Watchuseek Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Gone but not forgotten: George Daniels 35th anniversary watch

We will not see its like again. Towards the end of last year, Roger W Smith, who trained under legendary British horologist George Daniels, unveiled the Daniels 35th Anniversary wristwatch. It’s the first and only Daniels wristwatch to have been designed and made in its entirety within the shores of the Isle of Man, where Smith and his watchmaking workshop is also based. 

Housed within the watch is Roger Smith’s variant on the co-axial escapement developed by George Daniels, the only practical improvement to the escapement for 250 years. It’s called the Single Wheel Daniels Co-Axial Escapement. The purpose behind the watch is to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Daniels’ remarkable creation which he ultimately sold to Omega.

Roger W. Smith is co-creator of the watch and protege of the late Dr. George Daniels. He completed the masterpiece almost almost exactly one year following Daniels' death. 

It is the completion of a vision with which Daniels originally approached Smith in 2009 and was announced to the world in 2010. However, Daniels did not live to see the watch as the finished item, he died just three weeks after approving the prototype.

The watch took 16 weeks to construct and features Daniels’ Stop Start mechanism – a power-saving feature that has been used only once previously, in the Daniels fifteen second Remontoire pocket watch, which was completed in 1975.

Being the 35th anniversary, only 35 of these 18ct gold timepieces will ever be made, offering admittedly very well-heeled watch fans a chance to buy a unique piece of Daniels’ – and Smith’s – history as British watchmaking masters.

Visit the Roger W. Smith website

Show stealer: Richard Mille RM011 Flyback Chronograph in 'Parker'

In ‘Parker’, the new action thriller, British actor Jason Statham’s Texan accent may be phony, but the Richard Mille watch he wears is definitely the real deal.
 The movie is directed by Taylor Hackford and is based on a character created by the late crime writer Donald E. Westlake. Throughout the film, Statham, in the role of Parker, wears a Richard Mille RM 011 Flyback Chronograph timepiece.

Parker centres around a talented thief who leads his life with a particular moral code: never steal from those who cannot afford it. When his partners betray him after a major heist and try to eliminate him, Parker embarks on a long conquest of revenge and justice to right the wrongs done to him.

‘The cutting-edge RM 011 Flyback Chronograph perfectly complements Parker’s ruthless and courageous character’, says watch creator Richard Mille. ‘With its naked, transparent mechanism protected by sapphire glass and a case of titanium and 18K red gold, the RM 011 Flyback Chronograph evokes great sophistication as Parker takes on the role of a businessman named Daniel Parmitt’. It's actually the same watch originally created for racing driver Felipe Massa.

In his quest, Parker must be swift, precise and punctual. The RM 011 reflects these attributes with its oversize date, flyback chronograph with countdown timer, 12-hour totalizer and 55-hours of power reserve.

‘Parker’, which should go a long way towards establishing Statham as box office gold, was released in the UK and USA on January 25th, 2013 and will launch in France on March 13th.

Visit the Richard Mille website

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Surfer chic: Nixon Automatic Chrono Limited Edition watch

Nixon’ ‘and ‘Limited Edition’ are not normally to be found in the same article, never mind the same sentence, and yet this is the latest offering from the brand more associated with fun California snow, skateboard and surfer dude culture.

Nixon have released a very limited edition of 45 automatic chrono watches. The watch is powered by a Valjoux 7750 movement, widely recognised as one of the finest automatic chronograph movements for the money. Nixon have even installed a see-through sapphire lens on the case back in order to view the movement.

As for the watch itself, it’s crisp clean and uncomplicated with a black dial and white applied indices with superlum. The watch also features black hours and minutes, white super lum seconds hand and sub-dial hands. It’s water resistant to 200M and the custom stainless steel case is separately constructed as is the Tungsten bezel and Tungsten crown cap. 

Included in the package is a crocodile strap with a deployant buckle so you can change the look and feel of the watch on a whim.

