Watchuseek Blog

Monday, May 30, 2011

Limited edition of 200 : Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire.

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You know you have an important watch on your hands when the press release runs to over five pages of tightly packed text describing the watch in all its glory.

Such is the case with the new version of the Jaeger-LeCoultre Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire.

The Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire will be produced in a limited edition of 200 white gold watches. The aim is to push precision timekeeping to new heights and the watch features:

• A date-moon complication in the dual-wing concept
• Shows 1/6th of a second increments
• Displays time with a jumping seconds hand
• Hour, minute, second and a jumping-second
• Date and age of the moon for the northern and the southern hemisphere.

And, despite an exceptionally complex calibre with two barrels and over 369 parts, it features easy readability and a sleek design.

The new Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 381

Calibre 381, visible through the sapphire caseback, features a large balance wheel of 10 millimeters in diameter and an inertia of 11.5 mg cm2 beating at a frequency of 21,600 vibrations per hour or 3 Hertz.

The driving force behind the design is timekeeping accuracy.

The Dual-Wing concept addresses an age-old problem in watchmaking: every complication reduces the amount and consistency of the energy reaching the escapement. Calibre 381 is dedicated to achieving the highest possible precision for a mechanical movement.

The calibre is divided into two sections just like two wings – hence the name dual-wing. On each side sits one barrel with its mainspring guaranteeing a power reserve of 50 hours: one for hour, minute, seconds, jumping seconds, the date and the age of the moon, the other for the escapement device to ensure a constant power supply.

Both springs are wound through the crown. Rotating it clockwise winds the timing barrel (escapement).

Turning the crown counter-clockwise winds the power reserve of the functions (hour, minute, seconds, jumping seconds, date, moon phase).

The jumping seconds hand

Coupling the two mechanisms via the jumping seconds hand mechanism means the watch can be adjusted to a timing signal without stopping the escapement.

The watch features two seconds hands. One at the centre and a second one at 6 o’clock: a jumping seconds hand accurate to 1/6th of a second.

Setting the time is achieved by pulling the crown then both seconds hands, the centre seconds hand and the jumping seconds hand jump to the zero-position leaving the escapement running.
Pushing the crown activates both hands simultaneously by re-coupling into the running escapement.

Once released, the wheels of the hands interlock with the active mechanism and begin to turn on the spot at the speed of the clock, which is 3 Hertz.

This accuracy is reached instantaneously because the balance has been working even with the hands on hold.

With the traditional second’s stop, which freezes the balance wheel, the watch needs several minutes before it is back in its original rhythm.

The moon phase and date

The complication of the Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire shows the most important calendar function – the date – and the most romantic one: the age of the moon.

The date indication runs around the sub dial on the left side of the watch. A long hand in the centre indicates the age of the moon.

The watch features a traditional star wheel with 59 teeth, which shows a full moon cycle in 29.5 days. Because the length of the cycle in nature is 29.53 days, an error of 44 minutes and 2.8 seconds per month (or 9 hours per year) occurs with the indicated age of the moon.

It adds up to a full day in the course of three years. This deviation is corrected through a pusher on the side of the case at the 12 o’clock position.

Sleek design and finishing

The Calibre 381 is beautifully finished.

The two independent barrels are snailed and bevelled by hand, while the ratchet-wheels are brushed with sunray-patterns and engraved and gilded “Mouvement” and “heure/minute” respectively.

The wheels and pinions feature snailed and polished surfaces. Flame-blued steel screws and a base plate of untreated nickel-silver highlight the traditional finishing techniques.

The 42mm case, waterproof to 5 bar, uses a push button at 10 o’clock to set the date and a pusher between the lugs at 12 to adjust the moon phase.

Matte black or chocolate brown alligator straps are fitted to a double folding clasp.

The Duomètre à Quantième Lunaire Limited Edition will retail for 32,000 euros, and orders can be taken as of now. The reference number is Q6043570.

Friday, May 27, 2011

'The best traveller's watch ever': Vogard Datezoner Automatic Watch

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Three world firsts

The Vogard Datezoner heralds three impressive world firsts. It’s the first chronograph to set the date via the bezel, the first chronograph to set time zones via the bezel and the first chronograph to indicate daylight saving time (DST, summer time).

The case, made from titanium carbide, measures all of 48mm. It has an AR-coated sapphire crystal and is water resistant to 50 metres. The bezel is available in 18kt gold or black steel.

Movement by Andreas Strehler

The movement is the Swiss automatic Datezoner 01 patented and developed by Andreas Strehler, one of the world’s finest watchmakers whose portfolio includes superlative watches such as the Moser Perpetual 1, Harry Winston Opus 7 and his self branded Papillon.

