Watchuseek Blog

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Legendary bombers: BRM 'Warbirds' Collection

It's the year of the pilot watch, and luxury French watch brand BRM has launched a new series of watches directly inspired by the most significant fighter aircrafts of WWII: The Spitfire, the P-51 Mustang North American and the Mitsubishi Zero. Planes that would have been familiar to every schoolboy growing up in wartime.

Known as ‘Warbirds’ during World War II, these aircraft were flown by intrepid and brave young pilots. They spearheaded their nations’ air forces during the Second World War and filling history books with tales of skill and derring-do.

The BRM timepieces are crafted like a fuselage, complete with inserted rivets, propeller-shaped hands, cases featuring roundels from different countries, horns that reference exhaust pipes and harness-inspired leather straps. With this new collection, BRM once again demonstrates its deep commitment to speed, high-performance and bold engineering.

French marque BRM’s approach to a pilot’s watch is nothing if not colourful and ostentatious. Dials include the rising sun of the Japanese Imperial flag, while an American bomber a sexy lady - just like the ones painted on the fuselage of American warplanes - is to be found on another. There are inserted rivets, pushers are in the colours of each nation’s roundels, hands are propeller shaped, and horns reference exhaust pipes and harness-inspired leather straps.

The cases measure 45mm and are constructed from stainless steel or PVD coated stainless steel. As a sign of the times, the price of each Warbird is more than the cost of a Spitfire during World War II. The watches will be released later in 2012.


•    Brushed stainless steel case or stainless steel case with black PVD
•    Diameter : 45 mm
•    Brushed stainless steel pushers and crown
•    Brushed stainless steel lugs and buckle
•    Calf leather strap with stitching
•    Water resistant:100 meters
•    Automatic chronograph movement
•    Retail price : $7,140 (brushed)
•    $7,735 (black PVD)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

For the high jump: Olympic athlete Ben Challenger becomes GRAHAM ambassador

Ben Challenger, the high jump Olympic athlete with a career spanning over 20 years, says: “I always push myself right to the limit mentally and physically. I'm right at the top of my sport, having performed at the Olympics. I've achieved a lot, but I'm still hungry for gold at London 2012.” Now he is raising the bar as GRAHAM's latest brand ambassador.

Born in 1978 in Loughborough, England, Ben has competed at international High Jump events since he was 15, with gold at the U23 European Championships and bronze and silver at the Commonwealth Games.

Son of Romeo Challenger, the drummer of Showaddywaddy, Ben has always led an eclectic lifestyle, being a great fan of motor racing and an avid super bike rider himself. 

Currently sporting a funky afro (he likes to change his hairstyle frequently) and Japanese tattoos, Ben is proud to be involved with the GRAHAM brand. Currently in training for the 2012 London Olympics, he will be wearing his GRAHAM Chronofighter watch when he goes for gold.

“There is no mistaking my drive, my passion or my talent for Olympic gold. My focus on the future is unwavering, and I look forward to each competition with anticipation.”

Even though the The Watch Snob may be sniffy that GRAHAM is a revived brand, he couldn’t fault its credentials; the brand can trace its origins to London clockmaker George Graham (1673-1751) who is considered the father of modern watch making. 

He is known as the father of the chronograph as he invented the start and stop device of the chronograph. The dead-beat and cylinder escapement, the mercury pendulum to compensate the influence of temperature on pendulums, to name a few. He also built the master clock for Greenwich Royal Observatory which timed most of the 18th century and lots of science instruments for astronomers and physicists.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Officer Material: Ernst Benz Officer Collection

 A unique collection of technically exceptional time pieces from Ernst Benz, noted for the durability, accuracy and reliability of their watches. The Officer Collection is inspired by the great timepieces of the 1940’s and 50’s.

Made in Switzerland to exacting Swiss standards, the new Ernst Benz Officer Collection is as smart and snappy as an officer's salute.

The new Officer model will be offered in the signature version of the 47mm Chronolunar design.

The Chronolunar features a chronograph and additional calendar functions. The watch is powered by a Valjoux 7751 movement, water resistant to 50 metres.

Its generous proportions allow for at-a-glance clarity. The watch is available in black or white with elegantly applied hand polished numerals in either steel or gold finish filled with white lume and with the signature hands also with lume. 