The only thing is, the asking price for this new watch is $4,800 whereas the usual cost of a quartz Nixon chronograph is around $400 to $500. It’s a big price difference and also a highly competitive price point, where entry level Rolex and other Swiss brands will be competing. 

If you take a look at Nixon’s apparel offerings, which are student cool and casual, it might just be a price tag too far for a Nixon. But with only 45 to sell, it might yet prove to be a successful foray into the higher echelons of watchmaking.

Visit the Nixon website

Monday, January 28, 2013

Photo finish: Yohan Blake concludes SIHH with visit to Richard Mille manufacture

Jamaican speed met Swiss precision when World Champion sprinter Yohan Blake, 100 metres silver medallist at the 2012 Olympic Games, visited the Richard Mille manufacture on Wednesday last, just after the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie in Geneva, which opened on Monday 21st January.

The sprinter, known as ‘The Beast,’ was keen to immerse himself in the atmosphere of this temple devoted to fine watchmaking.

Accompanied by his personal staff, Yohan set off to meet Richard Mille’s team of watchmakers in the Swiss Canton of Jura. He was introduced to  manufacturing director, Yves Mathys, who showed him around the production facilities. Yohan then signed several pairs of sprint shoes after the tour. 

Of course this was not the first time that the 23-year-old Jamaican has been to Switzerland.  It’s in Lausanne
on August 23rd 2012, that Johan became the third greatest sprinter of all time by winning his 100 m race in 9.69 seconds. Johan made world headlines by beating his personal best by six-hundredths of a second, as well as confirming his potential to smash records. 

Richard Mille RM059-01 Yohan Blake Tourbillon

His new Richard Mille watch, which debuted at SIHH, is hitting the headlines as well. Called the Richard Mille RM59-01 Yohan Blake Tourbillon, it’s specially designed for the sprinter to be worn while actually sprinting.

The strident green strapped watch is made of a translucent composite, injected with carbon nanotubes. It is both ultra-light and ultra-strong. And as with all RM pieces, this piece is filled with all kinds of high-tech materials and technology.

The watch is an impressive 50.24mm x 42.7mm x 15.84 mm. The bridges on the watch are designed to resemble the claws of  ‘The Beast’. Limited to just 50 pieces it’s going to be a sprint for wealthy playboys to get hold of one of these very rare watches.

GTE 2013: Hautlence HLRQ02 and HLRQ03

 HLRQ 02

High-end Swiss watchmakers Hautlence – whose name is an anagram of the heart of Swiss watchmaking, Neuchatel – chose the Geneva Time Exhibition (GTE) last week to unveil the new HLRQ. It’s a more robust, athletic model than the original HLQ launched in 2009. It includes some of its predecessors' classic character with a bolder, more modern style typical of the AVANT-GARDE family which it joins as the latest addition.

Launched in 2012, the AVANT-GARDE line is HAUTLENCE's ready-to-wear collection. The brand has created a stylish, powerful line taking inspiration primarily from the curves and aesthetic codes of avant-garde design. The first HLRS models, which were unveiled in October 2012, were an immediate commercial success. 


HAUTLENCE HLQ with a calendar, which was followed two years later by the more subtle HLQ Classic. Both versions bore all the brand's hallmarks; an in-house movement and a specific display of the time with jumping hours, retrograde minutes and instantaneous calendar.

For 2013, the brand has reinterpreted the design cues of the earlier models  in a dynamic way to produce a brand new version as part of the AVANT-GARDE family. Refreshed with a stylish contemporary appearance, the HLRQ features a 44mm case, made from steel with or without a black and titanium DLC coating, and with more imposing horns.

The sapphire dial – designed by Hautlence – lends transparency and depth, revealing the in-house mechanical hand-wound movement with its jumping hours and retrograde minutes (thanks to the famous HAUTLENCE connecting rods system) and its calendar. The impression of weightlessness is further enhanced by the overlapping discs designed to create a stepped effect.

