2012 in review

December 30, 2012 by

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 71,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Tha m you for visiting! Happy New Year!

SIHH 2012 Preview: Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph

January 1, 2012 by

Yesterday we launched the first post about the new watches that are being launched at the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) will start again, where 19 brands will be exhibiting their new marvelous watch collections. And, Baume & Mercier just released the pictures of the Capeland Flyback Chronograph 42mm in stainless steel with black dial.

Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph

Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph

Baume & Mercier is a real watch brand that has been founded in 1830 and has seen many faces. The last couple of years they went back to the basics and in 2011 they presented a complete new face of the brand and it’s collection with the following four families:

- Linea (Ladies Collection)
- Capeland (Male Mechanical Collection)
- Classima (The Classic Collection)
- Hampton (The Rectangle Collection)

This year we already guessed would be a consolidation year and the launch of the smaller version of last year’s flagship model: The 46mm Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph with reference 10006.

Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph Automatic

Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph Automatic

It was a logical and we dare to say wise move to make such an elegant and historic piece in a smaller version. The 2011 version with a white dial is 46mm and this years edition is a more modest 42mm, like all the other Capeland models in the collection. Both models are inspired by the original version from 1948!

Each part of the self-winding movement with the great flyback chronograph function, which is manufactured by La Joux Perret, is visible through the sapphire crystal case-back, including an open-worked rotor, with the” Côtes de Genève” design finish and snail décor, with the Greek Phi letter, which Baume & Mercier uses as their logo.

2012 Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph 42mm

2012 Baume & Mercier Capeland Flyback Chronograph

Baume & Mercier expects to deliver the first pieces of this elegant timepiece during Spring this year. But as a WatchFreak you know all Swiss Watch Brands have huge back logs, therefore please contact your Authorised Dealer to reserve yours:

The Americas: Tourneau at phone number: +12127587300.

Latin America: Berger Joyeros at phone number: +525556161594.

Europe: Ace Jewelers at phone number: +31205711560.

Middle-East: Baume & Mercier Boutique The Dubai Maill at phone number: +97143398880.

Asia: King Fook Hong Kong at phone number: +85228903733 .

Australia: Watches of Switzerland at phone number: +61 2 9251 0088.

Stay tuned for more SIHH 2012 news and please share your opinion about these new timepiece here below.

SIHH 2012 Preview: IWC New Pilot Watch Collection

December 31, 2011 by

It has been known for a while that this year IWC is unveiling a new range of Pilot watches. As the Pilot collection of IWC is a legendary and hard seller, the expectations are high. One model has been released already:

IWC Pilot Watch Chronograph Top Gun 2012

IWC Pilot Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar

On Monday January 16th, 2012 the 21th edition of the Salon International de la Haute Horlogerie (SIHH) will start again, where 19 brands will be exhibiting their new marvelous watch collections. And, IWC just released the images of the Pilot’s Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar, named after the former location of the US Navy Fighter Weapons School (which is also known as TOP GUN).

The 48 mm case is dark grey ceramic – in the photos it seems to have a glossy finish – with a dial that has faux patina and a green nylon strap. Inside is the IWC cal. 89365 flyback movement, similar to that in the Portuguese Chronograph Yacht Club.

Alongside the chronograph, the Top Gun Miramar range will also have a 48 mm Big Pilot with a similar design.

IWC Pilot Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar Backside

IWC Pilot Watch Chronograph Top Gun Miramar Backside

The press release also indicates that we can expect the following eye candies:

- an all new Big Pilot’s Watch Top Gun Miramar with similar design elements as the Chronograph Top Gun Miramar and the same movement, caliber 51111, as the regular Big Pilot’s Watch;

- a first for the regular collection: new Big Pilot’s Watch Perpetual Calendar Top Gun features a perpetual calendar with its four-digit year display, moon phase display and seven-day power reserve;

- What everyone expected: the size of the regular Pilot’s Watch Chronograph increase with 1 mm, now 43 mm in diameter.

