Saturday, October 31, 2009

Remember to set your watches back tonight! Ernst Benz reminded me!

I have so many different email addresses that I sometimes forget to check all of them. I must have completely spaced one of them because when I opened it, I had messages from back several months ago. (sorry for not getting back to you, guys) One of the messages I got just the other day, was this great Daylight Savings Time reminder from Ernst Benz with their amazing Chronolunar Automatic on it.

With Halloween falling on a Saturday and DST happening so late this year, I am glad that I opened it or I would have forgotten all about it. (actually, I saw this on A Blog to Read, as well, so I really would not have forgotten).

This is a great note sent out by the Swiss watch maker that, not only reminds you to set back your timepieces and enjoy that extra hour of sleep, but suggests that if you have any issues setting your Ernst Benz for the event, just drop by your nearest EB retailer and they will be glad to help you out. Maybe get you to look at another watch or accessory while you are there. Maybe their Special Chrysalis Editions featuring my personal favorite, the 47mm Eric Dane Chronoscope.

Bravo Ernst Benz on a unique little marketing piece that strengthens your brand in my eyes. Thanks for the extra hour of sleep, too!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Offshore "Queens Road" Limited Edition

One of the world's oldest and most respected watchmakers, Audemars Piguet, has created another Limited Edition of the Royal Oak Offshore. The AP ROO Queens Road is dedicated to the first road in Hong Kong built by the British administration between years 1841 and 1843.

Created to commemorate the AP Flagship store, the Carlson Boutique, that happens to reside on Queen's Road Central - one of the 4 sections of the famous road that slices through Hong Kong. Its other parts are Queensway, Queen's Road West, and Queen's Road East.

The Titanium case houses a jet black "Mega Tapisserie” dial with large Marxist red Arabic numerals and matching inner-bezel and hands. AP's calibre 3126/3840 movement offers hour and minute, small second @12 functions, a chronograph with a central seconds hand, 30-minute and 12-hour sub-dials The chronograph dials are set in a 12, 6, 9 pattern and the familiar ROO rubber crown and chrono-pushers grace the side of the 42mm case. A special "Queen's Road" engraving finishes off the caseback.

The strap is a beautiful black Hornback crocodile leather with high-contrast red stitching and titanium AP-branded folding clasp. This very limited edition $26,000. piece will be available to only 100 lucky (and well-off) collectors.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Panerai is downsizing - The popular Italian watch brand will introduce a 42mm Radiomir in January 2010.

Officine Panerai, is still holding their position as one of the most popular watch brands in a stressed market. When the watch brand introduced their 44mm Luminor series in 1997, the watch market had not yet embraced oversized watches. But Panerai changed all that.

44, 45 and 47mm seem to be the standard size of a Panerai, however the Florentine watch company will introduce a stunning 42mm Radiomir (PAM336) in pink gold with a tobacco brown dial (a'la their limited Edition 232). The layout of the dial is the classic seconds at 9 style. The exceptional legibility in the dark is in fact achieved through a ‘sandwich’ dial with the luminescent material placed between two metal layers, the top one perforated in correspondence with the numerals and indexes. Pink gold plated luminescent hands complement the case as they tick away the seconds, minutes and hours.

The watch, with wire lugs that are easy to remove when substituting the strap and water-proof up to a depth of 100 meters, features the classic screw-down, truncated "onion" style crown ensuring maximum water-tightness.

Panerai is using the new 42mm 336 Radiomir model, to house their latest in-house movement, P.999. With a diameter of 12 lignes and a thickness of only 3.4 mm, the new hand-wound P.999 movement features 19 jewels, a 60-hour power reserve and a balance wheel oscillating at 21,600 alternations/hour.

This new Radiomir, PAM336, is movement-wise, a historic salute to the early days of the Florentine watch company. And a modern salute to the manufacturer position that Panerai proudly holds today.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Jaeger-LeCoultre iPhone application

Jaeger LeCoultre (JLC) has designed and created an App that aims to share the fascinating world of fine watchmaking with the public at large. You can choose the brand’s most iconic models, from the Reverso Squadra to the Reverso Gyrotourbillon 2, along with the Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic.

The application offers a chance to explore a collection of over 60 models. The user can test the most innovative of these watches, and thus for example activate the depth gauge of the Master Compressor Diving Pro Geographic; change the time zone on a Master Geographic; start a vertical-trigger chronograph by simply pressing the sapphire crystal of an AMVOX2 Chronograph; or swivel the case of a Reverso Grande GMT.

Thanks to this application, iPhone owners explore the various stages in creating a watch. They have access to a particularly comprehensive dictionary of horology and to six watch initiation classes. The classes enable users to practice watchmaking techniques directly on their iPhone screen: assembling a chronograph mechanism, decorating and jewelling a movement, polishing, engraving and gem-setting a case. For the latter class, the aim is to gem-set a Reverso Neva, making no mistakes and in record time, by skilfully sliding the diamonds onto the watch case. The watch classes are displayed at a rate of one new class every two weeks.

A prize drawing will reward one of the learners having correctly answered all three competition questions and who will then be offered a guided tour of the Manufacture located in the Vallée de Joux.

Finally, the application provides a function that identifies the Jaeger-LeCoultre points of sale in the country and/or city of your choice and enables you to locate them instantly.

Jaeger-LeCoultre CEO Jérôme Lambert stated: “Since 176 years, the Manufacture Jaeger-LeCoultre has developed a culture of innovation and a resolutely avant-garde spirit. As web pioneers, we are happy to show that our passion for fine watchmaking is matched by a desire to share knowledge that would honour Antoine LeCoultre, the self-taught company founder. Our application should appeal to devotees of watches and of technical masterpieces.”

