Watchuseek Blog

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nice one Fred: Frédéric Jouvenot Inti

Luxury watch brand Frédéric Jouvenot presents a new watch: Inti, a world premier timepiece featuring jumping heliocentric display. Now you are going to ask what exactly is heliocentric display.

Kepler’s third law

Well as you will know, this all relates to Kepler’s third law whereby in the heliocentric theory the distance of the planets from the sun was determined by the size of the retrograde loops. For example, a small retrograde loop signifies that the planet is far away from the Sun. On the other hand, a large retrograde loop would signify that the planet is close to the Sun. You’re lost aren’t you.

Never mind, Frederic Jouvenot called the watch Inti as a tribute to the Inca God of sun, and the sun-shaped hour display is certainly unusual if not unique.

The watch claims to be the first hour display over 24 hours that shows the sun’s path and the alternation of night and day. A complex mechanism in Frédéric Jouvenot’s Solar Deity collection has two faces, corresponding to the day and night cycles.

No hands

The time can be told without conventional hands, numerals or disks. Each hour is represented by a radioconcentric sunbeam, i.e. starting from the centre and radiating towards the edge of the dial. The twelve sunbeams show the path of the sun on the dial while indicating the hour to come and the past hour.

At mid-day, all the sunbeams are golden to represent daylight. At that precise moment, the dial represents the sun at its zenith. As time passes, the rays become black, one after another, clockwise; the dial darkens and announces oncoming night. Midnight is represented by twelve dark beams reflecting in the night. To symbolise the return to light, the sunbeams take turns to pivot again until mid-day, thus completing a full 24 hour cycle.

Revolutionary hour display

Telling the time remains instinctive. Each hour keeps its conventional position and the minutes are indicated by a central cartouche fitted with an index that completes a revolution on the fixed minute disc. The display maintains the conventional angular gap of a watch for instinctive reading.

The whole complication mechanism is enclosed in the central 12 mm diameter and 5 mm high case which contains no fewer than 100 parts, including 24 rubies which will activate the hour’s jumping beams.

For example: at 3.30 p.m., the first three beams are black and the minute indicator points to 6 o’clock, as on a conventional dial. The conventional angular gap between 3 o’clock and 30 minutes is thus maintained. The feat accomplished by Frédéric Jouvenot is to maintain conventional reading of the dial with a revolutionary hour display system.

Special features

- New face indicating the passage of 24 hours with day and night ( patented system )
- Hour display without discs or hands, replaced by 12 sunbeams with 12 jumping hours
- Display of minutes via a disc turning in the center of the watch
- Three-dimensional face with black and pink gold coloured sunbeams
- Dial with 12 Inca pyramids
- 88-piece limited edition
- Swiss made
- Two-year warranty

Details of the movement

- Mechanical movement with hours and minutes. Black gold balance with screws
- Movement bridges decorated and engraved with rhodium plated côtes de Genève
- Dial and bridges polished angles
- Screw-adjusted balance, frequency of 21,600 vph
- 100 components are inside the heart of the sun, measure 12 mm in diameter & 5 mm in height
- Mechanical manual winding with a 45-hour power reserve
- 42 jewels


- Pink gold case, crown and back, 50 m waterproof
- Face and back saphire glass cover with antireflective coating
- Pink gold folding clasp
- Black alligator leather strap
- Case diameter : 44 x 55 x 13 mm
- Specific original presentation box, USB guarantee card, manual

Monday, June 27, 2011

As deep as you: Graham Chronofighter Oversize Diver

Once you descend below 250 feet in the water, the penetrating rays of the sun quickly peter out and you enter the so-called twilight zone where light is faint and limited.

Here, bioluminescent creatures glide by and you are embraced by a whole other world.

The creatures here have evolved their own ways of dealing with the darkness.

They have developed the ability to use chemicals within their bodies to produce light. Bioluminescence is mainly a marine phenomenon and is not found in freshwater.