- A logical move in the sequel: the launch of the new Pilot Watch Mark XVII with a diameter of 41 mm (2 mm larger than the previous Mark XVI).

- The gold chrono is back: the Spitfire Chronograph with its IWC-manufactured 89365 calibre will be available in red gold.

- A long anticipated version: new Pilot’s Watch World Timer with a 24-hour ring that makes it possible to look at all 24 time zones, including the Universal Time Coordinated (UTC). The city ring shows the names of 23 places around the globe, each of which represents a time zone. The dial shows local time, which can be adjusted forwards or backwards in one-hour steps – also when crossing the International Date Line.

- A new 46mm Pilot’s Watch Double Chronograph and features new red design elements on the dial.

The IWC Pilot 2012 TOPGUN Ceramic Fighters Watch

The IWC Pilot 2012 TOPGUN Ceramic Fighters Watch

As the waiting lists have been long for several years already for new IWC models, make sure to pre-order yours at your local Authorised Dealers:

The Americas: IWC Schaffhausen Boutique Brighton Beach at phone number: +13107340520.

Latin America: Berger Joyeros at phone number: +525556161594.

Europe: Ace Jewelers at phone number: +31205711560.

Middle-East: IWC Schaffhausen Boutique Istanbul at phone number: +90 212 224 4604.

Asia: IWC Schaffhausen Flagship Boutique Hong Kong at phone number: +85228292729.

Australia: Watches of Switzerland at phone number: +61 2 9251 0088.

Stay tuned for more SIHH 2012 news and please share your opinion about these new timepieces here below.

BaselWorld 2011

March 25, 2011 by

BaselWorld 2011

 

 

 

It has been a (long) while since I have written here… I AM SORRY!

As you guys know, WatchFreaks Blog, is a brain child of mine and has never been intended as a commercial medium… Rather I have seen it as an open platform for all WatchFreaks to share their ideas about their passion: WATCHES :)

Unfortunately I really lack time to share my objective thoughts about my passion for watches :( As online activities at AceJewelers.com are booming, all my (online/social media) efforts are absorbed there…

Therefore I have to sadly write that I will not upload an objective daily BaselWorld update this year here on WatchFreaksBlog.com! In case you do appreciate my vision of the subjective side of the WatchWorld, please visit the Ace Jewelers Blog here on WordPress as of Monday March 28th, 2011 for daily picture and movie updates of the watch brands that we represent.

I postponed this decision for months, but as my SIHH 2011 Trade Show Review is still stored as a draft, I had to face reality… Hope you respect my decision.

And this is a trend unfortunately, because all the other contributors are drowning in their own watch activities… Therefore I transforming this post in to a non-profit job opening :)

ALWAYS WANTED TO SHARE YOUR (QUALITATIVE) THOUGHTS ABOUT WATCHES AND THE WATCH INDUSTRY?
PLEASE JOIN WATCHFREAKSBLOG.COM AS AN EDITOR. Applying the “http://five.sentenc.es policy”, please send a short e-mail to info [at] watchfreaksblog.com describing why you want to join us.

Thank you for your support and hope you enjoy all the eye & wrist candies this year as much as I do :)

=Alon

How many lives does Rodolphe have?

January 30, 2011 by

On October 19th, 2009 I wrote the article here on WatchFreaksBlog.com: “Legendary Watch Designers: Rodolphe” after he announced that he was leaving Franck Muller’s Watchland.

Last week I received a press release that Rodolphe Cattin started a new watch company: Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin together with Thomas Meyer and I could stop and wonder how many professional lives Rodolphe has…

Rodolphe Cattin & Thomas Meyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will spare you and not copy the complete press release in to here, you can download the PDF here.

