Watchuseek Blog

Monday, January 30, 2012

Omega James Bond 007 50th anniversary watch

It’s sobering to think that James Bond has been gracing a cinema screen near you for 50 years. To celebrate the remarkable success of the franchise, Omega will soon be releasing a special update of the popular Seamaster Diver 300m James Bond watch which has been worn by 007 in every adventure since Pierce Brosnan wore one in GoldenEye.

The James Bond 007 50th Anniversary collector’s piece has been created in two sizes, 41 mm and 36.25 mm.

The black dial features the familiar 007 monogram to the point of overkill. The 41 mm version has 11 applied indexes; the 36.35 mm watch has ten with a diamond index at the 7 o’clock position. The indexes are coated with white Super-LumiNova with a blue emission, for legibility even dark lighting conditions.

The watch case is made of stainless steel and feature ceramic bezel rings with diving scales in matt chromium nitride with the number "50" in red as a reminder of the anniversary.

A helium escape valve allows helium atoms to escape during decompression, particularly necessary for professional divers operating from diving bells. As its name suggests, the watch is water resistant up to 300 metres.

Both models of the watch comes on a classic brushed and polished Omega-patented screw-and-pin stainless steel bracelet.

Both versions run on Omega’s calibre 2507 self-winding movement with a co-axial escapement,  the component that has driven a revolution in mechanical watchmaking since it was launched in 1999.

The watch is a certified chronometer. Its screw-in case back is stamped with a gun-barrel design. A “bullet” decoration on the rotor can be viewed through the sapphire crystal display back.

The 41 mm version is being produced in a limited edition of 11,007 pieces and the 36.25 mm version in a limited edition of 3,007 pieces.

And, after a gap of three years, the Bond movie franchise is back. Later this year, EON Productions will release Skyfall, the 23rd film in the 007 franchise, with Daniel Craig once more portraying James Bond.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

True artistry: Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille

Hermès has just unveiled two new and unique pieces at SIHH 2012, the Hermès Arceau Marqueterie de Paille.

If points were awarded for degree of difficulty in watchmaking these two new watches from Hermès could be on course for the gold medal.

Hermès has traditionally shown its prowess in the designing of fabrics, but this time they have introduced the art into haute horology with the Arceau Marqueterie de Paille watches.

The Parisian luxury goods brand launched its first movement in 2008. At the Geneva Watchmaking Grand Prix in November Hermès scooped the prize for 'Best Men’s Watch' for the Hermès Arceau Temps Suspendu.

The dials are composed of rye straw, grown in just one location in France. The straw is harvested and coloured before arriving at the workbench of supremely talented artisans.  The miniature pattern is then assembled on paper before being applied to the 41mm watch. The case features the hallmark  Hermès stirrup style lugs.

Split open with a thin blade and then manually flattened with a bone tool, the wisps are then cut up into various lengths. This calls for accurate gestures and considerable physical strength.

Playing with the colours and the directions of the various wisps, the artisan assembles his motifs on a sheet of graph paper. Glued in much the same way as a leather book binding, the straw marquetry motif is then meticulously assembled onto the watch dial.

The beauty of this technique is the uniqueness it creates for each dial. A showcase technique such as this deserves centre stage, so gone are the hallmark Hermès numerals normally found on an Arceau dial.

The watch is powered by the self-winding Calibre H1928 by the Manufacture Vaucher exclusively for Hermès who partly owns the manufacture.

The movement has a 55-hour power reserve. A matt indigo blue alligator strap perfectly matches the colours of the straw dial.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Worthy champion: Eberhard & Co Champion V Chronograph

Eberhard & Co was founded in La Chaux de Fonds in 1887 by Swiss industrialist George-Emile Eberhard. This year it celebrates its 125th anniversary, and part of the celebrations include the launch of a new Champion watch – Champion V which was on display at SIHH 2012.

In 1907 the brand had become one of the largest of the Swiss marques and its headquarters took up an entire block in the centre of La Chaux de Fonds.