For any serious diver this makes the ocean a great place to explore, and that is why Graham has designed a professional watch especially for these depths.

Chronofighter Oversize Diver

With its sapphire crystal with double-sided anti-reflective coating, the Graham Chronofighter Oversize divers watch is designed to help you track time in this amazing environment.

The watch is 47 mm in diameter, resistant to 1000 feet / 330 metres and designed around the needs of the professional diver.

Helium escape valve

The professional diver usually requires a built-in helium escape valve, which allows for a prolonged deep water trip. Of course this is featured on the Chronofighter too.

When coming up from the depths after days in a diving chamber breathing Trimix or Heliox (a special divers gas for deep water work), this valve will equalise the pressure difference between the trapped gases inside the case and the surface.

Integrated pressure release valve

Helium is the world’s second smallest molecule, it will inevitably find its way into your watch if you spend some time in a diving chamber. The solution to this is to include a pressure release valve integrated into the 2 o’clock part of the case. But pressure isn’t the only consideration behind the design of this watch.


The Super-LumiNova coating on the dial and hands will also help you read time in the dark, as clearly. As easily, insists Graham, as you can see a firefly squid.

Even with diver gloves on, the use of the trigger to activate the stop watch is intuitive. The same goes for the unidirectional rotating bezel for measuring dive and decompression time.

Other features include: Calibre G1734, self-winding bi-compax chronograph, 27 jewels, 28’800 A/h (4Hz), 48 hours power reserve, and on integrated hypoallergenic black rubber strap.

For hi res image, click on the picture

Friday, June 24, 2011

Strictly limited: Corum Admiral’s Cup Challenger 44 Chrono Rubber collection

Going boating this weekend? Swiss watchmaker Corum has unveiled the Admiral’s Cup Challenger 44 Chrono Rubber collection.

The colourful vulcanised matte rubber cases and straps are in red, blue, black and white. They’re mounted on stainless steel to make them non-slip in sea and eye catching on land.

The case maintains the distinctive twelve-sided shape and the inner bezel ring adorned with the inner bezel ring adorned with nautical pennants.

The hands, minute numerals, chronographs and chevrons are all highlighted by luminescent white, grey or red allowing excellent night-time readability.

The timepieces are powered by the mechanical automatic CO753 movement that is chronometer-certified by the COSC.

For high res images, click on pictures

The watches have three counters and a date window at 4.30 on its display and are water-resistant to 30 metres for the white versions and to 100 metres for the others. The transparent back shows a CORUM engraved oscillating weight.

The blue and red versions will be produced in limited editions of 100 pieces each, while the white model will be produced in an edition of 125 pieces. All models are priced at

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Roger and Rolex: a match made in brand heaven

This is the picture Roger Federer and Rolex really want you to see in your morning newspaper a couple of weeks from now. A broad smile, the Wimbledon trophy held aloft, his Rolex Perpetual Calendar Day-Date glinting softly in the late afternoon sun.

He has just made it through round one of Wimbledon 2011 in a straight sets victory over Mikhael Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.

Only a few more rounds to go and he could be in with a chance of being Wimbledon champion for the seventh time.

To do that he will have to beat Nadal, possibly Djokovic or an unknown quantity who just happens to have an extraordinarily good day.

Top sportsman

As one of just seven tennis players to win the career Grand Slam, Federer has demonstrated a love of the game that transcends mere tennis – it propels him into hallowed halls as one of the top sportsmen of all time.

But win or lose in two weeks time, Federer will still be the perfect ambassador to Rolex and a clutch of other premium brands.

Sometimes life can be unfair.

Roger, who is currently merely the world number three, made a staggering US$61 million in 2010.

Rafa Nadal, the world number one, had to get by on a comparatively paltry US$27 million.

Top brand icon

What makes Roger so uniquely attractive for Rolex and other multinational companies is the fact that he is Swiss. Switzerland is a small country with which one associates loyalty, luxury, precision and perfection.