WatchFreaksBlog.com contributor Motomax summurized Rodolphe’s professional life as followed:

“Rodolphe Cattin comes from Porrentruy and was schooled at the School of Applied Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds. He worked through stints with watch brands like Omega and Tissot before he started to work for Longines. A rebel at heart, he started first his own design company, Rodolphe & Co., which did design work for other parties. His second company, Rodolphe Montres & Bijoux, presented its first watches, bearing the name Rodolphe, in 1996. In the fifteen years of its existence Rodolphe grew: it was established in Le Bois and in La Chaux-de-Fonds, where a workforce of around twenty produced 1000-2000 watches a year.

In April 2005 the Franck Muller Watchland group (FM) took over both companies (Rodolphe Cattin stayed on, also as minority shareholder). At the time of the take-over the Swiss watch industry was in full bloom. Rodolphe was considered to be another extension of the fast-growing FM and Rodolphe Cattin had great hopes to expand further under the wings of the much larger group. Then the Credit Crisis struck, but even before the crisis FM was already in trouble because of a nasty conflict with the Swiss tax authorities. The crisis made a bad situation worse and FM’s board had other things on its mind then caring for Rodolphe.

In October 2009 Rodolphe Cattin left the watch industry after a series of disappointments, with feelings of sadness. However, someone like Rodolphe Cattin cannot sit still and this month he announced his return to the watch world with the launching of the Manufacture Rodolphe Cattin (MRC), co-founded with Thomas Meyer.”

Rodolphe Tourbillon Watch by MRC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MRC will attach more importance to its ladies’ than to its men’s collections (60/40). The first MRC watches will be presented in January in Geneva, but there will be a single pushpiece chronograph, dual time versions and various tourbillons in the men’s collection and spectacular diamond-studded ladies’ watches with mother-of-pearl dials.

All of us at WatchFreaks wish both Rodolphe Cattin and Thomas Meyer good luck with their new manufacture and can’t wait to see the watches in real life.

SIHH 2011 Trade Show Review

January 19, 2011 by

It has been a while since I have written a nice blog post here. I love watches and really like to speak & philosophize about them, I regret that I lack time to share my thoughts here with you. As you might know I am blessed to have a chance to make a profession of my passion: I work at Ace Jewelers. Since our online activities took of in 2009, I have to focus my attention there. I regret that I could not write an objective trade show review anymore.

IWC_SIHH_2011_V2 (19 of 20)

Might you be interested in IWC, Baume & Mercer and/or Montblanc watches, please visit the Ace Jewelers Blog:

- Team Ace SIHH 2011 Trade Show Review: IWC Watches

- Team Ace SIHH 2011 Trade Show Review: Baume & Mercier Watches

- Team Ace SIHH 2011 Trade Show Review: Montblanc Watches

For a video of my visit to the 2011 SIHH Show, you can visit http://www.AceJewelers.TV or just click play here below:

And, if you just want to see pictures of the newest watches, please visit Ace Jewelers’ Flickr photostream: www.flickr.com/acejewelers

I will try to write independent and objective posts from Basel in this blog, but I hope you understand and respect the fact my priority lies at Ace Jewelers… This post is not intended as promotion for Ace… This blog is truly objective and therefore we don’t have any sponsors and/or banners on this blog… My intention is to keep it like this :)

Combine Film & Watches: Short Film Competition

November 10, 2010 by

Take a true look at Fakes
Art and Creativity in the fight to end counterfeiting – Short film competition
By: Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH)

Film maker

Courtesy: phoenixsunmedia.org

As part of its mission to inform, the FHH is actively involved in raising public awareness of the risks and implications of counterfeiting. After its “Fake Watches are for Fake People” campaign (read article by WatchFreaks editor RJ @ FratelloWatches.com), the Foundation is launching a short film competition using the web, where many counterfeit products are sold.

The FHH is convinced that art can give its message greater impact, and is inviting you to make your short film on the theme of counterfeiting.

The shortlisted films will be shown at hautehorlogerie.org where visitors can vote for their favourites and share their selection on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The two winners will receive a timepiece by a Fine Watch brand:

* Jury Prize – awarded by five personalities from the world of art and film.

* Public’s Prize – awarded by online voting (voting open from March 1st to April 15th).

