Watchuseek Blog

Friday, September 28, 2012

Air supremacy: Dodane Type 23

Dodane manufactory was founded in 1857 and rapidly became known in the world of watchmaking for its research ethos and for the passionate interest of its ancestors in aviation.

In 2005, the fifth generation of the Dodane's decided to re-issue the TYPE 21 in order to restore the brand DODANE 1857 and perpetuate the family's know-how. Now, in 2012, they have released the Type 23, of which more below.

The accuracy of Dodane timepieces has been borne out by the results of exhaustive testing from 2006 to 2011. In fact, in 2006, 2008 and 2010, Dodane achieved the first position in tests conducted by the National Astronomical Observatory of Measuring Time of Besançon (France). In the other years, the brand ranked among the top five brands.

Of 200 total tests, of which only 147 watches finished in the First Category of Chronometry since 2006, Dodane ranks first with 67 watches that have received this prestigious distinction.

A chronograph can be designated an "Observatory Chronometer" if it meets the strict standards of accuracy established by carrying over 15 consecutive days of testing that include testing in 5 positions and at different temperature settings.

Dodane’s excellent quality stems from years of precise production for the French Air Force where the tolerance for failure is zero. Whether used by military or civilian pilots, they are acknowledged by professionals to be irreplaceable instruments, as a result of their extreme reliability.

Dodane Type 23


Now we’ve established the credentials of the watch brand, let’s look at the most recent Pilot’s watch to come from the House of Dodane, the Dodane Type 23. France’s SIRPA AIR commissioned Dodane to make the Type 23. Previously they commissioned the Type 20/21 in the 1950s. In both cases performance was considered of prime importance. Dodane continues to exceed military expectations in quality and performance. Like its predecessor, Type 23 is a clean, accomplished aviation watch used to aid in pilot’s navigation.  There is nothing showy or ostentatious about any Dodane aviation watch.

The brushed stainless steel 42.5 mm case  is understated but also sophisticated.  The watch is suitable for far more occasions than piloting a plane, it won’t look out of place with formal wear or on smart casual occasions. The Type 23 successfully straddles the dividing line between a consumer/civilian oriented model, and is available in both a flyback and a non-flyback chronograph.

The watch runs on an automatic mechanical chronograph movement with flyback module produced by Dubois Depraz, who also supply to the likes of Audmars Piguet, Breitling, and Jaeger-leCoultre and Omega, so you can hardly complain about the company you are keeping.

The Type 23 features three chronographs, located at the three o’clock, six o’clock, and nine o’clock positions. Also featured on the dial is a tachymeter, and the unidirectional bezel (available in 3 options) completes the sums of minutes and hours by acting as a countdown timer.

Mounted on a beefy black leather strap, the watch retails at a finely judged $4,750.00

Thursday, September 27, 2012

On the hunt: Sinn Spezialuhren & Paul Parey Verlag Hunting Watch

As a follow up to our story on Sinn’s participation in the Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik rally, Sinn Spezialuhren and the Paul Parey magazine publishing house have joined forces to develop a high quality mechanical hunting watch.

With a dark hunter green dial, the timepiece is an attractive chronograph specially designed to meet the specific requirements of hunters. The hunting watch is being launched in a limited edition of just 100 pieces on October 2012 and will be sold exclusively via a website set up by Paul Parey (

A timepiece is an essential part of a hunter’s equipment, carrying the same importance as the rifle, binoculars and clothing. The watch developed by Sinn Spezialuhren and Paul Parey Verlag has been specially designed for heavy duty use while hunting, displaying outstanding reliability, extreme resilience and a high degree of functionality - in all weather and light conditions.

Ar Dehumidifying Technology ensures that the glass remains free from fogging and that the movement retains its accuracy. The temperature resistance technology in combination with SINN special oil 66-228 ensures reliable running of the watch within a temperature range of -45°C to +80°C.

The case, made of bead-blasted stainless steel, is especially scratch-resistant thanks to TEGIMENT technology and is largely non-reflective.

The strikingly designed luminous numerals and indices of the hunting watch make it easy to read even in half-light and fast descending darkness. The silicone strap is also easy to clean and washes up beautifully for those more formal occasions.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Watchuseek exclusive sneak peek: Limited Edition IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automatic 2012

This is a Watchuseek exclusive kindly brought to us by the Watch Gallery in the UK. It's the unveiling of the Limited Edition IWC Schaffhausen Ingenieur Automatic for 2012, and what a stunner it is!  