Whether Federer is in France, Asia, the United States or elsewhere, he’s welcomed as though he were at home. It’s as though the country’s neutrality makes him a global citizen.

As far as Rolex is concerned it’s a match made in heaven. Rolex watches have been made in Switzerland for generations. Secondly, Rolex has sponsored Wimbledon for decades.

What better than to have a tall dark and graceful tennis player with a smooth and media friendly image. Roger’s scandal-free family-oriented life makes him a sponsor’s dream. Not only that, he is more than a little handy with a racket, and he holds the record for the number of grand slam titles held by a male player.

Top earner

According to the Swiss business magazine Bilan, Federer, winner of a record 16 grand slam titles is sitting on a fortune worth US$327m, putting him among the 300 richest Swiss.

At 29 there may not be too many Wimbledon’s left for Roger, but you can be sure, time and a whole heap of money will always be on his side.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Patek Philippe 3939A for the Only Watch 2011 Charity Auction

This is the first look at Patek Philippe’s 'Minute Repeater Tourbillon' for the Only Watch 2011 charity auction to be held in Monaco on September 22nd at 4pm to fund medical research for Duchenne Muscular Distrophy.

The watch marks the first time the ref 3939 has been produced in stainless steel. For many watch connoisseurs, Patek Philippe’s Ref. 3939 – with its minute repeater, tourbillon, and subsidiary seconds dial - represents the finest achievement in watchmaking. Patek Philippe hope that the pure sweet sound of the minute repeater chiming mechanism of this unique timepiece will support the message of hope for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research.

Technical Specifications


Mechanical manually wound movement
Calibre R TO 27 PS
Minute repeater with tourbillon escapement
Chime with two gongs activated by a slide piece in the case
Seconds subdial
Applied Breguet-style numerals
Interchangeable full back and sapphire crystal case back
Case is humidity and dust protected only (not water resistant)
Stainless steel
Case diameter: 33.3 mm


Minute repeater with tourbillon escapement
Seconds subdial
Overall diameter: 28 mm
Height: 6.58 mm
28 jewels, 12 bridges
Balance: Gyromax
Vibrations per hour: 21'600
Power reserve: 48 h max.
Balance spring: Breguet
Number of parts: 336
C.O.S.C. certificate
Tourbillon visible on the bridge side
Third wheel in gold

For high res images click on the pictures

Friday, June 17, 2011

It's a long story: De Bethune DB25 Special Edition 'For Only' watch

For high res image, click on picture

t’s never usually a good idea to let Swiss watchmakers loose on the general public with a diffuse and unedited account of their latest horological masterpieces. Given half a chance they are more than a little prone to flights of verbal fantasy and haute horological hyperbole that reads like the worst extracts from Private Eye’s ‘Pseud’s Corner’.

However sometimes it is just too irresistible and the De Bethune press release for the DB25 Special Edition’For Only’ watch is a case in point. However, credit where it is due, the reason for the ‘For Only' watch motif is the auction of that name held in Monaco in September each year, with proceeds going to research into children's muscular dystrophy.

Somewhere deep in the Jura mountains a soulful writer has burnt much midnight oil to pour forth the story behind this watch, and here it is, complete and unabridged. Fare forward gentle reader.

What is a watch, if not a “machine” to measure the flow of time? A kind of speed counter for the flux of an energy of which we know almost nothing, except that it exists and that it is carrying us somewhere…

What is absolute speed, if not that of light, that beyond which there is no more time, nor space, nor perhaps even energy? The logical conclusion is that any approach to watchmaking is in fact a reflection on infinity as we are able to admire it without actually comprehending it: it is an emotion born the dizzying sensation stemming from a reality that transcends our grasp. And this is where a deliberately chosen aesthetic option must express a philosophical choice.