Created in HAUTLENCE's Atelier d’horlogerie contemporaine, the HLRQ line is available as an unlimited series. However, it still features the same degree of excellence in its hand finished “Côte de Genève” and hand finished angled bridges. The first two models in this line will be available to purchase from summer 2013, in two different versions:

AVANT-GARDE - HLRQ02  Case in steel and titanium, sapphire dial. Alligator strap with titanium folding or pin buckle.

AVANT-GARDE - HLRQ03 Case in titanium and steel covered by black DLC, sapphire dial. Alligator strap with titanium folding or pin buckle.

The watches will be priced at CHF33,000 to 35,000.

Visit the Hautlence website

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The sky at night: De Bethune DB28 Skybridge Watch

The De Bethune DB28 Skybridge is an ethereal new addition to the DB28 series, and you just know that the PR people in the Swiss mountains have been working overtime when they say ‘an infinite expanse of the heavenly firmament stretches across its dreamlike face. Ancestral skills and the latest scientific breakthroughs meet and mingle under the impetus of David Zanetta and Denis Flageollet.

While classically inspired in terms of its round shape, its 12 o’clock crown and its hunter-type back borrowed from pocket watches, the ultra-light 43mm mirror-polished titanium case of the DB28 features the same distinctive floating lugs as others in the DB28 series. The dial however is less complex, but nonetheless stunning looking, like something James Bond might wear to the casino.

The Skybridge features a 45mm polished bezel, while the dial is a shimmering representation of the sky at night, said to be intensely radiant.

With a reference to the famous 18th century clocks, the watch derives its power and beauty from its concave shape and its multiple decorations are crafted in the company workshops in the village of L’Auberson. The spherical moon-phase display is accentuated by an arrow-shaped bridge that appears to be pointing towards infinity.

The gorgeous flame-blued and mirror-polished steel hands sweep across the dial highlighted by a minute circle.

The watch is powered by the DB2105 in-house and hand-wound movement from De Bethune. There is no date or second hand to detract from the aura of the dial.

The dial is also sprinkled with white gold and diamond stars and then topped with hour-markers resembling tiny suspended spheres, lending a sense of timeless depth to the inner core of the watch.   A stunning dress watch for special occasions.

Visit the De Bethune website

25 years young: Chronoswiss Régulateur 30

As Chronoswiss celebrates the 30th anniversary of its founding, the legendary Régulateur will turn 25. This special anniversary watch is actually an “untypical” Régulateur, in that it includes a window at the 12 o’clock position. It is here that the hour is placed within a “digital” display. The minute display has moved upward, intersecting the display of seconds.

As an exclusive anniversary model, the Régulateur 30 will be available  in a limited edition of 130 pieces in the red gold case and 300 pieces in the stainless steel case.

The distinctive dial pays homage to the original Kairos model and features a lavish barleycorn guilloché pattern cut into the pure Sterling silver dial and emanating from its centre. 

Both versions also contain a chessboard guilloché pattern within the minute and seconds subdials. This timeless aesthetic is completed by thermally blued hands, which have been manually ground and display precisely the right length for the dials’ displays. 

There are also less obvious details these will continue to play a large role at Chronoswiss in the future – for the next 30 years and beyond.

About Chronoswiss

Chronoswiss is a German watch manufacturer based in Karlsfeld. The company was founded by Gerd R. Lang in 1983 with the mission to make the most extraordinary mechanical timepieces. Prior to founding Chronoswiss, Lang had gained significant experience in manufacturing movements for other major brands.

Chronoswiss tries to stay exclusive by only producing about 7,000 watches per year. Though a German company, every component is produced in Switzerland and then the watches are hand-finished.

Visit the Chronoswiss website

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Timepieces in the English tradition: Arnold & Son Royal Collection

Eagle-eyed readers will recall that we featured the Royal Collection from John Arnold & Son in a piece about an Arnold & Son global advertising campaign back in November of last year. But now we are featuring it in more detail.

The Royal Collection is inspired by the timepieces made during the earlier part of John Arnold’s life for King George III and the royal court. This Arnold & Son Royal Collection is an eloquent expression of elegance and sophistication in the inimitable English style and demonstrates also in particular the brand’s traditional prowess in the classical decorative arts.