IWC Schaffhausen celebrates its 140th anniversary with six legendary wrist watches from its past: the Portuguese, Ingenieur, Pilot’s Watch, Da Vinci, Aquatimer and Portofino being reissued as attractive models in vintage style.

IWC Schaffhausen has given a limited number of 36 vintage Ingenieur Automatic watches exclusively to The Watch Gallery boutiques in London including Selfridges and Westfield. That means you can only buy one of the 36 pieces from The Watch Gallery boutiques at Fulham Road, Westfield, or the Wonder Room in Selfridges, London.

The vintage Ingenieur Automatic features a 42.5mm case and one of the most stylish Ingenieur dials – with the point-stroke indices and dauphine-style hands. This model is a collector’s rarity and a must have piece.

No watch has defined the “technical” profile of IWC quite like the Ingenieur Automatic, introduced in 1955 and the first watch to feature the IWC Automatic movement developed by Albert Pellaton. With its pawl-winding system and the spring-mounted rotor, it has remained a benchmark for watch technology at the highest level.

The IWC Ingenieur Automatic 2012:

The specs:

The new model pays homage to the first Ingenieur with automatic movement from 1995, with the 8011 calibre movement successor with Pellaton winding system. The Ingenieur Automatic has a power reserve of 44 hours and is water resistant to 12 bar.

The watch is in stainless steel, with brown dial and brown alligator leather strap. Limited edition of 500 pieces – a UK exclusive only at the Watch Gallery

The price: £5,950.00

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Bedat & Co - Swiss Luxury for Women

Discovering new things is always an amazing experience.  Whether your find that new band or the perfect holiday destination with miles of unspoilt beach, the feeling of accomplishment is always strong.  Discovering a little recognised brand also brings a similar feeling of delight as you are able to introduce your friends to the new experiences of a brand you have come to cherish.

Watch retailer, The Watch Hut, has recently introduced a number of lesser known brands of luxury watches to the site, that are sure to make even the most casual observer take note of the off-beat , less mainstream style choice. One of the new collections on offer comes from the mother and son team behind Bedat & Co watches.

The brand has been marketed in its Swiss homeland since 1997, but the small company remains little known in the UK market in spite of the critical acclaim and accolades the manufacturers have acquired since launch
The company have stuck firmly to the core values of Swiss watchmaking adhering to the charter laid down by the Geneva Artisan guild.

Bedat & co watches are designed exclusively for women and are stunningly feminine in design.  The watches feature white faces and either metallic bracelet straps or black straps made in fine leather.  They are sure to look fantastic with a classic LBD.

Many of the displays feature Roman numerals for a classic look, which combined with the dial and casing shapes offers the sophisticated woman a great selection of watches. The company offers a number of ranges that offer interpretations of the same classic design. 


The No 3 Collection features a “tonneau” shape that is curved at the 6 o’clock and 12 o’clock positions.  The No 7 Collection offers various takes on the rectangular shape, curved at 3 and 9 o’clock.  Meanwhile the popular No 8 collection encompasses original round -shaped cases.

Sinn Speczialuhren competes in 5th “Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik” car rally

Classic cars and high-performance mechanical watches somehow go together: both stand for timeless, traditional values. Both offer the thrill of mechanical engineering steeped in a time-honoured tradition. And both symbolise quality and aesthetic design.

It's for these reasons that Sinn Spezialuhren zu Frankfurt am Main participated once again in the “Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik” car rally. Their vehicle of choice, a Mercedes-Benz 220 SEb convertible. 

The rally race for classic cars and modern classics was held for the fifth time on September 20-22, 2012. Sinn Spezialuhren has been a participant and partner since the outset. 

The Sinn Spezialuhren driving team comprised owner Lothar Schmidt and marketing director Simone Richter. They relied on the Sinn 917 GR, an extremely dependable rally chronograph. 

This excellent Rally Chronograph features a countdown bezel that is controlled by the crown at 4 o'clock, which makes it possible to read off finish times with to-the second accuracy, with red numerals to call attention to the all-important, final 15-seconds. In a nod to automotive cockpit design, the power reserve indicator resembles a traditional fuel gauge.