With this DB25 specially created for Only Watch, De Bethune has chosen light as the medium from which to sculpt its conception of the world, of space, and of time. The light of a nocturnal sky studded with gold and diamonds: the infinite realm of a starlit night. Not just any night: that of January 8th 1297, when the stars guided François Grimaldi through the narrow streets of the Monaco fortress. Disguised as a Franciscan monk, he slipped through the darkness to open the gates of this Genoese stronghold for his own troops. 700 years later, on this same rock, his descendant is still the prince of Monaco.

François Grimaldi could still count the 115 stars that Providence had placed in the sky above Monaco: they are all of different sizes, appearing in white gold or invisible set diamonds. Orion and Gemini illuminate this flame-blued dial, of which each proportion and every detail has been arranged to express a perfectly mastered play on light with its shimmering reflections and gentle curves. The convex volume on the outer edge catches and holds the gaze, creating an illusion of infinite depth thanks to the concave centre.

The backbone of this concave central mass guides the eye to where the time is read off in a window at the bottom of the dial where the sandblasted silver discs glide by, displaying Roman numerals for the hours and Arabic numerals for the minutes. The dark glow of flame-blued and hand-polished titanium. The incandescence of white gold and diamonds. The silvery gleam of moonlight. The space-time continuum of cosmic immensity is frozen here on the wrist, for a magical moment spanning the chronological distance between the present and a seven century-old founding event and the present.

Other expressions of light include the mirror or specular polish on the movement that erases the work of machines to reveal only the meticulous labour of artisans, their sense of beauty and their taste for perfection. It is a mechanism worthy of the finest masterpieces of the horological tradition, enriched with a good measure of innovation (the De Bethune silicon/platinum annular balance and other subtle technical features) that so rightly accompany any exceptional watch.

A word about De Bethune

Founded in 2002, the quest for perfection and beauty is the constant driving force behind the work of David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet, De Bethune brand founders and the artisans behind these exceptional timepieces with its pure style, of which the taut lines and slender case are the unmistakable signature of De Bethune's contemporary expression of the watchmaking art.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A time for inner reflection: Borgeaud Septagraph

Swiss Watchmaker Borgeaud is proud to present its patented Septagraph™, inspired by three millennia of Southern Indian astronomical observations combined with several centuries of Swiss horologic tradition.

Borgeaud pays tribute to the Indian Panchang and the Rahu Kaal, a calendar followed by hundreds of millions throughout the world, with a unique Seven-Day Complication which indicates a daily 90-minute strategic period dedicated to inner reflection before action.

Cue the sitar music, and assume the lotus position. Now imagine a window of time, arranged each day at a different time, a time of reflection and inner peace that you can reserve just for you.

Only you will know how best to employ this time you have reserved for yourself. It is a strategic time, a way to step back, an indispensable time of reflection before taking an action. It is a necessary retreat before moving forward to reach a goal.

The Panchang Calendar

The seven-day week has been almost universally accepted since time immemorial. Over the centuries and through various philosophies, these seven days of the week have come to be associated with a particular planet or with the sun or moon.

The numbers seven and eight also carry a wealth of symbolic overtones across the world’s great cultures and religions. Seven stands for completion, supreme power, perfection and sacred rest. For its part, the number eight is widely associated with prosperity, good luck, infinity and continuity.

Among all the calendars conceived by humanity, there is one, dating back 3,000 years, which is still followed by hundreds of millions of people around the world. It is the Indian calendar called Panchang.

It works through careful observation of the natural cycles of the planets, Indian astronomer-mathematicians, followed by astrologers, have determined eight natural 90-minute divisions of the 12 daytime hours between sunrise and sunset, conventionally considered as stretching from 6 am to 6 pm.

The Strategic Period

Among the day’s 90-minute periods, one is special, and they called it Rahu Kaal (the time of Rahu). This period is intended for thought and reflection rather than action. It is an intimate time, a private time. It is not a social time. It is a time that should be reserved for oneself, every day. Borgeaud calls it the Strategic Period. These periods represent an essential step back, one too often ignored, by stressed executives during the day.