John Arnold and his son played a decisive role in the directions taken by English watchmaking. They combined a finely developed aesthetic sense with an ability to find solutions to technological problems, crafting magnificent movements and designs with cutting-edge mechanical features that garnered several patents.

Given the dominance of Swiss watchmaking in modern times, it is difficult to imagine an age when another horological culture and tradition held sway in Europe. The late 18th century, however, was an age when English watchmaking reigned supreme. The country’s watchmakers developed an aesthetic entirely of their own, dictated partly by contemporary taste but also by their desire to roll back the boundaries of a field that combined art, tradition and technology like no other.


A timepiece that references its English watchmaking heritage, the TB88 is powered by the A&S5003 calibre, entirely conceived, designed and manufactured in-house. It brings together all the technical and aesthetic characteristics of a classical John Arnold chronometer.

The letters ‘TB’ stand for ‘true beat’, a complication that alludes to the precision timekeeping required for navigation at sea. Unlike conventional mechanical watches, a true beat movement measures out time in complete seconds rather than fractions dependent on the balance frequency. This is useful for determining the exact time and, consequently, longitude, and makes it invaluable at sea.

The TB88 is also a tribute to John Arnold’s earliest known pocket watch, of which the original case bears the number ‘88’. The number is replicated by the design of the movement in this latest model, with its perfectly symmetrical layout featuring the twin barrels at the top, the balance wheel between 4 and 5 o’clock and the true beat seconds indicator between 7 and 8.

The watch movement is ‘inverted’, which simply means that the technically interesting features are on the dial side of the movement instead of being hidden away on the reverse. This showcases the two barrels, which generate a full 100 hours’ power reserve when fully wound, and the Breguet overcoil balance spring. Bending and fitting the spring by hand is a delicate and highly skilled operation mastered by a precious few watchmakers. 

However, the feature that unquestionably sets Arnold & Son’s new TB88 apart is its unique ‘English’ design, as expressed through features like the straight-cut bridges. Each of the pivoting elements in the movement is mounted on its own bridge, 16 in total. Further shining examples of watchmaking at its finest are the hand-chamfered edges of the bridges and other key parts of the movement, together with the fascinating juxtaposition of the black and brushed components.


Elegance, craftsmanship and precision effortlessly combined. The case of this award winning watch – voted Classical Watch of the Year for 2012 - is 40 mm in diameter and houses a manufacture hand-wound movement which is only 2.7 mm thick and provides an exceptional 80 hours power reserve due to its double barrel. 

Whereas most watches in this segment of the market only provide a single barrel, the solution of having two barrels provides more constant power and more constant force, which will result in improved accuracy. The watch features further haute horlogerie details such as hand angling and decoration of all bridges and fine hand stitching on the alligator leather strap.


With the hand-finished manufacture A&S8000 calibre, Arnold & Son’s TE8 Tourbillon is true to English haute-horlogerie watchmaking heritage.

The tourbillon escapement, one of the most elegant complications in the world of horology, has played a crucial role in Arnold & Son’s history. An exceptional watchmaker, John Arnold was an active participant in one of the most extraordinary partnerships in the world of innovative horology. Arnold and  A.-L. Breguet worked closely, sharing both their knowledge and passion. Evidence of their partnership is A.-L. Breguet’s first ever tourbillon mounted in John Arnold’s No. 11 movement, a watch that can be found today in London’s British Museum.

What sets this watch apart is its unique “English” design: the dial is a ¾ wave-form cut-out on the barrel bridge, the tourbillon and motion-work bridges are triangular, and even the three-spoke wheels are shaped with a distinctive flare. This same three-spoke design can also be found in the tourbillon cage as well. The chiseled decoration, reminiscent of waves, is a nod to the nautical world and to history’s great seamen and explorers such as James Cook, who entrusted their lives and that of their men to John Arnold’s timepieces.