In addition to driving skill, these nostalgic races emphasise precise measurement of time – which is exactly what the 917 GR achieves. 

180 classic cars, representing 80 years of automotive history, took part in the event. Open to cars made before the year 1991, the competition involves a variety of tasks that emphasise consistent speed and reliability as opposed to fast driving.

As usual, the race began in Hamburg and the 780-kilometre route traversed six German states before culminating in Berlin. Nearly all of the roads were side roads, and 70% of this year’s route featured streets and roads that have never before been part of the Hamburg-Berlin-Klassik course.

About Sinn Spezialuhren

Sinn Spezialuhren stands for high-performance, mechanical chronographs that are relied on by – among others – pilots, drivers and the German elite force GSG 9. Thanks primarily to technologies such as Diapal, Ar Dehumidifying Technology, Hydro, Tegiment and magnetic field protection, Sinn watches have proven dependable under extreme conditions and are also suitable for everyday use thanks to their robustness and durability, quality and precision. 

In developing its models, the brand places a priority on design and a premium on reliable performance.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Platinum pefection: Grieb & Benzinger Blue Whirlwind 1/1 timepiece

Grieb & Benzinger introduce the Blue Whirlwind, the world’s first watch powered by a visible tourbillon movement by Patek Philippe based on a rare skeletonised tourbillon minute repeater calibre.

The rare Patek Philippe tourbillon movement came to Grieb & Benzinger’s attention thanks to a hardcore watch collector and a happy coincidence. It took more than fifteen months from first studying Calibre RTO 27 PS for it to take on its final form – without anticipating the kind of hype that this movement would create in 2011: The same movement caused a sensation as it sold within a one-off Patek Philippe Tourbillon Minute Repeater in stainless steel, donated to the Only Watch charity auction in Monaco 2011. The hammer fell at an incredible 1.4 million Euros!

This remarkable result galvanised Grieb & Benzinger into creating a breathtaking new 43mm platinum wristwatch. The fine guilloché on the plates and bridges necessitated moving original drillings by less than one-twentieth of a millimeter, and the movement needed to be carefully reassembled, adjusted, disassembled, and reassembled in order to guarantee full harmonious functioning of the large number of levers. This movement, with 336 individual components, not only includes a tourbillon, but additionally a minute repeater mechanism – making it one of the most complicated movements in the world. 

The movement was modified in true Grieb & Benzinger style; fully skeletonised, guilloché and engraved by hand. Even gear wheels were embellished with guilloché and the 12 finely guilloché bridges and cocks coated with rhodium and rose gold. There’s also an additional mysterious wheel, visible on the back, which replaces the original gold drive wheel for the tourbillon.

By hand-skeletonising the base plate, the team created the world’s first visible skeletonised tourbillon based on a Patek Philippe movement. After the skeletonisation and guilloche process, the base plate was coated with blue platinum, a signature element of every Grieb & Benzinger piece.
The skeletonised Sterling silver dial in striking regulator style was embellished with a rare Breguet frosted finish created using a method currently practiced only by Grieb & Benzinger.

These numerous intricate details take months at a time, sometimes even more than a year, until an exquiste Grieb & Benzinger Platinum timepiece has been completed.

The Blue Whirlwind will be available to just one single lucky collector worldwide able to pay the asking price of US$850,000. What price perfection?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Casio launches Black X Gold series

Casio America has just launched a hot new collection of stylish and versatile timepieces with the introduction of the Black X Rose Gold Series to its popular Edifice Black Label Collection. 

The Black X Rose Gold Series features three models, the EQWM1100CG-1, EQS500CG-1A and EFR516PG-1AV, which emphasize the Edifice Black Label Collection’s dynamic design and advanced technological capabilities with a bold rose gold twist.

 The Black X Rose Gold Series offers a variety of features including water resistance up to 100 metres, world time, chronograph and more. Designed in the sophisticated Black Label style, the EQWM1100CG-1, EQS500CG-1A and EFR516PG-1AV have bold, eye catching looks with comfortable black resin bands and right on trend rose gold accents – making the Black X Gold Collection suitable for both leisure and more formal occasions.

