Thursday, April 30, 2009

The riveting Corum Ti-Bridge.

What do you think of the latest Corum creation? I think its pretty cool. It is the Ti-Bridge. The Ti-bridge is a charming timepiece sporting a Corum in-house movement - the CO 007. The movement is a hand wound mechanical baguetter movement with a frequency of 4Hz, 28,800 vibrations per hour and 21 jewels. Bridges are undoubtedly Corum's forte as Corum has an entire collection ,the Golden Bridge Collection, focused on the bridge. Although the idea has its similarities the movement is utterly different and quite revolutionary. Needless to say while the watch manufacturers are clambering to get a spot in the limelight with their cutting edge and unique timepieces, Corum has done quite well for itself. The Ti-Bridge is Corum's second in house Caliber which is heralding a new line of contemporary timepieces.

The bridges and plates are comprised of titanium, an incredibly strong light transition metal with exceptional corrosive resistance to sea water, chlorine and aqua regia (an extremely corrosive foaming yellow solution). In addition, the bridges are satin finished. The movement is crafted from grade 5 titanium as titanium is a tough material to work with and it is only grade 5 that can be polish-finished. The movement is secured within a curved tonneau-shaped case ,measuring 42.5 by 41.5mm, by a set of two titanium cross bars. These bars strengthen the structure of the watch as well as adding to the contemporary look. It reminds me of a loft apartment where the beams on the roof remain exposed. There is no dial as the hands are suspended above a Satin finished bridge engraved with the Corum name.

The hands are coated with Superluminova which enables one to view the time in the dark. The watch has a 72 hour power reserve an a 50 meter water resistance.

The Ti-Bridge is presented with a crocodile strap and a titanium-capped triple folding clasp. This unique watch is available in limited edition of only 750 pieces which will only be available in 2009.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Talk to me Harry Winston. Tell me all about it.

Recognize the title from Marylin Monroe's "Diamonds are a girls best friend."? Although the Harry Winston Opus 9 Watch is not a girl's watch, on the contrary it is quite masculine, never the less Harry Winston has chosen a diamond conveyor belt comprised of 33 baguette cut diamonds (Harry Winston's signature cut) and a single vivacious garnet to tell the time. The Opus 9 Timepiece puts its diamonds (and garnet) to work rather than letting them merely sit pretty. ( I am in no way downplaying the aesthetic role diamonds play in a timepiece, but it is quite refreshing to see the diamonds actively taking part in the role of telling the time)
The time display is easy to read, as the garnet indicates the hour on the first chain and the minutes on the second chain. The chains are meticulously crafted from brass to ensure the utmost mobility and the least friction. The brass is unnoticeable and the gems seem to glide on thin air making their way along the conveyor belt.
A strong automatic movement pulls the chain via a rack and pinion mechanism. This mechanism creates the lateral drive required to convert rational time into linear time and to propel the continual gliding movement. Although the conveyor belt is not a new concept, a conveyor belt comprising of diamonds is, and so meticulous planning is needed to account for the combined weight of the gems, the friction and gravitational pull, as well as the weight of each individual stone crucial for the ultimate balance of the watch. The large 18k white gold watch case (56mm tall by 48mm wide, and 20mm thick) is sculptured drawing instant attention to the diamond chain and at the same time enhancing the movement. The case is crafted in white gold with a structural bridge required for technical stability as well as providing a aesthetic appeal to the watch face. The bridge creates a lynch pin lock that secures the mobile components of the watch and thereby providing added stability and shock resistance.
The timepiece is completely encased in Sapphire crystal so that the glittering chain can be viewed from all angles. The strap is black alligator leather further enhancing its elegant appearance .
The Opus 9 is a commendable addition to The Opus Series. A series Harry Winston launched in 2001 committed to restructure the display of time in innovative, trend setting and creative ways. Mechanical Marvels really. Harry Winston is achieving this feat by partnering the industries most respected independent watch makers and designers, masters in the art and science of watch making. The Opus 9 is the result of the collaboration between Harry Winston and long time designer and watch maker, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht ,winner of the Grand Prix 2007 Best Watch Maker Designer, and designer Eric Girourd who has a background in architecture. The Opus 9 is the first time that these two remarkably talented individuals have joined forces and designed a luxury timepiece.
In the Opus tradition all three partners -Harry Winston, Jean-Marc Wiederrecht and Eric Giroud- are engraved on the bottom of the case. Only 100 pieces of this remarkable and ground breaking timepiece are available. The price tag is $180,000. A price encompassing innovation, exclusivity, remarkable craftsmanship, a handsome timepiece and diamonds at work.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The changing faces of De Grisogono Otturatore Luxury Watch.

