Saturday, 31 August 2013

Introducing the Longines Avigation Oversize Crown - a remake of the twenties big crown pilot's watch (with pricing)

Longines looks to the pilot's watches of the twenties with the new Avigation Oversize Crown, available as a time-only, GMT and monopusher chronograph.


Longines Avigation Oversize Crown Single Push-Piece Chronograph

Modelled after the aviator's watches of the twenties with large, onion-shaped crowns, the Avigation Oversize Crown line is another addition to Longines' stable of military remakes. In fact, the brand just unveiled a line of thirties-inspired military style watches earlier this year at Baselworld 2013.


Thursday, 29 August 2013

A peek at an astounding, $15 million collection of contemporary horology

A distinguished watch enthusiast has put together an incredible collection of several hundred timepieces, including most of the best watchmaking of the last decade. Here we take a peek at some of the highlights.


This is an assembly of fifty or so timepieces the owner considers to be the more interesting out of the larger collection, which numbers in the hundreds. His goal in putting together the collection - "it's still a work in progress" according to him - was to include most of the important brands and wristwatches since the turn of the millennium. We are inclined to believe he succeeded.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Introducing The Urwerk EMC - The World's First Self-Monitoring, User-Adjustable Mechanical Watch (With Explanation, Specs And Price)

The EMC is the latest creation from the boffins at Urwerk. Comprising a manually wound movement, as well as an electronic rate monitor, the EMC is the first mechanical wristwatch which allows the user to regulate the watch.



Urwerk first showed me a preview of the EMC movement prototype in Geneva earlier this year, before presenting the movement for the first time in May. Now the EMC wristwatch is finally revealed: a mechanical wristwatch with a built-in electronic rate monitor as well as user regulation device.

The chunky case sticks to Urwerk's traditional aesthetic, with the indications arrange in separate sub-dials. But the EMC departs radically from the Urwerk tradition in one major aspect: this is the first Urwerk wristwatch (excluding the Goldpfeil chronometer) with traditional hour and minute hands.


Hands-On With The Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive, Featuring A Burl Wood Dial (With Live Photos And Price)

Inspired by the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic coupe in Mr Ralph Lauren's collection, the Sporting Automotive has an elm burl wood dial and an IWC hand-wind movement inside.



Taking its cues from the dash of the incredibly rare 1938 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic coupe in the Ralph Lauren collection, the Ralph Lauren Sporting Automotive is one of the most attractive automotive-inspired watches. 


Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Ytterbium atomic clock becomes the world's most accurate timekeeper - spot on to 18 decimal places

A few days ago, the National Institute of Standards and Technology unveiled a pair of experimental clocks 10 times more accurate than current atomic clocks.


NIST's ultra-stable ytterbium lattice atomic clock. Ytterbium atoms are generated in an oven (large metal cylinder on the left)
and sent to a vacuum chamber in the center of the photo to be manipulated and probed by lasers. Laser light is transported
to the clock by five fibers (such as the yellow fiber in the lower center of the photo). Credit: Burrus/NIST

Announced by the United States-based National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research institute the new experimental ytterbium lattice atomic clocks are precise to less than two parts in one quintillion (10^18), ten times better than the current best atomic clocks. In practice that means the clock will only be off by a second after several billion years.

About 10,000 ytterbium atoms, held in an optical lattice (essentially the atoms are trapped by laser light), cooled to 10 millionths of a degree above absolute zero, are caused to vibrate by a laser. Potential uses for this clock include more accurate navigation by Global Position System (GPS) satellites, which rely on atomic clock timekeeping. And perhaps one day the technology will find its way into something portable.

The full nerdy details can be found on the NIST webpage.

- SJX 

MB&F unveils teaser for the Legacy Machine 2

MB&F will take the covers off the Legacy Machine 2 on 3 September 2013. Here's a teaser for the LM2 from Max.



Visible are some beautifully bevelled, graceful bridges, as well as jewels in chatons. Stylistically the LM2 is reminiscent of the Legacy Machine 1. Stay tuned for the official unveiling next week.

In the mean time, check out our photos of the LM1 (and if it's not enough more LM1 photos can be seen here).