The moon disc comes in either silver or gold to match with the choice of dial.The watches come on soft calf or durable alligator leather straps in black or brown.

Main picture shows Christopher Jones as Major Randolph Doryan in Ryan's Daughter directed by David Lean

Monday, April 23, 2012

The watchmaking wunderkinds of Girard Perregaux

Looks like someone in Girard Perregaux's PR department has devised an ingenious new way to escape the office and travel the world. Swiss luxury watch manufacture Girard Perregaux has unveiled what they claim to be an industry first; the print and online journal: The New Face of Tradition, Eight Young Watchmakers and the Art of Making Time.

The luxury watch brand is trying to dispel any impressions that the Swiss watch industry is staid, stuffy and rooted in tradition by showcasing the ideas and stories of its younger watchmakers and the creative diversity they offer the industry. 

The campaign highlights not only the work of the talented watchmakers in their famed Manufacture in La Chaux-de-Fonds, but also their rich diversity of passions, which include everything from rock & roll to puzzles and even an alpine horn champion.

The campaign sets out to reveal that the new generation of watchmakers are as multi-faceted as the Girard-Perregaux luxury timepieces they create.

In addition to the printed version, the journal will be hosted at, a dedicated online site giving further insights into the young watchmakers. 

On May 1, in New York, the watchmakers will stage an event at Cipriani Dolci. In addition to revealing their journals, the event will provide an opportunity to participate in an in-depth one-on-one workshop with the watchmakers. 

The workshops will demonstrate the intricacies of the movements and include hands-on lessons on how they are built. There will also be a display of the latest GP novelties for 2012 as well as museum pieces from its historical archives. Later this year the international tour will move on to Beijing, Paris and several other cities.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Slide rules: Hamilton Khaki X Patrol

We showcase dozens of Swiss watches, it’s time to give the Americans a go. Hamilton was founded in 1892 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, USA. The aim has always been to design watches which reflect American spirit with the unrivalled precision of the latest Swiss movements and technologies. 

Hamilton has a strong foothold in Hollywood, with products appearing in 400 films. The brand also boasts a strong aviation heritage dating back to 1919. That was the year in which a Hamilton aeronautical watch accompanied the very first American airmail postal service between Washington and New York. 

To celebrate its 120th anniversary, Hamilton will release the dynamic Hamilton Khaki X-Patrol in June 2012. This sophisticated chronograph integrates the new H21 calibre -  an upgraded ETA Valjoux 7750 automatic chronograph - noted for its accuracy and extended power reserve of 62 hours. On board is a unique mechanical conversion facility to give accurate equivalents of a selection of units in either metric or imperial systems.

Instrument panel as slide rule

The Hamilton Khaki  X-Patrol does look very much like a cockpit instrument panel and its ability to convert distances in miles (nautical or statute) and kilometres, heights or altitudes in feet or metres, volumes in gallons and litres, as well as weights in pounds and kilograms simply by using a turning bezel should be enough to delight any ardent number cruncher. 


Conversions are simple to make, through unscrewing the easy-to-grip crown at 9 o’clock and positioning an arrow for the first unit of measurement on the outer bezel scale. The appropriate equivalent is then visible on the inner scale. Once the reading is completed, the crown can be pushed back into place and re-screwed to secure it until required again. Three round chronograph discs, gravitating to the left-hand side of the dial keep track of hours, minutes and seconds, operated via push buttons at two o’clock and four o’clock.

Designed to make a difference

In a choice of black or silver dials with contrasting reflectors, the watch comes on a black leather strap with white stitching, a sporty black rubber attachment, or a metal bracelet.

To reflect the aviation theme, on the reverse is a propeller-inspired design, offering a view of the automatic chronograph movement in action. Water resistant to 10 bar ensures that this watch is at home in all environments, airborne or otherwise. As for pricing, the watches are expected to be around $1,295 on a leather strap or $1,345 for the watch on rubber or a metal bracelet.


Case Size: 42 mm
Material: Stainless steel
Dial Colour: Black / Silver-coloured
Attachment: Black stitched leather / Black rubber / Stainless steel
Movement: H21 chronograph
Crystal: Sapphire with antireflective coating
Water resistance: 100 m / 10 bar

Launch: June 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

For Japanese earthquake disaster victims: Ladoire RGT Custom Origin of the Sun

Lionel Ladoire has been passionate about Japanese culture, admiring its aestheticism, attention to detail and excellence for many years. Particularly fascinated by the design of the Japanese Imperial Flag, Lionel wanted to pay homage to the Japanese people who, over the centuries, have always shown courage and positive strength. 