To achieve the symmetrical layout of the movement requires overcoming a number of technical challenges. Thus the barrel spring and the tourbillon cage are centered along the watch’s longitudinal axis. When examining the winding system, one notes the traditional construction, which uses wheels with long and narrow spokes known as wolf’s teeth, used to improve the smoothness of the overall movement.



Calibre: A&S5003
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 32 jewels, diameter 37.8 mm, thickness 5.9 mm, power reserve 100 h, two barrels, 18’000 vibrations/h, Breguet spring
Functions: hours, minutes, true beat seconds at 8 o’clock
Movement decoration: 18-carat rose gold case model:
nickel-silver movement, black ruthenium treated with Haute Horlogerie
finishing: manually chamfered bridges with polished edges and brushed
surfaces, mirror-polished screws
Dial colour: black open dial
Case: 18-carat rose gold, diameter 46 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant
to 30 m
Strap: hand-stitched black alligator leather
Reference: 1TBAP.B01A.C113A 18-carat rose gold case


Calibre: A&S1001
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical movement, hand-wound, 21 jewels,
diameter 30 mm, thickness 2.7 mm, power reserve 80 h, two barrels,
21'600 vibrations/h
Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds at 6 o’clock
Movement decoration: 18-carat rose gold case:
nickel-silver movement, rhodium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing:
manually chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and
Côtes de Genève, blued screws
Dial colour: cream
Case: 18-carat rose gold, diameter 40 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant
to 30 m
Strap: hand-stitched brown alligator leather
Limited edition: 250 timepieces
Reference: 1LCAP.W01A.C110A 18-carat rose gold case with cream dial


Calibre: A&S8000
Exclusive Arnold & Son mechanical tourbillon movement, hand-wound, 19 jewels, diameter 32.6 mm, thickness 6.25 mm, power reserve 80 h, 21’600 vibrations/h
Functions: hours, minutes, tourbillon
Movement decoration: 18-carat rose gold case model:
nickel-silver movement, black ruthenium treated with Haute Horlogerie finishing: manually chamfered bridges with polished edges, fine circular graining and A&S specific waves decoration, screwed gold chatons, mirror-polished tourbillon cage and bridge, screws with bevelled and polished heads
Dial colour: black open dial
Case: 18-carat rose gold, diameter 44 mm, cambered sapphire with anti-reflective coating on both sides, case back see-through sapphire, water-resistant to 30 m
Strap: hand-stitched black alligator leather
Limited edition: 25 timepieces
Reference: 1SJAP.B01A.C113A, 18-carat rose gold case, black ruthenium

Visit the Arnold & Son website

Monday, January 21, 2013

Rallying round: Sébastien Loeb is Richard Mille’s new brand ambassador

Swiss watchmaker Richard Mille has just announced that rally driver Sébastien Loeb is its newest celebrity endorser, joining the lineup of top sports stars already involved with the brand, which includes tennis champ Rafael Nadal and golfer Bubba Watson. 

The 38 year old Swiss based Frenchman has been competing for the Citroën World Rally Team in the World Rally Championship (WRC). He is the most successful driver in WRC history, having won the world championship a record nine times in a row. He holds several other WRC records, including most points, wins and podium finishes.

Originally a gymnast, Loeb switched to rallying in 1995 and won the Junior World Rally Championship in 2001. Throughout his career, Loeb has earned a record-breaking nine world championship titles, 76 victories, and 112 podium finishes in the World Rally Championships. He also formed his own motor racing team, Sébastien Loeb Racing, in 2011. 

Through their partnership, Richard Mille will have the opportunity to place its watches in extreme conditions and test their performance and resistance in impacts as well as for comfort. Sébastien Loeb, like RM’s other sporting partners such as Bubba Watson and Rafael Nadal, will wear a Richard Mille watch on his wrist while competing, starting with the Monte Carlo Rally from January 16-19. 