“We are excited to unveil the Black X Rose Gold Series which builds on the rich feature set and unique design the EDIFICE Collection is known for. These new timepieces provide a stylish, yet practical solution to meet the needs of the on-the-go lifestyle of consumers who are looking for an all encompassing timepiece.” Shigenori Itoh, Chairman and CEO of Casio America, Inc.

Equipped with Casio’s Self-Adjusting Multi-Band 6 Atomic Timekeeping technology, the EQWM1100CG-1 automatically adjusts for daylight saving time and leap years, and synchronizes with atomic clocks in the US, Germany, the UK, China and two in Japan based on the user’s home city setting. 

The EQWM1100CG-1A also possesses 3D dial with chronograph that dynamically displays elapsed time measurements to within 1/1000th of a second.

The EQS500CG-1A has a chronograph that measures 1/100th of a second and includes essential features such as solar power, daily alarm and a full-auto calendar. 

And Casio’s EFR516PG-1AV is outfitted with a 1/20th second chronograph, date display and tachymeter.

All three Edifice Black X Rose Gold will be available in October 2012 at select retailers throughout the USA. As for prices, the EQWM1100CG-1 can be purchased for $450.00, the EQS500CG-1A for $330.00 and the EFR516PG-1AV for $200.00.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Gentleman's relish: Angular Momentum Index Virga and Index Sphaera Dress Watches

Angular Momentum is a one-man manufacturer of luxury custom made and bespoke watches. "Manu Propria" is the name of the Angular Momentum "Artisan Timepiece Collection" completely hand made in the Angular Momentum atelier in Bern, by Martin Pauli. Not one part is made by CNC machine, and nothing is outsourced, each watch is a tireless labour of hand made love.

Just added to the Technical Timepiece Collection is a new Gentleman's Dress Watch model in two different dial executions. The "Index Virga" and "Index Sphaera". Those of you who recall L.A.Wilding's Latin Course for Schools will know that ‘Virga’ is the Latin word for stick or bar, while ‘sphaera’ is Latin for ball.

Made of Staybrite steel, the watches are 42mm in  diameter, with a rounded case and flat bezel, smoothly satin finished with a silvered stainless steel dial, circular satin finish with polished "Index Vergia". 

The other model, "Index Sphaera" features a sapphire crystal, and is powered by a hand-winding movement calibre FHF 96, 11.5''', 17 jewels, 18'000A/h, with 48 hours power reserve.

The beguiling elegance and simplicity of both watches shine forth when matched (as in the main picture) with a bold splash of sartorial colour.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Martian magic: Louis Moinet Astralis collection

Astralis Mars

With the Mars space rover Curiosity busy beaming down High Definition pictures of the red planet, Astralis remains the only wristwatch to contain a genuine little piece of the planet; a fragment of a Martian meteorite that travelled over 55 million kilometres before reaching the Earth!

To date, only 63 meteorite rocks found on Earth have been identified as being from Mars. By any measure, it makes the Lous Moinet Astralis collection something out of this world.

The 24-hour planetarium

 Astralis Mercury

Astralis’ planetarium at 6 o’clock contains four highly-polished rare meteorites – Dhofar 459, Itqiy, Sahara 99555 and Jiddat al Harasis 479 – respectively denoting the Moon, the Sun and the planets Mercury and Mars. Sahara 99555 is the oldest known rock in the entire Solar System, estimated at 4 billion 566 million years, earning it the nickname’ the Rosetta Stone’ of our Solar System The Sun is symbolised in the planetarium by a sliver of Itqiy, a beautiful meteorite whose origins remain mysterious. All four of these fragments of extra-terrestrial rocks are unique  and mounted on a finely-cut aventurine disk, evoking a starry sky making a one revolution per day.

Four unique timepieces

Astralis Moon

There are four unique Astralis timepieces, with the dark brown, silver, dark blue and diamond-speckled black dials.  The presentation case for each watch is a work of art in itself: A planetoidal sphere 21 cm in diameter created by sculptor Jean-Yves Kervevan, representing Mars, the Moon, Mercury and the Sun.

