Friday, 31 October 2014

Introducing The Konstantin Chaykin Genius Temporis - A Single-Handed Watch Showing Hours & Minutes (With Specs And Price)

Russian watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin's latest creation is the Genius Temporis, a wristwatch with only one hand. But intriguing it can indicate both the hours and minutes on the single hand.

Inspired by a sundial, the Genius Temporis is the work of Konstantin Chaykin, the only Russian member of the AHCI, the respected academy of independent watchmakers. The maker of mechanically ingenious yet quirky timepieces - his last timepiece featured a miniature motion picture projector - Konstantin Chaykin has taken the concept of a single-handed watch and given it an ingenious twist.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

EDITORIAL: Who Is Going To Fix Them In The Future?

Last year Switzerland exported 20.6 billion Swiss francs of watches, or about 28.1 million timepieces, recording its best year ever. Fine timepieces last a long time, each additional year of production has a cumulative effect on the total number of watches in the world. Who is going to fix all those watches?

With the rapid growth of the luxury watch market in the last decade, there are a tremendous number of high-end watches in circulation around the world. There are likely tens of thousands of tourbillon wristwatches out there, the vast majority of which were made in the last 20 years. And they will need servicing in the next 20 years.

Timepieces, at least those that collectors pursue, are mechanical objects. And all things mechanical need to be serviced. The gears, wheels, pinions, springs need to be cleaned and lubricated once every so often. That needs to done by a watchmaker. Overhauling a watch in a proper manner requires time, practically as much time as assembling and adjusting (but not including manufacturing) a brand new movement from scratch.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Introducing The Romain Jerome Batman-DNA For The Caped Crusader's 75th Birthday (With Specs And Price)

To mark the 75th anniversary of the first Batman comic, Romain Jerome has teamed up with DC Comics to create the Romain Jerome Batman-DNA, a limited edition of 75 pieces featuring a glow-in-the-dark, Bat signal dial.

Batman first made his appearance in Detective Comics #27 in 1939 but Bruce Wayne's alter ego is still an integral part of pop culture. Romain Jerome's tribute to the Dark Knight's longevity is the Romain Jerome Batman-DNA, a limited edition wristwatch with a dark, edgy aesthetic and a dial that lights up the Batman emblem at night.

Monday, 27 October 2014

EVENT: Christie's Art Forum on Watch Collecting in Singapore on 1 November 2014

Four panellists will discuss watch collecting at the Christie's Art Forum on 1 November, organised by Christie's and Watches By SJX. The forum will take place alongside the preview of the Autumn 2014 watch auctions.

The panel will discuss the topic "What is the value in time?", exploring what value, or values, collectors seek in timepieces. Given the moderation underway in the luxury watch market, this is a particularly salient topic.

Moderated by SJX, the panel will comprises key personalities from all corners of the horological universe: Michael Tay, Executive Director of The Hour Glass, South East Asia's largest watch retailer; Timothy Yong, an investment banker by day and watch collector by night; and Alexandre Bigler, Consultant at Christie's watch department.

Taking place at 11 am on Saturday, 1 November 2014, the event is open to all registered guests. Due to the venue, space is limited, so register early with Christie's.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Hands-On With The IWC Portofino Midsize - Engineered For Ladies, Quietly (Review, Photos And Pricing)

IWC recently unveiled the Portofino Midsize, a trio of timepieces in smaller cases, even with diamonds and mother-of-pearl dials. Despite being engineered for men, the Portofino Midsize watches are intended for women in all but name.

Best known for its men's watches, IWC has a small selection of timepieces for ladies, though they are not widely known. The brand is famous for its tagline - "Engineered for men" - and has built its success on masculine timepieces like the Portuguese or Pilot's. The new Portofino Midsize watches is a well executed attempt to secure more real estate on the female wrist.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Introducing The Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, To The 20th Anniversary Of A. Lange & Söhne's Iconic Timepiece

For the 20th anniversary of its signature Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne unveils the limited edition Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst, featuring a platinum case with a black champlevé enamel dial and hack seconds tourbillon.