That’s fair enough, however his choice of the Japanese Imperial Flag as his motif is controversial. The flag was heavily used by the Japanese in the conquest and the occupation of East Asia, it’s a flag that still strikes fear among the older generations of certain South East Asian countries, of which the Philippines is one. It is seen as a symbol of Japanese colonialism, largely because of the war crimes perpetrated by the Japanese military.

Nonetheless, Lionel Ladoire set himself the great technical and aesthetic challenge of creating this exclusive timepiece which required over 300 hours of work. 

"Origin of the Sun" pays tribute to Japan, known locally as Nippon or Nihon meaning "the sun's origin". Indeed, Nippon/Nihon is written in kanji using the two ideograms 日本 , the first denoting "sun" or "day" and the second denoting "origin" or "root". 

The latter is engraved on the crown side of the titanium case. Meanwhile, the platinum hand-cut display shows the Japanese Imperial Flag. 

The watch will be officially presented in Japan during May 2012, under the high patronage of the Japanese Consul to Geneva. 


This one off haute horlogerie creation will be sent to auction where 30 per cent of the sale price will be donated to the Japanese Red Cross for victims of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. 


Movement manufactured by Ladoire : Calvet/01
•   «Calvet/01/RGT» 26 jewels, on plate : 9h 3h > 39.50mm
•    Bridges of circular geometry with special red satin-finish painting
•    Shaped main plate with cut-out and special red satin-finish painting
•    Shaped main plate with special white mat paint
•    Micro rotor up-lifted with two parts 15/2, Position 6 o'clock
•    Balance at 8.40
•    Escapement 15.1
•    Optimised gear train profile
•    Frequency 18,000 a/h (2.5Hz)
•    Power-reserve 48 hours

•    Hours, minutes, seconds. Time setting with the crown, position 8 o'clock
•    Indication H, M, S by discs set on ceramic ball-bearing (Lubrication/OFF)
•    GMT with fast correction position 2 and 4 o'clock
•    GMT indication by profiled hand

•    Bezel and back-case in White Gold with black PVD coating, case in Titanium
•    Dimensions 9h 3h > 56mm / 12h 6h > 45mm, thickness 16.3mm
•    Bezel sapphire crystal incurved with anti-reflection treatment
•    Back-case sapphire crystal convex with anti-reflection treatment
•    Water resistance 50 metres/ 165 feet

•    Black full-grain hand-stiched calf leather, brass and silicone insert
•    Articulated RGT buckle white gold and titanium black PVD

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Timekeeping in the ocean depths: JeanRichard Aquascope

Last week we featured the new JeanRichard Highlands collection. This week it’s the turn of the new Aquascope collection. Powered by an in-house JR60 movement with a 42 hour power reserve, these mechanical self-winding watches come in a wide variety of fresh new colours including black, white, silver or night blue dials with a range of brightly-coloured natural rubber straps.

The new Aquascope watch has a rounded glass-opening within its barrel-shaped curves. The one-piece case provides protection for the two symmetrical crowns, and exceptional comfort for the wearer. 

The polished and satin-finished steel case features a bidirectional rotating bezel designed to display the remaining diving time. The watches undergo the most exacting tests to ensure that each watch can be depended upon at 300 metres below the surface. 

Features include the luminescent graduation of the Arabic numerals, and the dial’s hour-markers make for perfect legibility even in underwater zones with very little natural light.

The 44mm case is made from a steel that combines lightness and excellent resistance to corrosion with solid protection for the self-winding mechanical movement.

The Aquascope watch comes in a sunburst-effect satin-finished night blue or black version, or with an opalin silvered surface, making a striking contrast with the natural rubber strap, which comes in black, night blue, red, green, orange or white.

Aquascope is also available in a ladies’ version with a white mother-of-pearl dial, brilliant-cut diamond hour-markers and a white, grey or pink strap.