Photo from Fratellowatches

Monday, October 12, 2009

Lum-Tec Bull 45 A4 PVD Chronograph

Every now and then, my wife tells me I'm "bull-headed". I used to think that was some kind of an insult until I saw this new limited edition piece from Lum-Tec on Professionalwatches blog. The Bull 45 A4 Chronograph features a 45mm 316L stainless steel case coated in silky black PVD. I like to think that it has a bit of a Bell & Ross feel to it. It is a bullhead design, which means the crown and chronograph pushers are on the top of the case. It is a slightly harder to operate than a traditional side mounted configuration, however this design prevents the crown of pushers from poking into your wrist.

As with all of Lum-Tec's styles, emphasis is on visibility and when the lights go out, the Bull 45 does not disappoint. Their patented 8-layer MDV® LUM-TEC GX luminous treatment makes the dial visible even in the most extreme low-light conditions. Although the dial seems slightly busy with its three sub-dials, date window, and over-sized numerals and hour markers, it is very legible and in the dark it is even better. A double-sided Anti-reflective sapphire crystal protects it all.

Powering the Bull 45 A4, is a Japanese quartz OS10 chronograph movement (Lum-Tec also uses Swiss "ETA" mechanical movements in some of their models). The case, which is adorned with multiple screw heads is treated with a brushed hard black PVD finish, that provides a very stealth look to this over sized timepiece. There is no denying that this is a tool watch and ready to go to work!  It all makes it way on to your wrist via a top grade rubber strap with a signature black PVD buckle. Water-resistance is 100 meters and is listed at an unbelievable $599. (they are a limited edition so hurry!)

So the next time your significant other calls you "bull-headed" just smile and say, "Thank you for the compliment."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Grande Complication on JamesList

Typical Sunday morning for me. I woke up to the sound of my 2 kids trying to work the AppleTV and knew it was time to start my final day of the weekend. I switched on the laptop and pointed my browser to it's first stop of the day, I usually save the watch listings for last but today, I went right to them and much to my surprise, I found this beauty up for sale.

The AP RO Grande Complication is as luxurious a sport watch as you will ever see. As is the case with all Audemars Piguet Royal Oak timepieces, the Royal Oak Grande Complication watch shows off the unique octagonal bezel with 8 hexagonal screws whose slots are all aligned to form a circle. Crafted in 18K white gold with a sapphire exhibition case back, the APROGC is made up of over 648 individual pieces. It  is a modern watch with a perpetual calendar showing day, date, week, lunar phase, month and even leap year that is said to be accurate for over a century.

So how much does one have to pay to have the honor to call one of these masterpieces their own? This particular one is ready to go at $584,000.USD and is located in Switzerland. I wonder if I can get him to throw in shipping for free? The JamesList-ing is here in case you are interested.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean "Liquidmetal"

Let the record state that I am a big Omega fan. That being said, they really have not put anything out in the past few years, since I purchased my PO, that has got my motor running, so to speak...until now! Omega has gone above and beyond in updating the Seamaster Planet Ocean by utilizing 2 materials that they have never used before on any watch, ceramic and a unique titanium compound that they have named "Liquidmetal" (more on that later)

Thankfully they did not depart from what made the PO a best selling dive watch and one of the most popular timepieces in the replica world. This Limited Edition (1948 pieces) is powered by Omega's Chronomter certified Calibre 2500 Co-Axial automatic movement. The dial is familiar with numerals at 12, 6, and 9 and tapered baton lume markers at all twelve positions. The "Seamaster" text really stands out in red on the, what looks like, ceramic dial. Helium release valve at the 10 spot and the heavily knurled crown. What really sets this model apart is the stunning black ceramic rotating bezel combined with solid "liquidmetal" numerals and markers.

It is still yet to be seen if this new combination will fly with buyers, but from all I can see, it looks to be a real winner. I hope Omega uses more ceramic (a'la Rolex, Hublot, Blancpain, etc...) to come. Time, and sales, will tell if they will translate it throughout the brand.

(From Ariel Adams' Blog to Read) Turns out liquid metal is something else, not the ceramic part of the watch. Liquidmetal seems to be a special titanium allow that has the manufacturing process of plastic. Thus it is very malleable. Omega uses Liquid metal at least in parts of the bezel to combine with the ceramic for the amazing seamless look. The makers of liquid metal say that it is a "metallic glass." Something I've certainly never heard of. In addition to titanium, it has zirconium, nickel, copper, and beryllium. Lots of companies uses the stuff when metal needs to be formed in the right way, but simply don't want to endure the very difficult process of using tradition methods to get the beautifully seamless look that you can see here on the bezel of the Omega Seamaster Planet Ocean Liquidmetal.

Perrelet Watches at Lussori Event

Perrelet the centuries old company that first brought us the automatic watch movement, recently partnered with Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA luxury retailer, Lussori to introduce release of the new Perrelet Turbine Watch Collection as well as other luxury watches from the brand. On hand was Virginie Perrelet, a direct descendant to the company's founder.

While Perrelet is a more familiar brand in Europe, this event and others like it are a great way to connect with the watch community and build brand identity here in the States. This was also a great opportunity for the company to educate consumers about the value and quality of the Perrelet brand of timepieces.  

"The people who attended were definitely interested in the brand. I heard positive comments about the design and exquisite craftsmanship each watch had. I feel proud to say we left the event with new Perrelet fans", said Perrelet's North American Managing director, Michael Goldstein.
Look for the company's next big step, their own in-house movements, due soon. This step will cement their place in the luxury watch marketplace.