20 years ago A. Lange & Söhne presented its first collection of four watches, including the timepiece that would become its most recognisable, the Lange 1. That put the resurrected brand name of A. Lange & Söhne back on the horological map, establishing it as the flag bearer of high-end German watchmaking. To commemorate that 20th anniversary, Lange has gone back to its archives and brought back a timepiece from its recent past in the form of the Lange 1 Tourbillon Handwerkskunst.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Introducing The Baume & Mercier Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve (With Specs And Price)

Baume & Mercier continues to grow its collection of mechanically sophisticated timepieces with the Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve, a limited edition for the brand's 185th anniversary, powered by a movement made by IWC.

To mark the 185 years since the founding of Baume & Mercier, the Clifton 8-Day Power Reserve joins the Clifton Flying Tourbillon in the brand's line-up of more complicated timepieces. The aesthetic is typical of the Clifton line, a look inspired by mid-twentieth century wristwatches, classical and clean.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Vacheron Constantin Opens Its Flagship Boutique In Singapore, Plus An Upcoming Minute Repeater Exhibition

Vacheron Constantin has just opened its boutique located in the ION Orchard mall in Singapore. At over 2000 square feet, complete with a resident watchmaker, the new store will be the brand's flagship store on the Orchard Road shopping belt.

Singapore, the city state that is the watch capital of South-East Asia now has a second Vacheron Constantin boutique. Located on the second level of ION Orchard, the new store will offer the complete range of Vacheron Constantin timepieces - both new and old - as well as services, with a watchmaker in-store. Several new timepieces from the 2014 collection will also make their premiere at the store, like the Traditionnelle Day-Date and Power Reserve Collection Excellence Platine.

Up Close With The Breguet Classique Chronometrie 10 Hz Ref. 7727 - A 21st Century Precision Chronometer (With Photos And Price)

Breguet made history with the Classique Chronometrie Ref. 7727, the first wristwatch on the market with a magnetic escapement. Equipped with magnets to secure the balance staff, the Classique Chronometrie also has a silicon escapement running at 10 Hz, resulting in an exemplary daily rate of just -1 to +3.

Breguet unveiled the Classique Chronometrie 7727 in 2012, becoming first to market with a mechanical timepiece using magnets for the escapement. The concept is simple: tiny magnets on each endstone of the balance staff keep it in place, pulling it back upright when the balance is displaced by shocks. Where large balance wheels, overcoils and free sprung balance wheels were the norm in historic attempts to improve chronometry, the Classique Chronometrie is a distinctly modern approach.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Introducing The Chopard Mille Miglia Porsche Club of America, A Limited Edition For The PCA's 60th Anniversary (With Specs And Price)

To mark its 60th anniversary in 2015, the Porsche Club of America worked with Chopard to create a Mille Miglia chronograph for club members.

Founded in 1955, the Porsche Club of America (PCA) is the world's largest single brand car club. For its 60th anniversary next year PCA just unveiled the Chopard Mille Miglia PCA limited edition, a self-winding chronograph with blue dial and the PCA logo on the back.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Introducing The Patek Philippe Multi-Scale Chronograph, A Vintage Style Chronograph For Its 175th Anniversary (With Specs And Price)

One of the more affordably priced - relatively speaking - limited editions in the Patek Philippe 175th anniversary collection is the Multi-Scale Chronograph, References 5975 and 4675. Styled like a vintage timepiece, it's a self-winding chronograph with a single seconds hand and three logarithmic scales to measure speed, distance and heartbeats. 

As Patek Philippe took the covers off its much awaited 175th anniversary collection, significant interest fell on the Multi-Scale Chronograph (Ref. 5975 in the mens' version and Ref. 4675 for the ladies' model), for two likely reasons. For one it is amongst the most affordable of the 175th anniversary range, starting at 53,000 Swiss francs. And also because it is a chronograph, which is the most popular complication, especially for male watch enthusiasts.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Hands-On With The Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM587 (With Photos And Price)

Panerai's most successful speciality has always been historical remakes made in small numbers, just like the new Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM587.