Polished and satin-finished stainless steel case
Dimensions : 44.50 x 40 mm
Height : 11.85 mm
Antireflective sapphire crystal
Case-back secured with 4 screws
Water-resistant to 300 m
2 screw-down crowns
Bidirectional rotating bezel
Movement: JR60
Calibre : 11 ½’’’
Frequency : 28,800 vibrations/ hour (4 Hz)
Jewels : 21
Power reserve : min. 42 hours
Functions : hour, minute, second, date
Sunburst-effect satin finished blue or black,
or opalin silvered dial
Luminescent Arabic numerals and indexes
Luminescent hands
White mother-of-pearl dial
Arabic numerals and 8 diamond indexes
Luminescent hands
Black, white, red, green, grey, pink, orange or
blue natural rubber strap
Stainless steel folding buckle

Monday, April 16, 2012

Bulgari Diagono Ceramic

Bulgari always bring plenty of Italian style to their watches and the new Diagono Ceramic range is no exception. This new collection comes in steel, 18k pink gold or ceramic for both men and women.  The Diagono collection features the double 'Bvlgari' logo engraving on the bezel; a structured case and the signature screws securing it to the strap. 

Dynamic and contemporary 

Launched over 20 years ago, the Diagono range is said to subtly evoke the Ancient Greek word agòn, meaning “competition”. We are told that the name of the model echoes the Discobulus of Myron, the famous Greek sculpture of a discus thrower. We'll take their word for it.  The line has acquired a slimmer bezel together with a broader dial opening for easier reading of the time. 

In its masculine version, this elegant chronograph features a steel or 18-carat satin-finished pink gold case measuring 42mm in diameter. The delicately softened angles, together with alternating brushed and polished surfaces.

The overall look is accentuated by a satin-finish black ceramic bezel. It is matched by chronograph pushers also made from high-tech ceramic material, along with a ceramic-set steel or 18-carat pink gold crown.

A pure, powerful dial

The watch, which is water resistant to 100 metres in the men's version, is powered by Calibre B130. With a power reserve of 42 hours, it’s a mechanical self-winding movement equipped with a chronograph module. 

The functions are displayed on a pure deep-black dial in the two men’s versions, bearing three short-time hour, minute and seconds measurement counters that are either silver- or gold-toned depending on the version. The hands adopt the same colour codes in accordance with the version, while the date appears through a window at 4.30.

The Diagono comes on a mono-block black rubber strap featuring steel or 18-carat gold inserts. The strap is connected to the case via a screw-type lug system guaranteeing an ergonomic fit. The feminine version is slightly smaller but contains all of the brand’s key design codes.

Diagono for ladies

The 37mm ladies version is adorned with a steel or satin-finish 18-carat pink gold case, topped with a glowing white ceramic bezel. The chronograph pushers are also made from white ceramics, as is the steel or satin-finish 18-carat pink gold crown equally set with this elegant and contemporary material. 

The Diagono Ceramic for ladies also features a white mother-of-pearl dial set with eight brilliant-cut diamond hour-markers. Like its masculine counterpart, this chronograph is driven by the self-winding Calibre B130 and displays the three classic short-time measurement counters for the hours, minutes and seconds, as well as the date at 4.30.


Calibre BVL 130, mechanical self-winding with displays of the date and chronograph, personalised for Bulgari.
Côtes de Genève, circular-grained and snailed motifs.
Frequency: 28,800 vph
Power reserve: 42 hours
37 jewels
Diameter: 28.60 mm
Thickness: 6.10 mm

Hours, minutes, chronograph, date at 4.30; seconds, hours and minutes counters at 3, 6 and 9 o’clock respectively.

Steel or 18-carat pink gold, 42 mm in diameter (Men’s version) and 37 mm in diameter (Ladies’ version), ceramic bezel; ceramic chronograph pushers, screw-lock ceramic-set crown; scratch-resistant glare-proofed sapphire crystal
Water-resistant to 100 m (Men’s version) and 50 m (Ladies’ version)

Men’s version: black dial, rhodiumed or pink gold-plated hour-markers with Superluminova®, rhodiumed or pink gold-plated facetted hands with Superluminova®.
Hand-applied facetted hour-markers on the dial and inner bezel ring; facetted hands with Superluminova® C1 treatment.
Ladies’ version: white mother-of-pearl dial, 8 brilliant-cut diamond hour-markers; rhodiumed or pink gold-plated facetted open-worked hands.