Hopefully, unlike Rafael Nadal, he won’t lose the watch in the changing room!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Watch of the Year 2012: Speake-Marin 'Spirit' Mark II

The watchloving Passion Watchmaking forum organised an inaugural election of a watch to be recognised by its members as "Watch of the Year".  A committee of members freely selected 15 watches presented to the public in 2012, then submit them to a vote of all members.

Although an entry level timepiece, this beautiful watch from Peter Speake-Marin scooped first prize. It’s likely to be found only on the most exclusive and horologically informed of wrists. It has a power reserve of five days or 120 hours compared to the 42 hours of the first Spirit, this is possible thanks to the automatic movement TT738 developed by Speake-Marin.

The case is hand-finished with a circular grained bezel, emphasising the raw, modern look of the watch which is usually polished. This finishing enhances the contemporary style for which the Spirit is known. 

The 42 mm stainless steel case is bigger than the former Spirit which was only 38 mm however it is less thick. The caseback is now full and just like the Spirit, engraved with “Fight, Love & Persevere” an inspirational motto from Peter Speake-Marin.

The votes of members of Passion Watchmaking voted the Speake-Marin"Spirit" Mark II as winner with 26% of votes.

Pure logic: Romain Gauthier Logical One

Romain Gauthier’s dazzling Logical One tour de force of a watch, starts from a sound point of logic. Romain recognised that the principles of constant force should apply to watches just as they apply to cars, planes and other machines.

After all, the vast majority of machines run on constant force: Cars and planes don’t start running slower as fuel runs low and machines receive the same voltage no matter how much electricity is produced.

Constant force is one of the holy grails of horology and with Logical One, Romain Gauthier has reinvented the chain-and-fusee − one of the oldest and most traditional methods of supplying constant force to a watch/clock movement − making it more reliable, more effective - and more constant.

Accordingly, Logical One features a triple patent-pending Romain Gauthier flat chain-and-fusee style constant force system with ruby chain links, ergonomic push button winding system, dial-side visible balance, a mainspring barrel with sapphire inserts, plus a 60-hour power reserve indicator.

Traditional chain and fusee

Fusees have been used since 15th century to improve timekeeping by compensating for the diminishing torque/power of the mainspring as it ran down.

The first fusees used fine cord; however, as technology enabled the manufacture of ever-smaller chains, these replaced cords because chains transmit power more efficiently. But the traditional chain and fusee has two inherent problems:

1. The multiple layers of chain (often eight turns) on the fusee mean that the individual links have to be small, which means that they are relatively weak.

2. The chain is often transmitting force between the fusee and mainspring barrel at an angle, which is both inefficient and adds stress.

Replacing the fusee with a snail cam

Romain solved both problems by replacing the fusee with a slowly rotating snail cam, which is situated at 10 o’clock to the left of the hour/minutes dial.

As the snail cam and mainspring barrel are on the same level, the force is always transmitted in a straight line and, as only one short line of chain is needed, the links can be bigger and stronger.

Ruby chain (patent pending)

To further improve efficiency, Romain has taken full advantage of the larger chain links by making the links in low-friction hard-wearing synthetic rubies.

And there is yet another innovation in the construction of the chain itself.

Romain Gauthier has replaced the traditional method of joining chain links, by placing a fine sheet of paper between the links and connecting plates, riveting them together and burning the paper away to create a fine (though imprecise) tolerance, with a snap clip system that offers high-precision, simplicity, reliability and consistency.


Winding with ergonomic pusher 

Romain Gauthier’s Logical One features an innovative push button winding system, with the pusher set neatly into the left caseband. Based on sound engineering principles, a traditional crown is relative small with a fine (relatively fragile) stem that has to transmit the force 90° between the crown  to the  mainspring barrel. The pusher to wind Logical One transmits force to the barrel on the same plane.

Mainspring barrel with sapphire lining


In a traditional brass barrel, the metal of the spring scratches the metal, even when freshly greased. Over time, grease clots, scratches get rougher, the barrel sticks to the spring and does not rotate smoothly. To eliminate this potential source of uneven friction, Romain has placed the mainspring of Logical One between synthetic sapphire plates.  Sapphire has the ideal properties of having a low coefficient of friction with steel – which is why watch movements have ruby bearings – and is highly scratch resistant.