Complications without clutter is the best way I can describe a De Grisogono Otturatore. At first glance one perceives a remarkable looking watch with an 18K Pink gold curved rectangular case, bold hands hour markers, and an aperture displaying the power reserve display at the 6 'o'clock position. On further scrutiny ,as scrutinizing watches is what we love to do, a thin circular crevice gives us a hint of mystery and in the image below the mystery is uncovered.The face of the De Grisogono automatic Otturatore Luxury timepiece has a rotating dial which functions via a complex mechanism comprising of more than one hundred individual components assembled in modular fashion on the movement. By pressing a large button at the 2 'o'clock position on the right side of the case, the dial can be turned in one rapid ninety degree movement in either direction. Either the date display at the 3 'o'clock position jumps into view or the power reserve display at the 6 'o'clock position or the subsidiary seconds at the 9 'o'clock position or the moon phase indicator at the 12 'o'clock position.

There is no question , the craftsmanship and ingenuity of this timepiece is absolutely superb.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Weigh in on this watch!

I came across this watch at Stauer, a company settled comfortably in the bygone era between 1910 and 1950's for those people who love vintage designed watches. This 1930's Dashtronic Limited Edition Watch is only $99. The watch has a jumping hour mechanism which was popular in the 1930's and which is making a prolific come back. This watch has all the appeal of a vintage watch; however, the overall look is more like the bathroom scale. I can't help myself but imagine a small creature standing in the center of the watch and gloomily stare at the indicator as the scale spins far beyond the desired weight. Although the watch has an uncanny bathroom scale resemblance, it is a 21 jewel automatic movement as well as being 3-ATM water with a stainless steel case and a black alligator leather band.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The best ladies watch of 2009

German watch magazine Armbanduhren voted The Jaeger-LeCoultre Reverso Squadra Lady Duetto watch as the best ladies watch of 2009. Truly it is one of the most beautiful watches I have ever seen. The blend of rose gold and white creates a serene timepiece. The watch ,true to its Reverso title, has a watch case that flips to either side displaying two distinct faces both tell the time but are decorated differently. The one side displays the date within the six and the other side has a day/night complication indicator. The watch case is available in stainless steel or highly coveted 18k rose gold. The rose gold is set with 75 diamonds and 36 diamonds decorate the steel version. As with every watch crafted by Jaeger-LeCoultre, elegance is supreme and the movement is superb. Different straps are available for the timepiece. An articulated rubber strap is depicted in the image above blending exquisitely with the rose gold. More traditional alligator strap and metal strap are the other choices.

The originality that crafted the Jeager-LeCoultre Reverso was out of practical necessity.
In 1931, British Officers who were stationed in Colonial India would play polo in their spare time. However more often then not the crystal of the wrist watches would get damaged during the game.
Cesar de Trey, an influential businessman, who was a close associate of Jacques-David LeCoultre visited friends in India.
A polo player approached him, "Sir, I challenge you to create a timepiece that can survive a game of polo with its crystal intact."

This challenge founded the legend of the Reverso. A Patent for Reverso was filed on March 4, 1931: A watch capable of sliding in its base and of turning completely on its axis to turn the crystal inward.