These personal times are used for examining options or making choices and decisions, to avoid having to undo and redo what was badly designed or done in a hurry.

Now, for the first time ever, the Swiss watch brand Borgeaud has created a mechanical complication to remind us of these special daily moments. It is called the Septagraph.

The Septagraph; a new watchmaking complication

Swiss haute horologists Borgeaud have designed and constructed a new, totally original, and patented watch complication, called the Septagraph. Over a weekly cycle, where each day has a different reserved time, the Septagraph activates a countdown mechanism that runs for 90 minutes.

The time of the specific time period—the Strategic Period as Borgeaud calls it—varies from day to day, and is indicated in a counter placed between 6 o’clock and 9 o’clock.

At midnight, the jumping hand of the counter automatically moves to the day that has just started. Every day, at the appointed time for the activation of the Strategic Period, a large arrow positioned between 3 o’clock and 5 o’clock instantaneously fills with colour, thus signalling the beginning of the period and its countdown.

At the same time, a circle at the top of the arrow (engraved with an ‘SP’ for Strategic Period), also fills with colour. As the 90 minutes count down, the colour gradually leaves the arrow until it is again white once the strategic the period ends.

The men’s watch comes in 5 versions, white gold-blue dial, and white gold black dial at US$41,000 or the rose gold-silvered, rose gold-black and rose gold-chocolate dial at $39,880.

Borgeaud Septagraph ladies versions

The BRG Q1051 is a quartz movement reserved for the six colourful ladies’ versions of the Septagraph.

A unique feature of this quartz movement is that it drives a mechanical complication using a rotational disc to colour the three hollowed out petals of the principal lotus flower.

In the ladies’ Septagraph, it is this lotus flower that poetically counts down the Strategic Period.

A symbol of the Borgeaud brand, this timepiece is endowed with a mechanical ‘aesthetic complication’ called The Manège. Patented and independent from the movement, it is the only one of its kind. In place of each of the ten visible hour markers, a diamond is placed in a mobile seat. With each movement of the wearer’s wrist, these diamond markers begin to pivot on themselves. The ladies versions range in price from US$23,500 to $32,300.

For high res images click on the pictures

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Cadence 4-bit binary wall clock

‘Subtle enough to disguise your inner geek, but stylish enough to hang proudly on your wall’

ollowing the successful launch of Cadence Watch Company’s 4-bit line of watches, they have just announced the release of the 4-Bit Wall Clock.

The subtle 4-bit binary embellishments bring geeks a classy and sophisticated timepiece to adorn the walls of their home and/or office.

Like the 4-Bit and 4-Bit Chrono Watches, the numbers on the dial are in 4-bit binary code – the digital encoding method of 1’s and 0’s that computers run on. At first glance, the binary symbols appear simply as hash marks, but for those whose lives revolve around computers, they are instantly recognisable icons of the digital age.

Features and functions of the 4-Bit Wall Clock include:

• 13 ¼ diameter clock face with shatter-resistant polycarbonate safety crystal
• Sleek and sophisticated high-impact, black plastic textured case with hanger
• Battery operated quartz movement
• Runs on one AA alkaline battery, which comes included
• Proudly manufactured in the USA

Improve your geek cred with the Cadence 4-bit binary watch

One of the little joys of geekhood is wearing something that is totally geeky but only noticed by other geeks. "Normal" people just don't get it and it’s probably just as well as geeks get their stuff snatched by jocks every day of the week.

The 4-bit binary watch was designed by John Flear. His designs often incorporate high-tech motifs into classical objects. These objects then take on a signature retro-futuristic feel.

