Archive for the ‘TIMEPIECES’ Category

Atelier DeMonaco Care d’Or Roman Imperial Grand Tourbillon XP Watch

May 5, 2009

This new brand is founded on the idea of bringing the lifestyle of Monaco to the ingenuity of Swiss matchmaking. At least that is the idea. Atelier DeMonaco’s forthcoming live of watches are nice to look at with ideals that lay somewhere between classic and modern (a bit like Monaco itself). The watches start with the company’s proprietary XP one minute tourbillon movement that was designed to be as accurate a tourbillon as is possible. It does this through fine tweaks and optimization in the overall design of the movement using such items and features as a Silicium escapement and lever, a well adjusted balance cafe for the escapement, and ion etching for precise creation of individual movement parts. Note their use of incredibly well engraved gold rotors for the automatic movement.

I like that the XP one minute tourbillon movement is an automatic and uses a transparent sapphire tourbillon bridge. A major element of the watch’s allure is view into the tourbillon’s operation which is aided by such fancy parts, and the double sapphire crystals. The pictured model is the Care d’Or Roman Imperial Grand Tourbillon XP watch characterized by its square case and use of Roman numerals. Other similar versions of the watch come in white gold (as opposed to rose gold) and with Arabic numerals or simple hour index markers. The 44.3mm x 48mm case is quite complex using 33 parts and utilizes a core made of titanium to save weight. Case design is reminiscent of the Monaco’s architecture, while gold is used for much of the case, the hands, and the buckle on the alligator strap. Look for this and other very high end Atelier DeMonaco watches out soon, as the brand has been formally introduced only recently in the middle of April 2009.


Raymond Weil Lady Freelancer Chronograph Watch

May 5, 2009

Whether purposefully or coincidentally, I find it amusing that this new very feminine Lady Freelancer watch by Raymond Weil shares an almost identical dial and function layout to the very masculine IWC Top Gun Pilot Double Chronograph watch. Perhaps the similarity is no accident as Raymond Weil bills this new watch as a form of urban luxury offering a very large for a lady’s watch width size of 42mm in a stainless steel diamond set case. Diamonds are a major element of the Lady Freelancer Chronograph watch’s theme with 169 stones on the case and another 66 lining the bezel. Still, the watch seems to be confused, with such formal attire, the large dial still bears an exposed screw, and the baton hands and sharp edged hour markers are more aggressive in tone than you’d expect from a magenta colored watch. Perhaps this watch is for the lady packin’ a concealed Beretta under her evening wear?

The Lady Freelancer Chronograph comes in two colors, fuchsia pink and off white, with matching alligator straps. Inside the watch is an automatic Valjoux 7750 mechanical movement providing the time, 12 hour chronograph, and day and date complications. Price will likely exceed $4,000 given the amount of stones and might go higher is Raymond Weil is feeling particularly optimistic.

Fully Hand-Engraved Magrette Maui’s Fish Limited Edition Watch From New Zealand

May 5, 2009

This incredible watch was thought impossible given the level of detail all over the timepiece’s case – but passion made it possible. Graduating from having a limited edition watch with just an engraved bezel – New Zealand’s own and only watch company, Magrette, now presents “Maui’s Fish.” The watch is based on the Magrette Regattare model, but adds an incredible amount of decoration styled after the art and stories of New Zealand’s native people, the Maoris.

What I like so much about the engravings is the level of character as opposed to just being pretty. Expressive faces peek between waves and winds, with an overall visual effect of the watch being quite satisfying and appearing grand in scale. The images actually tell a story related to a Maori mythological tale relating to the creation of New Zealand’s northern island, you can learn more about it via the link above. A good story like that to share while showing off your watch is something you don’t get with most other timepieces.

Inside the watch is a Swiss automatic mechanical ETA 2824-2 movement, with a legible and attractive dial similar to Anonimo watch faces. The steel case is 44mm wide, and the watch comes in a limited edition presentation box crafted from New Zealand Kauri timber. Price is a very reasonable $3985, but the watch comes in a limited edition of just 10. A really great watch with a great story. See the gallery below for more images of the Magrette Maui’s Fish.

Vacheron Constantin Overseas Gray Watch Line For 2009

May 5, 2009

Please don’t tell me that gray is the new black. Vacheron Constantin’s new Overseas Gray watch at least wants to suggest that, and the slate colored look of the popular sports watch from the thankfully conservative watch brand seems to suggest just that. Having undergone but just a few minor tweaks over the past decade or so, the Overseas line of diver-themed watches from Vacheron Constantin is the watch to wear for those who like the idea and heritage behind the brand, but aren’t too keen on the highly traditional looks of much of the watch line (and who, like me, are not into the design of the “experimental” Qaui de l’Ile watches).

Another way to look at the Overseas Gray watch is that it has been pulled from a black & white movie. The tonalities of the watch in its multi-shade monochromatic glory suggest just that. Can’t you see picking this watch right out of a classic film before “glorious color” supplanted the days of forever noir. Accordingly, the Vacheron Constantin Gray is based on a design from 1933, which has been reinterpreted by the brand a few times over the ages.