A combination of 3 complications

Astralis Sun

The 46.50mm water resistant watches have a combination of complications never before seen: In addition to the 24-hour planetarium there is an astral tourbillon and split-second, column-wheel chronograph. Signature Louis Moinet “Côtes du Jura” engraving embellishes the dial and “Gouttes de Rosée” hands accompany the split-second chronograph hand decorated with a shooting star, which activate by pushing the pusher carefully integrated into the crown.

A sapphire glass caseback allows the owner to view the exclusive movement LM27, based on a vintage Venus calibre. The chronograph column wheel and split-second ‘scorpion’ clamps provide ultra-smooth functionality and can be glimpsed through the display back along with a plate engraved with planets which, together with the gold chaton and blued screws, evoke a beautiful night sky. 

The watches come on hand-stitched Louisiana alligator leather with an 18k gold and black titanium folding clasp, and are presented in a planetoidal box handcrafted by artist Jean-Yves Kervévan.

Exclusive interview with Dr. Luc Labenne 

 Louis Moinet has an exclusive collaboration with Luc Labenne, the world's most celebrated meteorite hunter. In this interview, he explains how he found Astralis’ Martian meteorite in the desert.

Q: The distance between Mars and Earth is over 50 million kilometres. What is the path of a Martian meteorite before landing on Earth?
LL: A Martian meteorite is a fragment of Mars ejected after impact from another a meteorite impact. To assess the age of the Martian rock, we first talk about the “formation age” on Mars.  The impacts on the surface allows us to determine the “age of ejection” of the meteorite. The length of time between the rock leaving Mars and reaching Earth can vary from about 1 million years to 20 million years. The last bit of useful data is the “terrestrial age” of the meteorite ground, that is, the length of time it has been on Earth. These three dates allow us to obtain relatively precise information on the origin of the meteorite as well as the path it has taken before landing on Earth.

Q: How can we be sure that a meteorite has come from Mars?

LL: A first sample is taken and then sent to universities and scientists such as A. Irving (University of Washington, Departement of Earth and Space Sciences, Seattle, USA), an expert in Martian meteorites or R. Korotev (McDonnell Center for Space Sciences, Washington Univ., St. Louis, USA), an authority on lunar meteorites. When identifying a Martian meteorite, the first thing is to establish its composition. Analysis of gases contained in the bubbles of the minerals can be compared with the results of analyses gathered by probes from NASA’s pioneering Viking program to confirm the Martian origin of meteorites. This is the main thing we have to do. Identification is then confirmed by the oxygen isotopes of these analyses. Finally, the control of the «formation age» of the rock enables the final confirmation. In fact, Martian meteorites are relatively young, about a few hundred million years old compared to 4.5 billion years for non-planetary meteorites. To date, 63 Martian meteorites  have officially been found on Earth. Most have been dedicated to science or exhibited in museums.

Q: What is the importance of having Martian or lunar meteorites, from a scientific point of view?

LL: For the Moon, for example, we have samples from the Apollo missions, but these relate only to the visible face of the Moon – for communication reasons (no radio signals), the mission was not able to explore the hidden side. There is therefore interest in whether the lunar meteorites originated from the visible or hidden side. After analysis, the moon rocks I have found on Earth were a lot different to those brought back by the Apollo mission, and this has given us other information about the composition of the lunar soil.
In general, meteorites allow us a better understanding of the origins and formation of planets.

It’s the same importance for Martian meteorites, to find out about their formation, but also to figure out if Mars could ever have supported life and/or has traces of water. Currently, no sample of rock has been brought back from Mars. Future missions are still on the drawing board for complexity and financial reasons. Curiosity is performing analyses but not bringing samples back. Martian meteorites can therefore make up for this by providing these samples.

Until now, the Martian meteorites are essentially basalt (chunks of lava). Scientists hope to find sedimentary meteorites to obtain more information and perhaps prove the existence of life on Mars. This is also the reason why Curiosity landed in a crater: It’s a good place to find and analyse these sedimentary rocks.

Q: Is the composition of a Martian meteorite very different from a terrestrial rock?

LL: As previously stated, Martian meteorites found so far are mainly lava rocks so visually close to terrestrial basalt rocks. However, shock veins can be observed in meteorites, which do not exist in terrestrial rocks and this allows early identification in the field.

Q: But the main difference lies in the fact that the minerals in these rocks are partially melted due to the impact on Mars. Bubbles of gas specific to Mars are also present in these meteorites. The meteorites that you find – for whom are they intended? 