The Cadence 4-bit binary watch is like a secret handshake. Are you in the club? Or are you gonna step on my glasses? Instead of Arabic or Latin numerals, the numbers on this dial are 4-bit. binary. This watch is classy enough to wear on any occasion, while geeky enough to make a good conversation starter.

All geeks love stats and specs so here they are:

• Quietly geeky watch lets you say: "Pssst, I like binary."
• Case made from jewellery grade (316L) stainless steel
• Saddle stitched two part leather strap with stainless steel buckle
• Miyota quartz movement
• Case size: 40mm diameter, 9mm thickness
• Water resistant to 3ATM
• Sapphire coated quartz glass

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Grand Prix Motorcyclist Axel Pons Becomes New Face of Anonimo

It seems to be a popular marketing move to have actors and sports figures align with watch brands to sponsor and promote their brand. For example, Roger Federer represents Rolex, Andy Garcia Baume & Mercier, Rafael Nadal has a watch made special for him by Richard Mille and Chopard gets their name out front by draping the winners of the Best Actor and Actress award at the Academy Awards with their watches and jewelry.

Now Italian watchmaker Anonimo, based in Florence, has added the young 20-year-old Grand Prix motorcyclist Axel Pons to their stable to be the new face of the company in Spain.

Pons is quite an impressive rider, taking up racing at the age of 14. He has competition in his blood, as his father, Sito Pons, is the two-time 250cc world champion. A setback in 2008 sidelined Pons and another unfortunate accident two years later plagued the competitor. And yet Pons wasn’t going to let these reversals stop him. Spurred on by his father’s records, he strives to achieve the mantel of world champion.

Pons fined his life view and Anonimo’s a good fit. The company manufactures precise watches in a timeless and classic style that suit Pons’s competitive spirit. Pons explains his affinity for the brand: “Precision is important in motor racing. Riders have to be highly accurate in their steering, and the motor must be tuned to perfection. It is the details that make the difference. Anonimo shares this philosophy: they make watches that will never let you down, even under the most extreme conditions. I have been an Anonimo fan ever since I found out about them!”

Anonimo’s sales director David Cypers concurs, “Axel Pons enjoys a challenge, and always strives for excellence. We are honored that he has agreed to work with us, and we hope that his new Anonimo Militare Vintage will prove a hardy companion in his efforts to make his dreams come true! Pons is not only a talented rider: he is also a stylish young man. And for an Italian brand such as us, with design and style high in our priorities, that is a big consideration.”

On Pons’s wrist you will find the Militare Vintage, which he will wear during competition, as well as sporting the Anonimo logo on his helmet and suit.

A little bit of background on Anonimo: After Richemont took over Panerai and moved it to Switzerland, Federico Massacesi, an entrepreneur and former executive at the fashion house Ferragamo, brought the leadership and financing that gave birth to Anonimo in 1998.

Dino Zei who was the CEO of Panerai stayed on at Anonimo and still designs and oversees the brand to this day. So while Panerai and Anonimo have the same roots, they have gone in different directions, Panerai focusing on becoming an integrated manufacture and Anonimo continuing to concentrate on the cases, which they are known for, and that have their beginnings with the Italian Navy.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fear and loving in Las Vegas – Ladoire scoops award at Couture Design Awards

June 6th Las Vegas: Lionel Ladoire accepts the Couture Design Award for 'Best Watch Architecture'

he Ladoire Black Widow, the bewitching temptress of time from the febrile imagination of Lionel Ladoire has hit the headlines once again. On this occasion she is causing a stir in a town well used to people who know how to put on a show.

A panel of judges assembled by Couture Time has fallen victim to the charms of the Black Widow, awarding it the prize for best "Watch Architecture". The inaugural presentation ceremony took place in the fabulous Encore Ballroom at the Wynn Hotel/Casino in Las Vegas.

With its distinctive asymmetrical case, open-dial architecture, discreet time indications and bespoke strap and buckle, it’s not hard to understand why the Black Widow snared the award, which also took into account excellence in case, dial and/or strap design.