Panerai's history in watchmaking essentially boils down to two models: the wire-lug Radiomir of the thirties and the later Luminor with its signature crown locking mechanism that came in the subsequent decade. But in between the two was a transitional model, essentially a Luminor without the crown locking device. That timepiece is the basis for the whole Radiomir 1940 collection, including the brand new Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3 Days Acciaio PAM00587.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Hands-On With The Rotonde De Cartier Second Time Zone Day/Night (With Photos And Price)

Conceived as an entry-level complication in Cartier's line of timepieces with in-house movements, the new Rotonde De Cartier Second Time Zone Day/Night offers practical functions at an accessible price.

Cartier has been slowly but surely growing its range of petit complications for men, wristwatches with basic, practical functions. The new
 Rotonde De Cartier Second Time Zone Day/Night is just that. Starting at under US$10,000 in steel, it features a unique retrograde second time zone display, along with an oversized date. And while the watch has the easily recognisable Cartier house style, the look is made a little bit more interesting with its asymmetric dial layout. 

Friday, 17 October 2014

Pre-SIHH 2015: Introducing The Ralph Lauren Automotive Chronograph, Inspired By The Bugatti 57SC Atlantic (With Specs And Price)

At SIHH 2015 Ralph Lauren will add the Automotive Chronograph to its signature line of burl wood dial timepieces inspired by the Bugatti 57SC Atlantic Coupe.

Just like the recently launched Black Safari Flying Tourbillon, the Ralph Lauren Automotive watches take their cue from the dashboard of the Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic Coupe, a multi-million dollar beauty from the designer's legendary car collection. All feature a dial with a distinctive elm burl wood veneer, just as found in the Bugatti coupe. The latest model to join the collection is the Automotive Chronograph, which will be unveiled in January next year at SIHH 2015.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Introducing The Nomos Orion 1989, To Mark The 25th Anniversary Of The Fall Of The Berlin Wall (With Pricing)

For the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nomos has created a pair of special edition Orion watches, available in two sizes, both with grey dials matched with gold indices and hands, at an affordable price typical of Nomos.

The Berlin Wall came down on 9 November 1989 - to mark that event German watchmaker Nomos has unveiled a pair of Orion wristwatches. Available in two sizes, 33 mm or 38 mm, the Orion 1989 has a galvanised "November grey" dial with gilded hands and markers. The dark dial makes these unusual, as the quintessential Nomos look is a clean design with a silvered dial.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

A Quick Guide To The Patek Philippe 175th Anniversary Collection (With Specs And Price)

To mark its 175th anniversary Patek Philippe has created collection of limited edition timepieces, comprised of four models in several variations each, for both men and women, ranging from the US$2.3 million Grandmaster Chime grand complication to more affordable chronographs and world time watches, as well as the brand's first hour striker wristwatch. Here's a quick rundown of the 175th anniversary line-up.

The Patek Philippe 175th anniversary collection is made up of four basic models, each presented in several variants, with the highlight being a grande and petite sonnerie. That is followed by the Chiming Jump Jour Ref. 5275 - which just might be the most interesting of the line-up - and the Multi-Scale Chronograph Refs. 5975 and 4675, with the last being the World Time Moon Refs. 5575 and 7175. Overall it is a fairly compact collection, but industry insiders indicate that the anniversary year lasts into 2015, which might mean more new timepieces.

Introducing The Patek Philippe Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175, A Reversible, Grande Sonnerie, Perpetual Calendar Wristwatch (With Specs And Price)

The flagship timepiece of Patek Philippe's highly anticipated 175th anniversary collection is the Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175, the brand's most complicated wristwatch to date. It combines a 1366-part grand complication movement with a massive, Baroque case that is reversible and wearable on both sides.

In the Grandmaster Chime Ref. 5175 Patek Philippe has combined several traditional complications in a movement that has a whopping 1366 components. Not only is it Patek Philippe's first grande and petite sonnerie wristwatch, the Grandmaster Chime (who came up with that name?) also features an alarm, date repeater, perpetual calendar and a swivelling, double-faced case that can be worn on both sides. This grand complication is presented in a 47.4 mm case decorated with an ornate laurel wreath motif. Technically and aesthetically, the Grandmaster Chime is a lot more than what many would ask for.