- SJX

Monday, 26 August 2013

Hands-On With The Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane, Equipped With A Gyroscopic Escapement, Chain And Fusée (With Photos And Price)

Zenith's most complicated timepiece, the Academy Christophe Colomb Hurricane has its escapement fitted inside a double-axis gimbal, ensuring the balance wheel is always in a horizontal position, for superior chronometry.



While Breguet's tourbillon was conceived to average out the errors caused by gravity's influence on the balance wheel, the Zenith Christophe Colomb Hurricane entirely eliminates such position errors by keeping the silicon balance wheel horizontal at all times.

The Christophe Colomb is not a multi-axis tourbillon like the Jaeger-LeCoultre Gyrotourbillon, rather it has an incredibly complicated double-axis gimbal suspension for the escapment, what Zenith terms a gyroscopic escapement. 


Saturday, 24 August 2013

A visit to the Omega Co-Axial Exhibition in Singapore

Dedicated to the George Daniels' greatest invention, the Omega Co-Axial Exhibition just opened in Singapore and we went for visit.



Named after the Co-Axial escapement invented by George Daniels and now synonymous with Omega, the exhibition covers both Omega's history and its current watchmaking. The exhibits include historical Omega timepieces, including the first ever Omega pocket watch, as well as technical information on Omega's current watchmaking.

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Introducing the Breitling Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel (with specs and price)

Breitling has just unveiled the Blacksteel version of the Navitimer Cosmonaute. With its trademark 24-hour dial, the Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel also features the in-house B02 movement.



Breitling's successful series of Blacksteel watches - the cases are steel with a DLC coating - has a new addition: the Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel. Limited to 1000 pieces, the Navitimer Cosmonaute Blacksteel is the latest variation of the Cosmonaute, with its distinctive 24-hour dial.


Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Unique Vacheron Constantin Chronomètre Royal 1907 sells for US$102,000

A unique Vacheron Constantin Chronomètre Royal 1907 with a blue enamel dial recently sold for US$102,000, with all proceeds going to the Kidz Horizon charity.


A few days ago, the very special Chronomètre Royal 1907 Kidz Horizon hammered for a handsome S$130,000 (or about US$102,000 and €76,000). Fitted with a beautiful, blue grand feu enamel dial, the Chronomètre Royal 1907 Kidz Horizon is a unique piece made for Kidz Horizon, a Singapore charity which helps chronically and terminally ill children.

The hammer price is about 50% more than the retail price for the regular production model. For a hands-on look at this unique timepiece, check out our photos.

- SJX

Hands-on with the Panerai Pocket Watch Tourbillon GMT Ceramica PAM446 (live photos plus pricing)

Panerai's first pocket watch is the Tourbillon GMT Ceramica PAM00446, which has a skeletonised movement featuring a tourbillon and second time zone, inside a black ceramic case.



At SIHH 2013 Panerai unveiled a pocket watch, the the Tourbillon GMT Ceramica PAM446, a first for the brand. Inside is the same P.2005/S movement first used in the Radiomir Tourbillon GMT Ceramic 'Lo Scienziato' PAM348 unveiled in 2010. 


Saturday, 17 August 2013

Interview: Antonio Calce, CEO of Corum and now Eterna

Corum CEO Antonio Calce was recently tapped to run Eterna as well, holding both posts concurrently. Here he outlines his thoughts on rebooting Eterna.


Antonio Calce

Two years ago Eterna, a once great but now tired brand, was acquired by China Haidian, a Chinese watchmaking and retail group, from carmaking's Porsche family. And a few months ago China Haidian bought Corum, run by CEO Antonio Calce.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Up close with the Piaget Altiplano Ultra-Thin Skeleton, now in rose gold (with live photos and price)

Introduced in rose gold for the first time at SIHH 2013, the Piaget Altiplano Ultra-Thin Skeleton exemplifies two elements of construction which have characterised recent Piaget movements - incredible slimness and open-working.