The linking of the time zone with a disc to change date is a world first in the history of Swiss mechanical watch making.

This ingenious solution became possible thanks to the development of a complex, angled synchronisation wheel which is activated by the Timezoner movement on one side and which meshes with one of the 31 knobs on the bottom side of the date disc on the other side.

Production tolerance of 100th of a millimetre

The calculation of the exact angle for the positioning of the synchronisation wheel on an inclined plane is a secret known only to Vogard's engineers who were supported by Andreas Strehler.

The manufacturing of the components for this revolutionary mechanism requires a production tolerance of just 100th of a millimetre. Only when all parts meet that level of precision can the date change accurately in one-day steps, forward and backwards.

In-house assembly

Vogard assembles all their watches in its own atelier in Switzerland. 90% of the Datezoner's movement components are developed and manufactured in-house, with the all-important movement plate being made in collaboration with a leading manufacturer of aviation components.

The result is a plate that offers far greater flexibility in the arrangement and in the development of watch functions.

Unusually, the setting crown is transferred from its usual position at 3 o’clock to 6 o’clock. At the same time, the chronograph push pieces are placed at 4 and 8 o’clock.

Vogard founder Michael Vogt

VOGARD was founded by Michael Vogt in 2002. A native of Grenchen, a centre of the Swiss watch industry, he is a passionate watch enthusiast. After receiving his Business Administration degree from the University of St.Gallen, he started his career with Unilever, the consumer products giant.

In 1992 he entered the watch industry and gained valuable business experience in Senior Marketing positions with TAGHeuer, Ebel and Gucci.

Over the years Michael’s intense travel schedule took him to over 120 countries around the world. He realised there was a gap in the market for a good-looking, simple-to-use, highly functional time zone watch that could be re-set without all the usual button-pushing and crown-spinning that was required of current models.

In 1999 he became an entrepreneur and joined the Internet start-up Aseantic as a partner. The sale of his shares some time later enabled him to turn his vision of VOGARD and the “best traveller’s watch ever” into reality.

Vogard Datezoner Chronograph Automatic watch specifications

Movement: Automatic, Datezoner 01, Swiss Made
Functions: Hours, minutes, seconds, big date, chronograph
Case material: Titanium carbide
Bezel material: 18-carat rose gold/Black steel
Case shape: Round
Bezel shape: Round
Case size: 48.00 mm
Dial: Carbon fibre
Hands: Gold
Water resistance: 50 metres
Strap: Leather strap
Crystal: Sapphire, anti-reflective
Case back: Sapphire

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Dirty dandy retro-futuristic: March LA.B JC1 Banker and Shadowplay

Alain Marhic and Jerome Mage are two guys who have sensibly decided that life is too short to have anything but a whole lot of fun. This is ably demonstrated in their stylish tasteful retro-futuristic watch collections and the way in which the collections are raunchily presented.

The vibe at the moment is 60’s Madison Avenue.

JC1 Shadowplay and the JC1 Banker

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Two new watches exemplify the Madison Avenue heyday; the JC1 Shadowplay and the JC1 Banker. With Swiss ETA quartz analogue movements and straps in lizard or French handmade stingray, they definitely exude a Don Draper roguish appeal.

Unless you have been taking an extended sabbatical in the caves of Tora Bora you will know that Don Draper is the self-serving Creative Director of the global smash hit TV show Mad Men. The design hints of a taste for the fast life, beautiful women and exclusive luxury.

The name March LA.B represents March, the 3rd month of the year and the 3 founders of the company, one of which is a silent partner and business angel. LA.B stands for Los Angeles and Biarritz two stylish coastal cities that have always had a style of their own and the two cities which Alain and Jerome call home.

Alain Marhic, CEO and founder
In addition to enjoying a successful modelling career, Alain has run two surfing schools. Alain joined Quiksilver’s HQ in Biarritz in 1999, eventually assuming the position of Director of Operations for the eyewear and watch divisions. In 2008 he decided to climb out of his comfort zone and found March LA.B.

Jerome Mage, Creative Director

Jerome left France for Los Angeles at 20 years old and almost immediately found himself in charge of the creative direction of a major action sports eyewear company. An expert in mixing fashion with technology, Jerome formed his own design company in 2001. He loves nothing more than to get out on to the California freeways in one of his Mustangs with T.Rex glam-rock powering through the speakers, and there’s a lot to be said for that! Jerome is in charge of Creative Direction at March LA.B.