LL: Primarily for scientists, then private collectors and museums. For lunar and Martian meteorites, most are intended for science due to their limited number, priority is given to research.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rare gem: Linde Werdelin Spido Speed Black Diamond LE watch

In what is an unusual offering from Linde Werdelin, the dynamic duo have decided to release a limited edition watch which is a unique composition of black diamonds, mother of pearl, and dlc with blued steel hands. 
Among the Linde Weredlin collection, SpidoSpeed Black Diamond is the first and only to bear a dial made from a natural material, precisely from the inside of oyster shells of original Tahitian mother of pearls. Each piece bears a slightly different gradient of blue, making each of them inimitable from another. The SpidoSpeed is a chronograph timepiece constructed of a complex fully skeletonised case with weight reduction technology while preserving strength in the construction. It has been crafted and designed with inspirations originating from the racing car industry.

The dial is constructed into two parts to give a major sense of depth, very much achieved with the use of different colours and surface combinations given by the light effect of the mother of pearl dial. 

Each 48 brilliant-cut black diamond of 1.57 carats is meticulously mounted inside the bezel with exceptional accuracy. The brilliant cut is one of the most favourable forms for enhancing the play of lights and shades. 50 pieces will be available worldwide this autumn 2012 each at around $27,000 excluding VAT.

This model is the first and only to bear a dial made from a natural material, the inside of oyster shells of original Tahitian mother of pearls.

Limited to 50 pieces, this chronograph is constructed of a fully skeletonised case with weight reduction technology. It also features the LW 03 Concepto calibre 2251 integrated chronograph, which is the same as with the more usual Spido Speed models. It’s a movement inspired by the racing car industry.

The dial is comprised of two-part mother of pearl from Tahiti dial, opaline top dial part with black galvanic chronograph sub-dials for hours, minutes and seconds.

With so few Spido Speed Black Diamond models available, who will be the lucky owners?

Friday, September 14, 2012

Deuce: Jorg Gray Clint Dempsey Limited Edition Game Timer watch

Jorg Gray, the brand probably most famous for being seen adorning the wrist of US President Barack Obama, has unveiled a special timepiece created in honour of its football star ambassador Clint Dempsey.

Clint Dempsey is a 29 year old Texas born American football player who has just joined Tottenham Hotspur from Fulham in a £6m deal signed just before the season transfer window closed. He is also a United States national team player. 

The Clint Dempsey Limited Edition Game Timer watch has been limited to a run of 1,000 pieces. The timepiece is said to have been designed in close collaboration with Dempsey. It features a caseback with an embossed soccer ball with edition number and Dempsey’s name and his nickname Deuce displayed under a mineral crystal lens.

The timepiece is a customised version of Jorg Gary’s 2500-22, which features a black-plated bezel with a layered dial and applied index featuring Swiss ISA Soccer Timer movement with date display. The watch has an integrated rubber strap with deployment buckle and is water resistant to 100m.


 Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Clint Dempsey

 “I knew exactly what I wanted when I began conceptualising this timepiece. Jorg Gray was willing to step outside the box and let me run with the design. This watch is 100% me - the perfect combination of edge and style. As I make the trek north to White Hart Lane to my new home on and off the field, I know I can count on my Jorg Gray watch to keep me on time and feeling right at home wherever I may be.” Clint Dempsey

The watch will hit the shops in October and Jorg Gray president Trevor Gnesin believes that “the ruggedness of the Clint Dempsey piece combined with the intricate detailing makes this watch strong enough to take on any game-time situation, but sophisticated enough to sport for even the finest of events.”

Gnesin added: “We think Dempsey fans will flock to the piece and look forward to celebrating Clint’s continued success with Tottenham.”

The watch is the third commemorative limited-edition watch to be released by the American watch brand and the first focussed upon the sport of football. The previous two models celebrated the brand’s partnerships with MotoGP racer Ben Spies and IndyCar driver Alex Tagliani.