The two winning films will be shown at festivals, and will be the highlight of a gala evening in Lausanne.

How to take part

Counterfeiting: an economic scourge

Counterfeiting plagues every sector of industry. The global market in counterfeit goods is equivalent in value to almost 7% of world trade.

Today’s “second-generation” counterfeits create an almost perfect illusion, making it harder for end customers and distribution networks to identify them as fakes.

Counterfeiting amounts to nothing more than theft. It is the misappropriation of expertise, creativity, continued investment and the image a brand has forged over time.

See “Counterfeiting” on the FHH website.

See “Fake vs. Replica” on WatchFreaksBlog.com.

WatchFreaks Blog interviewed by STYLE:MEN Magazine

October 25, 2010 by

“Dial Q for Quartz” by Terence Lim

Last month, the Singaporian Senior Writer and WatchFreak, Terence Lim interviewed me for STYLE:MEN (November 2010 edition) – Singapore’s leading men’s style magazine for the stylish Singaporean male. You can download the interview by clicking on the link of the title of the article: Dial Q for Quartz.

Quartz is a muchmaligned material in watchmaking. Because of  the affordability of quartz watches, people — watch buffs or otherwise — don’t talk about them in the same breath as their mechanical counterparts. In fact, many watch snobs perceive quartz watches to be inferior but any connoisseur worth his Patek Philippe will remember the pivotal role quartz played in  the history of watchmaking.

In 1969, Seiko released the Astron, the world’s first commercially viable quartz watch. The ensuing years saw Switzerland grapple in vain to best employ the mineral, while  the Japanese conquered the market, producing cheap, reliable quartz watches. Sales of these electronic — industrial term for  quartz — pieces were phenomenal, which inadvertently caused  the Swiss watch industry to crumble in the 1980s. Then, Nicholas Hayek, the late Swatch chairman, was hired by a  consortium of banks to liquidate the flagging industry. Instead  in 1983, he launched fashion watch brand Swatch, which would  later sell millions of quartz pieces to the world. That allowed him to reinvest the profits into haute horlogerie — the shot in the  arm that the high-end segment needed badly. And as Bernard  Kaplan, publisher of watch blog watch-happening.blogspot.com puts it: “Ironically, it took a Swiss quartz watch to save the mechanical watch industry.”.

Forty years on, quartz watches still account for the bulk of Swiss  watch exports. The majority of watches sold— if not of the  value — are quartz. According to the Federation of the Swiss  Watch Industry statistics, sales figures for electronic  watches have steadied between four and five billion Swiss francs throughout the last decade. Which is a feat despite the two crippling economiccrises — the tech bubble bursting in 2000,  and the fall of the American banking system last year. Also, it  indicates the constant demand for quartz timepieces worldwide.  And the demand is not just limited to the massmarket brands. Quartz watches bring home the bacon even for big names like Rolex, Patek Philippe and Cartier. “No question about it!” Kaplan points out. “Patek Philippe, one of the  most prestigious mechanical watch manufactures, probably makes its highest gross margins on the quartzdriven Twenty-4.”

This year, watch cognoscenti see the re-issue of two quartz legends. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the original Astron, Seiko released 200 pieces of the new Quartz Astron.  Likewise, Girard-Perregaux launches a limited edition Laureato, equipped with a new in-house movement, the GP13500. It has been developed with utmost attention to detail — something more commonly associated with mechanical movements. With the launch of these high-end quartz pieces, one can’t help but  wonder if a return to those halcyon days is on the horizon.

“It is  great that these brands, which were at the cradle of the quartz revolution, honour the first watches with a re-edition,” says Alon Ben Joseph, contributor to watch blog watchfreaks.wordpress.com. “But [I] do not think we can speak  of the heyday of the 1970s.” That said, Ben Joseph, who also heads Ace Jewelers in The Netherlands, rules out the possibility of quartz being phased out soon. “Of course, a mechanical watch has more detailing, passion, and complexity,” he says. “But a  quartz movement has advantages that a mechanical one does  not have. I believe they can live next to each other like yin and  yang; a true symbiosis. Who says one should own only one watch anyway?”