Urban dandy
This is the March LA.B design code. The idea is to design watches of stylish timeless appeal following the example of the most exceptional watches of the past decades. All of the pieces are crafted in Switzerland but retain a louche, rebellious attitude you can slip on your wrist. March LA.B watches are available around the world in selected accessories boutiques in France, USA and Japan. The watches retail for around US$1,400.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Sporting gesture: F.P. Journe and Christie’s work together to aid Japan

Auction of the first F.P. Journe Centigraphe Sport
Christies, Hong Kong Watch Auction, May 30th 2011
One of the most important names in watchmaking and one of the leading names in art auctions are working together to bring aid to Japan following the devastating Match 11th earthquake and subsequent tsunami which continues to present formidable problems for Japan.

Christie’s and F.P. Journe have entered into an unprecedented collaboration to unveil the first of F.P. Journe’s new Centigraphe Sport wristwatches from its brand new “Sport Line” collection at Christie’s Hong Kong Watch Auction on May 30th.

All aluminium

This all-aluminium mechanical chronograph watch (numbered 001) will be auctioned at Christie’s Hong Kong Watch Sale (Lot 2192A), with proceeds and buyers’ premium to be donated to the relief efforts.

The watch case, bracelet and movement have a combined weight of only 55g. The crown, pushers and sides of the bracelet are coated in rubber to absorb shock.

According to Journe, the aluminium alloy used is scratch resistant with anti-corrosive and anti-allergic properties. This is good news as past attempts to use aluminium for watch cases, by IWC and Bulgari for example, were not notably successful given the softness of aluminium.

F.P.Journe has chosen the Centigraphe as its first timepiece to introduce its new collection, the Sport Line.

Inspired by a customer

The inspiration for the collection stems from a request from an important collector, an aficionado of F.P.Journe watches, who has competed in numerous marathon and triathlon competitions and wished to have an ultra light sports watch coupled with a movement of authentic high horology.

With its ability to measure in 100ths of a second, the Centigraphe Sport is the perfect watch to help him excel in activities where every second counts.

Preview and official launch

In advance of the May 30th sale in Hong Kong, the watch will be on view from May 28th till the morning of May 29th at the Convention Hall, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, 1 Harbour Road, Wanchai, Hong Kong.

The official launch of the Centigraphe Sport and donation of the auction proceeds will take place at The Swiss Embassy in Tokyo on 3 June 2011, and will then become available exclusively in the F.P. Journe Boutiques in Hong Kong, Beijing, Paris, Geneva and New York.

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Racing chic: Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back

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ollowing on from the very successful Tudor Heritage Chronograph launch last year, Rolex’s sister brand has just released a new model, the Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back, and remodelled the Grantour Date and Chrono.

This collection of sport chic watches are designed to capture the excitement of the world of GT racing. As with many brands currently following what is becoming a well worn track – that of the retro racing inspired look, (see Saint Honore Haussman Forty 7-24) the Tudor Grantour’s strong lines and the hands of the watch are inspired by the sleek shapes of sports car design. This time the counter with red details emulates the dials on a GT dashboard.

All the models in the Grantour line are equipped with pushers that are lockable at one eighth of a turn, and satin-finished streamlined lugs.

Tudor Grantour Chronograph

Tudor Grantour Date

Tudor Grantour Chrono Fly-Back

With the same 42 mm case as the Grantour Date and Grantour Chrono models, this new model is equipped with a Fly-Back pusher with a red marking.

The small seconds hand counter at 9 o’clock is set in a background motif designed to look like automobile transmission belts.

The Fly-Back allows consecutive time intervals to be measured rapidly thanks to its on the fly chronograph reset and instant restart functions.

The watch is available in steel and in a combination of steel and 18ct pink gold, which is a first for the Tudor brand.

The Grantour Date, Chrono and Chrono Fly-Back models are available with a satin finished three-piece link steel bracelet with a polished centre piece, or the racy leather straps with large or micro-perforations and a folding clasp with a new safety catch.


Case: 42mm steel with polished and satin finish
Black-lacquered fixed graduated bezel made of steel or 18 ct pink gold
Movement: Self-winding mechanical chronograph
Power reserve of approximately 42 hours
Steel or 18 ct pink gold bistable lockable chronograph pushers with red and black markings
60-minute totaliser at 9 o’clock
Small seconds hand at 3 o’clock
Date at 6 o’clock
Sapphire crystal
Steel or 18 ct pink gold screw-down winding crown
Waterproof to a depth of 150 m (500 ft)
Steel or steel and 18 ct pink gold bracelet, or leather strap with large or micro-perforations, folding clasp and safety catch

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Le Mans on your wrist: Saint Honore Haussman Forty 7-24

Inspired by motor car racing, this new automatic super-chronograph from SAINT HONORE puts the Le Mans spirit right on your wrist.