Mono-block black rubber strap with steel or 18-carat pink gold inserts (Men’s version); and white rubber (Ladies’ version).
Steel or 18-carat pink gold pin buckle, depending on the model.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Built for adventure: Jean Richard Highlands Collection

The new Highlands Collection by JeanRichard is a handsome range of adventure watches. Elegant and racy, these mechanical self-winding timepieces come with black or anthracite-grey dials and matching natural rubber or plain fabric straps. Sculpted in sand-blasted steel, these new Highlands models are generously proportioned  (44.5 x 40 mm) with water-resistance to 100 metres.

Precision and resistance to corrosion, accidental knocks and extreme temperature changes make these watches totally reliable and robust travelling companions.
The Highlands models feature an automatic movement and a 42-hour power reserve. The notched aluminium rotating bezel allows for a second time zone display, an essential feature for all globetrotters.


 The muted colour choices enable the wearer to merge perfectly with even the wildest of environments. The dials come in black or anthracite grey and feature luminescent hands and numerals, allowing for perfect time visibility in all circumstances.

Each model is equipped with a strap made either of rubber or of plain fabric. The buckle is fitted with an integrated safety system.

As a tribute to Nick Brandt, the well-known animal photographer, JeanRichard also created the Highlands Big Life Foundation watch which we featured here back in November of last year. It's a limited series of 100 pieces that comes with a black PVD-coated case, combined with a green external rotating bezel allowing for the display of a second time zone. Its sober black dial features numerals in ivory-coloured luminescent material, and a signature “Big Life” indication in red.


Sand-blasted stainless steel case
Dimensions: 44.50 x 40 mm
Height: 11.96 mm
Antireflective sapphire crystal
Case-back secured with 4 screws
Water-resistant: 100 m
Screw-down crown
Bidirectional rotating bezel
Movement: JR60 Self-winding Calibre: 11 ½’’’
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations/ hour (4 Hz)
Jewels: 21
Power reserve: min. 42 hours

Functions : hour, minute, second, date
Anthracite or black dial
Luminescent Arabic numerals and indexes
Luminescent hands

Black, white, grey natural rubber or black fabric strap
Sand-blasted stainless steel folding buckle

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New for 2012: The I-Gucci Sport

Gucci Timepieces have been available in a variety of styles since the early 70s. The iconic Florentine marque prides itself on being one of the most reliable and consistent fashion watch brands, recognised for distinctive design, quality and craftsmanship.

New from Gucci for 2012 are these new additions to the I Gucci range.

I-Gucci Sport watches, designed by Gucci's Creative Director Frida Giannini (pictured), whose unique talent and modern vision have fuelled her rise as the leading creative force behind one of the world’s most celebrated fashion houses, were first introduced by Gucci last year.

They are Gucci’s first digital watch offering and they have caught on quickly to become one of the Italian designer label’s best-selling models.

The I-Gucci Sport was originally introduced to celebrate Gucci Timepieces’ partnership with The Latin Recording Academy®, hosts of the Latin GRAMMY® Awards. Since that time, the I-Gucci Sport has also been released in a limited edition, the I-Gucci Sport GRAMMY® Museum model.

The new additions to the I-Gucci Sport collection include a striking perforated rubber strap in three fashionable colour schemes of black, orange and cobalt blue. The black variant features extra detailing seen in a slim but striking section of the iconic Gucci green-red-green web stripe embedded in the rubber strap.

As with all I-Gucci models, the I-Gucci Sports models come in unmissable 49mm casings and feature a brushed steel and rubber case with four push-buttons.

With bold and easy to read digital displays, the watches can be set to show to two time-zones, and are available with a black dial and orange digits (black and orange variants) or with a silver dial and blue digits (blue version).

If you prefer analogue mode (showing hands) this can be achieved with a quick switch over.

The dial features a backlight, alarm and date; while the ‘Swiss Made’ stamp appears at 6 o’clock. The famous ‘Gucci’ logo is emblazoned at the foot of the bezel.

More technical than they may appear at first glance, the I-Gucci range features a chronograph and dual chronograph, countdown timer, tachymeter, pedometer and a sailing function specifically designed for timing regattas – let’s not forget, the people owning these watches are rich enough to attend such events.