Time deconstructed

The green, red and white accents along with the choice of materials and finishes, are the key signature features of the four models in the Black Widow collection (only two of which, Mr Green and Mr Race, have been unleashed upon the world as yet).

The dial structure, open-worked to reveal the movement, is multilayered and delineates three regulator-type offset Hours, Minutes and Seconds zones with patented display complication mounted on ceramic micro ball bearings. Moreover, the watches in the Black Widow collections also feature a GMT function with a central hand adjusted via a fast action pusher at 2 o’clock.

Couture Design Awards

Presented as part of the Couture Design Awards, the June 4th prize-giving ceremony on the in Las Vegas was the culmination of the Couture Time exhibition and is the only contest of its kind in the USA.

Jurors included John Reardon, head of the Watch and Clock Department at Sotheby’s in New York; Keith Strandberg, International Editor at Watch Journal; veteran watch journalist Roberta Naas; watch collector and forum moderator Sam Yukon; and celebrity chef and watch collector Nick Stellino.

Creative Swiss watch brands

Watch Journal publisher Glen Bowen hailed the importance of the unique, all-new American awards program, saying:

“Watch Journal and Couture created the Couture Time Jury Prize to highlight the achievements of today’s top watchmakers and draw attention to the amazing work they are doing. The results of the inaugural competition demonstrate the jury’s appreciation for the extraordinary creativity of young, Swiss watch brands.”

Couture Time presents the world’s top luxury watch brands to America’s top-tier jewellery retailers. Couture Time takes place each year in early June at the Wynn Las Vegas.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rafael Nadal and Richard Mille win the French Open 2011

Click on picture for high res image

afael Nadal, won his fifth French Open in six years on Sunday, and he did so in dominant fashion, beating Roger Federer in four sets, even though he was at set point down in the first.

The 25-year old has also retained his number one world ranking, and, of more current significance, it means that going into Wimbledon Nadal will still be the world No 1, having defended the position against the odds from the frantic assault of Novak Djokovic.

A win for Richard Mille

Another big winner on the court was Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille. He didn't wield a racquet but Nadal wears his Richard Mille 035 Rafa Nadal timepiece during all his matches.

The 035 Rafa Nadal is not your average sports watch. It costs over $85,000 and was custom built with input from Nadal. At just 4.3 grams it is extremely light, and has special shock absorbers to prevent damage to the delicate tourbillon movement.

But it’s a cheapie compared to the US$525,000 Richard Mille 027 Nadal wore and had stolen from his locker on the one occasion when he decided not to wear it on court.

Scratch and match proof

Why it’s black colour? It’s all due to light-resistant spinels that are chemically inert, - in other words magnesium oxides and aluminium oxides with a particular structure. This improves both hardness and scratch resistance as well as its wear and corrosion properties.

This treatment applied to magnesium-aluminium is what is known as biocompatible and is used in aerospace, automotive and medical applications.

It’s also unobtrusive and does not interfere with Nadal’s game in any way. In fact the only thing that seemed to give Nadal any trouble at all during the four set match against Federer was a blister on his foot which required some attention in the first set.

The French is Nadal’s first Open win wearing the Richard Mille 035 Rafa Nadal and this is exactly the kind of positive publicity Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille signed on for too.

Next stop is Wimbledon in a fortnight’s time where there will be more opportunities to spot the 035 in action.

Friday, June 3, 2011

A partnership inspired by passion and perfectionism: JeanRichard Diverscope

To view high res images click on pictures

"Franck Cammas won us over with his commitment and human values. Our professions are demanding; both sailing and Haute Horlogerie are domains that require rigorous tests, experience and accomplishment. Nothing is left to chance." Massimo Macaluso, CEO of JeanRichard.

Still only 38, Franck Cammas is considered to be one of the most talented skippers in the ORMA (Ocean Racing Multihull Association) world.