Created for performance, the chronograph times are easy to read at a glance. The silver-tinted dial, in a honeycomb caseback, features a clear and racy composition.

The sporty subdials are just like the dashboard in a racing car - round, graduated counters with brightly-coloured hands - or tachymetric scale graduated up to 407 km/h, a figure symbolic of the maximum speed achieved during a Le Mans 24 Hours race. The outsized orange figure 15 represents the start time for the 24 Hours races: 1500 (3 p.m.).

Inside the titanium finish case is the automatic Valjoux 7750 chronograph movement, visible through a transparent crystal.

This self-winding mechanical movement has a 44-hour power reserve and offers the hour, minute and small second functions combined with a 3-counter chronograph system (seconds at 9 o'clock, hours at 6 o'clock and 30 minutes at 12 o'clock).

Supplied with two exclusive straps - black, honeycomb rubber and special leather with holes and orange overstitching, Haussman Forty 7-24 is ready to face any challenge.

The brand’s two racing-driver ambassadors, Stéphane Sarrazin, for Peugeot, and Christophe Tinseau, for Pescarolo, were wearing SAINT HONORE’s new creation, the Haussman Forty7-24, when it made its grand debut at the Spa 1,000 in advance of one of the year’s major events; the Le Mans 24 Hours.

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Monday, May 16, 2011

Bonhams Auction of Modern Wristwatches: Hong Kong Island, Shangri-La Hotel, May 26th 2011

If you happen to be anywhere near Hong Kong on May 26th and $42,000 is a trifling amount to splash out on a watch, then you should make your leisurely way to the Shangri-La, for an auction of fine modern wristwatches by Bonhams.

Harry Winston Project Z3 Sport Tourbillon

Two highlights catch the eye. An ultra rare Harry Winston Project Z3 Sport Tourbillon – only 50 were ever made.

The watch was introduced in 2006, the third version in the Z platform features one of the most beautiful complications in horology – an automatic tourbillon with the frame’s rotation system located within. With the Z3, a new complication entered the Zalium collection: the Tourbillon. And it was not a mere Tourbillon: it was an automatic one with a power reserve of more than 100 hours.

Project Z3 also includes another distinct attribute: a ‘warning’ system informing the wearer that the power reserve is spent and it is necessary to rewind the watch.

The movement was developed by Peter Speake-Marin, who has of course gone on to develop his own highly regarded manufacture. The watch is expected to fetch something in the region of US$42,000.

Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref.5970J in 18k gold

Another highlight under the hammer is an exquisite Patek Philippe Perpetual Calendar Chronograph Ref.5970J in 18k gold.

The traditional chronograph with perpetual calendar was relaunched with a larger case in 2004 in yellow gold. Pure, timeless elegance from this complicated Patek Philippe icon. As is always the case with Patek Philippe, your pockets will need to be even deeper.

The watch is expected to fetch something in the region of US$120,000 to US$170,000 – and the bidding could go considerably higher. Happy bidding.

Pictures courtesy of

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Come on you reds: Hublot King Power Red Devil

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A new King Power has been unveiled on the hallowed turf of Old Trafford, the world famous Manchester United football stadium. As with all major Hublot watch launches, Hublot CEO Jean-Claude Biver was on hand to do the unveiling honours.

Featuring new technical details, and equipped with a new chronograph movement with two centre chrono hands providing better readability, the King Power Red Devil is a symbol of fusion and innovation, paying tribute to this most legendary of football clubs.

The Manchester United players, Sir Alex Ferguson and Jean-Claude Biver, CEO of Hublot were all on the pitch to host the presentation of the new King Power Red Devil to the international press.

Chronograph movement

In tribute to one of the world's most famous football clubs, for which it has been Official Timekeeper since 2008, Hublot has developed a King Power equipped for the first time with a chronograph movement distinguished by two centre chrono hands. This makes for better readability.

The wearer can keep track of both hands at a glance; the first indicates the seconds, and the other hand, specially developed for football, indicates the time elapsed during the 45 minutes of each half.

Sapphire dial

With a sapphire dial, the movement – here in an Aero Bang version - has also undergone new skeleton working, leaving it more open to further reveal the working parts of the watch and its fine mechanics.

Black ruthenium

The topside is coated with black ruthenium for a beautiful overall effect. Predominantly red, the minute track, a time counter at 9 o'clock and a date window at 4 o'clock round off the piece, stamped with the famous Red Devils emblem at 3 o'clock.