Time Runs Out For India's National Watchmaker HMT, Once One Of The World's Largest

State-owned HMT Watches, once India's largest watchmaker, will soon be shut down after bleeding red ink for years, a consequence of a something familiar to Swiss watchmakers: cheap quartz imports. Competition from fellow Indian watch brand Titan merely added to its woes.

Established in 1961 with the help of Citizen of Japan, HMT Watches was for decades Indian's only watchmaker and at its peak, one of the biggest in the world. With the slogan "timekeepers to the nation", the company was part of the government's state-sponsored endeavours to build up various industries from watches to cars, leaving it a curious relic of economic thought that has long gone out of fashion. But last month time was finally called on HMT Watches, once the maker of coveted status symbols in India.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Hermès Introduces French Lacquer Dials With The Arceau Cheval d’Orient (With Pricing)

Hermes has applied the art of French lacquer to its timepieces with the Arceau Cheval d’Orient, depicting horses created with miniature painting and dozens of layers of natural lacquer.

Inspired by the lacquer wares of China and Japan, French lacquer was developed in the nineteenth century to mimic the oriental art form. It uses the sap of the lacquer tree to create vivid and fade-resistant motifs, often on a black lacquer background. Hermes recruited lacquer artisan Nathalie Rolland-Huckel
 to decorate the dials of the Arceau Cheval d’Orient with horses draped in colour Persian saddle rugs.

Introducing The Panthère au Clair de Lune de Cartier, Powered By A Wandering Panther (With Specs And Price)

Equipped with an inverted automatic winding mechanism, the Panthère au Clair de Lune de Cartier features a free-spinning panther set with jewels that animates the dial while winding the movement.

Cartier's Fine Watchmaking line often combines technical innovation with whimsy, a formula exemplified by the Panthère au Clair de Lune de Cartier that will soon be officially launched at Watches&Wonders 2014. Powered by the 9603 MC movement, the Panthère au Clair de Lune de Cartier has an unusual peripheral winding mechanism, with the bejewelled panther over the dial as the oscillating weight.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

F.P. Journe Publishes Book Dedicated To The Grande Sonnerie Wristwatch

F.P. Journe has just published a book dedicated to the grande sonnerie, both the complication in general and its own Sonnerie Souverain wristwatch. The luxury version of the tome will even include an audio player that plays the Sonnerie Souveraine chimes.

F.P. Journe is one of the half dozen makers of a grande sonnerie wristwatch - a timepiece that chimes the time en passant, or as it passes, like how a grandfather clock does - the most complex single complication in watchmaking. A 90-page book on that magnificent wristwatch has just been published, titled Sonnerie Souverain - Grande Sonnerie.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Hands-On With The Panerai Special Edition Set Luminor Black Seal And Daylight PAM785 (With Live Photos And Price)

A two-piece special edition box set, the Panerai Luminor Black Seal And Luminor Daylight PAM785 are convincing remakes of the desirable Pre-Vendome Slytech watches of 1996. But behind the vintage facade the mechanics are new, with the calibre P.5000 inside both timepieces.

Just unveiled at Watches&Wonders, the Panerai Special Edition Set PAM785 comprises two watches, a Luminor Black Seal and Luminor Daylight, inside a large presentation box. Both are remakes of the Pre-Vendome Luminor watches made for Sylvester Stallone, but equipped with the P.5000 in-house movement with eight days power reserve.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Introducing The A-rtisan Dragon Limited Edition, Crafted In Thailand And Powered By A Swiss Movement (With Details And Price)

Conceived by a watch collector to be an affordable, unique timepiece, the A-rtisan Dragon is proudly crafted in Thailand, but equipped with a Swiss Unitas movement.

A-rtisan is the first, homegrown Thai watch brand. A-rtisan is the brainchild of Ratthawich Chainarongruj, a watch collector hailing from Bangkok, Thailand. He put together a small team of designers, engineers and machinists, resulting in A-rtisan's first timepiece: the Dragon, an affordable, limited edition wristwatch in steel, DLC or bronze.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

W&W 2014: Introducing The Vacheron Constantin Maître Cabinotier Astronomica Featuring 15 Complications

One of the most complicated timepieces in recent memory, the Vacheron Constanatin Maître Cabinotier Astronomica is a one-off timepiece with 15 complications - and it has already been sold.