The 1930s saw Eberhard & Co manufacturing some of the most innovative watches of the day.

This trend continued and by the late 80’s the brand started to focus exclusively on the luxury end of watchmaking. At the start of the 1990s, the Swiss Maison launched the Champion collection, giving it a more contemporary look.

Champion V is an elegant mechanical chronograph with automatic winding.  It runs on an ETA 7750 movement with 3 counters 30 minutes, 12 hours and small-seconds with the date at 4 o’clock.

Waterproof to 40 metres, the watch is housed in a 42.80 mm steel case, with convex sapphire crystal, the back is secured by 6 screws. The dial and bezel come in an assortment of dial and bezel colour combinations.

There’s a choice of wristbands including a leather strap with the buckle personalised “E&Co.”, or a steel “Chablis” bracelet.

No information on prices as yet.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Beyond reach: A. Lange and Sohne Tourbograph ‘Pour Le Merite’

Beyond reach is a new Watchuseek series which focuses on rare and high value luxury watches.

Most of the watches we will show will be out of reach even if you do have sufficient funds to afford them as they are usually part of extremely small limited editions spoken for before they even leave the manufacture.

At this level of haute horology, it’s not only about how much you have got, but how much the watch manufacture values you to allow you to acquire one of the precious few pieces.

Only twelve of these exceptional watches – and bear in mind it takes 30 days just to assemble each one – can be crafted in a year. It goes without saying that every single timepiece is embellished by hand to a degree of perfection that can hardly be surpassed.

For example, the decoration of the delicate tourbillon bridge alone, the part with which the tourbillon cage is mounted on the dial side, is a two-day project for A. Lange and Sohne’s most gifted specialists. For the manual circular graining process involving the plates and bridges, up to 14 different special tools are employed to obtain the desired perlage (swirls of overlapping circles) effects.

Fusée and chain movement

 You can only begin to grasp the sheer intricacy of the watch when you consider the delicate L903.0 calibre movement and the chain and fusée movement that drives it. The movement comprises 465 parts – or 1097 parts with the chain. It has 41 rubies, and is precision-adjusted to 5 positions. Six gold chatons are screwed to the untreated German silver plates and bridges.

To overcome the fact that a mechanical watch does not exert the same power unwound as it does when fully wound, the barrel and the fuse in the A. Lange and Sohne Tourbograph are connected by a delicate chain which alone consists of over 600 parts. While the watch is being wound via the crown, the chain is wound up on the tapered fusée and the spring in the barrel is tensioned.

Then, the spring’s power is delivered to the movement via the fusée and thus with constant torque.There is also a planetary gear train comprising 38 parts which enables the movement to keep going even when the watch is being wound – thereby maintaining the accuracy.

Chronograph with rattrapante function

The A. Lange and Sohne Tourbograph features the very best of mechanical timing technology, the rattrapante function, which is located at the third push piece at 10 o’clock. The mechanism, positioned directly behind the sapphire-crystal caseback enables the two delicate superimposed twin sweep seconds hands to allow additive time measurements of up to 30 minutes as well as – concurrently – the measurement of any number of lap times.

Finished by hand

The Tourbograph ‘Pour le Mérite’ in its 41.2-millimetre case, will bestow upon its select owners the certainty, with each glance that they have acquired an authentic and extremely precious work of art. A. Lange and Sohne has considered every last detail. All edges have been chamfered and polished.

Even hidden surfaces are circular-grained to perfection, or meticulously decorated with beautiful patterns which take up to five days. Hardly surprisingly, only 101 of these watches will ever be produced.

The first 51 Tourbograph ‘Pour le Mérite were made in platinum. A second series of 50 watches will be cased in gold. And the price for the platinum model assuming you could get hold of one? US$580,000.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The regulator reinvented: TAG Heuer Mikrogirder 2000

Just a little under a year ago TAG Heuer were breathlessly announcing the Mikrotimer Flying 1000, capable of measuring time to 1/1000th of a second. But that was so last year.