About Jorg Gray
Founded in 1998 in the USA, Jorg Gray has expanded from an American specialty private-label watch company to a worldwide brand. It has built a reputation for fashionable timepieces, and continues to create modern, yet classic watches. The brand’s visually striking, boldly designed watches combine styling, materials and colours that appeal to today’s discerning customer.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Big time: TimeCrafters Luxury Watch Exhibition opens in New York

In what is only its second anniversary, TimeCrafters has lined up a stellar array of watch making brands to participate in the second annual watch exhibition to the public at the Park Avenue Armory from September 14th-15th.

The first edition in 2011 was an undoubted success. Now TimeCrafters are determined to wow the public with a dazzling selection of both new and iconic timepieces from the world’s finest watchmakers; top names such as A. Lange & Söhne, Audemars Piguet, Baume & Mercier, Blancpain, Breguet, Bulgari  Horlogerie SA, Chopard, De Bethune, Dior Timepieces, Frédérique Constant, Girard-Perregaux, Glashütte Original, Harry Winston, Hublot, Omega, Oris, Parmigiani Fleurier, Ralph Lauren, Richard Mille, TAG-Heuer and Zenith. In short, a haute horology dream team.

The exhibition promises the opportunity to see new and rare pieces at close quarters from a galaxy of iconic brands as well as one-on-one time with some of the world's most famous watchmakers in the inspiring ambience of the Park Avenue Armory.

What to look for

There are some sensational displays to be enjoyed, one of which is the Swatch Blum Collection; one of the most complete collections of Swatch watches in the world. This exceptional 239-piece collection includes a large number of prototypes, hybrids and production variants never before seen. Among the most interesting and sought-after by collectors are a number of prototypes designed by the late American graffiti artist Keith Haring and artists Mimmo Paladino, Alfred Hofkunst and Sam Francis.

Going a little more upscale there’s the Sotheby’s Diamonds Collection, an exhibition of rare, extraordinary diamonds in a host of shapes and design-driven settings, displayed in a painter’s palette of hues ranging from colorless to yellow, blue and pink.

In a first for the USA, iconic brand Hublot will showcase their astounding “Levitation” display case – a star attraction of Baselworld 2012. Also, on display will be the Hublot Ferrari Pacer car, as Hublot and Ferrari team up to celebrate their recent alliance. Hublot will present its first Hublot Ferrari timepieces to the public at TimeCrafters. 

Look out for some of the most skilled watchmakers as they demonstrate their skills and techniques. The list includes Dominique Loiseau of Girard-Perregaux, Emmanuel Bouchet of Harry Winston, Sébastien Buliard of Zenith, Gary Cruz of Audemars Piguet, and Marcos Fernandez of Bulgari.

Baume & Mercier have raided their archives to present historic museum pieces never before seen in the United States for an in-depth retrospective of the brand. Pieces dating back to 1915 and the art deco era, as well as a host of century old watchmaking tools will be on display.

Not to be outshone, Audemars Piguet, will celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the famed Royal Oak Collection, presenting eight new models all complying with the original Gérald Genta design codes of the original 1972 collection. 


And top US brand Harry Winston will display the newest Harry Winston Opus 12 – a watch said to defy all conventional rules of watchmaking. Designed in partnership with Emmanuel Bouchet, this mechanical masterpiece, has a 607-part movement, inspired by the Copernican revolution, wherein the earth rotates around the sun and itself.

Who should attend

Watch connoisseurs and collectors and anyone who is crazy about chronology. There’s never been a watch exhibition quite like it in New York.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Time and space: A brand new annexe for A. Lange & Sohne

 Wilhelm Schmid and Walter Lange break ground for the new A. Lange & Sohne annexe

It seems you just can’t keep a superlative watch brand down. Now, with global demand for its watches continuing to rise, A. Lange & Söhne, headquartered in Glashütte in the German state of Saxony, has been expanding its production facilities over the past few years.

On September 5th, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to mark the start of construction on the company’s brand new annexe.

Since the mid 19th century, A. Lange & Söhne has steadily built its reputation and its business to become the largest employer in the town of
Glashütte, today providing jobs for more than 500 people, and its watchmaking workshops are already spread across several buildings.

The new annexe will provide more than 11,000 square metres of additional space for the movement-assembly departments and the machines that produce delicate movement components. Lange CEO Wilhelm Schmid, who took part in the groundbreaking ceremony along with Walter Lange, the great-grandson of brand founder Ferdinand A Lange, welcomes the start of construction. 