Unveiled and sold on the first day of Watches&Wonders 2014, the Vacheron Constantin Maître Cabinotier Astronomica is a grand complication of the old school - as many functions as possible packed into a large watch case. One complication less than the Tour de l'Ile made for the brand's 250th anniversary in 2005, the Maître Cabinotier Astronomica is amongst the most complicated wristwatches made by Vacheron Constantin.

Friday, 3 October 2014

W&W 2014: Introducing The Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3-Days PAM587 (With Specs And Price)

A remake of the first Radiomir 1940, the new Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare 3-Days Acciaio PAM587 is 1000-piece limited edition with all the features typical of a Panerai vintage remake.

As the Radiomir evolved into the Luminor case, there was a transitional model in-between - the new Panerai Radiomir 1940 Marina Militare PAM587 is a remake of that very timepiece. Large and vintage-looking, the PAM00587 is essentially a Luminor 1950 PAM372 without the crown locking mechanism.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

W&W 2014: Introducing The Panerai Luminor Black Seal And Luminor Daylight Set PAM785 - Pre-V Remake With An In-House Movement (With Specs And Price)

Panerai has looked into its more recent history for the new Special Edition Set Luminor Black Seal And Luminor Daylight PAM785, a remake of collectible Pre-Vendome models from the nineties, equipped with the P.5000 movement.

Panerai timepieces made before the Vendome Group (the predecessor of Richemont) bought the company are known as Pre-Vendome watches. They are desirable and generally expensive. And finally Panerai has created a remake of two Pre-V watches from the nineties, the Luminor Black Seal And Luminor Daylight, packaging them as a limited edition set known as the PAM00785.

W&W 2014: Introducing The Rotonde De Cartier Second Time Zone Day/Night, A Small Complication Starting At Under $10,000 (With Specs And Price)

Newly launched at Watches&Wonders 2014 and featuring a retrograde dual time zone and big date, the Rotonde De Cartier Second Time Zone Day/Night is conceived as Cartier's entry level, "small complication" wristwatch.

As watchmakers adjust to the slow demand for fine timepieces, more affordable timepieces are making their way to market. One example being the Cartier's new Rotonde De Cartier Second Time Zone Day/Night, which starts at just under US$10,000 in steel.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Hands-On With The Rare Patek Philippe 3970 Second Series

Arguably the quintessential Patek Philippe complication, the chronograph with perpetual calendar is often synonymous with the reference 3970, due to its longevity and relative affordability.

Patek Philippe invented the combination complication of chronograph and perpetual calendar with the ref. 1518 in 1941, starting a lineage of very desirable timepieces. But the chronograph perpetual calendar with the greatest lifespan was the ref. 3970, produced from 1986 to 2004.

W&W 2014: Introducing The Montblanc Metamorphosis II, A Watch With Transforming Twin Faces (With Specs And Price)

A watch with two faces, the Montblanc Metamorphosis II transforms from one dial to another in five seconds, going from showing the chronograph to a date display, driven by an extraordinarily complex mechanism with nearly 500 parts.

Unveiled a few years ago as the TimeWriter Metamorphosis, Montblanc has revamped the timepiece to create the Metamorphosis II. It has been given a more restrained, classical aesthetic with a silvered guilloche dial. 

The movement, however, remains the same, utilising a mechanism similar to that of a minute repeater to power the transforming dial. It is an enormously complex module built on the MB 67.40 chronograph movement. Most of the movement's constituent parts, 494 of 746, are for the transforming mechanism.

W&W 2014: Introducing The Lange 1 20th Anniversary His-And-Hers Set (With Specs And Price)

For the 20th anniversary of the Lange 1, A. Lange & Söhne has created limited edition sets comprising a Lange 1 and Little Lange 1, in five different precious metals featuring guilloche dials.

Arguably A. Lange & Söhne's most recognisable timepiece, the Lange 1 is the face of the brand. For the 20th anniversary of the model, Lange has created five different sets of the Lange 1, comprising matching his-and-hers Lange 1s with guilloche dials in colours used on earlier Lange 1 models but not seen since, like a black dial with a rose gold case.