A large part of Piaget's reputation as a watchmaker rests on its stable of ultra-thin movements, several of which hold records for being the slimmest in particular categories, including the world's thinnest minute repeater. And the thinnest skeleton watch in the world is none other than the Piaget Altiplano Ultra-Thin Skeleton with the automatic 1200S movement - the movement is only 2.4 mm thick.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Hand-on with the new Cartier Tank MC - in-house movement and entry level (with live photos plus pricing)

Cartier recently unveiled the Tank MC, equipped with the in-house 1904 MC movement. Larger and more masculine than earlier versions of this iconic model, the Tank MC is also an accessibly entry into Cartier's in-house movements.



Over the nearly 100 years it has been in existence the Cartier Tank has been available in a multitude of forms. But regardless of style each has retained the classic Tank shape, arguably the most recognisable rectangular watch ever. The Tank MC - the first Tank wristwatch designed expressly for men - is the newest addition to this storied line of timepieces.


New: Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine (with specs and price)

Vacheron Constantin has just announced the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon Collection Excellence Platine, a limited edition tourbillon in platinum with platinum dial, buckle and strap stitching.



The Collection Excellence Platine is a series of limited edition Vacheron Constantin watches, each with a platinum case, dial, buckle, and even platinum thread for the strap. This year the Patrimony Traditionnelle 14-Day Tourbillon, first launched in 2011, joins the Collection Excellence Platine.


Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Lange and the hallmarks of German watchmaking - explaining their background and history

Lange is arguably the flag bearer for high-end German watchmaking. Its movements are a fascinating blend of beauty, engineering and anachronistic details.


The L051.2 movement found inside the 1815 Up/Down

Lange has just issued a press release covering the new 1815 Up/Down (which we covered in detail recently), detailing what have now become the signature elements of Lange movements. None of these elements are in themselves particular to German watchmaking or Lange, but combined they are regarded as characteristically Lange because of the shrewd decision to use them when Lange was revived in 1994.


Hands-on with the Hermès Dressage H1925 Chronograph with a new proprietary movement (with live photos and price)

At Baselworld 2013 Hermès unveiled the Dressage Chronograph, which uses the brand's first proprietary chronograph movement, the H1925.



In 2012 Hermès took the covers off the Dressage automatic with the H1837 automatic movement, its first proprietary movement. That movement is now the base for the new H1925 calibre of the new Dressage Chronograph, with 1925 being the year Hermès sold its first chronograph wristwatch.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Up close with the Vacheron Constantin Métiers d'Art Florilège - enamel by Anita Porchet (live photos and price)

Presented for the first time at SIHH 2013, the Anita Porchet-enamelled Florilège trio is the first Métiers d'Art series made for women.



Vacheron Constantin's SIHH 2013 line-up was heavy on jewelled and ladies' watches (though there were rumours of a significant complication to be launched at Watches&Wonders next month). The highlight was the Métiers d'Art Florilège, a trio of beautifully enamelled timepieces with floral motifs.


Monday, 12 August 2013

News: Laurent Ferrier gets a new CEO

Laurent Ferrier, the highly regarded independent watchmaker, has just announced the appointment of a new CEO, replacing Olivier Muller.



Mr Muller, who was CEO of Laurent Ferrier since its founding, will be replaced by Sylvère Demonsais. Mr Demonsais was most recently CFO at De Grisogono, where he joined during a period of restructuring which began when the current owners took over last year. Before that he was in charge of sales at Greubel Forsey.

In the three years since it was established Laurent Ferrier has become known for the high quality of construction and finishing in its timepieces, namely the Galet Micro-Rotor and the Galet Tourbillon. With Mr Demonsais' background, this may indicate the company is gearing up for its next stage of development.

- SJX

Presenting the Bovet Fleurier Amadeo 7-day Skeleton Tourbillon (live photos and pricing)

Executed in the ornate style characteristic of Bovet, Fleurier Amadeo 7-day Skeleton Tourbillon is the brand's first skeleton tourbillon, featuring a double face, as well as the trademark Bovet convertible case. 



Bovet watches are finely made, elaborately decorated and expensive looking. Launched just earlier this year, the Fleurier Amadeo 7-day Skeleton Tourbillon exemplifies that philosophy.


Sunday, 11 August 2013

News: Buben & Zorweg Time Mover Handwound - a high-tech solution for manual-wind watches

Buben & Zorweg recently unveiled a winder for handwound watches, controlled by a sophisticated software which ensures the watch is always wound optimally.