Now in concept form, we have the TAG Heuer Mikrogirder 2000 chronograph. The TAG Heuer boffins have halved the timing capability to 1/2000th of a second or put another way 5/10,00th of a second.

This is fast enough to make the blink of an eye seem like a hopelessly long and drawn out affair.

But perhaps the most remarkable achievement of the new Mikrogirder is that it accomplishes this without the use of a balance wheel or the pendulum concept.

7,200,000 beats per hour

 The movement developed for the Mikrogirder uses a vibrating linear oscillator (sounds a bit like quartz) to attain an incredible pace of 7,200,000 beats per hour. It vibrates isochronously at a very small angle, as opposed to a traditional watch, which vibrates at an angle of up to 320 degrees.

Whatever the angle, at this speed all you are likely to hear is a constant whirr of activity from the timepiece.

To get an understanding of how fast this is, bear in mind that the typical watch movement beats at 28,800 beats per hour.

High speed on demand

The watch works in such a way that there is no possibility of interference between normal speed and high speed, so there is better precision and accuracy.

The power reserve has been improved too, and TAG Heuer claim wear and tear has been dramatically reduced, because high speed is on demand rather than being constantly engaged.

The fractions of seconds passing by are marked out to their decimal places along the outer ring of the dial, making even the most minute timings easy to read.

Asymetric case design

The Mikrogirder 2000 does look quite a bit like last year's Mikrotimer, but distinguishes itself with a "bullhead" placement of the crown and chronograph pushers. The placement of the crown at 12 o’clock is inspired by the 1/100th of a second Heuer stopwatches of the 1920s.

The unconventional shape and wide opening makes for easier reading, while the dial cut out allows sight of the beam/girder regulator system at work.

Hopefully TAG Heuer will work on the looks a little before it reaches the market. The styling has definitely taken a back seat to high speed functionality.

And, as has been observed, while these undoubted technological advancements might impress other watchmakers, cool iconic design is ultimately what will impress the every day punter.

Monday, January 16, 2012

A classic resurfaces : Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph

Jaeger-Le Coultre have just introduced a new retro styled timepiece for launch at Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH 2012).

It’s a 100 metres water-resistant watch inspired by the Memovox Deep Sea. The Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Vintage Chronograph features a sensibly sized 40.5 mm case with a look that is similar to the Memovox Tribute to Deep Sea, which launched to critical acclaim at SIHH 2011.

The watch is powered by a calibre 751G mechanical chronograph movement which beats at 28,800 vibrations per hour. The movement has large variable-inertia balance and the ceramic ball bearings that ensure lubricant-free long-term operation.

A fixed bezel surrounds the classic black dial, protected by a Plexiglas crystal.

The hour-markers and central hour and minute hands are coated with Superluminova in familiar warm orange-tinted shades.

Time intervals are measured by the two-button chronograph which are indicated by two counters for the hours and minutes, positioned at 9 and 3 o’clock, as well as by the central seconds hand.

The back of the stainless steel case features the same as the original on which the watch is based; a frogman surrounded by bubbles.

The watch comes on an embossed black calfskin leather strap, which again, is completely faithful to the original.


• mechanical automatic movement, Jaeger-LeCoultre Calibre 751G
crafted, assembled and decorated by hand
• 28,800 vibrations per hour
• 37 jewels
• 5.72 mm thick
• 235 parts
• 65-hour power reserve
• hour, minute, chronograph seconds, minutes, hours
• chronograph with hour and minute counters and central sweep seconds hand
• matt black
• hands and hour-markers featuring “Tropic” colored superluminova
• steel
• 40.5 mm in diameter
• plexiglass watch glass
• water resistance : 10 bar

• black leather with steel pin buckle

• Q207857J

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pre Basel: Bremont World Timer (ALT1-WT)

Bremont was commissioned to produce a unique global timer chronometer for the military C-17 Globemaster crew around the world in 2010 and it’s been acknowledged as one of the more intricate and complicated military watches of its kind.