Monday, April 6, 2009

The Zenith El Primero Moonphase

When one thinks of Zenith, one thinks of the adrenaline rushing, heart pumping Zenith Defy Xtreme.
With this newer model unveiled in Baselworld 2009, an available this Spring, Zenith has toned down its look and become quite conservative. The Zenith Class El Primero Moonphase watch is by no means a step down from the Zenith Defy, it is a classy elegant watch with a unique combination of complications. The Zenith El Primero Moonphase has a full annual calender with moonphase and a chronograph. Within its 40mm and 44mm steel case ,as depicted in the image, a unique movement is at work, the El Primero automatic calibre 4100 which is the only movement baring an annual calender and column wheel based chronograph movement.
The dial is well proportioned and highly legible. The complication sub dials are in an inverted pyramid shape clustered around the center of the face. The Zenith logo, day of the week and month of the year balance the look at the top. The day of the month is placed in the perfect position, between the four and five 'o'clock. This placement makes for quick discrete reference when a date is needed. As with all Zenith timepieces the decorations are exquisite. With the Zenith Class El Primero Moonphase watch, Zenith is targeting a more conservative consumer who appreciates good taste and exceptional timeless quality.

Below is a video of an in depth look at a Zenith El Primero Chronometer and its exceptional craftmanship.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

A cut above the rest. Vacheron Constatin Flame Diamond-Cut Watches

Vacheron Constantin Metiers d' Art Lady Kalla Flamme

Imagine a watch where every gem seems to shimmer and dance like hundreds of licking flames. No more do we need to rely on our imagination, Vacheron Constantin ,for the first time in horological history has utilized, the newest officially recognized diamond shape, the "flame" diamond cut, on a timepiece. This "flame" cut is the first new diamond cut to be recognized by the Gemological Institute of America in 20 years. Each gem is shaped like the flame, perfect in symmetry and proportion. The gem dances with its own inner spark as the light from outside refracts within its 57 facets. It is the shape of the gems that takes our breath away, the striking femininity and beauty, resulting in a timepiece that is the height of elegance.

The watch dial is also fashioned in the form of a flame like the 200 "flame cut" diamonds hugging the 18k white gold watch; 20 on the case, 60 in the dial and 120 on the bracelet totalling 36.5 karats. A 3.6 mm thick manually wound 1005 movement beats within the case.

The flaming watches are in celebration of Vacheron Constantin's thirtieth anniversary of Kallista Collection.

In 1979 by private commissions, Vacheron Constantin earned the distinction of most expensive jewellery wristwatch of their time. Vacheron Constantin unveiled the Kallista watch, designed by Raymond MORETTI. It was embellished with 118 emerald-cut diamonds adding up 130 carats which were mounted in yellow gold. This timepiece ushered in the Lady Kalla line

Some watches covered with diamonds are too much, but the "flame cut" diamonds turn the watch into an exciting and vibrant timepiece.

The Metiers d'art Haute Couture a Secret is another "flame cut" timepiece; however, at first glance one only sees a beautiful bracelet , after closer inspection one spies a tiny dial hidden between the flames.

Gerald Genta Octo Tourbillon Sunray.

When I was a child, I visited a gold mine in South Africa. We were shown how gold was melted in a furnace and then poured into a bar. I remember the hot flaming liquid like molten lava, and I could feel the heat press against my face. At the end of the show we were allowed to place our hand around the bar of gold, and even try lift it. The gold was very yellow and smooth. Gerald Genta's Octo Tourbillon Sunray watch brought this memory back from decades of sleep. The muted yellow antique gold of the watch reminds me of the gold bar beneath my hand. So pure and vibrant is the gold, it could have been discovered in a cave among pirates booty. The geometric shapes balance the watch in perfect symmetry. The Tourbillon is framed by a brilliant gold octagon, and set deep into the slim 5.9 mm thick case, suspended on a sapphire bridge, so that when one looks down at the whirlwind of movement created by the tourbillon, one senses a fleeting sensation of timelessness.

The tourbillon is situated between two identical 6's which are part of the retrograde hour display. Gerald Genta is one of the Masters of complications being the first company to produce a self-winding tourbillon mechanism in the 1990's.
The craftsmanship is impeccable, a mark of craftsmanship at its best with finishes such as circular graining, bevelling, polishing. An anti ultraviolet-ray treatment slows the drying of oils and increases the life of the watch. The timepiece has a 64 hour power reserve.