Austrian winder maker Buben & Zorweg newest product is the Time Mover Handwound. This keeps manual-wind watches constantly running while maintaining optimum tension in the mainspring. While the Time Mover Handwound is not the first such winder, it is certainly the most well conceived.


Friday, 9 August 2013

Hands-on with the Konstantin Chaykin Lunokhod in Bulat steel - horological spaceship from Russia (live photos and price)

Inspired by the lunar rovers of the Soviet Union, the Lunokhod is Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin's most striking wristwatch, with a case made from Bulat steel.



Named after the Lunokhod (Russian for "Moonwalker") rovers sent to explore the lunar surface in the seventies, the Konstantin Chaykin Lunokhod is, appropriately enough, a moon phase wristwatch. This is Russia's answer to the avant-garde, sci-fi inspired watchmaking of Urwerk, MB&F and Romain Jerome.


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Up close: Hermès Arceau Squelette - the only Hermès skeleton wristwatch (live photos and price)

Hermès' only skeleton wristwatch is the Arceau Squelette. With its asymmetric, stirrup-shaped case, the Arceau skeleton is elegant in typical Hermès style.



Most Hermès watches, even the uninteresting but fashionable quartz ones, have a distinctive elegance characteristic with the brand. With its trademark case, italicised numerals and blued seconds hand, the Arceau skeleton has a lot of charm.


Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Hands-on with the Jaeger-LeCoultre Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface (live photos, specs and pricing)

One of my favourite Reversos is the Duoface, a complication perfectly suited to the twin faces of the Reverso. At SIHH 2013 Jaeger-LeCoultre unveiled the latest dual time zone Reverso.


The complication most suited to the Reverso is the dual time zone, with one time zone displayed on each side. Doing exactly that is Grande Reverso Ultra Thin Duoface, the newest dual face Reverso in a series, starting with the Reverso Duo of the nineties; there is even Reverso Duetto for the ladies.

Monday, 5 August 2013

Hands-on with the $600,000, green and yellow Richard Mille RM059-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake (with live photos and price)

Richard Mille unveiled his funkiest wristwatch ever at SIHH 2013, the Richard Mille RM059 Yohan Blake, made for the Jamaican Olympic champion.



Unlike the first Richard Mille wristwatch made for champion sprinter Yohan Blake, which was based on an existing model, the RM059-01 Tourbillon Yohan Blake was designed from the ground up, explaining its cartoonish colour and shape. 


Saturday, 3 August 2013

Hands-on with the Vacheron Constantin Chronomètre Royal 1907 Kidz Horizon - an incredible blue enamel dial for a good cause (with exclusive, live photos)

A unique Vacheron Constantin Chronomètre Royal 1907 with a blue grand feu enamel dial will be sold later this month for Singapore charity Kidz Horizon. We go live and up close with this gorgeous timepiece.


For the 2013 edition of the annual Kidz Horizon Charity Ball in Singapore, Vacheron Constantin has created something incredibly simple but also incredibly beautiful. The Chronomètre Royal 1907 Kidz Horizon has an implausibly beautiful fired enamel dial in a deep blue.


Thursday, 1 August 2013

Hands-on with the Lange 1815 Up/Down (with live photos and pricing)

Lange revamped the 1815 line at SIHH this year, expanding it to include complicated timepieces like the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar. But for those seeking something simpler, Lange also revived the 1815 Up/Down.



The first generation 1815 was one of Lange's first wristwatches. It was the brand's simplest timepiece, but it had a bigger brother, the original 1815 Auf und Ab, or Up and Down. That disappeared from the collection some years ago, but at SIHH 2013 it returned as the 1815 Up/Down.


Introducing the Hublot Big Bang Ferrari Singapore Limited Edition (with specs and price)

Hublot has just announced the Big Bang Ferrari Singapore Limited Edition, created for retailer The Hour Glass.



A nod to both the Singapore flag and Ferrari's trademark colour, the Hublot Big Bang Singapore Edition has a predominantly red colour scheme. It has a red tinted sapphire crystal as well as red accents, with a black ceramic case and bezel. Inside is the flyback UNICO movement with the column wheel visible underneath the dial.