Copyright: MediaCorp Publishing

Fake vs. Replica

October 4, 2010 by

As a WatchFreak you might have seen this already, but I had to share it with you. Not only is it funny, but I want to pay respect to our fellow WatchFreak who cares… This summer the Australian Watchmaker Nicholas Hacko had an interesting chat with a website selling watches:

Source: Authentics Foundation

“- Hi, my name is Nicholas Hacko. I am a watch dealer. I’ve just visited your website and wonder if you also wholesale watches?

- Hi. Well I am just a watch dispatch person you need to talk to my boss.

- That’s fine. However, it is important that before we enter into any business transaction, I want to make sure I am not breaking any laws…

- What do you mean?

- Well you guys do sell fake watches, right?

- No, not fakes. We sell replicas.

- Replicas, fakes, same thing…

- No, no. Our replicas are NOT fakes!

- Oh sorry, my misunderstanding. So you actually do sell genuine Rolex watches?

- No, no. You don’t understand the difference with fake and replica…

- Huh?

- … not genuine Rolex, just Rolex replica. But definitely not the FAKE Rolex.

- OK I see. You sell REPLICA Rolex!

- That’s exactly right. Genuine replicas which look identical to real Rolexes.

- Very good. So would you be able to accept payments in replica money?

- What do you mean, I don’t understand???

- You know, the replica money. Money which looks identical to real money but it is just replica. Like the stuff I can print on my printer…

- [laughter...] I don’t know, I am just a dispatch worker. You really need to talk to my boss [more laughter...]

- OK – let’s say that I do come into agreement with your boss and he does accept my replica money for his replica watches – which sounds like a perfectly fair deal to me – would you accept that replica money as your wages?

- [upset voice] Are you serious??? I don’t work for fake money!!

- No, no, no – it is not FAKE money, it is just REPLICA money, mate …

- Sir, I am busy, if you have any more questions please send us an email.”

The full article is available on Hacko’s blog: “Aussie website cashes in on counterfeits“.

Although this is a quite funny conversation, the subject is very serious. For additional information about the fake AND replica problem, please visit:

- Authentics Foundation – “Fakes cost more

- FakesAreNeverInFashion.com – “Innovation in brand protection

- My Authentics – “Is it fake

Please share you opinion about fakes, replicas, counterfeits, etc.

BaselWorld 2010 Preview: Itay Noy Watches

March 12, 2010 by

It will be the first time that Itay Noy will be exhibiting his wonderful artisan watches at BaselWorld this year. Make sure not to miss his stand, he will personally be at Hall 5.1 Stand V06.

As you know I was blown away when I found about Itay Noy and his watches when I read an article about him in the in-flight magazine flying from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv :) Click here to read the article I wrote back in 2008.

Today I had the honor to have a sneak preview of the newest models designed and produced by Itay Noy and ofcourse he authorized us to publize them here, a true WatchFreaks premier:

Itay Noy ID Classic

All new case - Itay Noy ID Classic

Itay Noy ID Classic side view

Side view of the all new Itay Noy Classic ID Watch

Itay Noy Watch Max

New Itay Noy Watch (42,3mm Automatic)

Itay Noy 2010 watch

New Itay Noy Watch (New case and Automatic movement)

Itay Noy ID Japan Watch

ID Collection by Itay Noy - Japan Edition

 The last watch is the Japan Edition of the all new ID Collection by Itay Noy. He told me that the ID Collection will be available in Japanese, Chinese, Hebrew, Arabic and Greek (and probably some more languages).

I can’t wait to see them in real life. As of Thursday 18 March 2010 they will be on display during BaselWorld at Hall 5.1 Stand V06. For an overview of the current collection of Itay Noy you can visit the official website (Itay-Noy.com) or the Ace Jewelers eBoutique (AceJewelers.com).


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