Old Trafford turf

In a nod to Old Trafford's more than one hundred year-old turf, the watch indexes come in a natural grass-green colour, obtained using real blades of grass from Old Trafford, picked and preserved especially by the club's groundsmen for the making of this limited series.

It took Hublot 6 months of development to stabilise the plant material and its original colour, including against UV and temperature differences. The freeze-dried blades of grass were inserted into the indexes through an all-new process, then coated with a special transparent lacquer to secure them permanently.

The King Power case – 48 mm in diameter, here in micro-blasted black ceramic or in 18K King Gold - has been revamped. Its two push-buttons have been redesigned, and are now each protected by a safety bar, which is completely built in either side of the crown. And in a final reference to the legendary club, the black rubber strap has a red line in the centre, directly inspired by Manchester United's graphics.

Limited editions

This limited edition is produced in 500 numbered pieces for the micro-blasted black ceramic version and in 250 pieces for the King Gold 18K version.

Each signed by Sir Alex Ferguson

Every watch is accompanied by a certificate guaranteeing its authenticity, signed personally by Sir Alex Ferguson.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Glory be: Jaeger-Le Coultre honours Al Pacino

Al Pacino: Awarded Glory to the Filmmaker Award at 68th Venice International Film Festival
Legendary American actor and director Al Pacino is the recipient of the Jaeger-Le Coultre Glory to the Filmmaker 2011 Award, a prize of the Venice International Film Festival (organised by the Biennale di Venezia), created in collaboration with Jaeger-Le Coultre, and dedicated to an artist who has left an original mark on contemporary cinema.

The prize has previously been awarded to some of the greatest figures in film including: Takeshi Kitano (2007), Abbas Kiarostami (2008), Agnès Varda (2008), Sylvester Stallone (2009) and Mani Ratnam (2010).


This year, the award will celebrate Al Pacino and his achievements as a filmmaker. The awards ceremony will take place on Sunday September 4th during the 68th Venice International Film Festival (August 31st – September 10th 2011) directed by Marco Mueller and organised by the Biennale di Venezia chaired by Paolo Baratta.

Festival Director, Marco Mueller, describes Pacino as, “An amazing director, whose experience is precious and original, and enriches the world of contemporary film.”

The award ceremony will precede the world premiere of Pacino’s third feature-length directorial picture, Wilde Salome. Referred to as his "most personal project ever," the unconventional feature documentary invites audiences into Pacino’s private world, as he explores the complexities of Oscar Wilde’s acclaimed play Salome, Wilde himself and the birth of a rising star, in actress Jessica Chastain.

“There is nowhere else I would rather debut Wilde Salome than at Venice, because of its rich artistic history. Wilde Salome is an exploration into the world of Oscar Wilde the artist and in Salome, the emancipation of a work that lives on” said Pacino.

Al Pacino has become a lasting and iconic figure in the world of American cinema. Pacino started on the stage in the mid 1960s and his heart still remains there today.

In 1969 he broke through on screen with the film, Me, Natalie. With the role of Michael Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s Award winning The Godfather.

Cultural icon

Pacino launched a career that has cemented him not only as an acting legend but as a cultural icon, with roles in such films as Serpico, Dog Day Afternoon and Scarface.

Pacino has never lost his dedication to the theatre, most recently receiving a Tony Award Nomination for the critically acclaimed Broadway production of The Merchant of Venice.

In Looking for Richard he examined Shakespeare’s cultural relevance with Richard III and won the DGA Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary.

He has provided audiences with indelible performances in films such as Glengarry Glen Ross, Carlito's Way, Heat, The Devil's Advocate, The Insider and Scent of a Woman, for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in 1992, after receiving seven previous nominations.

He has won the AFI Lifetime Achievement Award and is currently the co-President of The Actors Studio in New York. Pacino’s commitment to acting and directing as a profession has established him as one of cinema’s true legends.

Wilde Salome

Wilde Salome offers an unprecedented behind the scenes look at Pacino’s odyssey: a master class of insight into this cultural icon. Pacino's raw exploration of Salome is one of obsession, determination, commitment and above all, passion.

The production is unlike any other documentary, a profound vision of religion, literature, politics, violence and sexuality from one of the greatest artists of our time.

Wilde Salome will be released this fall and stars Al Pacino (Herod), Jessica Chastain (Salomé), and Kevin Anderson (John the Baptist), and is produced by Barry Navidi and Robert Fox, with Salome Productions.

Jaeger-LeCoultre, Film Festival sponsor

Jaeger-Le Coultre is now in its seventh year as a sponsor of the Venice International Film Festival, and in its fifth year as the sponsor of the Glory to the Filmmaker award.

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