Design features of the Bremont C-17 include the etched globe on the dial and a Roto-Click bezel that enables the user to work out the global time zones using the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) airfield identifiers.

Each identifier represents a C-17 landing location in all 24 time zones. The watch itself can show UTC or 'Zulu' time through its adjustable 24-hour hand.

Now the ‘Globemaster’ watch has been released as the Bremont World Timer (ALT1-WT) as the first global timer watch for use by pilots, travellers and Bremont fans the world over.

The new Trip-Tick case with Roto-click bezel and the highly finished dial has been precisely over-engineered to Bremont’s exacting standards.

The steel case has a hardness and scratch resistance of 2000 Vickers.

The internal bezel, which is operated by the crown at 8 o'clock, uses a mechanism developed by Bremont that allows the user to turn the bezel with a satisfying 'click' for each minute turned.

The Bremont World Timer will be available in three dial variations, Blue, Black and White. The watch will be priced at US$5695.

The date window takes its inspiration from the Globemaster’s Head Up Display (HUD).

The sapphire crystal covering the dial has nine layers of anti-reflective treatment thus reducing light reflections on the crystal face by up to 95%.

This treatment also makes the watch as scratch resistant as the sapphire crystal to which it has been applied.

The (COSC) certified BE-54AE movement, a base ETA movement, was finely modified and finished at Bremont's ateliers in the UK and Switzerland, and once wound, will use the movement of the wearer to keep its mainspring fully wound.

The movement can be seen through a sapphire exhibition crystal case back. The watch comes complete with a leather travel wallet, hand-made in England.

There’s also a strap changing tool and an extra NATO military nylon strap along with the watch's COSC certification.

About Bremont

Bremont is a British luxury watch brand co-founded by brothers Nick and Giles English in 2002. In 2008 Bremont was made the “Best British Emerging Luxury Brand‟ by Walpole, and last year won “Watch Brand of 2011‟ at the UK Jewellery Awards. The brand remains true to its original principles of durability, legibility and precision.



Modified calibre 13 1/4" BE-54AE automatic chronometer, 25 jewels, Glucydur balance, Anachron balance spring, Nivaflex 1 mainspring, 28,800bph, 42 hour power reserve. Bremont moulded and decorated skeletised rotor


Hour/minute/second, date at 3H, chronograph small counters with seconds, 30 minutes and 12 hours, 24 hour UTC hand and World Time Zone function


Hardened stainless steel Bremont Trip-Tick® construction with scratch resistant PVD treated case barrel. Case diameter 43.00mm, lug width 22.00mm, case thickness 16.00mm

Case back:

Stainless steel with integrated flat crystal, 5 stainless steel screws with polished heads


Internally rotating bi-directional bezel with global time zones operated by crown at 8H with Bremont Roto-Click® technology


Metal dial with various ground colours. Coated nickel hands withSuperLumiNova® C1 luminous coating


Domed anti-reflective, scratch resistant sapphire crystal

Water resistance:

Water resistant to 10 ATM, 100 metres

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Pre-Basel 2012 Omega Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT

This is a pre-Basel stunner from Omega; the Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT.

The watch has the GMT acronym at the end of the title because of its GMT complication and it’s a first for Omega.

In addition to the central hour, minute and seconds hands, (all in white or red gold) there is a red tipped GMT hand, also in white or red gold, which completes one rotation every 24 hours, so you can simultaneously keep track of time in two time zone and can also be used for compass orientation.

The case is 43mm in a choice of metals: 18k red gold or stainless steel or, in a
bi-metalled version in 18k red gold and stainless steel.

Like many Omega models, the sapphire crystal on the caseback provides a window on the Co-Axial movement inside.

The watch comes on a bracelet that matches the metal of the watch case or alternatively with a black, brown or blue leather strap.