World champion skipper

His record of achievements is impressive: 6 ORMA multihull world championship titles, three-times winner of the Transat Jacques Vabre trans-Atlantic race, holder of the Jules Verne Trophy and winner of the Route du Rhum 2010.

He is now busy preparing for his next challenge; to take the helm of Groupama 4 looking to win the Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in Alicante Spain on November 5th.

he Volvo Ocean Race: The ‘Everest of sailing’

The Volvo Ocean Race is an exceptional test of sailing prowess and human endeavour which has been built on the spirit of great seafarers - fearless men who sailed the world’s oceans aboard square rigged clipper ships more than a century ago.

The 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race will start with the In-Port Race on 29 October in Alicante, Spain and the route will go to Cape Town, Abu Dhabi, Sanya, Auckland and on to Itajaí. Next stop is Miami and then across the Atlantic to Lisbon followed by Lorient and Galway. It will mean dealing with some of the most difficult and treacherous sailing conditions en route.

Throughout the trip Franck Cammas will wear a JeanRichard Diverscope in a fruitful partnership forged between JeanRichard CEO Massimo Macaluso and the champion skipper.

The Jean Richard Diverscope

In addition to its sporty, innovative design, the Diverscope has all the technical qualities necessary to withstand several months of extreme conditions on the wrist of the skipper as he crosses the world’s oceans: the constant rough and tumble of life at sea, moisture, salt, temperature variations and exposure to UV rays.

The Diverscope was developed in its own Research and Development department and carefully lab tested under the strictest conditions. It is equipped with the powerful automatic calibre JR1000, produced in-house by the JeanRichard Manufacture.

The Diverscope case is water resistant to 300 metres and is made from steel coated with extra-resistant rubber. Each component was adapted for use in extreme conditions, for example the screw-down crowns or the sapphire crystal are two-and-a-half times thicker than that of a standard watch. The luminescent hands and indicators on the dial also ensure the watch can be read at a glance even in dark and murky conditions.

Commenting on the new partnership Franck Cammas said: "This partnership is based on a shared approach inspired by passion and perfectionism"

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Branson’s Bulova: Bulova Accutron Gemini Collection

Bulova Accutron pays tribute to its past with the Gemini collection.

One of the highlights of Baselworld 2011 was this undeniably stylish new chronograph from Bulova Accutron’s Gemini Collection, which features the renowned automatic-winding ETA 7750 Valjoux movement. The watch—style 64C104—is a particular favourite of Bulova Accutron brand ambassador Sir Richard Branson, who has one in addition to the 64B116 that he selected for himself.

Perhaps the appeal for Sir Richard, who is actively planning to someday offer passenger trips into space through Virgin Galactic, is the fact that the watch is named after NASA’s pioneering space programme that led to the triumph of the Apollo missions, the Gemini collection by Bulova Accutron expresses the visionary spirit of the 1960s.

At a time when the cooperation between Bulova and the American space agency was in full swing, the Gemini Programme incorporated a Bulova Accutron clock with a 24-hour display into the instrument panels aboard the modules taking part in eight consecutive missions.

By providing astronauts with a fundamental point of reference after take-off, Bulova Accutron contributed to the success of the Gemini Programme which achieved unprecedented breakthroughs for the U.S.A in the space race, including taking man to the moon.

The 64C104 features a stainless-steel design with rose-gold ion plating and a black dial whose subtle yet engaging integrated swirl pattern adds depth and a sense of movement.

A full-exhibition caseback affords a view of the 25-jewel Valjoux movement in action. Other features include a domed antireflective sapphire crystal, day/date window, red-tipped second hand, screwback case, double-pusher deployment buckle, and water resistance to 50 metres.

The 64C104 chronograph is set on a brown alligator-grain leather strap. It’s also available with a stainless-steel bracelet (style 63C106) and with a silver dial and brown leather strap (style 63C107). Suggested retail is US$1,595.

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