Two versions of the 42mm gray nickel-coated 18k white gold cased watches are available. The three-hand and chronograph housing an automatic Vacheron Constantin caliber 1226 and 1137 respectively. The dial is a satin finish with white gold hands and hour indexes. The watch will come with a “mouse grey” alligator strap and a black rubber strap. Check for these new pieces of history soon.

New Tourbillon Watch Boutique on Wall Street

May 5, 2009

One of the most coveted watch models among collectors is the highly complicated tourbillon, which was invented in 1801 by Abraham-Louis Breguet as a means to improve the accuracy of timekeeping. Designed to counter the effects of gravity by mounting the escapement and balance wheel in a rotating cage, the tourbillon regulator is now employed by many high-end watchmakers. The feature is so desirable that the Swatch Group Ltd., owner of Breguet among several other brands, has assembled many of its complex tourbillon models in a new store dedicated to the complication on New York’s Wall Street. The Tourbillon Boutique, opened last month, showcases a selection of the top models from Breguet, Blancpain, Glashütte Original, Jaquet Droz, and Omega watchmakers. The Swatch Group’s choice of a Wall Street location, with its close proximity to bankers with little time to shop a Fifth Avenue store, was quite intentional. “We found that Wall Street bankers are our most loyal tourbillon customers,” said a spokesperson, “with the least amount of time to go uptown to shop.” The Swatch Group already has 17 Tourbillon Boutiques in locations worldwide including Beijing; Nice, France; Singapore; and Los Angeles.

1905 Chronograph By Gerald Genta

May 1, 2009

M. Gerald Genta is one of the world’s greatest contemporary horologists.

Over his long and illustrious career, he has accumulated universal fame for such iconic creations as the Patek Philippe Nautilus, the Audemars Piguet Royal Oak and the IWC Ingenieur.

His watches are amongst the most coveted and collectible in the world.

Tag Heuer F1 Grande Date

April 29, 2009

Sport, design, and function combine into the straightforward, high-performance design of the Tag Heuer’s F1 Grande Date. The monochromatic face is a full superluminova white dial (also available in a black model with white indexes) that sits under a titanium coated scratch-resistant unidirectional turning bezel. The watch also features 200m water resistance, “Grande Date” window at 6 ‘o clock, and a small second subdial.

Bell & Ross BR 01-93 24H GMT Watch

April 29, 2009

Luxury watch brand Bell & Ross presents a new Instrument BR model, whose technical features specifically target the needs of long distance travelers.

The Bell & Ross BR 01-93 24H GMT features a 24 hour secondary time zone on the bezel with a large orange GMT indicator to keep you on-time no matter where you are in the world.

No price but expect it to hit at about $7,000.

Dubey & Shaldenbrand Olympe Watch Collection

April 29, 2009

Here is a cool watch for you Greek mythology fans out there from Dubey & Shaldenbrand. Probably the best touch in this Olympe watch collection is the Zeus lightning bolt minute hand, but other aspects of this watch fit the theme nicely as well. Dubey & Shaldenbrand timepieces are shaped like (more) avant garde Franck Muller watches, using a similar tonneau shaped case, which in this instance is 33mm wide and 44mm tall. The case is steel, and two versions are available with and without diamonds set in the bezel.

The high grade ETA 2892 automatic movement has been modified with a day/night display that operates the rotating disc in the middle of the dial. A date window is covertly placed at the 6 o’clock position. The dial layout is exceptionally well done as a easy to see round dial is placed within the oblong shaped face. Good use of the style with good functionality. Around the round dial are well designed numerals with an art deco character. Of course there are the zodiac characters displayed, but they are just placed for show (no zodiac calendar indicator). The watch is meant to represent the power and might of the Greek gods, and the corresponding mythology. A nice genre piece with the images on the enamel dial. The Dubey & Shaldenbrand Olympe watch collection will be offered as a limited edition of just 200 pieces. Price will be at least $10,000 – $15,000.

Tudor GranTour Date Ref. 20050N Watch

April 28, 2009

Tudor watches are relatively unknown in the United States, probably because you can’t find them in the United States. That might be changing soon as the brand is revitalizing their marketing efforts. Who is Tudor? Well, think of it as a baby Rolex. That is right, Rolex-owned Tudor has been selling similarly themed watches for years, marketed toward people not quite able to afford Rolex, or who want something a bit different. The new line of Tudor watches is more sporty looking that most Rolex watches but has a similar demeanor. They feel like Rolex’s baby brother brand, and it is an important niche.

Pictured is their new Grantour watch inspired by auto racing, GT racing to be exact – where stamina and distance are more important than brute power. In addition to the three-hand model, a chronograph version fills out the collection. Inside are automatic mechanical movements as you would expect. Based on the current markets that Tudor primarily serves, the sizes of the steel watches are modest at 41mm wide. Vintage themed dials do clarity and the racing theme justice, while the perforated leather strap is a nice touch. I consider this watch to be an alternative to the famous Chopard Mille Miglia. The case is also water resistant to 150 meters, while the black in the bezel is lacquer. A lot of the same polish that you get with a Rolex, but just a bit more entry-level.