The teaked dial pattern, typical of the Aqua Terra series, is present in this model and is designed to resemble the teak decks on a luxury yacht.

The polished indexes and hands are coated with white Super-LumiNova.

Co-Axial calibre 8605/8615

Developed by the late George Daniels, the co–axial is the first practical new watch escapement to be developed in some 250 years.

The Co-Axial escapement in the Omega calibre is used in conjunction with a free sprung-balance and its function differs considerably from that of a conventional lever escapement with index.

The watch’s rate is adjusted by modifying the moment of inertia of the balance by means of two gold regulating micro screws embedded in the circular balance.

This design avoids the disturbing effects of contact between the balance-spring and the index pins and therefore ensures that the stability of rate offered by the Co-Axial escapement is maintained over long periods of use.

The result is reduced friction which means that there is almost no need for lubrication; the Co-Axial calibres have long service intervals and just for good measure, the Seamaster Aqua Terra GMT comes with a four-year warranty. 

No pricing as yet but the white gold accents on the indexes and hands are likely to push it up higher than other models in the Aqua Terra range.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A rare edition: PAM 00422 Panerai Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days - 47mm

The PAM 00422 Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days - 47mm was displayed for the first time at the exhibition “O’Clock - time design, design time” at Milan Triennale, from 11th October 2011 – 8th January 2012.

This rare timepiece is based upon an historic model and is characterised by the transformation, (which occurred in the early 1940s), of the Radiomir’s cushion case to that of the Luminor.

In the Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days - 47mm it’s further enhanced by an imposing 47mm steel Luminor 1950 case  with the iconic brushed steel lever device protecting the winding crown.

The familiar black dial is typical of the Panerai style, with small seconds at nine o’clock and the succession of large numbers and indexes.

The dial also features a layer of Super-LumiNova® enclosed between two plates, which shines forth from the punched holes that correspond exactly with the indexes and numbers, affording superb clarity and depth to the dial.

The engravings “Luminor Marina” and “Panerai”, which are rendered in period font, add a satisfyingly authentic touch.

The watch runs on the in-house hand-wound Panerai calibre P.3001. The movement is visible through the case back and has two barrels providing a 3-day power reserve which the wearer can view at a glance on the main bridge.

The Luminor Marina 1950 3 Days - 47mm is a limited edition of just 2,000 pieces. It comes on a quality leather strap with the classic Panerai brushed-steel buckle.


Movement: Hand-wound mechanical, Panerai P.3001 calibre, executed entirely by Panerai, 16½ lignes, 6.3 mm thick, 21 jewels, Glucydur® balance, 21,600 alternations/ hour. Incabloc® anti-shock device. Power reserve 3 days, two barrels. 207 components

Functions: Hours, minutes, small seconds, power reserve indicator on the back, seconds reset

Case: Diameter 47 mm, polished steel

Bezel: Polished steel

Monday, January 9, 2012

'A time for moving on': Jean-Claude Biver steps down as Hublot CEO

   New Chairman of Hublot, Jean Claude Biver and new CEO Ricardo Guadalupe

 “There is a time for learning, a time for doing, a time for handing over, and a time for moving on.” With these words Jean-Claude Biver stepped down as CEO of Hublot, the brand he has fashioned into one of the world’s most successful Swiss luxury horology marques.

Effective January 1st, Jean-Claude’s replacement as CEO is Ricardo Guadalupe, the former Hublot managing director and a personal friend of Biver with whom he has worked closely over the past 20 years.

In a statement Hublot explained that the move was decided “a long time ago in consideration of Mr. Guadalupe’s significant and instrumental achievements together with Mr. Jean-Claude Biver since joining Hublot in 2005.”

Jean-Claude Biver has become Hublot’s board chairman, and will still be involved with strategic thinking and product development. He will also continue to be the charismatic spokesman for Hublot.