Movement & finishing

The movement for Logical One was conceived, developed, designed, produced, decorated, assembled and regulated entirely in-house by Manufacture Romain Gauthier.

Highly polished sharp internal bevelled angles in the movement plates and bridges are the hallmark of superlative hand finishing because, to date, machines are not capable of milling and polishing sharp internal bevels. 

With Logical One, Romain Gauthier has gone a step further still in creating double-angle bevels with sharp internal angles, which give the effect of border. 

A world of logical details

•    Bespoke gear wheels with graceful circular arms for maximum rigidity
•    Special power-process hand frosted bridges
•    High efficiency gear teeth profile (patent pending)
•    Polished screw heads with distinctive S-slot for more length/less slip
•    Balance wheel with curved arms and calibrated eccentric weights
•    Triangular pallet lever (Romain Gauthier invention) for improved rigidity.


Features: hours, minutes, small seconds, 3-day power reserve, push-button winding and innovative chain-and-fusee style constant force system

Case and strap
Case materials: red gold or platinum
Movement plates and bridges: titanium, stainless steel, brasst
Dimensions: 43mm x 14.2mm
Water resistance: 50m /5 atm / 150’
Sapphire crystal with anti-reflection coat front and display back
Winding by push button at 9 o’clock
Time-setting crown with sapphire cabochon at 2 o’clock
Strap and buckle: alligator leather hand-stitched in Switzerland with pin buckle in metal to match the case.

In-house manufacture movement calibre
Dimensions: 35.5mm x 10.5mm
Power reserve: 60-hours
Number of jewels: 30 in movement, 34 for chain
Number of components: 333
Balance frequency: 28,800 bph / 4Hz
Highest level haute horlogerie finishing, including hand polished screws and jewel countersinks; hand bevelled and polished bridges and plates.
Three patents pending

About Romain Gauthier

Born in 1975 in Le Sentier, in the picturesque Vallée de Joux, at the heart of fine Swiss watchmaking, Romain developed a passion for traditional haute horlogerie blended with clean, contemporary design and innovative micro-engineering.  After studying precision-mechanics, Romain started his first job as machine programmer/operator and over the ensuing years, managed and grew the department into one of the best - equipped and most efficient production facilities in Europe.

Determined to create his own watch brand, Romain completed an MBA in 2002. His final thesis – passed with distinction – was the business plan for Montres Romain Gauthier. He then began work on the timepieces themselves. "I knew that a good movement was the basis of everything I planned to build, so I started with that." In 2005, after three years of working in secret, Romain launched his brand in Baselworld 2007 with the Prestige HM, featuring his own in-house manufacture movement. The  Prestige HMS followed in 2010 and Logical One in 2013.

Visit the Romain Gauthier website

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Ice-Watch Introduce Their First Swiss Made Model

Belgian watch brand Ice-Watch have enjoyed huge success over the last few years, which has led to an enormous increase in popularity and are now huge in the USA and thanks to some very clever advertising, the UK.
Since this huge spike in popularity, the company has opened a flagship store in Geneva Switzerland and this has been followed by the announcement of the Ice-Surf, Ice-Watch’s first ever Swiss made timepiece. The company is only in its infancy having only been founded in 2007, but with this new addition to the Ice-Watch family, the growth of the brand is only set to continue.

The Ice-Surf watches themselves of course have that classic Ice-Watch feel to them, being available in vibrant orange and blue colours or a more sophisticated black, with highlighted hour and bezel markers. However, with the large 57mm case diameter, the slick straps and the new stunning Swiss quartz movement, this new range offers something a little more, special!

Unlike most of the other Ice-Watch ranges, the Ice-Surf is water resistant to 200m rather than just 50m. This fits in with the Ice-Watch philosophy that these watches are for sports lovers and will be great for swimming and even diving! 