The watches come on a thick rubber bracelet, composed of black, orange or blue perforated rubber, laid over a black rubber strap. This soft yet sturdy material, with perforated holes reminiscent of sports car interiors does lend the watches a funky and sporty appeal. 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Romain Jerome 100th Anniversary Steampunk Auto chronographs

Romain Jerome has an abiding fascination with the Titanic, so this, the centenary of the tragic event, is an important year for hm.

Already noted for bringing out the Titanic-DNA Steampunk watch collection, he has just released two limited edition chronographs to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the legendary ship.

The Titanic, a luxury ocean going liner, set sail on its ill-fated voyage across the Atlantic and famously met with disaster on April 15th 1912.

As moviegoers across the world are queuing up to see the 3-D re-release of James Cameron’s 1997 smash-hit film Titanic, Swiss watchmaker Romain Jerome has busied himself with the development of two limited-edition anniversary wristwatches.

The two new models, each limited to 100 pieces, are the Steampunk Auto 100th Anniversary and the Steampunk Chrono 100th Anniversary. Each is housed in a capacious 50-mm-diameter case featuring the signature rough, raw finishes that are a hallmark of the brand’s very first collection, called Titanic-DNA.

The rusted steel bezel is a combination of two metals separated by a century of time. Rust was once an enemy of the industry, but now RJ has devised a unique process to stop the rust corroding any further, a first in the watchmaking industry. The bezel is of oxidised and stabilised steel, created by a fusion of metal from the underwater wreck of the Titanic and another metal provided by the Harland & Wolff shipyards, where the ship was built.

For these anniversary pieces, the mobile propellers reminiscent of those on the ship, have been oxidised and stabilised by the same process used for the bezels.

The models feature engraved casebacks with a medallion commemorating the centennial of the Titanic’s launch date.


Movement: Calibre RJ001-AS, automatic with RJ oscillating weight; 28,800 vph; 23 jewels; 42-hour power reserve

Functions: Central hours and minutes, small second at 9 o’clock

Case: 50-mm diameter; stabilised, rusted steel from the Titanic in the bezel; bead-blasted black PVD paws; caseback engraved with 100th anniversary emblem; water-resistant to 30 meters; on black rubber strap with black PVD buckle

Dial and hands: Dial integrated into the movement; bead-blasted & circular-grained ruthenium colored bridge with four steel pistons and beadblasted ruthenium bearings ; ruthenium colored Roman numeral VI and XII with “raw” finishing; small seconds subdial with “ship’s propeller” in rusted, stabilised steel at 9 o’clock; black and satin-brushed hours and minutes hands inspired by Titanic’s anchor

Limited edition: 100 pieces

Friday, April 6, 2012

Corum pays tribute to Jules Verne Trophy winners

45 days, 13 hours, 42 minutes, 53 seconds: that’s the new reference time for the Jules Verne Trophy – the round the world trip by crew with neither stops nor help – recorded by famous watchmaker, Corum.

In its capacity as partner and official timekeeper for this legendary sailing adventure, the Swiss watch brand accompanied sailor, Loïck Peyron and the Maxi BanquePopulaire V crew in achieving their prestigious record.

To pay tribute to the BanquePopulaire team’s great victory, Corum has just awarded the 14 crew members, as well as their onshore router, a special brand new model called the “Trophée Jules Verne 2011-2012”.

On January 6th 2012, at 23 hours, 14 minutes and 35 seconds, the watchmaker stopped its chronograph to record the victory achieved by the 14 men during their round-the-world race against the clock.

Corum presented each member of the Maxi Trimaran crew, as well as their onshore router,with an Admiral’s Cup Seafender 48 Chrono Centro, a watch model from the Admiral’s Cup collection – a flagship line origianlly launched in 1960 – equipped with a chronograph function.

The dial bears the inscription “Trophée Jules Verne 2011-2012” and the back of the watch is engraved with an outline of the route. Each model is personalized with the individual crew member’s name.

The House of Corum invited the crew of the Maxi Trimaran Banque Populaire V to La Chaux-de-Fonds in Switzerland on Monday, April 2nd 2012, in order to present them with their “trophy”, a powerful symbol that is destined to be a reliable lifelong companion.