"I’ve happily made it safe and sound to the hand-over stage. With the gratification of being able to hand over to a friend and colleague of more than twenty years. And happiness at the prospect of remaining part of the team on matters relating to strategy, products and corporate relations.Jean-Claude Biver

Biver and the late Nicolas Hayek, CEO and board chairman of Swatch, are credited with having brought the Swiss watch industry back from the brink followng the late 1970s and early to mid '80s quartz crisis which very nearly succeeded in ending a fine and long held watchmaking tradition.

Biver joined Hublot as CEO and board member in 2004.  With a five-fold increase in sales from 2004 to 2007, LMVH acquired Hublot in 2008.

Biver managed to retain Hublot’s exclusivity through strategies such as restricting supply in the face of considerable demand.  “People want exclusivity, so you must always keep the customer hungry and frustrated" he explained.

Over the years the watch industry has grown used to Bivet’s cheery red face being seen all over the world, at Grand Prix meetings for the launch of various Hublot King Power models, at Manchester United for the launch of Big Bang Red Devils and essentially anywhere where there is an aspiration for Hublot watches.

It’s not yet known how operations will change at Hublot following the reshuffle, suffice to say Guadalupe is likely to have a very different style than Biver.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Breguet's salute to the 200th anniversary of the first wristwatch

From January 16th to February 12th 2012, Breguet is paying tribute to the Queen of Naples through an exhibition held in Geneva’s Cité du Temps.

The exhibition celebrates the 200th anniversary of the creation of the first wristwatch in horological history, ordered in 1810 by Caroline Murat, sister of Napoleon and Queen of Naples, and delivered in 1812.

Moreover, Breguet is also taking the opportunity to immortalise the 10th anniversary of its stellar Reine de Naples ladies’ watch collection.

An ardent admirer of the timepieces produced by Abraham-Louis Breguet, the Queen of Naples nurtured a passion for his eminently artistic mechanical creations, and ordered a number of watches from him, including the first wristwatch.

The N° 2639 model made for Caroline Murat has not yet been found and thus remains an enigma. It is not mentioned in any private or public collection.

Nonetheless, the Breguet company archives have made it possible to retrace this historical retrospective of the creation of this extra special wristwatch.

Caroline Murat

From 1808 up to 1814, the ambitious and very beautiful Queen of Naples easily took pride of place among Breguet’s most favoured clients. As the younger sister of Napoleon Bonaparte, she reigned with her husband the king, Joachim Murat, from 1808 to 1815, and the special relationship which she fostered with Breguet during this time produced the first watch specially designed to be worn on the wrist.

Commissioned in 1810, paid for in 1811 and delivered in 1812, it was revolutionary in conception: an ultra-thin repeating watch, oblong in shape, equipped with a thermometer and mounted on a wristlet of hair entwined with gold thread.

No difficulty was too great for Breguet to overcome in his determination to satisfy Queen Caroline, and he was to be duly rewarded.

The exhibition in the Cité du Temps helps visitors to discover the history of this timepiece and its fascinating mysteries.

The discovery of the contemporary Reine de Naples collection by Breguet also affords a wealth of surprises thanks to the authentic horological expertise it expresses.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Keeping it in the family: Chopard Paul Miller Racing LE Mille Miglia GTXL

Swiss luxury watchmaking meets the high powered world of American Le Mans motor racing as Chopard introduces the Paul Miller Racing Limited Edition Mille Miglia GTXL.

The watch comes in stainless steel or in 18k rose gold. The watch is available with a leather or rubber tyre tread strap and set in 18k rose gold.

Both timepieces will be available at select Paul Miller dealerships and the Chopard boutique in New York City.

The watches are COSC-certified chronometers and water-resistant to 100 metres. The stainless steel version will be produced in a limited series of 100 pieces, while the 18k rose gold model is limited to just 25 pieces.

Significant presence

Chopard already enjoys a significant presence in the motorsports arena through its sponsorship of Italy’s Mille Miglia 1,000-mile drive from Brescia to Rome, and the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique race.