These Ice-Surf range will be available in February 2013 and are expected to be yet another major success for the Belgian brand.

 Written by Chris Derrer from The Watch Hut

One watch, three complications: Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater, Annual Calendar & Equation of Time LE watch

One watch, three watchmaking complications; a Minute Repeater, Annual Calendar and Equation of Time, all contained within a supremely elegant new 42mm 1966 model from Girard Perregaux. 

The complications are displayed on the dial in perfect harmony, powered by a mechanical calibre with over 400 component parts. 

The new Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater, Annual Calendar & Equation of Time watch is a worthy addition to the Girard-Perregaux 1966 Collection. 

The well proportioned dial features a silvered sunburst decor as a backdrop to the complications.

1) Annual Calendar

With solid gold applique hour-markers and sharply defined profiles, the eye is immediately drawn to the imposing date located at 1:30 on the dial. The month is displayed in a window opposite to complete the Annual Calendar function. This ingenious construction only requires a single adjustment of the date per year, in February, which is easily carried out through the watch’s crown.  

 2) Equation of Time

Indicated by a cam appearing in relief on a wheel that completes one revolution per year, the Equation of Time is displayed at 4:30 on the dial. It shows the difference between civil time and solar time. The solar day varies in duration from day to day. While the two reference times in question coincide exactly four times per year, the accumulated difference between them can be as much as, for example, 16 minutes in November.  

3) Minute Repeater

The Minute Repeater enables the user to hear the striking of the hours, quarter-hours and minutes. This function was first conceived in an age before the advent of electricity, when people needed to be able to hear an indication of the time during the night. Today it is one of the complications most appreciated by connoisseurs of fine watchmaking.

In order to create the vibration that will produce a crystalline sound, the adjustment of the striking mechanism is one of the most delicate operations for a watchmaker, requiring nimble fingers and a particularly acute ear. 

The Girard-Perregaux Minute Repeater features three specially designed aspects of the construction of the watch-case: an optimal fit between the internal diameter of the case and that of the calibre, so as to achieve maximum resonance; a curved case back that increases the volume of air between the movement and the case, and enhances the sound production; and the diamond-polished bottom of the case back, which reduces acoustic interference.  

The movement is visible through the sapphire crystal case back, in line with a Girard-Perregaux watchmaking tradition. With its constant concern for aesthetic standards, Girard-Perregaux has designed the balance-cock in a semi-arrow shape that recalls the Golden Bridges, the brand's emblematic signature.

Girard-Perregaux 1966 Minute Repeater, Annual Calendar & Equation of Time watch


Case in polished pink gold with anti-reflective sapphire crystal  Bezel: circular, satin-finish interior  Dimensions: 42 mm Crystal: Domed anti-reflective sapphire Dial: brass, appliques in 5N18 pink gold
Hands: "Leaf", "Baton" and "Arrow" styles in 5N18 pink gold and coated in diamond powder piece by piece Crown: 5N18 pink gold with GP logo engraved Case-back: sapphire crystal, closed with 6 screws, all inscriptions hand-engraved Water resistance: 30 meters  Girard-Perregaux E09-0003 Movement Handwound mechanical movement Calibre: 14¼''' Frequency: 21,600 vib/h – (3 Hz) Power reserve: min.100 hours (4 days) Jeweling: 48 jewels Number of components: 419 Plate: rhodium-plated and circular-grained

Bridges: côtes de Genève, polished beveled angles Balance-cock: gold semi-arrow shaped, "rounded-off"  Balance: with variable inertia

Striking mechanism: repeating with two facing hammers, hours, quarter-hours, minutes. Regulation of the speed of the striking-mechanism by inertia-driven governor, countersprings accessible on the bridge side, inverted minute rack; conventional gong pitches. Functions: hours, minutes, small seconds, minute repeater, annual calendar, equation of time  Brown alligator strap Ardillon buckle in pink gold Reference: 99651-52-131-BKBA Limited edition of 15 pieces


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