Loïck Peyron and the members of the Banque Populaire team expressed their appreciation to their partner, Corum, “When tackling time head-on, it is advisable to be well-equipped. We would like to thank Corum for their unfailing support as well as the Banques Populaires for their loyalty. The entire team is immensely proud to wear such a powerful symbol of an incredible adventure on their wrists.”

CEO of Corum, Antonio Calce returned the compliment: “It is a great pleasure to see the Maxi Banque Populaire V team gathered together at Corum in La Chaux-de-Fonds to get to know our workshops. The fact that each team member has personally come here to receive his Jules Verne trophy watch, inscribed with his name, is a very strong message."

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A new grand classic: Girard-Perregaux 1966 Chronograph 42mm

Girard Perregaux have introduced the much admired 1966 Chronograph with a new, larger 42mm case to reflect strong customer demand and to allow more space for measurement of short time periods. 

The additional size definitely adds to the legibility of the dial as do the strident Arabic numerals, yet the overall look is still discreet and elegant. With new proportions and performance guaranteed by Girard-Perregaux’s technical expertise, this could prove to be a highly desirable new version.

Powered by an in house 3300-0057 self winding mechanical movement with a power reserve of over 46 hours, the calibre boasts an oscillating weight in engraved pink gold with beautifully-crafted decoration work visible through the transparent case back. 

The movement is the product of over 220 years of watchmaking experience, and comes from the famous calibre 3000 family employed in the Girard-Perregaux 1966 collection.

The 1966 Chronograph 42mm, described as a grand classic, is crafted from pink gold. The case has undergone meticulous finishing work. 

The date is at 6 o’clock with an elegant blue central second hand circling above it. The dial features a tachymetric scale, while two counters face one another at 3 o'clock and 9 o’clock. The leaf-shaped hour and minute hands point to bold Arabic numerals in pink gold.

The watch comes on a black alligator strap with an 18kt pink gold tang buckle. 


Case in pink gold with anti-reflective sapphire crystal
Case back: with sapphire crystal
Diameter: 42.00 mm   
Water resistance: 30 meters
Crown: pink gold, engraved with the GP logo
Dial: opaline silver
Hand: “leaf” type

Girard-Perregaux 3300-0057 Movement
Self-winding mechanical movement
Functions: hour, minute, small second, chronograph, date
Calibre: 11 ½ ''' 
Frequency: 28,800 vibrations / hour (4 Hz)
Jewels: 57
Power reserve: minimum 46 hours
Winding: self-winding, oscillating weight in pink gold with “Côtes de Genève” engraving

Alligator-skin strap
Ardillon buckle in pink gold


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Ready to take the plunge: Oris Aquis Titan Chronograph

Oris have been producing some great divers in the last few years, and the new Aquis Titan is no excpetion. It's an unusual combination: titanium and tungsten, but it’s the choice of metals for this handsome new watch.

Robust and durable thanks to the scratch resistant Tungsten Diver’s inlay, Oris’ new 46mm diver is a symbol of strength. The triangle at the zero position, the indexes and watch hands are filled with Superluminova, ensuring the watch face can be easily identified even in bad visibility. 

The automatic helium valve at 9 o’clock position is essential for professional divers operating from a helium filled diving bell. This well protected time-piece also features a screw down stainless steel crown and stainless steel pushers, solid screw down case back with an engraved conversion scale (feet/metres).

A co-ordinating grey dial and inlay ring ensure the style of the model is in harmony with its endurance. Water resistant to 50 bar/500m and available in a multi-purpose case, the Aquis Titan Chronograph


•    Automatic mechanical movement ETA 7750 with Chronograph
•    Multi-piece Grade-2-Titanium case construction and crown protection.
•    Matt grey dial, applied indexes filled with Superluminova.
•    Minute and hour counters with Superluminova inlay
•    Tungsten Divers inlaid ring with Superluminova
•    Screw down stainless steel crown and stainless steel pushers.
•    Automatic Helium valve at 9 o’clock.
•    Solid screw down case back with engraved conversion scale (feet/meter).
•    Multi-piece Titanium metal bracelet with double pushers and extension.
•    Water resistant to 50 bar/500m.

Monday, April 2, 2012

The greatest: IWC Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali

Proof that ex world champion heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali can pack a punch and an all star event.

A unique timepiece from Swiss watch manufacturer IWC Schaffhausen went under the hammer last Saturday at Celebrity Fight Night.