Both the Scheufele family, owners of Chopard and the Miller family have high regard for one another:

We are pleased to join forces with the Miller family. They have a strong passion for the sport that is shared with the Scheufele family. The Paul Miller brand is respected and trusted in the fine auto industry. The core values of both brands align to create a strategic and beneficial relationship.” Marc Hruschka, Chopard USA President & CEO.

Universally recognised

Chopard is a universally recognised luxury brand that has a long history of successful motorsport involvement. There are many synergies with the two brands. Both brands are family owned and operated. The bond is also built on the parallels of precision between fine watches and automobiles. We hope to host memorable experiences for both sets of clients. We look forward to a long and mutually fruitful relationship.Team owner Paul Miller

The Paul Miller Racing Limited Edition Mille Miglia GTXL in stainless steel retails for $9,650. The 18k rose gold version won’t leave the store for less than $26,010.


Special Edition Paul Miller Racing Mille Miglia GTXL Watch in Stainless Steel
•    Set in Stainless Steel
•    Automatic Movement
•    Black Dial with Paul Miller Racing Logo
•    Chronometer Certified (COSC)
•    Power Reserve Approx. 46 Hours
•    24 Jewels
•    Glare proof sapphire crystal and crystal back case with special engraving
•    Water Resistant up to 100 meters
•    Power Reserve Indication
•    Date Window
•    Folding Buckles
•    Limited Edition of 100 Pieces

Special Edition Paul Miller Racing Mille Miglia GTXL Watch in 18Kt Rose Gold

•    Set in 18kt Rose Gold
•    Automatic Movement
•    Silver Dial with Paul Miller Racing Logo
•    Chronometer Certified (COSC)
•    Power Reserve Approx. 46 Hours
•    24 Jewels
•    Glare proof sapphire crystal and crystal back case with special engraving
•    Water Resistant up to 100 meters
•    Power Reserve Indication
•    Date Window
•    Folding Buckles
•    Limited Edition of 25 Pieces

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Scramble! IWC Top Gun Miramar Chronograph

IWC has just launched a new formation within the IWC Pilot’s watch family known as the Top Gun Collection.  First to power down the runway is the new Top Gun Miramar Chronograph. With a 48 mm ceramic case and anthracite dial, this flyback chronograph will require a powerful wrist if it is not look overly obtrusive.

The Miramar is powered by the in-house IWC 89365 chronograph movement with an impressive 168 hour power reserve. The crown, chronograph pushers and case back are made from titanium and the Miramar comes fitted to a military style webbing strap.

Big Pilot’s Top Gun Miramar Chronograph

The watch is inspired by Miramar, the legendary Marine Corps Air Station located just outside San Diego, which was once the home of the Naval Fighter Weapons School better known as Top Gun.

The collection also consists of two Pilot’s Watches: the Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun and the Spitfire Perpetual Calendar Digital Date-Month.

“For the new Top Gun Pilot’s Watches we drew on our long tradition of manufacturing unusual deck watches. In the 1940s, Pilot’s Watches made in Schaffhausen were widely used as so-called B watches for flight navigation.

“Back then, only wristwatches with the highest possible precision were good enough for navigators: the pilot and his crew would synchronize their watches to the navigator’s.” Since the main priority for navigation is optimum legibility of the seconds and minutes, these two were often the only indicators shown on the outer ring; the hours would be relatively small and appeared on a central ring." Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen

The hour circle and the chapter ring are featured separately on the dials of the Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar and the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar.

The dark, metallic sheen of the grey ceramic case and the matte anthracite of the dial are  designed to resemble precision instruments used in aviation.

The use of specific camouflage colours such as beige for the hands and chapter ring, together with green for the strap, underscore the military look.

All the watches in the collection are equipped with IWC-manufactured calibres which is the reason for the 48-millimetre case diameter.

The Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun comes with a host of  features including a perpetual calendar with its four-digit year display, moon phase display and seven-day power reserve. It represents the clear-cut instrument look of the 1940s with ultra-modern watch technology.

