum Ever Made

Urwerk only ever made one UR-202S in platinum, and this it it. A perfect example of the ingenious mechanism that displays the time on satellite cubes and a telescopic hand - the complication that put Urwerk on the watchmaking map.

A unique UR-202S in platinum

Urwerk's best invention to date remains its revolving satellite time display that made its debut not on an Urwerk wristwatch, but on the landmark Harry Winston Opus V, a collaboration between the American jeweller and Urwerk. That evolved into the satellite time display seen here, on this one-off Urwerk UR-202S in black coated platinum. And the same satellite complication is now found on the UR-210.

Friday, 4 September 2015

Worthy Reading: A Collector Details His 15-Year Obsession with Three Timepieces

Long time collector Felipe Jordao wrote about his pursuit of a trio of F.P. Journe watches, a chase spanning 15 years that he details on Timezone.

The three watches of the tale
Credit Felipe Jordao, Timezone

New York-based collector Felipe Jordao just published the final instalment, Metamorphosis, of A Tale of Three Watches. The three part series charts his acquisition of three gilt dial F.P. Journe watches. Jordao, who is also the moderator of the eponymous brand's forum on watch community Timezone, renders in detail a story that many a collector will understand.

Explaining Cartier's Most Complicated Wristwatch Ever

The most complex Cartier wristwatch ever, the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton boasts a minute repeater, perpetual calendar and tourbillon - inside a self-winding movement just 5.49mm high.

When Cartier first started developing its line of high horology watches, its grand complication timepieces were powered by movements from Renaud & Papi, the technical specialist owned by Audemars Piguet, with the Grand Complication Skeleton pocket watch being a prime example. Now Cartier has its own grand complication, developed over five years and manufactured in-house, the Rotonde de Cartier Grande Complication Skeleton.

Thursday, 3 September 2015

MB&F Introduces Giant Spider Table Clock That Even Goes Up the Wall (with Prices)

Shaped like a giant spider, the Arachnophobia is the latest clock to emerge from MB&F's collaboration with L'Epee 1839. Able to stand on spindly legs or perched on a wall, the Arachnophobia is powered by an eight day power in the body of the arachnid.

Once again MB&F collaborates with clockmaker L'Epee 1839, with the result being the Arachnophobia table clock. Manufactured by L'Epee 1839, the same firm responsible for the Starfleet Machine and Melchior clocks, the Arachnophobia is a large timepiece shaped like a spider, with the body of the beast containing a mechanical movement that displays the time.

Winston Churchill's VE Day Pocket Watch to Go Under the Hammer

Sotheby's will soon offer a world time pocket watch, made by Agassiz and Co. and Louis Cottier, that was presented to Winston Churchill after the Allied victory in Europe during the Second World War.

When the Allies triumphed in May 1945, notable citizens of Geneva commissioned four world time pocket watches with cloisonné enamel dials as gifts for each of the Allied leaders: Charles de Gaulle, Harry S. Truman, Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill. On September 22, 2015 at its London sale, Sotheby's will offer Churchill's VE Day pocket watch, depicting Saint George slaying the dragon in enamel.