 Plan of the new A. Lange & Sohne annexe

“The annexe was long overdue, the new building will allow us to clearly improve production processes and working conditions.” Wilhelm Schmid, CEO, A. Lange & Sohne

A skybridge across Altenberger Strasse will connect the new structure with the existing “Lange II” building, currently the largest production venue. On the side facing the street, three floors will be devoted to production of movement components. The rear wing of the building will provide five floors of watchmaker workshops. The double walk-through facade has a climate-controlled function and allows distraction-free tours in these zones.

The new building is intended to blend in well with the existing complex and the local environment. Architecturally, Lange designed the facility for maximum ecological efficiency, with a geothermal heat pump used for heating, cooling, and hot water. The foundation of the building will consist of 70 concrete piles driven into the ground to a depth of up to 20 metres.

Work is scheduled to start this coming spring and, with true German efficiency, will be completed within two and a half years. The new annexe is expected to cost more than 10 million euros.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Make my day: Zenith participates in 9th Best Buddies Challenge; Hearst Castle

Zenith is a watch company that likes to wear its heart on its sleeve as well as its stunning El Primero watches. On September 7th and 8th, Zenith participated in the ninth edition of the Hearst Castle event as part of the Best Buddies International Challenge, the second time the manufacture has participated in the event.

 Best Buddies International founder Anthony Shriver and Zenith CEO Jean-Frederic Dufour

Zenith, noted as the inventor of the legendary El Primero movement, has shown a consistent interest in noble causes dedicated to the advancement of humankind, including through supporting research, exploration as well as sporting accomplishments and scientific progress. This ongoing commitment has led to Zenith being the official timekeeper for the philanthropic organisation Best Buddies International.

"There is no greater joy than the satisfaction of contributing one’s time and energy to the enhancement of another person’s life." Anthony K. Shriver

Jean-Frederic Dufour, Carl Lewis, Clint Eastwood, Nancy O'Dell and Anthony Shriver

 Jean-Frederic Dufour presents Actor/Director Clint Eastwood with a Zenith El Primero

Best Buddies International is a non-profit organisation dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The 9th Best Buddies Challenge: Hearst Castle, took place on September 7 and 8, 2012.

More than 1,500 people participated in the Challenge – a charity walk, run and ride to benefit Best Buddies International. Maria Shriver, Anthony Shriver’s sister, who serves as honorary chair of the event, is a journalist and published author who is also the former first lady of California - a state where she launched the WE Include Initiative dedicated to promoting employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

An Action-packed programme

 The Zenith golf team at Tehama Gold Course, Carmel, California

The Challenge kicked off with the “Entertainment Tonight” Best Buddies Golf Challenge, presented by Zenith Watches, at the legendary Tehama Golf Club in Carmel on Friday, September where legendary actor and director Clint Eastwood is a regular player. During the Golf Challenge, Best Buddies participants teed off alongside celebrities, professional athletes and special guests.

 Maria Shriver at the VIP reception

The day concluded with an evening VIP reception hosted by Maria Shriver. After a full day on the course, participants, VIPs, sponsors and supporters were invited to the Tehama Clubhouse to enjoy the finest California culinary creations and wines.

El Primero Chronomaster power reserve


Zenith earned its place in watch making history by developing the first integrated automatic chronograph movement in 969. The world’s most accurate mechanical series-made calibre, beating at a frequency of 10 vibrations per second and thus capable of measuring 1/10ths of a second, gave rise to El Primero chronograph.

Like all El Primero movements, it beats at the exceptionally high frequency of 10 vibrations per second (or 36,000 vibrations per hour) and can thereby measure 1/10ths of a second. This new chronograph movement with an approximately 50-hour power reserve comprises 248 parts and features meticulous finishes, visible in particular through the famous dial opening – revealing the beating heart of an exceptional movement and representing another characteristic Zenith innovation.

Open to participants of all ages and abilities

 Start line for 100 mile ride at Quail Lodge Golf Club
On Saturday, September 8th, hundreds of cyclists took to the starting line at Quail Lodge Golf Club for the 100-mile ride down the Pacific Coast Highway from Carmel to San Simeon. The Challenge, which was open to people of all ages and abilities, is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action. There was also a choice of 62, 30 and 15-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run/walk led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself.

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