The tiny aircraft silhouette on the seconds hand creates an eye-catching signal-red highlight on the black-and-white dial.

New look IWC Spitfire Perpetual Calendar  

Originally introduced in 2003, for 2012 all the models are fitted with IWC-manufactured calibres. The gold and stainless-steel cases are meticulously machined by hand; the result is a vibrant interplay of shiny, silky matte and structured surfaces. It is the first IWC Pilot’s Watch to show the date and month digitally in the form of four large numerals; The Spitfire Chronograph with its IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre is available in red gold and stainless steel.

Slight modifications to Classic Pilot’s Watches

The most conspicuous change compared to their predecessors – with the exception of the Big Pilot’s Watch – is the vertical triple date display at “3 o’clock”, whose form underscores the cockpit-style design more emphatically.

For 2012, the Pilot’s Watch Mark XVII is 2 millimetres larger at 41 millimetres.

With its new red design features, the dial of the Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph is even more attractive, and thanks to a larger case diameter – now 46 millimetres – it is also significantly more legible.

The Pilot’s Watch Chronograph has increased by a moderate 1 millimetre to 43 millimetres. The new Pilot’s Watch Worldtimer has a 24-hour ring that enables the wearer to look at all 24 time zones, including the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC).

“It is with pride and confidence that IWC looks forward to 2012, our year of the Pilot’s Watch. We have six exciting new models, including two Perpetual Calendar models, with some of the most complex watchmaking features imaginable, the new Miramar design line and the new-look Spitfire collection,” Georges Kern, CEO IWC Schaffhausen

We'll post pictures of other watches in the Top Gun Collection as soon as we get them.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Pierre DeRoche TNT Royal Retro RB LE watch

The new Pierre De Roche TNT Royal Retro RB may look a trifle busy, and that’s because it is. No less than 6 retrograde seconds hands are busy, busy busy whirring round the face of the watch at intermittent intervals, counting the passing of time in a constant relay of ten seconds. Endlessly fascinating to watch, and no doubt exquisitely intricate to create.

It’s even busier under what would normally be the dial of the watch, for there isn't a dial to speak of, all the complex mechanisms in the making of the timepiece are clearly visible. There is also a bridge with 12 pivots and 6 chamfered, satin-finished seconds bridges.  Each of the seconds hands is gear-driven, the traditional balance-spring having been replaced by a strip-spring mechanism which sends each back to its original position retrospectively.

This new edition of the watch comes with a rubber bezel on a 47.5mm titanium case. The Royal Retro is powered by an exclusive Dubois Dépraz Calibre, a manufacture which takes movements by ETA,  Sellita and others and then adds their own unique complications.

In fact Dubois Dépraz discreetly supply calibres to some of the best names in the industry. A family business for more than 110 years, brothers Pascal and Jean-Philippe Dubois continue the watchmaking traditions started by their great grandfather in 1901.

As for the watch brand itself, there is a strong family link between Dubois Dépraz and Pierre De Roche. Pierre is a brother to Pascal and Jean-Philippe Dubois, hence the ability to call on such an exclusive manufacture of specialised movements.

The new TNT Royal Retro is in a limited edition of just 201 pieces and comes on a high quality rubber strap with clasp.


Movement:    Automatic, exclusive 58-jewel Dubois Dépraz calibre
Decorated and engraved oscillating weight 12 pivot central bridge and 6 chamfered and satin-finished seconds bridges. Moving retrograde hand indicators 6 gear-driven retrograde seconds hands, strip-spring return

Functions:    Hours, minutes, seconds with retrograde function displayed on 6 segments covering 10 seconds each, date at 6 o’clock

Case:    Black PVD-treated container, rubber-moulded steel bezel, steel lugs, crown guard and screw-lock crown, 47.5 mm in diameter

Bracelet/Strap:    Overstitched rubber, safety folding clasp

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