Having long been supported by The Greatest™, Muhammad Ali, the star-studded gala event was established to raise funds for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center.

This was the 18th time that the former heavyweight champion had invited his friends from show business to come along and demonstrate their support for his charity. The live auction for IWC’s Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali in white gold attracted an impressive winning bid of USD 60,000.

“The man is an icon: simply one of the world’s greatest sporting personalities of our time. That was the reason we decided to mark Muhammad Ali’s 70th birthday in January with a special watch in white gold in honor of the man who was once voted Sportsman of the Century.” IWC CEO Georges Kern.
As a fitting tribute, IWC Schaffhausen selected the Big Pilot’s Watch to commemorate the big man. IWC has been making professional Pilot’s Watches for more than 70 years, and one of the most successful models in their portfolio is the larger than-life Pilot’s Watch, first unveiled in 1940.

The one off version of the watch in white gold was auctioned at the annual Celebrity Fight Night in Phoenix, Arizona, with the proceeds going entirely to the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, Kentucky.

The Center’s mission is to preserve and communicate the legacy and ideals of Muhammad Ali, to promote respect, hope, and understanding, and to inspire adults and children everywhere to be as great as they can be.

 IWC donated this watch alongside another tribute in the form of a large book: “GOAT – Greatest of All Time.” Weighing 75 pounds and measuring 20.20 inches, with over 3,000 illustrations by more than 150 photographers and artists, the book is a celebration of Ali’s life and a literary event in its own right.

The package was eventually snapped up for an impressive USD 60,000. Lonnie Ali expressed her appreciation: “IWC created more than a beautiful watch – they honored my husband, his dedication to charity, and at the same time helped support the Muhammad Ali Center.”

Celebrity Fight Night

This was the 18th occasion on which the former heavyweight champion had invited guests to Celebrity Fight Night. Well-known faces included soul legend Lionel Richie, actor and comedian Billy Crystal, five-time heavyweight world champion Evander Holyfield, along with many other famous faces from the world of showbiz supported the gala.

A Tribute to the Legend

The watch features a matte-black dial, the arrowhead index at “12 o’clock”, and the bold, luminescent numerals and hands guarantee minute-perfect legibility of the time regardless of lighting conditions.

The hands and appliqués, highlighted with signal-red Super-LumiNova, is mirrored on the inside of the black alligator leather strap, the colour was chosen as it it’s the favourite of Muhammad Ali, who often wore red boxing gloves for his fights.

The case back shows the signature of the Sports-man of the Century and an inscription reading “Edition Muhammad Ali, One Out Of One”

Inner Values

The Big Pilot’s 51111 calibre has a spring-mounted rotor and Pellaton pawl-winding system with a power reserve of over 7 days, before the movement is mechanically brought to a halt by a complex train in the power reserve after exactly 168 hours.

Stopping the movement before the tension in the spring is exhausted eliminates the danger of diminishing torque in the mainspring. This ensures the same level of accuracy the whole time the watch is running. The power reserve display at “3 o’clock” provides a reliable indication of the time remaining until the movement comes to a stop.

The large crown harks back to a time when pilots wore quilted flying suits and thick gloves to ward off the extreme cold, which made it difficult for them to wind and set their watches, hence the need for an unusually large, chunky crown.

“We are absolutely delighted that this exclusive and unique timepiece has been able to make such a significant contribution to Muhammad Ali’s charitable causes.” said Georges Kern.


Big Pilot’s Watch Edition Muhammad Ali
Ref. IW500435
Limitation: One Out of One

Features Mechanical movement, Pellaton automatic winding, date display, power reserve display, central hacking seconds, Glucydur® beryllium alloy balance, Breguet spring, screw-in crown, glass secured against displacement by drop in air pressure

Calibre: 51111
Frequency: 21,600 A/h / 3 Hz
Jewels: 42
Power reserve: 7 days (168 h)
Winding: automatic

Materials: 18-carat white gold case, matte-black dial, hands and appliqués highlighted with signal-red Super-LumiNova®, black alligator leather strap with red inner lining, folding clasp in white
Glass: gold sapphire, convex, antireflective coating on both sides
Back: white gold, special back engraving including signature of Muhammad Ali
Water-resistant: 6 bar
Diameter: 46 mm
Case height: 16mm

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